(Continued from here)

“Diana, do you know what you are doing…?”

She was stuck between charybdis and Scylla; her education meter read nil and her financial balance book was non-existent. She couldn’t dare going back to her mother and her only resort was endurance. From her tumultuous childhood, she had learnt how sufferance worked. She was ready to take all the hardships, at least for the boys Tim and Festus. It was her duty as a mother. At times however, a whirlpool of anger would eat into her and she felt like doing some harm to Brian. How could he do it? After all the love she had shown. Wasn’t she the paragon of humility amongst the neighbourhood wives? Didn’t she take cooking lessons just for him? At times like this, the words of her mother would swagger majestically into her restive mind,

“Diana, do you know what you are doing?”

She was a resilient woman by nature and after all, she knew her prayers would one day change her husband. However envy and jealousy gnawed her heart every time he stood at the kitchen door and nonchalantly said,

“Darling, I will be leaving for five days to Kigali, you will be okay, won’t you?”

His deep baritone voice always melted her knee caps but what was she to say? She always wished to be that other woman who would savour all his attention and love. Would it be Anne the Journalist or Christine the French and teacher, she wondered. Thoughts of a better day sat in every corner of her exhausted heart. At least, she had the boys, she always consoled herself. But now…

The two boys entered the room and the silence died out with their endless chatter. Tim was now shaking his father who had just started snoring. He slowly came out of his short sojourn into the land of better days and faced the chubby boy. He wanted to hold him in his arms but the realization that none of his limbs could move cut through him like a sharp razor. He had never shown a lot of love to the boys but they still adored him. Festus was jumping on the conches and he realized how adorable his family was. He had never taken time to show them love and now he was at their mercy. His visage took him to the lawn which could be seen through the large French doors. His gleaming B.M.W was parked as if anxiously waiting for him. He knew when would never drive again just as her would never get to hold his boys in his arms. A lone tear trickled slowly from his left eyes tracing a meandering path down his cheeks. The memories of his early church going says stole stealthily into his added mind and the  whole idea of purgatory now was making sense, he was paying for all his insolence, his promiscuity and all his other intransigencies. Diana was now holding the crisply ironed shirt out as if luring his mind into the long gone days. A shiver swept through his spine when he looked at her lips, was it a smile? Was she torturing him deliberately? The despair in his heart was confounding and he wished just to say one word, a word he would never get the chance to utter, a word he had never said in his life, “sorry”. If only he could get a second chance, he would smother Diana with love, he would forget all the other women who were now gone. If only he could get a second If only he could get a second chance, he would smother Diana with love, he would forget all the other women who were now gone. If only to do good were easy as to know it…the quote from Shakespeare glided into his mind at that moment. His deeply sunk eyes now rested on his wife and he tried to fill them with all the compassion and contrition he could muster the best he could do.

Diana really loved her husband but his bold infidelity had threatened to wash away her love. Now, he was a vegetable, helpless and in her care. She remembered the day when he collapsed on his way from office leading to the brain surgery. A feeling of triumph had at first settled in her mind but as a Christian, she had prayed off this evil feeling. However, without any provocation, she always found herself smiling over the change of fortunes. She had always wished to have Brian at home to shower him with love and her prayers had now been answered though in a cruel fashion. He was now a baby to be cuddled. He couldn’t talk or move any of his limbs. The surgery had been botched and the doctors had called her aside with a lot of sadness,

“Diana, we are sorry, he might never recover”

“What do you mean doctor?”

“His thinking will be okay but he will never use his limbs or talk” the doctor had added.

“You mean it? He will remain in the house?” her voice had almost betrayed her joy.

“Yes, forever, we are sorry”, the doctor was flummoxed by the tone of the woman, Did she he hear a tingle of joy or was he hallucinating? She had devoted herself to him showing him how much he had missed. She know it was slow torture about it was the best she could do. A tune was coming into her mind now and she and she started humming to it “I will always love you …..”

Festus was asking his father why they couldn’t go swimming together, as Tim pinched the dead hand. In his mind the word “sorry” was screaming with no outlet, the pain of silence was plaguing him now.

© Chrispus Kimaru.