Granny stayed with us , she insisted I go with her home but I wasn’t going without settling scores with my mom’s murderer.
” I will not leave you alone in this, there’s no way am loosing you again.” She pointed out firmly.
” I just love this woman” I thought to myself.
I watched her chat and laugh with Joe , to my surprise he was acting all matured and manly , if I didn’t know him better I would think he liked me more than I thought . Even my efforts to pick fights with him failed , he turned down every effort and I felt really stupid .
We grew fond of each other and despite our little fights, I knew Joe would put his life on the line for me . I saw the way he would fight and overprotect me against boys, lt was so evident . Luckily I didn’t give him much trouble with boys except my teacher boyfriend Cheelo.
I recall the time l first had my menstrual periods . I rushed to him holding my pant crying that someone bewitched me and there was blood on my pant . lnstead of saying anything . Joe fall to the floor laughing hysterically . I even cried more , Chile came to find out what was going on and scolded Joe for laughing at such a serious matter . She took me to the bedroom and explained what was going on , she taught me how to wear pads and cautioned me not to sleep with boys .
“You can now get pregnant” she explained.
“Wait until you are matured enough before you get engaged in sexual activities.” She added.
I was devasted with the news that l will be seeing blood every month .
I joined granny and Joe snapping from my memory, Granny wasn’t for the idea of me pretending to be looking for a Job at my father’s company .
“I won’t let you get in trouble with a bunch of lies” she said
” what then?” I asked almost upset , I was regretting lèting her on my plan .
“She might ruin things” I told myself .
Granny said we had to tell dad the whole truth.
” let’s tell him the truth and if he’s an honest man he will help us get Justice for your mother.”
“No buts….” she cut me short .
“I raised you to be truthful and honesty , am not letting you lie around like a criminal, besides, it’s dangerous . ”
I knew I had no option but to go on with her idea.
“So how do we see my father? ” i asked giving up.
“Leave it to me my dear, she said assuring me.
” we would meet him by the end of the week .”
Later that week on a Friday Granny left and came back with a gift bag , she handed it to me .
“Here, get cleaned up we are going to have dinner with your father this evening and I don’t want him thinking we are beggars or something like that . Go get your hair done as well ” she added .
“Wow !” I said teasing ,
“I like this part of amama . Welcome to Mwazi’s den” I smiled at her rushing out to the saloon .
“Lusaka street’s have really destroyed my little girl” laughed granny .
“Am not a girl!” l shouted back. “I’m almost 15”
“What ever” she laughed. “You will always be my small girl”
I went to Chile’s friend at a saloon and had my hair over blown , she made a small shade in front and made curls in the hair falling on my shoulders . Granny was satisfied , “good” she smiled,
” now go dress up we are running out of time.”
I wore the new dress granny bought me , a nice blue that matched my light skin tone perfectly ,it shaped my small round breasts well and my slim waist . lt was flayered from the hips down to the knees . On my feet I wore a new pair of middle hilled Brown shoes , I really liked the image I saw in the mirror though it was half broken. I could see the beauty that people always talked about . For the first time I agreed with them ,my hair dangled when I turned .lt was like I was 18 years already .
I went out to meet Joe and granny in the other room and they all looked at me in awe ,
“wow ! You look super beautiful , ” exclaimed Joe, surprisingly he had never told me l was beautiful . He either called me little or stubborn girl .
Granny came and made me turn . “wow !” she marvelled ,
“you are beautiful my baby, just like her.” She said almost shedding tears .
“Thank you” I said bowing down and modelling around just to lighten the moment .
“Be careful!” Joe shouted as we entered a taxi Granny had hired , “Arcades” granny told the driver. 20 minutes later, we arrived and walked to a restraunt which looked so expensive . I gave granny a wonder look.
” Don’t worry ” she told me
“Just sit and relax” She signalled me to sit .
” What next?” I asked her curiously .
” Now we wait to meet Mr Ackim Chisonga” she proudly responded.
“let’s give him a shocking evening”
I couldn’t help admire this part of granny . She really was determined and her actions thrilled me .
“It’s gonna be a long evening…” I thought to myself sipping on my glass of orange juice.
We were seated for almost 20 minutes, I had a couple of cups for juice I was getting so nervous.
“I hate waiting” I told granny.
“you have to learn to be patient ” she scolded.
” we came earlier than we agreed ” she explained.
“so let’s give him time, he should be here by 18 00 hours.”
“So tell me how you got to him.” I asked to get us talking.
“okey” agreed granny.
“I first called the Secretary, I got her number from that informant I told you about. I then managed to get an appointment and met him this morning.”
” this morning?” i asked surprised.
“yes, why ?”
“No way! why didn’t you say anything before you left amama? ” i sat up now truly excited.
” Oh well, because I know how impatient you are. Besides, I wanted things to go well before I told you anything. I didn’t want to get you upset.” She smiled
“okay so?” I asked so she would tell me everything.
” I saw him at 10 hours, at first he didn’t believe I was seeing him but was glad. He said he always longed to see me after he death of his wife but he didn’t know where I shifted to. He said he even went to my old house to look for me but the neighbours told him I moved out.” She paused.
