THREE MONTHS LATER
I hummed to my new favorite song as I drove at a medium speed to my mother’s house.
It has been three months,three months without Abby and I’ve been okay… I’ve been handling our separation just fine.I have gotten over her completely.
‘But her picture is still your wallpaper…your screensaver.Her name is still your password.You are on her Instagram page all day following up her latest update,the wedding ring is still in your finger’My subconscious mind reminds me.
I huffed,this guy’s a pussy.
Well,I still like to tell myself that I’ve gotten over her,I quit drinking for good and I buried myself with work… scheduling different business trip to another and I like to tell myself that I’m okay.
Funnily enough,we still haven’t signed the divorce papers.
There’s no way I am filing for a divorce. I think she’s probably waiting for the right time to bring them to me and hell,I am dreading that day.
You might be wondering what’s wrong with me…
I can’t answer that question.
I claim to have gotten over Abby but I’m scared of signing divorce papers.
Well, let’s leave that for another day.
It’s Wednesday and all my entire family… including the extended family would be at my mom’s house.
My immediate younger sister is getting married.
The traditional wedding is on Friday while the church wedding is on Saturday but my mom wants all our relatives to be around today.
It’s like a family reunion before the wedding.
I kind of like the idea because I can hardly recognize relatives from my paternal side but when it comes to my mom’s family,we are highly familiar with each other.
I mentioned before that my mom’s house is like a mansion,so it accommodate as many people as possible.
It’s the holidays for children,and my uncles, cousins,and Martin are all going to be there with their kids.
So it’ll be so fun.
And that’s what I need right now..FUN.
When I pull up at my mom’s garage,the two maids she has runs out to take my luggage.
“It’s fine,you can go back inside”I said to them,they nodded and walked away.
“Tobi!”My mom squealed, walking out of the house.
That’s the short form of my native name.
I smiled, walked closer to her and hugged her.
“I can tell that you are not missing your meals”She said.
Oh,I forgot to mention,every weekend for the past three months,my mom doesn’t fail to bring a flask of food to me.
She also buys some food stuff along.
At first,I complained,she needed to stop behaving as if I can’t take care of myself but she’s so persistent.
So I had no choice but to enjoy it to the fullest.
“Has Martin arrived?”
“No,he called that he would be arriving tomorrow”
She looked delightedly behind me.
“I’m so happy you made it”She said not to me this time.
I turned around to see who she was referring to and I forgot to breathe.
She was getting down from her car,the maids took her luggage from her.
I quickly turned to face my mother.
“You didn’t tell me she was coming”I whispered,alarmed.
“You didn’t request a list of who I was inviting”She snapped.
I looked away calming my nerves down.
Did she bring the divorce papers with her?
Shit! I was really planning of having a good time with my family.
Well, it’s not as if Abby isn’t my wife, we’ve been separated for about three months,we haven’t signed the divorce papers.
I don’t know even know what we are to each other anymore.
But what I do know is that I shouldn’t hope for anything good to come out of this.
She hates me now.
I just have to be cool and collective.
“Shola, you’re looking so beautiful”My mother said pulling her into a hug.
My mom prefers calling someone by his/her native names than English.
“Thank you,Maami and you look simply gorgeous”
“You’ve started again,you always make me feel like I’m “sweet sixteen”My mother replied and they laughed.
She turned to face me.
Oh boy! She’s still so beautiful.
I grinned.”it’s been awhile,Abby.How have you been?”
“Good,and you seem to be doing okay yourself”
“Yes”I turned to face Maami.”I need to get my things inside now”I don’t wait for another word from her…
I walked into the house.
That was the most awkward pleasantries I’ve been exchanged with anyone but I’m not okay with Abby being here.
It felt great to tell myself that I’ve moved on without seeing her.
By evening,when I go downstairs for dinner, everyone is seated, I know there are more chairs in the massive dining room but then there are only few chairs available for the few people around and the only chair for me to sit is the one beside Abby.
I debate on walking back to my bedroom but I know that would make her think that I’m avoiding her so I walked in and sat beside her.
We ate in silence except the others of course.
When I think the awkwardness is getting unbearable,I stood up to leave.
“Dave, since you and Abby came late,you are to arrange the lawn,clear out all the dirt,you know more people would be arriving tomorrow”My mom spoke.
Christ!Why do I feel like she wants Abby and I to be alone.
She has workers to arrange her lawn!
I can’t say no to her, because one of my pesky aunt is giving me the “Are-you-too-big-to-help-your -mother”look.
And soon,Abby and I are cleaning the lawn and still not talking.
I discreetly looked at her fingers, she’s still wearing my ring.
Now I’m feeling happy,I know I shouldn’t be but I am.
“So are you with someone now?”I asked.
