THE THORNED ROSE 

1

Ever had the feeling of being a pest especially when you are the odd one in a bunch of “commoners” but privileged over “them”,  the snares and snickers have never gone unnoticed.
The jabs only an extension  of the sheer hatred reflected in their eyes.
Privileged or not I  hate being a pest, or even worse “leech” the name they dabbed me,  I’d rather I be a pest than a leech. 

 A beneficial pest at that a honeybee maybe, I might suck nectar from  flowers but I wasn’t all about  consuming the sweetness I exude it too.

They might hate on me but the fear they instilled in me was as great as a  typhoon wavering the Mt Everest,  with total  nil success.

I hurriedly wrapped the apron over my dress to prevent the superintendent from yelling  at me  once again.  ” Sumayya carry the cleaning materials and hurry to the prince’s  quarter right away” my eyes bulged out in surprise, I  opened my mouth but closed it when I  saw the look the older woman was giving me.
She’d say I  was  only rubbing  the privileges I had in her face and being an ingrate if  I complained,  I despise ingratitude to the  very core especially when I’m called one,  being where I am might not be enough but it was much better,  never in a quadrillion years would I have thought of having even a crumb size of what I  enjoy,  this was the only way I could repay the kindness.

Though I’ve been forbidden from doing such works,  it was in no way related to  what “my savior” asked of them but who am I to complain if this treatment is  just a snap of finger  to what I used to do at an even younger age.

I shook my head and made way to the materials picking them one after the other,  soon my hands were filled with cleaning materials as I made way to the  prince’s quarter upstairs.

 

 

I stared strangely at the flight of stairs at the east wing of the enormous palace and balanced the bucket, broom and mop in my right hand as I  gathered my lengthy dress in my left hand.

I ascended the stairs slowly,  shutting and opening my eyes from the  dizziness I felt, and the impending phobia that was clawing  my mind, forcing the pictures of the event I’ve tried locking in the abyss of the   darkness my scarred brain created to no avail.

Each step I took only produced vivid imagines of scenarios both real  and concocted manifesting them to horrendous scenes.

My hands shook as I slowly  released everything and sat on the floor shutting my eyes tightly.

” I am greater than this” I started uttering in my head as I rocked back and forth holding on to the wisp of faith I had left
After sitting for a while I was able to grasp a bit of  bravado sheathing my mind from my plights and the impending one if the job at hand wasn’t done, I heaved a sigh as I picked up  the materials  once again and set off for the  set of rooms upstairs  which was in turn a palace  in itself. 
This was sheer wickedness I muttered when I turned the knob and was greeted with  a hall that looked like it was affected by the historic earthquake in Haiti,  maybe  I was exaggerating but it  really  looked like there had been a brawl in there,  was a Prince’s room really suppose to look like this. 

But who was I to complain  I was left with no choice. 

I shrugged and placed the buckets and mop down then rolled the hands of my dress. 
 Looking  around the  room with no idea of where to start. 

I started picking the things  that were thrown helplessly around then lifted the smaller stools I could, I went  back for the longer brush   and started sweeping the tiled floor,  wondering how a beautiful place was turned into a such a mess. 
I looked at  the huge hall I had not even swept a quarter of and held my waist which had started hurting for bending for too long and continued working thinking of the consequences that would befall me for doing barely nothing for too long. 

There were people who’s love job was to clean this place and even I know they never keep long doing it and  would have been long done if they were the ones doing it,  “this is sheer wickedness” I mumbled again.    

Half way done with the hall, Madam  Linda the superintendent from earlier came to the hall with three other ladies who I presume are among  those designated for the work, she looked around in distaste and held her hands in  front of her watching at her watch then resettled her gaze on me,  I was petrified of what might follow.   “5 hours!”  she yelled “that was the hours you spent  doing practically NOTHING!” 

The maidens behind her chuckled,  rolling their eyes at the lost look on my face.  

