(Continued from Miranda II)
Deborah is devastated as she walks out of the restaurant. She had been convinced that this is it. She would never have imagined that Jacob would betray her this way. The past eleven months have been the happiest in her life. As a matter of fact, she thought he would propose today; he has been throwing hints all week long, although it was definitely supposed to be a surprise.
He did surprise her, but not in the way she had expected. She got to the restaurant before him, which was not unusual because she works in the CBD while his office is along Ngong Road. Since they almost always meet in the CBD, she always gets to the restaurant before him, preferring to read in the restaurant while waiting. She had only been in the restaurant for about ten minutes when a woman and a young girl appeared and asked whether they could join her.
“I am waiting for a date,” she told the woman.
“I know, Deborah. But I need to speak to you for a few minutes. I won’t take long. I promise. It is about Jacob.”
“Who are you, and how do you know my name?”
The woman had taken that as an invitation. She sat her daughter several tables away and bought her potato chips. Then she came back and sat down opposite Deborah.
“My name is Miranda,” she said. “And I am Jacob’s wife.”
“I am his wife. We have been married for six years. If you do not believe me, just look at our daughter. Who does she resemble?”
Deborah did not want to believe it, but she had to. The girl is a spitting image of Jacob.
“But I have been to Jacob’s house and I have never seen you or your daughter there.”
“You have been to our house in Syokimau?”
“No, Lower Kabete.”
“I did not even know my husband had a house there. Which makes me wonder, how many women does he entertain there? Do you think you are the only one? You know I knew you were here because I checked his messages last night while he was asleep and I saw your chat. Please Deborah, don’t destroy my home; I am beseeching you. That is all I came to ask. Don’t do it for me; do it for Jacob’s daughter.”
It is at that point that Jacob had walked in. All doubts that Deborah may have had flew out of the window when he called her by name. And when Miranda challenged him, he did not deny being her husband.
When she gets to her house, Deborah goes straight to bed and cries her heart out. She gets off the bed, at about 9pm. She makes black tea and fries an egg. She has a loaf of bread in the kitchen, and she intends to take an egg sandwich for supper.
Deborah remembers the day she and Jacob met as though it was yesterday. On that day she was attending a Legal Aid Conference at the Heron Portico Hotel, and she found herself seated next to a man with a very interesting goatee. Being a talkative person, Deborah struck a conversation with him. She actually remembers how she started the conversation.
‘Hi. Can I ask you a question? What products do you use on your beard?’
The conversation picked up from there. She did most of the talking because, as she soon found out, Jacob happens to be a naturally quiet and rather shy man. He turned out to be a good listener though. Whenever he spoke it was to chip in with a thoughtful comment. When the conference was done for the day, he offered to drop her in the CBD so that she could take a matatu home. She had mentioned somewhere in the conversation that she does not have a car. And then he discovered that she lived in Upper Kabete.
“I can actually drop you home. I live in Lower Kabete and I know a back route that connects from Upper Kabete to Lower Kabete. I can use it to get home.”
But there was a hitch. He had given his car to his assistant to run an errand and the assistant had not yet returned. He called the guy, and found out that he was stranded in traffic somewhere along Thika Road. Deborah and Jacob agreed to stroll to the CBD. Heron Portico is along Jakaya Kikwete Road, a distance that someone can walk to the CBD. Walking would actually be faster, because traffic was at a standstill both ways along Kenyatta Avenue, going all the way to both Valley Road and Ngong Road.
Deborah blessed the traffic snarl up in her heart. At that point she had already decided that she liked Jacob, and she was only too happy to spend time with him. They walked all the way to the CBD and still got there before Jacob’s assistant. Logic dictated that they find a café and wait for Jacob’s assistant while taking coffee.
“I am so sorry Deborah. I hope I am not wasting your time. If you need to get home in a hurry I can get you an Uber…”
“No, it is okay. I am happy to keep you company. Besides, even if I get into a vehicle now, I will be stuck in traffic for hours.”
That was the first time they had coffee at Traedon Restaurant, and the coffee extended to dinner. They talked for hours because even after the car came, they decided that it would be pointless to try to go when the traffic situation was still a gridlock.
