The silence between Mark and Maya was loud, especially with the scandal the two lovebirds had at hand. Maya had been grilling Mark for some time now, with Mark keeping his cool and holding his ground. Cheating and telling the truth do not seem to go hand in hand. Mark was silent and this was irritating Maya.
“So you are not going to speak?” asked Maya angrily.
They had sat there for more than an hour going round and round in a seemingly unending conversation. Maya had seen Mark the previous night on the balcony of her best friend’s house. She wanted to know how that could be the case when Mark had said he was with his boys.
“When you play dumb, you are giving me a platform to make my conclusions. Don’t you think?” Maya continued talking.
This had been the trend for the last few minutes. Maya spoke in paragraphs, then when the heat was unbearable, Mark said a word or two to try to defend himself.
However much Maya thought Mark was cooperative, she came to realize that the conversation going on between them was a monologue. Mark had said a few words which when all put together, translated to nothing. Mark had said nothing.
“Mark, so you dare to keep quiet, so that I am speaking alone yet it’s you that needs to come out clean?” Maya added. Her voice was rising with each sentence.
“Babe, I had told you earlier on that I would be with the boys. That’s where I had been all night. You don’t believe me, baby?” Mark asked pleadingly.
“Meaning you are speaking to a mad woman right now. A mad individual who cannot tell what they have seen? Mark, are you calling me a mad woman?”.
Now, Maya was becoming dramatic. Her voice was becoming louder. She had started moving around in her seat. All this attracted the attention of people at the other tables. Mark felt uncomfortable with the turn of events but being the man he was, one who somehow liked to have things done amicably, he tried to cool Maya down.
“Can we have this conversation in low tones at least?”. At this point, Maya could see remorse in his eyes and his voice was one of an individual begging.
“Please.” He added.
“No Mark, I am not shouting. Maybe you are not listening and I have to raise my voice.” The sarcasm in Maya’s voice was clear.
Mark looked over his shoulder to gesture to the people at the next table who were growing uncomfortable.
“Oh. Don’t mind them. They are eavesdropping. Now, where were we? We were where you were calling me a mad woman. Mark, how can you?”
“But I did not call you mad. You are being dramatic now, Maya.” Mark had grown tired of all the drama and could not hide it anymore.
“You know Mark, I’ve had suspicions about the two of you. Remember the time I came to your place early in the morning and met her leaving your place? If that was not weird, tell me finding her messages and late-night calls was not enough to raise eyebrows but I let slide. Then yesterday you were on her balcony. I know you are also friends but all these things add up. Maybe I was just being blind to what was happening right in front of me.”
Mark was quiet and looking at him, you would think he was totally innocent. He was looking at the plates at the table full of untouched food that were now cold. The evening had started on a high note. Immediately they sat down and ordered their food, Maya had hit the ground running with this issue that eating had not been an agenda anymore.
“Mark, tell me.”
Mark cleared his throat and started to speak.
“Babe, there’s nothing between Dori, and me. I told you why she had stopped by early in the morning. She had been around and decided to say hi. On the call, I was inquiring what I could buy for our third anniversary of dating. About yesterday, that was not me. I swear. You can even call Brian to confirm. I was in his place the whole time.”
This response surprised Maya. By this time, she had expected Mark to come out clean and get over this issue. But it seemed Mark was not yet ready to admit his wrongs..
“What I want is the truth, Mark. I am not going to use it against you. Ni vile everything within me tells me not to trust the two of you. Yesterday’s event where I saw you on her balcony is the one thing that pushes me to be this way. Mind you, it was late at night.” Maya said with a calm tone. The anger gone down, or had it morphed into something more serious? Something like an acceptance that Mark will never say the truth and that it was not worth being angry about anymore?
“But I have told you dozen times that it was not me. What else do I need to say to make you believe that it was not me?” Mark looked very genuine and maybe it was because he loved Maya and he could not allow this issue to take away all the dreams they had together.
