I wanted to be angry after that, but I was too mesmerised to be choleric. I closed Whatsapp and put her phone back at exactly the spot I picked it. “Who was that?” She asked, walking in from the kitchen. I told her I didn’t look, I just picked it instantly. But I lied. The actually truth was that I was too angry to remember who called her. She shrugged, picked her phone, and headed back to the kitchen.
When she brought the fried rice garnished with prawns, green beans and salad, I just couldn’t eat, my appetite wouldn’t let me. She looked at me, flummoxed, as if wondering where the new temperament came from. I didn’t do too well either hiding my expression from her. I excused myself and told her I had to leave. “Who’s going to eat all these food?” She said, but I couldn’t care less.
She called me about ten times before I got home but I didn’t pick. I didn’t care if she knew we were getting into a quarrel. I couldn’t pretend after what I saw; a kiss, a freaking kiss! And then the three unspoken words. I was so pained that I could feel my veins pulsing. I just didn’t want to unleash it on her, not yet. I tried to keep myself together until I got home. I didn’t even smile when a very cute baby looked at me in the bus with those innocent eyes that told the tales of worlds unknown.
Later at night, hours after the incident, she called. I was calmer then, calm enough to have a structured conversation with her.
“Hello, Tobi,” she said.
“Yes,” I replied, “What is it?”
“What is wrong with you?” she starts, “You just walked out and you don’t care to explain why.”
Silence fell for a few seconds. Anger was brewing and I was doing all in my power not let it out, because we both knew I was a mess when angry.
“See, you have started again. This is what you do, picking issues from the air. I have no time for this. I’ve got work tomorrow, so just spit it out.”
She has no time for this. She cheated on me for crying out fucking loud! And she has no time for this? I just couldn’t hold it, so I came in.
“Who is Patrick?” is all I could muster.
She gave a long laugh. She laughed, as if nothing was wrong. And I thought, you can’t deceive me on this one, you can’t turn the table around. She laughs when she’s about to turn the table around, like she’s mocking you.
“I know you have no brother or cousin that is Patrick, so again, who is Patrick?”
Silence fell, the sound of guilt.
“Did you snoop on my phone?” She asked, in a defensive tone.
“Who is Patrick,” I retorted, “Don’t deviate from the question.”
“Jesus, Tobi, have you descended that low?”
“Answer the fucking question,” I blurted.
“Hey, when you’re ready to talk to me with respect call me back.”
And she cut the call.
I tried getting my tentacles in place after that call. She’s trying to turn this around I thought. It’s what she always does whenever she feels attacked.
Jennifer is one person that’s never wrong, an archetypical narcissist. If the sun shone too brightly on her face it was someone else’s fault. If she stubbed a toe, it was the stupid stone’s fault. It was that bad. She never took blame for anything. And on the countable days that she did, it wasn’t clean, because she was going to turn around and put it all on you.
I sent her a series of facebook messages in anguish which she didn’t reply. She was planning an attack, I was sure of it. That kind of narcissistic attack you had no defense against. I longed for her case, I longed for what she had to say, how she’d get out of this one.
Two days after the incident, she texted me on Whatsapp. That was on a Tuesday. The same Whatsapp I caught her cheating on me on.
Hi Tobi. I saw your missed calls. As you well know, I can’t pick, because right now you’re not stable and I can’t talk to you that way.
What?! I thought. I’m not stable? Wow. I replied immediately as she was still typing.
Wow, Jenny, so fucking low of you to suggest I’m not stable even when you’re flat out wrong. You cheated on me Jennifer. Don’t try to meander your way out of this one. Just admit it. Gosh! Why is it so fucking hard for you to admit your own wrong?
I tapped send. Immediately another message came in.
See, Tobi, we don’t have to do this, we’re not kids. Besides, I’m at work, I can’t be exchanging insults with you, I don’t have that time. I texted you to let you know that I’m tired of going back and forth. This has to end.
I was caught in my tracks. This has to end. What did she mean? I’m tired of going back and forth. What again did she mean? I was so confused after reading her last message. Would she do the unbelievable, opt out as a way of winning an argument? Was her narcissism that deep? WOW. This has to end… she’s breaking up with me! She’s breaking up with me because for once I have her and this is the only way she can escape.
I needed a drink after our chat ended, but it was too early in the day to start drinking, the sun hadn’t even reached its peak. She can’t break up with me, not when she has some explaining to do, I kept thinking as I sat on my bed, motionless.