I know that isn’t my business but seeing my ring makes me feel like I have a chance.
I swallowed…’Way to go Dave, you’re so stupid’
Maybe she probably wants to take off the ring after we get divorced.
“I hope he’s a good guy because you deserve a good guy”I said, sincerely.
“He’s perfect and I know I won’t be making a mistake because…”
“That’s great,Abby.I’m happy for you”I said with the most fakest smile ever.
Fuck!Who asked me to ask if she had someone in the first place,now I’m feeling pretty hurt.
I just concentrated on cleaning the lawn and snapped at her attempt to start any more conversation.
The following day, almost all the relatives has arrived including Martin and his family.He has two kids.
He’s also quite surprised to see Abby and I can see that he still doesn’t like her with the cold way he replied her greeting.
He advised me not to take a chance with her again and avoid her like a plague but my mom has other plans for Abby and I.
“Tobi,the caterer just called, she’s ill and can’t bring the cake for the traditional wedding tomorrow”
“Then she can ask one of her workers to bring the cake”
“No,I don’t want that”She snapped.
What’s my business with the wedding cake?
I know where this is heading.
“You can just tell Susan to send someone to get the cake”I suggested.
“Yes, that’s why I’m sending you and Shola to get the cake”
Ah!Why does she insist on making me alone with Abby
And why is my pesky aunt always with her when she makes these requests.
She hurriedly walked off to call Abby.
On the way to the cake shop, there’s total silence in the car and it feels weird to be like this with Abby but I don’t start a conversation, neither does she.
On our way back, it’s raining and we’re still giving each other the silent treatment until I noticed that she’s feeling cold.
Without thinking, I came to a halt beside the pavement and pulled off my jacket then placed it around her shoulders.
“You know how much I hate it when you wear dresses like this, imagine you’d have caught cold if I…..”
I paused realizing that I’m no longer in the position to dictate the clothes she wears.
She just stared at me and I suddenly wanted to kiss her.I want to taste her again.Has it only been three months?
As I moved closer to her,I remembered that she has someone now so I moved back.
The car feels tensed now and I feel suffocated,I turned on the radio and just push the button of any playlist I have.
“Someone you loved”by Lewis Capaldi starts playing and Damn the music is making me feel sad.
I push the next button.
“Promise”by Simi and Adekunle Gold comes up.
I click the next button.
“Count on you” by Johnny Drille comes up.
Christ!Is the whole world against me.
I turned off the music altogether.
“Why are you being cold towards me?”She asked.
I ignored her because I don’t want to bring up the past.
It makes me feel miserable.
“Dave, I’m talking to you,why are you acting as if I’m a complete stranger”
I slowly pulled over in my mother’s garage.
“I believe it’s better this way”I replied.
I don’t know what she’s apologizing for but she’s making me think of the past and the pain I’ve dealt with before is resurfacing.
“Abby, it’s best if we forget about everything, I’ve moved on, you’ve moved on so there’s really no need to bring up the past”With that,I opened the door and walked away.
Who am I kidding?Now, I’m sitting on a chair in the lawn and I’m thinking about how happy we used to be before Clara came along.
I heard footsteps,I slowly looked up,it was my mother.
“It’s late, aren’t you supposed to be in bed?”I asked.
She ignored my question and sat beside my me.
“With the way you and Shola keep behaving toward each other,I think I better stop trying to make you guys patch things up.”
Now,she has confessed.
“What makes you think Abby and I will ever patch things up?”
“Well,she doesn’t fail to cook for you and buy some food stuff every weekend”
My eyes widened.”I thought you were….”
“I didn’t do the cooking nor go to the market,it was Abby.I was only the delivery old woman because she had to stay back each time and wait till I return,she always wanted to make sure she hears from me that you’re healthy and not drinking anymore”
I don’t know how I should feel about this.
“But she…….why didn’t she come back to me?Why didn’t she….”
“She thought you might not want to see her.She blames herself for what happened,and the same time you’re blaming yourself for what happened and now it’s hard to tell who is at fault but I know one thing, Dave”She held my hand.
“If you and Shola are destined, you’ll surely get back together,no matter the hurdles,no matter the obstacles, it’ll still be Tobi and Shola at the end”
I felt like standing up and running to her room,then tell her that I never hated her.Yes!I was mad at her.I said pretty hurtful words to her but I never stopped loving her.
Then again,she has someone else now.
The traditional wedding which took place the following day made me feel stuffy again thinking about me and Abby’s wedding.I just pray I survive the white wedding tomorrow.
As people started jubilating after the bride price has been paid,I walked far away from the crowd and music and headed towards the back of the house, it’s always a quiet place and I think that’s what I need right now to clear my head but when I get there,I saw Abby sobbing softly,she turned around,as she stares at me,more tears rolled down her cheeks.