Nkani: All That Glitters 4- Gold Rings and Other Fingers

Hi. Hello. Chapter 4 is here. So I got the artwork for the Nkani: All That Glitters. What do you guys think about it. @illustratorbae did this beauty for Nkani. So amazed. He has so much artwork on his page, follow him here.

You can read chapter 3 here

So back to chapter 4, I hope you love it. Gold Rings and Other Fingers. To drama….

I turn around and face him, my eyes wide. I’m speechless.

“It’s because you can’t have children.” He says. “Sampa I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

So today is the day huh? What happened to I’ll be by your side no matter what Sangu? Or I’ll always love you no matter your past Sangu? What about what’s happened has happened and we can only look forward Sangu? And the best one yet? We can stay together, just us two Sangu?

I knew this would come back to haunt me. I knew someone would hold it over me. I just never thought it would be the man I love. So this is the real reason he dumped me on my birthday? Because it finally clicked that chances are I might never have children? After over five years? I thought we discussed this, this horrible predicament we are in; we sat down, we planned, and sort of agreed on this over five years ago. He knew what he was getting himself into when I opened up to him.

For crying out loud I hate this man.

I told him from the get go what had happened. And he stayed. It’s not like I wanted the past to happen the way it did, it had to happen. Had to. Needed to. I had no choice. I was so young. How was I going to be a mother then? Besides who ever wishes an abortion upon themselves? I got pregnant at the wrong time and I against my better judgement aborted the baby. It’s not like I went around asking for a baby. Sex happened. An unwanted baby was made. He or she had to go. And I made my choice. And the damage was done. Consequences huh? They never put that in the fine print. It was a mistake. And now my own boyfriend is getting cold feet off of it? Even way before he asks me to marry him? How am I supposed to feel? I’m the one who can’t have children. Or as the doctor said I can have children except my chances are slim. So it’s not a definite answer and I quit holding my breath waiting for it to happen.

Sangu knows everything. All medical opinions. He’s checked it himself. I wasn’t meant to be a mother. Maybe in another life time. Who knows.

I sigh and shake my head. I can handle anything else but this. What am I supposed to do now?

“Sampa.”

“No. Sangu. Please. Leave. I can’t do this right now. I don’t know what you want me to do.”

“I want you to hear me out. Please. And if you’re still angry then I’ll leave. Please.”

I look at my feet. So pretty. What if the child I aborted had my feet? I’ve thought about my decision over and over again. I’ve cried and fought my demons. I learnt how to forgive myself. I ruined my chances. I’ll live with the consequences. Sangu doesn’t have to.

“I’m sorry I freaked out.” Sangu says. “I guess I kept thinking about it. The thought of not having kids while my friends have children. I’m doctor and I see patients come in pregnant, in labour and they leave as parents. I got lost. I forgot. And mum just made it worse.”

I still can’t say a word to him. There is nothing to say. What happens if I forgive him, he proposes, we get married and after some years he realises no kids for us. Nada. Confirmed. Just me and him forever? Will he accept it or will he cheat? Will he ask to get another woman pregnant? What happens then? Where do I stand then?

“Sampa.”

This is just horrible. For the both of us. Maybe we wanted something impossible too soon. Maybe we need space to think things through. Or he needs more space to decide if he can live without a child in the future. And his mother? Putting her nose in my business like I’m her friend. She wants grandchildren obviously. She won’t stand this. If his mother can change Sangu’s mind then who is to say she won’t force another woman on him?

“Sampa.”

I look up and meet Sangu’s eyes.

“What did she say?” I ask.

“Who?”

“What did your mother say?”

I need to know what she said to make him change his mind. What?

“Not important. ” He responds. “What matters is…”

“You want me to forgive you?” I ask.

He lets out a breath and puts his hands in the pockets of his pants.

“She thought it would be wise if maybe we break up and I marry someone else.” He says

There we go.

“Someone who give you children?”

He nods. I look at him and shrug.

“Okay. Go.”

“Sampa wait.”

“Your mother wants her grandchildren. So go. Give her the child she desires. The heir to her throne?” I ask

“Sampa.”

“I don’t know. ” I say. “I don’t know what you want me to say. Maybe she’s right and you deserve kids.”

“No. She’s not.” He argues

“Did she have someone in mind?”

His silence is my answer. Of course she did. She wants her child to be happy and face the joys of fatherhood. She wants him to have everything. That’s her being a mother. Something I’ll never understand.

“Who is she?” I ask. “Your mother’s choice. Who is she?”

“Sampa…”

I cut him off, “I don’t care. You have to tell me who she is. Now. I deserve that much I think. Considering if you had not felt pity on me you still wouldn’t be here. So who is she?”

“Penelope.”

Of course. So obvious. I don’t know why I didn’t think about her. Typical of his mother to choose Penelope.

