David thought for some minutes, he was at a loss on what to do. If he wanted to protect his integrity, he would refuse to follow her to the reunion but he knew that he had to set aside his ego and make sacrifices if he wanted a peaceful home, that was what marriage was about as far as he was concerned. Besides, he loved his wife dearly and couldn’t bear to see her cry, he was mad at her for always taking the slightest issue they have to her parents but probably that was the price he had to pay for marrying a rich lady. He walked to the bathroom, washed his face with cold water, this helped him to steady his nerves and think clearer. He came out, got dressed and walked his wife out to the car without saying a word to her.
All through the party, David was inactive, he only spoke when he was spoken too and even at that, he only mumbled some inaudible expressions. He was not a public person and had only attended social gatherings only once in his life and that was during his send forth party at the university. He had to attend because the then head of department made it compulsory for all final year students to attend. He was like a fish outside water and he couldn’t wait for the event to end so that he could return to the comfort of his hotel room.’
Lola however seem to be at ease, as a child of a wealthy man, parties were her stock in trade. She had started attending parties with her parents right from when she was a year plus and it had continued as she got invites for different parties from her wealthy click of friends and families. Lola knew almost all her school mates that had attended the reunion. This was not unexpected, she was a very popular girl on campus and had won the SUG most expensive and best dressed student’s award in her 300 and 400 levels respectively. She went around, exchanging pleasantries with the people around, flashing the diamond on her finger at them and smiling so sweetly that David began to wonder if she was the same woman that was crying shortly before they left the house. Anywhere she went, she dragged him along, he didn’t feel like her husband, he felt like he was one of her most prized possessions that she had bought with her money and so he was worth being showed off to friends.
David: “Lola, please can we go home now?” he asked her when they finally sat down together.
Lola: “You can’t be serious o, go home ke? Just like that? When the event just started? Please sit back and relax and enjoy yourself”, she dismissed his request.
And so David had stayed put, hoping and praying that the event would end so that he could go home. Then the announcement came that the latest couple in the gathering were to come to stage to have their couple dance. David protested but Lola was up on her feet in no time and he had no option than to join her. With their hands intertwined at the elbow, they made their way to the dance floor. David was a bad dancer and he did make a mess of the couple dance to the disdain of Lola.
Few minutes later, they were back on their seats, David glad that the dance had come to an end and Lola fuming with anger about how terrible he had made the dance.
Henry: “Can I have a dance with you, my lady?” David heard Henry say to Lola. He was on his feet behind her, his palm stretched forward to help her up.
Lola hesitated for a while but then she thought that there was nothing wrong with it and so she obliged after all in some of the countries she had visited for holidays, she saw couples dancing intimately with partners who were not their spouses. Henry meant no harm, if he did, he wouldn’t have had the guts to ask her to dance with him in the presence of her husband. She gave him her hand but David overcome with anger pulled her down.
“And where do you think you are going?” David fumed.
Lola: “Stop this, I am only going to have a dance with him and nothing more”.
David: “A married woman should dance with no other than her husband, you should know that by now”.
Lola: “Well, there is nothing wrong with a married woman dancing with another man in the presence of her husband especially if the husband is a bad dancer as you are”.
David was vexed but he tried to control his temper. No matter how hard he tried not to lose control, something kept on urging him at the back of his mind to exert his authority as the man, especially when Henry was around watching the drama.
David: “I am your husband and I forbid that you dance with him”, he had himself say to his surprise.
Lola was taken aback; she felt momentarily lost and only regained her voice after some seconds.
“Like seriously? Where is this male ego and chauvinistic behaviour coming from? Well, I am going to dance with him, come and stop me”. She dared him.
Henry who was following the thread of their conversation decided to wade in before things got out of hand.
Henry: “Mr David, I mean no harm. I just want a harmless dance, if I had any ulterior motives, I won’t ask her for a dance when I know that you would be here watching us. Your wife was my childhood friend, in fact, she can pass for my sister, she is like my sister and I wish more than anything that your marriage succeeds.
David: “oh yeah, she is like a sister to you and yet you asked her to marry you. Weh done, sir. Stand there and be deceiving yourself”.
Henry: “Oh please, what sort of a man are you? Do you think that we are still in the 16th century? How can you be so rigid and archaic?”
“Who are you to tell me how to run the affairs of my family?” David felt blood rushing to his veins and he knew that Henry was biting more than he could chew.
“I am sorry man, don’t see it that way…”, Henry said and moved close to embrace David who misunderstood his motive and sent out a blow. Henry saw it coming but before he could take cover, David’s clenched fist connected with his jaw and he fell back, crashing into the table for two behind him. Lola was perplexed; everything had happened in a split second that she thought she was dreaming.
David charged at Henry who was crunched, trying to get on his feet but Lola and some of the guests came in between them. The party went agog. People asked what happened and soon enough rumours started flying around. While the commotion was going on, the bloggers among them were busy capturing the moment with their phones and tablets.
“What the hell is the meaning of this? What did you do that for?” Lola screamed at the top of her voice, attracting more attention to herself.
David looked around him confused, he was usually not the violent type but he couldn’t tell what had happened that night. He had lost control of himself and in his rage, he had allowed his emotions to becloud his sense of reasoning. He didn’t know what to do, a voice told him to go on his knees and apologise to his wife and then apologise to Henry but another voice told him he would be the biggest fool of the century if he tried that.
“David, you raise your hands against another man in public? Look what marriage has turned you to? The same David that would turn his right cheek to those who slapped his left cheek is now the same David who is the first to attack. What was I thinking when I accepted to marry a woman who is richer and older than I?” he thought.
Lola: “I am so sorry, Henry, please forgive my husband” she said sweetly and tried to help him strengthen his jacket.
Henry: “you called this animal a husband? This uncouth, uncivilised and barbaric bull dog is the person you call a husband? Let him just wait till he hears from my lawyer, if he thinks I will allow this unwarranted assault go like that, then he must be more stupid that he appears to be”, with that he stormed out of the venue and went into his car.
“Drive!”, he barked at the driver.
Henry: “I said drive”. He shouted.
Driver: “Drive where, sir? The party has not ended”. The driver rightly observed.
Henry: “Like seriously? Are you for real? My friend will you drive me out of this place or do you want to get fired?”
The driver kick started the car without hesitation.
Lola: “Henry, Henry, please wait, I am sorry!” she ran after the car but it zoomed away, leaving her disillusioned.
Lola stood there, wondering what to do with David and her marriage and how to save herself from the embarrassment that her husband had caused her.
Question: Na wa o, one day one trouble is the name of this marriage. Is David’s reaction justified? Who do you think should apologise first?
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