My Violent Wife


CHAPTER 1

The Genesis

My wife beat me up on New year's day and I thought that it was a joke because both of us were high. When I came to, I could feel aches all over my body. I could barely remember the events of the previous night, because we were taking dry whiskey on the rocks. As I held my pounding head in my left palm. I looked at her lying on the floor with vomit all over and then it I was able to recall....she was mad at me because I had forgotten to buy her a gift on New year's day, which also doubled up as her birthday.


My name is Richard, my friends call me Ritchie. My wife Rita is an athlete and she beats me, not on the track, she assaults me verbally and physically.


I met my wife in a club. My favorite team had won a basketball tournament, sponsored by one of the leading whiskey brands and there was an after party. So I went to hang out with the boys and during the karaoke hour she picked up the mic and belted a rap song by one of the leading US female artists. Everything in her spoke of the American culture. From her hairdo, which was a copy cat of Da-Brat, her dressing her style n swag. I liked what I saw, sassy, cool and suave-a cute hip hop, tom boy lady. She brought the house down with her talent. I was instantly attracted to her, but then my shy nature couldn't bring myself to talk to her. Phil my friend noticed my ogling at her, as she sat with her girlfriends later that evening in a booth.

"Hey buddy, go talk to her", he started

"Who, me...nuh. That lady is way beyond me. I can't keep up with her flow. I mean, she is cool and I like her style. Everything about her is perfect, but look at me...what will I tell her?" I said.

I have been watching you this entire time from the time she hit the stage and you couldn't take your eyes off her.

You had better try than walk out of this place and regret later on.

- Phil

Phil really tried to convince me, but I put my foot down and never made the move. We left the club and went home, but she had made such an impression on me, that I couldn't shake her off my mind. She seemed like the goddess Aphrodite and I was her prey willing to be tamed by her seductive beauty that was bewitching. As I lay in bed waiting for the announcement of the KCSE results, she was all that I could think about. I wondered what her name was.

About a week later, my mum sent me to town for some errands. I paid all the bills, then proceeded to the supermarket to grab some groceries and as I turned into one of the aisles, I saw her in the trademark brown timberland boots, nice baggy jeans, checkered shirt and black T-shirt, a beautiful chain, appropriate make up and her signature hair style like Da Brat. She looked like an air brushed 3D image out of MTV. I stood there riveted to the ground. Here was the girl that I had been thinking about for the past one week, she was all alone looking at some lotions. I was there holding some cooking oil, pasta and corn flour looking for my trolley, but ...

...I couldn't...move...

I started sweating... I tried to move my legs, but they refused to cooperate. Like they had received a memo from my brain, regarding the times I had thought about her and now they wanted to conspire to bring me down. My knees started wobbling as I wondered what would happen if she saw my transfixed person staring at her...I wanted to call for help, but again, why would I be doing that. I exhaled from my rear end! I didn't know where that came from, Oh the beans and chapati that I ate last night. Wah! The fart was loud, very loud and smelly, she heard it and turned to face me. 

I was caught red handed, gawking sheepishly at someone's daughter in a supermarket, I wanted to run, but again my legs...these legs of mine, damn! My eyes popped out and if I had been of Caucasian descent, then my face would have turned white! 

"Are you okay?", she asked me

I opened my mouth and it instantly became a Sahara desert, not a single hint of saliva.

My hands gave in and I dropped all that was in my hands. She took two steps towards my confused self, held my shoulder with her left hand and for the first time in my life I got an experience of what it means to be electrocuted. The sensation jerked me up and I sprang into action.

"Oh sorry, Um....yeah...I'm sorry...I..I...yeah....", I shifted clumsily as I struggled to pick my stuff from the floor and I caught a whiff of her expensive perfume and wooh, she was a piece of cake, built with my specifications but....I just couldn't master the courage to tell her that I ached at seeing her and I loved looking at her being, but I just couldn't...

I made it out of the supermarket, feeling like a 3rd rate clown. Later that evening as I narrated my experience to Phil, he couldn't believe that I had embarrassed myself like that.

"You had an opportunity to talk to her and you gassed her with beans and then.....", he belted out in laughter.

"A part of me really wanted approach her, but then I felt inadequate and then I was carrying stuff and it was just a bad moment.", I tried to defend myself.

More laughter.

"Rita", he said

"Rita?", I asked

Her name is Rita.

The name she uses in the club is her stage name Da-Rita and when she twangs, you would think its 'Da-Rida'.

She lives in Milimani and she comes from a well to family, though her parents are in the middle of a divorce. She is a bright student,  goes to the gym and is extremely confident. That's all the data I got on her.

- Phil

What...? where did you get all that information?

- Richard

"You are my boy and since I could sense that you needed some help, I had to sniff out and run a background check on her and give you the data...Oh and I forgot, she is not seeing anyone at the moment and just like us, she is also waiting for the results. So make your move Ritchie, don't let me down. She is hot cake and someone will by bypass you if you keep on waiting."

"This is interesting", I said. But even with that knowledge in my arsenal, I still felt like I didn't have enough ammunition to penetrate her amour. She was not some random form 2 girl during a drama outing in a color clashed uniform from a remote school out in the bundus, this was a lady a tier above the rest of us and so with that inferiority complex; I knew that she would never agree to dating me, a simpleton from a lower middle class family. She had an 'ozone' that none of us had, she was living the American life in Kenya.

The African Night was coming up in 2 weeks and Phil as I later came to realize, was busy working behind the scenes to ensure that Rita and I got to at the bare minimum, chat. He too had been eyeing one of her friends called Sly, who was only too willing to talk and be the go between in gathering intel on Rita. For the next two weeks, thoughts of Rita flooded my mind and my teenage heart and every time I went to town, I had mixed feelings. I secretly hoped that I would meet her, but then again I couldn't trust myself in front of her and I didn't want to embarrass myself again with my bumbling clumsiness. 

That evening, Phil drove his mum's car to come pick me. I had tried to be on my best behavior all week and I had prepared my mother well in advance. Then it just so happened that the results had come out that same day and I had scored a B+. I was headed for campus. My mother was so excited, she even gave me money to go party with my friends. Phil had done well too. He had scored an A- and his mum had given him the car for the night. 

The music was good, friends were hyped; we got talking, chatting and having fun. I didn't pride myself as a dancer, so I rarely went to the dance floor, but I could hit the bottle hard without getting drunk. 

Phil left me at the bar area and went to dance, after a short while he returned with his crew. He introduced me to his new girlfriend Sly and then, I turn to the next lady and Rita the Aphrodite was standing there looking dolled up and cute with a wine glass in her hand. I looked at Phil, smiled and froze internally. I tried to mask it...but... it wasn't working. There was a brief awkward moment, then Rita broke the ice. She winked at me, smiled and then it hit me that I should extend my hand towards her.

"Hi, I'm Ritchie"

"I'm Rita aka Da-Ridah"

She had the softest palms that contrasted with her vivacious outgoing  personality. 

