A Tale: The Enigma of the Good Wife

There’s a girl, a young woman, sitting at the far corner of the grandiose dinning hall. Leaning on the wall, at the very end of the room.
Sandi, that is her name.
She is slender, dark, with big white eyes. She is not starring at a cellphone, or a computer screen. She’s not reading a book or eating or even fidgeting with anything. She is, literally, just sitting there. She is not really staring into space. She seems present. Almost like she’s people-watching with something like distaste for her subjects.
Chep’s curiosity gets the better of her. She is dying to know what is going on in Sandi’s mind. Chep looks around the room. Everyone is doing something. There is a guy at another table furiously typing into his MacBook. A few tables away from him is a group of ladies eating, laughing and speaking Mandarin rather loudly. Another table is occupied by a young man and two ladies, all of them staring at their phones. A few people are standing around but they too are engaged in one activity or another.
See? That is normal!
Then there’s Sandi there at her corner -just sitting. What is up with that?
Somehow it makes Chep a little anxious -and interested of course. She packs up her laptop and heads over to the water fountain. After filling her water bottle, she slowly makes her way to the end of the hall.
Chep smiles at her as she approaches Sandi’s table. She hesitates a little before taking a seat waiting for an OK (or not). Sandi says nothing. She just stares at Chep. Chep pulls the seat back and sinks into it.
Chep: A penny for your thoughts?
Sandi: You’re going to need a lot more than just a penny for this one.
She smiles a little. She has a beautiful set of teeth -and very white too.
Sandi: How much time have you got?
Chep: However much is needed.
Sandi: Have you heard of the movie How To Train Your Dragon?
Chep: I love that movie. That skinny kid is so me. Tiny but a force to be reckoned with . Is that what you are thinking about?
Sandi: Ha ha wouldn’t that be disappointing for you. That dragon, Night Fury, was a strong, feared dragon that fended for itself for years. Uuhm, the vikings were terrified of Night Fury far worse than all the other dragons. I mean, they knew very little about Night Fury, other than its name. That dragon had strong survival instincts. It must have been strong and fearless. But what happened to it when Hiccup broke the dragon’s wing?
She looks at Chep intently. Like she actually expects a response.
Chep: It couldn’t get away?
Sandi laughs.
Sandi: Yes, yes of course the dragon was unable to fly away. But I mean, what happened to Night Fury’s survival skills when he could not fly away?
Chep: Aah. You mean Hiccup had to feed him?
Chep is a bit confused now. She wonders where this is going.
Sandi: Hiccup went fishing for the dragon, then brought the food to him and also made him a new wing which he had to propel for Night Fury to fly.
Chep: OK..
Sandi: So basically Night Fury could not live without Hiccup.
Chep: Aha?
Sandi: If Hiccup had not taken Night Fury in, that dragon might have died of starvation or viking attack soon enough. Night Fury became weak and helpless. Don’t you see? This powerful strong dragon that terrorized Hiccup and his people for years is suddenly at Hiccup’s mercy for basic survival needs.
Chep: Yeah, the tables were turned.
Sandi: Exactly. My husband died a week ago. I haven’t had a chance to mourn him yet.
Obviously Chep is speechless now.
Sandi: I’m angry at him.
A tear trickles down her right eye. Chep is in shock. Things escalated rather quickly for her. She sits there suddenly very aware of her facial expression. She suddenly wonders whether her empathy looks real.
Sandi: I don’t know what to do or where to start. I feel so lost. The tables were turned on me when we got married.
Chep: I’m so sorry for your loss. Is, is there anything I can do for you?
Sandi: I’m so angry with him. He controlled everything. Did everything. Now I don’t know what to do.
Chep pulls out a pack of pocket tissues and handed them to her. Sandi blows her nose then with another leaf wipes her tears.
Sandi: I have to start a fresh now. I don’t know where to start. I’m sorry. I’m just so upset.
Chep mumbles a word or two every so often in sympathy. She tries to assure Sandi that a fresh start is not so bad.
Sandi nods and then she cries some more.
Sandi: I want to move from our house. I can’t stay there anymore. I don’t have money though. My husband did everything. Now he’s gone and I don’t have anything. I’m so lost.
The two ladies sat there together for about an hour. Mostly Chep would listen and utter an encouraging word whenever the opportunity presented itself. All in all Sandi just needed to cry it out and a person to listen to her. When they parted ways she was fairly cheerful and exceedingly thankful for Chep’s company and kindness.
When Sandi left Chep remained sitting at that table, in the same spot where Sandi had sat and did exactly what she had done. Nothing. Chep was reflecting on their conversation and her very brief glance into Sandi’s life. Sandi had told her that in their marriage her husband was the breadwinner. When they got married about thirty years ago she chose to become a stay at home wife. She never returned to employment. With her husband passing away and having very little savings, Sandi will now have to find a job to support herself.
Her story reminded Chep of another she had encountered a few days ago.
Chep was on the bus heading home one winter evening when a very friendly woman started a conversation with her.
Olya: Are you from here?
Chep: (Laughing) I assume you’re not?
Olya: I just came to the city. Well, I’ve been here about a month now. My son lives here.
Chep: Yeah, I am from here. Are you liking it?
Olya: Ha ha I’m not sure yet. Everything is so new. And with the snow and your road signs I’m terrified to drive.
Chep: There are no road signs where you’re from? Must be nice.
Olya: I wish. (she laughs again) Last month I found out that my husband of twenty years has been living with another woman for 2 years.
Chep: What? How?
Olya: He was always away -on business. I should have known.
Chep: That’s terrible. Tell me you did something crazy like torch his clothes or his car before you left?
Olya: If I had been thinking straight, I would have. My instinct was to run.
Chep: Bummer. I’m really sorry to hear that. It’s messed up.
Olya: Yeah. I’m looking for a job now. I have no skills to speak of since I have not worked in twenty years.
Chep: Any idea what you want to do?
Olya: No clue.
She reached over and pressed the stop signal for the next stop.
Olya: So If I ever spill something on you in a restaurant, please understand.
She laughs at her own joke. Chep chuckles and waves as Olya gets up to leave.
Chep sighs deeply. These were two different women, with different stories yet they had a very similar outcome. She gathers her bag, phone and water bottle to leave.

Author: Valerie

I am a storyteller, a writer. I post new articles every other Tuesday. Life is full of wonder. Life is beautiful. I love the uncertainty that comes with it. The ups and downs of living -its high points and low moments, the good times and the bad. I love it all. But what I love even more, is writing about it! I enjoy mentoring girls and young women. Nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing women rocking in whatever they pursue. My writing however, is in most cases unisex. There is a little something for everyone on all matters lifestyle. My most passionate topic areas include fulfilling my life goals (fighting procrastination), my relationship with money,  and self love (because no one else will know how you expect to be treated if you don't treat yourself right). And then there's travel, food, fashion and books. I have a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree (BBA). I also possess extensive experience  and education in communication studies. Welcome to my world. Comment, share and have some fun while you're at it. Are you looking for a creative writer? Or would you like to collaborate? Drop me an email at: memoirsofakenyan@hotmail.com

2 thoughts on “A Tale: The Enigma of the Good Wife”

  1. You are an AMAZING writer! I think that that is your second calling (your first is where you are now in your life!). I’m blown away!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *