Chola’s Love Storm: A Tale of Unforgotten Love – Chapter Two

Chapter Two

A storm is brewing in Chola’s direction. Can he seek shelter in the arms of the woman he loves or will he succumb to his desires and drown in a pool of unwarrantable pleasure?  

Disclaimer:

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

lovers

“Bev told me about the childhood friend you met over the weekend,” her majesty said, trying to play it cool as she carefully set her trap for me.

Dame that Beverly….

There should be a law against fiancé’s having such friends. If she knew the number of times I had to rush into confession at church just to cleanse myself of all the evil thoughts I plotted against her in my head every time she snitched on me to Rachael, she would have steered off my lane, forever.

Rachael was busy pretending to be concentrating hard on the clothes she was ironing for me but I could see her eyeballs from under getting thicker and thicker from surreptitiously peeking at me, searching my face for a reaction.

Eeeey…I was on the frying pan, again.

Despite the windows in my living room being closed, I could feel and hear the wind blow over my face and shwiiiiiii, it went passed my ears.

Noticing my hesitation, Rachael had completely given up on playing cool. I could see smoke coming from her ears.

It also didn’t help that my face was literally confessing my sins to her. Instead of giving me a handsome face, sometimes I wished God had given me a poker face because I suck at lying and Rachael knows it. The women could smell my lies even before I opened my mouth.

She had stopped whatever she was doing and was glaring at me so hard that I could feel my white blood cells running for cover.

“What did you do?” she asked, piercingly glaring at me.

I silently thanked the heavens for giving me the insight to pee just a few minutes before the trial had started. “I was going to tell you about it… it’s just that…”

I was really trying to go for the nonchalant and suave kind of delivery but it seemed my tongue had decided to take a chill on this day.

“It’s just that what?” Rachael cut me off, her arms crossed over her chest with her whole body exuding a Gangnam style kind of attitude.

“Yes I did meet Patricia,” I started my testimony, this time mentally grabbing hold of my balls and stealthily reminding them of who was in charge.

“At first I didn’t think it was all that important to tell you about it,” I mumbled, “….but since she had asked that we invite her to the wedding, I thought I should talk to you about it first…. Unfortunately, Beverly beat me to it.”

“I don’t think that is the reason why you are acting like that,” Rachael countered. “Obviously something happened that you are not telling me about, spill it,” she said in a very menacing tone.

At that point, I would have done anything she wanted me to do. She would have asked me to stop breathing and I would have straight away held my hand to my nose and mouth.

Rachael would have asked me to jump and croak Coming to America style and I would have done so because…because of the guilt that had been weighing down on me.

I had two options; to either tell her the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, or to take the kufwa na No (die saying No) road. Either way, I was doomed.

“Yes, I met Patricia again after that meeting at Mercury Couriers.” I could literally feel a certain part of my body shrink.

“Um,” was all that Rachael managed for a response.

I understood that response clearly; she was not going to speak another word until I finished hanging myself.

I had already started; there was only one direction this ship was going.

 

*                             *                             *

 

It was 2 in the morning….

There I was, desperately trying to win the war against gravity, dragging my feet from the club to the car park. The God that normally gave me the power to drive like a sober man even when I was higher than the Kilimanjaro must have taken a chill pill on that particular day because he allowed it that I be a witness to something I would have rather not been a part of….

A whole week had gone by and I had successfully managed to not get in touch with Patricia.

Sigh of relief….

I had tossed her card some place I wouldn’t dare go back to look for it in case I lost my marbles in future. I had gone to and back from hell fighting the urge to not search for her on social media and I had kept myself so busy working and running errands for the wedding which was only a week away now.

I had no business trying to covet another man’s wife like I didn’t have a good woman by my side already. I should have known better from the get-go. Besides, it’s not like there was ever a possibility of Patricia and I dating. She obviously still thought of me as a boy.

While a part of me…my ego mostly, wanted to prove her otherwise, I price tag that came with letting my ego get the better of me was too grand for me to afford.

I am telling you, I did everything humanly possible to stay away from temptation.

I did.

As fate would have it, I was just about to get into my car when boom! I heard something hit the ground.

I turned in that direction. Just a few feet from where I was standing was a man and a woman, they were talking…no, arguing to be precise although I could not make out what the argument was about.

But what I could make out clearly was the well-lit car park and the man’s face which was turned in my direction. He was a huge looking fella with the kind of face only his mother would love. He was saying something to the woman which obviously wasn’t well received by her ears because she was slowly backing away from him while he barked at her.

I could not see the woman’s face since she was facing the other direction but I could see half of her back from over the car she was now leaning against. I could tell she was tall…except the giant towering over her made her look like a dwarf.

I kept telling myself to just look away, get into my car and drive off. It was none of my business.

Next thing I heard was another bang, the giant had landed his fist into the car the woman was leaning against, right next to her head.

“Don’t you even dare!” The giant’s masculine voice drawled and echoed through the car park. His face was just inches away from her. She was visibly shaken from the imposing threat before her.

One of my legs was already in the car; technically I was more than ready to bounce. But I stayed like that for a moment, contemplating about interfering or looking away. I had gotten into the car and was just about to start the engine when my moral faculties got the better of me.

