We are here. The end of a beautiful story. I have a lot to thank in this chapter for the art provided. Here goes: Bwalya, Mwanawafeli, Lady_Lynn, Veronica (follow blog here), Diyana, Chixy, Tatenda (follow blog here), Mademoiselle Unknown and Madam Strange. Thank you for making the finale beautiful.
“Do you take this man to be your husband, to love and to hold, in health and in sickness, for richer or for poorer till death do you apart?
She looks at him and smiles, is she truly happy I wonder. Is that what love looks like.
“I do.” She responds.
Awesome. She does take him for everything that will happen. How disgusting. How sad. How unnecesary. What if he cheats on her. Haven’t I seen enough of this happening. I wish I wasn’t here right now. I can not support this farce. What a sad joke.
“Do you take….”
The priest pauses when he sees the groom lift his hand.
“I would like to say my own vows.” The groom says.
Awesome. Lies all lies. I wish I wasn’t here. I watch the priest nod at the groom and the groom smiles. He must have some speech planned out. Shit.
“My wife, my dream come true.” He says. “Gosh where can I start from. We have faced everything together. The good and the bad, we have fought our way through it all and cried. But we have still stayed together. We have been through the worst and the worst almost broke us up but we still made it. We came out stronger and here we are saying our vows before God. I promise to be the man you will always need. I know I am human and I might cause you pain along the way but I will always be by you side loving you and supporting you. I have messed up, countless time, I have broken your heart but you forgave me countless times too and I am grateful for your loving heart. I love you baby. So I do take you as my wife for eternity.”
I stand up from my seat and slowly walk out of the church. I’ll let them kiss and enjoy their marriage. This is too much for me to handle for now. They won’t miss me much. I just need to be alone. Just for a little while. Maybe a drink will do. Yes. That’s it.
“I would like to thank everyone that took the time to come and celebrate our union with us. Having you here supporting us means the world to us. We hope you enjoy the dance floor and cake.”
I look at the couple and their party dancing in the middle of the made up dance floor. They dance their hearts out as they head out of the reception room. They went all out for their wedding reception by booking their event at Pamodzi hotel. By the time one year is up, the man will probably cheat on her and she will never know the truth. Or maybe he is already sleeping with her bridesmaids. I would not be surprised. Typical of men and their cheating ways. And she will be the last to know. And then she will be sad and she cry and maybe try to find out why he’s cheating and he will make it seem he has a problem yet no, all men are trash. All men cheat. Fuck. I’m being bitter. I can’t help it. The counsellor said I should see the positive in most situations. I should try that right now. I look at the couple again, they look so happy together as they dance, her white chiffon dress swooshing around as he dances with her, his dark suit looks amazing on him; they are a beautiful couple, gazing into each other’s eyes meanwhile his eyes will probably be locked onto someone else’s tomorrow night. Okay I tried. I really did. I’m doing much better though. No one said it was a walk in the park. The counsellor said each person heals at their own pace. But my healing is the pace of a tortoise. Sad. The counsellor says these things take time. That I will heal when the time comes. I will beter than ever.
But it’s been six months and I might still be as negative as a battery terminal.
I look away from the couple and reach out for my glass of red wine from the table and take a sip, not failing to notice that my hand has no ring on it. I miss it sometimes, sometimes; like when I am walking and I unconsciously touch my finger hoping to feel it there and yet it’s gone. All that I have left is the light skin circle mark that shows it once existed. And that mark is slowly fading away. I should be sad, but I am not. I am in a good place right now. And it took me a while to get to where I am today.
Six months later I can finally say the old Gemima is almost back. Almost.
