Living alone, was not easy, I felt a lot lonelier than ever, I missed my mother more. Every night I would go to bed and cry myself to sleep. I wished time and again, Jay had not spoiled our friendship with his love speech, at least I could be with him and think less about what was about my life.
Esther had always been on his back to make sure she was not letting him out of her sight. The few times I got to see Jay was when he sneaked out and came to see me.
“If it was up to me, I would leave Esther and be with you” he would say even against my protest he never spoke to me about love.
“I love you as a friend you know that, so stop talking about this your love thing again and again because whatever you think will happen between us, it will never come to pass” I would tell him.
“I know why” frowned.
“It’s that man Mario, you still love him don’t you?” he would challenge me. Of course I never admitted it to his face as much as I tried to avoid thinking about the feelings that I had for Mario. I thought the more I avoided talking and thinking about him I would forget him, well they say whatever you feed your mind is possible but unfortunately for me it was my heart speaking and there was no way my mind would process and make me forget about the man it wanted, so I spent nights and silent days inwardly wishing he was with me. I was laying in my bed one night lost In thoughts whena soft knock came from my front door, looking at the time I wondered who it was.
“Jay” I sighed realizing he was the person that could possibly come at that time, it was a few minutes past 8pm. wrapping a fleece around myself, I walked to the door. I didn’t even bother to turn on the lights knowing I would not allow him inside the house.
“Jay its lat…..” I couldn’t finish my sentence as I opened the door the sight of the man standing there made me pause and feel my heart racing.
“Is that his name?” he asked folding his hands across his chest. I wanted to close the door and run back inside but he held it wide.
“Do you love him?” he asked still holding the door and not moving from where he was standing.
“Mario, what are you doing here?” I finally found my voice.
“Why? Tell me why you had to make me go through hell, spend sleepless nights wishing I could only see you. I love you Chisomo, why is it so difficult to understand that? You could have allowed me watch my baby grow from inside you and know how you are doing. “ He went on his voice so cold and sad I swallowed so hard avoiding to look at him, luckily I was in the dark as he stood outside where the outside light shined in his face. I could see him clearly, tears running down his face. He didn’t bother to wipe them out. It was not my intention to make him sad and it hurt so much seeing him that way.
“Mario, please, you have to go, I don’t know how you found out where I am but it’s not right that you are here, please I don’t want any problems, allow me to have peace please” I spoke almost in a whisper, it was like I was afraid someone would hear my inside voice screaming out what I really wanted.
“how is my baby?” he asked ignoring every word that I spoke that moment, I touched myself unconsciously and the baby inside me moved like it was aware the father was close.
“fine, the baby is fine” I answered him and before I could say more he moved close and held my belly rubbing it gently I couldn’t get him not to, I wanted to but my hands remained stuck on my sides.
“I missed you both, I missed you so much” he raised his face at me, I wonder why he was looking direct at me as though he could see my eyes, I assumed he was not able to cause I was still standing in the dark.
Clearing my throat, I held his hand away..
“Mario, you have seen am okey, can you leave now?, please” I asked him.
“Why? Is it because of that tall dark guy I saw you with? Is it because of him that you lied about your feelings for me and ran away? Was it because of him that you gave back the money so that you will not have me by your door?” he asked now pushing me slightly we both stood inside the house.
“Is it that, that.. Man, that Jay? ” he raised his hands struggling to mention Jay’s name.
“Yes!” I found myself answering without thinking through it.
“What?” he asked now closing in to me.
“where is the switch I want to see through your eyes as you speak” he paused looking around, seeing the switch near the door he turned it on and now I could see he was not the same man I knew before, he was so sad, his eyes looked tired and different, it was like he had been working for hours without rest.
“You said?” he asked lifting my face.
At the moment I thought of Ketty, I knew by then they were married and he probably didn’t even tell her where he was, I knew giving in to him would just complicate things for me and my unborn baby, there was no way in the world I would trade my child for my self-satisfaction even if it meant for the man I loved. I had to find a way of him staying away and I grabbed the opportunity
“Tell me the truth Chisomo, why have you decided to punish me” he asked again as I remained silent for minutes
“Yes, it’s because of him, I love him Mario, just like you and Ketty have come a long way, so have am I and him. He is the love of my life and you know I did what I did with you for money, I needed to help my mother but now she is no more…” I wiped the tears falling as my own lies hurt me so much.
