the law of nature is unique and sometimes complicated. if you plant a single seed, once it germinates,it can’t live to bear a single fruit. there will be multiple of them.likewise when you do a single wrongful act,you will leap a hundred fold.
the boy in question was sixteen years old, a son to our neighbours.that was what hurt most. remember Viyegzo? it was her brother Jacob. I have known these people since I was young and my father used to be drinking partners with their father. its true, the people closer to us are the ones likely to betray us,they know our every step and every move.
when he saw us, he cast his face down in shame. I wanted to slap the hell out of him but my mother told me to be a good Christian and forgive. it wasn’t easy. we found out that a baby to Jacob’s sister about 6 years old while playing with his friends had told them how his Uncle and his friends had torched down our house. he said it saved my mother right for refusing to give his grand Ma the salt she begged from her. an old man sitting close to them had overhead the conversation and had called the boy inside his house where he explained everything. he even said his Uncle kept a photo of me and my mother. the old man told him to go and take it and he did. the issue was instantly reported to the chief who wasted no time but reported it to Police with some members of community policing.
it was then that the Police came in the wee hours of dawn to nab Jacob. afraid of a prison sentence whilst young, he confessed that it was Peter’s Mum who had sent him and two of his friends. they had been paid in advance Mk3,000 each through Peter’s sister. was that how much my family was worth?
Jacob’s mother was outside crying and begging my mother to drop the charges. he had dropped out of school in form one and had been loaming around the village God knows doing what. an idle mind is a devil’s workshop for real.
my mind was running inside a whirlpool of questions. this woman hated me so much she wanted to kill my family and stage it as an accident. it struck my mind that she wanted me out of the picture to pave way for Masozi while I was busy sorting out the damage the fire had caused. I was right where she wanted me and I didn’t know what was happening back at my house in Lilongwe. what if she had been the one deliberately delaying Mike from coming to sort the Masozi mess? did he really come to take her back? my mind couldn’t get hold of everything. even if I ended up getting married to her son,there was no way we could click. not in this life maybe in the next. I wanted to call Peter but my mind run against it because the Police had already called the Police in Area 25 where I resided and gave them Mike’s phone number to get handle the issue. if I had called Peter am sure he could have instantly shipped her to the moon. the way he worshipped the ground she walked on was a wonder. I don’t think in his mind there was anything wrong she could do.it had always been my mother this my mother that as if I didn’t have my own. there was no way I could have let her go Scott free. she had to pay for each one of her sins. the hand of justice had to catch up with her. this was deeper than I thought. Peter was standing between locked horns of dilemma. if his Mother was caught, charged with arson and sentenced to prison there was no way he could stomach it that I could have done something to help her. if I could drop the charges against her, there was no way my family could have forgiven me for choosing a stranger over them.
I didn’t know what to do …
EPISODE 28 (Part B)
Life is like a mirror, it always reflects what harbors your mind through your actions. You may pretend for a while but not too long, eventually you get caught up in revealing your true colors.
Have you ever heard of conflict of interest? Right now I was wobbling in one and doing a lousy job of fighting it. We went home. Back at the police station I had let my mother do it in her own way. Besides I couldn’t make a decision for her since she was the one who had lost everything. For once I saw her angry. Angry at a fellow ruthless woman who hated her daughter so much she wanted her family dead to hit her where it hurts. She told the Police Officers to do their job and not in any way be lenient in handling Peter’s Mother. She said she was a woman who was a disgrace to womanhood and didn’t have mercy for her fellow woman. When we were leaving, one officer called me aside and asked for ‘ya fanta’ (that’s the term they use to ask for a bribe). I gave him MK1000 as for my phone number I told him there was no way he was going to get it. He looked at the green note you would swear it was his first time touching it in months.
We arrived home, Laurent was crying from the heat which was getting worse by the day and Amanda was complaining of hunger. I prepared food in no time and after she ate, she went to sleep immediately. My mother called me for a serious talk. She needed some explanation. I told her everything of what was happening especially the reason I thought why Peter’s Mother was being that wicked. She said if at all I needed strength, it was now to deal with the prospective Monster in Law without affecting my love with her son. The problem was that this was Africa where you don’t get married only to the man but to the whole family. The way I have observed Peter’s family, she is the final decision maker and her word calls for immediate action. It frightened me that she could be able to set all the other family members against me, dooming my future of being Peter’s better half. This was what my mother told me,” this is a test that will determine how much Peter loves you. When he knows the extremes his mother has gone to destroy your relationship, she will put a strain on their bond and he won’t look her in the same eyes he used to. He will back track and get out of her grip to make a decision as a man.” I loved how this was turning out. I had reservations of calling Peter, but he will hate it to hear from someone else if the Police managed to arrest her. Immediately I beeped his number and he called back.
“Hey sweetheart” it was nice to hear his voice again, I needed him after all that happened.
“Have you already started preparations for building the house?” I told him about the progress of the project and he was so sympathetic and sent his apologies to my mum for the belongings she lost in the fire. He said after the house was complete, he would buy furniture and other stuff.
“I wanted to tell you a very sensitive issue but promise me that you won’t act out of emotions but before I say anything I want to know if Masozi is gone.” I could take it from his silence that she was still there. This man was testing my patience.
“Peter I don’t have the whole time in the world, answer my question!” I was now raising my voice and trying so hard to be calm.
“I am sorry babe…i..” I interrupted him before he could finish.
“You know that’s not what we agreed. You spent the night with her? Just the two of you in the house? Who do you take me for? A fool perhaps. Let me tell you something, if I ever get to know that you two did something stupid God help me because I will send you on the available bus to hell.”
“Don’t overreact my love; I will sort this out soon.” I was touched by the calmness in his voice but that didn’t guarantee that he couldn’t cheat on me.
