“Resemblance?” Jessica asked.
“Yes…can’t you see it?” Her sister asked.
“No…I just feel he has the same eyes as my husband…but
c’mon guys, what are you implying? That little Junior is my husband’s relative?
Or that he’s his child? What are you saying?” Jessica asked amused.

“We’re not saying anything…it’s just that it’s quite
strange that the little boy looks so much like your husband. If we didn’t know
you any better, we’d say you came with your husband’s son and that you’ve been
lying to us that he has no child outside wedlock.” Her brother said.
“Hmmm…you guys are getting ideas into your head. First of
all, the little boy and his mother just moved to Lagos from Calabar where
they’ve been residing for a long time and two, there’s no way that Junior is
related to my husband…” She said. “I wonder why I’m divulging the boy’s
personal details to you guys sef…abeg free me.”
“Okay ooo…sorry madam. Sha come and help me with the
balloons.” Her sister said to her.
Her brother walked up to Junior and extended a friendly hand
to him.
“Are you ready to have some fun?” He asked.
Junior looked at him blankly.
“He…he can’t hear…he has a hearing defect.” Jessica said
quietly.
Her siblings stared at her in shock.
“Are you serious? My goodness! How can such happen to such a
cute little angel?” Her sister asked in pity.
Jessica shrugged.
“Well…his mom has been consulting doctors and…we believe
everything is going to be fine.” Jessica said.
Her brother lifted Junior into his arms and Jessica’s
siblings surrounded him, each touching the little boy affectionately.
**************
“Thank
you for your patronage.”
The text read.
Ella read the text and smiled and sent a reply.
“You’re
welcome, I really enjoyed your juices, they were very fresh and nice. My
colleagues enjoyed them too. Thanks again for my tires.”
She
wrote and sent.
She dropped her phone and yawned, it was a Saturday morning
and she was so relieved that she was going to spend the whole day at home with
her husband.
“Good morning hun.” Jacob greeted, yawning and opening his
eyes.
“We’ve slept till ten am…we’re so lazy.” She smiled and
kissed him.
“It’s been a really busy week.” He yawned.
“I was thinking of sending your relative, Lola, to the
market today. I don’t know if her condition will permit.” Ella said.
“Well…I really don’t want you speaking to her or sending
her on errands, I just want her to go back to where she came from as soon as
possible.”
“That’s rude of you…you shouldn’t say that you know.” Ella
said turning to face him.
“I’ll go to the market, just give me the list and the
money.”
Ella was taken aback.
“The list and the money?” She asked.
“Yes, the list and the money.” He said.
Ella looked at her husband, he didn’t obviously understand
her shock.
“Babe, I have provided for this house since we got married,
I have made all the expenses regarding food. Can’t you take responsibility?”
“What do you mean by that?” He spat.
“Will it hurt if you spare some money for foodstuff?”
“Do you see helping out in our home as a chore?” He asked
sounding upset.
“No! It’s not a chore but I’ve run out of money. I provide
for the home and it’s eaten deep into my pocket.”
“You have money but you’re too stingy to spend it. What happened
to the money you’ve been saving? I know you haven’t been spending your salary
because your dad gives you allowance. What happened to all your salary?”
Ella was aghast.
“What? Were you tracking my spending?”
“Of course I have! To be a good wife in a time like this,
you need to be thrifty and you haven’t! You’ve been shopping from online stores
and buying expensive clothing!”
Ella was enraged.
“God knows that since I married you…infact, since we were
engaged, I’ve not bought anything for myself and the only thing I bought for
myself was my wedding gown and it was the cheapest in the store!”
“Wedding gown?”
“Yes! Wedding gown! You should be ashamed of yourself that
you didn’t pay for my wedding gown but I did.”
“You’re insulting me Ella!” He screamed at her.
“I am not insulting you, I am stating the obvious fact!
What’s wrong in buying foodstuffs for the house with your own money? What’s
wrong with that? Besides aren’t you the man of the house?” She spat.
“There’s everything wrong with that because I have a rich
wife who refuses to invest in her family!” He screamed at her and jumped off
the bed.
“Jacob! What are you saying?”
“When you’re ready to get foodstuff for the house, kindly go
to the market and get them. You’ve succeeded in spoiling my mood.” He said and
pulled the door open.
As soon as the door was dragged open, Lola almost fell into
the room, she’d been eavesdropping. Ella looked at her in shock, Jacob didn’t
even spare her a moment’s glance and stormed out of the room. Lola gave Ella a
