Dapo knew he was going to beat his wife again; as much as he hates his action, he felt his wife always call for it. Although he knew that wasn’t enough excuse for beating a woman, his temperament had been the issue even before they got married. A lot of people still marvel at how they both ended up getting married even when it was apparent that their marriage won’t be harmonious; a clear case of two, unlike minds, tying the knot.
Rita had always been a loving wife and mother to her husband and children, but her impatience, rebellious and stubborn attitude has cost the marriage a lot of hassle. She works with a telecommunication company and earns a good wage as the overall head even at her early 30s, but her marriage is definitely ‘on a cooking gas boiling and scorching in search of rescue.’ Her children Moyin and Tade attend the best school in the country, and they are academically vibrant. Dapo graduated with a First Class from Harvard University; he also finished top of his class in the law school before furthering with a Ph.D. He works with an oil company owned by his late father as the head of the legal department, and also the chairman board of directors.
“I hate to hit you Rita, but you seem to be getting used to this, even while I try to avoid a fight, you will always call for it, I’m tired of this marriage, I’m so tired.”
Rita was sweating copiously; she held the shirt of her husband tight in her hands closely looking and drifting in anger, “your mates treat their wives like queens while you turned me into a punching bag, I gave you two lovely kids Dapo, and all I get is your fist and not your kiss. I’m so tired of this marriage Dapo, and I can’t continue like this no more”. She screamed while drops of tears and sweat roll down her cheek.
Dapo’s father was a Senator in the fourth republic, a well-educated and influential man who nearly had it all. His wife retired as a senior advocate, before venturing into business. Rita’s mom brought her up as a single mother; her husband died of diabetes while Rita was just three years of age, a childhood friend of Senator William; Dapo’s Dad.
Everyone in their neighbour-hood knew the marriage between Dapo and Rita was meant to seal the friendship between the two families. They never deemed it necessary to acknowledge their differences; no one considered the up-bring of the two personalities in discuss and the suitability of the marriage eventually. The two families were solely concerned with the bonding and the eventual interest therein.
“This marriage has been hell for me; I wish I have a place to go every day after work. I love our kids Rita, but your attitude towards this marriage has cost me a lot. I don’t care anymore of the effect our divorce will have on my kids, family, and businesses, I think my happiness will have to come first eventually. I hope my kids will understand the kind of mother they have and how beastly she is” Replied Dapo.
Rita went haywire, she tore her husband’s shirt and pulled his tie harder to hurt him; she was almost choking him. Dapo, on the other hand, gave her the beating of her life, the kind he has never dished out before. The maids, gardener, and gatekeeper were at the door-step helpless, they were used to this scenario and wouldn’t do anything to help rather than to listen and gossip about it. There were several occasions they had to rush their madam to the hospital for treatment after Dapo must have severely injured her with his fist.
Rita was right on the floor crying; her left arm was seriously hurting her. Dapo went into his room, freshened up and left the house; he left for his office as there were a lot of voice messages on his phones. There was supposed to be a board meeting slated for 12 noon; he would anchor the meeting in place of his friend Chris who traveled to London to see his family.
After several hours of wailing and sobbing, Rita called Doctor Benson (their family Doctor) to come to examine her arm in the house; she also needs to be in Abuja for a vital meeting slated for the afternoon. After the check-up, the doctor prescribed some drugs to relieve her of the pains. She took the pills and headed for the airport to board a scheduled flight to Abuja.
“I wonder why you haven’t sued him, Rita, you are his legal wife and not a punching bag, this is getting out of hand my daughter, I’m your mother and I say you should divorce him before he kills you. I know you have your blame in this, but a nobleman should never raise his hands to hit his wife; no matter the circumstance”. Said Rita’s Mom; while on a telephone conversation with her daughter.
Rita told her driver to reduce the volume of the car stereo to hear her mom whom she was on a telephone conversation with.
“I’ve tolerated Dapo for 12 years Mom; my kids are my priority, I don’t want them to grow up with the hurt of a broken home. They will be back from school today for the long holiday; I don’t want to give them any reason not to enjoy their long break. I will come to Ikoyi when I’m back from Abuja to see you. I will as well inform my Lawyer to serve him the divorce paper as soon as possible. I’m done with Dapo. See you soon mom.” She hung up the phone leaving her mom pondering. It wasn’t her first time of issuing such threat, and she was sure it wouldn’t be the last. Countless times, she had threatened to divorce Dapo, but none had happened. It, however, got her mom worried.
