They were at a restaurant having an early dinner one wet evening when she walked in with two other ladies. The second he’d laid his eyes on her, something had moved inside of him and he had felt an instant attraction.
But Craig had seen her too and it was him who had spoken to her first. It was him she had first chosen. So, he had learned to hide his feelings even when he knew Craig wasn’t serious about her and didn’t deserve her. He had lived with the secret hope that fate would one day present him a chance to make her his.
Now, it was as if fate was trying to take her from him again.
“Sunny, have we crossed a line we cannot cross back again?”
He looked at her. “I don’t know, Onyi. If something so small can make us turn on each other like this, then what chance have we to survive bigger trials?”
“Are you saying then that we should go our separate ways?”
How could he say that? She was his wife. She was the woman he’d wanted in his life from the moment he saw her. She was the one thing he’d always been afraid to lose.
“That’s not what I’m saying, Onyi. But I seriously don’t know how, or if, things can ever go back to the way they were between us. You have hurt me, and I have hurt you too, how do we resolve that?”
“Through forgiveness, Sunny. We should both forgive each other and put this behind us.”
“You make it sound easy. Like simply saying we forgive each other will mean everything is fine again.” He hated that he sounded bitter, but he couldn’t help it.
“It won’t be easy, that I know. But I also know neither of us like third parties getting involved in our issues, so we have to find a way to resolve this ourselves. I don’t want things to be permanently messed up between us, Sunny. I want us to be happy again, to trust each other again.”
“But did we trust each other before? I mean, isn’t our doubts and reactions proof that we didn’t?”
“No, I see our doubts and whatever actions we took as proof that the trust we have in each other wasn’t strong enough, not that it wasn’t there at all. Our trust just got shaken; shaken because it wasn’t deep-rooted enough. Shaken because we’re still a young couple. Shaken because we’re human and susceptible to doubts and mistakes.”
“So what, we forget this and next time something happens, we start doubting each other again?’
“No, we don’t forget it, not without first learning the lesson here. The lesson that in a relationship, in marriage, a couple needs to have faith in each other, to completely trust one another and when in doubt, to talk to each other. The lesson to be open and truthful with each other and to stop keeping secrets.”
Sunny stared at her, thinking about what she was saying. Her eyes were earnest. They were Onyi’s eyes, steady, honest, determined… and loving him.
“And I think the lesson not seek to hurt the other because we are hurt.” He said, realising finally that she was right, they had to forgive each other and go on with their lives. It was the only way. “It hurts a lot when someone you love is taking revenge on you, especially when you meant them no harm.”
“I know. I’m sorry.”
“I’m sorry too.” He covered her hand. “I should have told you everything about Craig and about who I used to be. And when I got those pictures, I should have confronted you, not hired a private investigator.”
“And I should have faced you with what Rowland had told me, not start out some drama to hurt you. I shouldn’t have believed him without hearing from you.”
“Let’s make ourselves a promise, Onyi, not to let anyone or anything come between us again.” He needed that assurance. “Let us promise to tell each other the truth, whatever it is, and no more secrets.”
She nodded. “No more lies, or half-truths or secrets. Only the truth. I promise.”
“I promise too.” He embraced her and for a minute, held her close.
“I have something for you.” She said when they separated. “Just give me a minute.”
While he waited for her, Sunny pressed a hand against his chest, felt the steady beating of his heart and realised that he was at peace again. All was once well in his home. His wife was again his, and only his. She was not only his but also closer to him than she’d been before because the little secrets that were invisible shadows between them were now revealed.
“Here you are.” She came back and passed him a white envelope with a red ribbon tied around the centre and knotted nicely.
“What is this?” Sunny asked, eyeing her curiously.
“Open it.” She said, smiling.
Slowly, he did. “What’s this?” He asked again as he drew out a sheet of paper.
Then he read it and his steady heartbeats started to dance. “Onyi. On my God! Onyi, we’re having a baby. You’re pregnant. I’m going to be a daddy. Is this for real?”
“Very real. We’re going to have a baby. I found out same day Rowland came to see me and I wanted to tell you but… I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everything.”
“No, no more apologies. That is over. We are done with that story and won’t let it taint our happiness.” He pulled her into his arms. “I’m so happy. This is the most amazing news; the most amazing gift. We’re going to be parents. Oh Onyi, I love you. Thank you for this gift.”
“Thank you too, for it is your gift to me too.”
He held her in his arms and felt happiness and peace meld into one and steadied once more his heart.
My apologies for not posting this yesterday. Meanwhile, I hope we enjoyed our short story and learned something from it. Do follow me on Instagram: @tmdavidwest for other short stories.