Bana Chola had taught me better than that.

There was no way I was just going to ignore what I had just witnessed. What if that man killed the poor woman? What would I have done if that was Rachael, my mother, or my baby sister?

“Patricia!” I screamed when I realised who the woman I had just yanked from under the giant was.

It was Patricia.

It. Just. Had. To. Be. Patricia.

Someone somewhere was really having a good time messing around with me. Just why did it have to be Patricia of all women in the world?

She was just as shocked as I was. “Chola….” She called out my name. I sufficed from her big teary eyes that she had just been crying.

“You better let go of my wife’s hand before something bad happens to you mate,”

If I had thought before that the man’s gigantic frame was menacing, he had managed to awaken me to another fact; his voice had the power to make my blood flow in the opposite direction.

I dropped Patricia’s hand like a lamp of hot nshima.

“You know this guy?” The giant asked his wife.

Patricia nodded. “He’s a childhood friend of mine.”

“I see,” her husband hissed, shaking his head as if he had just proved an old theory correct. “Even better,” he added.

Patricia was shaking her head profusely. “Can we go home and….”

“How about I just leave you two to continue whatever you were doing,” I was more than ready to jolt out. That man looked like he would whoop my ass into a memory.

“I thought it was some random person trying to take advantage of a helpless woman…and so I…I’m gonna go now. Take care of yourself Patricia.”

I quickly turned to leave but his deep voice brought me to a halt. “If she is your friend, I suggest you take her with you before I do something to her I might regret.” And with that, the man got into the car his fist had earlier bruised and drove off, completely ignoring the distraught Patricia chasing after him.

For a while I just stood back and watched the drama unfold before me. How the hell did I end up in such a mess?

 

Next thing I remember is looking up and seeing Patricia sprawled on the ground in her fancy little dress and heels looking like the perfect portrait of a damsel in distress.

Being this woman’s hero meant that I was setting myself up to be a villain in another woman’s world…the woman I was scheduled to marry in just a few days.

But I couldn’t get myself to turn a blind eye.

I walked up to her and helped her to her feet. She was sobbing uncontrollably by now. After so many years of trying to get this woman’s attention, years of staying up late at night thinking and thinking about her, and years of constantly nursing my bruised ego and pride every time I had an encounter with her…I had finally become the shoulder for her to cry on, literally.

And suddenly, I had completely sobered up.

I spoke a few soothing words to her, trying to calm her down…still in that position if I must add.

How many times in my head had I pictured myself playing hero to her? The gods must be crazy. Out of nowhere, and without even trying, she had landed right into my arms.

It’s 2 in the morning, there is a very vulnerable yet attractive woman in my arms and there’s an empty bed somewhere calling out to me…. Do you see where I am going with this?

Anyway, Patricia finally sobered up and I slowly released her from my arms. I couldn’t help breathing a sigh of relief. I was treading on dangerous territory and the bells were getting louder and louder in my head.

“Can I drop you off somewhere?” I asked.

She shook her head, one hand wiping away the tears that had engulfed her face. “I only know one person here and that’s where my husband is going.”

Oh dear.

“My purse and everything else is in the car so I can’t even go to a lodge,” Patricia was saying. “I know I am being shameless…but can you lend me some money…I promise to give it back tomorrow.” She was clearly someone not used to being at such a disadvantage.

I didn’t have any more cash on me. I had danced on it back in the club and Rachael had the rest of my cards. The one time I had not forgotten to tell her where I was going, she had relieved me of my ATM cards because she never liked how my generosity levels always seemed to spike whenever I was in front of a bar. Thus, she had given me some cash and let me off the hook for the night.

“I don’t like carrying so much money with me when I go out with the boys,” I lied to Patricia, touching my pockets here and there as if by some miracle some cash might pop out.

“Oh,” there was no missing the sunken look on her face. It was one of defeat. “How about your….”

I knew what she was going to suggest but her pride must have gotten the better of her because she let the sentence hang just like that.

 

Two of the friends I had been hanging with at the club were married and had already left the club just before midnight. The other two still inside though not married had girlfriends. Of those two, Nchimunya was the most likely to have some money to spare since Mubita was broke most of the time, even on the day after payday.

And so I called Nchimunya and asked him to meet me in the car park.

Nchimunya had this look on his face when he saw that I had a woman by my side…he was grinning from ear to ear like a fool.

“This is Patricia,” I went straight into the introductions.

Nchimunya threw me a knowing look. “The Patricia, Patricia?” he asked excitedly, extending his hand to her. “My name is Nchimunya, I’m one of his very close buddies. I’ve heard a lot about you….”

Was he really going to go there? I wanted to smack him in the head. “Nchimunya is a good friend of mine and for a man, he talks a lot.” I jumped in to save my pride.

Fortunately, my buddy got the cue and changed course. “He told me you guys grew up together. It’s nice to finally meet you.”

As the two shook hands, Patricia had this blank look on her face. She was probably thinking about what had happened with her husband instead of listening to the rumblings of some drunken guy.

“It’s nice to meet you,” Patricia said, giving my buddy a fleeting smile.

