Chapter 17 is here. More drama. The future is so bright. Guess what, we have new artwork, meet Freddie (follow him here). Look at that tie!!! Which character do you think he represents. Super excited about this. I hope you are too. Looking forward to your comments. Enjoy.
It’s only hours later that I can say I am happy to be home, sitting on my favourite sofa with one of my favourite persons in the world, in his arms as we watch my favourite movie, Grease. Talk about the perfect ending to a sort of horrible day. Laying in his arms, my head on his chest is what makes the day bearable.
“What do you think about a grease themed birthday party?” Sangu says.
I sit up and look back at him. I squint my eyes and smile.
“You’ll be Danny Zuko and I’ll be Sandy Olsson?” I ask.
“Who else baby?” He laughs.
“That would definitely be fun.” I respond. “Though it doesn’t have to be a birthday party.”
“I know.” He says.
“A Grease themed party would be awesome any time. I would so rock Sandy’s outfit. The black strapless top and black leather leggings. Gorgeous.”
“I don’t think that would be wise.”
“Well I would have to deal with other men starring at you and trying to talk to you. Nah, too much pressure.”
“Jealous?” I ask.
“Of course I’d be jealous.” He scoffs. “I don’t want any man taking what’s mine.”
“You’re cute. You know my heart belongs to you.”
I move back into my favourite position, my head on his chest.
“Oh I almost forgot.” Sangu says. “Talking about birthdays, Mum’s invited you to her birthday party.”
I lift my head and meet his gaze, his calm while mine reflects surprise. He knows what I’m thinking about?
“Don’t look so shocked babe. It’s just a party.” He laughs. “Simple as that.”
This is shocking news. His mother is inviting me to her birthday party? Whatever happened to her. So she just woke up and decided to invite me? What is she up to?
“What do you say my lady?” He asks.
Attending a birthday party of someone I barely know. How is that supposed to work? All I know is what Sangu told me about her, from the obviously she have birth to him, pretty much raised him alone after his father died to her birthday being on valentines day, the day of love. Shocking.
“Do you wanna attend? You can invite the ladies.” He says
He knows I’ll be uncomfortable without my ladies there. Then again his mother and I aren’t exactly on the best of terms right now what with me ‘living with her son and forcing him into life without the possibility of children.
“Why? Why is she inviting me?” I ask curiously
“Because I’m with you. She wants you there as well. No use inviting me alone when we are together.”
Sangu is being nice about this. His mother obviously invited him alone. Typical of Sangu to force the situation. Such a sweetheart.
“Well if you put it like that then of course I’ll attend. For you.” I respond
“You can invite the ladies.”
“No need to. It shall be you and I baby.”
“Thank you. It will be fun. You’ll see.”
He kisses my cheek, pulls me closer to him. Maybe this will be the beginning of something interesting. Maybe we can finally get on the same page.
“Oh and it’s a themed party. The seventies theme.” Sangu says.
“Is it just me or that new dress you have on is shimmering in these dim lights?”
He notices such things. I don’t know how but he does. Far better than Chinyama ever did. I smile shyly at him. He makes me feel like I’m twenty-one, young in short, special and admired. A whole lot of admiring involved. I look away from his gaze lifting the glass of wine sitting in front of my plate. The sweet taste of the wine rolls over my tongue. He has amazing taste in wine. He has amazing taste in everything. Dinner, seafood cooked to perfection was exactly what I needed. Night made. I can’t believe I’m still out with the man when I should be home with my husband and children. I should be ashamed of letting Chinyama think I’m out with the ladies; but in all honesty I’m not afraid of lying to him. It’s like being with Isaac has brought out this version of me I thought I had long lost.
“Next dinner I’m cooking.” He says.
As if I think.
Not any time soon. He knows I’m stalling the inevitable. Is it inevitable? I can see myself enjoying his company for months to come. Even years. The man simply gets me, better than Chinyama ever did. If only I had met Isaac years ago, before I fell for Chinyama. I wonder what Chinyama doing right now. Maybe he’s not home. Wouldn’t be surprised. Cynthia is a formidable force. I still can’t believe she still has a hold on him. Women.
I blink and look at Isaac. I keep my eyes fixed on his purple tie. The man has taste. Expensive taste. I love it. If I am going to cheat on my husband I might as well cheat on him with a more handsome, richer version of him. Besides it doesn’t help much knowing that I dream about him too. Talk about the heart wants what it wants.
“You seem to be lost in thoughts. Wanna talk about it?” Isaac asks.
I take a sip of the sweet wine, looking at him wondering how much he is supposed to know about me. I still don’t want him to know about my life. My family life, Chinyama and the kids
It’s like I’m living a lie and the people at home are my reality. Isaac the dream. Never mixing the two.
