Coming home into the welcoming arms of your wife is one of the few beauties of life. Isn’t it? Only that on this particular occasion Yourstruly was passionately engrossed in a phone conversation and laughing hysterically when his wife opened the door. Suffice it to say that, I shrugged her hug away with my laptop bag, managed a nod as a greeting and collapsed on the sofa. Seeing the mood I was in, she gave me space and went to attend to other things. And by ‘other things’ I meant my dinner.
I was on the phone for the next ten minutes which really seemed like an hour. When I was done, I dropped the phone excitedly and still bathing in the euphoria of the animated phone conversation pranced around the house looking for her. She was dutifully by the dining setting the table. I settled on my seat ready to demolish the two raps of semovita, ewedu soup and some delicious goat meat. She took a seat beside me and smiled. I still had a huge grin on my face as I engaged her in small talks asking her how her day was but gravely unaware she wasn’t even answering.
‘I can’t remember the last time you were that hysterical and frenzied on the phone with me.’
The ball of semo in my hand hung up in the air. And like ice turning into water, the grin on my face melted away and a puzzled look replaced it. ‘You said?’
‘You heard me. When was the last time you were that over excited on the phone with me?’
‘What are you talking about?’
She smiled. ‘Look at you…you should have seen yourself when you came in. Who was that on the phone?’
Reality dawned. I felt like a little child who was caught playing video games when he was supposed to be doing his homework. ‘Come off it! What’s that?!’ I swallowed and took another ball shrugging off her accusation.
‘Who was the person on the phone?’
‘K-e-n-d-r-a.’ She drawled and got up.
That was fire on the mountain right there.
‘Come on, baby…we were just remembering funny stuff back in the days.’
I would be damned if I thought she was done.
‘Come on…wait a minute…what are you insinuating?’ I was losing my appetite already.
‘Nothing. Didn’t you hear me?’ She walked back to the dining from the kitchen. ‘I just can’t remember the last time you were that excited on the phone with me. That’s all.’ She gesticulated. ‘Cool down. Let me get you water.’
I was stunned. ‘You are my wife! We see and talk every day!’ My voice was hitting the high notes already.
‘Exactly my point!’
I caught her face just before she looked away and if I had thought this was just play or joke I was more convinced it wasn’t.
Kendra was an old friend that I had not spoken to or with in twelve months. I felt it was justification to be that ecstatic on the phone. Okay, yes, we were quite fond of each other back in the days, but it wasn’t more than ‘fond of each other.’ I mean, I speak to you, wifey, all the time, so what was it? Come on, what was this? A man can’t come to a peaceful home again!
I was confused.
She rested her palm on my shoulder from behind as she placed the water on the table. ‘I know Kendra is an old friend. Just couldn’t help wishing you could be like that on the phone with me, even if it’s once in a while. You needed to see your face when you came in. It was a pretty picture.’
‘Really?’ I was calm now. Her hand on my shoulder probably helped.
‘Yeah.’ She turned around and smiled. ‘I was jealous, I guess.’
‘I’m sorry.’ I was really calm now but I had finally lost my appetite.
‘It’s nothing. Of course, I heard all you guys were talking about. I mean, you were on the couch for close to fifteen minutes or so. Don’t misunderstand me. My point is, you aren’t that hysterical with me on the phone.’
‘How am I on the phone with you?’
She sat down. She shifted her head in a thinking position. ‘Edgy…business-like…sometimes snappy, sometimes stressed… like my phone call is a distraction to your already jolly beautiful day.’
‘Wow. Are you serious?’ We both didn’t mind the food was already cold at this time. And I don’t like cold food. But, this was an important moment.
‘Then I’m sorry.’ I drank some water. ‘I will be very excited on the phone when next you call,’ then I injected a teasing but honest tone into it, ‘just make sure the call isn’t about needing to pick Ayanfe from school, or about an official trip you have to make to Lagos or about an expense I haven’t paid for or about Afooreofe’s next hospital appointment or about SU monthly dues or about….’
‘Ooo-kay…I get.’ She cut in. ‘That can’t be all I say on the phone when I call you?’
‘Huh? Next time I will make sure I record our phone conversations. And then you check which husband gets excited or ‘hysterical’ on the phone with news and requests like that?’
‘But, really, who else will I take those requests or conversations to?’
‘My point is let your phone call sometimes just be fun too, just to say Hello or share a joke or a gist, even gossip. Let it not always be about demands or requests so that when I see your call, I’m not already thinking about what I’ve done or not done.’
‘Point taken and well noted.’
‘Thank you.’ Just then my phone rang. I looked at the phone and then looked at her, ‘it’s Kendra.’ It was more a request than a statement.
‘Answer your call. Just make sure you finish your food.’
‘That’s your punishment for making me jealous.’
Is it okay for my wife to be upset if I talk excitedly with another woman on the phone?
Is jealousy healthy?
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