A hard knock at the door disrupted their peace in the house. None of them was expecting a visitor especially at that time of the night. Felicia was beginning to become apprehensive at how the knock persisted. The more she took time to go and open the door, the louder the knock became. Alex had gone upstairs to take a bath as it was his custom whenever he returned from a long day.
She recollected herself, garnered enough courage and walked to the door. She peeped through the eyehole to get a glimpse of who it was. Then she quickly adjusted the lock and flung the door open. “Aunt, come on in, what are you doing here by this time of the day? Is everything ok?” She asked out of concern.
For a moment, her aunt remained silent. She had not expected to meet Felicia at Alex’s that night. “Yes, yes. Of course everything is ok. I was in the neighborhood and I decided to come say hello to you guys.” She answered. She did not know whether to be mad or happy. Alex was Felicia’s fiancé and she had no right to have gotten involved with him. She was already married to Felicia’s uncle and if there was anything she needed to do was to forever remain true to him.
“So, how is my uncle doing? Did he travel to somewhere?” Felicia asked out of curiosity. “Fine, he did not travel but he said…” Their talk was disrupted by the sight of Alex.
“Melissa! When did you come in? Has it been long?” He asked.
“Not at all, but I was on my way out before you came.” She answered as she stood up to take her leave.
“No no no, why don’t you stay a little longer. Or are you in such a hurry?” He asked
“Yes, I need to get home before it is too late. Besides, you people need to have a time of your own. Don’t you think so?” She said in a low voice as if she was not pleased by how things unfolded. She hated Alex at that moment even though she knew very well that she was the problem. Only she and Alex knew about the secret they shared.
“Is everything ok between you two? She seems to be upset by God knows what.” Felicia asked with much enthusiasm. She knew something was amiss and she was determined to find out what it was.
“I should be asking you that, you are the one she was conversing with.” Alex answered in defense. He was beginning to feel uncomfortable with the entire discussion. “Can we please talk about something else? Perhaps she just has her own personal issues.” He added. Alex had another personality that Felicia had no idea about. A womanizer. The amount of wealth he had had given him the ability to do whatever he wanted without anyone having to question about it. He believed he had the right to do what he wanted. Although he cared about Felicia’s emotions. That is why he had kept it a secret all that while.
“Alex, is there something I need to know?” Did the both of you have a quarrel that you are yet to settle?” Felicia asked again. This time, with a more authoritative voice.
“Listen, I already told you I have nothing to do with her anger. I don’t know what else you want me to say.” He answered. “And if we can’t talk about something else I’m off to bed.” He added as he stood to make his way to his bedroom. The more he deviated from talking about Melissa, the more Felicia became convinced that he was hiding something from her. But she could not accuse him of anything yet because she had no proof.
Three days had gone after the incident at Alex’s home. This time, Melissa had come to his office because they needed to talk. It is Alex who had invited her over. He had vowed to caution her from visiting him at home as that would raise suspicion of whatever they both shared.
“Maybe we shouldn’t have started this in the first place. Especially you, you are a married woman for goodness’ sake. We need to put an end to it.” Alex cautioned. He was concerned about how Felicia’s uncle had helped him stand on his feet when he barely had anything. The guilt of what he had done to him in return was killing his inner being.
“Alex, we don’t have to call it an end. I’m sorry if I made a mistake by dropping by at your place three days ago. It won’t happen again, this time round, you call the shots.” She answered in return. She had not for once stopped and thought about what her husband would do to her if he found out about them.
“Have you ever even thought about what your husband would do if he finds out you are having an affair behind his back?” Alex asked as if he had read through her mind to know what she was thinking.
Melissa did not know how to respond and so she kept silent as Alex lamented all through. Then a long silence dominated in the office. Right then, Felicia walked in. She was holding a parcel in her hand. Alex was surprised at the sight of her. She looked around to assess and get a glimpse of what was happening. Then she handed over the parcel to Alex and walked away.
Everything was unfolding too fast. Alex did not know what problem to tackle first. Whether it was his adulterous act with Melissa or a now sour relationship with Felicia or the worry that Felicia’s uncle will soon get to know about his betrayal.
It was now a week and Alex had not heard from Felicia. He had tried to reach out to her but she neither answered her calls nor returned her mails. Alex contemplated visiting her at her father’s place but again, he was not sure whether it was the right thing to do. “What if she has already told everyone about what is going on?” Nonetheless, he thought to himself. He traveled to go and see her.
While he drove along the main highway, he recalled the contents of the letter Felicia had dropped at his office some days back. His parents had summoned him back home and as it was a tradition, he needed to ensure that he obliged to the invitation. It was over ten years since they last heard of him. Memories of his time at the village as a young boy lingered in his mind. He smiled at how life used to be so cruel to him. Now, he was a conqueror. He had conquered all the wealth in the world and no longer lived like a beggar. But he had not cared to save his parents and siblings from the same affliction. The thought of this stopped him from smiling. He felt so ashamed of himself.
The loud shouts and exchange of words as if in a quarrel dominated the house as Alex approached the house.
Everyone seemed to be in disagreement with another. He could not tell what the problem was but he clearly understood the moment he stepped in. The sight of Felicia, his fiancé, Melissa, his secret lover and Felicia’s aunt, Felicia’s parents and uncle made him regret why he had made himself available at that scene. He was the main cause of problem amongst them all.
“There he comes,” Felicia said with a bang as if to draw everyone’s attention towards Alex. Both she and her uncle had been betrayed and that is what made them gang up against Alex. When he couldn’t stand it any longer, Alex walked out feeling so shameful. He recalled back the kind of hospitality he was given when Felicia first introduced him to her family. Now, he had broken the trust and belief they all had in him. He was down in the dumps.
The recent events that had unfolded in his life made him make a decision to travel back home. He wanted to take a break from all that had happened. He needed a new environment, a new beginning and maybe, a reunion with his family. He recalled the happiness he had when he had just been awarded a scholarship, how his parents were so proud of him, the whole village considered him an idol; his stay at the university and how it had been cut short with false allegation; his suffering and tribulations in the streets as a young foreign boy with no one to look up to; how Felicia had come to his rescue and how she eventually worked tirelessly to see him become a dignified man that he was presently. He wished everything was right. He wanted a second chance to mend his mistakes. To make everyone happy again like he was when he first learnt about his scholarship.
He was still engrossed in thoughts about his life history when the plane touched down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. He was home. Home to reconnect with his people and culture. Perhaps, for a second chance to start all over again.
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