“I am thinking about…” I pause as our eyes meet. “Why you’re not married.”
I’m a pathetic liar. My thoughts bordered on why he wants a married woman in his life, but I know I can’t ask him that. What if he says something I’m not ready to hear. Like in my dream when he proposed. What if he wants that one day and I’m unable to leave my husband. I’m thinking about this way too soon, the man wants nothing from me for now. I should enjoy this. That’s it.
“Why I’m not married?” He asks
“Yes.” I respond. “A dashing man like you, single. Why.”
“Would you believe me if I told you I was single.. I am single because I never met the woman worth marrying.”
“Zambia has plenty of women. Surely there must be one lady out there who would love to have this.” I tell him lifting my hands and pointing at him and the surrounding almost empty restaurant.
“Well still not worth it.”
“Not even one?” I ask
“Not even one.” He repeats. “Until you.”
I look at him, this is what I didn’t want to hear.
“You’re amazing Mable. I have seen you almost everyday of this week and I’m convinced you are the most fascinating woman I’ve ever met.”
“Married too.” I laugh
“The most unfortunate part but you’re here. So this must mean something.”
Does it? Should it? Will it?
“You think it does?” I ask.
“I’m not going to push you Mable. I want you to be comfortable. I wanna spend time with you. At your pace.”
“Me being married doesn’t matter?” I ask
Of course it does. It matters because it matters to you, so it matters to me too.”
“Remember the first time we met and you told me something about……”
The cheating husband… Does Isaac judge Chinyama for cheating on me? Does he judge me for not being the good stay at home wife? Does he want me to cheat on Chinyama. Revenge of the spouses?
“You deserve more.” He says.
“What?” I ask,
He sighs. “I was saying you told me about your husband the first time we met. And I saw how much it affected you that he MIA. You shouldn’t have to go through that.”
“I want to show you what it’s supposed to be like.” He whispers. “To make you feel the way a woman like you should feel Mable. You deserve more.
And for the first time today since the dream Isaac finally gives me the chills I felt in my dream.
I’m sorry I didn’t tell you my wife came back today. I had no choice. You know this.
I hate him.
I hate him. I truly hate him. This is bullshit. Smile I tell myself. Keep smiling. Be professional no matter what. Jerk! That’s the thing about married men. They have baggage in form of wives and children. Those come first. If I knew she was around I would not have worn the silk black dress. Waste of a dress.
I catch him looking at me from across the round table. His eyes tell me how he too is disappointed in his predicament. Did he have to bring her for the dinner too? It’s not like she works for her husband. Some women. Urghh. What a night. I watch as her arm holds onto his while her free hand leads her glass of water to her lips. The perfect wife no? Drinking water and not wine. I hate her too.
I should have known she was coming. I deserve that much at least. He should have warned me. Now I look overdressed in a black silk and lace dress and killer black suede heels to match. I look amazing. I know I do. I’m sure every man around this table can’t stop enjoying the view. I drink my whiskey with a huge smile plastered on my face.
The clients seem to be enjoying the dinner. One of the two men we are dining can’t stop winking at me. Must be something wrong with his eye. Weirdo. I hope he goes blind. I’m grateful Masulani is sitting between the two of us. Clingy clients are not my portion.
Masulani takes his whiskey slow while he tries to impress our new client as is his job, while Mr Forty tries to charm them with future business deals. And me? Well, I’m the closer of course. I’m good at making sure I say the right words to make the client want us as their final choice. I already know I have them in the bag. Easy task. And maybe the dress helped. They need to pay me more for this.
The men talk and I listen with my glass of whiskey in hand waiting for the right moment when I describe the colourful future they will have with the company. So bright. I sigh. This is not what I wanted for tonight. Shit. His wife has ruined it all in her stylish, black, silk, back revealing, knee length dress that shows off her ass and extra large cellulite hips. Mr Forty is officially sleeping with her tonight and not me.
A cold bed awaits me. So unfair.
I stand up and quickly excuse myself. I need to call….
“Wait for me Yolanda.”
Mrs Chiti stands up and walks in my direction, grabs my hand and leads us in the direction of the bathrooms.
“I hate these boring meetings I swear.” She says leaning in close to my face. “I don’t know why I’m here.”
I notice Mrs Chiti and I are almost the same height in our heels though she stands slightly taller than me without them. We walk into the bathroom and she leads me to the mirror. She lets go of my arm and quickly opens the clutch in her hand.
“It’s all work. I don’t like it. Maybe I shouldn’t have come.” She says slowly.
