Sitting down to a roast dinner with my partner, our two children and his first family, I caught the glint of a ring from the corner of my eye and felt a familiar stab of guilt.
The wedding band that had reflected in the light sits on the left hand of my partner’s ex, Jill — still technically his wife 20 years after he left her to set up home with me.
Jill is the perfect matriarch and hostess, fussing around ensuring we all have plenty to eat and drink, but the circumstances could not be more awkward for me, the cuckoo in the nest. I do not deserve to be made so welcome in this kind, unquestioning woman’s home.
Later, as we left, Jill stood alone on her doorstep and cheerily waved us off. I had to turn my head away. It was just too painful to look.
I willingly endured this family occasion last Christmas, as I have so many others, because of the crippling guilt I feel at stealing the only man Jill ever loved.
I also robbed their children, who were already grown up, and their grandchildren of the solid, stable family life I believe everyone deserves.
If I hadn’t started an affair with John, who was then my boss, when I was 22 and he was 46, they would still be a family unit today.
So my advice to anyone contemplating stealing another woman’s husband is this: prepare for a lifetime of guilt.
Now aged 42, I am an author as well as co-owning a marketing services company with John, 66, which we run from our home in Nottinghamshire.
We have two beautiful children, Sam, 11, and Ruth, seven, and all we could want materially, including the luxury of a couple of foreign holidays a year.
All would be perfect, were it not for my abiding remorse over appropriating another woman’s life.
Jill is in her 60s and, coming from a family of strict Roman Catholics, she is a firm believer in the sanctity of marriage, so I would never ask John to divorce her.
I was never a girly girl who dreamed of a big white wedding and know that divorce would sadden Jill more than being married to the man I love would make a difference to me.
But I’m haunted by the fact that Jill hasn’t had a relationship since she and John split and doesn’t want one: she’s on her own because of me.
John was the boss of a financial services company in the Midlands when I joined aged 20.
Sophisticated and silver-haired, with a sports car and a rugby player’s physique, he was hugely attractive. The 24-year age gap only added to his allure.
I knew he was married and therefore off limits. But I can’t deny feeling an unexpected thrill when in December 1992, two years after I joined the company, John propositioned me at the office Christmas party.
He said he was attracted to me and we could have an affair, but he would never leave his wife of 23 years. I felt flattered and excited by his interest, but reasoned it must be the drink talking.
Two days later, and sober, John told me he’d meant what he said. At 22, I was young and naively believed that, because John didn’t intend to leave his wife, she’d never know, therefore no one would get hurt.
So a few days later I agreed to meet him for a drink. Two weeks later, we slept together in a hotel room. I lived with my parents at the time so hotel liaisons were our only option, until I bought a house a year or two later.
It sounds cold, but I thought I’d be able to keep emotion out of it and, after a tumultuous relationship with my previous boyfriend, a ‘no-strings’ affair seemed pretty ideal.
But, against my better judgement, I fell in love with John, and two years into our affair, he confessed he felt the same. ‘I’d like it to be like this all the time, falling asleep and waking up together, if you want me,’ he said.
I’d always assumed one day I would have to walk away from this man I loved, so the prospect of spending my life with him was exhilarating. That said, it was still another two years before he plucked up the courage to finally leave the family home.
Jill says that was the first she knew of our affair, though John maintains he had told her many times how unhappy he was in the marriage. Although she ranted and raved at him, she was too proud to confront me, for which I was grateful.
Their daughter, Annabel, then also 25, was relatively accepting of the situation but their son, Toby, then 24, barely spoke to his father for a year.
Shockwaves went through John’s company when the news broke — we’d done a good job of hiding our affair from colleagues — and he was tormented by the hurt he’d caused his family. He went on to use money to assuage his guilt, even paying his grandchildren’s private school fees.
I managed to convince myself that, because his family were financially comfortable, they weren’t suffering because of me. He visited them regularly, which eased my conscience.
Whenever he left, however, I would sit at home, feeling like the mistress again, and would scan his face on his return, expecting him to announce he was leaving me.
