Fri. Jun 7th, 2024

HURDLES

 

_32_ (continued)

 

“Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is just an illusion.” – Ella

 

The day moves faster than I expect, and this is only because of the phone call that I got.

 

‘You look distressed.’ Jayden says looking at me as he massages my feet

 

I had tried to go back to bed after that phone call but I couldn’t so here we are.

 

‘It’s nothing.’ I say with a smile that doesn’t reach my eyes

 

‘I haven’t met you today.’ He says not looking at me

 

‘Why do you want to be with me?’

 

‘Why am I with you?’ he corrects

 

I look at him

 

 

‘Michel what is bothering you?’

 

‘I don’t think I am ready to talk about it.’

 

‘So you would rather I hear it from someone else?’ I move my feet away from his hands He sighs

 

 

‘Talk to me.’

 

I stand up and walk about in the room, I can feel his eyes burning on my skin. ‘It’s about the phone call.’

 

I look at him

 

‘How do you know?’

 

‘I noticed how you got after I received it, now do you know what uncle Brian wants to meet me for?’

 

I go and sit on the bed, not sure I am ready to open up.

 

‘Michel if what he wants to see me for is something that will break us apart, I would rather I hear it from you.’

 

‘You know I am not perfect right?’

 

‘I never said you were.’

 

‘Jayden.’

 

‘I am sorry.’

 

‘I had a thing with Brian some years back.’

 

I expect him to react, to say something. Just anything but he just looks at me wordlessly

 

‘It was good while it lasted, he treated me right. He came at a point when things weren’t so okay between Vashawn and I, he was caring. He went out of his way, he made sure to check up on me whenever he could and that made me feel a certain type of way.’

 

‘So you allowed your emotions to get the best of you?’

 

‘I was vulnerable.’

 

‘Two wrongs don’t make a right Michel.’

 

‘I know and no we didn’t have s£x.’

 

He chuckles

 

‘And who told you that having s£x with someone is the only form of betrayal?’ he asks getting serious

 

I look down without responding

 

‘Sexual infidelity, conditional commitment, a nons£xual affair, lying, coldness, withdrawal of s£xual interest, disrespect, unfairness, selfishness, and breaking promises are all types of betrayal in a marriage.’

 

‘I know.’

 

‘Michel two wrongs don’t make a right.’

 

‘Jayden I was wrong okay, yes I messed up really bad and there is no excuse for what I did but that doesn’t make me a bad person.’

 

‘I never said you were, I am not even judging you here.’

 

 

‘You sound like you are.’

 

‘Listen Michel, you know I like you. A lot.’

 

‘But?’

 

‘Coldy is my best friend, imagine how he will take all this.’

 

I open my mouth to speak but close it.

 

‘Say something.’

 

I shake my head with a smile

 

‘Michel.’

 

‘No Jayden, I won’t put you in a compromising position. You love Coldy that is understandable and the last thing I want to do is come in between that.’

 

‘Michel.’

 

‘Don’t Jayden, Coldy is not just your friend but brother too and it will be wrong of me to try and come in between that. I swear I could have thrown a tantrum over this considering what Brian and I had is in the past but I won’t, I am at an age where I let things go by because I value my peace more than anything else.’ I say opening the closest

 

‘What are you doing?’

 

‘Packing my things, I don’t think there is a need for me to be here anymore.’

 

He doesn’t say anything, he sits there watching me as I pack up. When done I tell him I will call a rental car that will drive me to Lusaka but he insists on coming along and I let him.

 

 

The drive is quiet, we have started off pretty late and I am really praying we don’t meet any traffic officers. By two in the morning we are in Lusaka, surprisingly I didn’t even doze off on our way.

 

‘Can we talk in the morning?’ he asks when we get to my place

 

‘Drive safely Jayden.’ I say instead

 

I drag my legs into the house and go straight to my room where I switch off my phone and allow sleep to take over me.

 

..

 

I have been calling Michel’s line since morning, surprisingly dad just came up with a board meeting and he wants to see us. I don’t know why but I am not at all excited.

 

I look at my watch again, its thirty minutes past nine and still there is no word from her. I have managed to talk to Jayden who says he is on his way.

 

I am just about to leave my office when he walks in.

 

‘Hey man.’

 

‘Hey.’ He responds flatly

 

‘You don’t seem okay.’

 

He smiles

 

I know Jayden, he is the brother I never had and I know when he is lying or when he is about to.

 

‘I have been trying to call Michel but her phone is off.’

 

‘She will be here soon.’ He responds

 

Just then she walks into the building

 

‘Good morning Mr. Musondah.’ She greets

 

‘Jayden.’ She says again then walks past us

 

I don’t remember the last time she was this formal with me but I let it go

 

‘Michel.’ I call after her

 

‘Yes Sir.’

 

‘Dad would like to see us in the boardroom right now.’

 

‘I will be with you shortly.’

 

I ask Jayden to go to my office whilst I go to the boardroom, dad is already there.

 

A few minutes later Michel joins us.

 

‘I wont take much of your time.’ Dad begins

 

From the tone of his voice one can tell that he is not pleased about something.

 

‘Michel your work is lagging behind.’

 

I look at her, I have notied that since her divorce she has made a few errors here and there but I wouldn’t exactly call it lagging behind.

 

‘You have started taking advantage of your work, the fact that this company has been good to you doesn’t mean that you had to forget your place! You are still an employee and you will be treated like any of the other employees.’

 

I look in her direction but there is no emotion on her face.

 

‘With all due respect dad.’

 

‘I wasn’t talking to you.’ He cuts me short

 

 

‘You being a woman doesn’t mean that it is an excuse for you to lazy around, in fact being a woman should mean that you put in double the work because you have got to prove yourself in the world of men. I wont tolerate any more of this nonsense.’

 

‘Are we clear?’

 

‘Yes Sir.’ She responds calmly

 

‘You can go to work now.’ He says dismissively

 

She stands up, straightens her skirt then looks straight into dad’s eyes.

 

‘I am sorry that I let my personal issues get in the way of work, I am sorry I allowed my divorce to get the best of me. I am sorry I became vulnerable and allowed you into my life.’

 

She pauses

 

‘Brian I am sorry that I couldn’t continue being with you, but you know what I am not sorry for? I am not sorry for walking out whilst I still had my sanity intact, I am not sorry that I had to choose my family over what we had. And it is just sad that a man as intelligent as you can allow a low life like Cassie to use you.’

 

She turns to look at me

 

‘Coldy you have been nothing but good to me, I am sorry you had to find out about your father and I like this. Don’t worry I wont last long enough for me to hurt Jayden, he deserves a girl different from me.’

 

She removes an envelop from her handbag and puts it on the table

 

‘This place has been my life, my sanity. It gave me hope when I had nothing to look forward to but I guess it is time to grow, I wish you two nothing but the best in your future endeavours. This is my resignation letter.’ She says then walks out

 

I look at dad, a certain anger taking over me.

 

‘Are you happy now?’

 

‘I didn’t fire her.’

 

I look at him with disgust

 

‘Whatever the two of you had is your business, I don’t blame or judge her just like I wouldn’t do that to you. Those are your personal issues and I didn’t expect a man of your caliber to use that against her!’

 

‘You don’t know what you are talking about.’

 

‘Michel is good at her work and we both know that!’ I fire back

 

Silence

 

‘Michel didn’t need Vashawn, he was stealing her thunder and quenching her fire. Jayden wasn’t trying to be another pick up guy, another guy that takes her for drinks or to his house for a once off. I just don’t understand how you can take her sun and turn it ice cold.’

 

‘Coldy!’

 

I look at him then walk away

 

..

 

 

 

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