“Instead of a lodge, she can spend the night at my place,” Nchimunya offered after I brought him up to speed with the situation at hand.

“I can spend the night at Mubita’s,” he was saying, “I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if it’s just for one night. I will call Thembi, but you should also call her…just in case, you know.”

“Sure,” I replied.

Thembi was Nchimunya’s girlfriend of seven years. I should probably mention that my friend had a vintage taste in women. He had been seeing a divorcee who was fifteen years older than him, and because of her past, she was very sceptical about jumping into the marriage wagon a second time.  Despite Nchimunya’s campaigns in the past to get them to at least live together, Thembi would not budge.

“Don’t worry too much,” Nchimunya had turned to Patricia. “My girlfriend is very understanding. As long as I talk to her about it, she won’t mind at all.”

After sorting out the logistics, I dropped Patricia off at Nchimunya’s place in Chelstone since it was right along the way to my place.

My mission was to just drop her off, make sure she was safely inside the house and drive off. Unfortunately, the reality played itself out differently.

I was standing outside the door, saying goodbye to Patricia – from a distance… waiting for her to close the door behind her when she paused.

She had this look in her eyes, like she was about to cry. I felt a deep pang in my heart, it was heavy and piercing.

“Are you going to be okay?” I asked.

I probably shouldn’t have asked. 

“Um,” she was nodding yes but her eyes where saying something else.

“Patricia….” I started to say.

She ran back to where I was and threw her arms around me, pulling me in so tightly I could barely breathe.

“Patricia…” I said, sticking my head up and trying desperately to unglue her from my body. “What’s going on?” I asked.

She was now crying. “Thank you,” she said. “Thank you for everything Chola.”

She had loosened her hold on me and I finally managed to put some distance between us, tilting her upper body away from me with my hands on her shoulders.

“Don’t worry about it,” I said, my voice coming out a little too throaty for my liking.

I did not like the look in Patricia’s eyes. It was the kind that took up that little breathing space in men’s pants and made it hard for them to walk or think straight.

Sensing the danger, I released my hands from her shoulders, quickly stepping back to put some reasonable distance between us.

However, Patricia wasn’t going to let me off that easy. Before I could even blink, she had her arms around my neck and her tongue in my mouth.

My first instinct was flight, and so I tried to pull her off of me, again.

I succeeded.

 

Patricia stood back and looked up at me. Like a wet stray puppy, her eyes begging me to rescue her.

My mind was begging me to look away. “I’m very sorry Tricia,” I said, quickly turning around to go back to my car.

“Please, don’t leave me like this.” Her voice hit me from behind.

Those six little words echoed through my brain until I could not hear anything else.

I was petrified not only by her careless utterances but also by my own thoughts.

“Please….” I heard her say again.

How many times had I prayed to hear those words from her? I felt like I could die that very second and enjoy a very peaceful afterlife.

Her words had enveloped me into some kind of spell. At that moment, I only had one thing on my mind…only Patricia and no one and nothing else.

When I turned around, I found her standing right behind me. I thought back to all those years I had craved and pined for her…all those years I had wanted to physically and emotionally make her mine.

Even if it be just for a night, she wanted me and that’s all that mattered.

Patricia finally needed me.

Her lips were screaming at me, inviting me to draw closer and taste them…and taste them I did.

Like a man starved of love for years, I went at her for my pleasure. Every breath she took in my arms was like a force igniting the frustrations I felt all those years she thought of me as nothing but a boy.

I wanted her to learn.

I wanted her to remember me.

I wanted her to beg for more.

 

I was holding her so tight in my arms, afraid she might slip away like she did in the past. I could feel myself losing control, panting like a dog on heat. I ran one hand through her long hair while the other caressed her cheek. When I felt her thrust her body against mine, I knew she was exactly where I wanted her to be.

I teased her lips for a little longer. I could hear her moan from both frustration and pleasure. Unable to stand the pressure any more, she moved her hands from cupping the back of my neck and held me by my head, pulling me in and kissing me like her life depended on it.

Patricia was so wrapped up in having her way with my lips that it took a moment for her to realise what was going on.

I was not kissing her back.

I had dropped my arms to my sides and just let them hang there limply, silently commanding them to not dare reach out and touch anything.

Patricia paused, searching my face for an explanation.

She still had her arms around my neck but then I placed my hands on them and slowly dropped them to her sides.

“Why did you stop?” She asked in a painfully calm voice.

“Because if I didn’t, we were both going to regret it,” I said, wiping my lips with the back of my hand just in case she had left her mark on me.

“The why did you let me kiss you when you obviously wanted me to stop?” she quizzed me.

I took a moment to think before responding because she would have definitely taken offence if I had laid it out to her thick and straight. “Because I wanted to test myself,” I finally said.

Patricia looked even more puzzled.

“All these years I thought I was in-love with you,” I started my monologue. “And maybe to some extent I really was in-love with you, but not once…not once did you act like you even considered me, until today. This past week, I have done nothing but kill myself over thinking about you and wondering, what if? Tonight I was willing to throw away everything I have just to have you…but then I felt your body move against mine and for some reason that brought me back to my senses. Tonight I committed a crime against you and a very wonderful woman out there….