For years, it felt like he was on loan to me. I set eyes on Jill for the first time in 1998, two years after John left her. John and I had taken Annabel’s children, then aged five and seven, on holiday to Majorca for a fortnight.
By chance, Toby and his wife had taken Jill to the same island, so John arranged for Jill to see the children.
We came face-to-face in the hotel foyer. I hung back, not knowing where to look or what to do with my hands. We didn’t speak.
I was struck by how different we are: I’m small and blonde, while Jill is tall and dark. She’s always immaculately made-up, well-dressed and keeps her nails manicured, whereas I’m more of a ponytail and quick dab of lipgloss girl.
Jill and I didn’t meet again until after my son Sam was born in 2001. Jill had asked John, out of the blue, whether I’d like to bring him along for a visit. It was an incredibly generous thing for her to do.
If I’d been due to meet the Queen I couldn’t have been more nervous. It was a typically British encounter. Jill’s first words to me were: ‘Would you like tea or coffee?’
I politely stood there, watching her pour the tea, all the time feeling wretched and fighting the urge to blurt out how terribly, terribly sorry I was. But a baby is a great icebreaker, and Jill had made a cake, which I told her was ‘delicious’ so often it became embarrassing.
Jill was equally welcoming when our daughter Ruth came along four years later, and never forgets to send our children Christmas and birthday gifts.
They call her ‘Nanny’, some-thing they’ve picked up from being around Jill and John’s grandchildren, and, astonishing as though it may seem, she’s happy to answer to that moniker.
Over the past decade, Jill and I have developed an amicable relationship, which has enabled us all to attend family occasions without feeling too awkward. Eight years ago, we even joined Annabel, her children and Jill on holiday in France — living on top of each other in a poky apartment touring the Riviera crammed into a people carrier.
One evening, Annabel even offered to babysit Sam, who was three, so that John and I could go out for dinner alone.
‘I feel like a scarlet woman being whisked off by Jill’s husband while she stays home like Cinderella,’ I hissed at John as he straightened his tie in our bedroom mirror before we headed out.
He couldn’t understand why I still felt like a brazen interloper.
We met up again on holiday in Cyprus in 2008. I can still recall the sting of shame as I overheard Jill say to a waiter: ‘This is my husband and his family.’ The waiter looked bemused, as my cheeks flushed and I looked down at my feet.
I’m sure other holidaymakers were equally puzzled by our family structure, but I’m willing to put up with a few funny looks to ensure that John doesn’t miss out on precious time with his children and grandchildren.
At the beach one afternoon, as Sam and Ruth were filling their buckets with seawater, I overheard Jill ask John: ‘Can you remember our two doing that?’ and again the guilt welled up in me like bile.
It obviously hasn’t all been plain sailing. The most challenging occasion was Annabel’s second wedding seven years ago, at a country hotel in the Midlands.
I didn’t really fit in anywhere and Annabel made sure I wasn’t in any of the photographs.
Then, in 2008, when John suffered financial catastrophe at the start of the recession, I discovered that underneath the sticking plaster was still a very raw wound.
John was no longer able to afford school fees for his grandchildren and also had to reduce the generous financial support he was giving Jill, forcing her to downsize her home.
She’d already moved from the six-bedroomed detached marital home into a large four-bedroomed detached. Now she had to move again, this time into a smaller four-bedroomed detached, where she still lives.
Showing me around for the first time, Jill said: ‘John left me no choice but to move when he cut my maintenance payments, you know.’
I winced as her words hung in the air between us. In our large detached house in a beautiful little village just outside Nottingham, I can’t help feeling I am leading the life that Jill had expected, and deserves, in her twilight years.
In fact, there seems to be no escaping my remorse, even when John and I are enjoying time at home with our children.
This Christmas, as in previous years, my parents will arrive at our house laden with toys and gifts for Sam and Ruth and then spend hours playing with them.
So it hits me hard that John’s exchange of Christmas gifts with his grandchildren lasts barely an hour.
