If you missed part 1 you can click here
Fools have this infuriating talent of boiling your heart in anger and attracting your pity all at the same damn time. Mukandi is that kind of fool. Her foolishness is in the way she asks Ntazana what is going on over and over as if she cannot see with her eyes that we aren’t lying. Would I honestly organize two other women to lie just for the sake of framing her precious Ntazana?
“Mukandi, you obviously don’t know anything do you?” I ask.
I watch as her eyes ask questions, her tears of joy turn to sadness and she looks around the room as if she is looking for reaffirmation that what is unfolding before her is real. She is a pretty fool. We all have been fools played by the same man.
But I won’t lie, even I asked myself questions when I found out. Dainess tells many stories about many people but they are rarely false. Dainess works at ZICTA, rumour has it that is how she reads people’s Whatsapp messages and gets all her juicy data. The thing about rumour is she probably spread that rumour. Dainess is rumour. I have known this since high school but I can’t help but listen; even I have a weakness for a good story.
She met me in the bathroom at the mall and babbled on about how she was happy I got rid of my player baby daddy who was spreading legs all over Lusaka. My jaw nearly hit the floor but I kept a poker face. I needed to look indifferent so that more story flowed from the all-knowing oracle that is Dainess. She told me about how Ntazana slept with an older woman who he worked with, she said rumour had it she participated financially in the acquisition of his brand new Audi A5; but again Dainess is rumour so we are yet to verify. Dainess went on to describe the most recent girlfriend and even surprised me with screen grabs of the girl’s Instagram. Vacation pictures with Ntazana smiling in each and every one of them. Dainess isn’t dull and the more she spoke, the harder it became to hide the tears welling up in my eyes.
“Men are dogs I tell you,” Dainess said and shook her head in mock disappointment. “I can ask around for the number for you if you want.”
“No thanks, I am not interested.” I said. I lied.
I was very interested. I just didn’t want Dainess to know I was. Gossip is sweet up until you are a leading character in Dainess’ stories. I was going to handle the situation myself. I had Facebook names and pictures of the other women stuck in my mind. It’s all a person ever needs to find anyone in Lusaka.
I knew Ntazana was with Mukandi, but I didn’t think he would go as far as having full-fledged relationships with two other women. What did he want? What did he get off on?? He told each one of us the same lies.
The older woman was easy to get on board. She had an eerie calmness that scared me. I never saw her cry, not once. The other one was the total opposite, she never stopped crying. She cried the entire time while we made our plan at dinner. I am impressed that she isn’t crying now. She is standing firm in her gold and black heels ready to know the truth. It is long overdue. Enough is enough, she needed to know. Everything needed to come out in the open so that Ntazana could clear things up. Mukandi has my ring.
“Ntazana are you gonna be silent the whole time? You won’t admit to getting caught Boo? Am I not your blessing?” I say, “After all I carried your son, I am the mother of your only child.”
Ntazana met me when I was seventeen, I didn’t meet him; he met me. He was magnetic and seemed to draw me in. He invited me over to the tiny quarter he called home and we watched Twilight . He was just starting out in life, his place had discoloured walls and rusty door handles but he was proud. The tiny room functioned as a living room, bedroom and kitchen and had a bathroom outside. It was in that tiny room that I knew what it was like to be in love.
In Twilight , Jacob imprints on Bella; his love is loyal and obsessive and there is nothing Bella can do to lose Jacob. I understand Jacob more than I do Edward. Love isn’t a movie. Life doesn’t become convenient simply because you love someone. Sometimes you have to wait, fight and accept some things.
Ntazana is dangerously attractive with razor sharp humour. Even the women with the highest walls fall in love within minutes of meeting him. When I met him I was glued to his side, insecure and afraid that I would lose him. But every day I was comforted because he felt the same. I wanted to lock him up in his tiny room and just drown in love and he wanted the same. We cuddled in his bed and visualised a bigger and better life. We imagined what life would be like when the money came in.
“I work hard every day so that I can finally put a black titanium and diamond ring on your finger.” Ntazana used to say.
He knew every birth mark and stretch mark on my body. He knew what I looked like when I lied. He knew what I was like when I was about to cry. Ntazana is imperfect but he is my person and I knew what it was to be his…
And then I fell pregnant…
And then he went silent…
And then my life fell apart…
Labour was painful but it didn’t compare to the ache in my heart. Yes it sounds like cliché or an extreme exaggeration but it was the truth, my truth. I was twenty three, my family wanted nothing to do with me for all the shame I brought upon them. I went to school and came back with a baby instead of a degree and the man who was responsible was a ghost. I failed at school and failed at an abortion.
Basically I was a failure and a whore. I gave birth on the floor of a low cost government hospital, the nurses kept telling me to keep calm and watch my blood pressure or else my labour would be a disaster. Couldn’t they see that my life was already a disaster? I had no idea where I was going to go or what I was going to do but when they put my baby in my arms the world went silent.
They say babies can’t see on the first day but I swear mine is a genius and he looked up at me and smiled. Gosh his dimples! It annoyed and humbled me how much he looked like his father. In Twilight , Jacob is in love with Bella until she gives birth and then his true feelings come alive when he meets Bella’s baby. My feelings came alive when I saw my son. He was the physical representation of the love Ntazana and I shared, I named him Lukundo. The name means love. You know I thought I loved Ntazana but what I felt for Lukundo was on some other level. I can gladly lay down my life for his without asking even one question. Having Lukundo has made me stronger, accepting of life and of myself.
I am a bold, sexy, red haired yummy mummy. I am not ashamed to look at facts. I am not ashamed to chase down Ntazana and demand child maintenance for his son. I am not ashamed to demand that he attends Child Health Week, PTA or father and son day at nursery school. Lukundo will never lack all that a child needs to have a normal life for as long as I have blood flowing through my veins.
Every time I am not with Ntazana I have a monologue in my head about how I deserve better about how I should move on and be happy and then I meet him and all my perfect reasoning is tossed out. Like I said earlier, life is not a movie where the perfect man with the perfect body and facial hair comes in on a white horse and marries the twenty seven year old woman with a four year old child unconditionally.
Love in real life is a more rogue affair. I have had sex and companionship of several other men and it has come down to nothing. I love and adore that man who held me in his single bed and promised me my black titanium and diamond ring. Being unable to express this love is total madness.
“So Ntazana. Let’s talk. Now. We are not leaving till we do.” I say. I glance over at Mukandi and her lips are open but no words are coming out, “Mukandi, you need to sit down for this. It concerns you too. It concerns all of us in this room.”
To be continued…….