“Because you and I are parents to an amazing child.”
“Chibwe we can be a family. Like you always wanted.”
“I’m here trying to make amends.”
“I messed up. I loved you once.”
“We have a son together. Our child ia out link. And love can be rekindled.”
“I think I still love you.”
“It’s for Samuel.”
“I still love you.”
I hate this part tight here. When memories threaten to overwhelm me.
What a son of a pig. Oh that’s my son’s grandmother. I can’t believe he said all that to me. He must be crazy. Let’s be a family. A couple? What the hell does that even mean? Be a family. How do we go about it? Just forget we have been apart for years and simply move in together? Or get married? How does he want it to work? All because of our son. Samuel is my world and I would do anything to make him happy. Anything. But to be with Patrick again? No. Did it ever occur to him that maybe I don’t want to marry my child’s father. Do I even want to marry any man? This is so complicated. I mean I loved Patrick once but that ship had sailed, or was it still docked awaiting the captain? The captain and his runaway bride/baby mama. I seriously need to stop reading novels.
I stare at the red-orangish colour of a setting sun and pack up laptop into my bag and head out of my office. The day has been the worst and I really hope it won’t get any more worse than it already has. And all this is Patrick’s fault. Maybe I should have slapped him right after he uttered his foolish words. But I didn’t.
He loves me? Why do I find it hard to believe him? The same man who claimed I was a cheater. Maybe he thinks I can be his back up after what’s her name again. Gosh I am so angry. I’m so happy I walked out on him though. He deserved it. Did he really think he would make me sit down after his words. The man is an idiot. And I’m an idiot for staying that long with him.
After I walked out on Patrick at Meraki I drove back to the office, to be alone, to think. And of course he called me, several times and to spare him the insults I had on the tip of my tongue, I didn’t pick up. I really didn’t see the need to. I was angry, I am still angry. Why am I angry? Because he’s so full of it. But also because he is right. Somewhat right. Samuel does need a constant father figure in his life. I’ve read books on how lacking a 24/7 father figure can affect a child’s growth and future relationships. Gosh I’ve even watched programs that indicated kids can become bad parents or serial killers all because they lacked one simple thing: a role model in form of a man. But just because that happens doesn’t mean I should run back to Patrick because he says jump. The man doesn’t know what he’s saying. Pretty much an idiot for saying what he said. He’s the one that dumped me so why should I forgive him for his actions which left me damaged and unable to trust men for years.
Because it’s the right thing to do I’m sure my mother would say. Forgiveness is key is what everyone says these days. So pathetic when it’s not happening to you.
As if men would forgive us when we as women do the shittiest things. Maybe I was expecting him to do different. Different being he firstly apologises about the past, and then maybe woo me over with his horrible requirement of taking Samuel from me. Or even better maybe after twenty years he would try to woo me over and then lay the bomb on me. Marry me. But no. Typical Patrick means everything has to be done there and then, no foreplay, just go with the flow it will be smooth in no time kind of mentality; would Samuel turn into a bad child if I didn’t take his father back? Would he hate me?
Because obviously my dating life isn’t going anywhere what with stupid men trying to get my attention. So that means I won’t be getting married any time soon. And if I’m being honest with myself I am fine with that. But what about my son. What happens to him and his well-being.
I need to think. But now is not the time. I need to calm down first.
I walk out of the building, saying my goodbyes to some of my colleagues as I head to my car. I can’t help but think about everything Patrick said again. Why are matters of the heart abd womb so hard to understand. I start my car and drive out of the parking lot heading to Muzinga’s house for rehearsals.
Can this day end already.
I need a drink.
My heart is beating fast. I know why. It’s the excitement I’ve been holding in for hours. It’s come down to this.
I open the door and walk into the noisiest room. I see Muzinga, her husband Mwape, Chibwe, Monde,Noah, Gemima, Kachiza and Chalumba, Kachiza’s cousin all sitting in the living room talking. Whatever is going on I think to myself. The ladies seem to be in some debate. I do not see Mukuka around. For some reason the excitement is gone, my mood changes instsntly. Is he avoiding me I wonder. I won’t lie but I’m hurt at this thought. Maybe he decided to avoid the rehearsals what with earlier hangover. Or maybe the client rescheduled the meeting to evening. Maybe…
I guess the debate takes a turn and the ladies finally see me standing at the door. Whatever is going on here. They all stand up, bringing the noise to me. I smile at the ladies as they walk towards me each of them talking about something I can’t quite catch. The men I notice are sitting oblivious to the noise looking at the television as if they can hear what’s been said on the television. Typical of men. Avoid the noise and drama.
