I met my Richmond through Sammy. We both attended Sammy’s wedding but that was not where we met. We met at their fifth anniversary when we were both placed at the same table. When Sammy saw us, he joked, “Why are you two not married? You look good together.” Richmond responded, “Flesh and blood didn’t reveal this to you.”
We all laughed. It was all jokes until Richmond asked for my number. I gave it to him. He told me, “I’m going to worry you with calls, I hope you don’t mind?” I answered, “When it gets too much, maybe I’ll block you so I have my peace.” That was also another joke. Each time when Richmond called he asked me, “Am I worrying you? Let me know before you block me.”
We started a relationship at the blind spot of Sammy. By the time we decided to tell him about our relationship, we had had our first kiss, our first sex and our first sleepover. We were too far gone before Sammy could say, “So you guys took what I told you literally.”
He and his wife, Matilda became our friends. On weekends, we’ll go out and chill or meet in one person’s house, cook and make merry. We dated for a year, Richmond and I, before we decided to make Sammy’s dream come true. On our wedding day, Sammy told us, “You guys made me look like a prophet.” His name changed from Sammy to the Prophet.
We were two families sprouting from friendship. We shared stories of our successes and failures as couples with each other. If I had troubles in my marriage, Sammy and Matilda would hear it first. When they had issues, they came to us. We talked about everything, including sex that didn’t go well.
Sammy is in charge of projects where he works so he travels a lot. He can be on a project for months in another town but each weekend, he would come home to see his wife and kids and in the process meet with us to celebrate family and solidify the bond between us.
I started suspecting something foul when I was pregnant. My husband would be on the phone for several minutes talking to Matilda in the evening. On a normal day, Matilda would extend her greetings or ask my husband to hand over the phone to me so we would talk but on these occasions, I didn’t hear my name or wasn’t given the phone.
“Or they are…”
I shut down my crazy mind and blamed my pregnancy hormones for making me think crazy stuff. One evening my husband wasn’t home. He didn’t tell me he was going to be late so I called him. While talking to him, I heard Matilda’s voice. I asked if she was there with him and he answered, “Nooo, how can I be with her at this time?” I answered, “I thought I heard her voice.”
I was too sure of what I heard. Again, I blamed it on my hormones. Anything that goes wrong in the life of a pregnant woman is because of her hormones. I was battling with my mind but my hormones got blamed for it.
Another evening, it happened. He was late so I called. I could hear loud music and female voices. I asked where he was and he told me he was with a friend who had just returned from abroad. I didn’t know any friend of his who was in abroad so I started doubting him. I took a neighbour’s phone and called Matilda. I heard the same music in the background. I whispered to myself, “I’m sorry hormones. It’s not your fault. It’s truly happening. What I suspected is true. You have nothing to do with it.”
I checked his phone that night and every inch I scrolled brought Matilda’s name. They’ve been talking and looking at the timestamps, they talked throughout the day. I was eight months pregnant. I wasn’t ready for the shock so I stopped myself from going through his messages.
He was at work when I was taken to the hospital for delivery. I called his phone and told him what was happening and asked him to come quickly. By the time he got to the hospital, I’d delivered and the baby had been dressed up and brought to me. He came with Matilda. I was so angry I thought I was going to burst. If Matilda was any smarter, she would have noticed the indignation in my demeanour. She was busy smiling at the sleeping baby and making comments that didn’t add any value to my life.
When Matilda left, he left with her and later came back. I asked, “Where did you find her?” He started talking rubbish. He said he picked her up from her office on his way to the hospital but I knew Matilda was on leave. The day I was discharged, I told myself, “I will get to the bottom of this.”
I went through his messages. I read about love, love he had never professed to me since we got married. I read about sex and places they’d been. Matilda praised my husband’s sex prowess and even compared it to her husband’s energy. I felt like throwing up but I didn’t want to make a sound to wake him up. They were talking about pregnancy. He was talking about a style he gave her and asked if Sammy had ever done that. My baby cried, I put the phone down and picked him up. I was crying while I was trying to make him stop crying. At a point, he stopped crying and stared at me. I cried more.
When Richmond woke up, I asked him, “So when did it start, this thing between you and Matilda?” He turned to look at his phone. I said, “Yes, it’s on your phone. Sammy is our friend. He’s the reason we are. The prophet, remember? And you’re doing this to him? Richmond, how could you? Say something. Answer me, when did it start? Is Sammy aware?”
I asked so many questions but he gave me only one answer; “Why did you go through my phone?”
He picked up his phone and entered the toilet. I had the baby in my arms. I would have followed him there. I screamed, “Sammy will hear this.”
He spent forever in there. Maybe he was shocked that I found out. Or maybe he used the period to cook up the lies he was going to tell me. When he came out, he started apologizing, blaming everything but himself. He said the pregnancy got to him that was why he couldn’t have sex with me. He said Matilda seduced him saying Sammy wasn’t touching her again after their third child.
A whole lot of excuses but I saw a man who was running from responsibility. I told him I would tell Sammy. He begged and swore it wouldn’t happen again. I told him, “Yes it won’t happen again because I wouldn’t be here.” He knelt down—down where the broken pieces of my heart were. I would have asked him to help me pick them up if he wasn’t the one who broke it. He begged. He asked me not to do anything. He was shaking.
I’m living with my parents now. I’m here asking them to help take care of the baby. They think it’s the baby they are taking care of but it’s me they are caring for. They don’t know what I’m going through.
Matilda called. Richmond told her and she couldn’t sit still. She also blamed everything but herself. “Sammy changed. He wasn’t touching me. I think it’s the devil. I don’t even know what came over me. Please don’t destroy my marriage.” I said, “You destroyed mine but want to keep yours? How’s that going to work? Let’s wait and see. Time will tell.”
I don’t pick up her calls and she calls often. Richmond comes around with a pleading heart. We are both playing to the gallery so my parents won’t get a hint of what’s happening in our marriage. I’ve given him an ultimatum; “If you want forgiveness, confess to Sammy. If he forgives you, if he keeps his marriage, I’ll forgive you and keep ours too.”
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It’s been over a month. He hasn’t been able to tell Sammy. I talk to Sammy often and he’s always happy. Indeed, ignorance is bliss but for how long? I’m still thinking about what to do with this marriage. It’s early days yet.
I might not keep it even if he confesses. Sammy is a friend. He’s a good person. He doesn’t deserve any of this. It’s hard but I don’t know how he’ll take it when he finally gets to know about it. He loves his wife. It will break him but it’s already broken so what can I do? I will tell him!
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