Who changed…?

Her heartbeat quickened and it was drumming so hard in her chest that she felt someone would hear it. Her eyes darted around the room as she nervously licked her lips. Breath quickened and shallow, she walked stealthily towards his side of the room and with clammy hands, she honed in for his phone that was lying on the bedside cabinet. 

She knew his passcode and within seconds she was going through his apps and messages. She kept looking up just in case someone suddenly came in and caught her. She could hear him in the bathroom taking a shower and had seized this opportunity to go through his phone. 

Of late, he had been acting very distant with her, she felt, and he also kept his phone close to him at all times. These days, any call he took, he would excuse himself or he would just reject the call. On being asked who it was, the reply was always an unclear one. Something told her all was not okay.

No sooner had she keyed in the password, she heard him winding down in the bathroom. She quickly scanned the last few calls record and saw nothing out of the ordinary. She locked the phone, darted to his side of the bed and lay down the phone where she had picked it from. Maybe she was overreacting, she thought, but she couldn’t quite push back that feeling of discontent. 

One day, she followed him to the study where he had excused himself to so that she could eavesdrop on him. He was getting agitated and was saying to someone he couldn’t get out at such a short notice and that everyone else was at home. The conversation went to-and-fro for a bit and she went back to the kitchen. He arrived a couple of minutes later looking rather tense, lips set in a grim line, slight crease on the forehead with the beginnings of a frown. 

She stomped off upstairs and shut the bedroom door behind her, pulled out her phone and dialled a number from memory. When she heard the ‘hello’ on the other end, her features softened and she smiled and started chatting away. After fifteen minutes of sweet nothings, her mood had altered and she felt in a better frame of mind. She sat in the room a little while longer pondering about her husband’s moods and phone calls. She wondered who she was. Was it a friend of hers? Maybe the hot secretary at work? Or an old flame? It could be someone from his school because ever since he attended the reunion a couple of months back, he hadn’t stopped raving about one of his friends. 

Her affair had been going on for about two years now. She wasn’t in love but she enjoyed how he made her feel. Her husband seemed to have no time for her of late, and in any case, she was bored of her mundane life. She wasn’t looking to get divorced. Her husband was a wealthy man and he looked after her needs quite well. In fact, she lacked for nothing and very happily chose to become a homemaker with a plethora of hired help to assist her. Basically, she delegated then got on with her day catching up with her friends for lunches, teas and also slipping in her clandestine dates. 

She tapped pensively on her phone screen as she tried to put together her thoughts. It wasn’t like she was going to leave her well-settled and successful husband for a man whom she was having a bit of fun with. But how dare he have an affair and think of leaving her because he wanted to be with someone else? In her mind, all this entitlement actually made sense to her. She could do what she wanted because she deemed it harmless fun but there was no way he was allowed to leave her under any circumstances. 

To cheer herself up, she read through the saucy messages her lover had sent to her. They usually cheered her up. Making sure the passcode was inaccessible, she was also very careful not to leave her phone lying around just in case her husband decided to go through it. She was quite confident that he wouldn’t because he always respected her privacy. That much she was sure of.

This went on for a couple of weeks. Her suspicions were getting stronger by the day. One day, she heard him on the phone again and said he would meet the caller shortly. She decided to catch him in the act, play the victim and stop him from getting any further ideas of leaving her. She heard the front door close. He hadn’t taken the car. So, it was someone in the neighbourhood? She wondered who it could be. She picked her phone and house keys and ran out behind him to follow. He walked briskly while talking into the phone so he wasn’t aware that he was being followed. 

She was so intent on catching up with him to see where he went that she didn’t see nor hear the matatu hurtling towards her at breakneck speed as she crossed the road without looking on either side.

Landing with a heavy thud on the road, she felt as if her head was draining of some liquid. Her neck felt warm and wet. She could barely move and her vision was blurred with blood from the gash on her forehead. She tried to make a sound but was unable to. She couldn’t even lift her hands or legs. Somehow, she knew this was it.

She saw her husband’s aghast face looking over her, amongst the curious onlookers who had crowded the scene. He was holding her phone in his hand and screaming for an ambulance. Her eyes flickered a bit then she shut them for the last time, smiling slightly with perhaps relief that he didn’t know her phone’s passcode…

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