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?
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.
“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.
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.”
“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.
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!!