Who can blame her? I would do the same if I were in her shoes. After all Penelope is the woman he dated for so long. The mother of his only child. Mother of the child they had and lost. Of course she would be the best choice. His mother has always loved her. Probably always will. The perfect woman with a womb to match. She still doesn’t understand why he left her. Even after all these years. I’m sure she still gives Penelope hope that our relationship will end and she will be back in his life forever this time. She was almost right this past week. So even his ex knows I can’t have children? It just keeps getting worse.

“She knows about…… Me. My issue?”

“Yes. But I did not tell her how.. What really happened to you.”

“Have you been talking to her? Seeing her?”

Silence. That’s his answer. Says a lot. What else does she know? Did he tell her in not so many words or did mummy dearest do it for us? I can imagine her right now, complaining to Penelope about my problems. Probably telling her how she much she misses them together. Full of promise of the future. Little grandkids and now nothing.

“Have you?” I ask louder

“I’m not seeing her. No.”

“So you just left me and now you want back in?”

“I’m sorry Sampa. I made a mistake. I just needed time to think.”

“And you thought about it all?”

“I did and I want you.”

“Have you been talking to her?” I ask.

“Not really. No. Sampa. Mum still talks to her. Mum was close with her. Still is. To mum she’s already part of the family. She’s still a family friend Sampa. That’s it.”

“Really? That’s your excuse?”

“It’s not. Penelope is just a friend. Nothing else. Mum just thinks different.”

“And that leaves me were then? She’s your ex. But somehow your mum is still tying to get you two back together.”

“She’s not. She just implied somethings. She knows I’m with you.”

As if that ever stops her from meddling in our relationship. And he lets her meddle. She wants to know everything and it’s just plain creepy and irritating to say the least. Gosh. Sangu is a mama’s boy through and through. I’m surprised he chose to come back to me. What if she manages to convince him next time. What if he leaves again? Then I’ll be the woman waiting at home. How sad.

“Do you need more time to think?” I ask

“No.”

Just like that. He took a week to decide if not having a child would be okay? A week? And he’s set? Is that why he went radio silence? So that he could be certain about his decision. How am I supposed to believe him?

“Are you sure?” I ask

“Yes.”

“How sure?”

He stands upright and walks towards the bed. When he is in front of me, he gets down to his knees and I look at him.

“As sure as the day I realised I was in love with you.” He responds

“And what happens in two years? Three? Five? Ten? Will you still be happy with the fact that there are no kids in this house?”

“I took time to think it all through. If there are no babies for us then well no babies for us. It’s you and me here.”

“So you say. Until you walk out again.”

“I will never do that to you again.”

Never say never I think. He needs to sit down and think it all through. Again. I don’t want to be divorced five years down the line because of this. And his mother? How does she feel about it? She probably despises me more now. Never giving her kids from her favourite son. Does he want to accept that forever?

He places his hands on my laps, I don’t push them off, it’s a good sign in his books because he reaches out and hugs me, I let him. The past week has been so stressful and I can’t deal with staying angry at him any longer.

He’s back.

That’s all that matters right now.

****

“Can I come in?”

Mutale gives me that smile. Yes. The smile he uses when he wants something. Flashing his bright teeth at me, and his goatee? Well he looks better when he smiles. I can’t help it. I was waiting for him. I was waiting for this.

“Heading out?” He asks.

“Not anymore. ” I respond.

He walks passed me, letting himself in. Just like old times. His scent follows behind and I take the time to stare at him. It’s only been a week and I feel like I haven’t seen him in forever. Mutale definitely knows how to make an entrance. Wearing a black thick jersey, black jeans and black timberland boots Mutale is every inch the alpha male. The man who takes your breath when you first meet him. The man who makes you turn twice just so that you can confirm you saw things right. All muscle man with no fat to spare. It takes all I have not touch throw myself at him and tell him to undress me and beg him take me back. Keep it together I tell myself. The man is here for a reason.

Gosh I have missed him. Seeing him now confirms it. He sits down on his favourite sofa in my flat, the longest sofa, our comfy cuddle sofa. Gosh how many times did we make out on that very sofa? Memories. I should burn it. Burn everything that reminds me of him. I close the door and sit down at the other end of the same sofa.

If I could only….

“What do you want?” I ask, pushing all happy thoughts of him away.

No use beating around the bush. I have memories threatening to overtake my mind. Mutiny. I can’t let that happen. Super power I call upon you. Tough girl emerge I tell myself. Gosh I sound like a power Ranger girl.

“You look well.” He says

“Well you didn’t expect my life to go on pause just because you left did you?”

He laughs. He flashes me a smile. That smile and the things it’s doing to me. I bite my lip to stop myself from smiling back. He lifts his hand and touches his goatee. Force of habit. He does it even when he doesn’t need to.

