|Black Couple Sleeping
Image: Daily News
Ever story has at least two sides. Every action has at least two reactions. The first was here. This is the second.
The moment Otobrise walked into the house, Tracy Wayemi knew something was wrong. He was mechanical and her husband was never that.
They had been married for two years and had dated for a year before tying the knot and starting their forever. Because he was such an open book with her, Tracy knew what almost every expression, nuance or tic meant. At this moment however, she couldn’t place what brought on his mask.
She watched him over dinner, her mind’s eye taking note of every action as he pretended to concentrate on his food.
‘Are you okay?’
Otobrise looked up and smiled. His smile didn’t reach his eyes and he was quick to drop them back to his plate.
‘Just a weird day at the office. I will be fine.’
Tracy looked at him. She could bet her life that his work had nothing to do with his demeanor. There was something almost…guilty about his entire look. She could press and find out but she wasn’t going to that. Instead, she got up, cleared the table and took off her clothes. She watched her husband watch her as she tentatively got on the table and laid down spread eagled.
‘You need some cheering up. So… dessert is served.’
Tracy knew she was losing her husband.
Oh! He was still the caring, awesome husband he has always been but something was way off. She couldn’t help but remember when it all began. Was it three weeks already? Three weeks since she sat in the crook of her husband’s arm and heard his heart rhythm tell her he was distracted and pensive? She had taken his hand in hers and rubbed it, gentle asking if he was okay.
‘Just a hectic day at the office. We started training the new anchors for ‘The Deal’ and it was a bit grueling. There are five girls – five green girls – who have to be whipped to global standard before their debut in a month. I love working with professionals who already know what to do but you know Shade now; always insisting on making people stars.’
She had smiled and kissed him, trying to draw the tiredness from his body into hers. She broke the kiss and looked at him.
‘Well, if she isn’t that way, you wouldn’t be the ace producer you are now. Would you?’
He had smiled and looked away and that was the moment she knew there was a problem beyond what he was saying.
She got her confirmation last night though.
When she got naked and laid on the table, there had been that slight hesitation that had never happened before. It was almost like…like he didn’t want to… but the moment passed. He made love to her; slowly, gently and satisfactorily. As she moaned from ecstasy when they climaxed, she couldn’t help but wonder if she was the one Otobrise just had sex with
And for the first time in their life together, Otobrise slept with his back to her.
Tracy stared at Mairo and Bose. She saw their expressions and watched their lips move but she just wasn’t getting what they were saying.
‘….beat the crap out of her…’
‘…mess up her face so she is never on…’
‘….never to date a married man in her miserable…’
Yes. That was it. Her husband was having an affair with Tolani Davidson. He hid it well but Tracy found out anyway.
Tolani had become one of the more popular faces on TV and was now everyone’s favorite ‘IT’ girl. ‘The Deal’ was doing so well and raking in so much money that Otobrise had been bumped to Program Director at the station. What she thought was him spending more time at work turned out to be him spending more time with Tolani.
Tracy was shocked that the affair hadn’t become public yet. They were two high profile people so how were they keeping it secret?
‘Tra…cy! Snap out of it and let’s do something!’
Tracy smiled…or the distortion that passed for that. Typical Mairo; her ride-or-die bestie wanted violence.
‘I am with Mairo on this Trace. We could leak the news and have her fans vilify her but that would serve to hurt you in the long run. So how about we get some hoodlums to rough her up a bit…’
‘And rape some sense into her…’
‘Mario!’ Tracy and Bose shouted.
‘What?! I don’t tolerate rape but she deserves it! How is she comfortable having sex with a married man?! And remember how she was nice to you at their premiere party?!’ Mario calmed down a bit. ‘You think it has been going on since then?’
Tracy’s lips quivered. She didn’t think; she knew Otobrise and Tolani had been dating for a little over eight months. That thought was finally her undoing. She crumpled into a heap of palpable sorrow and let the tears finally fall.
Mairo and Bose rushed to her and held her. They enveloped her in their warmth and they cried together. Mairo kept saying she would make Tolani pay but even she had lost her gusto.
When they were cried out, Tracy cleaned her face on the edge of Otobrise’s shirt she was wearing and breathed out.
‘I am finally pregnant girls.’
And they started crying again.
