She wakes up and saw his traveling box set and ready.
It was lying close to the door while his usual suitcase was on the table.
Veronica sighed heavily as she stood from the bed.
She called out to her him.
“Honey… honey… are you traveling again?
Pet shouted back from the bathroom
“Sweetie… I’m in the shower. I can’t hear you clearly…I will be out in a jiffy.
She breathed slowly as she went to the kitchen to fix a cup of hot tea for herself and one for him.
She saw a used tea cup in the sink, which is a clear indication that he had already taken tea.
She stared at it strangely before going ahead with hers.
She carried the hot steaming tea back to the room.
He was out of the bathroom and already getting dressed.
“Hey… good morning sweetie…” He greeted while putting on his belt around his waist.
“You didn’t tell me that you were traveling again Pee. You just came back from three weeks journey on Tuesday… today is Thursday. You only get to spend yesterday with us and I was already looking forward to having you for the rest of the week atleast…
Pete seemed to suddenly pick up his phone immediately it beep signaling a new message.
He focused more in replying rather than in what Veronica was saying.
“… honey… honey… did you hear any of what I just said?… honey… Pee…P…
Pete dropped his phone he walked up to her and kissed her on the mouth.
“What was that you were saying again?
He asked while going back to dressing up.
“I said… you just returned from a journey and you’re already traveling again. When are you going to create time to spend with us. I and the kids miss you around here. Rose celebrated her birthday last week and you were not present and hardly present in most of their birthdays. Josh is turning three soon and his only wish is to have his Dad around. He’s not interested in gifts or other promises…his only desires is for his father to be around. I’m not even talking about myself and how much I’m doing to be a good mother and also give excuses on why you’re hardly around. Sometimes words fail me, I don’t know what other excuse to give the kids…or anyone asking. Even in church, the pastor and some other close members kept wondering if I’m married to myself or what…”
Pete turned and said with seriousness in his tone.
“Everything I’m doing is for you and the kids sweetie. I’m trying to provide a comfortable life for my family. If I decide to stay home all the time who will foot the bills…? You’re a housewife Vero and no money is coming from your end. I bought this house three years ago and it ran in millions, I bought you a car to make movement easy for you and the kids. Rose and Josh school fees is in millions too. I’m not talking about feeding, wardrobe allowance and other upkeeps. How do you think I make this money…? Vero, I work hard and can’t afford to take any chances. Living a good life requires hard work and more money. Staying home won’t put money in my pocket, my presence in this house won’t clear the expenses, pay the bills and put food on the table. What good is my presence without money…eehh?
Veronica sighed sadly before replying.
“Then let me get a job and support you with some of this things you mentioned. Atleast the kids are in school now. Honey, I will drive them to school in the morning and take a break to pick them up later in the day… they will stay with me in the office or…it depends on the job until the closing time and we will go home together. In that way I will be working and be taking care of the kids and also the home…”
“How do you think all this is possible, is not a rocket science though but you can’t possibly manage home, work and the kids at the same time. You either have to be fully dedicated to one and beside how much do you think you can be making that will actually help out. Or you think is every company that will give you free afternoon to drive to the children’s school… depending on how distance and drive back with them and they will have to tolerate kids during working hours? Veronica, is easier said than done…most of the women into this kind of busy lifestyle either got a nanny or leave their kids in school until the closing time and I Pete Johnson do not want such. You will continue taking care of the kids, I’m not complaining of the financial burden but the only thing I need is understanding… not complains or nag…”
He later picked up his traveling bag that early morning after kissing his wife goodbye.
“So, when will you be back? Veronica asked as she helped him with his suit case.
“I can’t tell when exactly, you already know that sometimes I don’t always return at the exact time I say but… maybe early next month I will be back. I will try and be around for Josh’s birthday this time… alright? I transferred some money for the light bill and other unplanned expenses. Kiss the kids for me when they wakes up…”
Veronica hugged him tight and Pete responded well.
He went into his car and drove off that early morning.
Veronica later got the children ready for school and drove them off.
That weekend Jane visited her with her daughter who was just a year old.
“… Pete’s is caring and all but sometimes I need him around. I’m not disputing the fact that he needs to make money but Jane, everything isn’t about money. The kids misses him and I also do. They woke up the day he travelled, rush down to say good morning to him with all smiles on their faces only to be told that he had travelled…I saw the disappointment on their faces and really felt for them. I know we supposed to get used to the kind of person he is and the demand his company placed on his shoulder because he’s part of the managerial team…is sometimes hard. But I’m trying my best to continue running the home alone in his absence. The money is actually a big deal…I use it to console myself… you know…”
Jane laughed as she took another bite from her just delivered shawarma that Veronica ordered for her at her request.
“Get used to the fact that your husband act like a ghost… he is hardly seen but that doesn’t make him unavailable. Girl chop the money, enjoy the wealth of your husband and stop whining. You should be thankful that he provides everything for you and the kids… many of us are not that lucky. You have really been an angel in helping me financially…I really don’t know how I would have done it. Being a single mom is not easy Vero, Becca is three years and I know the hell it was like within this three years of nursing her alone. You already know how Steve broke up with me and went back to his ex after I told him of the pregnancy. Vero, I have almost aborted Becca because I hated Steve and everything about him. The doctor warned me to be careful in my haste decision to avoid hurting myself. Babe, I had to bear the consequences alone. I used to regret everything but not again. Becca is the best companion and friend I could ever ask for. Despite is not easy but I grew thick skin and I’m happy I made the decision to keep her. Single parenting is not easy but is not a dead end. You that have a caring husband supposed to be super grateful. Pete is trying… give him an accolade. He did not only agree to save your face from shame when you earlier discovered that you were pregnant and he wasn’t ready. He still bent to your wishes and now you are living happily with two kids already and a strong stream of income…be grateful and don’t stop thanking the God that did it for you…”
Jane finished her shawarma and instead of pouring the juice that Veronica offered her into a cup she drank directly from the full pack.
Veronica laughed as she shakes her head knowing the kind of friend she has.
Veronica was grateful that she did not end up as a single Mom.
She wouldn’t have been able to withstand the shame and struggles that comes with it.
Seeing what Jane went through initially before she later got a job and doing fairly okay, Veronica knew that it takes strength and courage and Jane was emotionally stronger compared to her.
As much as she remains grateful, she still hopes that Pete will start spending more time with them than his continues travel.
Maybe someday she will get used to it but for now she was still hoping for a change.
She does not like the way Jane referred to her husband as a ghost but is just an idiom and not a big deal although she felt strange when she said that.
She was only looking forward to when next Pete will be around.
He wasn’t specific but early or late next month will not pass before he appears again just as the ghost that Jane mentioned.
She felt cold all of a sudden and quickly muttered
“Blood of Jesus…”
Veronica went about her day without much thought of Pete.