A GOOD LOVING WIFE.

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SHORT STORY Oct. 22, 2020

The powerless seek power.

The Undesired, desire.

The Unloved, love. 

 

What about you?

What do you seek?

 

This is the third time you have asked me that question. 

Do you hope that I will have a different answer for you this time? 

An answer that will satisfy you? That will make you feel like you know me a little more? 

If so, then tell me what you want to hear, and I will tell you. 

Maybe then, you can finally leave me alone. 

But for now, I will tell you what I have always told you. I seek nothing, never have, never will. Perhaps that’s what hard for you to believe. That I could be satisfied with the way my life is. 

How unhuman. To not seek love, or success, or power. Yes, it might be unhuman, almost unbelievable, but this is me. You get what you get, and you got a satisfied woman. 

Forgive me, but I think that should be a good thing, right? To have a woman who is not constantly chasing waterfalls. 

A woman who sits pretty, makes your home pretty, cooks for you, cleans for you, waits for you when you come home from work. A woman who is satisfied with her life with you. 

Isn’t that what you want? 

Or what else do you want? What do you want me to seek? What do you, yourself, seek? 

Money? You got plenty. 

Success? You just got a promotion last year. 

A good loving wife? Well, you got me. 

But that is not enough for you, is it?. Every Friday for the past three weeks, you come home, drunk, and ask the same question. 

Never in the same manner though. 

The first Friday, when I held you as you staggered to our bedroom; then I brought you water to sober you up, you looked at me, drunkenly, and asked the question for the first time. 

“Do I satisfy you?” you started. 

I laughed. Of course, you satisfied me. Why else would I be here?

My laughter was not the answer you wanted though.  

“I overheard someone in the office today saying how much housewives are really sad women. That they have no life of their own. Instead, they are like leeches who cling to their husbands’ lives and hope that they will make them happy. Is that who you are? A sad leech?”

That was the first time someone had compared me to an animal, and to make matters worse, it was a leech. But you are my husband. Of course, you didn’t mean it. You just wanted clarification, which I gladly provided. 

No, I was not a sad leech. I had my own life. My own family. My own friends. I was not in any way a leech, happy, or sad. 

“But are you happy with this life? Is there something else you seek?”

I said No, and then you muttered something under your breath and dozed off before I had time to mention the special fried chicken waiting for you in the kitchen. It was no big deal though. So what if I had to look for KFC’s recipe because you mentioned once how you would die for their fried chicken?

So what if I had prepared it for hours; getting burnt at one point with the hot oil, messing up the first few pieces, and had to start all over again?

You are my husband, and I understood that you were drunk. If not, maybe you would have had a bite. 

Maybe.

 It’s not like you eat here anyway even though I always cook for you. 

The Friday that followed, the same routine. You staggered in, headed for the bedroom, and asked for water. This time I had prepared matoke and beef stew. I know that was your favorite meal before your mum died. She was the one who used to cook it just the way you liked it. 

Before I had a chance to tell you about how I called several of your relatives and finally got your mother’s recipe for the matoke and beef stew though, you started;

“What did you want to be when you were a kid?”

Here we go again, I thought. Then, after a while; 

“A good loving wife.”

You snickered. There was no way that was my dream, you said. Your eyes looked at me differently. Trying to figure me out.

“I think you are not telling me something. Why don’t you want me to know you?”

“Of course, you know me. We have been married for five years.” I laughed, nervous.

“No. There is something else you are not telling me. What do you want from life? Everyone wants something. What do you seek?”

I opened my mouth to say I seek nothing, but you were already snoring. I took the glass of water back to the kitchen and then ate the matoke and beef stew like it was my last meal. 

Today is the third Friday. You came in, drunk as always. But this time, something was different. You were not staggering. Your breath did not smell of alcohol. You did not head straight for the bedroom but rather, sat in the living room. 

I smiled, thinking of how patience always pays. I rushed to the kitchen, this time certain you will eat the fish stew and ugali I had prepared for you. 

