I kept looking away as Ketty and Mario made out in front of me, she was super excited and kept kissing and holding Mario every time she took a break from cerebrating my pregnancy. In all honesty, I had never seen her that happy since the day I met her. She actually had a wide lovely smile, her face was beaming I knew she really wanted the baby.
“Chisomo, am so happy and so grateful you agreed to do this for us, I promise to keep the end of my bargain and you will get all the money you need. Right now am starting to put the baby`s room in order, I have pictures of what kind of room I would love for our baby” she danced about happily.
“Baby, don’t you think you are taking it too far, the pregnancy is only a few weeks old, let’s take it easy” Mario spoke his eyes on me and as was my trend I could feel myself avoid his gaze so I looked away.
I watched them as they argued and debated about the sex of the baby like I was not even there. Then it clicked, “all these people care about, the baby I was carrying and nothing more. I could feel I had no place around that house and even when I already knew that fact, it didn’t stop me from feeling bad. I felt my eyes fill up as I took in the thoughts of how my life would be.
“Um, excuse me, I got to go now, I just came to tell you both that” I stood up wiping the tear from my eyes, and Ketty came close worried I looked that way.
“Oh my God, Chisomo am so sorry my dear, I have been so much into celebrating this baby I forgot to inquire how you are feeling, how are you coping up with all this?” she asked and I knew she wasn’t being a hypocrite she was actually concerned about me.
Instead of responding to her, I started shedding tears,
“Am sorry” I sniffed in failing to hide my inner pain.
“Chisomo, Chichi, oh No am sorry love, are you feeling okey?” she hugged me so close I could feel her nice cologne. For a minute she held me in an embrace, though I could not see the face of Mario since I had my eyes closed, I could tell he was looking at me too.
“It’s okey, I understand, this is too much for you Chisomo, I, I “she stammered looking at my face.
“Am so grateful you are doing this huge sacrifice for us, I swear to God I will never forget it, the rest of my life I will owe it to you “Ketty pulled to sit us both down.
“am okey, it’s just that so much has happened of late and my mother`s condition is not that good. Am sorry for crying like a baby in your presence” I told her honestly.
“I understand. I do, and am sorry for your pain too. Listen, here is what we are going to do, you are pregnant now and you need extra care, since your mother is in the hospital and you stay alone, why not move in with me.” she smiled holding my hand.
“What? No “ I quickly responded.
“Why not, right Baby?, she can come over here, that way we will help her all the months till she gives birth. What do you say?” she looked at Mario who sighed deeply looking at me.
“Look Chisomo, you are part of this family now, you, Ketty and myself, are more than strangers, we are family now that the baby is on the way, so there is no problem, I for one would want you close” he paused am sure he was watching his words.
“I mean, for the sake of the baby too” he quickly added and Ketty nodded her head to agree with him.
I was left to think over what they had suggested and I told them I would call and tell them my decision after talking to my mother. Ketty even suggested it was good that my mother came over too when she was discharged to avoid me having to worry about her. She was of the idea, that a maid would be hired to take care of us both till I gave birth to the baby.
“What have you done, Chisomo?” my mother whispered painfully after I told her the entire truth.
“Am sorry, I had to mom, you were dying and I had to do something, don’t worry I will have the baby and give it to them, then the two of us will move on with our lives” I told her but she shook her head sadly.
“Stop talking nonsense my child, there is no mother in this world that would let go of their child just like that. The moment you see the baby you will never want to let it go. Stop lying to yourself child, this is not going to give you what you are looking for, it will only bring you pain, regrets and misery so much you will not live at peace with yourself” she had warned and looked away sadly.
I sat there beside her bed rewinding every word she told me. my heart was heavy with pain already and even though I wanted to act things were okey, I knew there was truth in my mother`s words. I started remembering the good old days when she was strong and healthy, how much she talked about me finding happiness, my mother was born in a family of 5 and apparently she was the only surviving child of her parents. Some of the children to her elder brothers and sister were alive somewhere but in my growing I never met many of them, the few that I met were not that friendly and never valued external family, so it was always my mother and I since Daddy and my kid brother died in an accident.
“What a cruel world” I thought to myself wiping the tears from my face. My mother turned to look at me and her last words marked my heart. She said,
“You should have let God take control of my life and yours Chisomo, now you have sacrificed yourself for nothing, for you will not live to see my face any longer. I hope that one day, you will find peace in your life my child and that baby you are carrying there, even if not brought in a right manner, may it be the one to help you find yourself and true happiness” my mother whispered her last words. I was there sobbing as the words pricked my heart when she closed her eyes and peacefully went silent. At first I thought she was asleep but then seeing how stiff she had become, I tried to shake her but nothing, her chest movements had stopped and by the time the doctors came in to confirm her death, I was so let down and broken.