Despite my efforts, a gulf has widened between John and his first family as he has become increasingly busy with the demands of our own children.
We call to see them at Jill’s on Christmas morning, but I’m always conscious of us keeping an eye on the clock and rushing off to get home for my family.
His children and grandchildren have lost a large part of John and that would not have happened had I refused to allow him to leave his wife.
John reassures me that I didn’t entice him away, that he chose to leave, but I know that if I had refused to make a life with him he would probably still be there, playing happy families.
It was only three years ago, around the time Jill and John should have been celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary, I admitted how guilty I feel to John.
John said he shared my feelings of culpability, but told me: ‘Nicola, what’s done is done. I loved Jill but I’m in love with you. We were meant to be together so let’s not waste any more energy feeling bad about it.’
However, now I’m at the age Jill was when I started dating John, I look at twentysomething women and see how pretty and youthful they are compared with how I feel in my 40s, and it makes me feel dreadful. My youth must have added an extra twist of the knife for Jill.
When John mentioned I was writing this article, Jill told him bluntly: ‘I’m glad she feels guilty.’ And who can blame her?
The parents of one of Sam’s friends recently went through a messy divorce, prompting him to ask me: ‘You and Daddy won’t split up, will you?’ and ‘Why aren’t you married?’
I explained that it’s not marriage that keeps parents together but love, and that his daddy and I love each other very much.
But a part of me is aware that, despite two decades together, John still isn’t wholly mine.
If I could go back and speak to my 22-year-old self I would tell her to steer clear of married men, particularly if they already have a family. Affairs cause too much heartache for everyone.
But if I hadn’t met John I wouldn’t have my beautiful children, who are more than worth the emotional price I’ve paid.
Jill is an incredible woman who has shown so much dignity and grace towards me. I have huge respect for her and hope one day to apologise to her personally. Writing this article is a first step.
And, odd though it may sound, I think there’s something rather beautiful about the wedding band on Jill’s finger. She made a promise on her special day back in 1969 and she, at least, has never broken those vows.
For me, being unable to wear the ring of the man I love feels like a small price to pay for stealing another woman’s husband.
By Daily Mail
Akothee Celebrates Mzungu Baby Daddy’s Birthday.
Singer Akothee who is a mother of 5 has celebrated her French baby daddy Dominic’s birthday in a lengthy message. Mr Dominic Decherf is the father to Akothee’s last born, Papa Oyoo.
In a lengthy message on her instagram post, Akothee narrates how Mr Dominic proposed to her on this day 11 years ago; which also happened to be his birthday.
Sharing cute throwback photos from their engagement day, Akothee revealed that on the same day Dominic bought her a new home worth Ksh 45 M in Mombasa.
Akothee met Dominic alias Papa Oyoo when she was a taxi driver in Shanzu and she was then living in a rented home.
Akothee went on by highlighting some of the things she has achieved since she met him. Madam Boss has also went on to become a big brand influencer in Kenya.
