Friday, 14 February 2014
I am worried about the safety of my husband. He has not returned home since he left yesterday, and the kids have been all over me with questions. The first to ask me about him was my 10-year old Harriet. She has a soft spot for Georgie and whenever he disappears from home, she is always the first to ask.
Today she had a light pyrexia and headache in the morning and when I sat at her bedside to give her some maramoja tablets to horse down the pain, she aptly inquired, “Mama, did Baba really come back home yesterday?” I did not pick up a reply immediately. I wondered, what if I just told her YES to pacify her fear and anxiety, would that not be helpful? But then, I remembered how she had previously turned ballistic when she realized that I had lied to her about her father’s absence. So I held her right palm and replied calmly, “No, honey. But don’t let it bother you, I know your dad; he’ll be here soon.”
She kept quiet, pushed aside the drugs and coiled herself tightly in the duvet. I left to digest her reactions for a while and when I returned, the fever had disgracefully intensified. I had to call Georgie. He never picks up his calls though. But I kept pressing till he did.
“What’s up with you, woman? Did I not tell you I’ll be in a meeting,” he boomed on the phone.
“No, my lord. You didn’t say it’d last this long, but…,” I tried to explain.
“I did! What’s up?” he shouted again, firmly, controverting his presence in a meeting.
“Harriet is sick, and we need you,” I made an ebbed reply, feeling resentful about his way of questioning.
“You need me? My daughter is sick and you’re saying you need me?”
“I meant to say we need your driver and your car to take her to hospital, my lord.”
“Okay. That’s better. Mmm… let me inform him. He’ll be there in a jiffy.”
“Thank you. And… aren’t you coming home, my lord? She asked about you. Harriet. She even refused to take maramoja.”
“I said I’m in a meeting, didn’t I? I’ll be right back when I’m done.”
“OK.” I released the call and went back to the kitchen to finish preparing the kids breakfast. But I kept moving about nervously between the kitchen and Harriet’s bedroom till I heard a car-beep at the gate. I dressed up Harriet and walked her to the car waiting outside. And with the driver’s hands on the steering wheel, we sped off to Moderncare Private Hospital.
A nurse at the hospital diagnosed Harriet with Malaria, gave a prescription and we headed straight back home.
At around 11 o’clock, dear sister, I went about washing my husband’s clothes. And everything was okay again, at least for a while, until my fingers reached out the gold ring from one of Georgie’s coats’ pockets. I was immediately hit by a hot wave of fear and discomfort.
I examined the ring for a moment. One side of it had a weird lovely twist while the other side remained round. It then occurred to me that something had to be wrong. For the fifteen years I have been married to Georgie, he has never hid anything from me that much. His negligent way of keeping off this secret ring proves that he does not know how to hide things. Maybe he is seeing someone or is up to something best known to himself.
I slid the ring onto my ring finger and, holy moley, it would not even fit onto it properly. So I took it off and placed it into my skirt’s pocket. I wanted to keep it away and observe his reactions when he came back home. But reminiscing his hot-tempered nature, I took it out, walked back into the house and placed it into the inner pocket of one of his other coats hanging in his wardrobe. I still wondered what he was up to with the jewel, and I swore to myself that whatever it was, I had to nip it in the bud.
15-year old Tony who spent his day in school also wanted to know the whereabouts of his father when he came home in the evening. I told him his dad said he would be back home tonight. I am wondering what I will tell them tomorrow, supposing Georgie fails to show up again.
It is 12:45 am, and I bet everyone else in this vicinage has fallen asleep…
Wait… the doorbell is ringing. This late! Who might that be? Perhaps it is my lah-di-dah hubby. Let me check it out… .