Up to this minute.
I have been a good husband.
That’s what I tell myself. Because that’s what I believe. And to believe this even more, I send my wife more flowers. For the past year, I’ve sent her flowers numerous times. Sometimes every week. For every smile that I’ve shared with you, for every joke that you have told me that I have laughed at, for every ride to college I have given you, and for every deep conversation that we’ve had in my car at the campus parking lot while dropping you off. A flower for all my sins.
I’ve tried to be a good husband, considering.
I don’t know for how long I will be good. Four more weeks? Six months? A year? They don’t tell you about this part of marriage. The part where you remind yourself of the vows you made on your wedding day. For the life of you, you wish those vows would come from the past and smack you in the face for you to end the stupidity of laughing in a vehicle with someone’s girlfriend, but those vows choose not to smack you at all. No. They instead choose to act like words that carried no life in them. Even though when you said those words, the “To have and to hold– forsaking all others,” these words, at that time, with the congregation looking on and the pastor urging you on and your bride adoring the hell out of you with her smiles, these words seemed to carry the world. They even felt heavy on my tongue when I spoke them those four years ago.
But now, nothing. I’ve even recited them one time when I dropped you home from campus. Yeah. For a year, I have been that man. I kiss my wife on the mouth before I leave the house. I get away with a sloppy kiss because when you’ve been married for four years, your wife knows better than to expect a passionate kiss from you every morning. So it’s a peck on the lips really. That’s more accurate. Not a kiss.
So I’m now that man who pecks his wife on the lips in the morning, I pick you, my girlfriend, from your home – you never bother to come to the stage anymore. I drop you at campus and then I go to work. Sometimes, when you have no classes, I will go to work, leave work early, pass by your place where you’ll be wearing a pink t-shirt, or a blue one, or the white one. You’ll have nothing underneath that t-shirt. As soon as I knock on the door, you will open it for me and kiss me full on the mouth. No pecks reside here. If anything, the lips are on the way. It’s wet kisses all through. We’re bound to get tired of just kissing at some point, and when that point comes, you will put both your hands up and wait for me to pull the t-shirt over your head. I’ll do it gladly, turned on by the fact that everything underneath that t-shirt is so accessible to me. And you will strut in front of me into your bedroom where I will discard my clothes and be all over your nudity.
I am that man now, so help me vows!
They don’t mention this about marriage: that the best sex you will have in your life will be when you get married, and not with your wife. That soon after the wedding, those vows turn into words.
The words you say at your wedding, the promises you make, they will not arrest you when you fancy a woman who is not your wife. They will not smack you across the face when a beauty like you, sitting on my passenger seat in a miniskirt makes me bulge the hell out of my trousers. Those words will not show up for your marriage when your marriage needs them the most. They won’t sit me down and remind me who could get hurt in all this when I step up to my doorstep at midnight with a bouquet of flowers cursing at my boss for the heavy workload he’s been giving me lately. Look. The words will not even help me lie better.
So with no help whatsoever from my wedding vows, my wife is catching on. She can sense that something is not right. The midnight bouquet of flowers was a mistake. I see that now. I shouldn’t have given them to her. And you know me, every bouquet comes with a card. Mistake number two. The card read, “And real love never fades. Not really.” She seems to have a problem with those words as she keeps looking at the card and looking back at me. Looking at the card and looking back at me. Looking at the card– you get the drift.
And I have been married long enough to sense when we’re about to have an argument. This looming argument appears to be about the wordings on the card. I’m going to get ahead of it. So first, I act offended. “What’s wrong? What have I done wrong? Can’t I bring you flowers anymore without you looking at me like that?” When she starts to explain something, I cut her short. I know her. If I give her a chance to talk, she will make sense. I have to go first. Throw her off. I need her not to make sense. Not tonight. So I will get ahead of this argument, shut it down and go to bed. Now I’m really offended. “You know what? I passed this guy at the Westlands roundabout selling flowers and I thought to myself, let me buy some flowers for my beautiful wife. Am I allowed to do that? Buy flowers for my dear wife who I love so much?
I am a good husband. I think. I don’t know.
Judging from the way that my wife is looking at me, I’m not sure anymore.
When her tears are about to debut, she looks away. My wife is looking away right now. Then it hits me. The card had been addressed to you. I’d bought the flowers for you. I’d forgotten the flowers in the car when I came to your place after work. While coming home, I saw them sitting in the back seat of the car and an idea came to me. Since it’s late, why not take these flowers that were meant for you, my girlfriend, and give them to my most certainly angry wife instead? It seemed like a good idea at the time.
And a guilty mind is a very bad thing.
“The flowers are beautiful and all, Jack. Really beautiful. But tell me, who the hell is Julie?” That was my wife speaking. She turned the card and brought it to my face. My handwriting glared at me as if ready to give me that smack that I needed so badly.
And real love never fades. Not really.
Her voice broke. “My name is Christina.”
Her tears flowed.
I’m not a good husband.
To Be Continued.