I returned to the washroom the hundredth time because of unease. By now Faïda suspected something awry,… and why has Evans become all of a sudden sullen? Faïda must have been seeking answers, but why must I reason she could connect Evans’ silence with my edgy condition? A university Professor of Criminal Psychology, Faïda! Going forward, I stimulated myself that anytime we credit people with too much power they’re sure to employ same against us; I decided to ease my nerves but made a botch of things. Without any reason, I came out of the washroom, visibly disheveled.
I caught myself grab my phone on impulsive and hurried into the last trouble: I sent Evans a text message again, the thirteenth in a day. I later deleted all chats with him and engaged a flight mode on my phone but I still felt that lingering uneasiness. Or was it guilt-ridden conscience?
When I came down to breastfeed an hour later, James was eating as Evans was being probed. These came after Faïda had read all messages sent to Evans, and for security reasons, as she claimed. According to her, she reasoned Evans was in danger, kind of, when messages from the same number kept flooding his receptacle from all angles after he had missed over eight calls. Initially, she was deluded because the sender was not saved in Evans’ phone. I had him memorize it for security reasons. Yet Faïda knew better; she went on Truecaller to find who. The shock was me. She dialed that number on her phone and was the more shocked. She confirmed with James who also said he didn’t know that number for me. The probing Faïda now dialed the strange number on Evans’s phone only to catch me at the other side. I picked it with baited breath, blabbering but blubbing: “Hello why’re you doing that to me…..” the other party coughed and cleared a throat. Silence. “Won’t you talk?”, I asked rather romantically in my most characteristic idiolectal custom. Then I firmed up a prima facie case: “Your closeness with your rival is not only unsettling, but shocking and sickening;… hello… remember Faïda has already suspected us.” The line went dead. When I called back the line was busy… and then came my worse fear. Faïda and James called me on that number known to Evans only.
So as I came down to breastfeed, I wore the longest face ever -no one spoke to me. My respect and dignity were eroded, but I played the victim, “the Woman”. I could hear James call my sister on the phone asking her to come over immediately.
Our older children, James and Freda aged nine and seven respectively where to stay with James pending the determination of their paternity by the most obvious means. According to Faïda, they’d give me a fair chance by running the test on all four children, though there was proof only about Evans’ complexity with the twins.
James had already arranged a truck to help me relocate that afternoon. His friend, an estate agent, worked through thick and thin to secure a chamber-and-hall self- contained apartment for me and the twins. While James arranged this, I could eavesdrop on Faïda and Evans in a kangaroo court.
“I don’t know how it began, …I was bewitched.”
“Foolish boy”. Silence. “So you’re a father, … I guess Freda is……”
“It’s all news to me!”
“But you kept a secret relationship with a married woman; I guess you began it eight years ago when you came over here.”
“This is all news to me.”
“Wait until the DNA says it’s news to you, that will be the news.”
As I retire to bed tonight in my new apartment, I ponder over all I’ve lost. I refused answering all thirty-three calls, neither did I read any of the eighty-seven social media messages. My sure bet is that I’m the first unfaithful spouse my lineage has produced ever, or rather the most unfortunate unfaithful spouse. Who knows?
… to be continued