When You FUEL Her Mood…

“Did you hear me?”

“What?”

“I said Oando in Wuse 2 is selling and you didn’t even respond.”

“Oh, that? Of course I heard you.” I continued fiddling with my phone.

She stood there waiting for… I don’t know what… her mouth agape at my nonchalance.

“And…..” She found her voice.

“Oh, I don’t get,” I lifted up my head, “will responding mean picking the car keys and driving to the filling station to queue?” No answer. And since I didn’t do that, I haven’t responded, right?”

It was my turn to wait for her own response.

I didn’t get any.

“Did you hear me?” I played her the same card.

No response. She walked out of the room.

I stretched back on the bed and toyed with my phone. We had suffered for lack of fuel ten days now and counting. Twice on Friday we bought twenty liters for N15,000. Suffice it to say that the scarcity was eating deep into our purse and these were hard times. Besides the cost was also the stress and laborious task of having to queue for hours before you gave that hard-earned money away for just a few liters.

People had become tired of complaining. You had to fuel the generator and fuel the cars and in a week you could be spending over a hundred thousand naira. On fuel!

It was a major stress, on any relationship, for that matter. Well, an avoidable one, if leadership were better.

Anyway, earlier that evening while I watched Arsenal-Sunderland match, one of our friends sent a message on a Whatsapp group we both belonged to notifying us she just got fuel at NNPC station in Wuse 2. And she added there was no queue. I abandoned the match like a boring soap opera, grabbed the car keys and drove out. I was at the filling station in no time. Our friend was right. There was no queue but it had just gradually started to build.

While I waited for my tank to be filled, I sent a message to the group and thanked the friend. Two other people drove down immediately and chanced on the opportunity. We expressed our appreciation for the heads-up. I got three kegs filled too. Two would be transferred to the other car and one for the generator. I came back home and was lucky to still meet the closing minutes of the match. Not seeing any comment or remark from my wife on the group chat only told me she hadn’t read the messages. Not unusual. And she confirmed that again when she implied I should go to Oando.

She came back into the room. It was 11:30pm. Her nose was up and her demeanor was cold.

“Princess couldn’t swim today. The coach said the water was too cold.” I made a feeble attempt at a conversation.

“Hmmn…” She answered with her nose.

I giggled. It was the final confirmation she wasn’t talking to me. I stole a look at her and I could read in capital letters that evening was setting itself for a dull night. I fought whether to spill or not spill. As in, why will fuel put sand-sand for my garri now, make I just kukuma tell say I don buy the fuel. I even considered referring her to her phone so she could read the group chats. Another curious part of me wanted to see how this was going to end. So, I perished the thought.

She took her time and arranged her clothes neatly into the wardrobe. And I took the time and arranged myself wella on the bed, ready to close shop for the day. I mean, if she already entered a mood on this fuel matter, nna na make man say Goodnight be that. I heard the door shut as she left the room.

Nothing they won’t come up with just to lock up. So, fuel is the reason I won’t sleep happy tonight. Fuel!! As in FUEL!! Na wa o. No wonder the pastors say, what God has joined together, let no one put asunder. Giving that statement a second thought, it should be reviewed to ‘What God has joined together, let no one and let nothing put asunder! Because as I was lying down there fuel seemed to be putting asunder {of all issues in the world that couples deal with, FUEL!! It’s unbelievable!) Fuel, an inanimate object, common petrol, was what was causing kanta in my house.

Thirty minutes passed, I couldn’t sleep. I racked my brain for ways I could make her browse through her phone and read her chats. I itched to let her know. I knew telling would spoil the surprise and deny me that feeling one got out of it. So I wasn’t ready to tell, at least not yet. Searched for other options to explore but couldn’t come up with any. I considered calling someone to call her just to draw her attention to the chats. That would look suspicious. For goodness’s sake, couldn’t she just check her phone!

Suddenly the door swung open. “Olami! Are you sleeping?”

I was startled.

“You won’t go and get the fuel?!” She stared in disbelief.

There was I thinking she had probably found out.

