When I was single my day ended like this…

I will close from work and get home around 6:30pm. Immediately I get to the corridor, I will remove my wig, comb through my bag looking for my door keys.

Immediately I enter the room, I’ll leave my bag and wig on the sofa. I’ll throw my right leg so my heel will come off.

I’ll throw the left leg so the left heel will follow. I’ll remove my blouse, remove my skirt, take off my bra, turn on the fan and sit on the sofa while the fan blows cold air on my body. I could remain on the sofa like this for several minutes without moving. To me, that was the highest point of my day—to realise that I’m home and free from all shackles.

Until I go to bed later in the night, I will walk around the room with only a panty while my mind stays at ease on the next things I have to do before the night comes.

It had always been like that for me, and when I started dating Danny, I didn’t change a thing. Yeah, I didn’t throw my shoes and wigs about but whenever I was with him, I walked freely in only panties.

He didn’t complain. What I remember him saying often was, “As for you diɛ, you’re always trying to put me on heat.” I’ll tell him, “It’s all part of the magic of being a woman. Our body talks in different languages.

“We know it so we allow our bodies to express themselves freely.” Most often, he’ll fall under my spell and consume me when I least expected it. It was all fun and games until we got married.

Our babies started coming early. Nine months after marriage, we got our first child. A little over two years later, we had our second child.

We planned for two so we stopped right there. If my memory serves me right, it was after our second child that he started complaining about me walking around in only a pant. At first, it came as advice; “Don’t you feel cold sometimes? Put on something, I can’t afford to pay medical bills.”

I didn’t feel cold. I was very comfortable that way so I ignored his advice. Then it moved from being advice to something like blackmail.

He said, “You can’t walk around naked in front of these kids, wear something. Why are you always naked?” That too sounded neither here nor there. They were kids—four, and two years. How can my being naked affect them in any way? So, I ignored it.

One day I was in bed comfortable sleeping when I felt a slap on my thigh. I woke up and it was him. He looked angry.

He said, “Where is your nightie that you’re sprawled in here like a refugee?” I pulled the cloth up my head and continued sleeping.

He said: “This cloth would be somewhere else by dawn. Wear a nightie.” I was too deep into sleep that I didn’t want to be bothered. I pushed to the side of the bed and continued sleeping.

The next morning, I asked him: “Why are you bugging me about the way look around here? Does it worry you?”

He said, “I’ve said it time without number that when you are in the house, wear something.” I said, “This is not new behavior. You know me. I’ve always been like this whenever I’m in the house. You never complained so why now?”

He said, “When we were kids, we did what kids do. Now, we are adults, we can’t go on and pretend that we are still kids. You’re married. Learn to keep yourself.

Is that too much to do?” I said, “That’s not too much to do you think but doing that means going against my very nature and it’s uncomfortable.” He said, “Then look for your own place.”

It ceased to be advice or a plea. It had now become an executive order that I had to obey by all means. I started wearing things around the house.

I had only one nightie which I seldomly wore but I had to wear that one each night I was going to bed. I had to do that not because I’d learn to be comfortable in them. I had to wear it so he would be comfortable.

One day he wasn’t in the house and I was in the kitchen cooking. I wore tight shorts to make it easy for me around the kitchen. He wasn’t in the house so I could be free while I cook. I heard the cranking sound of the door. He entered. Immediately he saw me, he frowned. He didn’t greet me. He went inside and didn’t come out.

I got the message so I went inside there, wore a skirt on top of the shorts and put on a baggie T-shirt. He was sitting there looking at me.

Just when I was done and about to step out, he mewled, “So you know what’s right but decided to do the wrong thing, right? Are you a child to be told what to do?”

I said calmly, “The way you despise my body, I’m beginning to think there’s more to it than you make me believe. This is the same body you couldn’t resist.

“I’m the same old Anna. That girl you found appealing enough to marry. Stop pushing me around and tell me what is really on your mind. You’re beginning to sound like a broken record.”

He snapped. He called me disrespectful for talking back at him. He told me the next time he sees me like that, he’s going to send me back home to go and learn sense. He said a lot of hurtful things that I didn’t take in.

That day, he didn’t eat what I cooked. I served him alright. By the time it was 7pm, the food was still there. I sat next to it and ate everything while he looked on.

I‘ve been careful since that day. I don’t want to do anything to draw his anger again. I’ve bought four long dresses that look like boubou. Immediately I get to the house, I put them on. No one gets angry.

For a very long time, we haven’t had a fight but the truth of the matter is, our intimate life has also suffered for some time now.

We could go for a month without doing anything. He doesn’t even kiss me but that’s okay. At this point in my life, he can take everything away and I will understand but not the action.

I thought it was because of the Boubou I wear to bed. So, a few weeks ago, I went to bed first. I shaved, bathed, put on some fragrance, lied on the bed waiting for him. The kids were long gone so I thought we could own the night.

This guy entered the room, saw me lying there, and asked, “What is that? Why are you looking like that? And why have you put my perfume on? Don’t you know where they sell perfume? And why are you wearing perfume to sleep?

I was lying on my back, watching him with dismay in my eyes. He finally said, “You better look for your boubou before I get angry.”

I was like, “Ah, what has come over this man? Is it that he isn’t getting the clue or what?” I said, “So you can’t guess what this is all about? What happened to you?” He chuckled and lied down to sleep.

While I was there, hurt and thinking, he began snoring. All my hopes for a night’s adventure just vanished into thin air.

People have reasons for everything but they won’t tell you what the real reason is. I’ve talked to him about it. I’ve even begged him to give me the reason but nothing had been said.

He doesn’t love me again, right? I’m only 35 and don’t have wrinkles so I wonder why my own husband will do that to me. Or he’s having mental health issues because I can’t understand this sudden change.

He doesn’t find me appealing again, right? I don’t mind if today he tells me that he doesn’t find me appealing and goes ahead to tell me what I should do to get his appeal back.

I will do it but for now, he doesn’t tell me anything. I’m left wondering what could be wrong each day and that is not good for my health.