Just in case you are confused, God will never send you someone else’s husband as the answer to your prayers ~Godly dating 101~
‘James, you must think I am a very stupid women eh?’ She barks at you.
‘Let’s not have this conversation here. This is not the time nor the place’
‘Is there ever a good time to talk about anything with you? So, let me guess… that is Maria your bitch and its driving you crazy to see her with another man ey?’
Alarm bells sound off loudly in your head.
How the hell does she even know her name??
You have never saved her number on your phone. You pride yourself for being a forward thinker. Your M.O. has always been to read and delete since you know her number off head anyway.
You try to think on your feet but your brain has hit a snag. You do not want to say anything that will lead to your demise. You know that Beth WILL in fact KILL YOU should you admit to any indiscretion.
You can see tonight’s news bulletin ‘Man killed by wife; love triangle gone sour’.
So to save face and avoid the risk of being both the 7 and 9pm news headline, you decide to play the classic man DENIAL man card. Your daughters are too young to grow up fatherless after all.
‘Baby, who is Maria? What are you talking about??’ you feign innocence praying and hoping that your voice does not sound an octave higher.
Beth take a long hard look at you and clicks.
‘You must think that you married a moron right? You think I do not know all about Maria and how she has been your side bitch for the past one year?’
She is now shouting and the wait staff are staring at you.
‘Beth, please, not here’ you say, half standing up, in an attempt to try and calm her down.
‘Oh so now am Beth and not baby?
You are now confused and you laugh because it tickles you that she can bring up you not using her pet name at such a time as this.
‘What the f**k is so funny James?’ she hisses with a menacing look on her face.
You feel the hairs on your arm stand. You are now afraid of her and what she is capable of. You remember the one time she trashed your work report because you told her that Mesh had to stop living off your couch and get himself a job.
‘Beth, baby, calm down’ you try to placate her by touching her hair. She slaps your hand away. The slap is so loud it makes the kids stop playing and they rush to your table.
‘Baba are you ok?’ Monique asks you, rubbing your slapped hand.
‘I am fine mama’ you fake a smile.
She is unconvinced. ‘Come and sit next to me. Let’s take a selfie’ you tell them. You know family pictures excite them and that’s the surest way to dissipate Beth’s mood.
Your selfie moment is briefly interrupted when the waitress brings your food. Molly hops onto her mom’s lap and you take out your phone to capture the moment. You put the phone on front camera mode.
‘Cheeeeeeeese’ you announce and they all smile.
Beth’s looks like a forced one so you decide to snap another for good measure.
Your phone suddenly vibrates and lights up announcing an incoming call.
You almost drop the phone since the call is unexpected. You look at it and see a number that ends with 55. It takes you a minute to realize that its HER!! Your heart jolts. Something in you wants to pick the call but you hurriedly cancel the call and resume the photo session then upload the photos on Instagram with the caption #FamilyFirst tagging Beth so she does not suspect that you are texting her…
‘Let’s eat’ you announce. Beth gives you the side eye as she asks Monique to pass her the tabasco sauce next to you.
You put your phone down on the coffee table, face up, so you can see it when he calls you back. A part of you tells you that off course he will not call back. He is with his family.
You are jittery and the only thing that will calm your nerves is to talk with him, tell him that Sam means nothing to you. You know he definitely saw him kissing you in the parking lot. But how do you convince him that you feel nothing for the guy micro waving the food in the kitchen so you two can eat and have a quiet night in?
Do you even owe a married man any explanations as to what you are doing with your life anyway?
You walk to the kitchen to retrieve a bottle of Ciroc from the kitchen cabinet. Sam smiles as soon as you walk in. He walks over to you and kisses you on the forehead. You smile and reach for two glasses, a bottle of Sprite and the vodka. He carries the plates with the spicy chicken wings and drumsticks to the living room and you follow him with the glasses and the liquor.
He picks the tv remote from your coffee table and asks you to choose something the both of you can watch. He’s trying to be a gentleman you can tell. Last time he was here you berated him for watching ESPN highlights, you wanted to talk instead. He still feels like a stranger. He barely opens up to you, unlike James who is such a conversationalist.
