The Rackster this one is for you. You wrote this with me and super awesomeness words we created. Thank you.
“You two look so amazing together.” One of the women says. She offers me a smile, exposing her chipped front tooth. “I saw a picture of the two of you and it was absolutely adorable.”
I smile. Is that supposed to be a compliment?
“Gosh you got to tame the lion of a man. I swear you’re lucky.” Another woman in a dare to be red dress says.
Am I? Is my smile still on?
“You’re so beautiful as well. He always finds the pretty ones. The chubby pretty ones.” She continues. “And smart.”
Did she just call me fat? Keep smiling I tell myself.
“I guess God was saving him just for you. You know how it is right?” She asks excitedly. “Many women date one guy who never wants to settle and then he meets one woman who changes everything. You must be it for him.”
Just keep smiling.
“I swear I didn’t see it coming. That guy changed women like office pants. Often and never the same pants in a month.” Lady in a yellow jumpsuit says.
It’s like the women around me have no inkling of an idea that I’m not interested in what they have to say about the man I’m supposedly in love with.
“To think there is a woman out there who would be able to compliment his nature. You have to tell me how you do it.” Chipped tooth says excitedly.
Why is it whenever two or more women are gathered diarrhoea in the form of men talk usually stands out. Madam red dress to kill draws in closer to me and grabs my hand.
“After his playing ways it’s a good thing he’s found someone like you. You seem stable.” She whispers drawing in closer to me. “But you know how men are? Controlling them is hard. You must be a strong woman to tolerate him.”
Of course I am.
“And he is absolutely in love with you. He talks about you a lot.” Yellow jumpsuit says. “I can see the change in him to be honest.”
Really now? When does he talk about me? When he’s beddding you? Or when he’s sweet talking the life out of your body? Gosh I am still a mess. A horrible walking mess of a woman. Why the hell did I even agree to attend this? To prove that I am alive and well in life? What exactly am I trying to prove to the world? That I know what I’m doing? Which I absolutely do not know.
“Oh please. Men don’t change for women.” Woman in the red dress rolls her eyes. “All pretenders. Men are liars. They will lie and lie and lie. Then make you cry blood for making them lie. But look at us needing them and loving them like fools. Where did we go wrong as women?”
They are making it worse for me with this talk.
Truth be told I’m the weirdest woman ever. To sit through this trash talk makes me weird. I should not be here. But I am the nice girlfriend. Always putting his needs first. Love and wait to receive they say in whispers.
Not only am I weird but I am a liar. An investigative liar that is. Looking for something that I know I will never find.
Plus, I am one of the most stupid women on the planet.
I must be because I forgot who I was. The strong confident brave woman I used to be. And why? Because of a man. I was afraid to be alone again. Contentment was no more when I let him stay after an unforgivable act. In my heart of hearts I wanted him and all the promises he made in the beginning like N’sync in never breaking up but alas here I am still nursing heartache.
And the worst part, the man causing it is in about twenty steps away from me laughing his head off with a glass of sin in his hand. I shouldn’t be here. I should have left when he brought her home. I should have left when he told me the lie of the century.
“She’s a good friend that needed my help babe. How could I leave her alone just like that?” He had told me the morning after.
“Why would I bring another woman home when you’re home? Which crazy man does that? In fact which foolish man does that?” He continued.
When he noticed I was not budging he went in for the kill.
“You are paranoid babe. You know I love you so much. I’ve loved you for a long time.” He said. “Don’t over think things okay. Just be reassured I will never bring another woman home without asking you.”
I didn’t say a word. I watched him smile and kiss my hands. I didn’t say anything till he uttered the last sentence.
“You are one possessive woman. Gosh. But I’m not cheating on you. I love you. Always will. You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
I watched him. Took short breaths to calm my breaking heart and already failing lungs. If only I could…
“I swear to you the next time you think you are a man and you think you can cheat do me a favour and hide it.” I whispered. “Even better tell me to leave you so that you can sleep with everyone in peace because next time I won’t be able to hold back my anger.”
He laughed it off. Like every other problem he had, laughing it off was his answer.
I was hurt. And somehow after that night I lost a part of me. The happy part of me that saw the man I loved as a king.
Pathetic, that even two weeks later I get to pretend smile and pray at the same time that his story is true. That it will pan out as the truth.
If his story is true then where the hell is the trust?
