No one can explain the pain a faithful devoted woman feels when she realises that the man she adores has an extra-marital affair. Prof. A. Nora knows this pain all too well.
Her husband was a secondary school bursar. He supported her as she pursued further studies from degree to degree. Nora was always thankful for the rarity of such a man. Many men would not allow their wives to leave the kids with them so that they study. But Festus did.
When Nora was needed to spend more hours in the university for research, Festus would step in quickly in caring for their two sons. He had ample time to do so too, he said, because he was not needed at work all day.
So Nora read, from Masters to Doctorate, with ease and assurance that all was fine at home. Now she was aiming for the title Full Professor, she had been Associate Professor for quite some time now. This needed more time to sink in books. Festus did not seem to mind at all.
When she was available, she would try to make up for the lost time. She sat with them, shared stories and played video games with her sons. She would prepare them their favourite foods and even though her body would crave rest, she would force every fibre in her to sleep after all of them.
The boys slept early and it would be just her and Festus. Nora would wear his preferred lingerie and spray some cologne on her neck and then submit herself to her husband who would take her all in with a famishment she awed at proudly. She was secretly happy that he still saw her desirable even after many years of marriage.
Nonetheless, this seemingly happy home would come crumbling down one day. Her sons were now teenagers, a stage she thought they needed both parents most.
It was on Sunday evening. She had rushed to the university to finish up writing a publication that needed to be done by the next morning. She received a call from her husband.
“Hey, you still studying at the uni?” He asked.
“Yes I am. I am in the library right now and I might come home very late.” She whispered. He seldom called when she was at the university. The boys were at her sister’s house hanging out with their cousins so whatever he was calling for had nothing to do with them.
“Alright then. Just wanted to know how you are.” He said and hung up. Nora felt an augury feeling at the pit of her stomach. She could not read anymore after that call. She closed her books and decided to go back home. She left the library and entered her car ready to go. As she was about to tie her seat belt, she saw her husband’s car pass by the library.
Nora wondered why he would come at the university late in the evening. An inner voice urged her to find out.
“Hey Dr. Tim!” She called out to a colleague who was also leaving the library. He was pleased at the attention. He had once tried his luck with her but she had rejected him with a display of the fourth finger of her left hand to show him her wedding ring.
“I am happily married Tim.”
“I can make you happier,” he had insisted.
“No Dr. Tim,you do not play those games with me. I respect my marriage and would wish you did so too.” She said with a sombre tone and he bent his head dramatically indicating defeat.
Here she was now, asking him to help her follow the grey Toyota Corona that was heading to the hostels.
He squinted at her confusedly but shrugged his shoulders and opened the door to his car for her. She was ashamed at her deeds but the shame of asking a colleague to follow her husband’s car was not as pressing as the curiosity that stung her to know why her husband was in the university.
The throes that ate her heart were worse than any pain she had ever felt in her life when she saw one of her students kiss her husband though the window, then go round the car and happily hop in the co-driver’s seat. Dr Tim, enjoying the show did not need to be asked to pursue them on but keeping a safe distance. Nora’s husband took a deserted route and stopped at a motel called “Lovers Inn.”
Dr. Tim turned back and drove silently. He covertly glanced at his colleague. He had admired her for her tenacity in academics. Rumour had it that she would be the next Dean after the retirement of the current . She also acted with utmost decorum and even regretted that day he had tried to get personal with her.
She now seemed broken at what she witnessed but was trying to be strong. Tim would have taken advantage of such a situation if it were any other woman but with Nora, he would not dare. She would be his next boss and he also knew that she would not entertain his balderdash.
Nora could not utter a word. The pain was in her throat, stuck like a fishbone, choking her, hard to swallow, hard to vomit. Yet she kept a calm face. One could not tell the turmoil underneath that tranquil face.
“Take me to your house.” Nora said ,her voice crispy.
“Wha..No..ra ..Pr..?” Dr. Tim stammered.
