(CONTINUED FROM LAST ISSUE)
“This month I only have the Shs 400,000, I’ll see what I can do next month,” I told my mother on the phone, tiredly.
“Alright; I don’t know what I’ll tell the landlord, but let me try. You know I spent a lot on your school fees when you were growing up; I used to spend sleepless nights looking for money for you children,” she changed the subject.
“Yes, Mummy, I know,” I had heard this story a million times. “I used to tell myself, ‘let Juliet finish then she will help me’.” “I know Mummy; I do what I can.” “Yes, you should help me now that I’m old.” I did not point out that she was still in her forties; “Yes Mummy.”
“Alright, let me go, I have a customer.” “Alright, bye, Mummy.” “Bye, Juliet, I’ll wait for your call,” she answered, and without further ado, hung up. Although most of my salary went to her, my mother never asked me about work, how I was, or if there was anything going on in my life. It was always the same “I need money”.
Hardly your typical mother-daughter relationship, but that’s the relationship I have with mine.
Sure, I had noticed Mark’s secretary Julie was pretty, but that was about it; I was always there for business; so, I was always in and out.
Today, however, Mark’s previous meeting had stretched beyond its expected timeframe, and so I had had to wait for about ten minutes while he wrapped it up. It was then that I had really noticed Julie; she had an interesting face, and a vulnerability about her that made one want to cuddle and protect her.
When she was not tending to a client, there was a certain sadness that crept into her eyes; the kind that made you want to ask her what was wrong and then fix it. Her face had stayed imprinted on my mind after Mark and I had finished our business, and it was still on my mind now as I finished my shower and headed back downstairs for dinner.
As the marketing manager of one of the country’s leading telecom companies, my husband David paid a lot of attention to image and status, and didn’t have a lot of time for people beneath him, or women for that matter.
At least on that front, I knew I didn’t have anything to worry about; David wasn’t a cheat. My problem was that he didn’t appear to have time for me and our children either; it was always about work for him.
Ironically, this was the same thing that had attracted me to him in the first place when we first met while at campus, he in third year, I in first; how he had so much drive and ambition.
I knew he would make it in life, even back then; he was the kind of man who would make a solid husband, provide for his family, and build a great home. To top it off, he came from a family of old money; so, there would be no poor in-laws hanging around. I was hooked, this was the man I would marry.
Four years later, a year after I left campus, we were married. That was twelve years ago, and now at 38, David had accomplished all that I had known he would. We owned our home, our three children went to one of the city’s most prestigious schools, we both drove nice cars, and went on annual vacations outside the country.
By any count, I should be happy, but I was not, because as David had grown more and more successful, he had become busier and busier, until there was hardly any of him left for me.
I had all that I thought I wanted, but I did not have the man I had married.
Three Is A Crowd, which commenced in the last issue, is our new, exciting series, after the conclusion of the popular true story, In The Spotlight. Grab your cup of coffee and enjoy with us as we share in the intertwined lives of Julie, David and Diane – Editor.