(CONTINUED FROM LAST ISSUE)
David, Julie and Diane share different spaces in one another’s lives, yet their worlds collide on an axis none of them saw coming.
Infuriated at the way David was trying to dismiss me like I was an irritating child, I said: “Don’t start what? Telling you to stop acting like a spoiled child coming back at close to 11pm because you didn’t get things done your way?”
“Like I said, I’m not in the mood for it now,” he repeated tiredly, but like a machine gun set to rapid fire, I could not stop.
“You’re not in the mood for it? Well, I’m not in the mood to get turned into gossip fodder for maids!” I retorted angrily.
“What are you talking about?” he asked.
“I’m talking about you stomping off in a huff yesterday, and coming back this late today, while we have a new maid in the house! Those are the stories she’s going to start circulating about our home.”
“So, I’m supposed to tailor my actions based on what the maid will say about them? Be serious!” he scoffed and tried to edge past me to the bathroom.
I, however, was not done yet; “If you don’t care what the help says about this home, I do!”
“Then perhaps you ought to ask yourself what your precious maid makes of a woman who contradicts her husband in front of their children, or about a woman who has no control over those same children, or about a woman who is totally lost when it comes to running a home without a maid; or how about a woman who can’t budget for a single, damn meal? I’m sure there is more than enough there for her to gossip about, without bothering with what time I got home,” he snapped, then pushed me out of his way with such force that I stumbled against the bed.
David was by no means a violent man, but he was a strong one, and his forceful shove had actually hurt me. Never in the past had David ever been that rough with me, nor had he ever ranted at me in the manner that he just had.
I did not recognise this man, and for the first time in our married life, I felt a shiver of fear of him. I did not stop him again when he marched past me into the bathroom, slamming the door behind him.
Over the next few days, I kept my distance from David. It wasn’t that I was frightened of him but, rather that I was tired of trying to please him, and so I focused on the children and my own life, which was slowly, but surely, taking a downward turn.
I had heard through the grapevine at work, that the bank was planning to offer me a transfer to an upcountry branch in either Kasese or Fort Portal; a transfer that I would obviously be unable to accept, since the children were based in Kampala.
I had never thought it was possible to miss someone who had not been a constant fixture in your life, until Julie. I had not seen her since our last dinner, and I actually sincerely missed her. Work had been hectic, and on the days when I had managed to knock off early, she had still been tied up at work.
I was growing increasingly frustrated with the situation, but then I received an email that finally offered a glimmer of hope. There was going to be a three-day tourism and telecommunications conference in one of the national parks, and since my boss who was meant to be representing the company was unable to make it, he was sending me instead.
The conference was scheduled to run from Thursday to Saturday, and although I knew Julie would be working then, I also knew that I had to convince her to somehow be able to get away, and come with me.