Maggie waited impatiently for Daniel to arrive. She couldn’t wait to break the exciting news to him, and she wasn’t sure how he would react. What she needed to tell him would change everything. Her relationship with her husband had been rocky but what she had seen on his phone last night had shocked her. She had felt Dan slipping away but had never suspected what she found out last night.
Yesterday evening Dan had gone out jogging and left his phone in the house. Maggie was busy cooking in the kitchen thinking sadly how nice would be to have the pitter-patter of little feet in the house. She felt sad that they had been married for seven years and still didn’t have any children yet.
When they met eight years ago, Maggie had been a nursery schoolteacher beloved by both the students and the other teachers. Maggie had a cheerful disposition, and she was always happy and helpful to anybody who needed her help. At 5 foot 3, Maggie was short, but with her curves and her beautiful smile, she did not lack suitors. She wasn’t interested though. She was focused on doing her work well and saving money to go to university to pursue a degree in education. She had a diploma, but she wanted more.
Maggie met Daniel when he came to pick up his nephew Andrew from school. The day they met Maggie was the teacher on duty watching the children after classes while they waited for their parents or guardians. Daniel was late, all the other children had left, and Maggie was already impatient when he drove in in his blue Mercedes.
According to Daniel, it was love at first sight, but it wasn’t for her. She was from a poor family and she did not believe in fairy tales where rich princes married poor Cinderellas. Daniel had taken his time to charm her and her family. He had swept aside her objections and made her fall in love with him.
When they got married, Daniel paid the fees for Maggie to go to university. Maggie had planned to have children immediately after she finished her degree, but she couldn’t seem to get pregnant. Daniel told her not to worry, the children would come. Maggie wanted to apply for jobs, but Daniel told her he was making enough money for both of them. She felt helpless having nothing to do so she started gardening and putting her life into managing the huge shamba that they had been given for a wedding present.
A year after finishing campus, Maggie and Daniel had started getting worried. They went to a doctor and Maggie was found to be ok. Daniel was found to have a low sperm count and he was given medicine to help with that. The only problem is that he always made it seem that she was the one with the problem. But because Daniel was the breadwinner, and she did not want to make him look like less of a man she kept quiet and bit the bullet for family peace.
Maggie snapped out of thinking of the past when Daniel’s phone rang. She usually did not pick up his phone, so she continued what she was doing. It rang a couple of times, then it was disconnected and then rang again. She went to the sitting room to get the phone and tell the person that Daniel was not home. But by the time she did, it had stopped ringing. Then she saw a flashing message. Maybe it was the same person. Dan was such an important, busy person. Maybe it was a client wanting to get in touch. Dan would be upset if he missed out on an important deal.
Maggie punched in his security code, he had never changed it all the time she had known him, but there was no need. They trusted each other with stuff like that. What she saw shocked her and she had to sit down to catch her breath.
“Darling, I have some great news. I am pregnant. I know it will be a boy. We can name him Kamau like your father. I will be waiting for you tomorrow night. Can’t wait to see my baby daddy again. Love you loads and loads.”
Kamau was Dan’s father so there was no wishing that the text was a mistake. Maggie felt pain like she had never felt before like someone had ripped her heart into shreds. She cried for a few minutes, feeling a deep grief she could not explain.
Then she remembered that she was in the middle of cooking and that Daniel was due back at any moment. She deleted the message knowing that there was no way Dan would not notice that his message had been read if the person asked him. “Let her think that the message did not reach,” she muttered.
That night as she lay beside the man she had loved, a man she thought would never betray her, she felt the stirring of hatred. She thought, ‘After all I have done to keep quiet and allow Daniel to pretend that I am the one with the problem, he goes out and has an affair. What am I going to do?’ She could not sleep at all that night, she just tossed and turned.
In the morning she called her sister Pauline. Her sister was going to have her fourth baby and was heavily pregnant. She had married a friend of Dan’s. When she explained what was going on, her sister told her not to cry.
“My dear, this is not the time for tears. If you allow yourself to wallow in it, you shall lose the battle. Come here right now. By the time you come, I will have thought of something.”
