(Continued from The Rosalid Factor II)
Sam sits alone in his office, brooding. His office is expansive. When one gets in through the outer door, they first encounter Rosalid, who sits behind a massive desk and on an equally massive chair. There are leather seats around the walls where people sit as they wait for their turn to see the boss. On the walls, there are various pieces of art, which were bought by one or the other of Sam’s predecessors. Sam is yet to make his mark on these walls, mostly because he is not a lover of paintings. Next to Rosalid’s desk is the door that leads to the spacious room where Sam sits. His desk and chair are even larger than Rosalid’s. The thick, green carpet and the thick red curtains add to the aura of authority in this room. Besides the two guest chairs that are facing each other in front of his desk, there is also a sofa set arranged around a coffee table. It is on the couch of this set that Sam first made love to Rosalid. That time he was in charge of the situation.
The man himself is as authoritative as a leader can get. As an executive, Sam has always been on top of things. So far there hasn’t been any situation that he has faced that he has found that he cannot diffuse. As a doctor, he has stared at diseases and death many times, and many times he has come on top. Of course there are several times when patients have died at his hands, but even then, he always lost after putting up a spirited fight with all the tools and techniques that the modern practice of medicine avails. On the other side of the room there is a door that leads to a boardroom, where many deals have been negotiated and struck. Sam is used to getting his way, but not this time around. Never before has he ever felt as helpless as he is feeling right now. He is at the mercy of Rosalid.
A lot of “what ifs” are running through his mind. What if he had not slept with Rosalid in the first place? What if he had been more disciplined and remained faithful to Margaret? He knows that however much he tries to find excuses to justify his cheating, there are none. Margaret is still in very good shape even after popping three children. She is neat and stylish. At 41, she is as beautiful as ever. She still loves him as much as she did when they first met. She is always available for sex when he needs it, and sometimes she is the one who prompts him because with his many extra marital affairs, sometimes he forgets that she has needs. She doesn’t know that of course, she just assumes that it is the burdens of his job that affect his libido.
What is wrong with him? Why would he cheat on such a wonderful woman?
But these feelings always come upon him when he is in trouble. When Jane told him she was pregnant, these same thoughts ran through his mind. But it was different then, because he was not yet married to Margaret. He could have chosen to cut off Margaret and marry Jane instead. In fact, that was the plan. He told Jane that once her child was born and weaned, they would do the traditional ceremony followed by the church wedding. That would also give them a chance to complete their studies, because Jane got pregnant when she was in fourth year while he was in the fifth. She believed him especially because up to that point they had been living together in the same house. Later on she accused him of duping her, but the truth is that at that moment that is what he genuinely wanted to do. Jane is also a cutie, and she is also as devoted to him as Margaret is. There was no reason for him not to marry her.
Except that he did not have the courage to break up with Margaret, who was by that time teaching in Nyeri. He continued talking to her every evening, and although he had told Jane that she was his sister, he stopped picking her calls in the house. He also managed to stop her from coming to Nairobi for those two years, because then she would have discovered that he was living with another woman, who was in fact pregnant for him. He did this partly by ensuring that he always travelled to Nyeri whenever he had a day off, and sometimes would even spend the night. Jane did not have a problem because up to that point he believed that Margaret was Sam’s twin sister. Over the years Sam had also kept in touch with Anna Kimani, and every now and then he would pass by Kerugoya on his way to Nyeri, just to make love to her. Interestingly, Anna and her husband were the best couple when Sam married Margaret. But it was Margaret who chose them, because she and Anna have become very close over the years. Till today she has no idea that her husband is the older woman’s lover.
When Sam completed his studies, he got an internship at Royal Githima…or rather he applied and got an internship at Royal Githima. He wanted a break away from Jane, who had started pressuring him about the wedding. He had changed his mind again, and decided that Margaret was a better deal, even though he already had a child with Jane. Besides, being in Nyeri brought him closer to Anna, was now retired, but whose libido was still as high as ever. Anna had given Sam his first sexual experience; he had flirted with girls and even kissed a few while in high school, but he had never gone the whole way before he met Anna. So in a sense, she was and still remains to be his first love. She is in her sixties, and is now widowed, but Sam is still smitten. Since her husband is now dead and her children have all left the nest, these days Sam sees her in her home in Kutus.