“You’re late.” Monde says.
“I swear I tried calling you to get us wine Salome.” Gemima says
“We need to talk about the heels Muzinga says are perfect.” Chibwe says
For crying out loud this is noise. I’m so confused. What happened?
Gotta change the topic. Fast.
“Where is the matron? ” I ask.
Random question. Maybe this will calm them down.
I hear so many questions and answers from the ladies all at once. Have they been drinking? Already? Otherwise why would there be so much noise? I laugh and excuse myself from the noisy ladies claiming my need to use the bathroom before I hear their plenty speeches. I quickly walk out of the living room absent minded, literally walking into someone. My face hits his chest. Mukuka. He looks at me and smiles, why the hell is he smiling? I can’t help but smile either. I see him put his phone in his pocket. That’s why he was not in the living room. He was on a call. I wonder who he was talking to.
“Quit over thinking as you walk lady. ” He says
I smile at him and hit his arm lightly while he tries to avoid my light fist. He comes in closer and hugs me. Ahh yes. I missed this. I inhale the man’s scent and I close my eyes. Amazing. Why does he have to smell this good. I feel a kiss on my shoulder and he lets go of me.
“You okay? ” I ask.
“Yea. Hangover over. I’m great. ”
“Cool. That’s good. I guess my advice helped.”
“Definitely. Thank you Salome.”
“You’re welcome.” I say a little too loudly.
He smiles again, making me feel things I don’t want to feel right now. Why is he so… So… So…
” How’s Tawanda?”
So difficult. I knew Mukuka would bring it up. Sooner or later. He’s curious. He wants to know where he stands. To be honest I don’t know. I don’t know where I stand either. With him or Tawanda. But gosh, Tawanda got my nerves earlier. I avoided his calls all day. I didn’t even sleep with the man but I’m still getting calls all day? Why can’t he be angry with me about not giving him any? Instead he calls to check up on me. What is it about good men that just ruins the moment? I’m treating him so badly. What am I supposed to do. How horrible. Why can’t I admit what I want.
” He’s fine.” I lie.
“Things going okay huh?”
So that’s what he wants to know. Am I sleeping with the man I call my boyfriend already? Why be honest when I don’t know what I’m doing anyway.
“It’s all good. Perfect.”
He nods and shrugs.
“Cool. Awesome. Anyway I’ll see you in there.” He says pointing towards the noise.
I nod and he walks away while I head to the bathroom.
I swear feelings are so complicated.
How many times do I say this.
I don’t want to use the bathroom anymore.
“Gosh you smell so nice.” Noah whispers. “I just want to eat you up right now.”
“Still in the mood?” I ask.
“Wife I’ll always be in the mood for you.” He responds.
His hand grazes my hips and I sigh. This is not acceptable. Is it bad if you don’t want your husband to touch you and claim hormones as the reason. Is hormonal imbalance a valid reason? Like don’t come any closer, your perfume sucks. Even though I love it. I’m foolish, at this rate Noah will find out I’m trying to avoid him. I know when I walked into Muzinga’s home I promised Gemima I would behave and act sensible but that’s easier said than done.
“I swear I can’t wait to get you home.” He continues. “Been looking forward to this all day.”
The man just wants to touch me. I should have seen this coming.
I was fine in the morning when I woke up in his arms, just like I wanted yesterday – before the trash message came in. It should have been perfect. Morning was almost perfect. Of course when I don’t want to be touched and made to feel things then does Noah want the very same. He kept his promise to me about sleeping in and he did so with kisses to spare; I am still getting chills when I remember the kisses he gave me; and his hands, gosh his hands have me taken when I remember them roaming off to places that missed him. Where was he yesterday when I wanted his touch? The man still gets my body heated up with his lips even when I don’t want to, but who was I kidding it had been too long and I was ready to go. But the moment I remembered “Plumber” I turned cold and I had to end a perfectly good moment. I couldn’t do it. And Noah understood, he figured morning sickness; he let it pass but not without another try in the shower. I almost gave in. But I was strong. We had breakfast together with Suwilanji and my mother before he drove me to work all the while not letting my hand go. It was sweet. He didn’t want me out of his sight he said. So driving me to work was going to be the norm now. It was touching. And when he kissed me goodbye it was a bittersweet moment. I missed being myself with him.
