I would say that I had a little comfort in this day when I went to the hospital after work to pick up Kelechi, but just as the day had been going seeing Kelechi was terrible. It only became better when I was about to leave him at my mum’s place.
Before heading to the hospital, I had called my mum to tell her what happened with Kelechi. She welcomed the idea of him staying with the children until his plan had unfolded completely. That was one of the things that had made my day.
On getting to the hospital, I met Kelechi ready to leave but upset. I had tried speaking with him in our usual way; however he kept answering me coldly and with abrupt answers, avoiding my gaze. Knowing him well enough, I knew I had upset him; nonetheless I didn’t know how. The car was awfully quiet, and I wished it wasn’t as I wanted to pour out my frustration by telling him what had happened today.
When we got to my mum’s place, she, Kehinde and Taiwo welcomed him with open arms and cheerful smiles on their faces. He played with the kids for about an hour or twain while I was with my mother, telling her what had happened with my in-laws.
After I had prepared my children to sleep, with the help of my mum’s house help, I went to the room Kelechi was supposed to stay in until he came home. He looked fresh as he sat on the bed, reading the newspaper probably for this day. I was thankful within myself that he had eaten and taken his bath. At least he wouldn’t be more upset because he felt uncomfortable as we discussed.
I went to sit beside him on the bed, placing my hand on his shoulder. “Brownie, what did I do? Why are you upset with me?”
He shrugged my hand off his shoulder, stood up and went to drop the newspaper on the couch, completely ignoring my presence. Seeing that he was heading out of the room, I quickly rose from the bed and rushed to stand in front of him.
“Brownie, tell me what I did. You can’t keep ignoring me forever.”
For the time since that evening, his coffee eyes met my honey ones. They were damn cold, affirming to me that I had indeed offended him. “What happened between you and my parents this morning?”
“Huh?” I said as I was lost at his question.
“What happened between you and my parents this morning?” he said, his voice raising.
I took a step back. “I… uh…”
He raised a brow at me.
“We talked about something this morning. I wanted to talk with you about it this evening but you’ve been ignoring me since I came to the hospital, and I don’t know what I did.”
“And what did you” – he raised his hand to form an air quote – “‘discuss’ with them?”
I stared at him, wondering why he spoke that way. “They asked me to change the business documents in your name to Ebuka’s and to marry him.”
“And what did you tell them?”
“I told them I wouldn’t do that.”
He shook his head. “How did you tell them that?”
“I don’t understand,” I answered, my face reflecting my confused state. “What do you mean by how did I tell them that?”
From the way he looked now, it seemed as if I had already upset him more. He closed his eyes and breathed in and out as if he was trying to calm himself down.
When he opened his eyes, he said, “It’s a simple question, Fisayo: how did you tell them you wouldn’t do those things? Did you say respectfully or not?”
Oh shoot! It was now I understood what I had done wrong. I had spoken to them rudely. At the time, I was only concerned of voicing out my feelings that I didn’t remember my promise to Kelechi about not standing up for myself.
Stepping closer to him and stretching out my hands towards him, I said, “Brownie, I’m sorry.”
He stepped away from me.
“I was really upset that they wanted me to do those things. I didn’t know how best to answer them so they’d know I wouldn’t act according to their terms.”
“So you’re saying walking out on my parents was the best way for them to know this. You couldn’t even excuse yourself; you just left.”
Hearing it from him, I realised it was wrong of me to have reacted that way. “I’m sorry,” I said, getting close to him only for him to step back again. “I’ll apologize when I get home. Brownie, I’m sorry.”
He shook his head. “It was bad enough you walked out on them last night. And then, again this morning? They’re my parents, Fisayo! I told you to at least try not to stand up to them for a reason. You should have tried, Fisayo. No matter what they did you shouldn’t have acted like that.”
“They were asking me to do something unspeakable. I couldn’t sit there and listen to their nonsense.”
“I didn’t say what they said was good; I’m only saying you shouldn’t have disrespected them that way. How would you feel if I walked out on your mother like that? Would you like it?”
As he put it like that, I felt worse. I bowed my head, saying, “No.”
“You see: my point exactly.”
I stepped close to him, taking his hands in mine. “I’m sorry, brownie. I’ll apologize to them when I get home. I’m really sorry.”
He looked away from me.
“Brownie, I said I’m sorry. I really am, please.”
It took some more time of me saying that I was sorry before he sighed and said, “It’s okay.” He pulled me into a hug saying, “Don’t ever talk to my parents like that, okay?”
I hugged him back and nodded against his chest.
“I don’t like what they said to you,” he said. “And, I’d talk to them about it, but really don’t do it again.”
As he patted my head, I wondered how he even knew about what happened with his parents this morning.
I took my head off his chest. “How did you even know what happened? You said something about last night too.”
“I called Feyisayo with the hospital line to greet her. I asked her if everything was alright in the house and she told me.”
“I thought you didn’t want anyone to know you’re alive just yet.”
He shrugged. “Well, your mom knows. I just saw it fitting that she should know too. That way she’d help you feel better whenever trouble arises there.”
He removed his arms around me and pulled me towards the bed.
As he sat on the bed, he said, “How was the meeting with Mr Richards?”
“It didn’t take place,” I replied, sitting beside him.
“Why?” he said, frowning.
“He said he wouldn’t go through with it unless you were around.”
“Why would he say that? There’s no more time to beat about the bush. Companies are going for the same thing and the sooner we get ours going the better.”
“Well, he said it’s because I’m a woman. He also said that a woman’s place isn’t at the office but in the house.”
“That’s absolute nonsense! How can a man talk like that in this era?”
I shrugged. “Maybe his ethics doesn’t let him see that a woman can contribute to the family financially.”
He sighed. “I’d really love to have had a talk with him now, but I’m not with my phone.”
“You can talk with him tomorrow. I’ll bring your phone for you.”
He squeezed his mouth as he looked deep in thought. “Don’t bother. I’ll be in the office tomorrow so I’ll call him then.”
“Are you serious?” I said, being surprised and excited.
“What about your plan?”
“I think all this has gone far enough. I have to put an end to all the nonsense going on just because ‘I’m dead’. I wonder how you would have managed this if I was actually dead.”
I scoffed. “I think I would have broken down by now. The fact that you’re alive is what kept me strong in the things that happened today.”
He pulled me into his embrace. “Well, I’m here for you now. Everything will be fine. I’m going to correct all the wrongs of today.”
“Thank you,” I said, putting my arms around him and being grateful that I’d finally rest from all the drama that’s been going on.
“So,” he whispered in my ears, sounding really, really seductive, “would my baby mind giving daddy some sugar?”
Hearing him speak like that caused me to giggle. “Your baby doesn’t mind,” I whispered back.