The type of games some people try to play with God will surely earn them a special VIP hot spot in hell. If you lie to your fellow man, you might say it’s alright and I will try to explain it but it’s a grave mistake to lie to God, He will expose you because there is nothing hidden from his sight. A lie is like bush fire, it spread up so fast you never know what has hit you until you will need another fib to cover the last one but you will always be on the safe side if you tell the truth. The circle continues.
This man had wanted me to pay with sex when he had offered me a lift. Here he was parading like the anointed one of God. Heavens know what else he used to do behind the people’s backs. I am sure pretty sure women fall prey to his tricks and antics. This other time I watched a video clip circulating on the social media. A pastor was praying for a barren woman for God to open her womb. He took anointing water and started touching her in places that left you wondering if he was indeed under the influence of the Holy Ghost. Eti mpaka kumupisa mu blouse (to the extent of dipping his hands inside her blouse). Wonders shall never cease.
I got hold of Amanda’s hand and whispered to Norah that I was out of there and stormed my way out. She followed me, obviously puzzled at my sudden change of mind. Outside I explained to her about the Prophet being the man who wanted to force his way into my pants that night she came to pick me with her neighbor. She said she didn’t see a reason why we were still standing at this church. We left and she vowed to never set her feet there again. I received a call from Edward. He used to call me but it was rare, mostly we chatted on face book. He sounded urgent.
“Wangu please can you do me a favor?” I told him that I first needed to know what sort of favor before jumping into agreement. He said his Aunt who was in Mchinji, needed money to travel to Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe to undergo a surgery. He needed Five Thousand Kwacha. I told him that I didn’t have that much money. He was on the verge of tears because I was his only hope. It could have taken a long time to send it from there. I didn’t know the type of job he worked in South Africa and I didn’t know him long enough to take that risk. What if he just wanted to con me? I didn’t own a loan shark and I wasn’t a shylock. I felt sympathetic and told him that I could borrow him three thousand kwacha, he promised to pay it back in two weeks time. He messaged me his Aunt’s address so that I sent it through the post office since it was in the rural areas. I sent the money the following day.
I was undergoing the 3rd month of my pregnancy. Amanda seemed to sense stiff competition with her unborn sibling. It was like I had stopped giving her the attention she craved. I was too tired to play with her and seemed to sleep most of the times and sometimes I didn’t tuck her in bed or read her a bed time story like I used to because I would retire to bed early. Emma had given birth to a baby boy. She got engaged to a man fit to be her grandfather and started living with him. Aahh she just wanted to get out of her parents’ house because the gossip and humiliation was just too much. The man, who had impregnated her and got beaten by her father, was rescued by the police and rushed to the hospital. He never showed up again.Some lessons in life are learnt the hard way.
I went to do some grocery shopping at U-Save in town. I left Amanda at home with Norah. It was hard to continue carrying her on my back with another load on my tummy. I bought laundry soap and packets of sugar. I paid and went out.
Somebody called me from inside beckoned me to stop and I did. It was Peter my childhood friend from my village. I was happy and surprised to see him. You know during those childhood games where we played house. Peter and I always played mum and dad and others would divide themselves who to play the children, the thief, the hyena or the dog *chuckles* mostly the one who played dog or hyena was the kid who had mucus drilling from his nose and never seemed to blow it enough. Nobody wanted him close, in case he wiped it on your hand or cloth. He was looking GOOD and his perfume told me a lot about him, not the cheap ones that break you sinuses. A guy’s perfumes always say volumes about him. Ladies take note. We don’t want men who smell like they have just escaped from a goat kraal. He offered to take me to grab something to eat and we went to Gazebo at Bwalo La njobvu right there in town. I ordered chips and chicken my favorite and he had a beef burger with a cold drink. We talked about the village and some of our peers who had split between Tanzania and South Africa to seek greener pastures. The villages being along the lake, made people prefer fishing to going to school earning fast money. When he asked me if I was married pointing at my bulge. I told him to tell me about himself first because mine was a story long enough to write a novel. Falling pregnant twice for a man who seemed more or less like a distant memory, wasn’t a bragging matter. I was the only left to clean the mess after he had done it and went away scot free. It’s not easy to walk with a visible sign that you had sex, even your parents know what you have been doing lol. Don’t start thinking that I told him that.
He said after he had finished his secondary school, he was selected to University of Malawi, The Chancellor College and studied Bachelors of Arts majoring in Literature. I couldn’t hide my envy because that had been my option B if I failed to make it in Mass Communication. He was now working with one of the prominent NGOs. I broke down and told him about most part of my life omitting the sad ones. I convinced him that the father of my children was a nice man, responsible and all. You never know what will happen if you tell every Jim and jack all your troubles and drama, you might scoop an Oscar in the latest village gossip. I didn’t want that unnecessary limelight. We exchanged numbers and he said he might visit during one of his free weekends.