“Get out you stinking moron after all the hours you spent here with zero success, who knows what she even  stole” she uttered the latter turning to the other maidens.
“Mind you with that all your fantasies will always remain what they are “Non existent” she said  making quotation marks in the air “you’re nothing more than a filthy piece of rag , you came here a nobody and will end up one too,  don’t  think you’ve one upped any  of us because you  are occasionally called by the King, no,  hanging out with the king gives you no privilege above us, you are not in any way better than anyone we in turn are better than you,  I mean look at that black skin that looks like you’ve been roasted  in hell before you decided to  grace the world and than eye that only makes you look like a witch”

I swallowed heavily my throat thick with  emotions,  my eyes started fluttering on their own accord as tears welled my eyes.

“You got no future girl and  definitely not in this land maybe in the land of your likes,  where I’m even sure you’ll not be even given the light of the day” Linda ended bitterly.

The girls threw fits of laughter and started working, I  hurriedly left the place with tears running down my cheeks. I didn’t even notice the stairs this time around descending it in a flash. 
                    ° …•…°…•…°…•…°
I wiped the tears from my face before I got to the maids quarter.  My stomach gave a loud growl immediately I made it to the room,  the room was not full but those close to me  chuckled.

“Ah  Sumayya Miss  Linda  made us leave your lunch in the kitchen when you refused to  join us” Nusaiba one of the older maidens said  I nodded and smile muttering a ‘thank you’ as I made my way to the kitchen,  relieved I was going to eat something today.

 I  hurriedly walked down the hallway to my little haven  after picking the wrapped food from the kitchen. I had barely  eaten breakfast, the day  before was the same story and  I was practically on the verge of collapsing.

Getting to my corner, I  unwrapped the parcel of food and saw a mould covered bread with a smelly maggot filled cheese. I burst into  tears trying hard to  hold the bile that had filled my mouth. I heard a fit of laughter and  raised my head to witness  almost every maid laugh at my predicament. Wiping my tear streaked face  I slowly rose from the  shade of the tree and  disposed the spoilt  food in the bin  then smiled at them as  I made my way to my room.
Like it or not Sumayya  was not one to be humiliated,  I was a fighter the one I was named after laughed in the face of death,  and I’ve always sought to emulate her to  the letter,  I was no weakling,  I was a WARRIOR,  I’ve survived worst conditions. 

I smiled again because whenever you humiliate Sumayya  she doesn’t show she’s hurt but  smile. 

Being angry was never an option, it took a lot to  carry that emotion and I know all this will end one day. 

THE THORNED ROSE

In the name of Allah Most Gracious, Ever Merciful.

This write-up is a pure work of fiction and the sole property of Meena and Jameela.

None of the characters have anything to do with anyone thereof.
PREFACE….

 

 

Roses, beautiful with delicate petals.

 

 

Who could  look at such plush beautiful petals without wanting to pluck?.
The beautiful color  bewitches  an onlooker, but the mysterious petals that overlap each other also play a role.
No rose can be plucked without being dethorned.

 
In her world all roses had thorns and were caged, protected them from wandering hands of predators.
A rare petal she was, uncaged, when a caged rose was more dignified and dethorned when a thorned rose was worthier, left in a cold weather her petals were withered.

Allah being The Merciful,  decreeing only what he deems fit for his servants made her cross path with a compassionate samaritan who not only turned her world around and introduced her to a world of riches wrapped with trials, set to test her patience and believe in fate……

Hope built anew,

With petals firmed by faith : she gradually grew her thorns , tucked deep within her.

Who could ever think the attractive  lone rose’s overlapped petals was stacked with thorns that pricked any trespasser.

And what if this trespasser felt intimidated and angered by her mere presence because not only did he deem her a threat but she had the main support of the one person he wants to be praised and supported by.

Is This Love? 

Flash Fiction 

I closed my eyes and pulled the covers over my head trying to  turn off the  alien feeling I felt,  what was wrong with me,  what was I thinking, my insides felt like a hurricane had erupted everything.  I heaved a sigh trying to will back the tear that was lurking behind my lids.

I pushed the covers and picked my phone from the night stand checking his last seen on whatsapp again,  it still dated back to a week ago,  facebook was the same telltale and when I  try calling his number directly “this number is unavailable” was the only feedback I had. 

I threw the phone away and turned screaming into my pillow,  was he ok ? , was he angry with me?.  I couldn’t stop my tears from falling this time around. 

