The dark side of the moon.

 

Maryanne was furious. Her baby was crying, and the house adjacent to hers was booming their TV like they were in a concert. Her baby said that her mum had just slapped her and thrown her on the ground simply because she asked for the drumstick.

She took her leso and tied it around her waist and tightened her head wrap, she was ready for war.

With baby in hand, she stormed into the living room where Monica was seated comfortably with her feet on the table. She was watching one of Tyler Perry’s movies, again. Her two daughters were seated by her side still enjoying their dinner.

” Monica, we need to talk.” She said curtly. The woman maintained her position and attention to the screen as if no one had talked to her.

Furiously, Maryanne walked to the TV and disconnected it from the main socket. She could see Monica’s daughters stare at each other as if a fire had broken out.

Monica maintained her position but her eyes moved towards Maryanne. She smiled. ” I’m sure whatever you have to say can wait till we finish the movie, it’s very impolite to interrupt family time.”

” What’s the big idea beating up my son simply because he asked for a drumstick?”

“Well, it’s a good thing you brought him along as I’m sure he only told you one side of the story. Chichi,” Monica called facing her daughter, “can you tell your mother what happened.”

“Dan wanted another piece of chicken mum. He had already eaten two breasts and a gizzard. But the drumstick he wanted was in plate. He grabbed it and called me a cow. When I confronted him, he threw the bowl with hot soup on my face. That’s when mama came in.”

” Enough child,” Monica said patting her daughter’s head.”You’ve been through enough for one night. Now,” she said facing Maryanne,” I hope you understand why I did what i had to. Maybe next time you can buy enough meat for all of us and not depend on my kindness to feed your child.”

“Monica, I know you have always hated me, but surely that is no reason to treat my son like an animal.”

“Well, if he didn’t behave like one, it would be so much easier to-”

“What is your problem!” Shouted Maryanne.”All I want is a happy family, to live happily and in peace-”

“Well I wanted the same thing and you took that away from me,”Monica said calmly. “I married him. He was mine. He swore it would just be us till death, till death! Then he met you. You, who knew from the get go he was married. You, who was blinded by his charm, his money and his promises of a good life. You wanted a man who was already made and in your perfect little life, you thought I would exit my life ad leave you two to be. Where were you when we slept hungry? Where were you when we built this dream, when sacrifices were made. And now, simply because a law was passed where he can marry as many women as he wants, society and the like of you expect us, us who worked towards a happy home, nod our heads and say yes, he can bring in another woman. Am I dead? Is there a void to fill here?”

“Monica, I-”

“I hate you. I hate what you stand for. Your son reminds me each day of the betrayal pushed my way. A betrayal I am supposed to be okay with. A betrayal I am not to forgive because it is legal. I am supposed to live with you, love you and teach you what my husband loves, as if I am dying…And you, you view yourself the victim in this situation? Well, my dear sister, soon enough he will tire of you like he did me, and then, only then, will you know how it feels to be me.”

Maryanne stood glued to the ground. Her mouth felt dry. She just stared at Monica, her face showed it all. Her mouth spewed hate but her eyes showed pain. She looked tired, lonely and bitter. She remembered the first time she met her. She was full of life, bubbly, confident and genuinely happy. In her own quest of happiness, she changed this woman’s life. At that moment, she realized Monica had a right to make her miserable as she was mourning her life as she knew it.

She held her son’s hand, squeezed it tight. This transition was not going to be easy.

“Sorry for interrupting your show,” Maryanne said picking her son. “Have a good night.”

Maryanne walked towards her room holding her son tight, fighting the tears that wanted to escape her. Tomorrow will be better, she thought. Tomorrow must be better.

Winner to Woman

Dear Dan’s wife,

I hope the title fits well since it seems you’ve forgotten your name.

Thank you for your email which I received.

You sure can throw yourself a pity party. How dare you come off to me like that. For years on end you had him and you chose to ignore him throughout. You chose not to work for your marriage, and now, when he’s finally fed up, you wake up. And in your waking you decide to write to me, instead of talking to your husband!

