“I…was…just…” Alicia stuttered. The intensity of Kondwani’s gaze making her feel completely exposed to the point of losing strength in her tongue. She lowered her eyes immediately to cut him off from peeking into her soul.
Kondwani grinned. He could feel all of her thoughts in the involuntary movements her body was making against his. “You do know that you are still on my laps right?” He reminded her.
The moment she heard his words, Alicia jumped and stood away from him, embarrassment written all over her face. “I didn’t….”
“I guess the physical evidence is sufficient for me to draw an answer to my question right?”
“No!” Alicia quipped.
Kondwani laughed. “What are you saying no to?” He asked, looking bemusedly at her. “Why do you look so guilty?” He asked.
“I need to go-“ She quickly turned and started walking towards the door but Kondwani was already on his feet ready to keep her from leaving.
He pushed back the door she had just tried to open and quickly locked it. Stunned, Alicia tried to turn to confirm what he had just done upon hearing the key but Kondwani pinned her against the door, one arm to her side and other placed just next to her head so that she there was now only one direction her gaze could focus; at him.
“You might have let yourself in here my sweet little Nightingale but you can only leave when I say so.” Kondwani whispered into her ear, his lips deliberately lingering there.
“I am uncomfortable Sir.” Alicia said in a very shaky voice, trying to get away from him.
“Why are you uncomfortable?” Kondwani asked.
“Because this is wrong?”
“This,” she said. “You are engaged.” She added.
Kondwani laughed. “Engaged?” He said. “Looks like you are the only one here who hasn’t received the memo.”
Alicia registered questions all over her face.
“Gwen broke up with me.” Kondwani said and resignedly dropped his arms and walked back to his seat.
Astounded, Alicia gaped at the doctor. “I am sorry doctor.” She said, still standing by the door and desperately avoiding his gaze.
Kondwani pulled his chair back and sat down. “Why are you sorry?” He asked.
“That your relationship ended,” she said nonchalantly. “Isn’t that a sad thing?”
“Is it?” Kondwani asked.
“Is it not?” Alicia asked, wondering why that would even be a matter of discussion.
“You said you like me,” Kondwani reminded her. “Shouldn’t my break-up be a good thing to you?”
Alicia appeared taken aback by his line of reasoning. “Just because I said I like you doesn’t mean that I wished for you to break up or that I want to be with you.”
“So you don’t want me?” He was looking at her squarely, his eyes daring her to give an otherwise response.
“I need to get back to work.” Alicia quickly said and turned to leave before Kondwani could make it across the room like he had before.
But Kondwani remained where he was, watching her with the look of bemusement that he seemed to have now every time he was in the company of the nurse. Alicia made a successful escape and closed the door behind her.
“I wish you had said no.” Kondwani said to the door as the smile on his face faded to black.
Outside, Alicia kept her hand on the door handle as she looked up to the ceiling, sighing deeply in relief for succeeding in getting herself away from Kondwani’s domineering presence.
“Boss lady.” Alicia heard a familiar voice address her and she lowered her head to find Caroline smiling mischievously at her.
“Umhu,” Caroline said, tapping her foot and pointing her chin towards the door of Kondwani’s office. “You look like you’ve just been serviced after a ten thousand mile ride.”
Alicia winced in embarrassment, reached out towards her friend and put her hand over her mouth before dragging her away to a secluded area.
Caroline mumbled something from behind Alicia’s hand but the latter only released her hand once she was sure they were not in earshot of Kondwani or anyone else.
“Why would you say something like that?” Alicia scolded her friend and colleague.
“What did I say?” Caroline feigned innocence but the smile on her face said the complete opposite.
“How many times will I tell you that nothing is going on between…us?” Alicia made sure she said the word in a very low register in case of any eavesdroppers. The hospital’s grapevine system was in perfect working order.
“He’s absolutely very single right now so why are you playing hard to get?” Caroline asked.
“What do you mean why am I playing hard to get?”
“If I didn’t know you had a son, I would think your membrane was still intact.” Caroline said. “You are lucky I don’t go for his type otherwise you wouldn’t stand a chance with him against me at this tortoise pace you seem to be going.”
“He’s the richest doctor in the country,” Alicia remarked. “You said you were looking for a rich husband so-”
“Are you seriously trying to give him to me?” Caroline asked with both her eyebrows raised in disbelief. And then she started shaking her head, a solemn expression on her face. “You need divine intervention my friend.” She said. “It’s obvious you like that man. I don’t understand why-“
“He’s your type too you can have him if you like.” Alicia said. “I told you, I don’t have time for relationships and the like.”
