Bowled Over - Chapter 2
Married Life - Abi's story (WIP)
I looked up the clock on the wall. It was five minutes past eight pm.
My excitement which had been building for the past day was slowly fizzing out being replaced by annoyance.
I looked back down at the dining table. It was set for two; candlelight, flowers, my best china, soft music. The food was ready and had been in the oven warming for the past thirty-minutes. My fingernails were tapping on the glass top of the table, showing my frustration while I sat there trying to decide what to do next.
I picked up my mobile phone and pressed the shortcut button to dial my husband’s phone. It rang for a while and connected.
Like you don’t know who is on the line, I thought as I rolled my eyes upwards.
“Tayo, where are you?” I asked, really not in the mood for his games tonight.
“In the office,” he replied. “Is there a problem?”
“You promised you’d be home by seven-thirty tonight. It’s past eight already.” I was really starting to fume now but tried to keep it out of my voice.
“Oh. I forgot. We had problems with one of our projects here and I’ve been trying to sort it out. I’ll be leaving here in about an hour.” He replied as if he didn’t understand my irritation.
“Okay.” I replied trying to be nonchalant even though that wasn’t how I felt. There were other words I could have used as this was yet another broken promise. But I’ve learnt not to complain anymore.
He may have detected something in my voice because he asked, “You didn’t prepare anything special, did you? It’s not our anniversary, right?”
At this point, I’d heard enough and wanted to get off the phone before I said something in anger so I simply said, “It’s not. See you later.”
Hanging up the phone, I dropped it back on the table and it clattered to the floor sending its battery skittering off across the marble floor. My frustration turned into tears as I slowly cleared the table and switched off the oven ignoring the phone of the floor. With no appetite for food, I decided to have a long soak in the bath to help me relax. As I ran the bath, I recalled our marital journey.
Tayo and I met at a fundraising event for a sickle cell charity in London. We were introduced by a mutual friend who had organised the event. We got chatting, he was the managing director of a new media company and I was an accountant with a high-flying career in one of the big five accountancy firms. We seemed to have a few things in common. His brother had died as a child of a sickle-cell complication as did my cousin, which was why we both support the sickle cell charity.
We got on pretty well and I really liked him. He was handsome, charming, and fun, when he asked for my phone number and I gave it to him.
After the event, I didn’t hear anything from him for a while. Then two weeks later, I got a call from him one evening, he asks me out on a date and I agreed.
Tayo was a perfect gentleman while we were courting. He would open doors for me; buy me presents simply because he thought I’d like them. The weekend he proposed to me, he booked a surprise trip to France. We stayed in a magnificent hotel in Versailles and ate in a two-Michelin starred restaurant with a famous celebrity chef.
One of the evenings, he arranged for us to have dinner privately in our suite. As we sat there and I was enjoying the ‘Wild red mullet cooked in papillote, baby squid and clémentime Champagne velouté’, he proposed on bended knees too.
Though I knew we hadn’t known each other that long, well about five months at that time, I had thought how long does it take to really know somebody anyway? We could be dating for the next ten years and I’d still not really know him.
Moreover I loved him.
Our courtship was pretty swift, I guess you might say he swept me off my feet and a year later we walked down the aisle. Our wedding was a grand affair - a couture wedding dress, grand historic venue and dignitaries from the commonwealth.
His mother had wanted it to be the wedding of the century. She wanted it featured in one of the celebrity magazines. At some point I had wondered who exactly was getting married - me or her? I discussed this with Tayo who said we should go along with it. He wanted me to have the best.
“Anything my darling wants, she gets” he said to the wedding planner, who was happy to spend the cash.
I couldn’t complain about having a dream wedding but I was happier to be marrying the man I loved. Most of my close friends were already married and some with babies on the way. So when I met Tayo I was more than ready to settle down, to start a family.
However, here we are five years on and our marriage was slowly crumbling, tittering on the edge of a cliff, I finally admitted to myself as I got out of the bath ad put on the bathrobe. At this acknowledgement, I felt a searing pain in my chest and I felt suddenly shrouded by a blanket of misery.
Where did it all go wrong? I asked myself.
Professionally we were both doing great. I was recently promoted to head up a new corporate division in the firm. Tayo’s business was going strong despite the recession, with expansions in Africa and Asia. We lived in a beautiful Georgian house in an exclusive estate in Hertfordshire, and drove nice expensive cars.
But as a couple we were slowly drifting apart. Recently we haven’t seen much of each other. I could blame it on work pressures but the truth be known, it’s been happening for a while.
We have been trying for a baby and about a year ago I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid. The doctors said this was affecting my chances of becoming pregnant and prescribed some medication.
In that period of time, Tayo’s hours at work have increased and he is travelling abroad more often. We barely say goodnight or good morning. Our past frequent passionate lovemaking fizzled with nothing for weeks.
On the train yesterday, I met someone who set of a spark within me igniting a hunger to reconnect with my husband. So I planned the surprise dinner and asked Tayo to come home early tonight. I’d even bought new lingerie and had a new haircut.
Oh well, I thought to myself as I climbed into bed, picking up my book from my handbag. If things don’t change soon, I know the next step will be divorce lawyers, I thought as I opened the book and a card dropped onto the duvet.
It was Timothy’s card. I picked it up, remembering his fiery eyes, his warm smile, his silken voice and the way he had made me feel briefly yesterday. I longed to shed my current coat of loneliness and replace it with that warm sensation again.
The sound of the door downstairs broke through my thoughts announcing Tayo’s return home.
- Bowled Over - A Short Story (Chapter 1)
I saw him as I sat on the crowded train reading my book in the usual early morning rush. It was just a glance but I was bowled over. He sat across from me, laptop open. I noticed his toned slender...
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