I looked down examining my toes. I had being looking at my toe nails since Toye started telling me about his experience with my friend. I was too embarrassed to look him straight in the face. I knew things were not okay between Toye and Oyinda but I never knew that it was this bad.
I have known Toye and Oyinda for over twenty years now. Toye, I can describe as easy going and hard working, upwardly mobile. He is someone I will portray as loving life and good things despite his easy demeanour. I met Oyinda through a friend of mine and we hit it off. Oyinda is very creative and talented. I admire her for her various talents especially her entrepreneurial skills. She is smart, good looking and always seems to know what she wants out of life. Oyinda and Toye met about the same time I became friendly with Oyinda and despite all doubts and misgivings, they got married.
Fifteen years of matrimony with two boys, the marriage is threatened. My friend, Oyinda has moved back to her parents’ house despite all pleading for patience, she is adamant. For some reasons I couldn’t believe that her husband was as culpable as she would want me to believe. She did not give any concrete reason for this quarrel which led to moving out of her matrimonial home except that Toye was not good enough. I am aware that they have being having on going issues but I strongly believe that it did not warrant the steps she had taking.
Yoruba speaking people have a proverb that only a wicked person would judge from hearing one side of a story.. That’s just the case here. I sat still counting my toes as Toye narrated his experience.
“I hurt and I don’t believe I deserve what Oyin has done. I have done everything to satisfy her. I rented an office for her and paid three years rent in advance but she didn’t step into that office until six months ago when the rent was about to expire. Her anger is based on the fact that I refused to renew her tenancy. Haba! I work hard for my money and I can’t be wasteful. I tried reasoning with her all these while to go back to work. Our plan was that she would start work all over again after putting to bed but she simply told me she could not nurse her child in her office. This office was not in the public market of Tejuosho but at Adekunle where she had everything. I paid premium for it but no, it was not good enough. I have started many businesses for her but nothing seems to work. At the end of the year, I wouldn’t see either the seed capital or the profit. Even if she did not make the profit, she should at least let me see the capital. So I made up my mind. No more after this. I am better investing my money on stocks than wasting it on a bottomless pit business.” He said angrily “What attracted Oyin to me were her creativity and her entrepreneurial skills. When I met her she was so hardworking and serious about her business but that is not the case now. I really don’t know what she does with her time except she runs around like a headless chicken.” He continued bitterly “I don’t have a say when it comes to the children’s welfare. She often takes decisions without consulting me. It doesn’t even matter if I have objections or if I can’t afford her latest brainwave. I feel as if my relationship with the children starts and ends with supplying money. I am like a father Christmas to my own children and I want more than that. I want a relationship with them. If I correct them when they are wrong she flies off the handle, if I play with them she sneers that my language will corrupt the children. With her, I can’t get it right. You won’t believe I feel inferior in my own house. I never seem to know the right thing to do. Sometimes, I am at a total loss at what to do.”
He kept quiet for a while. I looked up to glance at him. All I saw was pain and I felt tightness in my chest. I felt sorry for my friends and I just wished things could be different. I wish they could reach out to each other.
“You know she slapped me.” He said looking lost and sad. “She slapped me in the presence of my friends over an imaginary girlfriend. I don’t even know who tells her all these nonsense. She said she saw a girl in my car. Imagine that!” He laughed bitterly shaking his head. “I am not boasting. I can have any woman I want in this
and beyond but that’s not the type of life I want. I know what it is to come
from a broken home and I don’t want my children to go through it.” He shut his
eyes rocking back and forth. I was afraid that he would cry. I wouldn’t know
what to do if he did. He kept on rocking back and forth. Suddenly he stopped
and stayed motionless for a while. “Toye” I started to say something soothing
to him though I was lost for words but I felt it was appropriate to say something
palliative like “it is well” or “God knows” but he raised his hands indicating
that I should not say anything. Nigeria
“Ose, I love my wife and I will take her back if she is willing especially because of my children. I don’t want them to suffer."