My mind can’t help but go back to the night Kachiza told me he kissed Samantha. The night Samantha told me the truth about their visits and kisses that led to a skin on skin moment. The night I cried my heart out. The very same night I believed if I cried it out I could face him the next day and maybe still get married. The night my mother and her sisters saw it fit to ignore my pain because marriage is a woman’s priority. The night my life changed. I should have gone through with everything as planned. I should have. Maybe if I been stronger I would have. But the very next day when the time came to wear my dress I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t lie before God that I was happy. I was already miserable and I didn’t want to try and smile and hope that it was going to be okay. I didn’t leave the house that day, I didn’t pick up the phone either. I sat in my bedroom and stared at my wedding dresses for hours. It was all over. My family tried to convince me to go to the church and marry Kachiza anyway. I stood my ground and at the end if the day maybe they accepted the fact that I was a different breed of woman. I cried my heart out for days after that. My ladies stayed with me through it all. Alienating days, so that I wasn’t alone in this mess. Kachiza came by everyday to see me and I refused to see him each time. Mum told me he cried everytime I said no. She said he said he was sorry. She said he said he would do anything to fix the wrong he had done, that he loved me too much to lose me. What a joke. When he was with Samantha he never thought he would lose me. Selfish creatures men are. Mum tried to get me to see him, I said no all the time. I wanted no part in making whatever was left work. Mum was convinced Kachiza was different. She added Samantha was probably gone too. Forever. The woman was probably undermining the problem. The love of my life cheated on me and there was no going back. So I stood my ground. I needed time to accept the pain and then I would talk to him. It took me months to gather up the courage and let him in. And we talked. He listened. I listened. And somehow out of the pain came a solution.
I was against it. Gosh I was against having Kachiza in my life. But he wanted to make it work. He was willing to try anything to make us work and maybe it was because of his determination to make us work that made me change my mind. Almost change my mind. The mistrust never left. I was a damaged woman. Love was a lie. Still is a lie. But somehow I got the help I needed. Our church counsellor helped us, it was hard and most times I felt like I wanted to hit Kachiza for putting me in a bad place. I didn’t trust him. Anything he said I would scrutinise and I know it hurt him that I didn’t trust him anymore but who could blame me. He told me he was done with Samantha for good. I didn’t believe him at all. I heard she went back to Australia weeks after the ruined wedding. I heard she was happy she brought out a cheater into the light even though she loved him. I heard she said if Kachiza wanted her back she would be on the first plane back to Zambia. I didn’t care. I just wanted her gone forever. Seeing her would be a constant reminder of the chaos she caused. A reminder of how a man I trusted needed so much closure that he decided cheating was the way to go. I wish I had beaten her up that night. I wish I had broken her hand or something. But that is the past. The one thing the counseling did that I am forever grateful for is get me talking to my father, I guess the mess Kachiza caused made me go to him for comfort. And it helped. We talked. Father and daughter, he explained everything to me, some things I understood and the rest I ignored, maybe what Kachiza did to me was life telling me I had to make amends with my father and his family. Besides which other man would help me understand what Kachiza did? My own cheating father was the perfect choice. In the end I forgave my father for everything he did to our family. It helped me get clarity on a lot of things in my life. Though loving Mable was a different story. I simply left it on mutual respect and that is how I loved it. Somehow one action fixed some things in my life. But at the end of day, my ring, my heart are all lost. It is all gone now and I am here. Trying to smile. Trying to be happy. In all the drama and pain, somehow Kachiza and I got close again. Step by step we fixed the mess. We admitted to it. Granted I ended the engagement – as if I had another option – and I labeled our relationship as a friendship – there was nothing left of it anyway – we slowly got back to who we used to be, or a version of what we used to be of course. Never the same, slightly different Monde tells me. But the bitterness sometimes hits me once in a while when I see happy couples. It hurts sometimes but I am optimistic it will work out in the end.
I turn and face Salome sitting across from me. She shakes her head at me and waves.
“Are you here with us love?”
Gosh Salome is gaining weight I think as I notice her chubby cheeks. She actually looks different, a better version of herself as I notice her really black short hair. Gosh she’s really decided on the hair problem. She must be happy. I know she is happier now than she was months ago. Her smile is brighter, her dimples are back, she looks amazing. And her outfit just emphasises my point. Her white flared white strapless dress and gold heels just make her look radiant. I believe she is in a better place now. Lucky her.
“Are you okay?” She asks.
I look at her then smile. I was lost in my thoughts again.
“I’m great. What’s up?”
“Well I wanted to get tequila shots. Are you game?”
“Jesus Salome. This isn’t the time for tequila.” Monde says aloud.
“You know what.” I say. “I will have that tequila shot with you. We should go and get soaked right now.”
“Not you too Gemima. Don’t encourage her. You know how she gets when she drinks.” Monde says.
I look at Monde and laugh. She’s eight months pregnant now. She is huge. She’s in a black loose knee length maternity dress and pumps. I wonder how she manages moving around with her belly so big. Then again she has Noah to help her though. Lucky her. She looks tired. I’m certain she wants to go home and sleep. I wouldn’t blame her.
