If you missd Part One, find it here
The whole afternoon Wilmina kept on wondering what Dorcas really wanted of her.
At 5 she rang Dismas to tell him that she was meeting a friend and she would be late. She needed not bother, as he told her he would be coming home late himself as there was a lot of work at the office.
She did not think much of this since he was quite busy of late; the only problem was that after work he would not come home directly but would go on drinking sprees and come home drunk in the wee hours of the morning, when he would become quite violent and abusive when she asked him about it.
At 5.30 on the dot she was seated at the Birds Of A Feather restaurant, waiting for Dorcas.
It was almost midnight – over six hours since she met Dorcas – and what Dorcas had told her was shocking. She could not think straight, neither could she eat nor sleep. Her supper, prepared by Atieno, the house help, lay untouched on the table.
Before leaving for the day, Atieno had noticed that her boss was not herself, and she had tried to inquire if she was unwell and if she needed medication, but Wilmina said she was just tired, and would recover after a nap.
She had tried to call Dismas without success. Her calls went unanswered. The soft tick-tock from the clock on the wall this evening sounded louder than other days, as if adding to Dorcas’ accusations against Dismas Mwenda Njeru.
She was Dismas’s ex- wife
Wilmina did not know what to believe. Should she believe this strange woman she had met in church, or should she trust her yet to be husband, who of late had given her reason to doubt his faithfulness, or should she keep on giving him the benefit of doubt?
Dorcas had told Wilmina, without flinching, that she was Dismas’s ex-wife, and that it was true that she walked out on him, but not because of his having been retrenched, but because of cheating on her, being violent and even beating her whenever she accused him of unfaithfulness.
She told a shocked Wilmina that Dismas was not even retrenched in the first place, but sacked for drinking during office hours, and also stealing company cash. After he lost his job, he became worse, and spent all their savings on drinks and prostitutes.
‘’Eventually I had to walk out, with my baby.’’ Dorcas said, adding that her small salary was sufficient to take care of Daniella, their daughter and herself, at least they were now living peacefully.
‘’I came to know that you are engaged to marry him. Don’t ask me how I found out but news travel fast. I just came to warn you about his other side, so that you may not regret why no one told you about him. Just beware,’’ Dorcas had said draining her cup of coffee.
Wilmina was too stunned to say anything, and after a few minutes they silently said good bye to each other, with Wilmina thanking Dorcas faint heartedly because there was still a part of her that was telling her that this was not real.
Now, here she was, twisting and turning in her large double bed, which seemed much bigger today, and much colder.
Finally Dismas managed to stagger into the bedroom
She took her phone and tried his number again. Still it couldn’t go through.
She looked at the watch. It was shortly after midnight.
She did not know when she fell asleep.
He came home at 3 am. Drunk.
She heard him as he noisily struggled to open the front door, singing and cursing as had been his habit of late. She sat up and switched on the bedside light. She did not care whether he was drunk or not, today she would demand the truth.
Finally Dismas managed to stagger into the bedroom and somehow seemed surprised that Wilmina was still awake.
‘’What are you doing awake this time, you should be asleep!’’ he said staggering as he walked towards her.
‘’How can I sleep while you are out all night, and I even don’t know where you are?’’ she found herself blurting.
‘’What… but… but I’m not a child and I told you I’d be late at work…’’
‘’Late indeed. What time is it now? It’s going to 3.30 am… what type of work were you doing at this ungodly hour?’’
There was so much to ask him
‘’Woman, what has gotten into you these days?’’ he asked as he slumped onto the bed, and still fully clothed, with shoes and all, he murmured, “let me go to sleep if you won’t”, and to her dismay he was snoring in a few seconds.
She could not stomach it. She could not sleep in the same bed with a dead drunk disappointment.
She picked some blankets from the wardrobe and walked to the living room and lay on the sofa, crying in the dark.
She woke up in the morning to find Atieno busy in the kitchen preparing their breakfast. Atieno did not ask her why she had slept in the living room. She guessed that there must have been a fight between them as it happened quite frequently these days.
Wilmina went to the bedroom to find Dismas awake but still lying on the bed. She ignored him and took her towel and went to shower. There was so much to ask him, but she would do it in the evening, she thought. She did not feel like speaking to him this morning.
After showering she went back to the bedroom but found him not there. She dressed up and went to the living room for breakfast. He was seated on the sofa speaking to someone on phone, and smiling sheepishly making her even more moody.
She poured herself a cup of tea and left the table briefly to get something from the kitchen and when she returned, she found him gleefully drinking the cup of tea she had poured herself.
