” Mother, I told you about Mike already. He’s just my childhood friend and there’s nothing going on. I already have issues of my own with my husband. The least I want is some drama with Mike” I defended myself after my mother asked about Mike.
” nmmmm I hope so cause that look I saw in that man’ s eyes smelled trouble and if in any way he contributed to the problems you and your husband are going through then it’s very unfortunate” she shrugged cooking Nshima.
” Mother forget it now. I told you am starting over. I came here to seek a way of finding myself and the past week I have felt better. I promise you mother, am not going to cry nor be the woman that will disappoint myself from now onwards. Am going to live a single and free life. I think after everything that has happened it’s all that I need” i nodded my head handing her the plate to put the lumps of Nshima on.
She encouraged me to be strong, telling me most women go through a lot in their marriages and she wished I had to endure more than I did.
However, the fact of Chris bringing another woman with a child in my home made even her so upset she gave up her initial ideas of me getting back with my husband.
” am even going back tomorrow mother.. like i told you earlier. Linda managed to find me a two roomed, self contained house in Chilenge, she said it’s inside the wall fence and the landlord stays within in the big house. I think that can do for a while you know” I sighed as we set the table.
My mother, father and I talked about my issues that evening after supper and they both told me I had to remain strong and focused.
Early the following morning I prepared myself and got on the morning bus back to Lusaka.
I had not thought of Mike all this time. I felt proud of myself . Taking Mike out of my mind was one best feeling and now I felt I was being detached from my past. A good way to start over.
Straight from the station, Linda booked a cab and we went to my now new home. After greeting the land lady, a vibrant and jovial woman in her early 40s, I moved my small luggage into the house.
” Boi, thank you so much for helping me with this. Am really glad and grateful.” I smiled as we sat on the bags.
” you are welcome boi, you are more than a friend to me and now that you are going through a rough patch in life, you need me the most” she held my shoulders leaning her head on me.
” I know but, you know what ? I have a great feeling about all this. I can assure you my mourning times are over as I will try to live an optimistic life. It’s just me and my God now” I raised my hand and Linda laughed.
” well, what about me?” She made a face and I hugged her back.
” you my good friend is always at heart” I shouted making us both laugh.
” now lets get me some things for the house.” I announced standing up.
“You seriously telling me you have the money to get yourself all the items you need in one day?” She asked surprised.
” well, let’s just say I made myself quite some money in the period I told you I was trying to change the world by crooking men” I told her as she made a surprise face.
” come on let’s go it’s past 15 already if we delay I won’t have a bed to sleep on tonight” I led her outside.
We went to carnival and I managed to get myself a bed, a shoe rack, a simple wardrobe. We later moved to Game stores within Manda Hill where I got a small stove, some plates and pots and some groceries for a start.
I didn’t want to take anything from Chris’ s house so I made sure I only left with my cloths. For me it was going to be a clean start.
We booked an open van to take the items from Game stores home to await Carnival deliver the ones I bought there.
By the time it was night, I had my small home set. Linda stayed with me for the night during which I filled her in on Lucas and the other things I had done before.
As always she encouraged me with the word of God and helped me pray for a better start over.
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The court session was to start on a Monday and I now had two days to it. I took a bath that morning and planned on going to the saloon.
One of the things I thought I had to maintain in my single life was my looks. Even if i had no intention of hooking up with anyone any time soon, I had decided to look my best and enjoy my life.
” oh my God I cannot wait for that woman to finally be divorced so that i can claim my right place in that house” I heard Mwelwa’s voice behind me.
Two women had just walked into the saloon and I immediately recognised her voice.
I didn’t turn my head to look at them as the hair dresser plaited my hair. I decided to keep quite and listen to what the lady had to say.
” am happy for you mwandi, some women kuwayawayafye!” The friend responded and they both laughed.
” yeah since she couldn’t bare him kids i knew I could use that to my advantage. Giving birth to my baby brought me some luck you know. Now am the woman of the house and I won’t sit back to let her come back. Let her go wherever she wants but not near my Chris” she said proudly I even felt like laughing.
” your Chris indeed” I thought to myself.
Surprised how God can ease the pain of everything when you surrender and give it all to him. If it was any other time I could have felt bad and probably wanting to answer back and tell her a piece of my mind. But now I wouldn’t dare. I felt at peace despite everything.
In fact I felt pity for both of them. They really derseved each other and I could hear the rest of the discussion. From it I was able to ascertain there was some questions about who the real father to that child was. But it wasn’t in my place to worry.
