The people moving about, some in a rush whilst others took their time, standing and checking out some items from the shop windows, others smiling as they tried on some second hand clothes as they assumed they looked good in their newly acquired clothing’s. My eyes went round analyzing the surrounding as I stood near the street in town lost in thoughts one would wonder what I was doing standing there by myself.
Well, for me everyone around looked okey, I had no idea what they had going on in their lives only that mine was actually a crooked road that I could not see it directions clearly. I felt like I was on a journey which I had no idea what the destination would be. My mother was still recovering in the ICU, I had no idea whether she would make it out and make my sacrifice worthy, or she would die anyway, of which I would end up in a mess since now I was pregnant with a man I barely knew.
In my hands as I stood in the street was a piece of paper that was some evidence I was carrying a child that I had not even in my dreams dreamt of having at that moment in my life. I felt some hot liquid flow down my cheeks and I raised my left forefinger wiping it away.
“you don’t have to cry now Chisomo, this is not time for tears but time to face what lay ahead” I whispered inside myself and decided to cross the road without following the simple road crossing rule of looking right, left and right again before crossing.
The loud honking of the vehicle made me stop in the middle of the road, I covered my ears, I was so sure I was dying any second.
“What is going on with you woman? You want to kill yourself or something?’ the loud voice of a man made me realise I was still alive, I looked at him my eyes wide open, he had to pat my hand to wake me up.
“Hey! Are you okey?” the man asked I nodded my head without saying a word to him.
“Well, you better watch where you are going or you will die before your time young lady” the man added and for the first time I took my chance to look at him. He was an elderly man who spoke so gently am sure he felt pity for me. My reaction was so confusing even to myself.
“Am sorry, I was not watching my steps and where am going” I managed to say at last and the man shrugged telling me it was okey.
Walking to the bus station, I got on a bus to Woodlands. I had to tell Ketty and her fiancé I was carrying their most wanted child. I sat in the middle seat of the small bus and looked out the window as the bus started moving. That moment I allowed myself to remember what had happened a month past.
I was seated beside my mother`s bed in the hospital reading her the verses from the bible as she had requested when my phone rung.
“Hello!” I responded not really paying attention to the number calling.
“Chisomo, we need you today, tomorrow was bad I failed to call you over. There is a change of plans about the wedding but our deal still stands.” Ketty had told me.
“Yeah sure, I will be there” I whispered looking at my mother who narrowed her eyes trying to get what I was up to.
“Who was that?” she asked me and I sighed not wanting to spoil her mood by telling her it was Ketty. She had questioned where the money for her surgery had come from and I lied I borrowed it from a friend.
“never lie to me Chisomo, don’t tell me you got that woman`s deal for this money” she had asked in a sad tone.
“No mom, come on I didn’t. Now, I have to go something has come up and I might come back a little late. Your food is in that food warmer okey?” I rubbed her hand before leaving.
Getting to Ketty`s house, I found her alone crying laying down on her couch. She sat up and wiped her tears seeing me walk in.
“Am sorry, I didn’t mean to walk in like this but John told me I would find you here” I whispered standing there as she looked at my face I could see she was hurting, a photo of her father was laying close to her.
“Its okey am just having some bad moments in my life, these are times when I miss my father so much” she sniffed in and patted the couch for me to sit next to her.
“Look here Chisomo, I know this is uncomfortable for you, I mean, what am asking you to do. But now more than ever, I need that baby, if am going to end up with Mario, then I need that baby Chisomo” she held my hand, squeezing it.
“Um, oh “ I murmured not really knowing what to tell her, her sadness was too evident.
“so I want you to go to Mario`s house, no” she paused,
“I will take you to him and you two will continue what you started, he is hurting too right now cause of what his mother has done and he will be easy to get down with you. So let’s go and do this” she stood up but I remained seated wanting to beg her to reconsider her plan,
“Ketty” I called her still seated.
“Yes, what is it?” she asked me and I kept quiet for some seconds.
“Hey, what is going on? Is your mother okey?” she asked me now turning to look at me.
“Um, yeah, I mean she is still in the hospital but there is hope for her at least. What I mean is that I don’t think I can do this, it’s not right and its hurting you… I thinks its best i….” I stopped, swallowing hard as her face went down.
“What do you mean you cannot do this, we had an agreement and now it is easy that the two of you already started this” she shook her head pulling me to sit down.
“Or what? You suddenly want to change your mind? Did Mario hurt you? Are you feeling okey? Are you scared, I can talk to him and make sure all is well” she spoke panic in her voice.
“No, actually we didn’t do anything the other day Ketty, we both could not get to do it” I finally told her seeing how the issue was affecting her.
“What? You played me for a fool huh? You and Mario didn’t do ….” She sighed deeply standing up.