Dapo got to his office behind schedule; he was late
for the meeting, his colleagues and business associates were all seated when he
arrived at the conference room. His face was filled with stress; it was
apparent he wasn’t composed.
Earlier, on his way to the office, he got a call from his twelve years old daughter; Moyin, his Assistant handed him the phone knowing it was from his daughter:
Dapo: Hello Daddy’s Heartbeat (with a fake smile)
Moyin: Dad, where are you, I just finished speaking with Mom, and she seems not happy at all,
Dapo: Baby, Daddy is on his way to the office, he has a business to attend to as soon as possible, and a lot of people are waiting for daddy, can we discuss this when am done with the meeting?
Moyin: Alright, but she said a man hurt her arm so badly, where were you dad when a man was hurting my mom, she was crying while I was speaking with her on the phone dad, why?
Dapo was short of words; he was silent for several seconds, lost in his thought. Despite his terrible habit, his children had never witnessed any of their fights, except the scars that resulted from it.
Moyin: Dad, are you there?
Dapo: Yes Heartbeat, I will do something about it. Whoever hurt your mom will pay dearly for it. I love you baby, and I will call you when am through with the meeting, say me well to your brother, okay?
Moyin: Love you too Dad.
She hung up.
Dapo felt so ashamed; his eyes were filled with tears. He knew his wife loved him, and his kids, he couldn’t envisage losing his family. He was conversely lost in his thoughts that he never knew when they got the office.
This was why his face was filled with pain and stress when he got into the conference room.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m so sorry for coming this late, I’m currently not feeling too well, and I hope you will all excuse me while Dr. Frank take charge of the meeting with my acquiescence” He left the conference room along-side his Assistant and Secretary; they all headed for his office.
It was as if nothing happened between the two of them
when Dapo got back home that evening, Dapo was warmly welcomed by his wife as
soon as he stepped out of the car, she took his office bag and gave him a
welcome kiss, even the maids, and gatekeeper marveled at the latest
development. They knew the fight would be settled eventually, but they never
expected it so fast even when none of their family members had come to
intercede or mediate.
“Welcome honey, I had to come back home early to take care of the kid’s room and prepare the house for their arrival, I haven’t made dinner yet, but I intend to make your favourite and am sure you will love it” said Rita, who held her husband’s hand so tight like they were newly married. Dapo was scared and worried; afraid of what his Wife might be up to, and as well worried as to what awaits him in the supposed meal. The last time she made him his favourite dish was when he got promoted in his office. So many thoughts run through his mind as they both walked into their big living room.
Dapo was surprised to see his children waiting for him in the living room. His ten years son; Tade; his son, ran towards him and embraced him with all happiness while his daughter Moyin stood still with a sad face, Dapo walked straight to her still holding Tade’s hand, Rita stood at a corner enjoying the view of her family, her face was filled with smiles. “Why is Daddy’s heartbeat not happy to see daddy?” he asked. Moyin walked towards her mom and stood by her, “Why didn’t you come pick us in school when you knew mom was supposed to be resting at home as a result of what happened earlier today?” Dapo was scared; he looked into his wife’s eyes briefly, thinking she already told Moyin what happened between them. “What happened to your Mom earlier in the day Heartbeat?” Dapo gently but curiously asks. Moyin held Rita’s left arm, “A man did this to my mom and you haven’t arrested him, Dad, seriously?” She asked.
Dapo’s face was filled with relief. He held Moyin’s hand, “I will do something about it, and your mom will be fine.” He replied.
Moyin has the brains of her father, very outspoken and effervescent; she usually gets the most exceptional commendation in her school and most times as their overall best student, not just in learning, but also character.
Rita went straight into the kitchen to make dinner for her family, her face was filled with happiness for reasons best known to her, and meanwhile, Dapo was still confused as to why his wife acted so well like nothing happened between them earlier in the day, he was so troubled in his conscience even while he took a shower. His son was with him in his bedroom telling him how much fun he had in school while her daughter was with his wife in the kitchen helping her out with dinner.
