Three months had gone by since their illicit affair began – their significant others completely oblivious of the fact that they were unwitting participants in a ‘swinging’ affair. They were now closer than they had ever been, sharing everything.
They bonded over their disillusionment with the spouses they had married. She told him how she had adamantly refused to sleep with her husband without a condom because she was always afraid that he would bring something home with him from one of those nasty women. In fact, she had refused to sleep with him since she found out about his latest affair. He, in turn, told her how ashamed and disrespected he had been when he had found out about his wife’s first affair with her then so-called business partner. Yes, there had been no love lost between them but he had not thought she would stoop to disrespect him in that way.
They pondered the fact that they had both not had children in their respective marriages. Wasn’t it ironic, she laughed mirthlessly, that they were now both experiencing the same problem he had tried to avoid by insisting on them not getting married to each other? How ironic was it, he pointed out, that they were now committing the same sins they had spent years castigating and despising their spouses for?
They reminisced about their past blissful memories and reveled in the making of even more blissful, though secret, new ones. She was brutally honest about the anger and betrayal he had left in his wake, and he was painfully sincere in recognizing and apologizing for his foolishness in leaving over something that was never certain. Broken emotional ties were now being replaced with even stronger and deeper ones.
They both knew they were on a runaway emotional train that had no clear destination but neither of them could bring themselves to be the first to hop off. He had no idea where this was heading but for the life of him, he couldn’t bring himself to care. All he knew was that he was more in love with Dunni than he had ever been. He knew he wanted to be with her. He just wasn’t sure how it was going to happen.
They were both still married – seemingly happily so to everyone who didn’t know better. Jide had been mostly away on an extended work trip and for the first time, Dunni told him, she did not give a damn whether he was getting up to no good as usual. It was over for her, as far as she was concerned, it had been over for her years ago. He was not sure if she was going ahead to ask Jide for a divorce like she sometimes threatened, and he did not want to step out on a limb and ask her to before she was ready.
For his part, he was more than ready to get rid of his wife even though he knew she and her family would put him through hell and back before she finally granted him a divorce. It would all be one big circus, especially if he eventually settled with Dunni once the dust had settled. Natalie was becoming suspicious of the fact that he was having an affair, he knew.
She had suddenly turned over a new leaf as though she realized she was in danger of losing him. She was home before he was every weekday, she always had his dinner ready for him, and she barely went out anymore. Her efforts were months too late. He was perpetually late from work and was never home most weekends even as he devoted more and more of his time to being with Dunni.
However, he could not carry on this way with Dunni either – stolen snatches of time together and furtive expressions of love only in the shadows. The last thing he wanted was to be the reason why people mocked her behind her back – her philandering husband was reason enough. She deserved better than this especially after all he had put her through in the past. Still, he did not think he had the right to ask her now for something that he had so cruelly denied her of once upon a time – love.
He was musing on all of this one night when Natalie came into his study, the wireless landline in her hand.
“Who is Dunni?” She asked, breathing heavily. He stared at her, tongue-tied.
“Who is Dunni, Jeta?”
He still couldn’t say anything.
“Who the hell is she,” she asked yet again, “and why is she calling our house at this hour?”
“Is she on the phone?” He stood up quickly, reaching to snatch the phone from her. She moved out of his reach but he was too fast for her.
“Dunni?” He spoke into the receiver.
“Jeta! Yes, it’s me, Dunni!”
“Dunni? Are you alright? What’s going on?” He asked, ignoring Natalie’s eyes boring into him.
“Jeta, I’m so sorry to call you at home. I couldn’t get through to your mobile and I really didn’t know how else to reach you.”
He looked over to where his cell phone was lying on the sofa. The network had been acting up all evening and he told her so.
“Are you okay?” He asked worriedly. He knew she would never have called him at home if it was not something serious and sure enough, she started crying then.
Now he was really worried. “Dunni, what’s going on? Are you okay?”
“Jeta, I-I…I don’t know!” She cried.
“Talk to me, D. Talk to me.”
He staggered visibly, the sheer irony of what she had just said blowing him away.
“What…?” He finally managed to whisper incredulously.
“I know! I suspected I was but the doctor confirmed it today.” She gasped in between her sobs. “I can’t believe it, Jeta! I’m…we’re pregnant!”
Somehow, he sensed that this was a deciding moment for both of them. Was it time to jump off the train or were they willing to ride it all the way to an unknown destination? He knew what he wanted but…was he worthy enough to have it now that he knew better?
“Dunni…is that good?” He finally asked tentatively, scared to death of what her answer would be.
“I…I think it is. Do you?” She replied softly after a beat.
In relief, he let out the breath he didn’t know he was holding and overwhelmed, he found himself speechless.
“Jeta, are you there?” She asked nervously when he did not say anything.
“I am here, Dunni.” He began to laugh at the irony of it all. “I’m here and this time, I’m not leaving ever again.” And when he had assured her of that and had promised to come over in an hour, he settled down to explain to a dumbfounded, incredulous Natalie that he was leaving her for the wife of the man she had been cheating on him with and who he had, in turn, been cheating on her with.
He understood now, he explained further, that the fact that a destiny was delayed did not mean it had been denied and she had to understand that he could not pass up the rare, second chance he was getting to claim his destiny and get it right. He would be getting his lawyer to write up the divorce papers before the end of the week, he concluded before he grabbed his keys and hurried out to meet the woman who was always meant to come first in his life…and their unborn baby.