Living Without Ken

Living Without Ken: Two mid-age lovers engage in a phone call...

"No sweat. Thirty minutes is a long time." "How has it been? " "Hectic. The kids went to visit their aunt in Surulere. Wifey went for a course --so, that leaves your guy alone in the house. Care to come over? " "Hahaha, you'd faint. You that's scared shit." "ND, you've really changed. Back then, you didn't respond this way at all. Marriage has really changed you. " "What about you? Hasn't marriage also changed you? " "Me ke? I gree for that one? Na me change marriage! " "How? You know to things dey tire me." "When it became so heavy I could no longer carry it; I opted for a suit-yourself translation. Wifey is good with it: I'm good with it. That way, we could both live long, minding our personal spaces." "You're something else, Ken. Did you ever love her, or was it her all along such that you were able to create this smooth resolution? " "I did love her but definitely loved myself more. What did one African proverb say?.... If a snail finds splinters in his shell, ..." he said, tossing the words to me.".....he changes home. That was Zulu Sofola, right?" "Can't remember, darling. You and African literature sef." "African literature! Ken, don't start me up on this road now. Literature is Literature. There's nothing like 'African literature '-as if it were some substandard collection of words." "Okay, o o. Na, you get your mouth. Who am I to argue with you? " "Good for you. ...so, what did you eat in the afternoon? "

"Abacha and a glass of nutrishake." "Only, will it be able to carry you?" "Come and check, an." "Give me 5 minutes." "Dearest, with you, I find myself reliving my teenage years once again. It's been a very long time since I felt this way. Why did you do it? Why did you entrap me in this hell of a marriage? " "Ken, don't make me cry. I never stopped regretting it. I wish I could turn back the hands of time. Anyway, what's done is done; having dusted our slates, we can only move on."

"No, be small." "You didn't look for me. I kept hanging his hopes, with no strong promises, waiting, hoping, and praying that you might show up. During my service year, when you eventually wrote, I saw no detectable interest in the mail. It was just filled with pleasantries. If it had contained more than that, it would have been a different story... or maybe God never wanted us to be together."

"You were the one who chose to leave the relationship when it was budding. God did not ask you to do that, did he? " "Ken, please, understand my reasons. I was scared of my feelings, scared of my reactions, and mad at you for selfishly pulling me out of classes, saying you didn't want me to fall yet betraying that by your actions." "Ndidi!" "Remember, I was just a year -one girl. Apart from chemistry, General Biology, and the GSTs, all the other courses were unfamiliar to me. Whereas I hadn't experienced GP, you were already a four-pointer. " "Was I not teaching you maths and physics?"

"You call those teachings?... With your eyes focused on... Don't make me laugh, Ken dear; I did what my mind advised me to do. " "We both knew there was a higher reason, didn't we?" "...na you sabi. " "The last time I called, who brought the phone to you?" "Hubby did." "Does he know who I am, who you've been talking to these past weeks? " "Should I tell him? I'd do that if you ask. " "And he won't mind?" "Have we said anything ugly in these chats? Hubby is a twenty-first-century guy. Those petty things don't bother him provided I'm in the house each time he returns; failure to do that, I'd find an uncontrollable, raging bull. "

"Didn't I say it before? You're very fortunate, at least more fortunate than I." "I earned it. Courtesy of leaving you, he met me clean." "Clean ko, clean ni, wait till he reads our previous chats; I'd then know what kind of twenty-first-century gene he's got." "Jealousy is not healthy, Ken." "About our plan-are, are you still going ahead?" "Ken, if I don't see you, feel you, and touch you again, I'd die an unfulfilled person." "Your words are heavy. Something is not right. "

"So help me, God." "Idi egwu." "How do they say it in Ikot -Ekpene?" "....funny girl, nonsense you! Let's talk tomorrow, dear. " "Alright, Ken. Ciao. "

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