© Tisa Phiri
The twins were now learning to walk, it had been 9 months since I left Mario and settled in Emasdale, the only person who knew where I had shifted to was Jared. I made him vow never to tell a soul, especially Mario and Ketty. It came as a surprise when he declared his interest in Ketty, telling me he saw her twice and felt attracted to her. I was taken aback a bit but I knew Jared well, if he said it aloud it meant it was true.
“Look you are my friend and I love you, but if you feel like that towards Ketty then go ahead and tell her. I will not let you pass the chance of being happy with the woman you love because that woman and I are not okey together. Go on and tell her the truth, God willing you may be surprised how things turn out for you, Ketty is a good woman, am sure she did what she did because she was hurt” I assured him.
“well, I didn’t want to tell you earlier because of everything that has been going on, now she is in prison and I don’t think I got a chance with her, besides, look at me, am just a poor guy with nothing and herself is…”
“She will not mind if she likes you” I added before he could finish his sentence. “and about prison, she needs someone now more than ever, so go on, befriend her and see how it goes” I smiled at him and he smiled back shaking his head.
“Who are you? “he teased.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, who sends the best friend to be friends with her enemy?” he laughed softly.
“well, I have caused so much pain even though it was unintentionally but I don’t have to hold back those who are ready to love and be happy, that will make me selfish, the fact that things didn’t work for me doesn’t mean everyone has to end up the way I did, so yeah, go ahead if you truly like her. She will am sure because you are hot and good hearted Jay” I added and he shook his head again.
“sometimes I wish I was in Mario`s shoes you know, having a woman like you love him is a priceless blessing. “he chuckled.
“Hmm, unfortunately we will never be together, I bet it’s not all the love stories that come with a happy ending you know” I shrugged and he patted my back before leaving.
“Stay well Chisomo and take care of you and the twins. Am sure one day, Mario will walk through that door and the two of you will be happy” he smiled.
Months past and Jay could confess what a great person Ketty was, he could pay her visits almost every day and I was beginning to envy him, he seemed so in love and happy.
“Anybody home! “ I heard a voice outside snapping me from my thoughts.
“Takondwa sit down here” I spoke to the boy twin who was playing around.
“Am hom…” I could not finish my sentence as I walked outside and I stopped in my steps seeing ketty and Jay standing there, they both were smiling and only stopped when they saw the expression of surprise on my face.
“What is she doing here? What did we agree on Jay?” I looked at Jay, not really that I hated Ketty anymore, I just didn’t like the idea of her knowing where I was, I had reduced my movements around town, I had managed to hide from Mario for months and now that Ketty was there, I knew that I was not going to hide any longer.
“I wanted to see you Chisomo, am sorry I came unannounced like this” Ketty responded coming towards me I didn’t move an inch.
“What do you want Ketty?” I asked her honestly wanting to know her mission.
“am here to thank you and ask for forgiveness for what happened in the past, I know I was a fool for behaving like that and wanting to kill you, but now I know better, it’s through you that am a happy woman today and I can stand tall that I have found someone who loves me with all my flaws, I will not have to force myself to have a baby because he has accepted me for who I am and am so happy, I owe this to you Chisomo” she extended her hand to show me her ring and I opened my mouth to say something but closed it back.
“I asked her to marry me Chisomo, we love each other and…” Jay responded but I didn’t allow him to finish, I walked back into the house and held my face crying, to be honesty I was so envious of them both, they looked happy together and I wished I was either of them.
“Chisomo am so sorry, I know how you feel” Ketty knelt before me on next to the couch I sat on.
“Am so sorry please forgive me, I made life hard for you and yet you paid me with good. I know what you did asking the colonel to have my sentence reduced, here I am because of your good nature, this man here” she looked at Jay who stood on her shoulder looking at us both,
“Is in my life because of you and am so happy, happier than I ever was with Mario” she added with a sad smile I looked at her.
“it’s okey, am happy for you two, you both deserve to be happy really, don’t worry about me am okey” I wiped the tears threatening to spill off my eyes.
“He still loves you so much you know, he waits for you to go back” she added as she sat on the couch too facing me.
“He will be okey without me. Trust me the only thing that I have brought in his life is pain and I suffered a great deal too, that is not what I want for either of us so we are better off this way” I told them both without hesitation.
“No you are wrong, in the years that I was with Mario, I have never seen him as happy as he was that day at the hospital, he was happy whenever he saw you, he was like a different person and I hate to admit I am the one that messed you guys up, so stop tormenting each other and get back already” she tried to convince me. She was so much willing to bring us together and i believed her words for it. She seemed happy for real and both she and Jay wanted the same for me. Only I was not sure if I and Mario would ever work out, the pain I had been through in the period I came to know him was too much and I feared the worst.
“ I appreciate you guys for coming here but am sorry, am not ready to have Mario or any man for that matter, I have the twins and that is enough for now” I tried to smile as I saw them off. Ketty had got beautiful clothes for the twins and she insisted I got them claiming it was her gift to them since she never got them a thing when they were born.
“any time anywhere Chisomo, do not hesitate to ask for help with regards the twins, I helped in their coming to the world and I feel compelled to be here for them, I only hope one day, you will find happiness too” she added giving me a soft hug and I watched them walk to the car.
“You should call him” Jay added from the window of the car. I just looked at him without saying a word.
