“Oh I love this one!” Banke was saying as Joy came into the house.
“What is she still doing here?” Kunle said irately startling Banke and Solape. “Madam please pack your things and leave right now!” He snapped at Solape.
“Kunle what are you doing? Sister Solape remain where you are. This is my guest and this is my house too, you can’t order her to leave.”
“Banke don’t test my patience” Kunle warned.
“Banke let me leave” Solape said hastily packing her things and making for the door.
“I said you should sit down, is he going to beat you?” Banke said blocking Solape.
“Let me leave, it’s getting late already.” Solape said embarrassed to be in such a situation.
“Madam don’t let me see you here again please. My wife has more than enough clothes, shoes and whatever else you’re selling.” Kunle warned taking his seat at the dining table.
“Yes sir” Solape replied mortified and walked briskly to the door.
Banke stood speechless staring at Kunle. “You’re not the man I thought I married.” She finally said.
“Neither are you the woman I thought I married.” Kunle replied putting a spoon of rice in his mouth.
“SpongeBob SquarePants, SpongeBob SquarePants, SpongeBob… SquarePants!!!”
Max and Sharon chanted happily, bobbing their heads to the theme song of their favorite cartoon. Effiong lounged on the sofa smiling at the children who were his only joy and the reason why he was still under the same roof with Olayinka. She was making progress regaining the use of her leg and he was happy about it because it meant he could finally part ways with her without feeling any sense of guilt. Even though she was the one who cheated, he wanted to do the gentlemanly thing and make sure she was well enough to be on her own eventually.
But you cheated on her first.
He turned up the volume of the TV refusing to dwell on that thought. He had made a mistake once, Olayinka had deliberately been unfaithful over and over again. She had been pregnant for whoever the bastard was, she had definitely known what she was doing. His mother-in-law came into the sitting room wiping her hands on her broad hips and taking a seat.
“Ejire! Go and eat your food before it gets cold.” She said to Max and Sharon.
“Grandma both of us can’t be ejire!” Sharon said protesting, she could never understand why the woman couldn’t call them by their individual names. It made it difficult to know who she was referring to and she really didn’t like the sound of the name.
“Okay I have heard you. Go and eat your food.” She said smiling.
“But we’re watching SpongeBob!” Max said.
“Okay get your food and bring it here but you’re both eating now.” Effiong intervened as the twins dashed towards the dining to get their food.
“Hmmn… Grandma this food is awesome!” Max said slurping down his spaghetti.
“Thank you my dear” Mrs Adepetu beamed at her grandchildren, she was always happy to cook for them. “Are you ready to eat now?” she asked Effiong who was watching the twins.
He rubbed his stomach subconsciously. “Yes ma”
“Alright let me serve the food, I’m hungry too.” She said and headed towards the kitchen.
Effiong smiled in anticipation, his mother-in-law was a good cook.
Olayinka is a good cook too
Effiong yawned loudly to quell the thought.
“Mummy, guess what?” Chijioke said turning towards his mother from his position in front of the TV.
“What is it?” Helen said trying to stay awake, lying on Obiora’s thighs.
“You’re supposed to guess!” Chijioke said smiling.
“Chijioke I have no idea what you are thinking, maybe you should just tell me” Helen said yawning.
“My birthday is in two weeks!” he said excitedly.
“Really?” Helen said suddenly remembering.
“You forgot…” Chijioke said disappointed.
“Of course not dear, I was only pulling your legs!” Helen lied.
“I knew you wouldn’t forget and guess what I want for my birthday!”
“Sweetheart please don’t make me guess again!” Helen said with a terrified look intended to make Chijioke laugh. He did.
“I want a Spider Man car, bag and watch. Oh and I also want a Spider Man cake! Then Mummy I want a party and party packs for my all my friends in school especially George and Opemipo.” he concluded gleefully as a four year old would.
Helen sighed and looked at Obiora. “Alright dear.” They had completely forgotten that Chijioke’s birthday was in the next two weeks and they presently didn’t have the funds for a party or the gifts he wanted. Chijioke was an emotional child and he had been looking forward to his birthday all year, how could she tell him he couldn’t have a party or the things he wanted? She sighed again and Obiora squeezed her hand.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with him. You should have seen the way he treated Sister Solape. I have never been so embarrassed. You were right about him after all, he can’t handle my upbringing.” Banke was saying to her mother over the phone.
“Well you are married to him now so you have to be patient with him.”
“For how long will I be patient with him?”
Banke’s mother laughed. “How long have you been married for? I still exercise patience with your father and we’ve been married for almost thirty years”
“Mummy your time was different.”
“Really? Alright so what do you want to do?”
“I’m thinking of coming over to the house, I think we need a break for him to gather his wits”
“Which house?” Her mother asked.
“Our house of course”
Her mother laughed. “You really don’t realize that you’re now married. I won’t allow you to do that, what will your in-laws think of us?”
“I really don’t care what they think…”
“Well I do Banke. Be patient with your husband! He’s not cheating on you, stealing your money or beating you yet you’re unhappy because he’s not allowing you to spend as you wish.”
“Mummy are you saying I should not buy good things for myself or my child?”
“No, I’m saying be smart about it. Your husband doesn’t have to know everything you buy does he?”
“I’ve tried that but he doesn’t believe me when I come up with another story!”
“You’ll figure it out, a woman gets wiser in her husband’s house. I have to go now, your Dad is back.”
“Alright Mummy, bye”
“Dear, please I need that money I told you about.”
“What money?” Dapo asked closing his Bible.
“The money I need to deposit for the delivery.”
“Is it not the delivery of this baby?” he asked jerking his thumb at her.
“Yes, but you know we have to deposit the money…”
“I don’t have it now. Let’s see what happens at the end of the month.” He replied sliding down the bed. Ronke sighed. “Oh that is not good enough for you?”
“I’m not complaining…”
“So, why did you sigh?”
“Nothing I’m just tired.”
“Sorry” Dapo said without affection. “That reminds me, when we got back Ayodele and Peace were alone at home. I don’t like it.”
“But you know he went to Lanre’s house to study”
“Yes, but I don’t trust that boy.”
“Maybe you should talk to him about girls and sex, I think he’s old enough to know these things now.”
“I don’t think I need to talk about it, we’ve trained them well. He knows what the right thing to do is. If he chooses to go the wrong way that’s up to him but I don’t want him alone in the house with that girl anymore” He concluded turning on his side.
Ronke sighed again afraid to tell her husband that he needed to draw their son closer.