Thursday, December 6, 2018

the counsellor called tunji and rose(season 2)

Susan knew what Tunji was about to do, yet the hole created by the impact of his fist on the dining table, coupled with the loud sound given off, made her back into the wall in fear, closing her eyes and tightening her fist over her ears trying to block out what she didn’t know.
His blow to the table had broken the silence created by her accusation. An accusation which even she, knew was stupid.
This was the first time Tunji had ever shown any sign of anger since their wedding day. He had always been gentle, patient and calm with her, even though she knew many of the smiles he gave off were strained.
What was worse was that Susan knew she had riled him into this.
“I am going to walk out of here now,” Tunji said with clenched teeth, “When I return, I am going to act like you didn’t just accuse me of having an affair. I am going to ignore how funny it is that you would accuse me of going after other women when you would not even let me touch you as your husband.”
The bang of the door alerted Susan to Tunji’s exit out of the house, that was when she loosened her fist.
Sliding down the wall, she sat on the floor and cried.
She seemed to be doing a lot of that lately as she didn’t seem know what else to do.
She loved Tunji, she knew she did, but for some unknown reason, she couldn’t stop hurting him. She couldn’t bring herself to submit totally to him.
This was almost three years and there was still apart of herself she held back from him. The part she was supposed to have submitted to him, considering that they have been married for three months.
She always had abstinence until marriage as an excuse to why she would not allow him show her any physical affection, while they were courting.
Since their wedding night, she ran out of excuses.
As the tears flowed down her eyes, she cursed Tunde over and over; he was the cause of all her pain. She could not even allow a good man love her, because of the wickedness shown her by a bad man.
“May God punish you immensely,” she said out loud, the bitterness audible in her voice. “May you also feel this pain I feel, Tunde. May your marriage be disturbed the way your wickedness is disturbing my marriage. May you know no…”
Her heavy words were interrupted by her ringing phone. Getting up from the floor, she hurried to pick the call before it stopped ringing. She hoped it was Tunji calling, even though she knew the possibility was slim.
Tunji had once jokingly accused her of not loving him enough since she did not have a special ring tone for him. Her ring tone on his phone was ‘My Everything’ by Michael Bubble.
She saw no need to give him a special ring tone, she had told him. If the need arises, she would give him one. She had acted like she didn’t see the hurt in his eyes which he had quickly smiled away.
She seemed to be able to hurt him effortlessly.
She searched for the phone in her bag which contained too many useless items she found hard to dispose, and the phone had stopped ringing by the time she found it.
It was not Tunji. It was an unknown number.
She dragged herself to a sofa and slowly sat down. She looked around uniquely decorated parlour, but she saw nothing but Tunji’s efforts to make her happy.
The colours didn’t match, but she loved it. The walls were painted cream-coloured, and the furniture, which comprised of black leather sofas, a couch, and a glass centre table were all her idea.
Tunji had asked her opinion before he furnished his house. Everything, from the maroon coloured rug and curtains down to the kitchen wares and appliances had all being done for her, from their first meeting, Tunji had told her he was going to marry her, but he was going to court her first so they could get used to each other.
Three years after, she was yet to get used to him.
The phone rang again, drawing her out of her reminiscence.
Shaking her head, as if to ward away the sad thoughts, she picked up.
“Hello,” the voice, which Susan recognised immediately, said
“Rose?”
“Susan! Thank God I finally remembered the number correctly,” Rose said excitedly.
“Is this really Rose?” Susan asked, doubtful. “This is not the number I have, though the voice is hers.”
“Susan it’s me. How did you recognise my voice after a long while?”
“You don’t forget the voice of the only person who loved you despite your demons,” Susan thought.
“I don’t know,” she said out loud. “I guess I just recognised it. Where did you disappear to? I repeatedly tried your number, until I got tired. I wanted you to be my Chief Bridesmaid, had to ask a girl I barely knew.”
“It’s a long story. We need to… Wait. Did you just say Chief Bridesmaid? You are married?” Rose asked, and before Susan could reply, she gave a shout of joy causing Susan to put away the phone from her ear.
“At least someone is happy about it,” she murmured as she waited for the shouting to cease.
It was like the years of absence in their friendship melted away as Susan listened to Rose’s excited voice.
“Please tell me it is Tunji, please. He is a good man from what I remember”
“It is Tunji.”
“Yes! So how is he? How long ago have you guys been married? I hope you are still having on your honeymoon? You deserve to enjoy being with a good man after…”
Susan’s sudden burst into tears ceased Rose’s chatter. “Susan are you okay? Did I make you remember Tunde again? I am sorry. Please calm down. You are married to a good man now. so…”
“Rose,” Susan interrupted
“Yes?” Rose was beginning to feel she made a mistake in calling at this time, until Susan’s next words told her otherwise.
