I had not expected what I witnessed. No, it could not be true, perhaps my eyes were playing tricks on me. But wait! It was actually true.
The realisation brought tears to my eyes and I couldn’t help the tears; they seemed to have a life of their own and flowed freely down my cheeks into my mouth, tears of anger, of disappointment, of frustration, salty tears. Unconsciously, I wiped them away.
I was driving, going nowhere in particular, I had no destination in mind; just needed to get away.
I met Fred at a stakeholders conference three years ago and we have been married for a little over six months. I loved my husband, heaven knows I did. We were happy, it was fun, we had fun. The sex was good too, we tried new positions almost every week. My girlfriends said that was one of sure way of ‘keeping your man’—good exciting sex.
It was not entirely physical. We bonded in ways I did not believe were possible. In and out of the bed, we were inseparable. My entire life hung around him. Indeed, we were so close that I wondered how either of us could survive if anything happened to the other. I would shudder and quickly banish such frightening thoughts.
We were the ideal couple, the envy of my friends. Fred was loving, caring and passionate. I was a model wife, making sure he never lacked anything. Where did I go wrong?
Today I had gone to his office to share the news with him. The previous few weeks had been hell for me. Anxiety over my seemingly inability to conceive had almost ruined my happiness. I had run some exploratory tests at the clinic and the results were due today. I took time off from work to visit the hospital. The doctor confirmed my suspicions. I was indeed pregnant after several anxious months. Yes, we were expecting a child or rather I was expecting one. With boundless joy, I drove to his office to share the exciting news.
Fred’s secretary was not at her desk. Nothing unusual about that since it was lunchtime and the security would not let visitors in anyway. I was the Oga’s wife, so…
I shrugged and went straight to his office but what I heard stopped me in my tracks. Moans! Grunts! Ecstatic groans. His door was not latched and I opened it and stepped in.
His secretary was kneeling between his out-spread legs, working vigorously with her mouth. My beloved husband, my Fred was relaxed in his seat, eyes tightly shut, grasping her head with both hands like a lifeline and obviously enjoying a service which I suddenly realized, was not on our menu at home.
I remembered once trying to use Fred’s joystick as lollipop, and how he gently pulled me up and kissed me, saying we should stick to the other positions on the menu. I never went that way again.
He was startled. “Baby I—I…” he stuttered, roughly pushing the girl away and trying to ‘sheath his sword’.
I didn’t wait to hear him out, couldn’t wait.
“Jesus!” the scream brought me sharply out of my reverie. I stepped on the brake, but it was too late. I had hit her. She was dead! I thought wildly. Other thoughts raced through my mind, rapidly, crazily.
What should I do? Drive off or stay? Perhaps she was not dead after all.
As these thoughts were running through my mind, I looked at the side of the road and saw him. I froze.
He clutched the sachet of water like his life depended on it. Barely four years but looking fragile. He was staring at me, no, not at me but right into my soul. In his eyes was fear, pain, hunger, dejection. He was confused and his eyes were asking me questions, questions that I had no answers for. I felt guilty, I was guilty.
“What happened to Mama? Why is she lying on the road? What did you do to her?” his eyes asked, boring through me into my soul.
From a distance, people began to approach. I had to go. It was not a conscious thought, perhaps it must have been in my survival instincts, kicking in during that split second of decision.
Besides, who needs a scandal? I had a lot on my plate already, no need to add to it, I told myself. I reversed the car and raced off, hoping no one was close enough to have noted the car’s number.
I’m sure they are part of the homeless that live under the bridge. Scavengers and street beggars, the dregs of society. But they survive and live well all the time. He will be fine, he will live! I reasoned, perhaps in a desperate effort to rationalize my actions.
Then I looked back, those eyes were still on me. That moment, it struck me like a thunderbolt, the guilt I felt, the look in his eyes would haunt me for a long time.
Forever is a very long time!