“Kunle!” Shola called frantically, breezing towards her husband who was sitting and smiling at the TV screen, obviously enjoying the film playing before him.
“Kunle!!” she repeated, closing in on him. “You want to pretend you didn’t hear me calling you abi?” She planted her left hand to her hip and began bouncing angrily on one knee.
Kunle rolled his eyes up at her petite frame, hovering over him.
“Who is Jane?!” she demanded, holding his cellphone down to his face.
Kunle instantly regretted leaving that text undeleted. He had nothing to hide, but with his wife, he had every cause to be anxious over nothing.
“She’s a nurse at the clinic” he explained, switching his eyes off her face, and back to the TV screen.
She shifted her body to completely block his view. Kunle’s eyes were forced to look back up at her fuming face. “I just told you” he said.
“So why would she be asking you if you got home safe, what is her business?!”
He could see it in her eyes, that darkening that meant something awful was about to happen, and it scared him. It always scared him. Just a few inches above his wife, Kunle stood at 5 foot 5inches. He didn’t have a heavy chest nor buff arms. He was a slender man with arms that matched his physique. His movements were slow, almost deliberate, and so was his speech.
“I’m asking you!”
“Look, I’m not cheating on you Shola” Kunle said as he already knew what she was insinuating.
“Then take this phone and ask her never to text our home again” she commanded, “take it!”
He didn’t flinch.
An angry Shola dropped forward, snatched his wrist and made to shove the Apple device into his palm. He clenched his fingers into a fist against the small phone, she tried roughly to loosen them but his grip was stronger.
“Kunle, you better take this phone and call that woman” she hissed, straightening back up to her feet.
He could see her heart jogging against her small breasted chest. He had learned to keep still in times like these for there was no telling what she would do next.
“Kunle take this phone one!, take this phone two!!….”
He didn’t move but their eyes held each other’s in anticipation.
She pulled her hand backwards and flung the phone against the screeded wall. It first smacked against the wall then bounced to the floor in a light thud. Kunle’s heart skipped a beat.
His eyes followed her as she stomped towards the fallen phone. She raised her feet and trampled the broken screen, squashing it to fragments.
Kunle’s heart skipped a beat.
She looked over her shoulders at a blank Kunle, hissed loudly and dashed towards their bedroom.
Reconstructive surgery was an uncommon practice in Nigeria, the word itself was linked mainly with foreign countries and TV shows, so it was always a great turn up at Kunle’s clinic as the first cosmetic surgeon in Lagos.
Straight out of college ten years ago, Kunle’s parents sent him to Los Angeles for medical school. He completed his four year medicine degree and enrolled in surgical residency training. He took a second residency afterwards to specialize in plastic surgery and went further to do a fellowship to master the skills he had learned. Ready and on fire, Kunle made the decision to return home to Nigeria and give back to his people.
But like all startups, his wasn’t smooth to begin with. After he had gone through the hassles of importing and installing his equipment, employing qualified nurses, the next step was to find a client to work on and that did not happen as soon as he had anticipated it would.
It was hard convincing an average Nigerian to submit her body to be opened up for reconstruction. They were a lot of doubts, questions and indecisiveness. People would come in for consultation, book appointments and never show up on the day of surgery.
He was running an empty clinic, paying his staff money he wasn’t even making yet, and then, one day, a random stranger walked into his clinic and demanded a tummy tuck.
A date was set.
Kunle waited for her to call to cancel but to his utmost surprise, she showed up on the appointed date. An excited Kunle got down to work, giving his very best and to his credit, she came out satisfied and looking snatched.
She must have spread the word because customers started trooping in and out of his clinic. Celebrities soon joined the queue and in a few months, people had to book to get in line and wait their turn.
He employed more staff – receptionists, cleaners, nurses and two fellow surgeons. He felt very pleased with himself.
He was a satisfied man, financially and careers wise and that was when he met Shola.
