“Hey darling!” Martha greeted as she opened the door of the car to welcome her husband.
She gave him a hug but its lifespan was shortened by her husband’s cold response. She swallowed hard and collected his briefcase as she led the way into the house. They had to pass through the dining before they could enter the bedroom so they stopped over.
“I prepared one of your favorites. We have spaghetti, tomato sauce with grilled chicken. You’d also have some vegetables sauté” She said opening each of the covered bowls containing the food.
“Wow! Thank you. I can’t wait to devour this” He said salivating. She expected a side hug or pat on the back but he just gave her a wink. She smiled faintly, obviously unsatisfied. She got over it quickly, just as always.
They moved into the bedroom and she dropped the briefcase in its place.
“So would you like to take a cold or warm bath?” She asked helping to unknot his tie.
“A warm ermm… cold bath is fine.” She ran the bath and went to wait for him at the dining. In a few minutes, Tunde was out.
“So what happened at work today?” He asked as Martha dished their food into a plate. They usually ate in the same plate exceptit was unavoidably impossible.
“I’ve always suggested that we don’t talk while eating. We could download the entire gist later”
“I just think it’s just better we start downloading right from now so we can have enough time.” He said in between mouthfuls of spaghetti.
Martha reeled with laughter.
“Plus, my ears have been itching badly since I left the office.” He went on.
“You should have scratched them now. I usually wondered how talkative you’d have turned out if you were a woman” She said jokingly.
“Well, I like gists and you know, especially when they come from my own baby girl.” He hyped.
“Hmm… Really…” She was now trying to talk very little. She avoided talking while eating as much as she could but her husband usually did not help matters.
“Yes now… At least I know you’re going to give me some great stuff. Your gists are usually loaded with wisdom” He said lifting his eyebrows.
“I insist that you wait till we finish eating today.”
“Alright. If you say so ma’am.”
In about ten minutes they were done with the food. Martha started clearing the table and Tunde joined her.
“Don’t bother” Martha said clearing the table very quickly.
“Let me help you” He said collecting the remaining items on the table.
Martha had no problems with doing kitchen duties or whatever she needed to do all by herself. Tunde complained that she was always acting like a superwoman so she let him sometimes. She never left dishes overnight so He helped her do the dishes while she tidied up some other things.
They were soon done with clearing up and seated in the living room. Martha sat beside him.
“Oh. Martha. There you go again. You always want to sit beside me, place your head on my laps, jump at me like a cat…” He whined
“Am I not you wife?” She asked with a rising temper she was trying so badly to calm.
“Anyways, have your way my darling.” He said unaware of what he had stirred up.
For the one month they had been married, she realized that her husband was not a touch person. He loved talking with her and listening to her talk. He also loved taking her out to wherever he was going. To him they were both enjoying themselves. But the truth was that she was only trying to make her husband happy. None of these things made her as happy as she wanted to be. She felt cheated.
She had wanted to talk about it a number of times but within her she felt it was too early to start having issues in her marriage so she suffered in silence. She hoped to cope and she sure did but that day she reached her elastic limit.
She prayed silently in her heart for wisdom to say the right words. She waited till they had both talked about how the day went.
Tunde was the last to speak. He got to a point where he was relaying how he had met an old time friend and how the lady wanted to hug him but he quickly stretched his hands. Martha seized the opportunity.
“Sweetheart, you seem to be allergic to touch.” She said calmly.
“What do you mean?” He asked confused.
“I mean, it’s like I’m going to bite you when I try to hug you or rub my body against yours.” She continued.
Tunde pulled off his pair of glasses.
“But I touch you, don’t I? I mean…” He said winking again. The wink was getting Martha irritated. There was no link between it and what she wanted.
“No… Not that kind of touch. The other day in church I was trying embrace you when pastor said something about you taking good care of me but you were so stiff. I was embarrassed.” She said covering her face with one hand.
“That was because it was in public now. Babe, I don’t like all that mushy stuff in public.” Tunde defended.
“But putting your arms round me would have been just fine.” She suggested.
“Just this afternoon I tried hugging you when you came back from work. Shey that one was in public too abi?” She asked jerking her head forward and supporting her chin with her left hand.
“See, hubby, I’ve held it long enough. I feel cheated. You always want to talk and you have me. I want to be touched too. We both promised to do for each other whatever would make us happy and build our marriage as long as it is godly and within our means.” She reminded him.
Martha had exhausted words. You could have heard a pin drop in the following moments. Tunde was thinking about all she had said. He finally spoke.
“OK. Martha. I think I have some work to do here. I’m really sorry about how I’ve made you feel all the while but I think you should have spoken earlier.”
“I’m sorry. I thought it was something I could cope with and I didn’t want anything that would stir up an argument or quarrel.”
“But I thought we agreed to be as open as we need to be in this marriage.” He queried with a slight frown.
“I think we should have talked about these things in courtship. I know it was quite short but… Whatever!” He flung his right hand in the air. “I’m going to work on this but you know it would take a while, right?
“Yes, I know and it’s fine.”
“So we’ll take it one step at a time.” He stretched out his hands to her. She was a bit reluctant. She didn’t want to force the change but he persisted. She moved close to him. He wrapped his arms round her. For the first time in their four week old marriage, she felt like a loose bolt in her body had just been firmly tightened.
Written By: Oluwatoosin Oladejo. Oluwatoosin is a creative writer who is inspired greatly by God through everyday ordinary occurrences. She sees writing as one of the tools God has given her to relay to the world that all of life is worship. She writes fiction, non fiction and poetry and shares her works via social media. She blogs at lipsandlives.wordpress.com
She can be reached via telephone on +2348139661112 or email at email@example.com