“Hello my love.”
My love? Hm. Do you even know what love is? Or is what I show you what you think is love? Then again why not be called your love? After all I’m what you desire. So I’m allowed to milk you for what you’re worth. I have a right because I’m entertaining this man.
“I miss you.” I say as I roll my eyes. If only men saw what we do on the other side of the line. Most of us would be single.
“I miss you too. I should have brought you to Livingstone. We would be cuddling right now.”
Eeeeewwww. That’s all he knows. Cuddling. And that is all he will know until I see some seriousness. It’s bad enough I tolerate Mr Old here on an every day basis but even trips too? No. Sometimes I need breathing space.
“It’s okay boo. When you get back you can make it up to me.”
“So what’s cutting?”
What’s cutting? These yo ballies are taking it to another level. So not right. What’s wrong with what have you been up to? How are you? Good simple English. In the quest to be hip you get phrases that don’t even suit you. I won’t laugh.
“Nothing much. I’m home broke. Wanted to hang out with the girls but no money hey. So I’m stuck” I say in my saddest tone.
“How much do you need?” He asks
Bingo. There it is. Mr give it up to me quick quick. That’s what he’s good for. The money. Then again he’s a 60 year old widowed man. He must have the money to spend right? Right. On me of course.
“About Two Thousand Kwacha. I have to buy a dress. Heels. Drinks. Dinner. Do my hair. You know how it is.”
“Okay. That’s fine. I’ll send the money. E-wallet should work.”
“Thank you. Thank you Boo. I knew I could count on you. That’s why I love you. I can’t wait for you to come home. I really miss you.”
“Anything for you my love.”
“So let me know when you send the money. I have to call the girls and tell them the good news. I’ll talk to you later. Don’t forget hey. Love you bye.”
I cut the call before he says another word. To be honest why should I even listen to him. All he’s good for is money. And money I shall have.
I look though my contact list and I see Mr Workaholic and dial. A deep voice comes on.
“Hey you. How you doing?”
“Awesome. How’s you?”
“Great. Where are you?”
“At the office. Where else can I be? What’s up?”
“Oh I’m bored. About to leave home. Figured I can see you in my bored state. You know the drill.”
He laughs. I smile. He has a nice laugh. Deep. I can imagine the smile on his face. Cute. Mr Workaholic doesn’t realize the potential his face has. Granted he has the money because of his job but not as much as Mr Old but he’s ok.
“Uhh sure hey. But we can meet later on in the evening. Work pressure. Deadlines. We can watch the game at my place if you want.”
Ha. Too smart. His place? I have been there once. During the day that is. Go there in the evening and soon you will find yourself in a man’s bed. I’ll pass.
“Call me when you free with work then we shall make a plan.”
“Cool. Later then. Wait. Did you get the money I sent you last week. You didn’t call me to tell me if you got it. And I never called to ask you if you did.”
“I did. Thank you so much. I paid my rentals.”
“Great. I’m happy that landlord is off your back. I swear that man has a thing for you.”
I know. He stares at me when he thinks I’m not looking. Not surprised. I am hot.
“Anyway I’ll call you later. Love you.” He says.
There it is again. I cut the call. I swear some people just say I love you anyhow. Do they know what saying those words means? Doubt it. Those words should be for someone special. The one. True lover something they say.
I’m still bored. I dial another number. Mr Family Man. He picks up on the third ring. He sounds breathless like he was running.
“Hey. How are you?”
“I’m good. How are you?”
“I’m good. You caught me at a bad time.”
So? Should I care?
“Aww. I’m sorry for disturbing you. Didn’t mean to. I should have sent a message.”
But of course I meant to disturb him. Our deal is I never call him on weekends. Period. But hey I don’t follow rules. I break them. I know he’s probably with his children and “lovely wife” enjoying their weekend together while I’m all alone in my flat. Sucks.
“It’s ok. For you I can make time. Besides it means I can step away from the braii stand for a while.”
“You’re having a braii and you didn’t invite me. You’re such a meany. I’m bored alone and you are enjoying yourself.”
“The wife sprung this up on me last minute. So I’m with some friends of mine and their spouses. You know married people stuff.”
This is it. Time to play the victim.
“So because I’m single I can’t be invited? But yet you chill with a single lady. You said you were going to be with me this weekend. And now you are with her. Are you two sleeping together? Because if you are then this, what we have is over.”
“Babe. Calm down. You know it’s only you I love. You know I gotta keep up appearances to my family. I’m sorry you are alone. Tell you what! How about I come see you in the evening. When all this done. We can have dinner, some wine, watch a movie.”
“After you spend the whole day with her right? You will be full with braii food and you talking about dinner with me? No. I’m not your second best toy.”
“No one said you are second best.”
“You are showing it right now.”
“But I’m with my children. You want me to leave them and spend time with you? Isn’t that a little bit selfish?”
“Wow. You calling me selfish yet you want two women to yourself. So rich of you.”
“Look….. Try and under……”
And with that I cut the line. I smile. I know he will call me for the remainder of the day worried that I’m gone. Start an argument and make yourself look like the victim. And he will do the usual: bring me clothes, jewelry and money. So predictable. And like clockwork my phone rings. I see his name flash on my screen. Ignore!!!
Who is next. Ahhhh Mr-Always-busy-never-carry-my-mobile-phone-ever. The phone just rings. No answer. I redial and still no answer. Typical. So I send a message.
