“Hey, dear. I’m off to work. Thanks for breakfast.”
Patricia Babalola grunted imperceptibly, engrossed in the laptop in front of her, her palm wrapped around a steaming mug of coffee.When Jide stood up from the other side of the dining table and bent over to kiss her before he left, she turned her face sideways at the last moment so that the kiss fell on her cheek rather than her lips. Jide paused for a moment, considering making a complaint about her behavior, but finally shrugged and moved away.As Jide went out the door, his shoulders slumped tiredly.
He was weary of being unfaithful to a disinterested wife, weary of his new demanding mistress, and weary ofa marriage that seemed to be steadily deteriorating every day.Patricia looked up as the door shut behind her husband.
She closed her laptop and walked to the window, watching from behind the curtains as Jide drove out of the compound; the expression on her face was a mix of anger and frustration.
Jide Babalola had totally misread his wife’s distraction.Patricia had noticed her husband’s behavior was off, and although she had her suspicions regarding his recent behavior, she was so engrossed in keepingher own secrets that she barely had time to take them up seriously. She spent days worrying over thoughts that weighed heavy on her heart, thoughts directly responsible for her recent behavior towards her husband. Patricia Babalola was a prisoner of her own making, trappedby a truth she refused to share.A part of her was glad that her husband had stopped pestering her for s-x and expecting more intimacy than she was willing to give.
She laughed to herself as she remembered her mother’s advice after she and Jide had just gotten married. “Husbands and wives get used to each other as time goes on. You have to learn toexpect this.” the older woman had advised. “I know you’re both eager and hotfor each other now, but in time these urgeswill reduce. It is normal, my dear. Don’t panic when it happens.” Patricia had laughed, full of hope and flushed with new love. “Mum! This kind of discussion sef! I’m not a kid.
Anyway, that one aside, that scenario does not apply here o. Jide and I will be going at it like wild rabbits even in our 50s and 60s, I’m sure. So there will be nothing to panic over.” But now, here they were, right where her mother had prophesied. She knew what her mother had been talking about was a state sometimes reached after many yearsof fulfilled passion. Her marriage was barely two years old and it had already hit an unhealthy plateau of zero-lust.And it was all her fault.Patricia sighed as she returned to the literary article she was typing on her laptop. Her job as a freelance journalist/writer allowed her to dictate her working hours and work from home. She had given her job up at a prominent news firm to pursue her own career and so far, had no reason to regret it. Her income was fairly sizeable and large enough to encourage her to keep working as an entrepreneur.
But when she remembered one of her primary reasons for that new lifestyle, tears shimmered in her eyes.
The appeal of working from home had been mostly hinged on her plans to be available for the children she and Jide planned to have. Early on, they had decided on four kids, Jide optimistically hoping for more girls and her, for more boys.Now, after the onset of some especially painful and irregular menstrual periods and a visit to her gynaecologist, she knew that dream would be difficult to achieve.POI, the doctor had called it.
Primary Ovarian Insufficiency. It explained the irregular periods but Patricia was inconsolable; she just considered it a quaint way to tell her that her ovaries had stopped working normally even though she was not yet old enough to reach menopause.
“I suggest you come back with your husband, Mrs Babalola.” The doctor had advised, sympathy in his voice.
“The problem you have is not the end of the world. There are various alternatives. You are still fertile with lots of viable eggs, but you and your husband have to closely time and monitor your ovulation in order to…” But Patricia had already tuned out. When she left the hospital, she resolved not to return until she was pregnant and could flaunt it to the doctor. But her hope crumbled as months passed, some of them greeting her with neither baby nor a normal period. She had been raised an only child and had sworn to have a huge family; now the laws of probability were not in her favour, and it seemed she wouldbe lucky to have even one child.
Her pride had pushed her into a depressive state where she had lost the urge for s-x and the intimacy she could get from her husband. Foolishly, she told Jide nothing of the problem, and immersed herself in work, growing bitter at her thoughts.Her secrets had already gone a long way to ruining her marriage, but she was not even aware of it.
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