UNDER THE DESERT SUN- Day 1

 

I am happy. After countless arguments with the girls and cancellations and postponements, we finally settled for today. I have barely had a wink of sleep because my mind has been racing all night. I put on a black ripped vest and black leggings. I then cross my sling bag over my chest.Of course it’s black. I drag my suitcase hurriedly to Mweembe’s to say bye. She is a disappointment, I think as I throw myself on her bed. A let down. We would have had so much fun together, but she has prior engagements, (which I selfishly feel can wait) so she has to stay behind. My mind runs off into the distance as Mweembe asks me REPEATEDLY if I have carried this and that. She is so motherly. Gosh! We laugh a little at her overprotective streak and I assure her that I will be okay, then we are interrupted by the long awaited phone call from Tasha.
Ring.. Ring..
On the climax of the ring tone, I pick up. I always wait for the climax. The girls are outside and I get up from the bed to leave. Mweembe sees me out and as I enter the shuttle it hits me that she isn’t actually coming along. I try to wear an un-bothered face, but my frown has already betrayed me. I guess you can’t fake that first expression, can you?

 

The girls feel just as bad as I do. A heavy dose of sadness camouflaged with excitement fills the car, then Chipo leads us into prayer. The driver turns the key at a 45 degree angle and the car immediately grumbles to life. We set out.

 

We speak on top of our voices, seldom letting each other chair the discussion. Girls always talk at the same time, I think. We take selfies. We laugh. We update our parents.  The music is making good company. In the passenger’s seat, I can see Chichi bop her head to the sound of Tekno’s ‘Pana’ while she snaps away.

 

At some point, the thrill has to wear off, so we all become silent. Me, Chipo, Tasha, Chichi and Tasila. We just look outside the window and gush at God’s work. The rolling hills on either side of the road have accompanied us all this while. Some look like hips and hips of sand with dry shrubs scattered across, while others look like huge rocks. We look in awe-struck-wonder, not speaking to one another. Just enjoying the silence. I can’t help but appreciate God’s generosity with Namibia’s landscape.

 

Still in that muted embrace of the beauty we’ve just witnessed, I bury my face in my hands hoping to fall asleep. My efforts fail entirely because I keep picturing our destination’s splendor.

 

My nose detects the smell of burnt rubber as the tires spin against the tar. We have been driving for a little over three hours. A chilly breeze whistles suddenly and Chichi lets us know that we have now entered the Erongo Region of Namibia. The driver parks the car along the road  and we step out to the feeling of dusty , yet gentle winds.

We have arrived. We are in Swakopmund.

 

We don’t waste any time. Soon as we locate the bungalows where we’ll stay for the next few days, we walk to the beach, contrary to our agenda because we can’t resist. The air is moist. Ripples of  turquoise  creep up on our sand sunken feet and right before our toes can bathe in the water, the ripples gracefully drift back into the depth. They always go back because they know that land is not their territory.

 


The sun smiles as it bids farewell to us behind a puffy cloud. We walk across the shores, writing our names in the sand. Other times we make haste when violent waves chase after us, bringing along sea-weed and debris from the dock in Walvisbay.  This sequence repeats itself.

As we walk to town, we all look back at the scenery behind us. Our eyes are fixed upon the shores of the Atlantic ocean. Nobody wants to go, but we must. At different times, we give the ocean one last nostalgic gaze and move along.

 

We need to come back tomorrow.

 

***

Ring.. Ring..

 

Mweembe is calling.

 

I pick up.. On the climax of the ringtone obviously.

 

“What have you guys been up to?” she asks.

 

I can hear the excitement in her voice. I smile as I tell her all about it.

 

To be continued

THE CANDIDATE Part 3 (Finale)

You never ask your man if he is cheating without proof. Not only will he deny it and have you believe that you are crazy, he will get better and better at it by hiding his infidelity. Also, do not show him that you are falling apart even if your aim is to make him feel as bad as you do at that particular moment. It will not work because his sense of remorse would have already left him. I broke that rule when I confronted Richard about his affair; I cried in his face in hopes that he would regret his decision to cheat on me and also in hopes that he would come clean. It only made me feel worse because he maintained his innocence even when I handed him the evidence. I don’t know why he cheated. I guess I never will.

 

Before all of this, there was that particular morning two months ago. I didn’t go to work because I was a little under the weather. When I‘d gathered some strength I decided to do the laundry. While I kept at it, my mind wandered and I thought of how my presence at the rallies would improve Richard’s campaign since I had been absent at the last two. My line of thought was immediately interrupted by a hotel bill that I pulled out of the pocket of the jeans he’d worn over the weekend. There was his name of course and another I didn’t recognize. I ignored what I’d seen and carried on with the rest of the chores that day but momentarily my mind would think of the receipt and the gaping hole in my tummy would grow wider. I checked the bill again, not only did I notice that there was two of everything, but it was his also signature at the bottom of the list. All day I thought of how I’d broach the topic to him, but one hotel bill wasn’t enough evidence so I put the issue to bed. From there on I noticed that he had become distant from me, our bed, including our children. He became more secure with his phone too, but even then, in spite of me dreading what had become of my marriage, I didn’t confront the matter. I needed more. I hired a private investigator.

