Shammah was the type of boy Derin liked – the ones who wore glasses, the ones who had a slight bowleg and the ones who were quiet. It was two weeks since their marriage and Shammah was no longer the man she married. His legs seemed to have straightened up and he smelt like camphor, instead of shea butter. Derin heard the twisting of the door knob. She had stayed up all night, watching that knob. The moment her husband made his way in, she poured two glasses of iced orange juice. It was what she had seen her father do for her mother. It was also the reason she pretended to be sick sometimes as a teenager. Nothing tasted better than undiluted orange juice.
Shammah paused. Derin pulled at his shirt, and for the first time since they stood at the altar together, she felt so close to him. Now, she knew what exactly the hair on his chest felt like, and why he rushed to the bathroom every morning. For the first time, she noticed the scar beneath his chin and for the first time, she saw the growth on his loins – an appendage small enough to ignore, but mighty to kill.
“How long?” she asked
She pulled him even closer. She made a soft whisper, “I’m with you in this – for better and for worse.”