It didn’t take long after their argument for Jonathan to pop the question. Even though Jonathan did not tell Emeka personally, he found out from the giant ring that Cassie wore around the office.
The fact that she had agreed to Jonathan’s proposal without a second thought brought everything into perspective for Emeka; they did not have anything real between them, it was just his testosterone working on him.
This made his next decision so much easier, he would finally break it off with Cassie if it was the last thing he did. To have sex with another man’s wife was an abomination in his native land and he refused to be cursed by his ancestors.
He sat down in his office and gave Cassie a call, asking her to come and see him. This time he was determined to keep his resolve intact. Just like steel, he would not bend or break no matter what force bore down on him from inside or out.
“Hello Cassie.” He said as she answered his call a few moments later.She was sporting a loose fitting brown dress with black accessories; all of her clothes, whether they were tight or loose, seemed to conform to her shape in a manner he had never experienced before.
“Hey Emeka, sorry I have not been able to see you this week.”
“I cannot imagine why.” He said sarcastically.
“Emeka, is that possessiveness I hear in your voice?”
“mmm, jealousy? Not really. I wanted to tell you congratulations on your engagement.”
“Thank you, but I have the strange feeling that you want to tell me much more than just thank you.”
“It seems that all the women in my life are uniquely perceptive, yes, I want to say something else.”
“Are you breaking up with me?” She chuckled.
“As a matter of fact, I am.”
“Ah, Emeka, is it because I’m engaged now?”
“That plays a major role but you and I both knew this had to happen.”
“You’re right, it was fun while it lasted though.” She said flippantly.
“Cassie, you never cease to amaze me.”
“That is what kept you here so long.”
“Humph, I hope this will not hurt our work relationship, you are still one of the best I have seen.”
“No, Emeka, you can still count on me to perform to the best of my abilities.”
“That’s good to know, what about Jonathan, how is he?”
“You mean your fight? He is angry that you do not support what he considers the most important decision in his life.”
“I suppose you did not enlighten him as to why.” Emeka replied drolly.
“What would ever possess me to do such a thing? What we have is superficial, I can build a life with Jonathan and I would not want something such as my feminine whims to get in the way of that.”
“Is that what you call them, feminine whims? I am beginning to fear you Cassie.”
“Mr. President, how can you be afraid of your employee?”
“I am wondering the same thing.” He chuckled, his heart gladdened by how easy it was to finally break it off with Cassie.
“It’s good to see you smile Emeka, you have been beating yourself up over the last few weeks and no matter how I may act you should know that I do care about you.”
“Thank You Cassie.”
“Don’t mention it, now go and patch things up with your wife before it’s too late.”
“It can never be too late, I will never allow that.”
“I like your confidence, it is so sexy. Let me get back to work before they start whispering about our illicit affair in the hallways.” She said as she stood and walked out of the spacious office.
Emeka stared after her for a little while, happy that he had finally moved beyond her influence; he was now free to set other things in his life right.
“Janet,” he called. “Cancel all of my meetings for the rest of the day, I’m leaving the office early.”
“Mr. Jones, you have a meeting with the CEO of Comcast telecoms today. You have been working on this deal for weeks.”
“I said cancel.”
“Yes sir.” She said, hopping to the work that she was assigned.
Emeka was buoyant, he had decided to surprise his wife and come home early, Lord knows that he needed it after the weeks he had spent tormenting himself. As he strolled out of the building and looked up, the sky seemed bluer and the grass was definitely greener than he remembered. The roads he drove were smoother and the gate to his house was finer than he had remembered, life had regained its luster and the only things left were to make up with his wife and Friend.
As he pulled into his compound, he quickly jumped out of his car and pulled the bouquet of flowers and chocolates he had bought on the way home. He stealthily opened the door and caught the last snatches of Hadijas phone call.
“No ma, we are just having some issues, Emeka has been distant lately.”
Then Phoebe gave him away.
“Daddy!” she shouted from her vantage on the steps before rushing down.
“Hello princess.” He chuckled as he threw her in the air.
“Again again.” She shouted while giggling.
“Not now, daddy wants to talk to mommy.”
“Mine?” Phoebe asked, reaching for the box of chocolates.
“No dear, they are for mommy.”
Emeka proceeded to the kitchen where he knew Hadija would be waiting for him. He rounded the corner and took in the beautiful sight of his wife for the millionth time. This one was different; she wore a look on her face that told Emeka everything that he needed to know. She was in pain, a pain that stemmed from her truant husband, from a husband that had neglected her, from a husband who denied her the things she wanted, a husband who did not deserve her but that she loved anyway.
Words were not necessary; he dropped the flowers and chocolates on the counter and took her in his arms. She cried silently into his shoulder, the weeks of frustration and neglect poured out of her and onto the sleeve his suit.
“Emeka, I..” she started.
“Shhhhh.” He said, cutting her off while refusing to release her from his embrace.
They stood like this until their impatient child tugged on Emekas leg, begging for attention.
“Daddy?” she said while raising her arms.
He laughed and included her in the embrace.
“You’re big now aren’t you?” he asked.
She nodded in agreement, happy that her mother and father were carrying her.
“That means that it is time for your mother to go back to work, will that make you sad?
Phoebe looked confused by the question, in reality, it was not meant for her, it was meant for Hadija. It was the only way Emeka could think of to try and appease his wife after the way he had been treating him over the course of his affair.
“Emeka, thank you.”Hadija whispered.
“No, thank you.”
“Oh, Emeka, I have missed you so.”
“I know, I am here again baby.”
“What are you doing home anyways?” She said as she extricated herself from his embrace.
“I came to see you, to apologize for the way I have been behaving for the last few weeks and beg your forgiveness.”
“Mr. President, I am surprised, you tore yourself away from your work for little old me?” Hadija teased him through her tears.
Emeka looked at his wife for the first time in weeks, even after sobbing, she captivated him. Her nose and eyes had turned red and her mascara had run down her face but he did not care; this was the woman he had sworn allegiance to all those years ago. There was no way an upstart would break the bond they shared, not in this life or the next. “So do you forgive me?”
“I’m still thinking about it but the flowers and the chocolates are a good start. You will have to be on your best behavior for a while.”
“Yes ma.” Emeka said as if he were a little boy receiving his sentence.
“You can start by helping me prepare the things for dinner before you pick up the boys from school.”
“It would be my pleasure.” He said, relishing any time he would be able to spend with his queen.
“Emeka, why are you so cheerful, you’re making it hard to punish you,” Hadija said petulantly.
“How can any time with my wife be punishment?” he said while removing his jacket and shirt.
“You have always had a way with words haven’t you?”
“Isn’t that why you married me?” He asked with a smile as he pecked her on the cheek.
Emeka was sure, sure that everything would be alright, he had escaped the frying pan……