Read Chapter XXXI here.
Bisi arrived home from work at her usual late hour. She locked the front door and walked into the living room. The TV was on and her gaze fell on her sleeping husband. She sighed. She had texted informing him about her late return and that he shouldn’t wait up for her. She had hoped that he’d do just that. But a part of her knew he wouldn’t. He never had before. Ah well, she didn’t ask him to, did she? She took the remote and switched off the TV and the lights downstairs.
If he wants to sleep on the couch, that was his business, she thought as she walked towards the stairs. She heard a voice in her head urging her to wake her husband up but she shrugged it away. This is my moment, her mental voice spoke back. He should realize she didn’t really care about him anymore. With every step she took on the stairs, the voice in her head grew more persistent.
After all he has done to me, sleeping on the couch is the least punishment he deserves, she fought back. To distract herself from the voice which was getting louder in her ears, she practically ran up the stairs and entered the bedroom. She undressed and entered the bathroom for a shower. She closed her eyes to allow her mind cool down along with her body and images of her and Fiifi flashed in her mind. Her eyes snapped open. She didn’t need a flashback of those moments. But the harder she fought back the memories, the more the images of their happy moments kept flashing in her mind’s eye. When she gave up and opened her eyes, the images felt even more real.
“Oh God, I know it’s you and I know why you’re doing this but I’m not ready!” She felt herself panting after shouting to the shower walls. She quickly finished up and got out of the shower. She stared at her image in the mirror as she dried herself and instantly, images of her and Fiifi goofing around in the bathroom flashed in her mind. She could hear the sound of her own giggles as Fiifi tickled her when she was brushing her teeth. She covered her ears hoping that would drown out the sound but it didn’t help. Images of her shaving Fiifi’s chin brought tears in her eyes.
“He’s the one who did something wrong. Why am I the one suffering? This is mental torture and it’s not fair!” After pampering her body with talcum powder, she wore her nightie and got into bed.
Go wake up your husband, the voice spoke again. Bisi tried to ignore it by reciting her bedtime prayer but it was pointless. She lost her line of thought halfway in the prayer and she sighed.
“I’m a good woman that he’s still living here. Someone would have driven him out! What damage would sleeping on the couch do to him except a neck and backache which would only last for twenty four hours? He at least deserves that!”
Forgive him as I have forgiven you, the voice pressed.
“It’s just been a week! How can a week suffice for six years of deceit? This isn’t fair,” Bisi moaned.
She was tired and needed her sleep but it seemed she wasn’t going to catch any if she kept this up. Fighting her Father was pointless. She knew she’d lose but she wanted to drag it some minutes longer. But only she stood to lose. God doesn’t sleep, her husband was already asleep downstairs and she was the only one being deprived of hers. She sat up and shook her head.
“You owe me one,” she said as she pointed her index finger skywards. She wore the matching coat and stepped out of the bedroom. She yawned as she descended the stairs. She tapped Fiifi’s shoulder. He didn’t wake up. She tapped him again, this time a bit harder. He grunted.
“Fii, wake up.” She shook him.
“I told you not to wait up for me.” He looked around him. He seemed lost.
“Let’s go upstairs,” Bisi said in an exhaustive tone. He got up. He walked around the couch toward her. Her vision had adjusted to the darkness but his hadn’t. She held him by the wrist and led him upstairs.
If he stumbles, I won’t pick him…Bisi yelped as she missed a step. Fiifi held her just in time. She couldn’t believe what had just happened. God was on her husband’s side tonight and she had no idea why. The joke was on her. Very funny, she thought, unamused.
“Thanks,” she said and pulled out of his arms around her middle. They entered the bedroom and they both laid down. Bisi felt the sleep mood vanishing. She closed her eyes.
“I did what you wanted. Please grant me peaceful sleep…” A cool breeze passed over her eyes and she fell asleep.
She woke up thirty minutes before the alarm. She went downstairs to pray. After having her quiet time, she began praying for the family. She prayed for the children and herself. She didn’t want to pray for her husband and she found her spirit struggling. Whenever she wanted to pray for herself some more, she ended up mentioning Fiifi’s name. She’d stop herself and start again. But her tongue kept rolling out his name against her will. She gave up and prayed for him as well.
“You’re not going to let me enjoy my revenge, are you?” she said out loud after saying her Amen.
After breakfast, she told Fiifi to take the lead with the kids as she had to take care of some things before leaving. As Fiifi approached the front door, a voice spoke in Bisi’s ear, ‘you better join him because your car battery isn’t going to work.’ She groaned.
“Um…Fii, I think I’ll just join you. I can do what I need to do from work,” she said.
“Oh okay.” Happy now? She shot back as she took her bag and left the house.
“You seem angry with yourself. Is everything okay?” Fiifi observed. Bisi had pouted her lips and had her arms crossed.
“Something up at work?”
