Osagie carefully opened the wardrobe door, he shone his phone’s flashlight into the dark closet and began to shuffle through the bulk of clothes hanging loosely on its bar. He had succeeded in taking a bath without disrupting Vivian’s sleep. He tugged down his blue short sleeve kaftan from the hanger and wore it over his body.
He tiptoed to the other side of the bedroom where the shoe rack stood against the screeded Ivory wall. He contemplated for a moment on which colour to go for, then picked a black shoe amongst the sets of shoes lined up on the black double 6-tier shoe rack.
He quickly glanced over his shoulder’s at his sleeping wife, then stooped down to the wooden floor and wore his shoes. He walked to the white mirror dresser, collecting a brush from its cabinet, he brushed his dark hair. He picked his Hugo Boss perfume and began to spray the scent over himself.
“Osagie_” his wife softly moaned his name.
He stopped and turned around. With a smile on his face, he walked to the bed and sat beside her.
“I was hoping I won’t wake you up, I hate it when I disrupt your sleep.” He said, brushing a finger lightly over her cheek.
“The perfume got to me” she said, stretching out her arms above her head.
“What time is it?”
He glanced at the watch on his wrist. “It’s almost 6.am.”
“Do you really have to go?”
Even after four years of Marriage, Vivian hadn’t gotten used to having him travel out of town.
The thought of spending another Valentine alone crossed her mind. He missed the last one, and she was likely going to be by herself come Wednesday. She twisted the corners of her lips apprehensively.
“I wish I could stay, but I really can’t” he said sensing her mood.
“Would you come back before Wednesday?”
Osagie narrowed his brows in confusion. “What is happening on Wednesday?”
He didn’t even have a clue.
“Nothing.” she lied. “I just don’t want to miss you too much”
Osagie smiled. He lowered his head and placed a kiss on her forehead, then rose from the bed, he snatched his briefcase from the floor and grabbed his phone.
“I will call you from the airport” he said.
“Don’t forget to check on the boys before you leave” Vivian responded.
“Okay.” He walked out to the adjourning room shared by their two sons, he peeped into the blue painted room. They were sound asleep. He quietly closed the door behind him and made his way out of the house.
Vivian sat at her desk scrolling through Instagram posts. Various couple’s uploaded photos with loving captions in celebration of their loved ones. There were so many beautiful pictures and photos of the gift’s they received. Vivian felt jealous. When Osagie called her that morning, he didn’t mention anything about the Valentine, and afterwards, he didn’t text her either.
She glanced up at the wall clock, it was almost 5: pm, the entire day had gone by without her husband wishing her a happy Valentine’s day. How could he not know? He was on social media so he must have seen other people’s posts to their loved ones. She told herself she wasn’t going to be the one to bring it up this time, he always forgot. Feeling utterly let down, Vivian dropped her phone into her bag and began to clear her desk. She was going to go home, have a cold shower and spend the evening with the kids.
She bade her colleagues’ goodbye and walked out of the office building into her car.
She drove through the streets of Maitama, feeling bad about the day. Her husband had forgotten yet another Valentine. She had always been the hopeless romantic one amongst the two of them, Osagie just didn’t pay enough attention to such things.
Sighing heavily, she took a turn into Ademola Adetokunbo crescent. As she drove down the street, she sighted Osagie’s car packed outside Exclusive Stores.
“Blood of Jesus!” she exclaimed, taking a swerve to the corner of the road. She brought the car to a halt, shifting the gear into park. She shuffled anxiously through her handbag for her cell phone. With shaky fingers, she dialled Osagie’s number, her eyes affixed to his car parked across the road.
“Hello babe” he answered.
“Babe, how are you na?”
“Fine, just getting into a meeting now”
“Ehn ehn? Meeting in Port Harcourt ehn?”
“Yes, in Port Harcourt. You sound funny, what’s wrong?”
“No nothing o, was just missing you that’s all”
“I miss you too baby. It’s only a few days left. We’ll see each other soon”
“Okay bye” she said and cut the call.
“Jesus!” she exclaimed, chills creeping up over her skin. Her heart beat frantically against her chest. There she sat, staring at her husband’s car, yet he was lying to her. Her palms suddenly began to sweat.
How could the love of her life do this to her? They had only been married for four Years and he was already keeping secrets? Maybe another woman? Her heart hurt at the thought of him cheating. She had never had to worry about Osagie looking outside, so why now?
She started the car and drove a few miles away from the Store, away from where he could see her. She was going to hang around and see what her husband was really up to. She had barely waited for fifteen minutes when Osagie walked out of the store’s gate with her best friend Amaka. They were both carrying some polythene leathers in hand, laughing.
