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Did she just say make me happy, I thought, a scowl covering my entire face.
Some people commit evil acts and expect the people they wrong to behave as if it never happened. Even God forgives but He doesn’t forget.
I know people will ask why I went ahead to marry Omoboye if I am yet to forgive what she did, but really I can’t imagine her being with another man. I can’t imagine her carrying the fruit of another man’s seed.
She was mine from the first time I saw her. I knew that even then. She had looked so beautiful and innocent in a red chiffon dress that was so long it swept the floor; she had been standing in front of a row of cookware and looking lovingly at a set of pots. Pretending to want to buy the cookware set was something I had done on impulse but it had worked out eventually.
It’s not like I don’t love Omoboye; I do love her, there is no doubt about that. I love her the way a father loves his daughter, the way a brother loves his sister and the way a man loves a woman. But she has to suffer for what she did to me. She stabbed me in the back. She robbed me of what would have brought me great joy. I am not ready to forgive that.
To think she wanted me to hold her. If she had known how much the sight of her in the tight fitting wedding dress irritated me, she wouldn’t have mentioned anything about me holding her and she would even have removed the dress and walked naked instead. The dress was a constant reminder of her betrayal but she was too insensitive and self-absorbed to realize that.
We got to our hotel two hours after leaving the reception venue and throughout Jite and I never spoke one word to each other. Our flight to Zanzibar was for the next day and our travel agent had booked a hotel for us close to the airport.
Jite hugged me the moment we came out of the car. He draped an arm around me protectively and kissed me on the cheek as we waited for the agent to walk up to us. I recoiled and wanted to extricate myself from Jite’s embrace but I couldn’t deny the comfort it brought so I decided to enjoy it for as long as it would last. The agent greeted us and led us through a private entrance that led to our suite. He handed the keys to Jite, assured us that everything was ready for us and left.
Champagne gold was the colour and lighting of our room; the bed was huge and my heart sank as soon as I saw it. A huge bed meant Jite could take one side while I took the other. The bed covering was of rich damask and I sat on the bed and held it in my hands, reveling in the thick texture and watching Jite as he undressed.
What was the use of this room, the honeymoon and everything if we couldn’t even talk to each other, I thought. He glanced back and saw me watching him. He paused and holding his belt buckle in his hands walked over to the adjoining bathroom to finish undressing.
Sighing, I got up and moved to the wardrobe; our luggage had been carefully placed there. I saw the bag I had tagged ‘honeymoon stuff’ and a sad smile played on my lips. I opened it and selected a night dress. The coral night dress, the one Bola my maid of honour had excitedly chosen for me. ‘Babe, bobo yen ma se e lese if he sees you in this one, bad ass night dress!’ she had said, hitting me on the buttocks in her usual playful manner.
I held the dress out and prayed that Bola would be right.
Jite was wearing a pair of aquamarine blue satin boxers when he came out of the bathroom. I glanced at him cautiously, not wanting to be caught staring. My body tinged and flushed at what I saw. He looked so handsome. I felt like throwing my arms around him. I wanted to beg him to look at me and hold me, tell me that everything was alright, that he still loved me and was glad to have me as his wife; instead I watched as he picked the TV remote, crawled under the sheets and drew the eiderdown up to his throat.
I fixed my eyes on the gold lamp on the dressing table as I undressed. I wanted to look back and see if Jite was watching, but I was too scared to do so. I decided to assume he was and began to make it a show. I slipped off the wedding dress and was left with the garters and silicone bra that the Victoria Secrets salesperson had claimed would make any groom go crazy. I prayed in my spirit that it would work. I half hoped he would be so turned on and jump me, but nothing happened. I moved to the front of the bed where I was sure he would see me and began to strip slowly. I finished and was completely naked and then I stretched and walked to the bathroom naked. Fail. He didn’t even stir. The show was all for nothing.
The massive Jacuzzi in the suite was white and was so clean it looked like it had never been used. I reclined inside the warm scented water and allowed the waters clogged up in my eyes to flow.