Caroline chuckled. “Do you know how old that guy is?” She asked.
“I don’t know.” Alicia answered. “Mid-thirties, I think. Why do you ask?”
“Exactly!” Caroline said. “Can you imagine how many years I would have to wait to inherit his money?”
“I have no time for young fit men that look like they are going to live up to 200 years.” Caroline said. “The closer to the expiry date they are, the better for me. One year…or say, two years tops into marriage and they kick the bucket. Two months later, I am in Hawaii partying up a storm with Chris and Trey till the early hours of the morning.”
“Who’s Chris and Trey?” Alicia asked. “Are you actually in-love with someone Caroline?” Alicia’s face was glowing with hope.
Caroline busted out laughing. “I’m talking about Chris Brown and Trey Songz silly.” She said. “I’m already on first name basis with the guys; all that’s remaining is for us to actually meet in person.”
“What?” Alicia laughed. “You never cease to amaze me Carol. You are such a child.”
“Well, at least I know what I want in life and I am preparing myself to receive it.” Caroline said. “Isn’t that the kind of faith you happy-clappy Christian folks are always talking about?”
“It would be nice if that faith was in a guy named Jesus Christ instead of Chris Brown. At least with Jesus, you don’t have to worry about fighting off body guards and what not to meet him.”
“Don’t start with the preaching already.” Caroline protested. “Why does everything have to be about church with you Alicia? Weren’t we just talking about you and Doctor Chileshe just now? How did we-“
“You are the one who brought up the issue of faith.” Alicia argued. “I only responded to what you said.”
“Okay,” Caroline said, raising her hand into the air. “Since I brought it up, I am ending it. Just answer yes or no, don’t you like Doctor Chileshe?”
“Why are you-“
“Yes or No.”
“Why do you care?”
“Because you frustrate me.” Caroline answered. “Why do you have to make everything so complicated? Life’s too short to be living it at such a snail’s pace. So, do you love Doctor-“
Alicia reached over and tried to cover Caroline’s mouth again but she was ready for her this time around. “I will shout out the question if you don’t give me an honest answer in the next five seconds. 1, 2, 3-“
“Yes!” Alicia answered. “Yes I like him.” She confessed, her face cringing in embarrassment at being forced to admit the truth. “But,” she quickly added.
“No buts!” Caroline shouted excitedly. “No buts.” She repeated. “So, what are you going to do?”
“What do you mean what am I going to do?”
Caroline stared at her blankly.
“Why does everyone seem to think that just because you like someone then you have to date them?” Alicia asked.
“So you like people to do what, keep them on a shelf and cry over them at night?” Caroline’s sarcasm screamed from every part of her body.
“Yes I find the doctor attractive but I have no intentions whatsoever of being with him like that. I also happen to have a type…the kind of man I want to settle down with and Doctor Chileshe is nowhere close to being that type.
“Yes he’s a very good looking man, talented and rich, but that’s not good enough for me. There’s something else that’s very important to me that’s not there.”
“Do I even need to ask what that is?” Caroline said resignedly. “Let’s head back before they notice we are missing.”
She took her friend’s hand and started leading her towards the hospital’s VIP session where they were to do their final rounds before their shifts ended.
Mwansa was excited that school had resumed but it was not for reasons that would make her mother proud. The excitement only came because re-opening schools meant she would be seeing Steve on campus whenever she felt like. It had been tough trying to go for dates in and making sure that they got back home on time and even though Stephen did not seem to mind that at all, she minded a lot.
Stephen Malambo had entered her life and gone all the way into her heart within the shortest period of time and she had absolutely no intentions of letting him go. For the first time in her life, Mwansa had found herself making plans for the future with a man even before he mentioned anything about it.
“When did you become like that?” Her roommate had asked her one afternoon as they sat on her bed after their morning lectures.
“I don’t know,” Mwansa had said, a love-smitten smile playing on her face. Obviously, it was not anything she was embarrassed about. “In this day and age where boys only want to party and club, there’s this guy whose major interest is church. How can I not go all mushy just thinking about him? Steve is a definite keeper.”
“But you do know that he was exactly that other type before now right?” Febby said.
“He was, was, past tense.” Mwansa retorted. “Why are you trying to rain on my parade?”
“I’m not trying to rain on your parade.” Her friend said. “I am just saying that you should be careful, it’s very easy for guys that have led a certain kind of life to get back to it…especially if they are still in touch with certain people.”
Mwansa sat up straight on the bed and glared at her roommate. “What’s that supposed to mean?” She asked.