Shola, she was beautiful and petite. He was attracted to her feisty and outspoken nature, amazed by how such a small person could possess such fire inside of her.
It was intriguing. He decided that she was what he wanted, he needed to have her – the very opposite of who he was – to compliment all the things that he was not. And so six months after dating, he asked her to marry him, and she said yes.
He stayed intrigued for the first six months of their marriage and then it started to dawn on him that he may have bitten more than he could chew. The nature of his job demanded that he met and have a lot of women around him, it came with the territory. There were always photos and videos, even naked, mostly reviews of women thanking him for a job well done or showing him what needed to be fixed, but Shola who had seemed so understanding the six months of their dating didn’t seem to like it anymore. She kept a constant watch over his phone, deleting contacts, calling women who sent messages she didn’t approve of to warn them and constantly expecting him to call women and ward them off.
There were always photos and videos, even naked, mostly reviews of women thanking him for a job well done or showing him what needed to be fixed, but Shola who had seemed so understanding the six months of their dating didn’t seem to like it anymore. She kept a constant watch over his phone, deleting contacts, calling women who sent messages she didn’t approve of to warn them and constantly expecting him to call women and ward them off.
Her tone would be authoritative, commanding even. He would sit silently and let her hurl words at him, unable to talk back because he just did not have it in him.
He waited for her to change, hoped that she would but after two years of living this way, he decided he couldn’t do it anymore. He was tired of being insulted, tired of the talk downs, tired of having to apologize to clients because of some dumb move his wife pulled and tired of the constant cheating insinuations.
Last night, she smashed his phone and he had to buy another one the following morning. It cost him money he didn’t plan for, but the money did not come close to the peace he had lost over the years because of his wife. So as he drove home that evening from the clinic, he rehearsed what he would say to her, his mind was made up, he didn’t want to live like this anymore, good thing there were no kids involved.
He drove his benz to the front of his gate, honked the horn and waited for the security man who dashed zealously out of his room and slid the black iron open.
“Welcome Sir!” he saluted as Kunle drove past him. Kunle responded with a wave of hand.
He brought the car to a halt, stepped down and began making his way to the duplex.
“Shola!” he called as he stepped into the house, determined to speak his mind this time. He could perceive an aroma coming from the kitchen so he guessed that she was in there, but he wasn’t going to go to her, she should come to him instead. With that thought, he stood at ease in the center of the living room, hands akimbo and called her name again, “Shola!”
He could perceive an aroma coming from the kitchen so he guessed that she was in there, but he wasn’t going to go to her, she should come to him instead. With that thought, he stood at ease in the center of the living room, hands akimbo and called her name again, “Shola!”
She emerged from the kitchen with downcast eyes, causing Kunle to wonder for a second. Ordinarily, he would have inquired to know what was wrong, but not today, he had to make his presentation.
“Welcome” she greeted meekly, lowering herself into the sofa before him, eyes focused on the floor.
Kunle’s brow arched in confusion, why was she acting all weird, why was she like this? This was not the Shola he had expected to meet and this was definitely not how it had played out in his head.
He shook his head to shake away the concern that was creeping up on him. “I want a divorce.” There! he said it.
Shola’s eyes didn’t leave the floor, another unexpected reaction.
He frowned. “Did you hear me?”
She nodded and broke down in tears. Kunle stood there, more confused than ever. Shola knew more than anything that seeing women cry was one of the things he detested. He had watched his mother cry many tears at the instance of his father that he decided from a very young age not to bring such pain to his woman. He shared that decision with Shola and somehow, she had managed to cry herself out of every situation, but not this time, he was not moving a foot to console her even though every fiber of his being was yanking him to.
He shared that decision with Shola and somehow, she had managed to cry herself out of every situation, but not this time, he was not moving a foot to console her even though every fiber of his being was yanking him to.
“I’m pregnant!” she announced, amidst sobs.
A cold rush instantly flushed over Kunle’s skin. “What?” he muttered, not believing his ears.