 

***
Some tastes, smells, songs, noises and even places are reminiscent of past events in one’s life. The taste of this particular whiskey, for instance, was reminiscent of the brief time I’d spent with Alice at a hotel in Ndola a few months ago. I promised myself I wouldn’t see her again after our first encounter because I was trying by all means to protect my reputation, but I guess all politicians let money, power, sex and good looks, among the younger ones, to control their decisions. Money is power and power commands your desires to be met. If you’ve ever had any one of your desires met then you can attest to the saying that the heart is deceitful; because once that satisfaction is met, another deeper and more selfish urge creeps up and begins to stroke your weak spots, enticing you to want more. I knew I was treading thin ice, but  I did so deftly. I didn’t get caught at my first attempt. Neither at the second, third or fourth. Never did I leave any signs of involvement with another woman. I was strategic; only seeing her after my campaign rallies. I remember how beautiful she looked at the hotel that one night. Our time together was nothing short of amazing. Oddly she sat beside me at our dinner table, contrary to the traditional arrangement of seating on opposite sides. During our flirtatious conversations, I couldn’t help but notice that her dress was split right in the middle, revealing her thick thighs. I couldn’t drive back to Lusaka without having a taste of her. It was going to be decision I’d have lived to regret. After all, I arranged to meet her so I’d terminate our temporary affair, one last time wasn’t going to kill anyone. I called my wife that evening and told her I’d have an early night because I was too tired from the events of the day. She knew how tiring rallies could get. She told me not to worry about her and the kids, after all it was my suggestion that she spent more time at home with our girls than having her at every single rally. Little did she know that it was my clever way of her unknowingly giving me space to tend to my endeavors. I was careful. Or so I thought. How did she find out? I thought to myself as I threw another sip of whiskey behind my throat. When I went to mess around, I cleaned up good, but I guess nothing can be kept secret under the sun. Who are my enemies, I tried to recollect. But no one on the list seemed to have such guts. Maybe Alice had been paid by my opponent Simaata to seduce me and have me sleep with her in hopes that a cheating scandal would break out. If Simaata was the mastermind behind the plan, so as to outwit me, he had done a damn good job. My line of thought was immediately disturbed by Mwiinga’s horrid and  drunken voice.
“It only makes sense that your wife hired a private investigator,” Mwiinga said as he swung around in his stool on the bar counter.

 
“You think so?” I asked with desperation.

 
“Yup!” He said. “Women know everything. Trust me, she’s known about Alice for months. Now was probably the most opportune moment for her because she just received the evidence.”

 
His words resounded through my mind. He was right. She must have known for months but couldn’t present her awareness of Alice to me without showing me evidence. You cannot claim cheater without showing your partner full proof. She waited. She preyed on me. She pounced on me at a time when she thought I’d admit my wrongs but I was too afraid to lose her, the kids and the election so I denied. Even with my face in the picture I lied. Is there any man whose first thought was to admit the truth, I thought.

 
“In my profession, I’ve seen all kinds of crazy. Women know a lot more about our ‘secrets’ than we think,” Mwiinga continued. He quoted the word secrets with his fingers. This only made me realize that a secret is only one when it is between one person who is alive and the other dead. “In most divorce cases that end because of infidelity, the woman has known about the other woman.”

 
“I wish she had said something to me immediately she became suspicious,” I said to Mwiinga.

 
“You would have denied and become more careful,” he said. He was right. That’s probably what she was avoiding. “Look Richard, women stay with their unfaithful husbands for different reasons. Some have never known any other love. Some stay for the sake of the children. Divorce is ugly and women care for their children to put them through it. There are also those that stick around because there is no other way of survival than from the husband’s financial support. Mwape doesn’t need your man. In fact, it is you that needs her money. She funds all of your trips and rallies so her choosing to stay with you has got nothing to do with money. Maybe it’s because she loves you. Maybe it’s for the sake of the children because as far as they are concerned, they have the best father in the world. My advice to you is to tell your wife everything regarding Alice. There’s no point in denying what she already knows.”

 
His words hit home. I had caused Mwape enough embarrassment. The least I could do was admit the truth then from there we could work on our marriage. I was willing to change. I had betrayed the woman that had seen endless capabilities in me, when no one believed I could ever achieve anything. She built me. I looked around our house. The burgundy kitchen unit, black marble kitchen deck and the white suspended ceilings were all her idea. Our beautiful home meant nothing to me at this point if neither her nor my children were in it. Men. Which part our brains or hearts made us unappreciative of our women in spite of the unconditional love they’d give us. Mwape was a perfect example of someone who loved with her all. I could feel it. I could feel her affection for me in the countless sacrifices she made, in the way she spoke about me with pride and in the way she loved our children, among many things. I needed to right my wrongs. Plus I had missed the kids.

 
***

 
“You can’t bar the kids from seeing their father,” my mother said to me as she handed me a cup of tea. Her remedy for every problem in the world was rapidly boiling hot tea. If only it worked. She sat across from me on the round kitchen table which I had been trying for many years to replace but she was very attached to it because it reminded her of my father. In his glory days he sat here every morning reading the newspaper while sipping tea from his huge mug. The kids were not allowed to use their phones until I had figured out a way out of this mess Richard had put us in. They spent most of their time in the fields; getting acquainted with the beautiful landscape and farm animals; something they weren’t accustomed to at home. He had reached out earlier, asking if he could come by to see the girls and of course to talk  things over.

 
Every time I thought of what he had done, a jab of pain would hit my chest and I would literally feel my heart breaking. I read his text over and over again as though it’d provide the answers to my numerous questions. For example, why did you cheat on me, or why did you do it amidst the election period knowing full well that any bad publicity would put your candidature in jeopardy or do you not love me and our children enough? My stomach clenched and tears filled my eyes. My mother handed me another cup of tea and placed her right hand on top of mine. Knowing that she knew exactly what I was going through gave me some consolation.

