I was dazed as Tolu threw my boxer shorts at me.
“Get under the bed,” she yelled, grabbing my denim jeans and long sleeve T-shirt from the chair I had placed it earlier. She threw them at me, and then she started to straighten the rough bed sheet.
I hurriedly wore my boxer short, and was about to wear my denim jeans when she pushed me towards the bed. “My husband is back.” She screamed.
“Your husband! But I thought he had traveled.” My voice shook and it was tinged with fear.
“Yes, he ought to be in Abuja, but he is here now. Just get under the bed.”
I bent and wiggled my apple shaped body under the bed. Hardly had I settled there when Tolu threw my shoe, but she didn’t remember my socks. She was in a rush to clean all my tracks. I could feel my heart between my teeth, pumping blood filled with fear every second.
She opened the door and left the room in haste. I began to tremble, so I turned my face to the other side, thus I couldn’t see the door.
What would happen if her husband discovered me, kill me? Strip me naked and have me walk the street like a thief?
The opening of the door shut the window of my thoughts. Tolu’s husband entered. I could tell by the sound of his shoes as they hit the terrazzo floor. I turned my face back, looking at Tolu’s husband’s legs as he took off his shoes, then his trouser.
“Welcome my dear.” I heard Tolu greet. Then I saw her move closer to her husband. He didn’t reply. Had he noticed something on her face: The smeared lipstick or her distorted makeup?
“What happened to your makeup?” He asked. His voice was authoritative, like Hitler’s.
I froze with fear. Tolu was done. I had never known her to be good with telling quick lies.
“I was em…em—cleaning up,” her voice shook, “I just returned from the Ojomos naming ceremony. You know I told you this morning that I would represent both of us.”
“But Mr Ojomo said he didn’t see your shadow,” her husband intercepted, “I stopped over at their place when I was coming.”
“Em, he must be mistaken. There were a lot of guests, so he must have forgotten.”
“That’s true, the guests were much, and he barely had my time too.”
I could feel relief as it coursed through my system like a leaf on an ocean. So freely. I could now feel my heart behind my ribs, but its beats were rapid. Tolu’s husband sat on the bed. I could see his tuber-like hairy legs that looked like a Bigfoot monster’s legs. My business partner, Kelvin, had that kind of legs too.
“Darling, I’m so tired. I had a hectic day. I want to sleep, but I am hungry. Get me something to eat.”
“Will rice do?”
“Rice is good. Help me fry some plantain too.”
“Okay. What happened to your voice, it sounds tiny.”
“Ooh, I caught cold.”
“I would get some pills for you. Meanwhile, why don’t you come rest in the sitting room while I prepare your food. You can use that medium to watch the evening news too.”
“I have heard all the news today as I was driving home. Let me just rest here. You might even have to bring the food here when you are through.”
“You may have heard all the news, but you haven’t told me what made you cancel your trip,” she persuaded, “Here is my hand, let’s go.”
Tolu’s husband leg didn’t move, not even a single hair on his hairy leg stood. He must have been really tired.
“On the trip, the client I wanted to meet told me to stay put that he is coming to Lagos tomorrow. Am I free now? Just let me rest.”
Tolu moved towards the door
“Ehn en, the pen that dropped under the bed this morning, have you seen it?” Her husband asked.
The question made me jerk. I was done. Damn, I’m finally made.
Tolu began to shake. I could tell from her legs.
“What is making you shake?”
“Shake, I’m not shaking. The pen… em… no… yes, I found it. It is in the sitting room. Come, I’ll show you.”
I could feel the pen in question between my toes. If Tolu’s husband remains adamant, there was no way I would get out of here, but the moment he leaves, I would be free like the legs of a cripple.
“Is there something special about this sitting room today? You’ve been hammering everything on the sitting room.”
“Nothing special, I just want to see your face while I cook.”
“That’s strange. You’ve never done that before.”
“There is always a first time to everything. I want to treat you like you are – The best husband in the universe.” She moved closer to him. I could hear the sound of the kiss she planted on her husband’s forehead. Soon he stood up with her and they walked towards the door.
“Isn’t that my socks outside the wardrobe?”
Tolu quickly picked up the socks, “Never mind me. It must have fallen down when I was arraigning your shirts this morning.”
“Fell? But I don’t keep my sock in the wardrobe, you know that.”
God, he is really going to get what’s going on. It was getting too obvious. First it was the lipstick and makeup, then it was the pen, now it’s my socks.
“God, save me from this. If you do, I promise never to commit adultery again, never.” I prayed quietly.
“Never mind me,” Tolu quickly said, “It was when I was polishing your shoe.”
Her husband opened the door, and he walked out without uttering another word. Tolu followed suit.
“God, thank you for that near miss, I’m indebted to you,” I praised quietly, breathing out, “I will never commit adultery again, never. Just help me escape in one piece.”
I was happy God answered my prayer, but did he really answer my prayer for good? I’ll leave you to figure that out.
Tolu had stepped out of the room and was about closing the door when my phone rang.
My phone was a China phone.