I open my eyes and yawn. I feel so tired. I stretch and groan. My eyes hurt. Swollen I guess. My head hurts even more. After all the crying I did last night, I’m not surprised I feel sick today. No matter how I feel, I need to bath, clean up, make breakfast and catch up with my chores. Nothing should stop me from living my life. Not even Noah’s cheating ways. Besides, if I am going to sleep at Gemima mother’s home then I’ll have get everything done during the day. No choice. This is way it has to be done. I push aside the blankets and sit up. My heart leaps in fright when I see Noah sitting at the end of the bed dressed in a dark blue suit, his back towards me. What does he want now? I’m not in the mood for this right now. What the hell is he doing sitting on the bed? Shouldn’t he be at the office. Oh my, if Noah is here then who will drop off Suwilanji at school. I get off the bed and walk past him to the bathroom.
“Can we talk?” He asks when I get to the bathroom door.
I ignore him, walk into the bathroom and lock the door. I know we should talk. I know it’s the only thing to do. Noah and I have a policy that we agreed on since the time we started dating: never go to bed angry but if you do then never let it last a full day. Obviously we didn’t know what we agreeing to because now we are dealing with cheating. Infidelity breaks homes out there, some homes, it destroys trust but of course in Zambia infidelity is a part of life. Accept it or accept it they say. All men cheat. That shouldn’t be the case. My marriage was supposed to be different. Supposed to be. How does one get passed it? How do those women forgive and ignore since forgetting is obviously impossible.
“Monde. Will you talk to me or not?” He asks behind the door.
I should talk to him and hear his lies. Not yet. I’m not ready. What if he’s learnt his lesson and he wants to explain. What if he wants to be honest now? What if won’t change a thing I tell myself. The man still cheated. The man still had lipstick on his shirt. The man still protected that plumber woman before his own wife. So why should I give my husband the time of day. Not yet. I’m not ready.
“You gonna give me the silent treatment now?” He asks
So? Is that so bad I wonder. You lucky it’s the silent treatment I think. If it’s not this then it will be hitting you with my cooking sticks. I’m stronger than this. I can’t talk to him yet. Maybe later. Or tomorrow at the wedding.
“Fine. You won’t talk to me. Fine. I’ll call you later then. Your mum took Suwi to school earlier. Enjoy your day.”
And then silence. I think I hear doors closing and then silence. That’s it. I look at myself in the mirror, swollen brown eyes greet me, I need hot water to get the swelling down. I wish the hot water could fix everything wrong with my life right now. But I know everything has it’s time. No marriage is perfect. I should know that by now.
Everything and everyone will be okay.
I have faith in that.
The loud ringtone jolts me from my sleep. Who the hell is calling me now I wonder as I get my phone off the bedside table. Tawanda maybe?
“Hello.” I say
“Salome. Shit. Are you okay?”
Mukuka. Not now. I don’t want to deal with this now. Why isn’t it Tawanda?
“Yeah. What’s up?” I ask.
“I called you several times last night. You didn’t pick up.”
“I slept. Phone was on do not disturb. Guess the period ended and that’s why I heard the phone ring now.”
“Are you okay?”
“Where are you?”
“You’re in a bad mood today. Want me to come over?”
“Babe. You sure you okay. Or you’re still sleepy?”
“I’m fine, babe.”
“Why did you sleep early?”
“Had a busy day, so I slept early.”
“Oh okay. You’re in a bad mood. Whatever caused it you know you can talk to me right. Anyway, I was just checking up on you.”
“Can I see you tonight?”
“No. I have to sleep at Gemmy’s tonight.”
He laughs, and that laugh gets my heart racing. I should be angry with him not getting excited. Be strong woman. Stand your ground. I will not crumble into a hot mess anymore. No more. I think of Tawanda’s face and I feel an overwhelming feeling if sadness. He didn’t deserve it. Tawanda was too good. Maybe he deserves my silence. But come on I need a good man in my life. Mukuka’s laugh brings me back to reality.
“Don’t worry. I didn’t mean have sex. No. Just to see you.” He says
“Do I need a reason?”
That shuts me up. When has Mukuka ever needed a reason to see me. When?
“I’ll let you know if I’m free.” I say slowly
“Cool. Talk later hey. Feel better soon.”
I cut the line. Fuck. I don’t need his drama today. I need to be in the right frame of mind for Gemima’s wedding and dealing with sex mates who are best friends will complicate everything.
Not today. No.
I need to bath.
Life has to move on.