I’ve reached the point of no return. Every woman I see him talk to reminds me of a woman I’ve never met. I day dream about her; meeting her and having her apologise to me for helping a grown man cheat. As if it’s her fault when deep down I know it’s his. He chose to find her and bring her to me.
He chose and that is what hurts the most.
Knowing where I stand in his life.
The foolish woman he can disrespect at any point.
I tune the voices of the other women out of my head and turn slightly to look at him. I catch his gaze and he flashes me a smile. I should be smiling back at him, my heart swooning, butterflies attacking my stomach because they are too many and instead I am cold. Numb.
I need to go. Right now.
“Excuse me ladies.” I tell the ladies around me.
Good riddance to trash. Liars all of them.
I walk around them and make my way to the door. I need time to think and breathe. I need to drive. I ignore the people around me. They do not understand my pain. They know nothing of the things I’m dealing with. Maybe someone calls my name, and maybe I don’t care who it is calling me. All I want is silence. For a little while.
Just for little while.
The drive takes longer than expected. Missed calls can catch me when I am ready to face the world again. It must be the silence or the cool air that makes me drive for a long time. Breakup songs on my playlist blasting in my car. I feel better each second I’m away from him. Minutes turn into hours and I know at some point I have to go back to the party and pick him up, take him home and cuddle like there is no tomorrow while he tells me new stories about how our future will be like.
My phone rings in the darkness. Distorting backstreet boys ‘show me the meaning of being lonely.’ I curse under my breath at the intrusion, reduce the car volume and reach out for my phone sitting on the passenger’s seat.
“Babe. You okay.”
“Yeah. Everything okay?”
A woman’s voice comes on, she laughs loud before his voice comes back on the line.
“Hey. Where are you?” He asks
“In the car driving.”
“Cool. I’m home. Whenever you feel like coming home.”
“Do you have guests?”
“No. I’m waiting for you. Come home.”
“I will be there…..”
And the call cuts. I roll my eyes and place the phone back on the empty seat. I heard the woman’s voice in the background and he says he’s alone? Must be the television then. Whatever. I’ll go home when I feel like it. Not because he says so.
I take my slow time driving home. The long route home is the best way home on nights like this.
I drive through the gates of his house minutes later all the while hoping tonight will be a better night. I find him leaning against an open front door with a fresh glass of sin in his hand. He waits for me to park the car before he comes to my side of the car and opens the door.
“You drove off!!” He says aloud. “You embarrassed me!!”
I roll my eyes. Here we go.
“I had people asking why you left like that.” He continues. “You had me making up excuses for you.”
“I hope your lies were on point this time around.” I respond
He keeps silent. I’m not in the mood to argue with him tonight. I need some peace and silence. We stare at each other for a minute longer and he smirks.
“Hey.” He says. “You’re late. I misssd you too much.”
He leans in closer and the scent of alcohol hits my nostrils.
“You’ve been gone for too long. I missed you so much babe.”
“Okay. Let me through. I’m tired.”
“A kiss first.”
I look at him, making out his face and shake my head. If I don’t do this then he might take it as an insult. And I don’t want him losing it over a lost kiss. He leans in closer, his hand on my neck and he kisses me. A sloppy kiss that leaves the taste of his poison on my lips. He smiles and moves aside to let me out. I lock the car and walk towards his house leaving him to follow me at his own pace.
I walk into his house pretending not to pay attention to anything in detail but taking everything I see in. I almost a breathe a sigh of relief, there is no one in his house. All I want is a bed and warmth. He walks in behind me and I walk to the room I call our bedroom and open the door. The room looks untouched, clean, my safe haven in his house. And a smile should be on my face right now except I can smell a flowery scent in my safe haven. A scent I know so well. A scent that brings back memories.
The rage I have been keeping in for weeks bubbles to the surface. This time I don’t think I can hold onto my sanity.
Ever felt a heart break? The heart breaks in the most beautiful and yet tragic way. The sound it makes is so light that only the bearer of the heart can hear. And for the umpteenth time I have to hear my heart break all over again.
And to think all I needed was time away from him for me to see he will never change.
Time for me to know the disrespect will never end. Because now someone has found their guts to let me know they exist.
I laugh. Out of anger I laugh.
I laugh as I let the flowery scent into my nostrils. A scent that I am used to because it is my own scent floating around in the air. My own perfume scent hanging in the air because I know the truth. Someone used my perfume? Who? Do I even want to know the truth.
I walk out of the bedroom and I find him locking the front door. He knows. He knew this would happen. I walk towards him and push him away from the door. He staggers towards the wall, the glass in his hand slips to the floor and shatters into pieces.