“Why did you?” I ask
I stand next to her in front of the mirror and look at her. No sweaty face. Her makeup is still holding onto her face without a break. Amazing. Her long hair stands long behind her back, probably Indian. Must have cost her a finger. Gosh I don’t know how women do it with these weaves and sweat. Forever grateful for my almost bald head. Looking at my image in the mirror I realise I need a haircut. She turns around looking at her image from all angles. Hard to believe she has two children with the man. Her tummy looks amazingly flat and toned.
“Solomon convinced me to come. The man missed me.” She responds happily.
She smiles at me through the mirror. The happy wife. He convinced her? Well that’s something. He made her come here? I’ll give him a piece of my mind later.
“Don’t get me wrong love. I’ve been away for days. I missed him. But this is not my kind of fun.” She adds.
“Fun?” I ask her.
“Solomon knows I love my clubs and chills. Not this. Boring.”
“The meeting will be ending soon. So no worries.” I reassure her.
“Ahhh yes. The only amazing thing about these meetings is how Solomon always wants to get kinky afterwards.” She says breathlessly. “Ahhh. And hhhm it’s always amazing. Especially after he’s had a drink or two. I’m sure he’s missed me.”
My eyes widen as I stare at her. She laughs at my shocked face.
“I’m so sorry darling. You’re the only one I can talk to.”
“It’s so on tonight.” She adds. “I miss him when I’m away you know. That man makes me wild.”
She seems not to care that I’m her husband’s employee. Bedroom secrets now.
“I swear immediately that meeting is done we are so leaving.” She says happily
Really now? I smirk, open my clutch and take out my powder. I quickly pat my face hiding all the sweaty spots on my face. I need to look the part of beautiful and make him regret having his wife around. I re-apply red lipstick over my lips and give myself a smile. I can see my dimples clearly from here. My slim oval face makes the dimples look even much better. I am one of a kind.
“I so absolutely love that dress Yolanda.” Mrs Chiti exclaims. “Been staring at you for most part of the night. You so have to tell me which boutique has it here.”
Like hell I will, I think. Not introducing her to my best friend. No. God bless Thandiwe, she definitely came through for me with the dress; and the fact that she brought me three to choose from was one of the sweetest things she’s ever done. Thank God that we are the same size.
“The dress is beautiful. I want one just like it. You have to tell me where it’s from.”
“Sure.” I respond, giving her a smile.
“And that eye candy Masulani on your arm tonight. He’s cute.” She says.
“Who?” I ask.
“Masulani of course. The guy you came in with.”
“He’s my supervisor.”
“He’s so handsome. Aren’t you the lucky woman working with him.” She says happily. “Gosh. If I wasn’t married I’d be on that man.”
She laughs then. It must be the look on my face that makes her laugh again. I’m shocked she’s open enough to tell me this kind of information. What if I tell her husband?
“I swear you still have a chance Yolanda.” She says
“With?” I ask innocently
“That Masulani Jere. He’s still single and all.” She says as a matter of fact.
He’s single? Masulani is single? And I led myself to believe he wasn’t? The man didn’t correct my thinking when I implied it. Interesting I think. But how did Mrs Chiti know that bit of information? What else does she know about her husband’s employees. I dare not ask.
“I think he’s your type by the way.” She adds. “When you two walked in gosh you looked amazing. Together that is. And he can’t stop staring at you love.”
“Excuse me?” I say a little too loud
“He keeps staring at you.”
“Maybe it’s because he wants to make sure I have whiskey in my glass. Or he’s making sure I’m not drunk.”
“Right. It’s not that type of staring. I swear if you wanna forget that piece of shit ex of yours, then get Masulani.”
Piece of shit ex? What the hell does she know about Mutale? Who the hell has been telling this woman information about my life?
“I swear I think Masulani should be… No. Must be great in bed.”
“Uhhh okay. Even if he is I don’t think we are allowed to sleep with colleagues.” I respond
“Break the rules love. Are you telling me you’ve never broken the rules before?”
Our eyes meet in the mirror and her smug smile makes me shrink back. Oh my gosh.
I think she knows I’m sleeping with her husband.
The smile on my face tells it all. I can’t stop smiling. I am the happiest woman in the world tonight. I wish I could scream on the top of my lungs in excitement.
It’s been decided.
This weekend. It starts.
This weekend. That’s what he said. Ian. This weekend is the beginning of the rest of our lives. The process begins. The talk with my uncle had been successful. He was ready to begin and finalise everything. During our drive home he was excited. He told me everything my uncle and him had discussed.
“I can’t wait Sonia.” He had said earlier. “The process is so beautiful. I’m going to learn a lot from this. Once in a lifetime.”