“no, it’s not true, why didn’t you ever mention his name all this time, why hmm, no, you love me Chisomo and you know it, it’s because you never wanted to separate me and Ketty that you left. Well, let me tell you, I cannot forget about you, I love you so much” he giggled sadly. “I love you don’t do this to me, don’t push me away, I found a way of getting to you and now am here”
“no, I have said the truth Mario, am in love with someone else, the guy you saw me with is the one, please stop wasting your time with me, am not yours, you and Ketty belong together and about the baby, am not giving it up for anything” I told him painfully he went to sit on the chair close by like my words had taken away his strength to stand up straight.
“You love me, I know it, look into my eyes and tell me you love someone else” he quickly stood up coming close again like he had found a way of getting the truth from me.
“I love Jay, I never loved you Mario, I never did, whatever happened between us is in the past and it’s all buried” I spoke without blinking fighting hard to keep up the act, he sunk back defeated.
“I see. I was a fool, Ketty was right, all you wanted was money and you played victim , I was so foolish, dammit!” he hit the chair hard in anger I startled moving away.
After minutes of fidgeting and whispering to himself in anger he stood up, looked at me from head to toe and his expression changed, from the sadness to anger. He came close the last time, looked at my face as I looked down, he lifted my chin and I patted my lips unconsciously.
Shaking his head, he kissed me and sighed heavily.
“you have killed me Chisomo, you have no idea how much, how much I so much loved you, you were the one for me” he wiped a tear, rubbed my belly once more and walked away without looking back.
I slowly closed the door and sat down crying like a child. I held my head in my palms and cried out, I was so mad at myself for hurting him, I was mad for denying the man I so much loved just so I avoid trouble, but I was not going to give up my baby`s well-being as well.
Slowly and painfully I pushed myself to my bedroom and cried the more, the lump in my throat felt so painful as I tried to push the images of Mario`s hurt face.
I didn’t feel like a man as I pulled myself away from her, she just told me in my face she loved another man. “Why my Chisomo, why?” I asked myself as I sat in the car.
I had made it my mission to find her and when Ketty and her plans to find her through her mother started, I took advantage trying to follow up issues so I could find her before ketty` s mother did.
“She is in George Compound? “ I had overhead Ketty talking to her mother one afternoon as I walked in from work.
“Where exactly?” she asked and upon seeing me, she changed the subject…
“Mother, just text me” she cut the line and I knew something was wrong somewhere.
“Who was that?” I asked pretending I heard nothing.
“My mother, welcome back” she smile at me
“Well, now you in good books with your mother huh?” I asked trying to get to open up.
“Not really I just want her to help me find our baby” she shrugged.
“So?” I asked hoping she would tell me what was going on.
“So nothing Mario, stay out of all this, just know that we are going to have our baby, just look at how big I am now” she smiled showing me her fake pregnancy. Shaking my head I went on to change my uniform.
I played her game and followed her around, knowing her mother was using a certain guy to find Chisomo, I too had some junior officers follow him around till they told me they saw him talking to Chisomo and drove her to where she was staying.
“What? Are you sure she is okey?” I had panicked.
“Yes Sir. The guy is playing cool and just dropped her home” my officers reported.
“good, it means they wanted to know where she stays, stay close and let me know if anything dangerous is close to her when am back, I will come straight to see her” I instructed my men. Unfortunately I was sent to work from Kabwe for a week so I could not rush to save her and see her.
The time I got back, I didn’t find her at the house the boys told me and I spend the rest of the days walking around the area in the hope to see her. At home I noticed how upset Ketty seemed it was obvious she and her mother`s boys had lost her too. My prayer was to find her before they did and thank God, one of my boys spotted her entering a wall fenced house near some shops. I followed it up and yes, she was there.
Now I was heartbroken, just when I thought my lonely and sad days were over, she just pushed me back to square one. I vowed not to give up my baby though.
“She can have her man and I will have my baby” I spat angrily driving out in a rush. She was punishing me a million times and no matter how much it was hurting, I felt comforted I got to see her again, she looked beautiful in her big bump I kept wishing I got to see more than the fleece she had wrapped around herself…
“Am coming back Chisomo. This is not over” I whispered to myself as I joined the tarred road.
To be continued