Today was like a lovely sunny morning with Tolu’s arms wrapped around my waist. He welcomed me with a banquet of red roses after planting a warm good morning kiss on my forehead. I was yawning when he came into the room with a surprise of a red velvet cake of “Would you be my Valentine, Moyo” inscribed on it.
My face lit up with smiles as I gushed and gushed. I beckoned him to come close and kissed him deeply. It was the time I tasted the fresh mint in his mouth that I knew he was ready to get to work this morning. But why would he still be strolling round the house in underwear?
“Let me get you breakfast,” I said and tried to get out of bed.
“No,” He insisted. I brought you breakfast in bed. He reached for the handle of our bedroom door where Inioluwa and Shade stood outside in their neatly ironed uniforms, playing the role of Chefs, as they pushed the trolley in and screamed “Mummy, Mummy, Happy Valentine.”
The joy in my heart knew no bounds. I stretched my arms to accommodate my cute sweethearts in a warm embrace.
“Have you eaten? Is your bag ready for school?”
“I have taken care of it,” Tolu answered. I will chauffeur them today. I will just put my shirt on. “Enjoy,” he said. The aroma of the fried eggs filled the air; Tolu knew how I loved bacon and hot dogs. In here was a lifetime supply of nourishment. It was barely 8am and the surprises kept rolling in. What luck have I had to marry my best friend? After a few mouthfuls, I couldn’t bear to see Tolu struggle with that tie. He had an important appointment.
I pushed the tray aside and gently placed it on our bedside table. I took every other thing on it off.
“Wait there, don’t you dare move,” I warned, sashaying to the bathroom. I was back in one second to help Tolu adjust his tie.
He pressed his hands on my rear as usual. This is our early morning ritual. He, the helpless husband that cannot perfectly knot a tie and me, the expert fashionista, making sure he slays every day. He rather his hands not be anywhere than my waist while I try to strangle the living daylights of his neck.
If Tolu could actually knot that tie, he would. He was always so independent. Having left his parents immediately after Youth Service, he was used to do everything himself. This was our own closure moment, in the morning of every day. It was my insistence on his wearing a tie that caused this.
Tolu, how he hated ties!
“Is this okay,” I asked.
“Better talk now. Before you will be saying it is too tight.”
I found the perfect length for him and stole another kiss from him.
“Hurry, the children will be late.”
“I will drop them off at Mum’s by evening. So we can have some me and you time.”
“Just Go!” I feigned anger.
I watched him leave. Taking the children and coasting through the gates in the Hyundrai we both loved riding. If I beat him to it, I would take the Hyundrai. It was a car we both loved and admired. I looked at my ring and smiled. It brought back memories of how we met at a shopping mall. I was bitter and wanting to get over another failed relationship attempt and he was the man I shared the table with at KFC in Ikeja City Mall. That was five years ago.
I don’t recall how we grew from friends to lovers. But love makes everything beautiful in time. I loked at the Velvet cake, only a quarter was eaten and the lovely surprise. When did he prep Ini? I wondered. Probably, they had been planning this thing over the weekend when I was slaving at the Girl Child Foundation. Or maybe they just scripted this act yesterday. Tolu was a good writer and filmmaker. Who knows really?
I have to surprise him at work this afternoon. I really need to.
I picked out a red dress we bought during winter. We got it in Canada where we were window shopping and found the dress that I could not stop gazing upon. Tolu had to pay for it. It was quite expensive. I didn’t expect that he would at least buy it. But, he did. The dress fitted all my curves and edges perfectly.
I laid the dress on the bed and took my famous high heels to match. Tolu loved the natural me but I still added an artificial glow to my natural me. I wanted to see the amazement in his mouth when he saw me swing by the office. His writing days were over, even though he owed a printing press on the side, he was the Managing Director of the fastest rising newspaper company in Lagos. They set up shop just two years ago and had closed down several fraudulent politicians by their investigative and feature pieces. I left home by 1pm. I really wanted to treat him to some homemade lunch and wine.
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I stopped by the store to order some grapes and I dropped into the office immediately.
I took the secret elevator, carrying the basket, not wanting to waste time, I passed the secretary who was still attempting to pass a message that I was here.
I acknowledged her but walked briskly and pressed the door handle. It was in less than a split second and I could see Tolu eyes closed with a lady who was straddled to his naked body. He was trousers and pants down as this lady was busying laying loving kisses from his bare waist and down below.
I wasn’t just aghast. I was shocked and I wondered what she was doing. Her clothes weren’t off, only Tolu’s were off, pants down.
I screamed. “Tolllluuuuu…” and deeply went into faded darkness, as l fell to the ground.