“What you see is what you get…when life hands you a rock, make a sculpture out of it…Be careful where you step your foot into, you may never be able to come out of it.”
You smile haphazardly as your thought races back to before you were married, when you tried to broach the issue to Raymond. You remember how you were disarmed by the gentle smile that appeared on his face when you got to his house that afternoon.
“You know, when you called me to say you were coming over today, I decided to go to the market. I want to cook for you.”
You looked at him lovingly as you smiled weakly. “But Raymond, you can’t even cook…”
“That is why you are here. You will be my teacher.” He looked so excited, like a kid with a new toy. So you could not tell him you were getting married to a jelly. You let his joy wash over you as he led you to his small kitchen. You began to instruct him on what to do, and when he succeeded in doing one thing right, he made sure you had a taste of it.
“Here” he would say and spoon into your mouth the broth from the beef or an under-cooked chunk of the red beef or a tangy tomato sauce that was under-fried.
“Hmmm…tasty” you respond to his vibrant enthusiasm of wanting to please you.
He did it with so much care, his face alive. Beaming. You laughed until the stupid tears stood in your eyes. Your heart melted at his every desire to do right by you. And in the evening, when the food was finally ready and you had said you were not ready because you knew that you would still end up marrying the jelly Nelson, he had told you to shut up.
“Tell me Ovie…why you are not hungry,” he said as he playfully spooned some of the garnished rice into your mouth and sealed it with a tiny kiss.
You chewed and said, “because I have no appetite Ray.”
He looked at you and laughed, “or is it that I have added too much spice to the food and it tastes awfully wrong?” He takes another spoonful and puts it into his mouth, “I think you taught me well, it tastes so nice! So tell me what I can do to help you regain your appetite.”
You smile weakly because you are just a liar and a she-devil not to let him know what is going on, but you cannot afford to break his heart too. You look at him tastefully, sinfully, “you can kiss me…”
“Hmmm…that sounds delicious.”
He pushed the food aside, took your hands and placed them on his face. He looked down at you from the angle he was standing, his eyes intimidating, his gaze strong you had to close your eyes for just a minute to regain your breath. Before you could open your eyes, his lips enveloped yours. You could taste his craving. Something like liquid fire traveled through your veins. He pulled you up to standing height. His face lowered to your bosom. You feel his warm breathe. Electrifying sparks shot through your skin, jabbed at your sides. You breathed helplessly.
There was no way you were going to break this man’s heart by telling him about Nelson. You forget about Nelson. You focus on Raymond’s tiny kisses on your neck. You want more. You hold his face and demand a kiss. He kisses you right back. Softly. Gently. Carefully. You allowed him carry you to his room. He does so with ease. He looked into your eyes as he lowered you on the bed. You both smile. There is synergy. There is love here. There is peace. You don’t understand it. Your breath catches as he placed his warm lips at the middle of your thighs. You wiggled and moaned. He giggled at you. He knows just what you like. Your excitement was burning too hot. Your head was expanding and shrinking at the same time. Ray was working magic on you. Your breathing was loud. Too loud for comfort. Your gasping was uncontrolled. You tried to restrain yourself. Ray’s tongue was moving swiftly. Every nerve in your body was tingling. You think you will have a nerve condition. You giggled at the thought. Ray stopped. “Don’t!” You whispered. He smiled at you as he bent to nuzzle you by the belly. He found your navel area with his nose. He licked on it. He knows he was tickling you. He knows you like it. He knows you. You cry in pain of what you will miss. You know he is the one you want. You cry some more.
He moved upward. He was looking at you. “It’s all right Ovie. I will love you no matter what. We will be fine.”
You smiled at him as he reached to wipe the tears falling from your eyes. You reached to fondle his side beards. He does not understand. You cannot tell him. He will hate you. You do not want him to hate you. You do not want him to break. You pull him down and kiss him again. This time you demand for more. He gives you more. You allow him to take you. You realized your nose and mouth are no longer enough to breath with. You clinged so hard to Ray’s back. He paused. He waited for you to catch up. You swallowed. You trembled. He held you tight. You smiled. He continued as you catch up meeting his pace. He dug his face into your shoulder. You both reach your peak. You let out your breath. His breathing is gentle. You kissed the edge of his shoulder. A soft breeze swept across the room. The sky rumbled. It rained. He kissed your forehead. You nuzzled in his chest. You don’t want to let go. This is love. You can’t explain it. You both fell asleep.
Two hours later when you woke up, the sky was a berry blue. The room was cool. You liked the smell of the rain on the curtains. You whiff it in. You look for Ray. He is seated by his window, looking at you. He was naked. His long legs rearing up powerfully. His feet planted firmly on the floor. You knew then that you will never be able to bring yourself to tell him about your wedding. About Nelson. Stupid jelly man! Tears pressed against the back of your eyes. You turned around on the bed and sobbed quietly. His arms are around you. You lie. You say you hurt from loving him too much. You say you are hungry. He goes out to warm the food. You eat together. You know you will miss him. You hate your parents. You hate your life. You sigh.
Throughout the wedding preparation, you knew that Ray suspected something. The distance. The hostility from your family towards him. His sad smile. You felt sad.
“Babes, I know I do not have anything for you or anything to give you now, but all I’m asking is for you to give me some time, everything will gradually fall into place.” This was one of the evenings when you strolled along his street together. He faced you with clenched fists and pleaded. “Please…” his dark handsome face tightened. His gaze intensified. You nodded and swallowed back what you should have said. Instead you hugged him.
“Thank you Ovie…” he breathed, his body warm against yours. He trembled helplessly. He felt so vulnerable, so helpless. The breeze moved around you both. Like a circle of spectators. Rain drizzle touched you both. As if encouragingly. You remember the rain. And you knew that you will never be the one to tell him.
You picture his face again as the curtain in your matrimonial home rises and falls in response to the impact of the light breeze from the AC. Your jelly husband is still outside. Your phone rings. You look at the screen. Ray’s face appear but you do not pick! You grit your teeth as you stab the fruit in your tray.
NB: To all women who had to marry men they do not want because of the economy and who are living through it, smiling everyday and trying so hard to fit into their plastic lives. It is well!