‘No way,’ Bella screamed waving her hands in the air. She almost tipped over her wine glass. I was catching up with Bella who I hadn’t seen for the last 11 months as she had been out of the country.
‘Why do you have to be so dramatic?’ I frowned, steadying the glass. ‘Must you talk like that? This carpet is new and it’s expensive.’
‘Let me tell you something friend, this is not something I hear every day so excuse me for being dramatic,’ Bella hit back sarcastically. ‘So you mean to tell me all these things he bought you wasn’t money that he was spending from his own pocket? Eh!’
I sighed, took a sip of my wine and proceeded to tell the story.
‘Yes. All this time he had been lying that he worked as a consultant and that the organizations he had contracts with liked his work so much that they gave him bonuses.’
‘And you didn’t stop to think that these bonuses were too frequent?’
‘How was I supposed to know?’ I shot back. ‘It’s not like you guys had any questions about where the money came from when we were at Kiza Lounge every Saturday.’
‘Calm down dear, tell me the story, how did you find out?’
‘I told you how we met?’
‘I think you did. Through Alice right?’ Bella asked tilting her head slightly.
‘Yes, when I signed up for that tours package to Zanzibar. I forgot to bring a shuka, I had not expected the nights to be so cold. It was either I rented a blanket from the small shop at our pit stop or I shared a blanket with him. I decided not to take any chances, who knows how often they wash those things!’
‘That’s true,’ Bella quipped. ‘My friend told me once that sometimes they have bedbugs and those things are the most resilient creatures you will ever encounter. Once they are in your house, they do not leave. You will be the one to move.’
We both laughed and refilled our glasses.
‘That night, he shared his blanket with me as we sat by the fire.’
‘How romantic,’ Bella teased forming a heart shape with her hands.
‘Nothing happened.’ I said in mock indignation. ‘Do you want me to finish the story or not?’
Bella put her hands over her mouth.
I continued ‘While we were camping he shared his blanket with me. Except when we got to Zanzibar and we each got our hotel rooms. At night we used to talk and we got to know each other slowly so by the time the trip came to an end we had gotten quite close to each other. After the trip we got to spend a lot more time together, he was very generous and quite young so it was impressive.’
‘Doesn’t every woman want a man like that? Nowadays very few men will spend their money on you,’ Bella added, rolling her eyes.
‘Well he wasn’t like that,’ I continued. ‘The more intimate we got, the more lavish the trips became. For my birthday, we went to Thailand. It was beautiful. The fishy thing about him was his absences. I don’t mind my man going out and spending time with the boys but with him, he would switch off his phone and I wouldn’t hear from him for days.’
‘Did you suspect he was being unfaithful?’ Bella asked me.
‘He told me he had jobs outside Nairobi. But something was off and I didn’t know what. I suspected him of many things Bella. Could he have been a drug dealer perhaps? Every time he’d disappear he’d come back with more money to spend. I didn’t know how to confront him until I saw this documentary on the crime channel where the girlfriend of a known criminal was sentenced together with her boyfriend for being an accessory to crime just because she knew what her boyfriend did and never reported it.’
‘That wouldn’t have applied to you though, because you didn’t know,’ Bella said as she refilled her glass.
‘Well you never know with our justice system, they are not very big on small details like that. They’d just bundle us into the Land Rover and off to prison.’
‘I confronted him. He got defensive and told me that I should trust him a lot more, that the money was from a bonus, blah blah blah. I believed him. He was very convincing and I calmed down and forgot about it for some time.’
‘Do you remember that day we went out for Kayla’s birthday at that hotel in Rongai? Oh, I forgot you were out of the country.’
Bella leaned in, “is that when you found out?’
‘It was on that day that I found out. We arrived at the hotel and booked a table at the balcony overlooking the lower terrace area and the landscape beyond. An hour into our ladies day out, a couple walked in and somebody made a comment about their age difference. It was Beatrice who pointed out that the guy looked a lot like Jared. When I looked closely at them, lo and behold! It was none other than my sweet, generous boyfriend with a woman old enough to be his mother.’
‘What did you do?’
‘I went straight to that table and demanded an explanation.’
‘Jared just stared at me like I was a ghost. He acted like he didn’t even know me. The woman kept caressing him and calling him baby the entire time. I was so upset and I left.’
Later that night he called me.
‘He tried to get out of explaining himself, but there was no way he could. I mean, I had just caught him red-handed. He told me that he’d met the lady on a dating site long before he met me. He was so broke and all the woman wanted was some company in exchange for monetary gifts.’
‘I couldn’t believe it, Bella! He didn’t even have a job. All he did was sit at home and wait to meet his ‘benefactor’. That was his routine. If he wasn’t meeting her, he would meet me.’
‘So what did you do? Did you leave him?’
‘It was a hard decision to make. I’d gotten accustomed to this kind of life,’ I chuckled pointing at the large screen Ultra HD TV, the plush rug, and the expensive wine we were drinking.
‘I loved him. But I can’t share my man with another woman especially a sugar mummy. He told me he would leave her but I don’t trust him anymore. I will miss the life he gave me but I can’t live like that.”
Featured Image via B-Metro.