I set the table, all the while humming happily. You were silent, but it did not matter. Silence was better than drunkenness. 

“Come eat,” I said, and for the first time in forever, you came. 

But you did not eat. Instead, you came over to where I was standing, held me by the chin, and looked deep in my brown eyes. 

“Who are you?” you asked. 

I started to laugh, then when I saw you were serious, I knew you were not as sober as I had thought earlier. 

“I am your wife. Stop being weird, and come eat. Look, I prepared fish stew for you. You like fish, don’t you?”

Your eyes shifted from mine to the table, and then, back to mine; crazy, quizzical. 

“There is no food there,” you said. 

“Of course, there is. Look.”

What were you not seeing? The fish was there, and the ugali, and the two plates, clearly set. Why were you not seeing it?

“Who are you?” you asked again, your hold on my chin getting stronger. 

I opened my mouth, ready to tell you I was your wife, and that you might have had a little too much to drink but then, you beat me to it;

“Don’t tell me you are my wife. My wife is dead.” You said with such finality in your voice I had to laugh. 

Of course, I was not dead. I was there. Were you not holding me by the chin?

That’s what I should have said. Instead, you made me doubt my existence, so I could only look back at you, my eyes blank. 

“What are you talking about?” I asked when I finally found my voice. 

You let go of my chin and then walked over to the drawer where I keep my documents. From it, you removed a booklet, and then returned to me. 

“See. See? You are dead.”

The booklet turned out to be a funeral program.

Teresa Mumbi.

Good, Loving Wife. 

1991-2020. 

It said. 

At the front cover, a picture of me in that blue dress I have always hated. Inside, a program line-up; a list of prayers, a list of songs, my family history, our history, my history. 

This could not be real. This cannot be real. 

“But, but, I am not dead,” I laughed, my voice faltering. 

By that time, you were pacing up and down, scratching the back of your head, clearly stressed. 

“I don’t know. I don’t know Teresa. What I do know is that my wife passed on two months ago. Yet, for the past three Fridays, I come home, and I find you here. Talking to me. Telling me things. Touching me even. I have always thought it was the drugs I get from that new doctor ,you know. But then, I have not been taking them lately, yet, still, here you are. Who are you? What do you want? What do you seek from me?”

This is the third time you have asked me that question. 

Do you hope that I will have a different answer for you this time?

 An answer that will satisfy both of us? That will make you know me a little bit more? 

If so, then tell me what I am supposed to say. Tell me, and I will say it. Maybe then, I will finally leave you alone. 

by Amanda Nechesa 61

Comments

  • 34

    Aug. 19, 2020, 10:09 p.m.

    Weuh

    Reply
  • Maciler

    Aug. 19, 2020, 11:59 p.m.

    WTH!! Now my head hurts๐Ÿ˜‚

    Reply
  • Ajay

    Aug. 20, 2020, 5:24 a.m.

    Damn.๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿ™†

    Reply
  • Sofiya

    Aug. 20, 2020, 6:32 a.m.

    I was relating and nodding and seeing how true that is until death came around๐Ÿ˜Ÿ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ and I had to stop relating yes I approve the brain is fired

    Reply
  • Macharya

    Aug. 20, 2020, 4:47 p.m.

    This is such a woven story! The plot is fabulous and the development unparalleled. I'm taking notes๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚โšก

    Reply
  • Cynthia

    Aug. 20, 2020, 4:53 p.m.

    All I can say is Daaaamnn๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ

    Reply
  • Darwin Wanjiru

    Aug. 21, 2020, 8:33 a.m.

    Your brain is fired๐Ÿ˜‚, well mine is fried๐Ÿ˜‚ I love the story and the development...breathtaking mazee!ย 

    Reply
  • Embiel Cardenas

    Aug. 21, 2020, 10:30 a.m.

    What are this emotions I'm feeling?ย 

    Reply
  • Mutarura

    Aug. 25, 2020, 7:29 p.m.

    Wow! I didn't expect that but I love it anyway!

    Reply

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