Febby let out a short laugh and turned to busy herself in the small fridge at the foot of Mwansa’s bed. “Nothing,” she said. “I was just trying to warn you to be careful that’s all.”
“You said, especially if they are still in touch with certain people. You are course mates with Steve so what did you see? I know you are dying to tell me so just come out with it.”
“Okay,” Febby closed the door of the fridge and turned to look at her friend, her eyes bulging in excitement at the prospect of finally sharing the news. “Today in class before the lecturer came in, I overheard a conversation between Steve and his friends.”
“Yes?” Mwansa said, anxious for her to get straight to the point.
“He said that he bumped into Belinda.” Febby let out the news and let it hang there for a little while as Mwansa processed it, her mouth wide open.
“Belinda his ex?” Mwansa asked the obvious question.
Febby nodded. “But that’s not the big issue here,” She added. “Ask me where they met.”
“At his aunt’s place!” Febby exclaimed, almost jumping at the rhythm of her own excitement.
“What?” Mwansa laughed. “No way,” she said dismissively. “I have heard about his aunt, there’s no way she would allow any girl to visit Steve at her home, especially a wild girl like Steve’s ex. Who doesn’t know about the kind of relationship those two had? That family has seen enough drama to allow another diva to come mess one of theirs up. No way.”
“But that’s the thing,” Febby said. “It turns out that Belinda is related to the baby mama of Steve’s late cousin. He also only found out so-“
Mwansa was already up on her feet and dialling Steve’s number.
“What are you doing?” Febby asked, getting up to get the phone from her but Mwansa gave her friend her back and continued waiting for Steve to pick up her call.
“You can’t call him right now.” Febby complained, still trying to get her to cut the line but if the determination on her roommate’s face was anything to go by, she was not going to cut the line. “He is going to know right away that I snitched.”
“You are a snitch Febby,” Mwansa said, the phone still to her ear and ringing. “Who doesn’t know that about you? Everyone in this room knows no information is safe in your hands but still, I am grateful that you told me so I can put a st-“
“Babe,” Stephen finally answered.
“Where are you?” Mwansa asked in a very tight tone.
“I was just about to get into the lib.” He answered. “What’s up?” he obviously had not picked up on her piqued tone of voice. He stopped by the entrance of the library to finish with the call. He motioned for his friend to go ahead but the friend preferred waiting for him.
“Wait for me right there.” Mwansa commanded.
Stephen laughed, thinking she was trying to play lovey-dovey at the most inappropriate time. “Babe, I have a test tod-“
“Just wait for me there if you know what’s good for you. I know about you and Belinda.”
“Oh dame.” The words escaped Stephen’s mouth, winning him a puzzled expression from his friend.
“Mwansa?” He called out her name when he thought he heard the line cut and he immediately confirmed his worst fears. “Febby.” He said between clenched teeth.
“What has Febby done?” Damian asked.
“Get these inside for me and keep me a spot before this place packs up.” Stephen handed his books over to his friend.
Damian laughed, sensing what could be cooking up in the air. “Good luck man.” He said and left.
Stephen went to stand as far away from the entrance as possible to avoid an audience for what he anticipated would be a life-threatening confrontation with his short-fused girlfriend. Anywhere far from people was safe if he had to deal with a volatile girlfriend like his.
He had promised himself that he would never date a short-tempered girl after Belinda but his heart ended up betraying him again.
“I want to know everything that happened and don’t even think about leaving anything out because I will find out.” Mwansa snapped the moment she showed up, her arms crossed over her chest.
“It’s nothing like what you think,” Steve tried to explain.
“And what do you think I am thinking Steve?” Mwansa asked.
“Why are you acting so upset when you don’t even know the details? You have already passed judgment before hearing my side of the story.”
“What would you think or do if you heard that my ex-boyfriend visited me at my place Steve?”
“If it bothers me then I would first ask you about it instead of assuming the worst.” He said.
“Well I’m sorry that I am not as cool as you but that’s where you and I are different. You believe in a God you’ve never even seen and I believe in facts and the fact right now is that you met with your ex and you did not bother to tell me about it. How come you never told me that she’s related to the Alicia woman we met that day?”
“I am just going to ignore your comment about my faith and say that I didn’t tell you about it because I didn’t think it was necessary for me to mention it to you. besides, I also found out they were related on the day they came to pick up Buseko.”
“But it was necessary for you to mention it to your friends right?” She asked.
“What are you so upset about Mwansa? That I bumped into my ex accidentally or that I never told you about it? Because I am not sorry that I bumped into her, it wasn’t planned and we were both caught by surprise-“
“We?” She hissed. “Did you just refer to the both of you as a couple?”
