(Continued from The Apostle II)
Cecilia looks at the woman keenly. She knows instantly that this is a woman that her husband will sleep with. Even from the way Dwayne is looking at her as she walks to the altar, Cecilia can tell that that is done deal. Dwayne always gets what he wants; and this woman doesn’t look like she will resist him. In fact, she might seduce him. That is not a problem by itself. Ever since she started sleeping with Boris, she stopped being bothered by her husband’s infidelity. He has his women, and she has Boris. Cecilia’s relationship to Dwayne is no longer sexual, and on the few times that they make love, she insists that he uses protection. She released him to the world a couple of years ago.
But she does care who he sleeps with, not out of jealousy, but because she is the one who cleans up after his mess. The woman walking down to the altar looks like a bundle of trouble. Cecilia can feel it, and her guts are never wrong. But she knows from experience that her husband is like a train without brakes; he cannot be stopped. But she also knows that one day this train might go off the rails and ruin them all.
She has considered killing him many times. The truth is that they are wealthy enough, and she feels that having been with Dwayne for twenty years, she has learned enough to lead the church and his personal investments. These days he is more of a liability than an asset. Sleeping with young girls is one thing. They can always be silenced with money and bullied into procuring abortions. That last part is particularly important to Cecilia, because she doesn’t want some brat to appear from nowhere and lay claim to her children’s inheritance.
What worries Cecilia is the older women that Dwayne sleeps with. Many of them are usually flattered to have the attention of a handsome, rich and charismatic man. They hop into bed with him without thinking, and only wake up from their slumber when Dwayne completes his theft. A couple have sued him, but Cecilia killed off the cases by buying off their lawyers and the magistrates. One, the very first one, committed suicide. One hired two killers to take out Dwayne, but Cecilia bought them off and they killed that woman instead. Cecilia used the same men to kill two other women; one was planning to ‘tell it all’ in the media, and the other started associating with a couple of DCI men in a way that Cecilia wasn’t comfortable with. The other women are wallowing in poverty, cursing Dwayne with all their collective breath. But Cecilia keeps tabs on all of them to ensure none of them is up to anything sinister. To achieve this, she has a network of informants who stay loyal partly because of the cash rewards they get and partly because of fear. They know what Cecilia is capable of and wouldn’t dare cross her.
But Cecilia is getting tired of babysitting her husband, even as the list of people she is watching keeps growing. Maybe she should have allowed those assassins to take out Dwayne. She has thought about doing it herself, but she knows she cannot live with the guilt. Dwayne is the father of her children. She cannot be the person who takes him to the ground. But as she listens to the girl at the altar saying she is a businesswoman, she realizes that the woman could be an indirect ally.
The woman is just about to lose her money to Dwayne. And if she decides to hire assassins to kill the man, Cecilia decides that she will not stand in her way.
The call comes at noon on Monday. Carol has been a bag of nerves, wondering if her plan is going to the dogs. Yesterday, after “surrendering her life to Christ”, she was taken to a boardroom by the church’s discipleship teams. She was given a new NIV Bible, a couple of books written by Dwayne and a lecture on her new life as a Christian including how she could improve her dressing. Most importantly, they took her personal details, including her phone number and her business details. She knew that the details would reach to the Bishop eventually. But she expected him to call her in the evening, and when he didn’t, she started overthinking.
But now he has.
“Hello. Who is this kindly?” she asks although she already knows. Truecaller app has already informed her, and the voice confirmed it.
“This is Apostle Dwayne.”
“Oh Apostle! This is such a surprise. It is an honor.”
“Why is it a surprise?” he asks with a chuckle.
“You are a busy man and I am just a new believer. I expected that it would be one of the people in your church who would be following up on me, not you.”
“I am the church’s leader and winning souls for Christ is my personal mission. I follow up on all new believers until they find their footing in Christ. And that begins with lunch or dinner on this first day of your walk. Do you think you can spare a moment to break bread with me today?”
“Of course, Bishop. But lunch might be tricky for me because of work. Can we do dinner?”
“Sure. Do you know Felipe’s Steak House?”
That was expected. Carol already knows that Felipe’s is the Bishop’s love nest. He owns the restaurant, as well as the house adjacent to it. The restaurant is popular for its food, especially its chicken. It is about a kilometer off Kenyatta Road, on your way to Gatundu.
“The one in Juja? Yes, I have been there once with a group of friends. Those people make the best chicken on planet earth.”
It’s a lie. Carol has been there thirteen times in the last eight months as part of her surveillance of the Apostle. Since she learnt that this is the place where he brings his extra-marital lovers, she made it her business to eat here often. And she has seen him come with different women. And she knows that he disappears to the house next door with them.