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It was on a day like this 17. 9 2009 on your birthday ,that you proposed me and bought me a house behind the then nakumat @ 45M. The Muzungu who was selling the house to us ,thought I was naive and he could steal from us ? You loved the home so much that you dint want to let go , the Muzungu still wanted to keep his bedroom upstairs for his holidays 😂😂😂I had never owned a property before ,but trust me , it dint make sense to me and I could not imagine sharing a compound with that man🙆,I had known him for over 3 year's, we used to come to that house for dinner with friends during our hustle mood 😂😂😂😂, and he used to play very rich Swiss guy , Don't ask me what I was doing there ,😂😂😂. You thought the kids & me would be happy in that home 🙏 you loved the pool and the chef Mr shinando , you wanted to see your queen happy . I had to protect you and our property . Now today I want to tell you that Since I met you ,I have known that true love and Angels still exist ❣️. Come and see what the girl you met as a taxi driver living in shanzu at Toles own compound rented house ,has become 💪 1. A mega star 2. An entertainer 3. An entrepreneur 👉@akotheesafaris 4. The number one leading & highly paid brand Ambassador/ influencer in Kenya @akno.tela 5 . An investor @akothenproperties 6. The original philanthropist @akotheefoundation On top of it 7 . THE AKOTHEE FAN BASE ( the only celeb with no haters , just loyal fans and admires ) 💪 8. An eminent MEMBER of ELREB . LOVED BY MANY & RESPECTED BY ALL 👉FROM GRASS TO GRACE 👉FROM SHAME TO FAME 👉FROM GRACE TO GRACE 🙏The only man who would like to see me grow . Mr Dominic decherf Wuon Oyoo @papaoyoo When counting my blessings ,I count you 7 times . You are my HERO ,MY ORIGINE , THANK YOU FOR ALWAYS BEING THERE FOR ME AND THE KIDS.not forgetting the many trips you made with me to childrens court🙏 fighting over a child that is not yours 🤦DOMINIC WHO ARE YOU AGAIN? Help me wish Papa OYOO HAPPY BIRTHDAY And I wouod like to award one of my fans sharing birthday with Papa Oyoo Drop your birthday month and date and tag @rarainthekitchen
Cardi B Files For Divorce From Rapper Offset
After their 3 years of marriage, Cardi B has filed for divorce from her husband and fellow hip-hop star Offset, according to court records.
The couple, who married secretly in September 2017 and have a two-year old daughter named Kulture.
Court records obtained shows that Cardi B is seeking custody of their daughter Kulture and child support from Offset. Cardi B filed for divorce on Tuesday in Georgia, where the couple have been living and also the home state of Kiari Cephus majorly known as Offset.
The couple had already been through a well-publicized rough patch that resulted in her announcing their break-up almost two years ago where Cardi B talked of it in an Instagram video in December 2018. “We got a lot of love for each other but things just haven’t been working out between us for a long time. It’s just like, I guess we just grew out of love, but we’re not together anymore,” she said in the Instagram video.
Offset then asked for forgiveness on-stage in front of a crowd at her Rolling Loud concert, though it was not well received by Cardi B’s fans.
Cardi B celebrated their 2nd wedding anniversary with a post on Intagram page, alongside a picture of the two of them together with the caption, “We keep learning and growing. That’s what marriage about.”
Cardi B, is known for hits include WAP, Bodak Yellow and I Like It. Offset on the other hand is a member of the Migos Band.
No laughing matter: Kenya’s premiere quarantine comedy club to take over your screens
254 QCC LLC. is set to launch the much-awaited online comedy performance show in the next two weeks. Dubbed 254 Quarantine Comedy Club (254 QCC) focusing on providing an avenue for artists and creatives to earn a living through digital comedy and entertainment. Artists and creatives signed onto the platform provide their services by entertaining hundreds of thousands of Kenyans who tune in live online to the weekly 254 Quarantine Comedy Club show.
“This is a platform designed to use art to better the community by giving the artists themselves an audience to perfect their skills as well as a source of income,” said Dorothy Ogega the Founder of 254 Quarantine Comedy Club.
254 Quarantine Comedy Club seeks to make a serious statement in the Kenya showbiz industry by redefining how the entertainment business is run. The creatives once signed onto the show, whose only requirement is to have talent and prepare a set, are remunerated no more than two hours after their performance. Unlike the traditional perform-and-wait, the 254 Quarantine Comedy Club is pegged on the belief that artists and creatives are among those most affected by the lack of shows and live performances.
There have been several editions of 254 QCC including the Kericho Edition which attracted popular MCs Kiptabut & Joyrider, Comedians Tipsy, Bartinga, Galgalo and Inspekta Nikko among many others. The show, which was streamed live was supported by the Kericho County Governor, His Excellency Paul Chepkwony.
Among the most notable names to have performed on 254 Quarantine Comedy Club include comedians Akuku Danger, Mulamwah, Smart Joker, Rib Crackers, JB Masanduku, and Comediennes Adhis Jojo and Nasra, with 2 special appearance from Afro-fusion singer and Peace Ambassador Iddi Achieng (HSC.)
