A lanky boy entered Mr. Daniels’ office. Fitz handed him an envelope.
“Send it to the address on the envelope,” he said grimly.
“Yes sir,” he said and turned around.
“Did you deliver the envelope to my residence as I asked you to?”
“Yes sir, I did.”
“Okay…my wife took it from you?”
“No…A young man took it from me.”
“A young man? Where was my wife?”
“He said she was occupied inside the house.”
“How did he look like?”
“I can’t remember much but he kind of looked familiar…”
“Like someone you’ve seen on TV?”
“Something like that.”
“Okay, thanks. And please hurry with that letter. It’s urgent.”
“Yes sir.” He left the office. Fitz tapped his desk with a ball pen.
In the evening, Fitz and I sat in the living room after dinner listening to the 8 o’clock news. I rested my feet on his lap which he massaged gently as I occupied myself with issues of being a mother 101.
“Did someone come visiting whiles I was gone?”
“A courier guy delivered an envelope from my office…”
“Oh yeah…I placed it on your desk in the study room.”
“You saw the guy?”
“The courier guy.”
“Is there a problem with the package?”
“Oh no…Just wanted to clarify…”
“If I received the package? I just told you that I did.”
“Fine.” I resumed my reading.
“I’ve familiarized myself with possible behaviors at each stage of pregnancy but I don’t remember forgetfulness being one of them.” I gave him a sharp glance.
“Your point being?”
“My courier guy told me a guy received the envelope from him at the door.”
Oh…so it was about Adam.
“Of course…Adam was here that day.”
“Why didn’t you come see who was at the door?”
“Because Adam offered to spare me the distance considering my load. Was that a bad thing?”
“So why deny it the first time?”
“I wasn’t denying anything. You asked if the package was delivered and I confirmed that it was.”
“Why was Adam here?”
“He came to check in on me.”
“I see…how…” I groaned in irritation.
“What’s with the interrogation, Fitz? He just came to see how I was doing. No harm done, okay?”
“Why do you seem uneasy about my questions?”
“Because it seems you’re brewing suspicious thoughts in your head. You do know that Adam and I have grown close but that’s all there is to it. We are friends but I am your wife, Fitz. Stop reading meaning into empty space.”
“I’m sorry if it looks like I’m suspicious. I do like Adam; he’s a good respectful boy but I’ve also realized he’s taken a liking to you…”
“That’s because I’m likeable, Fitz. I am lovable. That is why you fell for me, Fitz. I’m sorry but the fact that I’m married doesn’t conceal my very appealing qualities,” I said in a light-hearted tone with a playful tap on his chest. This was the only way I could think of to change the direction of the conversation. Fitz smiled. He took my hand and kissed it.
“I know but I also know he’s a good looking guy; the type you’d be drawn to.”
“I understand your fears, Fitz but when I said ‘I do’ to you at the altar, I was promising you that I’d never look at another man except you and I intend to keep that promise, honey.” He nodded.
“Thank you for reassuring me, Emily. I really needed to hear that.” I smiled, caressing his cheek.
“You are all I ever needed.”
On Saturday morning, I woke up to get ready for my day out with Karen. We had planned to have our hair done and knowing how long that could take sometimes, we decided to leave home early.
“I just heard the doorbell ring. I think it’s Karen. I’ve got to go. See you later, okay?” I said with a kiss on his cheek.
“Sure love. Have fun and take care of yourself.”
“I will, sweetheart. And get some rest, Fitz. You’ve been working your head off lately.”
“I’ll try.” I took my bag and left the room.
The house help had just let Karen inside the house when I arrived downstairs.
“Oh you’re ready! That’s the first,” Karen said.
“I can be punctual when I want to, Karen.”
“Uh huh…as long as it is far from academic.” I laughed.
“I am a serious student as well, Karen.”
“Yeah right. Where’s your husband?”
“Upstairs. Honey! Karen wants to say hi!”
The door to our bedroom opened and he came out.
“Hi Karen. How are you doing?”
“I’m doing well by God’s grace, Mr. Daniels. You?”
I’m doing well too. Please look after her for me, okay?”
“Of course. Enjoy your day.”
“You too, ladies.” I blew him a kiss. He blew one back at me and gave me one of his charming smiles. We stepped outside and sat in my car. Karen drove off.
Fitz saw Emily’s phone on the bed. He took it and rushed out.
“Emily, you left your phone!”
“I’m sorry sir but they have already left.”
“Okay…I doubt she needs it anyway.” He went back into the room.
Adam came out of the booth in the studio. He arrived early so as to get much work done. He sat down to have some lunch. He took out his phone and decided to hit Emily up with a text. A smile crept up his face with the mere thought of her. He knew he would never have her as his but he couldn’t stop thinking about her. What was about the forbidden fruit which made it so appealing? Was it the fact that he knew he could never have it that made him obsessed over it? He began typing.
Fitz was enjoying his afternoon with some fruit salad when he felt something vibrate beside him. It was Emily’s phone. He ignored it. Then it beeped again. And again and again. He rolled his eyes and focused his attention on the online magazine he was reading. Beep, beep, beep. Although tempted to, he didn’t want to invade his wife’s privacy. He decided to put the phone under her pillow when something caught his eye.
Messages from Adam. And they kept coming. What did he want to tell her that couldn’t be said in a single text? Another beep. Before he could decide what to do, his fingers had already taken action. He swiped the screen to unlock it. He inhaled deeply as he opened the chat. His eyes widened.
