(Continued from Pitfalls Love III)
“What are you doing here?” Jedidah asks Jacob harshly, after Morris leaves.
“I came to see you,”
“I don’t want to see you, go away,”
“Please baby, I know I was wrong. I do not know what came over me. I was used of the devil. But you are the only one I truly love. Please forgive me,” Jacob is now on the side of the bed, sobbing.
Jedidah is also fighting tears. This man has caused her a lot of pain. He has devalued her and made her feel unworthy of love. But she loves him. And this is the first day in almost five years that he is looking interested in her. The last time he looked interested was the time he was wooing her, back in college.
“What about your mistress?”
“Charlotte? I already told her to go to hell. I told her that you are the only one I love,”
“Why should I trust you Jacob? You have already proven yourself to be an effective liar,”
Jacob is silent for a while. He is sitting on the edge of the hospital bed stroking Jedidah’s hand gently. He has stopped crying but he is still wearing a pitiful expression on his face.
“You are right, Jedidah. You have no reason to trust anything I say. But all I am asking for is one more chance. Just one more chance to prove to you that I love you,”
Jacob knows he is getting through to her. The very fact that she has not pushed away his hand from hers means something. The flowers he has brought are also lying on the bed next to her. She is back to her old docile self.
“I don’t know Jacob. I don’t want to go back to begging you to love me. To always feel like an inconvenience in your life,”
“It will not happen again, I promise,”
“Okay, Jacob. You have one chance. One chance,” she says.
Jacob bends and plants a kiss on her lips.
“Thank you baby,” he says.
Consolata is beyond shocked to find Jacob feeding Jedidah. It is more surprising than the fact that her friend is finally awake after three days. They look to be deeply in love.
“Hi sweetheart,” Consolata says cautiously. “You are finally awake.”
“Yes I am,”
“Finally. It’s so good to see you conscious and talking again,”
“I left Morris and your mom here when I left. Where are they?”
“I told Morris to leave. Before he left he said mom had gone to the house to freshen up,”
“Why did you tell Morris to leave?”
“Because I did not want him to continue believing that I would one day date him,”
Consolata takes a deep breath and looks at Jacob.
“Kindly give my friend and I some space, Jacob. We need to talk,”
“Don’t leave Jacob. He is my boyfriend, Consolata. If you have anything to say, you can say it while he is here,”
Consolata sighs and shakes her head.
“Okay Jedidah. Here goes. I think you are making a mistake. A big mistake. You are on this bed because of this man. If he hadn’t been so arrogant as to bring his ex-girlfriend to your date, you probably would have seen that the matatu that knocked you was being driven badly, and you would have let it pass. After you had the accident I called this man and he refused to come. This is the first time he is showing up. Morris on the other hand showed up immediately, and has been coming every day. He takes turns with me and your mom to watch over you. Morris loves you and is a way better man than this conman here,”
“You are my friend Consolata, but I will not let you insult my boyfriend. If you are not going to respect my boyfriend, then I don’t need you as a friend. You can have Morris if you think he is that awesome. I did not ask you to call anyone to watch over me. And I did not need you or Morris watching over me. I am in a hospital with doctors and nurses, who are more than capable of taking care of me. So if you are not willing to respect Jacob as my boyfriend, get out of my room.”
Consolata looks at her friend in disbelief. Then she turns and starts walking out.
“As you wish my friend. Have fun with your boyfriend,” she says as she steps out of the room and closes the door behind her.
“My daughter you are awake!” Jedidah’s mother is overjoyed. She fusses over her daughter for several minutes without noticing Jacob’s presence.
“I am, mother. I am so glad that you are here,”
“And who is this?” she asks when she finally notices his presence.
“This is Jacob, mom. He is my boyfriend,”
“You did not tell me that you have a boyfriend,”
“I am sorry I didn’t tell you earlier mom. I was planning to tell you when I got home. I didn’t want to tell you over the phone,”
“I actually thought that that other boy Morris was your boyfriend,”
“No, mother. Morris is just a friend,”
“So Jacob, where do you live?”
“I live in Lower Kabete mother. It is about half an hour’s drive from here,”
“And where do you work?”
“I work at Equity Bank, Kimathi Street,”
“So, Jacob, you work five minutes away from here and live thirty minutes from here but for three days you have not come to see your girlfriend in hospital?”
Jacob looks at the floor and says nothing. After a minute, Jedidah comes to his rescue.
“Jacob was up country on a work assignment mom. He just arrived and came straight here,”
Jedidah’s mother looks at her daughter for almost a full minute without saying anything.
