Kate walked to the hall with napkin in hands. She stood behind Kwaku and wiped her hands. She tiptoed and kissed him lightly on the lips. He chuckled and pulled her onto his lap, taking her lips fully and longer. He pulled away and passed his hand over her face. She cuddled against him, petite and satisfied. He kissed her forehead and stared ahead. They stayed like that for minutes. Kate looked into his eyes. Since the affair, she’s been scared to read them. She perhaps was still struggling a bit to trust them. Or rather to trust what they say. Kwaku caught her gaze and stared back.
He said, lifting himself so Kate sat straight a bit. She nodded. There’s no use lying. Kwaku has known her all of Med school plus two years of marriage. Should he make up his mind, he can decode every gesture of hers.
Kwaku said softly and kissed her nose. His voice held so much regret and some traces of guilt. Kate nodded, a tear stealing onto her cheek. She sniffed and holding Kwaku’s face with both hands, pressed her lips against his. She allowed the feeling to linger and then laid back against him. She wished this will solve everything. She’s dreamed about moments like this when afterwards the past will cease to exist, cease to haunt, when everything will be fine.
“I am sorry.”
Kate said. Kwaku shook his head and eyed her. He wrapped his arms around her and held her in an embrace.
He listened to her heart beat – soft yet racing. How deep gone is the damage done her? He doesn’t cease thinking about it. Sleeping in separate rooms shouldn’t have been exactly the solution in situations like this but he preferred it. He’s even scared thinking they’d be back in the same room today. They’ll share a bed again. It is easier waking and not seeing Kate’s face looking like it does nowadays – most of the glow dead. The thought seemed to upset his chest. Series of coughs hit it. Kate jumped up and grabbed the box of tissue on the coffee table beside the settee they sat in. She crawled off his lap and sat next to him.
Kwaku set the box of tissue down and Kate.
“You didn’t have to jump off like I’m some shaka.”
“My husband couldn’t take the intensity from me. I was saving his life.”
“I love you too.”
Kate laughed and put on the TV. She left the channel on 6. Aljazeera was her second after Max TV, first to it if they weren’t airing Criminal Minds or Castle. Kwaku snatched the remote control from her and laughed. Within a flash, he was grinning at Sports TV. Kate rolled her eyes and hugged her knees, her face looking on sadly. Kwaku shot her a look and smirked.
“Please don’t give me that look. This match could be a repeat. Let me check it out.”
Kwaku stared at the TV screen and tossed the remote into Kate’s hands.
“Not just a repeat. Also they’ve already played 85 minutes. Few more to go.”
Kate stifled a teasing laughter.
She was on Max TV within a split second. Kwaku stifled an emerging ourtburst of laughter when the disappointment took full form over her face.
“Dr. Who? When is Castle now then?”
Kwaku shook his head.
Kate pressed the power button in a heartbeat and threw the remote into the settee adjacent her.
“It’s alright. I’ve got news to brighten up the night anyway.”
Kwaku took her hands. Kate brightened.
“I’ve got news too.”
Kwaku pushed away and stretched his leg unto the sofa. His knee barely making it on the space. He lay on Kate’s lap. He studied her eyes, holding on to them and grinned.
He said, pinching Kate on the knee.
Kate rubbed her knees and pulled Kwaku’s nose in revenge.
Kwaku turned face down and pinched her a second time.
Kate shoved his hand away.
“I’m Ghanaian. Agyeei.”
Kwaku laughed, turned face up and kissed Kate quick.
“You first still.”
Kwaku whispered and lay on his side. Kate feigned disbelief and sighed.
“I met your friend, Sule. The Paps inn owner.”
“Apparently they are losing out on business so they hired Target to help them with marketing and all. He was with Dzidzor Monday and Tuesday.”
“Two meetings? Is it that intensive?”
“I can’t tell but they rescheduled because he was late.”
Kwaku lay on his back and looked up at Kate.
“Sule was late? He was our clock at GIMPA.”
“Dzidzor said he apologised and explained about the delay and his face said he hated he showed up late even more than she Dzidzor did.”
Kate’s tone shrilled in excitement.
