I never thought she would call me, heck, let me just be sincere and declare that I always hoped that she would not find out. I played safe, or thought I did…
And then she called, just when I least expected it. I still remember what she told me, not so much of what she said, but how she said it. The demeanor that accompanied those words…the class, the composure.
“hey, I know what is going on between you and my man…am not calling to tell you to stop, am just calling to let you know that I know. “ she said softly on the other end of the line.
Oh ma’. My mister’s ex was one hell of a classy woman that one. She knew where her bar was, she knew that t was beneath her to fight for a man. I donno.
Relax…before you start throwing stones at me and telling me that I have been preaching water and drinking the proverbial wine, just hang on and I will let you know how it went…shall you?
So that phone call, that was it. It was the moment of truth, the dusking of dawn, or the reverse. It was the revelation. The beginning.
We had been caught.
She didn’t yell. No.
She didn’t send me abusive texts to tell me how pathetic I am. No.
She didn’t stalk me (Or maybe she did secretly, cus how the heck would she have gotten my number, ya’ know what am saying?)
Anyway, that was almost seven years ago, but I still admire her guts, that woman. You will agree, to pick a phone and call the other woman in no t a joke.
Look, I never intended to fall for another woman’s man, but who does? I never wanted to break a relationship that was on its roots (or even branches) . I am just not that kind of person.
See, as women we are geared to see ‘the other woman’ as a terrible wench. We are enculturated to believe that a girl who takes a man from the other is a Bitch, as simple as that. It is a moniler that nobody wants to wear. In movies, she is depicted a the crazy, oversexed, lonely, woman who smokes on a cigar, sucks it in, and then blows it out on the world, because she is baaad news and her morals are weak(Giggles)
But sometimes even good girls like me get saddled with the title. (: p)
We started out as friends – yeah.
We were friends who were too attracted to each other. We were too well matched in personality, humor and interests to remain friends for very long. We had so much shared interests. He loved books, I loved books, he loved the comedy “Friends” I did too. He loved writing, I did too, although at that time, I spent most of my time swooning over some rhyming words I would compose hoping that they would pass as deep poetry. (Sigh!)
I knew he had a girlfriend. He didn’t talk much about her, but even those brief moments that he mentioned her in passing, I was aware of her existence. Damn it, I even knew who she was, and that was the hardest part really.
We weren’t friends, well, if we were, that would have made me an evil person, no? We weren’t necessarily friends, but there were those moments when the mister would invite me for tea “as a friend” and I had to act like I was okay. It was horrible. We hanged out together, the three of us, we talked on general stories, on the weather, on the state of traffic in Nairobi, on our careers (mine which I hadn’t started yet, hehe)
We would talk, me pretending to be just friends, when deep inside me, I wanted so much more. I dropped into the pit that the other woman isn’t supposed to.
I wanted more.
I wanted love.
I wanted what was not mine.
It was utterly shameless.
Wasn’t I supposed to know and internalize my role? I was supposed to know what I had gotten myself into, I was supposed to acknowledge the fact that he will never be mine, yes, I was supposed to create a gap, a crack, a space that wouldn’t let me reach out for more.
I wasn’t supposed to – nay, wasn’t allowed to – want more.
In our brief conversations as friends, he had told me that he cant leave her. He had told me that she is a nice person, but his increasing indiscretion in public and his random conversations of his dissatisfaction in the relationship made it clear that he wanted more than our stolen moments and rushed phone calls of ‘catching up with each other’.
And then we started spending too much time together. Our talks got more personal and we opened up more than you should open up to a friend. Our gazes held on, lingered on more than it is appropriate between friends. And our ‘harmless’ touches sought the slightest opportunity; holding on to his shoulder to emphasize a point, him holding my hand to see how long my nails have grown, a slight brush here, a small touch on the forehead…
And then we crossed the line.
He came to visit. Something about me cooking for him matoke, since he had missed it. We had fun, we ate the matoke, he was more at ease. He was chatty. We talked and laughed. He was a great friend. Then, as he was leaving, when I opened the door, he pressed me close on the wall and kissed me.
Just slightly on the lips. Like a soft brush of the feather against skin.
But heck. I knew there was no way we could turn back. That soft kiss had sealed it. The boundaries, the lines had been crossed by that one act.
Yet he had a girlfriend. I was the other woman.
Out of respect, and perhaps guilt from my side, she was never mentioned by name, as if it were only a pronoun looming over our future together.
Just that. No name.
Like she was a silhouette that would leave, like a ghost that just coats above you re refuses to vanish.
And the chic was hot. She was intimidating. She had a tone of haughtiness and wealth – and rightfully so. She was always in heels and she oozed of sexiness – she intimidated the hell out of me!
I was the other woman, always calling and asking “in a friendly way” if she was there. We would joke about her. The elephant in the room.
It drove me nuts.
I hated being in this position. I knew I was falling for a taken guy… yet I knew that I couldn’t declare it.
I didn’t want to be the other woman.
We matched in every way, he fitted my description of the perfect guy. We completed each other’s thoughts and sentences, he listened to my crazy stories and my limitless ambition back ten. I wanted to be a radio presenter of a photographer who did travel stories of the mysteries of this globe. I wanted to write about the rights of women, the plight of those who had been pushed to the periphery of the world. He wanted to visit war torn countries and give aid. He wanted to join the army and protect the boarders of this nation and beyond. We were both young, being tossed by youth and ambition that drove us so strong back then.
I wanted love.
He wanted love.
I wanted him.
He wanted me.
The conviction that we were meant to be together was overwhelming to us. We knew we wanted each other, we just couldn’t admit that we wanted to make it happen.
Until the day of the phone call.
His girlfriend wasn’t crying.. She had honor. Pride. Something admirable. She just told me that she knows what is going on between me and her man. She told me that she feels sorry for me, and that i had gone beneath myself.
She was right.
I spent the day in tearful misery and a little bit of regret and self loathing, and I wallowed in the knowledge I’d lost the strongest love I’d ever had.
I knew that it would be very foolish to try and defend myself. I managed to tell her a shaky:
“we are just friends…”
She knew that it was pure Bull crap. She told me openly. She didnt call me a malaya or any bad name. Her voice was strong, and it drove fear into my very core.
Then he called. HE CALLED…
When I had almost given up on ‘our friendship’
“I told her. I told her everything,” he told me.
I couldn’t speak with my mind numbed from the crying and wondering why the hell he hadn’t called sooner.”
I freaked out big time. What if she decided to come after my ass? What if Karma seeks me out, the bitch that she is? What if…?
Let me just say that it ended well. Am not proud of my being the other woman. The ex is now my pal. (Sort of) She drops by my facebook and drops me random greetings. She is married now, with a kid, and she and her hubby moved to Southern Sudan (Thank God…hihihi)