“Now, listen to me Chisomo” she came back at me this time so angry
“am trying to be patient with you right now and I swear you are just getting on my last nerve and you don’t want to get me messed up right now, I have issues with my mother in law and the last thing i need is some games played on me. Now, I will pretend I didn’t hear that and right this minute, stand up and let’s get going. You are spending a night at Mario`s and if I have to, I will stay and watch till you two do what I want. I paid you and I need results” she stormed out and I watched her in silence as she went upstairs coming back a minute later with car keys.
Without a word I followed her and the drive to Kamwala south was silent. She kept looking ahead and I had no words to tell her, she was right to get mad at me, I had her money and even though my heart was screaming for me to do the right thing, I still had to pay for it all. The sight of her sadness prompted me the more to help her.
An hour later, I was seated in Mario`s bed looking down the floor. He too was standing by the window watching the vehicles pass by the road side.
Clearing my throat, I walked towards him and touched his shoulder.
“Am sorry Mario, I have no idea what is going on with you and Ketty but today we cannot lie to her, you both seem tense and I need to get back to my mother” I spoke softly. He kept looking out until finally he decided to face me.
“Chisomo, why are you doing this? “He asked now leaning his hand on my shoulder I felt my legs shiver with him that close.
“I need to help my mother I already told you that” I stammered but he lifted my face to look at him.
“No, why are you really here Chisomo, you could have let it be. Your mother, am sure would not allow this. I don’t mean bad but everyone dies at some point. So why are you here?” he asked me seriously.
“um, I know it’s hard for you to understand Mario, but for me my mother is all I have, my father and elder brother died in a road accident years ago when I was still a little girl, my mother had to suffer working her life off to get me where I am today, she gave up her life for me and I am just trying to return the favor. We have no relations I would run to for help and so I had to find a way myself. Another thing..” I paused looking at him to make sure he was getting me. It was the first time I was actually speaking it out.
“also, am doing this for love Mario, I heard a cry for love of a desperate woman. I saw that sad look in Ketty`s eyes and heard it in her voice as she asked me to give birth to a baby so she can have you. I am a woman and I know how hard it is to find true love in this life. Now that she has it, she is afraid she could lose everything. She is suffering just with the thought am with you right now, but she is willing to forego it all so that she makes you happy Mario, that is the reason I got in that car today and allowed myself to come over here and make her wishes come true.” I explained with tears in my eyes he sighed looking at me in a different way.
He looked away again.
“We have to do this for your woman Mario, we have to. “ I added and went to sit on the bed.
“My mother hates her Chisomo, she hates my fiancé just because her family didn’t work out, she hates her because she is a woman with wealth, I swear I love that girl. She makes me happy and I love her, now we have to push forward the wedding ….” He went on explaining what was going on and I felt bad for them both.
“What a love story” I whispered in my mind.
Without warning he had come close to me and lifted me up. I didn’t expect it, but he kissed my lips so gently. Feeling him close made my insides go wild I wondered why I was feeling that, instead of being disgusted with him, I felt myself respond in a way I had not planned to.
“You are a good person and I am beginning to like you” he paused looking at me I kept my head down. That wasn’t the plan, I thought there won’t be talking or touching, all I had in mind was him getting on with it and get me pregnant without chit chats and close whispers.
“Are you okey?” he asked me his voice getting to my throat I swallowed hard.
“Um, am.. am scared” I told him honestly, only I wasn’t sure what I was scared of myself, either because he made me feel uneasy since he belonged to another or the fact that I was liking the idea of being so close to the man I barely knew.
“I know, I am too, but I guess its double scare for you who has never done this before” he smiled and I felt myself relax he curved his arms around me laying me down to the bed.
“I will try and be gentle okey?” he looked into my eyes and I nodded.
Well, the rest of the minutes after were shockingly wonderful, it hurt a little bit but later on I forgot where I was, he made it so gentle I felt like a woman for the first time in my life. He kept looking into my eyes and smiling all the way, it was like I was being introduced to a whole new world and at the Moment my heart felt home, peaceful and full of hope. My body was filled with sensations I so much enjoyed.
“Did I hurt you?” he asked laying back down.
“A little at first but am okey” I whispered feeling shy.
He tilted my head and made me look into his face.
“Thank you” he whispered I noticed he did it with a smile. That night he made things worse insisting I spend a night since it was late. He assured me the first thing in the morning he was to take me to my mother at the hospital. I so much wanted to go sleep alone in the other room, but he insisted there was nothing more to be afraid of since we already had met. He came on to me again I understood his need as a man, or did I just want him too?
Well, whatever the reason, we made ourselves husband and wife for a night and it didn’t hurt as much as I imagined it would.
To be continued