“But that’s not the big deal. I think they’d hit it off. Sule commented on Dzidzor’s post on IG. An unfair comment. And he didn’t even know it was her. After the meeting on Monday, he did. On Tuesday he asked Dzidzor out to a gym he seems to co-own from what Dzidzor told me later and I was right there on time to say yes to it.”
“You’re matching them?”
“Kwaku they’d make such a cute couple. Dzidzor is already thinking of going on a proper exercise plan to cut down the weight. Sule co-owns and gyms so regularly. Don’t tell me the picture isn’t forming in your mind.”
“I won’t say it isn’t. But Kate quit pairing Dzidzor. You pioneered this Junior agenda a while and he came out bad.”
“I regretfully did till his status as a jerk was clearly arrived at.”
Kwaku passed his fingers over his brows and put on a serious face.
“I totally agree with you.”
Kate poked him.
“Quit playing. Your turn now.”
Kwaku cleared his throat and run his teeth over his lips a few times.
“Wait.” Kate covered his mouth, smiling childishly. “Did I mention they’re going to the gym tomorrow morning?” Kwaku shook his head hard. “Then I have now. Go on. You said work.”
Kwaku cleared his throat again.
“Yes. Work called today. Same reason why I rushed out early Tuesday morning. But rather than my occasional help, they want me on the case.”
“But sweetheart, the leave isn’t over till some two more weeks and we’re barely settling in and now about sharing a bed again, you know. I don’t know.”
“Yes Kate. I told them all that but the last.”
“I hate to say but yes.”
“Okay. Let’s have devotion and go to bed. I have a pile to wash tomorrow.”
Kate lifted Kwaku’s head. He got up and took her hands.
“Don’t be like that.”
Kwaku made faces, trying to get her to smile. Kate smiled, looking away with tears in her eyes. She’s gotten used to having him at home, not having to worry about other women straying around him. She’s never prepared properly for when his leave ends and work resumes. Somehow, she has believed it won’t come. Help me be strong Lord. Kate shut her eyes briefly and looked at Kwaku.
“Thanks. But there’s a bit more.”
“We’re working in teams of two. I’ve been paired with a new lady.”
Kate rubbed her neck, tugging at her hair. She blew out some air and smiled broadly at Kwaku.
“I’m fine. I mean fine. I trust you.”
She said, reassuring herself more than she was him.
Kweku kissed the back of her palms softly and studied her. He knew what could be happening down in heart. The waters could be raging violently as he couldn’t imagine.
“Kate. I said yes before I got all the details. I never imagined a simple political case over campaign mantra will call for such intense arrangements.”
Kate propped herself up and kissed him lightly. She has to understand. One affair can’t cloud all the beauty they share. She has to wrestle to evacuate the deep seated fear in her soul and she will.
“1 Corinthians 13:4?”
“Yes Sir.” Kate smiled, hoping the dark clouds bullying to rain on her marriage will shift. “I don’t know why you insist we do a verse a day though.”
“I don’t know too. Just makes more sense. We’d redo the whole paragraph when we’re done with the single verses anyway. And about Sule, for love’s sake you should know. He has a childhood sweetheart called Tara.”
Kwaku nodded and signaled his lips are zipped.
“I’m not saying anything more.”
Kate laughed. Kwaku took the bible from the shelf yet to be moved to a study and picked up two bibles. He sat and signaled Kate. They both bowed their head. Kate prayed.
“Lord we are grateful for marriage, for the privilege to show the world your immense love for your church. Let the undying relationship you have with her be true for us. Let us grow in love as we learn from your words that give life.”
Kate paused. They both chorused Amen. They both flipped to the verse and looked intently. Hope flashing off their faces. Kwaku prepared to read the verse, his heart breaking and swelling at the same time. He should have admitted his weakness with women to Kate long ago, first day of their marriage. Rather he waited till months after when a one-night affair brought him to his knees. He marred their first year and is praying the stain is removed somehow – what arrogance has cost him. Their second honeymoon, a new home, are all moves, his to help Kate lose the memory.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant…”
As he read and Kate listened, there was a single truth that was resonating across their hearts and minds – their love is worth working for and they’ll in patience, kindness and humility, one day after the other.
©M’afua Awo Twumwaah 2016.