Finally! It’s the weekend, and what better way to enjoy this weekend than to relax and catch up with your favourite series safe haven? If this is your first time on the blog, ‘safe haven’ is a fictional series that we’re currently running on the blog. The author Oyindamola Dosunmu takes us through the world of Tunde and Priscilla’s marital life by giving us an intriguing episode every Friday.
The rest of the evening was a blur and she was thankful they were headed to the house where she could run to the sanctuary of the toilet and spend a few minutes alone with her chaotic thoughts. The car was silent with only the purr of the engine. As Tunde drove, her mouth was swollen with questions and she did little to hide her irritation though she knew he would not care either way.
“Why didn’t you warn me beforehand that your lover was coming?” the question rolled out of her mouth before she could stop it “At least I believe I had every right to prepare myself ahead of time” He threw her a startled look as soon as he pulled up in front of the gate; there were dim lights everywhere from other houses throwing enough light for her to see his face.
“What do you mean by that?”
She said nothing. She had made her point clear that she knew and that was enough for her.
“Answer me” his voice grew thicker with impatience “Answer me!’ he said again this time louder. “You humiliated me!” She threw back wretchedly “You brought your lady to that place and humiliated me!”
Tunde hissed exasperated “And do you have any proof that she’s my mistress? Photos, videos?” he mocked. Pricking her with his words, she refused to back down.
“I just believe I deserve a bit more respect especially in public”
“First, my family is hardly public and second, the conditions of our marriage is an open secret”, his voice was sharp “and respect is earned you don’t demand what you don’t deserve!”
Her chest rose and fell with silent fury and as she stared at the man the world knew to be her husband, a slow cynical smile curved her lips and she shook her head but he didn’t even turn to look at Priscilla, it made her feel cheap and uneasy as though he was filled with disgust.
“Get out!” he said to her.
Her mood changed from hurt to being startled in a flash.
“Didn’t I make myself clear?” He still did not look at her as if he would hit her if he dared to. “I said get out!” His voice mirrored his controlled anger. Wisely, she did not protest and got out of the car as meek as a lamb. She slammed the door as hard as she could; inside she was reeling fearful least she made him very angry.
There was a bit of silence between them and suddenly the engine purred and car scrambled off, no doubt to meet his mistress, she thought to herself but she went through the gate into the compound full of anger and fear and shaky. As Priscilla opened the front door, she wondered if she had made the best decision confronting her fearful husband.
Thunder rolled violently across the skies and the windows rattled weakly in response beside where they sat. She peered through the translucent window of the restaurant half hoping the rain had abated. She hated the rain and the mood that came with it. Instead of leaning back into her seat, she took a bite of the meat pie in her hand, wincing a little at its sharp taste in her mouth. Seyi sat across the table speaking to a colleague over the phone for over what seemed to be hours on end.
“Sorry dear” he apologized courteously after ending the call taking a bit of the sausage roll from his plate.
“I should be apologizing, dragging you out on a Saturday” she leaned back on the cane chair.
He made a gesture “No my dear, not at all. I haven’t seen you in a while so you did well; you know how work is and all.”
“I can imagine”, Priscilla replied, smiling brilliantly. “Is it your boss again?”
“Not this time thank God”, he rolled his eyeballs “It’s the IT guy calling to say there’s an issue with the ATM. Honestly I’m tired of the bank though. The stress is so much and they can’t even appreciate the effort you must put into work”
She smiled soothingly “You’ll live. How are you anyway?”
“I should be asking you that” Seyi bent a little bit with his eyes so full of concern for her.
“Nothing spectacular”, she replied looking down at the table.
He grunted, sometimes she felt him knowing her this much could be annoying, “How are things with him?”
“Not so great at the moment”
“When is it ever?” he asked rhetorically “What’s the matter?”
“I think he’s seeing someone else Seyi” she blurted out bending her head in shame he swore under his breath.
“Are you sure?”
“He brought her to his parent’s anniversary party”
“The bastard!” Seyi retorted loudly “How bad is it?”
“As far as marriage” her eyes were already alert to spill out tears but pride did not let them fall.
“He’s marrying her?”
She shrugged carelessly “There’s a possibility”.
He held her hand delicately as though she was a flower “Why don’t you put yourself out of this misery and end it?” he sounded so wounded and desperate “I mean look at you…you…you look unhappy and I daresay shriveled”.
“Shriveled?!” She scoffed and looked away at the people going out of the restaurant “Unhappy yes but shriveled? That’s hardly the word”
Seyi eyed her with one of his famous disapproving looks and let out a sigh of resignation “I just hate to see you look miserable, you looked ten times better a few years back, Priscilla.”His tone was sarcastic and he pinned her with his gaze. “You sit all day playing model house wife with your husband, looking at you over his shoulders and your degree lying in the dust somewhere”
That hit a raw nerve but she made no show of it, her mind made a flash of her bachelor’s degree lying amongst boxes of shoes in the bedroom.
“What you need” Seyi continued “Is to get a life. It would do you a lot of good, prep you up”
“Mum wants me to be a model housewife”, Priscilla replied distantly “She says being a career woman isn’t what her daughters were born to be.”
“Well Imabong doesn’t seem to agree with that.”
Priscilla grimaced at the mention of her younger sister’s name, They hadn’t spoken in such a long time and she seemed to have cut her and the rest of what was left of their nuclear family away ever since Priscilla had consented to the marriage.
“Stop living according to your mother’s orders Priscilla. Take a look at Imabong for instance; she seems to be doing well in Port Harcourt away from your mother”
“Ima has always been strong willed,” she stated defensively knowing what he said was true “and independent too.”
He did not reply but merely stuffed what was left of the snack into his mouth as if to stop himself from saying anything.
“If I pull out of this whole thing, we both know what would happen”, a tear slid from the corner of her eye as she stared weakly at his brown eyes “I’ll end up losing everything, my mother will never forgive me and the little part of what’s left of my father’s company, which we are barely in control of will be taken from us.”
“But you told me that the shares will still be yours and can exist independently in the advent of a divorce.”
He had a wonderful memory.
“But I failed to mention if I had a child…and it’s the child‘s own not mine. They threw me to the dogs, Seyi”, she finished scornfully.
He let out a breath with the new revelation
“So you see,” she continued resentfully “I’m between the devil and the deep blue sea. I would rather stay with him than without and risk living a life of penury and having the scorn of an over-ambitious mother to deal with.”
Her breath was shaky and he reached out to her hand but she drew away, not seeking any of his pity.
“Sometimes, money isn’t everything”, he said.
“Tell that to my mother!” she sounded defeated in her ears.
“I just wish you could see things from my end”.
“It’s okay” She gave him a reassuring smile and as she got up, he got up too “I’m happy just being out of the house with a friend, I needed it.”
“I’m glad to be of service” Seyi replied, smiling. There was still the pitiful glint in his brown eyes. “Perhaps we should go outside now”. She wanted to get out of the place; it suddenly seemed so cold and unwelcoming.
Are you enjoying safe haven so far? What are your thoughts on today’s episode? Let’s gist in the comments section!