Fiction: Salvaging Tom’s marriage Chapter 1

What Tom shared with me that afternoon, as we sat sipping cold sodas on the first floor of a cafe in Eldoret, overlooking the Eldoret-Kitale road came as a surprise.

“Things are really bad in our marriage. We quarrel almost daily. Steff has become a nag and to make it worse, I even find her distasteful. She has become a real turn off,” Tom revealed mournfully.

This was hard to fathom. Especially the part that Steff could turn Tom or any other man for that matter, off.

I had met Steff only once more after the marriage. The two had dropped in on us in Nakuru where most of Tom’s friends still lived. She was still as lively, cheerful and if anything more beautiful. With just a slight trace of a baby bump and full of the inevitable pregnancy glow. Man, we still envied Tom.

“When did all this happen?” I asked Tom. I found it hard to believe still.

“Can’t really point at some particular incidence or point in time. It was gradual. I started becoming irritable with her, I slowly lost interest in her and as it is, I’ve lost even a semblance of sexual interest in her,” said Tom with a heavy heart.

I admit me and Tom have always been close. He has been a close a loyal friend to me for many years. We have shared a lot over the years and I had always admired his drive, work ethic and loyalty. He was younger than me and has always looked at me as an elder brother. We had discussed a lot of personal issues over time but I had thought all this was behind us now. I knew it took him a lot of courage to reveal this. And he was counting on me to help him out.

“I am sorry about all this Tom,” I said.

“What does Steff say about it?” I asked after a pause.

“She blames me. Says I’ve changed. That am no longer interested in her and have no time for her,” he replied. I gave him a moment to ponder his answer then asked whether the accusations were true.

“Could be true that am no longer interested in her. But I think she’s the one who has changed not me,” admitted Tom.

We held a lengthy talk. I sought out to understand how Tom thought Steff had changed but he just couldn’t lay a finger on it. I tried to find out from him why Steff would think he had changed but he stood steadfast that he hadn’t changed.

“Are you seeing someone else? Are you unfaithful to Steff?” I found the courage to ask.

“No …… Am not seeing someone yet but it has crossed my mind,” said Tom with a sad look on his face. I knew Tom would never lie to me. Had he been seeing someone else, he would tell me. Now what I had to do was salvage his family before he got himself into a mess.

………to be continued

Martin Gichinga
Author: Martin Gichinga

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