Fiifi decided to leave her alone. Something was bothering her and she wasn’t telling. He pressing her would just make her explode. And he was trying his possible best to stay clear of her explosive side. He pulled over at her workplace.
“See you…” The door had slammed and she was already walking away from him.
“Later?” What was wrong with her? Didn’t she sleep well, he wondered as he drove away.
After church service on Sunday, Bisi walked up to her pastor to thank him for visiting her at the hospital.
“Bisi, my daughter!”
“Daddy.” He put his arm around her neck briefly.
“You look better.”
“Yeah, by God’s grace. Fiifi told me you passed by.”
“I did. I was expecting a call from you.”
“I did call your office. Your secretary said you were in a meeting. And I forgot to call back. I’m sorry.”
“It’s all right. It’s good to see you this well. Let’s go to my office. I’ve a message for you.”
“You do?” She asked as she followed him. He opened the door and entered. She closed the door behind her.
“Yes, God gave me a word to give to you.”
“Ha.” She put on a tight smile.
“Have a seat. It looks like you already know what I’m about to say.”
“Not really,” she said nervously as she sat.
“How are things between you and your husband?”
“We are ok,” she replied, keeping her eyes down.
“When you were at the hospital, he told me you two had a huge fight. Have you been able to resolve it.”
“We’re…working on it.”
“All right. God asked me to tell you to forgive.” No surprise there, she thought.
“Forgive?” she asked, feigning bafflement.
“Yes, Bisi. Forgive. Let go of what you’re holding on to within you.”
“He doesn’t deserve it.”
“What? He doesn’t deserve your forgiveness?”
“What he did…”
“Do you deserve God’s forgiveness, Bisi?” Bisi stopped talking and blinked.
“No one does but God’s grace abounds for us all.”
“I know… that we’ve all sinned and have fallen short and all that. But what he did and how long it has been…just a week isn’t long enough to exact some…”
“Retribution? Is that what you want?” Bisi sighed.
“Nothing you do would make you feel the hurt any less. It’s better to let it go.”
“I know but not right now. God’s not being fair to me.”
“Oh he’s being more than fair, my dear Bisi. He knows your heart and he doesn’t want you to contaminate it with bitterness and resentments. He just wants to preserve your pure heart. If you hold such grudges in your heart, how do you expect Him to listen to your prayers?”
“I do pray for him.”
“Great. You still love him, don’t you?”
“Do you or don’t you? Do you want to make things right or not?”
Bisi’s phone vibrated. She looked at it. She got up.
“He’s looking for me. I have to go.”
“Sit down, Bisi.” She sat down. Why was she going through this? The door opened and Fiifi’s head popped in.
“Pastor? Oh here you are. Was wondering where you had gone.”
“Why don’t you come in for a minute, Mr. Pratt?” Bisi shot him a sharp glance. He nodded understandably. Fiifi entered and closed the door. He sat next to Bisi.
“Since you told me about your issues with Bisi, how are things right now?”
“We’re okay…we’re working it out,” Fiifi replied, glancing at his wife. The pastor smiled. There was hope.
“Good to know. Why don’t you hold hands whiles I pray for you?”
They both hesitated.
“Hold hands.” They turned to face each other and held hands.
“Tighter, Bisi,” the pastor pressed. Bisi could feel her face heating up.
“Heavenly Father, I thank you for the covenant of matrimony that binds your son, Fiifi and daughter, Bisi together. I pray that you will hold their hearts together, heal every wound, mend every brokenness and renew their love for each other. Protect their home from every attack from the evil one and bless them with your abundant riches in Jesus’ name, Amen.”
“Amen.” They drew their hands away. The pastor wore a huge grin on his face.
“You two may leave now. May God be with you.”
“And with you too.”
“Thank you, pastor,” Fiifi said as they shook hands.
“Take care, Bisi.” Bisi forced a smile.
“You too, daddy.” Fiifi opened the door for Bisi to walk out first. Fiifi turned to look at the pastor who nodded. He nodded back and left.
“Are you okay?” Fiifi asked when they drove out of the church’s premises.
“Yeah, I’m good.”
“Daddy, you promised we’d eat out after church today,” Ewuresi reminded him.
“Uh huh.” Fiifi glanced at Bisi.
“You don’t mind, right?” She shrugged.
“Mummy please don’t be a buzzkill,” Kukuaa said.
“I’m not. If you want to, it’s fine with me.”
“Yay!” Nhyira exclaimed.
“You are the sweetest!” Ewuresi said as she leaned forward and kissed her mother on the cheek. A smile crept up her face.
“And she smiled! That has been missing for a while.” Bisi chuckled.
“You look beautiful when you smile,” Fiifi said. Bisi glared at him. He mimicked zipping up his lips. She rolled her eyes. Her time for payback had just run out and she didn’t feel amused about that at all.
(c) Josephine Amoako 2016
Read Chapter XXXIII here.