“I know I’m going to sound like a jerk… but, I am glad this happened. I finally know the difference between what I want and what I need. Yes I want you, but that’s it. Fortunately, there’s a woman I want as well as need in my life. I am sorry I was such a jerk to you tonight. You were not in your right mind but I had the frame of mind to know better. I don’t know what problems you and your husband are going through but I hope you manage to work them out soon. And I am sorry that I can’t invite you to the wedding…for obvious reasons.”

Patricia was smiling wryly at me, obviously embarrassed by the turn of events. “I am also at fought,” she said apologetically. “I shouldn’t have come at you like that.”

“How about we just forget this ever happened?” I suggested.

“I think that’s better,” she agreed.

 

*                             *                             *

 

“So you just dropped her off and nothing happened?” Rachael pounded me for answers, not completely convinced by the edited version of the truth I had chosen to present to her.

Of course I never told her about the kiss! What do you take me for, a fool?

Rachael is not the kind of woman you can tell that it took kissing another woman for you realise how much you loved her. She would have killed me and dumped my ass without even batting an eye! She is brutal like that when it comes to betrayal.

“Yes, that’s it,” I insisted. Knowing what was really at stake, even I believed my own lies.

She kept staring at me for a few more seconds, searching my face for clues of deception. I was busy smiling at her reassuringly. I don’t think I would have managed a straight innocent face at that point. She would have seen right through that one.

“Well, whatever happened at least I know you did not sleep with her…that much I can tell.” She was delivering her verdict. “But if anything else happened, then you have to show me just how sorry you are that you let it happen and make sure it never happens again, ever.” She declared.

“I am sorry for everything Rachael…for not telling you…for….”

“I know,” she said, not letting me finish. It was as if she knew exactly what had happened and deliberately avoided hearing it.

I felt chills run down my spine as I watched her disappear into the bedroom.

I was stuck between doing a dance and rushing to church for confession.

Rachael had been gone for about three minutes, sorting out my clothes in the bedroom like she always did after ironing them when her cell phone rang.

“Your phone honey!” I called out to her.

I had just picked it up to take it to her when the number on the screen caught my eye. I knew that number. I had seen that number somewhere before….

“Who is it baby?” Rachael appeared from the bedroom holding in one hand a pair of the boxers she had been threatening to burn for the past one year and in another a pair of scissors.

I could only mumble a few inaudible things in response as I looked back and forth from the phone screen to the woman who might never be my wife after all.

In retrospect, that image of Rachael in front of me holding whatever she was holding in her hands was somewhat a foretelling of the precarious position I would find myself in amidst the events that unfolded thenceforth.

How did Patricia get Rachael’s number?

And most importantly, what was she doing calling my fiancé?

 

My name is Chola…and there’s a storm is brewing in my direction.

 

Look out for Chapter Three to be published soon!!

 

 

Advertisements

Sinfully Addicted

By Charity Wathu Chingloma – Guest Blogger

couple

Cracks are my favourite sight
Your negligence, my cocaine
Your option, My priority
Its amazing How Hurting me makes me want you more

It aint rational, its emotional
Push me away
Like a widow I’ll still love you
You think am crazy?
A single passion from you will heal me

Am not pathetic
Am athletic
On a race to sanity
Which only is delayed by your vanity

One opportunity I’ll deflater your masculinity
And the We and Us will define the Infinity
Until then my addiction, your ego
Will form a sinful unity

 

Chola’s Love Storm: A Tale of Unforgotten Love – Chapter One

Chapter One

What is a man to do when an opportunity to get the woman he’s loved and desired  for years presents itself just two weeks before his wedding?

 

Disclaimer:

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

lovers

Well, that situation happened to me.

The drama started during the early morning hours on a Saturday. I had only slept for just a couple of hours after a night out partying with the boys and just when I was getting into the chorus of my sleep, my phone rang. It was the fiancé.

Her name is Rachael. She is literally the epitome of a woman’s beauty; intelligent, witty, curved in all the right places, and a smile to die for. I love Rachael…but sometimes she does and says things that threaten to turn me into Voldemort in a blink of an eye.

You see, Rachael and I were planning what most people would call a short-gun wedding; I must have been too drunk that day I messed up my retreating skills and fired live ammunition straight on. Fortunately, the marriage proposal was not the sentence I received for how events turned out because I had already asked Rachael’s hand in marriage eight months earlier. In the end, we had to move the wedding date to a much earlier date so the pregnancy wouldn’t show by the time she walked down the aisle.

So there I was enjoying my sleep when Rachael’s phone call came. Naturally, I frowned and mumbled a few expletives before answering. During the days leading up to that day, I had developed a sudden phobia; whenever my phone rang and it was a call from Rachael, I would get all sweaty and nervous just thinking about what possible crime or sentence she was going to throw at me. You see, I was faced with two of the worst circumstances any man can ever find himself in; a pregnant woman and a soon to be bride…all packaged in the same container.

“I can’t get any sleep Chola, I want those pumpkins I left in your fridge on Tuesday,” my commander-in-chief roared.