“Of course not. The mighty Yolanda cannot let a break up ruin her.” He says

“What do you want?” I ask again

“Wanted to check up on you. Make sure you’re okay. I was worried. I haven’t heard from you in a week. Wanted to make sure my girl is good.”

My girl? I roll my eyes. His girl. The nerve of this delicious smiling man.

“Awww how sweet.” I say. “Thank you.”

He shrugs and smiles. Playing with goatee again. No words left to say. Nothing. Just awkward silence. I would love to ask him about his fiancée but no. I don’t ask him. I don’t want to know. I get my handbag and grab my box of cigarettes. This is stressful, I need to smoke. I light it up quickly. He watches me. I know his eyes are on me. I hate him and everything he has done to me. Made me soft. Made me all lovey dovey and I fell hard. Now I’m alone again.

“You shouldn’t be smoking.” He says.

“Hmmm.” I respond as I blow the smoke in his direction. “I don’t owe you shit.”

I don’t really care what he thinks right now.

“Yolanda.”

I look at him and our eyes meet. In that instant he is Mutale the bed mate, the boyfriend, the boyfriend with the best smile, the boyfriend with amazing lips and dimples to die for, the boyfriend who made me laugh, the boyfriend whose body made me sigh in pleasure. What I would do for a kiss. A birthday kiss. Just one simple kiss. You know the merge lips and lightning strikes hard twice kind of kiss. Just one. He smiles at me, ahhh there are the dimples of crime. Gosh Mutale will be the death of me. He should not be here. In my house. I should kick him out right now and tell him to go and see his fiancée. I must. Now. He moves from his end of the seat to mine. I don’t move away. I watch him. He sits next to me, his arm touching my arm. I should stop this.

Stop him.

Then why is he leaning in closer to me? He wants this as much as I do? Does he? Can I have this kiss forever once? Just this time? I lean in closer to him, I want this. Gosh it’s hard to find replacements without getting an STI as a result. Jeez. I just need to feel like I am whole again. Nothing can stop me now. I lean in closer bridging the gap between us and my lips meet his. Yep I think I heard lightning strike. Hmmm. May it kill someone. Gosh I have missed this. It’s a crime. Lips like his should be locked away and the key thrown away so that no one can have them. His hands grab my waist and pull me towards him, lifting me up and placing me on his laps my thighs on either side of him. How many times have we done this? Gosh I missed his passion. I want more. His hands roam to my back, squeezing my fine booty. Yes. That’s it. Yes keep doing just that. This could be the best birthday gift ever. The best kind of present ever. This man will be the death of me. His lips kiss my jaw heading to my neck and I moan out loud. I don’t care who hears me. I have the man I love in my arms now. I feel his hands on my breasts, squeezing them into submission. He still knows my body so well. Ahhh yes.

“Mutale.”

“Hmmmm say my name again.”

“Mutale.”

“What do you want Yolanda?”

“You… This. Ahh yes especially that.” I whisper

He bites my neck. That’s gonna leave a mark. I don’t care anymore. Yes keep biting me. Now.

“You want more?” He asks

“Yes.” I whisper. “More. More. Yes.”

“Then I’ll give you more.”

A loud tone pierces the silence around us. Mutale curses under his breath as his hand slides down my back. The loud tone continues and I move to let him get his phone from his pocket. He looks at his phone and curses again. Ahh the fiancée. I know it’s her. I stand up from his laps and look down at him. I’ll miss him but this can’t go on.

“You need to go.” I say.

“What?” He asks confused.

“You need to go. Right now.”

“Yolanda calm down.”

“You want to tell me about her?” I ask.

“What the hell? No.”

“Did you dump her? Are you here to ask for forgiveness? Do you want me back?”

Silence. I’m still being foolish Yolanda again. Not anymore.

“Yolanda.” He starts. “Babe. I miss you.”

“I said get out.”

I walk to the door and open it wide. I look at him waiting for him to stand up and leave. He looks at me. Shock and confusion on his face. He thought he could get what he wanted from me. Ha. He stands up from the sofa and walks towards me.

“Yoli.” He starts. “We can talk about this.”

“I have your stuff is all we should talk about. I will burn it all. Now get out.”

He walks out and I close the door. I don’t want to hear him say another word. If his phone had not rang I would have slept with him. And then he would have gone back to his fiancée. The shame.

I need a drink. A strong drink.

I pick up my bag and head out of my flat. I need a friend.

*****

“And then the client points at…..”

