Determination – Part 11
By Thiyam Ningol Dr. Nalini
Alex told the truth-he never ever doubted that the single episode could have made Grace pregnant. He could not and would not forget that moment but as life went on, it had remained as a sweet memory buried deep down his heart. He told John how Arnold came in his family’s life.
-Now, tell me why you called me.
-I need your help.
-I am here.
-Day before yesterday I went to see her and after seeing me, she fainted. I am afraid of going to her but I need to. I want her to punish me, I have to confess, I have to apologise. I will do anything to make her life safer. I have sinned….. He broke down.
John did not know what to do. He had never encountered such a situation. It was easy to console a lady-he could hug; he could provide a handkerchief to wipe her tears, talk sweet lies and consoling words. But with a man--- he felt very uncomfortable. He had to change the atmosphere anyhow.
-Let me kill you first. I told you if I find out the man who made her pregnant, I will kill him.
-You said you will kill the bastard.
Alex smiled and apologized for the unprecedented conduct. They both laughed.
-Its like a novel, my God. I will be more than happy to help you two to unite. But what about your wife?
-I don’t know. That is why I am asking for your help.
Alex told John about Lucy’s change of behaviour. He suspected that Lucy had sensed something in him. She had noticed how every time the mention of Arnold’s name had made him uncomfortable. He told John also that she was up to something, perhaps trying to find out why Arnold came to work in their house.
-But she does not know where to find Arnold.
-Yes but she knows it was Bakari who introduced Arnold to us. I know my wife, she won’t leave Bakari.
They agreed to meet later after John visit Grace and convey Alex whatever information he could collect from her.
Lucy came to visit Grace for the third time in a week. This time she was not alone. She decided to take her daughters along. The moment the children stepped in the restaurant, they shouted with joy and they both rushed to their Aunt Grace. Lucy remained standing at the entrance door. She felt jealous, envy and happy at the same time. She had never seen her children so free and close to anybody. She saw Grace hugging both her daughters, kissing them in turn and the children competing to draw her attention. It took few minutes for Grace to notice that Lucy was standing. She came to welcome Lucy with the two girls clinging on her sides.
-These are my…… Grace wanted to introduce the children.
-These are my daughters-Lucy interrupted.
-So you are Bakari’s mother?
-No, I am Bakari’s employer. He works as house boy in my house.
Grace looked at Lucy with disbelief. No word spoken. But Lucy understood.
- Yes, he is my servant. I think Bakari and your son Arnold had played a game against us. I want to know what was it and I hope you can help me to find out.
Grace was confused. She could not utter a single word. The children were asking for something. She did not hear them properly.
-Come on children. Let’s go and sit in the corner table. Leave your aunty to work.
-We want juice---the children were talking to Grace.
The mention of juice made Grace realize she had not offered the children any thing, her children had not received juices on that day. On other days, the moment the children came in, Grace would take them to the juice dispensers, each would select the juice they preferred by looking at the colours. Grace would walk around with them while greeting the customers.
-Oh! Good lord. I am so sorry. Come, let’s go and select the juice. While they were filling the glasses, John walked in. Grace felt relieved. At least John would be able to distract her from the confusion with Lucy and her servant’s story. Lucy was observing them from behind.
-Hello John! How are you? Come and give us company for lunch. I am with the children -Lucy wanted to break the still atmosphere with Grace.
John looked towards the direction of the voice and saw Lucy. He stood motionless, as if caught red handed while trying to do some evil act.
-Thank you. I will just get some take away and have to rush somewhere.
When he looked at Grace, he realized the children with whom Grace was busy with was Alex’s children.
-So, you know each other?
-Yap. He is my husband’s old buddy. They studied together.
John wanted to talk to Alex urgently. He wanted to run away from the two ladies. He bought some bites in a hurry and left. Grace noticed that John’s behaviour was unusual. Every time he visit Grace, he would, at least spend an hour. He would help her auditing, discuss few problems of life and talk about their children. That day he hardly greeted her, he looked shocked after seeing Lucy.
First it was Lucy, now John. What is wrong with me today-Grace wondered.
-Grace, you must be getting a lot of good customers like John, isn’t?
It was more of a remark than comment. Grace did not know whether to answer or not.
-John is a special friend. We studied together in the primary school. He helps me a lot here.
-Then you must be knowing my husband also. I am Alex Mukama’s wife. Alex and John knew each other from primary school time.
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