Yes, when I met him, I knew he was married. He did not hide it. But when he spoke of you, of his family, a sadness hit his eyes. He needed an ear, a friend, and we started off innocently. I’m in my mid thirties, very single and here was a man who was great company. Yes, we went overboard and I regretted it. I tried to pull away, start a fresh life, but he kept coming back. And you know Dan, it’s too hard to say no.

You see, we fell in love. Madly, deeply, stupidly in love. He learnt from his experience with you, and from what you guys went through, we shall both be better for each other.

Dan loves you still, he loves his children, and I accept that. He won’t divorce you if that’s your biggest fear. But he’s not leaving me either.

You see, he’s planning on having me as a second wife. He hasn’t told you yet but he’s already come to see my parents and is just waiting for a date to come see the elders.

I’ve met your mother in law. She knows. So long as you’re taken care of and happy, we have her blessings.

I am not going anywhere and you have to accept that. Accept that your arguments and nagging and resentment towards each other bore me. I may be the unwanted link, but my presence in this family has created calm and a more conducive environment.

So I’m sorry. Sorry that you’ll be having  a co-wife, no woman ever wishes for. I’m sorry you had to find out this way. I’m sorry that I fell for him, and that now we are here.

So I hope you’ll find it in your heart to forgive me, and accept what is coming our way. I know this sounds like a long shot, but I do hope we’ll be friends some day.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a lunch date with our husband.

Sincerely,

Kayla

Future Co-wife

Woman to Woman

Dear Kayla,

I know, this is strange, it caught you off guard. You were not expecting to hear from the wife of the man you’re sleeping with any time soon. After all, you’ve been careful haven’t you? You’ve been protecting my husband’s image from the children and that’s why you had to keep it on the low, right?

I bet he gave you that sad sappy story of how I changed and he feels like he doesn’t know me anymore. He told you he’s stuck in a loveless marriage with a complete stranger for the sake of the children and that he was avoiding bad publicity and court cases, right? Well, a bit of it is true, if he were to divorce, the court case would be very nasty.

Kayla, let me talk to you woman to woman instead of finding a ratchet way that will embarrass us both. I’m sure you’re a good woman, hard-working, beautiful, funny, smart. I wouldn’t expect less of Dan considering he’s been with you for months. You know how this cycle works; you get married with high expectations. They are met for a year or two before responsibilities start weighing you in. Soon, you pull in your resources and business becomes the norm of the day. Then the children come in. The little time you had to yourselves is now shuffled with diapers, maids, relatives and businesses. You forget to talk to one another and before you know it, you don’t know the person you share abed with.

I will admit that we both messed up. We got drawn in to other things we forgot who we were. I focused more on being a mum and forgot that he needed my attention too. Before I knew it, the bar became his second home and then he met you. You became his companion, his friend, his comfort. You took my role and you fell for him.

As I write this, I do not blame you. I do not blame you for falling for him. He is, after all, a charmer and the kindest soul I know. But you need to know me Kayla, know that I am a person and not just a role in his life.

I’m his wife, his partner, his friend, the mother to his children. I have been by his side for twelve years and hope to do so in the future as well. You see, I haven’t given up on Dan. He’s my husband, my family, and I will do everything in my power to make it work.

So, woman to woman, I am sorry that you got into this mess. I am sorry that I was not there for him when I needed to be. Had I been there, he would not have come to the bar that night, and you two would have never met, and you wouldn’t find yourself in this predicament your are in. I’m sorry Kayla, but Dan is mine and has always been mine. I’m sorry for the heartache and pain coming your way, but he remains mine.

So, woman to woman, I will fight for my life as I know it, and I hope you’ll be woman enough to realize that there’s more to love than just love.

Sincerely,

Dan’s Wife.

Bye Bye Fridays

The house was settled, in a dull way. It was full, but most of the patrons chose to remain silent. Mama was by the long sofa, with aunty Mary by her side comforting her. She was wailing softly, shifting back and forth on the sofa. It had been two weeks already and every time we had guests, she maintained the same posture.