Ladies we are getting her our nails done today. Hair too. I’m sorry to bring this up now. I know we said we would do it tomorrow but time and all that. Let’s not chance it.
Are you serious. I had chores to do today.
Don’t worry. For our hair I called the saloon and Brenda said she will come in late afternoon with her girls at the farm. But for our nails we have to meet at 12 at that Chinese place near MTN HQ.
Chibwe I need a ride.
I’ll pick you up love.
I’ll see you then.
12 hours. Cool.
Tomorrow is the big day. Oh my gosh I’m so nervous. Is this how brides feel? Tomorrow is the day. Historic moment for me and mine. I eat a spoonful of oats and look at my phone. Kachiza hasn’t called me yet. So unlike him. What the hell did I do to him for him to be so angry? So he claimed the guys did something but the fact that he is silent about it is worrying. Maybe I should call Monde and ask her if Noah said something. But then again Monde did say she would talking to Noah about their problem so what if they are still talking now. Don’t want to disturb her with my petty issues. Besides if Kachiza was telling the truth then I’m sure the guys will figure it out soon enough and move on. But then again what if Kachiza was lying? What if he calls off the wedding? Maybe I should call him and ask him. But what if he doesn’t pick up. What if it’s still off? Then what? Why are men so difficult? Gotta get this over and done with.
The dialing tone is irritating. He’s not picking up. He’s ignoring me. He’s gonna call off the wedding. The bad feeling I had comes back full force. Paranoia. But I feel I did something to him. What could it be. What did I do? I dial his number again and still no answer. I hate not knowing what’s going on with him. And I can’t see him today. Well if he won’t pick up then I’ll send him a message.
Hey Baby. Hope you okay. Not picking up your phone anymore?
Hey. Was typing you a message. I’m okay. Will call you back soon. Busy at the office. That’s why I didn’t pick up. You okay. Tomorrow is the big day. Countdown is almost up. Love you.
Should I ask him what happened last night? No. Maybe he’s stressed about something else now at the office. From his response, he seems okay if I am interpreting his message correct. I’ll let him be. He’s fine. Why look for problems when there are none.
I love you too baby.
“It’s a beautiful day…” I sing to myself.
It definitely is a beautiful day. The sky is blue, clouds are white, grass is green and I am still alive. I am walking into the house from dropping Samuel off at school when my phone rings. Patrick.
“Hi.” I say when I pick up.
“Hey. Good morning. You sound happy today.”
“Good morning Patrick. I’m always happy.”
“He’s good. Just dropped him off at school. Please don’t forget to come home and pick up his bag.”
“Chibwe I won’t. Besides even if I did forget it would be fun to go shopping with him. What time are you leaving home?”
“Gotta meet the ladies at twelve. Wedding things.”
“Wanted to see you.”
I smile to myself as I walk to my bedroom. Why does him saying that make me smile? Why am I in a good mood? This is bad.
“Awwww. That’s sweet.” I respond trying to be sarcastic. “You can see me tomorrow. How’s that?” I respond.
I laugh. Not in your dreams that will never happen laugh. It’s a soft laugh, the hopeful maybe that can work laugh. I’m actually happy he wants it to be a date.
“Really. Not a date. At the wedding.”
“You just ruined my moment.”
“Well I’m good at doing that.” I respond. “Remember last time I did it? When I told you I was pregnant.”
“Okay, so I’ll choose to ignore that. What else are you good at?”
He’s gonna ignore it and steer the chat in his direction. This conversation is going to uncharted territory. Gotta end this.
“A lot. And now I gotta go. Cleaning.” I lie.
“Cool. Enjoy your day. I’ll call you later.”
“Okay. Have a great day.”
“Oh one more thing. Save me a dance tomorrow.”
“Okay. What else should I save you? A seat? Your favourite cake?”
He doesn’t respond immediately. He keeps silent for seconds or is it minutes.
“A kiss.” He says at last. “Save me a kiss Chibwe.”
Sometimes I hate the man.
I walk into the back room of the Chinese hair and nail salon and Chibwe, Gemima, Muzinga and Salome are already there. Gemima and Salome are already having their nails glued on while Chibwe and Muzinga are sitting beside the wall waiting for their turn. I am late, my chores took longer than expected but at least I managed to get them done and pack for the evening. Mum didn’t ask me a thing about what happened last night when she came home after dropping off Suwilanji at school; I know she heard our loud voices and I know she wanted to find out what had happened and I didn’t want to explain the details until I fixed the mess in my marriage. It was quite embarrassing knowing my mother heard us, I couldn’t look her in the eye but I put up a brave front for her, I laughed with her and talked to her like everything was okay. Of course I knew I could not fool her, she is a woman who was once married years ago before my father died. I left as soon as I was done, I knew she would manage with Suwilanji through the night and I told the maid to sleep over just to help her at home. I know Noah will come home tonight and not sleep at Kachiza’s to make sure the house is safe. Thank God I won’t be around to see him and argue with him. Time apart for a day is exactly what we need, just to think things through.
