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JUST IN: BN Prose – Don’t Come Home Late by Ahmad Adedimeji Amobi

JUST IN: BN Prose - Don’t Come Home Late by Ahmad Adedimeji Amobi

JUST IN: BN Prose – Don’t Come Home Late by Ahmad Adedimeji Amobi

JUST IN: BN Prose – Don’t Come Home Late by Ahmad Adedimeji Amobi – He brought out his bag and slammed the door of his car. He made to enter the house and as he was about to thumbprint the door open, he held his finger. There was a river of questions behind that door waiting to sweep him off the floor. He had never come home late.

The one time he arrived home beyond the normal time was for a coworker’s birthday party. His friend, Chandler, forced him to attend even though he mentioned his wife was waiting for him. “It will be just for an hour.

I’m sure your wife would want you to have fun,” Chandler had said. He agreed but he didn’t know when he finished three bottles of alcohol and couldn’t lift his buttocks off the seat. When he found himself next to his wife the following day, she told him Chandler had brought him, making him promise not to come home late again.  

But this night, he was two hours late and he knew his wife was ovulating. She had told him to come back early so they could try again. They were both fine, the doctor assured them. But it is five years now, and their bodies have produced no child.

When he proposed surrogacy for the second time, he found her brooding in the chair all day, thinking about how her pregnancy fantasies wouldn’t come to pass. And they’d decided to keep trying. If they had no child, they’d put all their children savings into charity and build many orphanage homes, they both agreed.

He opened the door and there she was, sitting in the three-seater, her legs crossed, a novel in her hands. He closed the door and stood just at the entrance, staring into each other’s eyes. He knew he shouldn’t come home late. He knew it was more than the child that they were trying for.  

He knew it was because they were all they had, both of them, and they’d been each other’s friends for far too long. He knew she would never come home late from work. When she travelled to London for work, she made sure they had their movie night even though she slept off 30 minutes into the movie.

He was a good husband but sometimes, he forgot what was important. And she constantly tried to make him remember, or not hold him for it.

“Welcome, baby mi,” she looked up at him briefly before her eyes returned to the book. He didn’t know whether she was angry or moody or just engrossed in the book. He struggled to find the right words and shrugged.

He walked in and sat beside her on the couch, placing her legs on his lap, caressing them. He should have done that one hour ago after finishing his dinner as she read the paragraphs to him.  She once asked him to promise they would never make each other feel lonely in their marriage, and while they both tried to keep to that promise, he always forgot to keep to his promise.

Of all the nights he could come home late, tonight was not one of them. Not when she was ovulating. Not when there was a chance they could make a baby. Not when she’d said to him, as they headed to work in the morning, “If you come home late, you will have to get yourself pregnant and give me a child.”

He had crossed his heart and made a promise, but he also forgot to mention that he was going to stop by the viewing center.

It was Liverpool, and they still lost 4-3 to Manchester United at the extra time.

***

Feature Image by Alex Green for Pexels

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