Is Your Dream Marriage Beginning To Fade? Part III

This post is a product of my own imagination. The names, characters, places and incidents are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

The three years and ten months that Temwani and Chisala had been married were a dream come true. It had been sheer bliss every day of their nascent nuptial life. The Lord had blessed them way beyond their expectations. They were both doing very well in their respective careers. They were staying in their own beautiful house in Foxdale, courtesy of a loan that Temwani got from his employers. Their energetic and lovely baby boy, Chisomo, was seven months shy of his second birthday. His mischievous adventures added much fun to an already fun-filled home.

Temwani was now in his third month as an MBA student. Most of the time he felt stretched to his limits as he juggled family, work, studies and church activities. He prayed daily for strength and wisdom to give due attention to every demanding sphere of his life. More importantly, he wanted to free up more time to be with Chisala and Chisomo, the love of his life. He tried to eke out a little time here and there to be with his family, but he was at best, only becoming more and more of a part-time husband and father.

One morning, he woke up before dawn, his quickened heartbeat pulsed in his ears and he sounded out of breath. His eyes snapped open, and he took a glance at the time luminously displayed on the digital clock of the DSTV Decoder – it was 04:48. He turned and looked beside him. Chisala was curled up close to him on his left side, her left hand resting on his chest. She slept soundly and he didn't want to disturb her. His heart had finally slowed down to its normal rate but he knew sleep was gone from him now. He was awake and the day had begun. He had lately been worrying a lot about his soon approaching first exam in the two modules he was taking for his MBA, and that had been giving him night sweats.

Quietly, he stepped out of the bed, and unobtrusively tiptoed to the bathroom to run his water for a bath. They had often taken baths together since they got married, and it felt strange to step into the bathtub alone. A few minutes later, done with his bath, he walked back into the bedroom, trying to be as less noisy as he possibly could to avoid waking up his wife. Well, he soon discovered there was no need for that. She was already up, and seated upright on the bed staring at him with a surprise look on her face.

“Good morning honey,” she greeted him. “Hi sweetie,” he responded. 

“You are up so early today, what’s up? She quizzed him. “I am kind of behind on my readings for the exam, and I want to squeeze three weeks worth of work into a week, and every minute matters. So I am thinking of going to the office early for the next one and half months and put in at least two hours of reading before work starts at 08:00 hours.”

“And by the way, do you have enough fuel in your car? We may have to use separate cars for the next several weeks because of my early morning reading schedule,” He told her, rather flatly.

“But why didn’t you inform me about this change much earlier….you could have mentioned it last night,” she protested. He mumbled an almost inaudible sorry, and silently dressed up for work, as she looked at him in stunned silence. Since they got married, they had never gone for work in separate cars unless one of them was working out of town, and those moments were rare. They didn’t talk nearly as much anymore as they used to.

He went into the kitchen and made himself some toast bread for his breakfast. It was twenty minutes before 06:00 hours. He briskly walked back into the bedroom, and kissed his wife goodbye. “See you later sweetie. Enjoy your day.” “Have you had breakfast,” she asked. “I am fine. I have made toast bread, and will have coffee at the office,” he replied. And off he drove to the office.

And thus such became the predictable routine in their home. Days and weeks came and went, and Temwani was becoming increasingly busy with his MBA. To make matters worse, the lectures he attended in the evening were held on the same nights as the two midweek church meetings. He missed both, and his wife attended alone. Sometimes, the lecturers would be unavailable on the weekday nights, and the alternative day for making up on the lost time was unfortunately set for Sundays. And that meant our dear brother would rarely be seen at church for both services. 

One evening, he was busy at home in his study way after midnight, preparing for his first exam in the two modules he was taking. He didn’t even notice his wife walk into the study. She had been standing there for like three minutes, and he seemed oblivious of her presence, his head buried in the Marketing textbook he was reading. She cleared her throat in order to attract his attention, and this startled him back to reality. He looked at her, the kind of look that was intended to send a message to her that he was pressed for time.

“Honey, you have been in the study for the last four hours. You have not even had your dinner. When are you coming to bed?” She asked, with a voice that scarcely concealed her emotional pain. “Sweetie, I am preparing for the exam. Remember we are in this together. We agreed I do this MBA. I need your encouragement, not your disturbance.” He blurted, barely lifting his eyes off the page of his textbook. That was a real kick in the teeth.

Gentle and respectful as ever, his wife said goodnight to him, softly closed the door to the study, and sullenly walked back to the bedroom. She lay in bed staring at the sealing.

“MBA,” she whispered to herself. “Master of Business Administration, or Marriage Breakers Academy?” She sobbed herself into sleep, alone and lonely.  


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