At six in the AM, her cell phone beeped, a text message. She was still so sleepy to pick it up. Another text. This time she rolled and just when she was about to pick it, her ringing tone filled the room. She quickly jumped and picked it. She did not look at the cellphone to see who was calling. She picked up in her sleepy self.
Before she even said hello, a female voice came through, “Hello? Do you know Mister Jack. I’m calling from the hospital. Please come as soon as possible. We are at the Calvary Hospital on Tekenya Street, next to Buma Restaurant. Please hurry.”
“What? Who is that? What has happened?” Not a single response came through. She looked at the cellular only for her to realize that the call was long ended. She stood there. She didn’t know what to do. She felt dizzy. She suddenly let out a scream and wailed. Unfortunately she was the only person in the house. There was no one to consult.
She immediately wiped off her tears. Rushed to the bathroom and in two minutes she was on the door. She rushed to the garage but remembered that her husband had gone with the car. It is at this point that the previous day memories came flowing in.
She still remembered her husbands look as he left through the door the previous night. It was a look that she will never forget. She blamed herself and cursed. She mutted to herself, “Why? What happened to him?”
She kept on walking, half running. When she reached the main road, she waived a taxi and sauntered in. She only mentioned the hospital and the vehicle took off leaving a ball of dust behind it. In the taxi she went through the fight that had happened the previous night. Yes they had fought. It was not their first fight but this was one of the worst. She remembered it all. Every detail. Every word.
She had called Jack the previous day. She had wanted him to meet her in a coffee house in town. She wanted to reveal the good news to him. Yes she had something to tell him. Jack had at first refused but after so much pleading and woiye and so much more, he agreed. But it was to be at his venue of choice. He told her that he would call her by eight in the evening to advice her where they’d meet.
Janet then went ahead to prepare herself. She had earlier sent the children and her house girl to her sister’s place since the schools had closed. She had her hair done, her nails manicured. She was not used to make up but this day she’d put on some little make up and worn one of those dresses that she wore to dinners and occasions of high profile which were very rare in her life. Then the waiting game began… 8pm, 8.30, 8.45, 9pm, 10, 11.
Where is he? Why isn’t he calling me? She had tried calling him but his phone was off. Only voice of, “Mteja wa nambari uliyopiga hapatikani kwa sasa…” Damn! How could he? At some point of her devastation, she mumbled some prayers for him. She wished he was safe.
At 2pm, she heard a loud bang on the gate, after some time a knock on the door. She opened. She was still dressed up. Jack walked past her straight to their bedroom leaving a streak of liquor. He looked angry.
‘At whom? By whom? Reverse psychology right?’ She thought.
Janet chose not to talk. She let him be. She sat on the coach pretending to watch the TV. After a few minutes later, she heard him snoring. She went to the bedroom and confirmed. He was indeed dead asleep. Just then a buzz sound was heard. It was Jack’s phone. She picked it up. It was a whatsapp message. It read, “Hun, are you home already with your ugly wife. Am sorry. If only you’d agreed to spend at my place…we’d be on our sixth round hehehe, luv you xoxo.”
Janet froze. What is this now? She looked at the phone in disbelief. Then she quickly went to the profile of the sender. An image she knew all too well sprawled on her face. It was her former house-maid. She scanned through other texts from the same contact and it was all there. “Why Jack? Why? Is this why you stood me up. You were with her.”
Tears rolled through her cheeks. Her heart was pounding so hard. She skipped a beat. In a moment she didn’t know what to do. Suddenly she felt like throwing up. She did. She screamt and cried and threw up. It’s at that moment that Jack woke up.
“Are you sick Janet? Whats happening? Can I take you to the hospital? ”
She threw up more. Jack rose up and went to pick her up. He was walking towards her. Sleepy. His eyes blood shot. Just when he was about to get to her, he stopped. Mouth wide open in disbelief. He had spotted his phone in her hand. It was covered in vomit. He shouted, “Oh no… Janet what have you done? What are you doing? How can you… shit…” He didn’t finish. Janet threw up on his face.
“How could you Jack, why? You cheat on me with a house girl. I though you were a real man. I sacrificed my life for you, my career, my happiness, my independence. Name them all. I gave you two children… Today I wanted to tell you that am expecting but you stood me up and now this?”
“What are you saying Janet? Are you… Did you…”
Janet cut him short again. She jumped on him. She beat him up, spat on him, she bit him. She did all she could. He stood there not moving. Not talking. Not even a whiff from him. By this time she was screaming, tears, vomit, saliva and mucous all over her face. She wanted him to defend himself. She wanted him to talk. He stood there fixed like a statue. She was in so much pain. She wanted him to feel the pain. She picked up a bottle and was about to hit him but he had seen it. He held her hand mid air and pushed her. She fell. He took his coat and left.
At that instant Janet came to her senses. It had been her moment of temporary insanity. She knew it was over between them. Completely. The look on his face was clear. But somehow she felt good. She was not sad. No. She didn’t cry anymore. She went into the bathroom. Cleaned up the mess and jumped into her bed.
She slept until that deafening call that morning. She had not thought of him. She had not thought of his cheating. She had not thought of her next step. She had not thought of how she could face him. She had not thought whether to leave her marriage or stay. Now this?
Before she could even think of what to do… what to say to him. Before clear thoughts formed in her mind, the vehicle stopped abruptly. She looked up. They were already at the hospital. She paid the taxi guy and hurriedly walked to the casualty room.
Deep down in her mind she knew she loved Jack. She had loved him with her mind and soul. She had never thought he would cheat on her. He was a perfect husband or at least he tried. His only misfit was that he was a workaholic. He only said work this, work that, etc. She supported him. She waited for him when he went for trips. She warmed his food when he came in late from work.
She remembered a quote her friend gave her when her ex broke her heart… It made her brave. “Yes, I understand why things had to happen this way. I understand his reason for causing me pain. But mere understanding does not chase away the hurt. It does not call upon the sun when dark clouds have loomed over me. Let the rain come then if it must come! And let it wash away the dust that hurt my eyes!” ― Jocelyn Soriano, Mend My Broken Heart.
Now at that moment… She didn’t even know what to tell him if at all he was still alive at the hospital. She entered the ER and walked to the nurse station…