Jide now in his study was getting dressed in preparation to visit his family home. He had resolved to talk with his father about the issues plaguing his marriage. They had to be something he could learn from the oldman since he had been married himself, he was afterall a part of the situation and had in league with his grandmother gotten him settled with Daisy. So it was high time they called her to order or else he would d–n every consequences and take drastic measures to put his mind at rest. Marriage wasn’t a do or die affair afterall.
‘not at all, it isn’t’ Jide said to himself and rose from where he had sat tying the lace of his shoes. Casting a final look around his study, he headed out.
Out in the hallway, his pace slowed as he walked past Daisy’s room. He stood a few step away from the door, an irritated twitch on his face.
‘Daisy’s bloody hideout’ he spat bitterly. But before he could give another thought, he found himself walking towards her door and pushing at the door handle.
‘and as usual, it is locked!’ he cursed and stepped back, wondering what he was even doing trying to enter her room when he should have atleast been on his way out of the compound.
But his treacherous feet didn’t carry him away from the door, instead a naughty grin played up on his face and he found himself heading back to his study.
As soon as he entered his study, Jide went into action, searching frantically at every nook and cranny of the drawers in his study.
‘Am sure I kept them somewhere here’ he said to himself minutes later as he now stood glancing around the room. He headed towards the rack containing his books to continue his search in between the books. Yet no luck.
Jide knew the futility of his impromptu search, but he didn’t feel like relenting, few minutes later he was yet to meet with success.
‘This is ridiculous’ he said in defeat and felt foolish, he decided to head out for good this time, but that was when his eyes caught the object he had been searching for, hiding unpreturbed amongst his paper-studded desk.
With a broad grin, he walked towards the table and picked up a bunch of identical keys.
‘the beauty of duplicates’ he said and walked out of his study, smiling. *************
‘Let’s see what pretty Mrs Daisy has been hiding’ Jide said as he pushed open the door to Daisy’s room.
Before him was a slightly untidy room, a pile of cloths was heaped at a corner of the bed, Jide recognized the pink dress Daisy had worn to the awards among the pile, the wardrobe door was also wide open.
The only thing that fascinated Jide was the wallpaper above the bed that called out to him.
‘Daisies of the morning’ he read quietly as he made his way into the room, wondering what he was doing there. It wasn’t like there was any state of the art decoration that had been added, besides all the female knick knacks, it still looked the same to him: same colour, same curtains, the mirror still stood where it had, the bathroom hadn’t moved, the wardrobe was still resting on the wall, and infact, it was as untidy as he had ever seen it! Why then had he left the important place he was going, just to search for a d–n key and open a room that didn’t presently add value to him.
However, he knew deep in his heart that curiosity had led him here. If Daisy guarded this room tenaciously and kept it under lock and keys when she wasn’t around, meant they had to be somethings she was hiding. Maybe discovering whatever it was would spite her and give him a chance to get back at her for the way she was making him feel these past days.
Now seated on the bed, Jide glanced around the room, still contemplating the foolisness of this action when his eyes caught a brown object amongst the pile of cloth on the bed.
He drew it closer and opened it to discover that it was his wedding album which he never knew existed.
Daisy must have been going through it before Brenda came calling, he concluded as he flipped through its pages.
For the next minutes, Jide scanned the pictures, paying more than required attention to each photo as he relived the experiences of his marriage of months ago. He saw through the smiles plastered on the faces of his family and even Daisy as they posed for the pictures, realisation struck him then, that he had been the cause of it all. But inspite of his present state of remorse, he smiled at his poses in the pictures he appeared in. He had not smiled, hadn’t try to pretend, instead he looked like a trapped bird seeking means of escape. The only time he had seen himself smiling was in the picture where he had danced with Grace while Daisy stood at a spot. He cursed the photographer for not just taking the shot but also compiling it in the album! If it hadn’t been somehow printed directly into the album, he would have torn it out from the bunch.
