Had he known that I was 2 months pregnant by another man, he could have either committed suicide or killed me; both on the spot (and so I thought). He shot up from under the flower shade when he saw me… He seemed intensely excited.
Like the loving man he was, he left two of his friends and walked straight to me. He wanted to hug me tightly or perhaps kiss me. Anyone would understand. His friends would have secretly understood too. But being an African man, he didn’t want to show any “weakness”, so he tapped my left shoulder lovingly and simply said, “karibu nyumbani. Umepotea”. Had I translated it, it would have sounded; “Babe, I missed you so much. Welcome home.”
As the two bags I was carrying fell to the ground, tears also came down my cheeks. In torrents!
My husband, Justin Getutu, was unable to understand why I was crying so much. He didn’t put much effort in calming me down. He seemed to wait for me to stop crying.
I was unable to tell him that for the past 6 months, I had been having an affair with another man. As if that was not enough, the same man, Joe, had impregnated me. Unknown to him, he was looking at his wife-cum-adulteress.
As he stood in front of me, I found myself looking at him keenly. He had this blue cloaks on that he must have worn for a very long time. He must have just come from the shamba for he had not washed off the soil from his feet. He rarely shaved nor did his hair grow quickly. Nonetheless, he had huge amounts of soft and thin beards on his face; not to the size or lazy design of prophet Awour’s. No. His were always brushed in a way that made him look like those stylish Muslim clerics.
He had graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Education- English/Literature but had insisted on farming instead of “wasting” time earning peanuts in an 8am-5pm job [no offence to teachers]. He had 7 greenhouses at home for vegetables and huge tracts of land at Trans Mara where he seasonally planted maize and beans. I know he looked poor, emaciated and always dirty, but he had chosen a vocation that gave him millions in a year. How many millions do teachers get in a year with or without any loan? [again, no offence to teachers].
My husband never minded that I wanted to advance my education to Masters; he paid the fees and continued to do so even when I got a highly paying job with an NGO whose name I won’t mention for obvious reasons. Initially, I would travel home every Friday to spend time with the family but, when the job came, I could only manage to go home for a weekend. It is as if I had relocated to Nairobi.
By then, our first born was 8 years old. We also had twins who were 5 years old. He was going to single-handedly take care of the children and at the same time find a living for us plus the expensive school fees I was pouring at Kenyatta University. He never complained.
The stupid me went heavily for my career and education and left my family in the village. It is during one of those days that a few friends of mine threw a party. It was on a Friday. We had just come out of some stressful exams and one shout from Julie, “Let’s party” had decided the fate of that evening.
I would have chosen to go to my house and relax….and while at it, read my Bible and Lesson. I would have gone out for a movie, alone. Better still, I would have just taken a bus home to the village to see my family. Your guess is right; I did none of those sensible things.
I still remember the excitement in the eyes of Julie and some of my friends as they welcomed me into the house where the party was. They had managed to break a hard nut- that’s how they referred me. By then, I was in my 27th year but I looked like a teenage girl. I don’t know how but, my body figure hadn’t been disoriented in spite of giving birth to three babies. Everything remained intact, I won’t say more at this point. I am sure you understand.
Anyway, my classmates, who already knew that I was married, wondered why I had gone for a farmer as a marriage partner. They believed that I was doing him some sort of favour. They always wondered how I managed to go through an entire month without intercourse.
Back to the party….
Yes, I had a few drinks albeit slowly. I didn’t want to get too drunk. I was just trying to be careful.
It is during this confusion that I met Joe. He was a tall guy with a few muscles. He must have gone to the gym once or twice but from the way he walked, he insisted on telling us that. Joe walked straight to me and before introducing himself, he took a few minutes to praise my body parts. I just stared at him blankly. I didn’t know what to say. He threw in a few words like; “sexy”, “mrembo”…. “let’s start” …
I should have shouted at once that I was married. I should have told him that my husband was at the village with our 3 kids and paying my school fees. I should have also mentioned that my husband was one of the simplest, humble and loving people I knew.
Well, even 30 minutes into our conversation, I didn’t let him know all that. I still bitterly blame myself.
As we continued to talk and drink, Joe suddenly jumped to me and the next thing I felt was his lips digging into my mouth.
He withdrew after what felt like 6 hours.
Something whispered, “you are a married woman! Why are you kissing men!”
