Written by Mofoluwa Jackson.
“Oh, my God! Kola, do something! Be a man! Acquit yourself as a man! Take charge, by fire by force!
“What are you talking about?” he whispered almost like a snake hissing.
Immediately, as quickly as her emotions exploded, it subsided. Actually, she chickened when she heard his hissing whisper. He had never been like that with her. This was a new one on her, and she was too afraid to push it. She knew she had shown utmost disrespect, and was not about to see where it led.
Kola looked at her for a long time without uttering a word. She couldn’t even stare back. She bowed her head and muttered, “I am sorry, honey.”
There was an awkward silence that lasted a few seconds that seemed to last forever. He quietly turned around and walked into the bedroom. She collapsed into the sofa. Her thoughts ran in hundreds of direction until she slept off.
She awakened only when he carried her sometime in the night to the bedroom. She cuddled ever so closely until he laid her down, changed her into her night gown, and stroked her head until she traveled to never land.
Kola made breakfast that morning and brought to her. She ate amidst drops of tears as he looked on endearingly. He allowed her to let go her emotions.
“Why had she become so taken over by a secondary desire when she had all the company she needed in him? Why was she letting the pressures of society to consume her she was about to lose the most loving character on earth?” He could not know what she was thinking as the tears trickled and she ate. In between tears and her breakfast, she lifted her head to smile at him. He smiled back and her tears of joy flowed freely.
That was that day.
By the end of the week, the pressure re-surfaced.
“Or maybe he had noticed and just didn’t want to go through the stress of asking incase it opened up pandoras box”. Lara thought.
Lara was very focused on their need to conceive and it had taken over her entire thought line all over, again. She had gone through all the tests, diets and drugs with no change and no help from her husband and it was getting to her. She felt that the burden was both theirs and should be borne together so she decided that enough was enough. Ignoring their problems didn’t make them go away, they were in it for the long run.
So she told Kola. She told him about all the tests she had taken, all the diets she had done, all the treatments she had undergone and all the stress it was monitoring her body to make sure she didn’t miss the ovulation window when it opened each month, just in case. She let him know there was nothing wrong with her and she waited for his response but he just sat there staring blankly, so she accused him of being no help and treating the issue trivially.
She was very bitter and enraged so he had no other choice than to sit and listen and when she was done talking she took her keys and left the house.
As she drove she thought about all she’d been through in the last four years of being married. She remembered her mothers concern when she had brought Kola home and how she had shut her down, claiming to have had God’s confirmation. She admitted to herself that she too had been skeptical about how smoothly and quickly their courtship had gone and she knew she probably hadn’t prayed all the right prayers.
When she had really thought about it she realized that she had ignored the red lights that had come on, like, for instance she hadn’t bothered that he treated things lightly and tried to push things that should have been addressed head on aside. She hadn’t even bothered to pay attention to his level of Christianity, his professing Christ had been enough for her. She knew she was anxious to settle down but what if she had rushed the whole thing along.
What if Kola had something he was hiding from her? After all she knew other people who didn’t have kids and both husband and wife bore the load together.
She remembered his family’s reception before they married, it had been warm and welcoming. Since they married though it had gotten colder and colder and his mother had accused her of bringing their family ill-luck and she had tried to bring in another woman severally to give her son a child who would carry on the family line. The woman wasn’t even a Christian, another fact Lara had forgotten to notice.
It was too late now and the past was to be just that, past. Her husband was really a good man, he probably just didn’t want to stress about things beyond their powers.
She had calmed down after she had driven for sometime so she turned back home. By the time she arrived Kola had started preparing dinner and when she asked to take over he led her to the room and asked her to rest and freshen up, he’ll call her when dinner was ready. She was surprised but did as she had been told.
After they had eaten he held her on the sofa and apologized for his carefree attitude and lack of empathy towards her, he said the whole conceiving thing seemed like too much stress and he just didn’t want that for either of them and thought that if he ignored it she will too. He said he realized then that it was a very big deal to her and that if she thought he needed to go in for a test he would.
Lara in turn realized and wondered why not having children after four years of marriage wasn’t a big deal to him but chose not to dwell on it, since there was already a head way. She thanked him and proposed to book an appointment soon which he agreed to.
On the appointed day, Kola was nowhere to be found and unreachable. He returned home very late, made up some excuses and asked for another date.
Lara wasn’t fazed, she perceived that he was scared of what the outcome would be since she was okay. He had stressed that, without saying the actual words in their previous conversations. She planned their next date conveniently on the weekend when Kola couldn’t run.
They went, samples were taken, and she remained pensive as they waited for the results.
When the results came they showed that Kola was the one with the problem. He had a case of varicocele veins.
He had been subdued since his condition was found out. He had tried to avoid talking about it with Lara but she wasn’t having any of it. When they spoke he had cried like a baby and begged her not to tell anybody about it. When she suggested treatment he said she should be patient and let him absorb the saddening news first, he alleged that the worst thing that could happen to a man was to be the reason why his wife couldn’t have a baby. It was women who were barren, not men. He was ashamed.
She tried to explain to him that it wasn’t his fault and that the doctor had suggested treatments to correct both diagnoses but he was prejudiced and blamed himself for the hardship of the past years and how he had been wicked by letting her bear the burden alone when it had been his fault all along. He was beating himself up and Lara sympathized with him, but wallowing didn’t make their predicament better.
It was a while before Lara realized that her husband wasn’t yielding and nothing she said convinced him enough to have him take treatment. He had moved from the feeling of guilt to denial and he wouldn’t agree with what the doctor had said. He was fine as far as he was concerned and he wouldn’t let her talk to anybody about it.
So it was a circle when her uncle came to stay with them and joined them in the search for a solution. He took his niece to get tested at a hospital of his dear friend, the tests were thorough, she had to admit, but they still came back without any problems. The doctor asked that her husband come in too and she nodded.
Her uncle didn’t know about Kola’s result and she wasn’t going to tell, he’d asked her not to, but how was she supposed to handle this deep well she now found herself in?