(Continued from Betraying the Sister Code II)
“Is it true?” Dot asks softly.
Richard’s mind is racing. He could lie. After all, it is his word against Rick’s. But that could end disastrously because first, it will alienate him further from Rick and second, Dot will know it is a lie anyway. They have been married for over eighteen years so there is nothing about him that Dot doesn’t know.
He could also admit it and ask for forgiveness. But how will she react? Will she forgive him? She could walk away from their marriage. In the end, he doesn’t have to say anything. His hesitation sells him out.
“So it is true,” Dot says, sinking into the chair. “Oh God, what did I do wrong? Is that why she finally accepted to quit government service to come and work at Beeline?”
She starts sobbing and Richard moves to console her.
“Don’t touch me! Move away from me!” she snarls at him. He backs away. Thank God the twins are in Nairobi with their grandparents for the holiday.
Rick, who has been watching the drama from half way up the stairs, walks down the stairs and wraps his arms around his mother.
“I am so sorry Ma. I did not mean to hurt you,”
“You did not hurt me son, your father did,” she replies, wiping away tears with the back of her hand.
Since she came back from Rome, Christy cannot get Richard out of her mind. She has never felt so loved. It has been a month now and her body aches for him every day. The first thing she did when she came back was to quit her job at Chuka Hospital so that she could work at Beeline.
That decision has many benefits. Her salary is now much higher than what she was earning at Chuka Hospital, plus she is now closer to Richard. They have had sex only once since they came back from Rome, in his office. She sneaked into his office when was working late, after both his wife and his secretary had left for the day. That was the first week after they came back. Since then she has not been able to sleep with him. She has been in his office on many nights, but sex has not happened because he said he had tough deadlines to beat. So they would chat briefly then she would leave him to finish his work. Such a hardworking man.
She wonders how having him to herself every night would feel like. She is tired of having to sneak around hiding from both Dot and Alexander. Dot is her friend, but she doesn’t deserve Richard. She doesn’t know how to treat him right. While in Rome he told her that he often works late just to avoid being home with her because Dot is so quarrelsome. She doesn’t cook, so they often have to buy food from hotels. And she has denied him his conjugal rights for two years now. What kind of woman is that? She, Christy, will take care of him. She will pamper him with love. She will personally cook his meals, wash his clothes, massage his body and passionately make love to him every day.
But there are two obstacles to that: his wife Dot and her husband Alexander. Richard already said he is leaving his wife. He is talking to the lawyer who will do his divorce. So the only challenge is Alexander, her husband. And that is easy too. She is not legally married to Alexander. He has never even paid dowry for her, so she can simply walk away and that marriage will stand dissolved. But she has invested heavily in Alexander. She is the one who built the house they live in. She took a loan and got the construction done. She has also been farming on the remaining piece of land. She has food crops, chicken, four goats and two dairy cows. She had about ten goats but Alexander sells a goat whenever he runs short of drinking money. Soon he might sell a cow.
She cannot leave all that investment to Alexander and whatever woman he will bring home. Christy knows that as soon as she leaves he will bring another woman home. She will have to get rid of him so that she inherits all of it as a widow. She has heard that an overdose of anesthesia when administered to an alcoholic can cause a heart attack. Nobody will suspect a thing. It is not that difficult to steal anesthesia and a syringe from the hospital. Even if she gets caught stealing, the hospital boss is her boyfriend.
No one will miss Alexander enough to insist on an autopsy. His parents fear him. His children hate him. Okay, except her second born son, Matthew, who is already smoking weed at fourteen and idolizes his father. Matthew once tried to beat her the way his father does, but his elder brother Kyle beat the daylights out of him and he has never tried it again.
Richard decides to go on an all out charm offensive. Dot has been his wife for over 18 years and he loves her. He cannot afford to lose her just because of sex. What was he even thinking getting involved with Christy?
He goes to the kitchen and pours himself a glass of juice then sits just outside the kitchen door. How could I be so stupid? He asks himself over and over again. A moment’s thrill is about to ruin a family he has built for eighteen years. To make it worse, he has slept with her after coming back here. But it was once, and since then he has been able to resist her, although he has never really ended things with her. That is why she keeps coming back, hoping he will sleep with her again. He knows she is infatuated with him and was afraid that if he told her it was over she would cause drama at the hospital.
