Short story Saturday #1: Talk to Me

 

Talk to me is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real places are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places and events are products of the author’s imagination, and any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information, address the author.

Copyright © 2020 OmoobaJesu Adetunji



 

“Can we at least talk?” Segun asks his wife as she hurriedly keeps parking her bags. She says no. She actually shouts it but her voice breaks and now she is crying.

“Please Peju, I’m sorry. Please don’t go. Where will you go?” He always hates it when his wife cries. He stood there not knowing what to do. She had said that he not touch or move close to her. That this was not one of their arguments that could be ended with a hug or kiss or empty promises. She had never said things like this to him before. This made him afraid. More so now because it seemed she was done packing and was set to leave. Their children were with her parents for the weekend. Peju and him were suppose to take some time out to resolve their issues but it all backfired and spiralled down faster than Segun could wrap his head around.
“You never listen to me. You don’t love me. I’m not doing this anymore.” Peju was saying, out of breath, looking for her car keys.

“Please… please, we’re ministers in church Peju. How do we explain this?” Segun had said without thinking, hoping that that would bring her back to her senses but when he saw the look on her face he knew it had done the opposite.

“Church? Seriously? That’s what you’re thinking about right now? You are always all about keeping up appearances. But what is really going on inside Olusegun” She was poking his chest with her index finger, spraying his face with droplets of saliva as she spoke. “Now the whole world will see”

“I’m sorry.”

“You’re not” she responded sharply.

But he was. He was sorry, for disconnecting from her for so long, for grieving and forgetting he had a wife. He just wanted to be alone. He just needed time. Why couldn’t she see that? But he was wrong, he knew that now and he was sorry. He didn’t want to loose his family too.

“Ife mi, please… I don’t want you to go. I want our marriage to work.” Peju storms out of the bedroom like she is in the wrong place and Segun follows. She sits on the settee in the living room and buries her face in her palms. Her shoulders heaving from sobbing.

“I want us to work, I know I’ve been a jerk but…” He swallows saliva “I didn’t know how to handle my grandmother dying like that, she was like a mother to me, you know that. I know you can’t fully understand how much but…. that woman taught me everything I know… I just couldn’t believe a random bike could hit her and she’d be gone. I always thought I’d be prepared to lose her” He knelt beside his weeping wife. His heart broken. “I know it was wrong to ignore you and the kids and everyone and throw myself into work. I know you had your own share of life going on and I wasn’t there… I just needed time.”

It was true that Mama Tiwa was a treasure, even to Peju. She too had mourn her loss for several weeks, little did she know she was at the brink of losing her husband too for many months.

Mama was Segun’s sweetheart. She particularly raised him, his mother had died when he was just a toddler. With Baba Segun remarrying not long after under suspicious circumstances, Mama had feared her grandson would be maltreated. She had cared for him, loved him ferociously and been there for him all his life. He lived with her until he graduated from university. He often spoke about getting her a better place to live but Mama declined at every mention. He blamed himself for her death. Peju knew this, still, she had not expected her husband to transform into a mute box right before her eyes. It was a nightmare. She wanted to understand but she was frazzled.

“You can’t take breaks from your family Segun” she finally blurted out after a long pause.

“I know… I know that now.” Segun dropped his head.

“It’s been over seven months.”

“I know, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, you don’t know how sorry I am.” Peju finally looked him in the eye and she could see he was on the verge of tears.

“I just wanted to be there for you, and you didn’t let me. Why get married if you want to handle you pains alone?” she sniffed “And to make matters worse you relate with everyone outside this house so well, always smiling, always greeting everybody. At some point I thought you were mad. I was really scared Segun.”

“I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you I just… I didn’t know how to share.”

“That’s what you did just now…you just need to talk to me. I’m your wife.” She reached to touch his face.

He nodded and smiled “so you’re not leaving?”

“No, I’m not. I’m not leaving. Tell me everything.”

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