Mayokun was restored to sadness as the audience dispersed.
“Kayode!” she let out a whisper as she went through her phone and saw that he has not made any effort to call or apologise. She needed the quietness of her home and began to head towards the hospital gate, fighting the sadness overwhelming her soul.
She has done everything prescribed, even against her values to keep a man. All sorts of men have come and gone. She stopped being churchy and uptight when her boyfriend cheated on her at her 27th birthday. People have told her that men must have sex and sex binds a relationship. Her mother had told her that she would be insulted by people younger than her if she was unmarried by 30. It was her mother, who raised her in church to shun fornication, who would later advise her to stop being a sanctimonious plastic Saint. It was more of an insult than a piece of advice, but more people corroborated her mother’s words. She had driven to her friend’s house in tears and begged him to be her first. She wanted the whole virginity thing to be out of the way so that her next relationship would be faced with less restrictions if she brought sex to the table. She was told that female doctors were proud and nobody wanted them, so she sold her car to look like every regular girl. It made some sense to her. Men often offer to help girls waiting to get a taxi and this has initiated lots of relationships. This was how she met Kayode. She ensured that she was humble and submissive to Kayode so he does not feel she was trying to level up as a doctor. She is a senior registrar in cardiology, preparing for fellowship exams. Kayode is a senior registrar in cardiothoracic surgery. She could poke a thousand and one errors whenever they discussed work, but she deliberately avoided doing that to preserve his ego and leadership in the relationship, hoping his consultant would do the tutoring.
The sun was already high at 9:40am and Mayokun had stood for 20mins at the estate gate, waiting for a cab to take her home. She really felt dehydrated and exhausted at this point. It was a good thing that this was not a rush hour as school kids had already gone to school. Otherwise, it might take her another hour before she gets a cab as the kids scramble to get in first before anyone else, and it is an eyesore to be seen struggling with kids. The cabs were provided by the benevolence of the landlords association in the estate. Seven cabs were not enough to make rounds, but half-bread they say is better than none.
Has she suffered in vain?
She sighted a boy hawking water and bought a bottle from him. The child was full of gratitude when she asked him to keep the change. The change was enough to buy four more bottles, but Mayokun was not feeling benevolent, she was just sad.
Mayokun sighted a cab ahead and since there were just three passengers waiting at the estate gate, she was sure she would be alone in her bathroom soon. She got home at 10:32am, knowing she might be late to the clinic by noon, she decided to call in sick. Blame the call food, blame whatever, she has food poisoning and that’s that about that. This doctor is a patient and needed a day off, away from patients, to treat herself. She had switched her phone off after she called the chief resident and took the day off. She is hardworking and can pay it back by taking extra calls. The Chief Resident obliged. Mayokun was not one to make excuses at work, be found sloppy, complain on the job, or ask for days off. If she is requesting for one after such a brilliant presentation, he felt she must have had some justified symptoms. She just needed time off.
No word from Kayode. Mayowa switched off her phone, sat in the bathtub and dissolved into tears. She sobbed out her heart, motivated by warm showers pouring on her. The more they washed her tears away, the harder she sobbed. Where did she go wrong? Just when she thought they would make plans for a wedding this year, Kayode asked her to renew her rent. It sent off a red flag in her mind, but she did not want to fit into the desperate lady frame, though she was. He encouraged her to buy furniture for her apartment, buy a dining set, buy a generator, she was too consumed with him to see that he was also doing the same. She was obedient, did everything as he wanted. It looked like he was telling her to settle with herself, but she decided to not think deeply about it. She expected to pull resources together and equip and apartment, but they had equipped two – like friends, not lovers.
“Were we just friends with benefits? “
Mayowa clenched her chest as she felt her heart break in many places. She had dated several men since her 27th birthday. Men who stole from her, men who lived off her, men who wanted her to help their girlfriends go through an abortion, men who did not disclose their marital status. She learnt that dating was an experimental phase which you must go through to find your match. Kayode was that match.
“Should I call him? What if we were married with kids, would I leave him? Is there a man who does not cheat? Maybe how you handle it determines a happy marriage or a divorce “
Her mind began to go rampage on her with bombarding thoughts.
“Kayode does not respect me! “
She uttered aloud and buried her face in her palms as she let out uncontrollable sobs. Kayode would check out other ladies whenever they went out together. If she reacted, she was judged as oversensitive. He would say “it’s a joke! “. She did not desire to push him away, so she began to learn to take his jokes. He would often tease her gluteal region as flat, and say her boobs were not upright in doctrine. He’d introduce her to his surgeon friends as “one of the medicine babes we’re trying to be a father figure to”. It really did not sit well with her at all, but she decided to not be too sensitive as doctors have the medicine vs surgery rivalry, and she did not want his friends to see her as an uptight single old lady who can’t take a joke.
This is what she sold her car for. This is what she has suffered for. She did not see herself still single at 28. Tunde already picked out her ring to propose at her 27th birthday before she walked in on him and her best friend. Everyone judged her for starving him of sex. Tunde begged but she could not settle for a man with no values. Tunde and her bestie, Dami, whom he cheated on her with are happily married with kids, but here she is – miserable at 33years. Karma does not exist. It was in her plans that her kids would have been done with university education by the time she clocks 50. At 33years, no husband, no child, miserable in a bathtub. She really desires marriage Even her pastor told her that men cannot live without sex. She had satisfied every man she had dated since then with sex. She had no desire to be a pastor’s wife, but she dated a pastor, satisfied him with sex, split her salary with him, only to realize that he sent the money to his wife and kids every month. He was married.
“Where do I start from?” She asked rhetorically.
Her mother must not hear that she broke up with Kayode because he cheated.
“Where do I start from at my age? How? I must beg Kayode. Maybe I have offended him. Maybe he does not enjoy sex with me.”
She stepped out of the tub, wrapped her hair in a towel and daubed some lotion on her skin.
She got into bed, pulled her duvet over her head, and decided to go see Kayode in the evening with a gift. This time around, she will swallow her pride and fight for her man. This is what every woman does but nobody talks about it, she convinced herself.
“I’ll get my man back.”