(Continued from Betraying the Sister Code III)
Rick steps in and stops his mother from attacking Christy and Richard.
“Please ma, I know they deserve a beating, but for the sake of Kyle, let us just leave,” he pleads.
Dot relents and allows her son to lead her to the car. He even pick up her handbag for her.
“Rick, I am not coming back here. But you should come and see your friend Kyle sometime. He will want to see you when he wakes up.”
“I know Ma, but how will I do that? I don’t want to meet those clowns in there.”
Dot sighs deeply.
“Look son, I know that today I wasn’t the best role model on the planet. But you need to respect those two. Christy is Kyle’s mom, and Richard is your father. So even if what they are doing is disgusting, you still need to respect them.”
“I used to respect both of them Ma. But they have eroded that respect.”
“I know. But at least show them respect, even if you feel that they don’t deserve it.”
“Okay Ma. I will try. But you still haven’t told me how I will see Kyle without bumping into them. You have seen how reckless they are. They do not even bother to lock doors when they are conducting their activities.”
“Give me a minute.”
Dot steps out of the car and walks briskly towards the hospital offices. Within minutes, she has found out who Kyle’s nurse is. She finds the girl and explains to her that Rick needs to see Kyle in private, when he gets out of the coma. Dot and the nurse agree that the nurse will alert Dot when Kyle wakes up, and also tell her when Kyle is alone so that Dot can alert Rick.
“I need to go,” Richard tells Christy, although his arms are still wrapped around her. In a sense, he is grateful that it is Dot and Rick who stumbled upon them kissing. They already know what has been happening anyway. It would have been worse if it had been a nurse or an orderly, because that gossip would have spread like bush fire.
Richard feels like an infatuated teenager. Before Dot found out about his affair, he was guarded. He was still uncertain as to whether or not he should abandon his marriage. But now he feels free to pursue his love for Christy. He can barely get his hands off her body. He lied when he told Christy that Dot denies him his conjugal rights. Dot firmly believes in that line in scripture that urges spouses not to deny their bodies to each other. But the truth is that their sex life has become boring and monotonous over the years. It cannot be compared to the earth shattering moments he is now sharing with Christy, who has proven to be very skilled in bedroom affairs. Richard wonders why Alexander would cheat on a passionate woman like Christy.
After settling her in one of the luxury apartments at the hospital, Richard went back to his office to try and get some work done. But he could not concentrate, so he went back to Kyle’s room to look for Christy, and that is how Dot found them.
It is a good thing that Alexander is dead. With Dot on her way to divorce him, there is now no obstacle to their love.
Dot is an hour early for her appointment with the lawyer. The purchase of the house is no longer at the top of the agenda. The divorce now is. She is hoping she can see the lawyer and discuss the divorce before the representative of the company that is selling the house arrives.
Like most small town law firms, Janis & Company Advocates is a one-stop-shop for legal services. The firm offers a wide range of services, from conveyancing to criminal and civil litigation to family law. With six lawyers, the firm is tiny compared to the behemoths in Nairobi, but in Shava it is a giant. Most law firms in Shava are one-man kiosks. Messa has no law firms.
The reception of Janis & Company is luxuriously furnished. There are leather seats for clients, expensive-looking curtains, an intimidating front-office desk, a water dispenser and a luxurious carpet. Unlike what happens in some of the small offices in Shava, there are no files in the reception. The firm has a whole room reserved as a registry for files. The office is set in a new office block.
Dot sits at the reception while impatiently flipping through a current issue of the Parents magazine. She has already informed Janis via text that she has come earlier. Janis has informed her that she is in a meeting but will be wrapping up shortly. The receptionist offers Dot coffee, but Dot declines.
True to her words, Janis comes out of a boardroom less than ten minutes later while talking to three men. The men bid her farewell at the reception and leave.
“Dorothy! It is such a pleasure to see you. Please come to my office,” Janis says cheerfully. She is a small woman with a charming smile. But those who have interacted with her professionally know that in spite of her size and demeanor, she is a tough negotiator and a very skilled litigator. Dorothy has known her for many years now. Janis was the top student in their class at Shava Girls. While Dorothy and Christy did not make it to University level and ended up going to study nursing at diploma level, Janis went to the University of Nairobi to study law. Janis is one of the directors of Beeline Hospital and, at the insistence of the other directors, her firm handles all Beeline’s legal transactions. Like most large institutions, Beeline Hospital has a legal department but still relies on external lawyers to handle major transactions.
“Feel at home. What will you have? Tea, coffee or juice?” Janis asks while ushering her to a sofa set that is arranged around a coffee table at the middle of the spacious office.
“Tea will be fine,” Dorothy replies.
Janis calls the receptionist and relays the request.
“So how is your family? It is a long time since I saw the children. Rick and the twins must be all grown up now.”
“The children are fine, and yes, they are all grown up. Rick is just about to sit for his KSCE then he will be off to Rome for his undergraduate studies.”
“He got a scholarship there. One of the Roman Universities wants him to study there while he plays tennis for them.”
“That is excellent. Wish him all the best for me. How is Richard? It has been a while since I saw him too. When is the last time the Board met? A month ago?”
“Actually, Richard is the reason I wanted to see you before the scheduled time for our appointment. I felt I could not wait. I want a divorce.”
“Tell me you are kidding Dorothy. Why would you want a divorce? You and Richard have always been couple goals.”
“Richard is having an affair,” Dot replies quietly.
“He is. And as if that is not enough, he is sleeping with my best friend Christy.”
