By Thiyam Ningol, Dr. Nalini, Africa
His heart wanted to apologize but his ego revolted against.
He had waited long enough just to hear his wife say “Come back”.
Daily he peeped in Laura’s shop. He watched her from far, unnoticed. His jealousy tormented him whenever he saw Laura smiling at her male customers.
Laura and Jack were married for 20 years with an 18 yr old son and 13 yr old daughter. For the past 2/3 years, Jack appeared to be distracted. Often he did not come back home. When enquired by Laura, the answer was a broken tape….job…..job……job. Slowly the children started noticing the absence of their father and the sign of growing tension in the house.
Laura completed ‘O” level education and worked as a secretary but after marriage, Jack told her to resign and be a good housewife. And she did. Jack loved her, their children adored her.
Jack steadily advanced, became the assistant director of the factory. Salary package became fatter but his money found a tributary to run to. Children’s pocket money became slimmer, Laura was told to economize.
Laura found out about Jack’s mistress. Tried to show her concern but was rewarded with verbal slaps and rebukes. Instead of correcting his mistakes, he exaggerated and entertained his mistress openly. He became a total stranger to his family. The children were no longer young, they knew more than Laura assumed. But their love for her increased many folds and vowed to stand by her side. They ignored the father’s absence.
Laura had to act independently and promptly to support her family. She took the advice from her friends with similar histories. She consulted her children, got the approval of her plans.
They waited for the son’s High School Leaving examination to be over.
They sold the 21 inch TV, VCR, the DVD player, the music systems and anything saleable. Laura was gone to Bangkok for shopping with her friend Saira, to buy merchandise for her new business. She was gone only for 2 nights by Kenyan Airways. On the 3rd day, she was back even before anybody noticed that she was gone. Her new life had started.
Saira had been doing the Bangkok trips for many months. She knew all the tricks of best shopping with minimum time and biggest bargains. When Laura approached her, she saw the opportunity. They became partners.
One day Jack passed by their house and saw the empty sitting room. Learnt about the truth, that angered him and left swearing not to come back.
Laura learnt quickly and efficiently. Their business prospered. She and Saira took the trips to Bangkok in turn while the other took charge of the shop. While waiting for a new TV to be bought, Saira lent them her kitchen TV, a 12 inch one.
Soon the children’s patience was rewarded. Within few months, Laura managed to replace all the items she had to sell for the starting capital of her business with better, more modern items. They got a 46 inch Plasma TV with Home theatre.
Jack heard all about the changes in his family. He had seen Laura driving. He was retired with fixed meager pension. His mistress left him for a more promising guardian.
He regretted all that he did and was ashamed, but had not lost hope. He was ready to beg for forgiveness from his wife and children.
“She found out about my mistress so quickly. How come she is taking so long to find out that she had left me and I am lonely’-Jack lamented.
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