Short Story: Battle At The Home-Front.

 Shina, told the bartender “just a plate of “bokoto” for me please” his eyes trailing Nkiru’s gait as she dragged her heavy backside into the small cubicle at the end of the room

It’s 9:32pm. The day is still young I said to my friends as I glanced at my watch. “The night seems to be crawling today.” Retorted Sir Kay.

I signaled to the bartender to serve another round of beer and a plate of “bokoto”, it was my sixth bottle of the night.

“Thanks a lot” I said as Nkiru filled our order.

Shina, told the bartender “just a plate of “bokoto” for me please” his eyes trailing Nkiru’s gait as she dragged her heavy backside into the small cubicle at the end of the room. Though 16, she has the body of a 25-year-old lady.

“Shina, Stop Committing Lookery” I said. You are a married man for chrissakes.

“Ol’boy, bone dat tin mehn.” Sir kay replies with a belch. “Women are just necessary evils and marriage is an attempt to sustain the human race.”

The three of us are married with good jobs; the only boat that seems to be rocking is our marriage.

Shina is blessed with three wonderful kids and pretty Eno.

Sir Kay is divinely gifted with Ayoade a wonderful woman who has giving him Akinola while expecting another baby.

As for me, I have a wonderful and beautiful Adeola for a wife. We’ve been married 3 years and we love each other like bread and butter.

Shina looked at me, at Sir Kay then back at me. Shook his head and said. “At least my wife is not here,” He said wiping his face with a blue handkerchief. “So let me look all I can”. Let me get home first before I start worrying about her.

Each time we gather like that, we talk about our homes and the challenges we face at home. Sometimes we talk about work or other things, recently, issues we discuss these days is the home front.  Most especially, our wives and their pranks.  The same thing seems to be happening to us all and this has made me conclude all women are the same.

Last week, it was Sir kay’s wife who started picking on his tie, She complained his tie was too loose when he got home, that if he had no skeleton in his cupboard, she would be the one to un-knot his tie. Despite Kays’ insistence that he could not navigate the Lagos gridlock with a tie around his neck. He slept on the couch for the rest of the week. The cause: Kay is yet to give her the 75k she asked him two weeks ago.

As for shine shine bobo, it took the arbitration of family members to quench the brimstone. His wife suddenly kept checking on him at close intervals via calls and BBM. Whenever he was to leave home, Eno would simply jump into the front seat and demand they go out together. The cause: Shina was too tired for lovemaking after he accompanied his boss to a CSR event and was shown seating beside her on Tv.

Tonight, my home is the topic of discussion. Last night, my wife nagged about the DsTv subscription. We still have a week before it’s due but my wife made an issue out of it. She accused me of being insensitive to her needs. She even said it point-blank. “Tunde, you are not making me happy anymore.” To which I just kept mum. I know her too well for me to say a word at that moment.

You see, I love my wife and I hate to hurt her, but since mama came visiting 2 months ago, her nagging has been on the increase. If there’s one thing I know about my wife, it’s that she’s not always like this. She was a loving and wonderful young girl I married. But after we had our first and last miscarriage, we’ve not been able to conceive. That I guess is the reason for her apprehension.

I also hate arguments. So each time she brings up an issue, I play dumb and take the defensive. Why bother?  I end up apologizing even if she’s wrong.

When I could take it no longer, myself and the guys sought solace in mama Nkiru’s bar. Every night, we drown ourselves in liquor, so when we get home, we take a shower, eat supper (if it’s available) and sleep off at the dinning.

No matter how much my wife rants, the liquor blocks all. I wake up in the morning apologize for last night and hope for a better day.

A glance at my watch again 11:25, time to head home. The traffic should have reduced.

As we had our last drink and paid Nkiru, the look on our face was as pale as death itself. Home is meant to be a place of rest, not a war front.

Though different battle grounds, we were all fighting the same battle, and until truce is brokered, each man to his cross.

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