BISI – THE OTHER WOMAN EPISODE 21
By Jon Doe
Blink and an eternity may go by. Namdi dared not, his wife filling his vision, radiant in the porch light. A rare blooming flower whose thorns he blissfully grasped, the reward of a divine fragrance more than worth its weight in blood.
Around them the world continued, nature finding no weight behind their mortal battle. In the distance the storm had begun its fall, lazily working its way to where Zainab and Namdi stood. He took a step forward. The glint in her eyes grew fierce forcing him to a halt. In her hand he could see a brown folder. What it contained, he could only guess. It did not matter, he knew she knew, what remained was how much.
“Does your father know?”
Zainab felt her heart bleed. Of all the words she thought Namdi would utter; beg, lie, flatter, never would she have expected her father being his first thought. Among the emotions of pain, doubt, betrayal, another began to throb; Fury.
“Does it matter?”
Namdi watched her, hoping he would be able to find an answer within the lie of her lips. The pair told him nothing, leaving him further in the dark.
“Zainab you know I lo…”
“Don’t say it Namdi. Don’t you dare say it!”
Her chest heaved as she shouted the words, thunder crashing to earth lending credence to her outburst. Shaken to his core, Namdi took an involuntary step back, putting him back beneath the cloudy night sky. His gaze on Zainab now wavering, more chains of guilt wrapped around his mind.
“For months, Uwata na kai na would say you were cheating and I would be there emphatically defending you.”
“It only happened once”
Weakly Namdi spoke the words, each grinding out like ofada rice with more stone than grains.
“And that makes it alright! Only fools love blindly, not till now do I truly understand.”
Her chin tilted up, hiding the fleeting hopelessness from Namdi whose head hung low.
“What is her name!”
“Zainab, it doesn’t matter what…”
“You lost the right to tell me what matters. I want to hear it from your lips.”
Namdi struggled to find a reason not to utter those four letter which alone are innocent but combined brought a catastrophe to his world. He failed, his mind bearing a strain he could barely withstand. Weak from the emotional onslaught, it came out in little more than a whisper.
“Does she too love the way you call her name?”
He lacked the courage to answer.
“Zainab, please, I didn’t intend for it to happen.”
“So what, you tripped and fell into her? The astronomical odds you had to beat…”
“Just give me a chance to explain.”
“Namdi, why should I? What have you done to deserve such a heaven defying chance?”
“If you heard it you’d know she meant nothing to me.”
“Can you say that? Can you stare at the pain within my eyes and say that Namdi?”
It was then Namdi openly looked into Zainabs deep brown eyes. What he saw broke him, rendering him speechless. Whatever words he thought to soothe her, win her back and ease her woe, died a miserable death. It wrung him, ripping his insides to shreds. A pain so raw ravaged him, sucking his will, forcefully plunging him into a flood of empathy he had no way to defend. Not till that moment did he know how desperately she loved him, how completely she held him in her heart. His breath came out in a ragged mess, his brow peppered with beads of sweat.
“Why Namdi, just why…”
Tears rained down from her almond eyes. As they fell, the edges of the storm reached where Namdi stood, its tears drizzling on his sunken shoulders, the heavens joining in her sorrow.
Between their physical bodies was a few strides, but an endless depth separated their souls. He ran to her, swept her into his embrace comforting her like only he could. With a finger he wiped away her tears, with whispers he found and erased the pain. An out-pour of strength enveloped her within the safety of his arms. His heart beat against his chest ushering in a sweet warmth, driving the bitter cold from her form. A hand ran through her hair, lips kissed her brow, fingers stretching out to hold her waist returning her world to that of a fairy tale.
An arm stretched out, fingers curling together grasping air. Namdi’s eyes once again saw the truth, a few strides still separated them. The short dream evaporated like all wishes do. His world was not a fairy tale, his story not a single path destined to end in joy.
“Zainab what do you want. Whatever it takes I promise to make it right.”
Lightning fell in the distance, illuminating the night sky, sealing his vow and locking his path. In that second, Namdi knew not what his words would set in motion neither did he care. If he was to be damned so be it. He took a step, taking him out of the light shower. Firmly he stood, the distance between them though still significant, now shorter than before. At his words her tears had ended but the heavens’ intensified.
“We cannot both continue to exist beneath this dark blue sky.”
Her words froze his soul, reiterating a truth he stubbornly refused to accept. Visibly he aged a few years, his shoulders bearing a weight he would never rid himself off in this life. Namdi looked to her, hoping she would set those shapely eyes on him one last time. An object sped towards him. Reflexively he caught it, the feel familiar. In his palm a set of keys. Her bare back filled his view as the mahogany wood closed behind her, shutting the door on whatever hope Namdi still nurtured.
He couldn’t look away, fruitlessly willing it to open. So much had been left unsaid, if only she would listen, if only he had shouted out the truth for her to hear, if only she could see it wasn’t willingly, if only she, if only, if, if, if, if, if, if… A fist struck his jaw causing him to stagger, the physical pain clearing his mind. Taking a deep breath his feet moved guiding him to the Dakota brown Mercedes he had no say in.
Empty roads kept him company, other commuters having long sought shelter. Wipers waged war on the falling rain, a metronome keeping his mind in beat. He reached into his pocket, bringing out the card she had slipped into his palm. A faint scent came off it, mixing with the fragrance of new authentic leather, evoking complicated memories he struggled to keep at bay. On the 5 by 4 card, in simple letters, was a single address. He looked at the blinking dashboard clock and date. The time was right but it was set to three days before, the date taunting him. Pushing it to the depths of his mind, he punched the address into the cars nav system. It wasn’t far.
Looking out the window he saw a house on darkened land, surrounded by nothing but untamed bush. Hanging his I.D card on the rear view mirror, he stepped out, running to the front door. A knuckle reached up to knock but he stopped, reaching for the door handle instead. It swung open revealing a poorly lit interior. An aura of loss followed him as he walked in without a word.
To be continued