It was the last day of his leave from work and David had not left his house the entire week. His routine was now basic and very depressing. He woke up, fed his dogs, brushed his teeth and sank his massive body into his three-seater sofa and let Netflix do the rest. Nyambura, the woman who would drop by his house thrice a week to cook and clean, was growing increasingly worried about her employer but she’d been with him long enough to understand that David needed his space.
It was on an ordinary Sunday afternoon; a throng of people were on the dusty roads of Nyeri making their way from church. The men were in suits, the women in long skirts and the children in their most prized outfits. Nyambura, a short dark woman in dull-looking clothes, easily got lost in the crowd. The once beautiful, attractive woman now looked tired and run down by life and her past. Alcohol will do that to a person.
Sober for three years now, Nyambura clutched her handbag as she left the church and headed towards David’s home which was just a stone’s throw away from the Anglican church in Nyeri town. She was in deep thought as she reflected on the day’s sermon and how she felt like God was calling her to do so much more with her life than what she was doing.
She received a call from Lisa, the woman who had rocked David’s life after getting involved with his boss. Nyambura had contemplated not picking the call but still in the positive vibes from church, she hit the green button and was greeted by a hysterical Lisa, whose voice was hoarse from probably crying the entire two weeks they had broken up.
“How is he?” Lisa asked as soon as she could control her tears. Nyambura had a soft spot for Lisa because it was Lisa who had recommended her services to David two years prior. She attributed most of her sobriety to her.
“Lisa, I don’t want to get involved, please call David. He has asked me not to ever bring up your name. Please just leave me out of this.” Nyambura remarked with sincerity.
It was as if Lisa had not heard a word Nyambura had said. “I messed up Nyambu! I was wrong, please tell him not to hate me…” Lisa broke down in tears before she was done pleading her case. The guilt and regret had eaten her up so bad that she was physically sick and threw up anything she ate.
Lisa was a really good woman who had done one terrible thing. David had introduced her to his boss during a company party where employees had been encouraged to invite a plus one. David’s boss was sketchy, everybody knew that. David had cautioned Lisa to expect his advances. Enamoured by his charm, power and stunning Range Rover, she reluctantly gave him her number whilst David was on stage doing his presentation.
After three weeks of secret phone calls, explicit pictures and sneaky nights in the club, they slept together. A few weeks later, David was at the wrong place at the wrong time and witnessed his soon-to-be fiancé, driving his boss’s Range Rover. It all went up in flames after that. The relationship was over, David wanted to strangle his boss and felt disgusted by the woman he once wanted to marry.
Nyambura promised to talk to David, but she only said that to get away from the phone call with Lisa. David lived in an apartment building and the guard at the gate mentioned that David had left just minutes before. “It’s okay, I have the keys, I will just clean up before he gets back.” Nyambura walked up the stairs to the third floor and turned the key expecting a mess inside the beautifully well-furnished apartment.
Everything was clean and in its place. The bed was made, and the dogs were wagging their tails. For a second, Nyambura thought she had been replaced because David wasn’t the kind of man that cleaned his house voluntarily. The only responsibility he took on without fail was feeding the dogs. Perplexed, Nyambura called David, wanting to know whether she should cook or if he would not be needing her services. David didn’t pick up her calls which was characteristic of him, especially on the weekends.
She was halfway through cooking rice when Lisa called. Nyambura, with no intention of listening to Lisa crying anymore, ignored her call the first and second time. She couldn’t get herself to ignore the third call, so she picked up, planning to come up with some excuse about why it wasn’t a good time to talk.
“Thank you so much Nyambu! David returned my call. He told me to give him time but that he would never get himself to hate me! Thank you!” Nyambura’s old Nokia battery died before she could explain that she hadn’t spoken to David yet. She pulled out her charger from her church purse and plugged it in.
She finished all her remaining chores, unplugged her phone and tried calling David one more time. He was still unavailable. David would always leave her wages in an envelope on top of the fridge, so she took the envelope, locked the house and left.
An hour later it was reported to her by a friend that David had been involved in a road accident on his way home and he had died. The details were still unclear, but it seemed he had a collision with a trailer and he had died on the spot. Nyambura was too shaken to cook for her three children. She went straight to bed and cried her eyes out. She was in disbelief.
A week later David was buried in his father’s plot and Lisa was too broken to attend. His boss was at the burial and was even allowed to give a speech, where he applauded David’s skills and devotion to his work. Nyambura found it hard to find another job afterwards and was almost broke. As she consolidated all the monies she had left, she took out the money from the last day she was at David’s home. She had forgotten all about it after what had happened to David. She was stunned at what she found in the envelope.
It was five times the amount she was usually paid and in the envelope was also a letter from David. The first line read, “Dear Nyambu, I am sorry you should be the one to carry this burden, make sure the dogs go to my brother. If anyone asks, tell them I died of a broken heart.”
Nyambura was so shocked she dropped the note. David’s accident was never just an accident. The trailer was not the one at fault like everyone thought. David had driven straight into it! This was David’s suicide note.
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