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Three is a crowd: All the women of David’s life

David, Julie and Diane share different spaces in one another’s lives, yet their worlds collide on an axis none of them saw coming.

DAVID

Although Diane had said she would be back by noon, she returned after one, and from the amount of shopping she had done, I could see what had caused the delay!

Both the trunk and back seat were full of boxes and shopping bags, and just by looking at them, I could see she had gone all out on my card.

I, however, could not bring myself to blame her; after I had refused to go to her cousin’s wedding with her, and then topped it up by spending the night out, I probably deserved every dent she had made on the card, and so did not even ask her how much she had spent.

Instead, as she insisted on us traveling in my car so that there would be enough space for both the shopping and the children, I got to work with the maid, transferring all the shopping from her car to mine.                         

While her extravagant expenditure did not bother me, this pointless, time and energy-consuming exercise did.

“You should have simply gone in my car in the first place, then we wouldn’t have to spend all this time moving everything,” I grumbled irritably when she complained we were running late. 

“You know I don’t like driving your car; I hate manual,” she whined.

“Then you should have kept in mind that we would need space for the children before you bought the entire supermarket,” I retorted.   

“So, me doing shopping for my parents is now a problem, huh?”                   

“That’s not what I said!” 

“Isn’t it? You think I didn’t hear the sarcasm in your tone? I don’t know what’s happening with you David, but whatever it is, you better sort it out, because I don’t know how much more of this I’m going to be able to take!” she snapped, before stalking off.

It was clearly going to be a long afternoon.

DIANE 

The drive to my parents’ home was one of the most tension-filled drives David and I had ever taken together, and if it were not for the children’ constant chatter, the car would have been silent. 

I could not believe he had had the nerve to complain about how much shopping I had done for my parents, after all he had put me through these last few days!

To me, it was yet another sign that he was changing; the old David was not stingy and never complained about how much I spent, yet here was his new version making sarcastic remarks about me buying ‘the entire supermarket.’ 

Worst of all was that with this visit to my parents, his timing could not have gotten any worse; I knew my mother was already suspicious about the state of my marriage. She had made that much obvious at the wedding; so, she was bound to be on the lookout for any signs that would confirm her suspicions.

My only hope was that the children would keep her occupied enough to distract her from David and I.

JULIE

Unlike my sister, my mother was far more candid when we arrived and she saw the shopping I had done, and had peeped into the envelope that accompanied it.

“Eh, I know it’s not yet time for your salary; so, it looks like you are about to bring me a son-in-law,” she remarked in a teasing, yet questioning tone.

“Maybe my boss paid me early this month,” I answered wryly, not in the least bit surprised that she kept track of when my salary was due. 

“No, the envelope would have been bigger if it were from your salary,” she shook her head shamelessly. “Anyway, thank him for me - I hope I will meet him soon.”   

Refusing to rise to the bait, I simply rolled my eyes and changed the subject; “How is your garden doing? It hasn’t rained much of late, has it?”

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© 2016 Observer Media Ltd