Happy new year pips! It’s gon’ be a wonderful year. I must admit, I am very excited to meet more people via this medium whilst keeping old ones. So in the spirit of the season, let’s trudge ahead… greatness awaits.
In my final post last year, I did speak of the fact that I entered the write right 2 competition. I didn’t make the final five so, I’m free for the while to write and write and of course, keep writing. Anyway, here’s my entry, please leave comments, thanks:
Awazi opened the door gently and peered into the living room. It was a little darker inside the house than it was outside. She stepped into the house resisting the rush of guilt that confronted her. She sighed deeply, and then she began her walk of shame, knowing that that would be the hardest part of her plan, the part where she walked back into her home. She had promised herself at the park that she would do whatever it took to right her wrong, piece together the broken pieces of her home, until the damage was fully repaired. The pictures flashed; Samir entwined with her as they went at each other, lost in the throes of passion; she banished it as quickly as it came up.
Awazi had spent the day at a park, crying her heart out, wondering how she could have being so stupid and irrational in the first place. So, her husband wasn’t exactly the poster kid for marital fidelity; still, she had stuck to her guns for the thirteen years their marriage had lasted. Thirteen years, she had been faithful; now, she had thrown herself at the first man that smiled her at. She felt empty, ashamed of her actions and as she walked towards their room her head hung, her shoulders drooped, her legs felt like lead as she moved further into the house. Awazi did not bother to switch on the lights.
Halfway through, the lights came on, Awazi was shell shocked. She froze on the spot turning slowly after a few seconds had passed. She saw him then, blood shot eyes, a half full glass of whiskey by his side, Derin was slouched in the sofa staring at her with malice in his eyes. She studied him for a bit, trying to gauge his state of mind. She had deluded herself that Ope knew him better, but seeing him there, helpless, she felt like rushing over to him and hugging him. Her infidelity apart, she couldn’t bear the thought of him throwing away his life on her account. Then he stood up, slowly, staggering as he did so. She willed herself to stand still but found her legs had regained their usefulness. She was almost by his side when she stopped. Then he spoke and she got her second surprise of the evening.
‘Where the hell have you been?’ Derin growled; there was nothing tipsy or inebriated about him.
Awazi felt like a fool. She had bought the act, actually pitied her good for nothing husband, she was now within striking distance from him, when she realised that he was not drunk. ‘I was out, thinking.’ She mumbled.
‘Huh?’ Derin pulled his ear and turned it to her, then he let go and looked at her. Awazi didn’t need to be told twice, she found her voice.
‘I was out, thinking.’ She said defiantly.
‘Really? Because I’ve been getting interesting calls all day. Calls meant as it were, for you.’ Derin stretched out his hand and pointed at Awazi briefly. ‘Now I don’t know, really, I do not know.’ Derin sunk back into the sofa as emotion overtook him.
Awazi rushed forward again, ‘Derin, are you alright?’ She held his face searching his eyes earnestly.
‘Relax, I’m not drunk. I haven’t even had a sip of that thing.’ He slurred as he pointed at the whiskey. ‘I just can’t wrap my head around it; I’ve been here for three hours Awazi, three long hours! Asking myself the same question, why?’
Awazi shrunk back from him as she balanced on her haunches. ‘What happened?’ Her fear grew.
‘Your damned boyfriend did!’ Derin exploded rising to his feet. The move startled her and she fell backwards. He stood there watching as Awazi struggled to gather herself, then stand. He studied her facial expression as she battled her demons before surrendering herself to them, throwing up her hands in defeat and allowing the grief he had seen in her eyes when she first saw him that evening overpower her. He stood still, allowing her to cry.
Awazi fell to her knees. ‘I’ve been asking myself the same question for longer. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get any answer. Suffice it to say, I was vindictive, and selfish. There’s no other reason.’ Her tears were flowing freely.
‘Or you want out of this marriage. Think about it, you had to wait twelve years to hold your first child, six months later, he’s no more. Your mother-in-law hates your gut and you have a cheating bastard for a husband. Why would you want to continue carrying on this farce we call marriage, why?’ Derin sat down again and held his face in his palm. He was that way for more than two minutes, muffling his groans as he also confronted his own inner demons.
Awazi was speechless, in an uncanny way, Derin had summarized all the problems they were struggling with, as a couple, and had presented her with a way of escape. She felt like taking it, thought about standing to her feet and disappearing into the night, away from him, from their troubles, from it all. Instead, she crawled to him and held up his head. ‘Forgive me.’ It was all she could muster.
‘For what?’ His voice trembled as he looked at her, their faces were inches apart. He averted his gaze and coughed loudly as he tried to regain his composure, but failed miserably. ‘Samir called, he… he…’ Derin couldn’t find the right words.
‘It was the worst mistake of my life, I wish I could go back in time, undo what’s done. Please, show mercy.’ They were both weeping.
Derin shook his head, then like a robot, he reported the events that had occurred that day in a monotone. ‘The hospital called, rather, Barrister Sanda. He informed me that Dr Ajanaku passed on earlier today. The Doctor’s will was read in the presence of Maami and Nurse Bintu – the Matron. He stayed true to his earlier promise in the will, he also stipulated that we – that’s you and I – also get a say in the running of the hospital.’ He was falling apart.
‘Please Derin, forgive me.’ Awazi begged.
Minutes passed, as both of them remained silent. Each with his thoughts wondering the impact the decision made in the next few minutes would have on their lives: as a couple, as individuals. Then the gloom that pervaded the room was broken by the shrill ring of his phone. They both raised their heads slowly looking into Awazi’s eyes; she shook her head as if to say I don’t know.
Derin got up and walked over to Awazi’s bag, took out his phone and answered the call; it was his boss. ‘Yessir, yes. Okay. Thank you very much sir. Thank you.’ He terminated the call, weighted the phone in his hand whilst studying Awazi. She was a wreck kneeling there. He studied her and her anguish reached out to him, his heart thawed. He thought of the time he had lost her, had almost walked away, but couldn’t follow through. Derin continued to look at her, and for the same inexplicable reason he had then, he knew he couldn’t walk away now too. He did the unthinkable then.
Derin smashed his phone against the wall and stretched his hand to her. ‘Run away with me. Let’s leave all this drama behind, start a new life, a new chapter in a place far away from here. Who knows, maybe the kids will come.’ He managed a nervous smile.
Awazi listened to her husband. A surge of relief shot through her, slowly, she rose from the floor and walked into her husband’s open arms. ‘I love you.’ It was all she could say before the tears caught up with her again.
Derin embraced her tightly, then whispered in her ear, ‘I was just offered my old job back, with a pay rise and extended holidays abroad. You know my answer, you saw my reaction. So, are you ready for a new adventure?’
‘Yes. Yes!’ Awazi said grasping at the olive branch offered her. She buried her head in his chest and allowed the suppressed emotion find expression, she was grateful for another chance to make her marriage work.
One year later
Derin was making a call from a hospital lobby. There were mixed races of people walking around attending to, or being attended to. He waited for his call to connect, then he screamed excitedly into the phone. ‘Mama, mama! Na boy!’