You can’t put bandages over gunshot wounds. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is walk away.
Kosi just stared at Eva. He didn’t know what to say or how to begin. Eva’s face, on the other hand, seemed calm and collected. She marched straight to Kosi, put her arms around him and kissed him.
At first Kosi was startled. He couldn’t understand what was going on or why Eva was kissing him but after a while, he sank into the kiss, deepening it as his arms went around her waist. Eva took it a step further, she wrapped her legs around Kosi forcing him to support her with his hands. He carried her towards the wall, using it as support as Eva peppered kisses around his neck before taking his earlobes between her teeth. Kosi shuddered.
Kosi gasped her name. It sounded like a whisper on his lips. Eva threw her head back, exposing her neck as Kosi assaulted it with his teeth, tongue and lips.
‘Baby… Kosi… we can’t. Not here…’
Kosi’s mind felt like it was slowly being dragged out of a haze.
‘Why not?’ He asked, nuzzling her neck.
‘We have company.’
Realization dawned on him and he gently released Eva’s legs from his hold, holding her in place with his hands until her legs touched the ground.
‘Eva, I know how it looks…’
Eva raised a hand to silence him and Kosi obeyed. Too scared to find out what Eva would have done if he hadn’t.
Calmly, she walked straight to Hope who was still standing in the room, partially clothed now and said, ‘Get out.’
Two words said without anger but they held as much force as a storm. Hope quickly picked her remaining clothes and rushed towards the door. Eva turned to face her just before she opened the door to leave.
‘And the next time I see your shadow near my house or my man, I will beat you like a child.’
Without turning back, Hope walked briskly out of the room and out of the house.
Both Eva and Kosi remained silent for several seconds as they stood, just a few feet away from each other. The room wasn’t that large but in that moment, Kosi felt like Eva was on another planet.
‘Don’t. Just don’t.’
Eva said, her eyes narrowed to form slits. She turned away from him and walked out of the room. Kosi followed quickly behind.
‘Eva please. I know what it looked like.’
Then she stopped suddenly to face him.
‘Oh, you do?! It didn’t seem that way to me when I saw you in our bedroom with your almost naked best friend!’
Kosi visibly cringed at her words. He breathed out deeply, his eyes pleading.
‘I’ve been an idiot.’
He let out a sigh, ‘Eva, baby, can we please talk? Please.’ He added when it didn’t seem like she would agree.
Eva said nothing for a few seconds before finally answering, ‘You’re lucky I overhead you through the door refusing her advances.’
Kosi’s eyes lit up in surprise and gratitude.
‘That doesn’t mean I forgive you for being an ass.’
‘I’m more than grateful that you agreed to listen to me.’
Eva’s eyes softened a bit but then hardened again as she walked to the couch to sit down. She sat stiffly, her arms folded as she stared at Kosi.
Without saying another word, Kosi went to join Eva on the couch. He sat at the one end while Eva sat at the other end.
‘Can I just start by asking how you’re doing? Asides the whole thing with Hope.’ He added when Eva eyed him.
‘That’s not what I agreed to discuss with you.’
‘Eva, I know but I’m still your husband and I care about your well-being.’
Eva sighed and turned away from Kosi to touch her forehead.
‘I’m… I’m fine. I was supposed to leave the hospital sooner but I begged Doctor Audu to let me stay a bit longer to decide whose address I want to use as my contact address.’
They both said nothing for a while.
‘Does that mean… are you… do you…’ Kosi sighed. ‘Eva, please, I know I’ve been an idiot but choose me. Choose us.’ He pleaded.
‘And why should I do that?!’ Eva replied fiercely. ‘As far as I know, Ebuka never cheated on me with his best friend!’
Kosi winced again.
‘Eva, I am sorry. You have every right in this world to be pissed at me.’
‘You’re damn right I do.’ She said whirling to face him.
‘And I would completely understand if you decide not to ever forgive me for cheating on you.’
Eva turned away from him to stare at the blank television screen.
‘I have no excuse at all for what I did. None at all. Especially the way I acted towards you concerning Ebuka.’
Eva turned to look at him, his eyes were pleading and sincere. She turned to face the blank screen again.
‘I falsely accused you of cheating on me with Ebuka and then went behind your back to do the exact thing I accused you of doing.’
‘I don’t understand.’ Eva began turning to face Kosi. ‘What changed? You strongly believed I’d been lying to you about everything; work, late nights…’ Eva continued as she counted them off her fingers. ‘… so why do you suddenly believe me? What made you have a sudden change of heart?’
‘Almost losing you.’
Without saying a word, Eva got up from the couch and with her back to Kosi said, ‘If you were really scared to lose me, you wouldn’t have cheated on me.’ Kosi was speechless as Eva entered the room and locked the door behind her. He let out a defeated sigh.
‘Hone… Eva? I made jollof rice, are you hungry?’
There was silence before Eva finally opened the door. Kosi’s jaw dropped at the sight of Eva. She wore a tube that only covered her breasts and a patterned bum-short made from thin fabric.
‘Oh, Kosi. What did you say? I was in the toilet.’