EPISODE 3
“It’s not you. I think I made a mistake in marrying Tunji. I am thinking it’s best we divorced.”
Tossing her phone on the couch, Rose heaved a sigh of release, as she went to get something to eat. Hearing about the strained marriage of her friend made her suddenly famished.
How did Susan get into this? How could she have gotten married when she was not ready to submit to anyone emotionally?
Quickly deciding to have cornflakes while she boiled some yam, she thought of everything Susan told her while she ate.
She didn’t get to tell Susan that she had travelled abroad to study, first psychology and then guidance and counselling, all because she had seen the effect the rape had had on her back in school.
She had decided to help as much people as possible, and when the opportunity to study abroad had suddenly presented itself, she had taken it and travelled before she could change her mind.
Now it seemed that the main reason she changed her career was still waiting for her to solve it.
She wondered how Tunji was holding on. It was hard enough for a man to remain celibate because of some belief on abstinence until marriage, but for im to still be celibate three months after his marriage had to be frustrating at the least, especially with a reason like that of Susan’s.
As she rinsed the cereal bowl absent-mindedly, Rose already knew what was going to happen.
She would have to make Susan’s case her first case in Nigeria.
She also knew that she would have to invite a male counsellor into the case because of Tunji, and since there was only one male counsellor she trusted enough to invite into her friends secret, she knew she would also be facing her fears.
She would have to stop running.
She was going to be calling up Chinedu. She still remembered how she had told him she didn’t want to have anything to do with him again.
Minutes later, after eating the yam without noticing the taste, she dialled the number which, though she deleted over a year ago, she could still remember.
“Hello,” she said, for the second time that day, to long a lost friend.
“Hello,” the voice on the other end answered sounding preoccupied.
“Chinedu, it’s me Rose.”
She was greeted with a silence so still, she could hear the ticking clock from the other end.
“I need your help,” she continued with a false confidence.
She seemed to be able to hurt him effortlessly.
She searched for the phone in her bag which contained too many useless items she found hard to dispose, and the phone had stopped ringing by the time she found it.
It was not Tunji. It was an unknown number.
She dragged herself to a sofa and slowly sat down. She looked around uniquely decorated parlour, but she saw nothing but Tunji’s efforts to make her happy.
The colours didn’t match, but she loved it. The walls were painted cream-coloured, and the furniture, which comprised of black leather sofas, a couch, and a glass centre table were all her idea.
Tunji had asked her opinion before he furnished his house. Everything, from the maroon coloured rug and curtains down to the kitchen wares and appliances had all being done for her, from their first meeting, Tunji had told her he was going to marry her, but he was going to court her first so they could get used to each other.
Three years after, she was yet to get used to him.
The phone rang again, drawing her out of her reminiscence.
Shaking her head, as if to ward away the sad thoughts, she picked up.
“Hello,” the voice, which Susan recognised immediately, said
“Rose?”
“Susan! Thank God I finally remembered the number correctly,” Rose said excitedly.
“Is this really Rose?” Susan asked, doubtful. “This is not the number I have, though the voice is hers.”
“Susan it’s me. How did you recognise my voice after a long while?”
“You don’t forget the voice of the only person who loved you despite your demons,” Susan thought.
“I don’t know,” she said out loud. “I guess I just recognised it. Where did you disappear to? I repeatedly tried your number, until I got tired. I wanted you to be my Chief Bridesmaid, had to ask a girl I barely knew.”
“It’s a long story. We need to… Wait. Did you just say Chief Bridesmaid? You are married?” Rose asked, and before Susan could reply, she gave a shout of joy causing Susan to put away the phone from her ear.
“At least someone is happy about it,” she murmured as she waited for the shouting to cease.
It was like the years of absence in their friendship melted away as Susan listened to Rose’s excited voice.
“Please tell me it is Tunji, please. He is a good man from what I remember”
“It is Tunji.”
“Yes! So how is he? How long ago have you guys been married? I hope you are still having on your honeymoon? You deserve to enjoy being with a good man after…”
Susan’s sudden burst into tears ceased Rose’s chatter. “Susan are you okay? Did I make you remember Tunde again? I am sorry. Please calm down. You are married to a good man now. so…”
“Rose,” Susan interrupted
“Yes?” Rose was beginning to feel she made a mistake in calling at this time, until Susan’s next words told her otherwise.
It’s not you. I think I made a mistake in marrying Tunji. I am thinking it’s best we divorced.”
