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SPIKES & SPARKLES 23 (+18)

 

‘Thank you for expressing yourselves, I’m glad you spoke your minds. Assumption is like one rotten apple covered with worms in a basket full of fresh apples. This bad apple will contaminate and spoil other fresh apples in the baskets and that’s exactly how assumption works. It corrupts all the good thoughts you have. It pitches you against your partner and put lots of “what ifs” into your mind. Asking your partner a direct question every time you have doubts will save your home from many troubles than keeping your questions bottled up in you. Funmi, your husband thinks you are cheating on him because you have refused to talk and touch him like you used to. You have stopped being the loving wife he married. You were his friend, companion, and bedmate. You lived to please this man but suddenly you stopped. Any man will think the same; after all, he can’t see through you! Men are not gifted with detecting a woman’s problem through her actions; they need to be told in plain words! When you are angry with your husband, tell him immediately and never let it get to the bedroom or kitchen. Don’t deny him food or sex because he hurts you, once he knows he’s being denied sex or food as punishment, he will have it outside before coming home. You knew your husband before your children; you know what he likes to eat, just because he’s not telling you anymore doesn’t mean his taste has changed.’ Ngozi paused, checked her file and continued.

 

‘It is very selfish and self-centered of you to ignore your husband’s needs and want. Do you have an idea of how many good and beautiful women out there hoping to find a husband to take care of? It’s the job of a woman to manage the house and balance her work, children and husband without any of the three suffering. Who are you expressing your feelings to if not your husband? Who are you talking too? Your friends whom you don’t know wish you well or know what they are going through in their homes? Many even envy you and want what you have! If your husband wouldn’t tell you what he wanted to eat, you could have called him and ask!’ Ngozi’s phone rang to the surprise of everybody; she irritatingly cut the call and silenced her phone. She sneaked a look at the couple’s interlocked hand, they were struggling to keep their hands together, they had moved closer so as to balance their joined hands between them and their elbows was closer and it gave support to the sweating hands. If only they knew the life lesson they were teaching each other with just holding hands, she smiled.

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‘As I was saying, your home should be a sanctuary to your husband; no one wants to come home to a battlefield. Who will want to come home to screaming children after a day of hard work? You should be able to control your children and make them respect their father’s privacy. I don’t know if your husband is cheating on you or not but unless you have concrete proof or evidence of his infidelity, you should never accuse him of unfaithfulness. Though as a woman, most times we have the intuition to know when there is another woman somewhere, but this gift can be wrong and misused when the mind is already full of doubts. Funmi, have you ever caught your husband cheating on you or do you have any evidence to support your suspicions?’ Ngozi asked.

 

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A teary- eyed Funmi shook her head and tears flew out of her eyes. Ngozi passed a tissue to her from the box of tissues she had brought with her. She watched as Seyi patted their joint hands and consoled Funmi who was crying uncontrollably now. Ngozi waited for her to sober before continuing.

 

‘When you accused someone of a crime they didn’t commit, it might drive them to commit that same crime. What I am trying to say is that this home is yours, everything in it is yours and you can’t afford to neglect any part of it or take sides. If you had asked your husband why he was coming in late, he would have told you the reasons and you would have tried to adjust and neither of you will suspect each other.’ She stopped to drink water and she watched as Seyi drew Funmi closer, he took the tissues from her and helped her clean her face. Seyi was kissing his wife’s face, soothing her pains, his mouth was against her ear and Ngozi heard whispers. She hid her smile behind the cup.

‘Ggggmmmmhhhhh!’ She coughed and they broke up.

‘Please no whispering. Funmi, is there anything you will like to say or ask Seyi? Ngozi asked and Funmi nodded and said sniffing,

‘I’m very sorry baby, I am so sorry.’

‘It is okay baby, I’m sorry too.’ Seyi replied.

‘It’s good to say sorry and it’s good to accept your partner’s apologies. Now I need both of you to do something for me. I see it’s getting difficult to keep your hands joined because of sweat. I want you to clean your interlocked hands without breaking them or speaking to each other.’ Ngozi told them.