dirty look and followed him, slamming the door in her wake.
Ella was stunned, was this what marriage was all about? Was
she supposed to keep providing for the home for the rest of her life as a
married woman? She thought. Her phone blinked and she opened the text message
icon.
“Hey, I
was wondering if you’d like a bottle of freshly squeezed pineapple juice for
the morning. I was making some and I had some leftover, don’t worry, it’s my
treat.”
The message read.
“Hey
Lawrence, thanks for the offer but I think I’d pass.”
She
typed and sighed.
As soon as the message was sent, another message popped in.
“Really?
Are you okay?”
She looked at the message and sighed again, she needed to
get things off her chest.
“Well…can
I ask you a question?”
She typed and sent, then regretted sending
it.
“Sure…what’s
up?”
“Who
provides for the home? The man or the woman?”
She typed.
“Well…it
depends. The man should be the provider since he’s the head but the woman can
help out. It all depends on the couple. Some men would rather provide alone
while others will rather share responsibilities. It doesn’t make one better
than the other, it’s all convenience.”
He typed.
Ella read the message over and over again.
“Are
you okay?”
Another message from him read.
“Yes,
I’m fine…I was just arguing with a friend and the subject came up so, I
decided to ask for your opinion.”
“Okay…are
you sure you don’t want the pineapple juice? You can keep it in the fridge to
cool and take it whenever you want.”
She smiled, he was so persistent.
“Hmmm…well…won’t
that be a bother? I mean, you’re going to have to deliver it right?”
“Yes, I
got a fairly used tricycle truck and I’m excited to show it off.”
He
typed.
“Wow!
That’s a big feat! Congratulations.”
She typed.
“Thanks
a lot. It’s going to make my job a lot easier. So, can I bring your juice now?”
“Yes,
you can…here’s the address…”
She typed and smiled, suddenly
forgetting the spat she had with her husband some moments ago.
****************
Zach was tired, he’d spent most of the day agreeing on the
decor of the house with Queen and the interior designer. He’d made sure he
worked with an interior designer that didn’t know him or know that he was the Managing
director of a real estate company. He knew he had to tread carefully because
the world was indeed a small place.
The interior designer promised that she’d be done with the
house in a week or less and he’d dropped off Queen at the hotel.
“I’d like to see your place, even if it’s a glimpse.” She’d
whined.
“I would really love to take you there but I have a flight
to catch to Enugu.” He’d lied.
“Enugu? Are you serious? At this time?” She said glancing at
her wristwatch.
“Yes, my secretary just booked a flight and I need to be
there as soon as I can.” He’d said.
“Wow! This job of yours is so tasking…” She’d said.
“Yes, it is…that’s why I can’t be around all the time,
even when we move in together. I will be gone for long periods of time.” He’d
said.
“So, it’ll still be like a long distance marriage huh?”
“Yes it will…do you see the reason I told you to go back
to Calabar? It’s because whether we’re in Calabar or Lagos, our marriage will
still be the same.”
Queen had sighed and looked into his eyes.
“Lemme try Lagos for a while, if it doesn’t work out, I’ll
go back to Calabar.” She’d said resignedly.
As Zach hugged her, he’d felt so relieved.
“One of these days, I’d like to see your office. I can still
remember how excited you were when you started that business and I’d like to
see how it’s grown.” She’d said.
“Errrm…there’s really nothing to see…but errmmm…we’ll
discuss that another day.” He’d said.
Now, as he parked his car in front of his sister in-law’s
house, he knew he’d have a lot of cover-up to do. He needed to tell Jessica
that he was going to be very busy from now on and that he was going to be travelling
more often than he used to. That was the only way he could live life on two
sides.
He got into the party area with the present he’d had wrapped
at the gift store and was welcomed by the noise from children. Jessica saw him
and instantly hurried up to him.
“Hey booo…thank you for coming.” She said, taking the gift
from his hand and giving him a kiss.
“You know I wouldn’t miss it for the world.” He said kissing
her back.
“Come and sit down…there are seats reserved for adults.”
She said pointing at some empty seats.
Zach made to go there with her when all of a sudden, a small
child ran up to him and hugged his knees. Zach was stunned.
“Oh wow! Look at that…he likes you…” Jessica said with a
smile.
The boy looked up at Zach and his heart stopped beating, it
was none other than his son, Zacchary Junior.

 

To be continued next week….

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