It was then that she remembered the photos
‘’What’s wrong with you, can’t you pour your own tea?’’ she demanded. He did not respond, but just stared at her ludicrously. She stood up angrily, left the room, went upstairs while struggling not to cry, took her handbag and left for work after hurried instructions to Atieno.
During the day she forced herself to go through the motions of her activities. She detached herself from any feelings, and throughout acted like a robot. She even forced herself to attend the church service despite the feeling that God had turned against her. She had been so obedient all these years, and the man she believed God had sent her for a spouse was proving to be a monster.
That afternoon she had no appointments and instead of going home early as she would normally do on such days she stuck on, burying herself into books and the social media.
Shortly after 3 pm, Dorcas sent her a text message asking for her email address, so that she could send her some photos. Without hesitation, and like a robot, Wilmina texted back the address.
Finally she arrived home at 7 pm, and after a shower she had an early supper which was served by Atieno before she left for the day. She was still in a reflective mood as she sat before the TV to watch the news and wait for Dismas to return.
It was then she remembered the photos that were to be sent by Dorcas. She took her phone and logged into her email address. The photos were there, and under other circumstances she would have been totally devastated.
Like a zombie, she left for the bedroom
She did not know how Dorcas got these photos, but it did not matter. It was Dismas alright and the photos were taken at different places and times, with different women at clubs, restaurants, and some of them being very cozy. One or two showed him kissing and even petting and necking.
Wilmina was surprised that she did not feel any anger or frustration. All she felt was that she had had enough. It was all over with this Dismas, the man she hoped that one day would be her husband. It was all over.
Like a zombie, she left for the bedroom, undressed and went to sleep. It was all over.
He did not come that night, and she did not care. She had decided to get rid of this situation once and for all.
This should not continue anymore, she swore. There was no way she could continue facing all these tribulations. No, it was time to leave, she thought as she gripped the small bottle of sleeping pills in her hand.
She was surprised that her mind was so clear and calm, once she had decided to do this. She would end her life today; there was no need for her to continue living on this earth.
She had planned it so well. She would take her bath as usual, take her meal and after that she would just swallow the pills, mixed in her drinking chocolate, and hop into bed and sleep. In the morning, they will find her dead.
Then she sat down on the bed and said a short prayer
She arrived home to find Atieno leaving. Supper was ready, and was laid on the table. As planned she went and had a long hot bath, dressed in her night dress and had her supper.
At about 9.30 he had not come, neither had he rung. She was not going to waste her time calling him. He and others would find her dead in the morning, she thought with remarkable clarity. All this stress would be a thing of the past, she thought with a wry smile.
She stood up and took the thermos flask with hot water, mug and a can of drinking chocolate and went to the bedroom. She then poured her drinking chocolate into the mug. Opened her handbag and retrieved the bottle of sleeping pills and popped six of them into the drink and stirred well.
Then she sat down on the bed and said a short prayer, asking God to forgive her for all the sins she had committed. She was sorry but she could not continue living this way and that’s why she opted to take her life.
After her prayer, she felt the urge to empty her bowels. I might as well, this is going to be a long journey, she thought wryly.
She stood up and went to the bathroom and closed the door. Ten minutes later she was through. She returned to the bedroom, took the mug and sat on the bed. Then she closed her eyes and took two long swigs, and felt a thrill as it went down her throat into the stomach.
Slowly and calmly, she placed the cup back on the side table and jumped into the bed. She put off the light, and closed her eyes, waiting to feel how death tasted like.
She was in what seemed to be a city of lights
With emotionless expectancy and curiosity she laid there, eyes closed as her mind danced with the gray darkness that enveloped her, within and without. So, is this how death felt like, so serene, so silent, and so dark… but wait! Suddenly she saw a faint flash of light to the north-south of the darkness.
Could this be it, she wondered. Could this be the door to the afterlife? As she thought about it, she felt being drawn towards that pin-point light; and it grew larger and larger as she floated towards it, her nightdress fluttering in the ecstatic wind.
The darkness that had surrounded her a few moments ago was gone, and she stood in bright light that did not seem to have a source. Where am I, she wondered as she looked around. She stood on a solid ground, which she could not see due to the bright light that paradoxically did not hurt her eyes.
When her eyes got used to the light, she noticed she was in what seemed to be a city of lights. Everything seemed to glow, each with a different colour and shade and form.
Where is this beautiful place, could it be heaven?
‘’Yes it is,’’ a booming yet soft voice behind her replied. Surprised, she turned around, her heart pounding with suspense and awe.
