For the next few days after the unexpectedkiss from Anita and the near-capture by his wife, Jide Babalola was very careful to stay out of trouble.Patricia remained sullen and grumpy, angry he had not fired the secretary that stained his work shirt, but he patiently triedto take her mind away from the incident. He was attentive and agreeable, more so than he had been for weeks, but Patricia was her usual waspish self, and not helping him stick to his new found patience. “I still don’t know why you would just let the matter drop like that.” she muttered in the middle of dinner, four days after the incident. “You ought to report that girl.” Jide’s spoon paused over the bowl of peppersoup he had been sipping from, andhe looked up at his wife. She was frowning over her own food, stirring the contents of her plate churlishly. The frown twisted her brow, negative vibes pouring off her in waves. Jide sighed and straightened. Despite her bad mood, she looked beautiful and her glowing skin and full lips turned his mind towards intimacy. He was determined to make the evening a pleasant one and hopefully get it to move on to somtheing passionate. It had been too long since he held his wife in his arms,touched her and kissed her till she forgot the rest of the world and its problems. “Can we just get past that incident, please?” he asked, careful to keep his voice soothing. “Florence is somewhere enjoying her Friday night and I’m trying to enjoy a delicious dinner with my beautiful wife…” Patricia scoffed loudly. “Oh please, spare me that Mills and Boons nonsense. I knowyou would rather be out hanging with the guys and shouting thank God it’s Friday. No need to patronize me.
And you called her Florence. Didn’t you say she was new? And yet you’re already on first name basis.Explains a lot.” Her spoon clinked loudly as she turned herfood over again, brow still furrowed. A few grains of rice fell off her plate and Jide feltirritation stir in his chest. Patricia always seemed to know how to rub him the wrongway without even trying.Jide dropped his own spoon and leaned back, feeling stung. “That’s not really fair, Pat. Flo… the secretary really is new; I was just barely introduced to her before you walked in that day. Look, you need to lighten up, babe. I’m trying here…”“The fact that you have to try says everything I need to know.” Patricia snapped. “These things should come naturally. How do you know if you’re not trying too hard?” Jide shook his head, feeling his patience fray further. “I don’t know what you want anymore.”“How about some peace and quiet? Or some genuine emotions. Not these things you say because it’s what a husband should say to put his wife in the mood.” Her spoon moved faster on her plate. “Because right now, the last thing on my mind is…”“Can you at least eat without pouring half of your food on the damned table?” Jide snapped, glaring at the grains of rice circling his wife’s plate. “My goodness! It’s like living with a petulant child! Throwing tantrums and making a mess with food!” Patricia dropped her spoon and clapped gently, her lips twisted in a sarcastic smile. “Finally! Some genuine emotion! Not that romantic rubbish that…” But Jide was not listening anymore. He was already up from the dining table, choosing to abandon his half-eaten food and to be alone in the living room before the argument degenerated further.
He pushed the buttons of the remote angrily, bitter that the night would not be ending the way he had planned.
He was frustrated, tired of arguing and bitterly wished they had children already. He lovedchildren and having them around could have cushioned his loneliness.But how would they have children if his wife was uninterested in s-x?That night the Babalolas went to bed not talking to each other, just like many nights before.
** **“How much do I owe you?” The deep voice broke Florence’s concentration. She had been scribbling on a piece of paper, calculating the money she had made from sales the past week. Her half of the house rent was due to be paid, and she was thinking about asking a few of the staff at the office for some of the money she was owed. So when Jide’s voice intruded into her thoughts, she jumped. It was almost as though he had been reading her mind. “Excuse… Er… I beg your pardon, sir?” she blurted, standing up hurriedly from where she was seating at her desk.Jide stood in front of her, hands t—-t in his trouser pockets, a polite smile on his face. His blazer was a luxurious grey colour, offset by the creamy shade of the shirt beneath it and his red tie was impeccably knotted, as always. He smelled and looked like money. It was a bit disconcerting to have him standing that close to Florence and she let her eyes wander downwards until they stopped at his crotch. What she saw there made her head snap back up and her eyes widen with embarrassment. “From the other day.” Jide reminded. “I haven’t properly thanked you for saving my hide. My wife would have killed me.”“It’s okay sir.” Florence said in a choked voice, and then cleared her throat. “It was nothing.”“Still, it saved my neck. And I want to assure you it was not what you think…” Florence shuffled in embarrassment, her eyes flicking over Jide’s shoulder as she wished fervently that the other secretary would return quickly from her toilet break, so she would not have to be alone with him. She was careful to keep her eyes up and away from his crotch. “There’s no need to explain, Sir.” Jide chuckled and moved closer, his eyes running over the hair sweeping over her shoulders. He was surprised he had not noticed how full and luxurious her hair was before then. “I see. I appreciate your discretion. And I know I owe you somtheing. Some of your wares fell on thefloor; I should reimburse you…” Florence realized Jide was not planning to leave her table anytime soon, so she decided to address the elephant in the room. “Um…sir, your…” she gestured at the front of his trousers, eyes averted.Jide followed her hand and choked on his next words.Was he destined to always embarrass himself in front of this woman?
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