“so, did you tell him about me?” i inquired.
“I didn’t” she shrugged.
“he almost brought up the issue of you but I dramatically changed the subject. I told him we meet here and that i had a lot to tell him.”
“Amama you are an actress,” smiled nervously.
” so what will we do if he decides to defend that devil of a wife he married..?”
” Dont worry mwanagu” granny told me.
“Believe me, it’s his loss, because I won’t let him near you again. I promise.”
“But I don’t want to stay with with him amama. I don’t know the man.” I shook my head scared of the idea of staying with my father. “let’s not get ahead of ourselves, lets see how this meeting goes”
We were busy talking, when sudenly granny announced,
“He is here Mwazi.. ” I felt so weak in my knees with nervousness. At that moment I really realized how much I needed granny. I didn’t think I could have done it without her.
“hello!” I heard a voice behind me. “to be honesty, I think I had heard it before, that voice was so familiar.”
“hello! ” granny stood up in front of me.. I knew I had to turn but I couldn’t I was so nervous.
Granny nodded her head as an indication I stood to face my father. I stood straight gaining my courage and boom!, we were face to face. The man before me was tall and so handsome, he was in an exclusive suit, you would tell he was rich. I looked at him and he was looking at me his jaws dropped.
“What?” he shivered and I could see his hands tremble.
“what? Babe…is that you?” He asked coming close and holding my face. I just looked at him I couldn’t move. It was like I turned into ice.
Granny came to my rescue..
“Ackim, it’s not Chikondi, this one is Joy” she told Him, giving my other name.
“You… you, you mean she’s my… my girl Joy?” He stammered geting even more shocked.
“Yes,” granny chuckled looking at him
“this is her..”
He let go of my face, I noticed people were watching us. I felt so embarrassed and sat back in my seat, my father sat next to me holding my hand.
“My baby girl how are you?” He greeted me.
“I’m fine” I answered looking at granny.
“you are all grown up and you are really a true copy of your mother. for a moment I thought you were my Chikondi.” I was just watching him. He had this element of sadness on his face. He smilled but it still was there. I instantly connected with him, sure it’s true what they say, blood is thicker than water.
Granny cleared her throat.
” Mwazi this is your father, I called him here so that like we discussed. we tell him everything.” she turned to dad.
” Ackim this is your own flesh and blood your child the one you had with my daughter Chikondi.”
Dad spoke up. “But mam, why did you take her away? I had the right to see my daughter don’t you think? I spent years wondering if she was alive..” He started complaining his displeasure registered in his voice.
“Excuse me Ackim” granny was sounding upset now.
“you lost your right to see her since the day you decided to make my daughter’s life miserable and let her be killed”
Dad looked shocked, “What do you mean, I let her get killed?” he asked looking suprised.
“Oh yeah! so you really don’t know? Please…” I knew at that moment granny was loosing it.
“Amama come down,” I said moving to hold her hand.
My father loooked at both of us.
“what do you mean? Please tell me. I know my wife was murdered by robbers but you make it sound like it’s my fault. what’s going on here? You called me years after hiding my daughter and now you accuse me of killing my wife? I loved and it was unfortunate she died early. But please drop the blame games already huh, what is this?” he asked all serious.
“Look here sir.” I spoke up.
“You are the reason my mom died, I had to suffer trauma at 3 years old because of you. I had to live in fear of being raped by my own uncle because of you, I could not even sleep at night for fear of dreaming about that murderer, I was almost lost and probably killed in the streets all because of you.” I backed out my anger crying.
I couldn’t hold it any more, I somehow didnt believe that he had no slightest idea of what happened.
“How can you be so blind?” I accused him. “You know what? now that i met you, am not interested in talking or seeing you again.” I was so upset I ran off.
I felt so much pain in my chest it felt like I would burst. All my night mares were coming and hitting my memory. I ran so fast I didn’t realise I had reached the road.
Suddenly, someone grabbed me from behind, i turned sharply, it was my father. He managed to pull me back and walked me to the packing lot.
“please Joy” he begged.
“Mwaziona” I corrected him without turning to look at his face.
“You know why granny called me that? cause my suffering started when I was too young.” I cried out gain tears dropping on my dress.
My father held me tightly,
“I am so so sorry my baby. I had no idea you went through hell, please forgive me and let’s go back to the table so that your grand mother can enlighten me on what really transpired back then, believe me I am as blank as a blank page. hear me out I beg you. I love you so very much you are the product of my greatest, first and forever will be love of my life.” He whispered.
“Why did you cheat on her then?” I asked him still sobbing
“please Joy, let’s sit down we clear things out please” he begged.
I finally agreed and went back to the table were granny stood up,
are you okay my child she asked holding me and letting me sit back in my seat.. am fine amama I said wipping my face . Tell me everything please mam dad told granny…. okay she said…
“am fine amama” I said, wipping my face .
” Tell me everything please mam ” dad sighed looking at granny.
“Alright..” she sat up…
…to be continued