Dave was not a relationship expert or a therapist, but somehow, Hasan and his girl decided that they would always go to him when issues in their union overwhelmed them. It is like they sat down and drafted an agreement to make this a routine. Because every time they had issues, that would be the next stop. Sometimes they even took very little effort to solve them because their go-to person was always available. One call away and at all times willing to give a listening ear.
Every time they went to Dave, Dave would sit back in a comfortable position and listen to them keenly as a therapist does. He would own the whole meeting by giving head-on on who should speak and who should listen. The two would sit there and do whatever Dave asked them to do.
“So, you are saying that Hassan isn’t listening to you as he used to?” He would ask.
And Lyn, compliantly and obediently would answer, “Yes. That’s right.”
“Why would you say so?” Dave would ask.
“He seems too busy to have time for me.” Lyn would say as she moved in her chair to get a more comfortable position to speak in detail, “Imagine the only thing your partner talking to you about being the basic things yet all the while you want to talk about more personal deeper relationship things. Yet you used to talk about those things but now when you try he is not interested and you don’t know why.”
Dave would take a minute and think things through as if to see the whole issue from a clearer perspective. Then he would ask.
“So, it’s time that he does not have or it’s him not listening to you yet he has all the time.”
Conversation would go like this with the two lovers being very cooperative with Dave. Usually, after almost an hour of speaking and later on drinks, the issue at hand had already been solved and the two were back to normal.
The two were the envy of many. Even in the middle of a storm that would seem overwhelming, with others thinking that they wouldn’t make it, they lived to prove everyone wrong. Thanks to Dave their therapist, they solved their issues and went back to being the couple other people envied.
Sometimes, the two would sit down and brag about the coolest friend they had in Dave. The good-hearted man who would give them his valuable time and insight especially with him being almost ten years older than them. Dave was their adopted older brother. Hassan even sometimes referred to him as such.
What they did not know was that Dave was not listening to them as a friend who wished them well. Nope. He wasn’t. Dave was something different from what Hassan and Lyn saw him to be. He was completely the opposite of what everyone would have thought him to be. He was taking notes on the dynamics of their relationship in preparation for when he would strike. He wanted a win at the first encounter.
But Dave was not one to show his cards soon. He was playing the long game and he knew it would pay off. So his friendship with Hassan, what they so often referred to as brotherhood continued. They met and talked about everything, especially business. They invited one another out for drinks, and Hassan would tell Lyn they had gone to chill and have drinks with the boys. Which of course would be expected. They had even gone to the same gym. To Hassan, it was brotherhood and getting better together. He was also very present for Lyn and encouraged her to talk to him if she had any difficulties at work or if she needed anything. He was well connected in the city and so there was always one way or another he could help Lyn. She really appreciated his help and was very happy that he was her friend too.
Hassan continued seeing Dave as a role model and a friend. Because Dave had had it all in terms of financial security and even his social circle. He was also in a long-distance relationship with this girl whom Dave claimed had gone to do a master’s in the UK. He said it would be at least two years before she came back. He would fly out of the country from time to time and they all believed that he went to see her. To Hasan and Lyn, he was worth looking up to.
After some time, he understood everything he needed to take Lyn away from Hassan. He had established what Lyn’s love languages were, how she liked to be spoken to and a little more of her dreams and ambitions. He also knew how she liked conflict solved in her relationship whenever it arose. He was all good to go. But he needed to make one final move before he split up this couple who looked up to him. He told the couple that the girl had decided to date somebody else and so now he was single again.
Then after two months, he was ready to strike.
“You deserve more, Lyn.” He told her that one day they were having the so-called therapy sessions when Hasan had gone to relieve himself. “You deserve more than what Hassan is giving you.”
Lyn was so shocked. A raise of her eyebrows and a shift in her chair was all Dave needed to see to know that she had not expected to hear that. Instead of backing down, Dave moved his head up and down nodding to reassure Lyn that what he had said was not a slip of the tongue, but something that he had thought before saying.
After the shocking statement that had left her surprised, Lyn found words that seemed to have come from a dry thought. In a whisper, she asked.
“What do you mean?”
But before Dave could speak, Hassan was walking back into the living room from the washroom. As he walked into the room, the jokes and laughter he left had subsided. The two were peculiarly quiet. It was strange. Hassan felt the tension in the room. Before he could sit, Dave said that he was thirsty and went to fetch water.
“What’s up, babe?” Hassan asked Lyn.
Lyn tried so much to hide the shock but Hassan had seen it. Lyn tried to mutter something as Dave entered.
“I think we should get going,” Hassan said.
“It’s too soon.”
“Not really, it’s even getting late,” Hassan replied.
