As continued from Part 11
FOUR YEARS EARLIER
Monday, July 23, 2012
I laid my head on the warm desk and scribbled junk on the misty glass using my finger. Then I drew a little boy and a baby on the desk using the wet tip of my finger. Underneath the picture I wrote LEON, KIM. I hoped Mila would not pop into my office. She could be disappointed I had not taken even a sip of the apple juice she brought me. I couldn’t even rise to close the blinds letting the sun flood my face. I was still a mess inside. I felt tiny and worthless. Some of the ladies were very junior to me but they led decent lives. That morning Dana came with a new iPhone – her husband gave her for her birthday. Not that I was jealous but I also wanted my man to do such for me.
I felt awful I couldn’t give my kids my own version of the American Dream. Elijah kept promising us a better tomorrow and I was tired of it. I wanted him to give us the better tomorrow today. I wished I could drive to work like the other ladies. I wished I could wear expensive clothes and spoil my kids. Elijah had to forget about his little blogging company and get a real job – after all he did have an IT degree. Who could support his family and spoil his wife with a blog anyway?
But I was also to blame. I was stupid to believe in his dream. A blog! I wasn’t supposed to believe in it nor take a huge loan for his company. I ought to tell him to come back to his senses and be realistic. He had been working on his small company for ten years but no fruits – it never took off even once. He had to get a real job. I was tired of envying my girlfriends for all the great stuff they got from their husbands or boyfriends.
On Mondays they always came with stories on how their outings were or what labels they bought for them. But I always had to pretend I was busy and had no time to postmortem the weekend with the girls. Elijah had to wake up and be a man. I also wanted the other ladies to envy me – my looks and everything. I also wanted the best for my kids. Leon had even started his teen years, but I hadn’t been able to give him the dream life I had hoped for my kids. Elijah had to wake up really. I was tired.
I looked at stickman version of Leon on my desk and smiled. I had recalled one day, a decade ago, when Leon mimicked shooting me with his toy camera. A few minutes later he came running with an ugly, fat woman he had drawn and said, “Mom. Here is your photo. It is out now.” I took it, laughed and said, “Wow! Thank you, my baby. It’s beautiful. Your camera takes beautiful photos.” But he ran away when I bent to kiss him on the cheek. I smiled again.
The door flung open after two quick knocks.
I sat upright hastily whilst grabbing the glass. I also erased Tom and Kimberly with my left hand.
Mila’s round face shrunk. She clutched her long black hair with her hands – her mouth wide open. “Put it down. I wasted my time, obviously.”
She shut the door behind her and her high heels clicked, clacked as she aggressively carried her cute figure towards my desk. She threw a yellow file on my desk and dropped herself on the chair opposite mine. She closed the laptop in front of me and stared at my eyes.
I said, “No friend, you didn’t waste your time. I’m thirsty, it’s just that… I…I…” I smiled.
“Don’t even say it,” Mila said, raising her right hand. “Don’t even mention El. Don’t even mention whatever fight you had last night. I told you. I told you, you were making a big mistake by marrying such a broke guy. What’s love with no cash, baby.”
I said, “I told you yesterday. I don’t regret being with him. That man truly loves me. That man is dead honest. I know he will never cheat or lie to. He truly fears God. I love him too. I just wish he could earn more and spoil me.”
Mila sat at the edge of her seat. “Woman up, girl. Broke love! Pleeeeease. Don’t fool yourself, baby girl. I told you then, I will tell you now. Broke love never works.”
“So what should I do?”
“Jesus! Are you crazy,” I screamed unintentionally.
“Yes, divorce him, get a real man. Simple.”
“I can’t believe you. I know you are crazy, but I never thought you are that crazy, my friend.”
“Ok, tell me since you are not crazy. What good is your man to you if you are the most miserable woman in this branch? Everyday I have to cheer you up. Just last week you almost cried when I showed you this gem,” Mila said, lifting her necklace.
My eyes bulged. “It’s not like I was…”
Mila shut my mouth with her right hand. “You don’t have to justify yourself, friend. I know you. I know you are the only genuine Christian I know. I know you weren’t jealous. You were truly happy for me, but you just wished it could also rain for you.”
I sighed and laughed. “You think you know me. Don’t you?”
“I know you. Why are you laughing? I know you. I also know your broke man. You are a great woman, you only lack one thing.”
“A real man.”
“Ok. Since you got a real man, are you happy?”
“Oh yes I’m, baby.”
“If you are happy, why did you come to my office crying…last month?”
“It’s not like I said Max is perfect, he has his minor problems here and there. But he takes care of me. Baby, I don’t even use my salary for anything important, it’s just for snacks, pizza. Have you ever heard of a secretary who drives a BM?” I stared at her eyes. “I thought so.”
I said, “You never cease to amaze me, friend. You call sleeping around with girls a minor thing. You know, I can’t and I can’t take that. I’m glad El will never do it.”
Mila smiled. “You know what’s the other thing he will never do. He will never buy a car for you.”
I laughed. “Today you are so mean.”
The telephone rang.
Mila jumped to her feet. “Don’t take it. Don’t. Please.”
I gazed at her face.
She pushed the yellow file towards me. “I think it’s Mr. Wright. Please go through the file, friend. He said get back to him before lunch. It’s like this company wants the software finished in a month.”
“That’s not possible.”
“No. I mean the prototype.”
The telephone rang again. Mila dashed out of my office. I hesitated taking it but feared what I could say if it was indeed the CEO. I took a gulp of the apple juice and sighed.
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