 
“At some point you’re going to have to confront this matter my daughter,” she said. “In your own time, when you’re ready to face him, you and him will have a lot to talk about. But whatever decision you reach do not make the mistakes I made. That’s my biggest fear for you.”

 
“That what?” I asked.

 
“That you stay for your children’s sake. I stayed with your father for you and your brothers and sisters and I lived to regret it because he never stopped cheating until his ailing health got the better of him. Still I had to nurse him because I was dutifully bound by our wedding vows,” she said.

 
“Mummy, I never knew that dad put you through all that,” I said and broke off into a sob. Her grip on my hand tightened.

 
“He was a good father, like Richard is to his children. He might use them to win you back,” she said.

 
“Well, for now I’m only allowing him to see the girls. I’m not ready to face him,” I said. I lied. I had been ready. I signed up for this the day I hired a private investigator. I was so worn out from all the drama and tomorrow was going to be even more dramatic with Richard coming over. I had allowed him to visit the girls. The last thing I needed was them hating me for keeping them from seeing their father. I was worn out from all the day’s events. I needed a goodnight’s rest, but in my core I knew that I was going to spend the first few hours tossing and counting sheep. I retired to bed anyway because I just needed to rest my head on a fluffy pillow and cry myself to sleep.

 

“I should be going to bed now Mummy,” I said to my mother and pecked her on the cheek. Some more consolation was felt in that mere contact between us. There’s something about a mother’s presence that’s soothing. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

 

***

 

I watched Richard from a distance while he run around the loan throwing a Frisbee with the kids. My husband. The father of my two beautiful children. Mweembe inherited her rebellious streak from him. From what I heard from his parents, he was always up to mischief in school. I smiled to myself when I thought of that. And Paula, even at 10 years old, I could see a passion for leadership in her. Always wanting to lead her elder sister, just like her father pushed his elder brothers around. My grin grew wider involuntarily. Why was I was smiling when I was mad at him. And hurt.

 

He whispered something in Paula’s ears and she ran to the fields. Mweembe followed in her trail. He paced the loan for a brief moment and begun to walk my way when he caught sight of me. Gosh. There wasn’t any alcohol in the house for this. I should have bought some, I thought. My heart begun to race and my stomach clenched as I saw him walk toward me. My throat dried up. Why was I nervous. Before I knew it, he sat beside me on the swing on the veranda.

 

“Hi,” he said.

 

“Hi,” I replied.

 

“I asked them to pluck me some corn from the field,” Richard said regarding the kids.

 

“I figured. They missed you.” I said, trying to keep away from one word answers. I placed my hands on my laps and stared at the floor wondering what he was going to say next. He pushed the swing back and it swayed back and forth. We giggled.

 

“I’m sorry,” Richard said.

 

“For what?” I asked. Of all the questions I had lined up for him, that was all I could ask. That was all that my tongue could roll out. I needed more strength to corner him. Or some wine.

 

“For everything,” he said.

 

“What is everything Richard?” I begun. “Why? What do I tell Mweembe and Paula? I haven’t got answers to their questions. Who’s she?”

 

“I had an affair with another woman. I’m sorry I betrayed you. Please forgive me,” he said.

 

His words echoed so loud like a siren had just gone off in my ears. I had known but him admitting it broke me in ways I didn’t anticipate. I fell apart the first and second time we had this conversation, but I wasn’t go to show him this time. I had learnt the hard way. I kept my composure even though my tears were begging to pour out of my eyes. He curled his lips to utter something but I interrupted him.

 

“You’re going to win this election Richard,’ I said. “We’re going to finish what we started. You’re the man fit for the job. Not Simaata. We dug up some dirt on him. He fathered a child 15 years ago that he has not claimed and we’re going to leak that tit bit of information to the media. You and him will have equally bad publicity.”

 

He looked at me in dismay as if I had spoken in a language he didn’t understand.

 

“You look shocked. That is the plan Mwiinga meant. Didn’t he tell you?” I said, feeling very proud of myself at that moment. He curled his lips again but I gave him no chance to speak.

 

“People are gullible Richard, I’m not sure if Simaata really fathered that child, but our informant believes so and so will the people. We just need to make them promises we know we won’t fulfill. You know the drill. Roads. Clinics. Schools. And throw cheap party regalia every rally. Alcohol too. I will stand by you Richard. You will issue a statement and I will be by your side. Our children need their mother and father together.”

 

 

“Thank you baby,” he said. “I won’t ever do it again, I promise.”

 

 

“You will do it again. When you’ve won and when all is forgotten I will move back here with Paula and Mweembe. They will hate me for taking them away from their father but when they are as old as I am now they will understand what cheating is.”

 

 

It was as if all of the blood on his face had vanished because he looked pale. “I am not going to make the same mistake my mother made Richard. I have thought about this at great lengths and it’ll be best for us to go our separation after you’re sworn in as MP. We’ll try and reach a divorce settlement after”

 

 

“Sweetheart don’t do this. Let’s talk about this. Look at how happy the kids are,” he said but it all fell on deaf ears. My mind was made up. I stood up and fastened my rob and called the girls to say bye to Richard.

 

 

“Girls, say bye to your father,” I said. I watched him hug them so tight, like his life depended on it. My heart was shred to pieces by my own bear hands. I walked back into the kitchen. I didn’t want tea or anything. I just wanted my mother and when I saw her seated at our usual table I broke off into an endless series of sobs. She held me in her bosom and I gave in to all of her love and sweet embraces.

THE CANDIDATE Part 2

I’m truly sorry to all of you who’ve been waiting for Part 2. Worry not, however because the wait is over. If you missed Part 1 HERE IT IS. Otherwise have fun reading.