Hey. Hope you ok. Worried about you. I’m sorry I didn’t call back last night. Was busy with family. You know how family dinners go. But I miss you. Call me back. Are we still on for the Chisamba trip? Lemme know. Hugs and kisses.
I’m sure he will respond when he reads the message. Whenever that will be.
But I’m still bored. Everyone is busy. You’d think with all the men in my life I’d have some action but no. I still get bored. Maybe I should go for a drive. Or go visit my girl. Or I could sleep till one of them calls.
Or maybe I should call Mr Baby Daddy. My Daughter’s father. Yes I learnt my lesson 2 years ago when my daughter’s father married someone else leaving me stranded all in the name of him finding the one refusing to pay for child support; yet he’s still in my life to make sure I’m single. Nah. I’ll let him be.
My phone rings. Mr family man. Ignore. I’ll pick up tomorrow and say I was angry. Keep these men on their toes. Once they have you they start thinking they own you.
Random plan. I need a drink. And a book. I get my car keys and leave my flat. The drive to the mall is quite the boring affair. I rarely drive myself around. Most days I have one of them pick me up. Like Mr Old loves driving me from Monday to Wednesday. Mr Family man picks me up Thursdays because it’s one day of the week he doesn’t have to be with his kids dropping them off at school. Mr Workaholic does his Friday and Saturday routine while Mr rarely pick up a call is Mr Sunday guy when he shows up after some epic hangover. Childish.
Don’t be judgmental. I didn’t slot their days. They did that by themselves. And I just simply agreed. I have a car. That I paid for with my money. I am employed. But they want to spoil me everyday so I let them. Am I evil? No. But I’m generous too. I give them my time.
I don’t worry about getting caught. It’s unnecessary because they have different passions and the fact they are of different ages and lifestyles they never meet. Ever. So I’m okay.
Besides even if they did meet what would they fight about when I’ve never slept with any of them. HIV/AIDS is real people. Can’t trust anyone. You see I’m a lady. A smart one at that. Dangle the Cookie and promise milk and cream too and they fall like dominoes. I swear girls who give it up to every man they date or meet are weird. Especially if you are in my situation. You can only sleep with one or none of them. People get caught everyday. I won’t fall for the same trap. I’m judgmental.
I get to the mall and head to the book store. Fiction section. I need a book that will pick my brain and keep me occupied. Five minutes in and I’ve found the book I want to read. I need one more and I can go and buy myself a drink.
I don’t like being bothered when I’m in my zone. I’m already bored, tired and cranky. I turn to face the person talking and hello I see smart looking at me. Caucasian male, probably in his 20s; green eyes, short dark hair and tall. Did I mention his green eyes.
“I needed your opinion on this book. Have you read it before?”
I look at the book he’s holding. The Garden of Burning Sand by Corban Addison.
“It’s a good book if you love crime and all. Based in Zambia. I liked it. If you like African themed novels that is.”
He smiles at me. Omg. He’s hot.
“Thanks. Guess I’ll have to get this one then. Besides I’m in Zambia right now. Or I should say I’m here indefinitely. I might as well know the country too.”
“You will love it. The book and the country itself. Home sweet home. No place like Zambia.”
He nods as he looks at the book.
“Thank you. What are you getting?” When he looks at me again.
“Half yellow of the sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Nigerian.”
“You love African writers?”
“Totally. Gotta support. Plus I learn about other cultures too.”
“I’m guessing you read a lot.”
“A very lot.”
“You should gimme a few book names I could buy.”
“Uhhhh Wilbur Smith is awesome with African stories. I’m sure you would love Robert Ludlam. James Patterson. Tom Clancy.”
“I like those authors too. Just haven’t read most of their books.”
“You should. Find the time.”
He smiles again.
“Well I think I’m set with this book. I’ll pay for it and go on my way to get me a drink and head home.” I say
“Lonely weekend?” He asks
I nod. We walk towards the counter.
“No boyfriend to help cheer you up?”
Ohhh so he’s interested already. Asking if I’m single is a sign. Or am I overthinking a random curious strange meeting. Okay but If I’m right and he is interested them what? Do I need another one? Another Mr Something.
My phone rings at that moment. Mr Family Man. Ignore.
I get four messages:
Mr Always Busy: Hey saw your message. Hangovers. (Told you). I’ll call you in the evening when I feel better. Be a good girl. (Childish really)
Mr Old: Money sent you know what to do. See you soon.. Love you baby gal. (Yes. Money.)
Mr Family Man: Baby I’m sorry. What can I do to make it up to you. I know you are angry but please pick up my calls. (Never. Okay until tomorrow)
Mr Workaholic: Hey just checking up on you. Hope I get to see you tonight. (We shall see)
“No. Single all the way.” I say as I put my phone away. Not responding to any of them.
I am single. That’s the truth. I place my book on the counter and remove my atm card.
“Charge our books together.” He tells the man at the counter.
“Thank you. Very thoughtful of you.”
“You are welcome. So what’s your plan then? For the weekend?”
“Gonna get me a drink. A bottle. And enjoy it at home.” I respond.
“Would you like go to lunch. I’m sorry I’m being forward. But I would love to get to know you. And the books of course.”
What lady would I be if I said no.
“I wouldn’t mind. Though its drinks after right?”
“Sure. I drink. ” He says. He pays for the bill and we walk out together.
“I’m Shawn by the way.”
Hmm. No need for names with me. They are unnecessary in my life.
I call you Mr Smart.
And then they were five.