Later that night he called to find out if I arrived home safely. There goes a gentleman. He ended the conversation with “good night gorgeous.” And hung up. That completely took me unawares. Immediately I sat upright, looked at the phone as if it might give me further answers. I didn’t want men on my tail as if I was a dog with rabies. I had to take it easy and roll the ball in my court at a comfortable pace nevertheless I went to sleep with a glow on my face. Two weeks elapsed; Edward didn’t say a word about my money even though we continued talking every day. When I asked him, he said he didn’t have it presently but will give it to me when he came back to Malawi. That wasn’t the agreement. Was he trying to play smart with me? If he was used to steal from people in that manner then he was in for the biggest shock of his life. It wasn’t much but my money is my money and needed to be paid back at all cost. I didn’t own a charity organization. Besides I never liked him, he kind of forced himself on me. He had a wife and two children waiting for him at his home village in Mzimba but here he was trying to score one with me. He even talked about having a kid with me and name him Ulunji. Did I look like a baby making machine? I don’t know what this tendency with men is. When they see you having a kid, they think you can also have their kids. Seriously????
Yeah… I missed Ben so much and still looked forward to that day he might pop back from wherever he had disappeared to but I didn’t want to bruise my self esteem by getting tempted to call him. That was a no go zone. The man could talk as if he had vulgar language dictionary tucked under his tongue. I had been his constant victim and didn’t want to fall on that unfortunate path again. As promised, Peter honored his words by coming to visit. He bought Amanda puffs. That put him in the good books of the little lady. I thought she missed her dad so much; she had to find a replacement until he came back. It was evident on her bubbly face. We laughed so much; this guy could make a good comedian. When it was time to leave, Amanda cried so much I felt embarrassed. When I came back from escorting him, Norah did not waste time to attack me. No wonder she had been drooling over his every word and stared at him as if she was a bear hungering over a honey pot.
“Wow what a fine man. Give me his number; we can make a nice pair. Why didn’t you bring him all along? “
“Forget it hun that man deserves to be in a stable relationship with a sane girl. Sometimes you can be a real animal and I fear for him.” I answered her while disappearing into my room. There was no way I would let Peter fall under Norah’s spell. Not when I was alive. Yes she was my friend but sometimes she had a lousy way of handling men. She always wanted a man to do as she saw fit but how could a man be himself if he was under petticoat government yet he had not even put a ring on her finger. Men run for their dear lives because she was a control freak. While I was confined in the comfort of my bed, my phone rang. Caller ID: Ben!!!!!
With trembling hands I pressed the ok button.
“How are you doing?” he asked in that familiar deep voice that had made me fall for him with his sweet nothings. My lips curled into a smile.
“I am great and you?” I answered back dying to detect any straying and about to fly emotions. There was none.
“Well I just called to know how you are doing. It seems you are remarkably well. Say hie to Amanda. Bye.” Just like that he was gone. This man was full of surprises. Sometimes I was forced to think that he suffered some kind of mental diseases, if not then he was prone to suffer it at some stage of his life. What kind of person does that? He was so casual about it as if I was a distant aunt he had long forgotten and it had just skipped his mind to call her, out of respect for fear of what she would say at the next family gathering.
It was a Saturday, Peter called to say he was coming over, he had missed Amanda. You are to be alert. Some men aren’t loyal, they will know your kid loves them and will use that to get deep into you. Every time he came around and asked about Ben, I always told him that he had gone to such such a meeting outside town. He always bought it. He even asked about his photo to get a glimpse of how he looked. I was so shocked to realize that I didn’t have a single photo of him. I had burnt them all in my fit of anger. I went to make popcorn. I didn’t know why I got nervous every time he said he was coming. I wanted to put everything in order. I scolded myself for acting like a teenager on a first date. He knocked on the door and I ushered him inside. He always had a ready smile plastered on his face, it made me warm inside. It was just the two of us. Norah had taken Amanda to see her mum and were staying for the weekend. He walked straight to where I sat and I told him to take the other seat. He refused saying he wanted to seat close to me. I took my pillow and slept down on the mat, he followed me. It turned into a sweet game where he imitated me. We engaged into a cushion fight, we were laughing so hard like a bunch of kids. When I was exhausted, we sat down on the mat and had some tea while watching a movie. He took the pillow, put it on his lap and told me to sleep on it. He continued cracking my ribs with his endless jokes. His hands were now smothering the straying strands of hair from my face. It felt so nice.
Suddenly with a single knock,before i even had the time to answer it the door opened …I had the shock of my life…