Faded Love

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Outside, the clouds rumbled. The air was cold and had a delicious earthy smell. “Tonight will be such a great night,” I said in a dramatic voice. My mind whirred with sounds of excitement as I rushed into the bathroom to take a warm bath while Bassey sat waiting in the library.

The memories of our once happy marriage had started to fade as the days passed, but at that moment they came rushing back, forming a montage in my head. I took a quick bath and sat in the tub, dabbing at my skin with the towel. Next, I slipped on my nightgown and put on underwear, never taking my mind away from my precious Bassey.

Today, after ages, he had looked at me with eyes that glistened with a warmth and desire that made me unmoving, made me feel like I belonged on that spot. I began to feel a wet, tingling sensation underneath my gown and I smiled sheepishly, never-minding the stings of pain that had begun lurking at my abdomen. This night, we were going to make memories to last us for a lifetime.

Our once lively home had abruptly slipped into a cradle of silence. Around us, the clink of a needle became loud to the hearing. As days went by we spoke less and less, filling up the room with silence.

Our greetings had become rushed, our smiles curt. These mundane salutations were the only words we ever muttered to each other. Bassey walked in every night with sharp, bright eyes, and a different cologne than he left with. I could tell it was cheap cologne. I desperately wanted to be consoled by the mystery woman’s lack of taste, but I couldn’t. The strong scent pervaded my nostrils, and slowly, I began to crave what we had. My heart did a painful flutter every time he came home with that same feminine scent.

My earlier encounter with Jide came to the fore as my mind wandered. Jide was a younger guy at work who had sworn we were meant to be together even with the glaring wedding band on my finger. Today he crossed the line when he mentioned that I didn’t look happy married to Bassey. I barked at him, startling myself, unable to believe I could release emotions so intensely. But he didn’t look startled. He had on that same confident look he always had.

A part of me now hated him, but I wondered if Bassey ever defended our marriage the way I did. I resigned that he didn’t. If he did, he wouldn’t be having an affair. But I resolved tonight to prove to him that we could make this work. I hadn’t felt this much excitement in a long time. I let out a little laugh – a sharp pain ensued in my abdomen.

The pain began to sear. It cut deep into me, forcefully wielding my mind away from my thoughts.

“Not this night. Not…this…night…please” I spoke under my breath, tightening my toes as the pain sent a surge through my spine. I walked a distance and leaned on the walls of the lavender-scented bathroom, grating my head in an up and down movement, as I twirled my hands steadily on my abdomen.

The throbbing was deathly, and as I lurched in pain, I let my mind play back the image of Bassey’s luminous, whitish eyes gazing at me. He steadied his eyes on me, I watched them run over my body amorously, resting on the swells of my breasts. Between my thighs, the wet sensation now poured in strange bits, and as it crossed my mind, my legs felt light on the floor, and my heart thumped fast. I hoisted my nightgown, stripping my pants below – my eyes met a pile of blood.

I stood there gaping at the clump of blood with a dismal look. It wasn’t strange for my period to come days before the actual day, but today, it portended a stale night. It meant I had to wait for the next time Bassey’s eyes sparkled when they turned to me—if they ever did.

It was beyond sex. This felt like the only way I could save my marriage. I heard the sounds of nimble footsteps walking towards the door, soon the door creaked open. I rushed out of the bathroom, prepared to tell my bright-eyed, choleric, husband that we couldn’t have sex. I stood there rattling a bunch of words, only getting a hold of myself when I watched him stump off.

“But this is not on me. Bassey…Bassey.” I cried out. “You’re going to meet her, aren’t you?”. He turned his face to me in shock, as though he had never guessed I’d figure it out.

I watched the surprise on his face segue into a look of disdain.

“Fine…” he nodded. “Good thing you figured it out, Ima. See…where I’m going feels more like home than here, and if you were not keen on having sex with me you could have just said so”. He scampered into his car.

“What? Huh?” I could feel blood fluttering through my veins. “Did I hear right?” I said in a muffled tone, his words rang in my heart. My heart felt like it was shattering to pieces. I wished I never heard that. I wished I never heard that another woman was home to my husband. I laid there for an hour, falling into sleep. By the time I woke up, my head felt heavy. I felt a throbbing pain all over my body. I looked on the bed to see a patch of blood. I hadn’t remembered to put on a sanitary pad.

The memories of the past hour flashed through my mind, and I began crying, slowly, releasing soft whimpers.

I turned my eyes and found my phone beside me. Thoughts hurried through my mind. I picked it up and stared long and hard. Inside of me, something
hardened, and I opened my contacts and searched for the name “Jide”. I gave a wry smile and tapped on it. Right now, this felt like the only relief for this pain that cut deep inside of me. It turned on my excitement when I thought about Jide and his mystery woman.

I knew I had lost him, and now I had to find myself.


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