I confess, I purposely omitted the epilogue. I wanted to see if you’d write or squirm or rant and I am delighted about your reaction. Is this the kind of thing I’ll need forgiveness for? Lol, I hope not. Anyways, for the end bit of the story, you can either download it HERE, or click on the image below, or do the reading right here, just keep scrolling down. So really, it’s entirely your decision now. Let me know if you liked it? Here goes…I Love Her Husband (epilogue)
* * *
We left off here... Kobe was bursting into the restaurant at the time Trixy was walking out. They stood in each other’s way for melting moments. Trixy tried hard to keep her smile, but her tear-stained face spoke volumes.
“Love you Kobe.” she kissed his cheek, the half a dozen diners felt the tension, and it told in their unnatural silence “Good bye.” Not see you later, What kind of a man are you? Or How could you do this to me…but Good bye. She didn’t add ‘for good’ but it lingered in her silence, and in how she turned and walked out the door.
[THE END? Not exactly]
Kobe caught up with his wife in the parking lot, but her reflexive rigidity when he tried to touch her, to reason out his unredeemable stupidity, the sternness in her eyes, the coldness in her “leave me alone”, all culminated in rendering him speechless. Like a stooge he stood by as the Honda Civic faded into two red brake lights as it revved into the distance of the windy Saturday evening.
When he reentered the restaurant, Samaa was sitting in the same position, her hand cupping her mouth, as if holding back the wrath of God.
“What did you do to her?” Kobe asked rashly, taking the seat his wife had been in minutes before.
“What did I do to her? What have you done to her? What are you doing to me?” she looked at him like a stranger, her eyes were heavier than a looming storm. The platform she’d been standing on had been snatched from underneath her feet, and now she was falling, clueless as to how deep and messed-up this abyss would turn out to be.
She closed her eyes, craving beautiful thoughts from the seemingly distant past to somehow trade places with this dreadful present. If she could find life’s control panel, she’d press ‘Pause’ for a breather. It was all too fast too soon. So many lies so many misrepresentations, did she even want to know why? Could it possibly ease the wrenching feeling surging within?
When she reopened them, her sore eyes contrasted sharply with all the greens she was wearing. Kobe had sobered from his initial aggressiveness and was obviously remorseful. His mouth opened to say something, but Samma stopped him before he could.
“Before you say anything, I must apologize.” She sniffed audibly and Kobe raised an eyebrow.
“I’m sorry Kobe, I need you to know that I am. Because when a human being is as blind and stupid as I was, it’s unpardonable.”
“It’s not your…”
“Can I finish, please??!” she said through gritted teeth
“The saddest thing about all this is that…my…feelings haven’t changed. Finding out you’re a lying, selfish, stranger hasn’t rid me of…of…of…this love thing you’ve made me grow for you. That’s darn pathetic, won’t you say?”
Kobe was quiet. What sensible, excusable thing could a man say at that point? He thought of Trixy, and the maturity she’d shown. He thought of Gerry, and the unborn child, but right there at that moment, he was looking at Samaa. She wasn’t a convenience store, not a temp., not a romantic intern. She was the reason he now believed in the permanence of commitments. Yes, she was years younger, but she had depths that eluded women twice her age.
If he was a Chinese monastery, she was the perfect monk. If he was a complex multi-faceted library, she was the one librarian who had the amazing ability to navigate every section blindfolded. Yes she had her flaws, but she was an incredible woman. Though to others, the writing on the wall would be as clear as daylight, and they’ll run home to their families, he couldn’t. If she pressed on, he wouldn’t have the power to walk away.
She closed her eyes and nestled her forehead in her clasped palms, knowing what was right, but not having the strength to do or ask for it. “I dunno what to do sunshine, I’m blank.”
In his rich commercial baritone, he said in a whisper “Same here Sammy, same here”. They sat in their own bubble of silence, oblivious to the clattering and chatting that the diners had returned to. He couldn’t see her eyes because of her palms, but two lines of tears trickled down her cheeks, the palms had been unable to hold them back.
