The music playing in the background sails gently into my ears, calming my tired nerves, making me stretch and yawn lazily on the settee on which I lie.
I stare at the giant picture frame of my husband’s photograph hung on the wall. He donned his military attire, a big smile playing on his lips, his shoulders raised, carrying with an air of authority. Theodore, I murmur to myself and sigh. That name carries with it a heavy burden of sorrow.
Theodore died twelve years ago of cancer. “Breast cancer,” I remember the doctor say, a veil of pity on his face.
I laughed hysterically, causing the sympathetic look on the doctor’s face to transform to that of shock.
“What’s funny?” he asked.
I kept quiet, a shade of guilt on my face.
Breast cancer? Even Theodore’s illiterate mother said with a quizzical look in her eyes, “But my son has no breast.”
It was until our ten years old son asked about his father that the truth dawned on me. I nearly cried my eyes out, wishing it were all a dream. I and our son became so close that the phrase, “five and six”, was apt to use in describing us.
I remember Aisha, my best friend; the one who goes about with innumerable boyfriends. We were alone in the sitting room watching television, two glasses of fruit juice before us. when she tilted her head towards me and asked in a low voice,
“How do you find comfort at cold nights?”
I smiled coyly, shifting my gaze to her well-manicured nails.
“How?” she pressed. “You know you can count on me.”
“Never mind,” I said.
She relaxed her head, a glass in her left hand, gave me a suspicious look and sipped from her drink.
I thanked God I stopped the conversation, for I knew where it could end if I allowed it go any further.
I hear footsteps behind me, I know who it is. Peter; my lover, his hands embrace my neck as he sniffs a generous amount of my hair spray, before heaving a satisfactory sigh. He moves his hands to my shoulders, massaging them tenderly causing a feeling of excitement in me at the forboding of the impending activity. His roving hands moves involuntarily to my breasts and cups them, his experienced fingers pinching my hard nipples. Then, in his familiar husky voice, he says,
“Let’s go to bed, mom.”