(Continued from A Complete Family III)
Jacinta is singing merrily when George steps out of the bedroom.
“Good morning son. How was your night? Okay, I don’t need to ask. Seeing the time you are waking up, she must have kept you busy most of the night,” she says with a cheeky smile.
“I don’t know what you are talking about. I don’t even know how she got into my bed,” George replies icily.
Jacinta glares at her son.
“You can’t force a girl into having sex and pretend you don’t know how it happened, I heard the commotion last night,” she snaps.
George can feel his temper threatening to boil over, so he walks away and heads to the bathroom. He showers and dresses then heads to his office, which is located at the Chuka restaurant, the oldest of his chain of restaurants. He usually heads to the kitchen first to see what is happening, but today he is too depressed, so he walks straight to the office and locks the door. He is just settling down when his phone rings.
“Seriously George, how could you do that to me? A week is not even over yet,” the unmistakable voice says. He can tell Rose has been crying.
“Listen babe, I don’t know what mother told you, but…”
“She did not tell me anything George. She sent me photos of you and that girl naked in my bed. That girl was sleeping with her head on your chest, and you both looked very contented. How could you do that to me?”
She terminates the call before he can respond. George. She called him George. He cannot remember the last time she called him by his name. His morning just got worse. Wait, why would his mother get into his bedroom to take naked photos of him and Karambu while they are asleep? What kind of a mother does that?
Rose feels empty. She is unable to remove the image of George and that girl from her mind, so it haunts her all morning. During the turmoil that has been plaguing her marriage, the one thing that has been keeping her going is the assurance of George’s love. She was sure that they would overcome because they loved each other. Love always prevails, no?
But now it seems George has abandoned her. He has fallen for the charms of the much younger woman, egged on, no doubt, by his mother. What is she supposed to do? They were supposed to grow old together.
As she drives to her office in Embu, she hardly notices the road. She doesn’t even realise she is driving. Jacinta sent her photos on WhatsApp last night, but she only saw them in the morning. Her mother noticed that she was not okay and asked her about it over breakfast. She lied that it was pressure from work. Mrs. Kaaria was not persuaded, but she let the matter drop.
Around twelve forty-five, Rose hears gospel music from the building across the street from her office. It is then that she remembers that there is a church that holds lunch hour meetings there. She has never thought much about them, usually because she is always busy and eats from her desk while working. But today she is feeling restless and has no desire to work. She knows her secretary attends those meetings, so she crosses over to the girl’s station.
She finds her preparing to leave.
“Rachel, where are you going?” she asks. Rachel instinctively looks at the clock.
“Out for lunch,” the younger woman replies nervously.
Rose silently wonders what kind of a Christian she has been at the office if her secretary will lie to her about going to church. Maybe she should start coming early enough to attend the staff devotions.
“Lunchtime starts at one,”
“Yes madam. I am sorry,” Rachel replies and slides back to her seat.
“You were not by any chance going to that church function across the street?”
“I was…I swear madam, I would have been back by one forty-five. I do not usually steal company time.”
“Is that the church you attend on Sundays?”
“So what normally happens over this lunch hour meeting?”
“Just singing, praying and a short sermon,”
“No weird spiritual activities?”
Rachel smiles for the first time since her boss appeared at her desk.
“No madam, we are not a cult. If that is what you mean.”
“It is okay. You can go. And from today you can be coming back at two. Take the fifteen minutes to grab something to eat before you come back, okay?”
“Okay madam. Thank you,”
“Today I am actually going with you, so let us go. I want to worship with you,”
Rachel’s face lights up and she shoots from her seat. They head out of the door and across the street to the church. The place is filling up so they find seats near the back. Worship is already underway.
Rose closes her eyes and allows the worship to soak her soul. They are singing hymns and she can feel them soothing her broken soul. Tears fall down her cheeks as she sings. Even as people around her including her secretary start praying, Rose just sings along with the choir. The words of all the hymns are the exact prayers she intended to make.
