Category Archives: short story
A friend of mine Bethany recently broke up with her boyfriend, Tim, of five years. They both loved each other so much that they actually tattooed each other’s names on the top right corner of their scapulars. They went on holiday trips together, they both loved to share great moments with each other, Bethany once told me that she was so grateful to have a guy with whom she shared so many great interests. So much more than some married couples even.
Bethany is the only child of her parents. She works at the local animal shelter. It had always been her dream to care for animals and nature in general. Her father died when she was eleven. She never had a real relationship with her dad because he was an abusive drunk, who constantly beat up her mum and her. She told me once that her dad once flogged her mum into a coma with his belt. I don’t really know much about her family background, because she really doesn’t like talking about it. When you look closely at her forehead, the scares of an unloved daughter of a drunk lay bare on her face. Her mother has been her everything, giving her all the support she needs.
Tim is a senior accountant at one of the midsized firms in the city. He has a super furnished apartment and drives the latest cars. He recently bought the new BMW 3 Series. Tim is the second child in a family of doctors, both of his parents are doctors and three out of the five children are almost out of medical school. The last born, Sherry is a teacher at a government high school not too far from the family house. Bethany had met them all, and they absolutely adored her and so did she love them. Bethany was the only girlfriend of Tim that the family had unanimously fallen in love with, she was simply a homerun of a girlfriend. She would go over every other Sunday afternoon to help out with the cooking of the family lunch. It was a tradition that Tim’s father, George, had inherited from his own dad. They would all sit around the table and reflect on how the week went for everyone, and also talk about the plans for the week ahead. They would sometimes all go on road trips in a rented bus. The camaraderie among family members was simply out of this world. Bethany once told me that she felt closer to Tim’s family than even her mother.
Bethany told me about a month ago that she feels Tim was about to propose to her. The way you feel a storm when it is brewing in the distance. She also told me that her friend Sarah had seen him at some point walk into a jewelry store and spent some time perusing the ring collection on display. I was happy for Bethany; at last she would get the happy ending every woman deserves. In some ways she had always been searching for the perfect father figure given her very painful background, and she had found it in Tim. He was a twofer; a great partner and an excellent father figure to her.
One early afternoon, she left the shelter early to go home for a quick nap. She had been complaining about nausea and a chronic headache from some days. We both laughed so hard one day when I told her that she had taken-in for Tim. She told me it was impossible, and that she was waiting until they get married. When she arrived at the apartment she shared with Tim, she noticed that the front door was left slightly ajar. She thought they had been robbed. She proceeded carefully, taking the baseball bat behind the front door with her. As she went further into the apartment, she noticed that Tim’s suit trouser, shirt, shoe, socks, a female blouse, Stiletto shoes among other items were littered on the ground forming a trail leading to the master bedroom. She did not want to jump to any conclusions even when there was ample incriminating evidence to support it. When she finally made her way to the master bedroom door, Beth told me she said a little prayer that it was all some joke. Like one of those TV shows (Punk’ed). Then she went on to ponder the implications of what she might see. She stood in front of the door for about five minutes before opening the door. When she opened the door, she spontaneously threw-up. She could not contain herself, and so she fell to the ground in tears. Apparently Tim was in bed with his new secretary Yvonne Nelson. I had always suspected Tim’s unusual closeness to the lady, but I dare not make this known to Beth. She was one of those “blind in love” kinds of women. She utterly trusted Tim, and never for a second did she think he would ever cheat on her.
Beth eventually ran out of the house screaming with Tim running after her with his boxers barely covering his “privates”. She yelled profanities at him and drove off with rage. Beth laid in bed for about two weeks only getting up to pee. She was completely devastated. The whole ordeal had obliterated her heart. She was crying so much that I feared she might die of dehydration. Tim called countless times and left tonnes of messages on her answering machine and in her email box. But it was obvious she was in no mood to speak with him.
Eventually she got herself together. Went back to work and took up a pottery class. She did everything she could to keep herself busy and also to keep her from going over to Tim’s house and blowing his head off with a gun. She was still mad at Tim, but at least she was out of the fetal position and back to life.
Beth recently Joined a book club and they are currently reading the book; “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” by Steve Harvey. She absolutely loves the book, that she carries it with her even to the bathroom. One night while she was reading it and I joined her. She was on page 82 and I just hooped over and saw an interesting line:
“If he takes your number but waits longer than twenty-four hours to call, he’s sport fishing; if he calls you right away, he’s showing that he’s genuinely interested in you, and is most likely looking for a keeper.”
We both laughed at this sentence and the others that followed. (Steve Harvey thanks for betraying us guys, we shall be hunting down very soon)
I don’t know if she should be reading such a sensitive book at such a fragile time in her life, but the smile on her face when she reads the book is way too priceless for me to take it away from her.
There is Mr. Stuart Green and his kids, little Cathy on his left and Princeton to his right. Looking at this picture all might seem well, but things are far from well. Mr. Stuart was in a very fatal car accident about a year ago and as a result has lost a great portion of his memory. While the car was Somersaulting, his skull was repeatedly slammed against the dashboard, resulting in major head trauma for Mr. Stuart. He was in a coma for a month and two weeks before eventually waking. The nurse on duty said when he woke up he uttered only three words “Where is Mother”. Nurse Jackie rushed off to get the doctor in excitement, she had assumed that he was all well, but little did she know that the worst had happened. Mr Stuart’s mother had been dead for about 10 years now. She died of a heart attack. She was 80 years old at the time, she lived a lovely life.
The doctor called Kate, Stuart’s wife to give her the news that he had woken up. Kate immediately got the two kids to get dressed and headed to the hospital. Approaching Stuart’s room, little Cathy burst of her mother’s grip yelling “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!”. Stuart had this blank expression on his face; obviously he could not remember who his family was. He picked Cathy up and gave her a big hug, Princeton joined in. When Kate saw this, she knew exactly what had happened. Even though he was right there in front of her, she realized she had lost the love of her life; she walked over to Stuart and broke into tears. While Stuart was with the kids, the doctor called her aside and gave her the full details. He explained to her that she would need to exercise a lot of patience with him while he tries to reacclimatize himself with the family again. After three weeks in intensive care, Mr. Stuart was discharged to go home with his family.
Kate has been working really hard to ease Stuart back into his former life. She is a member of a support group for women whose husbands are challenged in some way or the other. Old school photos and videos, trips to some of his favorite restaurants and taking him to meet with some of his good old friends. So far things have been going fine in general, but there have been some really tough times in-between. I really feel for Kate because she has had to take on an overwhelming role in the family on such short notice.
The picture above is from one of the trips that the family took to the house where Stuart grew up. It was quite emotional, Kate told me Stuart seemed to have recognized fragments of the house. Places like his room and the courtyard where he played with his friends as a kid invoked some really strong emotions in Stuart. She told me that little Cathy was actually the one who suggested the picture be taken.
Everyone is constantly praying and hoping that one day Stuart would look at his kids and actually remember who they are. I personally pray for Kate to be blessed to with the fortitude to carry this heavy cross of hers.
GET WELL SOON Mr Stuart!