hearts & minds: A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL

hearts & minds: A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL

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Seedy and Haddy are newlyweds who were living in bliss until a sudden adversity rocked their world. Seedy would be forced to make a bargain that would drive a wedge between them and worst, could lead to the destructions of not only their marriage but their lives as well.

EPISODE TEN

Seedy was comfortably seated in his den, tapping away on his lap top computer. He was working on a new online marketing campaign they had embarked upon. One of the perks of living in a mansion with endless rooms was that he now had a special room he reserved for when he needed to work in private. The thought was cut short as the door of the den was violently opened by a fuming Mariatou. Seedy’s attention was shifted from his work to his approaching wife, mentally preparing himself for the confrontation he knew was about to ensue.

“It has been a month since we got married and we are still sleeping in separate bedrooms,” she bellowed, voice shaking with her frustration. “What point are you trying to prove, Seedy?”

She got angrier when he remained silent and continued to stare at her. “Damn it, give me an answer!”

She was wearing white jeans and a purple blouse, her bare feet shifting on the carpet impatiently. She was practically panting in anger.

He slowly stood up from the arm-chair and faced her. “What did you think was going to happen, huh Mariatou?” He didn’t raise his voice but the menace that rang in his tone was unmistakable. “Just what did you think was going to happen after you coerced me into marrying you? Did you think I was miraculously going to forget everything you did to me and we were going to live happily after all? Or did you think that I would find your beauty so irresistible that I would easily fall for your charms?” He gave a harsh laugh and she visibly recoiled. “Well, I have news for you, princess. I am more attracted to inner beauty than artificial appearance. You may be beautiful on the outside but on the inside, you’re nothing but a selfish and self-centered sorry excuse for a woman. Did you really think it will be easy to win me over? You truly are delusional.”

From her expression, he could tell that his words cut her deep. Good, let her feel some of the pain she had put him through. He walked past her without a second glance and slammed the door as loudly as he could.

The next day at work, Seedy was surprised to discover that he was finding it difficult to focus. Shockingly, Mariatou had not been the only one affected by their confrontation last night. It had been on-going since the first week of their marriage and it was beginning to take its toll on him. He was weary of fighting with her all the time. The only time he knew peace was when he was with Haddy. He sighed, scratching his stubble. Remarkably, Haddy was still the same loving wife she has always been. She had been justifiably angry when she discovered his deception but after a while, everything had gone back to normal between them.

He had been scared it wouldn’t be but Haddy never ceased to amaze him. She never asked about Mariatou, never queried him about the days he spent with her. She had no idea how grateful he was over that. After spending two hellish days with his second wife, the last thing he ever wants to do is to relive them.

“So, how long do you think you can keep this up?” Bass suddenly spoke up from his end of the office. “What are you talking about?” Seedy asked, curious. “Your constant fighting with Mariatou,” he began and came over to Seedy’s desk, perching himself at the edge. “It is no healthy way to live, my friend. You’ve got to put an end to it and find a way to live with her in peace.”

“Don’t you think I know that?” Seedy bit out, exasperated. “It’s just that every time I see her face, I get so angry that I just want to lash out, tell her things I know will hurt her. That is so unlike me but Mariatou has the ability to bring out the worse in me.”

“I get that this marriage was the last thing you wanted but life doesn’t always go according to our plans. Sometimes, we find ourselves on paths we had never dreamed we would ever take. All we can do is to live in the best way we can in these situations.”

“Am I supposed to just forget about everything and accept her? Just like that?”

Bass shook his head at his stubbornness. “What else can you do? What’s done is done. For better or for worse, she is your wife now and nothing will change that. And if you keep treating her like this, there’s no telling what her father will do to you. You know very well how much he values her and you have no idea what that man is capable of.”

Seedy felt a shiver run down his spine. “What are you talking about, Bass?”

His friend blinked and hastily got up from the desk. He turned around, putting his hands in his trouser pockets. “Just look at everything he did just to get his daughter married to you. If he finds out you’re making her unhappy, well there is no telling what he would do then.”

Seedy sighed, completely worn out by this depressing conversation. He was completely exhausted. “I get your point. Things will be different from now on.”

And true to his words, Seedy called a truce between him and Mariatou. The fighting came to an end and he always treated her with respect and civility but they were still sleeping in separate bedrooms. But even that didn’t seem to bother Mariatou as much as it used to. At least, she no longer pressured him about it. Two weeks later, he closed from work and found her curled on the sofa in one of their sitting rooms. She was holding a framed picture of her late mother and silently crying.

Seedy paused in his steps when he came upon her. Somehow, the sight of her tears disturbed him. Perhaps it was because he had never seen her in as vulnerable a state as she was at that moment. Whatever the reason was, he knew he couldn’t just walk by without trying to comfort her.

She noticed him when he seated himself on the sofa beside her drawn up legs. She instantly sat up, protectively hugging her mother’s picture and trying to dry her tears with one hand.

“Mariatou, what’s wrong?”

She was silent for a while. Then she began to speak in a low murmur, staring at the picture she was cradling like a new-born baby. “I was ten years old when she died in a car accident. I’ve never truly recovered from losing her. You see, my mum was my favourite person in the world even though my father was the one who always indulged me. She always told him that he spoilt me too much. She used to tell him that just because he could provide me with whatever I wanted, didn’t mean he should. Otherwise, how was I going to learn that life was not always sweet? How was I ever going to learn what it meant to live without something you loved? But I did learn. When she died, I learnt what loss felt like and I’m still learning. I just miss her so much, Seedy, sometimes I can’t bear it,” she finished on a sob.

Seedy said nothing but instead took her dainty hands in his and squeezed them in comfort. Nobody deserved to grow up without a mother, not even Mariatou.

Mariatou swallowed and tried to compose herself. She looked Seedy straight in the eye. “I know what I did to you was wrong and it isn’t the best way to start a relationship but I’ve never loved anybody like the way I love you or wanted anything more than this marriage. I will spend the rest of our lives atoning for the pain I caused you if I have to.”

She drew closer to him and grew bolder when he didn’t rebuff her. She removed her hands from his and placed them on his jaws. Slowly, tentatively, she covered her lips with his. She shuddered in his arms when he placed his arms on her back. After a while, Seedy ended the kiss.

“Baby stop,” he said gruffly and wiped away the remnants of her tears.

She nodded and extricated herself from his arms. “Would you like something to eat? Fatou prepared lunch before she left.”

Seedy nodded. “I am starving actually.”

She smiled and headed for the kitchen.

“Mariatou, do you even know how to cook?” he suddenly asked her.

She whirled around, smiling sheepishly. “I am sure I could learn.”

Seedy laughed heartily as she breezed out of the room. Maybe, just maybe they could find a way to make this marriage work.

by Adam Nyang