"Daddy why do girls pee when they're seated?"
"Because they're lazy"
Her dad laughed so hard when she told him this joke he almost hit the bumper of the car infront of us. For a moment there he stopped and looked at me wondering what our daughter found funny. In his mind she was too little to understand why different genders pass urine the way they do. This was the second time he thought that we should have the sex talk with Anna. The first time was when she was four causing tantrums in the house crying that she wants her own baby. We bought her a teddy bear and told her that's how all babies start. He saw her frown a little and he wondered if we should explain where babies come from but she wasn't that sharp.
Driving to Malindi had become an annual thing. We would go there every August even before Anna was born.Back then it was just the two of us in the car. About eight hours on the road nursing a bum that's too tired from sitting on the same position. Tolerating Mark's dry jokes and boring pick up lines. "Are you Octopizzo because your figure is number nane baby!" With Anna around we had to stop everytime her bladder or empty stomach started crying for attention. Sometimes between her loud singing and Mark's hopeless efforts of being funny I would doze off thinking how life could not get any better.
The love he had for Anna made me jealous. Atleast until he found some trick who laughed at his jokes and he felt like he was finally getting the attention he deserved. A trick who should be on the passenger's seat of her own husband's car being killed softly with his jokes. Taking her own daughter on the side of the road for a short call, choosing non-toxic leaves to wipe her because she forgot to buy tissue then help herself as well after spotting a bush that is not too conspicous. What does she think she can get from my husband that she didn't get from hers? These men are like Jaguar's songs, the same old shit! Sure her husband has ears that can work as wi-fi boosters on their own but no one's perfect.
I wouldn't have cared about the affair. It's just that when you get a child her ambitions, dreams and whole life become your topmost priority. There's something about being a parent that blinds us from the rest of the world. I thought Mark understood that more than I did. For chrissake Anna's first words were papa.
Now I'm stuck raising Anna on my own. Lord knows she works me up. When I refuse to buy an expensive snack at the store because I can't afford it, she'll open the pack sit on the supermarket floor and devour it from there. First day in high school, boyfriend problems, poor grades, I'll raise her alone. I'll do a good job.
But when she tears her drawing of our family because Mark is not her dad anymore and when she warns her best friend not to go to vacation because her dad will leave her mum I will only pity her. All I have is sympathy for all the times I will take her to Uhuru Park and take a picture high-fiving KICC since I cannot afford a trip to Malindi. Before she realises that not all men will leave her like her dad I will have sent a fortune to our fake pastors to bring Mark back.
I would pretend he's the funniest man on earth. Dedicate my time and energy just to keep him from leaving Anna. All to hide Anna from the woes of rejection. However, a man who even thinks of going away is no good staying.