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Three is a crowd: What will make Julie go away?

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

The next morning, I woke up early, eager to be discharged and get out of the hospital and back to the flat, but Kenneth made me wait, not showing up until well after ten.                                        

We had not seen each other since I had told him off the previous day, and he was obviously still smarting from the encounter; he was cold and distant as he went through my charts one final time, then signed my discharge forms and left the room without so much as a ‘goodbye’.

I was sad it had come to this; after all, he had saved my life and was still my doctor – a great doctor at that – so, I would rather we had been able to maintain a good relationship, no matter what our personal differences were.

That it had deteriorated so far, so fast, was a shame and I told myself that once things had settled down a bit, I would try to fix it. For now though, I just wanted to get out of there; so, picking up my phone, I called David.

DAVID

Since the next day was a Sunday, we all slept in and were having a late breakfast as it approached eleven when Julie called.

Although she was studiously avoiding looking me in the eye, Diane had come downstairs to join the children and I for breakfast, and she raised her eyebrows after glancing at the screen. I quickly excused myself and walked out of earshot to take the call.

“Hello,” I answered, as I stepped out into the backyard, while glancing over my shoulder to make sure I had not been followed.

“Hi! I’ve been discharged,” Julie announced brightly.

“Great! Give me twenty minutes,” I replied, then quickly hung up and returned to the dining room.

“I’ve got to step out for a few minutes, but I’ll be back soon,” I announced apologetically to the children, when I got back in.

“Where are you going?” Stacy demanded.

“Can I come with you?”  Samantha asked hopefully.

“I have to check on something at the office,” I lied to Stacy, then turned to Samantha, “Not this time sweetheart, but I’ll be back soon and we’ll go out then.”

“Aren’t offices closed on Sunday?” Daniel remarked quietly, an undertone of accusation in his voice, and I knew he was not as easily fooled as his sisters.

“The office never closes; there’s always someone there,” I corrected him, then repeated my promise. “I’ll be back soon.”

“Alright,” he shrugged, a tad disrespectfully, then turned back to his breakfast.

I knew he did not believe me, and that I should deal with it – that and his disrespect – but I did not have the time to do it then. I would deal with it when I got back, I told myself, and instead took one last swig of my coffee, ruffled the girls’ hair, and left.

DIANE

I woke up with a hangover the next morning and would have liked nothing better than to stay in bed all day, but when it got to ten and I heard David and the children up and about, I forced myself out of bed to go freshen up and join them for breakfast downstairs.

David had spent the night in the guest room, thankfully respecting my request not to be disturbed, but I did not want him to get suspicious or start asking questions about the cause of my self-isolation.

So, like Tracy had advised, I tried to act the way I normally would – which included having breakfast with him and the children on Sunday morning.

They were already at the table when I got there, but the girls were so focused on their father they barely noticed my presence, and only spared me a quick, distracted ‘good morning’. Ever the loyal, thoughtful one, only Daniel went on to ask about my headache.

“It’s much better, thank you sweetheart,” I thanked him with a peck on his forehead, just as David’s phone rang.

From the way he glanced at the screen, then quickly excused himself, I just knew it was that b***h calling, and had to bite my tongue to stop myself from making a snide remark at his reaction. When he returned moments later and said he had to go out for a while, my blood boiled; how dare he!

As though it was not bad enough that he spent all week away from his children, with that whore, now he was running to her on a Sunday, like a dog being summoned by its master, just because she had called!

To top it off, he expected the children to just take it and patiently wait for him to be done with her before he could return to them, as though they came second to her!

If only that stupid poison had been more effective, I thought to myself with a bitter sneer, as he practically dashed out to his car.

margaretwamanga@yahoo.com

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