“Boi, you’re a fool,” said Mwiinga.
“I didn’t do it. I swear.” I said, avoiding his gaze that seemed to be throwing daggers at me.

“The pictures don’t seem to say so.” He mocked.

“Huhh..” I sighed, not because of relief but because I could feel the heat radiating from the coals of my heart. I needed him to be my friend at this point, not my lawyer.

“You’re going to have to tell me everything if I’m going to manage your campaign Richard.” He said.

“Why do I feel like you’re accusing me?” I asked.

“I’m not,” he giggled. “But I need to know how your face ended up in that picture.”

“I did it,” I started. “But I haven’t admitted it to Mwape. I denied.” Saying that to Mwiinga felt like a heavy load had been released from my shoulders.

“Of course,” he teased. “Pointless of you to deny though, because the internet is having a field day already.”

My heart sunk and my knees quivered until I threw my weight on the couch for support.

“You broke the internet bro.” He added.

“I need to get my children off their phones Mwiinga.” I said as I jumped out of the sofa and quickly untagged my jacket from the coat hanger. I dove into my car in a split second and sped off into the busy road home, with Mwiinga in the passenger’s seat, hoping and praying that the kids had left their phones home.

“Calm down Boi,” Mwiinga said, trying to offer me consolation. “They’re at a catholic school which won’t permit them to carry their cell phones to school.”

I parked the car in the drive way and rushed into the house, straight to Mweembe’s room upstairs. To my dismay she was home. She sat on the edge of her bed sobbing and packing what seemed to be a bag full of clothes.

Careful not to upset her even more and worried that she might have seen my name make headlines on the blogs, I asked, “what’s wrong sweetie?”

She said nothing.

“Sweetie, talk to me,” I persisted as I sat beside her and cupped her face in both my hands. “Where’s your sister? Are you sick?”

“She’s in her room packing her things too. And so is mummy. We’re going to granny’s.” She replied. Her managing to put that sentence together amidst sobs sent shots of disappointment to my head. My heart sunk. I wanted to know what she knew, but how does a man ask his 13 year old daughter if she’s aware of her father’s extra marital affair.

“Mummy picked us up from school before break time and told us to pack our clothes. She took my phone away,” Mweembe continued. I decided at that point that I didn’t want to know if she knew. My heart raced.

There was a soft knock on the door. It was Mwiinga. I went out to meet him.

“Lemme talk to Mweembe. Sort out your wife. I’ve seen her making trips to her car with bags. She’s fuming,” Mwiinga whispered.

“Uncle Mwiinga!” Mweembe cheered as she ran to him. I left them and went my way, to our bedroom.

***

“Baby, let’s talk about this,” I said as I locked the door to the bedroom. I could feel her rage boiling from the depths of her soul.

“Richard I’m a laughing stoke. Do you know how many texts I’ve received from people today telling me to leave you? I can’t stay here. I had to remove the kids early from school today,” she said sternly, trying by all means not to be heard by anyone who was outside of the room.

“Baby-”

“After everything Richard? This house. The kids. Your career. Your ambitions. I moulded you. I believed in your dreams. At which point did I fail you?” Mwape said. Her sentiments hit home. I felt some form of regret after listening to her words.

“Swee-”

“I’m leaving and I’m taking the kids,”she interrupted. “I can’t answer their questions. I can’t tell them why I’m taking them to their grandmother’s. You’re selfish Richard. You didn’t think about me or our children and what this’ll do to them when they’re back in school.”

“Listen-” I said.

“Go to hell,” she interjected as she unlocked the door.I didn’t stop her. I let her go. I had to let her go. It was probably best for the kids; they needed to be away from all of this.

***

“How are we going to fix this?” I asked as I paced the floor of what used to be the matrimonial bedroom. I uncalfed the calf links off my shirt and loosened my tie, then made my way to the bar downstairs. The house was as silent as the dead of night without the kids. It had been a long and eventful day. What did Mainga do? Is this how he felt? How did he get his wife to forgive him? I asked myself as I filled two cups with whiskey to the brim. I sipped hard and the drink burnt as it glided slowly down my throat.

“I have a plan,” replied Mwiinga with a sly smile.

 
Look out for Part 3 

LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT CHIPO

When she sets her mind toward achieving something, she doesn’t give up until she’s accomplished it. 

Others can sing. Others can dance. Others are good writers. Others make you laugh without trying. Chipo crafts. She builds. She moulds. She sets her mind on something and her hands work toward it. She has gifted hands. I admire that they are able to follow what her mind instructs them to do. 

I wish I had her mind. I wish I had her hands. But like I said, others are good writers while others can dance. 

Braiding hair is her gift. 

Hers are the hands that did my faux locs 😄

Coming to think of it, she does my hair all the time 😂😂

She crotches too 😂😊

Unfotunately I dont have a video of her making the braids and installing them on me.

Her method, however is to tie the braids before hand and then install them on the corn rolls. 

You might be wondering if crotchet braids are safe.. Yes they are. In my opinion, they’re the safest innovation at the moment because they have the least hair manipulation and they don’t tag on your hair like weaves and normal braids do. You can crotchet as often as you like 👍👍

Did I mention that she does her own hair too? From weaves,to box braids and crotchet braids.

Aaaaaand she locs her own hair too 👇👇. 

She calls these ones goddess locs 😋

Because of her skill, which I still can’t wrap my head around, Chipo was recently given the honour and priveldge of being the face of Padana- a hair boutique in Windhoek. 