Phil and Sly left us and disappeared into the crowd and I didn't know whether to thank him or slaughter him for dinner. I wanted to talk to this girl, but then again I needed some back up from him. I felt like I would need to constantly refer to him to get vibes for this enchanting lady, that had me mesmerized to my toe nails.

I sipped my drink for a cool one minute, trying to figure out what I was going to tell her, but my brain pleaded temporary insanity. I think she figured it out and decided to come to my rescue. 

So that was you the other day at the supermarket, right?

- Rita

I looked at her smiled, nodded and we both laughed.

Phew, I felt a surge of energy get infused in me from nowhere and we got talking. She drew me out and I opened up and we just flowed that night. I told her about my family about my late dad, my hardworking mum and my kid sister and she opened up about her parents divorcing and her big brother who was over protective of her...she had also scored a B+ like me and we had a nice tête-à-tête that night. We exchanged numbers and promised to be in touch.

Phil called me the next day.

"How was it?"

"What?"

Come on, stop pretending. You and Rita really hit it off last night.

- Phil

I will kill you. Aki you are not a good friend. You left me hanging and you know I'm so green in this field. You disappeared completely.

- Richard

"Nuh, man. You needed space to swim, you are a big boy now. I threw you into the deep end, you were not supposed to swim with the lads. Aren't you glad that I brought her to you?"

"Yeah, man, you are right..."

That is how we began our friendship and it grew into something else. I never quite asked her out to be my girlfriend. We just spent more time together and our bond grew. My mother got to like her a lot and was compassionate about what she was going through at home. However my sister Tuntu detested her. She would say hi and then vanish to her room. On her part, her dad was aloof anytime I found him at home; the big bro was studiously checking me out with eyes that seemed to communicate... "if I get you...ahem". The mom on the other hand loved me, she believed that I could tame her wild daughter.

Our admission letters came and coincidentally, both of us were accepted to the same university. It was exciting thinking that we were going to spend four years together, away from the watchful eyes of our parents. 

I got to campus two days before Rita and right at the gate, I was received by a lady called Jane and a gentleman called John. They picked my luggage and promised to help me with the registration process. They two were with me the whole day, talking to me about the university. They were nice and helpful, they even bought me lunch. This was really odd, strangers on day one who were extremely helpful and pleasant. I kept guard waiting for the moment they would ask for money, but they didn't ask for anything. They just wanted to ensure that I settled in well and to give me a mini orientation of what goes on in campus. 

The following day, they showed up again and as we continued hanging out, it dawned on me that these guys were trying to recruit me into their Bible study group. They belonged to a group calling themselves The Navigators. This was their orientation and membership program for freshers in campus. I felt internal boredom slip in my stomach. I wasn't a serious church goer except for funerals, few weddings just to eat and maybe Christmas. I knew about God and Jesus but I wasn't going to become a fanatic. Sensing resistance from my side, thee guys backed down from the religious topic. I thought that I would shake them off, but they still went out of their way to become my friends and were all too willing to help out Rita when she arrived. 

True to their word, the three of us welcomed Rita and helped her settle in. She was shocked that I already had friends in a new place since that was unlike me. I was extremely cautious about new people and my introverted nature didn't help at all, but John and Jane had managed to penetrate that veneer that I had been wearing. It would be years later that I would come to terms with the impact of that first week in campus.

As was the tradition, there was a dance hosted by the university, to welcome all first year students. This was what the 3rd and 4th year students called, 'the scramble for freshers' or 'gold rush'. They were all out to pick their latest 'catch' from high school.

Jane sent me a text; inviting us for a kesha, that the Christian Union was having the same night as the campus Dance. We politely declined. We were set on having fun, we had to party that night. It was a defining night for me in many ways.

Unlike the discotheques that I was used to, this was 'just a hall' and then there was a DJ, blaring speakers, lights and it was packed. If you wanted drinks, you had to purchase them from outside the campus grounds. As we sat there, I could tell that Rita was getting bored, so i went and got her something stiff. After a few sips, she let loose and hit the floor dancing. I just sat there and watched her. 

After some time, a lady walked out of crowd, came and sat next to me. She was holding a bottle of beer obviously high.

"You look very handsome and lonely. It is a crime for a nice dude like you to be alone"

"I'm ok", I replied

"Come on, let's go and dance", she asked

"No, I don't dance"

"Come on darling, let's go", she insisted as she tried to pull me from my chair.

Rita emerged from the dance floor and asked,

"What's going on?"

"Who is this?" the lady grabbed my waist protectively as she asked me about Rita.

"She is my girlfriend" I replied, but I made no attempt at removing her arm from my waist...From the look on Rita's face, I could tell that things were not okay. Her face changed and almost without warning she splashed her drink on her face and a slap landed on her face. The lady reacted, but Rita was quick. I'm not sure what happened but she was on the floor and then Rita looked at me.

"What's wrong with you?", she shouted and then walked away.

CHAPTER 2

The breakup

I followed her, but then she was in no mood to talk. 

This was the first time I came face to face with the violent nature of my girlfriend Rita. I tried talking to her explaining what had transpired a few moments before she got to us, but she was just unreasonable. I decided to withdraw to my reserved nature and give her time to cool down. 

I selected my classes and proceeded with campus life. Along the way, I sent her several texts but she never responded and being the reserved person I am; I never get pushy and I do not fancy anyone making me feel desperate. 

On the third week, I bumped into Jane at the mess (dining hall) and we sat down together for a meal.

"How's Rita doing?", she asked

"Well, I hope she is okay", I replied.

"What do you mean, you hope...you haven't seen her?"

I narrated my story to her.

Okay, I hear you and I get you, but still you should reach out to her.

Go and talk to her, we ladies are like that, we are super emotional beings and at times we are on the wrong, but then we still want you to come looking for us.

You care about this girl, I could see it the day she reported to campus, so don't let this minor incident come in between. Go and look for her.

- Jane

Look for her! I have been trying to reach out to her...Rita beat up a senior in less than ten seconds and she didn't even want an explanation.

- Richard

"Look...", she said as she leaned forward and gently touched my arm, "Trust me on this one, go look for her and talk to her, she has now relaxed and you two can make headway, then come and tell me", she said then stood and left me digesting her words.

I looked at my meal and wondered if Jane was possibly right. I wanted to look for John to get a male perspective of this situation, but then I didn't know where to find him and the institution was a still a maze to me. Jane had told me that time was not on my side and it was up to me to salvage this relationship. I swallowed my pride and went to her hostel and that turned out to be the biggest mistake of my life.

We got talking once I got to her room and though she was a bit sane, she was adamant that I was on the wrong. 

How could you allow that lady to put her arm around your waist? Then when I asked my question, you stood there like a mute, clueless deaf person?

- Rita

"Rita, I don't know that girl. Things happened so fast and you know me...."

We had a back and forth and it was clear that we were not making headway. So I apologized and accepted all that I was on the wrong and that it was okay for her to get physical with that girl. I actually agreed to something that I did not believe in, SMH.

We slowly drifted back to our usual selves and as the semester progressed. I found Jane and told her that we were back together and her reaction to the news was welcome but unexpected.