I didn’t listen to the voice. I added more alcohol to wash away my guilt and that stupid voice.
I remember being escorted out by Joe. I also remember entering his car and driving off to his house. It was on Friday, 13th August 2019 when I first committed adultery.
The next day in the morning, I found so many missed calls from my husband. I didn’t call back. How could I talk to him from inside the bed of another man!
I asked Joe for more drinks which he gladly brought.
I drank too much! I wanted to be-numb my inner self; which was at war with me. It castigated me for disrespecting a man that cared for me deeply. I just couldn’t drink enough to forget, yet, I still engaged in intercourse with Joe for an entire weekend.
When I called back my husband on Sunday night, I realized that he had hired his cousin to look after the kids because he had planned to travel to Nairobi to find out if everything was okay with me. He thought that something bad had happened to me. I lied that I had lost my phone. I added a few other lies to calm him down and he did, after sometime.
He explained that Rachel, our daughter, had fallen sick and was crying uncontrollably, asking for me. I wish I had called that Friday night, perhaps I would have been too overwhelmed to indulge in sin. I continued working and studying but those who knew me said that I had changed. I had lost the energy and liveliness I had once exhibited. Even my husband complained that I was becoming aloof.
It became normal for Joe to pick me up after work or after evening classes. Even those I had initially told that I was married doubted it now. Few believed that a married woman with three kids would be out partying and living with a man lavishly, using her husband’s hard earned money. Yet, the world had changed so much that none cared. It was common. Cheap, immoral, inconsiderate and weak women are everywhere. It was sad that I was among them.
After a few weeks, Joe suddenly left. At first, he picked just a few of my calls but as time went by, he even blocked me. My efforts to reach him bore no fruit. When one day, I found him at a common friend’s house with a younger lady, I was momentarily taken aback.
Something hit me so hard, right through my heart.
I felt some terrible kind of disappointment. I was so hurt that I cried and left. Yes, even adulteresses have emotions.
I went straight to my apartment. It is during this time that my husband came into mind.
I had ignored him so much to the extent that we spoke at most 3 times a week. I had found a way of making him believe that working and studying was extremely difficult and that I hardly found time to relax. He never complained but I know he doubted me, or so I thought.
What had made Joe run away was the fact that I had told him that I was pregnant. He knew that I had a husband and didn’t want to complicate his life. I guess he continued to party and enjoy his free life.
After meeting Joe with the lady, I packed and left for home the next day. That’s the day I found my husband seated under a flower tree with two of his friends.
Before I could answer, the children came running to me… they had missed me so much. They almost tore me to pieces in joy. I momentarily forgot that I was an adulteress.
Anyway, when everything settled down, my husband asked me why I had been elusive. I don’t doubt that he saw the changes that had occurred to me. Several days of chain smoking must have changed my breath. I couldn’t hide it.
He calmly asked again in low tones. A tone I had never heard before. In his question, he didn’t address me as Mama Rachel or Babe, he simply looked at me straight into the eyes and projected his words, “Felista, will you tell me the truth?”
Me: What truth?
Justin: You have a lot of things to explain…like your smoking habit.
Me: Am sorry. It was just one piece.
Justin: Is there anything else you want to say?
Justin: What about you and Joe?
Hold on right there! How could he know!!!!!
I almost fainted when the name Joe “appeared”. My mouth was dry. I was not breathing well. I was going into a dangerous heart attack…I wished for it. I didn’t believe it. Was he talking to me?
A few minutes passed. I mean about 20 minutes of silence. Are those few?
No one spoke. Even the children sensed the strange silence and melted into their bedrooms. The sitting room was left to us. It is true that Justin was a very cool guy but, when he lost his temper, he was capable of even burning himself without minding it. I was just wondering why he had remained calm.
He started…”When I didn’t find you on the phone for 5 days, I decided to call your friend Cynthia. She is the one who told me everything about you and Joe. She told me that you are even pregnant and that you were considering an abortion!”
I was listening….and dying inside.
He said, “Had it not been Christ, I could have killed you and killed myself long ago! I will manage somehow; the Lord is faithful! … However, if you ever come back to this homestead, dead or alive, I will cut you into the tiniest pieces and feed you to dogs.”
His eyes were red-shot, veins had started appearing on his forehead and some light sweat was forming on his face. I knew his anger, I had to leave quickly.
That was 3 weeks ago.