I was flabbergasted! ifipushi, at 04 o’clock imwe bantu sure? Is this woman the love of my life or my mortal enemy? Ey.

“Babe, it’s 4 in the morning,” I protested, looking at the wristwatch which I had neglected to remove before throwing myself into bed. “Can’t I bring them to you when I wake up in the morning?” and I was tempted to add, it’s not like you are going to die if you don’t have them now, but of course I kept my mouth shut because the dead one would obviously be me if I dared utter those words.

And of course I couldn’t tell her that I hadn’t gotten enough sleep because I had forgotten to inform her about my night out with the boys…yes, I said forgotten.

I could picture the heavenly skies turning a shade darker when her response came, “Kanshi I will just come and get them myself.” I could hear her making some movements. “Who cares if something happens to me or my baby while I drive in the dark…what can I do?”

I mouthed a few more expletives whilst kicking my legs in frustration before jumping out of bed. I should have really kept my pull-out game in check that night, damwit. I felt like punching my balls for letting me down but let’s face it, that’s like shooting yourself in the leg and expecting your opponent to feel the pain.

“I will bring them,” I conceded, “just get back in bed and wait for me.”

“You are the best baby! You are my hero! You….” I couldn’t hear the rest of what she was shrieking because I was busy trying to nurse my bruised ego.

I always prided myself on being a macho man but whenever it came to my woman, I had learnt the hard way that if I wanted to be happy, it was best to ensure that the madam was happy first otherwise my independent pursuit of happiness would be futile.

So there I was at Rachael’s place in Kabwata Estates…did I mention that my place was in Avondale? Yeah, that’s the distance I had to drive to deliver her pumpkins.

I was watching her attack the pumpkins like a Lioness that had been starved for a century. I silently wondered what had happened to that classy bank manager I had been dating for the past three years. I could see symptoms of her on this woman’s face and body…but nah, she was slowly disappearing into the hormones that were threatening to engulf her whole body in a few months.

But I was still crazy about her like a teenager watching his first dose of porn….every moment spent with her was endearing. She was my queen.

Anyway, I was just glad she was eating the food I laboured to bring all the way instead of her just picking it here and then saying she’s no longer craving it. That always made me want to punch something.

“Mum asked me to go and help her out at the boutique today since Linda is out of town,” she was saying. Linda was my seventeen year old kid sister and the mum she was talking about was my mother. She and my family seemed to have hit it off the moment I introduced them. For starters, I knew it was because she was an educated and independent woman who wasn’t after me for my money or something like that. Secondly, despite her credentials, she was a very charming and respectful daughter and sister in-law. It was almost impossible for anyone that met Rachael not to fall in-love with her.

“I figured I could help her out since I am off from work this weekend.” Rachael continued, “But I have to collect my stuff for the bridesmaids from Beverly at Mercury. I already spoke to her; she said its fine for you to pick them up in my stead. Do you think you can get them for me before they close? I think they work half day weekends.”

“Sure,” I replied. “I will head there around 10. Anything else you need me to do for you?” This was my defensive mechanism at play. In order to not feel used or cheated or even frustrated, I discovered that it was better to accept my circumstances instead of constantly complaining. It was not like Rachael enjoyed bossing me around and demanding useless things in the middle of the night. I was partly responsible…if not majorly responsible for this kind of plot development.

*                             *                             *

So there I was at Mercury carrying boxes from inside and taking them to my car with the help of Beverly when I woman drove passed us and went to park her tiny golf car next to my Range Rover.

Beverly and I were there standing with our boxes in hand waiting for her to get out of her vehicle so we can go about our business when it happened.

I should admit, I am a sucker for good looking women. If you are a beautiful woman or if you have a huge rack or behind, or great looking legs, I will definitely turn around to look at you…and I will look and look again until the image of you is imprinted in my head for future reference. But that don’t mean I want to bed every one of them…I just love appreciating nature. I have my boundaries.

Of course Rachael knew about my weakness (es) and I had been working on it (them) from the time I went steady with her. I am still a work in progress, a good man, but still a work in progress.

I recognized the woman the moment she came out of the car.

Her name was Patricia.

Despite the five years since I last saw her, time seemed to have worked on her side all along. She hadn’t aged a bit. She was still beautiful, except this time it was a mature way…there was just something about the way she carried herself that day.

As if struck by some unknown Star Wars kind of power, my eyes went straight to her hand; she had a ring on. So she was married. I am not sure how that conclusion made me feel or perhaps, I just wasn’t ready to confront it at that particular moment.

She had recognized me too.

“Chola!” She shouted my name and came charging at me. I had to put my piled boxes down to accept her hug while a visibly bemused Beverly watched on the side.

“Oh my God, look at you!” Patricia said, scanning me from head to toe. “You are a man now, aren’t you?”

I blushed. Gosh, did the woman even know what that meant?

I had become a man some good eighteen years ago when she first made an appearance in one of nature-induced steamy productions. Of course my hand was a far cry from the real thing. But who cares?

“Is this your wife?” Patricia had turned to my fiancé’s loyal friend Beverly…emphasis on the world loyal.

Beverly was quick to shake her head, “hell no, he is my friend’s fiancé. He just came to collect some stuff for the bridesmaid…the two are getting married in just two weeks.” She announced a little too excitedly, much to my chagrin… I don’t know why.

