Portraits of a Family.

Her heart stung. It hurt so bad she had to curl up to prevent the pain from running through her entire body.

Scientists had got it right, the fetal position was the most comforting to the human race.

Julia cried in silence. She didn’t want to grasp the attention of her family in the other room. You see, today she had just realized how unhappy she was, and how much her perfect little life was a lie.

She was the mother of two beautiful children; Timothy and Ruth. She was the owner of a successful chain of bakery stores around town and had a loving husband. But two days ago, she realized her life was not as perfect as she thought.

 Her sister, Lucy, had come to live with them for the past one year. It made sense for her to live with them while attending school. A cozy home was better than the hostels her school offered.

They had been close at first, her helping out with the chores and playing with the kids…and she got along with Joe quite well.

School was an exciting part of her life and she always had friends around, she was happy, which made Julia happy. That was until she had this mystery boyfriend.

His name was Tony and they met a few years back but nothing had bloomed then. She said she did not want to bring him home until she was really sure how he felt. Julia understood her sister’s choice and never pushed it far. Her sister was a grown woman and could take care of herself.

On her business, profits had increased. Kenyans loved snacking and her stores were strategically placed near the matatu stage.

It was not long before she gained competitors. The beauty with Kenyan markets is that everyone has the same idea as you. Once you push yours through and it seems successful, everyone joins in next to you therefore making the market very aggressive. Julia was now facing three competitors who had all opened up shop next to her.

She had to spend so much time strategizing on how to remain relevant in her business that she forgot about her family. she’s come home to find the kids asleep, with only Lucy and Joe waiting up, each on their computer.

Joe would comfort her, tell her it’s only for a short while and she’d be back with more time in her hands. she couldn’t have asked for a more loving and supportive husband.

That was until work died down and she got back to her usual life.

It seemed like everyone had moved on from her. The children were more independent, her husband talked less and her sister behaved like she was an intruder!

She had to build back her relationship with her family, so she started with the kids. They had play dates, watched cartoons together, tucked them to sleep and in no time, they were friends again.

She moved on to Joe. He had become mysterious and hard to read. He distanced himself and spent most of the time in the living room with the rest of the family. either that or he was in the internet or out with the guys. She tried talking to him, explaining the rift that was slowly tearing them apart, but like most men, he thought she was exaggerating. There was nothing wrong, he said. Sometimes a man needs time apart from his wife.

She agreed with him on that but pointed out that his ‘me’ time had become every time. He apologized and promised to work on it but never changed. He only came to bed when he was sleepy and in no mood to talk. 

She finally suggested that they go see a therapist. He laughed and stormed out of the house. She did not see him again until two days had passed. She therefore decided to go mum on the subject until he was ready to talk.

Lucy had become something else too. She hung on to her phone like it was her source of life. She was always texting or listening to music. From the look of things, she had something to hide.

“So how’s Tony?”

“Who?” she asked startled that her sister was talking to her. It was around five o’clock in the evening. The children were still out playing, the help had gone to the shop and Joe at work.

“You’re mystery guy,”Julia said smiling at her.

“He’s fine I guess.”

“You guess? Did you guys break up or something?”

Lucy sighed and rolled her eyes. Julia let out a laugh.

“My dear Lucy, you have a long long way to go before you understand how to talk to people. I’m trying to talk to you, not investigate your life as you think…”

“Are you happy sis, are you happy with your life?” Lucy asked angrily.

“I’d say so, but-“

“I don’t think you are. I think that you are sad, lonely and miserable. I think you’re money minded and now, that you’ve realized you’re losing everyone you hold dear, your’e trying to suck us back into your sad miserable life!”

“Lucy! Don’t you dare speak to me in that tone or so help me God-“

“It’s me,”Lucy shouted back. “I’m the woman your husband has been sleeping with. I’m the reason why he won’t talk to you. I’m the one he loves, not you!”

Julia was stunned. “What?!”

“Joe and I have been sleeping together for past few months, thanks to you. You always gave us time alone, engrossed in your work. Those days you came home and found us in the living room together, we were always chatting online. I forgot my phone in your room a couple of times but you always thought I was there for your jewelry or make up or something. Joe took me there, we had sex on your bed Julia. You have been the most naive of us two so don’t you dare condescend on me!”


Before she realized what she had done, Julia had slapped her sister. Lucy held held her cheek, dazed by the fact that she had been hit by her own sister.

“I’m moving out,”she shouted tears welling up her face. “I’m going to tell mum what a horrible person you’ve become!”

With that, Julia watched her sister storm out of the living room and into her room.

She sat down. She couldn’t believe what had just happened. Her sister and her husband…what was she going to do?

She locked herself in her room that night as the rest of the family watched TV together. She still had no idea what she was going to do.

Maybe, come morning, she would know what to do, maybe.



2 Comments Add yours

  1. sheerowjoyce says:

    Great job ndoro. Very engrossing. 🙂

    Yours truly,Joyce.

  2. sharon says:


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