“I guess now we know why you didn’t see it necessary to mention the encounter to me.”
“Call her right now and tell her not to ever come to your place or your aunt’s place again.”
“Or would you rather I do it for you?” Mwansa looked Steve over and located his phone in his phone. She dipped her hand into his trousers and brought out the phone.
“What do you think you are doing?” Stephen tried to get the phone from her but Mwansa held him back with one hand while her other hand searched for Belinda’s name in his phone book.
Stephen managed to overpower her and get the phone from her just as it was about to start ringing.
“What was that I saw?” Mwansa asked, pointing to the phone now in his hands. “The two of you chat?”
“What’s going on with you today Mwansa?”
“I saw something on the screen just as the phone started dialling.” She said. “I want to see what the two of you talk about. If you have nothing to hide then you will let me see.”
Just then, Stephen’s phone rang. He checked the screen. “Noo,” he lamented.
“Who is it?” Mwansa asked. “Did she call you back? Let me see-“ She went for his phone again but Stephen quickly switched it off and put it in his back pocket.
“I don’t have time for this Mwansa.” Stephen said. “I have a test in a few hours and another one tomorrow morning. Let’s talk about this some other time.”
“When a man says that, then there’s no doubt he’s got something to hide!” Mwansa shouted to his back but Stephen did not look back. He walked straight into the Library and headed to the Short Loan section.
“I know all the tricks in the book Steve,” Mwansa said to herself. “I will get to the bottom of this if it kills me.”
Back in her room, Mwansa went on Facebook and looked up Belinda.
“What’s her last name?” She asked Febby who had gone back to her side of the room.
“Who?” Febby asked.
Febby immediately rushed over to her roommate’s side and tried to get the phone from her, “That’s a very bad idea Mwansa.” She tried to caution her. “You never ever call up an ex or another girl. Talk to Steve first and-“
“I know Steve,” Mwansa said. “He won’t tell me anything even if I cried or grovelled. He avoids arguments like no man’s business so I always end up talking to myself whenever we have a misunderstanding.”
“Now I really regret opening my mouth.” Febby said, dropping herself onto the bed. “Me and my big mouth.”
“So you know.” Mwansa said. “What’s the bitch’s last name? You know I will get it from someone else even if you don’t give it to me right so just save us both the time.”
“Daka,” Febby provided. “Her name is Belinda Daka.”
Mwansa typed the name in the search engine and a number of profiles with that name up. “Which one is she?” She showed her phone screen to Febby.
“Whoever is the prettiest from whatever faces you are looking at.” Febby said as she took the phone from her friend.
“Here,” She said, pointing to a picture that had two girls on it.
“There are two girls here,” Mwansa observed. “And they are both pretty. I have met this other one before.”
“Belinda is the one on the left.” Febby explained. “That other girl should be her sister or something.
“They are both pretty but they don’t look like sisters.” Mwansa commented as she went directly to the profile. “I hate her just looking at her. I knew there was something about that lady that day I met her. She just made me feel weird.”
“Psychologists call that jealousy…or madness.” Febby remarked. “But wait, you met Steve’s ex before?”
“No, her sister.” Mwansa answered. “The one in the picture with her.” And then she got to writing a message to Belinda:
This is Stephen’s girlfriend. I think you and I deserve a meet. Don’t you think?
“Now we wait,” Mwansa said, laying the phone down on the bed, screen up. “Let’s see if she’s a coward or not. Anyway, anyone creeping around with someone else’s boyfriend is the worst kind of coward in the world.”
“What have you done?” Febby asked.
“I just sent her a message asking her to meet…well, maybe asking is the wrong word to use.” Mwansa answered. “More like commanded her.”
“Oh dear.” Febby said. “I don’t see this working in your favour Mwansa. You are assuming that something is going on between the two of them but what are you going to do if that’s not the case?
“You are just going to expose to your boyfriend’s ex that his new relationship is shaky, that there’s no trust and that you are very insecure. I also heard that Belinda isn’t the kind of girl to mess around with. I heard she once left a girl that was chasing after Steve hanging from a chandelier at a club.”
“Well, then she knows exactly what happens to girls that try to mess around with other people’s men.”
He phone beeped. Both ladies jumped to their feet.
“Did she reply?” Febby asked, excitement written all over her face.
Mwansa slowly picked up her phone from the bed. “Yes, she’s replied.” She confirmed.
Why? Was the only word that came as a reply from Belinda.