The show is hosted by MC Sleepy David, having also attracted famed guest host Captain Otoyo.
254 Quarantine Comedy Club has appealed to a set of diverse performers including musicians and deejays, among them Kriss Darling. The show is also currently in talks with singer-songwriter Eric Wainaina for a collaboration.
“We want to churn out comedy that is no joke, to provide a platform for creatives to market their talents and get paid. You work, you get paid, that is our mantra,” said Daphne Kemunto, an Associate and Project Lead on 254 QCC.
254 Quarantine Comedy Club promises to be more than just a comedy platform. Already there are works in the pipeline where the creatives signed on to 254 QCC are collaborating with local communities to promote them.
Dorothy Ogega adds, “We want to use our art to better the community by launching projects that benefit them. The first project we are launching is a resource water tank in one of the largest informal settlements in Kenya as we identify areas of needs and address them.”
254 Quarantine Comedy Club is managed by Kenya’s top creative minds with industry experience spanning decades in media, film and television. The show is run by Henry Wesonga and Evans Obare under the stewardship of the long-serving Creative Director Victor Ber.
The 254 Quarantine Comedy Club has so far held 4 main shows with 3 other targeted closed audience shows.
“254 Quarantine Comedy Club is made for creatives, with creatives and enjoyed by everyone. It’s not just entertainment, it’s an experience. We are calling out to partners who would like to join us and support our creatives, let’s grow this industry together,” said Dorothy Ogega.
The 254 Quarantine Comedy Club is currently available for live streaming on its social media pages @254qcc on Instagram and FB Live on 254 Quarantine Comedy Club from 10PM Kenya Time, 3PM US, 8PM UK, 9PM Europe and 11PM UAE.
ABOUT DOROTHY OGEGA
Dorothy Ogega is the Founder of 254 Quarantine Comedy Club LLC. A geriatic nurse by training, and calling, she migrated to the USA in 1997 where she specialises in Diabetes Management. She also sits on the board of TeleAfya LLC as a Co-founder.
As a free platform, 254 Quarantine Comedy Club relies on commissions to support its operations. 254 QCC is currently in partnership with TeleAfya LLC., Hillpark Hotel and TwaTwa Express.
You can reach her on: Dorothy Ogega <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Healthcare App inspired by a toothache to bite off more health problems
When Vincent Chepkwony saw his mother’s health condition escalate from a mere toothache to a full-blown health problem, he knew something had to be done about Kenya’s access to healthcare. This was in January 2017.
“My mother attended Kapkatet Hospital to get medication only to be referred to Litei Hospital. Because of the congestion at Litei Hosital, and the severe pain my mother was going through, she took matters into her own hands and begged one of the nurses to help her. Long story short, she was given the wrong medication which aggravated her condition, until when we found out much later,” says Vincent.
Something had to be done. Three years later, and something has been done.
“From that moment, a seed was planted in me. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. What if my mother had died?”
They say necessity is the mother of invention. Truer words have never been spoken. Armed with an idea and passion, Vincent migrated to the US for further studies in the year 2000, graduating a Master’s in Software Engineering and Digital Health Informatics.
Together with Ms. Dorothy Ogega, Vincent founded TeleAfya, a health awareness app that seeks to devolve healthcare access to the basic level. The mission he says is to provide healthcare especially to disadvantaged minorities, including women and children in maligned counties in the country.
But this predicament is not unique to Vincent.
How many times have you gone to the hospital and stood in line for hours and hours and at the end of it all end up getting poor service? Or no service at all? How many doctors have you seen asking for kick-backs or going for extended lunch breaks with patients dying in line?
With TeleAfya App, all this is mitigated as the most available doctor is always on duty. It’s not just the doctor choosing the patient, but you choosing the doctor as well. Patients who would normally travel for hours, sometimes in the case of referral hospitals the whole day and end up returning home without a diagnosis from the doctor, now have an easier way out.