I thought she was tired, but she had to keep appearance. She didn’t want to be termed as the woman who never mourned her husband.

Papa was forty five when he died. His death came as a shock to most, but I believe he had prepared us…somehow. Just a month before his death he went home with mama and showed her where he’d like to be buried. Two weeks before that he called me and talked to me as a dying man would to his family. He said, “Child, you have been strong and independent, don’t shut people out too much. I want you to find someone who can equal your strength, a man you can fulfill and build you to the person you can be.” But I thought it was his drunk talk, papa called a lot when he was drunk.

Why, he even went to visit grandma. They spoke of death that day, he jokingly said how shameful it was for a parent to bury a child, instead of it being the other way round. Grandma told him not to worry, that she had blessed him with long life. He laughed and said her blessings meant the world to him but if the gods decided otherwise, her blessings meant nothing.

You see, Papa did not believe in God. The last time papa went to a church, not for a function, but a service, was when he was twenty two. He went to church to ask God to provide for his new family. His work was stressful and money was scarce. And him being the only educated sibling, his family relied on him greatly. He finished his prayers and walked out the church feeling fulfilled. But then, right in front of the church, he got robbed. They took his wallet, his trousers and with them his car keys. From a distance he could see a clergy man pepping from his office window, doing nothing. He got robbed in the house of God and nobody helped him! He got back to his feet a year later from his own hard work, side deals and no prayer. He said the world was no place for God which was in great contrast to mama.

So you see, I was born and raised in a world of conflict. One parent thought it was okay not to have faith, while the other clung to it. One said I could go out dancing while the other forced me to wear tights under my trousers. I was bound to be a mess, or at least meet someone as confused as I was.

That’s where Jack came into the picture. We met at the University library. He was tall, very dark, handsome and outspoken. He had the whitest teeth that could light up any room. He loved cigarettes and his sweat smelt of tobacco. It’s weird considering I never liked cigarettes but I loved the smell of his sweat. They say you can tell a lot from a man’s sweat, especially his genes. He was bound to produce good kids if you liked his sweat. Call me crazy but I knew he was the one. We’d go dancing on Fridays, go to the park on Saturdays and church on Sundays. Then we’d drink all over again.

Nothing was ever too big or small for him, and I think that’s when I fell in love with him. Things weren’t certain with him but they were good.

So when I heard the news of Papa, he was the first person I called. Told him how drunk he was that night, and it was the heavy rainy season. I narrated how Papa bought rounds for everyone insisted to leave for home when really drunk. He said his wife was angry and if he stayed longer, he’d be paying for a counselor. So he walked home alone and drunk. People guessed with the heavy rains, he slipped on mud, hit his head on a rock and fell into a ditch. He lost consciousness then and must have drowned to death. It was two days later when his body was found floating on water.

Jack made a joke as he did when nervous. “Well, lucky him! At least he went out happy!”

I hung up the phone and expected him to come see me immediately but he never did.

My roommate Rosie told me he passed by two days later and left. She informed him later on their plans to come for the funeral but he never responded. Somehow, I knew he’d find a way to come.

More guests walked into the house to pass their condolences before going back to sit with the mourners outside. I could hear my aunties talking about me, they were saying I was so shaken I was not talking. And I was angry at the world too. Who would pay my college fee now?

It was funny how much gossip spread around in funerals. But I did not care, I knew everything would be fine, with or without Papa.

I wish mama would stop rocking and wailing for just a minute, I thought to myself. Someone handed me a glass of water, which I had not asked for…then aunty Joyce, whom we weren’t even friends held my back as if to embrace me and I snapped.

“Okay, I’ve had enough!”I heard myself shout, “mama, you need to stop rocking like that. We all know you loved him, you don’t need to put up an act for us any more, and you,”I said facing aunty Joyce,”you never once loved my father, you said he’d be better off dead so stop pretending to care or mourn if he’s dead. And if I want some water, I’ll ask for it, stop acting like I’ve just become disabled!”