“You’re late.” Salome says.
She turns her head and smiles at me. She looks much better, her smile is back. She seems to be in high spirits. I hope not in the literal sense. With Salome you never know.
“I am so sorry. Home chores. And other issues.” I say.
“How’s home?” Chibwe asks.
“Mum is great. Suwilanji is perfect. Thank God.” I respond.
“And Noah?” Chibwe asks.
“What about him?” I ask.
“How is he?” She asks.
She lifts her eyebrow at me. Now I’ve made them curious about Noah. Why didn’t I just say everyone is fine. I look around the room and counting the ladies and I there are three other people in the room with us and they are the ones fixing the nails on Salome and Gemima.
“Noah is good. You know him. The Workaholic.” I lie.
“You okay?” Gemima asks.
Her eyes look into mine as if she’s trying to decipher a puzzle that will lead her to the secrets within me. I’m not one to talk about my issues in public. People have big ears and I’m not in the mood to be judged by total strangers. I’ll have to tell them later when we are the four of us. I nod my head at her and smile. She smiles back at me and turns to look back at the woman fixing her nails.
Noah hasn’t yet called me and I’m grateful for that. He’s letting me breathe. I am still angry with him about last night and him trying to avoid telling me the truth. It hurt that he thought he could hide that from me. His wife. The love of his life. The audacity of him to bring in our vows. Men. Use anything to be forgiven. I don’t want to talk to him. I won’t pick up when he calls.
I will fix this.
Monde looks like she’s hiding something. Whatever it is it must be big. I’m sure she will tell the ladies and I when she wants to. I just hope everything is okay. The woman touches my nails making sure they are dry and hard enough for the next step – painting and decorating the nails. Salome is almost done with her nails. The theme is nude nails for my bridesmaids. Each in the colour of their skin tone. They will look beautiful. After this we shall head home and get our hair done. It’s going to be a fun day. Mum is making sure everything is being done, last minute details with the church and reception venue. I will not concentrate on that. No. She is capable of finalising things without me. I’ve also left her in charge of talking to my father about his role. I seriously am not happy that she decided to invite dad and his wife to my wedding. I didn’t want them there. All they will do is remind me marriages can end, love does die and love can be transferred to a new partner. But I’m choosing to think on the positive. The positive part is after the wedding I won’t have to see my father again. Or his wife and their newborn. Yes. I can finally ignore them forever.
Kachiza has not called me back yet. Is he that busy? Should he even be working today? Tomorrow is his wedding? What the hell is going on with him. What if the nightmares I’ve been having about him having cold feet comes true. What if he leaves me at the altar, or if he leaves me because of another woman. Samantha. Gosh she’s still on my mind. I can’t shake off the feeling she is out to bring me trouble. But what can she possibly do to me? She’s already lost Kachiza. He is marrying me. But women like Samantha never give up on men like Kachiza. I hate this feeling. I wish Kachiza would just call me and reassure me everything will be okay.
I take a deep breath and push the bad thoughts away. Everything is going to be okay.
I have to believe this with all my heart.
“Ooohh. Not dark brown. I’m a light skinned woman. So light brown something or beige.” Salome says aloud. “Ahh dark brown is for the other women like that one there.”
I look at Salome pointing at Chibwe and at the same time cringing away from the dark nail Polish the man picked up from the samples. She’s not in the least bit amused. She shakes her head and points to another bottle of nail polish in a lighter shade of brown. He picks up the shade she wants and she nods happily.
“That’s the one. My fingers will look beautiful.” She says happily.
“Jaribu surely does do wonders.” Chibwe says aloud. “Or is it Bio Claire now?”
Salome gasps and looks at Chibwe and laughs.
“Some friend you are.” Salome says
Chibwe laughs at her and sticks her tongue out at her. I smile.
Everything will be okay.
Getting your nails done is soothing. It really is. I don’t do it often but when I do I let myself enjoy the pampering. I see the clear nails stuck to my nails, almost done and my nails will be perfect. I like this. And this helps keep me away from thinking about stuff going on in my life. Thoughts of Tawanda and Mukuka. Feelings of guilt and relief mixed into one to the point I don’t know what the hell is the right feeling.