I am a stuffed and kinda happy woman at the moment. I am in bed lying on my back, James is beside me talking about some work thing he went through. I am barely listening to him with my thoughts running wild. Tonight’s dinner out was actually a good idea. It actually worked out. Dinner ended up being nice. Letting myself have a normal sensible – no finding faults – conversation with James over dinner was actually nice somehow. For me it was a first step to making my marriage work somehow. I needed to make something out of it even if I was regretting my decision. After dinner was over, we had desert. Chocolate cake and ice cream. Absolutely to die for. James was the sweetest ever. After desert we left for home. James told me the funniest stories and I actually laughed. Not that I don’t laugh much but today was different. James just made me feel different.

Sort of happy.

Or maybe it’s the hormones.

James has always been Mr Good Guy. That’s why I married him. He never stops proving to me I am worth it.

When we got home, he gave me a foot rub. Ever the romantic. His hands did the trick. I felt better afterwards. We sat talking about the baby, he talked and I listened; he was excited when told me what names he thought would be amazing for our baby. James was excited. And it was infectious and for the first time I felt as if having a baby wouldn’t be so bad after all. He made me think that maybe the abortion would be unnecessary.

The mood was so right; it was perfect for romance and everything that goes with it. It was so perfect that we showered together. It was amazing. We laughed. We talked about everything and nothing. Like the days before we got married. And the way his hands touched my body, innocently but with promise. It had been a while since we had fun. This kind of fun. Just us two. But nothing happened afterward. To my disappointment. Nothing happened. No let’s continue this between the sheets. I realised in that moment that James might be the most romantic man I know because he won’t start anything sexual unless I start it.

Probably my fault for saying no too often. It’s also his fault for not taking the initiative. Men. Who showers with their husband and not expect anything else to happen. Now I’m craving and I don’t want to have to convince him or ask him to make it happen. Pride truly kills. But I can’t force it. He has to want it too. James just makes it all the more harder. Why the hell does he think I’m lying naked here next to him under the sheets. We are married for crying out loud. I turn and lie on my side facing him, he is still talking about the office. Boring. But boring is good right. It’s better than pain and fights like Mable.

I watch him talking. He always smiles when he tells a story. That means it’s a good story. But I’m not paying attention. I smile to myself as I watch him.

There goes my husband.

And I let the sound of his voice take me to sleep.

*****

I turn a page of the novel I am reading when the phone rings. I reach for my phone.

“Hello.”

“He’s back.” Sampa responds

“Sangu?”

“Yes. He is back. I don’t know how to feel about it.”

“Shouldn’t you be happy. Told you he would be back.” I say happily

“He had cold feet Sonia. Sangu had cold feet. Cold feet like he was about to walk down the isle and realised nope that’s the wrong woman. Gosh. I dont’t know.”

“Calm down love.”

“I mean I sort of understand cold feet before the wedding. But cold feet way before the engagement is something else. Way before anything in fact.”

“Best to have them now love. So you know where you stand.”

“And before the wedding in the future. What happens?”

“That one will be absolutely normal. Plus you would have gone through all the bad to get to the good.”

“Why are you on his side?”

“I’m not. That Sangu. I’ll have him beaten up.” I laugh.

“You’re the absolute worst best friend Sonia.” Sampa laughs.

“See. You feel better already. Besides why did he leave? Ha he told you?”

Sampa keeps silent. Must be a something big.

“Me. My issues.” She says. “I hate men.”

Ahhh it is a big something indeed.

“Want to talk about it?” I ask.

“Not yet.”

“Well you two gotta talk about this. Before you get serious again.”

“But we’ve always been serious. Nothing new.”

“Look that man will propose soon. I can feel it. So you two better sit down and talk these things through. All of it. Good and bad.”

“Sonia we’ve done this before.”

“Well do it again. It’s forever you’re talking about.”

She grunts through the phone.

“Sonia, you keep looking for the good in everything. He had cold feet because of the children thing.”

“Oh.” I say.

Well that is hard. I understand where he is coming from. To know nothing is wrong with you but with your partner must be hard for him. They might not have children and I know they both love children. But then again it must suck for Sampa. She cant do anything but hope and pray that one day she can get pregnant. She must be going through hell right now.

“I am sorry love.” I tell her. “I am so sorry.”

“I blame myself. I know it’s all my fault. But I can’t change it. Sonia I can’t change this mess.”

“I understand Sampa. Babe I’m sorry.”

“I don’t know what to do. I wish I could change it all. But I can’t wish to go back in time because it would mean I wouldn’t be with Sangu right now. I lose every way.”

“Babe don’t over think this.”

“I can’t help it Sonia.”

“I know my love. I know. It will be fine.”

“What if he leaves again? What if he really wants kids and he cheats?”

“Gosh Sampa. Why would you think he will cheat on you? Sangu loves you.”

I place my novel on my bed beside me and stretch my legs out in front of me.

“Is he home? Right now?” I ask worried.

Sampa shouldn’t be alone right now. She should be with friends. This is a mess that she needs to get over.

“He’s here. Hes really home.”

“That’s good. That’s proof he wants to make things work. Now quit stressing.”