“Fuck!!” He shouts. “What the fuxk is wrong with you?”
“You. You’re what’s wrong with me and I swear I will kill you the longer I stay here with you.”
“What the hell?”
“I swear I will kill you. You asshole!!”
“Oh shut up. Why are you losing it now?”
I look at him and shake my head. Is he going to lie to my face as if he doesn’t know the truth?
“Tell your hules to keep all the stuff they touched and used tonight. You disgust me.”
He comes towards me and tries to close the door and I shove him hard enough for me to walk out side into the cold air.
“Babe. Where are you going?” He says behind me. “Babe.”
I can drive home at this time. It doesn’t matter anymore. I’ve had enough.
I will go home.
My mother will wake up to open the door for me.
She will understand.
Beside I can’t sleep in his house when I know someone else was in my spot hours ago.
I’ve had it.
“Dude how do you do it?”
“Look around man. Look around. The ladies; they are all talking about you.”
I laugh and soak in the moment. The glory of it. My whisky is sitting neatly at the bottom of my glass coated by a bed of ice. Almost as smooth as me. I look at Sam. His eyes harbor an almost childlike adoration.
“It is pretty simple. You promise the world. Universe. Stars and the moon. Bring it close enough for them to see, taste, touch even feel but then at the last possible minute make them feel underserving. Take it away from under their feet. Works like a charm.”
I sip my drink and let it sink in. Across the room our eyes meet. I know she has not forgotten about what happened that night. How can she? She is too fucking stubborn. Why couldn’t she be more like Mo? Passive. Is it so hard to tame a woman? Is it so hard for her to see what she has in me? Me! For god’s sake.
Speaking of Mo; what the hell is she doing chewing her ear? What the hell could those two have to talk about? Mo has the IQ of a drunk fly. Empty headed bimbo good only for the bed. But she is looking good in her red dress tonight. But I’d really love to hear what she is talking about. I hope she’s not saying her usual dumb stuff. She has a way of saying the wrong things at the wrong times. But she’s smiling, my girl, so whatever it is she is suppressing it. Letting her smile do the talking. Atta girl. Maybe after all she is learning her place. Silent. Smiling. Next to me. That’s how it should always work. I run things. The show. Maybe sometimes a warm bath for her when she is stressed. But that’s just about it.
“Dude, she’s looking at you.” Sam says; raising his glass towards a general direction behind me.
I do not bother to look over my shoulder.
“Don’t they all do?” I retort.
We both burst into raucous chuckles.
“What’s wrong with her?” Sam chimes in again.
This time I look. I see her. My girl. Visibly irritated. Her smile might be fooling my “girl” friends but I can also see her jawline. She chews on her teeth when she is pissed off. The smile might stay but when you see her jaw lines; she is aggravated. Someone must have said something stupid. You know how wine loosens a woman’s mouth. But it could not be that bad. She’s still holding it together; so it must be some ignorant one worded statement by one of the ladies. Maybe the one looking exceptionally ravishing in a yellow jumpsuit.
I see her walking out in a huff. Maybe she needs the air. Maybe I should follow her and find out what’s up. That’s what a good guy should do right? The perfect guy. I am the perfect guy.
I turn and face Mo. She looks good, the red dress hugs her hips, flows down her thighs and ends right above the knee. God she looks delicious. She smells so too. Flowery. Like a rose garden.
“Hi Mo. Nice to see you. What have you done to my girl? Kicked her out already?” I offer as I laugh.
“You know her. Never knows when she has a good thing going.”
“Amen. I will drink to that.”
“Not like me though…” she winks.
“We can’t. Not today. Not now. People are watching.”
“How about we talk about it when I drop you home?”
“Drop me home?”
“Or did you think your knight in shining lingerie left her car for you?”
It hits me that she is not back. That while I should’ve chased her out and talked to her I got destructed. She might have already driven off by now. She loves doing that. A lot. It calms her down she says.
“Fair point. When can we leave?”
“Soon. We don’t want people thinking we are leaving together do we.”
We laugh at her remark. She’s right. I know my girl has loyal subjects who will tell her everything that happens tonight. And I don’t need that drama. We chat for a while, laugh and throw it naughty remarks back and forth. Friendly banter I guess all the while looking at my phone, hoping my girl calls me.
“Now.” Mo whispers to me.