Why wasn’t she responding? Perhaps the phone was not with her, Adam thought. His heart leaped in excitement when he realized she was online. He waited. She wasn’t typing anything. What was she doing? He typed another message. Online but no response. Who could she be chatting with that would take all her attention?
Fitz wished he hadn’t read the messages. Ignorance was bliss and he agreed with that. He didn’t want to be in the dark about his wife’s online activities but he didn’t want to read meaning into what might have no ulterior intentions either. He wished he could unlearn what he had just read but he couldn’t. Another beep. He felt his chest constricting.
He started to type.
Yay! She was typing at last. It was taking forever for him to see it. His excited face turned into a disappointed one when the typing stopped. What was happening?
Fitz cleared what he had typed and exited the chat. He had to stop himself before he did something he would regret. He loved Emily too much to jeopardize their relationship based on some messages he had no business reading.
We came back home around five pm.
“You’re back! You look amazing, honey!” Fitz greeted as we walked in.
“Thanks honey; I feel so exhausted.”
“Good evening, Mr. Daniels,” Karen greeted.
“Good evening, Karen. You look sweet as well.”
“Thanks; your wife chose this style for me.”
“I’m a genius,” I said.
“Yes, you are.” He hugged me sideways.
“I wanted the driver to take Karen home if you don’t mind.”
“Of course I don’t. Let me get him for you,” Fitz said and went outside.
“Thanks for what? What’s mine is yours.” Karen smiled gratefully. He came back inside.
“The driver is ready for you, Karen.”
“Thanks, Fitz. See you soon, Em,” she said and hugged me.
“Sure. Let me know when you get home.”
“I will. Bye, Fitz.”
“Bye, Karen.” She left. I sighed.
“So how was your day?” I asked my husband.
“Quiet and restful.”
“Good. Where’s my phone? I left it behind. I hope there aren’t a lot of messages waiting for me,” I said.
“There were quite a number of beeps. It’s on the center table.” I walked to it and picked up the phone.
“I wonder who was trying to reach me.” I swiped the screen.
“Oh,” was all I could say.
“Anyway, I’ll go upstairs and take a shower.”
“Okay; Mary prepared some dinner, I’ll warm it up.”
I sat on the bed and put my bag down. I opened the chat and saw the many messages from Adam. I shook my head and began to type. Almost instantly, my phone lighted up with a call from him.
“Hey…just saw your multiple messages. What’s up?”
“What’s up? I should be asking you that. What’s with the ‘ignore-me’ mode today?”
“I sent you a couple of messages today and then I saw you come online and noticed you had started typing. Then the typing stopped. I continued sending you some more messages which you ignored and later went offline. What was that about?”
“I went out today and unfortunately left my phone at home so I have no clue of what you’re jabbering about, Adam.”
“What do you mean…? Oh gosh, does it mean your husband…?”
My eyes widened in realization of what that meant.
“Does your husband know your password?”
“He does?” Adam asked anxiously.
“I don’t have a password.”
“Why the hell not? Everyone has one!”
“I didn’t see the need to have one. I didn’t want Fitz to think I had anything to hide.”
“Wow…how transparent of you, Emily,” Adam chided.
“Hey, don’t put the blame on me. When you realized I wasn’t responding after three or four texts, why wouldn’t you stop to assume that the phone was not with me?”
“That’s what I thought at first but when I saw that you’ve come online, I didn’t think it could be your husband!” He was definitely freaking out.
“Okay, calm down; Adam. This isn’t the end of the world. I’ll clear things up with Fitz.”
“Haha…so easy for you to say, Emily. It could very well be the end of my world. And you better put a password on your screen!”
“I will. I’ll talk to you later, Adam. Take care.” The line ended. Although it was a dicey situation, I couldn’t help but laugh. I immediately checked my phone settings and chose a pattern lock instead of the password. I wondered what was going through Fitz’s head at the moment.
Fitz was quiet throughout dinner. I could sense he wanted to ask me something but somehow couldn’t gather the courage to do so. I decided to make it easier for him. I touched his hand on the table.
“Are you okay? You seem to have something on your mind.” He stared at me for some time and looked back at his food which he had been playing with.
“Are you sure? You know you can talk to me about anything, right?”
“Yeah. There’s nothing wrong.”
“Okay.” At least I tried, right? I didn’t want to risk pushing it too much.
The silence that followed was disrupted with a beep from my phone. Fitz glanced at my phone. I took it and unlocked the screen.
Hope you’ve a password now. I chuckled and put the phone down.
“You have a lock on your screen now,” Fitz said.
“Any particular reason why?”
“It seems someone has been snooping.” I glanced at him. It was now or never.
“Oh yeah?” Fitz asked innocently.
“You wouldn’t have anything to do with that, would you Fitz?”
He stared at me for a moment and put his fork down. He sighed.
“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to pry. The phone kept beeping so I began to wonder who wanted to get in touch with you so urgently.”
“So you’re not angry?” Fitz asked. I shrugged.
“Why would I be? I have nothing to hide,” I said and sipped my water. I watched him struggle to analyze his suspicions with my nonchalant reaction to the matter.
“I read some of the messages Adam sent you.” There it was.
“I noticed.” He watched me intently as if he was expecting me to say something else.
“He called you babe.” I smiled.
“Adam can be the cute, sweet and passionate guy when he wants to. There’s no need to lose sleep over this, honey. There’s nothing scandalous going on.” I squeezed his hand with an assuring smile. He squeezed it back. He smiled back.
“Okay.” When I saw the last traces of doubt and confusion leave his eyes, I sighed in relief and took my hand away. This should never happen again.