“That song has long outgrown my ears. I need action you understand. Meaningless tales have never been my favorite so spare me the crap. You people want to drive me crazy. Your mother is always ruining my happiness. Do you realize that she is the one who sent people to burn down my mother’s house?” I was now losing it. That wasn’t the way I had thought of going about the whole thing but the Masozi issue had somehow ticked my temper bomb off.
“What?” his voice could way be heard to the moon. I narrated the whole issue to him and believe me when I said he point blankly told me that there was no way his mother could do that. Not the woman who brought her into this world and single handedly raised her when his father had disappeared to God knows where, leaving six children behind and a crazy and angry controlling woman. Sometimes I understood her over protectiveness but it was high time she let the now grown up children breath.
When I told him that it was just a matter of time before the Police arrested her and brought her back to the village. He said there was no way he could allow that to happen.
“Criminals deserve to be in jail and that’s where she belongs.” I answered. I regretted saying it the very moment it came out of my life. The way he way defending her was irritating. I hated to think that if her plan had succeeded, I could have been crying for my mother now. I had just lost my father and in no time, my mother could have been gone too. No way.
“Oh you shouldn’t have said that. Unali ndani iwe (who were you) if not for me? That good for nothing man of yours could have sent you to an early grave but I rescued your sorry a** and is this how you repay me?” my grandmother used to say an angry time is the moment of truth. You know what people think of you when you make them angry. I was shaking in anger and to avoid saying any more words that I would regret, I hung up the call. He tried calling again but I didn’t reply. A message came through.
“You are so ungrateful and inconsiderate. I know you hate my mother but don’t try to create such stories that if not handled carefully will be the end of us.” I didn’t like where that was going but you know what, the moment I looked at Amanda and Laurent oh how my heart ripped in a joyous jump, I told myself that I had so many reasons to be happy despite the storm happening in my life.joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love.
As if in herald of bad news, a week later Peter’s mother was arrested in Lilongwe and transferred to Nkhatabay Police Station. Peter trailed the Police Van all the way. I went there with my mum and all hell broke loose. I came face to face with Peter but it was evident he had made an enemy of me. Fine I wasn’t the one who bore him but if he truly loved me he had to weigh the story carefully and see that she had not been fair to my mother. He shouted at me for being the cause of everything. If I had listened to him and trusted him enough to handle the Masozi saga, things couldn’t have gone that far. His mother had been selfish and treated him like a baby. For crying out loud he was old enough to differentiate right from wrong. I was so disappointed in him when we had to create a verbal war outside the Police station until my mother held my hand and got me out of there. I didn’t care what would happen to us because I couldn’t take it to have a man who disrespected me in front of people, if he had wanted to vent out his anger I could have appreciated it the most if it was done in closed doors, away from prying eyes.
When we arrived home my mum understood that my relationship was going through a major crisis. I didn’t know if it was because of the money to build her a house that would stop if I broke up with Peter or because she knew that I was happy with him. She told me to go to him and talk about our differences, she even said we could forgive and forget about what his mother did and moved ahead. Drop the charges and let her go as free as a bird. Would I be able to live with her again as if nothing happened? If yes then it would be dangerous living since I would keep on looking over my shoulder to see what next she would do. There was no way I was going to him first, I had my pride.
If he still wanted me he would come for me. In those two weeks he stayed in the village, he never bothered to come and see me yet he knew where I was. When we had gone to the Police station to drop the charges, the Police said they couldn’t leave such a cruel and dangerous woman off the leash because we were not the ones who had ordered and initiated for her arrest. The Police had an obligation to protect citizens of the country regardless of the relationship between them. They would not leave her until she stood trial and be proven guilty or innocent. We talked that she should get out on bail but they said such an action would interfere in gathering evidence. At last after a month they got her out on bail on condition that she had to report to Police every day until her case was taken to court and she wasn’t allowed to get out of Nkhatabay without permission from the Police. What happened to keeping people in custody for more than forty eight hours without trial being considered to be against the law?
The house was almost completed with the window frames fitted and the grass roof thatched. What remained were glasses and the floor. I didn’t want it to have a clay floor like most houses. Peter came at last. The way Amanda run to him was a wonder, even Laurent sensed his presence and appreciated it by giggling. I thought I was dreaming but it was true. After the greetings, my mother excused us and told me that she was going to the kitchen to prepare food for the visitor. After five minutes of awkward silence, he asked how the kids were doing and how much he missed us. Did it have to take him that long to realize it? I looked at him and all the love I had for him came rushing out as the anger melted but I wasn’t going to make it easy for him so I looked away as he continued plucking out words from the love dictionary of his heart. Was he so strong or it was the weakness in me? I wanted to laugh at how much he was trying to make me understand how sorry he was. It takes a strong man to apologies but an even stronger one to forgive. One forgives to the degree one loves. Yes I loved this man to the degree he could never know more than the depth below and more than the depth above. I apologized as well for all the words I said to him in anger when we could have settled our differences like civilized people.
My mother prepared lunch and we ate while laughing and joking like old times. He said we had to prepare getting back home in three days time since the house was almost in completion, I couldn’t have been any happier. I was glad our period of misunderstanding was over. Just as thoughts of the plague Masozi started gnawing at the back of my mind, before I could ask what happened to her, there was a message on Peter’s phone that made his face so pale after reading it one could swear he had seen a ghost.
“Can I read the message dear? Who is it? You seem to be pretty shaken?” I asked while getting closer. He was a bit hesitant but i was sure he quickly thought that if he refused, it could make me suspicious so he handed me the phone.
“I want to tell you that I have missed my period and don’t try to deny it because you are the only man I have known. It was once but that’s all that it takes”