Eddy buried his head in his palm. Many thoughts must have been running through his mind. His wife slept more like a spinster who had no alternative but to pass the night under the watch of a chaperone. Her posture was unwelcoming. Even the flying tip of her night dress could not graze Eddy’s leg.
How would he cope with a wife he could not touch?
Maybe she had made up her mind that all birds could flock together without any collision.
Her reaction was conceivable anyway. Eddy knew she had resolved to not allow him trample on her comfort, and she was standing by her words: “You can’t sacrifice my comfort for your ambition.” But little did she know she was sacrificing her comfort by her posture in bed.
All in all, the pressure of Eddy’s ambition was enough a burden to bear. What would happen if his wife would grant him no peace of mind?
He was human after all. He could waive external factor but get choked up by internal threat. If he would allow his ambition to conflict with his family, he would go six-feet under.
So he drifted toward the wife, moving gently and with much care. But, the closer he approached her, the more she sleepwalked toward the extreme end of the bed.
Eddy was peaceful, willing to make up with her. All he could do was break the barrier, fondle her hair, caress her skin and whisper, “Kemi, I love you”.
Kemi had hibernated in pretense. She obviously had been waiting for Eddy to do the needful reconciliation. Rolling her eyeball, she retorted with hiss: “Love?”
“Mention it again,” Eddy enthralled her while smoothing out her hair. “I journeyed to the West to have your hands because of that?”
“You are welcome.”
“You can’t welcome me like that. Turn to me,” Eddy tried to turn her around.
“Leave me alone, please.”
After much rigmarole with no positive outcome, Eddy turned to storytelling. “Can you still remember that my friend you disapproved?” he whispered.
Kemi placed her head on a pillow without giving any response.
“You were right to have shunned our friendship,” Eddy continued. “You know, we had been friends until she saw me hanging out with you. I noticed her demeanor each moment you were around. She had managed to cope with your presence until she asked me: ‘What do men really want?’
“I wasn’t surprised because I understood why she was asking. So I explained: ‘The lady whom I tagged ugly is already married. The one whom I described as ill-mannered is married as well. The corpulent one is not left behind. So men go for who they want.
“Then she asked me ‘who do you want?’.
“Although I tried to evade the question to prevent any derogatory word, she pestered me to be straightforward.
“’I love that lady I’m dating,’ I told her. But she demanded a reason for my being drunk in love with you, a stranger.
“Do you know why I chose you, Kemi?”
“You are wealthier than you think.”
“Keep flattering me.”
“Seriously, I could foresee the great missions ahead of me. And I needed a brain like you, who can help me on my journey,” Eddy said, tactfully waging in “especially my aspirations”.
“Are you bringing your aspiration to this bed again?”
“No. I’m trying to tell you I’m sorry. Just look at me.”
She turned to him. “This is not about sorry. I have told you. Everything about you has changed,” she said with a wavering tone that reinforced her tears. “I need you. I need you. I don’t mind. Quit. I’ve heard a lot. Just yesterday, a man, I, I can’t even figure out his name, approached me with a warning. You are not safe. Just focus on your business, and let’s figure out what we need. Or are you happy about having no issues?” she wept.
Few days later, the family dog was barking outside in the evening. Grandpa was seated on his armchair. Kemi was packing up her luggage for a business trip, while Janet was in the kitchen.
The noisy bark woke up the grandfather, who had dozed off on his armchair. He rose to his feet, cleared the window curtain and peeped through the window. There he beheld Erick running like a pendulum with a kite in his hand. The high-spirited dog was running with him.
“Jaguar,” the grandpa hailed. It was a magical call to the dog because that was his name.
A couple of minutes later, Janet brought out Jaguar’s food and handed it to Erick. “Feed him,” she said.
Jaguar was wagging its tail. It was an adorable dog to Erick. He had been kept away from Erick due to the poor relationship between them. But after spending a couple of days together, they had become bosom friends.
Erick playful nature could have created a common ground between them. But that was not all. Jaguar’s furry body and broad ears, like the wing of an eagle, could have mesmerised Erick. To him, Jaguar was a teddy bear he could play with.
Erick threw a piece of meat into the plate as Jaguar snatched at it, not knowing that would be his last meal.