by Daniel Nkado
I love my husband very dearly.
I married him a poor fat fool. Against all their advices and questions.
Life was miserably hard, but I didn’t complain. Never.
My elder sisters gossiped and my mother never visited, but I didn’t care.
Even my best friend, Susan, kept asking, ‘Nne, are you sure?’
A time came and I stopped responding to her and the others. Stopped trying so hard to convince them that I’ve never been surer of anything else in my entire life.
That it is either this man I am presently living with or no one else.
My glow. My love.
With my entire life savings we started our first business. A small cement shop at a corner of the town.
With our sweat and dedication it grew. From the cramped 25sqft room space that could barely contain 100 bags of cement to a multi-outlet building materials plaza.
When we bought our first car, my husband asked me to be driving it while another that would be his comes along.
It sounded funny to me and I told him. He needed the car more than I do.
Reluctantly, he agreed.
But that evening, he drove me to a classy boutique on the other side of town and asked me to pick whatever I want.
There were so many lovely things on display, just so many glitteringly enticing things that I wanted to pick, but I knew our budget. And I played by it against his pushing.
It was a cool evening though. Very lovely.
There is no greater joy than living with a man that loves you just the way you do him. Or maybe even a little notch more.
One day, I suggested to my husband to register at the gym, to finally cut back his growing belly. The rounded protrusion appeared to be the only thing of the old that still remained.
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Like he usually did to suggestions from me, he readily agreed.
In four weeks and some days, the change was remarkable.
That evening my husband came home screaming my name in excitement.
I came out and stared at him with a quizzical frown on my face.
He took up his shirt for me. ‘Nne, six packs!’ he exclaimed. He came closer. ‘Six packs, Nne, see!’
I laughed out hard. Not from the lovely sight of his newly found abs, but from the excitement on his face.
How he showed it. The boyish act.
It excited me very much.
That night we made love differently. We were noisy and more aggressive. I liked it. Every bit of it.
But just yesterday all that happiness has gone with one little discovery.
‘Who is she?’ I asked my husband.
‘Who?’ he returned, feigning lack of knowledge.
‘The woman asking how your previous night with her had gone?’ I extended his phone, the offending text message open on the screen.
I saw my husband wilt. He couldn’t even lie. I would have preferred it if he had.
It would have been better for both of us.
But he didn’t.
Instead he said, in guilt-laden voice, ‘Please, Nnem, it is not what you think.’
‘How?’ I asked him.
‘It was just one night,’ he said.
‘Who is she?’
‘A lady at the gym.’
A sudden pain hit my chest, causing me to wince and sigh.
‘Baby, I swear—’ my husband started, but I was gone before he could finish.
This morning, he thanked me immensely for having forgiven him.
I told him it was okay and we sat down at the table to eat.
It is rice and chicken stew. I had made it the way he liked it. With lots of pepper.