“Fantastic. I love the place. Can we meet there at say 8 pm?”
“Yes, 8pm is fine.”
Carol arrives at Felipe’s at 7.45 pm. She parks and strolls into the restaurant, where she finds the Bishop already waiting.
“You are a very beautiful woman, but I am sure your husband tells you that daily,” he says as soon as she sits down. Carol is not surprised. She already knows that the man is incredibly shameless. With that simple statement, he is not only declaring his interest, he is also probing to know whether she has a man in her life.
“Thank you, Bishop. But I am not married. I don’t even have a boyfriend. Except Jesus, now that I gave my life to Him yesterday.”
The Bishop chuckles.
“Why would a beautiful and successful woman like you be single?”
“Yesterday I would have told you that men are intimidated by successful women. But today I will tell you that God has a plan for me. I am sure he is preparing the right man for me; the man is just not ready for me. Or maybe I am the one being prepared, starting with getting born again yesterday.”
“You are very right about that,” he says, and launches into a mini sermon. But before long he goes back to flirting and probing trying to establish how wealthy she is. She exaggerates her value while trying to sound as humble as she can. After the food is served, they eat as they talk. Dwayne is flirting openly, and Carol is pretending to be shy. After eating they are served with coffee, and they continue flirting. Throughout dinner Carol continues pretending that she is shy and self-conscious, and this emboldens the Bishop even more.
At 10 pm, she tells him that she has to go. He rises and escorts her to her car. She is currently driving a Ford Everest, which she bought with this mission in mind. She can see him taking in the car. He says nothing, but she knows that the car fits the picture she has painted in his mind. She hopes that this mission will succeed, because this car sunk a huge hole in her finances. She was better off driving her Mazda Demio and using her money for business. But this too, is business.
“Can I hug you goodbye?” he asks her as she prepares to board the car. She opens her arms and allows him to hug her. He holds her tight, then pulls back, cups her face and kisses her on the lips. She resists a little and then kisses him back hungrily.
“I love you Carol,” he says when he unlocks his lips from hers.
“We shouldn’t be doing this, Apostle. You are a married man.”
“Please call me Dwayne. My marriage to Cecilia is a sham. I wish she could even give me half the attention you gave me tonight. But she is cold as a stone when we are together. I feel so trapped.”
“I am so sorry, Dwayne,” she says sympathetically. The Apostle notices that she has called him by his first name, and that is a good sign. “I had no idea. But why do you stick to her?”
“I guess I just didn’t know what to do. And before I met you tonight, I didn’t know I could feel so alive again. She had numbed me so much that I was just going through the motions of life. But you have restored me. Can I spend more time with you before you go?”
“I don’t know Bishop…it is getting late.”
“Do you have children?”
“Just one more hour, please? If you have no children waiting for mommy at home, surely you can spare one more hour.”
“Okay, one hour.”
He walks her across the fence through a small gate.
“Where are we going?”
She already knows that he is taking her to his House of Adultery but she feigns ignorance.
“Felipe’s owns the house next door, and it is used as a quiet, intimate dinner house. We can have coffee there as we talk.”
He leads her to the house, and sits next to her on the sofa. She does not protest when he wraps his hand around her.
“You are so beautiful Carol,” he says as he leans closer. Then he kisses her again, and she kisses him back. She allows him to run one hand under her blouse. He unclasps her bra expertly and starts fondling her breasts. She gives him a minute to enjoy, and then pulls away.
“I am sorry Apostle, but we cannot do this.”
“Because you are a married man. I love you, Apostle, and rightly now I desperately want to surrender my body to you. But doing that is a sin.”
“I just told you that my marriage is dead…”
“I know, Apostle. But a man has told me that before, but till today he is with his wife. He used me and dumped me…”
“I cannot do that…”
“Then prove it to me, Apostle. If you part ways with your cold wife and marry me, I am willing to surrender every part of me to you and make you the happiest man in the world. But I can’t do it tonight, even though my body is desperately asking for it, because you will crawl out of the bed and go back to Cecilia.”
She hurries out of the house, and doesn’t stop until she is in her car. She feels dirty for kissing a man she hates so much, and allowing him to fondle her. But it is necessary part of the plan. The first part of the game, which is getting rid of Cecilia, is underway.
Carol knows that men like the Apostle will do everything to conquer. She has given him a hint of what to expect, and then taken it away from him just when his desire was reaching its peak. He will do anything to “conquer” her by having sex with her. For as long as she doesn’t give him the satisfaction of having sex with her, he will do anything she says.
Including dumping his wife of over twenty years.
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