Dr. Smith hid a bottle of whisky in one of the cabinets in his office. This morning, he took some ice cubes from the freezer compartment of his tabletop fridge and put them in a mug. He preferred to drink from a mug to prevent any nosey colleague or student who may budge into the office from detecting the content. He poured the whisky, sat on the chair and placed his long legs on the table. He swirled the drink in the mug before gulping it down. He knew it was only 7:30 am and drinking on an empty stomach was not healthy but he couldn’t help it.
Shirley – the thoughts of that woman never seem to leave him. What started as a joke in the dean’s office is now gnarling at his whole being. He now yearns for her as he had never done before. This feeling is new to him. He hasn’t felt anything this strong for any woman. In the past, he deceived women to get what he ‘wanted’ but the feeling he is developing for his co-worker is new. It’s not only about her looks or the manner that she carries herself – there is something about her that he cannot point out. He wants her in a way that scares him and would not mind doing anything to get her. He does not doubt that he is in love with her. Someone’s wife.
Dr. Smith’s phone rang and interrupted his thoughts and speaking of the object of his fantasy,
“Hello, Shirley. I was thinking about you,” he said
“I hope they were good thoughts,”
“It depends on what you mean by good thoughts. Anyway, have you made any decision about my proposal? Is that why you’re calling?”
“I am calling to remind you that it’s your turn to facilitate tomorrow’s seminar for the graduate students,” she said.
“I know. I have it in my diary,”
“Great. Do you want to have dinner with me sometime next week? Will Monday be ok?”
Dr. Smith couldn’t believe his luck. He wasn’t expecting that. Was he hearing clearly? It’s a joke. Oh, Finally! Shirley is coming around.
“Wow! Of course. Of course,” he said
“So 5 pm, next week Monday, at the University’s Lodge. They have a new restaurant that serves only local dishes,”
“Yes, I know about it,”
“I have a surprise for you as well. Remember to look and smell nice,” Shirley laughed teasingly before hanging up.
Dr. Francis Smith got up to do the victory dance. He couldn’t believe his luck.
are used to be special. That was the only day in the week the family drove together in the same car – Shirley would be in the passenger seat, the children at the back and I will be driving them to church. The conversations were light and the gospel tunes played on the radio always serenaded the atmosphere while we made the half-hour journey.
I still haven’t gotten over what Shirley did to me the other day. The atmosphere was conducive for us to have gotten intimate till she came up with that lame excuse. She neither apologised nor said anything about the incident when she returned from work.
“That is my current favourite track,” Shirley said, reaching forward to increase the volume of the radio.
“Ye obua mi, ye obua mi,” she sang along to Joe Mettle’s new tune with her eyes closed.
“Have you heard that song before?” she asked.
I kept my focus on the road and ignored her question. She caught the drift and kept mute with her question still hanging in the air. I clutched the steering wheel as I made the sharp turn. I am sure my jaws and knuckles were equally clenched. I stepped on the brakes abruptly when the church’s security team directed me to park. I got out of the car, waited for the children and escorted them to the Sunday School. When I returned, I didn’t bother looking for Shirley. On a regular Sunday, I would have preferred sitting right by her and during the sermon, I would hold her hand. Sometimes I passed comments about how nice her hair was or how pretty she looked. It was such a beautiful feeling but this Sunday is different. I’ve been hurt by her actions and I prefer to sit as far away from her as possible. If she wants to pretend everything is fine between us, that is ok. She should continue living in her dream. She has called for war and that is exactly what I am going to give her.
…….to be continued.