(Continued from The Guest I)
“I had missed you so much baby,” Chris says softly after breaking off from the kiss. He is still holding Patricia in his arms though. Patricia pulls away from him.
“Please go away Chris. I am a married woman now. You had your chance with me and you decided to misuse it.”
“You really don’t even want to know what happened?”
“I know what happened Chris. You made me pregnant and ran away. You abandoned me when I needed you the most. I don’t even know why I am here talking to you.”
“I am your client, baby. You have to talk to me. But other than that, I love you and you know it.”
“Stop calling me baby, I am someone else’s wife.”
“Does your husband call you ‘baby’ or other sweet names? Does he treat you like a baby girl the way you deserve?”
Patricia hesitates for a second. Gabriel is a good man. He has always provided for her and the children. He has always trusted her with their investments. He is always kind and gentle, and has always made her feel loved and protected. People claim their spouses are their best friends, but in Gabriel she found a true friend.
But Gabriel is a traditional man. The only time he has ever told her that he loves her was when he was asking her to be his girlfriend. He does not do PDA. In fact, even in private Gabriel is not the kind of man to display affection. She has never sat on his lap; even handholding is a problem. He only kisses her when they are going the family way, and afterwards they don’t talk about it.
Gabriel has never even taken her out for a romantic dinner. He does not buy flowers. These are things that Patricia has always yearned for. When she was dating Chris, this is how he made her feel loved. He was a peer teacher at the school where she was a secretary. He had just completed form four, and he was earning peanuts. But every now and then he would take her to dinner either in Chuka or Runyenjes. On weekends they would either take walks along the river banks in the neighborhood, or they would remain indoors watching movies. She enjoyed being in his arms, and being kissed by him.
Of course that is how she got pregnant, and the romance ended the day she told him that she was carrying his baby. If she is thinking straight with her head, like she does most of the time, she would leave this room this moment. Gabriel has his shortcomings, but he is a solid man. He is the kind of man she and her children need in their lives.
But she is not thinking straight because this man has intoxicated her. She knows that he is unstable and unreliable. But he reminds her of the days when she felt like a young girl; the days when he made her feel like a young girl. That kiss has set her whole body ablaze; she wants more. And she can see from his eyes that knows it. That makes her shudder with fear. Chris is capable of ruining her marriage and leaving her poor and destitute. And she is not sure she is strong enough to resist him.
“I know what you are afraid of, darling,” he says smoothly, placing his right hand on her left cheek and stroking it gently with his thumb. “You are afraid that I am here to ruin your life. You think that I am just playing with you. But you are wrong.”
He is speaking as though he can read her mind.
“Am I? You have done it before. Were it not for Gabriel, my children and I would have been begging in the streets by now.”
“You have to understand me, baby. I was a kid then; I was scared. I knew nothing about being a father and husband except that it would cost me a lot of money; money that I did not have. I was afraid that if I became a father so early in my life, I would lose my place in the university, and so I would never be able to provide for you and the kids. I swore to myself that I would go to the university, graduate, then make lots of money. Then I would come for you.”
“But you never came back. You never came to find out how I was doing. You didn’t even care to know whether I successfully gave birth or not.”
“I always kept tabs, baby. When I got my first HELB loan, I came to see you. I wanted to give you some money for the babies. But then I came and found you talking to your landlord. I was with my friend Sean, the English teacher. I had asked him to bring me so that I could apologize to you. But he told me that word out there was that you were dating the landlord, and that he had even allowed you to stay in his house for free. I didn’t believe Sean, and I insisted that he take me to your house. But on our way there, we found you escorting your landlord our of your compound. You were carrying one baby at the back and the other at the front. You were talking and laughing. As we watched from a distance, your landlord opened his wallet and gave you money.
I was heartbroken. I was still a poor student. I had saved up my university loan money to come and see you and the children, but I found that you had already found a tycoon to take care of you. I swore to myself that I would make more money than him then come to reclaim what is rightfully mine. That is why I have come. I am now ready to take care of you and the children, my love.”
