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Three is a crowd: Time for some changes

(Continued from last issue)

David and Diane have been married for years; then there is Julie, the young secretary whose axis collides with the couple’s in ways none of them saw coming.

JULIE

I eventually got my long, leisurely bath when Junior fell asleep a little after nine, and had just climbed out of it when I thought I heard a sound at the front door.

I quickly pulled on a gown and went to investigate. I stealthily approached the living room, my heart racing as I turned the last corner from the corridor, and then exhaled in relief at the sight of David taking off his shoes.

“My God, David, you almost gave me a heart attack!” I exclaimed. He looked up in surprise, clearly not having heard me approach, then smiled as he saw me.

“Hi, sweetheart; why would I give you a heart attack? I told you I was coming,” he reminded me, then straightening up, pulled me close in a warm hug that he sealed with a kiss.

He smelled fresh and of soap; so, he had clearly had a shower at the house, and I could not help but wonder if that meant he had had sex with his wife and had been washing off her scent. Then again, maybe not; you never could quite tell with David.

“Where’s Junior?” he asked as he released me.
“It’s almost ten o’clock; he’s asleep,” I answered, my tone a little sharper than I meant it to be.

David instantly picked up on it.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t make it earlier,” he apologized, then moved on cheerily: “But look, I followed your suggestion and brought some clothes over; so, since I don’t have to leave at the crack of dawn, I’ll be able to see him before I leave for work.”

It was only then that I noticed the small suitcase behind him, and as soon as I did, my previous irritation – and any questions about whether or not he had had sex with his wife vanished. David may have messed up by not coming by right after work, but that one small suitcase more than made up for it.

It showed me that he didn’t just consider this apartment a lover’s pad where he kept Junior and I stored away, but a home for all three of us, and that gave me more confidence than anything else ever could.

DAVID

I could tell Julie was upset by how late I had arrived at the flat, even though she tried –and succeeded – at hiding it rather well. Also just like I had known she would be, she was quick to forgive me, especially when she saw the case of clothes I had come with.

Her eyes literally lit up and while she had seemed almost rigid when I first hugged her upon arriving, when she saw the case, she had hugged me with genuine warmth and enthusiasm, which turned out to be a precursor for how the rest of the night went.

Although I had already had dinner at the house, knowing Julie had cooked, I forced myself to eat again, mentally telling myself that if I kept this up for much longer, I would soon have to invest in a good gym membership to work off all the extra calories.

That, in addition to a regular steam and sauna if I was going to keep up with this dashing from one home to another in the midst of Kampala’s crazy traffic; my nine to five job was extremely demanding, and by the end of each workday, I was already physically and mentally exhausted, without having to drive to not one, but two, different homes.

From the time Julie had gotten pregnant and I had moved her into this apartment, taking on the expense of running two separate households, I had known it would be a challenge, but at the time I had only considered the financial implications of that, which I had been confident I could handle – and I had.

However, once Junior had been born and I had had to start not just financially supporting two homesteads, but dividing my time between not just two women, but children in two separate homes as well, I could feel myself slowly but surely being worn thin.

There was no doubt about the strength of my feelings for all my children, just like there was no doubt about the strength of my feelings for Julie; for Diane, I was no longer too sure.

But it was quickly becoming evident to me that sooner or later something was going to have to give, for there was only so much of me to go around. What that something was, however, remained to be seen.

DIANE

I had Tracy pick me up for the ride to the boutique the next morning, not because I was in a state to get any constructive work done after the night I had had, but because I was desperate to talk to her.

“David left last night,” I announced somberly, minutes after I got into the car.
“What do you mean he left?”
“Exactly that; he packed a suitcase and left!”

“Why? Did you two have another fight or something? Did he say if he was going to come back?”
“Not really, though he did say he was leaving for just the night, and that since we aren’t sleeping in the same bed anymore, it doesn’t really matter where he spends the night.”

“Well, at least that’s a relief; you made it sound like he had moved out of the house completely; him leaving for the night isn’t the end of the world.”
“It feels like it though! I mean, I actually tried to be nice to him yesterday; I served him his tea and dinner, and even invited him back into our bed, and in return, he packed a case and left; so, I don’t even know what to do anymore.”

“How is that nest egg we talked about?”
“It’s growing, but to be honest, I don’t even care about it anymore,” I answered sadly.

“That’s your first mistake! Of course you should care about it, because that’s your security. I know I’ve said this before, but you obviously weren’t listening; so, I’ll say it again – focus on you and the kids and let David do as he pleases. All men stray, he’s not the first and he sure as hell won’t be the last; so, stop crying over it and build yourself up. Trust me, once he realizes you’re doing fine without him, and you’re the confident, successful, strong woman he decided to build a family with, he’ll come to his senses and come running back. Show him you’ve still got all the character traits he fell in love with, and it will just be a matter of time before he returns – he’s not going to come back to fix a broken woman, because there’s nothing attractive about that. Take care of yourself, look good, dress well, make sure the house is in order, and he’ll come crawling back.”

As usual, Tracy made it sound so easy, which I knew from experience it was not, but at the same time, I was out of options and was ready to give anything a try – even something I was not sure I had the strength to do.

margaretwamanga@yahoo.com

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