“Is the water heater on, darling?” I asked my wife from the bedroom. It was 6am in the morning. Everywhere wore that early morning cold which was normally filled with mist──It was harmattan. And I had to be at work by 9am.
Last night, I really disappointed her. I exhibited a behaviour that was inane, silly and unusual. On returning from the bar, the both of us knocked out and intoxicated, were undoubtedly excited. We got to her apartment— which had a bedroom, a bathroom and a kitchen. I managed to shut the door after we had stepped in; she stopped, stood before me and smiled. I smiled back. I willingly settled on her bed. As if she was being directed, she disappeared in her bathroom and appeared before me naked. She had on her face a striking and mischievous smile that baffled me. I shrugged it off. She traced her steps towards me and gently planted kisses here and there on me. She giggled. I held and directed her position on me and kissed her. She got me lying on my back. By this time, my clothes had deserted me. She crouched over and rode me. I knew something wasn’t totally right perhaps with me. I then began to feel like a log of wood sawed into pieces. It was as if my body wasn’t my body. I wasn’t with her, she noticed.
She stopped, hissed, looked away and began to drag herself away from me. Her face developed a heavy disappointment and irritation.
“You are thinking of her,” she announced.
I was mute.
I started to regret why I told her about Onyinye and myself. It was the day she saw the both of us emerge from a café that I told her about us after she had burdened me with questions.
Suddenly as if stung, I sprang up from the bed and gathered my clothes. The silence I harboured inside spoke for me, and she embraced that silence till I left her apartment. I drove home straight to my wife.
“It is on,” my wife replied.
I walked into the bathroom and turned on the shower. I felt the smooth rush of water down my skin; it was hot enough to kill the cold the morning carried. The smooth rush of water on my skin was like Onyinye’s touch, I felt her. She was there with me and we bathed. When I was done, she grabbed my towel and cleaned me dry. She cleansed me of my last night’s guilt.
I took my breakfast, dressed up, kissed my wife goodbye and drove to my work place at Lagos Island.
I burned inside while driving from Lagos Island back to my house in Gbagada. I wondered how I managed to forget the documents I was to present at work.
I got home and met the front door into the house unlocked and slightly open. I stepped in anyway. The television was on. There were wine glasses, two of them, just on the centre table. Nobody was there. There was also a bottle of wine beside the wine glasses, empty. I smelt mischief. I became curious. I walked into the kitchen, but my wife was not there. I headed straight for the master bedroom. On opening the door, there, was my wife in the bed with her man.
“LOLA!” I screamed.
My wife was stunned and emitted great surprise that was mixed with shame. I was sure she sighted the magnanimous disappointment all over me. She pulled her palms over her face, distanced herself from her man and exploded into tears. I heard her mutter, Darling, I am very sorry. Her man jumped off the bed, picked his clothes and dashed out of the bedroom.
I was blank and ruthlessly shocked beyond recognition. I couldn’t react. I just stood and stared at my wife very confused.
“Cut! Cut!” the director ordered. “You are a Nigerian! You do not stand there and do nothing. You act quickly! You are to tackle your wife’s man. You are to go over there, drag your wife off the bed and hit her with your fists, with anything. Didn’t you see it in your script? Let’s do it again. The clapperboard, please…”