“I know it sounds very cliché, but what’s happening is not what you think.” Jide Babalola rolled his eyes at the first words to come out of his wife’s mouth. “Seriously, Patricia, you’re going to have to do better than that. You’re obviously trying to run away from this house. Your own house. Where to and why?” Jide struggled to keep his voice steady. Hewas seething from a combination of anger, confusion and shock. What if his suspicions about Patricia were true? Whatwould he do then? His head told him there was no other explanation for the fact that he had come home to meet his wife dressed to travel with almost everything she owned, but his heart prayed there really was another reason.Patricia looked away from Jide, almost as though the heat of his accusing gaze was too much to bear.
She began to move towards a couch. “Can we at least sit down and talk about this like two adults?”“Sit down?” Jide asked incredulously. “You expect me to sit down and have a friendly chat with a woman who tried to kill me?” Patricia stopped dead in her tracks. It washer turn to look surprised. “What? Kill who? Jide, what on earth are you talking about?” Jide regretted blurting out his suspicions, but he figured he might as well continue what he had started. “Spare me the wide-eyed innocent act, Patricia! I know what you did. You’ve tried to take revenge for what happened between me and Anita Bankole. I know you have. Your deceptive change of heart did not fool me one bit.” Patricia felt behind her for the couch, and then sank down on it slowly. “Hold up a second. Jide, you actually think I tried to kill you? How? What are you talking about? Have you lost your senses?”“Oh no no, you’re the one who has. Ever since that day you hit me, I’ve not had a good night’s sleep…”“Look, Jide, I’m sorry about that.” Patricia cut in. “I feel terrible about that incident. It’s just…seeing those pictures of you with that woman just broke something in me. I was already under immense stress and that was the last straw. I lashed out and I shouldn’t have. And I should have also apologized before now.” Jide laughed incredulously. “Was tampering with my brakes also lashing out? Or sending me food that can kill me?”Patricia stared at Jide with an incomprehensible expression. “Brakes? I swear you’ve lost me. Sending you food? Ihaven’t cooked toady. I’ve been packing all morning.” Underneath his anger, Jide felt a first stirring of doubt. His wife looked genuinelyconfused.
What if he was wrong and just like Anita, she had nothing to do with both near-death incidents? His eyes fell on a box standing by the couch and his resolve hardened. “If you didn’t try to kill me this afternoon, Patricia, where are you running off to?”“Kill you?! Oh my God! I’m not running anywhere, Jide! I’m leaving you!” Patricia said, the volume of her voice inching up with each word. “I’m leaving your self-involved, cheating a-s because you don’t deserve me. Why would I hurt you, you idiot? I love you!” Jide stared at his wife as she broke down in tears after her outburst. He found himself sinking into a chair and reaching out to her in a daze. When his hand touched Patricia’s hair, she drew back sharply. “Don’t touch me, Jide!” she sobbed. “Did you think your betrayal of our matrimonialvows would just become a forgotten issue? After I hit you and was angry with you, I came back to my senses for only one reason.
I was angry after I saw those pictures. I admit I thought of hurting you or embarrassing you. Before I decided what I was going to do, I discovered I was pregnant. The one thing I had been agonizing over for months just fell in my lap on the heels of your betrayal, after you came back to my arms from leaving Anita Bankole.” Patricia defiantly wiped the tears off her face and glared at Jide. “Not even you and your selfish behavior were going to deny me that joy. I pulled myself together for our baby. MY baby. Allthat was left was to decide what to do to you. And after many conversations with my mother, I have decided to leave you.” Jide stared at his wife, speechless, a feeling of hope building up in his chest. She was pregnant?! On the heels of that thought came the full realization of the other things she was saying and the feeling fizzled out. “Wait. You’re divorcing me?” Patricia raised her chin. “I wish I could, Jide.
Heaven knows I wish I had the strength to stand by my zero-tolerance policy on adultery. But I already broke my own rules; I hit you. So while my sin may not be as great as yours, my conscience will not let me rest. I cannot deny the fact that I love you… so I have decided to do the next best thing. I’m leaving for my mum’s place in Canada. I’ll stay there withher till i have this child. Then, we’ll see how things go.” Jide’s mouth opened and closed helplessly. “But…but…the baby…”“This is your child and I would never take him or her out of your life. But I need to go.” Patricia said firmly.
“We need this break to set our minds right, Jide. I know I do.” She stood up, chin still tight with determination, and looked down at her husband. “Use this time wisely and get your act together. All this talk of brakes and poisoned food…. It sounds like paranoia to me. An honest man has nothing on his conscience. When you become that honest man I married, come back to me, Jide Babalola.” Jide watched limply as Patricia walked away from him, her image blurring behind tears that threatened to fall. He knew it would be foolhardy to beg or attempt to change her mind. He had married her for her strength and mental fortitude.
Only logical reasoning could dissuade her. And he had no valid reason to suggest a change of heart.When the Uber taxi finally left the Babalolacompound, Jide quietly watched it leave, his heart aching with regret and a feeling of loss. His family was leaving him and there was nothing he could do to stop it. A bite into the forbidden apple had emptied his life of the love he deserved.He had no one to blame but himself.
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