Only if I could turn back the hands of time, I would make a whole lot of amendments. Only if I paid more attention to her. Only if…
My name is John and I was married to the love of my life, my priceless jewel, Sade. We were lovers as way back as kids.
While we were kids, we loved each other a whole lot, the type of love innocent minds like ours could only nurture at that time, we were best of friends. Our parents lived at Ibadan then.
As little as we were we could keep secrets and no other person in the whole wide world would know about it except us, not even our mothers!
Our parents who were so close as family friends got used to our friendship. We sometimes get teased because of how close we were.
When I was sixteen years, my parents relocated to the United Kingdom(UK) because my dad got a permanent job at one of the commercial banks. My usual contact with Sade began to grow thin because of our distance apart, but the beautiful memories we had together remained fresh and evergreen in my memory.
By 28, I was already working as a sound engineer at a reputable music record label at UK. The pay was mouth-watery and after eighteen months, I became a ‘big boy’. I informed mum and dad that I was ready and willing to have a family of my own. Dad supported my idea and gave his consent. He asked me if I had anyone in mind yet and I replied in the negative. Mum suggested I get a lady from Nigeria. She assured me that they were beautiful and homely ladies back home at Nigeria.
That was how I returned briefly to Nigeria on a search for my lucky bride. I thought of Sade’s family house to stay at since we were great friends with them.
I was warmly welcomed by her parents. At the time I arrived Nigeria, Sade was staying at Jos where she tutored at a college immediately she was done with her youth service over there. I got this information from her parents.
When she heard that I have arrived Nigeria. She returned to Ibadan that same weekend. We were so excited to see ourselves again after all these years. Sade had grown so mature and beautiful.
She talked about so many things. She took me around Ibadan and I was impressed with the changes within the environs. We spent two days chatting basically and sight-seeing,then she put the question forward to me.
“John, so tell me what exactly did you come back to Nigeria for?”
“I came to pick a wife as mum recommended, ” I simply said.
“Oh! Nice, I could help you get one easily? ”she said smiling broadly.
“There won’t be any need for that. I think I have found her already, ”I replied.
“Who?” she said raising an eyebrow.
“I’ve found you so there’s no need to search anymore, ”I replied looking steadily at her pretty face.
We had this attraction between us that we couldn’t deny.
Soon, we were having our marriage plans. Sade had accepted my proposal to be my wife. And we looked forward to a beautiful family together. We both settled at UK after our wedding.
My job became more demanding and I had less time to pay attention to my marriage. It was always work, work and work with me. Sade tried her best to get us communicating like we used to do before we got married, but I was always not available.
I traveled a lot from one city to the other because of my job. Sade on her part became a weight loss consultant. She didn’t want to go into her former profession while we stayed at UK. We worked basically from home and her clients called her for consultation.
One cool Saturday evening, while we rested at the pool side. Sade started,“Honey, there’s something I would like to discuss with you. I…”
“Must you talk all the time, Sade!” I shot at her.
“But, I don’t have much to say,”she defended.
“Sade,please I’ve had a very busy week. I want to relax today and I need less of your talk right now. You always have something to say,”I said keeping her shut. That day went by in silence.
Two months after, I was hurrying off for a job I had to round off before the deadline. I grabbed my suitcase that laid on my bed and moved to the car. Sade came out running after me.
“Honey, ” she began,” I have something to say.”
“Oh my, Sade. Can’t you see that I’m in a hurry?” I barked at her.
“But, it won’t take long. ” she said calmly.
“It will have to wait till I return tonight,” I said, jumped into the car and drove off.
By evening, I called Sade and told her I won’t be returning till the next morning. I would lodge at an hotel to finish up my work.
Consequently, we didn’t discuss what she wanted to talk about.
Three months crawled away,, as I prepared to go to work on a particular morning. Sade who served breakfast was about to take her seat at the dining when she slumped. I became agitated seeing her lie on the floor. I carried her up and hurried away to the hospital. She was quickly attended to by a doctor, while I waited at the visitor’s ward.
After waiting a little long, the same doctor came out to meet me. “Are you a relative to the patient?” he asked me. “I’m her husband,”I replied.
“Please, come with me to my office,”he said. At the office, he began,“Your wife is at a very critical state of health”
“I don’t understand,” I said in confusion.
“She’s suffering from cancer of the liver and I’m afraid she’s got less than a week left,”he announced.
I couldn’t believe my ears. I felt a sharp pain in my heart.
“But…but that can’t be true,” was all I could say to the doctor.
“From my records, the cancer is at its last stage and there’s nothing to be done to prevent the inevitable from happening not even money can stop this. Didn’t you notice anything these past few months? Didn’t she make a complain?” the doctor said.
I was loss for words. I recalled that I’ve been too busy to talk or listen to her for the past six months. Then it occurred to me that she must have tried talking to me about it, but I ignored her.
Life Lesson: Always listen to whatever your partner wants to discuss with you. You might be getting fed up with their discussion as time goes on especially if your spouse is a ‘chatter box’. But, you just have to pay attention to them. Constant communication keeps you updated with what your partner feels or thinks about. Always be readily available to listen or talk to them. Create time to have one or two chats with them, it goes a long way in preventing unfurseen disasters