Now it was Saturday morning and as he dressed for his outing to a workshop organized by his company for its executives in all states of the federation, he thought about Bobby Tamor, his good friend, who he was sure would be at the workshop. Since Bobby was transferred to another state and branch of the company some months after Steve’s wedding, the two good friends have not had the opportunity to see each other physically and have their usual long gist. They have only conversed via phones and other electronic communication devices.
Steve could not really understand why he was so cold about seeing Bobby and why he had thought about their physical meetings since the day Bobby confirmed to him, through the phone, that he would be coming for the workshop. He could not understand why he had to think about this all through the night leading to that morning. He wondered whether he has any good report to give to Bobby about his wife, his home, and marriage. He could not figure out what he had to tell a friend who warned him about his weird choice to get married to a weird and notorious prostitute? Though Bobby later supported his decision but he was sure that support was not born out of a genuine conviction of his belief in the step he wanted to take at that time. Well, he had gone fully into it and he is just wondering why he is so cold to see Bobby physically.
He observed how Bobby had avoided any talk about his marriage and wife anytime they talk on the phone. He knew that was a mature decision from his good friend. He has respected his decision and have kept issues about his marriage from their discussions on phone for the past two years and since Bobby was transferred out of Lagos. But can both of them hold onto their no-marriage talk resolutions when they meet physically at the workshop? He was sure they wouldn’t have the strength to do that this time around as it was with their phone conversations. Phones, he said to himself. And other electronic devices, no matter how they have turned our world into a global village, cannot be compared to the physical conversation when two long-term friends meet each other after months of separation.
Bobby has been a good friend to Steve since they met during their final year in the university. After school, they maintained the friendship and contact during the compulsory national youth service corps program where they served in different states of the federation. As the forces that keep such friendship intact would have it, they got a job on the same day in the same company after their youth service program ended. Both worked for two years in the same office before Bobby was transferred to another state of the federation. It has been a long, happy friendship and Steve was sure they would have a lot to talk about when they meet at the workshop. He only hoped they would leave the issue of his marriage out of their discussion as they had done with their phone conversations.
He went out of his flat through the back door. His wife and their one -year old son neatly and well placed on her chest were waiting for him beside the car.
“Did you,” his wife said, smiling at him. “Find the document?”
“Oh yes,” he replied.” I got it. I left the file on a table in the kitchen.”
“Don’t mind me, dear.”
Steve stretched out his hand signifying that Serena hand over his son to him which she hurriedly did. “Tammy,” he said smiling at his son. “I’ll miss you.”
“So you’ll miss only your son.”
“Oh, I’m sorry dear. I’ll miss both of you.”
“Take care of yourself and my baby.” Steve said handing over the baby to his wife.
Steve looked at his wristwatch and rushed into the car, started the engine, and looked through the window to say a final goodbye to his wife and son. He pressed the throttle and drove out of the compound.
As he drove through the ever-busy Lagos road, his heart contracted when he remembered again what he had to give as a report to his good friend, Bobby when they have the opportunity to talk and gist. He shook his head and as he navigated the car through a difficult bend, he told himself that it is always possible to navigate yourself out of difficult situations in life as he had just done with the car. He just did it with the car; he can do it again when he meets Bobby that day.
Come, he said to himself. To think of it, it has not really been a gloomy situation all through. At least, I still have some sweet stories to tell. Though there have been many unfavorable events and situations but I’m happy for some sweet events too, he said in his mind.
I, he thought. Wonder how I’ve been able to handle those gory situations. The many stormy arguments that have almost crumbled our young home. The embarrassing event at Abuja during our honeymoon. The visit of Serena to Allen Avenue while I was away and the collection of a gift from Tara’s whore friend. The unfortunate sinful meeting of Serena with her childhood friend, Charles and how Serena threw all caution to the wind to have a sexual affair with Charles in a hotel. That last thought sent some shivers down his body and some pains into his heart. He was angry with his mind for bringing that last event to his mind again.
“I,” his mind said to him. “Thought you’ve moved over that.”
“Yeah,” Steve said. “But it’s painful.”
“But you moved over that.” his mind reminded him.
“Yes I did but how do you expect me to totally take that out of me. It’s horribly painful.”
“You have to and you need to.”
“You need to constantly get yourself drenched in the water of love you have for her.”
“Yeah,” Steve replied his mind.
“I’ve got to. Yeah! I’ve got to forget the fact that she hid this from me for months. Yeah, I’ve got to forget the fact that it only took the discovering of a secret love email sent from Charles to her to know the truth. I’ve got to forget the fact that our visit and education at the counselor’s office did nothing to stop my lovely wife from committing adultery. I’ve to forget the fact that it took me many days to stop doubting the true ownership of her pregnancy when she told me she was pregnant three months after the Charles issue…”
“Common.” his mind cuts him short.
“You’ve got to forget all these. Remember that love covers multitudes of sin.”
Steve drove into Palmas hotel where the workshop was going to take place. As he tried to pack his car following the direction of the hotel’s traffic controller, he thought, At least, I still have some good results to show and I believe that should form the report I’ll give my good friend, Bobby if eventually, our discussion goes toward that direction. He concluded in his mind.
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