Some more days passed and I was again getting over the thoughts of Mario since the coming of Ketty brought them back. I was just getting some items in Shoprite near SOS village along Kabwe road when I heard someone call my name. At first I looked around and didn’t see him, then he called again this time his voice was so close I looked at my back. My heart pounding faster I opened my mouth but it went dry.
“Hello!” he greeted me extending his hand at me. I looked at it and back at his face.
“Hello Mario! What are you doing here?” I asked panic clouding my heart at the moment I realized being that close to him was so dangerous.
“Um, I was passing to get some water, going to the Copper belt for work” he explained his pockets deep in his uniform, I noticed his ranks had changed though he looked a bit slimmer than the last time I saw him.
“I see, am sorry I should have realized this is a shop and not my house” I swallowed hard ashamed of the way I was behaving.
“How is Chikondi and Takondwa?” he asked
“They are okey, learning to walk” I smiled
“Really so soon, how old are they now, 9, 10 months?” he asked
“Turning 10 next week” I responded.
“Wow, my record was correct after all” he smiled I could tell he was keeping track of the babies age.
“Chisomo can we talk outside? Please” he spoke softly.
“Let me just cash these then, “ I pointed at the trolley in front of me, a few minutes later, we sat in his car and he sighed looking at me.
“I didn’t mean to meet you here but I am so glad I did, I miss the kids and I would love to see them, I know I…”
“It’s okey, you can see them now, I have no issues with that anymore” I responded looking at him, he smiled
“Really?” he asked
“Yes, they are your kids too you know, I cannot keep away for good” I responded shrugging. At the moment he took out the phone and called some line telling whoever it was to send another person to the Copperbelt claiming his car had a fault and he was not well. He looked at me again and smiled.
“That is settled, can I see the twins today?” he asked excited.
“Today?” I made a face surprised at his rush, I didn’t honestly expect him at my house that day but I was caught in the net, I had to give him what he wanted.
“Yes, any problem with that?” he asked.
“Um no, I just didn’t prepare to have you home today. If you insist though we can go now” I responded and we drove to the house in silence. Upon reaching there he played with the kids and the three of them bonded so fast I was amazed. I sat down watching them in silence and giggling as they played, till the twins started dozing.
“Where is their room?” he asked carrying them both each on the other hand.
“I sleep with them, this house only has one bedroom.” I responded and he looked at me in a way I knew he was asking for directions. I had got a large baby court for them and so I watched him lay them down from the door way. Sighing with a smile he turned to look at me.
“Thank you for allowing me to see them Chisomo, I really missed them and you, you have done a good job they are so big now” he said walking towards me.
“You have the right to see them, they are yours too” I nodded. He stopped looking at me, I looked down the floor. I could not look into his eyes, scared of what I would do.
“How are you?” he asked I could hear him sounding so close to me.
“Am okey, started another shop and a saloon here and they are doing okey, the kids are healthy and we really are not lacking in terms of food and other things for the house.” I quickly added.
“You know what I mean” he responded.
“Um, am doing just fine Mario.” I looked up at him, he was so close.
“Well, am not, I miss you so much, I thought I would be okey over time but the more time that pass the more I miss you” he sighed.
“Mario we are not…” I almost answered but he held a hand on my mouth.
“Come here” he stepped back going to sit on my bed.
“What?” I asked not sure what he meant really.
“Come here Chisomo” he said it again. I looked out the door and the nanny who was helping me with the kids was just walking out with her hand bag, I knew she didn’t want to be around at the moment. Closing the door, I walked to him and he made me sit next to him.
“Ketty and Jay came home a few weeks ago…” he started and I knew where he was going..
“If they have found each other and are happy why can’t we? Ketty told me she and her mother backed off and will not bother us again, so why are we still like this?” he asked. I had nothing to tell him, I could not tell him I was scared of being hurt again, that I missed him too but was scared of the future with him.
“If you love me, you will tell me one day to come and allow me to be with you because the truth is I still love you” he finally spoke walking towards the door after minutes of trying to get me talk about my feelings for him and our starting of a new relationship.
“Mario! I called him before he could step out of the sitting room door. He stood facing me as I stood steps away.
“I love you, and I missed you too, so much” I told him and he smiled widely rushing back to me and lifting me up, swinging me around,
“You stubborn little woman, I love you more” he laughed and placed me down kissing my lips. “Promise never to let go again.” He smiled looking at my face.
“I promise” I responded and he kissed me again.
Well, like they say, loving someone is a wonder, I was satisfied and happy with Mario. the time our kids turned 1 year old, we were walking down from the church with me in a cute wedding dress and him in a well-tailored suit, smiling as people captured photos of us.
Ketty and Jay besides us as the chief bridesmaid and best man respectively. His family looked so excited and happy. I was glad they welcomed me.
We heard less from the colonel, I was only glad he moved on and even agreed to help Ketty out of Prison. For his kindness towards me I wished him well. I hoped to one day find any of my Relatives but I was glad I had my friend’s ketty and Jay too.
“Congratulations you both” Jay stood in front of us. Ketty came walking to us with the twins and placed them before us asking us to pose for a photo with them, Jay and her included, which she told us was going to be the cover photo for her new book. They planned on getting married some few months later too.
“This will sell more than every other book I have written before” Ketty smiled and we all smiled back looking at the photo of us all.
Mario lifted me up and everyone cheered as he led me to the car, he kept telling me how happy a man he was for having me and I would not say less of him, I was home and it felt warm and safe.
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Story by Tisa Phiri