Bev was obviously playing the role a typical girlfriend’s friend, very protective…announcing the wedding as if she had stakes in the marriage. Dame woman, sealing my fate on the market like that.

“It’s nice to meet you,” said a smiling Patricia, awkwardly trying to find means to shake Beverly’s hands before giving up. “I’m Patricia, Chola’s friend from way back. We grew up together, him and I.”

“It’s nice to meet you too,” Beverly returned. “Sorry I can’t shake your hand,” she said, looking at the boxes

Patricia laughed softly, “I understand, don’t worry about it. I just came to collect something for a friend of mine. I hope it’s still open.”

“Yes, still open…but we’ll be closing a few minutes so if you could rush in and….”

“Oh, thanks,” Patricia said, her focus on the entrance of the building. “Let’s catch up another time,” she was speaking frantically. “I would love to meet the soon to be Mrs Mwansa.” Then she opened her bag, took out her business card and handed it to me. “I am still in town for a month so I expect to get a card! Call me, okay.”

“Of course,” I said, looking at her card; she was a legal advisor. She was still as impressive as ever.

“It was nice meeting you Beverly…you too Chola after such a long time. See you soon!” And with that, off she ran.

See you soon…she had said.

See you soon…. like an addictive pill, her voice kept ringing in my head.

Later that night as I lay awake in my bed, my mind kept replaying the fateful events of that day.

I tried everything possible to keep my mind busy; I had been on the phone with Rachael for close to two hours, I tried watching some soccer, I tried eating…I tried almost everything but the images kept creeping into my thoughts.

I took the business card which was lying on the bedside table and I think I starred at it for close to an hour. It was midnight already, I had a woman I was crazily in-love with, she was pregnant with my child, and our wedding was just a couple of weeks away…so what the hell was I doing thinking about another woman at that time of the night?

Patricia and I had never dated. She was two years older than me and growing up, she always thought of me as her young brother. The kind of attention she gave to me was that of one looking after a sibling but as a man, she never gave me her time of day.

I always hated that.

For many years I loved her from a distance despite growing up in the same neighbourhood. Her house was just two blocks away from mine.

She was my first love…the kind of love that hurts real bad it makes you stay up all night imagining all sorts of things…all sorts of possibilities. I wanted to make that woman mine for so many years, longer than all the years I’ve loved different women put together.

She was the one that got away…the one I couldn’t seem to shake off no matter how many years passed.

But there she was back in my life at the most crucial moment. What the hell was I supposed to think? Did she come as a test before my nuptials or was she a sign that I had to reconsider things?

There I was holding the business card in my hand with my eyes fixed on my phone. I only needed to look away or switch my phone off, throw the card away and force myself to sleep and the rest would have been history.

But my name is Chola…and I have my weaknesses too.

 

*                *          *

Look out for Chapter Two to be published soon!!

 

 

 

 

Taming the Nanny

nanny

It was only last year when the world was gripped by the shocking video of a nanny who was physically abusing the child under her care not knowing that the parents had installed cameras in the house. Chances are that when the toddler’s parents sat down to watch the videos, those gruesome things happening to their own child were the last thing they could have ever imagined seeing. The realisation of that shocking reality went beyond that household and into the homes of many.

Whether consciously or unconsciously, many parents, especially mothers put themselves in the shoes of those parents. How many working women out there have found themselves in a situation where they had to choose between quitting their jobs and leaving their children under the care of someone else while they went to work? And how many of them are aware of the things that go on in their homes when they are not around?

Because we live in a world that is constantly changing, there comes a time in almost every person’s life when lifestyle adjustments have to be made in order to respond and adapt effectively to that change. Gone are the days when women were considered simply as birth machines whose function was only to birth children and tend to them until such a time that they too got married. Women are now empowered to go out of the home and work hard to contribute financially to the well-being of the family as well. For some women, they are faced with the challenging reality of being single mothers.
Some very traditional men will argue that it is the mother’s fault if her child is being abused in her absence because she has dared to go against the laws of nature by leaving her toddler in the hands of another person while she goes out to take on a man’s role. However, there are numerous reasons why women decide to join the corporate world and leave their children under the care of nannies. The following are some of the things that such mothers can do to ensure the safety of the children they leave under the care of nannies;

Conduct a background check
This should be done before hiring someone but it does not mean that you have to go beyond ethical boundaries and delve deep into someone’s personal life. It simply means that you do enough to check where this person you are about to leave your child or children with comes from. Find out their previous working experience, what sort of personality they have, their habits, and most importantly, know where they live. If you are going to live your home and your children under the care of someone who might not even be related to you, you should do your best to ensure that potential future problems are prevented and that if they occur, you will know which direction to take.

Put them on a trial period
Unfortunately, not everyone can afford surveillance cameras and it’s not always possible to learn everything about someone from second hand information. This is why it’s important to put the nanny on a probation period. During this period, you will have to inform them exactly what your expectations are and teach them yourself how you want things done around the house. Household chores are far different from office chores. At work, one can throw around instructions from every direction and expect that people will deliver to expectation. But that’s different with the home setting because that is your sanctuary. Do not just tell the maid or the nanny what to do, show it to them, step by step. Do not assume they should know just because they have some experience; instead, show them how you want things done in your home.

