WHAT DOES MY HUSBAND WANT?
By the writer morenikeji
After that day, Ladi came again the following weekend, he looks so unkempt. His facial bears were over grown, his cloth was looking rough.
I ignored his appearance and as he was seated in my sitting room, I did not bother to ask him why he looks so messed up instead I asked if he was hungry and he nodded.
He said he has not eating anything since yesterday because Santi hardly cooks and he was tired of buying food.
Ladi said he was so hungry and wouldn’t mind if I offer him anything to eat.
He told me that he has missed my delicious cooking and how I used to over feed him with different delicacy.
I was tempted to reply him harshly but I swallowed it up and brought food for him to eat.
He ate and finished up the first plate. He thanked me.
I looked at him and knew he was not satisfied, I asked him if I should bring extra food for him and he nodded.
I brought extra food for him and as he was eating Salami came around to visit.
She was shock to see Ladi right in my house, eating and enjoying himself.
She frown at his sight and couldn’t hide her displeasure.
Salami asked me as we entered the kitchen together.
“He was hungry and has not eaten since yesterday Salami, I have to give him something to eat” I replied Salami.
She scuffed out first before saying
“Is none of your business Miwa, whether he has not eaten for two days or two years is none of your business. He should be giving that complain to Santi, his royal highness and not you. He shouldn’t even be here at all. Ladi doesn’t deserve any mercy….not after what he did to you. Ladi is an ungrateful man and you should not be moved by his pitiful look and become kind to him. He deserve what he is reaping because he got himself into it. Miwa c’mon. What exactly were you thinking allowing him to come here, sit in your living room and eat your food. Do I need to remind you that this is the same man that you suffered so much for but he took it all for granted? He got another woman pregnant during the same time that you were also pregnant but asked you to abort yours because he doesn’t regard you and knows that whatever he asked of you…you will definitely do it. You aborted your child without knowing another woman was pregnant for him. He kept it all a secret and even when I noticed
Salami sounded so angry as she speak, igniting the fire again in me. I began to think about all that she was saying and she was not missing any word. Everything she said was very true.
The sadness and pain returned and as I try to walk back to the sitting room to check if Ladi was done eating I saw him by the kitchen door, he was carrying the empty plate which he used to eat.
He probably overheard everything that Salami said, because she did not tune down her voice. She was saying it out loud so that Ladi can also hear everything.
Ladi looks disheveled and his face has a worried sign.
He did not look at Salami, he look straight at me as I collected the plate from his hand.
Danladi does not pack his plate after eating. He leaves it right there. Is either I or the children that packs the plate for him. I almost burst out laughing when I saw him bringing the empty plate of food to the kitchen.
Ladi thanked me for the food before turning to Salami and said.
“Salami, I know Miwa is your friend but what you forgot to know is that she is still my wife. I know I wronged her in many ways but Miwa’s heart is not so hardened like you, please stop poisoning her mind towards me. I still love my wife…
Salami started laughing sarcastically. She clapped her two hands twice before saying.
“You are a wicked man Ladi. So because Miwa’s heart is penetrable you decided to take advantage of it and hurt her beyond repair. You shamelessly came back here to eat her food. I thought you and Santi were into fast foods and Miwa was not regarded in your sight. When do you start realizing that you love her? is it now that she has overfed you or before you got another woman pregnant, asked Miwa to get rid of her own…sold your big home, buys a car for Santi and squander the rest of the money without any considerate thought that Miwa needed help to take care of the children? When exactly did you realize that she is still your wife Ladi? I will keep saying it that you don’t deserve any mercy and if I was Miwa, I will so deal with you. I hate men like you and I thank God for the man I married because he will never try such with me. some of you men only takes advantage of vulnerable women and plays their heart to any direction that pleases you but you will never try such thing with me or with Santi because that will be digging your early grave…
Ladi replied back that he can never marry Salami’s type because she has a wild mouth and her husband must be suffering in silent.
Salami was provoked again and gave Ladi another round of painful dose.
“If you are not useless Ladi you won’t be in a woman’s kitchen arguing with me. My husband is a hardworking man. He is a good father and cares for his home. He probably does things I don’t know outside but he can never paint it to my face or bring it home. He respects me and the entire family. He loves his kids and will never ask me to do anything that will hurt my feeling like you asked Miwa to abort a God given baby and I thought you are worth the trouble, I encouraged Miwa to do as you said. I never knew that you are a mad man…
Ladi was provoked with Salami’s words. I asked Salami to stop, the whole insult was turning to something else.
Ladi walked out angrily and left the house.
Salami was laughing sarcastically and clapping her hands behind him in a dramatic style as he walks out.
I felt bad for him but he deserve everything that Salami said even though she said more than she supposed to have said.
Who wouldn’t be angry after seeing what Ladi did to me. I understand Salami’s anger perfectly well.
She was always there for me. She has lend me money several times without collecting it back. She buys gifts for my children and supports me in every way necessary. She knew that I will do much more for her if she was in my shoe.
I thought Ladi was not going to come back again after his clash with Salami but he was back after two weeks.
When I opened the door that Saturday afternoon, he stood with another swollen face.