“Sweetheart, this boy is not good for you,”
“Why would you say that mother? You do not even know him,”
“Consolata has told me all about him before I came. She told me that the day you had accident you had caught him with another woman. So you are lying to me sweetheart. This boy wasn’t on any work assignment, and you knew that. And because of him, you kicked out the two people who have been watching over you for the last three days because of this thug that is already making you lie to your own mother?”
“Mother, this is the first day I am conscious in three days and instead of being happy with me, you are quarreling me. Maybe I should just have died,”
Even as she says it, Jedidah knows that the words will have no effect. Her mother is very old school. It doesn’t matter if you are dying or not, if you make a mistake you have to be set straight.
“Don’t even start with the blackmail Jedidah. Or do you want to kick me out like you did Consolata and Morris?”
Jedidah wisely stays silent. She knows better than argue with her mother.
“And you,” her mother says while turning towards Jacob. “At the count of three I want you gone. And I don’t want to ever see your face again. One,”
Jacob quickly leaves the ward room. It is then that he realizes that he knows nothing about Jedidah. He has dated the girl for almost five years and knows absolutely nothing about her family other than the fact that she was brought up by a single mother and has one sister. Had he known that her mother is so tough, he would have been better prepared to face her.
He knows he will have to win over Jedidah’s mother if he is to get any chance of marrying Jedidah. But how do you win over such a tough woman? There has to be a way. If he managed to put Charlotte in her place, then Jedidah’s mother cannot be that difficult.
He smiles as he remembers his confrontation with Charlotte. It feels great to be able to deal with her on equal terms. For a very long term he has been beholden to her, doing everything she wanted, because he was afraid of losing her. But he has realized now that she needs him. She needs a husband, and he intends to use that to his advantage. She used his feelings to humiliate him, using him as a side-dish while she wooed the old man. The old man chose another woman as his wife, and now Charlotte needs him, Jacob, as a husband.
All this became clear to him on Friday, three days ago, when she begged him not to go and see Jedidah. She actually paid for a trip to the Maasai Mara, and that is where they spent the weekend. The work assignment that Jedidah was talking about was actually a romantic get away with Charlotte. Except that Jedidah doesn’t know that.
They came back last night and spent the night at a hotel that Charlotte paid for. Charlotte even bought new suits for both of them to go to work in today. But in the morning, today morning, he told her he wanted time off. She asked whether it was about Jedidah and he looked at her straight in the face and told her yes. She called him names, then pleaded and begged but he was not moved. He wants to make her pay for the humiliation she made him go through.
Jacob intends to continue sleeping with Charlotte-that girl is so passionate-but plans to marry Jedidah. He is smiling as he opens the door of his house. It is now dark. After leaving the office he passed by the office before coming home. Today was his last day at Equity Bank, so he needed to finish clearing. He will be starting a new job tomorrow. He switches on the lights and is stunned at the sight. Is he in the right house? He steps out and looks at the door number-13C. It is his house alright. But with new furniture-white leather sofas have replaced his ordinary sofa set. A 48 inch TV has replaced his 32 inch TV. New curtains, new carpet…he walks to the bedroom where he finds Charlotte resting on a luxurious six by six bed.
“What did you do to my house?”
“I moved in. And since my things are better than yours, I thought we should be using mine.”
“What do you mean ‘we’? And how did you get the key to my house?”
“Relax babe, I am your wife and your wife is resourceful. You should consider yourself lucky. We are a family now, so I thought we should be living together,”
“What are you talking about?”
“It is very simple Jacob. I am pregnant and so I want to live with the father of my child. My child will not grow up fatherless,”
“You are lying,”
Charlotte rolls over in bed and pulls a pregnancy test kit from a drawer at the side of the bed and hands it over to him. He takes it, glances at it and hands it back.
“You told me you are using contraceptives,”
“No contraceptive is a hundred percent certain. You should know that,”
“And how do I know that this baby is not your sponsor’s?”
They both know that she has an affair with an old man, but that fact has never been openly acknowledged between them. She considers denying it, but decides against it.
“He had a vasectomy after the birth of his third born son thirty five years ago, so he can’t make anyone pregnant. Besides, unlike you, he always insists on using protection so that he doesn’t get a disease. If you still don’t believe me, we can do a paternity test when the baby is born. But in the meantime, I will live here with you,”
Jacob knows he has been played. He was hoodwinked into a trip so that she could hire people to move her things into his house in his absence. But how she got a copy of his house key is still a mystery. He has dreamt about getting married to this woman for so long. But why isn’t he excited with the idea of having her in his house? He rubs his temples and goes to the kitchen to find a glass of water.
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