After I was done I slowly stood up head held high as other ladies complemented my looks. I smiled and said thank you.
I saw Mwenya look up at me and her face dropped when she realised who I was.
Without a word to her I walked out feeling eyes on me.
I was just turning to the bus station in Kulima Tower from East park were i had gone to the saloon, when I saw Lucas walking towards his car.
One instinct told me to go ahead and greet him but I changed my mind.
I wanted to stay away from anything that would make me act in a way I wouldn’t want to at the moment. Besides I wanted to give Lucas the space that he deserved. I had not bothered to call him for over the period I last told him everything and his silence to me meant he had moved on.
” Stella!” I heard a familiar voice as I walked dodging Chris.
Turning to the direction of the voice, I almost melted. The last person I had expected to see, Lucas’ mother.
She greeted me cheerfully telling me she was with Lucas who brought her to get some things in town.
” it’s been a while my dear. I was just asking Lucas about you and he told me you are okey. Come on let’s go and see him he parked this way” she pulled my hand before I could say a thing. I wondered if Lucas had told her about us. Her innocence proved otherwise.
I so much wanted to tell her I couldnt see her son but there was no escape now as we came in full view of Lucas who looked at me with surprise.
” Hey!” I composed myself greeting him
Instead of answering he moved towards me and pulled me in a tight hug. ” Hey! What a surprise ” he sighed hugging me.
” yeah it is right? I bumped into mom and..”
” she was heading to the station I just told her you brought me here” his mother cut me short.
” you two do your catch up let me get some food from hungry lion am starving ” she smiled putting the plastics which she had in her hands in the back of the car.
” sure mom” I smiled at her and watched her go to Hungry lion.
” so” Lucas shrugged looking at me.
” yeah” I sighed not knowing what to tell him. He looked good in his slippers and dark cargo pants going with a pure white v neck t-shirt.
” how are you ?” He asked leaning on the car.
I looked at him and realised I had actually missed him. But I wasn’t going to say it anyway so I told him I was okey.
” I missed you even though i know I shouldn’t ” he started..
” am sorry I…”
” it’s Okey, I understand.” He talked in.
” how is your husband?” He asked calmly
” honestly I dont know. I have not heard from him in almost 3 weeks now. But am sure he’s okey, I could have heard if anything bad had happened to him you know” I chuckled looking down.
” what’s that? You mean you two are not staying together?” He asked
” Lucas, am sorry but I have to go now. I need to see some one before I go home.” I excused myself feeling the tears in my eyes. I feared I would cry before him. Lucas had a way of bringing out the weak part in me and I knew staying there would make me start telling him all my problems of which I had not planned on doing.
” stella!” He stopped me holding my hand.
” Please, please, don’t shut me out. Talk to me” he whispered his voice as calm and pure as ever.
“What’s going on with you? You have lost weight and you don’t look okey even if you pretending otherwise. Talk to me am your friend remember?” He looked at me.
” am sorry Lucas, I have to go now. I can’t do this right now,” I said tears now falling.
” you are crying” he whispered sadly.
” am sorry” i sniffed and walked away quickly avoiding to stand any more minute before him.
Without looking back I matched quickly to the bus station and direct to the busses going to Chilenge.
I sat in the back seat sighing and wiping my face. ” oh my God, I cant cry right now. I am being strong for myself and crying is not good for me” I told myself inside.
The sadness and concern I saw in Lucas’ eyes made me so sad I couldn’t get his image out of my mind.
As I sat in my house all i could think of was him and I hated he had affected me that way. I spent the next two days locked up inside playing some gospel tracks and listening to some gospel TV programmes.
” So how are you feeling now?” Linda asked holding my hand. As we stood near the court awaiting the time to be called.
” I don’t know Boi. I think I need all this to be over already. I just hope the courts will summarise everything today cause am not ready to come back here again. I need to start concetrating on other things and not Chris anymore” I responded.
We saw Chris and his new wife to be carrying their new born baby walking towards the court room..
” he’s so shameless to even think of bringing another woman here” Linda scoffed angrily. ” I honestly feel like going to slap some sense into that head of his” she added.
“Come on Linda let them be and lets get walking we are set in a few minutes” I told her and we went inside.
I saw Chris looking back at us and then forward as the Judge walked in.
” let this be over soon my God” I whispered a prayer and sat up.