Never in a million years would I have ever thought of myself in this situation,  I’m Mina for crying out loud,  I don’t do relationships I despise the name thereof but he caught me so unawares.  
I threw the pillow away and rushed to the bathroom,  maybe Ammar could help me they were friends anyway.  

I washed my face and held the sink watching my reflection on the mirror,  my eyes looked sunken and I  seem to have lost a bit of weight my collarbone looked more pronounced than ever.  

I touched it wondering why anyone had not hinted at it maybe it’s because I  was already slim,  adding on weight is the the only thing people will easily notice. 

I wiped the water off my face and made way to the door when I heard my phone ring I tsked contemplating on whether to ignore it, I released the knob and followed the tune to where I  threw it.  I huffed as I took it from the ground,  the name I saw on it had me glowing from  inside  out.  I felt every broken piece within me mend.  I touched the answering pad and held it to my ear. 

“Asalamu alaikum” I closed my eyes as his voice resonated through my body “hello” I heard him say again,  “Wa alaika salam” I answered. 

Is this love?  I questioned myself, and when did I  fall into this nest of confusion?… 

FOR BETTER FOR BEST 

A year on……

SIXTEEN B

Cassie 

For better for best I’ve always sought, I had the best and held it loosely afraid holding it tight would make it mean more than it was. 

Totally clueless its worth was beyond my imagination. We obsess so much for worldly desires which only tends to makes us lose focus on our main purpose. 

The love of money makes us do so many absurdities which not only does the society frown on but the creator. 

Losing Steph has been the most painful thing I’d ever  endured, I would gladly  go through another surgery with no anesthetia to numb  the pain for the outer pain felt like a prick to the pain I felt inside.
Nora and mom took care of me at the hospital but didn’t talk to me,  it took a failed  suicide for them to realize I was depressed. 
I slowly wiped the tears that had made it to my cheek, my retribution is the love I now feel for him,  and being practically a zombie. 

The only thing I do is go to my mom’s shop when I have nothing to do at my farm. 

I took off the dirty gloves from my hand and washed them,  mom and I were throwing a surprise birthday party for Nora. 

I called the event planner as I drove into the city, she confirmed everything was ready.

  I frowned a bit when I got to the venue,  the place was eerily quiet,  it was almost time so people would troop in soon and from what I could make out no progress had been made,  I called again but the call went unanswered. 

I called mom’s line, it also went unanswered,  I was so  close  to losing my temper now. 

I opened the car door and walked out looking around if I could find anyone,  I walked straight to the door and was surprised to find it ajar. Maybe robbers attacked them,  the little light gleaming from my phone was what helped me move around. 

With the help of my phone I looked around the wall if I  could make out where the switch was, the room suddenly lit up.  I was surprised to find my name engraved symmetrically on the wall.

I tsked and started dialling the event planner’s number again. 

Maybe she made a mistake. 

                    ° …•…°…•…°…•…°

Heartbeats fast

Colors and promises

How to be brave

How can I love when I’m afraid to fall

But watching you stand alone

All of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow

One step closer

I have died everyday waiting for you

Darling don’t be afraid I have loved you

For a thousand years

I love you for a thousand more

*

I closed my eyes when the fragrance I’ve yearned for what seemed like eternity wafted through  my nostril as  Christina Perri’s song played in the background. I dragged a long breath giving in to the deception of my sense. 

Time stands still

Beauty in all she is

I will be brave

I will not let anything take away

What’s standing in front of me

Every breath

Every hour has come to this

One step closer

I have died everyday waiting for you

Darling don’t be afraid I have loved you

For a thousand years

I love you for a thousand more

And all along I believed I would find you

Time has brought your heart to me

I have loved you for a thousand years

I love you for a thousand more

“My life has been on a standstill since the day  I left you at the hospital” 

I turned abruptly almost losing my balance.  My senses seem to be in overdrive today my ears, eyes and nostrils seem to have taken the job away from my mind today  ,  I was the one at fault and I’ve regretted it with every breath I’ve taken in the past year.
One step closer

One step closer
He moved forward, and held my hand,  my eyes widened I tightened my hands around his,  “Please forgive me Steph,  don’t leave me again,  I regret all that I’ve done”  I touched his face, his beard seem to have thickened, he wrapped his arms around me I laid my head on his chest and closed my eyes, I reopened them looking up to his face afraid he might disappear if I kept them closed. 
“I’ll not leave,  sorry for punishing us this much” he whispered, wiping tears I didn’t even know I was shedding,  he  kissed my head as we slowly danced to the last part of the  song.

