Her name suited her, Pretty. She indeed turned heads. She was the kind of lady who made a man go dumb or stupid for seconds. She knew it, so she accentuated her beauty, with perfectly done make up and close fitting dresses that hugged her gorgeous body.
Her hair was always perfectly done, not even a strand would be seen hanging out. Her long delicate nails displayed a neat glossy look whose colours changed with the dresses she would wear.
How Pretty and Zack became an item was a mystery to many. While Pretty was a fun loving carouser, her husband was laid back, an introvert with a keen interest in religion.
He attended church most Sundays tagging along his wife who only accompanied her husband to please him. He imagined how delightful it would be in future when he would be going to church with his children but his heart sank when he remembered that his wife had been unwilling to conceive.
He was starting to dislike the excessive self absorption she carried with her. Anytime he asked her to get off whatever contraceptive she was using, she replied she was still young, or she was afraid of ruining her slim waist. He remembered how smitten he had been by her when they first met.
Five years ago, she had been the first to show interest in him. She was the face of the company they worked for, the company’s front desk receptionist. He had been shocked at first that she had even noticed him, a mere IT consultant. He had heard that a wealthy attorney had expressed interest to make her his betrothed but she had showed him a cold shoulder.
“Will you not invite me to your home one day to see your family?” She had asked.
Zack smiled at her witty inquiry of his marital status.
“I will. My wife cooks so well . Our children cannot have enough of her delicacies.” Zack almost kicked the air in delight when he saw her face drop. He winked at her and left her desk, beaming from ear to ear.
The more he thought, the more the smile on his face faded. An inner voice had started to warn him not to celebrate yet. She was probably as flirtatious to other men as she was to him. She possibly liked to tease shy men like him.
“You are such a liar!” She said few days later. “I know you are not married.”
Zack was impressed that she had taken time to find more about him. She continued to flirt with him but he was cautious. He had a feeling he was being used, probably to make her lover jealous, but when Pretty knocked on his door, late at night one night with the excuse of escaping a rat in the house, he knew it was the real deal.
The two never turned back after that.
It was now five years on. Zack was getting fed up month after month. What irked him more was that Pretty seemed to take his feelings lightly.
“People have kids even at sixty, c’mon honey let’s enjoy our marriage first..hhmm!” She said as she crawled towards him in bed, unbuttoning the zip of his trousers wanting to please him. He loved how great she was at making love but he pushed her away this time.
Every time he broached the topic of having a child, she would come close to him and try a sex act with him. He would instantly forget and give in.
“Why Pretty? Why do you always do this?” He said, rising up and raising his voice.
“Do what baby?” She asked, pouting, and staring at him with an innocent look that often caused Zack to run to her and kiss her but he would not have any of that this time.
“Stop acting Pretty. You know what I am talking about. I am getting tired of asking that we have a baby but you never seem to take it seriously. Pretty, I am forty now, for heaven’s sake. You are not getting any younger yourself!” He said, vexed, and throwing his hands in the air.
Pretty walked to him and held his cheeks with both his hands . He being taller, she stood on her toes and kissed him, not a peck but a deeper kiss, a sexual kiss. He moaned and then realized that she was doing it again. He pulled her away.
“You see! This is what I am talking about Pretty.” He walked out and left her. He had to show her he was serious about it so he decided he would sleep at a friend’s.
Pretty threw herself on the bed. She was disturbed by her husband’s persistence on having a child. All her tricks were running out. She looked desperately at the ceiling for answers but all was silent. As night approached, she frequently craned her neck to sight her husband coming back but she fell asleep still waiting.
Zack had been welcomed warmly by his best friend. His friend was in no hurry to marry and he changed girlfriends like undergarments. Zack was introduced to the newest lady friend, Vianna. She was older than many of his ex girlfriends. She listened on quietly as Zack lamented to Max about Pretty’s adamant refusal to have a child with him.
“Wait guys. This Pretty you keep mentioning, do you have a picture of her?” Vianna asked.
Max gave the go ahead for Zack, to show Vianna a picture of his wife. A look at Zack’s wall paper photo threw Vianna to stupefaction.
“Oh My God, are you Pretty’s husband?” Vianna asked. Zack, not knowing whether to be proud or not, nodded. Zack thought he saw sympathy on Vianna’s face.
“What?Do you know her?” He asked. Vianna wanted to say something but changed her mind,shook her head and threw her hand in dismissal. “Never mind!”
“Babe, don’t be like that, tell us what you know about Pretty. ” Max pleaded with his girlfriend on his friend’s behalf.
Vianna laughed in apparent deep thought. Then she cleared her throat.
“I worked as a receptionist for a quack doctor some years ago. He was well known for performing abortions.”
“What does that have to do with my wife? Did she also work for him?” Zack asked.
Vianna stared at him for a a few long seconds then finally replied.
“No, she was one of his regular customers.” Zack’s mouth dropped open.
“One day, she came in with a showing bump, it was about four to five months. The doctor at first refused, claiming that the pregnancy was too big to be aborted but Pretty insisted, promising more money.
The greedy quack agreed, then I heard screams from the doctor’s rooms. She was lying in a pool of blood, she almost died. Apparently, the abortion had backfired. Her womb had been taken out together with the unborn baby. She survived somehow, but without a uterus henceforth.”
Before Vianna could say any more, Zack took his coat and phone and stormed out.
“See what you did!” Max said.
“What? It was you who asked me to say what I knew about Pretty!” Vianna exclaimed defensively.
As the two had their debate, Zack in hurried steps marched to his house.
Pretty jumped at the sound of the turning door lock. She hurriedly took off her clothes and stood seductively for him, eager to see him get mesmerized and aroused as soon as he opened the door. She posed and gave him the killer smile he so cherished.
“Is it true that you have aborted several times and the last one caused your infertility?” He dropped the bombshell on her.
A part of him wished that Vianna had been wrong about his wife but the look on her face said it all. The smile disappeared and in place, horror, terror and guilt.
Zack’s legs went feeble, he slid his body by the wall down to the floor and wept. An attempt by Pretty to console him was pushed off with hostility. He even left and spent the rest of the night on the sofa.
Zack easily forgave those who wronged him but Pretty’s well concealed secret could be spared. Zack’s love for children would not allow him to forgive who he now knew as a murderer.
Moreover, he realised that Pretty had played him. Zack felt cheated. He knew Pretty would never have told him the truth and that too disturbed him. Maybe he would have given it a second thought had she been upfront with him.
He drifted to sleep and had a dream. In his dream he saw a woman with many tiny babies who could not stop crying. Instead of consoling them, the woman was smothering them to death.
“Baby!” She woke him up. He was smiling at him. For the first time in their five years of marriage, he felt disgusted at the smile that usually lighted up his mornings.
He went to the bathroom without uttering a word to her. He closed his eyes at the pouring drops from the shower. He opened them wide when he remembered his dream. He dressed and took a few of his items and left.
Babe,please comè home.
Pretty wrote yet another text, the sixtieth text in three weeks. She was surprised he replied this one.
Pasts should remain pasts but pasts that affect the future should be disclosed. Lying is wrong but concealing the truth is worse. Nothing cannot be forgiven but only when one owns up without being pressured. Goodbye.
She knew she had lost him for good. She regretted for engaging in careless sex years ago,she regretted for running to dingy clinics to hide her immoral and careless behaviours. Pretty felt remorse for thinking that her wrongdoings would remain hidden forever if she used her tricks to cover her history.
She had lost a good man who loved her deeply. She had thought all her marriage life he was the fortunate one for having her. Her beauty would not save her marriage. Character was of greater significance yet hers was rotten.