She checked the time…1 am and he still wasn’t home. Shade couldn’t ignore it anymore; Feyi was having an affair. The signs were clear…the sudden spring in his step, the unexplained disappearances on random evenings, the new wardrobe of jeans and tees, the songs he always came home singing after one of his outings…he was like a totally different man.
She had been hoping against hope until she wandered into his walk in closet that morning in search of old clothes that he wanted to give away. A new suitcase drew her eye and when she opened it, a wardrobe full of women’s clothes. Jeans, t-shirts, sneakers, lingerie…clothes she had forgotten how to wear…clothes for a lover…clothes for someone he could have fun with; her heart had broken into tiny pieces.
30 years of marriage, 5 children, 2 grandchildren…she had tried. She had given him all she had –she had given him her life. She had always counted herself lucky that she never had to doubt his fidelity and now, now when they should be going on an extended second honeymoon, when they should be enjoying their golden years together, she was losing her husband to another woman.
The gate opening alerted her. She turned off the light and lay in bed as her mind replayed the routine that she now knew so well. Front door clicked open, downstairs light turned off, hallway light turned on, soft footsteps coming up the stairs, hallway light turned off, room door opening, shoes dropped silently by the door, soft steps to the bathroom…and then, the part that he could never hide, the soft humming. She recognised the song; James Brown’s I Feel Good.
Tears dropped silently to the pillow as her husband completed his nightly rituals and slipped into bed beside her. The humming paused as he checked to be sure she was asleep and she held her breath and hoped the darkness would hide her tears. Satisfied, he turned over. She knew the rest of the drill; he would drop off to sleep soon after, exhausted from whatever exertions his new mistress was putting him through and she would stay awake and stare at the ceiling, wondering whether she had the courage to confront the issue.
Feyi felt the happiness of the evening ebb slowly away. Shade had been crying again, he didn’t know what was wrong with her these days. Their last child had finally left home; he had finally handed over the daily running of the company to their first child; they were finally ready to go on their long awaited trip around the world. Maybe it was empty nest syndrome.
He reflected on the wonderful evening he had had; 60 years old and only just discovering karaoke. These young children had all the fun! HR had suggested something different for their last end of year party; they had gone to a karaoke place and he had watched with envy as his employees sang, danced and had a blast.
He had gone on Google the day after and found a place not too far from the house. As a mark of his new life as a retiree, he had bought a whole new wardrobe of jeans and tshirts. At first he had been shy but as time went on, he began to enjoy the feeling of letting loose and singing all the songs that were so popular when he was young. The applause wasn’t a bad bonus too. He loved it; no one knew him as the CEO of one of the largest agricultural product companies in the country. He was just the dude with salt and pepper hair and the deep baritone.
That night had been wonderful! He’d sung James Brown’s I Feel Good and the house had given him a standing ovation. Simple pleasures; he had forgotten how enjoyable these little things were.
He glanced over at his unhappy wife, trying so hard to pretend she was asleep. He loved her so much, she had stood with him through thick and thin and now it was time to enjoy their lives together.
To be honest he had felt so silly telling his wife that her uptight and proper husband was the local Barry White at the Karaoke place, but really, it was time to ‘fess up. He thought of the box of clothes he’d bought her, jeans and tees and sneakers to match his and lingerie to kick their romance up another notch. He’d give them to her in the morning and invite her on a date of karaoke and laughter. He knew she would love it as much as he did. They could sing Endless Love together…
Humming “I Feel Good” and feeling just that, Feyi fell asleep with a smile on his face.
Writer’s note: My Moment In Time series features stories that I build around the everyday people and experiences that catch my eye and my imagination. This story was inspired by a man who attends my local karaoke place. He looks and sings just like Feyi, and I could not resist the challenge of creating a story around him.
Photo Credit: Bobby Flowers | Dreamstime.com