When Amazon fire rained, it came vehemently. It burned even the tallest of the trees. Yet a small portion in the interior was left unburned. The greenery remains as it is when the rest of the vegetation has turned sooty and dead.
That is how I see the story of Synthia. She was married for 14 years. She had a daughter and a son ,twins born a year after their wedding. People regarded them with warm approval. They were the kind the young ones call power family, or family goals.
Synthia’s husband was a doctor. She was a stay-at-home mum. She did her work well :her house always neat,her children dressed well to school. Their uniform would be promptly repaired if she noticed any tear. She brushed daddy and kids’shoes late in the evening after seeing them off to sleep. She loved to hum as she did her chores.
Synthia chose Friday as her hair day. She would visit Monica’s salon at around 2 after preparing some smoothie for her kids to take after school. They knew they would not meet mama at home on Fridays ,she was making her hair. In case of any urgency,they knew where she was ,at Monica’s salon.
There was a way Synthia wanted her hair and only Monica understood how. Hence, Monica knew that Friday afternoons were Synthia’s. She was a good loyal customer who left big tips. Monica did not like to lose such customers. She pleased them as they wanted. With time, they grew to be good friends.
It was also a norm that Synthia’s husband would pick her up from Monica’s salon. He would come earlier sometimes and Monica would give him a seat and magazines to read as he waited for his wife to be made beautiful for him. His reaction at Monica’s job on his wife’s head was always something to look out for. He would awe at her or sometimes nod severally in admiration and even sometimes open his mouth in wonderment.They would then get in his car and go to the house.
Her departure from the salon would be followed by merciful gestures or guffaws of laughter from those who cared less. Then the whispers would start.
“She still doesn’t know,until now?”One would ask.
“She really brags with that doctor husband,she deserves it!” Another would chip in jealously.
“Men are such bastards,why does he do that to his wife,really?” Another would wonder.
“Such actors, I tell you!” The other would quip.
“You know what,I think she knows. We probably think she is the fool and she could be the one sailing us through a boat of tomfoolery, playing all of us fools!” This would be taken with much more sobriety. Then a debate would ensue about whether Synthia knew or not.
This happened in every corner of the street that knew this couple whenever they passed the streets together. But then again, every town has a loudmouth who spoils all the fun. This time it was Mama Mboga. She was tired of these guesses about whether Synthia knew or not.So when Synthia came to buy some groceries,she burst the bubble.
“Mama Twins, that doctor of yours do you no good. You are very elegant and beautiful compared to his side chick.” Then silence. Spreading silence. Synthia dropped the money she was to pay Mama Mboga. She pulled herself together quickly when she realised a large number of people had stopped their bustles to see her reaction. She ran to her husband’s car where he was waiting , browsing on his phone. She smiled at him while deep down she wanted to ask questions.
She tried to act normal that evening. She however did not sleep a wink. Some things unsettled her mind. Mama Mboga’s statement, the look on almost everyone’s eye, the silence as if Mama Mboga had revealed a very big secret. She decided to see a friend the next day. That one would not lie to her.Monica.
Monica laughed off Synthia’s doubts. Mama Mboga was a mad woman ,that one. If her husband was cheating ,Monica would definitely tell her. She left after many assurances that she had nothing to worry about. Still Synthia felt disconcerted. She made an unexpected move. She called the errand boy and sent him a note.
Please come I need to talk to you. I will pay you if I have to. Don’t tell anyone I am the one calling you.
Mama Mboga came and spilt everything. She ran back to her workplace and left Synthia,crushed,betrayed and exasperated. Then she made that one call.
“I am coming over today . “
“But today is Saturday, you were only here yesterday. ”
She laughed and said, “I know that already. I am coming today . I am not coming about my hair. I want you to tell me a story. “
“A story, why don’t I understand you Synthia? ” Her voice was now aquiver.
“Yes. A story of how a woman would stab her best friend so deep. I want you to explain to me how long that knife has been on my back.” Her voice was now rising. “How everyone else knew about the betrayal but me!”
“Calm down,Synthia,I can explain!”
“Oh yes ,you will. ” She hang up and made another call.
“Hi sweetheart, I was planning to make a dinner for just the three of us. How about that?”
“Three, who is the third one?” He enquired raising his eyebrow.
“You,me and Monica!”
Silence. A groan. A heart attack.
When he was discharged from hospital,he was in a wheelchair suffering a stroke. Monica would be coming to take care of him four times a week. Synthia had made sure of that.
Well, lets just say that the small portion that was green surrounded by burned vegetation also caught fire.