Built a trusting relationship
This is after you have laid out the rules and expectations from them. Inform them of what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour around your home and be specific if need be; are they allowed visitors? Can they use the phone? How should they dress around the house? How should they address your guests? Sit down with them to address problems or matters arising and do so respectively yet firmly. Listen to them when they have problems and make decisions rationally. Do not come off as easy but also not as someone unapproachable because the next thing you know, they will leave your kids unattended while they run off to buy medicine at the store. Just because someone is working for you does not mean that you are better than them; maintain mutual respect. Pay them on time and when unable to, explain to them why there will be a delay, how long the delay will last and apologize for the delay instead of going about as if nothing is wrong. For whatever frustrations you render upon your maid or nanny, those will be unleashed unto your child in your absence.

Be courteous, but not too familiar
There are two types of mistakes most women make when dealing with their house help; they are either too hostile, or too friendly. Always remember that the way you treat people is what will determine how they treat you. For those that are not in a position to out-rightly reciprocate your feelings, they will do so when you are not looking. This is what might lead to your children being mistreated because someone is transferring their frustrations with you on something that means a lot to you. It is advisable to be friendly yet never too familiar. People should never mistake you and the people you hire to help you around the home for friends or relatives. Always keep the relationship professional.

It’s important to remember that it is a working relationship because only then can you ensure discipline and respect even when you are not around. However, this does not mean that your authority can only be asserted through hostility and unfriendliness. Greet the workers in the morning, sincerely find out how they are, make a plan about what or how they will be having their meals while working for you. Most people ignore this aspect but it is very crucial because a hungry person is not a happy person and you do not want to risk an unhappy person taking care of your home or children. It is unwise to leave all kinds of expensive and nutritious foods for your children and leave nothing for the one who has to prepare that food and administer it to them. Remember, workers too are human and have feelings…just like you.

When Social Media Meets Real Life

social media icons.jpgMany times a lot of people have fallen in-love with the illusion that social media presents to them; the beautiful girls with flawless skins, killer bodies and hair to die for, tall handsome men with awesome lives partying it up every weekend, riding in their fancy fast cars and living it up from one hotel to the other. Who wouldn’t want that kind of life for themselves?

How many have felt that gnawing feeling of envy upon seeing the luxurious lives of their ‘friends’ on social media? Whether it was intended or not, social media has driven most people into forced self-reflection. They’ve found themselves consciously and sometimes unconsciously comparing their lives to that of others. They watch every day the lives of their friend’s glamorous lives unfold before them through photos and updates and they are left to wonder about their own lives. But the question that needs to be asked is; how much of it is real?

What’s on your mind?”

That’s the question that prompts social media fanatics to go all out crazy with their posts. How many times have you been confronted with that question and stopped to think; should I really write down what’s really on my mind? Chances are that your response is usually a resounding ‘hell NO!” The truth is, if people always wrote exactly what was on their minds, there would be a lot of divorces and very lonely people without friends out there. That’s just how reality works. In the end, people settle for posting what’s considered socially acceptable and engaging or what is likely to get them a lot of ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ without revealing so much about what is really going on in their lives.

The truth is that there are a lot of dangers to believing everything that is seen on social media to the point where you start comparing your life to that of others. Eventually, people will have to realise that it’s almost impossible for people to present every aspect of their lives on such grand platforms. Everyone desires to be looked at or perceived in a certain way and so they strive to portray a certain kind of life they think will make them look better in the eyes of others. This is very true as can be seen from people’s reactions when their friends post ‘too much’ information about themselves on social media; having breakfast in bed, having fun with bae, feeling sleepy, missing my sweet hubby, etc. The common reaction mostly is; do we really need to know all that?

There are certain people who will go to great lengths to portray a certain kind of image of themselves which is contrary to who they really are and the circumstances surrounding them. Some people will take a thousand pictures and end up posting only one or two that look best, that’s human nature. Others will subject their pictures to numerous filters to the point where even they cannot recognize themselves in the final image. Others will lie about where they actually are when they check in, some will never take photos when the background is not impressive even if that background is their own living room or bedroom. Worse, others will lie about their names, age, and even gender. For some, social media is simply an avenue through which they can express themselves in ways they wouldn’t dare to in real life. This is why it is important to be cautious before we buy into the things that run before our eyes in social media feeds.

There is a need for people to recognize the fact that not everything they see online is valid and a real representation of what’s out there in real life. Granted, some things can be very real, however, it is not enough to make conclusions about people’s overall lives based only on what they post online. For those that are married, you are not likely to see updates about them being physically or verbally abused by their spouses, or sleeping hungry not knowing where the next meal will come from. For those that are single, they will post images of themselves partying and living it up but you will never see posts about them searching the internet for possible soulmates or stalking their crushes on social media, crying in bed alone, or wishing they had someone by their side when things get rough.