"Really? Oh, I'm happy for the two of you", she said as she gave me a hug. Her face lit up as she sought to know more about our conversation. I walked with her across campus and narrated to her everything regarding my conversation with Rita; explaining to her the complexities. She also took time to educate me on how to walk and work through the emotional states of a woman. I had grown up with women and I thought i knew them, but Rita was a combined course in actuarial science, applied statistics and quantum physics for aliens. 

My relationship with Jane in campus was wholesome. She was my go to girl anytime I had a tiff with Rita. I would bounce ideas off her and she would tell me to my face if I was wrong or not. She was my safe space and she was real. With time, I began referring to her as my big sister and she was really a big sister, she wasn't fake...the Christian Union chicks were known for being judgemental.

John on the other hand became my big brother. We rarely met since he was doing one of the harder courses on campus, but anytime I had sit down with him, he was a human thesaurus. The dude had a lot of information about many things and I always felt easy with him. He opened up about his family, his ambitions and once in a while he would talk about his walk with the Lord. But never not even once did he try to push me to get saved, he just modeled it out for me. I secretly admired the peace he exhibited, yet I was too proud to tell him.

My melodramatic relationship with Rita was full of unpredictable episodes. We could move from Summer to  Winter and back in no time. We would be on the mountain one moment and the next we were in the valley. I loved her to bits, but her temper was a feminine hurricane, sneezing non-stop. When she got annoyed, there was no telling to what she would do. When I was late for a date, she would click, bang the table and walk away. Curse words were on her lips like venom to fangs. If I forgot to return a text, I would get expletives in my inbox. 

She never trusted any girl around me except Jane. She would yell and cause a fuss. She would shout at me as we were walking and I would take it in. Many students wondered why I tolerated that crap from her, but I kept quiet when they asked; I couldn't tell them the reason. The guys thought that I was a weak sissy and the chics, well, they just kept the thoughts to themselves to avoid Ritah-Drama. In my heart I convinced myself that all this was an outpouring of what was going at home between her parents, so she was just venting. I thought that it was a phase, but it got worse with time. 

Then came the day where she crossed the line and hit me! Vera had been dating my roommate and came to see him, but he had stepped out, so she decided to lie on his bed. I was in my vest, shorts and working on my laptop. My phone was on my bed and on silent mode so I did not hear her calling. Rita decided to come to my room and found Vera on the bed and I sitting there. Everyone in campus knew her, so one look at her and the innocent lady knew what was coming, so she hurriedly excused herself and took off. 

Rita closed the door behind her, locked and it and then walked up to me. 

"Are you cheating on me?" she asked

"Wait, did you just...."

I have called you over 30 times and you didn't pick my calls, then I walk in here and you are dressed like this with that whore lying in bed?

- Rita

"For starters, you know that is not my bed and I didn't know, that you tried calling me. Sorry for....", I reached out for my phone to check it and she grabbed it smashing it on the wall.

"Do you think I'm a fool?", she edged closer. I could smell a mixture of weed and booze emanating from her pretty lips. 

"Rita..."

Before I could utter another word, two slaps landed on my cheek with the rapid succession of Matiangi's cops; on assignment to disrupt the Nairobi Business Community. My face stung and I could feel the temperature rising in the room. 

"Wha.....", she raised her arm again and I caught it mid air with my right hand and with my left hand, I grabbed her neck and I pinned her to the wall. I could feel my hot Maasai blood boiling in my system. The Moran (Maasai warriors) in me was rising fast and I wanted to hit her...and I was going to hit her, since I felt attacked.

She on the other hand was kicking and screaming and asking me to release her, but I wasn't moving an inch. I just looked at her in silence as blood dripped down from my nose onto my vest. I don't know for how long we were like that but thank God, I had a knock at the door and I could hear John's voice calling out...all of a sudden, she changed the narrative.

"Ritchie, is everything okay in there?", he asked

"No it's not, he is trying to kill me, please help me", she said

Ritchie, please open the door.

- John

I let go and Rita dropped down gasping for breath as I opened the door for John.

He came in and tried to cool down our tempers. He tried to reason with us but she was in no mood to listen to anyone. All she kept on saying was,

He hit me! Richard hit me! What kind of man puts his hands on a woman? Can you imagine he was strangling me?

- Rita

I tried to paint the true picture but she wouldn't let me, so I let her yap away her emotions, then when she was done she left and banged the door behind her. That's was when I told John the whole story, then I told him:

I'm done. I can'not take it anymore. Rita is an emotional wreck and I feel like I have been protecting her for too long.

- Richard

I feel you bro and I can imagine what it feels like to date a lady who is erratic, but then as a man, you must control yourself.

You cannot do that to a lady or any woman at all.

- John

Sober John, took time to explain to me the perception of the society, when it came to gender based violence.


No matter how you spin it, when it is directed to the ladies, it will elicit a lot of backlash as opposed to when it is directed to the men. Several social experiments based on the same have been done in the US and you can easily find them online and you will see what I'm talking about.

You can go to my timeline on Facebook and check out a recent post that I did a few days ago highlighting the plight of men being physically abused by their women. It was interesting to note that about 95% of the ladies who commented either made fun of the guys who were being battered or simply could not believe that it is happening.


"So, my brother" , he continued, "To be on the safe side, when your woman get's violent, protect yourself, don't retaliate instead be the bigger person and walk away."

"Walk away? Do you know Rita is an athlete and she joined the Karate club? The chic is physically fit. I think she has maybe...5% body fat. She would have worked on me. I have seen her beat up chics here in campus..."

"I know dude, but I am telling you, flee. I understand your pride and all, but if she goes to the cops today, trust me, you will be arrested and it doesn't matter who is telling the truth, they will believe her. That is how twisted our system is."

We chatted until late into the night and I really appreciated the wise words he gave me. Before I slept, I sent Rita a text.

It's over. I can't stand your violent tendencies. I'm tired. Goodnight.

- Richard

She never responded, but I knew that she had seen it...I adjusted to a life without Rita.

John told Jane about our break up and she came to see me in an attempt to help resolve the differences but I refused to listen. So she decided to go talk to Rita. She listened to her version of the story and tried to put everything into perspective, but Rita was too proud to apologize. She could see that she had clearly overreacted without establishing the facts, but she wouldn't stoop that low. The both of us therefore stayed separate.

My classes were on the West side of the university and she was on the East side. So we couldn't have met unless we were intentional about it. That semester ended and we went home for our short holidays. My mother was surprised that I wasn't going out as much and that she never got to see Rita. She tried digging, but I dodged all her questions.

We got back to school and shortly after went on strike.

Our fees had gone up by 33% without an explanation from the senate, so the students went on a rampage. My first instinct was to get to safety and as I made plans for that, I realized that i needed to check on Rita.

It had been over 3 months since we talked.

Hi, are you okay? I'm in West, where are you?

- Richard

No response.

"Are you okay?" I sent another sms.

Nothing.

