Tribulations of Mark:- Part 8
The Weekend Promised to be a Boring One
It was another weekend and Mark did not know how to spend it. Sometimes some of the weekends ended up being boring especially when he was not busy. This Saturday promised to be a quite boring one with the fact that his wife Esther had refused to come back to him. She had even changed her phone number and according to the intelligence Mark had collected, she had also not reported to her work place.
What was not clear was whether she had gone for leave or had been transferred to another branch. There were circulating rumours that she had gotten married by the bank manager. But this was a refutable claim because the bank manager had been known to be married and had one kid.
Elders from Marks’ side wanted to go to her parents and solve the “matter” as they called it, but Mark had opposed that suggestion. He had urged them to wait a little longer and they had agreed. But they gave him less than a month.
Kenya shillings note
He Was Like a Man Lost in the Wilderness
The pain had lessened, but the effect of what Esther had done to him was visible. She had left him looking like a shell of a man, no longer robust, merry and outgoing person. He was like a man lost in the wilderness. Even in class, he had had a tough time trying to concentrate on teaching his students.
Mark made a decision, he would not spend the day indoors. He would have to go to town and do some shopping. Before that, he had some clean up to do. His house was in mess starting from the kitchen all the way to the bedroom. The place needed thorough cleaning. The problem was he didn’t know which corner to start and which one to finish with. He decided to start with the kitchen utensils because they were not many.
He took the dirty kitchen utensils to the common washing area since there was no running water in the kitchen. The kitchen tap had blocked and it had not yet been repaired. A young maid of his immediate door neighbor was busily washing clattering dishes while whistling an unknown tune and the same moment gyrating her wide hips like a hypnotized dervish to the rhythm of her song. She looked at him and flashed a shy smile towards his direction.
He Watched Her Walk Away With the Fluidity of Unfurling Silk
He positioned himself in one of the free corner and began his work. After laying down everything, he realized he did not have soap. He rushed back to the kitchen and fetched it. It was a tedious and tiring work and he kept muttering and cursing softly under his breath. In the process of cleaning up glass plates, one literally jumped out of his hands and before he could catch it, it came crashing down into smithereens. The young maid jumped with fright nearing dropping a giant thermos flask she was rinsing. She finished her work and he watched her walk away with the fluidity of unfurling silk.
When all the chores were done, he was tired to the bone. He took a cold shower and prepared himself to go to town. On arrival, he went to an ATM to withdraw money for use, but he couldn’t locate his ATM card which was always in his wallet. He tried to flashback to the last time he had used it, but could not recall. Then he decided to withdraw over the counter though it was a bit costly and time consuming.
There was a long meandering queue which he had no option but to join. The service was very slow; most of the counters didn’t have attendants. Despite the cooling system that had been installed, the place was still hot and the air stuffy. When his turn came, he handed his Identification Card and account number and then he informed the cashier how much he wanted. The cashier keyed in the details without looking up, then he looked up suddenly and placed one hand under his shin as if his head had suddenly become heavy.
He Stared at the Computer Screen as if it Had Suddenly Abused Him
“How much do you want to withdraw?” The cashier asked.
“I told you Kenya shillings 10,000/=.” Mark replied not trying to hide his irritation.
The cashier stared at the computer screen in front of him as if it had suddenly abused him, he typed again this time rapidly and then looked up. He shook his head as he talked. “You don’t have any money in your account.”
An uncomfortable period of silence elapsed before Mark asked, “What did you say?”
The cashier leaned back, “there is no money in your account.”
Mark stared at the cashier as if he had no teeth in his mouth. “Is this some kind of a joke? The last time I withdrew, I left a lot of money in my account.”
The cashier spoke politely, “What you should do is get your statement and review all these withdrawals you have made almost daily. Go to counter 1, you will be able to get your account statement."
A cold sweat trickled down Marks’ spine as he moved to counter 1. He filled the form for requesting his statement whereby he was requested to wait for about 20 minutes. The waiting period was torturous, akin to that of a man on death row. He kept on fidgeting wondering what could have happened to his hard earned money.
He Fell Face First on the Slippery Floor
The waiting ended when he was called to take his statement. He stared at it in disbelief. The first thing he looked at was the ending balance, it was reading Kshs 40. He looked at the top and he saw a lot of withdrawals spanning back about 2 weeks before his wife had deserted him and all of them from different ATMs. His mind flashed back to his missing ATM. There was only one person who had his password, his wife Esther.
He felt his heart thumping wildly inside his mouth and a strange dizziness inside his head. His mouth was dry as dust and he felt the funny sensation inside his head heighten. And then he knew it was coming, only he wasn't sure what it would be, a loss of consciousness or a fatal heart attack. He could dimly see people running away from him as he fell face first on the slippery floor of the baking hall crunching at his bank statement.
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© 2011 Patrick Kamau
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