When Gemima came to see me and we had our talk, I totally understood where she came from. She saw her father divorce her mother because he decided the new young lady in his life was enough for him. And he broke their family. Is that what will happen to me if Noah chooses the plumber over me. If I confront him. What if he’s stalling, waiting for me to give him a reason to leave me. The horror. And the thought occupied my mind for most of the day. After Gemima left, I thought of everything we had talked about and I came up with a conclusion – I don’t want my marriage to end based on a woman who has no idea what I have been through with Noah; how I stood by him through everything; our good and bad moments, we made it this far and no woman would take my place. I made that man into what he is today. No woman will get him and brag about it tomorrow without a fight. But then how would I live with this everyday inside my heart while he smiled happily.
I want my husband back in my arms.
Without his mistress.
I make the final step to the dance and he pulls me into his arms for a twirl and I laugh with him in shock. I certainly did not expect that from him. He is certainly in the mood for what he missed this morning and the moves prove it. I try to push him away, create some space between us but he’s not having it. He pulls me in closer. He’s so happy. It’s so hard not to be happy with him. I’ll deal with what he wants when we get there. Right now it’s about the dance moves.
His hand is on my back as we dance slowly. I swear dancing on a line up is not fun. It’s stressful to say the least. Only four days to go and it’s over. Thank God Gemima does not have complicated dance moves lined up for us like most godzilla brides do. Rhumba and all the go down moves I hate. Why do brides complicated things. Complicated choreography is not fun. I like the fact that Gemima decided on keeping her wedding simple and small – according to her it’s small; if you think two hundred guests is small. But nothing complicated. So she made sure we had simple dance moves and outfits; plus she made us choose our own dance partners, which to be honest was great because I didn’t want Noah touching another woman. Gemima knew we would choose those that we know and sleep with. Noah and I obviously. Salome and her complicated situation with Mukuka had them as dance partners. Except Chibwe who was fine with Kachiza’s cousin Chilumba as her dance partner. She didn’t want to choose. Though I could have sworn Chilumba looked at Chibwe like he was interested in asking her out. Or maybe I was dreaming when I saw him starring at her. Either way it was perfect.
Noah wraps his arms around me and he kisses my neck and I smile.
My life is almost perfect.
Baby on the way. Suwilanji is healthy. A happy home.
I smile at him as I make a decision. I have no choice. Divorce or separation be the end result. Who cares.
I need to find out who plumber is.
“What’s new ayi.” Muzinga asks. “Tell me about your day girls. I feel old being a stay at home wife. Keep me updated.”
Muzinga puts a bottle of wine in the middle of the table and serves us each a plate of chicken curried rice and salads. It’s been over two hours since we came to her house for the rehearsals, and I am tired. We didn’t need to do it for long. Just perfected a few moves here and there. When we were done, the ladies and I headed to the kitchen while the men sat down to watch a repeat of some soccer game on the television with a home cooked meal by Muzinga herself. I can’t wait to have such moments at my home after I get married, have friends over and cook dinner. Even have braais and drinks. So excited.
We sit at the kitchen table waiting for one of us to start the story of the day. Wine and fresh juice for Monde, whenever we sit together like this, stories flow. And I expect nothing less from my ladies. Salome stands up and pours the wine in our glasses. She’s eager to drink. I hope Muzinga has more bottles because this one will finish fast.
“Chibwe!!” Salome says aloud when she sits down. “You think we forgot you were supposed to meet Patrick? How did it go?”
I watch her cringe and take a huge gulp of the wine from her glass. That bad huh. Men. She empties the glass and pours herself a full glass from the bottle. She sighs and looks at us with a shy smile. Hmmm that bad.
“Well the man is hot. That’s one thing.” She says slowly. “Very hot. My ovaries agreed.”
“He was always hot Chibwe.” Salome says.
“He’s better. Oh my. My mind strayed maybe.” Chibwe says.
We all keep silent and look at her.
“I’m being honest. ” Chibwe continues. “Man is hot. I didn’t expect it. He’s not the same Patrick. He has muscles all over. He’s huge. He’s fine.”
“Hmmm making you wonder if you really hate him huh. Your ovaries are more forgiving than your heart.” Salome says.