Vivian felt a stroke of betrayal, and it quickly transgressed into anger. She started to open the door to go and confront them, but her legs didn’t carry her, she felt weak to her bones. She sat back and watched her husband drive away with her best friend, her married best friend. Tears rolled down her cheeks freely.
Where had she gone wrong? How could the two people whom she loved the most choose to hurt her this way?
She sobbed in pain. She knew then that she could never look at her husband the same way again. As for Amaka, that friendship was definitely over.
How could Osagie do this to her? And of all the single girls roaming Abuja, it had to be her best friend? Her chest hurt terribly. “Why?” she cried out. “Why??”
This was by far the worst day of her life.
She sat affixed in the car. If this was some other girl, she would have called Amaka to share what she had just witnessed, but now that it was Amaka that choose to wreck her this way, who could she call?? Different thoughts clouded her mind as time ticked by.
Glancing at the dash clock, she realized she had been sitting there for an hour. She wiped her face and started the car home.
It was at about 7: pm when she got home. A horn at the gate caused the security man to slide it open. She drove into the interlocked compound, bringing the car to a stop.
“Madam welcome ma” the guard greeted as she stepped out of the car.
She ignored his greeting, walking despairingly to the house. She turned the doorknob and stepped into the warm building. The house was unusually quiet, she couldn’t hear her kids shouting around like it was their norm.
“Ade!!” she called out to the maid.
“Ah ahn! where did these children go to?” she wondered.
“Ade!!!!” she yelled louder this time.
Confused, she began to mount the stairs, maybe there were upstairs she told her self.
As she got to the top of the stairs, she stopped. Osagie was standing at the center of the living room, petals of red flowers adorning the floor around him.
She squinted her eyes in confusion, anger loathing in her heart.
“Happy Valentine baby” Osagie said, smiling towards her.
She moved away from his touch. “I saw you!” She spat angrily. “Amaka, really? How could you Osagie, how could you betray me like that!”
Osagie began to laugh.
“You think this is funny?” she asked, surprised and even more annoyed at his indifference.
“Come” he said, reaching out for her hand.
“I’m not going anywhere with you” she said, tugging her arm away from his touch.
“Please? I would explain everything” He said with a sly smile across his lips. “Come on” he encouraged.
Vivian walked loathingly behind him as he led the way to their bedroom. He stopped by the door and turned to her.
“Close your eyes” he said. “Come on”
She gave him a bad look then reluctantly shut her eyes, twisting the corners of her lips fumingly.
Osagie waved his hand in front of her eyes, making sure she couldn’t see anything. Then he placed both hands on her shoulders and led her into their bedroom.
The melodious husky voice of Michael Bolton playing on the stereo welcomed her in. She relaxed her face, feeling more confused than ever.
“Open your eyes baby” she heard Osagie say.
Vivian slowly opened her eyes to their dimly lit room. He had turned off the bulbs and in its place were scented candles, burning on golden brown stands. The bed was properly made with red flowery covers. A bottle of wine with two tumblers lay carefully on the made bed. A tray of chocolates and a bowl of ice cream sat closely beside it, with wraps of shawarma and a set of chicken wings.
Osagie took his wife hands in his.
“I couldn’t miss this day, not after knowing how bad you felt about the last one. I flew in immediately after my meeting to surprise her you. I called the driver to meet me at the airport, I branched by the store to pick out these things for you” he said spreading out his hand towards the bed. “Amaka was there too, I ran into her, she said her car was at the mechanic so I decided to give her a lift. I didn’t even get to her house, I dropped her by the way and rushed home to set all these up. I had the driver take the kids to my sister’s house so it could be just you and Me”
Relief swept over Vivian like a rush of water. She suddenly felt ashamed for quickly jumping into conclusions.
“You did all these for me” she managed to say, tears of joy running down her cheeks.
Osagie wiped away her cheek tenderly. “I have never cheated on you baby. You don’t ever have to worry about that. Mmn?”
She nodded, sniffing her nose. He wrapped his arms around her waist and began to rock her sideways.
“I’m so sorry” she said, feeling utterly embarrassed for judging her husband so quickly.
Osagie smiled down at her understandably. “Thank you for all you do for me and the kids, I know I don’t say it enough but I see it all. Thank you baby”
This was too much. Vivian felt overwhelmed with relief and happiness. Gratitude grew in her heart. She wrapped her arms around the neck of her husband and drew him into a deep kiss. She walked back towards the bed, drawing him along as she went, she was going to show him exactly how happy she felt.
Written by Joy Terundu Ogbugoh