(Continued from The Devils You Know)
Jesse leans on the wall and sighs deeply. His mind is reeling. How could Judith do this to him? He is still not decided on what to do: whether to leave or confront them.
“You know this is the last time we are doing this Erick, don’t you? I am getting married this week. This is the last Monday I can sleep with you,” Judith’s voice floats from the sitting room.
“Your getting married changes nothing,” Erick replies gruffly.
“What do you mean it changes nothing? I will be living with Jesse. Will you now come and rape me in his house?”
“You will have to find a way around it. Find a way to sneak out and give me my weekly due. Otherwise you know the consequences,”
Consequences? What consequences is Erick talking about? Jesse feels like asking aloud but he holds his tongue. He knows he has to make a decision quickly, because it is obvious they have finished their carnal business.
“You know, I am quite tired of being blackmailed by you. You can do your worst, but I will not cheat on Jesse after we get married. It is bad enough that I have been cheating on him while we are dating,”
“If you defy me you will not have a marriage to protect. What do you thing Jesse will say when he learns that you have a bastard that you have not told him about? You think Jesse will want to raise that bastard especially considering that that bastard is an idiot? Or that you have been having sex with me every Monday?”
“Stop calling my son an idiot. Why did I even share my story with you? Why did I ever think you are my friend? You can go ahead and tell him. If he dumps me fine. But you will not blackmail me into having sex with you any longer,”
“But your marriage is the least of your concerns dear. Remember your mother has cancer, and she is the one who takes care of your bastard. You deny me my rights, you lose your job. Once you lose your job, the company can no longer pay for your mother’s health care. Do you even know how much cancer treatment costs?”
“You cannot fire me. You are not the MD,”
“I have told you before but I will repeat: you mess with me today and tomorrow you will not have a job. First, I am your supervisor, and a bad report from me and you are gone. Besides, I have more than one way to influence the boss. Or you think you are the only woman I can sleep with?”
“Are you implying that you are sleeping with the MD?”
“You are so naïve? Why do you think I am the departmental head and not Sarah? Why am I her supervisor even though she is more qualified than I am? Look, Judith. This is how the world works. I still consider you my friend. That is why I convinced the MD to implement that policy for covering health care for family members. Just so your mother is covered. That is why I have recommended your promotion twice already. You told me your story, and I helped you as a friend. All I asked for is a small favour. You know, scratch my back I scratch yours. Having sex with me once a week is not a big deal. Don’t pretend you don’t enjoy it just because you are feeling guilty because of your marriage. Besides, you agreed to be sleeping with me so that your mother can live…has that changed? If you play it right, Jesse will not have to know, and your marriage will be alright. I am a happily married man because Zuhura does not know,” Erick coos softly.
Jesse is stunned. Is this what has been happening? Judith has a child? Why hasn’t anyone told him? Not even her sister? Where have they been hiding the child whenever he visited? What should he do now? How could he have a friend as ruthless as Erick and not suspect a thing? But he already knew about Judith’s mother’s cancer, and he always praised their company for footing the bill. He has even asked his MD to implement a similar healthcare plan for the employees of their company and their families.
“Why are you doing this to me Erick? You have enough money to have many women falling at your feet. Why ruin my life just because I don’t want to have sex with you anymore?”
Judith starts sobbing, and Jesse knows that the time has come. He steadies himself and walks into the sitting room, where he finds a naked Judith sobbing while leaning on the couch. Erick is just starting to dress.
“Hello Erick, Judith,” he says calmly.
They both look at him, stunned.
“What are you doing here?” Erick asks.
“What am I doing in my fiancée house? Perhaps I should be the one asking you what you are doing naked with my equally naked fiancée,”
They stare at each other coldly for a few minutes, while Judith is too stunned to speak.
“You know Erick, there is such a thing as sexual harassment. Judith can sue you. You are her supervisor and you are blackmailing her into having sex with her. That is sexual harassment. In fact, I am going to hire lawyers for her to get you,”
Suddenly Judith finds her tongue.
“Thank you, thank you Jesse. I am glad you heard all that. You know by now that I did not willingly cheat on you right?”
“You could have told me about all this, Judith, but you didn’t. You know I make enough money to pay for your mother’s treatment. All you needed to do is say it. I could even have found you another job. But no, you chose to continue sleeping with this man instead of opening up to me,”
“I am so sorry Jesse. Please forgive me. I was afraid that if I told you you would leave me. It will never happen again. I promise that I will never cheat on you again,”
“That is not even my greatest concern Judith. My major concern is that you hid your son from me and the world. If, and God forbid, we get a child with one disability or another, are you going to keep him locked up like you have been doing your son? I don’t think I would want that for my child, so I am no longer so sure you are the kind of wife I need,”
“Please don’t break up with me Jesse. Please, I am begging you,”
Judith breaks down and starts sobbing loudly again. Jesse looks at her, then at Erick, then shakes his head and turns to leave.
(Continued at The Devils You Know III)
Image source: https://pixabay.com/photos/astronomy-exploration-moon-sky-3092289/