I am crying and laughing at the same time (thank God I’m laughing, so the people here think it’s the laughing that is tickling my eyes and producing water).
My wife has surprised me again!
I mean, when I was getting married to Betty two years ago, I knew she was mischievous but I didn’t know it has reached this level.
Do you know that when she was vomiting two mornings ago, I almost guessed that she was pregnant? But she rinsed her mouth and said, ‘This thing happens every time I buy Mama Jane’s puff puff.’
I asked’ You bought puff puff?‘
She said ‘yes o. I just finished eating it as I walked into the house. Sorry, I know you are thinking about why I didn’t remain for you.’
But that was not what I was thinking. What I was thinking was: Why didn’t I taste or smell the slightest whiff of puff puff when I kissed her at the door
But I just pushed it away. If she was pregnant, I would find out that night. That’s what I told myself. Betty’s idea of daydreaming aloud is her telling me of all the many ways she will announce to me that we’re pregnant. Most of the ideas always end up with me opening my plate of food for dinner and discovering the pregnancy result, or a key holder shaped like a baby, or little baby shoes.
So I knew that I would, by dinner time, know whether she was pregnant. But dinner time came and real food was on my plate. Same thing for last night; real food.
But today, she shocked me!
We were just sitting in the house together; her massaging my feet and me reading out from a book of poems to her. Our typical evening. Next thing, my best friend Ndubisi called me and said he was passing by my house with his 6 children and wife. Can they come over? I said ‘yes, of course’ I told my wife. She seemed pleased and said,’ let me go and microwave plenty goat meat for them. God knows I can’t cook real food at this time. Shebi?’
I laughed and said ‘And I can’t wash plates. Please Goat meat and disposable plates abeg’. We laughed.
When they came and after we exchanged pleasantries, their second to the last born, Nkem (who I am very fond of) came to me and said ‘Uncle C, do you want to play one game that I just learned. I promise it’s interesting’
Her mother scolded her and asked her to stop disturbing uncle. But I quickly rushed in(as they knew I would) and told her to tell me about the game.
She said the game was Chinese Whispers and I said ‘Ohh! And I know it o. Oya let’s play’
So me myself, I used my own hand to call everyone together for a surprise that was for me. Betty was in the kitchen so I went to get her. ‘Baby, oya come and play Chinese whispers with Nkem and everybody. ‘
‘Ah. Okay. Abeg help me take these drinks to them. I’ll bring the meat. I’m coming’
She came and sat by the edge of the semi-circle while I sat at the other edge. I started.
I whispered to Nkem ‘Nkem suggested this awesome game’ and by the time it got to my wife, it had become ‘No kem likes playing these games’
We laughed about it. Then it was my wife’s turn. She whispered into Cornelia’s ears and the message started traveling down. Everyone seemed more excited than normal. I was thinking about how my wife has said something mischievous as usual.
Then the message got to me. I heard Nkem say, ‘Mr. C, your wife is pregnant. And this is not a real Chinese whispers game’
I paused for a while. It was like someone poured cold water and hot oil down my spine. I looked at my wife and she was smiling and nodding altogether.
Ndubisi and his family started singing a song I had never heard before, ‘Who is the latest father in this place? C is, C is’
So I started laughing and crying. I ran to my wife and hugged her so tight I quickly let go of her afraid that I’ll burst the baby.
Ndubisi and his family is leaving now with their goat meat wrapped in foil and the juice packs tucked under their armpit. I am still crying and laughing.
Betty is a mischievous devil and my partner in pregnancy!