I called her line, it rang but she didn't pick. The riots were escalating and cops were all over. Panicking, I kept calling her. Things were escalating from bad to worse, the students were charged and riot police were beating up everyone in sight. Being an IT geek, i used my knowledge to track Rita's phone. I could see that it was stationery but she wasn't at her hostel. So I made up my mind to go find her.

I violated the comrades' code and broke away from our mob and used funny routes to get to the East side. I encountered riot police who clobbered me with their batons, but I managed to out ran them amid the tear gas and all.

Finally, I managed to get to the East side of the university and headed in the direction of Rita's phone. There I found her lying in a thicket. One side of her head appeared swollen and she had passed out. I administered mouth to mouth resuscitation and she came to but was visibly weak. Cops must have beaten her up and abandoned her. I carried her heading in the general direction of a nearby village and knocked on the first door that I got to; thank God they welcomed us. I lay her down gently on the couch...she complained of a splitting headache and our host gave her some pain killers then proceeded to allow us spend the night there. 

The following day her dad came to take her home and was thankful for my quick, brave actions and that is how we got back together. Campus was closed indefinitely, so we had to go home. During our short break we started seeing each other again and while we were rekindling our friendship her parents divorce was finalized. 

That was a hard day for her and I went to see her as an expression of my support. She cried...opening up to me on ways that her dad had been mean to her mum and all the nasty experiences she had seen growing up. She got so emotional, all I could do was hold her as she cried...I on the other hand felt a strong desire to protect her from all the pain in her heart, with the whole incident and revelations giving me a clearer picture of my lady.

I held her and she held me back in a tight embrace and we kissed. Then our bodies decided to escalate into sexual tension. During our 3 year dating period, we had never been intimate, we would make out and all but we had never felt pressured to having sex. We hadn't even discussed it, but on this day, we ventured 'across the river', we swam in it and drank all it's waters. All this was happening in their house, then her big brother walked in on us cuddled up and it was messy...

Chapter 3

The marriage

Of course Rita shouted at him and asked him to get out. He was visibly angry at me but she managed to get him out of her room. I on the other hand was visibly scared since the dude never really liked me, but what mattered to me at that moment, was that Rita assured me that there was nothing to worry about.

Campus reopened and we went back to the normal ho-hum of a student's life. Rita on the other hand, was at it again...with her emotional pendulum that swung from North to South pole with relative ease. The chick could get irritated in an instant over anything. You didn't have to work hard to agitate my lady. It was rare for us to go out drinking or clubbing and not end up with an incident. She could be sweet one moment and mean, abusive and insensitive the next minute and she wouldn't care who you were. It was tiring and exhausting, but I convinced myself that she would change and get over this phase.

When she got sober, it was easier to talk to her. Once every so often, I did try to make her aware of her abrasive behavior, but she rarely apologized or saw the need to change her capricious patterns.

Around campus, I was known as the guy who dated the pretty drama queen. There were times when she really frustrated me and I thought of leaving her, but then again I got scared for two reasons; I wasn't sure if I would meet another pretty lady like her who was as talented and smart...a triple threat combination. Most girls that I had interacted with had 'no-one at home'  in their heads when you started talking to them. Any conversation would either slide into the Kardashian mix or any other socialite who was trending or the 3rd rate Mexican soaps or the whack Nigerian movies.

It was also refreshing having a lady like Jane who was different. This mama was a breathe of fresh air, she wasn't all that when it came to her looks, but had a nice auora around her. She was also a nice, smart Christian. She was not as sophisticated as my lady, but talking with her, emptied you of your drowning sorrows and then filled your mental and emotional cistern with fresh waters from a spring of newness. I did not know that they (Jane and John) were praying for me...I was just glad that I had some sober friends who did not mind coming to my room when I was nursing a hang over or listen to my rumblings about Rita.

One day, I went out for a drink alone since Rita was not in school...I hit the bottle a bit too hard and reached my saturation limit. On my way back to my room, I staggered and fell into a ditch then got stuck there. It then started raining and a black-out enveloped the entire campus. My body got too heavy for me, I could feel the rain, but then couldn't quite come out of it and I blacked out.

I woke up next morning with a throbbing headache and aches all over my body. I was not in my room and I couldn't remember a thing...My mouth tasted horrible. I sat up and realized that I was in Jane's room. I was half naked in a strange T-shirt. Then I heard her singing down the hallway and she opened the door and walked in.

"Good Morning Ritchie", she said warmly.

"What happened?", I asked

She laughed at me and replied

My friend and I found you in a ditch, you had been rained on and honestly, I think it was God who guided us and to where you were because you looked miserable and anything could have happened to you.

So we managed to wake you up and in your incoherent state, we dragged you here, where you proceeded to throw up badly. Boy, the smell was so horrible and my roommate gets easily nauseated so she too puked.

In as much as she wanted to stay, she had to leave and spend the night at another friend's place since she couldn't stand the smell. So I had to wipe your mess, undress you, clean you and yeah, put you to bed.

- Jane

"Whatttttttt????..."

"Yeah small bro, I did all that just for you"

"I......I......I don't know what to say..I..."

"Well, you could at least thank me and get dressed."

She threw my clothes at me. 

"Where did you ...."

"I got your keys, went to your room and got your clothes"

I was thankful and embarrassed at the same time. Jane had done all that just for me...I felt uncomfortable trying to change there, but she made a joke out of it.

"Relax, I already saw everything, but its ok, I will step out and leave you to change in one piece", she said it as she winked. I was really touched by this gesture and I wondered if Rita would do the same for me....Jane had done a good job cleaning the room, her sheets and my soiled clothes, but one could still smell the lingering stench of booze in her room. I wondered if she was concerned about what the brethren would think of her.

"I'm coming to church with you", I announced.

"You are what?"

"Oh yes, I said I am coming to church today. It's a Sunday morning and you have been trying to get me to church from day one and so today I will repay your act of kindness by honoring your invitation. What you did for me yesterday was so sweet and so remarkable and I am coming to church with you, unless you don't want drunk people, nursing wild hangovers and...."

"No, no, no...of course you are welcome. That's really awesome!"

She jumped to her feet and gave me a warm hug. There was something special about this clasp. It was coming from a deeper understanding of who this lady was and what she had done for me in the last 10 hours. I could have stayed there for 10 years, just being held and forgetting everything and everyone in the world. It was a deep embrace from a lady who cared deeply for me, like she would have done for her younger brother and I was her small bro in college. It felt nice warm and reassuring and I didn't want to let go. She is the one who broke it up and off we went to church. My phone had been drenched in the rain and Jane forgot to put it in rice and so it was completely dead.

Church was great, it had been a while since I had been around church folk. I liked the songs and the visiting preacher did a good job with the sermon. I was encouraged or is it blessed....I'm not sure how the believers put it. Several people were surprised to see me there, since they knew my ways and my crazy girl, but we all smiled and pretended everything was fine. After the service, it hit me that I hadn't talked to Rita so I borrowed Jane's phone and tried calling her but her phone went unanswered. I sent her a text explaining my situation. I could tell what was coming, fire and brimstone from my lovely Rita.

I managed to get a hold of her that evening.

