“How much?” The vendor stared at her.
“One thousand, two hundred”. She said softly. She typed the digits on the airtime voucher he handed her. A thousand two hundred. The price tag for refilling an internet data bundle.
She had spent the past 8 months refilling another bundle. An onerous one which she wished, had a definite price tag to it. For it appeared to be an unending penance for that transgression. Which began on a day like this. At a time like this. After she had refilled a bundle like this. And switched on her smartphone’s internet connection.
She was not prepared for the series of events that spiralled from then on; that chat notification which Fred -her colleague at work claimed to have sent in error; the ensuing discussion over the next few weeks, which began on a platonic tone and progressed to an romantic one; and that evening, when her marriage vows to Patrick were eventually broken.
She certainly wasn’t prepared for the resulting guilt, hence her desperate resolve to end the affair against Fred’s wishes, and close the doors of that dark past.
She recalled vividly the look of shock on Patrick’s face that fateful day he walked in on her, telling Fred off for the umpteenth time, over the phone. And the truth poured out that day. And a blissful world darkened that day. And murder was averted that day. And a lot was altered that day. Forever…
He forgave eventually, but lost all trust. And thus she began the unprepared journey of her penance. To find redemption. To atone. To refill the exhausted bundle. Of the love, and intimacy, and trust they once shared. One that had no price to it. A trust broken. Following a day like this.
After refilling a bundle like this…