“What are we going to do about work, and living in two cities?”
It was the night before I was due to return to Port Harcourt. I was standing in front of the wardrobe; the doors open and a small suitcase open on the floor beside me. Cynthia was lying in bed punching her phone when she asked the question and, because she had been quiet while I decided what to take and what to leave, I wasn’t expecting her question.
“What was that babe?” I asked, turning to look at her.
For someone I have known almost three years, she still made me swallow spit. The way the bedside lamp lit up the left side of her face while casting the right side in shadow, the furrow of her brow made her look so vulnerable all I wanted to do was protect her and tell her everything was alright.
“I was asking if living apart made any sense,” she replied.
I joined her in bed, taking a place behind her and pulled her unto my chest.
“Babe,” I said, “we already talked about this and we will do what we decided to do and see how it goes.” I leaned forward till my nose was in her locs. “I will come home every other weekend for starters, and we will alternate our leave so that we instead of – how many days are your leave again?”
“So instead of 28 days together we will have 68. So one person will have to go to work while the other is home, but we’ll spend the nights together.”
“I know all of these in theory, but watching you fold clothes into your suitcase made it real. Like, I will not see you for two weeks.” She turned around to look at me.
“Look babe,” I kissed her nose, “you have no idea how hard it was for me standing there considering what to take and what to leave, knowing that it meant I would be leaving my heart tomorrow. But we both know I can’t ask you not to pursue a career you have worked so hard to build, and I while I won’t mind being a kept man…”
“…I also have a work. I’m kuku not the entrepreneurial kind or I would’ve just stayed back and hustled, so this is the life we have chosen for now. Who knows, with any luck there might be an opening in our Lagos office and I will move back.”
“True. I hope that happens. I will keep checking to see if anybody is hiring in Port Harcourt as well, and we will pray about it.” She said resignedly.
I said a silent prayer in thanksgiving for the gift of her.
“We’ll be fine hun,” I said.
“We will be fine. God’s got us.”
“Wanna help daddy complete his packing?” I slid out from behind her.
“Whose daddy is that one?” She turned her nose up at me.
“Remember what your father said at the intro? He said I was now your daddy>”
“And you didn’t think that was more than a little pervy?”
“You’re rude and you have no one to tell you.”
“Why else do you think I married, ehn you this man? You’re failing in your duties o.”
“What duties are those: husband duties or daddy duties?” I got back in bed and pulled the duvet from under her causing her to roll to the other side of the bed.
“Eh-eh. See assault. I will report you to feminist twitter.” She giggled.
“So easily triggered ehn? Oya come here.”
“What about your packing?” She asked.
“I’ll wake up early and complete it.”
“Say ‘I hope I wake up early to complete it’ because I don’t know the alarm will be able to wake you up when I’m done with you.”
When I switched off the light later, I couldn’t dislodge the heaviness that was sitting on my chest.