(Continued from last issue)
David and Diane have been married for years; then there is Julie, the young secretary whose axis collides with the couple’s in ways none of them saw coming.
I got to my parents’ place a little after ten that morning, and after the usual polite greeting exchange, my father got straight to trying to figure out the reason for my visit.
“How are the children?”
“They’re fine; thank you.”
This time I paused for a moment before answering; “He’s fine.”
My icy tone did not match my words. My father instantly picked up on the change in my demeanor, and having found the source, dove right in:
“What’s going on between you two?”
It was the kind of question I could not fully answer without giving away details I was not ready to share yet; so, my answer was slow and guarded.
“I need a car, and he refuses to get me one.”
“So, why don’t you get your own car?”
“I can’t afford one right now; business is slow.”
My father sighed in a manner I recognized from my childhood – it was the kind of sigh that indicated the start of a lecture, and I braced myself for it.
“You see, this is what we talked about when you insisted on leaving the bank – I told you it was a bad idea, and now you see I was right!”
“Bad idea or not, it is what it is; Daniel had an attack last night, David wasn’t home, and I had to run around looking for transport to get him to the hospital. I can’t be in that position again; I need a car,” I shrugged.
“I thought you said the kids are fine!”
“They are now, but Daniel wasn’t last night.”
“Where was David?”
“I don’t know,” I lied. “My problem isn’t that he wasn’t home, my problem is that I didn’t have the means to get Daniel to the hospital.”
Once again, my father sighed in response, this time in a manner that said he was not pleased about what he was being told, but would go along with it all the same, and at that moment, I knew I had won and that he would make David get me a car.
As pleased as I was with this victory, I knew it was only part of my overall goal; I had as good as gotten the car, now I had to get that whore out of the picture, and as I still had evidence of David sending money to another woman, I knew just how I was going to do it.
In order to avoid the rush-hour traffic and ensure I arrived at my in-laws’ at a respectable hour, I left work early that afternoon, closing up for the day at three.
Not that I was getting much work done anyway, as after Diane’s father had called me, I had thought of little else but our upcoming meeting, imagining different scenarios of how it would go and rehearsing my responses for each of them.
The drive to the house took me just over thirty minutes, and I was warmly welcomed by Diane’s mother before she ushered me into the living room where her father received me.
“Come in and sit down, David; thank you for honoring my invitation at such short notice,” he welcomed me cordially.
“It’s always nice to see you, Sir,” I smiled back politely, then sat down in the seat he indicated, while his wife left to arrange for refreshments.
For a while, we talked about everything from my work, to projects he was considering beginning, to politics and even football, but I knew all the generic conversation was simply meant to put me at ease before he pounced with the real reason he had called me over.
I was proven right when, while Diane’s mother cleared away the tray of refreshments she had served earlier, he cleared his throat, and his tone went from light and friendly, to soft and somber.
“Diane came to see me this morning,” he began quietly. “She mentioned something about Daniel having an attack and not having a car to get him to the hospital.”
He paused then, as though giving me the space to respond, but as I stayed silent, he went on: “Look, I understand this situation is not of your making; she crashed the car and she should be responsible for replacing it, but it appears like she’s not in the position to do so at the moment, and yet the need for a car remains.”
“Maybe I’m not in the position to replace it either.”
“We both know that isn’t true; maybe it’s something you don’t want to spend on, but it’s definitely within your means to do so. Obviously I can’t force you to buy her a car, but like I said, the need for one remains; so, if you won’t, I will.”
I gritted my teeth in frustration, for I knew then that he had me; my pride as a man able to provide for his daughter, wouldn’t let me allow him to buy her a car, and we both knew that. As much as I hated to admit defeat, yet again, Diane had gotten her way.
I seethed over my mother’s call for the rest of the day and evening; how dare she call me jealous, moreover of my young sister! What did she know of my relationship with David to begin making judgments and assumptions about it?
And yet despite my indignation, a small nagging voice at the back of my mind whispered reminders of Sandra’s remarks about David, and how he had acted when I questioned him about them.
I tried to distract myself from my thoughts by busying myself with Junior, but even his playful antics and cute baby gurgles failed to hold my attention for long, for not only did I have my mother’s call to stress over, but my own fears and doubts over the status and future of my relationship with David as well.
They say ‘when it rains, it pours’, and that saying certainly came true later that evening. Having just put Junior down for the night, I was in the living room idly flipping through channels on the TV, when my phone buzzed with a message.
Thinking it was David, and praying he was not getting in touch to say he would be passing by after all, I picked up the phone almost hesitantly, and then frowned as I saw it was an attachment from a number I didn’t recognize.
Now puzzled and curious, I clicked on the message and opened the attachment, and for a few seconds I was not sure just what it was that I was looking at – and then it hit me and I literally lost my breath as my chest contracted when I realized it was a forwarded notification of a mobile money transaction from David’s number - to Sandra’s!
As I took in the rest of the details; a million shillings, and the date it had been sent, it felt like I had been struck by a truck, as my heart – and my world, shattered.