Read Also: Abike #2
Chapter 3 – Dear Abike
I woke up to the sound of Louis Armstrong’s A Kiss To Build A Dream On playing softly in the background. It’s been long since I heard jazz. I began to look around and realized I was in unfamiliar terrain. Then it all started coming back to me. I wasn’t home. I slept out.
“Oh no! No! No!” I screamed, walking out of the room. I bumped into someone and I looked up to see Chike.
“What’s the matter Abike?” He asked worriedly.
“I have to get home right now.” I said, trying my best to be polite. I was scared to my bones. I was in so much trouble. He scoffed at me as if knowing what I was thinking.
“You can go home after you’ve had breakfast. Uju is putting together sardines, eggs and bread with hot coffee. Don’t bother trying to refuse, I won’t take no for an answer.” With that, he guided me to the table where his wife was setting it while waltzing to the music playing in the background.
“Good morning Sleeping Beauty… You could have slept all day.” Uju said, trying to check if I had a fever.
“Morning, what’s the time?” I asked in reply to her rather confusing statement.
“It’s almost 12 O’clock sweetheart…” I gasped “…But not to worry, we eat breakfast late on weekends in this house. Once we are done with breakfast, you can bathe and get a change of clothes. Then I will walk you home.” She continued
“Lucky you both are almost the same size.” Chike added
They were being so nice. I looked at the table and I couldn’t refuse the offer even if I wanted to. It would be pretty nice to have a peaceful meal for once. At the end of breakfast, I had no regrets. I took my bath because Uju kept on insisting. She gave me a fresh change of clothes then walked me home. The walk to my place was a rather quiet one with Uju, who I felt was the chatty type. I guess she was probably cooking up a speech for Jide in her head. The speech she never got to deliver because on arriving home, his car was gone. I quickly grabbed the spare key we kept beside the flower bed to open the door and let myself and Uju in.
“What a pretty house you have!” Uju said, admiring the decor. My mind was not with her because I barely heard any other thing she said. He had cleaned the whole house and put everything in order. He never does those things. I was headed for the laundry room to check if he washed the clothes too when I noticed a note on one of the side tables with my name boldly written in front. I picked it up and it read
I know that I have hurt you in more ways than one. I’m sorry.
Please forgive me for the things I said, for the things I chose to believe and for the things I ended up doing. Please give me a chance to make up for it. I could write all the words there are to say but the best apology I could ever give to you will be to change and I will. Please don’t hate me. I know I rant about things I will do if you ever file for a divorce. Baby, it’s all noise. I don’t want you to ever leave me. I will change, I promise you that. In case you come home and you see this, please don’t leave. I already did all the house chores this morning.
I just stepped out to see a client and will be back soon. I love you.
Uju stood quietly and observed me while I read. It was only when I sat on the couch that she decided to ask what was going on. I gave her the letter. We had just met but it felt like I could trust her. She read it and came to sit beside me resting my head on her shoulder. Slowly I got lost in thoughts. Did he really mean every single word he said or was he just saying this because he felt that was what I wanted to hear?
I didn’t know what to think.
“Do you believe him?” Uju asked
“To be honest, I do believe him.”
Uju spent an hour with me before returning home. She told me not to give up and that everything was going to be fine. Not too long after she left, I fell asleep.
I woke to a soft kiss on my cheek and Jide on his knees.
“I’m sorry for all the pain I have caused you and the bruises I have inflicted on your skin.
Abike oloju ege! Arewa bi wura ati fadaka ti won fi amo da Iginla ti n dagbo se Ayanfe gbogbo okunrin ijebu Iyawo mi atata Iyawo jide nikan.”
He hadn’t sung an oriki for me in forever. I sat up and all I could do was hug him. I missed him, I missed us.
“I forgive you.” I said
That was it. The next few months passed by with bliss; we hardly fought or had arguments. He took me to Paris to celebrate our wedding anniversary — a special weekend getaway, just the both of us. Everything went back to normal and I was happy again until he told me his mom was going to spend the weekend with us. I was worried but he promised I had no reason to be worried.
Image Art by Dempsey Osahon Eguae
I learn to live my life as everyday comes but still controlling the elements around me. I’m not perfect but the more I strive towards perfection the more things fall in place