There were a few gasps in the room. Suddenly I realized what I had done. My father’s coffin was in the middle of the room and I just stared at it. It was Papa’s funeral, not a day to make enemies.

I sighed, apologized and walked into my room.

Rosie was sent in by the women to comfort me. They must have thought I was struck with grief deeply.

But in my head, all I kept thinking was how I was going to punish Jack for not coming.

Babes and Babies

Beep.

Hi.

Beep. Hi

Beep.

How’s your back?

Beep. Still messed up. Think I need a holiday.

Beep.

Lol, you brought that out on yourself. Work is busy today, your end?

Beep. A nightmare, think I’ll be pulling an all nighter today. I’ll call you later, alligator 🙂

Beep.

Bye…have a nice day, xoxo.

“You two should get married already!”teased Melissa who was busy folding jeans at the front counter.

“And kill all the suspense and excitement, I think not,”she answered locking her phone.

“I miss that feeling,”Melissa said sighing. “The only excitement get with James nowadays is when the baby sleeps early and we can look forward to a good night’s sleep. I’m telling you things are so bad a sleep with night cream on and he doesn’t even flinch.”

The rest of the girls at the boutique let out huge laughs. Melissa always had a way with words, she could turn the worst situations into the funniest stories.

April smiled. She was sure that things would never get there with Gilbert, and even if they did, they would find a way to make things work.

This was their eighth month together. She remembered the day he walked into their store, at that time she was based in their Hurlingham branch. He was looking for holiday shorts and at a good price. She helped him pick out his and his sister’s. He came back a month later to thank her and ask her out on a date. He was funny, charming, very considerate and sweet. Nothing had changed since then and she felt like the luckiest girl alive.

She always compared him to her ex boyfriend, Timothy. He was always broke, always wanted to stay at home and never was a gentleman when they went out. To him, visiting Njuguna’s and eating nyama choma with his boys was considered a romantic night out. He always called just to know where she was and never make plans after. His airtime always ran out and he’d send her those annoying ‘please call me’ texts. In his defense, he was a hustler. He was a junior accountant with KCB and had many ‘life changing’projects going on. He started with the movie store but the girl he hired  stole from him till he closed shop. Then he started the goat selling project which also flopped when Kenya meat commission rejected his goats and he had to sell them at a loss. Then he took out a loan to buy land and resell it at a profit two years on. But the land wrangles in the country considered his plot grabbed land and he was stuck with a loan to pay off.

But he loved her a she always said. Her biggest problem was the desire for the good life too early he said. He always reminded her that her father bought his first luxury car when he was forty two, not twenty seven. He asked to meet her family but she could not bring herself to do it. She saw the hard life they would go through first and she could not handle it.

On the other hand, Gilbert was thirty three, with his own company and no baggage. Sure, he had his own problems but he knew better than to weigh all of them on her now. He gave her space and rarely slept over at hers.He would ask how her day was before asking where she was and never got suspicious of a night out with the girls. Sure, he had never said he loved her but actions spoke louder than words, right?

“April, stop day dreaming and go attend to that customer,”hissed Melissa, “the boss will be check out the CCTV today and trust me, you don’t want to be that idle girl today.”

April put her phone down and quickly walked on to the expectant lady.

“Hi madam, welcome to our boutique, what are you looking for today?”

The woman looked at her and smiled. “Hi April,”she said looking at her tag. “We may need a chair later on, I might be here for a while.”

She needed baby clothes, more maternity wear and jewelry.

True to her word, an hour passed and she was seated. Pregnancy had the ability to tire the strongest of women she said. She kept looking at her phone somewhat annoyed.

“Is everything okay ma’am?” April asked concerned.

She sighed. “My husband, he was supposed to be here twenty minutes ago…and my patience has become very thin with this child I’m carrying.”

“Why don’t you just call him?” April suggested. “Find out what’s keeping him.”

As he phone went through, April went through the aisles picking out more dresses for her client. From a distance she could hear the conversation. He wanted her to go to another boutique. Apparently theirs was not good enough. But the wife put her foot down, saying she found a few things she liked. She hung up shortly with a smile on her face.

