Mr. Fiagbe drove in late that night. He was sure Sylvia was going to try her best to convince him to be a part of Esenam’s marriage. He knew that was going to breed more tension between them. There was no way he would give in now. There was too much at stake. He blasted the car horn for the gateman to open up but no one came. He got down and opened the small gate in anger. He checked the security post, but there was no sign of the gateman. He opened the big gates and went back to his car. He drove in and parked. He wondered where the gateman could be as he went back to close the gate. He shouted his name a couple of times, but there was no answer. He was furious the gateman had been this irresponsible and thought of firing him if he gave any flimsy excuse for vacating his post.
He angrily locked the gates, took his briefcase and walked to the Boys’ Quarters. There was no sign of the gateman. He realised to his dismay also that the outside lights were still off even though it was night. The place looked deserted. He looked around but there was no sign of anyone. He walked to the door of the house. He turned the knob but it was locked. He took his key and unlocked it. He stepped inside cautiously. He wondered where everyone was. He had not walked into an empty house in ages. He wondered if his Sylvia had carried out her threat of leaving for good. He shuddered at the thought and prayed that God would not allow that to happen. He loved his wife and kids. He knew it would be almost impossible to live without them.
He switched on the light in the living-room and saw a big bouquet of flowers on the centre table. His initial thought went to Esenam. He was sure it was from her. He laughed and walked to it, He found a card attached to it and read it.
“To my husband with all my love” “Sylvia.” He was even more intrigued. Was that a farewell gift, a parting thrust? He checked the kitchen, there was no one there. He checked the kids’ rooms, there was no soul in there. He was getting frustrated. He loosened his tie and walked dejectedly to his bedroom. The red bulb was on and the bed beautifully made but there was no one in the room. He sat on the bed and bent down to take off his shoes.
The door that linked his bedroom to his wife’s opened slowly and quietly. Mrs. Fiagbe tiptoed to him from his blind spot. Mr. Fiagbe straightened up and saw her. His pleasant surprise showed on his face. He had not seen his wife outstandingly beautiful like she was now. She stood just inches away from him and his heart leaped with joy. He got to his feet and pulled her into his arms.
“Mine, you look so beautiful.” He caressed her hair and sniffed her perfume. He liked that perfume. There was something about it that intoxicated him with love every time she wore it. The subtle but beautiful scent always blew his senses away. It always made him lose control.
“God I love you.” He brought his lips slowly to hers and kissed her passionately. When they finally broke free, they were both panting for breath.
“Well, you still have it in you. I thought you’d forgotten how to love a woman,” his wife teased.
“Not when I have you for a wife. I’ve not seen you like this in a long time.” He hugged her again and held on tight.
“I’m very happy. What a way to be welcomed from a boring day. I love you so much, Sylvia.”
“I love you too.” He took her by the hand and led her to the bed. Mr. and Mrs. Fiagbe stayed in bed the next day. They opened up to each other and spent quality time together.
Mr. Fiagbe took the day off for a change and stayed with his wife. He told her he was all hers for the day. Things seemed to be going well until Esenam’s name popped up. Mr. Fiagbe enquired about Elorm and Yayra’s whereabouts. His wife replied that she had sent them to Esenam’s. Mr. Fiagbe lost his cool almost immediately. He instructed his wife to go and bring them back immediately.
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“Why should I do that? Did I spoil your day by mentioning Esenam, a child whose birth brought so much joy to your heart and our marriage? She was your pride, your first child and nothing separated you two. You went nowhere without her. Do you want me to believe that all those memories are gone and that the mere mention of her name makes you so sick? What’s wrong with siblings staying together?” Mrs. Fiagbe flared up.
“Look, that girl is not a good example and I don’t want Yayra to hang out with her. She is disrespectful, ungrateful and God knows what else and you don’t expect me to tolerate such insolence, do you? She has to pay for the choices she makes in life or her siblings will think it’s alright to do whatever they want. I want you to bring Elorm and Yayra back right now.”
“Yes, the typical man I had the unfortunate luck of marrying. It’s always as you want it, always what you want. What about me, huh? What about my feelings; and Elorm’s and Yayra’s? God knows that she needs a sister to talk to. Now, tell me, has Esenam done anything to bring shame to this family? All her life, she’s been our little Angel. She’s lived to please and respect us. She had done nothing but made us very proud. Then she takes a decision, an important one at that and instead of supporting her you throw her out. You behave as if you did all that your parents asked of you when you were growing up. Why did you run away on your wedding day when your parents chose a bride for you, huh? Was that respect? Was that obedience? Was that being grateful?”
“That was different. I didn’t love her and I wasn’t ready to settle down.”
“Esenam is telling you the same thing. Are you ready to listen to her? Is it a crime for her to feel that Akwasi is not the ideal man for her? Is that something she must pay for?”
“Look, I didn’t cancel my appointments to waste the day talking about a rebellious child. She is not my daughter anymore. She left Akwasi because of that good for nothing boy in the neighbourhood. That was what the charade about the church really entailed. She just needed an excuse to break off with Akwasi. That girl can’t fool me.”
“That rebellious child happens to be my flesh and blood. I carried her for almost a year and if you can forget about her, I can’t. I don’t know why I even put up with your heartlessness. I have had just about enough of your ego trips.” Mrs. Fiagbe said and got out of bed. She pulled her morning coat from the wardrobe and headed for the door.
“And where do you think you are going?”
“Anywhere but here. I won’t sit here and listen to this.”
Hmmmm, some men… Oh no no no.
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