Silently Deep Episode 11

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Henry…..

I looked outside the window watching the trees and bushes pass by as the bus moved. It was a long trip to Lusaka I was taking after 2 years of being away from my home. I could not wait to see my beautiful wife, the woman of my youth.

Even though I had not talked to her in months, I still believed she was right at home waiting for me. Due to circumstances beyond my control I had stopped communicating with her. The time I was leaving things were bad at home, I had lost my job from the Chinese shop I used to work. My wife Shila used to work as a maid but as a man, I felt I was the one to provide for my family. I never wanted her to suffer so I travelled to Northern Province where I started doing some fish business. In a few months after I arrived I had lost my phone which cut all my connections with my dear wife.

Life was not easy for me back there, it was one misfortune after the other. I struggled to raise a few monies from the fish sales but I was robbed just when I thought I was getting there. Stranded in the river banks of Lake Mweru, I decided to start working for some fisher men to raise some money to start up again.

Not that I never wanted to communicate with my wife, but after losing her line I completely stayed in the dark. Here I was now, 2 years later, trusting my dear sweet wife was waiting for me in our home in Chawama compound. My thoughts went back to the time I was leaving her.

“I don’t like this idea of going that far sweetie, you could find another job here in Lusaka. You do not need to go back to your home town leaving me here all alone” she sat on a small stool still holding her head as she complained.

“Listen to me Shila, I know this is hard for you, trust me I really want to stay by you but at the same time I need to fight hard to earn a decent living, look at our house, the kind of food we eat. No my Shila I want to give you a better life and I know if I use this same money I was given to start a fish business, am sure we will be better. I don’t like you working for someone as house help.” I squat near her raising her face as I spoke.

“It still doesn’t sound okey sweetie. Am still for the idea you try out here” she looked away.

I knew she didn’t want me to go but I had convinced myself doing a fish business was going to help us a lot. I lifted her to the house and she laughed knowing what I intended to do.

“I know your trick Henry, stop it, you are not going to bribe me into accepting this” she giggled as I tickled her a little laying her down on our small bed. We were poor yes, but I knew the woman before me loved me for who I was. We meet in town when she used to sale in the streets and myself was still working for the Chinese.

A year later, she stopped selling after our first born girl was born. I was able to take care of both of them from my small salary. Though it was not much which led her mother who lived in Mumbwa to get our girl when she turned a year old in the name of helping us to settle and have a decent life.

“What now, you seem lost in thoughts” she had asked me

“Yeah, I want us to be a complete family, I need to go and get our daughter and live with her, I have never liked the idea of your mother raising our child Shila” I shook my head sitting up from the bed.

She smiled and came on to me wrapping her hands around me from the back, her breasts which were still exposed touching my back skin.

“don’t worry about that, mother is not complaining, she is a farmer and she is right, our lively hood is not stable enough for us to raise our kid well, let’s work hard and make decent life like mom have said and we shall have our child here with us” she whispered deliberately rubbing my upper body. That moment we decided finally and agreed on my mission.

I was still lost in my own memories when the bus conductor announced we had arrived in Kabwe. He told people we had 5 minutes break and would start off soon. I couldn’t even move out, all I wanted was to get home and see my wife.

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2 hours later, we drove into Lusaka and I Passed through some shops getting my wife a few clothing’s and some foods, excited to see her I got on a bus from City market.

Humming to a song as I bounced myself up and down the road leading home.

“Henry!” I heard a voice call out to me and immediately I recognized it. It was my friend Chola.

“Hey! Henry big man, you are back finally” he smiled greeting me cheerfully.

“Yes my friend it was not easy back there but God is faithful, I managed to get myself on my feet after a lot of trials. Well, here I am, back to be with my dove” I smiled widely and walked on.

“hm, you mean you are not with Shila?” he asked walking with me.

“What do you mean am not with her? I left her at our house and I lost my phone, I never mastered her number and so all this time we were never in touch. How can she possibly be with me?” I asked looking at him like he was crazy.

“well, I don’t know about all that but I personally saw your wife on the day she was leaving and she told me she was coming to you, that you called her and asked her go come join you” he shrugged

“What?” I stopped in my steps looking at him.

“You are serious?” I asked realizing he was not turning back the joke.

“Why would I lie about things like that man, am telling you the truth, it’s been a year now, your wife is gone. If you don’t believe me lets go you check your house.” He added

I could not believe my ears, if my wife left to come join me, then how was it that she never came? I knew that was not even possible because Shila had never travelled to Northern Province before. However, to add to my shock, I found out our house was rented by someone else and the land lord confirmed what Chola had told me.

“Yes dear, Shila came to me one day happy, she told me she was going to join you wherever you had gone and packed out the following day. That was the last I saw of her” she remarked

I paced around trying to think what was going on, my instincts warned me something was terribly wrong somewhere and I had to find out sooner than later what the hell Shila was doing.

“She wouldn’t probably run away with another man?” I asked Chola sitting down at his house as he invited me to take a break at his place.

“We can’t tell for sure man, women of this era have become something else, anything is possible but before you conclude you better get in touch or better still travel to Mumbwa and check her mother`s place. “ he advised

“You are right my dear, let me not get ahead of myself, she probably went to her mother`s. I somehow blame myself for staying away for a long time. Anyway first thing tomorrow, I am getting on a bus to Mumbwa” I sighed leaning back on the wall from the still I sat on.

“What is wrong with men of this age? You come here to ask if your wife is here after all these years of you going silent on us. You two have completely forgotten about this your child, even in my old age you insist on me keeping your child” Shila`s mother scolded me even before I could explain myself.

“mother, am sorry I didn’t come to get my child on time, you know I was never for the idea of you taking her but you insisted” I tried to defend myself feeling irritated she was indirectly telling me I failed to raise my own child.

“Yeah, because I could not watch my grandchild wallowing in poverty when am still alive. By the way where is your wife?” she asked. I looked at her surprised.

“Is this woman okey? I just asked if her daughter came here a few minutes ago and she is asking me back with the same question” I murmured inside my head.

Clearing my throat, I sat up and looked at her.

“I told you earlier am here to see or rather check if Shila is here. I was not around and when I came back, I was told she left so I hoped to find her here” I explained through again.

“No, you people have not showed up here for a while now, the last time your wife called to speak to her child was almost a year ago and since then she has not called nor come here. For some time I have tried to call her line but nothing” she shrugged sadly.

“Oh my” I shook my head too.

“Where is she then? Where is she?” I asked myself

“What does that mean?” her mother snapped lifting my daughter who was seated on her laps and looking at me. I went on explaining everything to her and by the time I was done, she was standing on me pulling me in my shirts.

“where have you taken my daughter you evil man, I know and have heard about you people from northern province how you use human beings in charms for fishing. Right this minute you will tell me where my girl is!” she shouted on top of her voice.

“Calm down mother, am as shocked as you are. I never went with her anywhere if you want you can come with me we ask people where we used to live” I tried to defend myself pulling her hands off my shirt.

She sat back crying and accusing me of being responsible for the disappearance of her child.

After a long while of trying to calm her, she was finally calm and I asked she went with me to Lusaka so we could file in a police report for a missing persons.

Story continues…