A home to doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacies, midwives, and community health workers, TeleAfya has partnerships with transport services such as ambulances and organizations with vehicles, becoming a one-stop shop for everything health. You can almost say, a hospital in your pocket.
But you don’t need to have a smartphone to enjoy its services.
Currently in partnership with Sosit Dispensary and Kapkatet Health Center as local dispatch centers, other dispatchers are being on-boarded at the moment in Mombasa and Kilifi counties.
TeleAfya describes itself as a ‘Healthcare Digital Transformation Hub’. TeleAfya prides itself as the home of Digital Healthcare Policy Entrepreneurs who are keen on helping governments and individuals solve healthcare delivery problems that need urgent attention by setting a blueprint for health care access and delivery across Africa.
“TeleAfya is going to foster easy communication with people in mashinani. Just like M-Pesa, TeleAfya will be that account that has everything about your health. As long as you have your phone, your health is at your fingertips,” says TeleAfya Co-founder & Marketing Director Dorothy Ogega.
TeleAfya connects patients to specialized medical services that may be otherwise unavailable in their community. It also allows patients to avoid the time associated with traveling long distances in order to see a specialty service provider in-person. Additionally, patients can avoid extra visits, scheduling, and wait periods if the specialist is regularly available for TeleAfya appointments.
Medical health care providers can partner with TeleAfya, access its database of patients, and earn an extra income whilst simultaneously increasing their client base and capacity to travel around the country to tend to patients.
In this case, a nurse and clinical officer can pair up together to provide care such as routine health screenings to patients across the county without having to spend on any costs of establishing a business.
From solving his mother’s toothache problem and now setting his sights on East Africa, TeleAfya is always moving but never losing the aim of its target. ‘Making healthcare accessible to all.’
The TeleAfya App is currently available for download on Google Playstore for Android users. iPhone compatibility and the Pandemic Integrated Tracing and Testing System are currently in the testing phase with a view to be rolled out in the coming weeks.
With TeleAfya, your health is now in your hands. Literally.
ADULTING SURVIVAL GUIDE I Things You Need In Your First Apartment.
Growing up, I always fantasized about moving out and living in my own space. Not that I hated living with my parents. The idea of having my own space to myself always excited me. Fast forward to adulthood, I now have my place that I’m pretty much proud of. This article is practically about your first apartment checklist.
As much as you may want to get brand new stuff for your house, I’d advise you to look for bargains, let’s say like preowned items like that old sofa at your parent’s house or stuff you’ve found at your local thrift store. There’s no need to buy brand new everything. I have put together a helpful first apartment checklist to help you sort through the essentials and remember the little, but important things you need when moving into your first apartment home.
- Welcome Mat.
- Area Rug.
- Shoe Rack.
2. LIVING ROOM
- Couch and Chairs.
- Coffee Table.
- Throw Pillows.
- Throw Blankets.
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Soooooo happy with the house progress so far 😍😍😍 I finally have a place where I can comfortably create and it's making 2019 a lot better – that's why I took some time away, to build my sanctuary 🤗🤗 Now that it's "done" and I'm back, let me know what type of content you'd be into watching 🤷🏾♀️🤷🏾♀️ Working in today's video so I will have two this week & moving forward so watch this house tour if you haven't already and sub for more yes? #linkinbio 😘😘😘 #housetour #openplan #accentwall
- Pots and Pans.
- Cups, dishes and utensils.
- Dish towels.
- Drying rack.
- Trash can.
- A comfortable mattress.
- Sheets, pillows and blankets.
- Full-length mirror.
- Bath and hand towels.
- Bath mat.
- Toiletry storage containers.
- Cleaning supplies.
- Toilet plunger and brush.
- Toilet paper holder.
I hope this simple apartment checklist helps you organize your move and ease the stress that comes along with setting up a new home. Keep in mind that moving into your first apartment is only the beginning, the memories and moments you spend filling it with love and joy are what truly makes it feel like home.