I could see my husband looking at me through the mirror. I was looking back at him but he couldn’t tell. He could only see the back of my Afro-ed head. His eyes had a kind of nostalgic yearning that nearly stopped me. He was following my hands as I undressed, remembering his favorite parts of me. I was at my left breast removing the cup so slowly as it still hurt. He stopped removing his shoe and held his breath. I needed him to help, he couldn’t though. And it was okay. Totally okay. The cup came real slow and I swear he swore softly under his breath.
‘Come here.’ It was a soft command I nearly missed it. Ever since that day, he’s been treating me like porcelain. Haha, funny, we don’t even have porcelain in this big house of ours. It was a running joke since our courtship days that we would end up breaking everything in our way once our hormones called unto each other. Instead, we got this sturdy china that could break teeth as our wedding present and made a point to always clear the table.
Anyway, he’s been avoiding me. He uses the downstairs bathroom while I soak in the big tub ,our naked portrait making love to my senses. He even makes a point of cooking albeit undercooked vegetables. For me, he insists. They are good for me, he makes his own food on the side. He won’t even let me serve. Sit, he says politely. I want to hate him, I already dislike him so much. We used to eat amid soft laughter, his hairy hand feeding me morsels as his eyes fed me something else. Something we would finish on the very same table. Now,now it’s flat. Just the clanking of cutlery and his polite breathing and polite admonitions to finish my vegetables. I hate all of it.
‘Come.’ I realise I have not yet moved. I am still looking at him through the mirror. The mirror is a bit blurry as I turn slowly and face him. He has removed both shoes and he becomes blurry too. I don’t remember him undressing in the same room as me let alone remove his shoes. It catches me off guard and I want to cry and laugh at the same time. He’s trying to retain eye contact but my left breast is just there. Wide open, staring back at him. I breath deeply and sit next to him.
He is trying, he is trying to see me. See me before all this happened. I see a flicker of the old yearning back in his eyes as he touches me. Touches where it had been. It was his favorite. He removes the bandages so slowly with the evening light bearing a kind of solemn witness. He lifts his eyes to mine, the liquid depths begging for forgiveness and many other things. And I forgive and give all those other things he’s asking for. For a while, he rests his head on my chest, the side with no breast and everything dissolves into a blur.