She saw a tall old man with a thick black beard. He wore a strange skin-like gown. His eyes shone with wisdom that seemed to ooze from the fine wrinkles on his forehead and temples.
You have already paid back there
‘’Who are you, and … and is this heaven?’’
‘’Some people call me Saint Peter, others call me the Watcher…’’
‘’So am I in heaven… If you are St Peter, then I am!’’ she said with excitement.
‘’You can say so, but this is not your ordinary idea of heaven… this is just well… can we call it a terminus… Is that where you call it on earth? A place where people take their transport to another destination?’’
‘’Bus terminus?’’ she asked.
‘’Yes… this is just a stop over, and you can call me your bus conductor, driver or makanga.. to take you to your destination.’’
‘’Oh… you are taking me to heaven?’’
‘’Well… I will take you where your cash will allow… You call it fare back on earth?’’
‘’Fare…? You mean I have to pay?’’ She asked startled.
‘’You don’t have to pay… you have already paid back there,’’ he said pointing backwards with his holy thumb. She followed the direction of the pointing, and she could see planet earth millions of light years away up in the deep sky among other planets and stars. She could not believe that every one of the problems people were suffering from were confined to that orb which seemed so tiny from here.
‘’I already paid? How now?’’
You have to go back
‘’Your past deeds back there will determine where you will go… that is the fare I’m talking about.’’
‘’But I’ve been a good girl… A good woman… surely you will allow me in…’’
‘’If your fare is adequate. Come,’’ he suddenly ordered, and started walking – gliding away. She found herself floating after him.
They instantly arrived at huge building like structure, which had equipment that on earth you would call CT Scanner, or an X-Ray machine, through which souls had to go, after which they would automatically and instantly be dispatched to the destinations they had earned during their lifetimes in their respective planets.
To her astonishment, a good number of souls were being sent back to kind of redo their tests or repeat classes in their schools of hard knocks back on their planets.
‘’You don’t have to go through the scanner, ‘’ St Peter said shaking his head sadly as he stared at Wilmina.
My fellow watchers told me that you are not yet ready. You have to go back and clear some bills kind of. ‘’
‘’What bills? I can’t live there… it is too much for me… that’s why I chose to come this way,’’ she moaned.
‘’My daughter, you should not have tried to take your own life anyway, that’s like short circuiting your destiny. Anyhow. You have to go back.’’
‘’Wilmina… WILMINA…!’’ his voice was now shaking her…
‘’NO… I WON’T…’’
‘’Wilmina… my dear… believe me its best for you to go back. Your time is not up.’’
‘’No, I want to stay this side…’’ she shouted throwing tantrums.
‘’Wilmina… I’m sorry, but you have to go. ‘’ he said and as he did, he started fading.
‘’Wilmina… WILMINA…!’’ his voice was now shaking her…
‘’Wilmina… what is wrong with you?’’ his voice now sounded like Atieno’s
Wilmina opened her eyes. What am I doing here… she thought. I’m already dead.
‘’Wilmina… what is wrong… did you have a nightmare?’’ Atieno asked.
Wilmina looked around… she felt her face. Yes she was alive; for some reasons the sleeping pills had not worked.
‘’I’m okay… yes it was a nightmare, I think,’’ she said with a shudder.
‘’You will be okay. But it must have been a terrible dream. I’ve just opened the front door and heard you screaming. At first I thought Dismas was at it again but when I opened the door I found you screaming in your dream.’’ Atieno said.
‘’Dismas? Dismas!’’ Wilmina said looking at Atieno. ‘’Have you seen him?’’
‘’No I haven’t. Not since last night.’’
‘’You mean he came last night?’’
‘’Yes he did. I met him outside as I was leaving. He was slightly drunk but did not see me. About two minutes later I came back for my house keys which I had forgotten in the kitchen.
‘’I saw him enter the bedroom, but since I did not want him to disturb you I followed him up to the door hoping he wouldn’t start his tantrums. You were in the bathroom, I think.
‘’I peeped from the door and saw him take your drink. I wanted to stop him and ask him to get his own but it was too fast. He drank it in one gulp, and then poured some more in the cup from the thermos, placed the cup back on the table, and turned to leave. I think he did not want you to notice that he had taken your drink.’’
‘’He did what?’’ Wilmina almost screamed.
‘’He drank your chocolate then poured more for you.’’ Atieno replied, confused as to why Wilmina was alarmed.
‘’He staggered… I think to the sitting room.’’
‘’What is it?’’
‘’Come, let’s look for him. My God.’’ she said as she sprung from the bed and hurried to the living room with Atieno following suit.
They found him sprawled on the floor, dead as his eyes stared into nothingness.