Fiona sat on the couch with a glass of wine in hand staring at her huge flat screen. Her house was big, and from the decor in the room, it was evident she was a very wealthy woman. Photos of her family hung throughout various spots in the room; her son’s first foot ball game, her daughter’s graduation from high school, her husbands awards for establishing a multimillion company, and her, receiving an award for her amazing fashion line, Devon. But her all time favorite photo was of the four of them. It was taken on a family trip to the Tsavo, seven years back. It was an amazing time in their family, it was time bonds were recaptured, healing made and love sailed through again.
She was watching Dirty Dancing again. She was a romantic and couldn’t help but gush every time Guy picked up Baby to dance…they looked so happy…she mused.
She turned to look at the watch. It was six o’clock. That explained why Mary was in the kitchen. That woman always sang whenever she cooked. At first, that habit used to annoy her, but with the years gone by, it became somewhat soothing. Like the time Jeremy was caught with cigarettes. His father was angry to the point of smacking the boy, and yet, he was only ten years old. An argument ensued between the two, and Fiona found herself agitated, and as always, she rushed for the wine bottle. But as she was about to pour herself a glass, Mary’s voice was heard humming in the kitchen, and she couldn’t help but put the bottle down. Her voice was all the comfort she needed. And soon, she realized, that the same voice soothed her son and encouraged him to stop the bad habit.
Today however, Mary’s voice was not enough to heal her. She took another sip, and as she went to refill her drink, she realized it was empty.
Picking up the empty bottle, she stood up from the couch and walked slowly to the kitchen to pick another bottle.
Mary, upon seeing the state her boss was in, went silent immediately she walked into the kitchen.
Fiona laughed out loud. “What’s the matter Mary? Keep on singing! Your voice brings life to this house…” She slurred as she trashed the empty bottle.
Mary quit cutting the vegetables and looked at her madam, as she struggled to reach the wine cabinet. She was very drunk, she thought, but she was clever enough not to ask.
Finally she took out a bottle and picked a cork screw to open up the bottle.
“What are you preparing today Mary?” she asked casually as she drank straight from the bottle.
“Er, roast potatoes and stuffed chicken madam, as you had requested,” she replied casually.
“Good, good Mary,”she replied. “Mary…I need you to be completely honest with me, you hear? Your job is at stake here.”
Mary’s heart pounded. She could not afford to lose this job. They paid so well and treated her like part of the family. She had a six year old son at home who depended on her. Her mother needed the money too…the crop season was not good and the harvest had been very poor. Plus she was used to living in the city now, she could not go back to fetching water by the stream…and her classes! She had just begun a diploma course…
“Anything madam,” she said worriedly,”just don’t fire me, I beg of you.”
“For how long have you known?”
She was puzzled. She knew a lot. She knew a lot that the madam and sir did not know. Was it the girl or the boy she meant? It had to be the boy, the little madam was always so crafty…it could not be her.
“Know what madam? I don’t understand,”she said worriedly.
“Oh, you know exactly what I mean…he had to have brought them here, at least once or twice, and you are not dumb Mary, you would know when something out of the ordinary is happening.”
It was the boy! She was right…but what did she mean? She could not afford to tell what was not known, she would lose her commission…
“Madam, I do not understand..”
“My husband, you idiot!” she shouted.”Has he brought any of his lovers here?”
“Madam, I have never seen the man of this house bring a woman here.”
Fiona sighed. “I never mentioned a woman Mary. When my husband come home with his friend Lucas, do they stay in the lounge or do they usually go upstairs to the rooms?”
Mary gasped. Never had she imagined…
The look on the girl’s face clearly told that she had no idea…and she had gone ahead and given her gossip to talk about. But she was livid, at the moment she did not care what people thought, what they said. Her world had changed entirely today. She remembered the parcel delivered three days ago at work. She was in no rush to open it, she had too much work to do. Then today, during her lunch break, she decided to go through her mail…that’s when she saw the photos. Photos of the man she had dedicated twenty three years to in the arms of another man, holding him, embracing him, kissing him, like he did her…
Her eyes whelled up, and she had to push back the tears, Mary could not see her like this.
“If you tell a soul about this discussion I will know Mary, and when I know you shared this with anyone, I will not only fire you, I will destroy you. Do I make myself clear?”
“Yes madam, I won’t tell a soul.”
“Good. Now get back to your duties, and set up an extra two plates in the dinning table, we expect Lucas and his wife to join us tonight.”
“Yes madam,” she said going back to peeling her potatoes.
Fiona went back to the couch with her wine bottle and picked up the remote. She would watch Dirty Dancing one more time.