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.
Over the next few days, David and I slipped back into our old routine from before he had moved out, and life slowly returned to normal at the house.
We both went to work every morning and returned at around six in the evenings, in time to have tea and dinner with the children. The children were delighted to have their father back, but things were still tense between David and I and we hardly spoke to each other.
He had insisted on remaining in our room, so nights were particularly awkward, as then there were no children to provide a point of distraction; we skirted around this by going to bed at different times and pretending to be asleep or very busy on our phones when the other arrived.
It was not ideal, but it was better than the past few months, and most importantly, it provided a front for society and even our families, that said everything was great and exactly as it should be.
Of course there were nights when I missed getting intimate with a man – just not with David. I still had not been able to forgive him for his assault, and it had completely killed my physical desire for him.
When I told Tracy about the lack of intimacy in my marriage, she advised me to ‘fake it till you make it’, saying I was wasting a ‘perfectly good specimen of a man’ and that if I did not allow some action back in my bedroom soon, it was a matter of time before David once again sought it somewhere else.
What she did not realize was that I did not actually care anymore if he did – as long as it was not with that whore who had had his bastard!
Since my physical desire for David had died, the thought of him in bed with another woman did not bother me or get me jealous – as long as it did not turn into a serious affair, or lead to a child, for then it became a matter of pride that made me feel like I had lost some unspoken contest. And I was Diane Mujuni; I never lost.
Despite moving back into the house with Diane and the children, I was determined not to give up my life with Julie and our son. I quickly developed a schedule that ensured that.
After work each day, I would pass by the flat on my way back to the house, even if it was just for half an hour. If he was awake, I would carry Junior; if he was not, Julie and I would just sit in the bedroom, talk and update each other on our days; I was glad to see that she seemed to be settling into her new role as mother a lot better.
With each passing day, she seemed more comfortable with Junior, carrying and feeding him, and not trying to constantly pass him off to someone else. It was beautiful to watch their natural bond grow, though at the same time, it made me wish I could be a bigger part of it too.
I missed the relationship Julie and I had shared when I lived at the flat; coming home to her and seeing her delight at my return, sharing a meal she had cooked and talking for hours on end before making love.
It was a far cry from the frigid response I got from Diane when I returned to the house each evening, and it did not help that Diane still would not let me touch her. I was, after all, a normal, red-blooded male, with normal sexual urges and needs.
Since I could not get sex from Julie anymore – with her sister constantly trying to eavesdrop on our conversations, and her mother scowling disapprovingly every time I arrived, there had hardly been an opportunity to share any kind of physical intimacy.
I had hoped that I would be able to eventually get some release from Diane, but that still was not the case, and from Diane’s icy attitude towards me, it did not look like it would change anytime soon.
Although I had found a way to keep Julie and our son a part of my life, it was nowhere close to what I needed; I needed more and someway, somehow, I knew I would find a way to get it.
Thank goodness my mum had finally left. I had been at breaking point and was desperate for her ‘visit’ to end.
It wasn’t just her constant picking at small things, or her endless instructions on how to properly care for Junior - “don’t hold him like that”, “he’s not warm”, “cover his head”, “don’t let him fall asleep while suckling” – the apartment had become too small for three women (and a baby).
Besides that, even though David passed by every day, his visits were very brief and I was sure she had been the main reason for that.
I missed being able to snuggle up against him, his strong arms wrapped around me, I missed watching him enjoy a meal I had prepared; I missed ‘us’.