She looks at me as if she’s wondering if I truly am who I say I am. I know she recognised the car parked in front of her flat since it’s his car. And my car? The Blue Mercedes Benz E350 my husband gave me? Well it’s at home in the garage parked. Thank God I chose the V8; it would have been awkward to park my car next to her white version. It’s bad enough he got us the same perfume and toys but to show her that he placed her at the same level as me, and confirm that fact would be demeaning to me and empowering to her. Side chicks always find balls from the silliest of details. Shit, even the necklace she has on around her throat looks like one of mine, the one he gave me on my birthday. Does he buy everything in pairs? Is that how he keeps us happy? Or maybe it’s how he stays sane. I cringe at the thought of us having similar interests. At least I don’t have the dress she’s wearing. Not even in another colour. And I doubt she has the dress I’m wearing. I look at her heels and smile. So those are the heels he got her? The whole lot of Dubai had nothing else to offer in her size? Pathetic. What the hell has Chuma been up to?
Does she know he made me sick? She must know. She’s probably the one who gave him the disease. Does she know he has beautiful children? Three to be exact with the last born just learning how to walk; the words “mama” and “papa” on his tongue. Does she know I have been through the worst with him? When he had nothing to the point he became who he is today? I swear men are ungrateful. Its like they forget who supported them through the bad times deliberately. Pathetic. And he chose her. This little thing. I hate her but like I said, it’s not her fault but, she made it all worse by accepting him in the first place.
She obviously decides to let me in as she stands aside. Good choice. I definitely am not in the mood to start pushing doors begging to talk. Neither am I in the mood to beat her up. I walk into her home. Well, I can’t call it a house because she has my husband every other month so this house is actually a home. The livingroom is furnished in rich colours of maroon, red with a hint of black – black sofas, maroon curtains, red pillows, maroon carpets and a huge over 50 inch television perched on the wall in front of me. She obviously can’t afford all this unless she loves loans. So it’s pretty obvious her boyfriend, my husband paid for this. All this. And for what? Her fresh twigs for legs that she opened every time he came over? Does she know what kind of positions he likes in bed? Or did he give us assigned roles. The mistress, all kama sutra bed breaking moves, while I was stuck with the missionary I’m always tired position. I’m so disgusted. Did he sleep with us on the same nights? Chuma always wants something most nights. So if he had me then when did he have her?
“Can I offer you anything?” She asks
How about offering me my husband’s member back? After I’m the one who married it and not her. Is that too much to ask? Maybe. Should I ask her for a glass of water? She will probably spit in it. You never know with some women. I simply keep silent and shake my head as I head for the sofa nearest to the door and sit down. She closes the door, walks to the sofa across me and sits. She looks at me obviously taking in what I’m wearing and how I look. He probably told her I was ugly and old; grey haired maybe, bad makeup with stretch marks to make Kafue Road a joke, making me look like a beast to my thirty year old self. I know she’s taking into memory my long natural black hair, my smooth dark skin, round face, brown eyes, brown lips, long eyelashes and manicured clean nails. I know I look beautiful and smart. Chuma insists on it. I look younger than my actual age so I’m sure it’s a shock to her that I am thee Chuma’s wife.
“Water.” I respond quietly. “I’ll have water.” Maybe she won’t spit in it.
She stands up and heads out of the livingroom and I take the chance to look around. No pictures of him on the walls or on the tables. Guess he doesn’t want the world to know he spoils her. What’s the use really? Is Chuma going to leave me for her I wonder. Is she better than me? She walks back into the livingroom with a glass of water in her hand and she hands it to me. Does she kneel for him like I do when I serve him. She heads back to her seat and I look at her. I feel sorry for her. She must be my young sisters age and for her to messing around with a married man is so sad. At least that’s how I feel about it. A man you have to share and can never have as your own. Though from where she’s sitting she has received gifts she can never afford alone so her view is pretty beautiful for her but I have to crush her hopes right now. I will not tolerate this any longer.
“So I’m Chuma’s wife. I’m sure he has told you about me.” I say
She shakes her head. Well that changes things.
“You never knew he was married?” I ask calmly.
“He said he was divorced.” She says
I laugh. I literally put my hand over my mouth and laugh. Chuma the cheater, Chuma the liar. Not surprised though. Saying he is single would be hard considering he would have to explain why his Facebook and Instagram accounts have recent pictures of me or at least they did till he stopped posting. Obviously because of her. Gosh and she believed he was a divorced. A man like Chuma? I don’t believe it. Men like Chuma are never single or divorced. Men like Chuma have women in their lives picking up their clothes off the floor, keeping their side of the bed warm. And she was gullible enough to believe him. Wow. She’s dumb.
“So you thought he goes home to who?” I ask
Surely she must have wanted to know where he lived and with who.
“Nobody.” She says.
“And yet he never took you his home?”
