“And who was that you were chatting with almost all night?”

“And what has that got to do with you, or when did you start monitoring with whom I chat and where I sleep?”

“I am your husband and I have every right to know. What was the source of your fantasy?”

“I’m sorry o Mr. Husband, but I was chatting with a friend. At least if you don’t have my time, others do.”

“Honey, when did all these start? Why this sudden change of attitude?”

“Sweet heart, I’m sorry, but I think I should be redirecting this question to you.”

My ears could not believe what I was hearing, neither could my heart take it. When did the wife I married become someone who could answer me in such a rude manner. This was not the Titi I used to know.

I met Titi while she was in her final year in the university. I was a graduate assistant at that time. As the course representative for her class, she had come to the lecturers office to remind the lecturer of the time he had scheduled with them. Fortunately and unfortunately, the lecturer was not around, so she met with me and gave me the information that brought her to the office. I can’t point out to what exactly made a bell ring in my head that day, but I was drawn to the way she smiled so easily and innocently.

I maintained my cool and began to observe her. Anytime I was sent to her class by the lecturer, I always looked out for her and being the course representative made things easier for me. After much observation over the space of more than four months, I decided to shoot my shot, hoping above all hope that I would score a goal. From my observation, it was evident that she was a Christian which was indeed a strong point for me.

On a faithful day for us, she was coming out of the library, while I was about entering to carry out some research. I accosted her immediately and asked her for a favour. We talked for a while and I asked for her contact. She was skeptical a bit. What business does a graduate assistant have to do with an undergraduate. We dragged and dragged on until she eventually gave in, but with a condition of not to bother her with calls. I kept playing cool until I found the courage to declare my intentions.

Six months after I proposed to her, she accepted. At that time, she had finished with school and had been posted to Kano for service. The day she said yes was one of the happiest moments I can remember. If it were possible, I would had married her immediately, but situations did not permit.

Six years down the line now, I’m hit by this rude shock and sudden change in behaviour. Where could I have gone wrong, I thought to myself. Something indeed has to be wrong somewhere, and I have to get to the root of the matter.

All the occurrences of that morning had engulfed my mind, which took me down memory lane. I could barely concentrate in the office. I cleared the task on my table early enough so I could get home earlier than she does. Anything to appease her was all that was on my mind.

“Honey, welcome home.” I said, hugging her.

Surprise spread on her face like butter on bread. She was not expecting me to be home at such time. In past times, I got home late giving one excuse or the other.

“Thank you.” She said, returning my hug with a cold one. It was obvious she was still pissed with our little argument.

“I’m sorry about what happened. I shouldn’t have approached you in that manner.” I said, stripping myself off the garment of ego I had put on in the morning. “I promise not to do that again. Don’t be offended.”

“I’ve heard. I’m sorry I was rude to you too. It won’t happen again.”

“You’re forgiven, love. We need to talk, but I know you must be very hungry, so, I prepared something light for you.”

“Aww. Thank you, dear.” She said, placing a light kiss on my lip, before going into the room to change her clothes.

My heart kept beating fast, praying silently that our discussion doesn’t turn out awry. I was bent on getting to the end of the matter. I can’t afford to lose my wife.

“This is delicious. So, you’re good like this. I almost bit my tongue.” She said. “Kudos.”

“Thank you.” My heart was gladdened by the way things were turning out. At least, she was more relaxed than when she just arrived home.

“You said we have to talk. I’m all ears.”

“I guess it would be better after our meal. I know we have not lost our table manners.”

Silence dined with us the rest of the minutes. I became restless as I pondered how I was going to broach the issue. When we were done eating, we cleaned up and got started on the pending case.

“Honey, can we discuss now?” I asked, wanting to make sure she was not already tired.

“Sure. I’ve been waiting to hear what my husband has to say.”

“You know what brought up the squabble this morning? My mind has not been at rest and I want to know what the matter is.”

“Hmm. Honey, must we go into this again?”

“Please talk. You know nothing should come in between us, right? Lets clear the air now, so the enemy doesn’t have a foothold in our home.”

“Honey, but you did not have to do this to me. You did not have to leave me in the harsh cold weather to wither away. It was too much for me to bear so I had to look for shelter and light else where.” She said, amidst sobs.

Confused. “What have I done wrong? I try my best to be the best husband I can be and ensure everything is fine. What did I do?”

“It started when you became so engrossed with your work. If you do not keep late nights, you are always on your laptop late into the night, and anytime I come to call you to the bed, you always gave excuses of having to work and being too busy.

“But-”

“No buts. This has been on for more than three months. I tried to adjust, but it turned out to be…”

“Please keep talking. Don’t go silent just yet. We can resolve this.”

“A colleague of mine noticed that I was not the jovial smiling Titi I used to be. He kept asking what was happening, but the more I tried to resist telling him, the more he pressed further. One day when the pressure was too much, I told him, and since then, he became the shoulder I was leaning on.”

“Lord, have I been this careless?” I burst out almost crying. “Is this how my wife is slipping away from me without my knowledge.” My heart was heavy, and my eyes bore witness to it. “Is there any other thing you want to say?” I managed to ask, trying to stifle the surge of emotions taking a volcanic rise in me.

“I’m sorry. I never planned it to be like this. Just that he served as the sunlight my plant was drawing nutrients from, so, I was growing towards him. Nothing has happened between us, it’s just been an emotional affair. He was the one I was chatting with yester night.” She said, tears pouring out like a fountain.

“I’m sorry,” I said, placing her head on my chest. “I’ve been truly careless, and I have neglected my responsibility towards you. I should have known better. Please forgive me and try to cut off all ties with him.”

“I should be the one saying sorry. I almost betrayed your trust. I’m deeply sorry, honey.”

“No problem, dear. We’ll make changes, and we will be the happy couple we’ve always been.”

That revelation changed things in our home. I became very intentional to make sure I created time to spend with her. I have to be the only shoulder she leans on, and the only sunlight she grows towards.

Women are just like plant. Plant grows towards the direction of the sunlight so they can get nutrient. Women also grow and gravitate towards the direction where they receive more love and attention, that is why it is dangerous for men not to be that sunlight their wives grow towards. Things have been different now, since I got this knowledge.

“Sunlight. Story teller. Don’t tell the whole world all of our story before they think-”

“Babe, it’s not all our secret I’m exposing now. I’ll be with you in a jiffy.”

Thanks for reading thus far. My special plant calls.