Ngozi knew her friend was at her lowest, and she has been there before herself. She went outside and instructed the receptionist and secretary not to disturb them unless there was an important issue or client. They would follow the instruction gladly, nobody wanted to incur the wrath of Mrs. Olorunda! Ngozi took a bottle of water and tissue paper and gave it to Funmi who took it gladly. She wiped her face, blew her nose and drank the water. Ngozi sat opposite Funmi and held her hands across the table.
‘I’m your friend but also a counsellor. You have been working for this chamber before you got married, I knew how happy to were when you got married, how you couldn’t wait to get home every day, how you came late to work almost every day. You had a lasting smile on your face, you were happy but for sometimes now you have changed. It wasn’t my business but now it is. What’s going on?’ Funmi broke into fresh tears, she thought she masked her feeling very well and people couldn’t read her, she had no idea she could be read like a book. She felt embarrassed thinking her secrets was open to the world.
‘Come on girl, pull yourself together, you are stronger than this. A problem shared is half solved.’ Ngozi encouraged Funmi. Funmi wiped her face and drank more water.
‘I don’t know where to begin from, I don’t even know where or how it started,’ Funmi looked at he interlocked fingers helplessly.
‘Think very hard and start from anywhere you want.’ Ngozi said in a soothing voice. Funmi kept quite, lost in her thoughts. Then she began talking softly.
‘I thought I was going to die, it was painful, I just wanted to sleep but she wouldn’t stop kicking me. It was a horror movie which I was the victim. As I slipped in and out of consciousness I heard the doctor told my husband I couldn’t push the baby by myself but my husband wouldn’t sign the consent form. I had lost all my strength, I wanted to scream at him to sign the form but I could not. Hours passed and I was breathing my last when I heard the doctor told my husband I was dying and that our baby will die if I was not operated on immediately. As I was wheeled into the operating room, I heard my husband screaming, save my baby, and my heart broke to pieces.’ Funmi blew her nose and drank water. She stood up and paced up and down her office. Ngozi listened attentively, trying to be objective, it would have been wonderful if her husband was present, he would have been able to defend himself or say his side of the story. Ngozi wrote in her notebook; ANGER.
‘Something broke in our relationship that day, I just couldn’t connect with him anymore. I kept on thinking I could have died, he wouldn’t have cared much, he wanted his child more. I couldn’t trust him again. He tried to talk to me but I knew he was just pretending. Recovery was painful but the pain in my heart was more painful. Somehow I got over it but the scars remained. My husband will come home bearing gifts for his children, he won’t buy anything for me, he loved the children more. We used to gist about his work and everything but Seyi stopped talking t me. He would rather play with his children. I couldn’t believe my Seyi who loved sex didn’t touch me for fifteen months! What does that mean? I’m no more desirable and he has a girlfriend! If he wasn’t touching me, he’s definitely getting it from someone else!’ Ngozi wrote TRUST and ASSUMPTIONS under ANGER in her notebook.
Funmi stopped pacing, sat down, drank water and continued. ‘My husband was sweet and understanding before, he would help me with house chores and the children, he was satisfied with whatever I put on the table. He wanted to know how my day went, he rubbed my back, we made love, we talked.’ Tears streamed down Funmi’s face as the last word choked in her throat.
‘How did we get here, where did I went wrong, what am I going to do, I love my husband but I don’t know how to connect with him again. I’m tired, I just want to be appreciated and loved.’ She said amidst tears. Ngozi moved behind Funmi and petted her, saying nothing but handing over tissues as her friend and colleague poured out her soul. Ngozi watched in silence for a while, then she spoke in her soothing voice.
‘Tears are good, it’s a way of grieving and coping with your pains. When you keep everything bottled inside, it weighs you down, depresses you and makes you angry at everyone and everything. So darling cry, weep and howl if you have to but then don’t drown in your own tears, draw strength from it, swim out of it and let’s look for the solutions to your problems. Pull yourself together.’ Ngozi went back to her chair and wrote COMMUNICATIONS on her notebook, she circled the word.
Funmi hasn’t cried openly like this ever before, she felt vulnerable and also relieved, it was liberating sharing her pains and sorrows. She dabbed her tears and summoned the courage to face Ngozi. When Funmi raised her face to Ngozi’s, she met a smile on her face and she smiled back.
‘How do you feel?’ Ngozi asked
‘Better, relieved and vulnerable.’ Funmi said quietly.
‘That’s good. As your friend, I will blame Seyi for everything and curse him if it will make you feel better,‘ Funmi chuckled, ‘but it won’t help the situation or as you counsellor tell you the truth. I’ve written four things down here, Anger, trust, assumptions and communication. The first three problems could have been avoided if you did the last on. Communicating your feeling to your partner is the most important thing in a relationship. You have to learn to forgive every day, you can’t bottle up anger and expect not to explode. A family that pray, eat and sleep together stay together my dear. Have you been doing these things together Funmi?’ Ngozi waited for Funmi to respond but she didn’t so she continued.
‘If we want any good result to come out of this we need your husband here but first thing first, give me your phone.’ Funmi looked confused. ‘Come on, bring your phone, trust me.’ Funmi handed over her phone still very confused.
‘What’s your husband’s BBM name?’ Ngozi asked.
‘Seyi Olorunda, what are you doing Ngozi?’
‘Chatting with your husband as you.’ Funmi panicked, Ngozi smiled at her reassuringly.
‘Calm down, I’m doing you a favour, trust me.’ Funmi watched in horror and amazement wondering what Ngozi was writing to her husband. She watched Ngozi’s face which was full of mischief.
‘There, done, thank me later.’ Funmi was expecting her phone back but Ngozi didn’t give it up
‘Now this is what….’ The intercom rang, it was line 1, it was the boss, Ngozi picked it up.
‘Barrister Oge, Mr. Jones is here, please bring his file and join us in my office.’
‘Yes sir.’ Ngozi stood up and pocketed Funmi’s phone to Funmi’s horror.
‘Don’t look at me like that, I’m not giving you this phone and allow you ruin my hard work. I will be back soon but get your stuff together before I come back, we are closing early today and I’m dropping you home.’ Ngozi stated. Funmi started to protest.
‘But I need my phone and how will I get to work tomorrow, besides, I don’t know what you have..’ Ngozi cut her off, heading for the door she said,
‘Sshhhh! Trust me, I know what I’m doing. Sit tight.’ Funmi threw her hands in the air in frustration. What’s this woman planning? Even though she was frustrated, she was excited and she has a feeling it was going to be a memorable night.
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…To be continued…
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Written and edited by Olatorera
© 2015 by IBIOLAT communications.