The Other Side of the Bed

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She woke up to the sound of his key in the door. There was no sleep to rub from her eyes, not these days. The clock beside the bed blinked green. It was 2 a.m.

She listened as he shut the door and kicked off his shoes. She would find them askew by the door in the morning, discarded by their owner. Something she knew a little about.

She followed his footsteps …on the stairs? He never came straight to bed! Not before supper! This she had learned earlier on in their marriage. Sourly, she thought about the food that sat in the microwave and regreted that it would go to waste. If only she could go and pack it in the fridge, but she couldn’t ..

Her train of thought was cut short by the opening bedroom door. She closed her eyes, even though she was turned away from him. She stiffened and pretended to be fast asleep.

She sighed with relief when she heard his muffled footsteps heading towards the bathroom, stopping only to drop his clothes on the empty floor. The closed bathroom door allowed her freedom to breath.

What had they become?!
Her hand went to her head, as if in pain, but that was not the part of her that ached. Her chest tightened in anguish and the tears she had been holding onto threatened to spill.     

She quickly huddled herself into a ball just as he emerged from the washroom. He didn’t put on the light. He allowed her that courtesy.

He slipped into bed. He didn’t touch her. Not in the way that put people on the family way, but he didn’t touch her. Sometimes when she’d close her eyes, she would imagine she was alone in their bed. And their marriage .

How had they become one of those couples?!?
They never talked, apart from asking for the jam or the mashed potatoes or the day’s paper. They were both always so busy. With everything it seemed, except each other.   

She couldn’t think of when it had all began.  One minute they were deep in love, lost in each other’s eyes, whispering forever and a day, painting heaven and brewing passion. The next, they couldn’t even have a conversation.
Had she stepped back? Had he?

His breathing had slowed to a steady rhythm. He was asleep. She turned, careful not to wake him up. His face was calm. The green light from the clock cast over the contours of his face.

Her heart clenched as she remembered how much she loved that face. How much she still did. And knowing that hurt the most.
No, she hadn’t moved away. He had. He had stopped fighting for them. He had stopped caring. He had stopped loving her.

Her hand flew to her mouth to stop the cry of anguish that threatened to tear out.  
He was leaving her. She had no doubt about it. Why? She had no clue. But she couldn’t make him love her. She had already tried.

All she could do was wait for the day his suitcases would be by the staircase. For the day he couldn’t meet her gaze. For the day he would do what he had already done a long time ago; leave.

She touched her face to find it wet. She was crying. She wiped the tears away gingerly and without anouther thought, she took his arm and wrapped it around her, her back to him. She felt him wake up and held her breath,waiting for him to pull away.

He didn’t. He tightened his hold on her and kissed her forehead. She didn’t understand, but if this was their last night together, she didn’t want to spend it trying to understand.

That night, she slept through the whole night for the first time in a long time, and in the morning, she didn’t wake up to an empty bed. Now she really didn’t understand.  But when she looked into his eyes, she finally did. He hadn’t come back. He’d never left. He was just on the other side of the bed.

Relationships in Context

How many times have we heard of a situation where a chic and a dude are best friends while either or both of them are involved in a relationship with another party?!More often than not, I imagine. You, the reader, may even be the one in such a situation. Honestly, that is just venturing down the path that will only lead to unnecessary pain.

One thing my parents have always told me when it comes to marriage is to make sure I marry my best friend. They did.  50 years down the line(25 for Dad, 25 for Mum), they are still going strong. This is not something new,  but it is something that is very essential to a healthy relationship.

More than a friend“- that is one phrase that is really misused. I have been skiaing this song about this dude who knows a chic through a one night stand and now he wants to know her as “more than a friend”.Dude!!! You just met the chic on some fishy and random one night stand !!!! she is a stranger!!! To be more than  a friend, YOU HAVE TO BE HER FRIEND FIRST!!!!!!!

Our generation is really messed up when it comes to relationships because we want things to go chap chap hadi we even skip some stages just as long as we get to reach the finish line. I am sure that among the unions  taking place of late, 70% are between strangers!! Guys don’t juana , then they start shtukaing sometime in the marriage and  they drop the worst clichés like “I don’t know who you are anymore” ama “You ‘re not the person I fell in love with”

By the way, it’s not that I have a lot experience, or anything like that. In fact, I have never been in a relationship, and I am not in any hurry to do so. I know well enough that, when I get into a relationship, it will be for the long run, which is  a lifetime. Si lazima nifanya interview kama Judicial Service Commission .The thing is , the guy was designed to fit that position by God Himself!! Anything else added onto that would be irrelevant and admissible in the court of Law…..:)……just had to.

Friendship sets the foundation on which a relationship is built and it takes time!!! There are no two ways about it. You cannot sit down and just bwaga details about your life to a stranger and decide “now we are friends lets move to the next level!” It is through friendship that you learn to trust wholly. In Kenya, and the world over, you will pata that sometimes a chic and dude hold back information about each other ati for the sake of mystery. What they are actually doing is excluding them from a part of their own life, creating a point of weakness in the foundation!

Then of course, there is the age-old quandary of being in  a relationship while having a friend from the opposite sex. That is what you call Emotional Adultery. People, the purpose of getting into a relationship, essentially, is for marriage. I don’t know who distributed the memo that said otherwise. Everything else is just child’s play; two people playing kalongo. I say that because they are only playing around with the idea of being together. They have no clue to how much more it could  be.