Sleep escapes me. The night is dark and frightful. The sound of thunder ripping through the night sky echoes in my ears. The rain splattering on windows forming what looked like blood stained walls as the light illuminates from outside. I sit up from the bed on which I laid, dragging myself from the embrace of the covers. I stand, towering, dwarfing all furniture that stood or sat in our room. My legs search for my slippers but they are nowhere to be found, so I walk bare feet. My legs sweep the fur rug that lay on the floor. I had never felt it so cold. And it was so soft. My journey began to the window as I tried to peek at what lay beyond our apartment.
Lights shore from outside as canteens, restaurants and businesses were still open. This was by 1 in the morning. I guess the city actually never sleeps. I open the windows to let some of the rain in. it splattered on my face soothing my troubled heart. It felt like icy tears falling from the heavens and there was something about heaven that felt like peace. I close the window and the blinds so the room was completely dark and I slowly make my way back to the bed. As I sunk into the mattress, she turned; half asleep but still ever beautiful, and asked
Her: Hey baby. Why are you still up?
My mind travelled back to the reason why I was still awake. Why sleep had escaped me. I thought in myself; should I tell her? Should I let her know? I decided in the positive, she was my wife. I might as well have told her I thought. For better or for worse!
Me: I have just been thinking
Her: what about?
Me: about my father
She sits up now, her demeanour more serious. She pulls back her hair, her eyes burrowing mine with inquisitiveness and turning into a partial frown.
Her: what about him
Me: well, it is as much about him as it is about me.
Her: I don’t understand baby
Me: (I take in a deep breath) baby, you know I love you (she nods in affirmation) and I promised to tell you everything. I haven’t been completely honest.
Her: what haven’t you told me?
Me: ever since I was a child, I’ve always remembered that I have loved my father deeply. But something happened during my teenage years that made me hate him. Now it’s a mixture of love and distrust
Her: what happened love? Tell me
Me: growing up, I always thought my father and mother were the perfect couple. My perfect picture of what love looked or ought to look like. Both of them. It was in my teenage years I figured it all out. My father had cheated on my mom. Repeatedly. Over and over again. Over the years. I was distraught, but being a young boy I didn’t know how to react to it. I ignored or intentionally forgot for most part of the days, but other times, it seeped into my consciousness and like a poison turning my heart black
She had taken my hand in hers, a gesture she always did without her own consciousness whenever I was uneasy or moody about something. She never took her eyes away from mine. Hers more wet than mine had been. Every word I said hurt her like it had happened to her and not me. She had always said since our marriage that we both shared the same life. Words I never truly believed until now.
Me: and the worst part was that she knew. She knew and never said anything about it. She knew and never left him. She knew and stayed accepting mistreating because of her children. She loved us so much and knew a split would totally break our hearts. She stayed because she loved us. My mother is a lovely woman you know. Her beauty now evergreen. My first love. She was my angel for most of my life, a position you now occupy. She is somewhere right now praying for me, im sure of it. She occupies a part in my heart, unrivalled by anyone.
With tears streaming down her face she pulled me closer into her arms telling me it was ok now. Telling me everything was fine. She wiped the tears from my eyes
She: so now do you have the closure you’ve waited and hoped for?
Me: I never talked to my father about it. I just kept on thinking and today, this night, I think I finally have the answer
She: what is it?
Me: I always wondered if I would end up like my father. Too weak to say no. But with all his faults he was a great man, and a great father. Just a bad husband. And out of the good he had done, I couldn’t hate him forever for the mistake her kept on making. No man is perfect. I hope to be a father like him. One that would listen to his children, play with them, want the best for them, want all I can buy and all the good and joy that the earth can bring for them. I want them to live a life void of worry, a life full of lessons for them, just like how he wished for his. (I turned so I could kiss my wife’s protruding tummy as she was pregnant with our first child) that’s exactly the kind of father I want to me. But also I want to be the kind of man who would wake up every morning over the rest of my life wishing you’d be the first thing I’d see when I open my eyes. The kind of man who loves you and only you for the rest of his life. The kind of husband you’d never be ashamed of. The kind of husband that you’d be forever proud of. The kind of husband that would never make you worry and every tear that drops from your eyes would be of joy. A husband that would never make you frown. A husband worthy of your love. A husband you would be in love with for the rest of your life both natural and eternal.
She just looked at me with admiration, I had never been the type of person to open up about feelings and she was shocked by what came from my mouth. Tears still poured down her face, but there was something different, she was smiling (I had already started making good on my promise). I kissed her and smiled too. We lay there on the bed for an hour before we fell asleep in each other’s arms. More in love than the day we married. We were quiet, not the kind of quiet that feels awkward, but the type that felt like comfort for we were at peace and I was no longer troubled. She yawned, tired. Probably because of the baby and said;
Her: alright baby, I love you. Goodnight
All of a sudden, the night wasn’t so dark or so frightful.
Bafewa Sanni of the Class of “17 is a budding and aspiring future best selling writer. He believes that the pen or keypad should not be only a means of communication, but one by which to expand our world and introduce ourselves to the world, outside. He also believes that his identity lies hidden in his work.