“Please can I spend the weekend here? Santi gets worst with each passing day. She asked for money to organise a big birthday party for Zazi and I don’t have the amount she was asking for and that was my only offense. She became angry and it turn into violent. Please let me stay here for the weekend. I’m also very hungry….i have not eaten anything since today. I also hope your Friend, Salami won’t be coming around. Let me spend the weekend here and clear my head…..
He said with a pleading look and a little bag of cloth in his hand.
Ladi is taking advantage of the fact that is difficult for me to turn him down.
He knows if he act like a wounded or sad man I will come to his aid and can’t say “no” to him.
He has not even showed any sign of remorse for everything he put me through.
He only runs down here with a complain over Santi and I will open the door for him.
Maybe Salami is right.
Ladi’s money has gone down and he has no choice but to run back to me for help.
I stare at him, not knowing what to do. I don’t know if I should send him away back to Santi or to let him come in, feed him and allow him stay until the weekend is over.
I was indecisive as I stood outside my door looking at Ladi with a straight face.
It seems my place was becoming a safe haven for him, where he can always run to whenever Santi troubles him or when he want a homemade food.
“I will let you in, feed you and push you back out. You can’t stay here for the weekend Ladi. But I will be kind enough to give you something to eat.
He looked at me as if I was speaking Latin to his ears.
“I need a place to stay for the whole weekend Miwa and aside the food which I know I will eat to my satisfaction, I need to rest my aching head. Santi has being a pain on my neck lately, she does nothing for me rather to cause me pain. Look at what she did to me because I couldn’t provide the amount of money she needed for Zazi’s birthday party. I gave her what I can afford and yet is still not enough for her. You can’t turn me away now because I don’t have anywhere to go to and I can’t return to Santi. You are my only hope and escape from this Santi’s trouble. Miwa, I know you are kind and loving, don’t allow Salami or anybody to poison your heart towards me. I’m here to stay for the weekend and I know the real you will not cast me off. I have missed you too and I know you also miss me. Leave the way let me go inside and tidy up myself before settling down to eat. I’m really hungry Miwa. Let this weekend be the renewing or rekindling of your love for me. You are still my first wife and the mother of my kids. Let the past event remain in the past. Let us forget whatever happened and moved ahead with our lives. I certainly know that you will allow me to stay for the weekend and even more than that….
I scuffed out at his full boldness.
He sounded so sure that I will feed him and allow him to stay for the weekend. I smile as he talks with all certainty and boldness.
He mistake my smile and foolishly began to smile too thinking that his useless words was getting to me. He thought I’m still the same Miwa of years back.
Yes, I’m still Miwa but not the same woman that Ladi can command at his pleasure. I was previously moved to feed him and could have even change my mind to accommodate him for the weekend but his proud outburst to my face, the way he spoke, sounding so sure that I will always feed him and will never turn him away. Such dirty attitude of his makes me have a change of heart.
From smiling, I began to clap for him.
“Wow, what an interesting speech! Danladi are you done talking or you still have something else to say? Now listen to me, you see that same way that led you here…follow it back to Santi. Even a drop of water or grain of rice you will not get from me. Don’t mistake my kindness next time for weakness. I was kind to you before because is engraved in my nature but your prideful tongue makes me have a rethink. You can’t take advantage of my meekness Ladi. You wanted an obedient and respectful wife, I was one to you before but you changed your mind and wanted a woman that will be controlling and disrespecting you…Santi steps in to fill in that gap. Why are you still running back to me and calling me your only hope after your package is delivered? Ladi, let me ask you again…what exactly do you want? You disregard a humble and supportive wife and chose an action and disrespectful wife. Now, you are running right back to me and trying to use the same authoritative tone on me. Salami was very right when she said you are not only wicked you are very confuse. Get out of my pouch and go and continue with your royal highness. You are just reaping what you sowed and I can no longer help you. I wanted to help before but I have changed my mind. No room for you here and my food cost me money to prepare. You gave Santi money for food, and even money for a birthday party for her daughter and you ran down here to eat free food and sleep in my house? Get your ugly legs and face out of my face Ladi. You are nothing to me. You are just some servant boy I met at an early stage of my life and took pity on you and decided to show you kindness. I saved you from hunger and from your harsh master and joined hand to transform your life and gave it meaning but at the end you are back to being a servant boy and begging me for food and shelter. I can’t help you this time Ladi because you misused the opportunity that was given to you before. You played my heart like a football and trashed my love and kindness. You don’t deserve any mercy….get your wretched self out of here and stop coming to my house because is not a place for beggars.
I turned and went back inside.
Ladi was calling my name but I did not answer. I can hear him saying that he will not go anywhere until I let him inside and feed him.
He said he will even sleep outside my door if I don’t let him to come inside.
Ladi kept shouting my name and the children’s name but he was ignored totally.
My daughter was washing the dishes and my son was ironing cloths when I came in.
They knew their father was outside but none of them paid him any attention.
I went to my room and stayed there until night come. My daughter came inside my room to tell me that her Dad was still sitting outside the door and waiting for me to open up.
Is been over four hours, I did not believe until I went out of my room and check through the window.