“He’s coming. I think I’ll try on a few dresses now,”she said walking towards the changing room.

April carried all the dresses picked out and took them to her cubicle. All those clothes would mean a pretty good commission for her and she was happy.

She picked out ten dresses and came out to choose baby clothes.

As April was adding on the dresses to her cart, she saw a familiar face walk into the store, with a bouquet of flowers. She smiled at him and he smiled back walking towards her.

Gilbert was such a sweet man she thought. Melissa, who was behind him, was gushing with excitement pointing at him.

“There you are…”said a sweet voice behind April. “I cannot decide between the lavender and green of this outfit…”

“Why don’t you take both?”Gilbert said moving towards the woman and kissing her on the lips. “These are for you,”he said handing her the flowers.

Melissa had both hands to her mouth now. She was stunned. 

April had her back to them. She couldn’t believe it. He walked right past her like he didn’t know her. Maybe he had a twin.

“Gilbert, we’ll miss the parenting class today…”

No, no no…he couldn’t have a twin with the same name….April felt dizzy. She wanted to run, lock herself somewhere and scream.

Melissa walked towards her. “April,”she said softly. “You go get some air, I’ll take it from here.”

As she walked away, she heard Gilbert’s wife call her out. “April, where are you going?”

“I…I’m not feeling so well ma’am…”she said trying to smile. “I need to go get some air but you are in good hands with Melissa.”

“That’s a shame,”she said smiling. “I really liked you. Hopefully we’ll meet again.”

Beep.

How could you do this to me?

Beep. I knew.

Beep.

Knew what?

Beep. Knew that you were sleeping with my husband when I was pregnant. I came to this store so that you could see for yourself that Gilbert is a married man, a happily married man. He does not need you and frankly, I do not need the drama. Stay away from my husband or next time, I won’t be so subtle.

From the staff’s kitchen, April could see Gilbert and his wife walking out the store, him carrying the luggage, and her, holding his phone with a smile on her face.

She saw April and smiled. She waved at her as a person would their friend. “Bye April, it was really nice meeting you…”

And with that, she was gone.

The day she lost it all.

Lots of commotion could be heard in the house as George drove into the compound. He wondered what the fuss was about.

He’d received a phone call from Amina, his girlfriend, asking him to pass by quick. From her voice, he couldn’t tell whether she was happy no sad. But from the laughter in the house, he felt somewhat relived that he was about to receive good news.

Image

As soon as he got out the car, Amina rushed out the house and ran towards him excitedly.

“Hi boyfriend,” she said cheekily planting a kiss on his lips. “You want to know why today is a good day, huh? Huh?”

He smiled holding her by the waist, “Tell me.”

“Your girlfriend just got a job as the head Linguistics with the UN….”She was grinning hard now. “The letter was in the mail all this while. Baby, we got in, we finally got in!”

“Whoa…that’s amazing!” he said lifting her up. “I’m so happy for you babe.”

“Come on, let’s go inside, mother’s ecstatic.”

The excitement and energy that filled the house was overwhelming. Amina’s aunts had come to visit too and all the women were gushing and laughing that their first born had set a good pace for the others.

Now that she had a job, the aunts hinted, Amina should marry soon. George couldn’t help but smile. All the men had disappeared without a word, leaving him in the women’s mercies.

Despite the two religious backgrounds, both their families accepted them as they were. They made each other better people and that’s all that mattered.

George changed the topic quickly by mentioning the word ‘soon’ then skipped on to festivities. Shopping needed to be done to feed the crowd. They were near a Shopping mall so he offered to go, so long as Amina accompanied him.

On the way to the mall, Amina excitedly spoke of her next step in life. In two months, she would have saved up enough cash to move out, have her own place and eventually start investing as they waited to see what the future held for them.

He smiled. They had been dating since college and he had seen how much work it took to get her to where she was. He remembered the huge fight with her father when she said she wanted to quit medicine and study languages. The fighting hurt her but she stood her ground. Then she introduced her christian boyfriend to her family! Her father almost disowned her but she still stood by him and with time, the resistance died down. She was a strong character and he was lucky to have her by his side.

