Charles: That story is my favorite.

Mike: Which one?

Charles: The one of you and your babe

Henry: Mike, you had a spat with your girl?

Charles: Not exactly. Mike tell it please 

Mike: Haha…well it happened two weeks ago. You know how busy it gets at the end of each quarter. I don’t know about you guys but I slept in my office a couple of nights that period. Hectic is understatement. In the midst of all that, I went for three days without calling my girlfriend unintentionally. And if you know us, you know we don’t go a day without talking. Well, not calling her also has some consequences but I don’t do without talking to her anyway. 

Well, this time I didn’t for three whole days and guess what? My girl didn’t call me either. When I realized our lag in communication I got worried. I wanted to call her immediately but was afraid she’d lash out at me and destroy my mood for the rest of the day. I was also confused that she hadn’t called. Not even to ask or complain about something. 

Why hasn’t she called me? I was tempted to wait it out until she called or atleast texted but my anxiety trumped my ego. Was she okay? I decided against all odds to call but prepared myself for a tongue-lash. Whatever happened, I promised myself that I’ll apologize and make up. 

“Hi babe” I swallowed hard and waited for the heat

Instead came a calm “Hey!” Nothing else. I mean Nothing.

Uhmmm…how, how are you? I managed to stutter 

I’m fine. How are you? 

“I’m okay.” I wanted to apologize for not calling her but decided to turn the table and ask why she didn’t call. 

“I know you’d be busy at the office.” 

What a flimsy excuse but her calmness surprised me more. While I have determined she’s well, I got uncomfortable with her demeanor. Why was she so calm? 

Are you sure you’re okay? 

“Yeah, I’m fine.” She said stressing the ‘fine’ in her feminine way

Okay? Can we get some ice-cream this evening? 

Well, it’s still early in the week and demand for your time is high now. We could wait till later in the week or better still the weekend.

What? That response triggered off the warning sensors in my head. Something is wrong. I hate to admit it, but my girlfriend is by nature selfish. Nobody’s interest ever comes before hers. Like the wind that commands the swing of trees, every whim has to be in her favor. Still, I loved her. Yeah, call me stupid but I love this woman. She’s in fact the main motivation for my hard work.

But she can’t fool me. She is putting up the act to cover up something.

I decided to pay her an unannounced visit that evening. I still had work lined up. Two interviews and a new client meeting that day but I rescheduled. What’s the point of working so hard if the reason for it is slipping away. And yes, that was my suspicion. Some guy must be distracting my girl. The thought of it alone made me heat up.

I showed up at her house that evening at about the time I was sure she would be home but she wasn’t there. I waited. I wanted so badly to meet the young man, whoever he is, that wants to reap where he didn’t sow. I have invested too much in my girl to give her up without a real fight.

Fifteen minutes into waiting she appeared carrying bags of groceries. I quickly analyzed the situation. Where is her car? If she’s not driving who dropped her off? When did she start shopping in the middle of the week? She has always been a weekend shopper. Out of courtesy, I collected the bags from her but stealthily scanned them; nothing fancy just plain old groceries.

“Heyyy.” She beamed 

Babe where’s your car?

I took it for repair. You didn’t tell me you were coming over.

“Yeah, I was seeing a client in the neighborhood so I thought to just stop by.” I lied. “You didn’t tell me you were having a problem with your car?”

“I didn’t want to bother you. Besides, it’s no big deal.” She shrugged. “I can take care of it myself.”

You should have atleast called me to drive you for your groceries.

Again, I didn’t want to distract you from your work. It’s just a couple of bags and I didn’t even plan on buying this many things. I only got more stuff I thought I would need. It’s no biggie, really.

I was stunned but kept shut. 

We got inside, put away the groceries and she set the table. We got talking and she asked about my job. I didn’t realize how pent up I had been but the moment she asked, I just went on and on about my work. There’s the pressure to meet quotas, the pressure to craft the perfect proposals in the shortest amount of time, and the disappointment of losing promising clients to competitors. I had gone on talking for about 20 minutes when I noticed the rapt attention with which she was listening. I felt tempted to carry on; to just enjoy the attention but again it felt strange.

What happened to the woman I’m in love with? She’s never this easy. There was something different but what was it?

When she cleared the dishes, I fought the temptation to look through her phone the moment she walked away. By the time she’d return I had made up my mind to be direct and have a heart to heart talk.

B, do you need anything?

Not really. She looked at me inquisitively

I mean is there anything you want me to do for you? Anything at all?

No. Why?

Can I ask you a question? 

Mmhmm! She nodded 

Am I enough for you?

Yeah, sure. Why do you ask?

“It’s just that lately you have been acting a little different. In a good way but still different.” I explained and prayed she’d admit it and not make me feel like I was imagining things. 

She was quiet for a minute. I prayed she’d be honest with me. I don’t care if it was about another guy. I just wanted her to be honest. She’s a beautiful woman who gets passes from other men even when I am with her in public. As much as I know, she has never taken any of those advances seriously and I believe it is because I have diligently and respectfully pursued her heart and cared for it too. But I understand the allure; the temptation to try another guy.

“I have been listening to a podcast.” She interrupted my thoughts. “It’s a podcast on relationships.”

Really? Since when? 

Well it’s been two weeks now.

Whose podcast is it? I was still skeptical

Her name is Mildred Okonkwo. She is a minister of the gospel and relationship counselor.

She opened an app on her phone and showed me the podcast and also played one of the recordings for a few seconds.

It’s the reason you have been acting the way you do lately?

She was bashful. “How have I been acting?” 

You know, different. Nice, gentle, just different.  

I did some soul searching and realized I have not been the partner I should be. So I decided to make some changes, and to start I wanted to be a little more self supported, also support you and, you know, be respectful too. That is what Mildred said wise women do. 

Is that all?

Yeah! That’s all

Wow. Come here. 

* * *

Mike: So guys, for the first time my babe called me a good man to my face. Y’all I won a jackpot. 

Henry: That’s a pretty good story. Do you plan on putting a ring to it?

Mike: That is not a question. Of course!

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