May 5, 2014
The day I had for so long been dreading finally came. I wasn’t prepared. No one really is and the most we can do is make do with the situation you find yourself. I left work at four as usual and almost literary ran home to my baby… and Pesh and her daddy. OK, who am I kidding? I only run home to baby Raine. The rest can always wait. I got home to find she had just fallen asleep and Vivianne was taking a bath. Instinctively, and without a break to rest I put on my apron and started cleaning the day’s dishes. I try hard to minimize the number of chores Vivianne forgoes during the day in an effort to keep her sanity and mine on a high. Soon, she was out of their room looking fab and fresh. I smiled and thought to myself that she most certainly had a date. She wore a dress I had gifted her just recently. This dress meant a lot to me: I bought it after my very first temporary job and wore it when I was crowned 1st runners up in a modeling contest back in college. It was one of those items I held on to until the beginning of this year when I made a resolution to move past my past attire-‘ristically’.
How it all started
She left claiming to want to fix her broken phone and I did not hesitate to say OK as I knew she had other plans besides that. Meanwhile I took advantage of the sleeping baby to clean some clothes and prepare dinner. Three hours later, at around 8pm, something made me want to check to see if Viviane’s belongings were home. Everything was intact especially her latest new clothes and her phone charger. It didn’t look like she was going away for even a day, but only a phone call would confirm that. I called three times before she finally picked the phone. Her voice was broken and she sounded like a man. “Hi mom,” She started, “Viv?” I probed. “No, my name is Collins and I would like to talk to you”, was the reply. Thoroughly infuriated, I told Collins that if I wanted to speak with him I would have dialed his number and immediately asked to speak with the owner of the phone. Vivianne came on the line sounding submissive like Collins was her colonizing husband. She claimed this man wanted to speak with me despite her frantic efforts to stop him.
“He wants me to sleep over…and be his wife” Oh wait, I didn’t get that right. Was this boy asking me boldly to have sexual relations with my house help? Why not just have it and let us move on with life? I was exasperated. Vivianne had two things to do, sleep over his place and live there for ever or come back home immediately where I planned to send her back to her parents. I though Collins might as well make that trip to fetch his soon to be bride from the right people. My mind raced, thinking how disappointed I was that Vivianne could build such a great rapport over four years only to crash it down in just a few hours. I felt let down and knew it would take time to heal. She chose not to sleep home and I was left to organize the children with my husband. Would Justin let me go to work and stay home with both our children or would he be like most men and ask me to stay home?
Night stand of sleep-over?
The night was sombre sad and half empty. OK, make that a quarter empty, or even better yet, with just one empty slot. There is nothing like getting used to someone who doesn’t belong. The space Viv left felt large, ugly and empty. Like an open wound that was better off left open. We all hated it especially since she had left unexpectedly. Pesh was confused and kept asking where Vivianne was. She went to bed that night still doubting our elusive responses. It was on a Tuesday night; right in the middle of the week. What a day she picked to mess me up. I hang on to the last memory I had of her, leaving with a lame excuse to go repair her phone yet her made up face , hair and dressing perfectly placed her on the laps of a loved one… a male loved one. I shook my head hard to get rid of that last thought. It was enough that I had spoken to that scumbag. A good for nothing idiot that had no concern for the time of his actions; funny how a man can totally bamboozle a woman and yank her out of a great opportunity only to land squarely on poverty and the outcomes that come with it. I was not a happy woman.
The following day, I woke up to my husband’s assurance that all would be well. “On second thought, I could just report to work and come right back,” I offered and all he did was shake his head. “Just go. I will let you know if I don’t manage.” was his calm response. I left with my head looking behind my shoulder as if waiting for him to call me back. I thought he was joking, but I realized he wasn’t when I disappeared round one corner and the house was completely out of sight. I immediately pulled my phone out and stared at it, still in disbelief that he would let me go to work. He didn’t call, he sent a text message. ‘I am back in bed. Both girls asleep, breakfast ready in wait’ I smiled and settled in my heart. Something told me he would be just fine and I believed that ‘thing’.
That same thing made me want to call Viv just as I boarded a bus. It was as though she was chanting at her phone and casting a spell on it, hoping I call her. Since her phone was completely ruined, unless she borrowed a handset, all hope was lost. It rang. I had given in to the urge. “Did you sleep well?” I asked and she responded positively. I asked if she was hurt and she said no, then I turned cold. “Pesh’s daddy doesn’t want you home.” She went silent, making me check if the call had dropped. “’are you there?” I probed and she asked again what I had said about Pesh’s dad. That seemed to have touched some part of her. Hmm, she still has some respect. That’s impressive. I thought and went on to hand over the ultimatum. She had up until noon to tell me what she had decided to do with her life; come back or move in with her boyfriend. I hang up, squirmed in my seat to get my comfort spot and continued to read from the page I had left the previous evening.