“Moyin, let’s finish our game before dinner is ready”
called Tade. They were both playing Play-station before their father’s arrival,
and the game had been on hold since he got home. Moyin heeded to the call; she
ran out of the kitchen to join her brother in the living room to finish up
their game. Dapo joined his wife in the kitchen with the hope of apologizing
for the earlier fight. He was sober and apologetic when he got to her in the
kitchen; since the kids were busy playing a video game in the living room.
“Honey, I know I wronged you earlier in the day, I was wrong to have hit you with my hands in whatever circumstances, I wish this will stop, and I want to lose neither you nor the kids to this bad habit of mine, find a place in your heart to forgive me please” said Dapo. Rita’s face was filled with joy; she left what she was doing, moved closer to her husband, held his hand and knelt right in front of him while she speaks. “Dapo, you are my husband, I love you and I love my kids more, losing my family is not my prayer, we both have to work on our temper and attitude towards this marriage, I want this relationship to work, and I will do my best to make sure it does. I forgive you already, and I hope you can forgive me too because we both played roles in every fight we had. I love you so much Adedapo”. Dapo pulled her up, kissed her deeply and hugged her. “I will never hurt you again Rita,” He quietly said.
Meanwhile, Dapo earlier dropped his phone on the
freezer in the kitchen; an Infinix android phone which had been ringing in a
low volume all the period they were trying to make up. They were too carried
away to notice or hear the phone rang. Rita saw it while she was in Dapo’s arm;
her face changed while she reached for the ringing telephone, slowly pulling
herself out of her husband’s arms. The caller seems to be the same reason they
fought earlier in the day, Linda; Dapo’s mistress.
“Dapo, not again, you are still seeing this hell of a girl, I knew this sweet moment of ours wouldn’t last, you’ve barely spent an hour with your family Adedapo, she wants you to come, she is calling you to come to spend your time with her,” she asked. Dapo tried to explain, but she preempted him, looking so furious, and disappointed. “Can’t you control this thing in-between your legs? And I thought you promised to stop seeing her, you promise never to allow her issue come up in this house again, you also promised to end whatever is between you two” said Rita, pointing at Dapo tight in a dramatic way. Rita held the phone and redialed the number with whatsoever intention she had. Dapo dashed at her and tried to collect the phone from her, but Rita wouldn’t give it up. Meanwhile, Tade and her elder sister; Moyin were busy playing a video game in the living room; when Tade took the excuse to take a pack of juice from the refrigerator in the kitchen for their refreshment.
“You are hurting my arms Adedapo, I won’t give you the
phone, let me speak some sense into her head, and I’ve been acting a fool all
this while, enough is enough,” Rita said, while she drags the phone with
her husband in the kitchen. The hurt seems too much for her, and she was
getting irritated at the way in which Dapo held her left arms with the intent
of getting the mobile phone from her. Out of rage, Rita charged and threw the
phone at the kitchen wall, but it only hit her son; Tade’s forehead. The force
was much, and the damage cannot be less; he was only ten years old with soft
skin and brittle algidity. The poor little boy fell on his back, hitting his
head again on the floor. Within a few seconds, he was in a pool of his blood.
It was Dapo who rushed to pull him up; Rita fainted on the spot. “Tade!” Dapo screamed. Moyin heard her dad’s voice; she left the gamepad and rushed towards the kitchen. She was initially dumb folded, scared and restless at the site of his lifeless little brother, she eventually screamed at the top of her voice. Dapo picked him up with the intention of rushing him down to the hospital, but the little boy didn’t make it; he died right inside his Dad’s car before the gateman could open up the gate.
It was like the end of the world for him. His daughter; Moyin was seriously sobbing while his wife Rita was in the kitchen near-dead. The world was over for him, he had no other person to blame than himself, and he wept copiously like a baby.
“Boss, it’s past 5 pm sir,” called a female tone of
voice that sounded like Dapo’s secretary; the meeting is over, and your
daughter had been calling your private line and the office lines numerous
times. She is currently online two sir, and she insists on speaking with you.
Dapo opened his eyes sweating profusely; he saw his secretary and the official
driver attached to him, his office line won’t stop ringing, then he realized it
was all a dream. He slowly stood up from his chair, walked towards the ringing
telephone to answer it.
