(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.
I finally managed to see Kenneth after his day shift that Saturday; I told Sandra I was meeting an old school friend for an hour or two, and although that did not leave me with enough time to go to his place for us to have some quality time together, it was better than not seeing him at all.
So, leaving Sandra to babysit Junior, I took a cab to meet Kenneth at a café midway between the hospital and the apartment.
He was already there when I arrived, and smiled as he stood up to greet me with a hug and peck on my cheek.
“Hi; it’s good to see you, I’ve missed you.” “So have I; how are you? How’s work?” “Same old, same old; how’s Junior?” “He’s good, my sister is watching him.” “I’ve missed the little man; you should have come to my place, and that way you could have brought him.”
“I told you that wasn’t a good idea; my sister is around,” I explained patiently.
“That’s the bit I didn’t understand; why couldn’t you tell your sister you were coming to see me?”
“Because my family knows about David, and it would be hard to explain why there’s another man in the picture.”
“So, to them it’s alright for you to be with a married man that treats you like crap, but not a single guy who is totally devoted to you; is that it?”
“Kenneth, please; I didn’t come here to argue; if that’s what you’re going to do, I’ll just go.”
“I don’t want to argue, but I am getting tired of all the hoops I’ve got to jump through to see you. I can’t come to the apartment because of all the cameras David had installed, and now you can’t come to my place because you can’t tell your sister about me; do you see how frustrating that is for me?”
“What do you want me to do? Tell her I’m sleeping with two men at the same time?” I blurted out in frustration.
It wasn’t until the words were out that I realized just what I had confessed to.
“You’re still sleeping with him?” Kenneth asked, a look of such deep hurt on his face that I had to look away and couldn’t answer him.
There was, however, no need to confirm it; my guilty reaction said it all.
When the weekend ended and it was sadly time to return to the real world, I wanted to drop the children at my parents’ place right away.
Without a maid at home, and me having to go in to the boutique the next day, it seemed the best and most logical course of action, but David disagreed.
“Honey, I’m beat and just want to get back to the house; besides, by the time we get back to Kampala, it will be late, and I don’t think your parents will appreciate us arriving at that time just to drop off the children. Let’s get home, and tomorrow morning, you can drop them off on your way to the boutique,” he reasoned, and in spite of myself, I had to admit he was right.
And so, the next morning while David headed to work, I packed the children into my car and headed to my parents’ house.
My parents were as usual thrilled to have their grandkids over, but ever the discerning one, my mother could tell I had a lot on my mind, and walked me out to my car when I was leaving.
“Is everything alright? How are things with you and David?” “Great; they’ve never been better,” I answered brightly.
“Are you sure? You don’t seem like yourself.”
“Yes, I’m sure; I just have some things to work out at the boutique with Tracy, and then there’s finding and training a new maid; so, I guess my plate is pretty full in that sense.”
“Well, I can’t be much help with whatever is going on at the boutique, but if you like, I can arrange for a maid for you from the village. There are lots of good girls there who would be more than happy for the opportunity to come and work in Kampala, and I’ll even vet them personally, and get you the best,” she promised with a reassuring smile.
“Would you really? Thanks Mum, that would be a huge help,” I answered as I hugged her gratefully.
“Consider it done; I’ll have one for you by the end of the week,” she assured me.
“Thank you so much; I really appreciate it.”
“Don’t mention it; now you go on and sort out whatever you need to at the boutique, and leave the maid issue to me,” she smiled confidently, and as she waved me off, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
‘One down, one to go,’ I thought as I drove to the boutique.
Although the weekend away had been Diane’s idea, I returned to work the next Monday feeling refreshed and reinvigorated and by the end of the day, I had accomplished what would normally take me at least two working days to cover.
I was wrapping up for the day when Diane called to let me know she had forgotten to pack some things for the children and was driving back to her parents to drop off the forgotten items; so, she would be home late.
While she sounded really apologetic about it, she could not have known that she had just given me the time I needed to go address my issues with Julie, and that far from being bothered by her lapse, I was actually grateful for it.
“No problem, honey; I’ll pick up a take- away on my way home. Say hi to your parents and the children for me; I’ll see you later.”
“Alright. I’ll try to get back as soon as I can.”
“Don’t worry about it, take your time, I’ll be fine,” I assured her, and after a few more minutes of reassuring her that I was not angry, we hung up and leaving the office, I headed for the apartment.
I was so focused on all I wanted to discuss with Julie that I had forgotten about her sister being there for the holidays until I arrived, and it was not just Julie and Junior in the apartment, but her sister as well.
With her there, I could not bring up all I had planned to, especially since rather than give us some privacy, Sandra stuck around and if anything, was a lot more chatty than Julie was.
There was no way to get the time and space I needed with Julie without being rude, and since it was the first time I was back at the apartment since she had arrived for the holidays, I reluctantly decided to postpone my talk with Julie for another visit.
Feeling extremely frustrated, I left the apartment a little over an hour after I had arrived.