This is for those who love involving themselves in people’s drama. Just for you.
“She looks beautiful. I should go and say hello.” I say. “I didn’t think she would make it.”
“Ba guy. Are you kidding me? The girl is an idiot. Not worth it.” Oliver asks.
“Can we please calm down.” I say calmly.
“You surely can not still be in love with her. After everything that’s happened.”
“Come on. Saying hi isn’t failing in love. It’s just hi. Or hello.”
“Lying to yourself. That girl is bad news. Bandit material right there. Heartbreaker.”
For crying out loud I dated the girl you calling a bandit and heartbreaker. Idiot too. Have some respect. But I can’t say that out loud. Nooo. That would be suicide. My friends would kill me or even worse laugh at me for being an idiot. They would probably suggest maybe “ana ni djesa” because no man in their right mind can love a girl who dumped him right? It should be impossible. Pride and all that crap that they demand of us comes into effect because why should a woman leave me? I’m a good man! Women never know what they want. Lost creatures that need direction and leadership that comes in form of a man. God’s first. That’s why they always come back to exes. But then again what happens if a woman leaves and never comes back, and then you miss her and you want to call her but pride comes in the way. Being a man should be easy. But it’s not. What am I supposed to do.
I smile at my best friend of over ten years Oliver as I take a sip of my cold drink and turn around catching the sight of the object of my thoughts. Standing with several people at the other side of the tent, she looks gorgeous in her maroon wrap dress that enhances the hips and ass, assets I had the right to touch months ago. She leans in close to say something to one of the women beside her and she smiles at her. Her brown eyes wrinkle at the corner when she smiles, it’s genuine and it tells me she’s happy. Her flawless skin and red lips that brought me to my knees more times than I can count looks radiant. That smile, oh my, the same smile she gave me when I was a “good boy,” It’s the same smile she gave me when I did something totally unexpected that made her day. I saw that smile so often that I looked forward to it everyday of the week. But now the same smile is no longer for me but for anyone who says “hi” to her. When the hell did I mess up? When I stopped paying attention? When I forgot her birthday? When I didn’t fight for us? When the hell did I lose the love of my life?
I should talk to her. I owe her that much. I dated her for four years so I owe her a hello after the crap I put her through. It’s been four months since she broke up with me and this is the first time I’m seeing her after the breakup. I should be angry but I’m not, instead my heart is doing the happy dance. I can’t believe she decided to attend the Jazz festival after all. We had been planing on going together, but then the breakup happened. She came is all that matters.
Lushomo still gets my heart racing. I should be over her by now. Onto the next one kind of mentality. I met Lushomo Mushota on a night out with the boys. She was the lady sitting at bar in Rhapsodys with her girls laughing and dancing to random tracks that seemed to play through the night. I must admit, I couldn’t stop looking at her, she got my attention, that same smile had me hooked from the first time. And it came as no surprise to the boys and that I approached her. I talked about her for most of the night. It was so bad that my gosh, I even offered to get her and her girls more drinks for the night just so I could get her number. She was confident in her tight black dress and legs that went for miles in her dark heels. I won’t lie, I wanted her but I could tell she wasn’t the kind of girl to open her legs for a random man. In the end I got her number and I called her the very next day early in the morning asking her out on a date. I wanted to see her again. And see her again I did. Every weekend. She was the kind of girl who made you laugh, who made you feel comfortable and welcome. It was obvious to our friends that I was in love and I made it official. She became my girl and the following four years where both awesome and horrible but we made it through stronger than ever. We pulled through the worst. But somehow along the way I got used to having her around, I didn’t think she would ever leave me; I got comfortable and forgot she was the most important person in my life and I went off the bender. I lost my job and while this scares alot of women, Lushomo stayed with me through it all, she tolerated my bad behaviour, my moods and my ego. And when my life got back on track I didn’t notice the rift I had caused in my own relationship; I didn’t notice the damage I had made and the pain I had put her through. She left. Her reasons were valid. I had hurt her and she needed time apart. For how long? No one knew but all I knew then and know now is the pain of losing her put my life into perspective. I want her back and maybe I will get her back one day if she does not find another man first.