I have died everyday waiting for you

Darling don’t be afraid I have loved you

For a thousand years

I love you for a thousand more

And all along I believed I would find you

Time has brought your heart to me

I have loved you for a thousand years

I love you for a thousand more.

                ° …•…°…•…°…•…°
EPILOGUE
 I stood at the side of the altar in my  peach colored maiden of honor gown watching as my best friend got hitched to the player now turned committed fian-no husband.. I smiled at Steph, he looked very handsome  in his suit, I fanned my eyes to prevent the tear at the brink of my eyes fall. Nora’s eyes were filled with so much love and sincerity as she looked into the eyes of Steve while saying her vow.  

I wish I had been as much sincere during my wedding.  I stole a glance at Steve, and quickly looked away when our eyes met.  
Was he truly over what happened? ..

My heart sank when I realized what I really made him go through.
I didn’t talk to him during the short car ride to the reception,  I bolted out of the car to the ladies immediately it stopped.

Mom and Steph were the first I saw  on the dance floor when I reentered the hall,  they were laughing and dancing,  Steph was not a good dancer especially to the hi-life song that was playing. He stilled and looked around,  I returned the huge smile plastered on his face when our eyes met. He bent and said something in mom’s ear then made a beeline to where I was.  

“Hey beautiful” I chuckled at his greeting “what is a beautiful lady  like you doing alone don’t you have a boyfriend?” I shrugged struggling to keep a straight face,  “Hope no one will beat me up when I dance with you, can I have this dance?” he asked as the song changed to a slow R’n’B. 

He dipped his head down and kissed the little bare space between my neck and shoulder, he held my chin up looking deep into my eyes.

“Nothing really matters to me as long as I have you,  never doubt my love for you,  don’t dwell on our past mistakes, the past will forever stay where it is,  what we are obliged to do is focus on the present cos it determines the future,  I love you Cassie, that’s what really matters”

That was all I needed then to clear my doubts,  he loved me and that’s all that matter.  “I love you too” he smiled and pecked me on the cheek. 
I patted my tummy discreetly praying my suspicions were right. 

I looked to where the bride and her groom were seated,  she gave me a thumbs up , Steph being who he was winked at me,  I gave them a smile and looked around mom was in a  deep conversation with Nora’s mom,  her dad was at the other side with a bunch of his friends. Almost every guest was either from mom’s,  Nora’s parents,  my farm or Steph’s company, with others from Senior high or tertiary. 

I looked back at Steph whose eyes were on me all the while,  I tightened the hold I had around his and rested my head on his chest listening to the rhythmical beat of his heart.  

THE END

FOR BETTER FOR BEST 

A year on……

SIXTEEN B

Cassie 

For better for best I’ve always sought, I had the best and held it loosely afraid holding it tight would make it mean more than it was. 

Totally clueless its worth was beyond my imagination. We obsess so much for worldly desires which only tends to makes us lose focus on our main purpose. 

The love of money makes us do so many absurdities which not only does the society frown on but the creator. 

Losing Steph has been the most painful thing I’d ever  endured, I would gladly  go through another surgery with no anesthetia to numb  the pain for the outer pain felt like a prick to the pain I felt inside.

Nora and mom took care of me at the hospital but didn’t talk to me,  it took a failed  suicide for them to realize I was depressed. 

I slowly wiped the tears that had made it to my cheek, my retribution is the love I now feel for him,  and being practically a zombie. 

The only thing I do is go to my mom’s shop when I have nothing to do at my farm. 

I took off the dirty gloves from my hand and washed them,  mom and I were throwing a surprise birthday party for Nora. 

I called the event planner as I drove into the city, she confirmed everything was ready.

  I frowned a bit when I got to the venue,  the place was eerily quiet,  it was almost time so people would troop in soon and from what I could make out no progress had been made,  I called again but the call went unanswered. 

I called mom’s line, it also went unanswered,  I was so  close  to losing my temper now. 