"Hey, are you coming to school, I have been trying to reach you all day?", I started expecting a tongue lash.

"No, I'm not coming" she answered...at least she wasn't shouting

"Kwani, what's up?"

"I'm not feeling well", she yawned, like someone who had just woken up.

"I'm pregnant!"

Silence

"You are what?"

"I'm pregnant Ritchie and I'm feeling so sick, I can't come today. I will talk to you tomorrow let me go back to bed", she hang up and switched off her phone just like that.

I was left wondering....she just told me that she was expecting and it wasn't a big deal to her. Wah...I had just turned 19 and I had impregnated someone's daughter, I was going to be a father and I was not ready for it. I was a student and we had a a rocky relationship...how would we manage all this? Abortion crossed my mind and it seemed like a way out of this.

I went and talked to John about this and he stopped me from considering abortion. He encouraged me to man up and take responsibility. The pregnancy wasn't a biological fluke, God had a plan for that baby. 

But why did God allow Rita to conceive if he knew that I'm not ready, both of us are young and all this????

- Richard

"I don't think it is right for you to blame God for your actions. The two of you engaged in sex and it just so happened that at that time, her body was ready for conception. So the pregnancy is a result of your choice; but God will still come in and make something good out of this. If you choose to do something stupid, then you will live regretting for the rest of your life." That was John for you, always talking like a sage. I wondered if he was an old man trapped in a young man's body.

I confided in my mum about the pregnancy. She was surprised but promised to support us. Tuntu, my sister thought that this was a trap from Rita. She saw right through her and was completely disgusted. She always told me that I deserved better. Her opinion of Rita was very low. In her mind, Rita knew that I was a good guy yet she took me for granted and one day she would break my heart. She tried to talk me into a break up with Rita but I would hear none of it. I would stick by Rita through it all.

Juggling school and the first three months of pregnancy was tricky. Both of us were on the same page though: That she should keep the baby. She went through the motions of vomiting, weird cravings, mood swings and the works...by the time she went into her second trimester, we decided to move in together so that I could help her and give her the support that she needed.

That is how we got married.

No formalities, nothing. 

One evening, both of us moved out of our hostels into a one bedroomed house outside campus.

Rita loved liquor, but now that she was in this gestation phase, the doctor advised her that she should not drink. She had to stop for a while and this was not easy.  Abstaining from alcohol became a huge valley for her and I bore the brunt of it all. When I couldn't take it, I chose to run away and be with John and Jane. 

John gave me sober advise to put me back in check.

Jane was there for comfort and warmth.

She offered me some form of safety that I rarely found with Rita. This was about to be defined in an unexpected turn.

One evening, I came home late from a project I was doing on campus. I had updated Rita and she was in the know that I was in the library, but when I got to the house, everything was in a jumbled up state. Rita was in a fit of rage and didn't want to see me.

"What's the problem sweets?", I asked

"Just go, go away NOW"

"What have I done?"

"We just talked on phone about twenty minutes ago and you were okay"

"I said leave NOW!!!!!!!! I don't want to see you!"

"Go where?"

"I don't know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

"Just leave Ritchie, please leave now!"

"No, I'm not..."

We got into a verbal altercation and as it escalated, I could tell that it would only end badly...as I stood there taking it all in. She picked a glass from the table and hurled it at me. I ducked and it hit the wall. That did it for me.

I left the house at around 11pm and started walking aimlessly...Rita was becoming a neo-feminazi and living with her was a crescendo of an emotional earthquake. She was edgy and really stubborn. I didn't know at that time that her hormones were also raging and that she was also going through her feminine battles as a budding expectant teen mom. 

That evening, I did the natural thing that I usually did when Rita and I were in a crisis. I went to Jane's room. I found her fresh from the shower and preparing to go to bed. Her roommate wasn't in, so I asked if I could spend the night. I ventilated to her like I had never done before...cried like a baby and she held me as I wept. She comforted me and I felt so nice. I could sense that familiar warmth creep into the room and find it's way into my body. My head was on her chest and I looked at her...I gazed at her and I could also see tears welling up in her eyes...something pulled me towards her and then I stopped just as I was about to plant a kiss on her lips.....but she didn't’t move an inch and neither did she stop me or pull away and so I invaded her space and kissed her.

Chapter 4

A plethora of emotions...

She kissed me back and we started making out.

Both of us got wrapped into our own emotional world. A lot of thoughts began running through my mind. This situation felt nice and wrong at the same time, I felt like she was soothing me and understanding my pain and all, but then at the same time, this was no ordinary girl. In as much as her name was Jane, she was not your normal lady that you would find next door. She was a decent lady who had walked with me from the very first day that I had joined campus and she was a godly woman and here I was...(sigh)...I mean, kissing her felt like smooching Mother Teresa on the lips. Who does that gross violation?

I don't remember us undressing, but then we had sex. It was quick and very spontaneous.

"Oh my God?" Jane said, "We have just slept together."

Guilt.

I did not know what to say.

"I'm sorry....."

She started crying and now it was my turn to hold her as she wept, feeling bad about herself. I spent the night there and left before dawn. When I got home I sneaked in and spent the few remaining hours on the couch, since I didn't want to awaken Rita.

That morning she was a bit calm, then after going to the bathroom, she came out hurriedly and in a panic.

"We need to go to the doctor"

"Why, what's up?"

"We need to to go now....now..."

"Calm down Rita, please tell me, what's going on, are you sick?"

"No, I'm spotting and that's usually not a good sign"

I got a cab and we proceeded to hospital. Preliminary checks could not establish a heart beat and we feared the worst. Indeed, when the scan was done, we were informed that the baby was no more. This new bit of news hit us hard, but Rita took the brunt of it and she wept, screaming her lungs out.

Why, why me, why me.....?????

- Rita

Rita had to be sedated since her pressure was rising and the still birth had to be removed.

The following days were not easy for neither of us and our mothers came to see her in hospital. It was awkward for the two meeting for the first time under the circumstances, but as soon as the ice was broken, they got along just fine. John and Jane also regularly checked in on us and for the first time, John actually prayed with all of us. That was consoling, although meaningless to me. How could a loving God allow us to lose a young innocent child? Or was he punishing us? Is this some sort of secret message that we are supposed to decode? I felt broken.

There was some tension between Jane and I. We hadn't talked since 'that day'. I felt guilty that I had led her into sin, breaking her virginity, but also consoled myself that she understood me better than Rita. I wondered if Jane and I 'could be' in another world...Nuh, she was too good for me, I was a bad boy.

Rita had the looks and the style. I loved being by her side and her sassy nature had a way of uplifting my reticent temperament. She was bold, athletic, multi talented and full of life, but her wild side just spoiled everything. You couldn't count on the words that would come flying out of her mouth. She was incapable of mincing her words and no hurricane could compare with her anger. She could click, curse, insult and get violent in equal measure. When she took liquor and became annoyed, she was volatile and vacillating, I mean she was ungovernable.