He smiled at me as he said it. His excitement was contagious. I got excited with him. When it’s just us two I see things clearly. But will his family see it the same way? As a beautiful process. Will his mother acknowledge my culture. My tribe. My family. Will she embrace them? What if she says it’s too much. Why mix blood? Will Ian convince her I’m it?
“I will call Nelson. I’m sure his family can help out with the process. After all he’s my closest friend.” He added enthusiastically.
“You are never short of friends.” I told him. “We have James, Chinyama and Sangu to help you if you need it.”
“I know. But I knew them through you babe. I wouldn’t want to impose.” He said
“I’m sure they will be willing to help love. I’ll talk to the ladies.”
“You are the best. You know that right?”
I watched him tell me his plans for the week. I heard everything. He didn’t keep anything to himself. It was as if he had been planning for this moment for a lifetime. He told me the good and the bad, including the worst news I could receive on a day like this.
“I will call my parents. They should be in before Friday. They should be here to enjoy this.” He had said. “Dad will be so excited.”
All I heard was how his mother would disagree with my family and call them black. Gosh. That piece of news ruined the good news. But by the time Ian dropped me off at my flat I was back in good spirits laughing and giving him advice about the process. Before he left, he kissed me with so much passion I was left stunned.
“I love you Sonia.” He had whispered between kisses. “And I can’t wait to marry you.”
I kept the words with me as I went to my flat. I remembered them as I took my shower, had dinner. I kept them in my heart.
They are on my mind now with a smile on my face.
I will definitely pray over this. Nothing will stand in our way with God on our side.
“I’m sorry I’ve been difficult.” I say loudly.
He looks up from the book in his hand and gazes at me. I stand at the end of the bed looking at him. My husband. Almost a year and the words still can’t roll off my tongue properly. He gives me a smile. His brightest smile. It tells me all is forgiven. I don’t know why I treat him the way I do.
“You’re ungrateful.” Mama told me earlier.
She found me in the kitchen after James left. It was as if she had a sixth sense that alerted her in moments I lost my head. She just knew I was mean to James again and she sat me down as I had my breakfast.
“You’re a spoilt little girl.” She had said. “You think a man will stay with you if you’re so rude every morning. You won’t be able to use your hormonal excuse forever mind you.”
“Mama. Calm down.” I had told her.
“No. You can be rude to me all you want. You’re like your father. Stubborn. Instead of being grateful.” She said.
“You will lose James at the rate you’re going. You need to watch yourself. One day if you keep up with this James will be gone. So many women who want a man like him so. Even your silly maids.”
She went on and on for close to thirty minutes. By the time she was done I was geared to fire the maid. Everything she told me stayed with me through out the day. But she was right. I treated James like he wasn’t my husband. Never grateful for the fact that he literally saved me from a bad decision. He stood by me through it all. And I can never repay him enough.
Mama was right. I needed to change.
“I am sorry I’m a horrible wife.” I whisper.
“I’m so bad. I shout at you. I’m rude. I’m just mean when we are going through this together. Why do you love me? I can’t even appreciate my own husband’s help.”
Tears pool up in my eyes. Hormones. James stands up from the bed and walks up to me. He envelopes me into a hug, the bear hug he calls it. So warm and inviting. He could be with another woman tomorrow because of me, giving her the bear hug and loving her. A grateful woman. I can’t be alone. I don’t want to be alone. I don’t want to be a divorcee. I deserve this. James pats my back gently.
“You’re not a horrible wife.” He says.
“Yes I am.”
“No. You’re just stubborn.”
That’s why mama loves him. That’s why they get along. He knows me so well.
“I’ve been so mean to you James. And you have been amazing through it all.”
“Yes, you have been mean.” He says.
“Well we did make a deal on our wedding day right? Better or worse stuff.” He laughs. “And knowing you, this isn’t the worst.”
I sniff. The tears won’t stop falling down my cheeks.
“It’s not funny. And that’s a mean thing to say.” I whisper
“I’m not trying to be mean. I’m telling you I’m still here as your husband.” He says.
“You may be this tough woman on the outside but I know you care on the inside. You know you can trust me. You can open up to me and tell me what’s going on. You know I’ll listen to you.”
“We are this together.”
I sniff into his chest. Gosh he smells so nice. This husband of mine.
“Now why are you crying? Did you and mama argue?”
He puts his hand under my chin and lifts it. I shake my head.
“Hormones.” I say. “And saying sorry hurts.”
“You’re one of a kind Thandiwe. And that’s why I’ll always love you.” He says.
I have no idea why but hearing those words just makes me shed more tears.
“Oh my. Your mother will kill me if she knows I made you cry.”
He kisses the top of my head, weave and all.
“I have the perfect idea.” He says happily. “Foolproof plan to stop those tears.”
“What?” I ask
And through the tears my lips break into a smile.