“Good morning, Itan.” Iyunade greeted in a smooth, singsong voice, her eyes bright and her teeth in full display. She sat on the table, crossed her legs in a way that revealed her smooth, light-skinned laps. Itanola struggled to keep his eyes off her thighs. He took a pamphlet from his table to fan himself.
“Iyunade what is the meaning of this? What are you trying to—“
Iyunade placed her index finger on his lip. She parted her legs before she stood up and leaned on his chair, her scents knocking his senses out. She ran her hands on his chest and placed a peck on his forehead. Itanola was paralysed for a spell. Before he could push her away from him, she sat on his legs and covered his mouth in a kiss.
It took the buzz of a mosquito in Itanola’s ears to bring him back to his senses. “Oh my! What has come over me? What am I doing to myself?” He pushed Iyunade away from his laps and readjusted his black suit and red tie.
“That’s not how to treat a lady, young man.” Iyunade snarled. “Why are you pretending you did not enjoy the taste of my lips on yours?” She smacked her lips in a seductive manner. “I saw the way your eyes caressed my lush laps.” She said, running her hands on her thighs.
“Iyunade, get out of my office!” Itanola said gravelly. “Get out of my sight!” He clenched his fist, grating his teeth.
“You’ll come back begging for more.” Iyunade stomped off.
Itanola banged his table. He was awash with shame. How was he going to face Wuraola after betraying her trust? How was she going to take it if he told her? How was she going to look at him afterwards? He wasn’t the faithful husband she knew when he left the house. Tears coursed down his cheek. He should have exercised caution. He should have been sensitive. He shouldn’t have relied on his past glories.
He braced himself to confess to his wife but when he set his eyes on her, words failed him. Guilt gnawed at his heart. He had a lost gaze each time she was around him. Wuraola sensed her husband was bothered. She prodded him to no avail. For weeks, Itanola avoided Iyunade like a plague. His heart failed him each time he wanted to tell Wuraola, and the awful event kept playing in his head.
Itanola was distraught that morning after a slight disagreement with Wuraola. His countenance was sad when he stepped into the office. He merely acknowledged his coworkers with a nod. Iyunade saw him and an idea floated in her head. I think I have to be the one to make his day. She waited for an hour before she went to his office. He turned her away from the door without lifting his head from the table. She bit her finger and promised to come again.
She went to his office during the lunch break. He was sitting on the long couch in his office. The air conditioner was turned off so he took off his suit. Iyunade knocked and pushed the door open. “Hello, boss. Good afternoon.”
“Iyunade, what is it? Does this have to do with the files I told you to work on? Why did my secretary allow you in? I told her to hold up for me today? How can I help you?
She walked towards him and stopped in his front. His eyes went up and down and up again before maintaining eye contact with her. “I found out my boss was not doing well and I decided to check up on his welfare. Is that too much from a colleague? And for the question of your secretary, she stepped out for lunch so I guess that answers your question.” She struck a pose.
“Thank you. You can have your seat.”
Iyunade sat beside him and placed her hand on his leg. “So, what’s the issue? What is the thing capable of putting you in a foul mood this long? It must be very serious,” she said.
“It’s nothing serious. My wife and I had a little misunderstanding and I’m not so pleased with the way things are. That’s the major reason I’m like this. I’m thinking of how to solve it and…”
Iyunade rolled her eyes and scoffed. She ran her hands on his thigh. “I trust you to solve it.” They shared silence together. Iyunade made to leave but Itanola held her hand and released it immediately. Iyunade had a triumphant smile plastered on her face. She looked at him and they locked eye. “Itan… you and I know what we have and…” she pulled him to herself and arched her back toward the edge of the chair. Itanola was lost in her embrace, his hands began to roam.
With a knock on the door, they were jolted back to the present. Itanola buttoned his first 3 buttons while Iyunade tucked in her navy blue blouse before Itanola’s secretary stepped in.
She cast a suspicious glance, hurried to drop the files on his table before leaving the office. Itanola buried his head in his palm, shame over him and guilt gnawing at his heart. Iyunade cleared her throat to get his attention before she walked out of the office.
That was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. He was losing it. He was taking fire into his bosom that was going to consume him and his family if he did not quench it. Itanola resolved to tell his wife. He dared the consequences. He messed up and was now ready to clear the mess. He wasn’t comfortable with the widening gap between Wura and him. It had lingered too long.
Wuraola turned her back to Itanola, facing the other side of the room. She had chosen that posture since her husband had refused to tell her what was eating him up. She yearned for the day she’ll sleep snuggled at his side as was their usual practice, but she was also ready to stand by her decision to leave him for a while.
Itanola tapped her hand lightly, “babe, I have something important to tell you.” He was covered with goose pimple.
“Talk, I’m listening,” she shook his hand away.
Itanola got down from the bed, moved over to her side and knelt before her. “Baby, please you’ll have to forgive me.” His voice was gruff.
Wuraola sprang up from the bed. She couldn’t decipher the emotion written on her husband’s face but she knew something was wrong. Her heart thumped as she waited for the bombshell.
Itanola sniffed and cleaned the sweat on his forehead. “I’ve been meaning to tell you this for a long time, but…but…” Itanola stuttered.
“But what, babe? But what?” Wuraola adjusted her pyjamas and clasped her hands between her laps.
“One day, Iyunade came to my office in her usual manner. I thought she came for our regular chit chat, but the next thing that happened afterwards were beyond me. Wura mi, it wasn’t a deliberate act. I was careless and I admit my wrong.” Itanola fell on his face, clutching her left leg.
“Itanola, you haven’t said anything.” Her voice was husky, the veins on her face bulging.
“Wura. Wura mi. The next thing is she sat on lap and lured me to kiss her. The second time, I wasn’t in a right frame of mind. It was when we had our fight that morning that… I take all the blame, Wura. I’m sorry.”
Tears had built up in her eye. “How long have you kept this from me, Itanola?’
“I… I… I’ve always wanted to tell you, but…”
“How long?” Her voice rose a decibel higher. “How long?”
“It’s been three months. I’m sorry I kept it away from you. I was ashamed of my actions and… I know I have no excuse. I beg for your forgiveness.”
Wuraola freed her leg from his grip and floundered towards the window and rested her head against the wall. The tears she fought hard to stifle ran its course. Bile stirred within her. She wanted to scream at him. She wanted to hit him. She had been betrayed by the one she loved and trusted the most. She stamped her feet several times trying hard to keep her emotions in check. She turned and rested on the wall. Her laser like stares could melt its object. Memories of their time together clogged her mind. She remembered the nudge to pray against infidelity and how she was nonchalant. She burst into fresh batch of tears.
“He that thinks he stands should take hid lest he falls.” She muttered. The words cut deep into Itanola. He fell and fell flat. Itanola crawled towards Wuraola, holding back tears.
Wuraola stood from her crouched position and met him halfway. Warmth seeped through her eye and she placed her soft palms on his shoulders. “Babe, I should have prayed for you… for us when I had the nudge to pray, but I was too confident in our inability to fall. I’m sorry I failed you.” Itanola couldn’t imagine what he heard. He leaned closer to her and wept.
”What do you mean? I’m the one who messed up here. You haven’t failed me in any way I’m the one who failed you, failed Aanu and failed our marriage. I’m sorry, Wura.”
She told him everything; how she had a nudge to pray, how she was nonchalant and overconfident. She wiped the tears that flowed down her cheek with the back of her palm.
Wuraola’s heart was filled with compassion and renewed love for her husband. She dragged him closer into her embrace and buried his head in her bosom. “Babe, you’re a blessing and more to me. I forgive you.” Wuraola whispered.