She turned her outstretched neck severally to look at the huge antique mirror that had projected her patootie or bottom if you like. The squeezing black skirt she had put on exaggerated their size for purposes I didn’t want to think about. To complement her audacious look, she threw on one of the perfumes we had bought from Zimbabwe and a beautiful pair of stilettos she had won once. In all her preparations, she had taken slightly over one hour. I, the husband, of this young beauty was watching… as all these were done for purposes of a get-together office party.

I was seated on one of our study tables in the bedroom. I had initially tried to read a book but, I could move past 2 sentences. I even tried watching the famous Prison Break series but, I just couldn’t concentrate.
Don’t blame me. Who can concentrate on stupid books and movies when his wife is wearing tight skirts to go out at 7pm?

My wife Diana and I had been married for about 4 and half years.

I first met her at Kilimani just behind Yaya Centre in a crowded cyber café.

I had gotten a job at one of those fancy law firms which required one to wear suits from Monday to Friday because of the high-end clientele that visited our offices. Majority were very rich business moguls who had dealings in Government tenders spanning into Billions of shillings. They always sought for ways to cheat or outsmart this or that person…and we knew how to help in case there was a legal issue.

I wasn’t a lawyer but, I had secretly enrolled for online classes with a South African University. I estimated that in 4 quick years, I would shock my boss by leaving and starting my own law firm. Before then, I would continue being the company’s Chief Communication Officer.
We had tasked two small start-up youth businesses with all our photocopy and printing services. It was a strictly confidential affair. The photocopier and printer we had in our office were mere decorations for reasons I won’t mention.

Anyway, this con artist and liar, who I later called my wife, worked as the cyber’ s attendant; cleaning and helping old people access their emails and print staff…even though she was a botanical graduate from the University of Nairobi.

We got married less than 6 months of meeting. I think she bewitched me! I had never been that easy to crack open. Was she a business lady who had identified her mark? Folks, was it not about money? I know people have gotten married after knowing each other for a few hours…

I had literally picked her from acute depression. We all know how it can be devastating for a young person to study up to the level of University and graduate into a tedious process of looking for a job…which sometimes takes years. She was in her second year of searching.

Even before we got married, I took care of her needs( clothing, food, fare and pocket money). She didn’t come from a very stable family. Plus, the family weighed between feeding her or the younger siblings…they chose the latter. She had to leave home and stay with a friend because the mother had made it clear that she couldn’t feed another woman who was capable of getting a man who could provide for her. The bet fell on me—she had found the “man” that had been alluded to by her mother! Damn, I won’t forget.

When we got married, at a DC’s office, in the presence of about 10 people. I felt fulfilled. I suddenly felt old and more responsible.
Back then, Diana was a very humble lady. A brown and soft faced lady with a magic smile.
I don’t want to admit that her chest and behind motivated me strongly before and after our marriage. I will leave that to marriage counsellors and psychologists…otherwise, lazy and idle feminists might use the statement to bash me for appreciating my wife, in ways I know best!

Where were we?
Ooh yes, months later after settling down at Lavington area, Vanga road….I decided to help her get her a job. Plus, I knew that the salary would help in settling some light bills or even buying “tomatoes”.

It didn’t take me long to find her a job as an office administrator with an NGO that was based in Crescent Road. I also bought her a Nissan Note to help her get to work easily or run her errands. She was very appreciative and showed it openly.
She always came home before me and cooked supper and cleaned. Even during the days, I got home at 10pm or 11pm, she could still be waiting for me patiently. What a lovely wife! I loved her so much.

On days when I got home at 7pm or earlier than that; I could either cook or help with cleaning. She was also a few months into delivering. I had initially insisted that she needed to come back home early and have enough rest. I even dared her that I could call “my friend” and get her lighter duties at work. I was not comfortable having my wife come home at 9pm when the office business closed at 4pm(the owners were strict on time).

I made it clear that we didn’t need the money….either way, the only time I saw her use her salary was in buying occasional ingredients. I paid rent, bought clothes, did shopping and even fueled her car.

She didn’t care to support me offload some of the financial needs I had. I was supporting my younger siblings. The responsibility of ensuring that parents were okay had fallen on my shoulders because my older brothers had argued that I was way more financially stable than them…it was true.

I was making a lot of money at the time but, the outlets were equally many. I only managed to squeeze myself and get two properties that I intended to develop. My wife knew only one of them. Men never say everything!

A few months later, she later got her maternity leave and delivered. When Stella came into our family, our love which was quickly fading got a boost. It was magically rekindled.

All was good. We were happy…and could have continued that way. I wish it continued!

