“Come with me!” He said with a wide smile and a sparkle in his eyes. “Come on Inonge, what’s stopping us?”
The answer was obviously no. I couldn’t go on a haphazard work trip with him to Cape Town. I looked at him in amusement as he paced around my office describing the trip to detail.
“Babe, it will be amazing. The seminar lasts four days and we can spend the rest of the week together. Imagine a world of just you and I.” he said.
I knew there was more than just him and I. There was Wezi, the mother of his son; she had a temperament that matched her wild red hair. There was Mukandi, his petite clueless princess.
“I know that when we started this we agreed to keep it strictly ‘business’ but I genuinely enjoy your company. You never judge me, you challenge me in a way that no woman ever has. In my mind you have no competition. I just want to be in a place where nothing competes with you for my attention.” He walked over to me, swiveled my chair to face him and got on his knees.
“Ntazana get up before someone walks in.” I said.
“I don’t care.” He said as he stroked my thighs lightly. “Come with me to Cape Town, I know it’s not Paris but I could be with you in a ghetto as long as it is just you and I. You make me the man I was made to be Inonge.”
Slowly he planted kisses on my thighs, I barely noticed that he was raising my skirt until I felt the leather chair directly on my bare ass. His kisses went to my inner thighs, teasing me and forcing my back to arch in pursuit for more. “Come to Cape Town Inonge, be a good girl.”
This is what I like about Ntazana, his liberal mind takes both of us places. He isn’t afraid to try anything or anywhere. He pursued me with the fervour of a teenager. He made love to me with expertise and passion. I always forgot I was older when I was with him.
Many men my age think oral sex is a despicable abomination. The last man I slept with called it unnatural. Ntazana says he thinks about tasting me even when he is at work. I taste that good. When I could finally feel my legs I found that Ntazana booked our flights and a room. We stayed in that room the whole time, I didn’t even get to sightseeing. Maybe one day I will finally see Cape Town.
I wear my clothes and put on my make up the way I always do. It’s a system that I established a long time ago. At thirty five there are some things that a woman should not be bothered about. Things like what to wear and what goes with what. Black always matches with black, can’t decide? Wear black. The boots, they bring me back to reality. They remind me that I am getting dressed to go and interfere my lover’s engagement.
He bought the boots the day he said he wanted to fuck me. He said it exactly like that and I laughed and said never. He proved that he was a man of his word the very next Friday and I was wearing nothing but these boots. A tear sneaks up on me and rolls down my cheek. The tear embarrasses me. Life doesn’t have a manual and it is moments like this that prove it. If life came with a manual I would have known all this when I learned how to read at age three.
I would have known that a law degree doesn’t come with a husband. I would have known that becoming the best management accountant and having a master’s degree to prove it doesn’t make a family appear. I would have known all this before fantasizing about having a family and three children by now. I almost never remember my childhood fantasies. There were the dreams of an ambitious baby girl. But in moments like this I can’t help but wonder what my life would have been like if I made a separate line of decisions. I can never trade my career for anything or anyone.
I am the Eagle of my field, I am hard working, precise with killer instincts. But having a husband could have saved me from getting called up to participate in drama. Having children would have saved me from shedding a tear like a child. One tear, that’s all I allow myself. I have things to do after the confrontation. I almost said no when Wezi called me but the desperation in her voice sounded familiar. It was a desperation in my heart. I told myself all I had for Ntazana was lust until I heard that desperation in my own voice.
Love is not civilized. If it didn’t feel so good perhaps I would say I hate love. Love comes when you least expect it. It invades your mental space. It changes your entire existence, defies your logic and frustrates your plans. It doesn’t automatically rectify problems in life. It makes you compulsive and obsessive.
Loving Ntazana hasn’t erected a white picket fence outside my house and made me a wife. It has made me the silly woman that buys an Audi A5 just because. It has made me go to work with no underwear. When lust masquerades as love it is intoxicating. It can last for years. It can turn two interns eyeing each other into managers that meet in dark corners of their office building. It can turn an honest person into a liar. It has given me secrets, made me the person that disappears and moves around with condoms in their glove compartment. I have done some pretty disgusting things with and for that boy. The most disgusting one is that maybe I caught feelings. The kind of feelings that are making me want to see how this plays out.
I met the others at dinner. It was a civil dinner, Wezi and I made the plans while the other one-Jasmine, that’s her name. Yes, while Jasmine cried. I am going to forget Jasmine once all this is over. She’s very beautiful but very forgettable. I dislike her because her exuberant youth reminds me of my declining youth.
Because of my wretched genes, I saw a white hair in my nape and my menstrual cycle is getting erratic. Jasmine makes me feel fifty five as opposed to my thirty five. Wezi reminds me of the corporate lawyers I meet at acquisition hearings. Very loud, very flamboyant. They know the facts but they don’t know them well enough to win. So they bark and wear a loud brave face to create an insecure atmosphere when deep inside their fear is to lose. They always lose to me, I know the law and I know the numbers. I know both so well I have married them, needless to say I always win. I looked at them and wondered who will win.
My instincts told me to back out a long time ago. Legends know when to back down, it’s why Lions never hunt Elephants unless there’s a serious drought. There is no drought, men are replaceable. I will admit that my curiosity is piqued. I wonder about what Mukandi’s hand is. Why is it that she got the ring? Jasmine is arguably the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. She even looks beautiful when she cries. Wezi is the Zambian man’s dream, from her demeanour you can tell she can cook nsima as well as she can dance in bed, maybe she even owns waist beads. Why Mukandi?
What the others don’t know is that the mysterious work trip was featuring me. The only work done was between the sheets. I needed to say bye. My body needed to say bye. I watched from the bed as he left to propose to Mukandi pretending he had a family emergency and I shook my head.
“What’s wrong babe?” Ntazana asked looking deeply into my eyes.
“Nothing.” I said. He looked at me and shrugged before he headed towards the door. “I have a grey hair.”
“I know, somewhere by your nape. It is silver and amazing. I love you Inonge Imata. See you in Lusaka!” He said and rushed out.
The boots are really high but a perfect fit, I don’t get tired as we stand at Ntazana’s door while Wezi bangs and creates a fracas. My skin still smells like the ocean and my time with Ntazana. . Men will be men. As a woman, always benefit. Always have an advantage. I am quite drained and I still haven’t slept. When this is all done I will take a nice nap.
“Should we tell her?” I ask slowly. I hate drama. “Ntazana. Should we tell her? Besides she’s here too so she has a right to know.”
Mukandi looks like she will faint. I hope she ate dinner, she will need the energy to cry for the next number of days. Wezi looks satisfied by Mukandi’s pain as expected. I consciously have to restrain from rolling my eyes at Jasmine.
For a brief second I look at Ntazana and he looks me square in the eye. No fear, no emotion. The man has a brilliant poker face. I can’t wait to hear what he will say to get out of this one.
To be continued…….