When he was about to leave, he planted a quick kiss on my forehead and said “Don’t miss me too much”. I could only smile. Such an adorable husband. “Okay” I replied.
I decided to return to bed and while away the time. I had tried calling my husband three times but he didn’t pick. Neither had he called back. I tried not to get worried or annoyed. He could be like that with his phone sometimes. I was bored at this point so I also went to freshen up and run a few errands. When I got home, I was exhausted but I wasn’t single anymore. I was responsible for another human being. I decided to call him again but there was no response.
Looking at the clock on the wall which hung in the hall, it read a quarter to six. I slumped into the sofa and kicked off my shoes. Then I asked myself, “What should I prepare tonight?”
“Rice?” no, we had rice the previous night.
“Yam?” no, that was our dinner two days ago.
“Banku?” no, it would be too late to have banku and I didn’t want my husband to come home late to banku.
I started mentioning meals and cancelling them off in my head. Is this how wives suffered to come up with meals each day? Well, I would draw up a meal plan and discuss it with my husband sooner than later. It was then that I remembered my husband had mentioned the other day how he had enjoyed taking the spaghetti and beef sauce I prepared. Spaghetti and beef sauce it was then.
I entered the kitchen and got dinner started. Just when I turned off the stove, I heard my husband’s car in the driveway. “Thank God” I whispered. Even though I was worried, I was also slightly irritated he hadn’t returned my calls. When he entered, his mother followed, holding an overnight bag. It was around 7:30pm by now. All I did was to mutter a weak “Welcome mummy” whilst giving my husband a dirty side eye. A lot was going through my mind but the one I was thinking about the most was dinner. I had prepared just enough for two. The leftover wouldn’t be able to feed even a toddler.
“Ivy my daughter, you look well” she said as she hugged me. She slowly sat down on the sofa as my husband and I looked at her.
“Would you like some water ma?”
“Yes please” she answered. I went to the fridge and poured her a tall glass of chilled water.
“Huhhhh that was refreshing” she said softly. My husband looked at me as I took the glass from her, he had a pleading look. I only looked away.
I remembered that I had some left over fish stew so I quickly peeled some yam and plantain and placed them on fire. I heard mother and son talking from the hall. I walked to the doorway and asked, “Mummy please there is yam and stew or spaghetti, which would you prefer?”
“Oh, the yam is fine with me. You people are the under five minute’s generation. All your meals are under five minutes.” I thanked my stars and went back into the kitchen. My husband entered the kitchen and hugged me from behind. “I am sorry babe. She called me to tell me she had a surprise for me, I went to the station and she was there”
I turned to face him. “What?”
“Yes, she called me this morning. She asked me not to say anything to anyone”
“Wow. So what did you do the whole day?”
“Well, funny enough, I was called to one of the stores I delivered to. There was a mix up I had to see to. I left mum at my office the whole day and returned for her afterwards. At least, the traffic was merciful”
My anger begun to dissipate. I didn’t know what to say. Before I could respond, my mother-in-law shouted from the hall, “Derrick, please get me some fruit juice”
“Yes ma” he responded. After dinner, I thought my mother-in-law would retire to bed but no. She watched as I cleared the table and cleaned. Derrick, my husband was on a call on the patio.
“I was about to go and take my shower when she said my dear, call your husband and come”
As I approached him, he asked to be given a few minutes. I went inside to inform her. She asked that I sit by her whilst we wait. When Derrick came back he asked, “Ma, what is it?”
His mother stretched out her hands saying, “Hold my hands both of you, we are about to pray”
I said to myself, “Wow, a prayerful in-law indeed” I should have kept my observations to myself until after the prayers.