I am sure Mukuka has sent me several messages by now. Before I left home, I read a few of the messages he sent earlier begging to see me tonight even if it means him driving to the farm. Whatever does he want from me. Why can’t he leave me alone. I know he doesn’t know that Tawanda left me and all but I just wish he could let me be just for a day. To sulk and cry and miss Tawanda at least. Even if it’s for a minute. I wonder what Tawanda is doing right now. Is he still angry with me? I wish I could see him and maybe explain some version of the truth. But then he will obviously look at the spot where he last saw the hickey and wonder why I’m hiding it. He will feel worse if he sees it again. It’s bad enough he only saw one but if he realised there are more he will lose it. The hickies are still dark red marks on my skin, the foundation helps hide them and I have no choice but to use foundation to hide them. I know they will take more days to heal but by then will Tawanda want to talk to me. Gosh I still have some of his things in my flat.
I will not lie to myself but I actually kinda miss Tawanda. He was the guy who made sure he checked up on me so many times in a day. He cared about me and he made sure I knew that each day. Isn’t Tawanda the type of man we women claim to cry for when we are questioned what we look for. But isn’t it quite, nice, boring men are the ones most women treat badly and ignore in most cases. Was I the exception? No. I ruined a good relationship because I couldn’t keep my legs closed. I couldn’t let my best friend go. And what happens if Tawanda finds out it is Mukuka who I’ve had in his spot in my bed? Gosh the number of times I assured him Mukuka was only a friend. Karma will definitely kick me hard when she realises the truth.
I have to talk to him. I need to. I really miss him. His voice and his weird jokes. I will call Tawanda in the evening. Yes. Thats final.
Besides I have to find out if he will attend the wedding. He does have a card. So I could use that as a reason to talk to him.
It’s a plan.
I can’t wait to put it in effect.
You have to send me a picture of those done nails.
Well I gotta judge them. I need to see for myself.
See them tomorrow
When you give me that dance or when you kiss me?Or when I kiss you?
Who said I’m kissing you?
Sad face right now.
Ha ha ha ha. Be sad. One dance only. No kisses.
We shall see about that won’t we? We shall see.
I smile to myself. Gosh. My face must be cracking right now. I’ve been over smiling if there such a thing. Patrick makes me smile. I won’t lie but it’s a good feeling.
Don’t forget to pick up Samuel from school on time.
Lady have I ever been late?
Just reminding you.
So the house the company provided me is ready for moving in.
You have no furniture.
Well I sold some of my stuff. Some. The rest is still on its way from Swaziland. I’ll be good.
Then you are sorted. Ready to start working?
Yes and no. No because I start in two weeks and I am not ready to wake up early again. But I have no choice. And yes because this will get me busy.
You will get the hang of it.
Indeed. But it means I get to move into my own home. Then I am okay. I am more than okay.
Well congratulations on your job. I am sure Samuel will be excited to see the new house.
I should have a party. What do you think?
Well if you have a maid that is fine.
You have to visit me though. We can have dinners. Watch movies. Night caps with no parents around. Okay I am kidding about the night caps.
The offer is tempting but I do not want to tempt fate here and fall for him in the process and have him hurt me again. Though what is the worst he can do? He already denied the baby once and it’s not like he can deny his son now. Visiting is harmless. And what so is what he’s suggesting, dinner and movies that is. And maybe we can build a friendship from that.
I will think about it.
Sure. Don’t take too long though.
Well I’m hot. Ladies will fall when they realize I have a house with no woman in it.
Good for you then.
Gosh, you don’t care about me… Fine.. I’ll be honest. I was hoping at the end of the day you and Samuel could come and live with me. If you want to of course.
Are you asking me to move in with you?
I am asking for more than that but I am willing to take what you can give me for now.
I bite my lip to stop myself from laughing out loud. Too soon. He is moving too fast. Way too fast for me. Gosh. What do I say now? Wasn’t that always our plan when we were dating? To live together even before we get married. But now, things changde. I can not live with a man I am not married to. But then again Patrick has already made his intentions known to me and maybe he thinks this is the way to my heart. This is so wrong but why does it feel and sound so wickedly good. And I recognise the feeling in my heart for what it is.
I never stopped loving Patrick.
Not one little bit.
How dare he… I hate him.
I throw the magazine in the corner of the room and sigh. He’s driving me crazy. For fuck sake this man has tried me enough.
