Without a sound, the phone hit the floor face up, the carpet cushioning its fall. Each vibration put Namdi on edge, his mind racing to suppress the guilt he could feel in his heart. Forcefully calming himself, he bent down to pick up the phone. His head hit the horn, drawing the attention of the few people in the parking lot. They could see nothing through the tinted windows of the Dakota Brown E-Class.
With the phone back in the palm of his hand, a war began in Namdi's brain. Should he pick it or not. He had never missed her call before. Even in the office, no matter how important the meeting, he would always excuse himself. It had earned him a lot of nicknames and teasing. He was running out of time. Each vibration rang clear in the silent car. Remembering an article he had glanced through a few years ago in the waiting room of a friend’s hospital, he closed his eyes and inhaled for three seconds. Letting out that breath, he tapped the call button.
“Honey, is anything the matter?” His wife asked. “You are usually home by now.”
“Got held up in the office, I'll be by your side before you know it.”
Namdi was surprised at how smoothly the lie came out.
“Dear, you seem a bit out of breath,” she added.
“Rushed out, couldn't wait for the elevator."
“Alright sweety, that new hire in your office better not be eyeing you. You don't want me coming to your office with a machete, do you?”
She laughed as she said this. The new hire at Namdi's office was a good friend of hers. They had gone to the same all-girls boarding school. Namdi also let out a laugh tinged with just a hint of guilt.
“You know she's not in my department, besides she couldn't hold a candle to your charm and allure.”
“Awww, you really do know what to say to make a girl feel special. I’ve got a surprise waiting for you to unwrap when you get home. It even has a bow on it.”
“Guess I'll be breaking some speed limits,” he said, in anticipation of what she had got for him building.
The sales girl had become but a dream. He heard her blow a kiss as she hung up. In a hurry for multiple reasons, he swung the car into gear, burning rubber as he sped home.
With a wine glass in hand, Namdi's wife looked at the phone she had just blown a kiss into. There was no smile on her lips as she observed a moving dot on the phone. She watched – unblinking – the small dot leave an area labeled store. Slipping the tracking device into Namdi's car had been her mum’s gift to her. She hated how her mum had no faith in her marriage. Still, she had not told Namdi about it, neither had she deleted the mobile app nor remove the device. The hand holding the wine glass tightened.
"He lied to me!"
Each word came out through clenched teeth. She loathed the thought of her mum being right. With a crisp ping, the wine glass shattered in her delicate hand.
Continued on next page...
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