Maggie met with Pauline and they hatched a plan. It was only a short-term plan, but they would have to think of a long-term solution later. The idea was to make sure Daniel did not leave her for the other woman. It had to work because Maggie did not know what she would do if it didn’t.
Pauline asked, “Do you know who the woman is? Is it somebody we know?”
Maggie said yes although she didn’t really want to talk about it.
Pauline asked, “Who is it?”
“It is Daniel’s PA Njeri!” said Maggie.
Pauline exclaimed “that bitch!”
In the last year, Daniel travelling a lot both locally and internationally. Usually, Maggie went with him, but she had been really busy with the farm. Daniel told her that she should concentrate on the farm and he would go alone. He ended up going with his PA. Maggie never gave it even a second thought. She trusted Daniel.
“So, what am I going to do?” asked Maggie.
Pauline replied, “Well the first thing is to pretend that you are pregnant. It will make Daniel think twice about leaving you.”
Maggie asked, “How can I prove to Daniel I am pregnant? You know I am not”
“That’s the easy part. Go to the chemist and bring me two pregnancy tests. I will just pee on them and they will turn positive. You can show that to Daniel. Problem solved!” Her sister Pauline did have some good ideas. She had always been the clever one of the two.
Maggie went to the chemist, bought the pregnancy tests, and came back. Pauline peeped on both pregnancy tests and gave them to her to take home.
It was seven o’clock and Maggie was waiting for Daniel to come home. She had called him at lunchtime and told him there was some exciting news she had to tell him.
Dan asked her, “Can’t it wait until I come home later? You know today is the night I hang out with the boys?”
Maggie told him it was something that couldn’t wait. He asked her to tell him on the phone, but she said it was something she had to tell him in person.
“Fine,” Daniel said, “I will pass by there then see if I will get time to go see my boys?”
Maggie took a bubble bath and had some wine to calm her nerves. “Will it work?” she asked herself several times. She wore a dress that was a favourite of Dan’s and the perfume he loved. She had prepared a delicious meal for him.
When Daniel arrived, she rushed to get him a drink. He was clearly impatient to be off to see his “boys.”
“Maggie, just tell me what’s up. What’s with the romantic lighting and the sexy clothes? I told you I have to go.”
“I was going to tell you after dinner and show you your surprise. But since you are so impatient let me bring it so that you can see it. “
Maggie rushed to the bedroom and brought something to the table.
“What is it?” Dan said impatiently.
“It’s a pregnancy test. It’s positive. I took two just to be sure. We are going to have a baby. Isn’t that the most exciting news in the world? We are finally going to be parents” Maggie had a smile on her face.
That shut Daniel up. He was speechless and could not say everything. Maggie saw the fake smile that he pasted on his face and inside she laughed. Daniel said that in light of the good news she had given him that he would not be going out. He went to the sitting room, brought out a bottle of whiskey and started drinking it.
Later as they lay in bed, Maggie thought, ‘I have caught you. Now to plan B.’ She smiled and gave thanks to God for a clever, pregnant sister.
Maggie was thinking about the conversation she had with her sister earlier.
Pauline had said, “You know that baby can’t be Daniel’s. After all, you have been trying to have a baby for 7 years. Daniel’s diabetes caused him to have a low sperm count. There’s no way after all that long another woman can just get pregnant and you haven’t.”
Pauline fanned herself and continued, “That lady is trying to get Daniel from you by giving him a child. We must think of a solution otherwise you will lose everything. She will get everything you worked for. She probably got another man to get her pregnant so that she could claim to have an heir. You know I depend on you. My husband may have money, but he never spends any on me. So, we have to think of something otherwise…”
Maggie had just said, “I know!”
Seven years ago, when Daniel married Maggie, his mother was not convinced that Maggie wasn’t a gold digger. She insisted that Maggie must sign a prenup. If Daniel divorced Maggie, she would get very little in terms of spousal support. If they had children, she would get money to support the children. Maggie would get one million shillings for her trouble of being married to Daniel. In case that they remained married and Daniel died, she would get his personal wealth, which apart from the family fortune, was worth around 30 million at that time. He was the only son and he had inherited wealth from his father.