He can not avoid me forever. This man loves me. I know that for a fact. He will never stop loving me. I don’t know why he keeps fighting us. Surely he must know it will never work with “his woman.” I look at the phone and bite my lip. Maybe I should send him nudes. He might smile and tell me he misses me and come over. I pick up my phone and dial his number. I curse when the call cuts instantly. His phone is off. Why is he doing this to me.
I love him.
I’ll send him a message. Yes. He will read it when he switches on his phone.
Hey. Can I talk to you? Your number is off.
Leave me alone.
Did you block me from calling you? I miss you. Remember those days when we would spend time in bed? Just you and me, and we made promises to each other. My body misses you.
I know what is did was bad. Aborting our baby was bad. But I am here now. I can make it up to you. We can have another baby again. Be together this time.
I am happy. Without you. Granted you aborted and it was sad then. But I am passed all this. I am relieved you put yourself first because then I don’t have to spend the rest of my life with you. I get to spend it with an amazing woman. I am done with all this. It’s causing more harm than good.
Wait….. Kachiza wait. Kachiza don’t do this to us.
No. There was no us or we in the past few days. No. Just me seeking some sort of closure from you. It’s done Samantha. Goodbye.
Hello Gemima. Samantha here. I’m sure you are so busy with the wedding plans. But I would love to talk to you. It’s about Kachiza and I.
I smile as I hit send. She deserves to know the kind of man she has been in love with for years. He can not treat me like this and think he can get away with it. Fine I did some bad things. Fine I was the worst girlfriend known to man but I do not deserve to be treated with lies. Maybe he thinks this is his way to revenge for all the things I did then. I was young then!! I have grown up since then. I am a brand new person now. Even evil bad people deserve their fair share of love stories too.
I know Kachiza loves me otherwise why would he keep me around? For closure like he says? That’s pathetic. If he was so happy he would not have found me on facebook and started chatting with me. He would not have entertained me and my ways at all. He would not have complained to me about Gemima for months. He would have minded his own business and left me alone. But no, he sent me a friend request; after so many years of not communicating he made the first move. We started chatting, chats became day time calls and day time calls became late night calls whenever he was free; he wanted to know everything about me. It was harmless and I loved every second of it. And all those calls turned into me flying over to visit him. So he told me about his engagement and how he wasn’t sure if Gemima was one.”I believe i found the one a long time ago but God had other plans for me” is what he told me. What was I supposed to do? It was either Gemima or me and if he meant what he said then it was obviously me. He loved me once, I knew he could love me again. We were meant to be.
The man even made sure he picked me up from the airport the night I landed. We laughed like old times, we even made out like old times. His lips on mine in a moment of passion and all those nights we had tonight years ago came rushing back. We were inseparable then? Our bodies craved and we answered the craving the only way we knew how. And that I landed, in his car, outside my aunts home, his lips on mine ignited something in him that he wanted more of. And if it wasn’t for Gemima calling him then who knows. More would have happened. I felt his need. He felt mine. I also saw his guilt. He tried hard. He did that night. He had to leave and see Gemima yet he didn’t want to leave me. I know that for a fact. But he left still. Then he asked me out for drinks a few days later. It was nice. We talked, he apologised and I tried to convince him he needed to leave her. But he said no. He said he was happy with her. He was content. What the fuck is content? Who cares about that? I watched him walk away but I know Kachiza like the stretch marks on my bum. He need a little nudge and a nudge I gave him. He fought me all the way, but O’Hagans that was my finest work. Granted the fool of a man brought his friends with him as backup – as if that ever stopped me from getting what I wanted – I managed to get him away from them and have him all to myself in his car.
“One more kiss. For old times sake.” I had said to him. “Please. Just this once and I will leave.”
And one more kiss he gave me, I smile as I remember his hands squeezing my breasts, his lips kissing my neck. I also remember us fighting over his pants zipper. He wanted me. He wanted to feel me as bad as I wanted to feel him. We were about to. What did he say almost doesn’t count. That’s like saying having the tip in is not having sex at all, testing out the merchandise they say. Bullshit. Kachiza loves me. Me. Samantha. Even after aborting his baby he still wants me in his life and in his life I will stay.
Shit. This girl wont respond to my message.
Who can I call now? I need details.
I need to ask for…….
Ahhh Juliet. That little twat of a blubber mouth will tell me what I need to know. Yes. This will be fun.
He who brought me into this will have to take me out of it.
I love drama.
But I love that man more.
Baby here I come.
To be continued…