“It’s just one shot.” I argue
“One shot leads to two.” Chibwe says next to me.
“Even you Chibwe?” I ask.
I face her and she smiles at me. I laugh. Gosh are they are trying to control my alcohol intake? I don’t blame them. I swear I went off the bender with alcohol. It helped me get through some weekends. But now Monde was the chief watcher of making sure I didn’t get drunk anymore.
“No alcohol.” Chibwe says.
Chibwe looks amazing. The past six months definitely were her best. In her green knee length lace dress and gold sandals she just looks beautiful. I am happy she is in a good place now. And her happiness just bounces off her and spreads to anyone that she talks to. It’s contagious like that.
“Fine.” I respond. “Juice it is.”
“Uhhh for you Gemima. I’m still gonna have that shot.” Salome says happily.
“How unfair.” I pout.
“Salome is an alcoholic. The day she stops drinking is the day she gets pregnant.” Monde says.
“Not any day soon.” Salome says.
“Speaking of alcohol and pregnancy.” Chibwe. “Ladies I have a surprise for you.”
“I am pregnant.” I say aloud.
“Oh my gosh.” Salome and Gemima say
Monde has her hand over her mouth.
“How far along iwe.” Gemima asks. “How can you hide such news from us. With no shame ayi Chibwe. Ala.”
“Ahh iwe naiwe (even you). Calm down. I laugh. “I am about two months and a half I think. I’m like so excited.” I say happily.
“So that’s why you are not drinking?” Gemima says. “I swear I will be looking out for the sober ones then I’ll know who is pregnant. Ahh mwachilamo (It’s too much). But this is awesome news.”
“Congratulations girl.” Salome says. “I am so happy for you. Who is the father?”
I look shake my head and smile. Salome and her jokes. One would take her personal and probably lose it. But not us. We all know her too well to take her seriously. It’s her way of being her. Of being happy. And she deserves to be happy anyway.
“Really Salome?” Monde says.
I look at Salome and she laughs at me. I roll my eyes at her and she sticks out her tongue.
“Congratulations Chibwe. That is amazing news. I am so happy for you.” Monde says.
“Yes. Congratulations to you Chibwe. Honey I’m so happy. Gosh two babies on the way. Though Monde’s is almost here. About to pop Madam.” Gemima says.
“Thank you ladies. I am excited but eish thinking about the swollen feet and crazy hormones. I’m in for it.” I say excitedly.
“I’m sure Patrick is super excited.” Monde says. “Oh my gosh, you two… I am so happy. We can baby shop things together now.”
I smile at them.
“Awwww Monde I am so excited too. And so is Patrick. He gets to sit through pregnancy for the first time. He is so happy. Asking questions, checking up on me every hour. I swear you’d think this is my first child.” I laugh.
“You guys sure did not waste any time in getting pregnant.” Salome says. “Gosh didn’t the man come back into your life like six months ago. Ninety day rule applied hey.”
“My gosh Salome. Well.. If the sex is good what do you expect.” Gemima says. “Pregnancy.”
“Well congratulations either way to you and Patrick.” Salome says. “See why Gemima and I need to drink. Let’s celebrate. Yes?”
“That’s not the only news.” I start.
“Hmmm Chibwe. Please don’t tell us you’re having twins.” Salome says.
“Patrick wants to meet my family soon. Marriage talks. That’s what he said anyway.” I say aloud.
I watch their eyes widen. I am getting married soon.
“Oh my gosh. Chibwe. Wow. That’s awesome.” Gemima says. “Awww you’re getting married soon.”
“When does he want to come see the family?” Monde asks.
“In a few weeks.” I say. “He says he wants us to be married by the time the baby comes.”
“So quickly?” Monde asks.
“Yep. He probably wants me near him so that he can watch me like a hawk. He thinks I will fall or something. Weakling I am.” I laugh.
“Wow. Patrick has definitely pulled up his game. I’m impressed and happy for you both.” Salome says happily. “I’m sure Samuel is just as happy.”
“Haven’t told him yet. I’m like trying to bask in the moment and enjoy it.” I say. “Ladies I don’t know. I am happy. i am so happy.”
“We are happy with you love.” Gemima says. She reaches out and takes my hand.