‘I uh, um… uhh…’
Eva rested against the door frame, her arms crossed as she watched Kosi struggle with his words. A smile plastered on her face.
‘The last time you were this articulate was when we first met and you wanted to get my number.’
Without giving him a chance to reply, she walked away from him and headed straight for the kitchen.
‘Something smells nice. You cooked. Mmm Jollof.’
Kosi came to join her. His mind wandered to the way she had kissed him in front of Hope. It seemed like months since they last made out and he was itching to rectify that. To feel her body pressed against his. Her lips on his, tongues dancing in a …
‘Hello? Kosi? Can you shift.’
Kosi blinked rapidly, clearing his thoughts before moving aside for Eva to pass. She sat down on the dinning table and turned on the TV. Kosi joined her.
After a few minutes of silence, Kosi spoke up.
‘Can we talk?’
‘Sure.’ Eva replied carelessly. Her focus on the TV. How I met your mother was on.
Kosi glanced the TV then at Eva.
‘Do you mind if I turn it off?’
‘Oh. Serious talk. Ok.’
Eva drank a full glass of water before pushing her half-empty plate and cup aside.
‘You have my full attention.’
Kosi released a deep sigh.
‘It has been a week since you left the hospital.’
Silence. They both stared at each other.
‘How long are we going to live like this?’
‘I don’t understand your question.’
‘Eva please. You know what I mean. We are married but we are living like strangers. Most times you spend the entire day in the guest room. We barely talk. We can’t continue living this way. I can’t continue living this way.’
There was a short pause.
‘Maybe we shouldn’t.’
‘What?’ Kosi replied, confused and weary about the turn the conversation was taking.
‘Maybe we shouldn’t live together anymore.’
‘Eva, please…’ Kosi began as he moved his chair closer to Eva’s.
She shook her head.
‘Kosi do you understand how painful it is for me? Everyday I can barely even look at you without conjuring thoughts of how you and Hope had sex on our bed!’
Her voice got choked up. Kosi bent his head in shame.
‘Every time I look at you, I remember the different times you accused me of cheating. Even though I kept pleading and begging you to listen to me. I know the part I played and I admit that I should have been more direct with Ebuka or stronger when pushing him away but I told you! I told you the truth! You just refused to believe me! You kicked me out of our home! Kosi! You knew I had no where else to go.’
Her voice started breaking and Kosi tried to reach out to her in comfort but Eva pushed him away.
‘Don’t you dare touch me! Where was this consideration and comfort when I was constantly harassed by Ebuka?! When he kept applying more and more pressure for me to give in?’
Kosi was silent.
‘Where was this comfort when I would come back late from work mentally drained from having to deal with Ebuka and my office work? Where was this comfort when I begged, literally begged you to listen to my side of the story. To understand where I was coming from?!’
‘Exactly what I thought. It wasn’t there because you didn’t trust that I was telling you the truth. Your wife. Instead you listen to that whore of a friend and ended up fucking her!’
‘Eva…’ Kosi pleaded.
‘No! Don’t you dare Eva me! You’re a damn hypocrite you know. You did the very same thing you falsely accused me of and now now you’re trying to be all emotional saying, we can’t live this way, yeah. You’re right. We can’t live this way. I’m leaving.’
Eva got up from the dinning table. Her tears flowed feeling as she walked straight to the guest room. Kosi rushed to the door and stood in front of it blocking her path.
‘Eva, you have every right to be pissed, furious, angry. Whatever emotion but please, I’m begging you, don’t leave me. Don’t let this break us. We can fix this.’
‘Kosi, I don’t even know how. I’m hurt. I thought I could forgive you as time passed but all I feel is anger and pain and hurt. It’s eating away at me and I can’t continue living this way.’
She didn’t bother wiping the tears as they flowed. Her heart ached.
‘Eva, please, I don’t want to lose you.’ Kosi begged, coming closer to grab Eva’s arms. His eyes peering into hers.
‘Then you should have trusted me.’
The finality of her tone caused him to let go of her arms.
‘Please, I need to go pack my things.’ She said as she stepped away from him and opened the door to the guest room. She paused and turned to look at him, their eyes meeting. Eva opened her mouth as if to say something then closed it again before finally entering the room and closing the door behind her.
Kosi sat on the floor, lost in thought when Eva finally came out. She looked fresh faced and fully dressed. Two suitcases beside her.
‘I’ve called an uber. It should be here soon.’
Kosi got up when Eva finally came out. His eyes were red and his heart felt heavy.
‘Where will you go?’
‘I…’ Then she turned her head away from him. ‘… I’ll stay with a friend.’
‘Eva…’ But he couldn’t say what he was itching to say – stay.
They stood in awkward silence until Eva got a call from the driver that he was outside.
‘That’s my ride. I’m going.’
She wheeled her suitcases towards the front door without waiting for a response from Kosi.
She turned to look at him expectantly.
‘You don’t have to do this. Please. You said you wouldn’t leave me Eva! There has to be another way. Please, I love you.’
Eva felt like her heart was breaking into tiny pieces. Without saying a word in response, she walked out of her marital home.