Jane on the other hand was the diacritical mark of stability. She was fair in her looks, but had a sweet presence that was calming and assuring with excellent listening skills. When she talked to you, she looked you in the eye and you see genuine concern and sensitivity. She was the kind of lady that you would passover or assume, until she opened her mouth and you saw wisdom oozing out of her. Jane was remarkable, I felt bad that she was graduating in a month's time. I did not want her to leave, but I couldn't stop the wheels of time.

I decided to spend a lot of time with Jane before she graduated. We managed to talk about the incident and she drummed it into me that it would never happen again. She had crossed the line with me and it was wrong on all fronts. It was a sin against God because she believed in sex within the confines of a marital union. I understood where she was coming from and I agreed to respect that space. 

I continued seeing Jane even after Rita was discharged from hospital. Any free time that I had, I would be in her room or I would be chatting with her on text. My, wife Rita was an emotional wreck and she drowned her sorrows in alcohol. I had managed to abstain for a while, so I was the sober one in the relationship but it was hard for me to cope with her multiple personalities. 

Jane's graduation was one of the hardest days for me since, my support system was leaving. I cried as I hugged her and up to that moment, I think it hadn't occurred to me that I was in love with her. John, my big brother was also leaving and he tried to challenge me one more time, about making the most important decision of my life, that is accepting Christ, but I wasn't ready. 

I said my goodbyes to that chapter of my life. Campus closed for the December holidays and we were alone with my wife, since almost everyone in our neighborhood was a student and had to travel back home to be with their families. Later on we visited my mum for a few days and then proceeded to her mum's place for another week, then returned to our house. We tried bonding, finding common activities, but it wasn't working. Our best moments came when we were out having a drink, or hopping from one club to another...yes...I went back to drinking and found some solace there. Rita was a good sport every time we started, but by the time she was high, or we were getting home, she would be something else. She on one occasion slapped me several times and we got into a physical altercation at the bar. The other patrons had to restrain us, yet we somehow managed to get home together despite our drama.

That was one long holiday. After Christmas, I decided to check up on Jane and our communication started again. I would spend time chatting her up on phone and she made me feel comforted. I enjoyed talking to her and sharing our stories with her. The connection deepened and I found myself sharing with her my plans and my ambitions for the future and she encouraged me to pursue them and I felt an emptiness; since I tried imagining myself with Rita in the coming 20 years of my life and I didn't quite know if I had the stamina to survive her emotional stampedes. Jane asked if I would consider taking a break from Rita since her violent tendencies could become catastrophic and I told her that I would think about it.

This conversation happened on on the 31st of December then Rita and I went out for the New year cross over party at a friend's abode. We had a plenty good time and for some reason, Rita's phone was low on charge and she requested to use my phone for taking selfies. Then a message flashed on the screen from Jane.

Happy New year Ritchie, I wish I was there with you!

- Jane

Rita saw it and she got incensed. 

"Let's go home!"

"Why?"

"Let's go home NOW!"

We left in a huff, both of us as high as a kite and grabbed a cab to take us home. All this time, she went through my text messages. She saw our endless random conversations with Jane and I could sense trouble coming, but then I was too high to care.

Once in the house, she landed on me like a Rhino.

Have you been cheating on me with Jane?

- Rita

No, I haven't...

- Richard

"Since when did you start missing each other?"

"There is nothing in that text like missing..."

"I'm not a fool Ritchie, you are always on phone and I have always wondered what keeps you so engrossed, so it's this Jane girl whom you call big sister?"

"You have read our thread..."

I didn't see the kick coming, but it landed on my head and I was down. I staggered up and tried to fight back, but she was too fast for me. She kicked, hit and hurled insults...I thought it was a joke since both of us were high. I couldn't imagine that she was this angry, yet our little sexual escapade hadn't been mentioned on text. I don't remember anything that happened after that.


When I came to, I could feel aches all over my body. However, I could barely remember the events of the previous night. We had consumed dry whiskey on the rocks. As I held my pounding head in my left palm. I looked at her lying on the floor with vomit all over and then it all came flooding back...she had been mad at me for forgetting to buy her a gift on New year's day, which also doubled up as her birthday on top of Jane's miseries.


That was it for me, I decided that I was leaving for good. I packed a few clothes and left the house in a huff before she woke up. I sent a text message...

ITS' OVER HONEY. I can't do this anymore, I'm tired and I'm out.

- Richard

I went back to my mum's place and just told her that Rita and I had broken up and never disclosed much to her itchy ears. Tuntu just sat there judging me with her cute eyes. Rita responded with one word.

OK

- Rita

When our final year started, I decided to get serious with my studies and forget the past 3 years. Rita became like the famed bubonic plague, I avoided her as much as I could. We bumped into each other few times and just said a casual, 'hi' and that was it. I was still in contact with Jane who had just moved to Mombasa.

Circumstances conspired, to put Rita and I together in a situation where we would see each other weekly. Every student was to participate in an activity that was non-academic, for at least three months prior to the graduation. Rita and I found ourselves in a community based initiative that reached out to young kids in a neighboring village. Initially, I wanted to drop the activity and move on to something else, but I managed to convinced myself that both of us had moved on.

Eventually, we started talking and rekindled our friendship. Then one night, I found myself at her house and we had sex. I woke up feeling bad about the situation, since I had promised myself that it was not going to happen. I had lied to myself and foolish me, we were at it again. Only that this time we weren't officially dating, we were just having casual sex, with no strings attached. Call it, FWB friends with benefits. This went on, for the remaining part of our time in college. The arrangement sort of worked for us, since I made it clear that I could not deal with her tantrums and her violence. 

We graduated and this was the perfect moment for the chord to be broken, but then she got pregnant again. Fate had conspired against me. I was upset, since we had an understanding, she had to use the pill, every time we had sex. I didn't talk to her for a week with a part of me felt trapped. During this time, she became sweet, nice and she even apologized out of nowhere for being a mean person to me in during our dating/married life. I vowed to be there for her and the baby, but I wasn't promising anything between us. This time, she didn't struggle to abstain from drinking and she became a 'new person' altogether. I was suspicious. This was too good to be true. A whole month without picking up  a fight with me?

We did the clinic visits together, and this time round, I had a job and she was doing consulting from home so it wasn't too hard for her. Her last trimester became tricky, when she spotted thrice, so I decided to move in with her for support and to assure her that things would be okay. My mum brought us a nice nanny from upcountry to help with the house chores, so that Rita would just focus on the growing baby.

The delivery went very well. It was natural and the baby girl was 3kg at birth. We named her Lindi meaning 'beautiful'. It was the happiest day of our lives. Rita was overjoyed and really mellowed. Everything felt settled and I felt like a real dad and husband...wait, did I just use the word hubby to describe myself? As if to read my mind, Rita asked

Ritchie, are you staying or will you be leaving?

- Rita

What, me to leave? I'm here for you my girls. I'm here to stay.

- Richard

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I am", I kissed her forehead as I assured her with many more words. 