 

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 They both looked at her like a wicked task mistress. She handed two tissue papers to them. Funmi’s right hand was joined to Seyi’s left hand, her right arm overlapped Seyi’s left arm and her right-hand fingers rested on the back of Seyi’s left hand while Seyi’s left-hand fingers rested on the back of Funmi’s right hand. Ngozi watched as Seyi and Funmi began the simple but difficult task. Seyi attempted to clean his own arm which was on Funmi’s side but it was difficult, and besides, their arm kept bumping into each other. Seyi signaled for Funmi to wait and he began cleaning her arm, Funmi followed suit and cleaned Seyi’s arm. Seyi tapped on one of Funmi’s fingers, she looked at him with a questioning look, and Seyi rolled his eyes at her and raised her finger up and cleaned under it. Funmi smiled at him understanding he wanted her to raise her fingers, she raised all of her fingers and Seyi cleaned the back of his hand and her fingers. Funmi did the same to her side of the interlocked fingers. Seyi parted their hands with the interlock intact and cleaned inside their joined sweaty palms. They smiled sheepishly at each other like they have archived an unbelievable task. Ngozi ignored them, she didn’t comment on their well-done task. She passed the box of tissues to Seyi saying,

 

  ‘Seyi, let’s address your wife’s feelings and your shortcomings. Your wife wakes up around five or five thirty, wake up your kids and get them ready for school, cook breakfast and cajoled them to eat. While they were eating she quickly shower and get dressed for work, then she drops the children at school. She goes to the office, spend some time in the court defending a case or cases, then she rushes to the school and pick up your children. She drives home in a terrible traffic entertaining the children in the car. She gets home and helps the children with their homework. She cooks dinner while they watch TV. She answers countless questions, settles many senseless arguments and entertains them some more. She serves dinner and the struggle to get them to bed begins. Finally, she gets them to bed around eight after lots of reading, cajoling and promises. She rushes to the kitchen to clean the used plates. Then she takes the file she brought home from the office and work on it before finally getting to lie down. That’s what your wife’s ordinary day looks like. Let’s check yours. You wake up around six or seven, do some exercise, shower, dress up and come down for some hot breakfast. Then you go to work, do series of meetings and a hard day’s work. You leave your office and hang out somewhere to relax so that you can avoid the traffic. Then you come home, eat if you are not yet full from the snacks and food you ate at the bar. Then you shower, work on some files, watch the news and go to bed. Seyi, who do you think is busier in these two scenarios?’

‘Funmi.’ He answered reluctantly.

 

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  ‘May I then put it to you that you are also selfish and self-centered?. She’s not a witch; she can’t know what you want unless you tell her. Is it too much if you call or text her what you want for dinner? Instead of complaining or getting angry, why can’t you come home earlier and help your wife with the kids, like that you will be around when dinner is being made and you can influence it. Do you know research has it that children fear their fathers than their mothers? Maybe if you are around most of the time, the children will not be noisy and they will behave. This will take off some loads from their mother and help keep the kids in control. After a day’s work and there’s no one to appreciate you for it, will you be happy? Can an unhappy woman be turned on? Your wife is tired inside out. When you come home late, try and compliment her. Tell her she’s a superwoman for keeping the house sane. Tell her she’s the best cook on earth. Give her a little back and feet rub, from there she will start talking, romance will join in and making love will be inevitable. If you come home early, help her, talk to her and touch her, she will never think of you cheating on her even if you are!’ Ngozi paused to drink water and she caught a very small smug smile on Funmi’s face, but Seyi’s face was the opposite. While she was talking, she noticed that they were cleaning each other’s interlocked hands whenever it was wet. She couldn’t wait to point out this to them at the end of their session.

‘Seyi, do you now see reasons your wife changed?’

‘Yes…’

‘Can you tell me some of the reasons please?’

‘She’s tired; she doesn’t feel appreciated or wanted…’ Seyi answered remorsefully.

‘Is there anything you will like to tell Funmi?’ Ngozi asked, Seyi nodded and faced his wife saying,

‘I’m sorry baby, I really appreciate you, I know you are doing a fantastic job and I’m sorry that I made you feel otherwise. I love you.’ Funmi gave her husband a broad smile before saying,

‘It’s okay baby.’

‘I want you to have these three words at the back of your mind. They are simple but great words that can help you achieve a very peaceful home. The words are Understanding, tolerating and considering. When you understand your partner; their needs and wants, flaws and virtues, you will tolerate their shortcomings and shortsightedness, only then will you consider them in everything you do and every decision you take. If someone had told me this when I had problems with my husband, I’m sure we would still be together by now.’ Ngozi said as her voice faded away. She didn’t have to put the last sentence she did, but she added it for two reasons. To put in some sentiments into the counseling and to let them know she doesn’t have a perfect life, she was just like anybody else and there was no one immune to divorce. She saw disbelieve written all over Seyi’s face and she thought to herself. “Yes, I don’t have a perfect life even with everything I know.”

 

‘Now that that is settled, let’s move to something both of you actually put down, which is, putting all the blames on the children! Yeah, let’s talk about the children!’

 

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…To be continued…

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Written by Olatorera

Edited by Olatorera and Ola Adeyemi Smith.

© 2015 by IBIOLAT communications.

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