“It is just random thoughts Sonia. The what ifs. These things happen.”

“Stop thinking about this and just pray. Pray that all goes well. It will be well.”

She does not respond. I can hear her breathing. This must be hard for her.

“Calm down. It will be okay. Breathe Sampa.” I tell her slowly.

I hear her exhale.

“I hope so.” She says slowly. “I hope so. I am so sorry for calling so late. Disturbing you and Ian.”

“Ian is at home. His home.”

“Oh. No Saturday plans?”

“Nope. Just two people in separate beds. I actually miss him hey.”

“Aww I understand Ms engaged one.”

I laugh and so does she. Finally some progress.

“We need a drink up session. Major one.” She says

“Soon enough. I promise.”

Sampa says her goodbyes minutes later citing Sangu calling her. I wish her a good night and promise to call her tomorrow morning to check up on her before I cut the call. Relationships are certainly a job. I look at the engagement ring sitting on my finger. I hope my road to the altar will not be paved with cold feet. But who knows.

All in the quest for a gold ring.

I dial Ian’s number and he picks up on the first ring.

“What’s up?”

“Hey. I just missed you.” I tell him

“Miss you too. How’s the book going?”

“Amazing. Then Sampa called me so I stopped reading.”

“Is she okay?”

Is Sampa okay? I do not really know. Not sure if she’s okay now that Sangu is back. I really don’t know.

“She’s okay I guess.”

“Sangu still tripping?”

“Actually he’s back. He’s with her right now.”

“That’s good. I knew he would go back.”

I smile. Of course Sangu was always going to go back. He loves Sampa. That I know for a fact. Granted they moved too fast in their relationship by moving in together but love knows no bounds. It knows no time either. They would be fine as soon as they would solve their issues. Knowing them they will be back to being all happy and in love soon.

“Babe can I call you back. Pending call.” Ian says.

“Yeah sure.”

Ian cuts the call. I get off the bed and head to the bathroom. I need to bath and then sleep.

****

“You look beautiful.”

I smile inwardly. So he does notice the little things I do. I am grateful that I took a bath before he got home. I take a sip of my wine and carefully place my glass back on the table. Chinyama and I are in the living room watching some movie that really does not make sense in the slightest. The kids are asleep. Tired. Too much excitement from spending their time with their father. Chinyama spoils them. He showered them with gifts from his trip. Zanzibar, he said when the kids asked him where he went. And I had to pretend I knew it the answer all along.

Chinyama was in a good mood, I could tell from his eyes that amazing things had happened in Zanzibar. He couldn’t stop talking; he was even more pleased when I served him his dinner. He said he missed my home cooked meals and he ate to his hearts desire. I could not believe he went on about the trip during dinner, telling the kids and I what he did and who he saw. It was infuriating. He went on a trip without telling me where he had disappeared off to.

And then he came to show off?

The kids listened to his stories while I drank my wine at the end of the table. Waiting for the right time to pounce on him and pretending the wine was more important, even though I heard every word he said about his trip in the sun. I noticed him passing me glances, obviously trying to make sure I was listening to him. For moment I when our eyes met, I thought he looked at me as if he missed me. I know he didn’t. Who leaves the country without telling their wife where they are going. Who leaves the country and does not call his family to check up on them.

Even if it’s work, there is no excuse.

Men!

I am angry he did that to me, his wife and his three children. No apology. No explanation. It’s like he does whatever he wants when he wants knowing I will do nothing about the situation. And what makes me angrier is the fact that he is right. What can I do about this whole mess anyway. I seriously do not know where my marriage is going. I stand up from the sofa, get my glass of wine and walk out of the living room. He can enjoy the movie alone. I’m tired of pretending. I head to the children’s bedroom and check on them before I head to the bedroom. I sit on the bed and gulp the rest of the wine in my glass praying for peace.

My request for peace goes unanswered.

The door to the bedroom opens and Chinyama walks in. The man followed me! I roll my eyes and will them to look away. But my eyes look back him, watching him close the door behind him. My husband looks younger than he really is, but the grey strands that make up his beard do not lie. My husband is aging and still looks dashing. A shiny clean shaven bald head, thick eyebrows – that put most women’s to shame – above wide brown eyes and an almost flat nose – typical of North western men – with slightly thick lips. He stands tall at over six feet and five inches still in his dark blue suit and white shirt underneath. Sometimes I find it hard to believe I married a man eight years my senior. Maybe that’s why we barely connect now. How can we? Boredom is what our constant companion. I look to the floor ignoring him. Why is he here? Wasn’t he enjoying the movie?

“You’re angry.?”

I look up and our eyes meet. Almost even years of marriage and it comes down to silly questions like if I’m angry. What a joke. Of course I am angry.

“I’m sorry I left without telling you where I was going. The work pressure was just crazy.” He says.