“I figured he wasn’t ready to let me know where he lived.” She responds.
“You weren’t curious? No what ifs? Maybe there is another woman?”
“No. I mean lady, Chuma, your husband or your ex husband gives me what I want. So why should I question him?”
Wow. What a response. Bravo little girl. Her claws finally come out to play. I put the still full glass of water on the floor beside my bag.
“So you obviously didn’t see it fit to question him when he carried around an STI or you didn’t know that either.”
I watch her face for any kind of reaction. Any is better than nothing. Her eyes flicker to the television and back to me. No shock. No tears. No emotion. Nothing. She is much stronger than I thought.
“We use protection. You obviously don’t.” She retorts
Damn the litttle thing has razors in her mouth. Blunt.
“Really now? You want to tell me you’ve found a way to control my husband, who doesn’t love the feel of condoms? Do you think I’m that stupid?”
“Maybe you are. You’re the one here in my house asking stupid questions. I told you we used…..”
“Which brand did he use? I know he’s picky with that.”
She looks away. Finally. Caught in her own lie. Though it confirms they don’t use protection. He hates the things. To him the experience is different. He likes it real as it calls it. My husband is a fool. His uncaring nature reaches out to the no use of condoms in all his beds. Something unwise if I may add because it increases the chances of spreading diseases. Gosh I have a baby to take care of who doesn’t need weird diseases because people can’t keep their legs closed or their members in boxers. She looks at me again and I can tell she wants to be defiant. Let her try me.
“Look, whatever you have to say please say it to your husband. He’s the cheater. You won’t get anything from me. Wasting your time. No shame as a wife or clingy ex-wife whichever one suits you….” She says.
“Shut your mouth little girl.” I say
“Says the woman who failed to keep her husband at home. How dare you!” She says aloud. “You’re a failure and he comes to me when you fail at keeping him happy.”
“Failure? Says you who can’t have him ever. I don’t see him giving me divorce papers tomorrow so that he can marry you.”
“Marry me when I get anything I want without a ring. Lady. Maybe I even get more from him and than you do.”
I smile at her, my smile is so stretched I feel my face will break. Gosh when was the last time I was in a fight? My hands are shaking now. I could pick up the glass of water and hit her with it. Right in her face. The perfect aim. But I won’t let her get to me. No. She has no idea how bad I can get.
“You can get out of my house now.” She says. “Go to your cheating husband. After all if you want you can leave him if his cheating offends you so much.”
“And then what happens to the children? You become step mummy? You’re the outsider. You are sitting on my husband’s dick. Get your own.”
“Madam get out of my house.” She shouts.
“A house my husband pays for. What’s his is mine. Don’t forget it.”
I move to the edge of the sofa and she moves back. Ahh she’s all bark and no bite. I’m both.
“But no worries I will leave soon. I wanted to meet you. To know who I was dealing with. To know what kind of woman you are. To talk to you woman to woman.”
More like woman to child but this child kept my husband cumin and coming back for more.
“And?” She asks.”Are you satisfied?”
“You can be rude all you want little girl but it won’t change the ending of this story. Unless HIV/AIDS is your motto then go right ahead and keep sleeping with my husband. At the end of the day you will get nothing.”
“Just like you.” She retorts.
“Yes. Just like me. The woman who wears his ring. Are you sure? You are a lady he sleeps with in the dark. I’m the one he has in the light. You he will leave nothing when all is done. But in my case everything Chuma owns goes to our children. But you. Nothing. Did he lie to you and tell you you have a share?”
She keeps silent and looks at me.
“Did he tell you he has three children? The oldest is five and the youngest is eleven months.”
“You know what’s funny? That you and my husband not only put yourselves at risk, nooooo but you put the lives of my children in your hands. Selfishness.”
“You know what. I’ll call him to come get you out of my house.” She says proudly. “He obviously can’t control you.”
I pick up my handbag and open it, I take out a phone and hand it to her.
“Here. Call him on his number. Even better should I give you my phone instead so that you two can talk? What the hell do you think my husband will do to me? Hate me? No. Pull me off of you? Probably. But imagine what he will do to you. Who will lose? Here call him. Tell him I’m here about to beat you to a pulp. Let him come save you.”
She makes no effort to get the phone from me. I smile at her. Childish little girl. And if she called him what would Chuma do? Probably drive here of course but what else can he do? Nothing.
“Look, like I told you we always use… Used protection. So if he is sick then that’s on him. And you.”
“Awwwww. You little thing. My husband never uses protection. He’s adorable like that. You got sick too didn’t you?”
The look on her face tells me all. Did she give it to him or did he give it to her and me. I dread to think of him giving it to “us” because it would mean there were more of these young girls around opening legs and spreading diseases.
“Did you enjoy it?”
“What?” She asks.
“The sex of course. Did you enjoy it? Or you maybe you pretend to enjoy it. Did you give it him right?”