She raises her glass of wine to her lips and she smiles as she takes a sip. Fuxk she’s beautiful. Memories of nights and bottles of wine at our feet on my mind. Everything she does is done with grace. Even waving at someone she knows, she doesn’t put much effort into it but somehow you just know she means it. I notice she’s put on some weight. She looks slightly bigger but she still pulls it off, that dress on her deserves to be ripped off. Gosh when was the last time I had her legs wrapped around my waist. When was the last time I woke up next to her and simply lay next to her to watch her sleep. I need to talk to her now. But the issue of my friends makes me stop. When she left, my friends helped me pick up the pieces. They supported me and got me through with nights out and plenty of drinks. Of course my buddies told me things that kept me from calling her:
“She’s a fool. She will come back to you when she realises how hard being single is in Zambia.”
“She was a pretender. How can she leave when things were picking up for you. After all she stayed with you through the bad.”
“She never understood what love was. Or what being in a relationship meant. That’s why she left. Weak woman.”
“She didn’t suit you after all. Good riddance to fake ladies. You’ll find a better woman soon.”
“I knew she wasn’t made for you. She was all boujee anyway.”
“She probably wanted to date you for your money and use you. Gold diggers are like this.”
“She’s a time waster. She’s old now anyway. We shall see who wants her now.”
And the best one?
“We need to find you a woman to lose yourself into. Forget the useless ex-girlfriend. Or if you want, go and sleep with Lushomo one last time and get her out of your system.”
Maybe they were right. If I had her one last time with her then I would get her out of my system. Maybe. But then again you don’t treat the love of your life like trash. Ever.
It hurt me more than they knew when they said all they had to say about her. Friends. Raising my ego didn’t go as intended. I treated her badly and yet they didn’t want to acknowledge the truth. I let my lady go. That’s the truth. I hurt her and she left with a broken heart. Lushomo was no gold digger, no, not once did I see her complain about my money problems and unemployment issues. No. She encouraged me through it all. She prayed for me. She stayed with me even when I pushed her away. She loved me. And what the boys didn’t understand is that, at the end of the night they went home to their respective partners, I would be alone with my thoughts and memories. Each room reminds me of her. Her essence is still in my house. Gosh some of her things are still in my wardrobe waiting for her to pick them up but she never shows up. So I’m stuck.
I take a gulp of my drink and give the empty glass to Oliver and I walk away before he has a chance to stop me and talk to Mr Ego within. I can feel his stare at the back of my head but I don’t turn around to face him and my friends. I know I will never hear the end of it. I can hear their voices covered with disappointment. But that doesn’t matter anymore. They have to support whatever I do anyway. My palms are sweaty as I walk towards her, ignoring people who keep calling my name. I have to talk to her. Now. I hear her voice when I get closer to her. She laughs and her laugh does things to me I can’t describe. Fuxk, her voice still has that effect on me. My heart’s beating fast, what if I say “hi” and she walks away. What if she really wants nothing to do with me? Maybe friendship?
“Hi.” I say loud enough for her to hear me.
She turns and faces me. She looks at me and smiles. I think it’s her brightest smile yet. What if she walks away? She comes in closer and hugs me, her lips near my throat, I feel her breath. She kissed that spot countless times. I wish she could do it one more time. She smells amazing, I know that scent, I smile to myself, at least she kept the perfume I got her. So she thinks of me? Maybe. She lets go of me and stands back.
“Hi.” She says happily.
“Hi. I didn’t know if you were going say hi back or if you would walk away.”
She laughs at me. I notice the women around her walk away from us so it’s just me and her, standing, looking at each other. My hands in my pockets just in case I feel like I want to touch her. Gosh I miss her.
“How are you?” I ask her
“How’s life. How’s everything?”
“Busy… Work and all. School. How are you? Who are you here with?” She asks
“I’m okay. Here with Oliver and some of the guys.”
“Ooohh the guys huh. They still hate me?”
“Nah. They would never hate you. The breakup was hard on them the most.”
