She lay still in the bed, facing the wall and pretending to be asleep as her husband opened the door. She could hear him sighing and shifting as he took off his clothes. A few seconds later she heard the bathroom tap running.
Shifting around, she looked at the closed bathroom door, trying to get an understanding of what Mike was upto. She had thought and longed to have him say something to her since the day he got her out of the police holding but it was two days past and he had not said a word to her. In her heart she had hoped for Mike to ask her what happened or even apologise for not telling her about his brother but no, he never spoke a word on such.
The guilty inside was growing everyday, now realising the interpretations of what she did to other people.
She recalled Esther calling her the day before.
” I hope you feel better after what happened” Esther had started, after clearing her throat.
” yeah I have had enough rest thank you” Isabel responded sitting opposite her on the couch.
” where is Mike?” She asked looking around.
” I am supposed to ask you, aren’t you his wife?” Esther let a laugh.
” I know mam, it’s just that since he came back, he won’t speak to me. ” she frowned
” hmm, and?” Esther asked her leaning back and folding her hands.
“I don’t know what his plan is but he should understand all this is not my fault. I…”
” ehehee.. Isabel stop there, honestly I don’t want to hear it” Esther raised her hand to stop her.
” the truth is, I don’t want you to speak to me, Mike is your husband and the reception you have given him in the days he’s been out shows a very bad picture. He was in prison for the crimes he never committed for over a year, what kind of woman are you Isabel, you won’t ask how he is, you won’t say anything to him and you expect him to? Come on, we both know you do not need another person to spell out what you are supposed to do here. Get down your horse and talk to your husband. Or what? , you don’t see him as a husband anymore? ” Esther remarked disappointedly.
” he lied to me and…”
” that’s your excuse for your shameful acts my dear child, that he never told you the truth and so you had to punish him by not going to see him knowing he was in jail? Grow up!” Esther spat and walked away from her leaving Isabel holding her head in shame, tears in her eyes.
She was still recalling the activities of the previous day when she heard the bathroom door open and Mike walked in clad in a towel. She slowly sat up looking at him.
“We need to talk” she’s spoke after clearing her throat.
” okey” Mike sighed looking at her face. He took out a pair of pyjamas and dressed up before going to sit on the bed looking at her.
” um am, I don’t know why you will not talk to me Mike ” she started, her voice breaking
” I have been talking to you Isabel, from the first time we met at the police station I have been talking to you” he shrugged
” you know what I mean, not that greeting in the morning or around the house like we are strangers Mike, you have to tell me why you never told me about your brother. That was not something you had to hide. All this could have been avoided if I knew the truth. I could have known he was not you and….”
” and you could have not fallen for him” Mike cut her short looking up at her as initially he had his face looking down on the bed cover.
” I didn’t say that Mike, I don’t know why you’re treating me like I was wrong here. I am a victim here too, I had no way of knowing the truth till Esther told me, so give me a break Mike. I don’t deserve any of this” she added shaking her head.
” you know what? I feel like am wasting my time talking about this. You do not love me anymore, what I don’t understand though my dear wife is how you can fall in love with a man just because he looks like me. What got into you, you told me time and again you loved me and all of a sudden the love is gone and you love my twin brother, someone who impersonated me and took my place in this house. I would understand if you told me you still didn’t know it was not me. Yes, it’s true many people find it hard to tell us apart but I thought you knew me, we were together for a long time you could have honestly noticed he was not me. We can not be the same at everything ” Mike continuously shook his head looking at her as she shed tears
” I was confused Mike, you have to understand, I noticed a different man that day you left, but how was I to know it was not you. For me I was looking at my husband and he suddenly developed a memory loss, I had to stay by him because I loved you Mike, I tried to stay by my husband as much as I could to support him. I understood him thinking you were having some moments and waited for you to come around. Then I realised you had changed, you were a different person and it never crossed my mind you were not here, I swear to God I had no clue whatsoever.
Yes I might be a bad person for not coming to see you, but how was I to tell you what I was feeling inside Mike” she wiped her tears sniffing in and staring at him her face wet.
” how was I to tell you I started liking the changed Mike, he was rough and all but he was so good to me. I thought my husband has changed, he wanted to spend more time with me, I didn’t have to force him to be with me. He found time to be with our baby and I loved him even more. ” she went on now seriously crying as she recalled every good times she had experienced with Jake.
” it hurts to say this Mike, believe me it does hurt, but I wanted my husband to be that man. I was happy and suddenly someone tells me he was not my husband that the change I so much loved was fake, but, I still wanted it” she paused now sobbing loudly.