He knows he will have to fire her from the hospital. Even if Dot divorces him, he knows he won’t marry her, and she working for him is a bad idea. He feels terrible because he said a lot of false things to her about his marriage to Dot, and made false promises to Christy while in Rome. Just for sex.
He wonders what Dot will do next. He has decided to accept whatever she says. Maybe then she will give him another chance. Even if she decides to divorce him, he will accept it. Maybe, just maybe, she might see his repentant heart and remarry him later.
He is lost in thought and doesn’t hear her slide to the chair next to him.
“Do you love her?” she asks, startling him.
“No, I don’t,” he replies without hesitation. “I am so sorry Dot. I have sinned against God and against you. I am sorry,”
Dot chokes up like she is going to cry again but holds steady.
“Don’t drag God into this. How long has it been going on?”
“A month. It started in Rome,”
“How did it start?”
Richard sighs. Discussing the details of the affair with his wife is painful and humiliating, but he has already made a decision to humble himself.
“On the first day, I had dinner with her and the boys. The boys left but Christy and I stayed behind for dessert. Then she came over and kissed me, and we started making out. Then we went to my room. After that we she would come to my room every night and we would have sex. I am not trying to blame her though. I kissed her back when she kissed me and I allowed her into my room and had sex with her. I am at fault, and I know I don’t deserve it, but please forgive me,”
“Have you slept with her since you came back?”
This is a trick question. If he says yes, then she will assume he had no intention of ending it until he was caught, which will make his apology sound hollow. If he says no and she finds out the truth, it will ruin any chance of a reconciliation.
“Yes, I have,”
“Once. That first week after we came back from Rome,”
“In my office,”
“She came into my office in the evening, after hours. I was working late,”
“So she didn’t come after that?”
“She comes. But I always pretend to be too busy so as to avoid having sex with her,”
“So you haven’t really ended things with her,”
“I was afraid, Dot. Christy is very temperamental. I was afraid she would cause a scene at the hospital if I told her it’s over,”
Dot is surprised by his sincerity. She had expected him to dodge and stonewall her and accuse her of God knows what. She came ready to fight, but his straight forward answers have deflated her. She came determined to divorce him, but she is no longer so sure. Although she still intends to make him suffer, she knows she will not divorce him. The man in front of her is the man she married…honest and sincere. Except that the man she married wasn’t supposed to cheat. And certainly not with her best friend. Former best friend.
“You have ruined our marriage, Richard,”
“I know, and I am really sorry. I wish I could turn back time. Please, please Dot, do not leave me. I will take any punishment, but please do not leave,”
She studies him hard.
“First, I am moving out of the master bedroom. I will stay in one of the guestrooms until I decide whether you are sincere or not. Second you will call Christy to your office tomorrow and tell her it is over. If she causes a scene you will deal with it. Third, you will tell Reverend Micheni what you have done and step down as an elder. Then on Sunday you will tell the entire congregation that you have slept with another woman and that is why you have stepped down as an elder. Fourth, you will step down as the CEO of the hospital and recommend me as your successor. Finally, if I find out that you have lied to me, or if I ever catch you even winking at another woman again, I will divorce you and leave with the children,”
“Fair enough. I accept the conditions,” he says meekly.
Dot is shocked. She was making demands she thought were unreasonable just to trigger a fight.
Alexander comes home drunk, as usual. His children are all sound asleep, again as usual. His wife is waiting for him and opens even before he knocks, which is weird. She serves him hot food without his asking, again very weird. The she starts kissing and touching him. Again weird. Since the second year of their marriage, their sex has always been rape.
He drunkenly makes love to her on the couch then falls asleep. Christy dashes to the bedroom and takes a syringe and injects him with the anesthesia while he is asleep. When she finishes, she looks down at him and smiles. Her misery is about to end. Soon she will be permanently in the arms of a man who cares about her. And a wealthy man, not this brutal pauper.
“Rest in Peace Alexander,” she says, aloud.
A movement behind her startles her. She turns and comes face to face with her son Matthew.
“Have you killed dad?” he asks, glaring at her.
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