Pass me not, oh gentle Savior
Hear my humble cry
While on others Thou art calling
Do not pass me by
Hear my humble cry
While on others Thou art calling
Do not pass me by
Let me at Thy throne of mercy
I find a sweet relief
Kneeling there in deep contrition
Help my unbelief
She belts out the lyrics in earnest, tears rolling down her cheeks. By the time the worship session is done, she is feeling much better. The pastor, a jovial, middle-aged man, then rises to speak.
“Turn with me to the book of Jeremiah Chapter 17. We will read from verse five to eight. When you are ready, we will read together.”
Rose whips out her phone and opens the chapter.
“Let us start,” the pastor says. “Verse five, this is what the Lord says: Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. Verse six, he will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. Verse seven, but blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. Verse eight, he will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when the heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Rose is stunned. She has built her life, her entire life, around George. That is why she is unable to work just because he decided to go with another woman. That needs to stop. She cannot wallow in self-pity forever. If George has moved on, then she also needs to move on. From now on she will put her trust in God and God alone. He will surely even help her overcome her heartache and move on with her life.
(Two months later)
Karambu has been sickly so George, in spite of himself, takes her to hospital. They hardly talk to each other, even after the day she woke up in his bed. He resisted her attempts to move into his bedroom, and now keeps it under lock and key. He even locks it even when he is showering or in the toilet, and especially when he is asleep inside.
But she is clearly unwell and his mother pleads with him to take her to hospital. They drive to Chogoria Hospital’s branch in Chuka. Half an hour later, the results are out. Karambu is not sick. She is pregnant. A wicked thought had tempted him to dump them at the hospital then race home, throw their things out and change the locks, but he could not bear to do that to a sick woman. And now doctors have said that she is carrying his baby. He cannot abandon his child, no matter the circumstances under which he/she was conceived.
George drops them at home then drives away. His mind is in turmoil. What is going to happen now? Rose doesn’t speak to him anymore, but he has always hoped that one day they will reconcile. All along he has been thinking of different ways of getting rid of Jacinta and Karambu. Karambu still works for Rajul, but Jacinta rarely leaves the house, so he couldn’t have evicted them while they were both out.
One way that has been very prominent in his mind is selling the home and leaving the new buyer to evict Karambu and Jacinta. That way, nobody would accuse him of using force on his mother. In fact, he has a potential buyer already, but he is not very enthusiastic about that plan because it would force him to sell the property on the cheap because of the inconvenience the buyer would have evicting his relatives.
The other option he has been exploring is taking a bank loan and using the property as collateral. He would use the loan money to buy property elsewhere and build another home. This time he would build a brick perimeter wall and an iron gate so that no one would have unauthorized entry. He would default on the loan, forcing the bank to seize the property and in the process evict Jacinta and Karambu. But they might also list him on CRB…and if they did that, his businesses would suffer. But the bank manager is his friend. Surely they could work out a plan that did not involve the CRB…he could even use the same loan money to repay the loan after the bank evicts Jacinta and Karambu, then build a perimeter wall to keep them out. He would only need to top up the interest on the loan. In other words, pay the bank to evict Karambu and Jacinta but under the pretext of defaulting on a loan. Yes, he would pay interest, but that is the price of evicting those two. He should have sold that plan to Charlene the bank manager.
But that cannot work now. Karambu is now carrying his baby, and he cannot throw out his own child. And this complicates things because the only woman he wants to spend his life with is Rose.
“Are you okay?” Mrs. Kaaria asks her daughter. Rose is picking at her breakfast.
“I am okay mama,” she replies.
“No, you are not okay baby. We know you only too well. Have you been thinking about your husband?” her father asks.
“His new wife is pregnant. Jacinta made sure I knew it. She sent me a copy of the results on WhatsApp yesterday,”
“I am soo sorry baby,” her mother says rising from her seat and hugging her. “Maybe you should block that woman. She shouldn’t keep spoiling your mood like this.”
“My mood is fine mama. That woman has got nothing on me. I moved on,”
“But you are not even eating sweetheart,”
“The reason I am not eating properly mama, is because I am also pregnant.”
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