She lifted her head this time. “I’m pregnant” she repeated, looking up into his eyes “I’m so sorry for smashing your phone, I’m so sorry for everything…” she started to kneel but Kunle rushed and stopped her before her knees could touch the ground. He helped her back to the sofa and took her face in both his palms.
“Are you sure?” he asked, joy ripping through his chest “Are you really pregnant?”
She sniffed, nodding. “I checked four times, it all read positive”
He chuckled, chuckled a second time before bursting into a cackle. He pulled her into his arms and engulfed her all so passionately. “Oh thank you baby!” he said in between laughter “Thank you!”
“Are you still going to leave me?” she spoke from his chest.
“No!” he breathed, pulling back just enough to stare down into her small eyes. “We are going to have this baby, together. Okay?”
She nodded with a smirk
“But you need to stop acting all so crazy though, it hurts me, and the Clinic. I can’t focus as expected if my mind is troubled. Or do you want us to not have these nice things anymore?” he rolled his head at the sitting room.
She shook her head.
“Then stop. Talk to me when something bothers you, don’t yell, don’t command, don’t enforce, just talk..”
She nodded. “I’m sorry. I’m truly sorry”
“Apology accepted. Come here” he pulled her back into his arms. “Someone’s gonna call me daddy!” he remarked happily
Shola laughed with him. “And me, mummy”
“Yes baby, and you, mummuy.”
Kunle leaned back in his office chair, swinging from side to side as he and Shola engaged in an interesting WhatsApp conversation. It was nice being at peace like this. The past three days had been mellow and he just loved it, it was something he could definitely get used to.
“Come in!” he said to the knock at his door, without lifting his head from his phone.
The door pushed open and his secretary walked in with a file. Kunle sat up straight, placing his phone on the table. A smile played across his lips from his unfinished chat.
“She’s here for her checkup” the secretary said, sliding the file to him.
“Bring her in” he responded, placing his hand on the file and dragging it further to his front.
Shola smiled in bed to herself, waiting for Kunle to reply to her message. She stared at the phone, it had earlier shown that he was typing but now it only showed that he was online.
The seconds turned to a minute, a minute to five, ten then twenty minutes. The smile wiped off her face. She sat upwards and dialed his number.
She stared at the phone, it had earlier shown that he was typing but now it only showed that he was online.
The seconds turned to a minute, a minute to five, ten then twenty minutes. The smile wiped off her face. She sat upwards and dialed his number.
Kunle’s screen came alive on the table beside him, he glanced over at it, tried to suppress a smile before turning the phone upside down to return his focus to the patient seated before him.
But the patient didn’t miss his warm smile. “Good news?” she asked off topic.
Kunle chuckled. “Yeah it’s my wife, we were having a chat..’
“I’ll call her back later”
“That’s so sweet”
“Yeah, so the scar, can you get up let me take a look?”
“Sure” she said, instantly scrambling to her feet
He rose to his feet, pressed a finger on the intercom and called for a nurse before walking around the table to the patient.
Shola was pacing the floor. She had called him three times, and now she was dialing for the fourth time.
Different ideas began to creep into her mind. “What if he’s not at the Clinic? Who is he chatting with and not replying my messages? Who is he with?” The more she thought about it, the more suspicions built up in her mind. But she wasn’t going to wait for him to call her later with lies in form of explanations. If he was somewhere else instead of the clinic, she was going to find out. With that thought, she snatched a dress from her closet, wore it over her small frame, grabbed her car keys from her dressing mirror and hurried off to her car.
The more she thought about it, the more suspicions built up in her mind. But she wasn’t going to wait for him to call her later with lies in form of explanations. If he was somewhere else instead of the clinic, she was going to find out. With that thought, she snatched a dress from her closet, wore it over her small frame, grabbed her car keys from her dressing mirror and hurried off to her car.
