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Three is a crowd: weekend of changes in the network

(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.

JULIE

I had not realized how much I missed having adult company around until Sandra arrived for the holidays; not only was there the obvious advantage of having an extra pair of hands to help with Junior and chores around the apartment, but just having someone around that I could have actual conversations with, as opposed to endless hours of baby talk, was extremely refreshing.

That was not to say there were not downsides to having my younger sister around; while I loved her dearly, I was used to having my own space; so, having her around me fulltime got me feeling slightly claustrophobic.

Added to that was the sense of loss of privacy that left me feeling like my every move was up for scrutiny; so, I had to watch everything I did and everything she saw or heard – especially in regards to my relationship with Kenneth.

I had not seen him since the night we had made love partially because of his schedule at the hospital, but also because I had avoided him, afraid I would not be able to hide the fact that after he had left that morning, I had had sex with David.

It did not matter that I had not wanted to; I still felt dirty and tainted by it, and had not wanted to bring any of that around the beauty and purity of what I had with Kenneth.

I realized that it was not fair to Kenneth to make love to him one night and then avoid him like the plague over the nights that followed, and the truth was that I missed him terribly.

However, with Sandra around, I could not let him come to the apartment; she did not know about him and I was not about to tell her about him either.

We had been raised in a conservative family, and it was bad enough that I had had a child out of wedlock with a married man; to add another relationship to that would be unthinkable.

In any case, I was the first to admit that my love life was far from conventional or ideal, and as her elder sister, I did not want to be more of a bad example than I already was.

I knew that if Sandra strayed so much as an inch from the straight and narrow path, my mother would blame me for it and say I had been a negative influence. If I was going to see Kenneth at all this holiday, I was going to have to find a way to do so without her knowledge.

DIANE

I had booked the weekend break as retribution for David having hit me, but by the end of our first day at the resort, that was the last thing on my mind and I was genuinely really happy to have this time to reconnect with him.

The resort was right on the riverbank, and we spent most of the first day sitting on our private deck watching the children swimming in the pool, and enjoying the view of the river beyond.

David was on his best behaviour, being kind, thoughtful, attentive and generous; ordering us the finest bottles of wine to accompany our meals, paying for me to go get pampered at the resort spa, and generally reminding me of all the reasons I had married him.

There was no doubt we had hit a rough patch in our marriage, but this weekend break was reminding me of how great things were when they were good, and provided extra motivation for me to keep fighting for what we had.

Further motivation came from the fact that I was certain he was not in touch with that whore, at least not that weekend; I
could always tell when he was, from the way he jealously guarded his phone, even going into the bathroom with it, and the way he constantly glanced at me when he was texting like he was trying to keep track of my exact position to ensure that I did not creep up behind him and see what he was doing.

There was none of that going on this weekend. What I was not certain about was whether this marital bliss would continue after the weekend ended and we returned to our normal lives.

This weekend was a great escape from my problems in that world, but I knew it was only temporary; Tracy and I still had to find a way to get on the same page about the way things were done at the boutique, and the last I had heard from my maid was her mother was even sicker than she had initially thought; so, she did not think she would be able to return anytime soon.

In other words, I would have to begin the hunt for a new maid and go through the whole process of training her on how I expected things to be done in my home, which was never an easy time.

Once all these strains and stresses came back into play, would David and I still be able to maintain the upward turn our marriage was currently on? Only time would tell.

DAVID

Because I was generally a very thrifty person, it was hard to fully enjoy the beauty of the resort and actually relax, as the
thought of how much it was all costing me was never too far from my mind.

While I suppose it was fair to say I was successful and financially stable, people did not realize how large my expenses were; the children went to what was considered an ‘upscale’ school, so their school fees reflected that, and while I owned my house, there were KCCA and security fees, as well as salaries for a maid and gardener, not to mention the apartment I rented for Julie.

Add to that the fact that while Diane no doubt had money coming in from her share of the boutique, she did not contribute financially to the running of our home, and since Julie did not work, there was also the cost of meeting all the other expenses that came with running two homes, from feeding to healthcare insurance, and everything in between, so I definitely did feel the financial pinch of a fancy weekend away.

It was, however, nice to see how much Diane and the children were enjoying themselves; I don’t think I had ever seen Diane as relaxed as she was that weekend.

She smiled easily, had a lot more patience with the children, and was basically warmer and more pleasant to be with. I was certain this weekend away had gotten our marriage back on track and for the first time in a long time, I saw a glimmer of the old Diane, the woman I had fallen in love with, married, had children with and basically started a home with, and when weighed against the money I was spending on this weekend, it was a small price to pay.

margaretwamanga@yahoo.com

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