MUTUAL ASSURED DESTRUCTION

She was seated in the sitting room watching the TV when he entered the room. He scowled at the screen for two or three seconds; chunk Korean movie. He suppressed a hiss and turned to shut and bolt the door. As he drew the curtain, she said good evening in that tone that was almost an insult which he considered an insult. He ignored her. Carrying his Bible close to his heart, head straight, eyes forward, the perfect don’t-glance-at-the-devil posture, he marched to his bedroom.

Theirs was a three bedroom apartment and his bedroom was the guest room which, since three months now, had been his bedroom. He placed the Bible on his reading desk and loosened his tie. It was an enriching sermon he just had with the youths, and the Holy Spirit was powerfully evident in their midst. Thank you, Jesus. He removed his suit and made for the wardrobe.

Five minutes later, clad in three-quarter trousers and singlet he returned to the sitting room. He no longer felt comfortable donning boxers in his wife’s presence. He made for the dining area. He had to pass between his wife and the TV and didn’t look at her, and although she saw him past she didn’t see him, a butterfly flying by would have made more impression.

He pulled a chair at the end of the rectangular table beautifully donned with floral polyspun linen. He felt the flask with a suspicious backhand, lukewarm. He sneered. He opened the flask. A small steam of steam fanned his face. He wasn’t impressed. Jollof rice and fish. He never admitted to any favourite but this was in the top four. There was no plate to dish the food, he was lucky to find a spoon. He began to eat right from the flask, squeezing his face as though he ate from a bowl of bitter leaf, refusing to chew, giving the impression that chewing and admitting to any taste would do honour to the food/cook, in spite of him.

After six or seven spoons, he gave up. He refused to eat the fish, spite. As he covered the flask he saw a piece of paper neatly folded by the flask. He picked it up, unfolded it. From his wife.

No garri
Soup things
=N3,500

This time he couldn’t suppress a hiss, and he thought he heard a return hiss from her. Jezebel! He rose slowly to his feet and looked at his wife, for the first time in nearly a week. She wore a sleeveless knee-length gown, her hair natural, well packed, her defiant chin on her palm, the other hand clenched on her lap, a warrior’s pose. There was no denial of her beauty but it was a hard beauty, almost diseased. Watching her, he wished his eyes could pop with bullets and kill her.

Tufia, he spat in his mind’s mouth, shrugged and made for his room. He came out with three one thousand naira notes and a pen. He placed the money on the pen, put the paper on it and wrote: “manage this”. “The country is hard” he wanted to add but thought against it. So he let his eyes burn on the paper, helpless as animosity, like a seed germinated inside him, grew thorny branches that filled his abdominal cavity like acidic pregnancy. This marriage was a burden.

They had been married for three years and had lost their marital juice for more than a year. It was gradual. A drop in the show of affection, and another drop and another until their love became a giant empty tunnel where a stream of romance and bliss had flourished. At first, there were the occasional rainfalls that filled them with remembered, rather than renewed love, and they tried to make the fire burn on.

They were up against a few obstacles, his pastoring of the church and frequent travels across Nigerian, her loneliness, her frustration at her inability to put her banking and finance HND to use, the stress of living up to the perfect role of a pastor’s wife and their shared failure to make babies.

They were up against a few obstacles, his pastoring of the church and frequent travels across Nigerian, her loneliness, her frustration at her inability to put her banking and finance HND to use, the stress of living up to the perfect role of a pastor’s wife and their shared failure to make babies.

But more crippling was their self-blindness: the husband never saw where he erred, he only saw his wife becoming colder and colder; the wife didn’t see her coldness, but she saw clearly his physical absence and his emotional non-commitment. So one day they just woke up and discovered that they no longer loved each other. But they remained in the same room, making love, eating together, having dialogues like normal married people do (or should do).

Even this drama didn’t come off. It soon became melodramatic, robotic, false. A boring task. One day, the last time, he was making love with his wife but it was like performing a bitter push-up exercise. He braked to look at his wife and caught her glaring at him, her face twisted with disgust. He got down and moved his things to the guest room.

Pastor and Mrs Adetunji are married. Pastor and Mrs Adetunji are no longer in love. Pastor and Mrs Adetunji will never consider divorce because they bear the expected image of matrimonial unity and felicity. But last night, Pastor Adetunji wrote I hate you on the paper his wife had used to request money. This morning, Pastor (Mrs) Adetunji saw the note and quickly responded, I HATE YOU TOO.

@Oke4chukwu

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19 thoughts on “MUTUAL ASSURED DESTRUCTION

  1. Saint Gab

    This is real example of love is wicked. Lolz. Its pathetic how people fail to understand themselves even up to their matrimonial home. Nice piece.

    Like

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