I’m always late for work. There’s a name they call me. They don’t say it in front of me but behind me. I know the sound but I don’t get to hear the word.
When they see me coming to work, they speak among themselves and laugh. I don’t blame them. I deserve it. If you invite me to a wedding, I will be late. If you invite me to your baby’s christening, I’ll be late. I’m late for church. I’m late for everything because of my husband.
We fought about it on several occasions until I realized that he indeed enjoys the fight that precedes the action. I’ve stopped fighting, thinking at some point he’s going to stop and leave me alone. We’ve been married for a year and a half. It doesn’t look like he’s going to stop anytime soon so I have to factor him into my plans every day. But the thing is, I get tired and wants to relax after everything. That’s when the lateness happens.
“I’m sorry I’m late.”
I say that every day. It has become my default greeting. If this story had a timeline for submission, I would have been late. But I’m working hard to make changes. I’m trying. I’m fighting him in a different way. He doesn’t see it but soon things will change.
When I came to live with him at first, I expected shuperu to happen that night but it didn’t happen. I put my legs on him. It didn’t work. I pushed my ass in front of him, making sure it touches his skin. It didn’t work. I pulled him into my embrace, breathing desire into him. That too didn’t work. I stopped trying. “Maybe he’s tired. Maybe he likes it in the morning.”
I slept with a vacuum in my heart. You become lighter when you want it and don’t get it. It’s like something had been stolen from you. You yawn a lot. Sometimes you snore to drum home your point.
In the morning, I was the first to wake up, putting my antics on display just to get his attention. I wrapped him between my legs and said, “You’re arrested until you discharge your duties.” He laughed at me. It turned into a conversation. It was a weekend so we stayed in bed and talked all morning. Again nothing happened.
Around mid-day, I had to meet a friend in town so I started getting ready. I was standing in front of the mirror putting cream on my skin when he entered. I could see from the mirror that he was looking at me. I didn’t talk. I kept dressing up while he sat there looking at me. I wore my pant and put my bra on. I grabbed my skirt and he grabbed my hand. “What?” I asked him. He answered, “Not too fast, where do you think you’re going?”
“But I told you I…”
He held me by the waist and pulled me into bed. I was telling him my friend would be waiting. I was pleading with him to wait until I come back. I wasn’t fighting him but I was resisting so he leaves me alone. He didn’t. He pushed and pulled until the work was done. I was fuming but he was smiling.
He messed up my dressing and got me sweaty and tired. I had to rest for a while, wash down and dress up again. I was wearing my dress When my friend called; “Where are you? I’m already here.” I answered, “I’m almost there too. I’m stuck in heavy traffic.”
Two hours later I was there. “I’m sorry I’m late. The traffic wasn’t easy.” She was angry. She wore a frown but what are friends for if they can’t come late to the occasion?
The next Monday when I was dressing up for work, he did the same thing to me. He did it again a few days later and then again and again until I noticed the trend and patterns in the way he operates. I felt it wasn’t right. I was the one losing so I brought up a conversation about it.
“What’s the evening for? What’s the night for? We sleep for over six hours and you don’t use it. Even when I try, you ignore me only to jump on me when I’m getting ready for work. Why? This can’t continue. You make me late for everything.”
The thing about my husband is that he’s never angry. If you try fighting him, you’ll end up fighting alone. And he’s like that when you try to have a serious conversation with him. He’ll laugh it off and call it one of those things. When I pushed him to the wall he told me, “That’s how I like it. I don’t know what’s wrong with that. Call it a fetish but I enjoy it that way.”
So to avoid being late, I will wake up very early, factoring his minutes into my time but the thing is, it’s not every day that he wants to do it so sometimes I dress up early for nothing.
There are three things I find wrong with my marriage.
One, I don’t get it when I want it. I’ll do all the tricks a woman will do to get the attention of her man but this my husband won’t fall for it. I sleep hungry and unfulfilled. I wake up with the hangover of yesterday’s desire. He doesn’t care. He’ll only do it when he wants it—when I’m dressing up for work.
Two, This is the first time I’m seeing this in my life. When we were dating, I didn’t see the trend. Shuperu was far and few during our year and a half dating and that wasn’t enough for me to see it until we started living together. Is it normal for a husband to want it only when he sees his wife dressing up? Nights are empty. Days pass by unused. It’s only when you’re dressing up to attend an event that he’ll find you attractive.