The alarm went off early, and knowing Amanda was not an early-morning person, Cindy quickly switched it off. She turned to face her beautiful girlfriend, who was still sound asleep, and smiled. It had been a month, yet she felt like she was dreaming every day.
As she got out of bed, a message popped on her phone, and she knew it just had to be Michael. “On my way home, can’t wait to see you.”
“Get up! Get up!” She quickly yelled while shaking Amanda.
“What’s wrong with you?” Amanda asked as she sat up on the bed.
“Michael is on his way home; you need to go!” Cindy said as she moved around the room, gathering her clothes.
“When are you going to come clean about us, Cindy? It’s been a whole month,” Amanda said as she watched her struggle to clean up.
“Soon, when I’m ready. Now can you please get up and get dressed?” Cindy said.
Amanda got out of bed and headed straight to the bathroom.
“Please, if you’re going to shower, don’t take long!” Cindy yelled.
“Okay, Mrs. Mwaniki,” Amanda replied.
Five minutes later, Amanda walked out of the bathroom and was surprised at how clean the room was.
“You should add, works best under pressure to your resume,”
“I don’t have time for jokes; please get dressed and come downstairs,” Cindy said before walking out of the room.
Within a short period of time, Amanda was downstairs with her bag and ready to go.
“I’ll call you later, okay?” Cindy said.
“We can’t keep doing this, Cindy; you need to pick between Michael and me,” Amanda said.
“Soon, when I’m ready,” She replied.
“That’s not a good enough answer,” Amanda said.
“You know how Michael reports everything to my parents,” Cindy responded.
“You are an adult, and your parents can’t dictate how you should live your life,” Amanda said.
“My father is a priest, and my mother a choir leader. You want me to tell them that I’m gay and have been cheating on my husband with a woman,” Cindy replied.
“I’m not just any other woman in your life Cindy, I’m your girlfriend, and I want to be loved out loud,” Amanda replied.
“I know, and I’m sorry, I’m just not ready to come clean,” Cindy said.
“Then until you are, we can’t keep seeing each other,” Amanda responded before opening the door to leave.
“Amanda, wait,” Cindy called out, but Amanda kept on walking.
As she closed the door, she realized that Amanda was right, but coming clean would only cause problems. Having grown up in a religious household, being gay was like being an outcast which is why Cindy spent so much time trying to deny her preference. Her father had once caught her cuddling with one of her high school friends and sent her to a catholic boarding school to reform her behavior. When she returned, she knew that the only way to live peacefully with her parents was to be what they called “normal.”
This decision prompted her to deny her sexual preference and even pushed her to marry Michael. However, getting to know Amanda helped her to realize that the more she denied her feelings, the stronger they became. At that moment, she knew what she had to do, and although her family wouldn’t be happy with her, it had to be done.
Michael arrived home, interrupting her thoughts. He hugged her tightly before releasing her to give her the presents he had gotten from his trip. Cindy watched how excited he was handing her shopping bags and realized how unfair she had been to him. Michael had given her so much love in their eight years together. Yet here she was, thinking of making a selfish decision that would affect him for the longest time.
“This is going to be harder than I thought,” she murmured.
“Did you say something, babe?” He asked.
“Nope, just glad you are home,” She replied.
The following day her parents called to check up, and upon hearing that Michael was home, they planned a trip to Nairobi to visit. Cindy was never fond of her parent’s visits since they spent more time talking to her husband than their daughter. Then it hit her that this would be the only opportunity she would have to come clean about her relationship. However, she knew it would also break Michaels’s heart, but her relationship with Amanda was too important to lose.
The days went by fast, and it was finally the weekend. Cindy and Michael woke up early to prepare all the food they needed for the gathering. By 2 pm, her parents had arrived and were more joyful than ever, which was surprising to Cindy. As usual, they spent time asking Michael about his travels, making it harder for Cindy to find the right opportunity to speak.
“So, Cindy, when are you two planning to have kids?” Her mother asked.
“What?” Cindy asked in surprise.
“You’ve been married for years; don’t you want to start a family?” Her father asked.
“I think the conversation on kids should come after we renew our vows,” Michael said.
“Renew our what?” Cindy asked.
“Ohh, you’re planning to renew your vows; that’s so beautiful,” Her mother said.
“But is it really necessary?” Cindy asked.
“We’ve been married for five years, and what better way to celebrate this milestone than to renew our vows?” Michael asked.
Cindy was surprised at how quickly things had escalated. Her plans had gone down the mud just when she thought she had mustered the courage, to be honest. She remained silent for the rest of the evening. Once her parents left, Michael asked her to join him in the living room.
“I’m sorry I told your parents about the vows before talking to you first. If you are not up for it, we don’t have to do it,” He said.
“I think I was just surprised; it’s so sudden,” She replied.
“You can take your time and think about it, then let me know,” He said with a smile before heading to bed.
Cindy sat by herself and thought about the impact her decision would have on the people she loved, given the events of the evening. She picked up her phone and texted Amanda hoping she could make her feel better.
“So, Michael asked if we could renew our vows,”
“Okay, and what did you say?”
“At first, nothing since he told my parents before telling me,”
“So, what are you going to do?”
“I’m not sure. I had planned to come clean today, but I don’t know how this will affect him and my parents, given what happened today,”
“What about how this will affect you if you don’t? Your happiness matters as well, Cindy,”
“I miss you,”
“I miss you too but don’t brush off my response. This has now become a now or never situation,”
“Goodnight, Cindy. Hope you make the right decision,”
The next day Cindy woke up early and turned to look at Michael, who was still sound asleep. Seeing him peacefully reminded her of the days she would wake up to Amanda’s beautiful face. At that very moment, she realized that dealing with the consequences was better than not being able to spend time with Amanda. That it was her face she longed to see every morning, and so it was time to make things right.
She stretched out her hand and shook Michael until he woke up.
“What’s wrong?” He asked.
“I need to open up about something,” She replied.
“At 7 am?” He asked as he checked the time.
“Michael, I’m in love with a woman from my workplace,” She said, avoiding his gaze.
Michael sat up on the bed and didn’t respond. After a few minutes of silence, Cindy turned to him and was shocked that he was smiling.
“Did you hear what I just said?” She asked, still surprised.
“I know; I’ve known for a while now,” He responded.
“What? How?” She asked.
“The way you look at women is the same way I used to look at you when we first started dating. Also, there are so many bras in your drawer that aren’t quite your size,” He said.
“So, you’re not mad?” She replied.
” More like disappointed, mainly because you chose to cheat on than come clean. However, I know how hard it must have been for you to tell me that,” He said.
” I’m so sorry; I didn’t mean for things to go this far,” Cindy responded
“It’s okay, Cindy; love is an unexpected feeling that we can’t deny as humans,” He said.
“Wait, why did you tell my parents you want to renew our vows?” Cindy asked.
“You were bottling up your feelings for so long I thought if I put you in a tight spot, you would just blurt it out,” He replied.
“I didn’t know what to say. Hurting my parents or you is the last thing I ever want to do,” She replied.
“Sometimes you must in order to get what you want,” He replied.
“So, what now?” She asked.
“Now I go back to sleep, and then we can talk about how we will break this news to your parents later,” He said.
” Do you think they’re going to hate me?” She asked.
” No, they’re still your parents, and with time they’ll get over it,” He responded before heading back to sleep.
Cindy slid back into the covers and turned to face the wall. She knew that Michael was putting up a brave face and was glad, but deep down, she felt terrible for him. He would have to live with his wife leaving him for another woman. However, this was a necessary step for her. Phase one was complete, and soon enough, she would spend her days with the love of her life.
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