That night, I lay next to my son and cried myself to sleep. For some reason the previous nights’ events kept coming back to me. I could even feel the fresh pain of slaps. Jake could not understand what was going on with me, but he put his tiny arms around my neck and snuggled closer.
The following morning at work, I found Paul waiting for me.
‘’I have been waiting for you.’’
‘’I am here now.’’
‘’I want to talk about what happened the other day.’’
‘’What are you talking about?’’
‘’Don’t tell me you have forgotten.’’
I knew what he wanted to talk about but I did not want to talk about it. I powered my desktop and totally ignored him.
‘’Diana, please talk to me.’’
‘’Can you get me a mug of coffee?’’
‘’Then you will tell me what is going on?’’
I smiled, ‘’yes.’’
He left and came back a few minutes later with a mug of steaming coffee, he pulled a chair and sat down.
‘’Thanks for the coffee Paul, now, if you will excuse me, I have a report to prepare.’’
‘’Yes, really now.’’
He shook his head, got up real slow and left. I was not going to embarrass myself by telling anyone what had happened. I immersed myself in work and totally forgot about Paul and his endless questions.
When I went down for lunch, I saw Paul talking to Joe. My heart skipped a beat. I literally started shaking. When did I become so afraid of him? I wanted to turn back and head back to my office but it was too late, he had seen me. He smiled at Paul and excused himself.
‘’Hey babe, what did Paul want?’’
‘’I don’t know, he doesn’t matter, shall we?’’
‘’Where are we going?’’
‘’To eat fish.’’
‘’Sorry babe, I can’t go far from the office today, I have a meeting at exactly 2.’’
‘’Okay, no problem.’’
‘’We can eat at our usual spot, ugali and managu.’’
‘’Yeah, as long as you are with me.’’
He was calm and collected like he had not spoken to Paul. Knowing Paul, he had possibly confronted him about his suspicions. We talked about my parents, my son, his siblings and his parents. He asked me to go for lunch with him at his parents’ over the weekend.
‘’Of course I’d love to meet your family.’’
‘’Perfect, I will pick you up in the evening, we are going home, right?’’
‘’Yeah, we are going home.’’
His home was now my home, I was settling right in all the while being comfortable about it.
That evening, he picked me up after work. He was unusually quiet.
‘’Babe, you are awfully quiet, is everything okay?’’
‘’Yeah, I am just a little tired.’’
‘’What did Paul want? Why was he talking to you?’’
He turned to look at me, narrowed his eyes but said nothing, I also stopped asking because it looked like I was aggravating him. When we got him, he let me go into the house first, he closed the door and turned to me. I was just taking off my dress when he grabbed my hand,
‘’You told that prick that I hit you?’’
‘’No, I did not tell him anything.’’
He took off his belt and for the next ten minutes or so, he whipped my back non- stop. I cried in pain and begged him to stop and when he finally did, he locked me inside and left.
I crawled from the floor to the bathroom, cleaned up my hurting back and crawled to bed. I cried myself to sleep yet again.
When he came back, it was way past mid-night. He woke me up in tears and begged me to forgive him, he said he did not know what happened to him. He applied assorted oils on my back as he cried begging me to forgive him. And I did, I forgave him. And we made love till the wee hours of the morning.