The shouting and screaming from Ketty`s room was getting so loud, I tried to cover my ears not to hear them fight but it was in vain. I knew the day Ketty would find out things would be bad, so instead of staying and watch their lives get destroyed because I could not control my feelings for the man I knew didn’t belong to me, I decided to pack my things and take my leave.
“You have overstayed Chisomo, its time you moved on” I whispered to myself putting the last item in my bag. I could not stop my tears so I let myself cry softly as I looked around the place for the last time, I had to find a way of starting over and I knew I had to move out quickly before anyone could tell I was gone. Where I had to go, was not yet decided, all I needed was move out as soon as possible, I knew from the first time things wouldn’t be easy but now, I had to find a way of moving on with my life, since mom died, I had kind of stopped living and the only good thing about my life were the strong feelings I had developed for Mario, I felt I had no right to come between a relationship that was built for some time with love.
“Madam, Madam! “ John the worker, called out as I walked towards the gate slowly and sadly.
“Where are you going with that bag? Is the boss coming with you?” he asked walking towards me I didn’t stop to respond, I waited till I was outside the gate then I looked at him.
“Am leaving Ba John, my stay in this house is over and am not coming back” I faked a smiled but the tears betrayed me, they fell down slowly he shook his head.
“what is wrong Madam, I am sure whatever it is madam Ketty will sort it out, she is a good woman and I know she can help” he suggested innocently.
“Thank you for your concern ba John but I have to go now, bye” I nodded and walked to the road. The moment I got to stand by the road side, a taxi pulled over and I stopped it getting in without looking back. I was to leave and never look back at all or my feelings would lead me back to the man that belonged to another.
The first place I thought of was my friend`s house in George compound, he was the only person I could trust. Unfortunately I had very few girlfriends and of late I never got to see any of them, I was so carried away taking care of my mother and I lost touch with them.
“Chisomo, what a surprise!” Jared marveled upon seeing me drop in front of his house. I greeted him and moved back to the trunk to get my bag and he stood there shocked.
“What is with the luggage?” he asked not moving an inch to help me with it.
“Um, can we sit inside?” I asked instead as the taxi driver started his engine after I paid him his fare.
“Inside? Okey, come on, let’s go in” he made a surprised face at me as he grabbed the bag and led the way into the house. I looked around the small two roomed house I had known for quite some time. Jay and I were friends from high school, he was our regular visitor even when mom was still alive and I used to visit him so much too.
Like me, Jay had no parents, unfortunately for him, they died when he was still so young he had to start fending for himself when he was only 13, his uncle`s wife chased him from their house and he started doing small jobs renting some room with his friends till he was old enough to start renting his own. After struggling in high school, we both completed and he right away went to study some electrical course and 2 years later he was working with the Chinese guys who were in construction. Jay had refused to move, he always told me his small house was his heaven and until he was sure he was settled, he wasn’t going to move out. I had several times gone to see him, especially when I was not selling on the weekends, of course till my mother’s illness got bad.
“Chichi!” he called my name the way him and my mother usually called it. “what is going on, after the funeral I barely saw you and the many times I went to your house I was told you were no longer living there, you couldn’t even call to let me know about yourself, and now you show up looking like someone has just died again? What is it Chichi?” he sat next to me so concerned.
“Am done my friend, my life is over” I started now tears coming out and falling to my folded hands.
“What? What do you mean over? , the only time someone would say their life is over is when they are dead my friend, even the dying have hope of living, as long as you have your breath, then know there is a God somewhere and no matter what, hope surrounds us” he smiled as always.
That was one thing about Jay, he always had something to say and he always amused me with his wisdom. in that area, I never knew anyone better at that than him.
I went on explaining to him the entire story, I had no other way out, I had to pour my pain and thoughts to someone and that was just it, Jay watched and shook his head the entire time as I narrated my story from the beginning.
“So here I am, I have wasted so much and now I will not stand in the middle of a great love story. Can you keep me here for a while till I figure out what to do with my life?” I asked wiping the tears from my face. He came and looked direct at me holding my hands.
“am so sorry you had to go through all this Chisomo, I will not say it’s entirely your fault though, you were pushed to the wall and sometimes, we tend to think of only sacrificing for those we love ignoring the daring consequences of our actions. I know it’s painful but I also know you so well, you are stronger than what you are feeling right now and soon all this will be over” he comforted me with a wide smile.
“So now what about the baby you were paid to deliver?” he asked after some time of silence.
