The silence felt thick enough to be sliced. I quickly excused myself and made my way to the bedroom, leaving mother and son to sort themselves. I was not about to get caught in the brewing storm.
“You see? Tade, you see how she’s walking out on me?” I was halfway to my room but still flinched.
“Mum, admit your fault for once and apologise,” Tade responded.
“Tade? Emi? You dare talk to me rudely?”
“I’m sorry I sounded rude mum, I am only speaking the truth,” Tade replied. “Please, excuse me mum, I have to check on my folks.”
“You are walking out on me too, are you? Tade, I’m not finished, come back here this instant.”
“Goodnight mum,” Tade called out, “I love you too.”
She would have none of it and complained bitterly to herself in the living room. I couldn’t make out much of what she said because Tade had come to my room, apologising for what transpired few minutes ago.
“I’m sorry you had to go through that,” Tade sighed, “I feel terribly responsible.”
“You can’t take responsibility for another’s actions. You are not responsible for how your mum feels or what she thinks.”
“Yeah,” another sigh escaped him, “but I persuaded you to come, believing she’d not be around to make the visit difficult. I really wanted you to have a good time with Sheila. I really wanted you around.”
“I’ve had a good time so far,” I smiled at him, “and I have you to thank for that.”
“Yes, really. I’m having loads of fun with Oyinade and I wouldn’t trade that for anything in this world.”
“Me nko?” his eyes glinted mischievously, “I’m no fun?”
“You,” I poked him playfully, “have been a very good boy.”
He smiled contentedly. “So, what do I get for being a good boy?” the mischievous look was back.
I smiled and gave him a ‘come hither’ sign, then planted a kiss on his cheek when he came close enough. This ‘new Tade’ dey make me feel giddy, hey God! There were a thousand and more butterflies in my stomach as I slept that night – good feelings and a smile.
Sunday evening came with a surprise. Oyinade and I had cycled round the neighbourhood and as we approached the house, Tade walked towards us. We halted and alighted from our respective bicycles.
“Hey ladies, what’s up?”
We passed hi-five greetings round.
“So, my fair ladies,” Tade smiled sheepishly, “what do you say to few days of Miami Beach get-away?”
Oyinade shrieked in excitement and flung herself into Tade’s waiting arms. “Yes, yes, yes. Daddy, I say yes.”
“Mummy?” Tade turned to me, “what say ye?”
I kept mute for a moment. Both looked at me intently as if their next breath depended on my response. I broke into a smile. “Let’s do it!”
“Yay,” we chorused simultaneously.
In a jiffy, Tade and I took to the internet to search out the hotel of choice around Miami Beach and made the necessary reservation.
“Have you told momsie,” I asked Tade.
“Not yet,” he responded, fixing his gaze on the computer screen, “I’ll tell her when we are all packed and set to go.”
“Ah! No o,” I protested, “why drop the information on her like that?”
“Babes, see ehn, my mission is to give you a good time while you are here and I don’t have to explain my actions or my decisions to momsie. I’m a grown man and she needs to realise that.”
“Bros, I am not asking you to get endorsement from her but it wouldn’t be nice if she suddenly finds out she’d be home alone for few days – something she’s not mentally prepared for, at least.”
“Ta ni bros?” he jabbed my ribs playfully, “who be your bros?”
“Wetin you be?”
“I be your love na.”
“E pele o, Mr. Loverboy.”
“Anyway,” I continued, “you should let momsie know we are taking some days off sha. Abi you’re scared of her stopping you ni?” I stuck my tongue out at him.
“She most definitely can’t stop me,” his words were a bit forceful, as if to assure himself of his disengagement from momsie’s apron. “I’m a grown man, I make my decisions.”
“Yes o, my one and only big baby,” I rubbed his head affectionately while still sticking my tongue out at him, “you are a grown man.”
Tuesday morning, we said our goodbyes and off we went. I had no idea how Tade’s discussion with his mum went but she was not her usual cold, disinterested self that morning. Maybe she was happy I’d be away from her for few days – maybe not – but I cared less. The idea of spending sometime away from her dey do me yoriyori sef, so na mutual feeling.
Our time at Miami Beach was absolutely refreshing. We had loads of fun – all three of us. The change of environment relaxed me more than I had imagined and the exotic scenery stirred all the fluffy feelings I had long-buried. The 24/7 proximity without interference helped Tade and I reconnect and it tightened our bond. When the going was good, we were good friends and quite playful with one another and the time spent at Miami Beach rekindled some of that playfulness. It really felt good playing ‘the loving couple with an adorable daughter’, even if for few days.
The last days of my vacation were quite uneventful. I spent them lazing and catching unadventurous fun with Oyinade and Tade; even her majesty’s coldness had somewhat thawed slightly. Everyone was at peace.
On the eve of my departure, after dinner, father and daughter came to help me finish packing, then we spent time hurdled together on my bed.
“Mummy?” Oyinade called softly.
“Yes, my princess,” I replied.
“Can I sleep in your room tonight?”
Tade responded before I could open my mouth to grant her request. “No, sweetie,” he answered.
“Why na, babes?” I protested on Oyinade’s behalf, “just for this night, biko.”
“It’s daddy’s turn to sleep in mummy’s room,” Tade responded calmly.
Did I hear correctly?
“But daddy,” Oyinade took over the protest, “I had never slept in mummy’s room since she came. This is my turn, then it will be your turn next time.”
“She is right,” I supported Oyinade’s claim.
“That’s how you people will be cheating me but I refuse to be cheated,” Tade held on to his argument, “Sheila, have you forgotten you slept in mummy’s room throughout our stay in Miami Beach?”
Mother and daughter protested simultaneously.
After cajoling Oyinade, we went to her room and spent time with her till she fell asleep. I expected Tade to head to his room but he followed me to mine. I was surprised because I thought what he said earlier was simply a strategy to dissuade Oyinade from the idea of sleeping in my room.
“Err, I think I’ll be fine from here on. You may go to bed now,” I told him.
“That’s exactly what I plan to do. I am coming to bed,” he responded.
“This one, abi e no big enough?”
“You can’t be serious. Go and sleep joor, I need to catch my beauty sleep.”
“Mi o sere o. I am serious. Is there anything wrong with sleeping on same bed with my wife?”
“Are you okay?” I felt his forehead, “o n siranran, you are delirious…that’s a symptom of high fever o.”
“I am not delirious kankan. I know what you’re thinking but my thoughts are far from that.”
“How would you know what I’m thinking?”
“Shebi iwo ni, na you nau, I know you inside out. But don’t worry, all I want to do is sleep next to you. I just want to be close to you tonight. I need to be. Is that too much to ask?”
The guy knew how to press my mumu button.
To be cont’d…
© 2017 AyotundeElegbeleye
Jesus is LORD!