I sat on the toilet bowl doing the unmentionables and flipping through Tweets on my phone when the call came in. On the screen, it showed Mwangi wa Nyama but, in actual sense, it was Njeri Gathoni[not her real name], my mistress. What I didn’t know is that my wife was just outside the toilet. I stupidly picked the call. Njeri started in high emotions;
Njeri: Beb I miss you.
Me: Of course, my heart is warm too.
Njeri: What do you mean?
Me: I mean the same.
Njeri: What same?
Me: Yeah. So, how have you been?
Njeri: Wait…so, you don’t miss me anymore?
The awkward conversation would have continued for hours. I knew what she wanted and to solve the entire issue, I whispered. “I miss you hun”.
I should have whispered faintly or perhaps it was the echo that ensured my wife heard the conversation, which must have gone on for almost a minute and a half.
I had just told Njeri that I would be seeing her that night even for one hour when the door flew open.
My wife Anne rushed straight at me in fury.
I was still seated on the toilet bowl and the phone was on my left ear.
She didn’t mind the nose-breaking stench that was in the room as a result of my activities.
I didn’t need a sharp mind to notice that I was in trouble.
Meanwhile, Njeri kept talking about “us” and the fun we had had the previous weekend. I had faked a work trip to Kitale but, in actual sense I was at Naivasha road where Njeri rented a two-bedroomed house. She was in the middle of saying how we had spent our night together when my wife snatched the phone from my hand and placed it on her ear.
Oblivious of the situation, Njeri stupidly narrated more and more.
For a few seconds, I was unable to decide whether to stand with all the faeces plastered on my buttocks or let my wife listen in to my stupid escapades. I stood and went straight for the phone. She moved back a few steps and maintained the phone against her ear.
With my shorts and underwear almost at my feet, I couldn’t move faster than I wanted but I tried. When I almost overpowered her, she gave me the phone and walked away.
I almost forgot to clean myself up!
Going back to the sitting room, I found my wife setting the dining table. She had prepared fish, some spinach, and brown ugali. She had remembered to add some kachumbari to go with the fried fish.
I didn’t know what to do. I just stood there looking at her pleadingly. I almost knelt before her to beg for forgiveness. Had she scolded me, I would have had an opportunity to try and counter her in some way; but this time she did not.
Njeri called again. I declined the call. She called back. I almost wished I could have killed her instantly. I switched off my phone.
I noticed that the rage my wife had shown earlier was long gone. She was now calm and settled. Maybe too calm.
She spoke to me first. “Baba Aisha, welcome. Food is served.” I immediately knew that I had signed my death warrant. I didn’t expect this level of humility. Cheats don’t!
I sheepishly thanked her and sat on my normal dining seat. I knew that she wouldn’t have poisoned the food considering the short time that had passed after the ordeal.
She asked us to close our eyes for prayers before we ate. I listened to her words, ” Lord, thank you for this food that you have provided once again. We are indeed grateful. As we take it Lord, be with us. For we pray in Jesus name.”
My 7-year-old daughter said “Amen”. I kept quiet.
I ate cautiously. Most of the time, I just stared at my food. I can assure you that she can cook and her specialty has always been in fish. She didn’t just fry fish, she did stuff to it, she added what she had to add…it always came out sweeter than sweet.
On that day, it was sweet but my taste buds were on protest. I tried swallowing the food but I just couldn’t manage. I even tried drinking some of the soup on a side bowl but I couldn’t direct it down my throat.
After what seemed like a century, she cleared the table and took away the remaining food. She asked me if I wanted some porridge or some tea. I shook my head.
I just wished she abused me, I wanted her to even beat me up. That “goodness” she showed irrespective of what she had discovered was worse!
It was on that Saturday Arsenal and Chelsea were playing for the FA cup. My neighbor Mike knocked on the door to pick me up as we had agreed. I wanted to decline to go for the match but, I figured that I would need some time out. So, I quickly went to the bedroom and changed into a black pair of jeans and a white polo t-shirt. I chose the white Nike shoes she had bought me and ensured that she saw that I had won them. As I carried my jacket, I casually told her that I was going out for a football match. I only heard, “Mmmh”.
I walked out like a zombie, half-dead. I was going into “depression” faster than I thought. My mind was getting jammed up with thousands of thoughts. The little energy I had was long consumed by terror. I didn’t know what to expect; divorce or poison. Whichever came first was okay with me. I wanted to come out of the misery immediately.
When I stepped out, even Mike noticed that I wasn’t in my jovial mood. He asked; I blamed a violent headache and he brushed it off.
Immediately he started the car, I switched on my phone, and voila! 10 seconds later I received a call from this Njeri who didn’t know that because of her well-curved behind, a fresh brown complexion, and a magical smile….my marriage was going down the drain.
I picked the call and before I could speak, I heard her say, ” Beb, are you okay? You went off suddenly!”
I found myself shouting back at her, “Don’t ever call me you prostitute”!
Mike turned to look at me. He was shocked. He almost hit the car in front of him because he had taken too long looking at me.
I am sure he didn’t understand why a church deacon was shouting at someone, mostly a lady, and attaching the word prostitute. Luckily, Njeri never called back. She later sent several long messages of abuse. I only read some but wouldn’t reply. I wasn’t paying any attention to her feelings. I had a marriage to save.
So, Mike “the interviewer,” asked why I had shouted at the person who had just called me. I told him that it was a lady who was seducing me. I lied that we had met once in a work-related function but since then, she kept calling me.