I opened the car door and walked out looking around if I could find anyone,  I walked straight to the door and was surprised to find it ajar. Maybe robbers attacked them,  the little light gleaming from my phone was what helped me move around. 

With the help of my phone I looked around the wall if I  could make out where the switch was, the room suddenly lit up.  I was surprised to find my name engraved symmetrically on the wall.

I tsked and started dialling the event planner’s number again. 

Maybe she made a mistake. 

                    ° …•…°…•…°…•…°

Heartbeats fast

Colors and promises
How to be brave

How can I love when I’m afraid to fall

But watching you stand alone

All of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow

One step closer

I have died everyday waiting for you

Darling don’t be afraid I have loved you

For a thousand years

I love you for a thousand more
*
I closed my eyes when the fragrance I’ve yearned for what seemed like eternity wafted through  my nostril as  Christina Perri’s song played in the background. I dragged a long breath giving in to the deception of my sense. 

Time stands still

Beauty in all she is

I will be brave

I will not let anything take away

What’s standing in front of me

Every breath

Every hour has come to this

One step closer

I have died everyday waiting for you

Darling don’t be afraid I have loved you

For a thousand years

I love you for a thousand more

And all along I believed I would find you

Time has brought your heart to me

I have loved you for a thousand years

I love you for a thousand more

“My life has been on a standstill since the day  I left you at the hospital” 

I turned abruptly almost losing my balance.  My senses seem to be in overdrive today my ears, eyes and nostrils seem to have taken the job away from my mind today  ,  I was the one at fault and I’ve regretted it with every breath I’ve taken in the past year.

 
One step closer

One step closer

He moved forward, and held my hand,  my eyes widened I tightened my hands around his,  “Please forgive me Steph,  don’t leave me again,  I regret all that I’ve done”  I touched his face, his beard seem to have thickened, he wrapped his arms around me I laid my head on his chest and closed my eyes, I reopened them looking up to his face afraid he might disappear if I kept them closed. 

“I’ll not leave,  sorry for punishing us this much” he whispered, wiping tears I didn’t even know I was shedding,  he  kissed my head as we slowly danced to the last part of the  song.

I have died everyday waiting for you

Darling don’t be afraid I have loved you

For a thousand years

I love you for a thousand more

And all along I believed I would find you

Time has brought your heart to me

I have loved you for a thousand years

I love you for a thousand more.

                ° …•…°…•…°…•…°

EPILOGUE

 I stood at the side of the altar in my  peach colored maiden of honor gown watching as my best friend got hitched to the player now turned committed fian-no husband.. I smiled at Steph, he looked very handsome  in his suit, I fanned my eyes to prevent the tear at the brink of my eyes fall. Nora’s eyes were filled with so much love and sincerity as she looked into the eyes of Steve while saying her vow.  
I wish I had been as much sincere during my wedding.  I stole a glance at Steve, and quickly looked away when our eyes met.  
Was he truly over what happened? 

My heart sank when I realized what I really made him go through.
I didn’t talk to him during the short car ride to the reception,  I bolted out of the car to the ladies immediately it stopped.

Mom and Steph were the first I saw  on the dance floor when I reentered the hall,  they were laughing and dancing,  Steph was not a good dancer especially to the hi-life song that was playing. He stilled and looked around,  I returned the huge smile plastered on his face when our eyes met. He bent and said something in mom’s ear then made a beeline to where I was.  
“Hey beautiful” I chuckled at his greeting “what is a beautiful lady  like you doing alone don’t you have a boyfriend?” I shrugged struggling to keep a straight face,  “Hope no one will beat me up when I dance with you, can I have this dance?” he asked as the song changed to a slow R’n’B. 

He dipped his head down and kissed the little bare space between my neck and shoulder, he held my chin up looking deep into my eyes.

“Nothing really matters to me as long as I have you,  never doubt my love for you,  don’t dwell on our past mistakes, the past will forever stay where it is,  what we are obliged to do is focus on the present cos it determines the future,  I love you Cassie, that’s what really matters”
That was all I needed then to clear my doubts,  he loved me and that’s all that matter.  “I love you too” he smiled and pecked me on the cheek. 
I patted my tummy discreetly praying my suspicions were right. 
I looked to where the bride and her groom were seated,  she gave me a thumbs up , Steph being who he was winked at me,  I gave them a smile and looked around mom was in a  deep conversation with Nora’s mom,  her dad was at the other side with a bunch of his friends. Almost every guest was either from mom’s,  Nora’s parents,  my farm or Steph’s company, with others from Senior high or tertiary. 
I looked back at Steph who’s eyes were on me all the while,  I tightened the hold I had around his and rested my head on his chest listening to the rhythmical beat of his heart.  