We played house for a year and things were fairly stable. We had the normal disagreements that couples go through but nothing got out of hand. There was that one time that had threatened to get out of hand, but we nipped it in the bud. Rita's parents wanted Lindi to be baptized when she turned one, since they were Catholics and my mum being a protestant insisted that you could not baptize a baby who couldn't spell the word baptism let alone understand it. We were caught up in the crossfire and it almost got to us. We told them, that neither of us went to church, nor were we affiliated to any denomination at the time, but we fear God and we would inform them when we decided on the way forward. Eventually they backed off.

In our second year together, Rita got a better job and was back hitting the bottle. Her turbulent self emerged from the closet and we were back at it full circle. The constant shouting and lashing out at anything become the norm and it was exhausting. I tried to confront her with it, but it did not work. I wanted to leave, but then I couldn't bear the thought of Lindi growing up without a father like I did. 

Oh yes, I was trapped and there was nothing that I could do about it. I quit drinking and I became a sad man. I lost appetite and my health suffered. My desire for life plunged into nothingness. I never looked forward to going home. I was withdrawn and I felt lost. My performance at work took a nosedive and I was served with three warning letters. Before I knew it, I was fired. I sank deeper into depression and became a zombie. My wife did little to reach out and instead became distant. I was at home most of the time demoralized and without focus. Intimacy with her, became a foreign word. I was doomed and rudderless.

My only consolation was that I had a baby girl who loved me unconditionally. The twist in this whole mess is that I hadn't noticed that I had been receiving some attention from someone else. I must have forgotten her name on the same day that we employed her, but then, when I became a stay at home dad, I noticed it. I got to watch her work seamlessly during the day as she played with Lindi, as she served me food and talked with a lot softness that I hadn't seen anywhere.

I used to hear Rita shout her name, but it hadn't registered in my head and now here she was with me on a daily basis. A woman who took care of that house very well. She was decent and respectful. When Damaris served you tea, you felt like royalty. She was very playful with Lindi and our our daughter loved her. Her impeccable Swahili with a Coasterian accent was very attractive. You would think that she was singing while talking. The way she weaved her words and her coy smile made one see her in a different light. This was the adequate expression of femininity in its simplest f?orm and I liked it. 

During her free time, we would chat for long periods on end and I got to know her background. She was an orphan, who dropped out in form 3, but she had this desire to go back to school so that she could get a better job and educate her sisters who were living with her grandmother. 

There was an attachment growing everyday. I began to notice her hidden beauty, covered with layers of pain and trouble and I imagined how she would look like if she were to go through an extreme makeover. The more I thought about it, the more that I got drawn to her company and I knew that there was more to this boss-worker relationship, the day I got another job.

As usual, Rita was happy about the new opportunity and she planned for us to go out for a celebratory drink...I wasn't enthusiastic about it, but I agreed to it.

I wondered how Dama would take it. What would she feel, being left alone with Lindi after we had bonded for over 5 months, on a daily basis? I was nervous and I felt like this was betrayal. I wanted to turn it down, but by then it was too late...

What was I going to do? I hit my chest several times...I wanted to spend more time with Dama...I wanted to send her a text, but that would be impersonal, I thought of calling her, but again it didn't feel right. So I decided to bite the bullet. I was going to tell her that I had gotten a job. 

Chapter 5

A new beginning...

It was around 2 pm and I had bought her favorite brand of ice cream; when I got to the house, I found her asleep with our daughter. I watched both of them lying there and they were a lovely pair. I wondered why Dama wasn't my wife. I touched her arm and started stroking it gently, she opened her eyes and smiled at me and I grinned. 

I told her that I had gotten a job and I would begin work in a few days. She kept quiet for a moment and then said,

I'm happy for you Baba Lindi.

- Damaris

Are you sure?

- Richard

"Yes, I am. It's a good thing that you can go and fend for us. After all, if both of you are not working, then I won't be able to earn anything", she added with a smile.

I looked at her and then chose my words very carefully.

"I am not happy that I got this job"

"What do you mean, Baba Lindi?"

I mean, it's a good thing that I have something to do, but then I don't like the fact that it will take me away from spending time with you.

- Richard

I momentarily scanned her face, decoding her facial expression. She had a light complexion, that betrayed what was going on emotionally. In a matter of seconds, she blushed and her cheeks turned pink.

"Ah Baba Lindi", she said in coy manner.

"It's true Dama, you are a pleasant person to talk to. 'Hauna maneno mengi' (you are not a nagging woman) You're a good listener, your speech is appropriate, you are excellent with Lindi and yet you have never been a mother before, you are obedient, you run this home well. You know my needs and you understand me. I really enjoy your cooking, you make very nice chapatis and...." I just went on praising her.


Up until this moment, I hadn't realized how much this lady meant to me and that I cared for her this much. The words kept coming, from a reservoir stored up somewhere in my head. It was hard not to contrast her with my wife. Rita was not that bad in the kitchen either, but she was predictable, she nagged me, rarely appreciated me and she was constantly looking for a fight.  Her striking looks paled in comparison to her character. I would rather have a fair looking lady with decent character that have Miss World who behaved like a wild bat.


I picked her from the bed and gazed into her eyes, I stroked her hair. I tried to kiss her, but it looked foreign to her. She didn't respond but neither did she stop me. I led her on and we had sex on the floor. She hadn't been on this road before, she was a novice in these matters and I was willing to school her. 

There was something about this experience with Dama that made it different from my incident with Jane. With Jane, it had felt like, I was violating a relative of mine, who was holy and had been nice to me for a very long time. With Dama, it felt nice since the connection we had developed over time made me feel like a King and that is how my in house clandestine activities started. That was a Wednesday and I spent the next few days being intimate with her and cementing our bond. This one had to work, before I went back to work!

Rita was still her usual self, swinging from one emotional pendulum to the other. She was quite a handful and I resolved to develop a thick skin. I stopped caring, I quarantined her from my soft side and muted her in my head; every time she would fuss about my mistakes or my issues as a man. There were times that I was completely on the wrong and I didn't have a problem with her correcting me or pointing it out, but I took issue with the way that she attacked me. She came with guns blazing, her body language was offensive, choice of words was vulgar and her intonation were totally off and not to mention the violence. My wife didn't respect me at all.

Our intimacy had plunged into an expressionless abyss and when it happened, it was a real chore. We traded fluids with zero intimacy and then each turned over to their side of the bed and slept. We both knew that something was wrong but neither of us brought it out. Our only connection was Lindi.

My affair with our house manager was soaring well and was now in it's fifth month. I would call her when I wasn't so busy; we would chat on text and at times I used to find time to sneak from work and make love to her. During the weekends, when Rita went to the salon or the gym, we made the best out of it. The delete button on my phone, became my second best friend and when I got to learn how to use snap chat, I became a pro in my infidelity game. This was actually infi-delicious. It was sweet and thrilling.

"I really appreciate you Dama. You have made a huge difference in my life", I told her one Saturday.

Thanks Baba Lindi. You you are a great guy. You deserve the best. I don't know what I would do if I had a husband like you....

- Damaris

She was careful never to talk ill of Rita, though I knew that she saw the pain and misery that I was going through.

