When I was done explaining to her what I needed her to do for me in exchange for money to pay her mother`s hospital bills, she looked at me and for a moment I thought she was going to hit me. She couldn’t say a word, instead, she stood up and looked at me from head to toe.
“What now? You don’t want money anymore?” I asked her. I know I sounded awkward she was wondering if at all I was a normal human being or not. But I was not joking either and I planned on having my wish one way or the other. I knew if she could give me a negative answer I would find another person to do it for me.
Well, I had the money to my name, which evidently I had no other way of spending it.
“Are you okey?” Chisomo asked me, her voice now raised a bit.
“Yes, am okey? What kind of question is that?” I asked her with a smile which I noticed she took offence.
“Let me get this straight, you think you are sick and are not able to bare kids for the man you claim you love? Now, you want to pay off a woman to sleep with your man so that she gives him a child?” she looked at my face
“Yes,” I responded bluntly and now stood up to make her realise I was not joking.
“You are sick in your head woman, you are in fact the craziest person I have come to meet in my life. You talked so calmly and for the moment I thought you are a good person…”
“hey, please don’t insult me Chisomo please, you don’t need to say all that to me, let me remind you that I just met you and you have no right to judge me. so if you don’t want then go on and leave, I just wanted to help you with your mother you know” I sighed shaking my head, I picked up my bag and started walking away from her leaving her staring at me as I walked.
Yes, it seemed crazy to her but I had to find a woman to give me and my husband a child the moment we got married. I loved Mario and I knew from the talks I had with his mother we would never be happy till we gave her grandchildren, at least even just one. Now that I couldn’t give birth to a child as I was barren due to some illness I had as a teenager, I had to find a way to make my marriage work.
Mario seemed hesitant about my idea, pointing out that I would never bring happiness in our home by paying a stranger to give us a child. But I had to convince him otherwise.
“How many kids would you love us to have?” I recall asking him one night when we were together and he had smiled a big smile,
“well, at least 3” he looked at me and the look in his eyes when he said it made me realise how much he wanted to have babies. Though he had a change of language after learning of my condition, I knew deep down in his heart he wanted kids and since I could never give him any, I decided to find a way to complete our home a few months before our wedding.
The plan was for us to pay someone to get pregnant from Mario and I would pretend to be pregnant during the period so that people would never know the truth behind our baby.
“Hey, Ketty! How are you my dear it’s been ages?” my friend greeted me when I got to her place. I had kept thinking about my meeting with Chisomo as I got to the garage where I left my car for servicing and later on drove to Northmead to see my best friend Sera.
“Hey, okey my friend, how are you?” I tried to cheer up In front of her but like always she was able to read my mood, she frowned sitting next to me after handling me a glass of water.
“I told Mario” I finally spoke up looking at her face, she sunk back in the couch looking at me her eyes wide open.
“Don’t, do not, tell me, you went ahead with that stupid idea of yours Ketty?” she shook her head.
“yes love, I did, I have to do this for us, the plan Is all outlined well, find a woman to sleep with him, maybe a few weeks after our marriage, she gets pregnant and I start paying her slowly till the day she gives birth. I get my baby and she leaves our lives forever” I shrugged casually making Sera rub her head scratching the scalp down her weave she was wordless.
“Please my dear. Don’t do this please, I beg you. Mario has proven he loves you and he accepted the situation. So just get married and be happy do not bring other complications in your marriage” she spoke in a calm but firm voice I knew she was concerned about me.
“well, what good will my husband`s love be if we are always going to get the heat from his mother about a child anyway. I don’t have that much a good relationship with my mother already. I cannot have another beef with my mother in law, no I won’t” I shrugged and placed down the glass of water.
“well, I will say I tried to warn you dear, if that is what you want and your fiancé is okey with it then go ahead , am here for you as always my girl” Sera smiled at me I hugged her close .
“I love you Sera, “I chuckled and she smiled the more.
“I love you Ketty you and me are like sister and I am trying to look out for you, God knows where all this crazy idea came from” she laughed softly.
“Am a writer remember?” I smiled and she nodded her head,
“you sometimes tend to live in your imagination my love, and it’s not good for you. Anyways, any luck in finding this lady who would give you that child?” she asked me.
“Well, I met someone today after having another heated discussion with Mario, you should see this girl, she is strong and beautiful, her body shape, let me just say her physical features are appealing. I want a person like her to mother a child for us “
“But?” Sera looked at my now down face.
“She said no” I frowned sadly.
“Okey. I didn’t think you thought it will be easy to call someone, hey woman!, you are beautiful and look healthy, can you be the one to sleep with my husband and get pregnant for us? Did you?” Sera scoffed
“I know right, its crazy dear”
“No its not crazy girl, it’s hilarious and awkward, people will think you are mad or something” she laughed
“This is Africa, Zambia if I may add, people don’t think like you do my dear” she added
“Okey. That is okey, I failed my first attempt but am sure I will find someone soon enough. You will see. “I told her with so much determination making my friend click her tongue at my idea.
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I was lost in my thoughts as I stood in the door way to my mother`s ward, the time I went to check on her I found her sleeping and I stood there looking sadly at her, I recalled the meeting I had with the strange woman Ketty.
“How on earth would someone think like that? What the hell is this world turning into?” I asked myself shrugging in the process.
“Well, she is mad, I need money for my mother yes, but there are other better ways of saving mom`s life than do what that crazy woman was suggesting.” I spoke to myself.
Walking about the ward, I sat down my body feeling tired I dozed off. The shouting voice of the nurse woke me up, I looked around as though I was lost just to meet eye to eye with the loud nurse shaking my shoulders.
“Yes, sister, am sorry I fell asleep.” I sat up seeing I was still in the hospital after having a beautiful dream, my mother was well and we were walking down the road laughing and chatting.
“Your mother is very ill and the doctor wanted me to ask you if you have had any luck finding the money he told you about” she asked me and as realization sank in, I started sobbing at the thought I had not done a thing to save my mother.
“No” I responded without hesitation.
“well, there is little we can do for you here then, the doctor explained everything and since there is no other thing to do for your mother without the needed medication, I suggest you take her back home till you get something” she looked at me so cold I wondered if at all she had any slight bit of compassion in her heart.
“sister, I know about the money but right now mother is so sick, I cannot take her home , please help us, I promise to work hard to find some money to pay the bills, please help her” I begged kneeling down on my knees but she stepped back and shrugged.
“am sorry, the doctor told me to let you know that is the hospital policy and so am going to prepare the documents and you people will be discharged” the nurse spoke her last words and walked away leaving me still on the floor, my face was wet with tears I failed to stand up even when a few faces were looking in my direction, probably wondering why a 26 year old lady was humiliating herself in public.
“God what now?” I asked myself still stationed to the floor.
An hour later, we were back at out small home in Matero, my mother looked at me as I sat beside her and weakly smiled.
“Why have you been so silent my Chisomo? Things will be fine okey? don’t worry about me, God will heal me at his own time? “She smiled and I looked at her shaking my head.
“well, you have had that faith for some months mother and there is nothing God is doing about it, maybe it’s time we started thinking of ways to find money to help you instead of hope as you call it” I uttered my words and the look in my mother`s eyes warned me she was not pleased.
“Am sorry mom, it’s just that…” I started and wiped the tear from my eyes.
“Its alright, I get it, you are tired my daughter you have tried all you can and things are hard for you, trust me though, everything works for good for those who love the Lord” she patted my shoulder with her weak hand and I faked a smile.
“Get some rest mom, let me make some fritters and sell so we can have something to eat this evening” I covered her with a fleece and walked out to make some fire outside.
To be continued