The fifth shot (3)
A couple of days later when I woke up, I didn’t find him next to me in bed. This was not surprising to me as he often left to work and left me sleeping. I started stretching when a few minutes later, I found him walking with bedroom robes holding a tray in his hand. The tray has a lush assortment of breakfast items with a rose on one side of the tray. I was dazzled. My hero has returned and he has finally come to his senses. The first words that came out of his lips were “I’m sorry you had to go through such a nasty crowd. If you think these women were vicious, you have no idea what happens with the men, Trust me. I am as much as a greenhorn among the men as you were with these women.”. I sipped the freshly squeezed orange juice and said in a hurry “These women said such mean things.” Then I stopped before I took the first bite from the croissant and said “Pierre. Have you been unfaithful to me.”. I’m not sure if I imagined that he hesitated for a second and his eyes rolled before he said with such envied confident voice “Search me, dear. Look deep into my eyes and see if I you are not my one and only.” I was about to debate that when there was a knock on the door.
It couldn’t haven been anyone else at this time of day except Michelle’s nanny. Pierre moved from my beside and I got up in a hurry, my nightgown all ruffled from the night’s sleep. We both opened the door wondering what she would want. She spoke and said “I’m sorry madame but I believe that Michelle has quite a high fever”. We hurried out of our room with the Nanny to Michelle’s room. Pierre put his hand on Michelle’s forehead and his face became quite changed. He gave order to the Nanny to prepare icy cold wet towels. We stayed next to Michelle completely worried about the case that he got. Pierre checked his other symptoms and declared that Michelle had scarlet fever.
Pierre contacted some of his doctor friends and they prescribed medication for him. There were also instructions that included that no one except the parents are in touch with him because the disease was contagious and can spread quickly. This meant dismissing the Nanny and any other help in the house and it would only be the three of us. Or, more likely, the two of us. As Pierre announced, to save his political career, he would be in the house but not in the room with us.
For a week, our house was ghost place. Around the corridors, there were sound of echoes, as I took Michelle to my bedroom. And there, I waited for either fate to be resolved. For Michelle to be cured and for Pierre to come back. His specific instructions were that we stay away from each other for fear of catching the disease and then he would be of no help to us. In this week, my passion for Pierre grew stronger as the more absent he was from my life, the more I longed for him more. I was hoping he felt the same.
The week passed and Michelle’s symptoms began to disappear. I called for Pierre wherever I could find him but I wasn’t sure whether was he in the house or not. Finally, he appeared. I told him about Michelle’s condition. He wore a medical mask and came to see him. He told me that the danger was over, and we could the help and his Nanny back in the house. All has returned to normal or so I thought. All returned to normal but it seemed Pierre caught the disease of seclusion and isolation. He never returned to the bedroom except twice.
He came to the room the first time to announce his big announcement. After Michelle’s recovery, we were going to attend the political party’s second major event. I adamantly refused. He started pleading with me. “I can’t go without you. The party prefer me to be with their wives. This saves me in the ranks of the political party. I might become a minister one day. Don’t ruin it for me.”. This time I rejected his plea. “You mean you want me there as your fun item for you and your friends. I told you what happened last time. Thank god that Michelle got sick so I don’t have to go and see these faces and hear these voices again. These voices that are still in my head. I can’t shake them. I won’t go.” Then Pierre continued to plea some more till his tone of voices shifted. “You know my parents were right. You’re simply not cut out to be a politician’s wife. I should’ve known better with your weird country accent, and your strange habits that I never understood till now.”. I stood silent and then I said words that to this very day I had no idea from which subconscious it came from. “Well I married the doctor, not the politican. You know, the one that actually helps people not manipulate and cook their lives the inside of a kitchen no one knows anything about its rusted cutlery and tarnished pots and pans.” I seemed to have won the day as he was stupefied by what I said and stormed out of the room.
I had no idea that tears can run so hot as they burned into my cheeks all night. I sat there in Michelle’s room watching him as I remembered the fond memories of first meeting Pierre. That charming smile and overwhelming confidence. If one thing helped me get through the war, it was him. What was our mistake? We were young? We took life and everyone else for granted? I was so sure of him and he was sure of me. Can really the life of politics ruin a man’s soul? Is this the time to ’prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet”? The I started remembering how he got busy with all his political party matters. There wasn’t a day that went by that he wasn’t either busy with their business or chattering away about their business.
I walked slowly from Michelle’s room to my bedroom. I kept staring at the emptiness of things as I wanted to so many things at once including smashing a thing or two. But I thought to myself that it wasn’t worth it. Maybe things will clear in the morning and somehow the clock will reverse and only those pleasant items will re-emerge. I dragged myself to bed, dimmed the light, and I thought I felt a blackness like Pierre pass me by. His whispers were soft almost like the hissing of a snake. All too soon he was performing husbandly duties and getting his way with me. But this didn’t feel like Pierre. It felt like a phantom of him. His delicate caress was gone. It felt like he was pounding to take something away from me and not hand something over to me. It felt all too vicious and malicious. I could smell a cocktail of women’s perfume and alcohol off him. But I didn’t care. I hungered for him. And out of our passionate entanglement came our second child, the witness to my downfall.