After spending the evening and part of the night with Ambrose, at the Club, just as Elizabeth had predicted, Justin retired to bed past midnight.
Tossing and turning, he tried in vain to drive away horrifying images of Elizabeth that’d stuck in his mind—sunken eyes, pale and drooping skin... Despite burying his head in a pillow—a technique
that had ushered him off to sleep many times before—he remained awake. His temples throbbed.
Deciding a walk might help, he put on jeans, a long fur coat, and boot. Hands in his coat pockets, he trudged into the cold night.
How lucky! The moon and the stars dotted the sky. No other therapy calmed his nerves better than beholding the beauty of the firmament. He stopped at the garden entrance, pulled down the sleeves of
his jacket and plopped onto the steps to get a better look at the sky.
At a distance, the lights in the DSQ were still on. Could Gisela be awake at this time? So strange! A rush of hot goosebumps ran up his neck. Should he go check on her or not! No
harm passing by just in case anything was amiss. He won’t go inside her room. He stood, brushed the back of his jeans and with a bouncy gait, strolled towards the lights.
On arrival, he made his way to the back and looked through a window. Yes, Gisela was awake, reading. His gaze immediately fell on the nipples puckered against her sheer nightgown which had pulled
up, exposing her light-skinned thighs, whose warmth he remembered so well. He licked his lips and crossed his legs. For the next ten minutes, he couldn’t make his mind whether to go back, continue
feasting his eyes on her or knock at the door.
Suddenly, at a touch to his leg, he jerked up. “Jeez, you scared me.”
It was his favorite bitch Varvara, wagging her tail in excitement. Two guards passed by and Justin shrank into the shadows to keep from being seen. He scowled and headed back to the garden, Varvara
leading the way. “Damn it.”
With his back against the water tank, Justin raked his fingers through Varvara’s long and curly fur. His erection pressed awkwardly in his jeans. He adjusted the crotch of his trousers and gained
Katelyn had been refusing him sex. He could count on one hand the number of times they’d been intimate this year. She’d fall asleep even before her head hit the pillow and a quarrel ensued if
Justin dared to wake her. Elizabeth’s confinement made things worse. Katelyn hardly slept in the house. How did she expect him to survive? For God’s sake, he’d married a soulmate to keep him warm
at night. No wonder men cheated. But his conscience nudged him and he figured it a bad idea to go to Gisela’s room.
But, wait. He was responsible for Gisela’s plight and he’d not checked on her since she moved in. This was cruel of him. Why not take this perfect opportunity just to check on her? This wouldn’t
He headed back to the DSQ. Flimsy excuse or not, he saw it as part of his duty as host.
Back at the window, Justin sent Gisela a text on WhatsApp. This was the most secure way of communication, encrypted and he could delete the text from both phones after Gisela had read it. “I’m at
the door. Please open.” He stroked Varvara’s snout. “Shh… quiet.”
Gisela’s phone vibrated with the message and Justin focused his gaze on her deep wide-set eyes as she read it.
Varvara pawed his legs. He looked down. Seemed she wanted to play. “Hey. Stop that.”
Gisela put the book aside and fingered her phone. A few seconds afterward, Justin’s phone vibrated. “You’ll get me into trouble with Katelyn. Please go away.”
Varvara’s offspring, Simba and Chui came barking but quieted after scenting their master. That barking must have caught the guards’ attention. Justin had to get into the room or leave immediately.
“Please hurry. These dogs will raise unnecessary suspicion. Katelyn isn’t around. She remained at the hospital.”
Gisela slid back on the chair and straightened her gown. Stretching and yawning, she headed for the door. The bump on her belly sent a deep sense of pride in Justin’s chest. He scampered past
Varvara and her puppies to the door, closing it before they followed him inside.
Justin immediately switched off the lights and a sliver of moonlight spilled across Gisela’s breasts. His blood flamed with passion.
“Hey, Whatcha doin’?”
He went to the window, pulled the drapes closed and held her by the shoulders. “Someone can peep through, just like I did.”
She stepped back. “You shouldn’t be here.”
Justin lifted a finger. “Shh. I wouldn’t take much of your time. May I sit?”
She pointed to the chair she’d been sitting in a moment ago, then settled on the edge of the bed.
Justin moved to the bed and passed a hand around her belly. “How’s the baby? Is he kicking yet?”
Gisela lowered her eyes but didn’t resist his touch. “We’re fine. He kicks a lot at night.”
“How many weeks now? Thirteen?”
Gisela cocked her head. “Hell no… twenty-four.”
“What! Time flies so fast… I’ll soon be a dad to a newborn.” Just then, he remembered their last conversation and frowned. “Did you mean it, what you said last time?”
“I dunno what’ya talkin’ about.”
He stroked his mustache, and his nostrils flared. “Ken… you guys have been seeing each other? Err… I mean… how many times have you… um… been intimate?”
Gisela shuddered and bit her fingers. “I—I… I don’t know.” The corners of her mouth twitched as she gasped for breath. “Is that important?”