George was a doctor who had his private practice. From time to time, he volunteered with the Red Cross when he could and believed in making the world a better place for everyone. The thing he loved most about Amina is that they shared these ideologies, and they were bound to do great things together. What she didn’t know was that he planned to propose by the end of the year.

They had arrived at the mall and they dashed straight into the supermarket, hand in hand. Within five minutes, they had a trolley half full, with sodas left to go.

As they walked close to the fridge, they heard a huge bang from outside. Then another, and another.

Panic filled the room. Amina was scared and other shoppers started questioning what was going on.

“Probably thieves robbing a bank or the Casino,”said one woman casually as she proceeded with her shopping. “Nothing to worry about really.”

George was skeptical. “Stay here as I go find out what’s happening.”

“No,”said Amina holding him back, “It may be dangerous…”

Their conversation was cut short by a crowd of attendants who ran into the store for safety. “Terrorists! Run for your lives!” They shouted as they ran for the fastest place to hide.

“What?”said Amina as fear engulfed her. “George, we have to hide.”

They abandoned their shopping tray and looked for the safest place to take cover. People hid behind trays, bottled water and in the supervisor’s office. George moved towards the fridge and pushed it from the wall leaving a space. He beckoned Amina to hide in the space as he carried trays of fruit to conceal the space.

As he was about to place the last tray, a huge bang was heard in the supermarket. They were here. He quickly placed the tray and moved in next to Amina. She was praying in whispers.

He could tell she was afraid as the bangs got louder and closer. Screams could be heard as people took their last breathe. He was confused. What would make one go through such madness?

Image

They could hear the footsteps closer to them. It was as silent as death. One of the men took a soda fro the fridge and opened it. They heard him sit as his companion walked towards him.

“How many shots have you taken?” he asked him in Swahili.

“I don’t know,”said the other opening his own drink. “I lost count after the Cafe. These idiots were running in a straight line making it too easy.”

“I spoke to Ahmed just now, he says there was a cooking competition upstairs, so many women and children dead.”

They were silent for a short while, as if taking it all in. “It has to be done my brother,” said one of them getting up. “They never spared our women and children when they attacked our country.”

They were both standing now. One of the two spoke out in proper english, “If there is anyone alive out there, please come out. We will release you, we have killed enough people for today.”

Amina pressed George’s hand who resisted and told her to wait.

The man repeated the same statement again, and soon, they could hear a group of women walking towards the two men.

From their accents, George could tell one was a French national. “Here is all my money, my phone and car keys,” she said with fear. “Please take everything but spare my life.”

“When your government aided this government with funds, did they spare anybody’s life? Why should I do the same to you?”

After that statement, gun shots were heard and within a few minutes, silence was heard.

Amina was desperate now. “We should leave now, before they get back.”

“No,” George said sternly. “We stay here until help comes our way.”

“George, that could take days!” she said overly emotional.

“Shh! Keep your voice down, you do not want to alert them we are here. didn’t you hear what they said to that woman? They are out to kill Amina, I won’t risk our lives like that.”

And so they stayed behind the freezer, cold afraid but together. Hours passed and they fell asleep.

They were woken up by the huge ring of a mobile phone. It was Amina’s. She couldn’t find it fast enough, it was in her purse. Panic gripped her as she looked for the phone to silence it, but was too late, they could hear the footsteps coming their way.

“I can’t find it George,” she muttered as tears trickled down her cheeks. “It’s too dark…”

Sprays of bullets ran across the fridge. George pushed Amina to lie on the ground, but it was too late for him. A bullet caught him by the head as he tried to lie down himself.

Amina, on realizing what had happened, let out a huge cry.

The terrorists moved the fridge over to identify how many people remained. On seeing her, they halted. Her phone still rang.

“You,” he said pointing the gun at her,”get up.”

Amina stood, trying to muffle her cries. She knew she was about to die so she whispered a prayer as she counted her beads.

Her observed her cynically, looked at her blood stained hi jab and the beads she counted.

