“….his head hit a small metallic pole and he started bleeding immediately. Everyone rushed to his side and checked on him. The manager checked his pulse and it was weak and so he immediately called 911. Melanie sank on her knees next to him and just shouted his name endlessly hoping to wake him up. EMT first responders came within minutes and after some assessment, they placed an endotracheal tube in his trachea to help him breathe and transported him to the hospital, where he was immediately admitted to the ICU.
Melanie and Max also went to the hospital. The tension in between them was evident and unappealing. Mel was just sobbing while Max tried to console her, but she was too frigid to respond to him. She was glad to be with someone, but then again, she couldn’t help but feel guilty because Borris’ current state was a result of their indiscretion. She really wanted to talk to Casey. She desperately needed a neutral voice.
Maxwell was in panic mode, he wanted to flee to Pluto and live in outer space and put all this soap opera behind him. How did he allow himself to get here? How could he allow his emotions to override every sense of rationale and morality within him? Whichever way he looked at it, he had his generous chunk of the blame just like Melanie, his partner in lust. He had slept with his friend’s wife and he was sure that Borris would never forgive him and he didn’t know if their marriage would survive this earthquake. His mother would skin him alive and then slaughter him slowly with her tongue.
The medical personnel worked fast to try and stabilize Borris by elevating his blood pressure, then putting him on ventilator support to augment his breathing. He was put on IV fluids to help him with hydration. All these were necessary to support his brain so that he can recover from the injury. His head was stitched immediately and then he was given 4 pints of blood since he had lost a lot of blood. Borris’ vital organs were okay, but a CT scan showed widespread swelling of the brain. The neurologist on duty, evaluated him and found him to be completely non-responsive. When blood was drawn from his arm, he did not move it or even wince. Later on, he tried to apply painful stimuli to assess his level of consciousness, but again there was no response and neither did he move his yes. He concluded that Borris had sustained severe brain damage that was causing severely impaired consciousness.
Melanie went in to see him and her heart was ripped apart when she saw her husband with tubes and wires all over him in a non responsive state. She held him and talked to him, she apologized and cried and told him that she loved him and that she wanted him back, but just lay there and said nothing. She was so consumed in the moment that she forgot to pick her kids from school. Their teacher had called her and Borris but none of their cell phones were going through. Since Casey was the third person in the emergency contact list, she was called and picked up the kids from the school and took them home and waited.
She had a gut feeling that something was terribly wrong because both Borris and Casey were on voicemail and they hadn’t requested her to pick up the kids like they had done in the past whenever both of them were held up at the same time. So she just waited until around 10pm when Maxwell dropped Melanie in the house. Amid tears and sobs, Mel explained everything to her friend and both of them cried it out together. Casey felt like turning back the wheels of time so that she could be more firm in influencing Mel to do the right thing but it was too late.
“It’s okay darling”, was all she could say as she held Melanie who lay on her laps on the crouch crying. “It’s going to be okay, Borris will be fine”
“But how can you be sure? He just collapsed and hit his head so hard on that pole. I mean…..” more tears
“I feel so bad”, she continued, “I’m selfish Casey, “I’m not a good person, I have cheated on my husband, I have thrown away a decade that we built together. The guy was trying to make it up and I just….”
“I know girlfriend, I know and I’m sorry”,
Casey spent the night at Mel’s house. She took it upon herself to be with her in the hope that this crisis will somehow resolve itself.
For the next one week, Borris remained in the same state, he never improved. He had a blank peaceful look and for the first time in a long time, Mel found him to be so handsome. It was hard trying to explain to her boys without getting into a lot of details that their daddy was sick and was going to be away for sometime. They couldn’t understand why they couldn’t go to see their daddy in the hospital. She didn’t feel comfortable allowing them to see their hero in that state with many tubes and pipes running through him.
Melanie told Maxwell that she needed some space from him as she goes through this alone and he respected her request. She went to hospital everyday and became very prayerful, just hoping that God would do a miracle and bring back her Borris. She talked to her husband and begged for his forgiveness. Even if he was boring, he was still hers and he was the father of her children and she was still committed to him. She had thought the dramatic steps he was taking to improve as a husband and care for her as a lover, only for her to throw it back to his face. He was not a mean person, he wasn’t demanding, and he certainly wasn’t a pain in the rear end, he was your average hardworking, committed, faithful Christian hubby that wasn’t overbearing. She battered herself mercilessly.
After 8 days in hospital, the boring man passed away without warning! Melanie had gone to take some coffee in the lounge when Borris’ ventilator support started beeping. The nurses rushed to his side, but there’s nothing that they could do, the young man kicked the bucket, he died, just like that!
Melanie fainted on learning that her husband had died, when she came to, it was all so unreal. Her world was tossed in a pandemonic frenzy as she tried to come to terms with the reality that she had lost her husband. She cried and wept bitterly because all she could think of is, “I killed my husband”. She was ashamed and embarrassed, she felt awful and mad at God. How could he allow Borris to die and yet he was the Christian? He was a nice guy, she wasn’t saved and she is the one who made the wrong choice to commit infidelity and now the good guy was being punished? If there was anyone who deserved to die, it was her but not Borris. This incensed her even more.
She made a phone call, “Max, we killed him…!!!!!!!!!!” and then she wept
“Whattttt???????”, he couldn’t believe it
“Are you sure?”
“What kind of question is that? Do you think I’m insane? Max, we killed my husband!!!”