‘I’m finished,’ I whispered aloud.
‘I am finished,’ I whispered again biting my lips till I tasted blood.
‘Jite doesn’t love me anymore. I’m dead,’ I said, the words coming out louder that moment. I hugged myself and allowed the tears to flow freely.
‘Oh God, Jite doesn’t love me anymore, why did I marry him?’
‘No, I always wanted to do that; I shouldn’t say that,’ I chastised myself immediately.
‘But God, I’m sorry for what I did. I’m sorry for going ahead to marry Jite despite knowing he was yet to forgive me. God I’m sorry, just let Jite forgive me and I won’t ask for any other thing ever again.’ The water swirled on and I held my head, the tears mixing with the phlegm running down my nose.
Tan brown; the colour I saw through my puffy eyes; the colour of Jite’s hands, the ones he used to gently pull me out of the bath. My body convulsed in sweet relief when he held me in his arms and rubbed my hair with his right palm. I watched in utter disbelief as he took a towel and dried my body.
‘God, is this how fast you work?’ I whispered. He kissed my forehead and wrapped the towel around my body.
My veins pulsed, excitement filling my soul. Here was my man cradling me in his arms, carrying me towards the bed. Please let this not end, I prayed silently. He placed me gingerly on the bed and picked the night dress I laid out. My eyes clouded in disappointment. You are not supposed to be dressing me husband, I thought. You should be making sweet love to me right now.
I started having weekly spa sessions eight months to the wedding. After months of milk baths, Moroccan baths, Thai massages, Swedish massages and countless sauna baths my skin was luminous and as fresh as a freshly budding flower. I expected Jite to be unable to resist the smoothness and suppleness of my skin. Instead, he raised my head and put the dress over my neck. When he was done, he patted my shoulders and ran his hand over my neck. He then made for the other side of the bed. I watched helplessly as he picked the TV remote and drew the bed covers to his chin. Back to square one, I thought, my heart sinking.
I was enraged. Why did he give me hope knowing he was going to turn me down, knowing he had no intention of giving me real happiness? What now, I thought. Do I have to go and beg? Do I have to crawl? Do I have to tear my skin out? The room was silent except for the music from the TV. I decided to be brave and so I lay on the bed, drawing the eiderdown to cover my body.
He removed his wallet from under his pillow the moment he saw me get under the covers. I lay on my side and watched him; his face was straight, looking directly at the TV even as he removed the wallet and all the while he was opening it. My heart thumped violently. Go. Move. Try, I willed myself. Touch him. He won’t be able to resist it, my mind told me. I was just about to follow the instructions of my heart when he pressed a switch, moved towards me and wrapped his arms around me.
A muted red glow filled the room as soon as Jite switched off the light. It was a room designed for romance, a place for love. My eyes clouded instantly as red hot passion took hold of me. Along with the passion came disgust.
What game is he playing? Why he does he give and withdraw affection whenever he wishes?
I cringed as I felt him raise my dress. This isn’t Jite, I thought, frowning. The man I knew wouldn’t just raise my dress; he would have taken me to the heights of passion with his hands, breath and lips, and then undressed me slowly. He paused as he raised my dress, and I heard the telltale rustling.
‘Wait, Jite!’ I screamed, moving frantically towards the light switch. I switched on the light and saw it in his hands.
‘Jite what is that for?’ I asked, pointing a perfectly manicured finger at the condom.
‘Do you want this or not?’ he asked, a nerve twitching in his forehead.
‘Yeah, baby I want you but hey, helloooo! This is our wedding night, our first night as a couple. What on earth is a condom doing here?’
‘It’s not like we even used it when were still dating so what is it doing here?’ I asked again, my eyes blazing.
‘Oh, you don’t know?’ He asked sarcastically, giving me a disdainful look.
Strawberry pink. The colour my face would have turned if my skin were not so dark. Embarrassment and shame washed over me as I realized why he wanted to use a condom.
‘Are things this bad?’ I asked, my voice so weak it came out as a whisper.
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