“You are Muslim,”he stated factually. “Get out.”

Amina couldn’t believe her ears. “What?”

“Carry your belongings and walk out,” he said sternly. “And do it quick before I change my mind.”

Amina grabbed her bag and tried to lift George’s lifeless body.

The man with the gun looked at her and laughed. “Leave the body, Allah protects those He loves. There is nothing you can do for him.”

“He is my husband,” she said crying,”He deserves a proper burial.”

“Get your belongings and go,”he said pointing the gun towards her. “Now you feel the same pain our women felt when you sent your soldiers to kill defenseless innocent people. You shall remain testimony of what war does to people.”

Amina walked away, tears in her eyes as the man escorted her out.

“Killing people will not replace your loved ones, and neither will it end the war,” she said out loud from the pain in her heart.

“I know madam, but it will make people listen and feel what we felt,” he said. “From here on, you are safe, run to the exit where your people wait for you.”

As soon as the words were said, Amina lifted her hands in the air and ran for her dear life.

True to his word, the Kenyan army stood by the entrance, supported by the Red Cross taking on the survivors. They placed her on a stroller and pushed her towards an ambulance.

Her phone was still ringing, and this time, she found it. It was her mother.

“Amina?”

“Oh mother!” she shouted out loud as her tears flowed continuously and her cries grew louder.

Damn you

Toby stood next to her in the chill bar. He was telling a joke and she was laughing. He still couldn’t figure out what had changed her mind this time round.

This had been the first time she had said yes in eight rounds. He had gone from the serious, to the casual, to the extremely funny and cheesy ways of asking her out. And she had finally said yes.

Annabelle sat there, sipping on her wine and laughing at his jokes. All those months she had seen him in the office, she had never imagined he would be so full of character, and life. None of his jokes were too cheesy, they had gone through dinner laughing it off, and not once in the entire date had she picked up her phone.

She could tell that this one was a keeper. Just like Will.

She sighed. Just like Will he kept her at ease. He was funny, sweet, charismatic and real. He did not let her have preferential treatment just because she was beautiful, she had to fight for him.

She had to go to the bathroom.

Dammit William, she thought to herself, every time I meet someone good, you always have to seep in and take away my joy. “Damn you!” she cursed out loud.

A cubicle opened and she felt embarrassed by her outburst.

“Everything okay?” asked the lady casually as she washed her hands.

“Yes, thank you,” she said smiling. “Just one of those nights.”

She smiled politely and left her there.

Annabelle sighed, powdered her nose and walked back to her date, fighting every part of her from thinking about him. She would have a good night, she deserved it.

*********************************************************

Annabelle was home. Toby had just dropped her by her gate and watched her leave, like a proper gentleman.

She knew that there would be another date, he was exactly what she needed.

“Had a good date?” she heard a voice near the bushes by her door.

She was not scared, she knew exactly who it was.

“What are you doing here?” she asked angrily. “You shouldn’t have-”

“Tell me,” he said standing up, drawing closer to her,”does he make you laugh like I do. Does he make your toes curl like I can?”

“William, you need to leave,” she heard herself say. “You need to leave now.”

“Why are you so scared Anna?” he said standing right in front of her. She could feel his breathe on her forehead. “What…are you so afraid of?”

He was holding her face on his palm now. Her eyes were closed, he tilted his head kissed her softly on the lips. It was a lingering kiss, the kind that lead to more than just a kiss.

Before she realized what had happened, her bag and keys were on the ground, and her frame was pinned against her door and William.

She pushed him away, she pushed him hard. She felt weak.

“Go home Will!” she shouted. “I don’t deserve this, your wife does not deserve this!”

“Anna, I-”

“Just go Will,” she said, unable to look him in the eye.

He picked his coat and turned to walk away.

“Nothing will change between us Anna,”he said softly. “You will always be mine.”

As he started his car, Annabelle’s last strength escaped her, and she sat on the ground, with tears flowing down her cheeks.

“Damn you William, damn you!” she shouted as the tears cascaded more freely now.