Published on September 23rd, 2012 | by Guest38
TRUST: A short story
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It was a bright morning. My husband was already up and out of bed, I could hear him shuffling about in the bathroom. My head ached. Last night seemed hazy. For a middle aged housewife, i had had too much to drink. I lay there in bed, my mouth feeling like cottonwool debating whether to get out of bed or not.
The tap shut off and the footsteps shuffled into the room. I looked over expecting to see my balding, pot bellied 65 year old husband, his face all contorted with a ready comment about how I did nothing all day while he traveled all over the world for me and my children and how he got no thanks, not even an early breakfast. I had already started to say I was sorry.
The words never formed. There in the middle of my spacious bedroom stood a nude, dripping 20year old. My first reaction was to scream. The chiseled young man was shocked and he made towards me arms outstreched, I started to back away, momentarily silent, gathering momentum for another scream when my feet caught on my discarded bra. It was then that I realised I was naked as well.
I stifled the scream as the images of the night before came back to me. I stood out like a sore thumb amidst the sea of young women who wore next to nothing and twisted their bodies to the rythm. I stuck to the bar throwing back shot after shot of hennesy. He made his way through all the grinding and winding, till he was smiling down at me.
At first I wondered why he’d bother with an old miss but then I figured, if all I wanted to do was to sit and drink hennesy, I could do that in my kitchen. I came out to have fun. After that, the rest was blurry.
I needed no sage to tell me what had happened. Tears fell. The young man, obviously convinced that I was not going to scream the house down, started towards me again. I crumpled into a heap on the floor.
I looked out the window, we were on the 2nd Floor of the luxury apartment building. The drop wasn’t high enough. I had transgressed, defiled my home and my bed while my husband was out, what was I to do? What could I do? I was lucky the kids were all away at school.
There was a knock at the door, I froze. I was sure it wasn’t my husband, he had a set of keys and always used them. I had done the unthinkable and deserved the worst, but there was no time for that right now. I dragged the half dressed youngster into my kids’ bedroom and locked him in.
I made for the door, flustered and trying to hide it. I opened the door and my niece was there on her knees in greeting . “E kaaro Ma” she said with a large smile on her face. I greeted her with a hug. I was secretly glad she didn’t come with any luggage. Sometimes she stayed over for the weekend in my kids’ room.
At my request, my husband had generously taken over her education. He had become a sort of mentor to her along the line, sometimes she spent hours talking with him in his office about school. He had complained at first but along the line I think he warmed up to the idea of being the uncle. He had done so much in her life, like I needed another reminder of what a saint the man was.
She asked about him on her way into the kitchen. It was a habit, she would do whatever chores were left undone. I told her he had travelled. “I know aunty, he said he was returning this morning”. I knew that already but hearing it come from her made the words real. My husband was on his way home and I had a youngster in the house.
I sat and watched her clean up the kitchen listening to her “ gist” me about her school life. She always had a story to tell. She told me of her boyfriend who had been seen about town with some other girl. She had never seen him herself but her friends had and he always had a rational explanation. Trust him, I told her, there is nothing between you if there is no trust.
I felt evil. I should drop dead for what I had done. Now his complaints started to hold water. Was this the thanks he deserved? To leave in search of money and return to an incomplete woman? The phone on the counter rang. I picked it up immediately. It was my husband.
He had just arrived and was headed to the office to round up some things before he came home. My niece pointed to herself. I told him she was waiting, he wanted her to meet him at the office that way he could cater to her request and drop her off at school before coming home. He was so considerate. When she was done I led her outside, gave her enough money for a cab and waved as she got on a bike.
Back upstairs, the youth had fallen asleep on the undersized bed. I tapped him awake and led him outside, he had to go. I hid him twice. First from the highspirited girl from the floor above us who was hanging her clothes on the clothes line and second from a young man who lived on the 5th floor. He was some sort of actor, I had seen him dressed in all sorts of costumes though I had never actually seen him on television. He seemed to be well paid though, the mid level toyota he sped off in didn’t come cheap not to mention the Audi he kept under wraps.