Tracy swore her friends to secrecy. It was two weeks to Valentine and she would make her announcement then. And no; she wasn’t leaving her husband. Nor was she confronting him about his affair. How could she when she had broken their cardinal trust rule; the ‘no snooping’ rule? And snoop she did. The last eight months had been hell. Otobrise was still the most loving husband but it was routine; robotic even. He was there but not there at the same time. Unlike most cheating men however, he didn’t take long trips out of town on fake work excuses. Though he came home late, he was home every night. She wondered what their sex life was like. Did they do it in hotels? In Tolani’s house? In her car? Did he go down on Tolani as superbly as he did her? Was he also a breast man with her? Did he moan loudly with Tolani or played it cool as he had been doing with her for months now.
‘Arghhhhh….fuck you Brise!’ Tracy screamed into the empty house.
Yes. That was the only thing that changed. Otobrise went from being Mr.-loud-and-expressive to an eerily quiet love maker.
And so, she dropped at his office frequently and unannounced. She switched up her sex game and made sure she catered to her man. She did everything to try to get him back and it seemed the more she did, the more she was losing him. She didn’t know what was wrong until that day he forgot his ‘work’ phone when he went for his morning run.
She picked the phone and dropped it. Picked it again and dropped it. She went about her house chores but couldn’t get her mind off the phone. She decided to shuck it and go through the phone. His message inbox and sent folders didn’t present much. His email was pretty much work based. His social media didn’t betray any secrets nor did his chat sites. She was just about to give up when the Google Keep icon came on reminding him of his meeting with Shade, his boss. She opened the app and crawled through it. When she got to ‘Archive’, she got the maddest shock of her life. She was assaulted with sexts between Brise and Tolani and was shocked at some of the things they had done. It took her one hour but she was able to read every message they shared between them.
It took all of her strength to mask her feelings when Otobrise came home. ‘How could you do this to me?’ she wanted to scream. But she smiled and they had breakfast.
It was Valentine’s Day.
Tracy went to her spa and had a full beauty session. Her hair was perfectly coifed, her nails were banging, her makeover was to die for and she had the most amazing nude cocktail dress; just how Otobrise liked it. She had a chef come over and prepare a five course meal and a bell boy was ready to serve it as soon as Otobrise walked through the door. She called him a couple of times to find out when he was coming home. He didn’t pick any of his calls. Maybe he was recording or something. She hoped he came home before 9pm though.
And so she sat and waited.
And 9pm came and went. So did 10pm. 11pm. 12am. Valentine’s Day over. Where was he?
Tracy began to call. One. Two. Three. Twenty times. He didn’t pick. Was he okay? Was he in an accident? Was he with her?
And it dawned on Tracy exactly what had happened.
Otobrise had chosen the one he loved.
Tracy began to laugh; hard. She laughed and laughed and laughed. And then she wept.
It was around 7pm the next day when Otobrise finally walked into the house. Tracy knew that he would register the table set for two and the playlist that was still strumming love songs. She listened for his footfalls as he climbed the stairs. What was he going to tell her after that call? After she blurted ‘I am pregnant. Happy Valentine’s Day Baby’ as soon as he finally picked her call? She thought of the silence on the other end which lasted forever. She remembered clicking that red button and crawling into bed. She enveloped herself in her duvet and held it tight. She thought of her life and how much she wanted this baby. Then she thought of Otobrise.
When he entered the room, he stood over her for a minute. Her back was to him but she could feel the sadness that preceded him into the room. She remained as she was; wishing…hoping…and praying that Otobrise would come to her, hold her and make it all right.
She heard him take off his shoes and then climb into bed. He lay with his back to hers; not touching her and not saying anything. Then he began to cry. It was not loud or dramatic. It was the tortuous tears of someone that was heartbroken.
Tracy turned and put her arms around her husband. She let the shivers of pain run through his body as he was wracked by sobs. She knew. Oh! She knew he was no longer in love with her. She knew he was crying for his other woman. She knew that their relationship would never be the same again and she knew that, at that moment, she was what he needed.
She held him close and they cried together. She would stay with him now and comfort him. That was her truest manifestation of love.
There would be plenty time later to tell him that underneath the covers was the large dried bloodstain of a child who couldn’t stay.