So if you like the jumbo twists that Chipo has on here, you can visit Padana Hair Boutique and buy them. It’s shop number 3 at Wernhill Park or you can whatsapp +264817961200

  • Other pics from her Padana photoshoot: 
  • A clearer view of her crotchet braids which she installed on herself. She is badass! 😂😂

  • My personal favourite. 💁💁

Also, she is self taught! Sometimes she watches tutorials online. Other times she just plays around with her hands and the results are always excellent. 
And because she has not gotten any lessons from professional hair stylists, I’d rate her a 10/10 because all that she knows about hair is self taught. 

Soooooo if you like it, please DM her on twitter @Oterholtchipo 📱💻 (I’m still trying to get her to start her own blog 😂😂).

THE CANDIDATE 

PART 1

“Mwape I swear, that isn’t me”

“Then who the hell is it?”

“I don’t know babe”

“How do you explain that?”

“I don’t know, but that isn’t me”

“I’m leaving”

“Mwape please, don’t do this”

I turned on my heel and strode to the bedroom. I could hear him come after me. “Don’t follow me. And don’t you dare stop me from leaving,” I barked, but to no avail. He stood right behind me and pulled me by the hand. I tried to tack out of his firm grip but my strength was no match to his. “Let go of me Richard. You’re hurting me!” I muttered. He eased his grip but I still wasn’t strong enough to break free. I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to stay and talk about things. I wanted to fix things. I wanted him to fix things. I wanted him to explain himself even though I knew in my heart of hearts that there was no logical explanation for what I saw.

“Are you just going to walk out on me Mwape?”

“That’s exactly what I’m doing,” I said without facing him. I didn’t want to walk out on him. Not in the middle of a campaign because it was going to cost him votes, but I had to. Once the news broke out, people were going to expect me to leave him.Women, especially those that hold high profiles are such hypocrites. They give everyone the impression that they’ll walk away from a cheating or abusive man but in actual fact, that is what most of them put up with. Women and gossip. I was going to be the subject of scrutiny if I was going to stand by my husband. The feminist groups were going to condemn me. Gosh! I hated feminists. I hadn’t thought things through or told anyone, I didn’t need someone to talk me out of my rushed decision. After all, impulse is the mother of guts.

“We have children,” he reminded me.

The kids. Gosh! What was I going to tell them?  Mweembe was going to hear about it by morning probably, or read about it on the blogs since she spent most of her time on the internet. Was I selfish for not thinking about how this whole thing was going to affect the kids? I fell to the floor; my feet could no longer hold my weight. There was a brief silence between us. I could hear his heart racing. I could hear him swallow. I could see the little hope in his eyes begging me to change my mind in spite of what had befallen us. He sat beside me on the door way to our bedroom and said nothing with his gaze still fixed on me. We said nothing to each other after he mentioned our children. He knew how to get to me. He knew how to change my mind. You get to a man’s heart through his stomach. You get to a woman’s heart through her kids.

“I’m taking the kids with me,” my voice broke off into a sob. The heavy dose of silence between us was no more.

“The kids are not going anywhere!” he exclaimed.

Richard loved our children. He loved me. He was a great father and husband. He was a noble man, but what was this? No explanation would ever be plausible. “Someone is trying to tarnish my image baby. You have to believe me,” he continued. “I’ll find an explanation for this, I promise.”

“Who the hell is she?” I asked.

“I don’t know that woman baby, I swear,” he said.

“But you’re seen here in bed with her,” I charged.

“Someone must have photo shopped my face into that picture.”

“Your clothes too?” I asked as I handed him the picture from my back pocket. His once hopeful face collapsed upon seeing the image. I then got up from the floor and strode across the room to the closet.

“Aren’t these your boxers?” I said while unraveling the exact pair he wore in the second picture in his face. He struck a dark look at me and curled his lips to utter something but I interrupted him with another picture.

“Is that not your rosary around your neck?” I blurted. “You disgust me Richard! No morals. No respect for God. You couldn’t even have the decency to remove the rosary from your neck before bedding your bitch!”

Silence

“Who the hell is she?” I yelled.

Silence

“Is this your taste Richard? A gold digger? A bleached woman? A trump?” I knew this type of girl; the type that went after older men. I bet he promised her sweet nothings.

Silence

“You can’t even afford to pay for a hotel room. Is that where you’re taking my money?”

Silence

“Does she know you’re broke or did you forget to tell her that it’s your wife’s money you’re using to spoil her? Did you forget to mention that it’s my money you’re using for the campaign” I yelled again.

“That’s enough!” He yelled back.

Men. Just a slight bruise to their egos and they’ll curl their tails in between their legs. I got to him. I got to Richard, the testosterone-driven, alpha male. I put him in his place. In his little box; the piggy bank where he still would have been if it were not for me and my connections.

I stood on the bed to reach for a suit case on the top shelf of the closet. He jumped at me and clutched both my hands in a firm grip again. “Mwape listen to me,” he said. “Look at me. Look into my eyes. I have never seen that woman in my life. That man must be someone that looks like me. I isn’t me. I swear! I’ll have my lawyer look into this and I’ll prove you wrong. I promise!”

Some say a promise is a logical lie, but the law goes on to say innocent until proven guilty, so I put my hurt aside. He said what I wanted him to say from the very beginning. He was a good liar, no wonder he was a darn good politician.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT INTERLUDE 2

If you missed Part 1 you can find it  here. Otherwise, have fun reading.