When traffic started flowing again, with was about 9pm, Jacob dropped her at her estate before driving home.
That night Deborah kept thinking about the quiet stranger. She simply could not take him off her mind. But she knew that she would never see him again. He had not taken her phone number so maybe he was not interested in her that way. Still, she kept thinking about him. He had a beautiful but rare smile; he smiled just once the whole time she was with him, but when he did, his entire face lit up, his eyes danced in their sockets and a faint dimple appeared on his left cheek. Perhaps his smile was even more beautiful and memorable because it is rare. He is not the kind of person who smiles often.
Deborah could not forget the goatee either; you cannot think about Jacob without thinking about his goatee. She had noticed that whenever he was amused, he would stroke his goatee. But he also stroked his goatee when he was frustrated, irritated or downright angry. Since his facial expression did not change save for the rare smile, stroking of the goatee seemed to be his way of expressing emotions. Deborah was sure, and is still sure, that there is a way of knowing the particular emotion in play by looking at the way he strokes his goatee.
Deborah was also sure she would crack that code with time. By their second wedding anniversary, she would be able to read and interpret his emotions like a primary school text book. She wanted to know everything about him. That surprised her because it meant that she was already thinking about being his wife yet she had known him for only one day and there was a real possibility that she would never see him again.
But Jacob surprised her by calling her the following day and asking her out for dinner.
“How did you get my number?” she asked.
“Easy. I took it off those registration documents we signed at the conference.”
“You could have asked me for it, you know.”
“Where is the fun in that?”
They had a long chat on phone and agreed to meet again for dinner. One thing led to another and within no time, they became friends. Two months after their first meeting, Jacob asked her to be his girlfriend and she accepted. For some reason she trusted him more than she has trusted any other man, save for her first boyfriend Levi. But she had trusted her teenage boyfriend Levi because she was young and naïve. Since then, she has matured, and the experience with Levi has helped her develop emotional defenses. Although she has been heartbroken a few more times after Levi, it has never as bad as that first one.
But she threw caution to the wind when she met Jacob, and she gave him her all. Jacob looked genuine; she could feel it. And that is why she let her guard down and allowed him into her life. He seemed to do the same, because he talked more as their relationship progressed. And from the way he talked about his faith, and the way he talked about sexual purity, she was convinced that he was her Mr. Right. And that was clearly a mistake. She fell for a wolf in sheepskin, and she fell hard.
The only good thing is that she hasn’t slept with him; but it hurts nevertheless, because even though she has not surrendered her body to him, she has already surrendered everything else: her heart, her soul, her being.
When Deborah cannot cry anymore, she takes out her phone and deactivates all her social media accounts: Facebook and Instagram. She doesn’t want the drama of deleting his photos on her timelines, so she chooses to deactivate the accounts instead. She doesn’t share romantic stuff on Twitter so it stays. After deactivating her Facebook and Instagram accounts, she goes to her phone contact list and blocks Jacob’s number so that he cannot contact her.
Deborah does not have appetite, but she forces herself to eat her egg sandwich, and then she decides to go to bed and try to get some sleep. After all, tomorrow is a working day, and she will be expected to deliver her targets. She is just about to switch off the sitting room light when someone knocks at her front door. If she were thinking straight, she would have at the very least asked who it is. But her mind is all over the place, so she opens the door without thinking. She takes a few steps back when she sees who is standing outside.
“Miranda, what are you doing here?”
“Claiming what is mine. My husband is crazy about you, so I have decided to take the shortest route to solving my marital problems.”
“What are you talking about?”
Miranda steps into the house and shuts the door.
“If I kill you and make it look like a suicide, Jacob will have no one else to love.”
“You said there are others.”
“I lied because I wanted you to dump him. But I don’t want to risk having the two of you see each other behind my back. So you have to die. If there are others, I will find them the same way I found you, and kill them.”
She pulls out a pistol from her handbag, aims at Deborah’s head and fires twice in quick succession.
Image by Leroy Skalstad from Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/photos/people-black-homeless-black-people-913778/
(Continued Here) *
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