SOMETHING BETTER…

SOMETHING BETTER… -By Temitope Ejide

I’m seated in the back seat of this nearly empty danfo bus, struggling with indecision. ‘Yaba! Yaba! Jibowu! Yaba!’ the conductor keeps calling in his coarse voice but the bus is taking very long to get filled up.

As I sit here, my mind is assaulted with the memory of the vicious words my husband said to me last night. It was our wedding anniversary yesterday and despite the many thinly veiled reminders I threw at him all week, he forgot about it. Disappointed, I confronted him, but, instead of the heartfelt apology I was expecting, he shocked me with an angry outburst.

‘When will you let me be, woman?’ he yelled at me, ‘Why are you always in my face?’

He accused me of being too clingy and insulted my habits of sending him romantic text messages, calling him during work hours and attaching sentiments to important dates. But after ten years of marriage, how else am I supposed to keep the sparks of our love alive?

His reaction was so bizarre, I couldn’t understand it. I don’t even show a quarter of that attention to my boss yet it has won me the Employee of The Year award thrice in a row, but my own husband, who I devote all my attention to, seem to regard me more as a parasite than a partner. His words stung me sharply like the bite of a soldier ant, but before I could even construct a response, he dropped an unexpected bomb.

‘You make marriage feel like an imprisonment’ he said, ‘and I just can’t stand your ways anymore. I need some space from you. I need to breathe again.’

And here I am now in this cramped danfo, stuck in an unprecedented quandary; deciding whether or not to leave the comfort of my spacious Lekki home to seek solace with a friend in the crowded, rowdy Yaba.

My stomach makes a grumbling sound which I recognize as the ringtone of hunger. I beckon on two street hawkers and buy a Gala sausage roll from one hawker and a bottle of Viju Milk from the other. The bus is now half-filled. I’m lost in deep thought as I still can’t understand how the same practices which make me excel at work seem to cause friction in my marriage.

I stare at a huge billboard nearby, watching its brightly displayed adverts. A picture of KennyMac- an OAP I absolutely adore- flashes across the huge screen and immediately, a striking statement he made in a recent episode of his TV show floats into my consciousness.

Storried Something Better

‘When life throws lemons at you, you don’t compulsorily have to make lemonade’ he had said, ‘you could simply shove them somewhere and move on to something better.’

At first, I had considered the statement audacious, but now it makes all the sense in the world to me. Something better… the phrase rings across my synapses and, for the first time in many hours, a smile creeps up my face. I now know what to do.

If my husband wants space, I’ll give it to him. He doesn’t deserve all the attention I shower on him anyways. I’ll simply take our time apart as an opportunity for me to move on to something better.

The bus is finally full. I dial the phone of Mabel- my friend in Yaba- just as the bus rolls out of the park.

‘Hello Mabel,’ I say immediately she picks up, ‘how are you?’

‘I’m fine Shola,’ she responds in her soft, singsong voice, ‘what’s up now?’

‘Prepare that your special Egusi soup’ I reply, ‘I’m on my way.’

 

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SOMETHING BETTER…

By Temitope Ejide

I’m seated in the back seat of this nearly empty danfo bus, struggling with indecision. ‘Yaba! Yaba! Jibowu! Yaba!’ the conductor keeps calling in his coarse voice but the bus is taking very long to get filled up.

As I sit here, my mind is assaulted with the memory of the

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