Part 2

Mwansa-

In the years we’d spent together, not once did I ever think that the epidemic of adultery would get to my wife. They say that distance makes the heart grow fonder, but maybe Thandie felt so lonely and disconnected from me that she succumbed. For how long had she been seeing Thomas? Had she fallen in love with him? Did he cater to her needs? Did he listen to her? Maybe her emotions had left our marriage long before getting physical with Thomas. My hands felt weak and if I didn’t pull over, ramming my car into a nearby tree was going to be my next fate. I eased my grip off the steering wheel and parked. I swept a gaze through the windscreen and inhaled long and hard, my nostrils burnt as the air simmered. My mind wandered off into the distance once more. Our wedding day was special, we signed our marriage certificate hurriedly and slipped our wedding rings on each other’s fingers as if time was running ahead of us. We were young and in love. We were invincible then, when did that change? Had I not taken that job in Kitwe, would things be different? Maybe our ship was sinking and Thomas was a life raft saving her from drowning.  A ball of anger formed on my throat. Killing them both would give me some consolation, but it wouldn’t dismiss the fact that Thandie was there for the taking.

 

16 hours ago.

 

“Morning beautiful,” I wrote in a text.

 

“Morning baby, how are you?” she replied.

 

“I’m great, how are you?” I asked.

 

“I’m great too. Just can’t wait to see you tonight 💃☺” She replied happily.

 

“About that.. I have work today. I don’t think I’ll travel. I’m sorry baby.” I lied.

 

“Again? I’m tired of waiting. It’s been 2 months since we’ve seen each other 😬” She complained angrily.

 

“Baby I’m sorry! I’ll travel next weekend. I know you’re upset, but try to understand, please!” I begged pretentiously. I hated lying to her, but I had to if I wanted my surprise to work.

 

“Understand? I have been understanding for far too long. I know work gets really busy, but this is too much.” She said.

 

“Baby calm down. I’ll make it up to you, I promise!” I replied.

 

“I’m sick and tired of your empty promises Mwansa! I can’t go on like this. 2 months of not seeing each other is just too much for me.” She continued.

 

At this point I was about to give up and tell her that I was going to travel after the seminar, but a quick reminder of what her face looked like when I made her happy encouraged me to go along with my plan. “Babe! Don’t talk like that. I’m sorry! I’ll make it up to you.” I begged again.

 

Silence

 

“Baby!” I wrote in a text.

 

Silence

 

“Babe. You there?” I asked.

 

Silence

 

3 missed calls.

 

Ignored.

My plan worked. I got her mad at me so she was going to ignore me the whole day. That way I was going to drive to Lusaka without her constantly checking on me. After all she hated me driving alone at night, I had every reason to hide this trip from her. Operation Surprise Thandie was under way. I giggled in excitement.

 

“I know you’re ignoring me. I’ve tried to talk to my boss but he won’t give me the day off because he needs me to facilitate a seminar with him in Kalulushi. I’m doing this for us pumpkin. One day I’ll be rich and we won’t have to go through this ever again. I’m getting ready for the trip now. I love you!” I grinned while I wrote to her.

I slipped my phone on the dressing mirror and got ready for the seminar.

6 pm. I set out for Lusaka. I sent her another text just to keep my lie seem truthful, “Just got back home from the seminar. Are you still mad at me?” Still no reply from her. Great!

I made sure I was packed for a week. The reunion nerves kicked in and I felt a little light. Two thoughts made me worry a little bit; what if Thandie had changed after adapting to my absence and what if she had been having an affair while I was gone. I became more aware of my surrounding; the engine’s roar, the smell of fuel and my pulse. I had been drowned in my thoughts for so long I hadn’t realized that I had passed Ndola Town an hour ago. I needed food. My stomach growled in agreement, but a Whatsapp text message distracted me.

“Hey,” she said.

I read the text repeatedly. I scrolled up and down our chat and found an exchange of inappropriate pictures between me and her. My favourite one was the one where she lay bearing her medium sized back that had swallowed up her white lace thong. I deleted the entire thread and her number to eliminate any evidence of my flirting. Thandie would be furious if she were to find out.

“Hi Monica,” I replied.

“Heard you’re traveling to Lusaka,” she went on.

“Yeah. To see my wife,” I said. She knew I was married and she didn’t care. Kids nowadays.

“Duh!” she said. “Anyway, I’m at Figtree, you should pass by.”

I flirted with the idea of meeting her, but today wasn’t a good day to cheat. I could on my way back, if Monica was still going to be in Kabwe, she had a 2 weeks break after all.

“Can’t,” I replied with regret. I stepped on the pedal a little harder to increase my pace and the engine grumbled even louder like it had just resurrected from the dead. It was 7.30 PM, two hours and a half away from Thandie. That also meant I was 30 minutes away from Monica. My phone beeped again. I opened her message and there she was, flashing her twins at me. Temptations from a girl who was only a little over half of my wife’s age. I gave in.

“I’m parked outside,” I typed and sent.

She walked her way to my car gracefully. Her strides were steady like she was trying by all means to avoid the dust from reaching her feet. Her skin was caramel and looked soft from my view; I was ready to taste it. I was taken to places far beyond my mind’s imagination just by looking at her and she knew it. She delighted in my weakness for her. She sat on my lap and put my hand on her swollen chest. She could obviously feel the heat radiating from my body.

“So why were you pretending like you didn’t want me?” she teased as she contoured her hands all over me. I had to stop. I knew I had to stop, but how? We hadn’t even gone passed our clothes, but I was already lost in her. My eyes caught sight of the clock in the car, it was almost 9 PM. I had to leave. I broke off from Monica’s hands and pecked her goodbye then started the car and it grumbled to life again. The heat from within me finally settled down; I was back on track. I deleted her messages and picture again. With regret.