THE END

FOR BETTER FOR BEST 

SIXTEEN 

HE PACED THE HALL FOR WHAT SEEM LIKE HOURS,  how could he lose her when he just had her,  for the last months he’d prayed fervently for her return he was quite disappointed with  her cold shoulder treatment, but he still loved her, her eyes seemed haunted when she returned but he didn’t want her to feel coerced to tell him what was wrong with her,  he just prayed it wasn’t something serious.
 

He wondered if it was about her spendings, he would gladly give her more she was extravagant by nature.

For all he cared she could spend whatever she wanted besides  he couldn’t spend all the money he made alone, that was why they were partners they are meant to help each.
  

He smashed his fist to the wall hissing in pain afterwards.  “Stop that Steph I understand you are impatient  but self harm will only delay our stay here,  let’s just pray for her” Mrs Yawson chastised..
  
He took short deep breaths  to relax himself then looked skyward closing his eyes.  

He wasn’t a church enthusiast but he was a firm believer of  miracles of the Lord,  He’d saved him in more ways than he could count and although he seldom prayed he wished with all his heart that Cassie will be saved. 

After patrolling almost every part of the  hallway he finally sat close to Mrs Yawson and held her hand tightly,  she looked at his fear stricken face and nodded.  She was scared herself,  Cassie was all she had she might have been angry when she left her husband for months but at the end of the day she was her little girl. 

They both bolted from their seats when the Doctor came out “Doctor what’s happening hope she’s okay” Steph asked hurriedly, the doctor looked over at where Mrs Yawson  was,  “She’s my daughter” she hurriedly  answered the unasked question,  “Well your wife had a miscarriage but it was a complicated one,  the foetus couldn’t settle in the uterus because of the IUD she had” Steph blinked in confusion how could she have an IUD when they have  never discussed family planning infact he’s been enthusiastic about having kids since the day they tied the knot. 

“She was lucky the foetus was only 8 weeks old or the split in her fallopian tube would have been worse” Steph slumped heavily on the chair from the sudden dizziness that hit him,  he felt like his brain was on fire, he was in a whole different world, how could she be 2 months pregnant when the last time they had intercourse was barely 4 months.

Mrs Yawson furrowed her brows in deep thought,  Cassie had not been in the country for over two months how could she be pregnant for her husband or did he meet up with Cassie somewhere.

He took in  deep breaths to slow his rapid heart beat.  Cassie couldn’t do that to him,  it was a mistake,  she was not two months pregnant, or could the semen stay in the womb for some time before fertilisation?.

***

She couldn’t look him in the eyes when he entered the room,  she’d feigned to be asleep the whole for the past 6 hrs,  whatever anesthesia she’d been injected with was suppose to wear off since morning. 

He sat on the stool at the head of the bed looking at her frail frame, she’d lost weight in the past 48 hours.  
She finally turned her face to him,  tears already running down her cheeks,  he finally knew her secret.
He shook his head when she opened her mouth,  “I’m not going to tell your mom” she was a bit relieved but couldn’t sigh,  the woman would have been disappointed, she knew she was a disappointment to her mom and herself,  she could never hold a candle to the woman who birthed her. 
Her dad left them when she was young but that didn’t deter the woman in any way.  She worked her back to give the best to her daughter. 

She tried to smile but burst into tears,  he marveled at his bravado he was boiling inside, but still pitied her,  her tears tore and soothed him at the same time,  he wished to just wake up and realize it was all a bad dream.
               «»   «»   «»  «»

FOR BETTER FOR BEST 

FIFTEEN .

TWO WEEKS LATER

 

IT’S BEEN TWO WEEKS SINCE I  CAME BACK HOME,  and my relationship with Steph has not improved in anyway,  I couldn’t muster the courage to tell him I’d slept with another man,  the jet lag coupled with guilt and the silent treatment I received from both mom and Nora was eating me up. 