Tossing her phone on the couch, Rose heaved a sigh of release, as she went to get something to eat. Hearing about the strained marriage of her friend made her suddenly famished.
How did Susan get into this? How could she have gotten married when she was not ready to submit to anyone emotionally?
Quickly deciding to have cornflakes while she boiled some yam, she thought of everything Susan told her while she ate.
She didn’t get to tell Susan that she had travelled abroad to study, first psychology and then guidance and counselling, all because she had seen the effect the rape had had on her back in school.
She had decided to help as much people as possible, and when the opportunity to study abroad had suddenly presented itself, she had taken it and travelled before she could change her mind.
Now it seemed that the main reason she changed her career was still waiting for her to solve it.
She wondered how Tunji was holding on. It was hard enough for a man to remain celibate because of some belief on abstinence until marriage, but for im to still be celibate three months after his marriage had to be frustrating at the least, especially with a reason like that of Susan’s.
As she rinsed the cereal bowl absent-mindedly, Rose already knew what was going to happen.
She would have to make Susan’s case her first case in Nigeria.
She also knew that she would have to invite a male counsellor into the case because of Tunji, and since there was only one male counsellor she trusted enough to invite into her friends secret, she knew she would also be facing her fears.
She would have to stop running.
She was going to be calling up Chinedu. She still remembered how she had told him she didn’t want to have anything to do with him again.
Minutes later, after eating the yam without noticing the taste, she dialled the number which, though she deleted over a year ago, she could still remember.
“Hello,” she said, for the second time that day, to long a lost friend.
“Hello,” the voice on the other end answered sounding preoccupied.
“Chinedu, it’s me Rose.”
She was greeted with a silence so still, she could hear the ticking clock from the other end.
“I need your help,” she continued with a false confidence.
The reason Rose chose Serene Hotels for the meeting was forfeited.
Serene Hotels lived up to its name, having an atmosphere that makes her relax once she steps into its environs.
She discovered it when she came back from her study overseas. Needing to pamper herself after all the hard work of getting an accommodation, getting it decorated and setting up a new life for herself, she had turned to Google for help.
She typed the words ‘hotel with a serene atmosphere’, and was surprised to discover there existed a hotel called Serene.
She visited and was not disappointed.
It was a bit on the pricey side, but it was worth it.
Flowers greeted its visitors, filling the air with lovely perfume. The workers were always with genuine smiles, which made Rose wonder if they had no personal problems.
Stepping into the lobby, one is forced to sigh in bliss. The lights and colours directly in view of whoever steps in, provokes instant calmness. The music which is always present in the air also added to the calming effect. Rose was yet to see the hidden speakers.
The lights, sounds and smells all made the hotel live up to its name.
Which was why Rose asked Chinedu to meet her here, so she could at least be calm while they discussed, but calmness was the last thing she felt; she was in a turmoil. All she could think of was the last time she saw him and the look in his eyes. The look of resignation.
She chose a table which allowed her see the door, so she’d know when he arrived.
She looked at the door, wishing he’d appear already, even though he had called her to let her know he would be late due to an emergency.
Glancing around at the other tables, she noticed a couple who looked perfect together. The man was fidgeting, while the woman was speaking excitedly. She watched for a while and saw that he was about to propose as he was holding a jewellery box under the table, away from the view of the lady who seemed to be talking at a speed of about seventy words per minute, increasing his uneasiness.
Watching the lady a bit longer, she concluded that the lady knew the man was about to propose, and was feeling excited and nervous, hence her talkativeness.
She shook her head at the games women play, knowing yet acting oblivious. She smiled to herself and looked towards the door again and caught her breath. Standing there and looking directly at her was Chinedu.
“Wow,” she thought. He looked more handsome than she remembered.
Saying a silent prayer of thanks that she had taken extra care on her appearance, she forced a smile as he walked towards her.
He was also more confident, more aware of himself. She noticed that people watched as he walked towards her, yet he fixed his gaze on her, not returning the smile until he got to the table, when he gave a bright smile.
Standing up, she extending her hand for a handshake which he ignored, and walked to her side to give her a tight hug, leaving her flustered.
“Wow! How long has it been since we last saw each other?” he asked as he took his seat. “You are looking as beautiful as ever, only now you are more confident of your beauty.”
Rose didn’t miss the coincidental fact that she had thought exactly the same about him.
“Thank you. You also look good,” she replied.
“Thank you. This place looks really great,” Chinedu said glancing around. “How did you discover it, considering that it is not very popular?”
Rose was about to launch into her story of needing some pampering, and turning to Google when they heard cheering and clapping.
Turning their heads, they found the couple Rose had noticed before, smiling widely. Obviously the talkative lady had said yes.
