My Mother's Husband

Monday, August 03, 2015
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MY MOTHER’S HUSBAND

“Make sure your mother doesn’t find out,” said the man.

“She won’t,” assured the girl.

They had been doing this ‘kiss and don’t tell’ thing for a while. It had worked miracles but they knew that they were risking. What she does not know will not hurt her. That was their slogan. Vivian and Paul.

Vivian was a young damsel aged about eighteen while Paul doubled her age. He must have been thirty-six. He was charming and affluent. What every man desires. It was a double blessing since most are either charming but poor or affluent beasts. Paul had both. He was a married man. Not to Vivian. Vivian was still in high school and she had no plans of getting married soon. She was just having fun and Paul was aware.

Paul was married. I must have written that somewhere. He was the husband to Vivian’s mother. Husband. That is a ring, marriage certificate, house, car … you get the point? He moved in with Beatrice, Vivian’s mother, when Vivian was an innocent fifteen-year-old girl! She was in the second form or tenth grade, if you like. Beatrice got Vivian when she was in high school. Vivian’s biological dad was in form four while the mother was in form three. They met, Beatrice and the daughters’ father, during a function and before anyone could say ’Kenya’, Vivian was in her womb.

Being a single mother had not been easy. It will never be. For fifteen years, she had struggled in bringing up Vivian. All by herself. She was not ready to face another disloyalty like that from Vivian’s father. He had adamantly refused to cater for his child. He said he was too young when she got the child and that it was her fault. By the time Vivian was twelve; her biological and ‘chemical’ father was a managing director at a renowned mobile communication service company in Nairobi. He had a wife and a child. What Beatrice thought would be true love had turned against her.

However, things would not be bitter forever as circumstances proved. She saw Paul. A committed young man who was also a managing director; at a company in Eldoret. He was ‘cool’ and gentle. Never did he harm a fly or step on an ant. Polite was his middle name. Beatrice got hooked to him. She could not live without his words and one thing led to another. In no time, they were wedding and pap! A family. Three years in marriage without cat-fights and wrangles.

Everything was okay. So fine. Beatrice had found a man who knew what being a man meant. He was caring, handsome and tall. True. They were planning to have a child in three years' time. That is, three years from the time they wedded. Their dream came true and by exactly that time, Beatrice was expecting a child. Paul was happy. Vivian, fifteen, too. What else could Beatrice ask for? Nothing really. With a husband that had accepted ‘an extra baggage’, she had all she wanted. The extra baggage being Vivian. He had accepted her without qualms and in his words ‘to err is human'.

“I’ll adopt her," he had said during courtship.

“Wow! Sweetheart, you’re the best man I’ve ever had!” she had appreciated his kindness.

Three years later. Things were sour but Beatrice knew not a thing. Vivian and Paul, her step-father-cum-legal-father, were more close to each other than a parent should be to a child. Had he married both the mother and the daughter?

★★★★★

“Paul, I’m expecting your child, she said during one of their meetings in the dark sunlight. Who is ‘she’? Vivian of course.

“This cannot be true,” Paul could not believe the music in his ears. Ska. “You cannot be!”

<>"I am."

So the sea was not calm at all. Vivian had finished high school and joined a local university. She had Paul’s … she was a second year student. Paul and Beatrice had a son they called Lee. She had Paul’s … Now what? She had Paul’s child! What would the child call Paul, Beatrice, Lee and Vivian? What would the child call itself?

“ 'Flush’ this thing!” said Paul.

Abortion was the only option and perhaps the best option. But Kenyan laws did not promote such. The mother’s condition was good and her pelvic muscles were also intact. She was not sick.

What was running in Vivian’s beautiful mind at that moment?

“Paul, I have an option.”

“Yes, please, my sweetheart.”

“l’ll have the child.”

★★★★★

Adapted from
Man of The Cloth and Other Stories
An Anthology of Short Stories
by Brady Kenya
©2014
First Edition

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