If James was here, he would have chosen to mute the TV, put on some jazz made sure you ate, then talked about anything and everything.
Your mind goes back to the day you first met him, at a mutual friend’s house warming party. He was there to drop off his buddy and ended up staying to grill some pork with the boys. You on the other hand were there because you had been told about how the boys throw down while the girls sat sipping on wine. You wanted to witness first hand this feminist switch of traditional roles.
So he worked up the grill with his masculine hands, and you stared at his beautiful fingers and well trimmed nails as he seasoned the meat and interchangeably beat it up with a meat mallet, then, marinated it for an hour in whisky while he grilled sausages and fried samosas.
A man who knew his way with food was super attractive to you. You could tell he was a feminist just by that. He was not the type of man to confine your womanliness to the kitchen. A man who cooks is a giver and understands that traditional man and woman roles have since evolved from the hunting/ gathering era.
You even scrutinized his ring finger when he passed the food round.
He did not have a wedding band on, just a silver, very masculine looking bracelet on his left wrist.
When the song ‘Return of the Mack’ came on, you asked your girl Sadia to hold your glass while you stood up to dance. He was not only impressed by your dancing skills, but also by the fact that just the two of you in the room knew all the words to the 90’s hit by Mark Morrison.
‘If she knows how to shuffle and appreciates Mark Morrison, then she must be a keeper’ he began. ‘Hi I’m James’.
Before you could find a witty come back now that he had broken the ice, Drake and Rihanna came on with ‘Work’ and the 8 shots of whisky already in you gave you a semblance of courage to pull him to the center of the room and dutty wine on him.
The men whistled in appreciation, the ladies cheered you on.
Once you were done, you were flushed.
As for him, he wanted your number and to get to know you. You said no and went to the bathroom with Sadia so you could ask her of his marital status. He was very much taken. Two kids, one more on the way.
You could not believe it. You expressed your disappointment and wondered out loud why he did not have a ring. ‘Si that’s what the modern man wears nowadays instead of a wedding band’ Sadia quipped.
You went back, he followed you to the kitchen and begged for your number.
You still said no and called for an Uber.
‘Maria? Maria!’ Sam is calling you out loud. You look at him pensively.
‘Are you okay?’
‘I am, I think I am getting a headache’ you lie.
‘Let me get you some pain killers’ he offers and goes to fetch them from the kitchen.
You take your phone, no missed call or text.
There is that gnawing feeling of sadness and loneliness but yet you are not alone.
You switch on your data, check your Whatsapp, only silly forwards and memes there. You get on Instagram and refresh your feed.
The first picture you see is his, aptly captioned #FamilyFirst.
You look at the wife’s face and can swear she looks agitated, you know this because she is smiling but the smile does not reach her eyes.
Their kids are too darn adorable, hair held up in pigtails, they have their mother’s eyes and father’s dimples. Something tugs in your heart.
You hear Sam walking back and put your phone down. He hands you the paracetamols and you pop them in your mouth then wash them down with the vodka.
He tries to hold you and massage your temples, you push him away, sit up and chug half a glass of vodka.
Your mood is ruined. Instagram ruined it.
No, him and his picture perfect family ruined it.
Sam tries to make small talk, you feel like slapping his mouth shut. He tries to kiss you, you gag and pick your phone, wanting to call James.
Sam suddenly declares that its getting late and that perhaps you need to lie down, he will spend the night at his place. He pecks you on the cheek and you walk him to the door with a ‘Feel better babe’ as the parting shot.
You feel really bad for him after he leaves, something is stuck in your throat. Is it guilt for treating Sam like crap? You are now pacing up and down the living room. You sit and try to read a travel magazine on your coffee table. Not even the picturesque pink sand beaches in Bermuda can calm you down.
‘Sit down, be humble, keep it classy and keep it real’ your phone vibrates and rings at the same time. Sam must be calling to say he is home safe.
You pick up your phone and look at the phone screen, ITS JAMES! You look at your wrist watch. Its midnight.
You pick the call on the third ring with trepidation in your voice. ‘Hello?’
‘Maria, I urgently need to see you tonight I’m coming over’, he whispers then hangs up.