The fates were on her side as she sped freely on an otherwise busy road. It wasn’t long before she arrived at the clinic. She jumped down from the car and briskly walked into the building
“Good afternoon Ma” the receptionist greeted rising to her feet
Ignoring her, she breezed past her straight for Kunle’s office. The receptionist knew better than to try to stop her, this wasn’t the first time Shola would be storming in, in such a manner. She sat back down and hurriedly dialed Kunle’s office with the hope of warning him before his wife got to him.
Kunle picked the receiver to his ear, “Hello” he said when the door barged open and in marched an upset Shola.
He jerked his head up in shock, and so did his patient who had come in after the last one.
“Babe!” he called, still holding the receiver to his ear.
“So you’re taking other people’s calls but you won’t take mine abi?” she queried.
Kunle didn’t know whether to laugh or be upset. He replaced the receiver on its base and rose to his feet. “Please excuse me” he said to the stunned patient.
He walked over to Shola “let’s talk outside” he suggested, attempting to take her by the arm. She yanked her hand away from his touch, turned around and led the way out.
He followed her out of the building. Her steps were rapid, he could tell that she was enraged. She didn’t stop walking until she got to her car.
She didn’t stop walking until she got to her car.
“Babe…” Kunle reached for her arm to stop her from opening the car. She turned around and sent a slap across his face.
His hand instinctively flew to his face. “What was that for?” he complained.
She stared him up and down, hissed loudly, yanked the car door open, got in and screeched the tires backward in reverse and out of the vicinity. An embarrassed Kunle glanced around to be sure no one had seen them, he sighted his secretary leaning by the entrance of the hospital and a few people standing attentively around the park, staring at him. Two of those people had their cellphone cameras pointed at him.
An embarrassed Kunle glanced around to be sure no one had seen them, he sighted his secretary leaning by the entrance of the hospital and a few people standing attentively around the park, staring at him. Two of those people had their cellphone cameras pointed at him.
He forced a smile, straightening his jacket, turned around and made the walk of shame back towards the building.
The secretary pitifully looked at him, stepping aside to give him passage.
Kunle sat through the rest of the consultation half present, with anger brewing in his heart. As soon as the patient left, he picked up his phone and car keys and stepped out of his office to the reception.
“Cancel my appointments for the rest of the day,” he ordered “all patients should see the other doctors, I’m not coming back”
“Okay Sir” the Secretary answered understandably.
He left the building to his car. While seated, he switched off his cellphone before starting the ignition. He needed to be alone.
He drove to a random hotel and booked a room.
He located his room number, sat on the bed and listened to his chest hurt.
Shola slapping him especially in public was only one of many incidences that had happened before. She probably was never going to change and now she was carrying his baby, he couldn’t leave her anymore – he wouldn’t do that to his child.
She probably was never going to change and now she was carrying his baby, he couldn’t leave her anymore – he wouldn’t do that to his child.
As he sat there, deep in thought, a tear involuntarily escaped his eye. He wiped it off, angry at himself for shedding a tear at all.
Who would he tell? Who would advise him?
How could he even tell anyone that he was being pushed around by his wife? They would laugh at him, call him weak, but they won’t be so wrong for he felt like a weak man already, incapable of having control over his wife.
He dropped his back to the bed and locked his fingers behind his head. His eyes stared at the ceiling until he heard Shola’s voice, hurling words at him, the same words she had lashed a few weeks back when she let him have sex with her after a month of depravity.
“You think it’s because you are a surgeon?!” she spat. “That is not what makes you a man anything, real men are strong and capable, you, you’re just there! Common sex you’re cumming after five minutes, and you call yourself a man!…”
He opened his eyes. Blinked repeatedly, realizing that he had fallen asleep. He heaved a sigh and sat up straight, feeling numb.
He decided to turn his phone back on. The first text that came through was from Shola, six others instantly followed. Not bothering to read them, he turned his phone back off, flung it to the bed and buried his face in his hands.
The first text that came through was from Shola, six others instantly followed. Not bothering to read them, he turned his phone back off, flung it to the bed and buried his face in his hands.
What would he do?