Someone once said to me, at some point in your life you will be the other woman. With or without your knowledge. Is the other woman always a Jezebel? Sometimes she fills a need,other times she wrecks havoc, many times she is a punishment disguised as a beautiful distraction. Whatever the case, because the grass always looks greener on the other side, the allure of the other woman will remain.
Martha was always ‘lucky’. Everyone said it. She always got the man even though she was never the prettiest nor the smartest girl in the room. Men were always pulled to her.
Her aunt said she may be a spiritual wife to a god. This was not a compliment, more of a warning. The gods are very jealous. They will destroy anything that takes attention from them, not caring that who they love will suffer in the process.
Martha was a single mother, not by choice though. The father of her two children had gone mad a few years before. They were never married. They had plans to, but another woman. Martha was so heartbroken.
She had given the man two beautiful girls, even named one after his wicked mother and he still called off their wedding and left her for another woman. Shortly after the father of her children left for his new home, he went crazy. Literally. Maybe the gods do not take kindly to those who betray those they love.
Family came first for Martha. She embraced her new status and was very proud of her small family. Martha worked hard to give her children the best. They went to good schools and lived in a leafy suburb. Really, she looked like she had it made. There was just one thing, a husband. No one let her forget it. Not her parents or just life itself. She often had the ‘ if I had a husband’ moments.
Her business, which was in the supplies industry was not doing badly at all. Like any business owner though, she wanted to increase her business. So she joined a networking group.
That is where she met him, Donald. He was an eloquent handsome man. Tall, dark with the whitest teeth and thickest eyebrows you ever did see. When he smiled, you just smiled with him.
When he spoke, you leaned in to listen to what he said. He had such an effect on people. Women in particular. Except, Martha. Yes, she noticed him that day at the networking breakfast but he had no effect on her until he introduced himself as the procurement manager at one of the biggest corporations in Kenya.
Martha had been trying to get vetted and approved by this big corporation but with little success. Like many things in this country, you need to know someone or be related to someone important.
At the end of the breakfast, Martha walked over to Donald and introduced herself. Her easy laugh and really lack of manners caught him off guard in a way that attracted him to her. It was sexy in an odd way.
In the first five minutes, she had already told him she was single and searching. She touched his tie and in so doing touched his chest which sent tinglings southwards. She stood too close and pressed his arm every time she talked about her business.
By the time the breakfast was over, they had agreed to a meeting that evening for dinner. Her idea of course, but poor Donald that it was his.
They met at Pride inn at 7pm. Martha was a few minutes late. On purpose. She needed to create some anxiety in him that would later lead to relief once he saw her walk in. She had changed into a flowery short dress. Martha was not slim. Her belly was on the bigger side. She had huge breasts and her behind did not protrude though it was wide. She had a great pair of legs though. Her greatest asset was her confidence.
When Donald spotted her walking in, his heart skipped a beat. There was something very exciting about her. For a brief minute he felt guilty. Hope. She was at home waiting for him and he knew for sure she had got a five course meal ready for him. She was always so eager to please. It disgusted him. His kids were obviously waiting for him as well. He was not married to Hope. Well not yet. Rather not legally. They had no certificate.
He had met Hope at the University. He had gone back to clear a few things before graduation. She was a first year student then. That day she was giggling with her girlfriends when he first set eyes on her. There she was, beautiful long thick black hair. Glowing skin with almond shaped eyes. She had the tiniest waist he had ever seen. He could not stop staring at her.
She turned in his direction and smiled. He had to talk to her at whatever cost. He walked up to her, with all her girlfriends there and asked for her number. She said she had no phone. He asked her if she could wait for him for thirty minutes. He ran out of campus to a small phone shop across the road and used the money he was meant to rent his graduation gown with to buy a simple smartphone. He bought a SIM card as well and ran back to Hope.
She was still standing at the same spot with her girlfriends. He handed her the phone and six months later she was pregnant. She moved into his house, well bedsitter and that is how they ‘started life’. That was seven years ago. They now have two daughters. A seven year old and a three year old.
Donald stood up as Martha got to the table. He stretched out his hand expecting a handshake, Martha ignored it and went straight for a hug. This caught him by surprise. Donald was not used to such forward women. It was exciting.
The dinner was interesting. Martha barely knew how to use a fork and knife, but never once did she look frazzled by her surroundings. She talked louder than was permitted in such settings and sometimes with food in her mouth.
She hissed at the waiter instead of saying ‘excuse me’ to get his attention. She even tried to bargain. Martha bragged about how well she was doing for a single mother of two. She talked openly about how much money her business made. She had no scruples. No topic was taboo.
All of Martha's crazy antics during dinner did not put Donald off. On the contrary, they seemed to turn him on thoroughly.
That night, Donald did not go home. He ended up in a lodging with Martha. One thing led to another and you know the way these things go. I know you do not, but neither do I. This is the explanation Donald gave much later. That was the beginning of an intense affair between the two, though Donald never calls it an affair because technically, he was not married to Hope.
