Life and General Fiction StoriesSeries

Comfort in Affliction (Part 2)

Continued from the last part
Luckily the room had two beds, so the question of sleeping on the same bed with her was instantly settled. She seemed to be very much at ease with the whole arrangement, and was comfortably unpacking and singing to herself.

“What’s your name?” she asked after some minutes.

“Chris. And yours?”

“Nancy.” Then we were quiet again. I tried refraining from asking the question, but after five minutes, I couldn’t help it.

“How can you be so relaxed when you’ve been thrown into this most awkward situation?” I eventually asked her when she was done packing and I was just about started.

“Why shouldn’t I be happy? I mean, it’s not like there’s anything I can do about it. Not unless you want to give me money to rent another room.” She dropped that last statement with a wink, and took off her blouse. That made my eyes to pop out of their sockets. What was this woman up to? And what kind of joke was fate playing on me? Is my fidelity to my wife being tested by forces unknown?

She went into the bathroom and I focused on unpacking my clothes. We were scheduled to meet with the new partners by 5.30pm; by 6.45pm, we were seated in the expensive restaurant with the two men who we were to meet. They had hard stony faces, and barely responded to pleasantries before delving into the issue at hand. We spoke for two long hours, reviewing different causes for the breach and proffering diverse solutions.

“Since we are dealing with a probable case of fraud and embezzlement on a grand scale, why not audit the records of everyone who comes in contact with money? And if possible, track the movement of the the finances since the problem was noticed?” That was Nancy. Her idea was so brilliant that even the unsmiling people before us had to smile. I furtively shot a glance at her, marvelled at her ingenuity in providing a workable solution to the current problem.

Later on, when our meeting ended, she suggested that we go for some drinks. Since I saw no harm in that, I agreed. We spent the next one and half hours drinking and getting to know each other. She told me a lot about herself; she had a double degree—one in Accountancy and the other in Business Administration, she also was a widow. Her husband was a soldier who had been killed in the line of duty. Talking to her, I was awed by her easy grace and kindness. She was someone you could comfortably talk to, and I was sorely tempted to pour out my heart to her, but I chose not to—she probably had her own problems, and it would be wrong to bore her with mine.


“Chris! Chris! Wake up!” I was rousted by her shouts of my name. When my eyes cleared, I discovered that I was sweating despite the air conditioner being on. I was having the same nightmare again.

Nancy was on my bed, her hands held me in a slight embrace. She wore only her night robe, and since my head was propped on the head rest of the bed, her left breast was now brushing my cheeks. I didn’t make a move to seek a better position, since my main problem was my nightmare and nothing else.

“Was it another nightmare?” she cooed. I nodded, and she added, “Oh dear. Can you talk about it?”

And so I did. I told her not just about the nightmare, but also about cause of it all—I told her about my son Chika and his death at the hands of my wife.

“I was a happily married man with a wonderful son who I loved with everything I had in me. Normally, I and wife used to alternate bringing back our son from school. If I bring him back today, then the next day, my wife will bring him back. On that fateful day, it was the turn of my wife to bring Chika back. I was busy in the office, and comfortable in the knowledge that everything was all right. Little did I know that everything was horribly wrong.

“Around 6pm, my wife called me and informed me that Chika was nowhere to be found. When I asked her if she went to pick him up from school, she gave me the flimsy excuse that she was making her hair and forgot that it was her turn to bring him back. Can you imagine? Anyway, we scoured the whole town for him, but couldn’t find him. It wasn’t the classical case of kidnap for ransom, because we weren’t contacted for any form of payment.

“Then three weeks later, one of the policemen involved in the case found his body in a bush at the outskirts of the town. He was mutilated and his vital organs removed. His death was the death of the love I had for my wife; I never forgave her, but strangely, I still love her.”

After telling her everything, I burst out crying, and she held me. She didn’t say anything, but just held me. On my part, I held her, and was crying profusely on her shoulder. Then things changed. She started kissing my neck and running her hands all over my body. At first, I didn’t get what she was doing, but when she rolled on top of me and started kissing me, I didn’t stop it either. I kissed her back in full force and tore off her night robe. A part of me warned me about cheating on my wife, but I paid no heed. I needed to find release from all the pain I’ve bottled up over the years, and this was the perfect means and opportunity to do so.

I removed my shirt as I plastered hot kisses on her neck down to her beautiful breasts. I stood up, wanting to pull off my shorts when the door was kicked open. Standing at the door was my wife, Mandy with a huge man beside her. She looked nonplussed and merely came inside the room, sat down and said,

“Nice work Nancy. Here’s your cheque.” To my horror, Nancy—the same person I just poured my heart out to—stood up and collected the cheque being offered by my wife. She then gave me a peck and left the room. I was consternated; that means that my wife had, in a very twisted way set me up. And I had fallen for it.

“How are you Chris?” she asked without any emotion on her face. When I didn’t answer, she continued, “I guess we both have some explanation to do. Only that I’m not sure you can still speak.”

“Why did you do this?” I managed to whisper.

Read Part Three.

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