She laughs. She takes a sip of her wine, her eyes still looking at me.
“How’s work?” She asks
“It’s good. I got promoted. Now manager.”
“Awww. I’m so proud of you.”
And for some reason with her words I feel proud of myself for making her proud. I know she means it and it just makes me happy that she still cares.
“How’s home. Family?” I ask her.
“They are good.” She says. “Perfect.”
“Here alone or with a new man?”
Fuxk. Why did I ask that? Shit. She laughs again and shakes her head.
“I’m alone. But who knows how the night might end.” She says slowly.
I think my face must register shock because she smiles and touches my arm.
“Though this event is almost done. Best be leaving soon.”
I smile at her.
“Can I get you a drink?” I ask
A moment of silence. Okay this is awkward. Asking to get my ex a drink. Like old times.
“Sure. Red wine.” She responds. “One glass and I go.”
“Sure. Let’s sit. Standing is tiring. Especially for you in heels.”
“I can manage.” She says
“I know you can. I remember all your heels.” I say.
She smiles and we take a short walk to an empty table and we sit down across from each other. Just like old times. I call for a waiter and I make the orders for our drinks. I can’t help but stare at her. She always had my attention. She probably always will.
Our chat ranges from work to family and everything in-between. I had missed a lot, was there someone she had in life who she told this news to. It was like old times, she got me up to date with juicy stories and we laughed. We connect like old times. Like we never broke up. Thank God my friends stay away. Not that I don’t want them to see or talk to her. I want to be with her all by myself. I miss the woman. But does she miss me too?
One glass turns into two. Then three. Then four. Then five. And when she takes her last sip she declares she is ready to go home. I offer her a ride. I don’t want to be far from her. She accepts. A little tipsy she holds onto my hand as we walk out into the cold air at the Levy Junction Mall car park. I don’t dare inform the guys about this. We laugh as we walk to my car. I open the door for her like old times and I help her in. Her scent fills my car, I welcome the scent. It’s the scent of the woman I love. Will I ever get over her? Maybe not. Probably not.
I drive her home, I take the long route, just to have her longer in my car. I hold her hand as I drive. Shit, I missed this. Reminds me of all the romantic nights we had out. The promise of more as we drove home each time. I kiss her hand. It’s our thing. A kiss here, a kiss there and we get it on through the night.
“I miss you.” I whisper.
“I miss you too.” She whispers
Thats all we need to say for now. She squeezes my hand in the dark of the car. Is that a sign? Maybe? Yes? I do not dare ask. I just drive. We both don’t say a word. It’s better this way.
We get to her place in Roma and I park my car. She turns in her seat to face me.
“Njavwa. It was nice seeing you tonight. I missed this.” She says
“I missed you. I miss you Lushomo.”
She unbuckles her seat belt and she opens the door. Fuck. I’m going to lose her again. Not this time. No. I learnt my lesson. I open my door and walk to her side just as she closes the door.
“Lushomo I’m sorry. I’m sorry I messed up. I’m sorry I let you leave. I’m sorry I let my ego and pride in the way. I love you.” I tell her.
She smiles at me and her hand touches my cheek.
“You’re a good man Njavwa. But I can’t just forget what happened between us. It’s been four months.”
“What if I already have someone else?” She asks
“Trying to break my ego?”
“Never!!” She responds.
“Let’s talk. Tomorrow. Breakfast. Lunch. Or dinner. You choose.”
She looks at me, as if trying to see through me through my eyes. I’m not going to let my pride get in the way and lose her. She’s obviously ready to be without me so that means I should be the one fighting for us or she’s gone. What good does pride do me if I am alone at the end of the night? What good will it do me if I keep listening to my friends tell me how I’ll be happy without her when I’m not? What good is life when you keep living without the one that makes you happy?
Sometimes it’s the things you least expect that make a night worth rewinding. And in my case it’s a simple kiss.
A kiss that promises everything.
A kiss that whispers the truth.
And in that moment, right beside my car, she kisses me. Fuck using her to get over her. Fuck what people say. I want my girl back.
And I think I just got her back.