Lusaka was alive even at night. Lights from houses, factories and restaurants beckoned from a far distance. House music from clubs echoed; it was a recent addition to the Zambian playlist. I was tired; my feet were numb and my body felt sore. The thought of Thandie running me a warm bubble bath and serving me a quick yet delicious meal made me rave a little. I sped my way to our Lusaka home in Woodlands. Nothing had changed except it seemed dark. Tonight was Wednesday, I remembered power was scheduled to be cut at 10 PM on Wednesdays. My intention was to park on the sidewalk, but I had been blocked by another car. Thandie had mentioned that her elder sister Chipo just collected her new Audi A4 from Tanzania, so it was my assumption that the car was hers and that she had come over to offer my wife consolation for having disappointed her after ‘cancelling my trip.’ So I was going to surprise two people. I had really outdone myself this time. I chuckled and made my way in. I was relieved because of the generator’s noise so my entry into the house would be drowned in its noise. I unlocked the front door with my spare keys. The kitchen counter was littered with casks of Fourth Street wine and wine glasses. Chipo and wine go hand in hand, I thought to myself. I walked passed dining room to the master bedroom. I flung the door open only to be faced by another man right in front of me. He flinched in fear and breathed heavily as if he was short on supply of oxygen. Thandie sat up straight in the bed.

“Baby, it’s not what it looks like!!” she shouted.

I ignored her and lurched forward so that I could be in line with the man that my wife had been having an affair with. I heaved with nausea, there was no middle ground of survival; I was going to kill him. I clenched my fists and pasted his face with a painful blow. He attempted to save himself by guarding his face, but another punch sent him flying across the room.

“Baby, stop it. It isn’t what it looks like, I swear!” Thandie exclaimed as she tried to stop me from killing her lover. I stood to face her. For the first time our eyes met. Hers glistened with fear in the deem lights. I couldn’t stomach the thought of another man enjoying her. Women cheat when they feel a void. She must have felt a connection to him or fallen in love.There was no way of fixing this.

“Thomas I’m so sorry,” she assured him.

“Mrs. M, tell him. I’m not sleeping with your wife,” he said as his eyes darted between me and Thandie. He stood up to tend to his dislocated jaw. I watched him in disgust.

Maybe they were both telling the truth. He called her Mrs. M so it could have been nothing. But how possible and logical was that? The man was in our bedroom. I was angry. I passed on an opportunity with Monica only to be beaten at my own game. She never caught me after all. I couldn’t forgive her. I had to walk away from her infidelity. Once beaten, twice shy. I packed what was left of my belongings and banged the door behind me.

I had been doing what I caught her doing for months, but the girls meant nothing to me. I took out my phone from pocket and wrote to Monica, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

A man’s infidelity does not bring down a home.

-The end-

WEDNESDAY NIGHT INTERLUDE 1

Part 1

   Mrs. M.

My eyes darted across the room as tears rolled down my cheeks. I was still in denial of my loss. I tip toed my way to what used to be our matrimonial bed deftly like a pro ballerina. There was mash on the floor made from broken bottles and wine. Wine that reminded me of how a careless drinking spree was the cause of my just ended marriage. Some glasses with red lip stick stains were empty but they seemed to be begging to be replenished. I ignored them as I acknowledged the mess that stood before me. The closet door was ajar and bore its emptiness, reminding me that Mwansa had left me.

 

16 hours ago.

 

“Morning beautiful”, his text read.

“Morning baby, how are you?” I replied.

“I’m great, how are you?” He asked.

“I’m great too. Just can’t wait to see you tonight 💃☺” I replied happily.

“About that.. I have work today. I don’t think I’ll travel. I’m sorry baby.” He explained .

“Again? I’m tired of waiting. It’s been 2 months since we’ve seen each other 😬” I complained angrily.

“Baby I’m sorry! I’ll travel next weekend. I know you’re upset, but try to understand, please!” He begged.

“Understand? I have been understanding for far too long. I know work gets really busy, but this is too much.” I said.

“Baby calm down. I’ll make it up to you, I promise!” He replied.

“I’m sick and tired of your empty promises Mwansa! I can’t go on like this. 2 months of not seeing each other is just too much for me.” I continued.

“Babe! Don’t talk like that. I’m sorry! I’ll make it up to you.” He begged again.

Silence

“Baby!” His text read.

Silence

“Babe. You there?” He asked.

Silence

3 missed calls.

Ignored.

“I know you’re ignoring me. I’ve tried to talk to my boss but he won’t give me the day off because he needs me to facilitate a seminar with him in Kalulushi. I’m doing this for us pumpkin. One day I’ll be rich and we won’t have to go through this ever again. I’m getting ready for the trip now. I love you!” He explained.

I loved him too, but I was too angry to tell him that. I was getting sick and tired of him cancelling our plans for work. I knew he needed this job- WE needed this job-  because one source of income wasn’t going cater for our debts. I was in my final level of ACCA and spent most of my pay on tuition fees and text books, plus rent for our apartment. Mwansa covered the rest of my bills by transferring money to my account every month. Then there was his rental fee for his flat in Kitwe. We had a lot on our hands. The truth is that he tried his best to keep us going, especially with our financial challenges and his ailing mother’s health made him work even harder because her medical bills were exorbitant. I was always supportive of his work, but 2 months of not seeing him was beginning to take its toll on me. I was angry. I missed him, but I was going to ignore him until I came to terms with the fact that he wasn’t coming to Lusaka. Again.

I lost my zeal to study after receiving the disappointing news. Whoever thought that marriage was a walk in the park was kidding themselves. Some nights felt lonelier than others, but I was committed to Mwansa. It was hard for a woman to get on by without the touch of her husband but I loved him more than anything. This time however, I felt like he let me down. My faithfulness was a ticking time bomb with most of my male work mates offering themselves to me, but I held it together because I didn’t want to become an adulterous wife.

