I leaned on the sedan window and gazed out at the passing cars as the driver carefully overtook a loaded lorry. I could hear it, the tires as they scratched the wet road, sending a puddle of water splashing behind them. The rain was getting fiercer and the thunder growled, God’s wrath my mum used to say. I laughed quietly to myself, mum mum mum, I couldn’t wait to see her again, service was Finally over and after spending two extra weeks with Uyi, I was ready to go home . Another chapter of our life was about to begin.
I was sad at the thought of leaving him behind in Lafia, he was all alone. Everyone had been excited about going back home after service but not Uyi, his feelings were mixed on one hand he was excited after service he could Finally get a real job and on the other hand, he said he didn’t have a home to go back to, not to jos in the little house his mum lived with his younger siblings, nor to Abuja to Jeda’s house, after he had chosen me over her, yes Uyi chose me over Jeda. I remember it vividly like it was just yesterday, I had never felt that special my whole life.
We had lived like two strangers in the house after the ultimatum I had given him, speaking only when necessary, of course I still cleaned and cooked when necessary but it ended there, our friendship was strained and we were visibly unhappy. Our friends started to get worried and wanted to know what the problem was,,”we are fine” was always all they got from me. In the whole of my life I had never felt that miserable, but I was so good at hiding it. I had promised myself Uyi wasn’t going to see me suffer.
That night my phone began to ring while I was in the bathroom, three, four rings at a time, it was 11th and I wasn’t sure who could be calling that late. Uyi was away on a job but since our fallout he never called while away, he just comes and goes as he sees fit. Clad in my tiny towel I rushed to the phone. Uyi, his name was flashing on the screen of my phone as I picked it up” Cassie please I’m outside the gate, can you please come open the gate.”
“give me a minute I’ll wear something, I cut the line before he could say anything else. That was how little we spoke to each other
“what happened to you?”I screamed in horrow, as I let him into the compound, he was covered in mud, dishevelled and slightly bruised.
He just quietly walked in with a slight limp and headed straight for our flat with just an almost inaudible thank you. He was already at the door before I realised he didn’t have any luggage with him. I locked the gate and went after him into the house. He made straight to his room, obviously he wasn’t ready to tell me what happened. My thoughts whirled crazily as I thought of what could have happened. After some moment hesitation I walked to his door and let myself in.”what the hell happened to you Uyi? You are all battered up, why are you coming home this late?”
He winced like a wounded animal in a trap as he tried to pull his dirty shirt over his head. Without another word I rushed to his side as I gently pulled the shirt over his head,”oh my, what happened? “I shrieked at the bruises on his ribs “robbers oh “he Finally answered me we were lucky we escaped, the driver parked and everyone took to their heels, I feel into a ditch while I ran” He almost seemed embarassed
“let me take a look at you ” I said quietly, and obediently he went to lay down so I could examine him After forcing him to take a hot bath, I got my kit and helped clean his wounds gently, all the while I avoided his eyes, trying not to stir up memories of how much I had missed massaging him. It felt like forever since my finger had touched his bare skin. from the corner of my eyes I saw his gaze on me, burning my skin like hot coal,
“you might want to brace yourself, this going to hurt a bit ” I said as I cleaned his cut with antiseptic, he shuddered in pain, gripping my hand tightly. Fifteen minutes later, his wounds were properly rested and his foot bandaged, and he had swallowed the broken tablet I had given him. I packed the first aid kit and made to stand but he grabbed my hand nuzzling his chin on them.
“is it really over between us Cassie?”He murmured “I have missed your touch”
I shook my head smiling softly why don’t you just rest, it’s the pain talking
“Cassie please,I almost died today, and while I lay hiding in that ditch, all I could think of was you”
I shook my head again
“Will I ever see you again? Will I hear you call me gorgeous again? So many things I wish I had told you” An unseen hand tugged at my chest, sounds roared in my ears as desire to run into his arms coursed through me
“please Cassie, let’s end this torture, I want to be with you, I can’t stand your indifference”
With a sound that resembled a groan and a plea, he pulled me closer to him crushing his lips against mine, hating myself I strained closer, yielding to his probing lips, when he broke away my face was flushed, I knew I should walk away, close my eyes and blot everything out, as he held my hands, all of my pent up yearnings, feelings I had long buried, rose to the surface and I just wanted to be his again,.Once again his lips clung to mine, this time with infinite tenderness. My head spun as I felt my body come to life. Instantly I realised that despite all that had happened I loved this man, in spite of his shorting coming in spite of Jeda, I didn’t want to be away from him, I simply didn’t care anymore.
“come shapely, let’s go to your bed it’s more comfortable he whispered, and in seconds we were both in bed.
Thinking back now, I smiled at the memory, it is said that quite often a man feels his love when he is directly faced with the possibility of losing a woman. Uyi had vehemently assured me of his undying love the next morning. he said even Jeda had noticed something really different about him where I was concerned. He said being away from me made him realise how much he loved me. It wasn’t necessary for him to tell Jeda off anymore, apparently even she had somewhat understood when she visited then. uyi said it’s been argument and quarrels all the time, he no longer found her that interesting, he compared everything she does to mine, from the way I cooked to the way I pleasured him.
The loud trailer honk behind us brought me back to the present! The rain had stopped and we were a few minutes away from Abuja. This distance was either going to make our relationship, on my side I felt my love would never waver, I loved Uyi way too much to be unfaithful. On his side, I was a bit doubtful. doubts are dispelled not by what our partner does for us but how he responds to what we do for them.on that I was a slave always ready and willing to please him even when it sometimes hurt.
I knew Uyi cared very much for me, maybe he was even in love with me like he had led me to believe, but I wasn’t sure if it was the real deal or because I was readily available to him. One thing I was sure of, Uyi was a precarious flirt, sometimes harmless but sometimes he over does it. Even his younger sister had attested to it when she visited us in Lafia.”Uyi you can’t be flirting around with women, and expect your woman to take your word for it that it’s harmless simply because you said so” she had cautioned one of those days uyi’s lady friend had visited with the excuse of him helping her out with some project.
That was one of my problems, either Uyi expected me to understand, trust him and put up with his every flirtatious whims. I on the other hand was frowned at and called a slut at the slightest friendly encounter with male acquittales. Anyways service was over, and it was now time to test the true strength of our relationship. Now we had to face the real world. Uyi had even cried and begged me to stay back in Lafia with him, he had done series of interview and he was expecting a job soon. I on the other hand needed to go back home and start job hunting, unlike him I had a family waiting back home for me, I was still answerable to my parents.
But of course Uyi couldn’t understand and it had led to another big row. I actually felt bad leaving him behind but like my mum would say, a chapter must end for another to begin. and I couldn’t wait to see what the next chapter of our life would entail. It was time to know how real all the promises we made were.
As I alighted from the vehicle and watched the driver drive away in front of my sisters gate, a picture quickly flashed my eye, a picture of me as Mrs Cassie Uyi Udengwa, I didn’t know what it required in choosing a life partner, how perfect they ought to be, how happy they ought to make us, but I just knew for a certainty that a life as Uyi’s wife sounded interesting. After all the challenge in marriage is finding someone who will be supportive for our physical needs, for survival and security, someone who will support our emotional, mental and spiritual needs as well.
To be continued…………….