As he left Nairobi, Sam told Jane that he needed “space” from the relationship as he “prepared psychologically” for the marriage. They fought about that, of course, but in the end she agreed to give him space. What that means is that when he went to Nyeri there was no risk of Jane following. He appeased her by paying rent and utility bills for the house they had been living in, as well as clothes and other needs of the baby. Royal Githima was paying him well, even as an intern, and so he was able to afford it. Before he got employed at Royal Githima, especially after they moved to a two bedroom house after Jane got pregnant, Jane had been footing almost all the bills because she was the one with a salary. He had been giving her his entire HELB loan whenever it landed in his account so she was in charge of all their finances. But he did not tell her that Margaret had been sending him a small allowance every month starting with the first month she got employed.
When he got permanent employment terms at Royal Githima, he made up his mind to cut off Jane completely and marry Margaret. He proposed to Margaret, did the traditional wedding ceremony and sealed the deal with a colorful church wedding. He was afraid that Jane would cause drama when she found out, so he tried to keep everything quiet. But a week after their wedding, Margaret uploaded their wedding photos on social media and tagged him. Jane saw the photos and called him that same night and cursed him for an hour. Then to his relief, she told him she didn’t want to ever see him again and then blocked his number. Just like that, he was relieved of those marital and parental responsibilities.
Of course he had other affairs over the years, but nothing as serious as what he had with Jane (with the exception of Anna, who would never cause him problems). Sam and Jane did not talk for years, until they met again in Kiambu Level Five Hospital. At first she treated him very coldly, but he has always been a master charmer. He would greet her cheerfully whenever they met, and he would complement her beauty if they happened to be alone. She always ignored him, but that never seemed to bother him. His persistence paid off, and a couple of months after he joined the hospital she re-introduced him to his son. Two weeks later they started sleeping together again. She even got pregnant again. She said she respected that he was now a married man, but all she was asking was that he be available for his children. He said he would do that, and by and large he has been keeping the promise. Every two weeks he finds an excuse to travel to “Nairobi” for a “seminar”, “conference” or “meeting”. In essence, he is usually going to Kiambu to spend at least one day and night with Jane and the children.
He knows that Jane loves him and would never hurt him. Why then would she join forces with Rosalid? Or is Rosalid bluffing about that as well? He can find that easily by calling Jane, but it is still early. He will call her later in the day. But whether Rosalid is bluffing or not, it is troubling that she knows so much detail about his sexual life.
As Rosalid drives home, she is satisfied at the level of panic she saw in Sam. She loves the way he crumbles in her presence, even though he is a cocky CEO at almost every other time. But she is also enraged that he had the audacity to try and shake her off. Did he say to her face that he wouldn’t marry her? She had suspected that he would try to do that from the first day he made love to her, because that is the way of men. He thought he would use her and dump her. But from that first day when she removed her clothes and hopped onto his office couch with him, she knew that she was the one who was using him, and not the other way round. He is her ticket to wealth and status, and however much he tries he will not manage to slip away from her.
She has been gathering material over time. She taught herself basic coding over the internet while she worked right here at Royal Githima as a secretary. The truth is that she has a lot of free time on her hands, and rather than stay on social media or play computer games, she tries to teach herself new skills. Last year she taught herself basic coding and now she is an amateur hacker. Sam’s phone and laptop is where she honed her skills, and she was able to mine data from his SMS texts, Whatsapp messages, and Messenger texts, and that his how she got information on his past lovers. She also has almost every detail about his financial status, but she is keeping it to herself for now, and will use it if it becomes necessary.
She knows about his arrangement with Jane, and she has decided that she does not want to remain in such a shadow. She will be openly acknowledged as a second and favorite wife. She has not reached out to Sam’s other baby mamas, and she does not intend to because it is not in her interests to do so. Getting them involved will only mean that there are more people sharing the pie. She knows that Sam will not reach out to them because he will not want to awaken the demons of his past. The only woman he will probably talk to is Jane. But Rosalid has already talked Jane, in her capacity as Sam’s secretary, and informed her that she is planning, alongside Margaret, a party for Sam and that “I will keep you in the loop”.
So the blackmail is safe.
But if it fails, she has a backup plan. Since she knows every detail about Sam’s financial life, she will threaten to sue him for child support if he tries to play hardball. When he realizes that she knows everything about his finances, he will think twice before trying to shortchange her.
One way or the other, she has him cornered.
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