What he didn’t know was that I was a lying adulterer whose fate was almost sealed. Had he investigated, he could have known that I was shaking on the inside fearing what my wife was going to do to me. He couldn’t have seen the worry that was written all over my face even when the game started.
He must have assumed that being an Arsenal fan, I was worried that Chelsea was going to thwart us. Arsenal was struggling at the time but Chelsea had magically revived itself into the top four. 90 minutes into the game, I don’t remember smiling or maybe I did it unconsciously. Even when Arsenal scored and beat Chelsea, I faked a few waves of laughter and excitement. I threw in the “headache phrase” twice or thrice to calm down the anxiety of Mike.
After the game, we went home straight. I silently passed through my daughter’s bedroom and found her asleep. Before I could even close the door behind me, my wife approached and asked to serve me some light meal. She hadn’t slept.
I declined and followed her to the bedroom.
I went in for a shower and overstayed. I might have spent almost 40 minutes pretending to shower. I was just standing in the bathroom, afraid of coming out. Later on, I meekly walked out and changed into my black pajamas. By then, Anne was already in bed. I joined her and left a huge gap between us. I was literally at the edge of the bed.
She had slept facing the opposite side. She was reading her Bible. I was unable to say anything. There was an awkward silence between us when she finished reading the Bible and tucked herself in a different duvet.
About 30 minutes passed without any one of us saying anything, even though we were awake and the lights off.
I finally found some courage to speak.
Me: Babe, are you asleep?
Me: Am sorry.
Me: Am sorry.
Anne: I already forgave you. Goodnight.
Me: I will never repeat it.
Anne: *Silence. *
Me: Hun, please.
I moved closer and pulled her left shoulder slightly to make her face me.
She calmly said, “Charles, please never touch me again. Just never.”
Her voice was firm and oozed determined moral courage. I was beaten. I, Charles, a liar, an adulterer, a home breaker…. the husband who couldn’t touch his wife decided to face the opposite side and sleep.
My heart was heavy. My mind denied me sleep for several hours. When I finally did, I dreamt of diving into a lake full of crocodiles. They tore the flesh of my legs and swallowed some parts whole as they laughed. Even my dreams had become exceedingly paranormal! How can crocodiles laugh?
I woke up at 4:36 am and couldn’t go back to sleep again. I did my Math. The last time I looked at the watch before falling asleep was at 1:12 am. So, how many hours had I slept? Were scientists right about 6-8 hours as the recommended time?
I struggled to concentrate at work the next day. I was lost in thoughts. I didn’t even go for the boss’ free lunch. Luckily, I convinced the manager that I had the worst headache ever. I got a sick leave. That was around 2:15 pm. By 3:00 pm, I was at home. I wanted to confess and apologize to my wife. However, when I got home, I found her talking to someone on the phone.
She had this affectionate and sexually-encouraging tone that reminded me of the days when we fell in love. Not once or twice but severally did she break into laughter. Even when she saw me, she continued talking to this person she kept referring to as; “Aki Kevo na wewe!” “Kevo, Haha stop it! You are so funny Kevo”.
I had to wait for almost 16 minutes for the conversation to end. Guilt as I was, I felt jealous.
I timed her. With the slightest opportunity, I fell into her WhatsApp messages and searched for Kev. They had exchanged several messages in the last 6 hours which were punctuated with “love emojis”. I read through where Kevo had suggested they meet at Westlands. The last text was a “kiss emoji” from my dear wife.
For those who don’t know, Kevo was her Ex-boyfriend. I came in immediately after him and honestly, it was a struggle separating them. Had Kevo not been caught in a hostel with another lady, they would now be married. He swore that it was his cousin. When the dust had settled, it was fully confirmed that the lady was Kevo’s first cousin but, by then Anne and I were falling in love. He had no chance.
This criminal Kevo had seemingly been waiting in the shadows for a slight opportunity just to pounce on my wife. Damn it! I should have killed him when I had the chance.
It was almost 5:00 pm and the environment in the house was getting so tense. I, the inexcusable adulterer, got annoyed over the mannerisms of my wife even before she did anything. I wanted to demand an explanation of why she was talking to Kevo.
About 10 minutes after 5:00 pm, my wife’s phone rang. It was in the left pocket of the pair of jeans she was wearing. She was feeding our daughter from the sitting room. I was also coiled in a sofa, eyes fixed on the TV, pretending to watch a series on Netflix; it must have been “how to get away with murder!”
I saw her pull out the phone. She looked at the screen, noticed the caller, and decided not to pick it. The person called again, she didn’t pick. The third time it rang, she didn’t pick. When it rang the fourth time, she picked it and said, ” Kevo, nitakupigia” [Kevo, I will call you].
I almost fainted. My mind raced. Millions of questions followed; the most prominent of them being…. ‘why is he calling her again when they had just spoken a few minutes ago and for more than 16 minutes?’
I sat upright trying to control myself. I asked, “Who was that?”
She quickly replied without even looking at me, “It is Kevo.” As if to expound further, she added, “my ex-fiancé”!
I didn’t answer. The inclusion of the word “fiancé” was enough to kill me. I thought they had been just “boyfriend and girlfriend” back in the days.
I didn’t eat her food that day. I went to the bedroom, selected some music, and played it loudly. I made sure that I started with Westlife’s My Love which goes…. “An empty street, an empty house a hole in my heart, I’m all alone the rooms are getting smaller. I wonder how, I wonder why…”
If you think I slept, you are wrong. I managed to doze off once in a while but my mind brought Kevo into my vision almost every second. Clearly, I had three choices to make; beg my wife for forgiveness, commit suicide or abduct Kevo and kill him.
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