If it were possible for me not to enter that house with this woman this afternoon, I Definitely wouldn’t. I already knew how this was going to end. With the expression she gave when Chioma was leaving, she obviously had started plotting graphs in her head; creating non-existent scenarios and connecting dots, going from the known to the unknown and forth. Firstofhust, she’d say Chioma was the reason I didn’t even attempt reaching out to her after what happened in church the other day (Which is not true, because you guys can bear witness to the fact that I tried reaching out by all means; the calls, texts and all.. But Ofcourse, you guys are not going to be here to testify in my favor, which means it’s going to be my word against hers; definitely not going to end in my favor.. But we move!!!).
It was just as if I knew what was going on in her head; while I was yet pondering on the next step to take, she opened the door halfway and asked.. “When exactly did this Chioma move into the compound again”?… It was at this point I knew there was trouble. Chioma actually moved in the same evening we had our church quarrel that brought about the break in communication for several days; so that will definitely support her claim of Chioma being the reason for my ‘effortlessness’. What to do now? Should I lie? No! That would be a bad idea, because I was dealing with a very intelligent person. It would be easy for her to find out I’m lying because she knows if Chioma had moved in before our quarrel, she obviously would have found out as we usually talk about almost everything; and she was even around that same week, before the whole church saga. So no! Lying was not a good idea; infact, this is definitely a trap. “She moved in last Friday” I said, in a rather defeated tone. She didn’t even waste time to process the information before shooting back at me. “Last Friday! same day you bailed out on me at church and didn’t bother to reach out right”?… “Babe I actually wanted to….” she slammed the door and went back inside the house. What had I gotten myself into? How would I make my way out of this situation? I looked up to the heavens from where comes my help; but it seemed help was nowhere close on this particular day. On the other hand, I still didn’t know what to do with Chioma. If only she didn’t show up and ran her mouth like a kennery, things wouldn’t have been this messy. I’d deal with her later, I said to myself. Let me first find a way to settle this matter; I’d probably pray for her to suffer for the next 600years.
In all of these, Prov. 25:24 kept on ringing in my head. It says and I quote:
It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
Proverbs 25:24 NKJV
Unfortunately for me, there was no way for me to reach my house top, which left me with just one option; to go in and share the house (my house) with that contentious woman, who at the time already connected her phone to my sound system and was playing one of FELA ANIKULAPO KUTI’s jams…
Trouble sleep, yanga go wake am, na wetin E de fiiiiinnnnnd… Palava E de find, palava E go get yo…
Heaven bears me witness that I’m innocent… That I am not looking for any palava. I eventually had to summon courage to enter the house, and locked the door behind me. Hanty was sited on the couch in the living room, thumbing her phone. The music was still playing out loud, so in a bid to probably start up a conversation, I picked the remote control to turn down the volume of the music. With a stern look, the lioness roared.. “Why are you turning down my music”? She said, spreading her hands apart. “I want us to talk” I said… “Talk about what exactly? That you couldn’t even wait to properly break up with me before starting a new relationship? Or what? Please please, I’m not in the mood”. She stretched forth her hand, asking for the remote, which I threw without hesitation; but she couldn’t properly hold it as her phone was on the other hand. The remote however fell and hit her foot. “Ooouch”!!! “sorry dear” I said out of remorse; I mean I didn’t intend for the remote control to fall and hit her foot. “Who’s your dear? Do I look like your Chioma”? She hissed, picked up the remote control, turned the volume to even higher than it was before, and continued pressing her phone.
I didn’t know what else to do. It seemed as if the more I tried to remedy the situation, the worse it became. All I needed was for her to hear me out. Now, this means I have to first clear the air on our period of non-communication. Maybe she needed me to remind her that she was the one who said her Phone went bad and all. Whatever it was, I needed to find a way to fix this. In a bid to get her attention, I stood up from where I was and went to join her in the couch, sat by her, but she acted like I wasn’t even there. I reached out to her and hugged her, she was initially trying to push me away but gave up after a while. “Calm down babe, let’s talk. It wouldn’t make sense that we’d have to spend the night together in this house without first resolving our issues. I mean, I won’t even sleep in peace knowing that you’re in this house with me and we are fighting. Please, hear me out”. She didn’t say anything for like 10 seconds, after which she broke out of my arms, stopped the music on her phone and rearranged her self on the couch with her arms akimbo as though to properly give me audience. I too sat up properly, took a deep breathe and faced her.
“Babe, first thing you should know is that, I love you so much, and I respect you and what we share a lot. I wouldn’t bail out on you for days without trying to reach out to you; it’s not possible. Like I said the other day, I actually tried calling you a couple of times, your line wasn’t going through. I sent messages on whatsapp, you can check my phone if you doubt me; even tried texting you via normal sms, but still to no avail. I eventually had to invite Precious over to tell him what I was going through; he was the one who tried to calm me down and promised to come check on you at home, I’m not sure he did though, because you showed up the next morning. You can ask him if you think I’m lying”. At this point, she heaved a very deep sigh; oh that means she’s listening to me, I said to myself. I became more confident to continue. “And yes, Chioma moved in that Friday; I actually met her on my way back from church that evening. I planned on telling you, but obviously, I couldn’t reach you. She’s a serving Corp member and a distant relative of my landlord and that’s why she’s staying at his house. I don’t have anything to do with her, infact I’ve been practically avoiding her and her company since she moved in. Believe me babe”. She heaved another sigh, and some sort of relief came to me. “Are you sure you don’t have anything to do with her, neither are you nursing any intentions of such”? She asked. “Believe me babe, nothing at all. She’s just a very jovial person, atleast that’s what I gathered; that’s why it seems as though we are very cool. It’s actually not as it looks”. “Have you people been chatting on whatsapp? I mean the Chioma and you?” she asked. “Yes dear” I said with all confidence, not knowing or even caring to know the motive behind her asking. “OK then, give me your phone!”.
For a moment, I was lost. Like, why is she now asking for my phone na? Maybe she wants to go through my messages with Chioma or confirm the fact that I actually tried reaching out to her all those while. Well, whatever it may be, an old English saying goes thus:
A clear conscience fears no accusation…
Little did I know that, that was going to be the beginning of my doom. You know how frustrating it can be when you’re trying to build a castle at the beach with sand, and then the wave just comes on hard and messes up all that you’ve done; yeah, that was exactly what happened to me. I brought out my phone from my pocket and handed it over to my lady. Just when the phone touched her hand, my message tone rang. Hanty dragged my phone screen down to read the message from my notification bar. From her demeanor and the fake smile she put up, I knew all was not well. “Who texted me?” I asked. She just turned the phone screen towards me. Lo! and behold, it was a text from Chioma and it read thus:
How come you didn’t mention that you had a girlfriend? Well, we’d settle that when she’s gone. Do let me know when she leaves.
My heart started racing. I didn’t know where profuse sweat came from; I was practically trembling. Before I could raise my head to say anything, she dropped the phone on the couch and stormed into the bedroom, slamming the door behind her.
I looked up and all I could say was
Who did I offend today?