Seemingly rallied and buoyed by the spirited advice from her colleagues at work on how to deal with her philandering husband, Rejoice marched up Simpson crescent to her home with a fool-proof plan. Or at least she thought it so. She balanced a head full of a deviously canny scheme to once and for all curtail her husband’s harlotting ways. A scheme so forth-rightly brutal she couldn’t help but chuckle to herself as she fished out her keys from her huge brown hand bag to open her front door. Inside the house she knew she would find Panashe watching TV as usual instead of doing his homework and Precious on the iPad chatting to her friends on Facebook. They would say daddy went out. Panashe would say daddy went back to work but Precious would just snigger and call Panashe stupid. At ten Precious thought she knew it all. She had heard the arguments between her mother and father and she had begun to laugh sometimes when her father dropped her off at home and said he was going back to work around five pm. No lecturer works after five in the evening. Does he think she’s stupid. Does he think she doesn’t know he is going to meet one of his many white girlfriends? The real reason why he is never at home and they hardly do anything together as a family anymore. On one occasion she sarcastically asked her mother why daddy always had lectures after five pm.”Even university students finish around five. Certainly not until 11pm”. Her mother did not know how to respond to this and she shouted at Precious to keep quiet and go to bed.
When Rejoice opened the door Panashe was sitting on the sofa munching on a packet of crisps. Two empty packets lay immediately below him on the floor. Precious was not on her usual seat by the computer. She must be upstairs, Rejoice thought. Perhaps finally doing her homework without prompting.
“Hi mum!” Panashe shouted without moving his fixed gaze from the TV. Rejoice was used to this now. Just a casual recognition of her presence by her family. Peter her husband was the worse of them. He was just an absent. An effigy of a husband and when he was around, which was very rare lately. He never looked at her with those loving longing eyes the way he used to do when they were at university. He would call her “sugar munch”, look at her in his puffy befuddled eyes before he drew her closer to kiss her. They would spend many nights lying awake staring at the ceiling in his nurse’s hostel on his creaky single bed. She loved the way they would cross their legs over each other and pull each other even closer to squeeze their frames on the small bed. Now he slept on the far end of their queen bed, with a distance as large as the Sahara desert between them. If they ever touched in bed it would only be by accident when he turned and threw his arms across the bed fast asleep. She still longed for his touch though. But today she was going to stop all this once and for all. Rejoice went upstairs and knocked on Precious’ door. The huge signs on the door “Keep Out”, “Enter at your own peril” and ” Knock before you enter” just reminded her how quickly things were changing around the house. Her daughter becoming a prepubescent recluse, always preferring her own company or that of her friends on social network. Her son fast becoming an obese sloth. A lot had changed and Rejoice wondered if Peter had even noticed any change at all in this family. Behind the fortified door Precious was sitting on her bed listening to music on her iPod whilst chatting on the iPad and phone. When Rejoice finally got her attention, she slowly and deliberately paused her music, flipped her iPad over and put her phone away.
“Are you going to see your friend Sally later?, Rejoiced asked without any greeting. She had learnt to get straight to the point with Precious now.
“Why?” Precious rolled her eyes and picked her phone up again.
“I’m just asking?”
“Okay then!” Rejoice left the room with a slight grin. This would work perfectly for her plan.
In her room she retrieved her phone from her bag and a diary from the wardrobe and sat on the bed. Her first message was to Sam. Sam was the first person to raise Rejoice suspicions about her Peters’ cheating. Sam would text or call at odd times. At first she thought Sam was one of Peter’s male university friends. But when one day she saw a text message reading’I miss you’ her world was shuttered. She started suspecting that Sam may not be just a university friend. In fact he may not even be male as she had assumed. When she sneaked her husbands’ phone into the toilet again to make sure she had read the correct message from Sam, the message was gone. So she noted Sam’s number and transcribed it on her diary. From then she started monitoring all the other phone calls and messages from even male names and through this she was convinced about six males on her husbands’ phone book were not really male friends. There was Vincent, Jordan, Tindo, lizwe and Ray.
The message she was going to send was long and just straight to the point.
Hello, my name is Rejoice Makande. I am Peter’s wife and have been for the last 10 years. We have two beautiful children together. I know it is very likely that you were not aware that Peter was a married man. Well, he is! He has lied to you and his family. As a woman like you I would not stand for this. I therefore invite you to my house at 7 pm so we can resolve this just the two of us. I should not need to stress how bad this will appear to your family and work colleagues to know that you were involved in an affair with a married man. So I shall see you later. Mai T. She then included her address. The message was forwarded to all six women. She then sent a message to her husband saying that Panashe ‘ s school had some grave concerns about his behaviour such that the headmaster and someone from social services were coming to the house at 19:30. She knew he would be there. He would do anything for Panashe. Proudly satisfied with what she had done she lay down on her bed struggling to wipe a naughty smile on her face.
To be continued.