Tokunbo heard a phone ring but knew it was not his, he watched from where he sat as Chinwe picked the phone but obviously was not interested in speaking with the person.
Some seconds later, Tokunbo’s phone rang and he saw his father in law’s number and name on the screen
“Good evening sir” he said, wondering what the man wants this time.
“Hello Tokunbo, where is Chinwe? I called her phone but she did not pick”Tokunbo glanced at her and was surprised to see her still there, typing away on her phone with her legs crossed and tucked under her on the single-seater to his far left.
“She is in the house but the phone is here in the sitting room sir” he lied.
“Okay, I would like to have a meeting with you two, my lawyer and the representative of the family to the press will be there to advise you two on how to answer some questions and some behaviors we expect after the whole
ordeal. Will 9 am be okay for you?”
“9 am? I will be at work then”
“Work? That would definitely not be proper, considering that your wife has just returned,
the general public would expect you two to still be cooped up in the house, you know?”
Tokunbo almost answered, it is my life and
not the general public’s , but decided against it.
After all, that would be true given a
different circumstance, but still true because they are expected to be a happy family.
He has appeared over different gossip blogs for the past 2 weeks than he ever posted on his own personal social account and would love to be below the radar. If his father in-
law is suggesting a way that would make that happen then he should make use of that advice.
“Ok sir, I understand, so where do we meet you?”
“I will come there to visit you both, it will be on my way to the House, and our meeting would not start till eleven so I can stop on my way to discuss”
“Okay sir that will be fine.”
“Is everything okay there, no problem from her I guess?”
“Everything is okay sir, all is well”
“Ok, hmm, we will talk tomorrow and please tell her that”
Tokunbo looked at his wife and saw that she was so engrossed in whatever she was typing on the phone or could it be she was just pretending to be, in order to avoid him further.
She simply looked up from her phone as if he just took the phone away from her.
“Your father and his lawyer will be here tomorrow by 9 am to visit us and have some discussion with you. I just thought you should know. He said he called you and…”
“I know. I saw it.” She cut in impatiently
“Okay” Tokunbo said as he stood up and went into the room his wife had now taken over and when he opened the closet to pick some shirts to be moved to the guest room where he now occupied. He was surprised to see her clothes all well hanged and arranged in the closet, her shoes well lined up on the shoe shelves. On the other side of the closets, her bags, scarves and some purses were either lined or hung on the wall and the layers of the closet.
This has been his dream for a long time, and this particular scene in front of him has been of his adult life fantasy; a wardrobe beside his
wife’s closet, and they could argue on who is taking more space in the house, decide on what needs to be moved out of the closet so they could accommodate more things.
Help her select an attire for an outing while she dressed and undressed in front of him.
He closed the shelf quietly and leaned on it with his face pressed against its doors. What is wrong, where has he gone wrong, what can he do to settle things between them? He is not giving up on her or them, he knows
something exists between them and he would like to pursue that, but how to go beyond the walls and thickets of false accusation were what plagued him at the moment.
He was in that position when his phone rang in his pocket; he picked it and felt bad for not calling Chris to know if they got home safely.
“Chris, sorry I did not call first, how is NK?”
“No problem, she don enter room, so what’s up?”
“Nothing, we are just there like 2 strangers forced to stay in the same cell”
“I think you need to talk to her again”
“Hear me out. Try to talk to her again, come down to a level lower than hers and try to get the information you want, from there we can proceed.”
“Chris, I swear I can do that, but I would not like to meet a brick wall”
“Not trying is the brick wall, try to reach out to her, you never know what might come out of it”
“Abeg, if I did not see her being cordial to us today, I would have said all is lost, but with the way she thinks, feels about you now…
she welcome us and sat with you and I to eat with us, that should tell you, there could be a strand of truth in whatever she is accusing you of”
“That I raped someone is true?”
“No, that she believes what someone said about you”
“Ok o, I will try again”
“And you should not go to work tomorrow; people would expect you not to”
“You and my father in law seem to know
what people expect and don’t expect”
“He said the same thing? So listen to your elders”
“Elder ko, elder ni”
“comot there, just stay at home tomorrow, enjoy the honeymoon”
“Your head no…” but he got the dial tone in his ears as Chris quickly ended the call.
Chinwe had been waiting for Davis’ call for awhile and was surprised she felt that way, they have been chatting for hours and when she saw his call came in to her phone, she could not hold back the smile.
“Hey Chinwe, how far” he said in a very low smooth baritone as if he was lying down to make the call.
Chinwe pictured him with his
other hand beneath his head and a leg raised while the other is stretched out as he lay in bed.
“I am fine, what’s up?”
“Nothing much, just wanted to hear your voice since you did not reply the last chat I sent”
“I was typing my reply when your call came in”
“Ok o, are you sure or you want to go and meet your husband?”
“Please, don’t mention him”
“Sorry, forgive my big mouth, what’s up, have you eaten?”
“Yeah, I had something when his friends
came to visit”
“Ok, so what did you eat and hope you were nice to his friends”
“It was rice and what are you, his advocate?”
“No, but if you act badly, it would not show how bad he is but how bad you are”
“Well, that is true. Anyway I was courteous to them”
“Good, I miss you so much, I can’t believe we met under such a terrible circumstance, I would have loved to meet you under a different circumstance; not married and I would be free to pursue you with all my might.”
“Dave, I am sorry, but I don’t want to mislead you, I like you and I hope we can remain friends.
I need you as a friend now more than
any other thing.”
“I know, I am offering that, but I am
permitted to tell my friend what is on my
mind, isn’t it?”
“Yes you are, just want to be clear”
“Thanks for being clear, but I would like to ask you something”
“Do you have feelings for him; I mean, do you like him or feel something for him”
“I liked him and that is one thing I know, I have been in this house for less than 24 hours but I feel anger more than hatred for him.
Anger that he is the reason Clara’s life is what it is today”
“But Clara is not doing badly herself”
“No she is not because you just got to meet her. Before she traveled down to Uyo, she did odd jobs, bore insults, lost her mother, her uncle maltreated her, she was not allowed to visit me often especially when my father was
in town, our friends mocked her, people
introduced nonsense to her, just because I invited her to a party…”
“I think you are being too hard on yourself,
Clara has moved on, or she gradually is. You should too, if you want to stay married to him, then you have to look beyond all that and besides nothing has been concluded yet,
because I believe that man should be allowed to defend himself.”
“I can’t believe you are defending him even after the evidence I showed you”
“I am not defending him, I am just being
neutral. You are educated and strong, looks can be deceiving”
“But Clara recognizes him too”
“Calm down, just take some time to think about it, and when you do, let me know what you think”
“hmmn, I hear you. Thanks”
When he ended the call, he rolled over in the bed and wondered what he just did, he should be driving them further apart from each other and not making her consider him, but he is not the devious type neither would he be the
reason someone makes the wrong turn in life.
He saw a red light beep on his phone and
started chatting with Clara; he missed Henry
and they agreed to meet later.