After three silent minutes that felt like three eternities, she dabbed her leaking eyes with her hanky, sniffing back as much tears as she could. She grabbed her purse, kissed his cheek and scurried out of Melting Moments. He didn’t turn, speak or try to chase her. If he wasn’t strong enough to walk away, he had to be sensible enough to let her.
* * *
Six months three weeks and two days passed by, at first in slow motion and then like a breeze. Samaa was laughing heartily at a table on the Accra Mall’s Barcelos portico with Shika, Efe and Fred. Oh Fred, he had no clue how close he’d come to losing the love of his life. He knew that Samaa hadn’t taken his unplanned PhD move lightly. He knew that asking his twenty-eight year old heartthrob of a girlfriend to wait three more years for him to get an extra accolade was a major but necessary risk, because a full doctorate scholarship at MIT didn’t come on the dime.
It was only last month when he called and out-of-the-blue, asked Samaa to marry him.
“But your Phd…” she’d proffered
“There’s no law against coming home to a one-in-a-million better half from a PhD class”
He flew down the first day of his summer break, and was now in her company with those who mattered most to her.
It was a Saturday, and there were so many people at the Accra mall, they had to wait nine minutes for the table they were on to be free. When Samaa excused herself, he –like the Efe and Shika- assumed she was going to the ladies. They were wrong, she’d seen someone.
At first, the woman looked faintly familiar. The baby in a pouch and the Shoprite trolley made identifying her a bit difficult, but it was her, it was Trixy, Trixy Amankwah. Her getting up had been reflexive, she was half-way through walking to her when she realized how potentially stupid the move could be. She was about turning around when Trixy’s face lit up and she said “Samaa?”
No turning back now, Samaa walked up to the woman whose marriage she had nearly ruined.
“I saw you from my table” she explained pointing to where she’d been sitting, which was barely visible because of the thick pillar it was behind. “I saw you, and the baby, and I dunno, I felt a strong urge to come over and say hi.”
“That’s sweet of you.” That smile, it was supposed to be charming, but it only reminded Samaa of six months before.
Trixy understood “Yes, he slept in the couch for four months. But he was very serious about making up, he seemed transformed. Just a week after Jordan here was born, he joked that he had so much accumulated sweetness in his groins that he could get me pregnant again with just a kiss.”
Both women laughed “Trixy thank you, really. You painted the most relevant picture to me, and I and the person I end up with, we owe you. Thank you.”
“No, thank you. I know how much of a hold you had on him, you coulda kept him. I dunno what you told him, but my husband has never been this serious about us. In fact, as we speak, he’s taking Gerry to the ladies, can you imagine?” they giggled lightly, but Samaa felt a tad uncomfortable.
“If you wait a few minutes…”
“No thank you,” Samaa chuckled “my friends, and fiancé, they’re at the table. I just had to come and thank you.”
“You’re welcome sweedy.”
Samaa pulled on the chubby cheeks of the bundle of joy Trixy was carrying. An adorable baby, he had his father’s eyes. She spoke baby language to him. It was at the same time as Kobe turned the Frankies’ corner and saw Samaa and Trixy, but their backs were turned to him.
His heart skipped three beats Eeeiii asem ben ni??!!! Ghana’s too small o! . He breathed freely when he saw them smiling, and Samaa playing with his little boy.
Gerry was holding on to two fingers of his “Why’re we standing daddy? Aren’t we going to mommy?” she asked innocently.
“No sweedy, lets play hide and seek with her. We’ll go to Shoprite again and call her to come and look for us.”
The little girl smiled naughtily, “Yeeyy, let’s go then!”
He stood a second longer, a wonderful mistress ex-mistress, an unmatchable wife. He sighed loudly, carried his daughter and ran playfully towards the Shoprite entrance.
[THE END proper]
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