Muri stretched and yawned as he opened his eyes. He rubbed them and sat up, glancing at the bed-side clock.
It was 6:15 am.
He switched on the light above the bed. He had to get up to go to the gym for his Saturday morning work-out session.
Just as it registered in his mind that Ameh was not in bed with him, he noticed that she was seated in front of the dressing mirror.
She had her back to him, but she was staring at him though the mirror.
Slightly startled, Muri asked, ‘Babe, is everything okay? Why are you up so early?’
She did not respond. She simply stared back at him.
Baffled, he pushed the bed covers away, and he just placed his feet on the floor when Ameh spoke.
‘For how long have you been seeing Vera again?’
How did she…?
Who told her…?
Half-formed questions flooded Muri’s mind, making his mouth heavy.
By now, Ameh had turned and was now facing him, looking at him expectantly.
‘I had a drink with her after my meeting yesterday. That was it. Babe, you have to believe me’.
‘Well, considering that you have already had an affair with her since we’ve been married, I guess that I should give you a medal of honour’.
‘Babe…’ Muri began to speak, but Ameh raised her hand, making him to stop mid-sentence.
‘Do you want to go back to her?’
‘What?’ Muri looked shocked. ‘No! I love you, you know this Babe’.
Ameh stood up, smoothing down her nightgown. ‘I don’t know what to think anymore’.
She turned and began to walk out of the room.
Her hand was on the door handle when Muri said ‘I forgave you for James’.
Ameh recoiled from the door as though she had been struck.
‘What did you just say?!’ She turned and walked back into the room and was now standing in front of him. Muri was silent where he was still seated on the bed, his head bowed.
‘That was when we broke up. I had a fling and I told you about it when you wanted us to reconcile. We were not even married when that happened’.
‘And’, Ameh continued, ‘you think because you ‘forgave me’, I should be haunted by the presence of your ex-girlfriend throughout our married life?’ She was livid now, her arms akimbo, her nostrils flaring.
Muri raised his head; he had a remorseful look on his face.
‘I’m sorry Babe’ he said as he stood up. Ameh took a step backwards, away from him. ‘I’m sorry’ he said again. ‘I should not have mentioned him’.
They stood facing each other, silently.
Ameh closed her eyes, her breathing still coming in sharp bursts, her fists clenched into balls. She barely remembered the fling. She had broken up with Muri when he said he still had feelings for Vera. She had only mentioned it to him when he came back shortly afterwards, wanting to start the relationship again. She had told him so that he would leave her alone, but he had persisted, saying that it didn’t matter to him.
Ameh suddenly felt exhausted. She took a few steps forward and sat down heavily on the bed. The sleep which had eluded her hours before suddenly weighed heavily on her body.
‘It’s too much Muri’ she said wearily. ‘Two years of marriage-no baby, your affairs, your mother’. Ameh closed her eyes and shook her head. She felt like crying but the situation seemed too pathetic and unworthy of her tears.
By now, Muri looked worried. All thoughts of going to the gym were removed from his mind. His apologies seemed to have no effect on his wife. He had never really been worried about his marriage until this particular moment.
He sat down beside her on the bed, and warily took her hand.
She did not remove her hand from his own hand, but hers lay limply in his, like a wet rag.
‘Let’s go and see a Marriage Counselor. Babe, please don’t give up on us. Can we try? Can we see a Counselor together?’
Ameh was quiet for a while, and the silence hung in the air.
Her mind was empty. She did not want to be in the same place as he was. She wanted to be as far away from him and their marriage as possible.
Eventually, she looked at him and spoke quietly, without any conviction.
© Ivie M. Eke 2016