I look at her and smile. I know it should be her telling us she’s pregnant. It should be her married right now but she’s not. Instead she is celebrating with me. I still feel sad about her situation. But she seems better now than she was months ago. Kachiza definitely ruined a huge part of her. I wish she had not forgiven him for his ways but I guess love triumphs in the end. It always does.
“Wow Chibwe. Super awesome news right there.” Monde says. “Welcome to the club again. The mother’s club.”
“Making us jealous.” Gemima responds.
I can’t help but smile at my ladies. I am so happy. Too happy. The past six months have been the absolute best for me. After Gemima and Kachiza’s wedding disappointment, I took time helping Gemima get back to herself. She was an absolute mess but she got through it in the end. And in that time I made a choice, to get to know Patrick again and so far I can say it was a good decision. He did not push me or force things, everything just flowed the way it was supposed to. We somehow just made it work, and I got to find out the romantic man Patrick man turned out to be. I kept my promise and visited him whenever Samuel was there, using Samuel as an excuse to see him. We got to talking about everything and in as much as I thought Patrick would never change, he actually was a different man. Flaws and all. So it wasn’t a surprise to me that we ended up becoming more than friends too fast. And the passion? That never faded, in fact it was more. I don’t know why I waited so long to sleep with the man, he was good, more than good. At least his mouth was good for more than talking. Just thinking about it gives me chills. More than chills.
Besides where is the man anyway. I turn around and I see him standing at the bar next to Noah, Mukuka and Kachiza. He laughs at something one of the men says and my heart fills with pride. There stands the father of my children, my future husband so to speak. I can’t help but smile to myself.
Life is definitely looking up.
I can’t wait for the rest of it.
“I think I want to have a baby.” Salome says.
The ladies look at me and laugh. Yep. It is that funny. But what if I also want to have a baby? Or maybe I am jealous of my ladies who are having mini people who look like them. What about me? Am I not ready for such a step in my life? Am I even ready to have a baby?
“I swear I want to have a baby.” I say.
“You are a joke.” Chibwe responds. “You have to be ready for such a move love.”
“Am I not ready. I am ripe and ready for this. Fertilise my eggs!!”
“Really Salome? You’re too much.” Monde says.
“Imagine this. Me going through labour. Pushing life into this world. Oh my.. Beautiful is it not?” I ask.
The ladies laugh at me. I laugh too. But I am ready to be a mother. I really am. This time. Okay maybe after the tequilla shots.
“But with who? Who will be the daddy?” Gemima asks. “Mukuka? You still into the man? Is he baby daddy material. I mean I don’t know where you two stand now since you’re both crazy but can he father your child?”
“Wait.” Chibwe starts. “Are you still into Mukuka?”
Too many questions. Jeez these ladies. I see Mukuka with the guys at the bar and I smile. Six months later and I am proud to say I am sort of over him. The man may sometimes make my heart pitter-patter if he catches me off guard but I am over it. After our talk the night before the wedding, he tried the “FWB baby come back” and I stood my ground. I wanted no part of sleeping with a man who didn’t want me as his lady. I was proud of myself to be honest. It took a lot. How many women stand up to the men they are sleeping with and say no, enough is enough. Too few. In as much as it hurt to be without him, not having his lips on my skin every night, not having to see his face every morning I find peace in knowing one day I will find my own Mr Man who will want much more than an easy lay. That got me through most days. And other days, well I simply took a cold shower and hid my phone. The urge to call him was indeed great. But, thank God for work, it got me through days when I wanted to dial his number in the middle of the night. I simply stayed away while he tried to get me back. The man never admitted to having feelings for me even after losing me. And I was okay with it. I was so okay with it we fell back into friends, literally friendzoned and it was good. We were back to doing what mattered. Supporting each other as friends without the benefits.
I never got to call Tawanda after he broke up with me. I decided to live with the consequences of my choices and let him be happy. I heard he was dating months ago from a someone and I was genuinely happy for him. At least he had found happiness even after the pain I caused him. He deserved it. I didn’t jump into another man’s bed after I lost them both. Instead I concentrated on being the best single person I could be. I worked on me. I changed me. I went through the change myself phase and I should say I came out looking better than ever. My new short hair do and weight gain can attest to that. My fashion designing work got the lime light it deserved. I guess everything else worked out except the find a man department and I was content with that. I am still content. I am more happier today than I was six months ago. I guess Gemima and Kachiza’s failed wedding helped me achieve that. I looked at them and I knew I wanted a love that was worth being in. A love that wouldn’t betray me. A lot of lessons from them there. Plus don’t let exes back. Kill them if you have to.