“What have I done?” was the question I kept asking myself as the world around me went into slow motion, all I could remember was that I called Ketty and announced my mother was no more. I don’t recall any other thing after that as I found myself, laying flat on a wide bed in Ketty`s room. I looked around and Mario was standing there watching me in silence.
“Hey, finally” he smiled weakly walking towards me.
“How long have I been here?” I asked him.
“About 2 hours, you were in some kind of shock and Ketty and I decided to bring you here. Am sorry about your mother Chisomo, I truly am, I wish with all I got she had gotten better especially after what you have sacrificed for her. Don’t worry am here for you, am not letting you go through this pain alone, if you need anything just let me know” he sighed sitting close by holding my hands.
He went on to tell me they would take care of my mother`s funeral and all burial arrangements and they kept their promise. The few people that showed up at the funeral helped me mourn my mother till we buried her.
Two months later………………
I woke up feeling dizzy, the effects of the pregnancy was really getting to me. looking around, what had become my room, I found a bunch of fresh flowers on my table and I smiled, I knew Ketty loved flowers and always asked the maid to get some in her room and now mine every morning, according to her, flowers had a way of brightening one`s day.
However, that morning the flowers were not as they used to be, it was a huge bunch nicely wrapped and decorated I stood up and went to hold them smelling them. Sadly, the moment their scent got to my nose I felt my nausea increase I rushed to the bathroom to puke.
“Oh my God, are you okey?” I heard a familiar voice I wondered what he was doing there at that time of the day.
“Are you okey?” he asked again as I walked out of the bathroom breathing heavily.
“No, actually am not, I cannot stand the scent of these flowers” I responded going to sit on the bed. He came and sat close to me.
“Am sorry, I didn’t know this would happen, I wouldn’t have brought them” he apologized.
“Well, what is the occasion? Is it my birthday or something?” I asked surprised he got me flowers.
“Why, a man cannot get flowers for a woman he cares for?” he asked with that warm smile I quickly looked away.
“Hm, not in my world, I see such things in movies where a man gets flowers for the fiancé or wife or girlfriend. But am none of those so?” I shrugged moving up the bed I felt weak after vomiting.
“Why do you always do that?” he asked me.
“Do what?” I narrowed my eyes not really getting what he was talking about. It was evident I had avoided being close to him and I never wanted to find myself alone with him. One of the reasons, was I never wanted Ketty to feel bad or uncomfortable, she had been so good and supportive to me. the other, was that my body had started betraying me and I tried to stay away from him lest I get myself to do what I dared not to.
“Why do you always push me away?” he finally asked
“I don’t” I shook my head.
“By the way, where is Ketty and why are you here this early?” I asked changing the subject.
“You have forgotten? “ he asked
“What? oh no!” I winced realizing what he meant.
“The book thing” I smiled
“Yeah, she is going to launch her book, the tour is starting today and she will not be back home until after a week. Since we still have a couple of weeks before the wedding, she said she will manage her tour. She has all the nine provinces of Zambia to go to before coming back.” he explained what I already knew only I hated that their wedding date was pushed further due to reasons I never wanted to ask.
“And, to answer your question, she asked that I watch you and take care of you in her absence. So here I am” he raised his hands chuckling loudly.
“no, am not a baby Mario, am a woman and am not sick, so you can rest easy, besides, we have a maid to help here I will not be doing anything to stress myself as you two call it.” I told him.
“Well, you know her, she wouldn’t stop when she aims at something and there was no way I would say no to her, so here I am. Besides, I need to spend time with the mother to my baby too, you need me” he smiled passionately I could see that same look I used to avoid.
Clearing my throat, I asked for him to leave me so I could dress up since I was still in a night gown, he told me he was going to prepare breakfast for me and would be back when I was done. At first I thought he was joking but when he came back, he surely had made breakfast, with lemon tea just the way I wanted it,
“You didn’t have to do this you know that” I told him my mouth full.
“I had to, I missed being this close to you.” He started and I shook my head murmuring to stop him from talking.
“I love you Chisomo” he straight away spit it out without warning, I spat my tea chocking.
“What? Are you mad?” I placed the cup of tea on the tray and looked at his face.
“Yes, I might be, how else will I explain the feelings I have for you? I love you I cannot help it anymore, I had to tell you” he added now closing in to me I stood up abruptly like I was burnt.
“Enough! now leave me alone!” I raised my voice at him.
“am not sorry for this, hate me and call me names, ignore me all you want but it’s true, I love you” he insisted before leaving the room and I watched him walk away, my legs were weak I slid my body on the bed sighing deeply before leaning my face in my palms.
“My God, this man will kill me” I whispered to myself.
To be continued