I poured myself a glass of Fourth Street and crawled back into bed, still ignoring Mwansa’s messages. High exam fees emptied my purse so I could only afford the cheap wine, but I didn’t mind because our problems were temporary, as my husband constantly assured me. I sipped only small amounts of the wine but when the sweet rosé trickled down my throat it sent a spasm of thunderous shocks to my head. I felt light and I liked it because my mind was taken away from the fight I had earlier with Mwansa.

My phone rang. It was Thomas, one of study buddies.

“Mrs. M, are you home?” He asked.

“I’m home, what’s up?” I responded.

“I need your help in Ethics. I was going through some questions and found this tricky one.” He explained.

“OK,” I said while trying to catch myself. “Just send me a picture of the question on whatsapp.”

“Mmh Mrs. M, I don’t have whatsapp. My phone was stolen. Remember?” He said.

“Oh yeah.. So?” I wondered.

“I’ll pass by. Give me the directions to your house.” He persisted.

“Er. OK.” I hesitated. “I’ll text them to you.”

I wish I knew. I was going to lie and say I was visiting my mother in law. I was not expecting visitors; my house was a huge mess. I was a mess. I sent him the directions very carefully, avoiding typos at all costs then I walked to the bathroom sloppily to try and wash the drunkenness away, but the sweet rosé had already done its damage. I could think-straight for that matter- but the problem was that my reception was slow. I didn’t know if I was going to pull it off with Thomas. I should have told him I was drunk, but my lips were too heavy to say the words. My entire body felt too heavy for me to carry, but I managed to clear the kitchen counter of the bottle and wine glasses.

There was a gentle knock on the door.

“Who’s there?” I asked pretentiously as I touched both of my temples with my eyes shut.

“Thomas!” He echoed.

Hesitantly I opened the door.

He extended his right hand to mine and shook it. I welcomed him in and only realised then that it was evening. I had lost track of time. I had ignored Mwansa more than long enough. I was going to call him as soon as Thomas was going to leave.

I walked Thomas to the dinning room and pulled out a chair for him. “Nice home.” He said as he looked around.

“Thanks. I said while I sat down.” My head spun fast. “Let’s get started.”

He pulled out a stack of papers from his bag and placed them on the table. I grabbed the paper on the top and read the question aloud; slurred. He giggled.

“Mrs. M, are you OK?” He said grinning.

I cleared my throat.”I’m OK,” I lied.

“Mrs M, you’re drunk.” He accused and giggled.

“No, I’m not.” I said sternly. Now I was embarrassed.

“Hmm. Your speech is slurred, you’re staggering as you walk. I can tell you’re trying to fight it, but I know a drunk person when I see one.” He said and finally burst out laughing.

My cheeks turned red. My head spun faster.

“What are you drinking?” He continued.

“Sweet rosé,” I said shyly. “I have misused my study leave ”

“Could I pour myself a glass?” He asked as he packed his stack of papers in the bag.

“Sure,” I replied. I tried to get out of my seat, but he instead walked to the fridge and helped himself. He refilled my glass and we got talking about our personal lives. I couldn’t help but notice that he was kind of cute. And it ended there. He was cute. Nothing more. He asked how Mwansa was doing and how we were managing the long distance. I opened up to him and told him about the fight we had earlier. At that moment, the lights went out then I remembered it was Wednesday. Power was scheduled to be cut at 22:00 on Wednesdays. It was really late, I realized. Mwansa crossed my mind. He must have gone to bed sad. Thomas needed to leave so I could call him and make amends. But first I needed his [Thomas] help switching on the generator since I was too drunk to walk in the dark.

“I should probably leave now. Before my wife starts blowing up my phone.” He explained while standing up. He switched on the torch on his phone to light up the room.

“Uhmm, the backup generator is in the garage. Please help me switch it on.” I said as I motioned my left hand in the direction of the door that led to the garage.

“OK. Is it unlocked?” he asked.

“Oh! The key is in the bedroom.” I remembered. “Lemme go get it.”

I got up from my seat and a dizzy spell clouded my head. I felt light. I held the edges of the table for support and stood still briefly so that I could gather composure. I took one step, then another one jittery. Thomas looked at me worried. He held me and asked if I was OK.

“I’m too drunk. I need to get to bed.” I said.

Without my permission, he carried me and asked where my room was. I pointed to the direction of where it was and he followed until we got there. He lay me in bed and asked where he’d find the key to the garage.

“It’s in the drawer on your left.” I said lazily.

He took the key and made his way out to the garage. The lights came on and the generator roared loudly. In a few minutes he was back. “I have to go now Mrs. M. My wife is looking for me,” he chuckled. “Do you have a spare key for the main door?”

“I do. Why?” I asked sleepily.

“Give it to me so I lock you in. You can keep the other key and unlock yourself out when you wake up.” He explained. “I’ll give you the spare one back tomorrow. That OK?”

“It’s very OK.” I replied with a smile. “Thanks a lot Thomas!”

He stood over me and smiled back then turned on his heel to leave. He stopped suddenly just before he could open the door of the bedroom.

“Mrs. M, ” he whispered. “I can hear a noise. Shh! Stay quiet. Don’t fidget.”

He stood still, trying to listen to the details of the noise that was drowned in the generator’s violent roar. It got louder as it got nearer. He made no movements and paid close attention then he flinched suddenly in fear and shock when the door opened. He came face to face with Mwansa.

Right then and there my sense of reasoning was restored and I shouted, “Baby, it’s not what it looks like!”

to be continued