Rose joined in the cheering and clapping, happy to witness the beginning of what she hoped and prayed will be a happy journey for the couple. As the excitement died down, she turned back to Chinedu to continue her story but caught him gazing at her in a strange way.
“What?” she asked before she could stop herself. She didn’t want him to know she was uneasy around him.
“Nothing just glad to know you still have your kind heart. I’m sure you wished them well as you cheered.”
“I’m happy for them ni!” she replied defensively with a slight smile on her face. She was not surprised that he read what was going on in her mind.
Back in the days when they were together overseas, Chinedu had accused her of being too kind, saying it was the reason she needed him around to protect her.
The waiter interrupted before Chinedu could reply.
After they ordered, Chinedu got suddenly serious. Too serious.
“So why or rather, how do you need my help?”
Frowning slightly at his sudden demeanour, Rose told him about Susan and her marriage, starting from their school years.
The waiter brought their order, so they ate as they discussed, Chinedu asking questions where necessary. He asked the right questions, reminding Rose why she liked him back then. He was quite intelligent.
After a while, they ate in a comfortable silence.
Rose faced her meal as she ate, making sure she didn’t look up from her plate. A part of her told her Chinedu was looking at her.
When they were done eating and the waiter cleared their plates, she knew she had to look up, only this time Chinedu was frowning at his phone.
“So much for thinking he was looking at you,” she told herself.
She reached for her purse, about to pay the bill, when he spoke:
“Don’t even think about it.”
“What?” she asked, then realised what he meant. “I set up this meeting, so it’s my treat.”
“Thanks, but no thanks. Maybe next time,” he said and dropped the money on the table so the waiter could come for it.
Putting away her purse, Rose smiled. “You have not changed.”
“Yeah and neither have you.”
The tone in his voice had Rose looking up sharply. She saw the look in his eyes which said he still had questions about their breakup.
Not ready to revisit the past, Rose quickly looked back down and was preparing to end the meeting when Chinedu spoke again, his voice normal.
“I think you should first call your friend asking her if she wants the counselling. She would also need to inform or convince her husband.”
Nodding her head at the truthfulness of his words, Rose picked up her phone and dialled Susan’s number. She knew she was in for the hard work of convincing her friend.
When she heard Tunji’s car, Susan breathed a sigh of relief.
This was the fifth day since she made him react in anger. Since then she waited for the day he would start coming back home late.
It was yet to happen and for that she was grateful
She had what she hoped was good news.
Rose had convinced her of the need for counselling, saying she and another counsellor were ready to counsel her and Tunji.
She hoped Tunji will agree. She wanted to be his wife in the real sense of the word, and if it meant going to counselling, she was ready.
Clearing her throat, she pasted a smile on her face and welcomed him as he stepped in to the parlour.
“Welcome honey.”
She ignored his look of surprise.
“Hope your day was great? I prepared your favourite. Just go and have your bath, it will be ready by the time you are done.”
Looking at her oddly, he obeyed.
Happy he had not ignored her olive branch, Susan quickly set the table, and thought of the best way to present her suggestion. She didn’t want him thinking she didn’t think they could work things out on their own.
By the time he came down, she had decided on the manner of approach.
She was happy he seemed less angry at her today. The previous days, she had just served his food so he could eat when he returned from work, but today she was with him. She should have thought of this before.
Pushing away her plate, she decided this was the best time.
Going on her knees, she faced him. “I’m sorry I accused you of cheating on me,” she started before he could comment on her kneeling. “I have no excuse except that I missed you. I know we are husband and wife, but I missed my friendship with you. You seemed to be avoiding me, and I couldn’t handle it.”
She watched as he swallowed. She saw the battle within him. He moved to hold her, then remembered that she hated being held tightly by him, and stopped midway.
Strengthening her mind, and reminding herself that he wouldn’t hurt her, she crawled intto his arms.
“I hold nothing against you,” Tunji replied, warning himself not to hold her tightly. “I am just confused on how to help.”
“I have the idea. I want to be your wife in everyway. I think we should see a counsellor.”
“A counsellor? Are you sure about this? I don’t want you uncomfortable.”
“Yes I am sure, besides one of the counsellors is Rose. You remember Rose right? My friend from the University days.”
“I remember Rose. I am open to it if you are,” he replied. “I just want you to trust me.”
“I trust you. At least my mind does. My body don’t trust any man yet.” She explained sadly, as she stood up and sat down.
Tunji had no reply to that. He only hoped the counselling session will make a change.
That night, Tunji saw the beginning of possible change when, thinking he was asleep, Susan snuggled into his arms. Though she didn’t allow it surround her completely.
He was okay with baby steps in as much as they were going forward.

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