Perhaps discovery was the worst thing to happen to mankind. If I wasn’t enlightened, I wouldn’t hurt. If i didn’t realize it was normal to feel the way I felt, then I would forbear, sucking it up. If I wasn’t conscious of personality differences, I would agree to my condemnation.
I stand and walk to the window for the third time. This is lock down. I discover a light bulb is out, the one behind the security man’s house, I go to the switch and turn it on. I battle the temptation to pick up my laptop again. This data subscription must last. I go around the house, checking the other security lights.
Sharon is still asleep, I will her to wake, to cry.
Lying on my back, my mind drifts back to the last book I read. I turn it over in my head, I had no idea Tom would turn out to be the killer. How could the author keep so much information and only slip it out when she wants to? Author power? Where is my power? Over anything, over my life? The last few chapters pretty much had me in a daze.
I return to the living room and power on my laptop, there should be some new blog post from someone I follow that I can read. Connection failed. I click on the refresh button. I feel my agitation rising now. It always rises up to clog somewhere in my throat. I type in another URL I know by heart. I’m angry. Where is Loni?
I lie on the floor and fantasize; I see myself in a corporate dress sitting by my desk, typing hurriedly while one of my co-workers makes a joke. I’m picturing sometimes soon, but i can put no label put on how soon. I get angrier at the thought of not knowing when that could be or if would ever be. I need a reason to get out of the house every morning, rushing, barely drinking tea, I need to talk to other people face to face.
There is a rustling of metal as the gate is being opened. The soft pur of the car engine seizes. I prepare myself for battle. I gulp down a glass of water. This sort of life isn’t for me.
Loni steps in and gives me a tired smile.
“welcome. how was the office?” I say, unexcited.
“The same old” he moves near to kiss my cheeks. “where’s Sharon? Sleeping?”
“yes” my voice is quiet. I wait, till he’s undressed, till he’s eaten, I don’t let him pick the news paper though. Its my turn in this new timetable.
“I need to start working” It should always be simple and straightforward, I read that on Jumoke’s blog.
He waits for me to add more. I refuse to. This is a battle, not one that gentility would win. He clears his throat and sits up. “work?” I make a confirmatory sound at the back of my throat, my mouth constricted and heavy with nerves and anger.
“we decided you will watch the kids. Sharon is only eight months” NO, YOU decided, I emphasize in my head. Instead I say
“But I’m dying. I have been. I can’t be a stay home mum. Its not working. There has to be a way. We wait a little while, then we will drop Sharon at a day care and pick her up by 2pm every day ”
His eyes grow hard. “uhnn? You are dying?…”
“Loni,you don’t know what it feels like to stay alone every day. There is nothing to do. Its not me. Blood rushes in my vein, I’m an active person. I can’t stay calculating Nepa’s pattern of restoring electricity. I need to go out. I need to work!”
“There are several things to put into consideration. You just want to drop Sharon at the nearest day care you see because you are dying inside” he sneers at the word dying.
He sighs softly as though trying to explain to a kid.” You will work. Just not now. Wait till we have all the children and they’re grown”
“And how many will they be? Loni, you don’t get it. It doesn’t end. They’re never really going to be weaned. Children these days are dependent even at eighteen! Its going to be one hurdle after another.”
“We agreed on this. You can’t just come and say a change in plans!”
“Yes, I’m sorry. But please. I do nothing all day, nothing that counts for me that is”
He sighs.”I really planned to sleep early tonight. We’ll talk about this later, you just get used to it for now. You see Sharon is even becoming much of a company, she entertains pretty well. Don’t worry, the children won’t turn eighteen before you work, ehn?” he chuckles slightly, surely amusing himself.
I don’t bother replying, I will win this one, I’ve been learning the schematics of war. I get up to leave first. In the room, I search for the newly washed bed sheet, then my eyes wander to the calendar above.
I think I just lost the battle. I grip the folded bed sheet tighter as I stare at today’s date. It’s been six weeks since my friend, Comfort’s birthday party. I was on my period that day.
My heartbeat spikes at the though of not seeing my last period. I’m sure its just irregularity in my menstrual cycle. Nothing more. Nothing more. I sit on the floor and cry.