BY SHEILLAH MAONGA
To read part one, click here
They got in the car in relative silence. None of them was talking to the other. The atmosphere between them was thick with resentment. The meeting had passed a decree that they should live together once more as man and wife, but it had not tackled the bad blood between them. Each of them privately wondered how they were going to live together in the same house. It had sounded like a promising idea at the meeting, but faced with the practicality of it all, it now sounded like a bad idea.
Their parents were the ones that had requested for the meeting. He was not in support of it, but he was talked round to it. He thought it went really well. He had feared that he would be roasted live for his behaviour, but what a pleasant surprise when his transgressions were brushed past without mention. He felt so relieved afterwards. Overally, he was glad that the meeting had taken place.
Nafula was rounded up to the meeting. She had resisted it vehemently the day she had been told about it. Her stand had not changed, but the powers had overruled her, and that is how she had found herself at that meeting.
She hated every minute of it. It was an exercise in humiliation. She had not been allowed to speak. It was a taboo. A spokesperson had been appointed to talk on her behalf. This was an old aunt that was biased in favour of the man. Yet here she was going to be Nafula’s mouthpiece. Nafula knew that she had lost before they even started. The aunt had eagerly promised to forgive Wakoli all his misdemeanours and move back into the family home immediately.
Nafula still felt enraged towards the aunt. The aunt didn’t consult with Nafula at any one time. She just gave her answers as she deemed fit. This is why the meeting ordered Nafula to return to the marriage, because the aunt indicated that it was Nafula’s desires.
She was deep in thought but was able to realize that he had turned off the main road. This was not the way to Nairobi.
“Where are we going?” She asked him, breaking the silence between them.
“We are going to see the twins.” He answered.
“Why are you asking why? Because they are our daughters.” He replied with incredulity.
“Of course, I know they are our daughters. I am just wondering why you are interested in visiting them today. You have never shown this interest before. Why now?”
“I have never refused to visit them. It is because my work is busy, then they are girls, they need their mother more than they need me.”
“This is not what you said when you insisted that they stay with you during the holidays. Then, you were not keen to say that they need me more than they need you.” Nafula reminded him.
“Nafula, I don’t want to fight. We have a long drive ahead of us. If we start fighting now, how is the rest of the journey going to be? Let us just go see our daughters. It is a good thing. Do not make it sound like a bad thing.” Wakoli said.
“Stop making it look like I am looking for a fight. It is not visiting our daughters that I am against. It is the ambush that I don’t like. Do you know that this is a school? We just don’t turn up unannounced.”
“Let me find somewhere to stop and call the headteacher to inform her. She is my aunt, after all. Then, it won’t be unannounced.” Wakoli said.
“It is not just the headteacher. The girls also could be busy.”
“Listen to yourself, Nafula. Teenage girls busy on a Sunday in a boarding school? Too busy not to be visited?”
“We have no shopping.” Nafula said resignedly.
“You have issues, Nafula. I have nothing else to say.”
“Issues? Did you say I have issues? Tell me again, Wakoli. Say it to my face, loudly and clearly, that I have issues. I want to hear it.” Nafula wailed.
“Don’t start, Nafula. Let me turn the car back we head to Nairobi. I really don’t have time for this.” Wakoli retorted.
As they pulled to the school car park, they saw their daughters waiting for them. The headteacher must have informed them already. Nafula felt a surge of warmth in her being. These were her babies. They were growing up so fast. She felt both sad and happy about that.
They parked the car and got out. The girls walked to them urgently.
“What’s wrong? Who died? Is it our Rosie? What happened? The headmistress said you were coming. I panicked. What happened to Rosie? I’m going to scream this minute.” Phyllis spoke hurriedly.
“Phyllis, stop it. No one died. Stop the drama. Don’t scream. I have told you to stop panicking.” Fiona chastised her.
“I am panicking, Fiona. Something is deeply wrong somewhere. I am panicking.” Phyllis continued.
“I know you are. But take a deep breath to control it. Take a deep breath.” Fiona said soothingly.
Phyllis took a deep breath.
“Take another one.” Fiona commanded.