“I said, take me to your house. Or is there a woman there now?” She asked still in the calm voice.
“No Professor but…” He said. She stopped him.
“Well then, you take me to your house.” She ordered. Tim drove madly before she changed her mind.
She did not wait for him to welcome him. She was on him, getting his belt out, pulling his strained eager manhood out while he frantically did his part in taking her attire off. He was on the floor, she was on top, fierce and angry, her face stern and vengeful as his face contorted not in pain but pleasure and triumph. When she climaxed, she dressed up as quickly as her clothes came off and left, leaving him at his peak.
When she arrived home, she did not kiss Festus as she often did, nor did she speak to him. She went to check on her sons who were asleep and then went to her bedroom. He followed her, concerned.
“Is everything all right Nora?” He asked.
“Ask your university whore,” She replied. He was silent. She looked at him and expected to see guilt on his face. But there was profound anger instead.
“At least with her I feel like a man! She has time for me, to see and appreciate me. She doesn’t put her interests first like you do. She listens to me and is always available!” He rapped on how his girlfriend was of better wife clothe than she was. Each praise tore through her that she thought she would literally bleed.
She could not believe that her husband would compare her to another woman.
“I can’t believe you would do this to me! I would be very far now careerwise were it not for my sacrifices for this home!” She said.
“That’s precisely my point! You think it’s a privilege for me to share your time because you are a Professor! Professor, my foot!” She was baffled at his attitude. They argued the whole night.
The next morning, their sons discussed the night’s happenings. Such a conflict had never been heard or seen in that house.
The row between the two worsened. Festus found out that she was cheating causing another heated squabble. The home that was a haven of peace and joy turned to be a hellhole of fights and havoc. They both competed who would come home late. They also contested at defaming each other to their children.
Needless to say, this took a toll on their sons. The first born, Danny resulted to bad influence. He was also taking drugs, engaging in careless sexual activities and stealing . His younger brother,Abel looked stronger. He would try to have conversations with each parent trying how he thought best to reconcile the two. His efforts were futile.
One evening, Nora decided to have a quickie with Dr.Tim. She called the shots in this affair but he gladly gave in to all her desires. On the other hand,Festus was feeling a bit exhausted.He went home early to have a quiet nap. He knew no one would be home. But he was met by the most horrendous sight in the living room.
Danny was lying on the floor, a syringe and needle still injected in his flesh. Festus ran to his son, there was no pulse. He picked his phone, panic-struck and called his wife who did not pick. He called out for help. He was not thinking straight. Maybe his other son was in his bedroom. Festus ran to check on him so that they would rush his big brother to hospital.
Abel was hanging on a rope by the neck, his tongue out and eyes unmoving. A stool bent on the ground. It was the most devastating scene that Festus had ever seen in his life. He heard his phone ring. He absentmindedly picked it up and heard his wife trying to conceal a pant from some vigorous sex.
“Hello?” She said, impatiently and heard him sniffle. Her husband was crying. She felt that augury feeling she had experienced that day she found out he was cheating. She pushed Tim away from betwen her legs and ran as she tried to dress up on the way.
“Nooooo, my babies, not my children!” Was all she kept saying as she banged on the floor with her fists. The noise alerted a neighbour who came and called for help. Nora joined Festus on the floor and all they did was cry as the room around them was filled by policemen,doctors and concerned passers-by.
It was a painful ordeal, burying both their sons who had a very bright future ahead of them. None of their parents had the strength to read a tribute for their sons. They both knew that they were the cause of their deaths. No one was less guilty than the other.
They both had swum in a lake of pride. They had been blinded by egomania. They had allowed anger and vengeance rule over them. They knew the swahili adage,wapiganapo ndovu wawili, ziumiazo nyasi but saw no meaning to it. (When two elephants fight, it is the grass that hurts) Now they live with only memories and remorse . If only time could turn back, but can it?
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