I watch as Mo hightails out of the room in her red dress. I take a gulp of my whisky. Pat Sam on the back and he knowingly nods. I walk into the cold breeze of the night, it bites, caresses my almost numb face and breathes life into it. I walk towards her car and look at my phone. The night is still young and ripe with expectation. I did not chase her out but I can at least call her. Besides it’s a brilliant ploy. See; if I call concerned and ask when she is coming home I will know for sure if she already went home. I already got into trouble once. Okay more than once. But the sins are still fresh. Two weeks is not enough to heal a bruised ego. I call her and as it rings; Mo laughs.
“You are calling her aren’t you?”
“Yeah would you rather we bump into her at the house?”
That shuts her mouth up pretty fast. She knows her place. The phone rings. Thirty-five seconds of it and no response. At least I tried right. Women. Always thinking they make a man beg. We drive for twenty minutes. It is hard to tell. I don’t check the time. I never do. It is a waste of time. I know; the irony. But it usually is. I just let time weave between us punctuated by the pause in between songs as the radio plays along.
We near home and suddenly it seems like a bad idea to go in unannounced. What if she’s there? What do I do then? She has this inconceivable idea that I am cheating on her. She nursed it like an infant child and now it is as stubborn as a teenager on her menses. Always nagging at the back of her mind. But see I don’t cheat. How? I would never. Maybe a loose flirt now and then. Maybe a little jealousy trip between lover’s tiffs. But that’s just it. She doesn’t seem to see it. In her world one plus one equals me in bed with a woman.
I can see the gate still closed. Standing in the cold Lusaka breeze oblivious to the wrangles the four stone walls of the house hide. I do not see her car and assume she has not yet gotten home. I admit I get worried, it is fleeting but it is there. It has to count for something.
I open the gate and let Mo drive in and as she parks I let myself into the house. It is just as we had left it. Cold. Nothing much had been happening between us ever since our incident. Sins were still fresh and wounds were barely healing. It did not matter how many times I told her nothing happened. Sure it’s okay for a girl to make a guy jealous. But when a guy does it he is suddenly a philandering cheat. Double standards.
I call her again.
It is in my voice; or the one in my head when I pictured the conversation. I ask when she is coming. But just as she is about to answer; Mo walks in laughing. I hear a sigh; it’s nondescript but it is there. It’s her tell. I have known her long enough. She could not hold a bluff at a poker table if her life or mine depended on it. Especially mine; not with how things are now. But I hear it and I can tell she is pissed off. She’s always diplomatic about her anger but that’s the worst. Diplomats are the worst. At least barbarians settled it there and then; outside. A match of brawns and wits. Flying punches, blows and low kicks. Blood and teeth. Let their grievances and walked away like nothing happened. Diplomats; they will smile in their crisp suits and have dinner with you only to sign off on a nuclear attack. She tells me she is still on the road. Asks if I have anyone over; which I lie. I will blame it on the television later. Mo rolls her eyes at me, she knows what she did. She is playing a dangerous game and it is no longer attractive. I head to the kitchen putting some distance between Mo and I, I have a relationship to salvage. Be a little nice and get my girl home on time. She cuts the call before I bring on my full on charm. Brutal.
I look around and for a minute cannot find Mo. She must be somewhere in the house. Maybe in the bathroom fixing her makeup who knows. Then I hear a clank, the sound loud enough for me to know it’s coming from my bedroom. I walk towards the corridor and find the bedroom door ajar, lights on with a shadow sneaking out of the open door. Inside is Mo. Bent over picking up a handful of my girl’s jewelry from the floor. She places the jewelery back in the drawer.
“What are you doing Mo?” I ask “You know you can’t be here?”
“She has nice stuff…” she ignores me “You have nice taste.”
She picks up a round shaped bottle decorated with butterflies made of coloured stones and sniffs it, sprays the clear liquid around in the air.
“I am more of a stronger scent person.” She laughs. “But this scent. Hm.”
She puts the bottle back next to the jewelery and turns to look at the bed. She wastes no time throwing herself on it. She’s a bit playful and it must be the wine.
“So here huh?” she asks.
I know what she’s referring to. Where we sleep and possibly do other things.
“Smells just like her. She smells nice. I can smell you too. Nice. I love the colours. She definitely spoils you.”
I smirk. I want to ask Mo to leave. But I don’t, I just watch her over a brow of curiosity. I want to know what’s going on in her mind. She rolls over the bed. Gets off the bed and heads to the closet. She runs her fingers over the door handle almost as if she does not want to open it; but then she does. She opens it. Flips through the few jeans and shirts my girl leaves over. She touches each one between her fingers and at some point puts the fingers up her nose.