I raise my eyebrow. Am I supposed to believe that?

“I’m sorry I didn’t call you while I was away. A horrible thing on my part. I’m so sorry.”

I look away shaking my head as I do so. Who cares?

“You’re seriously gonna give me the silent treatment? You will ignore me? You won’t talk to me? It’s that bad?” He asks.

He walks to bed and sits next to me.

“Come on Mable. I just got home. I want to talk.”

He takes my glass from my hand and places it on the bed between us.

“I missed you to be honest.” He says. “I missed you so much.”

Sweet talk. Ahh men and making up for lost things. Lost words. Lost moments. Lost feelings. Typical. I don’t say a word. I keep my words to myself. Chinyama knows he won’t win this silent war I am raging. He stands up from the bed and walks towards our walk in closet. I watch his back disappear and I stand up from my spot on the bed. He obviously wants to sleep now. And I’m not in the mood to sleep yet. I place my glass of wine on my bedside table and take my phone from my pocket. Shit. I forgot about Isaac. I click open his messages and find two more unread messages.

Okay so I’m assuming I’ve scared you away.
I’m sorry

Thought you’d like random
But I really am sorry for scaring you
Isaac

What is with men and apologies today. What’s going on?

Okay I’ll say good night.
Hope to talk to you soon.
Have an amazing night.
Later.

How sweet. Though why would he wonder his cake idea would scare me beats me. I’ll have to find time to respond. Later on after Chinyama is asleep. Or tomorrow..

“Mable.”

The sound of Chinyama’s voice has me dropping my phone to the floor. I quickly pick it up and turn to face Chinyama, guilt written on my face. He stands at the end of the bed and in his hands is a black suede rectangular box and a gift bag. Isaac forgotten I walk towards Chinyama. So the man thought of me when he was away? That’s something new. He puts the gift bag on the bed and holds onto the suede box.

“I am sorry I messed up. I promise I will never do it again.” He says, smiling. “This is for you.”

He opens the box and in it is a silver neck chain with a bluish stone pendant.

“It’s a tanzanite gemstone.” He says. “I saw it and thought of you.”

“It’s beautiful.” I respond. “I love it.”

“And she speaks!!” He laughs. “My wife speaks to me again.”

He closes the box but doesn’t hand it over to me.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry I didn’t call. I know I messed up. But please forgive me. Can’t bear you being angry with me. Please.”

“Fine.”

“What?”

“I forgive you.” I tell him, my lips bending into a smile.

For the gift of course. I scream lightly and hug him wrapping my arms around him. Sometimes he deserves it. He laughs and in that moment everything is right in our home. He hands me the box and he leaves me staring at the necklace while he heads back to our closet.

“I was thinking dinner tomorrow. Me and you. Out together.” He says aloud.

He is pulling out the stops. I am impressed. I wonder what happened in Zanzibar that’s made him this happy. Whatever it is may it come our way again.

“What do you think?” He asks

“About what.” I respond.

He walks back in the bedroom in his white shirt, untucked and his office pants unzipped.

“Dinner silly.” He says. “Tomorrow.”

“That’s okay I guess.”

He takes his phone from his pocket and throws it onto the bed together his car and office keys. He walks to me and I look up at him.

“What?” I ask

“Remind me to get wine tomorrow.” He says.

“Are we celebrating?”

“No.”

He leans in and kisses me. Okay he is getting weird on me. What is happening to him?

“Just remind me.”

“Okay. Done.”

He turns and I notice the light brown stain on his shirt. So visible when he is near. I instinctively reach out and touch the stain.

“What?” He asks. “Something wrong?”

“Nope.” I respond. “Nothing.”

He shakes his head and walks away.

I think my husband is having an affair.

Again.

****

I watch them.

Or more specifically I’m watching him – the man with the grey hair – but the woman holding his arm is in the way. I roll my eyes and take a sip of my whiskey. It burns it’s way down my throat. If looks could do something, I’m thinking the man I’m looking at would be on fire right about now. The clingy woman on his arm looks at him, red smile on her lips listening to whatever he’s talking about to the people around him.

So she’s a zombie.

Okay, maybe that’s a little too much to describe a beautiful woman. Her white dress hugs her body a little too tight, proudly showing off the cellulite that seems to have caused havoc on her thighs and ass. Her white stilettos- Jimmy Choo – show off her beautiful legs. I can tell from where I’m standing that her skin is so smooth it’s fair to assume she baths in full cream milk. Emphasis on full cream. And she can afford it anyway.

She uses her free hand to flick her hair off her shoulder, the light brown locks bounce on her shoulder as if being on her back would be a crime to nature. Her eyes look ever bright as she looks at “her man” with pride; her face reflects the glow, that glow women talk about when they think they are happy with the men in their lives, even through her foundation and probably her thick Mac power makeup on her face I can see the glow. It suits her. Gosh he suits her too, in his dark grey suit, white shirt and office shoes. His skin though too dark makes him stand out The gentleman indeed. I take another sip of my drink and shake my head.

