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.
Other than the fact that I was exhausted from the hunt for Julie’s apartment, the other reason I had refused to go see her, was so that I could get home before Diane went to bed, and move some of my personal effects from the master bedroom as she had suggested that morning.
I was, therefore, surprised to see that her car was not in the driveway, yet it was almost 10pm. Where could she be? It was a weeknight, so highly unlikely she had some event to attend, and I could not think of any other innocent reason she would not be home yet.
Then out of the blue, another explanation came to mind; what if she was with another man? After all, I had turned to Julie because of my dissatisfaction with our marriage. Maybe she had felt the same way, and done the same thing! Why else wouldn’t she be here at this time?
Unless she had left me… maybe she had felt she could not forgive me for the other night, and had packed up and left? With the cheque that I had given her, she could afford to leave and start afresh, and since we were not talking, it was not far-fetched to think she could leave without telling me.
As this thought grew and took a hold in my mind, I locked up the car, and hurried to the house. In my haste I fumbled to unlock the front door, but when I finally did, I made a beeline for the children’s bedroom; if the children were there, she had not left.
When I opened the first of their rooms, and saw Stacy and Samantha fast asleep, I breathed a quiet sigh of relief - the children were here. She would be back. With my mind settled on that score, I went on with my original plan, and proceeded to the master bedroom to get my stuff moved.
As we often did, once we were done with business, Tracy and I decided to unwind in a more relaxed setting, and relocated to a nearby bar. With me having finally gotten the Shs 40m cheque and leaving the bank, there was a double reason for us to celebrate, and I kicked off the celebrations by splurging on a bottle of champagne.
Tracy proposed a toast: “Here is to new beginnings, and the start of a long, happy, and successful partnership. May it bring us great joy and great wealth!”
“I’ll drink to that,” I laughed back as we clinked glasses, and took our ceremonial first sips.
By the time we were done with the entire bottle, it was almost midnight, and we were both ready to call it a night. It had been a great night; I had laughed and smiled genuinely for the first time in ages, and my good mood held as I drove back home.
Everything was going to be alright, I could feel it inside me, and with it, a renewed eagerness for the future.
After David had thwarted my plans by refusing to come over, I did not think my night could get any worse, until it did, thanks to my mother!
I was getting ready to go to bed when she called.
“Hello, Mummy,” I answered the phone in surprise as she normally beeped.
“Hello, Julie; I thought Sara was going to spend the holiday with you. Why did you send her back so early?” she demanded accusingly.
“I explained to her that I wanted her to get ready for school.”
“You mean she couldn’t do that there? You didn’t even send her with money for school shopping; so, how is she supposed to be ‘getting ready for school’?”
“Mummy, I already had this discussion with Sara; I told her I would send money when I get paid.”
“Then you should have kept her until you got it; why send her back here?”
“Because that’s her home!” I snapped, tired of being made to feel like I was on trial.
“Oh, so your home is just for you now. That’s fine! I didn’t know it bothered you so much for your sister to stay with you; I won’t send her again. I struggled raising you alone, let me struggle with your siblings alone too!” she snapped back, then promptly hung up.
I almost called her back to try to make peace with her like I always did, but tonight I could not be bothered. I was miserable because David had not come, my body still ached, and the last thing I needed was a dose of my mother telling me what a selfish daughter I was because I was not doing her job for her!
Her criticism was totally unfair; I spent the largest part of my salary on her and my siblings, only keeping the bare minimum for myself, and yet it still was not good enough. Well, tonight I would let her stew in her self pity, I decided sulkily as I turned off my phone in defiance.