David, Julie and Diane share different spaces in one another’s lives, yet their worlds collide on an axis none of them saw coming.
We got back from the game drive at about eleven, but even though it was that late, sleep was the last thing on either of our minds; so, we headed back to the bar instead. The drive had been great; we had managed to spot a leopard, a pride of lions, as well as the more common giraffes and Uganda kobs.
Julie had been totally enraptured throughout the hour-long drive and we had not talked much, except to point out animals we spotted in hushed whispers.
While Julie clearly enjoyed seeing the different animals, the best thing about the drive for me was how she had snuggled against me, so close that I could feel her heartbeat, even through the thick shawl she had wrapped around her shoulders.
Best of all, she had done so spontaneously, without any prodding from me, and while the cool temperatures might have had something to do with it, she had come up to me naturally, like she knew she belonged there. After a drink at the bar, we headed for our rooms, and after I had unlocked mine, I turned to her with a questioning hopefulness.
“Would you like to come inside for a while?”
She knew exactly what I was asking and looked down at her feet shyly before nodding, “Alright.”
I knew that I was going to make love to her; I had known I was going to while we were still on the drive and she was pressed up close against me, yet I still tried to take it slow. I held her gaze as I slowly reached my arms around her to unzip her dress, and continued to hold it as she stepped out of it. I released myself from my mind, and let my body - and hers - lead me.
I woke up at about ten on the Sunday David was due to return from his conference, and it was almost eleven before I felt presentable enough to make my way downstairs. Stacy and Samantha were watching cartoons, and Daniel was playing a game on his tab in the living room.
“Good morning, Mummy,” they greeted me, one after the other.
“Good morning,” I answered each of them individually, relieved that for the moment, they were not fighting, being messy, or generally disruptive.
In the kitchen, the maid was at the sink, and after giving her instructions for the lunch and dinner menus (pasta and minced meat for lunch, and rice, matoke, chicken and greens for dinner; since I knew David probably wouldn’t be back by lunch time), I returned upstairs to clean the bedroom and bathroom.
As I planned to raise the matter of leaving the bank and going into business with Tracy (with a generous financial contribution from David), I wanted everything to be perfect, so that he would hopefully be more responsive to what I had to say.
He arrived as it approached eight that evening; perfect timing as the kids were showered, the house was spotless, and dinner was sending a tantalizing aroma out of the kitchen.
“Daddy, daddy,” the kids yelled, and flung themselves at him excitedly as he came in.
I stood back and let them finish, then slowly approached him.
“Hi, honey, welcome back. How was your trip?” I greeted him with a peck on the cheek, then picked up his case.
“Fine thanks; it’s alright, I can carry that,” he tried to reclaim the case from me, clearly surprised at this unusual, overt show of care and affection from me. “No problem, it’s not heavy; come on upstairs and freshen up, dinner will be served soon.” I insisted on holding on to the suitcase, as I led the way.
“I turned on the water heater a while back; so, the water should be hot now,” I said as we got to our room.
“Uhm...thanks; is everything alright?”
“Yes, why do you ask?”
“I don’t know; you just seem somewhat different,” he answered, his eyes narrowed suspiciously.
“I’m just glad you’re back,” I laughed. “Go on take a shower, I’ll go get dinner out.”