It was 1:28 am. Basit sat up in his bed and sighed. Sleep was proving hard to come by, with all the thoughts in his mind.
He looked at the person lying beside him. She looked rather comfortable in her slumber.
He turned away and shook his head.
For the past 2 weeks, he and his beloved bride, Caroline, had been going through a rough patch. For a couple that loved displays of affection, there had been very little of that recently. Tension had replaced the aura of sweetness, and instead of pet names and cute little references to each other, snarky and biting innuendos seemed to be the order of the day.
He couldn’t tell how it all began. And it was quite possible that she didn’t, either. All they knew was that suddenly, certain things which would have caused a tiny squabble at the worst were catalysts for full-blown shouting matches. Whether it had to do with Caroline moving his charger from the bedroom, or him forgetting to close the windows in the living room, these little things ended up sparking loud and unpleasant fights between them.
For instance, what had instigated that evening’s fight? A sarcastic comment from Caroline concerning Basit not changing the water bottle on their dispenser. Just like that, and they were exchanging words.
As he sat up, reflecting on the events of the past couple of weeks, he knew this was getting old and needed to end quickly.
It was trite knowledge that they wouldn’t have a perfect marriage. As crazy as they were about each other, they knew the married life did not consist of just roses, intense physical intimacy and sweetness. There would be trying times where it would take more than just romance to get through. That they perfectly understood and accepted.
But this felt too much.
They were literally treating each other like enemies now. They barely actually attempted to listen to each other when arguing; each party just wanted to prove to the other that they were right, not realizing just how negatively it was impacting on their relationship.
He sighed. Something had to be done about this.
He reached over to tap her, then hesitated for a moment. Won’t she get pissed off all over again?
Then he shook his head, and went ahead to tap her. “Caroline?” he called gently.
As comfy as she seemed in her sleep, Caroline was not a heavy sleeper. She stirred, turned over to look at him, and immediately her face darkened. “What is it?”
He looked down and sighed within himself. This was not going to be easy. But it had to be done.
“Umm, Caroline, I’m sorry to disturb your sleep, but, we need to talk,” he said gently.
“At this time of the night? Gentleman, are you serious?” she responded.
He shut his eyes. This rough patch had certainly brought out the worst in them.
“Caro, baby, listen. I know I’ve been a total ass to you sometimes, and… for reasons I now don’t fully understand, I’ve been stubborn. And I’m sorry, I really am. But the reason I woke you up is because of how things have been these past few weeks. Babe, I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all.
“Caroline, look at us. We used to be that cozy couple everyone envies, the way we were so attached to each other. Always laughing together in public. Always smiling with each other. Now we’re always at each other’s throats. I know things weren’t always gonna be this smooth, but this is too much.”
Caroline, initially looking ready for battle, now seemed mellowed by those memories.
“Remember when we first started out as Mister and Missus? Those awesome days of bliss, joy and… ridiculously good lovemaking?”
Caroline smirked and looked down. “Yeah. Sweet days.”
“Indeed, my queen. Granted, the honeymoon phase might be over. But this phase… this ain’t it. I don’t want this. I know sometimes we piss each other off, but letting it fester and degenerate into what it is now is not good enough. I’m tired of seeing you and gearing up for a fierce fight. That’s not why I put that ring on your finger and made you my queen for life, to be sparring with over little things. We’re a team.”
The look on her face grew solemn. “Hmmm. You’re right. We have been going overboard with these fights. I just remembered Counsellor Bernard telling us we need to be fighting the powers behind the scenes instead of fighting each other, before we got married. I guess we forgot.”
“Yeah, we did. But please, let’s do better. I love you, Caroline. You’re my best friend, my life partner, my future baby mama, the woman I’m gonna grow old with. I’m sorry for everything I’ve done to offend and hurt you, and I promise I’m gonna go back to being the good man I am.”
“I’m sorry too, honey. For everything. Indeed, let’s do better than this. I know we’ll never be the skilled sailors we should be if we only get to experience calm seas, but can we please endeavor to ensure that everything’s alright between us before we sleep?”
Basit smiled and reached across for her hand. “Sure thing. Let’s pray.”
Both of them facing each other while holding hands, they bowed their heads and closed their eyes as Basit began.
“Father, we thank You for opening our eyes to all the madness we’ve engaged in these past few weeks. Constantly bickering and yelling at each other, turning against each other when You made us to be one flesh. Lord, forgive us as we’ve forgiven each other. And we ask right now, that no matter how tough things get between us, no matter how annoyed we may be at each other, give us the grace and the strength to be able to settle things between us before we go to sleep. Help us to be able to ensure that the sun does not go down on our anger. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen!”