I hate this part right here I think. Staring at a man who is not mine. Mutale. You have me looking at men I don’t need.

The group around the couple laughs and his eyes look towards me and our eyes meet. I instinctively bite my lip. Shit. That wasn’t the plan. He smiles at me or he smiles at someone because as soon as his lips start to bend at the corners he looks towards one of the people surrounding him. He says something to them and the crowd laughs again. Our eyes meet again and this time I keep a straight face, not breaking eye contact. He raises his eyebrow and I purse my lips.

Not biting my lip this around.

He looks away. He turns and looks at the woman holding onto his arm as if to listen to what she has to say. Her lips move slow or maybe she’s not opening her mouth wide enough. She lifts her hand and touches his cheek, her diamond on her finger shines in the light. He leans in and she kisses his cheek before she walks away from him and the crowd. I do not follow her. No. My eyes are stuck on him and him alone. And there is nothing I can do to stop myself from staring at the man. He smiles at something someone says in the crowd. His teeth so white against his dark skin. I need to look away now. Right now. But I can’t. I bring my glass to my lips and tilt the glass. And nothing. Glass is empty. I need another glass. I look at him one last time before I turn around then and head to the bar.

The bar is almost empty, taking into account that the other guests do not mind waitng for a waiter to bring them their order more or less spit in their drink while they are at it. I need my drink right now so the heading to the makeshift bar will do for me.

“Black label. Double. Ice.” I say as soon as I am within earshot of the bar tenders.

Double shot coming up I think. And within a minute I have a fresh glass of whiskey in my hand.

“Taste or the result?”A voice says behind me.

“Both?” I ask.

I turn around to the sound of the voice. I give him my best smile. Dark and handsome smiles back. I lick my lips and my eyes stray to the collar of his white shirt. Clean. White shirts that remain crisp white no matter the circumstance should be encouraged.

“What is your answer?” He asks.

“A little of both.” I respond. “The taste to remind me that life is too short for games. And the result to help me forget.”

“And what would a beautiful woman like you be trying to forget?” He asks.

He called me beautiful. I can’t help but smile. I bite my lip and cock my head to the side, pretending to think about the answer. He called me a beautiful woman.

“The crazy things I tend to get up to sometimes.” I respond.

“Define crazy.”

I laugh. Who defines crazy?

“I need to be controlled.” I smile.

“You? I don’t agree.”

“You just have to see it for yourself.” I say slowly.

I wait for him to figure out what my response means. He laughs then. A hearty laugh. I look at him and take a sip of whiskey. He watches me. I watch him over the rim of my glass.

And our eyes meet…

“There you are.”

Our eyes break contact and I turn to see the woman in the white dress walking up to us. She smiles at us both. I take a sip of my whiskey and nod my head slowly. This will be awkward.

“Hi.” I say a little too loud.

“Ahhh. Yolanda. I thought it was you. It’s been too long.” She says to me.

“I was looking for you Hun.” She says to him.

She envlopes me into a tight hug. I manage to hold my glass in one hand out of her reach. The scent of her hair invades my nostrils and I cough. How the hell does he manage being near her? She lets go of me and stands back. She is more beautiful up close. She looks amazing. Makeup truly transforms a woman. Her perfectly arched eyebrows, her dark shadowed eyes make her look like an african godess. She truly is a beauty. No denying that. Probably why she has him all to herself. She reaches out and holds onto “her man’s” arm and he gives her a smile.

“You look amazing Yolanda.” She says. “Did you just lose weight?”

I laugh. She noticed I lost weight or is she mocking me? With these ladies you never know who is friend or foe, though she is neither to me. Just some lady I know through a very important man.

“Uhhh.” I start. “Yeah. Yoga helps alot. Stretching and stuff.” I respond. “Yoga is the real deal.”

“You look amazing.” She says. “Toned out and more curvy. I swear a curvy you is more beautiful. I wish I could gain weight sometimes.”

And the cellulite? What drink is she on?

“But, I can’t. Hubby here loves me as is. Right hun?”

I look at the man beside her, his eyes on me and I smile. He likes them slim? That is new. Clingy woman claps her hands excitedly.

“We should pair up together. One of these days. Yoga session or zumba.” She says happily.

“Uh huh.” I say. “Definitely. One day.”

He laughs and I glare at him. What is so funny?

“So where is the man?” She asks.

“What man?” I ask curiously.

I look at dark and handsome, smile on his face gone.

“The one that has been keeping you off the grid in happiness.” She responds. “One of my girls told me about him. A few of my ladies told me they saw you two. A hunk? You have to tell me about him.”

