“Good night babes, I can’t wait to see you tomorrow”, “Neither can I.” Silence. “Babes, hang up!” “No you hang up” “It’s always like this isn’t it? No matter how much time we spend together it doesn’t seem enough! I’ll see you tomorrow, dream of me” Kirsten says hanging up.
With a smile on her lips she turns in her bed, the smile fades slowly as she imagines Soji walking in from the balcony where he tells her he takes her calls, and going into his bedroom to his wife. Though she will never suggest it, she sometimes wished he’ll leave his wife or even say something bad about her! Soji is a ‘Lagos Big Boy’ you see, always in the social pages of the newspapers with his beautiful impeccable wife! And while it works for her (sometimes!) she cannot imagine how he does it.
How he always seems to be with her, in her apartment that he rented and furnished and still spend quality time with his wife. How he goes on “business trips” with her and gets her to buy jewellery for his wife! How he seems so in love with her and yet she knows that she is not the only “her’ outside his wife. His capability for deceit must be amazing!
“Good thoughts Kirsten”, she says to herself. After all, she did not set out to date a married man, they worked in the same office and sometimes met over lunch, there was always a crowd of people at the table, but she found that in most discussions and arguments, they seemed to be on the same side and more and more she looked forward to lunch. She didn’t know he also felt the same until she went on an official trip for a couple of days. The next time he saw her at lunch, he said he’d missed her and would she go outside the office for a proper lunch? She agreed. 2 years later, they are still at it, lunch led to dinner, dinner to regular dates, where she was amazed by his wit and the fact that he noticed everything, her hair, her smell, her moods! But most of all she was amazed that such a great guy was married and faithful to his wife and able to have her as a friend without wanting more.
Soji felt the same. Kirsten was fun to talk to, beautiful, articulate and knowledgeable about very many things. He found her fascinating, in fact one of his major attractions-when he thought about it- was that she reminded him of his wife, so it all started in a good natured, good intentioned sort of way.
Until the day she got into an argument with her father and he met her crying in the corridor and decided to take her out to lunch- just to cheer her up. And one thing led to another, and another to a nice hotel room, which he remembers little of, because the passion was blinding. Two years later, they are still at it!
”This works for me” Kirsten is thinking, “when he is with me, he seems totally with me. He shows me love, we go out together- to our own spots, we travel together; in many ways I feel like part of a couple, I have companionship, money, a lovely home that we have furnished together. Maybe someday if I ask, we’ll have a child. In fact the only thing I lack is the status of a wife and what good is that if he’ll have a “me” outside.”
Then she feels that inner disquiet, “will I ever have my own real home though? Be able to show my man to my friends and family? Go out with him in this town without fear or feeling his discomfort? To stop ordering delivery and take-outs, will my children bear their father’s name? And if I decide to get married, would I ever have peace? Would my husband’s business trips not remind me of this time that I was someone’s business trips? Or of family vacations where the wife and family flew economy and I flew business class and stayed in the same hotel- flattered that he said he could not be away from me for two weeks? Will I trust my own, knowing what I know about my nature and the abilities of man?” the disquiet is too much to handle.
Kirsten turns one more time, “good thoughts, Kirsten, good thoughts” she says to herself and her smile slowly returns, she’ll see Soji tomorrow…