Ade could hear the shower running through the closed bathroom door.
He was lying down in bed, his hands behind his head as he stared up at the ceiling. He was thinking about his life, from his early childhood, to his moving to England for his undergraduate and postgraduate studies, working in the UK banking sector for almost ten years, and then moving back home to Nigeria.
Ade thought about how he had met Mimi.
Ade sometimes wished that he could go back in time to erase his dating history, so that he could present himself again to Mimi unblemished and spotless. He had dated a lot of women during his stay in England. Nigerian, British, Jamaican women. He had dated them simply because he could date them. They fulfilled his needs at the time, and helped to stave off boredom and homesickness.
Ade hadn’t been thinking about the future during this period; he was simply enjoying the perks that came with being a good-looking Nigerian man living in England.
He had come clean with Mimi about his past when he had felt that their relationship had gotten serious. Ade had been apprehensive about her reaction, or rather, her lack of reaction since she said nothing for a while. When Mimi finally spoke, she didn’t make any disparaging comments, but had asked him a lot of questions which he did his best to answer: Did he still keep in touch with his exes? (No). Had he ever gotten any sexually transmitted diseases? (No). Did he feel that he would be satisfied with dating only one woman? (Yes).
Mimi then asked Ade if he wasn’t curious about her own dating history. He said that he was, but that he had wanted her to initiate the conversation about it.
Mimi then told him about her dating experiences, and Ade was surprised that she had stayed in some relationships which, from her descriptions, were clearly emotionally abusive. She smiled and said, ‘I wasn’t as confident in myself back then as I am now. I thought I deserved to be treated badly, so I stayed longer in some relationships than I should have’.
Ade drew her close to him in a tight embrace. He knew at that moment that he did not want to ever let her go.
Ade’s reverie was cut short when he heard the shower being turned off. He heard some muffled movements for some moments, before finally, the bathroom door opened.
Mimi stepped out in her bare-faced glory.
She smiled at him.
‘What are you thinking about, sweetie?’ Mimi asked, as she struggled to fasten the sash of her bathrobe. She was about six months pregnant, and her protruding tummy meant that the robe no longer closed properly.
‘Nothing babe; do you want me to help you with your robe?’ Ade asked, with an exaggeratedly lascivious wink.
Mimi smiled and shook her head. ‘Nice try’, she said, and sat down at the dressing table to perform what he called her ‘makeup voodoo’.
Ade’s friends had given him horror stories about their marriage experiences but after about two years of being married to Mimi, he knew that he had made a great choice. Being with Mimi made more sense than not being with her.
Of course, they had their squabbles, like any other married couple. After one or two quarrels on the issue, Ade would often help Mimi in the kitchen while she was cooking, which she appreciated. Mimi learned to cut onions into tiny pieces while cooking, since he liked the taste of onions but just didn’t like to see them in food.
Ade’s idea of tidying of the room involved perfunctorily straightening the bed, while to Mimi, it was a near Military operation involving brooms, mops, vacuum cleaners and the removal of cobwebs which Ade had not even noticed. Ade’s process for getting ready for an event was to walk to the wardrobe and pick out an outfit. Mimi’s process involved bringing out majority of her clothes, asking for his opinion, getting annoyed that he didn’t ‘know fashion’, and choosing an outfit different from the one he had selected. Picking out shoes was another spectacle.
Once, they had to attend a dinner party, and Ade was dressed while Mimi was still putting on makeup. ‘Can’t you just rub some powder?’ Ade had asked impatiently, as he watched her put on something called concealer, and then foundation on her face. The look she gave him was enough to send him to the sitting room to wait for her (Ade admitted to her later on their way to the party that her makeup was very nice. Mimi just rolled her eyes and told him to keep his eyes on the road).
Thankfully, they were both fans of Arsenal Football club, so they shared the mutual joys and frustrations which came along with supporting their team.
Ade got up and walked to the end of the bed where he could be closer to Mimi, and sat down, watching her as she sat at the dressing table.
He felt that she was the most beautiful pregnant woman in the world.
She felt that she looked like a whale with box braids.
Mimi caught Ade’s eye in the mirror. ‘You’re staring again’ she said, smiling as she used a cotton wool ball to apply cleanser on her face (which, she had once explained to him, was different from a toner. He had pretended to understand her explanation, and she had smiled indulgently at him).
‘Can you remember our first date?’, Ade asked her. Mimi furrowed her brows as though deep in thought, and asked him, ‘which one-the fake one when you showed up late or the real one when we watched a movie?’
‘The real one, obviously’, Ade replied, giving her a slight pinch on her arm.
‘I remember’, Mimi said, rubbing her arm.
They were quiet for a moment.
‘I’m glad that you came back that night’, said Mimi.
‘I’m glad that you gave me another chance’, said Ade.
Mimi leaned over and kissed Ade on his lips.
Ade’s heart was full.
**You can read the previous parts of this story by clicking on ‘short stories’ under the categories section of this page**
**Thanks everyone for reading! Did you think Ade and Mimi would ever have a relationship when you read the first story? Please share your thoughts 🙂