Mike looked at her, he knew she meant every word and it hurt him to realise what he was missing from his relationship with her.
” Isabel, my God, why didn’t you ever tell me you where not happy with me? You should have let me know. I swear I tried to make you happy. I had to go beyond my way to make you happy, you should have told me what you wanted, that I was not giving you enough of what you wanted” Mike too cried holding her hands..
” you do not misunderstand me Mike, I never anticipated nor wished for anything more. I was okay cause I had nothing to compare you to. The thing is I didn’t want you to try so hard my love, I wanted it to come naturally. It was not supposed to be so much of a burden for you to make me happy. Am your wife and I deserved the true you. ” she shook her head.
” I get it now, so that jerk of my brother came in and all of a sudden your eyes were opened and you saw what I never gave you. ?” He stated now standing up.
” I don’t want to hurt you Mike. Am so sorry you have to go through pain. I feel it too. ”
” yeah right. As though what I went through was not enough, I find my wife enjoying sleeping with my brother.” He scoffed looking away.
” you know, he just wanted recognition, he told me he had always felt he was leaving under your shadows. Sometimes it’s good to understand what people go through so you can understand them try help them. it’s …”
” shut up Isabel, just shut up!. Jake is a manipulator that’s what he was born for. He finds a way of conning everyone and he can do anything to make you fall for him. don’t you see that? That is exactly what he wanted. To manipulate your mind into believing he is a victim here. Can’t you see it Isabel?, Jake destroys everything around him.”
Mike felt devastated his heart could not contain what he was feeling. He paced around angry. Angry at himself for not telling his wife the truth in the first place, so angry about his twin brother who had brought him that far.
” okey tell me now, what’s your plan?” He looked at her seriously.
” I don’t know Mike.” She answers bluntly and that upset Mike even more.
” damnmit Isabel. You don’t know? is all you can say. You know what?, this is pointless. Am sleeping in the other room I can’t stand…., ” he scoffed looking at her and holding his head.
” I can’t stand this woman you have become. ” he added and walked out without looking back.
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Isabel folded herself holding her feet up her chest. She had never seen her husband that upset. She felt the urge to follow him and tell him she was sorry but then she shook her head.
” its not my fault, my God, i was just telling the truth and I never wished for any of this to happen. What will I do with this pregnancy?. I cannot tell Mike about it this will kill him. Oh God what am I going to do?” She thought to herself.
An hour later, she decided to go out and take some water. She felt her throat dry after some time of sobbing alone.
Wrapped in a lobe, she came to face Mwanida who was still watching some night movie in the TV room. She grabbed a cup from the kitchen got herself some water and walked to the TV room planting herself in a couch.
” are you okey?” Mwanida asked seeing her looking so sad and sick.
” my life is over Mwanida. I cannot look at my husband in the same way, I can’t say any words without hurting him and myself in the process. This is so hard.. I can’t go on like this ” she wiped a tear from her eyes looking down the cup in her hands.
” sorry to say this but i know Jake. Am sure you now know about me though we have not talked. Isabel, I know I am not so much of a good person for what I did, but one thing I know for sure. You are married to a good man, you might think you love Jake, trust me, He is a manipulator. He is capable of making you believe what he wants you to and he got no boundaries whatsoever . Tell me one thing, what do you think you would do the first time you try to impersonate someone.?” She asked her sitting up.
” will try win their trust i guess ” she shrugged
” thats right. That’s exactly what that man did. He knew your weaknesses Isabel. He knew exactly how to win your trust by working on your most vulnerable things about you. He got you exactly where he wanted you to so much that now you think he loves you and that you did not have enough of whatever from your husband.” She explained making sure every word was precise.
” I know you, you were happy. You cannot tell me over night you fall in love with another man just because he has the same face as your husband. The very fact that Jake looks like Mike is what makes you think you love him my dear. Come to think of it, if Jake looked different, could you have loved him then?” She held her hand leaning forward straight at her.
Isabel lifted her eyes to look at Mwanida. She sighed realising her point. Shaking her head slowly as tears run down her face.
” you see, don’t throw away what you have my dear. Immediately Jake is caught I will go away, that is if your husband will keep his word of not giving me to the cops. But I want you and Mike to get back whatever you have lost. That jerk no matter what he would tell you, be it if he loves you or not, just know that he will never make you happy as much as Mike did. Never! you hear?, he will always be Jake and nothing, not even you will change that. What kind of life are you going to have with him hmm? Think through this my dear, sit down and think. ” Mwanida chuckled and patted her shoulder before walking away leaving Isabel staring at the TV before her, her eyes blank.