Meyene pulled the door close until it’s base wedged with the doorstop, her back turned to her husband. She dragged the sole of her feet along the red strip of carpet that served as the doormat, wiping the wetness off them, before turning to face the dimness that was their bedroom. Lanre watched from where he lay on the mattress, his wife, her figure silhouetted against the thin streak of light strewn in from the bathroom door ajar. She ambled to the rack, adjacent the wardrobe end of the wall, her towel tubing her wet body. It was a small room and she had come to know it without her eyes.
Meyene always thought of herself as a person who observed the balance.
‘A good product won’t buy itself’, she would say.
‘Advertisements aren’t overrated’, she would say also. She hated the absolutes. She didn’t have to choose between a prude and a slut. Hence, the reason why her skirts and dresses, including towels were mid-thigh length. She had the perfect knowledge of that spot between ‘cheeky’ and ‘a tease’. She could dance graciously along the thin region of carnal innuendos without crossing the flirt threshold. Only Lanre knew the many hours he had spent in front a mirror, debating with himself what the chances were of her agreeing to date him.
Meyene, clad in her silky tease of a sleeping robe, laid beside her husband, the length of her back against his chest and abdomen, his arm anchored over her belly. In their two months of marriage, they had always slept this way. In her thoughts, they would always sleep this way. In her thoughts, there was no reason why they wouldn’t always sleep this way.
‘Lanre, how did you know you were in love with me?’, she asked, stroking his hairy arm with her index finger. Lanre let out a loud breath, almost a sigh, retracted his arm from over her waist and belly and allowed his back to find the cold sheets on the mattress. If the lights were on and his wife was turned towards him, he would see the quizzical expression on her face.
‘What made you fall in love with me?’, she asked again, this time a little louder and a lot more assertively. If the lights were on and she was turned to her husband, she would see his face light up.
‘But I’m not in love with you, Meyene’, he said. ‘I’ll explain’, and he proceeded to.
Meyene sat up against the headboard. Her fingers played freely on his forehead, repeatedly pinching his skin into a wrinkle.
‘If I am in love with you, and I had to give a reason why, it would also mean that such love is precipitated by how you look, something you wore, a certain way you act, perhaps something you said, or even a combination of these things. So what happens if you stop looking that way, or dressing that way, or acting a certain way, or talking that way? What happens if you lose an eye, or in a more severe scenario, lose your mind? What happens if another person shows up and has all of these in combination? What happens to that love?
Meyene shrugged. She didn’t know it, but the pressure in her fingers had increased and her nails were on the verge of ulcerating his skin.
‘You tell me’, she said, her eyes rolled inwards and sideways. Her forearms drew-in into a cross over the top of her laps. He continued.
‘So I’m not in love with you. I’m in love with the idea of being in love with you. Such that, no matter what changes, I’ll always be inclined to being with you’. Lanre finished.
Meyene sagged into a supine position and turned again on her side. Her hand found his and pulled it over her waist and belly, forcing him into side lying. She understood him, she always had, even when he spat utter rubbish. She pulled up the duvet and smiled to herself, knowing she would always be with him. Not because he was going to repent of being a screw up, but because with her, he would always talk himself out of any fix.
Meyene knew she was in trouble, the perfect kind.