“Mukuka must still have your heart in a twist. I was so sure you let go of the man.” Chibwe says.
“Mukuka is a forgotten chapter.” I say happily. “Granted it was my favourite chapter in my book of life. And maybe I would love to read the chapter again but that’s all it was, a chapter. I still have more to write.”
“Wow Salome. That was deep.” Chibwe says. “Shocking too.”
“Told you I was strong. Stronger alone. Riding solo.”
“Like the song?” Chibwe asks. “Never knew single could feel this good…” She sings
“Stop mocking me Chibs. I mean it.” I say.
“I’m not mocking you. I’m being serious. I am impressed and happy that you are managing well without him.” Chibwe says.
“Of course it’s hard.” I say. “I mean, look at him right now in those chinos and loafers. The man is still trying to get me back into his bed without saying a word.”
“That is just sad Salome. Was he that good ayi?” Gemima asks. “I don’t get what you see in him. He’s a looker but the jokes Salome. He’s never serious.”
“Iwe. The man is perfection. I am looking at him and I can’t help it. Gosh. He is asking for it.” I say.
“Really? Oh well that’s over. Besides I thought he was dating that little thing he met in Livingstone.” Monde says.
“Oh. Her. They broke up. Something about her not being submissive enough for him. She wasn’t doing what he wanted her to do. Whatever that means. As if sleeping with him is not enough.” I say.
“He told you that?” Gemima asks shocked. “What kind of friends are you?”
“But you know he’s like my male version of a best friend. He tells me everything. Everything.”
“When does he tell you everything. Do you tell him everything you do too? Like ahh Mukuka today I think the vibrator will work?”
“You’re funny.” I say.
“I thought I knew everything you did.” Gemima says
“Ah.. Roomie. Why are you asking such questions? Just know he tells me a lot of stuff.” I say
“And when does he tell you he wants you back? When he tells you this everything or as a oh by the way I still want you back. Legs and all?” Gemima asks.
I laugh aloud. Count on Gemima to make a joke out the situation. At least she’s making jokes. Side effects of living with me I guess. Friendship. Three months after her supposed wedding, Gemima and I found a flat and moved in together. I realised she needed she a friend around to keep her company and I needed one to keep me away from random men. So it was a win-win situation. Plus our flat became a chill spot for us, girl bonding time and talks. Our safe haven, away from men. We loved it.
“He tells me all when he calls. Or visits me at the office.” I respond.
“Are you sure he’s just visiting you? Maybe you’re erasing part of the meetings from memory.” Chibwe says. “Ripped clothes that sort of stuff. With you I wouldn’t be surprised.
“Ooohh you guys, I feel as if he does it deliberately. He just shows up to talk at the office. And he knows he’s hot. Trying to get my attention and ovaries in formation. Gosh. The man is hot. I hate him.” I say.
“You will get passed it fully in time. Look at how you handled him dating another woman.” Monde says.
“I know. I am so proud of myself.” I respond. “But it doesn’t stop how I feel sometimes. When he smiles at me. Or when he touches me. I just feel like going to his place and telling him to take me now. Dress off.”
“You’re weird.” Chibwe says.
We laugh but it is the truth. Mukuka was a huge part of my life. He still is. He might not be in my bed any more but sometimes I wish he was. But I know it does me no good.
“It’s not about being weird. Think about this. The man’s voice is enough to make me take off my dress.” I say
“Whose voice is enough to make you take off your dress Salome?”
I look up and see Mukuka and the men looking down at me. I smile and shake my head.
Gosh the man still has it. The man can maybe still get it.
I miss him.
“Mukuka sometimes if you happen to listen to women chatting don’t ask silly questions.” Salome Says.
“Aha. Unless you were talking about one of us.” He responds.