Damn the little punk!
Justin swallowed hard. “Please. Please. Cut off any links with that rascal.” He took her hand into his. “Do you think of him?”
“No. I don’t.”
“Good. He’s a loser. I don’t want him near you.”
“He’s not worth our time.” Justin passed a hand around her waist and led her down to the bed. “It’s just that I love you and can’t stand anybody else in your life. I’ll make your beddings dirty...”
He sat up and removed his boots.
Gisela didn’t resist, and this gave him the courage to remove his pants too. He took out his phone from the pocket and threw away the pants. Still, she was quiet, and he put aside the fur coat,
unbuttoned his shirt, threw away the vest… and, jumped in bed. He placed his phone under the pillow.
Towards morning, Justin wanted to leave but couldn’t get enough of her.
His phone lay on the bed, and as he rolled over, he accidentally dialed the last caller.
Katelyn was half asleep on the couch, in Elizabeth’s hospital room when her phone buzzed and woke her. She fished her pockets for it, wishing she’d silenced the ringer. A check of the caller ID
told her it was Justin. What? Why was he calling so late? “Hello? Hello?”
There was no response on the other end but from afar, she heard voices in low, indiscernible tones. “Justin?”
Katelyn shifted on the couch and pressed the phone hard to her ear. The chuckles were unmistakable… and the voices too. The hairs on the back of her neck prickled. She couldn’t believe her ears!
But it was real… not a dream.
Yes, it was her… the girl she was about to adopt, and her husband.
“I love you and always will. No woman ever made me happy as you do,” said Justin.
“What about Katelyn? She loves you very much. What will you do? Have two wives or I’ll remain your mistress?” said Gisela. “I hope she never finds out. After what she’s done for me! I feel so
Katelyn’s entire body clenched, as though someone was cutting her insides into slivers with a sharp razor. Her heart pounded hard and cold sweat pooled in her armpits.
She gasped for breath and paced about; the phone glued on her ear. “Oh, no. Why—why do this to us?” She squatted on the floor.
Tears filled her eyes. First Elizabeth, now this? She slouched back on the couch and stretched her legs. Elizabeth’s words echoed in her mind.
You cannot trust men. They are beasts.
Elizabeth must have been trying to tell her something. Katelyn felt stupid, sorry and ashamed of herself. The way she’d jumped to the conclusion it was Ambrose!
Why didn’t she see his lies all along? It was all pretense.
Justin would pay for this. She’ll make him suffer for what he’d done. How long had this been going on? Gisela must be carrying his baby.
She dashed to the lavatory mirror and shuddered at what she saw. Not only had she grown thin, but her once glowing, chocolate-toned skin had turned pale. Her temples were poignantly sunken and a
few wrinkles had started showing.
Was it because she was old? No! Martha was older but looked younger. She’d wasted her body with his children and now that she no longer had the charm of youth, he’d gone to a younger girl.
Her eyes ran to her bosom. Her once firm breasts, full of life, were now flat. It was his children who’d sucked the life out of her. Katelyn felt used.
Gisela, with her beauty, rose in her mind.
I’ll kill that stupid bastard.
Gisela’s firm breasts, flat tummy, wasp-like waist… made Katelyn’s stomach ache.
She tried to excuse Justin but just couldn’t understand how he could trade over thirty years of their marriage, family, with the mere looks of such a naïve girl.
She went back to the couch.
Over the years, he’d become handsome while she’d neglected her looks, sacrificing everything for him and the children. What does she get in return? Infidelity!
All the sleepless nights, nursing his children! Five had been born full-term, three miscarried and one died an infant. He’d been so supportive. What had come over him?
Katelyn had been pregnant over half their married life. She’d even forgotten how it felt to spend the night without a baby on her breasts. When she thought this phase was behind her and now she’d
enjoy intimacy with Justin, the unthinkable happened.
“I’m sorry, honey,” said Elizabeth.
“He’s sleeping with that girl.” Katelyn cried.
“I knew it just the other day.”
“I know, you tried to tell me but I wouldn’t listen. I didn’t hear.”
“You can’t regret trusting him. But they’ve betrayed us.”
“Ambrose too? What did he do?”
Not out of malice, but Katelyn wished Ambrose had done a similar thing, just so she wasn’t alone in the humiliation.
“He’d been sleeping around and he’s even afraid to do an HIV test.” Tears rolled in Elizabeth’s eyes. “I know it’s because of him I have cervical cancer.”
Katelyn sighed. “Oh, no!”
“The most hurtful part is that I could see the signs, but I ignored them.” Elizabeth gasped. “He’s killed me.”
Katelyn cradled her sister’s head. “No. You’ll recover. But—I hate him—“
“I pray Justin will realize his mistake sooner and stop this stupidity.”
“Oh, that dog! He pretended to be what he wasn’t, and I believed him.”
“Ambrose is lucky I’m bedridden...”
“It’s just a matter of time and you’re out of here,” said Katelyn and grimaced. “I’d forgive anything but infidelity.”
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