I laugh. Tell her? She is delusional. I do not know why I am still here talking to her. I should leave. Besides I need to be home in time to watch something on crime and investigation. Find a way to punish Mutale for what he did to me. Maybe get him sick. I take a gulp of the rest of my drink and place the empty glass on the counter.

“Another day maybe. Well guys I have got to go. Got other plans.” I say.

“Awwww. That’s so sad. We have to link up soon.” She says happily

“Okay.”

Where does she get off thinking we are friends? Gosh some women.

“Do enjoy the rest of your night.” I say quickly.

I walk away from them. I do not turn around even when I know his eyes are on me right now. I walk away with pride on my back cheering me on. I know I look good so I can afford to strut my stuff well.

And I smile to myself.

Bed yoga definitely does wonders.

*****

I look at the television wondering if watching crime and investigation will be worth it. Maybe I should sleep. I’ve had a busy day already. At least I ended it in style. It’s a saturday night I deserve the rest. If my night out buddy, Sekayi were here she would say “get serious and come out. Chill more.” And that’s what I did when I agreed to attend that boring party at the last minute. Sekayi insisted she would go with me even though she didn’t even know what the party was about. All she knew is it involved bankers and other rich men and she was in the mood to impressive a certain man. And that was enough convincing for me to attend the party – right after I changed into something inappropriately appropriate.

I knew I had nothing else going for me in the evening. Mutale had tried to ruin my night and I needed some fun. Random fun. Sekayi and I got dolled up and we went for the party. Of course Sekayi disappeared into thin air minutes later. To impress Mr Man obviously. And she left me alone to deal with well pretty much nothing. The party was nothing formal and I got all dressed up in one of my favourite numbers for nothing casual. Should have worn pumps instead of my gold heels. Waste of space and beauty. But for him, it was somehow worth it.

I get up from the sofa and walk out of the little room I call a living room and into the short wanna hallway of my cottage taking off my left shoe then my right. My feet touch the cold floor and I sigh. I head to my bedroom, flick the light switch and nothing, I am still in darkness. Typical. I need a new bulb. Will do that tomorrow. How am I supposed to change now? I take ten steps into the dark room and I feel the edge of the bed. I know this room by heart now. Darkness what!!!

“In you face..” I laugh.

I rub the back of my neck and groan. I need a bath. A hot one at that. I throw my clutch towards the bed hoping it lands safely on the intended target. Praying my phone is still intact. I walk out of the bedroom and walking back to the living room and to the kitchen. I open up the refrigerator and take out a bottle of chilled sweet wine. I pour myself a glass and head to the living room sitting on the same spot Mutale tried to get me to sleep with him. I take my drink slow savouring the sweet taste and the almost bland aftertaste. I should be having a whiskey in my hand right now. Free whiskey. But I had to leave. No one in their right mind can deal with Concillia, the woman with the amazing cellulite and bad mouth to match.

Toned out and curvy she had said earlier. Stupid.

I haven’t lost weight. She was definitely mocking me in front of her man. How irritating. Women who bring down other women in front of men because they want their men to find only them attractive. Pathetic. I know for a fact I looked beautiful. I chose my outfit with care. The gold dress I wore hugged my body in the right places as if it was meant for me. And the low cut back was revealing enough without saying I was asking to be noticed. I know I looked breathtaking tonight. To top it off my fresh brush cut made the look all better, thanks to my barber. Minimal makeup and jewelry completed the look.

That’s why he couldn’t stop looking at me.

Well that’s a forgotten chapter. I smile to myself and take another gulp of my wine when I hear the knock on the door. Mutale? I stand up and walk to the door. Probably Sekayi coming to complain. Or maybe it is Mutale. His pride has come back to convince me to sleep with him. Who says no to company? Certainly not me.

I open the door and my smile comes on.

It’s better than Sekayi. Better than Mutale.

Definitely not saying no to this company…

“So yoga huh?” He asks. “I definitely need to try this out.”

“Hi.” I smile. “You’re late.”

To be continued…

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. Mable Amuron says:

    Oh Mable… Poor Mable.

    Like

  2. Elise says:

    This is intriguing! Can’t we have daily episodes please? Lol! Or at least bi-weekly?

    Like

    1. Ms Nkani says:

      Ahhhhh.. I wish for that too. Sadly life and reality catching up with me. lol

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Been looking forward to this all week. And the artwork is beautiful.

    Like

    1. Ms Nkani says:

      Thank you. Thank you. More chapters are out. I hope you enjoy this story.

      Like

      1. Yes I am, can’t wait to read the next chapter.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ms Nkani says:

          Chapter 7 coming up soon.. The dramaaaaaa!!!!

          Like

  4. joseyphina says:

    Hmmm….a lot to look forward to.

    Like

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