I got stuck at the point where she implied that I could actually become her husband. Not a bad idea, little did she know that she had planted a seed and it had landed on fertile ground where instant germination took place. I was going to make her my wife and elevate her status.

I started planning my exit from 'this' sham of a marriage so that I could build another life far from Rita but close to Lindi. I decided to put some money aside from my salary and I did some side 'hustles' to get money, that would help me in my transition. It was going to take me a few months, but I was determined to make my move.

I thought I was being discreet, but Rita must have sensed that something was off its hinges. I rarely complained about anything. I was on constant, apology mode and aloof. I tried to act as normal as possible around Dama, when she was around; so that Rita wouldn't suspect anything. My tracks were covered, but it was Dama who let the cat out of the bag. 

We lived in an apartment block with a common gate. So the house managers used to see me drive back to the house during working hours. Stella, Dama's best friend asked her about it and she confided in her about our relationship. Stella faithfully carried the 'muchene' (gossip) to her boss who also happened to be Rita's friend. Within no time, Rita had gotten the true picture of what was going on. All this time, I'm playing smart and going on with my arrangements, being extremely calculative of my moves. I had rented a smaller apartment on the other side of town and I was busy furnishing it in readiness for my exit and that's when Rita decided to become an angel over night. I noticed a change in my wife's behavior that was not normal.

She became overly concerned about my welfare. She took a keen interest in the kitchen and started trying out new recipes. She even requested Dama to teach her some Swahili dishes and she insisted on serving me when I came home. There was this particular day that she asked to massage me.

"Really?", I asked surprised

"Yes, I want to give you a full body massage"

"Why, I'm ...not that tired"

"You don't have to, let me just do it...Can't I massage my own husband?", she said as she removed my coat.

"Are you okay?", I asked her

"Yes, I'm fine Ritchie", she said in a very calm demeanor. 

This was weirdly suspicious, Rita had never volunteered to massage any part of my body. She was being too nice and sweet out of nowhere and she did not make any reciprocal demand. Was she planning to kill me? What mellowed her all of a sudden? Was this an act, like the other time? Had she noticed anything out of the ordinary? All these questions ran through my mind as I lay there and received some TLC-tender, loving care from Rita. I survived that night, but then I had to talk to Dama to find out what was going on, this was not Rita.

I called Dama,

"Has Rita asked you anything about us?"

"No she hasn't"

"Are you sure?"

"Yes I am sure"

She has been behaving strangely of late and this is so unlike her.

- Richard

It's true she has become nice and polite to me too. She no longer snaps at me when she corrects me.

- Damaris

"Have you told anyone about us?"

"No....no....no...."

"Dama, please think again"

Silence

"Yes, I think I have"

"Dama....Dama....we agreed that this was between us"

But, my friend got really suspicious and she pressed me for answers. You do not need to worry. I'm sure that she would not tell anyone. She is my best friend.

- Damaris

"What's her name?"

"Stella"

"Stella, the one who works for mama Jimmy?"

"Yes"

That's Rita's friend. We have been busted. Let me come home.

- Richard

I checked to see Rita's phone location and it showed that she was at her work place. Little did I know that my wife was also smart. She had left her phone at work and was in the neighborhood at mama Jimmy's house waiting to see me check in. I went home and told Dama about my plans for us. I had planned to surprise her at the right time, but now we had to be smart.

The Easter break was two days away and we usually gave her a break to go home. I told her that when we release her, she was to proceed to my other apartment. I gave her the keys and directions to our new home. She was not to contact anyone until I finalized everything with Rita. She was surprised, that I was leaving my wife for her.

Are you sure about this?

- Damaris

Yes, I am, I have been planning this for months now.

You and I are going to be together and we will start a family.

- Richard

"What about...."

"Shhhh....listen, I have to get back to work. Please don't tell this to Stella, her sister, her mother or their dog, okay"

She nodded in excitement.

"I love you", I told her as I held her chin. It was the first time I told her those words and she just looked at me, not knowing what to say. She was innocently excited and grabbed my neck with a tight hug.

Rita had seen it all, in case she had any doubts, she now knew that I was cheating on her with our house manager. One interesting thing was that she never went to our house that day nor confront either of us that evening.

Dama left the house on that fateful Good Friday morning. She took with her a few clothes, so as not to arouse any suspicions. Rita woke up and prepared me some nice Linguini and meat balls for breakfast. She was trying hard, I enjoyed the food, but I wasn't impressed by her antics, I knew my wife, she was up to something. After breakfast she told me everything. 

"Ritchie, I know that I haven't been all that to you. I'm impatient, mean and I get really nasty at times, well most of the time, I'm not the nicest person and I know that. We have been drifting apart and I know that you and Dama are having an affair. She told Stella who leaked the information to Mama Jimmy and I got to know about it. On Tuesday, I left my phone at work because I knew that you would check my location to see where I was and I was at her place and I saw you come in and then drive off.

Now, I'm not even mad at you, because I know that I have pushed you into her arms. I have taken a deep introspection and I see that I have a lot of work to do on myself. You are a great guy and you have been extremely patient with me. Please honey, I want us to work on this. I'm ready to get into counseling, I'm asking you to forgive me for all the mean things that I have done to you, for being violent, for treating you like trash. Please Ritchie forgive me....I'm sorry", she said this as she cried.

I sat there, looked at her unmoved. My face was blank.The lady broke down and went on her knees, begging for forgiveness. I was shocked at myself as I stared at her and didn't say a single word.

Ritchie, please...you know how I struggle with apologizing, this is me saying that I am sorry and I would want us to begin working on our marriage on a clean slate, please, I'm begging you.

- Rita

"Let me think about it. In fact I have thought about it and my answer is No sweetheart! I have been with you down this road so many times and I'm always left with the egg on my face. I have taken it all in. I became the laughing stock of all my buddies, because I had a wife who tore me with her words and beat me up. You never bothered to treat me right. All you were concerned about is your looks and your physique. What about me? Where do I fit in your equation? You always brought up the excuse of your parents and how your dad was mean to your mum. So you choose to become nasty because your dad was a bad husband? What about me, my dad passed on and I grew up without a daddy. I can also choose to take the similar path and say that I never learnt how to be a husband because I grew up without a father figure. Rita its a choice we make...I used to drink with you, but I chose to quit drinking. I decided, just like you decided to be a repulsive lady.

I have moved on and this time, I am not looking back, you will not fool me this time. I will still be a father to Lindi but you and I are done. For the first time in my life, I'm treated like royalty. Damaris, listens to me and talks to me with respect. Now that you have noticed that the two of us had something, you have become all sweet and nice...I'm sorry. IT'S OVER! Please don't try to be dramatic today because, it will not work"

That was all I could say, she tried clinging to my trousers, but I left her crying on the floor. There was a finality in my voice that made her realize that the ship had left the dock. Lindi came and found mummy sprawled on the floor and wondered what was going on. She began crying, I consoled her and took her back to her playroom and left her with her dolls. I packed my suitcase and left the house. 

That is how my marriage ended to my, pretty but violent wife!

~FIN~