I rolled as if I had been woken up from sleep. “Baby, I’m too tired. Come on, it’s late! You can go and get it too, can’t you?” My voice cut like a knife. I laid back. Of course I knew she wouldn’t unless we went together.

She stood there and watched me for a while. I could tell she was fuming. If she could and if it was possible, I could almost see her yank the duvet off me and send me out of the house. I struggled to hold the laughter in. But, boy, was I enjoying this? You bet!

She stormed out again. As the door jammed, I got up. Hmmn…This wife of mine, I knew she could pick up the keys and drive out to get the fuel if care was not taken. I tiptoed with littlest sound possible, like footsteps upon wool, to the door and placed my hand on the handle, squeezed my face tight, and mustered all the finesse I could, I opened the door gently and stopping intermittently to minimize the creaks. It finally opened and I peeped to check she was not going out.

Again, I thought, maybe that way she would even find out the tank was full. But, I didn’t want to risk it.

I could hear her shouting at Josephine about some insignificant water that spilled on the dining table. Poor girl. How would she know it was a transfer of aggression? I could hear plates falling all over one another in the kitchen, the cabinet doors were not spared too. Unexpectedly her phone rang. Praise God! I was almost tempted to dash out and help her search for it so she would not miss the call. Thank Goodness she found it early enough. I couldn’t hear the conversation. The call ended. And there was silence. After a while I heard her footsteps coming towards the room.

Come on! You needed to see how I dived into the bed, adjusted quickly and carefully took a sleeping position. If I could, I would have added snoring to be more convincing.

The door swung open, again. I wished I knew what to expect this time. There couldn’t be sleep for a recalcitrant husband. Could there?

“Olami! You’ve bought fuel!”

Oh! I could almost hear some background music.

With my eyes closed and the duvet over my head, I could see and feel the humongous grin on her face. I could also feel all the demons of anger, bitterness and animosity flying out of the room.

What fuel scarcity can do! You would have thought I just got her a Toyota Camry, 2016 model, the way she exclaimed.

Trust me, of course, I pretended I didn’t hear the first time. You can’t blame me.

She came closer. I felt it. I was grinning like a Cheshire cat under the covers. “You’ve bought fuel!” It sounded like a prophecy, but it was more akin to an admittance that she had just been wasting energy all the while fighting thing air.

What Naija government has turned our lives into! We are celebrating having a full tank of fuel like someone who had just won a hundred million dollars contract.

Anyway, this was the moment I’d been waiting for. We lived for such moments.

Wait for it.

First, I didn’t move an inch. I allowed all the feelings of victory and triumph to envelope me. I wished there was a camera man around to take a few shots of me.

You know that feeling you get when you have a delightful mixture of gloating and glorying blended together with justification and achievement. That feeling that even though you are lying face down on the bed, it almost feels like you are floating. Yes, that feeling, do you know the word for it?

I don’t either.

I turned. Like a bridegroom slowly unveiling his new bride, I peeled the cover off my face. It was momentous, very historic. I had on me the biggest grin ever. Sad, no photographer around.

I beheld the sight before me. Pretty picture. Blushing like a tomato. She stood there looking like a 15 year old who was crushing on her school Head Boy but too shy to admit it. Unable to giggle, undecided about laughing, vulnerable like jelly fish.

“You got fuel already.” This time she was tender, mushy and sentimental. She was still dazed but in a syrupy way, as she stared at her phone. “So, why didn’t you say since,” she cried like a four year old as she hit my leg.

“Look at what I would be missing if I had said.” My hand gestured at her pretty face.

“So you were just getting me worked up unnecessarily?” She hit me again and I winced in pain.

“Me? Really? How? You by yourself got yourself worked up.”

“That is so unfair.” Her voice still like a four year old as she kept hitting me.

I pulled my legs away. “Unfair that I bought fuel?”

“Go jor!”

And.

We lived happily ever after.

 

Fueling her mood
Fueling her mood

 

“The most ridiculous, inconsequential, petty and irrelevant littlest issues are the things we quarrel and lose our peace over. We can let His peace fuel our hearts so we may find rest for our souls.”  Juwon Odutayo

Written by juwonodutayo

Writer. Tutor. Speaker. Blogger. Roger Federer Fan.

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