The prude has confessed everything to his wife. I’m still speechless and feeling exposed, like a deer caught in the headlights. The prude’s wife, however, is totally in control. She’s sitting there, looking poised and confident, whereas I’m wondering how I can bolt to the exit with as much dignity as I can muster.
“Go ahead. Play me the recording,” she says. “And thereafter, post it wherever you like. I don’t care. You don’t get to screw my husband and get my money. No way. Not one shilling!”
This has backfired badly. No sense in being a damn fool about it. I need to get out of here! I signal the waiter and ask for the bill.
“Well?” she challenges me, ignoring the waiter’s question as to whether she’d like anything. “Where’s the audio?”
“Look ma’am… I don’t have any issue with you. Just your husband,” I say. “I’m carrying his child.”
Her mask cracks. I have gotten to her. A dozen emotions go over her face.
“You’re pregnant?” she asks, looking deflated. Yes! She has a weakness!
“Yes. And since you’re into evidence collection and full disclosure, I’m happy to prove it to you,” I respond.
The prude knows that I’m not indeed pregnant with his child (we copulated but were interrupted before he reached climax). But since this is the woman making the decisions, and the one with the money, all I have to do is convince her. But it must be now before she speaks to him again.
“I’m willing to give you the audio and go have an abortion right now, today, with you in tow, if I get my money,” I say.
Gambling dates back to the Paleolithic period, before written history. Whether you were making a bet on the catch you just captured for dinner or whether you are playing the slots today, the addiction of gambling comes from the thrill of playing a game that promises a crazy pay off. And what greater pay off than this one? Sh2m, if I can wear my poker face and convince this woman that I’m carrying a child that can contest her husband’s will one day and cause problems for her children. Not to mention the social embarrassment that her sort like to avoid.
Gambling is not luck. It’s hard work. You have to focus on the hand you’ve been dealt with. If you’ve lost a bet (like I just did earlier with the prude), you have to start all over again and not let it affect your state of mind. His wife is the second hand I’ve been dealt and I have to have a fresh mindset. The only way to succeed is to forget that I struck out on my last inning.
“How far along are you?” she asks.
I do a quick mental calculation based on the timelines. Thank God my math has always been good.
“And you’re drinking?” she asks, looking towards my wine glass as I tell her how many weeks I am.
I shrug. “What does it matter if I don’t keep it?” I ask.
“Where would you get this procedure done?” she asks.
I mention one of the private hospitals in town and she looks surprised.
“They do abortions?” she asks. “Isn’t it illegal?”
“This is Kenya. Everything illegal can be done in a legal fashion,” I say.
“If you have money….” she says.
“Even if you don’t have much,” I respond. “Backstreet abortions are commonplace.”
“I suppose you’d be experienced in that sort of thing,” she says condescendingly.
I refuse to let her rattle me. “All this can end today, ma’am. You will never have to hear of me or from me, ever again,” I say.