“Well my ovaries would be willing to forgive anyone that looks like him. Easy. Anyway that’s besides the point.” Chibwe responds.
“What else? What did he want to talk about? ” Salome asks.
” Well….” Chibwe starts. “He… How do I put this?”
“Put it any way you want love.” I say.
Now we are all looking at Chibwe waiting to hear her news. Gossip will be the death of us.
“Patrick is moving back to Zambia.” She says.
“How come? Home sick?” Salome asks.
“You know what I didn’t ask why. I’m sure I’ll find out soon enough.” Chibwe responds.
“Then what did you two talk about?” Salome whispers. “How hot he is?”
“Well…… hmmm. He decided while he was away that we should be a family.” Chibwe says quickly.
Wow. Double wow. This must be the same line of thought on each lady’s mind because no one says a thing, but our widened eyes say it all. We all look at her waiting for more information.
“He said our son, Samuel, asked him why we are apart and not together. ” She continues
“Bullshit!!” Salome says.
“I’m being honest. He says we can work.” Chibwe says.
“How?” I ask. “He just know how at least.”
“Exactly.” Chibwe agrees.
“How long as he been thinking about this?” Monde asks
“Long enough.” Chibwe responds.
She takes a sip of the wine and smiles at us.
“That’s crazy. Now he wants you.” Salome says.
“Yep. He wants me bad. Family for our son. You know. Because we can’t raise him with four parents.”
Well… At least he had the balls to tell you upfront.” Salome says slowly.
“He also said he loved me. No he still loves me. He’s sorry. He wants to make it right. Foolish amends. Blah blah blah.” Chibwe says.
“We abuse the word love. I swear.” Salome says.
Men. I can’t believe he would use Samuel for his gain. What an ass. After what he did to her, for years and he wants to use their son as a reason to get back together. Though he has a point, I think he is going about it the wrong way. Too soon. Too fast. Too late.
“What did you say? ” Monde asks.
” I walked away. I got up and left him there. ”
Touché. I’m impressed. Only Chibwe can walk away from a man. Okay maybe even Salome but Salome is 29 levels of crazy. So the man she’s walking away from better be happy she’s walking away.
“Has he called you? After you left?” Monde asks.
“Of course he has. Not picking up. Not now.” Chibwe responds.
“Good for you.” Muzinga says.
“I will talk to him tomorrow when I think of a response. Right now I’m so angry with him. He thinks I waited for him? He’s an ass.” Chibwe says.
I nod at her statement. He is an ass. But at the end of the day Chibwe is a woman, with needs and plans, so I know she will do what’s best for her and Samuel. Always. She’s an amazing mother.
“I wish you the best. Whatever you decide. We are right here for you no matter what.” Monde says
“Monde and her juice.” Salome says. “Miss sensible and rational lady you gotta tell us if you’re on a diet. Plenty of wine here and you’re on juice. ”
Monde smiles and shakes her head. I know she’s not ready to tell everyone else the truth yet. Our eyes meet and I smile at her, for strength.
“Why don’t we talk about your mess. ” Monde whispers as she points in the direction of the living room.
“No way. I’m not talking about that mess. Never. I’m still reeling with my choice.” Salome responds
“What choice?” Muzinga asks
“Wanna change your mind?” Chibwe asks
“What does that even mean?” I ask
“That I am not sure.” She responds. “I thought I was but I’m not. Ugh… I miss him.”
“Tawanda?” I ask
“No. ” She responds as she looks at me and she lowers her head in maybe shame or defeat. “You were testing me.”
“No. But you do know it’s only been one day since you were sure right?” I ask her
“How did last night go? I saw you two making out.” Chibwe says.
“It didn’t go far. Gosh. It didn’t go anywhere. Nada. Zero. We just slept.” Salome says. “It was boring. Who needs boring?”
“That poor man. Dealing with you must be horrible.” Chibwe teases. “But come on, is it really that bad? Salome maybe you should leave him.”
“He’s a nice man.” Salome answers. “Who leaves a nice man?”
“That you’re not sleeping with.” I argue.
“Maybe if I have Mukuka one more time. Just one more then I’ll be okay.” Salome says. “Closure.”
“Closure? Doubt it. D withdrawal symptoms already? Is the D that good?” Chibwe asks.
Salome raises her eyebrow and smiles at her.