About 6 months later, two things happened almost concurrently. My dear wife got another job, with almost a triple salary. I, on the other hand, got into the books of the Directory of Criminal Investigations together with everyone who worked in our company. We were being investigated because we had gotten a tender of about Kshs. 83 million which apparently had been obtained through corruption. I hadn’t been fully briefed when I signed the documents…neither did I look into the details very well.

Actually, my boss had come into the office excitedly with a pile of documents. He was accompanied by his partner.
He asked me to sign in places he pointed at! Apparently, I was signing as a core partner! No amount of explaining convinced the DCI officers especially because Kshs. 13,000,000 had been wired into my account.

As you could guess, I quickly sold the properties that were in my name and paid for school fees for one of my sisters till University. I flew the two who were in form 4 and 2 to Australia and made them start diploma courses of their choice. I paid their accommodation and school fees fully for diploma courses.

Whatever remained was milked away by the DCI and the lawyers who handled our cases. After a short while, I wouldn’t even buy a packet of milk.

Then, I remained home and did the cooking, cleaning and babysitting…while my wife left at 7:30am and came back at 11pm or 12pm. We argued daily.
What elevated our arguments were the comments that she made about “feeding” a lazy man. She was like, “I do everything!” “I’m I the man of the house?” “the house is smelly” “Bathe” “don’t touch me”! “I didn’t tell you to be corrupt!”
How could she say that to my face! Yet, I had worked so hard to get everything we owned so far.

One day, after an early morning argument, she said, “I can’t do this anymore. I’m leaving”
Within a few minutes, as if it had been planned earlier, a huge track pulled over and she packed everything into the vehicle.

At least, I had peace for a couple of days.

It was almost end month and I knew that the landlord, through his agents, wouldn’t allow anyone in the premises after defaulting payment of rent. So, I approached them in time and invited them to the house. We discussed the price of everything in the house (except clothes) and agreed that it could cover that months’ rent. He graciously handed me the rest of the money plus the two months’ deposit I had paid.

I walked out proudly that end-month with two briefcases.
I moved into a friend’s house at Parklands.

That’s why I always defend the notion that men have better friends that women. The guy, Steve, is still the closest friend I have to date. He is actually like a brother. He topped me up with Kshs. 90,000. Together with the money I had salvaged, I started an electronics shop at Luthuli. It was a small shop that stocked so much that one hardly moved inside. I was making some little money….so little that sometimes I doubted my sanity for allowing me to venture into such. Yet, I had no option. I couldn’t get a job and be comfortable because of the case we had.

During this time, Diana got married in a expensive wedding of invites only. I heard that they moved to Karen. The guy must have had a lot of money. They actually got another baby; a girl.

Once in a month, I could “request” Diana to allow me see our baby. She never denied me that precious opportunity. I would take a Matatu to Karen and hire a taxi to the homestead, in order not to “disappoint”. Either way, the distance between their house and where I alighted was way too far.
I really love my daughter. Not a single visiting day did I miss to buy her ice cream which we ended up sharing! I always came loaded with clothes and toys. Her favourite was a rechargeable microphone because she sang into it and laughed heartily afterwards.

My business has been improving. I now have 4 shops. And since Corona hit, we have partly moved online.
I have also ventured into watermelon and vegetable farming at Kiserian. I am building my own house at Ngong. I have a wife who is almost giving birth. I’m getting stable financially.

I know that the DCI will come for me one day…I really don’t care because everything I own is in the name of my mother, my siblings are doing very well. The ones who went abroad have jobs even as they study. They actually financed my farming project when I was starting.

I was shocked last week on Sunday when I went to see my daughter Stella. My ex-wife asked to join us to Oloolua where we were going for a nature walk.
I refused.
But, as we were paying at the main gate, she pulled over and joined us. She must have driven at a distance, behind us.
She was in a huge silver Range Rover.

Anyway, we just went along together awakwardly. I didn’t know what to say to her…neither did I want to talk to her.
She just followed sheepishly and managed to strike one or two conversations about this or that.
Occasionally, she would drop a few tears and make my daughter sad.
Even then, I didn’t say a single thing.

Looking at myself; the kind of old huge and ballooned trousers I wore with secondhand Gikomba shoes…I sank knowing that we were now worlds apart but, I was contented. I was fine. I was happy.

When we ran uphill and left her at her distance, my daughter said unconsciously, ” mummy cries a lot every day.”
I wish I could explain to her that “mummy” left me for another man. I could have told her that while I get rained on in farms, battling to get better yields; her mum is in massive Range Rovers or in malls doing expensive shopping and dining with moguls.

One day I will tell her how it feels to be heartbroken…or maybe I shouldn’t tell her. I’m confused.

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