“The truth, Mark. The truth. I saw an individual wearing the hood you had worn that day, standing the same way you usually do. You would not know me from a distance, even at night?”
“I’d know you. Of course, I would. But that does not mean that I had been in Dori’s house last night. Just because someone like me does not mean it was me.” It was one way now, Mark had decided to deny, deny, deny.
“Mark you can’t lie to me to my face like that.”
“The truth you want to hear is one where I was in Dori’s house at night. Doing what exactly, Maya? In my fiancé’s friend’s house? What would I be doing in your friend’s house at night, while at that time I had told you I would be with my friends?” He leaned forward as he said these words.
“I don’t know Mark, because that is what I saw. You tell me.”
“You want to create a problem, where there shouldn’t be one. Everything I have told you is the truth. There is nothing more to tell Babe.” Mark said firmly.
“If there had been anything to tell, I could have told you. I don’t have any reason to lie to you. I don’t have anything to hide. You know that, right?” Mark said with sincerity.
“Okay,” Maya said and she kept quiet.
The tables had turned and it was now Mark’s turn to have a monologue. Maya’s responses were one or two words of utmost. Words that did not have any enthusiasm in them.
“I cannot disrespect you on such a level babe, and you know that.”
“I am not sure,” replied Maya.
“What do you mean by saying you are not sure?”
Maya ignored his question as she lifted her glass and took time sipping her water.
“Just know that I respect you and I can’t do such a thing to you. At least not with your friend.” Mark said in assurance.
“So there’s an at least in the vocabulary of your commitment to our relationship. Oh wow!” she said sarcastically.
“Let’s remove that word then and I rephrase. I can’t do that to you.” Said Mark remorsefully.
“I can’t let this slide, I saw you. I am not crazy. The least you could do is tell the truth because Dori has already confirmed you were there. I called her before we met. You spent the night there and something has been going on between you for some time. Are you still going to hold on to your denial even when everything is clear now?”
Mark hesitated. He moved in his chair looking confused.
“So it was true and you decided to lie right in front of me, with all the sweet nothings. You know if you told me the truth I wouldn’t beat you up, my lovely fiancé.”
“I can explain everything, babe.”
“What’s there to explain? Do you want to give me the details of how your night was? Or the detail of how you managed to keep me from knowing what had been going on?”
Mark kept quiet as he sat there in front of Maya.
“Does this ring have a meaning?”
“Yes, it does. I love you and it’s you I want to spend my life with.” At this point, Mark was pleading with Maya. He was leaning forward and speaking in a very convincing way.
“Are you for real right now?”.
“Give me a chance to speak then. To tell you the truth then.”
“After all there was a truth to be told somewhere.”
“Okay.” Said, Maya.
“She had called asking if I could go help her fix her kitchen sink. Because I was around. So I went and when I was done fixing, I decided to check the magnificent view you usually speak about. That’s when you probably saw me.”
“Are you sure that’s everything there was to tell?” Maya leaned back and crossed her arms as she said these words.
“Yes, babe. That’s all. I then left and went to Brian’s place. That’s all.”
“There’s more than meets the eye in this story. Nothing is adding up. To say that I am okay with us would be a lie. I did not call Dori by the way.”
“So you lied to me that you called her?”
“Yeah. It worked. Didn’t it.”
Mark sat there looking at Maya who was now looking for a waiter so that she could pay the bill. The evening had come to an end with so much tension. Martin wondered what was next. Maya seemed to know everything that was going on. She just decided to let things slide, but at what cost? How was he going to ask about their fate, when everything seemed intact since Maya had played dumb?
It was true that Mark had been in Dori’s place the previous night. He had even spent the night there and woke up to do a walk of shame to Brian’s place. But it had been that, just one night.
Mark thought how better it would have been if everything had been laid out on the table. Now, he was not sure about their fate nor was he sure if he could carry the guilt even if Maya continued in the relationship.
They paid the bill and left. Mark looked uncertain, and Maya faked joyfulness. At this point, only Maya knew where their relationship was headed.
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