Series, The Maid's Son

The Maid’s Son: No secrets in marriage

By JJ Mponye:

I have been stuck in this crazy early morning traffic jam along Jinja road for over thirty minutes. It is the beginning of the school term and almost everyone is taking their kids to school. Oh how I hate this season! Why can't parents just take their kids to boarding school and save us this perpetual morning pain?! Yeah, I know that was such an unfair thought coming from me. I too will be a father one day and I doubt that taking my little ones to boarding school will be the first thing on my agenda for them. At least not for primary school! Isn't it too early for parents to start 'getting rid' of their kids this way? For them to throw the responsibility of raising these little chaps to a bunch of total strangers called teachers? Isn't that detaching too soon? No. I won't throw mine into boarding school. At least not in primary school!

It is beginning to drizzle. The drops are getting bigger and more violent. They soon wash the dust off the car ahead of me as the mist in my car gradually blurs out its view. I know the jam is going to get worse. Well, this is Kampala; traffic jams just get worse whenever it rains. To distract myself from the jam I turn on the car stereo and scan through various stations until I find one with a beautiful voice.

“Hi caller, what can we do for you this morning?” the presenter asks. “Morning Val and Tonny. I have this thing that has been eating away at me for quite a long time,” responds the caller in a sorrowful tone. “I suspect that my husband is having an affair. I have actually heard rumors that he has a child with that woman. But I don't know how to confront him about it. What should I do?!”

“You see my dear”, Val starts. “There should not be any secrets in marriage… ”

I immediately picture myself opening up to Tricia about Monica's pregnancy. “Tricia dear, there is something I have to tell you. Monica is pregnant. Our maid is going to have a baby…”

Ha! Tricia and I have been unsuccessfully trying for a child for the past three years. How do I begin to tell her that the maid needed just one try? That all it took were a mere two minutes. It might have even been less anyway!

There should not be any secrets in marriage?! Really?

Oh, what folly! Does she even know what the hell she is talking about? Every soul has a secret. Good or bad. You and I, each have a secret. Secrets, in fact! In our hearts are little chambers stuffed with our secrets. They are like small closets full of skeletons waiting to gain some flesh and run around destructively. They are the kind of truths that we would rather go to our graves with. Truths that we know will simply hurt someone once revealed.

With Val still in the background breathing a load of impractical counsel into our airwaves, my thoughts wander off to my father's biggest secret. To this day I still wonder whether it really wasn't more of my mother's secret than his. Well, whatever the case, that is the secret that ensured my future.

My thoughts are rudely interrupted by the loud blaring of horns from a couple of cars at the back. I quickly restart the car and wipe the mist off the windscreen with my hands before noticing that the gap between my car and that ahead of me has grown by close to five hundred meters. The jam has loosened.

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