When you were mine

Have you ever had an idea that won’t let you ignore it? Here’s a short story that’s been with me today.

when you were mine(1)

Martha left her husband of three years. She stepped out of their house carrying a backpack.

It was seven o’clock when she arrived at the bus stop.

The bus came at eight. She read two books while she waited. Her ticket indicated that she’d be leaving at half past seven, but she did not mind as long as she was not late. She handed the Inspector her ticket and walked in the bus. It was ten minutes past eight when she received his text, “where are you?”

She switched off her phone and threw it inside her bag.

She closed her eyes and prepared for a seven hour trip back home. She would stay there until she figured out how to forgive.

II

Their wedding featured in magazines and newspapers in the country. Headings such as “True Love Wins,” “Wedding of The Year,” filled the shelves more than bread and milk. People she’d never met liked her wedding pictures on Facebook and wished her well. The world loved them from their pictures. However, she loved George from her soul and heart. He loved her from his mind and that revealed itself in three years.

She did not believe it even when she lay on the floor at midnight.

She did not ask where she had gone wrong or what he lacked when he came home the next day smelling of cheap hotel soap. She set up his bath, made his breakfast and wished him well at work.

She never missed a day of work or a Sunday mass service.

George lived as he pleased and to the world they were the most beautiful couple but to Martha, they were roommates. She thought of every word and explanation she would give to her parents as she walked up to their gate and pressed the button. They would be happy to see her. Her mother would bake a cake in the afternoon and her Dad would look at her through those glasses that were always at the tip of his nose. He would shake his head and say, “You cannot fool me Martha, I know you are running from this one.”

The guard opened the gate and smiled at her as he took her bag.

“Karibu, nyumbani…umepotea sana, ei yawa! Umefanya vizuri kwa kuja.” Welcome home, you’ve been gone for so long but it’s good you are here.

“Asante, habari ya huku?” Thank you how’s this place?

“Tuko tu, karibu.” We are okay, welcome.

She followed him into the house. Her Father was the first person to see her through the window in his study and he was the first one to embrace her. “You are thin!”

“It is good to see you too Daddy.”

“You are here and that’s all that matters for now. Your mother is getting ready for her Mother’s Union meeting. She will take awhile come with me to the kitchen and we can talk all about your travel.”

“It’s good to be home Daddy.” Her Father stopped and looked at her for a while then pulled her into a tight embrace.

“What was that for? Did you miss me that much?”

“I know things are not well, but I am happy you came to us. I have been yearning to call in a favor from Judge Mambo.”

“Things are fine Daddy. I just need time.”

“You can fool the world Martha but not me. I did not listen to arguments for twenty years to take in a lie from you! God is seeing you! Enough of all this, your mother made some carrot cake in the morning and she hid it somewhere in this kitchen, help me find it and I can tell you all about my day!”

“The doctor said you are not supposed to take sugar.”

“The doctor said so, but he did not warn your mother to stop cooking things that have sugar! Now, start looking before that woman comes here!” She hugged him one more time and walked to the fridge where she found the carrot cake. They sat down on the floor with their slices and talked about the changes in the Judiciary. He asked her questions about the latest bills tabled in the parliament and she created scenarios that could be presented in court. They did this until they ate the last bit of cake then walked back to the sitting room to watch National Geographic.

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