The rays of the morning sun fell across his face. “Dang!” He muttered under his breath. This was the exact reason he had pulled the curtain last night, he planned to sleep in. He cracked an eyelid open, and for a moment wondered where he was. The bed creaked under him as he shifted his weight. “Look who’s finally decided to join us,” a voice said. He slowly opened both eyes as a broad smile spread across his face.
It is amazing how she still gave him butterflies two years on. “What day is it?” He asked, already knowing the answer.
She stood there without a stitch on, framed by the light pouring in, looking out the window through curtains thrown fully back. He felt the beginnings of a stirring inside of him. It wasn’t that kind of arousal, though it would not have been out-of-place if it was. It was something more. A stirring deep within his soul, it made him want to cackle and laugh, to giggle and dance, it made him want to sing and paint. If he was any more naïve, he would have said it was love.
He could not possibly love her. He had known her when he was a scrawny kid, a bag of bones really. It was a wonder she did not rattle then when he walked; had known her when he was a gangling teenager, long limbs and flat chest, working on his six-pack and biceps; and then they had gone their separate ways. He had been reintroduced to her by a colleague of his and he had taken only a cursory interest in her. His plan had been to see her a few times and then cut and run. Well, here they were almost two years later and they were already making big plans for their 2nd anniversary celebration.
He could not possibly love her, not especially considering he already has a wife who he loves.
“Friday,” she replied him. He knew it was Friday because that was the one day they had together for certain. Even if he was out-of-town, he would devise a means of making sure they spent Thursday night together and woke up in each other’s arms on Friday morning. They usually spent all day Friday together, and not necessarily in bed. He took her with him everywhere he went, proudly showing her off to the world. He didn’t mind the attention she drew from men and women alike, if anything, it humbled and flattered him too. Recently, he had thrown in Wednesday too, but Friday was still their day.
“You do know you can snore for Africa, right?” She teased him.
“Was that what woke you up so early?” He asked, concern creeping into his voice.
“Nah, it kept me up all night actually, but it wasn’t a biggie. I didn’t need the sleep anyway, I was too happy to just watch you sleep, and feel your heart beat. You know, for all your snoring, there’s a peaceful look on your face that’s almost childlike.” She finished with a chuckle.
“What’s the matter?” She asked. A look had passed his face, and although it was gone as quickly as it had come, the fact still remained that it had been there.
“Nothing,” he said. “Nothing really.” He hoped she would be satisfied with his nothing answer until he found the right time to tell her.
Thoughts of his wife always made him feel guilty. They had met right after his National Youth Service and had a whirlwind romance. He had committed to her and married her, and had loved her alone since. She filled his life with love and laughter. She had a quick wit to match his and kept him constantly on his toes. She challenged him, pushed him, taught him, took from him and gave him in return. They had big dreams and were set to achieve them together. Then there had been the robbery.
For as long as he lives, he will curse that night and the set of circumstances that had put her there. That night she had been robbed and left violated, and she has never fully recovered from it. The light had died from her eyes, her virginity gone, the rose-tinted glasses through which she viewed the world shattered and ground into the dust of that night, and she had grown withdrawn and distant; he had remained faithful and patient. After all, they had promised each other forever. But then she had grown cold and cruel.
The smile which she had been quick to give were now bestowed as favours, and even those were frosty cold and wintry. She would berate him over every single thing, and put him down at every opportunity, especially when they were in the company of others, as if she blamed him for daring to be happy when she had so much anger to hold in. Still he persevered and hoped. He tried to get her professional help, but everything he did seemed to last only a fleeting moment before she returned to her dour self. He prayed for her, then he prayed for himself. For sanity, for some peace here on earth, and for happiness.
Despite what people may think or say, he believes God had a plan when their paths crossed again. God had to have sent him Fridays in answer to his prayer. It is so easy to rationalise, yes? Yet, nothing is as complicated as this situation. Unfaithfulness is unfaithfulness however one flipped the coin.
A sigh escaped his lips as he rolled out of bed. He looked at this lady who had given him so much joy and helped him make it through the roughest times, and his heart tore at the sadness he knew he must visit upon her. It was going to be temporary, and it was for the best, but still… He plodded across the room to the bathroom, and with water running into the sink he embraced what had to be done: he would leave his wife, but he had to leave her first. That was the only way he would have the strength to go through with it. Hopefully, he would miss her so much, he would do whatever else had to be done to be back together with her.
He looked into the mirror at the haggard face that stared back at him, and for a minute his resolve failed him.
Looking at his reflection, he looked with eyes that saw deep into his soul. He looked into eyes that drew him in and led him into his soul; into my soul.
PS: Fridays have come to be very special to me these last two years, and yet, this same Friday has become a distraction. I now know that there can never be a right time to tell people you have come to love, and who have come to love you in return, that you need a break, but still it has to be said.
At the end of this month I will be going on hiatus, not only to enable me work at being a better husband and father (the former needs a lot of work, the latter, I hear, comes naturally to me), but also to do things right. I want to be able to say I did the best I could in this situation, and as always, I am doing it my way.
While I may not know a lot of things, the one thing I do know for sure is that I will return. I only hope that when I do return, my demons would have been laid to rest.