“Dad, is that you?” Asked Moyin before her dad should say a word. “I tried reaching you since we got back from school, Tade is here with me, and mom is preparing your favourite in the kitchen, come home quickly dad, I can’t wait to see you. I love you” She hung up the phone.
Dapo sat back on his chair for a brief period with relief written all over his face, he packed his laptop computer and all necessary files he might need for the night, his secretary picked up his, and they all walked out of the office.
It was actually as if nothing happened between the Rita and Dapo when he got back home that evening; he drove himself home. Dapo was warmly welcomed by his wife as soon as he stepped out of the car, she took his bags and gave him a welcome kiss, even the maids, and gatekeeper wondered at what they saw; they weren’t expecting such a warm welcome from Rita after what her husband did to her earlier in the day.
“Welcome my husband; I had to go pick the kids in school for their holiday, take care of their room and make them lunch. I am making dinner already, your favourite and am sure you will love it” said Rita, who held her husband’s hand so tight like they were newly married. Dapo was nervous and bothered; he was scared of the unknown; almost the same way it happened in his dream. The last time she made him his favourite dish was when he got promoted in his office.
Dapo wasn’t surprised to see his children waiting for him in the living room. His twelve years old daughter; Moyin, ran to welcome him with smiles while his son, Tade, stood still with a sad face. Dapo walked straight to him, Rita stood at a corner enjoying the view of her family, and her face was filled with smiles and enthusiasm. “May I know why my only son is not happy to see me?” he asked. Tade walked towards her mom and stood by her, “Why didn’t you come pick us in school when you knew mom was supposed to be resting at home as a result of what happened earlier today? I was with Moyin when she called you this morning,” Dapo wasn’t scared of what his wife might or might not have told the kids, he was actually scared of the reoccurring events, like a déjà’vu; he walked closer to his wife and whispered “Honey, there won’t be any fighting, argument or dragging of whatsoever in this house again”.
“What happened to your Mom earlier in the day Heartbeat?” Dapo gently and curiously asked. Tade held mom’s right hand, “A man did this to our mom; your wife dad, and you haven’t arrested him already, Dad, seriously?” She asked. Dapo was almost going insane; his wife noticed he was restless and nervous.
His face was filled with uncertainty. He walked back
to his wife and spoke more clearly and audibly; he was sweating profusely
“Rita Otoide, there won’t be any fight, argument or dragging of whatsoever
in this house again.” He slowly walked into his room.
Rita was confused; she hasn’t seen her husband in such
a state of mind since they’ve been married. “Mom, check what’s on fire, I
am starving,” said Moyin.
Rita went straight into the kitchen; her face was filled with excitement for reasons best known to her, but still couldn’t figure out why her husband acted so weird in front of the kids.
Dapo was not bothered as to why his wife acted as nothing happened between them earlier in the day, he was only troubled in his mind because of the way events were unfolding and knowing well how it ended in his dream earlier at the office.
The kids were at the living room playing a video game;
he could hear the sound from the television right inside his room. He took his
bath and sat down on the bed with the intention of not leaving the room until
dinner is served.
Rita quietly opened the door; she saw her husband seated on the bed half naked, she was surprised because she knew how much he loved to play video games with the kids. However, she came into his room for a purpose, and she intends to fulfill it. She strolled towards him, knelt right in front of him and held his two hands. “Honey, I know I wronged you earlier in the day, I was wrong to have provoked you, on no circumstances should I suffocate you with your shirt or use abusive words at you. I wish this will stop and I don’t want to lose my family to this bad habit, find a place in your heart to forgive me please” She said.
Dapo stood up more scared; he reached for his mobile
phone leaving his wife on her knees. He opened up his phone contact, gently
searched for Linda’s number, and he deleted it. He dropped the phone, moved
closer to his wife, held her hands and pulled her up. “There won’t be any fight
in this house again” He pulled her up, kissed her deeply and hugged her. “I
will never hit you again no matter what you do wrong, I love you” He quietly
said, holding her in a deep kiss. The kids came into the room unannounced. Dapo
held his family together in a big embrace with the words in his mouth, “I
love my family, I love my wife.”
Meanwhile, he wore his clothes and took his family out for a sweet treat in a fancy restaurant unconsciously leaving his phone behind. His phone kept ringing with no one to answer it; it was a strange number, not stored on the phone book.
Osadola Oluwaseun Samuel