“Oh my God! That is twisted. I thought Christy is married?”
“Yea, she was. But her husband died yesterday. But even before he died, Christy had decided that she wants my husband. Look, Janis, I don’t know if representing me will amount to conflict of interest because of your work for the hospital. I will understand if you are unable to represent me because of that. I just thought that I should come to you first because you are not only my friend, but you are also the finest lawyer in this town. I would really like to have you in my corner.”
“Don’t worry, Dorothy. I will represent you. I don’t see any conflict because your problem is not with the hospital but with Richard. I work for the hospital, not him.”
She rises and walks to her desk. She pulls out a notebook and takes a pen from the top of her desk.
“Do you have any witnesses?”
“Yea, one. But I am not sure whether I want to use him.”
“It is my son Rick. He is the one who first discovered his father and Christy having sex in Richard’s hotel room in Rome. He is the one who told me. But I don’t want him to get involved in the fight between me and his father. I don’t want him to have to choose sides.”
“Hadn’t they locked the door? That was reckless, especially since they must have known that Rick might pass by to see his father.”
“Or maybe they consciously or subconsciously wanted to get caught.”
“Anyway, you are right. We shouldn’t make Rick testify about the sexual activities of his father. There is a private investigator that I work with. We can use him to find incriminating photos and avoid using Rick.
But about picking sides, I can bet you that if he is the one who found them, then made the decision to tell you, he has already chosen a side.”
“Yea, I know. But let us use your investigator. I don’t think it will be that difficult to find the photos because Richard and Christy seemingly can’t keep their hands off each other, and they are not making much of an effort to hide. Christy’s son is in hospital, and this morning I took Rick to see him because they are friends. We found Richard kissing Christy right there in the ward, with the door unlocked.”
“I still can’t believe Richard is capable of doing all this.”
“Me neither. I am yet to wrap my head around it.”
Matthew and his father Alexander are supposed to be buried on the same day, four days from the day they died. No postmortem was done on either of them, even though both died under very mysterious circumstances. Even so, there are whispers around the village. By now everyone knows about the affair between Richard and Christy.
Everyone knows that Dorothy has filed for divorce and that she has bought a house in Shava. The villagers in Messa are shocked. They all loved Dot and Richard together, and while Christy has always been well liked, it has always been more of sympathy than affection. But now, upon learning that she is responsible for the breaking up of the marriage of their doctor, nearly everyone in Messa loathes Christy. They are all firmly in Dot’s corner. What they don’t know is what to make of Richard. Many of the villagers are disappointed in him, but he is still their doctor. Many of the villagers in Messa have found employment at Beeline.
The villagers have boycotted the funeral. Thanks to Richard, the bodies of Alexander and Matthew are enclosed in expensive caskets. The bodies are ferried in Beeline’s hearse. They leave the hospital mortuary at 9 am headed to the burial site. Richard, who is the Presbyterian Church elder in-charge of the Beeline locality, is ironically the one who officiates the funeral service. The area around the hospital, originally called Gasakia, is now called Beeline. Because Alexander and Mathew were not active members of the church, the Parish Minister cannot officiate the funeral. But because Christy is a member of the church, an elder of the church can officiate it.
The funeral is held at Alexander’s home. Christy has taken over the funeral and burial arrangements, excluding Alexander’s parents, siblings and other members of his family. Only a handful of the villagers attend the funeral service. The prevailing rumor is that Christy killed Alexander so that she can be with Richard. Some are even suggesting that Richard helped her to get rid of her husband.
Richard is just concluding the funeral service so that the bodies can be taken to the grave site when a woman appears in the company of police officers. The woman has two children who she alleges are the sons of Alexander. She has court orders barring the burial of Alexander so that paternity tests can be conducted. The court order also bars Beeline from taking possession of the body due to alleged conflict of interest. The body will instead be taken to Shava Level Five hospital mortuary.
With only a few mourners in the funeral, none of who is heavily invested in the whole affair, the woman, who identifies herself as Eunice, finds little resistance. The police officers load Alexander’s body into their van and speed away towards Shava Hospital.
Matthew was hurriedly buried and mourners dispersed quickly.
Dot learns about the drama at Alexander’s burial over the radio in her car. She chuckles softly. The only thing at stake is two acres of land and Alexander’s benefits from TSC. Alexander has six children with Christy, although Mathew is now dead and buried. But if rumors are to be believed, he has sired many more children in Messa and beyond.
This is going to be interesting, she murmurs to herself. Even as she says it, she knows that what is going to be interesting is her day at the office today. Today is her first day at work since her lawyer Janis served Richard with the divorce papers. Every day at Beeline hospital starts with a meeting of senior staff. So this is also the first time she will be meeting Richard since the divorce was filed. The last time they met was the day she found him kissing Christy in Kyle’s ward room.
Dot is surprised to find a new SUV parked at her designated spot. Unlike some of the more petty senior staff who park behind any car they find parked at their reserved spots, Dot drives to the general parking lot and finds an empty space to park.
She walks briskly to her office. She has not stepped into the office for over a week now. Her secretary is not yet in because it is not yet 8 am. She is just about to open the door when she suddenly stops. The name on the door is not hers: her name has been replaced with Christy’s.
She opens the door and sees the woman who has for decades been her best friend sitting behind her desk.
“So it is not enough for you to have my husband, you want my job too?” an infuriated Dot asks Christy.
[End of the free part of the story. To find out what happened to Dot, Richard and Christy, follow the instructions below to purchase your copy of the novella.]
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