“It’s time to go Mo…” I start
“Yeah. Yeah. I know. But… what if?”
“What if what?”
“You know? This was one day mine?”
She let those words slide out of her lips as she hang on to one of my girl’s white blouses. A chiffon with black buttons that little red dots in the middle. My girl always wears that with her black skinnies and red heels. Sexy one that woman is. Now I miss her. Fuck. I keep messing up.
“That would never fit you.” I quip.
“Are you sure? You and me can work. You know this. Besides black isn’t my colour.” She laughs
In her eyes there’s a longing. She wants something she can’t have. She shuts the closet and walks past be slightly brushing against me. I catch a whiff of her hair. I close the door. Walk her towards the living room and usher her out.
“Good night.” I say
She does not respond. She smiles. Touches my cheek. Then walks out. I had not bothered locking the gate so she just reversed and drove out. I get myself a drink and wait for my girl. She’d love to hear about this. Mo, in her closet. Hilarious. Maybe it will lighten things between us.
Almost as if by cue I hear the tires crushing the loose gravel as she makes her way into the compound. I step outside. Glass in hand. I walk down to her and get the door for her. If I show a little bit of concern then maybe I might win this round. She parks and I open the door for her. I have mastered a nice rasp when I try to talk to her when she is angry. It usually worked. But today was not one for the usually. Today I will play on her guilt. I ask her why she left. Why she left me. Why she had to embarrass me. She doesn’t blink. It does not bother her. Not one bit. At that moment I see it. She is done. I stop the argument and try a different approach. Maybe make her feel wanted. Needed. Tell her how much I missed her and could not wait for her to get home . It doesn’t really work. A kiss might seal it, who knows. Women like that sort of thing. She walks out in a gracious gait with her bag in hand. Her face is an emotionless wall. She’s still mad. Women. I am trying to pull all the stops for her. But I know all she sees is a philandering cheat. What does a gentleman have to do now? Buy the moon? Get a plot on Jupiter? Jump over God’s eyebrows?
I step aside and watch her walk into the house. She has this sexiness about her steps whenever she’s in a mood. Maybe it is why I never take her seriously. Or maybe she does it so she can show it off? I see her look around, looking for something not even I can see. She probably has some zoom in feature most women seem to have when they want to catch their men cheating. She walks straight the bedroom;
Maybe I should follow her. Maybe tell her a story or two to bring that smile of hers out. It would be the best place to tell her about Mo. Then maybe we could laugh it all and sleep it off after a love making session or two.
Maybe I shouldn’t have let her head to the bedroom. Maybe I should have convinced her to have a drink with me and talk about the good times. Maybe I should’ve grabbed her keys and taken her out. Somewhere just us. Some nice hotel. Get her booked in for a spa treatment. At midnight. Spontaneous and romantic.
“The simple things make me love you even more.” She always tells me.
The simple things. They eat that shit up.
The moment she walks into the room, I right behind her it hits me almost at the same time it hits her. The flowery scent in the air. Fuck. Fuck Mo. My first instinct is to lie. Of course you have to lie. It is the man thing to do. But you cannot lie to an empty house.
She can smell it. Of course she can. I can smell it too and I am tipsy. She knows the scent by heart.
Her very own perfume in the air.
So I rush to lock the door just as I hear her laugh. She’s laughing? What the hell? Is she losing it?
I do not expect what happens next. She walks out of the bedroom, heading my way and shoves me out of the way; my glass sent crashing to the floor. My temper rising and a curse escaping my lips.
She threatens to kill me. Her rage is the anger of Queens past in time. As if everything bad that has ever happened to any woman will be fixed through her in this very moment.To say we had a brief exchange of words would be exaggerating. This bitch might actually kill me and find peace from it. The diplomacy in her anger is gone. I am stumped. I have no clue as to how I will calm her down but I know if I don’t then she will walk away forever. I need to fix this mess. I rush after her; block the door but she pushes past. She tells me to go to one of my many whores, the whores who have guts to touch her stuff. The whores I let touch her stuff. The stuff I was meant to protect.
Fuck Mo and her need for drama. But this I can explain. It is funny even. But she’s done her math. One plus one. What the hell is wrong with women?! I can fix this. She can’t leave me. Besides where will she go at this time of night. She is all alone. I call out for her but she doesn’t wait for me. She gets in her car.
I think I broke the horse’s back.