Written by Mofoluwake Omololu.
He was all bright and clear immediately, giving his wife a surprised but pleased smile as he thought to himself, “I’d make an excellent actor.”
“To what do I owe the pleasure of this very pleasant surprise, dear wife?” he asked with a twinkle in his eyes.
Lara sighed, thinking how stupid the man she had been married to for five years could think her, smiling and acting all bubbly, even feigning the twinkle in his eyes. She credited him with the charade though, if she was anybody else she would fall completely for it. but she wasn’t anybody else, she was his wife.
She walked into the room then around the table to get to him, swung his seat around so he was facing her and bent so she could stare him in the eyes. He was watching her closely, probably trying to understand her response to him
“I met Mr. Ogundele as I came into the building, he was the one who directed me to find you here. He seemed very concerned and was asking how things were at home, which doesn’t set well seeing as we’ve only been back from our vacation. I would expect that the comments would be how lovestruck my darling husband was, singing my praise, and how he had so much adrenaline pumping through his veins causing him to ace all his duties. Mr. Ogundele says you’re lagging behind, and painfully so, and that you need to get your shit together quickly if you’re to remain here.
What’s going on honey? You should be more excited than these, I mean, we just found out we’re having a baby. What is it?” she said to him.
At her bringing up the baby topic, he stood up from the chair, walked to the door and locked it. For a second,
Lara thought he was ignoring her and walking out on her, she was already brimming with anger just at the thought. He was the one that had looked for trouble and she was the one who should get to walk out on him. Her anger fizzled out as soon as she heard the door lock click, he didn’t turn around immediately but as she stared at him she watched his body heave.
“He’s crying, again. What is his guilt now?” she thought to herself.
He turned around after what seemed like forever and Lara just watched him as he took his seat across from her. He looked at her and then burst out crying again, burying his head in his hands.
A confused Lara found a tissue in her bag and pushed it his way, “Kola, you’ll need to actually tell me what’s going on as I don’t read minds. And honestly, I don’t know of any problems crying has fixed.”
“I didn’t come out here for this, Lord” she mumbled to herself.
Kola wiped his eyes and regained composure as he looked at Lara and said, “I heard you last night.”
The air was suddenly chilled, and Lara’s eyes grew so large like the grim Ripper was behind Kola. He had dropped his head again giving her time to recompose herself and gather her thoughts, she’d been the one hurt so why did she feel as though she’d betrayed Kola’s trust. So he knew, how exactly did he expect her to bring up her rape with the pepetrator who she ought be able to trust completely.
The anger that had previously fizzled came back immediately, what with Kola trying to guilt-trip her? She’d not let him turn the tables on her.
Her heart was in a tumult but she sat straight backed with face straight and asked him, “So?”
He, in responding, recounted his inner battle in Rio and how she had been his victim.
Her tummy growled as he spoke. Then, he stopped. She was in a state now. He brought out his phone and ordered their favorite Chinese meal, but her hunger was the last thing on her mind. He was saying it should be delivered to his secretary and brought up to the conference room.
Lara didn’t interrupt him, she listened closely but didn’t give in to reactions. Kola was obviously having a hard time with the whole situation and she didn’t feel like biting off more of him. It had been a violation of her rights but she had gotten something she wanted so badly from life and that wasn’t such a bad deal. The alternative was to come back home and continue the vicious “child-no child circle”.
When he was done telling his story, he asked what she had in mind about the whole thing.
She did have a lot in mind, starting with how angry she was, but it couldn’t have been easy for him to recount the horror of the error he had done her so honestly. She knew it had seemed like his only resort but wondered why he hadn’t consulted with her instead of setting himself up for the worst possible fall. What he had done was a big sin, legally and biblically. But was it a sin to her? No! Definitely, no. She suddenly remembered the Bible verse that said two things were never satisfied: the grave and a barren woman.
Had she gone mad? Was she justifying a sin that could send her to the eternal fire that never went out, or which worms never die? “Lord Jesus Christ, please have mercy,” she muttered.
“What?” Kola asked,
“Nothing,” she said.
She hadn’t come to trash things out with him so his confession threw her off guard, plus the fact that she hadn’t had to pull it out of him. She explained that there was only so much she could do about it since she was compelled to forgive a repentant heart as a christian and she didn’t have the will to fight with him. She would have, but his apology had disspelled her rage. Maybe she would talk about how it made her feel and the way forward sometime, but right then she was too out of sync to think.
They prayed together, and Kola shocked her further when he told the Lord he forgave her and took full responsibility for her sins.
“It is me, Lord Jesus Christ, from the beginning to the end. I will not play Adam here, I am responsible, let all the punishment come to me. Please, as the head of this lovely woman you have bestowed to me, I take the responsibility. Discountenance all she may have confessed. Let it all be on me. I plead your blood of sacrifice as I await your rod of correction for my utmost folly. Please deal with me in your mercy, O Lord, I pray.”
Lara refused to assent to the prayers. She opened her eyes and squeezed his hands to continue with the prayers, but Kola ignored her. He was really ready to assert himself as priest so she let him be.
“My Lord and my Saviour, I forgive her, so, please I beg, forgive her. I forgive Shola, but please help to forgive myself…..”
Finally, when he closed, she had to say, Amen.
For his sacrifice on her behalf, a new kind of love and respect for him welled up in her heart as she let her joy flow in tears. He was in tears, too.
He lifted up her chin and he smiled ever so beautifully through his tears, she hugged him so tightly. He went into the restroom and pulled her along. He wiped his face clean and helped her, too.
“I feel free and at peace,” he said.
“I do, too, and thank you for your prayers for me,” Olowoorimi.
“That is a new one in five years.”
“Yes now, are you not the one who paid the dowry over me. Moreover, you just asked for God to deal with you for a sin I consented to and fully participated in,” my dear.
As if on cue, the Secretary knocked. Kola went to unlock the door.. They watched a movie, projected from Kola’s laptop to the board-room screen as they ate their meal.