“Oh noooo, let me come. Are you at the hospital?”
“Yes, but please don’t come?”
“But why? I would like to be with you and console you”
“Please Max, don’t come”, she said this as she hung up
This seemed like a bad joke from hell. His cell phone dropped from his hand as he buried his face in his palms and cried like an old elephant. He went to the hospital and found Mel in Casey’s arms. With one signal from Casey, he understood that it was not proper for him to be there and so he went away, he drove away to a solitary place and cried out his heart to God. He had spent the previous week asking God for forgiveness. He felt dirty, fake and cheap and this new development made him feel wicked and evil. “Why did I pursue another man’s wife?’
He remembered the story of David and Bathsheba. Murder, death and betrayal were some of the major themes alongside infidelity and now he too had “killed” another man by sleeping with his wife. The sting of guilt haunted him every single day as he had found Borris to be a good friend. He blamed himself for never following up with the dinners that he kept asking him but somehow, he never made it. He was certain that if he had met Melanie before then this story would have been different. What made it even worse is that he hadn’t told his mum and did not have anyone close enough to confide in without feeling judged. This was eating him up and he didn’t know what to do or how to handle it.
Melanie’s sister flew in from Melbourne to be with her during this time. She was tasked with breaking the news to the boys about the loss of their dad. Hearing it was different from accepting the fact that their dad was never going to come back home again. As in that was the end of him. They were fatherless and that didn’t sound too cool for them because in their world, everyone has a daddy or mum. It was a very difficult time for the family. Casey was there through it all, she walked with Melanie and her sister, helped out in planning all the funeral logistics and ensuring that Borris was given a befitting send off.
Borris was laid to the rest at the local cemetery. Melanie was like a zombie throughout the whole ceremony. She went through the motions, gave a beautiful eulogy and was dressed elegantly. They boys were decked in their suits and they carried the flowers. Daddy was not coming back, they were saying goodbye! Maxwell was at the funeral, he stood at a respectable distance and tried to disguise himself. It’s only Casey who knew that he would be there because she had secretly sent him a text.
Maxwell, being the gentleman that he is did not want to cause any drama on that day, so he kept his distance. He then took his kids to their grandma and went to Honolulu to clear his mind and have some time away for reflection, meditation and prayer. He reproached himself severally, hoping that this trip would aid in purging away all the illusions of fantasy that he had built of Melanie. He wanted to sever that relationship completely.
The weeks that followed the burial of Borris were cold, lonely and hard. Almost everything in the house reminded him of Borris and her heart was riled with anger and self hate. Mel’s sister stayed for 2 weeks before going back to Australia. She had given Melanie the option of coming over for a visit together with her kids if she wanted and Mel said that she would think about it.
Casey was a huge Godsend during this season. She sacrificed a lot of her time to be with Mel who could log into ‘mourning mode’ and refuse to ‘log out’. She was there for Mel and the kids, she moved in with them to help out with the chores and to ensure that Mel was eating. She was very understanding and very supportive and just showered Melanie with tons of love.
Maxwell came back from Hawaii with a new resolve. He had rededicated his life to Christ and just wanted to move on to a new chapter in his life. Right now his main focus was his kids, his walk with God and his career. He did not want to get involved with another woman. That was now a closed chapter in his life. Maybe he was meant to be a single dad, he thought. He resolved to move on with other facets and aspects of life.
Borris’ insurance cleared 1 month after his death. Melanie knew that he had a good policy, but it never occurred to her that it was a colossal amount. When her lawyer called her to pick the cheque, she stood there in total disbelief. A whopping $10 million, this again brought memories of the good man that she had built a life with and just how considerate he had been. Now that he was gone, he had ensured that she and the kids would be taken care of. She was back at the blame game where she was the villain in her own courtroom. She blamed herself thoroughly and she still had several unanswered questions with God.
After about a week of thoughtful contemplation and consulting with her sister and Casey, she opted to leave the country and relocate to Australia with her kids. She hadn’t met or communicated with Maxwell for a long time and there were times her mind would drift into wondering on how he was faring on, but she never called him because she didn’t want to open that lid. She was afraid that she might still have a residue of latent affection that could trigger another host of events. So when it came to deciding on whether it was appropriate to tell Max that she was leaving, Casey was emphatically firm on her and told her not to do it because she hadn’t healed from the demise of her husband and she was vulnerable towards Max.
She agreed with her and decided not to say a word to him. She had a talk with her boys who were excited to go and be with their cousins. She sold her house and in about another month, she said bye to her motherland and ventured into a new country, a new culture and a different people.
The day of their departure was not an easy one. They chatted endlessly with Casey while keeping an eye on the boys. Mel kept going to the bathroom in ten minute intervals. She felt a little light headed but didn’t pay much attention to it.
“What do you mean?”, asked Mel
“I don’t know, are you okay?”
“No, I feel tired and I keep feeling like I need to go every so often”
“Have you eaten….please tell that you have eaten girlfriend?”
Mel shook her head in an admission of guilt.
“Sweetheart, you are crazy”, she said as she stood up to buy her a quick sandwich and soda.
Mel gobbled it very fast, but was still famished and her headache was escalating. Casey bought her another Sandwich and some painkillers. Their airline crew called out their names, the plane was about to leave.
They hugged one more time and struggled to tear away from each other. Both ladies felt like they were losing each other.
Casey got on the plane with her three boys, she thought that they were flying out as a family of four while in reality they were….’