Noah sits next me and places a glass of fresh juice in front of me. He touches my big belly and rubs it. I can’t wait for the baby. I am so tired and out of shape. I thought it would be an easy pregnancy but it isn’t. The nausea was and sometimes still is the worst part of it. Even now I feel kinda weird. It has truly drained me. I am the only suffering through this I think. Noah tries but well having this baby has made him too excited. There was a time Noah was worried because I had to be on bed rest but that was overtaken by excitement Suwilanji just her father is happily waiting her younger sibling. A boy. That’s what I think I am having. My never ending nausea and skin breakout are the signs. I just want the baby out so that I can get my figure back. I feel ugly sometimes, especially when I see the new stretch marks the pregnancy has brought about. My breasts are more saggy and I am weighing over 80 Kilograms now. Noah makes me feel better. He never stops complimenting me. He never stops kissing my stretch marks each day. He never stops touching my belly and talking to our baby. I have an amazing husband. And to think I almost lost faith and trust in our marriage. Gemima and Kachiza taught me something that night. Trust and faith in your marriage. After Gemima and Kachiza’s non wedding, Noah and I worked on our marriage. We worked on being honest with each other; airing our problems at the ealiest chance instead of letting it fester. We got closer. Our marriage was better than ever. I love my husband. He loves me. He is the best thing in my life. Him, my family and the friends around this table are the best things in my life.
“Are you okay?” Noah asks.
“Uh huh. Just a little bit tired. My feet hurt.” I respond.
“We can go home if you want. I’m sure the others will understand if we leave early.”
“Nah. I never get to go out.” I say. “I want to be here.”
The look on Noah’s face tells me I should revise my statement.
“Fine. I won’t get to go out for a while after the baby comes. So I might as well enjoy these moments before they come to any end.”
“We can have lots of braais at home if you want. That way you can still claim you were out for a while.”
“That’s different. I miss having a glass of wine though.”
“All in due time my love. All in due time.”
I smile at him and he leans in and kisses me.
“Maybe we should go home and do other things that involves bed springs and other naughty things.” He whispers against my lips.
I laugh. This is why I love my husband.
“You know what.” I say aloud.
Everyone around the table turns to face me.
“I think we should dance. Right now. The floor is empty. The wedding party is gone, no groom and bride. So few guests still drinking. We should dance.”
“I agree.” Chibwe says.
“Shall we then?” Patrick asks Chibwe.
“Of course Mister.”
Patrick stands up and takes Chibwe’s hand, they walk to the dance floor hand in hand. They look so cute together. I am happy Chibwe gets to be happy with the man in her life. Finally all that waiting comes to an end for her. Kachiza and Gemima follow them. Though sometimes I think I can see the strain in their relationship I know they are working hard on making it work. They will get back to where they were before soon enough and knowing Kachiza he probably has a new engagement ring in his pocket right now waiting for the right moment to propose to Gemima. Okay fine Noah told me Kachiza will propose again. Soon. And I am pretty sure Gemima will be excited. Salome and Mukuka stand up from the table laughing at something. They do not walk in the direction of the dance floor but head to the bar instead. Well they are trying hard to not be in each other’s space. Whatever they are trying to proof well they are trying too damn hard. But if works for them then I am glad.
“Do I have to carry you to the dance floor?” Noah asks.
I put my hand in his and he helps me up.
We walk to the dance floor where our friends are.
Gosh I can’t wait to break it down.
I face Noah and he kisses my cheek. All is amazing in the world again as he leads the dance with his hands on my waist. We are happy. Everybody is happy. We are mid way through the song when I see Patrick get down on one knee in the middle of the dance floor in front of Chibwe. The music stops and the others stop dancing and we all walk closer to Patrick and Chibwe circling them. In his hand is a suede box and he’s looking up at Chibwe with a smile on his face. Chibwe has her hand on her mouth looking at him.
“Chibwe…” He starts. “The past six months have been the best six months of my life. Being with you has been a blessing. You are a wonderful woman. I see it everyday when I’m with you. Your heart is….”
He shakes his head and looks down at her feet. Oh my gosh I think he is going to cry. Oh wow. Chibwe touches his shoulder and he looks up at her.
Your heart is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever been given.” He says. “I know I’ve messed up bad but I want to be your mess up. You’re my family. You and Samuel are my life. My family and I can’t live without you two. And we have a little one on the way. Gosh I’m a lucky man. I’m a blessed man. I love you. I’m in love with you.”
“I love you too.” Chibwe says.
“Will you do me the honour of being my wife. Facing me every morning. Punishing me every night. Laughing with me everyday. Will you marry me?”
