“You know what babe?” Caleb asks.
“Saturday is the best day of my life.”
“Why is that?” Jackline asks, even though she knows the answer to that question. She has heard it many times.
“It is because Saturday is the day that I get to be truly happy.”
“Aren’t you happy during the other days of the week?”
“From Monday to Friday I am at work during the day, handling all the pressures that come with the job. In the evening, instead of going home to relax, I find myself being stressed even further. I made a terrible mistake when I got married. I should have met you sooner. You are the reason my Saturdays are fantastic.”
Jackline does not respond immediately. She is taking time to organize her thoughts. Caleb is always complaining about his wife but she always wonders why he doesn’t leave. He does not have the excuse that most married people have: I am staying for the children. He is 51 years old and an empty-nester. Caleb and his wife married young and got their children in quick succession. Their first born son Johnson is twenty five, so he was born when Caleb was twenty six. Johnson is a software engineer and works for an American software company based in the US. The second born, Liam, is a twenty three year old footballer. He lives in Spain and plays in the La Liga for Atletico Madrid. The last born, Grace, is a fourth year student of Mass Communications at the University of Cape Town.
Caleb likes talking about his children, so Jackline knows a lot about them. It is obvious that he is proud of all the three of them. He is a middle level manager at a water company. Through shrewd investments, Caleb has been able to amass quite some wealth and has therefore been able to give his children a comfortable life. They went to good schools where they were able to lay the groundwork for their future careers. Caleb and his wife Edith live in a palatial home and drive high end cars. Edith is a trained nurse but she currently works for the County Government as an administrator in the department of health.
“Why don’t you come and live here permanently? You deserve to be happy every day of the week.”
“Are you ready to put up with the everyday demands of an old man?” Caleb asks slyly. Jackline is not sure whether he is avoiding the issue or whether he is teasing her. It is probably both.
“Are you afraid of getting a heart attack if you see me for more than one night a week?”
“I am a very strong old man. I am more concerned that you might not be able to cope.”
“Why don’t we give it a try?”
“Sure, no problem. I will do that next weekend.”
“Are you serious?”
“Of course I am. I will tell Edith this week. From Saturday onwards we will be together forever.”
Jackline hugs him tightly and then kisses him on the lips.
“I can’t believe that you will be moving in with me darling. This is a dream come true.”
“I am not moving in with you honey. You are the one who is moving in with me. That house that I live in is mine, so Edith with have to find a place to live. I am going to divorce her.”
Jackline is astounded. She was only half-serious when she brought about this discussion, because she knew that few men leave their wives for their mistresses. At best, she expected to be a second wife, known to the wife but otherwise kept away from the public. But even that is hardly ever guaranteed. But now Caleb is not only saying he wants to make her his wife, he is saying he wants to make her his main wife. In appreciation, she starts kissing him and unbuttoning his shirt. He rises from the couch and leads her to the bedroom.
Jackline likes to be called a “media personality” although “YouTuber” also works for her especially if it is preceded by the very important adjective ‘popular’. She used to work as a show host in a radio station but she lost the job last year. Since then she has been focusing on YouTube content creation. It was difficult at first, because at the time when she was fired she had absolutely no savings. She was facing the embarrassment of leaving the nice neighborhood where she had been living. But then one evening, while attending a birthday party, she was introduced to Caleb by a friend. They got talking and as they say, the rest is history. They have been dating for nine months now.
One of the things that Jackline likes about Caleb is that he did not try to hide the fact that he was married. He wears his wedding band every day. At 36, Jackline has dated quite a number of married men, but Caleb is the first married man she has dated intentionally. The rest were rogues who pretended to be single and took her for a ride.
Caleb has been footing her bills these past nine months. She has six thousand followers on Facebook, but she has struggled to replicate that number on YouTube, where she is yet to even hit a thousand subscribers. She envies popular radio personalities such as Jalang’o and Caroline Mutoko. She looks forward to the day that she will amass such a huge following, especially on her YouTube Channel, to enable her make money that she can survive on. For now though, she is almost entirely dependent on Caleb.
Caleb pays her rent and all her utility bills. He has even purchased a Vitz Jewela for her and every month he gives her “upkeep” money. Yet he only spends time with her on Saturday. Because of this, she is able to pass off as a well-to-do businesswoman, and quite a number of blogs have profiled her as one of the people who have been able to thrive even after losing their jobs.
Jackline was hurt when she was fired from her job, but she cannot sincerely say she was surprised. Her show, Juices from Africa, had been struggling to attract audience. She had been co-hosting it with a veteran journalist called Robert. But with numerous radio stations competing for audience, many career journalists have found themselves competing with comedians, popular vloggers and even musicians for show-hosting jobs. Radio stations tap into these established brands in a bid to tap into their followership. Jackline, fresh out of Daystar and with no social media followership to write home about, hardly stood a chance.
Although Robert was a veteran with over thirty years of experience spanning from his days in KBC, he could hardly be termed as popular. He spent the bulk of his time in KBC reading obituaries. Towards the tail end of his stay at the state run media house, he was promoted to news duties. Since then he has been a news presenter, but he never got prime time news slots. The show he co-hosted with Jackline was his first, and it would be fair to say that it was a flop.
Edith and Caleb have been married for twenty seven years now. When they got married, Caleb was twenty four, and Edith was twenty three. They have matured together and built their fortune together. When they got married, Edith had just left nursing school and had been hired at a private hospital. Caleb was a driver for the water company. They lived in a rented single room in Kikuyu. Caleb later got a diploma and was promoted to an office assistant. By that time, two of their three children had been born.
Over the years, they have worked hard. Caleb was promoted to managerial level; Edith was employed by the government at a public hospital and by the time she left nursing for her current job, she was a senior nurse as Wangige Sub-county hospital. They took loans and invested heavily in property, long before property prices around Kikuyu became insane. They also built their home in King’eero. Now in their fifties, they are comfortable, and are assured of a secure retirement.
Edith is therefore shocked when Caleb tells her that he wants a divorce. They are a Godly, couple. Edith has never suspected that Caleb could be cheating. He has always been the model husband, and a mentor to many young men in their church, where he serves as a church elder. They have not had any major disputes.
“But why Baba Johnson? Have I wronged you in any way?”
“I want to remarry.”
“Why do you want to remarry when you have me? What have I done to make you unhappy? We can always talk about it. Isn’t that the advice we give young couples?”
“I have made up my mind Edith, and I don’t want to fight with you. I want you to move out of this house by Friday, because that is when my new bride is moving in.”
Tears sting Edith’s eyes. She does not fight them, but rather allows them to flow freely down her cheeks.
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See you all on Friday.