She must have recently gone through the album seeing that it laid on her bed, Jide concluded as he set it down.
He wondered why she had put herself through the torture? For he had not seen any wonderful moments worth remembering in the album. Why had she seen his scandalous acts in the wedding and yet rode home with him after the wedding? Left to him, the annoying album would have long gone up in smokes. So much for weddings and memories, he sighed.
One thing that was clear was the fact that he hadn’t treated Daisy any better than she had deserved. But then again, he was yet to understand why she had put up with him and even married him in the first place.
As he made to rise, his eyes caught something else stucking out of the pillow. Relaxing back, he raised the pillow to discover another endless stream of still pictures. Jide wanted to ignore it and be on his way out, but he couldn’t. He felt drawn to it, especially as he was currently looking down at one bearing a younger version of Daisy. Jide picked it up, then smiled when he saw the unmistakable resemblance.
That sealed the deal, he decided then to just as well spend whatever time there was discovering things about his wife. Wasn’t there a saying that pictures never lie? Besides, the million and one pictures now scattered on the bed teased and tugged at his curiosity with the promise of taking him deep into the secret world of a wife whom he hardly knew.
There was nothing to lose, he concluded and drew the pictures closer. *******************
Jide now in the parlour, was in his usual prancing form, the saying, ‘curiosity kills the cat’ could best describe his plight. He had discovered more than he had bargained and instead of feeling accomplished at his discovery, the hunger to know more overcame him. There were many puzzles about his wife he needed to unravel, but he knew Daisy was angry to even look at him, much less talk with him.
But he needed answers. Things were gradually falling into places, he could presently grasp little about Daisy’s life, but he wanted the complete version, wanted to know about her connection with Nigeria, wanted to know about a particular male that dominated some of the photos of he’d seen. He knew who Brenda was and had somehow understood why Brenda seemed so protective of her friend, even if she showed it in an annoying manner.
But most importantly he wanted to know what his personal portrait picture had been doing amongst her collection. It was too significant to discard. He was sure that there was more to the picture than coincidence.
And the next best person to explain these mysteries was his grandmother. But the problem now was how he would call a woman whom he had despised, scorned and held in contempt over the past months. Even though he believe that he was a changed man now, he knew that his grandmother wouldn’t simply take his past sins in her stride and act as if nothing had ever happened. These were his fears.
Jide sighed and pulled out his phone, he felt his heart pounding hard against his chest, but he urged himself on and dialed her number.
‘here goes all or nothing’ he muttered silently as he waited for the call to connect. **********************
Daisy seemed to have all her life documented in still images. Jide had been fascinated whilst he tried to piece the pictures together.
He had seen pictures of Daisy’s younger years, when she had been schooling and all. Although he didn’t know the exact places she’d grown up in, he had guessed it to be in Nigeria because the scenery, arches and curves pointed towards it.
Then they were pictures of her when she had been in Boston, he’d seen pictures of her and a woman he guessed to be her mother, but the word ‘RIP’ had been written above the woman, knowing that it signified death, he felt pity for Daisy and saw the connection they both shared in terms of losing their mothers.
There had also been endless pictures of her and Brenda in various poses, Jide had smiled then, realising that their friendship obviously dated way back and would account for the closely knitted bond they shared now, even if it was doing more harm than good to their marriage.
He’d also seen a particular male that dominated some of the pictures, sometimes, it was him and Daisy and at other times it was the trio of Brenda, Daisy and the guy. He hadn’t needed more to discern that the guy meant more than just a friend to Daisy, because some of the pictures in which they both appeared in portrayed a closeness that could only exist between lovers.
Jide had felt a little threatened but overcame it with the fact that Daisy should be expected to have dated someone else before they got married just like he had Grace, so there wasn’t need for him to be jealous.
The guy, he concluded, would have been married or in a serious relationship now, but whichever way, he wasn’t in Nigeria so there was no reason for him to fret.