Three is a crowd: Trouble in paradise!
- Written by MARGARET WAMANGA
(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.
“So, what are you going to do?” Kenneth asked once I had recounted the details of my mother’s call.
“What can I do? I’ll have to go back to the flat once the holidays begin,” I shrugged, my tone defeated.
“Fulltime? I mean your sister is in Senior Six; she doesn’t exactly need a babysitter.”
“Well, that’s true, and sure, I would still be able to come out for a few hours to see you, but I wouldn’t be able to spend nights away.”
“Like you said, my sister isn’t a baby; she would figure out something was going on.”
“You’re talking about between you and me, right?”
“Yes; she doesn’t know you, but I mean if I spent nights out, she would know I was sleeping with someone.”
“And what’s so bad about that? How long are you planning on keeping us a secret?” he demanded, his tone suddenly bitter and accusing.
I was totally taken aback by his reaction, mainly because although our relationship had grown by leaps and bounds, I had not realized that Kenneth considered us an official item, or that he had any expectations of making our relationship public.
“Kenneth, as far as my family is concerned, I’ve already broken all the rules by having a child with a married man, and while that was a bitter pill for them to swallow, they understood and accepted that he was supporting not just Junior and I, but them as well; so, the last thing they want to hear now, is that I am endangering that by starting a relationship with another man,” I answered quietly, slowly evaluating my words.
“Is that how you view me; as a threat to you and your family’s livelihood?”
“Is it? How about the money your mum just asked for? Are you going to ask David for that too?”
“Where else do you suggest I get it from; you?” I shot back angrily. After all, it was not like he didn’t know about my relationship with David.
“Is that what this is going to come down to; which one of us is able to provide more?”
My head snapped back like he had physically struck me, and I felt a pain in my gut so deep and real, that for a second I thought he actually had.
“If that’s how you feel, then maybe I should just leave now,” I finally answered, my voice sad and broken.
Without blinking, he answered, “Maybe you should.”
I was at the office, winding up for the day, when I got a call from the clinic.
“Good afternoon, Mr Mujuni; I was just calling to let you know that the DNA results are ready. You can pick them up tomorrow.”
“Can I come for them now?” I asked hopefully.
“We’re closing in about half an hour, but if you can get here by then, that’s fine.”
“I’ll be there,” I assured her, then hung up, shut down my computer and hurriedly left the office.
The evening rush hour had already began, but I bullied my way through the traffic and arrived at the clinic twenty minutes later. Thankfully there weren’t any other patients at the reception, and clearly in a hurry to leave for the day, the receptionist showed me through to the doctor almost as soon as I got there.
Frustratingly, while the receptionist had clearly been in a hurry to leave, the doctor obviously was not, as he slowly began to go through the results, methodically explaining what the long columns of numbers meant, and I had to bite my tongue to stop myself from snapping at him to just tell me – was Junior mine or not?
Finally, he arrived at the conclusion I had been waiting for so anxiously.
“Based on these results, there is a ninety nine point nine nine percent chance that you are the biological father of the donor of Sample B. Congratulations Mr Mujuni. He is your son,” he announced, his tone almost theatrical as he shook my hand firmly and then handed over the envelope.
Although deep down I had always known Junior was mine, having hard proof of it in black and white, somehow made it feel more real, and I felt my heart swell and my chest tighten with emotion the way it had when he was just born.
I muttered my thanks, then made my way back out to the car, where I sat for a few minutes, internalizing the results. When I was back in control, I knew exactly what I needed to do and where I needed to go, and headed for the apartment.
In the days following David’s drunken night and subsequent ‘make up’ gift, things between us had been going pretty well; so, I was confused and nervous when only a few days later, not only wasn’t he back when he normally was, but he didn’t even call to say he was running late.
As it approached seven with still no word from him, I began fretting over what was going on and was about to call him, when my phone rang.
I snatched it up in relief, certain it was him, but the number on the screen was unfamiliar. “Hello; Diane Mujuni speaking,” I answered in the official tone I always used when I wasn’t certain who I was speaking to.
“Uh.....yes....uh.....hello madam,” a nervous and hesitant female voice came over the line.
“Sorry, but whom am I speaking to?”
“I’m calling from the lab here in town, uhm, it’s about the results.”
It took a minute for it all to register, but when it did, I gripped the phone tighter, and my heart began racing with excited anticipation.
“Madam, uhm, madam I’m sorry, but I couldn’t risk my job; your husband’s results were a positive match and the doctor has handed them over to him.”
It felt like I had been punched in the gut, and I collapsed onto the seat, fortunate that it was there, for I would certainly have wound up on the floor.
“What!” I finally managed to gasp.
“I’m sorry; I just couldn’t risk it,” she repeated, her tone pleading and apologetic.
As the shock wore off, and the implications of what this woman was telling me began to sink in.
“What do you mean you’re sorry? I paid you!” I reminded her through gritted teeth.
“Yes, but I’m sure neither one of us wants that investigated; I’m sorry,” she repeated, then hung up before I could respond.
I tried calling back several times, but each of the calls was promptly rejected and I finally gave up, cursing as I threw the phone at the couch in frustration.
This was not happening. Tracy had been right; I had been so confident in my plan, that to see it crumble around me was almost more than I could bear. Now I knew where David was and why he had not called; that realization was the hardest blow of them all.
Maggie, can you share any other writings you have please?