Chibwe then laughs out loud. She doesn’t say a word. She just laughs. I know that laugh. It’s her happy laugh. I feel tears welling up in my eyes. I ant believe I’m here to see this. These are moments I live for. Love being shown. Oh my gosh Chibwe is still laughing. She must be in shock. She didn’t expect it. Oh my. How romantic of Patrick. Finally she gets her happy ending. She stops laughing and looks at him and smiles.
“Yes. Yes. Yes. I will marry you.” She says aloud.
He opens the box and in sits the most beautiful ring. My friend is engaged Oh my. How beautiful. He takes the ring out and he slowly slides it onto her finger. He stands up and hugs Chibwe. She finally has her dream come true. I am so happy for her.
Hashtag Love lives here.
“Here is to the stories we tell. To the memories and lessons we keep forever.” Monde says.
She lifts her glass in the air and the rest of us follow suit. The other three women are having juice and I am on whiskey. I love my drink, especially for moments like these. Gosh Chibwe got engaged just over twenty minutes ago. So I deserve the drink. We are celebrating. I am so happy for her. Gosh. She gets the King and gets to have Princes in tow. Beautiful. And where are the Kings of the night? The men are at the bar getting another round of drinks for us while we stand on the now empty dance floor. The venue is almost empty. A few guests left here and there. The rest of us are enjoying the last minutes of the night. We shall soon be going home. Back to normal life and drama and more plans.
“Here is to our moments, the relationships that matter, the friendships that save lives.” Gemima says.
“To more crazy moments. To better moments. To more time laughing and being happy.” I say.
“To the future. To our little mini futures too.” Chibwe says happily.
“To Nkani!!!” Monde says aloud.
“To Nkani!!!” The rest of us say.
We clink our glasses and I take a gulp of my drink.
“Group hug.” I say aloud.
We get in close for a group hug though with Monde so huge is like we are bumping tummies. But either way we do it. We are happy.
I take another gulp of my drink, oh it burns. Yes it burns. I love it. I close my eyes to savour the taste. Hmmm. Perfection. I swear alcohol is life. Life saver. And the music playing makes me move my hips. Now I want to dance.
Time to boogie. Here is to happiness. To god times. To more moments under the sun. To better relationships. To….
“Excuse me.” A voice says behind me.
Eyes open, I turn around and find a man standing behind me. Tall, dark and every thing nice, the dark blue suit and white shirt combo that just makes my mouth water. He is probably lost looking for someone else. There is no way he wants to talk to me. Single, I think as I look at his hands. He smiles at me and oh my gosh, I think my ovaries are singing a one hit wonder.
“Hi.” He says.
“Ola. Hello. Hi.”
That is all I can say. Gosh. Is saying can I have your babies a greeting? Is this the alcohol thinking or it’s me?
“Dancing on your own I see.” He says.
“Huh. Are you looking for someone?”
I smile at him. I am alone on the dance floor. Obviously the ladies are back at the table; and they left me alone on the dance floor. Meanies.
“Kinda. But you’re dancing alone. Can I get you a drink?” He asks.
“I already have one.” I say as I show him my almost empty glass. “Who are you looking for?”
He looks at the glass and then looks at me and laughs. It’s a deep laugh, it’s a sexy deep laugh. Ohh Lala it hot. I like it. He puts his hands in his pockets and looks at me, our eyes meet, brown on brown. It’s sexy alright.
“Can I get you the next glass?”I’m
“Maybe. When you tell me who you are looking for.”
“I could say I found the one I was looking for but you would say thats so cliche. So let’s just start with Hi. My name is Mushota.”
Mushota. Nice name. It suits him.
“Hi. I am Salome.” I respond.
“Nice to meet you Salome.” He says. “Can I get you a drink now?”
I bite my bottom lip and give him my best smile. It’s an invitation. Yes it is. I still got it. I smile at him and he knows it’s a yes from me.
“Sure.” I say.
He smiles and offers me his arm. I look down, smile and place my hand in the crook of his hand. As he leads me to the bar, I turn around and smile at the ladies, Chibwe gives me a thumbs up while Monde and Gemima smile at me. Yessss.
Its the beginning of something beautiful.
You came with me on this beautiful journey. You got to meet the ladies behind Nkani. I am grateful for all the words of encouragement you gave me. The comments. To the women who provided the art over the 20 chapters you are amazing. Thank you for adding that touch to Nkani. 👏🏾 I am forever humbled to you who sat down to read every word. I’m sad it’s ended but more stories to come.
On to the next one….