The other lady (finale)

BY: Jasmine Arku

Araba had called him about four times that evening but Zack did not answer. He had told her earlier in the afternoon that his shift at the hospital would end by 4pm and that he would go straight home afterwards. It was past 6pm and she hadn’t heard from him and he hadn’t returned her calls.

She got home that night and after taking a shower she called him again. Still no answer. He couldn’t be asleep this early. It was unlike him. Even if he were with his friends he would send her a message but he hadn’t done that. She was getting worried. Could anything have happened to him? She didn’t know who to call.

She decided to call again. The phone rang and finally there was an answer at the other end of the line.

“Hello,” a voice said but it wasn’t the voice she anticipated.

She quickly hang up to check if she had called the wrong number. But it wasn’t. The voice at the other end was feminine. Could it be a nurse at the hospital? She asked herself.


She called again and it was the same voice.

“Hi, please may I speak to Zack?” she asked politely.

“Zack’s in the bathroom. I’ll let him know you called,” the lady told her.

“Ok…,” she stuttered.

“By the way, who should I tell him called?” the lady sought to find out.

“I believe my name popped up,” Araba responded in surprise.

“Nope, it didn’t.”

“Ok. Tell him to call the number that just called him,” she told the other lady.

She couldn’t believe what had just happened. Was it some kind of a joke? It had better be, she told herself.

She called back after twenty minutes and the same voice answered at the other end of the phone.

“Kindly let me speak to Zack. It’s very important,” she told her.

“I told you Zack was in the bathroom. He’ll call you back when he wants to.”

“It’s more than twenty minutes since I last called. He should have been done by now,” she replied.

“I didn’t know you were checking the time, lady. Zack will call you when he wants to.”

“Kindly give the phone to him in the bathroom,” Araba requested.

“Who talks while in the bathroom? Moreover I’m using his phone.”

“The Zack I know talks in the bathroom so kindly give the phone to him,” she was gradually losing her patience.

The other lady denied her request and hang up.

Araba sat on her bed in disbelief. Who was that lady and what kind of effrontery did she have to pick his phone and talk to her in that manner? And what was she doing at his end at that time of the night? These questions lingered on her mind as she tried to stay calm expecting Zack to call and have a good explanation.

Her phone rang and it was Zack but the voice wasn’t his.

It was the other lady.

“Hi, please who’s this?” Araba enquired.

“What’s your problem?” the other lady asked.

“I don’t have a problem. I’m only surprised cos it’s the first time I’ve called him for a lady to answer his phone,” Araba stated.

“Point of correction. The lady on this phone is his girlfriend and I don’t know why you keep calling,” she told Araba rather cheekily.

“Ok. I didn’t know he had a girlfriend. He never told me,” Araba responded.

“Well, now you know. And I’ll advise you to stop calling my boyfriend. Don’t you think it will rather do you some good if you called your own boyfriend and spoke to him? Or better still, grab a cup of tea and go to bed. It will do you some good. Please don’t call this number again,” she warned her sternly and hang up.

What had just happened? Was it a dream? Was it a prank Zack was pulling on her? How could he, even if it were a prank? She lay in her bed sobbing, not knowing who to call or who to turn to.

The morning came early and she was expecting his usual morning message but it never came. She called him later in the day but he didn’t answer. She sent several messages but he didn’t reply.

She wanted to find out who the other lady was but he wouldn’t tell her. What could have made him do such a thing? What did she do wrong? She loved him and she honestly did. She did everything to make him happy so why couldn’t he tell her if he had any problem with her.

These thoughts kept running through her mind. Days passed and she didn’t hear from him. Another lady was in the picture. As to how true that was, she didn’t know and he wouldn’t say. Days passed. She had barely had a good night sleep. Her eyes were reddened from crying and lack of sleep. Her face puffed up as though she was ill. She kept watching her phone hoping he would call her, hoping he would send a message at least to apologise. It could have been a mistake and she was ready to forgive him and let it go. She grew weary but she held on to hope.

Then one evening, unexpectedly, she got a message from Zack. It was a response to one of her numerous messages. She had wanted to find out who the other lady was. She wanted to know what she did wrong. She wanted them to deal with whatever problem there was as adults, as they always did. She just wanted answers.

She anxiously reached for her phone. She was hoping it was a good explanation to all that was going on. She unlocked the phone and tapped the messaging app. It was indeed Zack. He had finally responded to her.

It was the long awaited response but it read, “Please move on.”