Everyone knows you aren’t mad.
But you think otherwise. You believe it takes more than ‘everyone knowing you aren’t mad’ to convince you that the trait isn’t lodged in some critical part of your faculty judging the way you act at times. Like roaming the whole city without having your bra and pants on despite your loose breasts and buttocks. Or wearing *aso oke* tied over your bare chest to your place of work even when there’s no traditional celebration, or anything of that sort. Or winking and blowing a kiss at your *aboki* watchman. These are just hints of your very weird behaviours.
On this fateful day, you’d travelled eight hectic hours to be with your husband who lived in another state. His birthday was the next day and you’d planned specially for it despite harbouring a grudge for him which you planned to resolve when you meet. In your relationship, grudge was like a piece of shit. You had and flushed that almost every second of the day. But this last one had decided to stay with you longer than usual. And so you’d chosen to carry it to him and end it together. You didn’t want anything to spoil the day for both of you.
The grudge actually had to do with some omission on his part which eventually led to you parting with some substantial sum of money you could never have agreed to do away with on a good day. Your mind had excused him for it but you wouldn’t accept that. You kept blaming it on his omission which you believed was deliberate. Probably for the purpose of keeping some grand plans away from you. About that, you couldn’t be bothered. That wasn’t the first time. You were bothered about your lost money.
On his return from work, you’d laid on the couch in the sittingroom with your head resting on his thighs as you thought of how to end the issue on your mind. You knew settling issues directly with him was like cracking kernel with your teeth. It was either you swallowed it, or found some other cunning way to discard the grudge. But one on one? nah. That was no option. You knew that too well. So whatever it was that made you decide to try it out this time, you were so sure it was that madness trait in you.
‘So, how was your trip?’ He’d finally asked, running his fingers gently through the spaces between your braided hair.
‘That’s not a necessary question,’ The words had fallen from your mouth. At your response, there had been a strange moment of silence between you two.
‘What did you say?’ He’d asked, slowly, as though he actually hadn’t heard. At this time, you’d stopped feeling his finger on your scalp and you imagined his deep set eyes lost in his head. A fierce frown lodged in the middle of it.
‘I said, it’s not a necessary question,’ You’d responded, admitting that it was already late to swallow your words. That there was no chance for retraction.
‘And I ask again, how was your day?’ This time, his tone was curt. He slowly raised your head from his body and you sat up facing him. Pushing some strands of braids off your face, you ignored his question and instead, began yours.
‘So, how did your day go?’ You asked. Fuck up! The next thing that happened surprised you. At first his voice seemed calm. Then, he began to yell at you. He yelled so loudly that the gateman had to come to the door to inquire if things were alright.
‘And what is that supposed to mean? Does it give you some joy seeing me angry, eh, Lucy? Why is it that you always find a way to get me pissed! What the hell is wrong with you this woman?…’ His voice rose several notches with each question. At a point, you had to scurry out of his presence to keep your eardrums from bursting.
That night, you’d felt worse than a loser. As you went in to rest, you expected him to relieve you by at least apologising for shouting at you by some miraculous way since he hardly apologised. But instead, you both had taken an edge of the king size bed you shared and faced the wall before it.
Moments later, you heard him snoring. And even as you did, you still believed that somehow, he would apologise to you before 12:00 midnight. The next day was his birthday and you were so sure he wouldn’t carry a hurt over to that day. You were so confident that the looming feeling of disappointment mixed with that of anger and grudge you bore earlier kept sleep away from you. Being awake, you kept your eyes on the clock.
By the time it was five minutes to midnight and you noticed he wasn’t even moving, you began to feel a surge. Like that of liquid fire running through you. It rose by the minute. At exactly midnight, you exploded. You let out a yell.
‘Lucy, what is it?’ Your husband asked, jumping up from the bed. You’d never seen him so scared. You hid your delight at this.
‘I was having a bad dream,’ You lied, heaving. He came closer to you.
‘Dream?’ he asked, confused. You knew he’d never heard you yell in your sleep before. You nodded.