“I was thinking as I was heading this way, I am going to sell the house, I mean the one we used to live in in Matero, it’s the only thing I have to my name and since the only amount am owing to Ketty is the down payment of 15 thousand she gave me for mom`s operation, I might just manage to raise that money and pay her back all of it, am not doing this Jay, not anymore, my mistake was to think I could buy someone`s life and my mother is no more. I will not sell this baby again, no way am giving them this child even though it was Ketty’s idea to have a child. Now I have more reason to keep the baby since am in love with the father” I added with a smile Jay sat back shaking his head.
“What happened to you? You used to believe in God so much you could have never done what you did “ he whispered sadly.
“I lost my way Jared, what can I tell you? My mother`s illness got me so tired and weak I had no other option, you saw how I ran around to find money but all was in vain. Am only human my dear and this time I went far off I have no idea how to come back” I told him honestly.
“Anyway, you know this house is open to you, any time. So you stay as long as you want until you figure out something, I have added a room at the back where I had one of the guys renting it but I will ask him to leave so it can be your bedroom for now” he smiled,
“No, no, you had it built so you could raise some money, I will not take that place jay, let me just be sleeping here in this room, I will be okey really” I tried to tell him but he smiled standing up.
“Stop talking nonsense, what are friends for? Besides, the idiot doesn’t even pay rentals anymore, he is owing for several months” he assured me.
“well, let me be the one to pay you then, that way I will not feel guilty of invading your privacy” I suggested standing up too.
“you will pay me whenever you will have enough for yourself and that child you are carrying Chisomo, for now, let’s see how you will get up and start over” he shrugged and pulled the bag to his other room I watched him.
“He is always a good person” I thought to myself and sat back in the small sofa looking around.
Days then weeks passed and Jared kept me so well, he would go for work and come back with some foods for both of us. I was never getting over the thoughts of Mario, every night I dreamt of him, I could see him in my dreams asking me to go back to him.
“I miss him” I told Jay as we ate one day.
“Who?” he asked again pushing the topic away. He always insisted I forgot about Ketty and Mario and only paid attention to my baby. For weeks I tried to find a buyer for the house but I wasn’t luck enough to find one.
“Mario?” I looked at him.
“look, here, I don’t want to hear that name in this house Chisomo, if that man was sensible enough he would have never allowed a woman to manipulate him into believing in such a stupid idea, besides, the idiot could not even decide what he felt for you cause it’s clear it was not love as he claimed. If that was the case, he could have chosen you without debate. Look at you, you are the most amazing person I know, you are beautiful and am sure you are no match for the writer fiancé or wife of his whatever they are.” Jay lamented.
He was right, I had to find a way of moving on and even though my pregnancy was now showing and some neighbors beginning to talk about me being impregnated by Jared, he told me to focus on what was positive till everything was fine.
“Thanks Jay “I smiled honestly.
“Don’t start Chichi, you are my friend and that is what friends do, they stick together in times like this. So now I got good news”
He smiled siting up.
“Really? I asked looking at him.
“Yeah, I found a buyer, I told him your original offer but he said for a one bedroomed house like that he can pay K65, 000 instead of seventy”
But we said K70 Jay, I need some of that money to start over you know that” I argued
“I know my dear, but think of it, it’s the only good deal we have been able to make so far, the guy is willing to pay in cash” Jay continued.
“Well, you are right, that house is old anyway, let us just get whatever he is offering and get over this already. So when can he pay the money?” I asked
“Well, tomorrow I will let him know you agreed and then we see what happens next.
A day later, I was standing by the gate to Ketty`s house. it was silent and I could see from the small opening that Ketty`s car was not in the yard. I knocked softly and John came.
“Madam Chisomo, finally you came” he smiled greeting me.
“Yeah how are you?” I quickly asked not to waste time.
“The boss Mario has been looking for you with his girlfriend, he told me if at all I ever saw you I had to call him and let him know.”
“No,” I stopped him
“please don’t call him, am not here to stay, I just came to leave this for your boss, it’s something I got from her and I want her to have it back, tell her am so sorry for everything and that I appreciate her kindness towards me when I stayed here. I cannot come back though, I need to start over. Please don’t open this package and hand it to her direct. There is a note inside to explain further” I instructed him and he shrugged getting the small box in which I had put a K20, 000, 5000 more to compensate her for the trouble. It was neatly wrapped I was so sure John wouldn’t open the wrappers to check it was money inside the box.
“Come on, let’s go now” Jay called from the car we used.
“yeah, thanks for bringing me here Jay it’s all settled now” I smiled sadly at him as he drove us away using his friend`s car.
“Are you okey?” he asked looking at me.
“Yeah, I will be don’t worry” I sighed looking ahead.
To be continued