The shower is running in the bathroom. She can hear him in the shower. Her mind’s eye sees him standing stark naked as he lets the warm water caress his body.
She is in the living room watching images run sequentially on the TV screen. Some lady is yapping about something, but she is not listening.
He clears his throat. Spits.
He clears his throat again. Spits again. Arrkkkh, ptho!
Another grimace. She has to use the same bathroom, you know.
The water is turned off. Silence. He drys himself, she presumes.
He opens the bathroom door and gets out.
The bedroom door opens and shuts.
She can hear him in the bedroom. He stands next to the bed. Their bed. A piece of furniture that hasn’t seen much action lately. He is applying Vaseline on his body.
He looks for something to wear. Opts for a pair of jeans from the closet, scans it with an approving nod. He finds a vest. Then, “Honey! Where are my shirts!?” He yells all the way to the living room where she sat.
“Check the wardrobe!” she yells back.
A few seconds later; “OH! Found it!”
He found it! She rolls her eyes.
He wears the shirt over the vest, checks his hair, checks his moustache. He looks at his image in the mirror and gives it a wink. He is pleased with what he sees.
The bedroom door opens.
He comes out to the corridor and takes his toothbrush and toothpaste from the container that hangs on the wall above the sink. He squeezes the toothpaste tube in the middle.
He starts to brush his teeth.
He briefly peeps into the living room. Acknowledges her presence, looks to see what she’s watching then heads back to the sink.
Brush, brush, spit.
Brush, brush, spit.
He clears his throat again! More spitting!
He sips the water! Gurgles! Spits!!!
Spit! Spit! Spit! Gurgle! Spit!
He runs the water over his brush
He leaves his toothbrush in the sink, next to the toothpaste.
He is back in the bedroom.
Fttzzzz….fttzzzzzz! Cologne finds its way to his armpits.
Ablutions out of the way, he comes out of the bedroom, wallet in hand. The wallet subconsciously finds its way to his back pocket as he speaks to her. His lips are moving. He is saying something about watching football…World cup…The boys…etcetera etcetera
She is not paying attention to what he is saying. She looks at his face. He looks different. Handsome different. He looks good! He had brushed his moustache such that all the hairs lay submissively to one side and not one strand of hair dared to defy those orders. It looked good.
He goes to the door and bends to wear his shoes, takes a second look at the socks and decides to go for another clean pair. Of course, he can’t find them.
“Honey, where are my…”
He comes back to the living room with a clean pair, sits next to her on the couch as he pulls the socks on his feet. His cologne wafts to her nostrils. He smells good. Something moves inside her. There is a tingle between her legs as a part of her that she thought had died is awakened. It lasts a few seconds.
She knew he was going out tonight, long before the football, worldcup, boys, narrative.
See, she saw her message first:
“Honey, remember our date at Club Classico is tonight. Don’t keep me waiting ;-)”
The message glared at her from his WhatsApp messages. The sender’s number was saved as ‘MWK’
“See you later honey?” he says rising from the couch, socks and shoes on his feet.
“Later.” she replies
Her husband is going on a date.
MWK gets the guy who sat next to her on the couch; the guy who smells and looks good with a wallet laden with cash in his back pocket. She even gets a clean pair of socks.
She on the other hand, gets the mucous-spitting, obnoxious guy in the bathroom who squeezes the toothpaste tube from the middle.
Marriage? Mmmh… Dating. Dating is good.
First Published by Storymoja Festival Blog