“I am already taken care of by my tycoon,” Patricia says.
“Are you?” Chris asks, ignoring the sarcasm in her voice. He pulls her close and kisses her again, deeply. “I can take care of you financially and physically. You do not have to be deprived sexually, my love. I am here to make things right. I want my children to experience the love of their father.”
Patricia pulls away a second time.
“Those children have a father, Chris. And it is not you. Their father is Gabriel.”
“You know that is not true. The only child Gabriel has fathered is the boy. The girls are mine.”
“Did you say fathered?” Patricia asks, her anger flaring. “How did you father them? Gabriel has been there for them since the day they were born. He is the father of all my three children. In fact, it is his name on all their birth certificates.”
“I am sorry, honey pie. I did not want to make you angry. Please forgive me. But the thing is, I have always been thinking about you all these six years. I have been dreaming of the day we would be re-united. I have been dreaming of the day I would be making enough money to take care of you and our children. Please don’t deny me that chance my love. I know I made a mistake in the past, but everyone makes mistakes. Please forgive me and give me a second chance.”
As he is talking, he is circling her lips with his thumb. He is holding her close so she can smell his perfume. He is also looking at her with pitiable but charming eyes. He looks irresistible.
“It is too late, Chris. Like I have told you, I am a happily married woman.”
“I don’t believe you. If you were happy in your marriage you would not be standing here. You need me, my love. I can feel it.”
“Let me tell you something babe. Every man is romantic with the woman he loves. Every man spoils the woman he loves. If your husband doesn’t spoil you, it can only mean that you are not the woman he loves. There is a woman out there who makes his world go round. That is the woman he loves.”
“Gabriel is not that kind of man, Chris. He is not like you,” Patricia says emphatically, pulling away from him for the umpteenth time. “He took me in when he did not have to. He could have married a virgin or an unencumbered slay queen. But he chose me and my two children. He loves me.”
“You were desperate for love, my love. And I will take blame for that. When I left, you were left with a gap in your heart. You needed love and assurance. He took advantage of that to take you to bed…”
“At least he did not take off when I told him that I was pregnant. He went to my parents’ house and asked for my hand in marriage.”
“And in the process he humiliated you and your parents by walking away in the most un-African way possible…”
“How do you know this?”
“Like I said, I have been watching over you babe. It is just that I did not have enough money to compete with Gabriel, otherwise I would have come for you a long time ago. I love you baby girl. I promise I will treat you right. Gabriel is making you work like a donkey on his investments because he knows you are a sharp and dedicated woman. But when he makes enough money, he will dump you for some bimbo that is currently his mistress.
That is what many men do. That dowry debacle really proves my point. Gabriel does not know your worth. If he did, he would have talked nicely to your parents and left them with what he had and promised to bring more later. He would not have insulted you and your parents by storming off a dowry event. It simply shows that he does not respect you or your parents.
But I will take care of you and my girls, sweetheart.”
“If you think you are going to separate me from my son, forget it,” Patricia says. Chris’ charm is finally breaking her defenses. She is already starting to consider life with him.
“Of course not, darling. He is such a lovely boy. He will be my son. I have more than enough to take care of all the four of you. You will not have to worry about a thing. And I will even take you to the university so that you can become a proper professional.”
“Really babe?” Patricia asks. She has called him babe without even realizing it.
“Of course, pumpkin. When I say I want to make it right I really mean it. You will have everything you desire.”
He kisses her again, and then this time he scoops her and carries her to the bedroom. He undresses her quickly and she does not resist. In fact, she helps him to remove his own clothes. She has forgotten all the things she was saying about being a married woman. By the time he removes his clothes and joins her in bed, he knows she is his, just like the old times. This was easier than he anticipated. He expected some resistance, which is why he booked this unit for three weeks.
He knew he would eventually win her over, but he is surprised that he has done it on the first day.
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