My intelligence was insulted, my ego pumped full of adrenaline the day my three best friends told me the truth about Frank. Well, I promised them that I won’t do something stupid and end up in the news, and I have tried not to let emotions in my way of clear thinking.
I have tried to plot the ultimate revenge, but I have failed horribly. How could I, of all people, have been taken for a ride by a priest? The whole thing seems like a joke, or a dream that I would wake up from. I can’t believe.
Frank and I were deep in the honeymoon phase by the time I realized that he was the man for me. I slowly saw the woman in me, and got to know I had capabilities and qualifications I never thought I possessed – like knowing what my man wanted, when he wanted it, and how he wanted it. I knew the right buttons to push. Even though I chided myself that I was in control I now realise that I was further from it. Frank was the one in control all along.
Never did I once question the fact that I knew little about Frank. In the two months we had been dating, I had never once been to his apartment, house or wherever it was he lived. All I knew was that he was a manager in one of the city’s advertising companies. Anyone would have questioned this, but I was in the honeymoon phase of the relationship!
They say that a dish of revenge tastes sweeter when served cold, but I can’t think of anything that can inflict great pain on Frank, and fill me with gratification as I watch him daily living a nightmare.
Guess I decided to forgive Father Francis Jeremiah Macharia!
Nonetheless, somebody once told me that the best revenge is forgiveness. That’s why I forgave Shamir, my first love; after he stuck along long enough to devour the cherries in my south then dumped me like a piece of shit (like Americans say). He made me feel so cheap, and used. But that’s once upon a time.
So, yesterday I called Frank (after giving him the communication blackout for three weeks) and told him we meet at the Norfolk Hotel. All I wanted was to confront him.
I found him already there, ten minutes before the time I had told him. As I entered the VIP lounge that I had asked be reserved for me
I shook my head slightly.
“Hey Shiri,” Frank said.
I said nothing. I pulled my seat, perched my wired butt down and looked at the man who’d played me for a fool.
“I was thinking, Frank… about when you gonna see that there’s no more lies,” I said pronto I made myself comfortable.
Frank looked at me, maybe wondering what kind of greeting was that. “What do you mean?”
I kept my gaze on him.
“When I met you a while ago you swept me off my feet with the proverbial broom. I was so happy. We were happy. I liked you, and even fell for you.”
Frank’s lips moved as though he was trying to say something, then he stopped.
“You are filthy, pathetic, Frank. A pathological liar. Too selfish. How could you, Frank? How could you? How many have you lied to?
All that false pretence. Why do you have to do such a dirty thing? Immoral at all senses of the word!”
Frank blinked, trying to fit the pieces together. He knew I knew.
“Does the Cardinal even know? Does your fellow priest even know about you?” I shook my head. “But why do I ask. It’s you people who are paedophiles. Your Pope’s infallibility has made the church a nest of nincompoops and hypocrites. People come to you for confession…”
“You may say what you want, Shiri, but I can’t make you understand,” Frank interrupted me.
I shook my head again, and I wanted to get up and strut out. “Yes, you can’t, and no one can. The people look up to you.”
“Yes, they do.” He wet his lips. “It’s just that this has come the wrong time. As I said, I can’t make you understand.”
We sat there frozen in silence, for a few moments. The anger and loath of betrayal was pounding on me so hard.
“How did you find out?” he asked.
“What does it matter? I was going to find out eventually.” He looked stunned. He squinted at me, and then I saw realisation hurtling on to him – I had been spying on him.
“Shiri, you are the best thing to have happened to me in my life.”
“Best thing? What do you take me for? That I am so cheap to be bought by offertory? Please.”
“It’s not that, Shiri,” Frank said. A breath came out of him as though it had been held inside him the whole evening.
Frank ranted how he was taken from the streets by the church over thirty years ago, given a life, how he ended up in the seminary against his will, and how he fell for me when he saw me. “Even angels fall in love.” He told me how he thought his life had been a mistake, and how he wanted to change, and then, as though he had no sense in him, how he wanted me to help him.
My lips quivered with resentment. My heart felt as though it had a rip in it. “Oh, how could you, Frank. At least the church gave you a life. Why not live it?”
“I know I should have stood up then, but I had no choice.”
I closed my eyes, then opened them again. It’s confrontation time, I reminded myself.
“You have a relationship with a nun from Mombasa, Fr. Frank. Two choir girls, at least those who were brave enough, have sworn that they have slept with you. And, oh, that married woman you ruined her marriage! You thought no one knows about you, Casanova? And above all, you are a murder suspect. You took advantage of me being a foreigner, didn’t you?”
Frank swallowed hard. A frisson of resentment flashed through his face, took quick to notice, like a tic. His face turned ashen, but regained colour immediately. He knew how to control his emotions.
Frank’s eyes turned into slits and zeroed in on me. In them I saw resentment and a killer conviction (not that I already knew he was a murder suspect in the case of one Bishop Luigi Locati of Isiolo Diocese who was killed in 2005).
Tears stung my eyes, but something told me that I couldn’t afford to breakdown.
“I know you have already judged and sentenced me. I am guilty as charged,” Frank said. “But I have decided to change. I want to change, Shiri. That’s why I need you. Believe me, I really do love you.”
The anger that I had bottled inside me exploded, and words came out of my mouth that I had longed to say all evening, “I want you to go. Go to wherever you’ve been, to your filthy life. You’ve wasted my time, and taken me for a fool. I have no idea what the real you is, or how much is in your dark life, but trust me, I don’t wanna know.”
Frank’s face went slack. I could see how much this had deflated his ego.
“I want you out,” I said as a matter-of-fact. “Right now. Go, Frank. Go!”
I sat there, deep inside trembling, but trying not to show it. It was over.
Frank just sat, staring at me. A few moments later, he stood up and lingered a little longer as if he had something to say. “Shiri, I…”
I put my hand as though to say “talk to the hand, nigger” to stop him.
Everything in me was breaking. I knew that if he stood there longer I would cause a scene. That’s not what I wanted.
He made for the door, then turned.
“Good-bye, Frank,” I said with a resolve.
Copyright ©Elove Poetry, 2012.
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