She had cooked for him his favorite meal: Chapati with beef stew.
She set the dinner table. Called him to come eat.
He dragged his feet. Sat at the dinner table. His eyes fixed on his phone.
“You’re comfy? I bring you water to wash hands?” She asked.
He looked up at her, then looked down at his phone’s screen.
“I love you” she said.
Something about the way she said those three words was not genuine.
Many women do that, they sometimes tell their man I love you, not because they really want to say those words; but it’s a test. She wants to know if he will say I love you back and if he will say I love you back, she will analyze his tone. To those women, saying I love you is like a survey, an inquiry into what the man will say or won’t say in response.
“I love you” she said again as she ran her fingers on his scalp. This time it sounded forced.
He shrugged her hand off as he quickly reached for his spoon to start eating.
“I said I love you, don’t you love me? What kind of a husband are you not to love your wife?” She asked in a repulsive way as she pulled a seat to sit next to him.
He pushed away and got up from his seat and started walking to the bedroom.
She sneered at him.
“You just ignore me!” she said folding her hands, legs crossed. The leg on top moving about.
He walked back to the dinning table.
He picked up his phone that he had left on the table then walked away heading to the bedroom.
“You are not eating? Did you marry your phone? Are you chatting your many lady friends?” She shouted.
He continued walking away. He said nothing.
“I am talking to you” she shouted.
She got up her seat and walked to him. She charged into the bedroom.
“Why are you treating me this way?” She shouted at him.
He took her make up mirror and pointed it at her.
“Look at the lady in the mirror. Does she look attractive to you?” He asked.
She looked at her reflection in the mirror. She looked dull, angry, bitter and frightening.
“I am tired of you and how you treat me” he said sitting on the bed placing the make up mirror on the bed next to his phone.
“If you don’t like how I love you, then let me go out of your life. Love yourself because nothing I do is good enough for you” he added.
She looked at him, “What do you mean?” She asked.
“You are always picking up a fight. Wrangles in our home are more frequent than moments of peace. When was the last time you spoke well of me? When was the last time you said something good about me?” He asked looking at her.
She couldn’t answer that question. He was right.
He looked down saying, “Your phone is full of complaints about me to your friends”
“You looked into my phone? Don’t you respect my privacy?” She fumed.
He looked at her, shook his head, then looked down again.
“You have double standards. You demand to look into my phone but find it disrespectful when I look into yours? If I delay picking up your calls, it is an issue; but if you delay, I should understand. According to you, men are the only ones capable of doing wrong. It is always me who is on the wrong, you don’t see your faults” he said.
She leaned on the bedroom wall, swinging her leg.
“I am supposed to forgive you easily. But when you forgive me, your forgiveness is only temporary. You take the first opportunity to remind me of the wrongs I did in the past, just like you did yesterday. I thought we buried the issue but you had to bring it up. I try and become a better husband, but you keep chaining me to issues we moved on from. I make one step forward, you keep talking us two steps back. It’s always the same draining topic, accusing me before I even commit a crime. It’s like you want me to fail you, to mess up so that you prove to yourself that I am not a good husband. I am tired”
She sat on the bed next to him, “I make you feel like that?” She asked.
He looked at her, “Yes, and you know when you do me wrong, you know it. Yesterday, after saying all those nasty things and reminding me of my past, you haven’t apologized. You want me to say sorry to you but you rarely show remorse. Today, you have been on damage control. Your kind of damage control is to do good things to me like cooking me a meal and forcing a touch hoping I will forget your piercing words already spoken. And you expect me to find it easy to say I love you? Even though I love you, when you take me on this roller coaster of forgiving me yet holding on to the past, I struggle to express my love for you”
“I am not the best wife to live with. I don’t know why I do this” she said. Scared.
“You are a good wife, you can be a better wife if you stop looking for ways I will fail you. Look, you are so convinced I am chatting with many female friends on my phone. You have concluded that yet you are wrong. I am on my phone alot to read about politics, sports and business; that is how I escape from your unattractive demeanour” he said showing her the news websites on his phone.
“I can’t keep arguing and going round and round in circles like children. I am too grown for this. So you decide whether you want to believe in me your husband or constantly bash me and fault-find me. I am tired” he told her.
She leaned her head on his shoulder.
She said, “I am sorry. I have been mean to you. I hate myself for this”
“Don’t hate yourself. Dislike some of the things you do and change, but don’t hate yourself. Please, no more of focusing on my wrongs or your wrongs” he beseeched her.
“I love you” he told her.
She gave out a smile.
“You see you didn’t have to force me to tell you I love you? Make it easy to love you and I will express it naturally” he continued.
She smiled even more.
He took the make up mirror from the bed and placed it before the two of them.
“You see how beautiful you look when you relax and stop fighting me?” He said.
She smiled and looked at him.
“Let this be the face I come home to. You look beautiful when you smile” he made her know.
She kissed him and told him, “I love you. Please don’t get tired of loving me. I will make it easy for you to be the best husband to me”
© Dayan Masinde and Akello Oliech