Unity in Marriage

Ten Things His Mother Told Me: Number 7

Maintain Friendships with Good People

One week later

The light strains of music filtered into her consciousness, intruding on the cozy softness that enveloped her. Reluctant to wake up, she burrowed deeper into the covers, straining to recapture the blissful nothingness of a restful sleep. But, the moment was gone. Chiaka opened eyes heavy with sleep and turned down the volume on the pre-set iPod.

The room was dark save for the electronic glow of the iHome stand and pinpricks of light from the TV standby button and the baby monitor. Obinna had decided that it was time for KT to move into his own room.

“Babe, we have an empty nursery just sitting there doing nothing.”

Mentally, she agreed with the fact that at almost 2 years old, their son was old enough to sleep in his own room but it was hard to actually go through with it. Still, Obinna was insistent. Their relationship had thawed over the past few days and he seemed eager to break through the final barriers. Working like a man possessed, he dismantled the heavy crib and lugged it into the nursery, re-assembling it within a couple of hours.

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Puzzled, Chiaka watched him work, wondering why he was in such a hurry. Warmth rushed through her when she remembered her husband’s other reason for wanting KT out of their bedroom.

“We need our space, baby. Maybe we should start working on baby number 2.”

A slight soreness eased its way through her hips as she turned over. Yes, they had made good use of KT’s absence last night.

The sound of flowing water told her Obinna was in the shower, and she threw the covers off as she got out of bed. He would be out in a few minutes and then it would be her turn to get ready. Obinna liked to wake up early and start his day, even though he stayed home most days, caring for KT and applying for jobs. An odd tightening in her chest reminded her of the resentment she had carried for so long, a journey still unfinished.

“How was your day?” he had asked that day, after the unsettling encounter with Drew. Caught off-guard by Obinna’s unusual domesticity, and unwilling to talk about Drew, she gave him a non-committal answer. Watching her husband dish out dinner, and set the plates on the crooked tablemats awakened an emotion in her. Something different from the weight of bitterness she had been walking around with for the past few months.

Relief that she didn’t have to cook dinner after a hard day at work.

Gratitude.

Surprise.

Obinna had always been hopeless in the kitchen. As a bachelor, he rarely ventured into his kitchen, preferring to order large trays of food from one of the many Nigerian caterers in Houston.

That day was the beginning of something – a shift; a cautious thaw in their relationship. Obinna went out of his way to do things around the house and Chiaka appreciated the opportunity to relax after work. A week had gone by and things were better than they had been in a while. Still, every day that she went to work and left Obinna at home with KT, or whenever she wrote a check for one of the household bills, something jerked in her chest.

Resentment. She had prayed and asked God to remove it, but it sat there. Unmoving. Intractable. Taunting her meager efforts at reconciliation. It branded her a pretender, a liar and though she tried, she couldn’t cast it aside.

The faint sounds of rushing water came to a sudden stop and she knew Obinna was done. Time to hit the shower and get ready for work.

Just out of the shower, Obinna hummed happily as he toweled himself, oblivious to the conflict that still raged within his wife. Things had been so much better between them in the past few days and his job prospects were looking good. He had done a second interview with the consulting firm he spoke with last week and he was feeling hopeful.

Something will come out of this. I just know it.

A feeling of peace settled in his heart as he thought about new beginnings; a new job, a fresh start with his wife…and maybe soon, another baby.

Yes, things were definitely looking up.

To be continued...

Onyih Odunze

Number 7 is pretty long and will be posted in two parts. Stay tuned for the second installment. Thanks for reading!

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