They left as Hassan had requested the host. But Dave had planted something in the heart of Lyn. She went on thinking about what Dave said. She wondered why a friend of her boyfriend would mention something like that to her. Wasn’t he supposed to be rooting for his friend? What did he know that she did not know about and needed to know about?
She figured out that the next time they met, which could either be in their place or his place, she would ask him.
The next weekend, they invited him for dinner. He came. They usually have such meetings from time to time. After the meals and they were having drinks, a came through and Hassan went outside to speak to the caller.
“What did you mean when you said I deserve more.” Lyn jumped at the opportunity to ask this question that had been on her mind.
“I meant you deserve someone who won’t put you through all the hassles you are usually in.”
He was vague and Lyn wanted details.
“What hassles? Are you tired of our constant issues now?”
“Not really. I just think that someone like you deserves a man like me. We have no time. But come with me to Seychelles over the weekend all expenses paid and we shall talk more about what I mean.” He dropped the bomb.
This was so unexpected for Lyn. She had not seen it coming. Of all the people under the sun, the last person she expected to hit her was her man’s best friend. It had never even been in her mind that Dave could have such a thought. He was older and seemed very honest and loyal. The type of person that one could not associate with sinister intentions. But much as she had not expected it from him, what he had said was already out there.
Lyn tried to think about why Dave could say her relationship was a burden. It must have been the times they went to him. She decided to focus on the food on her plate as she digested the strange proposal Dave had given. The silence in the room was very strange and very uncomfortable. One could only hear the sound of the slow music.
That day, the seed of doubt and curiosity that had been planted in Lyn’s heart had been watered. She thought so much about what the guy had said. So many things came to her mind when she thought about every detail of her relationship with Hassan. She wondered why she had to stick to someone who could not sit down with her and solve their issues as other couples did. When she asked him to sit down to talk, Hasan would suggest they go see Dave.
“He has lived more years than us, he could give us more insights.” He would say without giving much thought to her suggestion. He’d refuse to consider her idea and even when she got mad, he’d wait until she was calm and they’d go to see Dave.
She thought about all this and laughed. After so much consideration, she realized that their relationship with Hassan had stalled. Nothing was moving. Perhaps Dave being older than he and his knowledge of her from the constant conversation they had as a couple could be a starting point for something new.
Though Lyn’s heart had taken Dave’s words seriously, she was hesitant about accepting his advances. She knew that what Dave was proposing was insane but it was something that she was considering. But it would mean leaving Hassan. It would mean turning back to her long-term relationship, one that had overcome so many challenges to reach where it was. It was a difficult decision to make. She needed time to weigh her options.
That is why three days later, she told Dave that she wasn’t ready leapeap.
“Perhaps you need time to think it through,” Dave said, “there’s no hurry.”
Five months down the line, the time to go to Seychelles with Dave had come. She thought everything through and came to a final decision. After all the deliberations, she was sure that she wouldn’t regret this move. One thing was necessary though, moving out of Hassan’s place. In the final month before accepting Dave’s idea, she moved out. Hasan wondered why she could do that after all that time of being together.
She came up with a reason that surprised Hassan. “I don’t think it’s right to live together yet we aren’t yet married officially.”
“Since when has that been an issue.?” He asked. They had lived for almost two years together, all the while happy and planning for their entire life together. Out of nowhere, she was speaking of morality.
“Since today,” she said as she packed her stuff. He tried to talk her out of that decision but she had made up her mind. She left.
Three weeks later, she told Dave about her being ready for whatever he was proposing.
“I am ready,” she sent him this text, “let’s do this.”
That weekend, they went to Seychelles. Spent the entire week there. It was the beginning of a new phase for the two. Though they both had the feeling of weirdness following their history with Hassan, they both encouraged each other that they’d forget about that.
A week later, they went back. They were going back to start their lives together as lovers. It’s like they had forgotten about Hassan’s presence because there was no way he would let that betrayal slide. A day after their arrival, Hassan went to Dave’s house where they had gone to.
Hassan had come for war. Betrayal from both Lyn and Dave was too much. He wasn’t going down without a fight.
“So this was the plan all along?” He said this as he moved to punch Dave. “How can you two do this to me?”
Hassan was so angry he only wanted to fight Dave. Dave could not just stand to be beaten by Hasan. Lyn went out and screamed. It took the intervention of the neighbours to stop the fight. Dave took Lyn to a hotel and this is where they spent the next week as Dave looked for another place to live. Hassan learnt the hard way the lesson that says “Kikulacho ki nguoni mwako…” which means “Whatever eats you is in your clothes.”. Your best friend could be your worst enemy. This is something he learned too late. He had opened up his relationship to his enemy and as they say in English “Two’s company, three’s a crowd.” The third person in their relationship had kicked him out and now he only had himself to blame.
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