Martha was immediately approved as a supplier in the big company Donald worked for. They say the power a woman carries between her legs. Well it was working for Martha. Donald was completely taken by this woman. He was now sleeping out almost every day. If he was not out late, he left home pretty early. Always insisting he had early morning meetings with his bosses or late night consultations with suppliers.
Hope knew something was going on but did not have proof, until one night three weeks after the affair started. She was busy texting and calling Donald endlessly as she usually did when he did not come home. On one text she would be begging, on another she would be abusing him and on another she would be threatening to kill herself and their children. Of course he never answered. This particular night there was an answer. “You and your children have food to eat and a roof over your head” The text came from his phone but it was not his writing style nor the type of text he would send.
Martha had sent the text from Donald’s phone while he slept. She was getting tired of Hope's whining. She took Hope’s number and saved it on her phone. Her plan was to remove her from the picture. So that she could be the new Mrs Donald.
When Donald got home that morning, he found Hope packing. While Martha excited him, he was not ready to lose Hope and his children. He spent the whole morning convincing her that there was no one else. That he was busy working on a project that would change their lives. He was right about the life changing bit.
Meanwhile at work, Martha had literally taken over his office. She was awarded almost all tenders. She made his subordinates fill out the tender forms for her. Her prices were obviously much higher than anyone else's but she still got the jobs. Donald made sure of it. This was against company policy, but Donald was driven by lust and nothing mattered, not even his job. Or so he thought.
Everything seemed to be spiralling out of control. Donald did not seem to have a grip on reality. He was extremely jealous of any man around Martha. The thought of a man coming near his woman made him act out of character.
He found himself checking her phone when they were together, he put a car tracker in her car without her knowledge and he got into bar fights over her and sometimes with her. He had never hit a woman before Martha.
The first time he hit her he thought she would never forgive him. She came back. It was unbelievable. If he had hit Hope he knew that would be the end of everything. He found himself comparing the two women often.
Martha was driven by the love of money mostly. She was insatiable when it came to sex, she drained him. It seemed like she wanted every drop from him. She was raw and seemingly untamable. He never knew what to expect. Everything about Martha was extreme. She was demanding and unruly. He felt her in every cell in his body. She had possessed him.
Hope on the other hand was homely, devoted to him and his children. She was meek and couth. She did not challenge him. He could not really say why she irritated him. Water is tasteless when you are not thirsty.
Martha was getting ready to go for the jugular. She already had Donald paying fees for her children, taking them and picking them up from school, while his own children took the school bus. He would physically go to the supermarket for grocery shopping too. Martha needed him to move into her house and then marry her. She had it all planned out.
Donald on the other hand was having serious anxiety attacks. He had a lot of pressure at work. Between getting Martha all manner of tenders and trying to cover his behind so that he would not get fired, he was not handling everything well. On top of that, the guilt he felt for what he was putting Hope through was slowly gnawing at him. He developed ulcers. What was Martha doing to him?
Martha was beyond control. She had taken over Donald’s life. She would call him at all hours demanding that he dropped what he was doing to go be with her and her children. She abused and taunted Hope via text messages. Donald just did not know where to draw the line until one day, he got a call from his bosses.
He was summoned by the big boys in the corner office. There were some discrepancies in the way tenders were being awarded. Most importantly why were these tenders being awarded to one company. They wanted to know why they were not getting competitive bids.
Hard questions for Donald to answer. He could not bully his bosses like he had his subordinates when they questioned his decisions. So they sent him on compulsory unpaid leave as they decided on a disciplinary action.
Donald could not believe this was happening to him. All he had was his work. His work gave him an identity. What would he do now? Women took note of him because of his position. Martha.
Ever since he met Martha, everything had been about her. She had made so much money from his employer and he had nothing to show for it. She had a new German machine. She had finished paying for her house in the leafy suburbs. He still drove his Japanese vehicle and his house in the outskirts of town still had mortgage payments to be made.
As he got into his car, he decided to go to Martha's house. He had ruined his relationship with Hope, he might as well go to Martha who had wanted him from the start he thought.
Something weird happened as he started his car and reversed on to the main road, his car made its way home. To Hope. The situation with his job made the scales fall from his eyes. Suddenly he saw Martha for who she really was. What had he done? What type of witchcraft was this?
He begged the mother of his children for forgiveness. He could not really explain why he entertained Martha or why for a time there he detested Hope. Martha was not his type in any way. Yet she had managed to get into his life and nearly ruin it. There was a rainbow after the hurricane though, he decided then and there to marry Hope.
Martha on the other hand was unfazed by Donald's change of heart. Men never stayed with her. Besides, he had nothing more to offer her, she knew he would get fired. She had actually liked Donald in a twisted sort of way.
She was happy her jealous ‘god husband’ did not kill him or make him mad. He just hated her. She could live with that. Besides, Donald's boss could offer her more than he could ever do.
There is a reason hurricanes are named after women.
Catch Part II of this series tomorrow only on the Star Website