Steph was getting fed up I could tell,  I’ve practically turned down all advances he’s made on me,  my conscience wouldn’t make me open up,  telling mom would be the worse mistake I’ll ever make,  with how furious she is now she won’t think twice before beating me to pulp,  Nora worked with Steph and she was also angry with me already,  she tends to act stupid when angry,  I can never tell if she’ll run to mom or Steph with the news after I tell her. 

I sighed in frustration and fell backwards on the bed almost  bumping my head on the headboard,  I’ve never deemed myself perfect,  I know I’ve always despised working and poverty,  I might have married Steph for the wrong reasons but the guy has supported me even when he was the one being treated unfairly by me. 

Not once has he ever complained on my spendings,  I don’t know the amount he stacks in my account but not once has it ever run out even when I went on the doomed voyage spree.

‘You knew that all along but still cheated on him’ the humane part of my conscience chastised,  I made up my mind then to tell him the truth,  he at least deserved the truth from me.

 This relationship has been one sided anyway,  the only time I showed him love was before marriage .
I rose from the bed and made way to the closet,  then stopped when I remembered everything there was bought by him.

God, mom never raised me to be like this she was a strong independent woman, she has worked day and night just so I’ll get a good education,  yet look how I’ve turned out. 

I walked to the bathroom and showered,  Steph was almost home I had to finish up before he came. 

I wore a simple knee length white dress, then took my phone,  there was no need for makeup or anything and the little balance I had on my mobile money account should be enough to support me for a few weeks. 

I frowned when I heard a car pull up at the lot,  Steph was home already I  had to get this thing over and done with. 
I held the banister looking down to the front door,  then started descending the stairs when I saw the knob turn. I made it downstairs before he came in. 

The house was quiet,  I went to the kitchen when I heard the thud of his shoes, the fridge was stocked up with soups and stews and occasional left overs,  I poured a cup of rice in the rice cooker to cook then took  a bowl of stew from the fridge to heat. 

Maybe he’d be more understanding after eating,  I heaved a sigh and went to the living room again, he had  gone upstairs then,  I sat on the couch contemplating whether  to follow him there then convince him to join me or just forget about the matter all together besides there was no way I could get pregnant.  
I looked around the house, admiring the architectural prowess of whoever designed it,  it might also  be the last I’m seeing it too.

I then went upstairs to the master bedroom.  He was lying on the bed with both hands covering his face.  I admired his handsome stature and wondered why I never fell for him like I was suppose to. 

I cleared my throat and smiled when he removed his hands  from his face. He seemed surprised but smiled back and patted the space next to him I shook my head and beckoned him to stand with my index finger,  I burst in laughter when he started twisting his lips sideways looking skyward like he was in deep thought. 
“To whom  does this humble servant hold the honor to be  visited by this beautiful angel”

“God Steph your food will get cold” I said a bit exasperated,  “And she cooked for me Hallelujah” he threw his hands in the air as if he was giving  testimony. 

I suddenly became saddened by his reaction, he is suppose to be angry with me,  I’ve never cooked for him.  “I only cooked the rice though” I felt the need to remind him as we made our way downstairs.

 I made him sit at the dinning area then went to the kitchen to bring the food. 

***

He might have felt me tense when he took the first bite,  he closed his eyes as he chowed the food moaning and nodding,  “will have to tell you this is the most delicious food I’ve ever tasted” I shook my head and chuckled: “at this juncture I know you are lying Steph I only boiled the rice and it was in the rice cooker,  stop exaggerating”  he chuckled and shook his head then brought a spoonful to my mouth “Come on ahhh” I smiled and opened my lips,  I wonder if he’ll be this way after I tell him what really happened. 

………

I came back and sat on the chair I was occupying after I’d finished washing the plates. 

Steph was typing something on his phone but placed it down immediately I took my seat. 

“Steph I’m sorry for all that I’ve made you gone through,  I’ve not been a good wife and ……”

I closed my eyes tightly when I felt a sharp pain in my abdomen,  my head started throbbing and my vision blurry . 
Lord if it’s my time to die, please grant me a little time to ask for forgiveness.