It is a great feeling to be content with our lives, but it is an even greater feeling to be more intrinsically motivated rather than extrinsically motivated. Instead of harbouring hate and jealousy over what you assume are the successes of others, it is better to find things in your life that you can work on to make your real life actually better, to identify your weaknesses and at the same time identify your strengths and use them to better your life. There is no shame in being poor or uneducated; everyone has their own life story and journey to travel. Others will get there before you but as long as you are working hard enough to make a better life for yourself, there is no shame in admitting your circumstances, especially to those you consider ‘friends.’

So go ahead, be content, but still strive to live up to your potential. Do not be envious, but get motivated to work even harder. Do not always buy into the glamour and glitz that’s constantly being portrayed on social media. And instead of grading your life against that of others, how about actually making your real life fantastic!

Are you Husband Material?

Dear men, are you worthy of a virtuous woman?

couple.jpgSince time immemorial, there has always been talk about what makes a perfect or good wife. Men have somehow categorized women into two main groups; those that are wife material and those that aren’t.

I am looking for a Proverbs 31 kind of woman

How many times have you heard that statement from smug looking fellas thinking they are entitled to such a kind of woman? For every man out there seeking a virtuous woman to make their wife, ask yourself this question; are you worthy of such a woman?

When men talk about the kind of wife they desire, it is rare that they actually evaluate themselves to see if they are worthy of such a species. A virtuous woman or a Proverbs 31 kind of woman does not come by accident and neither was she born like that. It took a lot of doing to finally make her like that. Now if you think you can just waltz in and scoop her from off her feet without thinking about whether you deserve her or not, then you have quite a lot of growing up to do.

Consider this practical example for a minute; you walk into a store, you see this woman glowing of all things made of beauty; she smells great, has flawless skin, her long lustrous hair is practically inviting you to pass your hand through it, her legs seem to go on forever in her six inch Prada heels and her red blazing lips are inviting you to draw closer and listen to her wild whisperings. And so you take the bait and make her yours. Two weeks later you realise she is high maintenance and you can’t keep up with her demands and expectations. The question is; wasn’t that fact obvious the very first time you were attracted to her?

It does not make sense for one to have ambitious taste yet fail to keep up once a relationship commences. If her looks are what attracted you to her in the first place, then know beforehand that the moment you make her yours, those looks will have to be maintained (or even improved). And if it is indeed her character you fell in love with, then ensure that your character too is well deserving of hers. This means that if you are someone of low financial means, perhaps it’s better for you and your pride to date a woman within your means. Leave be those fancy glowing women in designer outfits and expensive hair. They are high maintenance and they will bruise your ego the moment you fail to keep up.

Similarly, if you are a playa, a womaniser, alcoholic, or abuser, do not take someone else’s daughter who’s lived a peaceful and beautiful life and make them miserable with your antics. How about dating someone of your character, and if that does not suit your palate, how about grooming yourself into becoming the kind of man deserving of a good woman?

It is very easy to be attracted to someone because people always know what they like and expect in a possible mate. However, it is very difficult for people to ask themselves if they are worthy of the kind of partners they desire. The situation is even worse for women in Africa because from a much younger age, they are groomed to become ‘good wives and homemakers’ but rarely is this the case for men. The result of such socialization is that men grow up believing that they are entitled to virtuous women without considering if they deserve such women in the first place.

The point that some men seem to miss is that Proverbs 31 does not just talk about a virtuous woman; it explains, though implicitly, that such a woman ought to be with a man deserving of her. Here are three points in the chapter where a virtuous man is mentioned;

Proverbs 31:11 – the heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have not lack of gain.
Proverbs 31:23 – Her husband is known in the gates, where he seats among the elders of the land.
Proverbs 31:28 – her husband praises her

So what do the above verses mean?

Trust
What does trust mean in a relationship? Trust is a two-way street and it is something that should be earned, through actions and not just words. Most often than not, people that are hard to trust find it even harder to trust others. Trusting someone in this case means that you will partner with them and communicate with them when it comes to making decisions because you believe that they too have your best interest at heart. Trust means you will not manipulate, abuse, lie, betray or do anything to your partner that you wouldn’t want them doing to you. You will not keep her from doing anything that makes her shine such as advancing in her career for fear of her leaving you or appearing attractive to other men.

Siting among elders of the land
This statement is a matter of respect. Respect for husbands should never be demanded, it is something to be earned. Are you worthy of your wife’s respect? Have you done anything to earn that respect? Elders are mostly known for the roles they play in society and their responsibilities, therefore, as a man, are you doing enough to deliver on your responsibilities and take care of your family? Or rather, are you capable of being a responsible man enough to earn the respect of others?

Praising her
Do not just say women are attention seekers. Trying to be a virtuous woman all day and everyday takes a lot of doing and the least you can do is compliment and appreciate their hard work. If being a virtuous woman was that easy, then you needed not have dated all those women from your past and you certainly don’t need to get down on your knees to ask for her hand in marriage.

Therefore, do not for a moment think that you deserve a virtuous woman simply by virtue of you being male. Instead, do everything to the best of your abilities to ensure that you deserve that kind of a woman. And when you get that woman, prove to her that you are worthy of her love lest she starts seeking someone of her kind because she too deserves a virtuous man.