“And you’re happy? With him that is. Getting you sick?”
“Though here’s the funny part. I wonder who gave the disease to who.” I start. “When did this joke of a relationship start?” I ask
She looks at me and shrugs.
“Nine months ago I guess.” She responds.
“How often do you see him?”
“Maybe twice a week. That was then. I haven’t seen him in a while. Maybe two weeks or three.”
Because of me obviously. I make sure he gets home early and stays home. Plus the baby was sick this past week. Obviously it’s their fault. But I won’t tell her any of that. It’s none of her business.
“Do you love him?”
“No.” She responds
“So you go around opening your legs for a man you don’t love?”
These young girls have managed to achieve what I failed. To separate emotion from sex. I sort of envy her. She can leave him anytime she wants while I’m stuck with him till death do us part. Death. Hmmm. It comes in many forms.
“So if you don’t love him. What do you get for opening your legs? The car? The house? The furniture?”
She nods her head.
“Are there no other men around? Men your age?” I ask
“A Beautiful girl like you can surely find a single man to love her even if it’s by force.”
“I didn’t know he was married. I didn’t know he had children.” She says
“So you say.” I respond. “But yet it never hit you that he never called you at night? You never stopped to think about the children in his pictures on Facebook.”
“I’m not finished. Shut your mouth. I know you follow him on Facebook. So you never wondered why he had the same kids in his pictures?” I ask. “Or maybe you thought they were Street kids?”
She sighs and looks away.
“I would do better to beat you up.” I say slowly. “To pull that weave off your head. To mark that skin you think is so perfect. If I beat you up I’ll leave scars as reminders. I’m itching to beat you up.”
She turns and looks at me. I can tell she wants to run away from me. Let her try. I can easily catch her and beat her to a pulp.
“I would do better to bring my friends to beat you up so that you learn a lesson. Girls like you are the reason AIDS still plagues this country.” I continue.
She maintains her silence.
“But no I won’t do any of that. Because to be honest look at you and look at me. I would kill you. Break your bones.”
“Are you threatening me?”
“Little girl, I don’t make threats. I keep promises. There is a difference.”
“This must be why your husband comes to me.” She says quietly.
I laugh, reach for my handbag and I stand up. She’s pushing me into a corner. She stands up and takes a few steps away from me. Beating her would be a bad thing. It will reflect badly on me, even when she is the trash feeding my husband. What does he see in her? Chuma and his trash.
“You will stop sleeping with my husband. Do you hear me?” I say aloud.
She doesn’t say a word and I take a step towards her and she takes a step back.
“I said do you hear me?” I ask. “You will answer me when I ask you a question.”
“You will not text my husband. You will not call him either. You will ignore him. Have I made myself clear?”
“I don’t care if he offers to raise your mama from poverty. I don’t care if you have the cure to all diseases and sleeping with you will give him eternal youth. You will stay far away from that man. You understand?”
“If I find out you are still in our lives I will come back for you. And when I do there will be no chit chat.”
“Are still you threatening me?”
“Awww little girl, I will keep this promise to you. I believe you have gotten all you can get from my husband. You have a job use that for what you need.”
She keeps silent. I look at her and give her my best smile.
“I’ll be going now. Have a pleasant evening.” I tell her.
I slowly head to the door, open it and walk out leaving the door wide open. I clench my hands and unclench them as I walk to the car. My heart is beating so fast I feel I’ll collapse if I don’t sit down. I hear the door close behind me but I don’t turn around. She’s probably going to call Chuma right now. Well things are going to get messy. I unlock the car, get in and sit. I grip the steering wheel so hard and close my eyes.
“It will be okay.” I whisper. “Everything will be okay.”
I feel my tears fall down my cheeks. I don’t deserve this. My children do not deserve this. I’m a good wife. I’m a good mother. But obviously not good enough if my husband wants to sleep with another woman. I have done everything for that man and I get this in return? I deserve better than this.
I open my eyes and start the car. I look at the time and smile. Well the time is nineteen whatever, I can make it to the end of year party. There is still time. And shit I need a drink for what’s coming. Look at what he’s doing to me. I know mama would disapprove of what I’ve done tonight but she doesn’t understand that era of Shipikisha is over. Now women beat to keep their men. Now we walk out if it’s too much to handle. Shipikisha is over and I will slap whoever tells me otherwise.
Gosh how do other women manage to keep silent when it comes to their husband’s wandering eyes and hands. They are super strong. I’m weak. To live with it forever until death is strength I’ll probably never have. Men need to learn hard. And Chuma will learn. He will see.
Now about that end of year party.
I need to get home and change. Short dress and heels maybe? That should do it.
I have a hell to put down.
I need to look the part first.
They say never push a woman beyond her limits of tolerance or you will see the devil in a red dress.
Well they were right.
I am a woman with a man to sort out.
Chuma, my darling husband here I come.
To be continued…