Esi had forgotten to return her husband’s call as she had been alerted that the caterer was packing up to leave. There had been days she missed lunch and wasn’t bothered, today wasn’t one of those days. She had made a mental note to call Jake back after she finished sorting out her meal, unfortunately, it never occurred to her till she had arrived home and tried opening the front door which was locked.
Esi turned to ensure Kojo was still seated in her car and tried opening the door again. It didn’t budge.
‘Eeii…So this door says it won’t open?’ Esi soliloquized and walked back to the car to search for her phone.
‘Good evening Jake.’ she spoke as soon he answered on the second ring.
‘Evening. You never returned my call.’ He stated bluntly.
‘I am sorry.’ Esi pleaded and waited for a response.
‘I dunno whether the lock is broken but I tried opening the front door and…’ Esi continued.
‘I had it changed.’ Jake interjected.
Esi wanted to scream at her husband for being inconsiderate and changing the locks on a Monday without informing her but she held herself and asked calmly;
‘Is there a reason for the change please.’
‘I just felt like it… I heard a story about a robbery close to our neighbourhood so I … I wanted to be safe.’
Esi didn’t know whether to laugh or scream out loud. Here she was, outside their home with Kojo asleep and no means of access into the house all because her husband heard a story!
‘Is everything okay?’ Esi asked with great concern in her voice. It occurred to her that her husband wasn’t a spontaneous person; he won’t do things on a whim because he felt a certain emotion or heard a certain story.
‘Stop asking si…. stop the many questions.’ He replied.
Esi remained silent, trying to find a solution to their present predicament.
‘Kojo and I will wait for you to come open the door. Please try not to stay out too long, there are mosquitoes here.’ Esi said.
Jake grunted inaudibly and ended the call.
Esi let out a short breath in frustration. She knew she had to make sure Kojo changed his sleeping position to forestall morning pains. She got out *of the driver’s seat to try and clear the backseat of its clutter.
Esi heard a loud rasp on her car window that caused her to turn her almost stiff neck. She had to blink a couple of times to see clearly and remember she had been sleeping in the car, waiting for Jake. In order to prevent mosquito bites, she had turned the engine on and enabled the AC. She activated her phone screen just so she could see the time and realised it was half past 10 pm.
Jake rasped on the window again and this time Esi’s response was to roll the glass down a bit.
‘The door is opened.’ He said and walked away.
‘Ok, thanks’ she croaked at him as she watched him walk away. Esi grabbed her bags and carried her son on her left hip. She didn’t want to interrupt his sleep by waking him up to take a shower.
After placing Kojo in bed and changing his clothes, she wiped his body with a warm damp towel. By this time her head was throbbing.
She held her forehead and staggered to her room.
Esi heard her alarm go off at 4:30 am and lazily sat up. Her head still hurt and her eyes burned. She placed the back of her palm on her forehead and realised she was running a temperature.
Slowly, she got out of bed to go freshen up. Mid-way to the bathroom, she froze and held her head. The headache seemed to have gotten worse and was blinding her. She felt the need to place her head down so the pain will subside. Esi groped in the darkness for her bed and knelt beside it. Gently, she placed her head on the bed and breathed slowly. She didn’t think she will make it work, she definitely had to go to the hospital.
Almost thirty minutes later, Esi had to force herself off the floor and move to the kitchen. She needed to get breakfast ready for her son and husband regardless of the pain she felt.
She decided to prepare fish sandwich and Milo for breakfast. Esi remembered she had prepared chicken stew over the weekend and decided to boil rice with it for lunch.
After placing the rice in its cooker, she leant against the kitchen counter and shut her eyes tight.
‘Are you ok?’ She heard Jake ask.
Esi remained silent as she struggled to breathe. She heard Jake move close.
‘I am ok…don’t worry.’ She stuttered and moved towards the fridge.
Jake watched his wife silently.
‘We need to talk Esi…I….I’ Jake began.
‘Not now please…not now.’ Esi pleased and grip the fridge’s handle tightly.
Jake rushed to her side to hold her but stopped when Esi raised her free hand to stop him.
‘We can talk later in the evening. Right now I need to finish up and get ready for work.’ Esi whispered loudly.
Jake understood and turned to leave.
‘I will get Kojo ready for school.’ He stated firmly and walked out of the kitchen.
Esi’s splitting headache prevented her from understanding what had just happened. All she could do was replay what Jake said about getting Kojo ready for school. The turn of events was too sudden.
‘God! my head!’ Esi shouted and collapsed onto her knees holding her head tightly. She sobbed loudly, it felt like the throbbing was getting louder and unbearable.
She saw his feet and felt him lift her into his strong arms. He rushed her to his car. She heard him enter the house and come out with Kojo. He couldn’t leave his son at home alone while he rushed his wife to the hospital.
‘Esi can you hear me?’ Jake asked as he reversed from their compound.
Esi remained at the back groaning and crying.
To be continued…