Ladi lay on the cold tiles, outside my door waiting for me.
My daughter Maika said that I should please allow him to come inside and stay for the night but my second son Medi who was watching a movie in the sitting room refused.
“Dad is only acting up. He is just being dramatic. Dad knows that if he pulls such stunt you will feel pity and open up. Mom, he is taking your kindness for granted and he needs to realize the trouble he put you through after he abandoned us. I don’t totally hate him but he is not sorry for what he did to us. He needs to be sorry and sincerely apologies, that is the only way I will accept him fully as my father. I’m only nice to him all those times he comes around because of you Mom but I just have to speak my mind. I will soon be rounding up with my exams and going straight to the university, Dad is never involve in our lives and do not even know what stage we are in school. Kebi, is in his second year right now in university has Dad ever called him once to know how he is doing with school and life generally? Mom, please just leave him outside there, he needs time to think and realize his mistakes. He can’t come here all the time and be claiming father to us and husband to you when he doesn’t deserve such titles. God help me through but I will never keep a friend like my Dad or follow his bad footstep to hurt the people that I’m supposed to protect with my life…
My second son Medi amazed me with his words.
I think he was right and I saw the pain in his eyes as he speaks out. I squeezed his shoulder gently to calm him down.
I was planning on letting Ladi in for the night, I don’t want him to catch a flu outside the cold but he needs to realize that he can no longer penetrate through me.
He will suffer tonight and I will try to occupy my mind and not think much of him being outside there.
Within the night I couldn’t sleep. I keep going to take a peep at Ladi lying outside the door and fighting mosquitoes and cold.
He wrapped himself up with the cloth he came with.
I was so touched, I checked the time and it was just 12am. The time was so slow. I wish it was morning already so that I can finally let him in and serve him hot tea and even hot bath.
I wanted him to suffer but I don’t have the appetite or heart to really watch him suffer.
I stayed up most part of the night and did not know when I slept off in the siting room.
It was my daughter that woke me up the next morning.
When I woke up that morning the first thing that came to my mind was Ladi.
As I try to take a peep, my daughter told me that he was gone. She woke up that morning and did not see him there again.
When I opened the door and stepped outside, Maikah was right. Ladi was gone.
I don’t know how to feel about the whole thing but I try to wave it all off.
Within that week I did not see or hear from him.
The following week, while I was at my shop Ladi came. He knelt down right in front of my shop asking me to forgive him.
Passer-by were looking but he did not care. Ladi was crying. He had another plaster on his arm.
Ladi said he has truly wronged me and can see that my heart has become so hardened towards him. He pleaded and kept talking of all the ill things he did to me.
I blinked back tears severally and asked him to get up. He refused and said I must forgive him from deep within my heart if not he will remain exactly where he knelt.
I told him I have forgiven him. Ladi got up and after sometime he left.
He came back that same weekend, this time Kebi, my first son was around. He came in from school.
Ladi took the opportunity to ask his children for forgivenes. Kebi and Maika were not so difficult like Medi.
The children forgive there father but my second son’s heart was reserved and I try to talk to him. Ladi asked every one of them not to use his past mistake against him because he knows he doesn’t deserve to be their father. He sincerely pleaded to them and to Medi especially and eventually he let all the hatred and grudges to go.
I fed Ladi that evening. He asked me if he can stay for the night and I agreed.
We have only three rooms, the boys occupy one, my daughter has one and then I stay in one. There was no way I will ask Ladi to come and stay in the same room with me. Is too early and this will be his first night here.
When I asked him to sleep in the sitting room, I can see the disappointment in his face. I knew he wanted to come and stay in the same room with me but I wasn’t ready for that.
He did not argue, neither did he have a choice.
He slept in the parlour, I gave him blanket to cover up if he feels cold.
The following morning, I served him breakfast. He had his bath and waited till evening. I fed him all through the day before he finally left in the night.
When Salami visited my shop the following week, I told her that Ladi asked to be forgiven and was crying while kneeling down in front of my shop. I and the children have decided to let all the pain and trouble to go.
Salami began to laugh, she said those were crocodile tears that Ladi has not change.
“He just needed to escape from Santi so the only way to do that was to act up the “sorry” drama so that you and the kids can forgive him. Those were just crocodile tears and he knows that is the only way to get to your heart so that he can always come for free food and freedom from Santi”
I told Salami that she was wrong.
She said let’s watch and see if Ladi will not start asking me for money to boost his business again and asking for his food with authoritative voice when he finally moves into my house and he will also start coming back anytime he likes with the excuse of going over to see his second wife and his daughter. All those his old self will return is just a matter of time.
I hope Salami is wrong because i really hope Ladi has changed for real.
After one month, Ladi came asking me to loan him money so that he can boost his business which was gradually collapsing again.
This was exactly what Salami said he will do and I was moved to loan him the money but afraid because of the past incident.
I was always helping him to build but Ladi will go ahead and tear it down with his own hands or allow Santi to destroy the business while her own is moving on fine.
I have my fears as he sat in my sitting room after eating that evening and told me to kindly loan him the money and he will pay back later.