At the gate the young man looked confused. I realised that we had not said a word to each other since the screams. He walked a little way down the road and stepped into a white honda. As he drove past, he smiled and bellowed, “I’ll call you”. I wished he wouldn’t.
I sat on the sofa wondering what to do. I could hide my indiscretion. My husband didn’t need to know. I would clean up the bedroom, cook him a good meal and forget that this ever happened. I could get away with it.
With the thought came guilt. Guilt for my actions and guilt for even thinking of concealing my indiscretion. I had spoken to my niece about trust. How could I look her in the eyes? How could I instruct my children in the way that was right if I myself did not keep to it? The tears fell freely. There was no other way, I had to tell him.
I stood up and got dressed, if I didn’t do it right away, I never would. On my way down, I met the 3rd floor girl in the lobby pacing. I greeted her, she was tense. That made two of us. I got into my late model BMW, a birthday present from my husband. It almost hurt to put the car in gear. I headed towards the mainland at a sedate pace partly because I was not in any hurry to tell him the news and partly because I could hardly see the road in front of me with the tears blurring my vision.
I got caught up in traffic on the way. It was enough time for me to turn around. To wait till he got home. At every intersection, I debated whether or not I should turn around, I would be able to frame my case properly, make him understand that it was a mistake. Reason told me to turn around but conscience pushed me forward.
I arrived at the office. I could see his office lights were dimmed. That was a sign that he was busy. He liked to make use of his table lamp. Any other day, I would have turned the car around or called up to ask if it was ok to come up. Today was different, I walked into the office building, determined to get it over with before I could chicken out. The elevator took a long time in coming so I took the stairs, impatient.
At his floor, I stepped onto the plush carpeting, my feet making no sound, it was the shoes. Hush Puppies, more expensive than the diamond encrusted Swatch that encircled my wrists, both presents from my husband. The watch from Spain, the shoes from England. I headed for his office at the end of the hall, the door was ajar. I paused before I stepped in. The words I had spoke to my niece came back. There is nothing between you if there is no trust. With one huge breath, the final gasp of a dying woman, I stepped into the office.
He was seated at his desk but he did not notice me come in. I wanted to call out. Then a hand shot out from beneath the table and grabbed his tie. I watched as my husband leaned downwards to kiss the lips of some girl. Who then returned to whetever it was she was doing beneath the table. I stepped out of the office and ran the whole way back to my car. I had cried all day, now the tears refused to come. I felt betrayed. Still, I was no different from him, I had my own indiscretion, did I not?
I waited in the car. I was going to confront him when he came out of the office. I wouldn’t insist that he apologise, only that he stopped after today. It was not long before he came downstairs a huge grin on his face, as they stepped into the evening light, I saw the face of the lady who had been pleasuring my husband. My niece hugged him one last time before she got into his car. My mouth opened in a silent scream.
All the way home, I wondered what to do. On the radio, I heard something about the murder of a police commissioner. I envied him. My niece was sleeping with my husband, death seemed a fair bargain. All those important talks they had. How long ago had it started? I felt foolish. All day, I had worried about betraying his trust and he had no issues doing so with a member of my family. Trust was an illusion. I believed him faithful and so he was. As long as he believed me the same, I was as well.
When he finally returned, I welcomed him with a good dinner. I made a move to kiss him when we got into bed but he brushed it off. He claimed to be tired. My niece was probably more exciting. I turned on my side and was drifting off when my phone rang. I would have ignored it but he got irritated at the noise.
In the living room, I picked up. It was the young man from last night. He wanted to see me again. I told him last night was a mistake. “what mistake?, nothing happened ”. Nothing happened?! Now I could vaguely remember him dragging a sleepy me into the apartment. I had been pure all along. I told him to call me on monday morning and to bring protection. I snuggled up close to my husband. Trust is an illusion. I was faithful as long as he believed me so.
Thanks to Ojo Oladimeji for sending this in. It’s unedited and we’ll like your honest feedback. You can also send in your short stories to hello [at] thenakedconvos [dot] com. Cheers.