“Well I’m not complaining am I?” She responds. “Monde can confirm this.”
“Excuse me I’ve never slept with Mukuka. He’s my husband’s younger brother.” A shocked Monde responds.
“Exactly they are brothers. They both must be good. Kindly note the emphasis on both.” Salome says happily.
I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Monde responds.
We laugh. Either way the bottom line and I’m sure Salome know this, is that she needs to choose once and for all who she wants to be with and stop playing around with hearts. Granted no one knows if Mukuka’s heart is in this complication but I know Tawanda’s heart is. So she needs to choose.
“Gemima, what happened with the Samantha crap?” Salome asks.
Changing the subject. Smart.
“Nothing my loves.” I respond.
I take a sip of wine and smile at her.
“My life has no drama.” I say slowly.
“The benefits of dating a good man. You’re so blessed.” Chibwe starts. “You do know that only Salome and I have love issues.”
“Awwww Chibwe. Mr right is coming soon.” Monde says. “Besides marriage looks nice on paper. And photos.”
“Liar.” I respond. “Your marriage is beautiful through and through.”
Monde smiles at me. At least she looks happy even though she’s going through Noah’s infidelity. A woman’s strength, carrying all to save all.
“Well, here is my news, I’m pregnant.” Monde says breaking the silence at the table.
I watch as the ladies scream their heads off, clapping and standing up to give Monde hugs. Monde takes it all in with grace. She smiles happpily at us.
“You didn’t tell us. Monde. Oh my gosh. Yesterday. At the party? You knew?” Salome asks
“Yes. I had something going on so I didn’t want anyone to know till I was sure.” Monde answers
“Congratulations Monde.” Chibwe says. “I’m so happy for you. Awwww your family is growing. Is that why Noah is all up on you?” Chibwe asks
Monde smiles and nods.
“He’s so excited.” Monde says.
“He must be. Lady you have been trying for years and boom. I’m so happy.” Chibwe says.
“I’m overwhelmed guys. Truly. I thought it was over. I’m blessed to be a mother again.” Monde responds.
I see her eyes water. She’s gonna cry soon. I’m so happy for her. This baby will change everything for her. She was stressed about trying and failing, but it all worked out.
“Omg… A toast to Monde and Noah. Damn guys you busy. See what I said she’s not complaining either. Proof.” Salome says happily.
“Please leave my sex life with my husband out of your comparisons.” Monde responds happily.
We toast to Monde’s news. We are all excited.
“I’m so jealous of you Monde. Kids and all.” Muzinga starts as she puts her glass of wine on the table. “But the time…” She sighs.
“Oh come on. You have time to have sex with your husband but not to have kids in this big house.” I whisper.
Muzinga laughs and turns away from our gazes.
“You are so mean.” Muzinga says.
We all laugh at her. Chibwe goes into mother talk with Monde which only the two of them can understand. One day, not soon though I will have my own mini me running around or many mini me clinging onto my skirt telling me not to leave. One day. I want to enjoy my marriage as much as possible before the kids come in and take over my life. Look at Monde. One kid and another on the way and I see she sometimes gets overwhelmed with the one that she has already. But like she’s always told me, it’s never a burden with children. You do it because there is nothing else that can bring you more joy than doing that what your children want from you.
One day. One day soon.
I hear the men shout “goal!!” and I roll my eyes. Men and soccer. Even repeats evoke such responses? Muzinga stands up and walks out of the kitchen to check on them.
And it’s just us four. Like it’s always been.
I take a sip of my wine and look at my ladies. We look at each other and we smile. It’s been like this the first time we all met. Since UNZA days. We look at each other, grateful and happy to be together. It’s like we are connected by much more than friendship. Can we be anymore different with different problems to sort out but hanging on to whatever is left strong enough to hold us down.
This is why we have Nkani.
All the time.
“So you think it’s a boy or another girl.” Salome asks aloud. “Maybe I should get pregnant hey. Cousins like this.”
“Really Salome.” Chibwe says.
Typical of Salome.
We all laugh.
This is the life. I take a sip of my wine and smile. We are going to be just fine. All of us. I pray so.
I called you and you didn’t pick up. Are you ignoring me? Please pick up I want to talk to you. Call me when you see this. I love you.
Can I call you later. With the guys. Busy. I think we need to talk. It’s important.
Is it that serious?
I’ll call you when I get home. Later.
To be continued…