When I snooped through his phone and was met by evidence of infidelity strewn all over it, my first instinct was to ask who the hell Kristy was. You remember Kristy, right?
I did ask. With little hesitation, I was told Kristy was the accountant to one of the firms he was currently representing in a court case. The lawyer in him went on to build his case; they had been working together a lot lately, there was nothing going on between them, she was, in fact, ugly, not his type, so annoying – spoke in a loud screeching voice.
He said I wouldn’t believe it when I got the chance to see her in real life. That Kristy was not the kind of woman who belonged in his arms – hard to believe it I know, but he said it. He was one of those men yes. He even wondered, as if to himself, which hole uncultured women like Kristy crawled from. He went further to wonder why more women never strived to be like me. Then he counted his blessings, and I made the list, you might be interested to know. He was lucky to have met me, said he. Even luckier that he had to endure Kristy only for a few weeks, just until he was done with this case. I really had nothing to worry about. Kristy was nothing, to worry about – were his closing remarks to his seemingly strong case.
I tried not to drown in the flattery. To stay the course. Get answers to the many questions. I pulled him back from the Kristy-slamming fest that he seemed to be enjoying and asked why the communication between him and Kristy did little to support the fact that she was ugly, not his type, annoying, loud, nothing like the cultured me (yay?), someone that didn’t belong in his arms etcetera, etcetera.
He said that he tries to be kind to people – women especially. Because he knows that they (we) can be overly sensitive and can blow things out of proportion. You really must understand how suppressing an eye roll was so painful at this point. Good man that he is, he didn’t want to create a hostile environment between him and Kristy and so he communicated with her in a “friendly” way. He was “friendly” to everyone. He was a “friendly” person (You should see me air-quoting right about now).
I told him that I did not mind the “friendly” personality in him. I also told him that since I did not want to appear as overly sensitive – you know, women, I would just let the words in his texts speak for themselves and I would not add any of mine. He seemed unsure. I proceeded to read out the texts anyway.
Text numero uno. It read: “Still busy beautiful? Let me take you lunch…” (Of course he meant; Let me take you TO lunch – grammar, motherfucker, can you use it?) “… P.S: I don’t take no for an answer” he’d added. I asked him if lunch was a thing between them. He said no. That in fact, it was the only time he’d asked her to go for lunch together. There wasn’t a crime in eating together if two people happen to work together and feel hungry at the same time, right? I agreed with him. Really, there was no reason he could not eat with her. It’s not as if their body fluids would get mixed in the food right? I knew that if I asked why he called her beautiful in the text, his answer would be as before – he is a “friendly” person, so I let it slide. Plus the air-quoting business is mentally draining.
“You are killing me today beautiful” I read text numero dos. I followed it up with a question about how Kristy had tried to kill him. He smiled. I guess he thought I was joking, so I read the text again and asked if he thought Kristy intended to commit murder. He looked at me as if he was seeing me for the first time. He tried a smile. A nervous one this time. I raised one eyebrow and stared him dead in the eye (you don’t want me pulling the eyebrow thing on you. It’s lethal– I’m lethal! Who’s killing who now?) Did he think this was funny? Was this a joke to him?
“That’s just flattery honey” he replied. I requested him to quit sprinkling his words with endearments because we were discussing serious matters here. The honeys and darlings had no place up in here.
Flattery huh? You’re killing me is just the same as calling her beautiful? He said yes. Mmh. That made sense. If I remembered correctly, he’d accused me of killing him a few times. Like on that day, for example, when he’d taken me out for dinner. I’d worn a skirt which happened to be a little bit snug, especially on my sizable derriere (nothing to apologize for, ey ladies?). He’d walked behind me all the way from the parking lot to the restaurant and I saw no reason not to sway what my mama gave me as I cat walked ahead of him. After all, isn’t that the punctuation to every song, to shake your tailfeather, pop that trunk, wiggle wiggle? As he was pulling the chair for me to sit down, he’d whispered in my ear that I was killing him. He’d bit my earlobe as he said it, making me feel things. In an hour, we were back in my place doing things to each other that made us feel even more things.
That image came to me as we talked about who wanted to kill who and why. As we redefined flattery in the text messages sent to Kristy.
It meant nothing, he said.
Did my killing him mean anything? I wanted to know. Fair that I should know, yes? He gave a profound yes. Then why was another woman out there killing him now? He tried to smile again. My expression put a kibosh on the smile.
“I miss your kisses my darling.” Text numero tres, this time from Kristy to him. I guess he’d got her eventually. What would he say to this, I wondered. Then I waited. And waited. Whatdyaknow, the lawyer had run out of lies. I threw the phone at him. He picked it up from where it fell on the carpet and came to me.
I am sorry, he said.
I had been told that a married man sleeps with three women at any given period. His wife, his mistress and a random chips funga every once in awhile. The role of the wife is apparent. The role of the mistress is to consistently give him that which his wife won’t. The role of the random chips funga is to check the mistress, prevent her from scaling the heights from mistress to wife.
Kristy was therefore expected. And so was Imani and Rachel and Prisca before her. The day I would feel bothered by his oblivious wife or his chips funga, his philandering to say, would be the day for me to walk away. Today was not that day. As he closed the gap between us to embrace me, I knew that Kristy was at the exit door. This only meant that another woman was waiting at the entrance.
I have somewhat become an expert in this Mistress-in-chief business. What can I say, some women are wife material, others are mistress material. You get to choose your poison darling.