Patricia Babalola was aware that her marriage was in danger.She did not know the exact details of the temptation her husband was facing or how far he had had already dishonoured the sanctity of his marriage vows. She hadno inkling about what Anita Bankole was up to; her reasons for concern were two other things.First, was her own fault in the matter. She knew she had been keeping her husband at arm’s length for a few months. Even though she tried her best to soften her rigid stance and be more affectionate to Jide, every time he came close to her, she felt herself stiffen and pull away emotionally and physically.
She just couldn’t help her reaction to his nearness. The underlying issue was something she could not just shake off and even though she ended each day vowing she would talkto her husband about what was really plaguing her mind, she woke up each day and realized it was easier said than done.It would take a miracle to open up to Jide and she was still waiting for that divine intervention.
Increasing her prayers and attending church more fervently had done nothing to help the situation. She could not bring up her problems with anyone outside her home; and the only person in her home was her husband, who she just could not bring herself to dialogue with. Patricia knew she was pushing Jide away, she also knew how to save her marriage.
What she did not know was how to find the strength to actually talk to her husband.And it had caused the second point of her concern. Even though she and Jide had been in a few quarrels over the past months, only one had really stuck in her mind and it gnawed at her, chewing a hole into her heart every time she thought about it.She was convinced her husband was planning to cheat on her.While she was not necessarily wrong, ironically, Patricia’s radar had led her to the wrong person. Stressed by the shaky situation her marriage had found itself, she had given in to paranoia and had zeroed in on the wrong suspect- the new secretary, Florence Iheanacho.Her encounter with the secretary at her husband’s office had made her suspiciousand going over the incident, her suspicionsdeepened. Why had the young lady walkedup to them and tried to offer her wares for sale at that moment? Was she just trying to get Jide’s attention? And looking back on it, Patricia was convinced that Felicia had not tripped; she had deliberately poured the contents of the bucket on Jide.Add to that the fact that Jide and the secretary seemed to be on a first name basis, as well as his recent habit of coming home late, and there was only one conclusion to reach.Her husband was having an affair with hissecretary.
The cliché situation almost made Patricia laugh when she taught about it. It was a classic cheating scenario. But she was notwilling to lose her husband to another woman.Patricia knew just what she had to do.** **Despite his misgivings, when the day crawled towards its end, Jide found himself on the road, wrestling with his misgivings as he listened to jazz pouring out from the speakers of his car.
His heart thudded every inch of the road to the guesthouse where Anita Bankole was waiting. He knew just driving to meet her that Sunday evening was already crossinga line he could not go back from.And yet, even though his palms were sweaty and clenched around the steering wheel as he drove, he did not stop.
The fast beat of his heart was not only caused by trepidation, it was also tinged with anticipation and a bit of excitement.He could not help himself; his mind feverishly envisioned scenes where he gave in to temptation and did whatever Anita led him to do. Snug in the air-conditioned interior of his car, Jide barely noticed the crawling traffic and all the chaos of Lagos happening outside his window. His body pulsed and throbbed with fantasies of things he and the wild Anita could do, things he had never done with his wife. He remembered things Anita had told him whenever she flirted shamelessly with him, things that had made him shake his head in shock. Would she try them on him?But because he was not a total degenerate, he still felt the tug of his conscience after each wild thought went through his mind. Before his recent problems with Patricia, their love life had been fulfilling and exciting enough for him. The recent pause in their intimacy was no excuse to disrespect the closenessthey had shared. Jide shook his head clearand hit his steering wheel in frustration at himself. Didn’t those good memories deserve his fidelity?He had to find the strength to rise above his desires.It’s only a final talk, to get her off my back.I’ll only see her in an open space with otherpeople around, Jide promised himself as he drew up to the gates of the guesthouse and fished out his phone to dial Anita. Thegates were drawn open by a smiling guardand he drove in, his phone pressed to his ear as he waited for Anita to pick the phone call.Feeling calmer, Jide tried to psych himself to do the right thing.I’m a full-grown adult, capable of controlling myself. I will not do anything I do not want to. What’s the worstthat could happen?But the important question was this; did Jide Babalola know what he truly wanted?
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