Maggie had signed the document. After all, it meant nothing. She was just surprised that Daniel was that rich. She was in love with Daniel, not his money. She never thought that they would get divorced. They were in love and it had been Daniel who pursued her not the other way round.
Now Maggie had gotten used to having money. Her mother had been diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing very expensive treatment which Daniel was paying for. If Daniel left, he would stop paying the bills. Then there was the fact that even the shamba which she had worked so hard for was in Daniel’s name only. She was doing horticulture and it was finally making money. She did not have savings. All the money she had made, she put back into her joint account with Daniel. She used it to pay the workers and sort out the house bills. Daniel never gave her any money because she had money coming from the farm.
These were the thoughts that were in her mind when her sister suggested the idea when they met a couple of days later, the idea that would change everything. Pauline had always been the bad apple while Maggie had been the good girl. Pauline had married a friend of Daniel’s not out of love but because she didn’t want to be poor anymore.
She had transformed herself into a very classy woman. To look and talk to her you would never have known that she had grown up in a slum. Her husband was not as wealthy as Daniel, but he had money that he never spent on Pauline. For him, Pauline was a trophy wife who was supposed to make him look good. He paid for her clothes, and everything that she needed to maintain his standards, but he did not give her spending money. He was tight-fisted. He had also made Pauline sign a prenup. She got nothing if she divorced her husband. The only security she had was that her children would be provided for in case of divorce.
So, the poison arrow met the broken heart. Maggie was heartbroken. She had thought she and Daniel had a fairytale marriage apart from the lack of children. She had asked Daniel several times about the issue of kids. He once told her “I love you. If we cannot have children then I will be content to be with just you! After all, it’s not your fault we can’t have children!” That had always comforted her, that even if she and Daniel couldn’t get children, they would be together.
A couple of days after Maggie told Daniel that she was pregnant, she met her sister for lunch. When they ordered some drinks, Maggie filled Pauline in on what had happened the previous night.
“I can’t keep pretending forever. At some point, I will have to go see a doctor. What will I do then?” asked Maggie.
Pauline said, “I have been thinking about this. I have a solution to your problems, but you will not like it!”
“What is it?” Maggie asked, keen to know what she should do.
“You need to kill Daniel!” said Pauline
“What! Are you insane? Why would I want to kill Daniel?” asked Maggie in shock.
Pauline explained. “Daniel cheated on you. His mistress says she is having his baby. We both know she is trapping Daniel, but that baby can’t be his. You have been trying for 7 years after all then suddenly out of the blue his mistress is pregnant and you are not. He is the one who had the problem and if suddenly his sperm have started working you would have gotten pregnant. So, know you will have a lot to deal with. Daniel will leave you for Njeri and then…” She sipped on some tea.
“If Daniel dies you inherit everything. If Daniel divorces you, you get nothing. That bitch Judy will get everything when she marries Daniel. Everything you have worked hard for including that shamba. Is that what you want? Pauline looked at Maggie as she asked the question.
Maggie said “No. that’s not what I want! But murder? I still love Daniel even though he cheated on me. Njeri seduced him I am sure of it! He has not cheated on me before”
Pauline could not look Maggie in the eye. She sighed and confessed “No it’s not. I didn’t want to cause you unnecessary pain, but Daniel has been cheating on you for years.”
There were a lot of things going on in Maggie’s mind as she absorbed this shocking news. “Why didn’t you tell me?” Tears were running down her face.
“I thought you knew but you were just ignoring it. Many men do it including my husband!” Pauline said bitterly.
“I can’t believe you didn’t tell me. I could have gotten a disease or something from Daniel,” Maggie said angrily.
Pauline kept quiet. Maggie and Pauline sat there in silence drinking their tea. After half an hour Maggie left. As she drove home in her Mercedes, the anger, pain, and humiliation of knowing that Daniel had been cheating for a long time weighed on her mind. The idea that Pauline planted stuck in her mind.
“Should I kill Daniel? How can I do it? Can I do it? What if I get caught?
Will Maggie be able to go through with killing Daniel? Is there a way she can get what she needs without killing him?
Find the next instalment of this story here – Regrets Are For The Weak, Only The Strong Survive And Thrive – Part 2
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