What??” Both girls exclaimed in shock at the same time.
“That’s all?” Febby asked. “Try to reload the messages.” She urged her friend and Mwansa did as advised.
“Nothing.” Mwansa said in disappointment. “This girl…” and she wrote back:
“Are you that much of a coward?”
A few seconds later, “I think you should talk to Stephen about this, not me,” Belinda’s reply came.
“See what I told you?” Febby said. “Now you’ve just given her wings and something to use against you. She knows you are insecure.”
“Then I will show her exactly who should feel threatened between the two of us.” She got up from the bed and started putting her shoes on. “My name is Mwansa Chileshe, I am not insecure. I am confident, bold and sexy.”
“Where are you going?” Febby asked.
“I am going to her room. Do you know where her room is?”
“I can see you don’t.” Mwansa said. “Who might know?”
“I don’t think you should do this Mwansa.” Febby advised her. “Try to calm down for now and-“
“I am going to find someone that might know.” Mwansa said and stormed out of the room.
The moment Mwansa was out of the room, Febby picked up her phone from her bed and sent a text to Stephen;
“Mwansa has gone to look for Belinda. Find her. Right now.” When five minutes passed and she did not hear from Steve, she called his line but discovered his phone was off.
“Oh dear, what have I done?” Febby asked herself, her hands clasped together at the back of her head as she dropped onto her bed. Her bottom had just hit the bed when she bolted right up again, suddenly remembering someone she knew would take care of her roommate’s situation before it got out of hand.
Chilufya was in the middle of a call at work when her cell phone rang. When she noticed who was calling, she quickly concluded the conversation. Thinking it was Mwansa calling to beg her for talk time, Chilufya answered her phone.
“How much?” She went straight to the point.
“It’s me Ms Chileshe.” Febby answered. No matter the number of times she had met Chilufya, Febby had never felt close to her roommate’s sister. Chilufya had a certain seriousness about her that kept people at bay.
“Febby?” Chilufya said. “How are you?”
“Not good,” she replied. “Mwansa is about to cause some trouble…if she hasn’t already.”
“Why? What happened? Give her the phone.” Chilufya had immediately created a list of the possible troubles her baby sister might have caused given her rap sheet and was already calculating counter measures for damage control.
“That’s the thing,” Febby said. “She’s not here. She’s gone after Stephen’s ex-girlfriend, right here on campus.”
“What?” Chilufya said. “Why?”
“She thinks that she’s after Stephen but I think it’s all just a misunderstanding-“
“Does Steve know?”
“I don’t think so. I tried to call him to warn him but his phone is off. You know how Mwansa is-“
“I’m on my way there.” Chilufya said. “That girl will give mum a heart attack one of these days. In the meantime try to locate her and let me know where to find her.”
I will.” Febby said.
Mwansa banged on the door that had the number she had been given by one of Stephen’s close friends as belonging to Belinda.
“Who’s that?” Chibale asked Belinda.
“I think I have an idea who it might be.” Belinda told her roommate and got up to answer the door.
“You must be Mwansa, right?” Belinda said upon opening the door and finding a girl breathing fire on the other side.
Mwansa felt like slapping the smile off her rival’s face. How dare she look so unperturbed. “Yes, I am Stephen’s girlfriend.” She said proudly.
Belinda chuckled and stepped aside. “Come in,” she said.
“Did I say something funny?” Mwansa asked, refusing to enter the room.
“Get in,” Belinda said. “You don’t want the whole block knowing that you have trust issues in your relationship.”
Belinda walked back into the room, leaving the door open for Mwansa to enter if she wanted to.
Mwansa immediately felt at a loss. What was she thinking following Belinda to her room? She automatically had the home ground advantage. Against her will, she entered and closed the door behind her.
“Sit.” Belinda pointed to the chair by her study desk from where she was seated on the bed.
Like an obedient child, Mwansa sat down. That was not how she had imagined the confrontation scene playing out in her head. She had expected to see hands flying about and voices yelling at the very top.
She’s even prettier in person. Mwansa silently admitted to herself as she took a closer look at Belinda. But so what if she’s more beautiful than me? I am the one dating Stephen right now.
“I am uncomfortable with the fact that you are still in touch with my boyfriend.” Mwansa stated curtly, rediscovering her confidence all over again.
“Did he tell you that the two of us are in touch?” Belinda asked.
“He didn’t have to, I saw the messages and I was there when you called him.”
“Obviously there’s some misunderstanding here.” Belinda said. “Stephen and I are not in touch like that. We met a few days ago by coincidence and we exchanged a few texts afterwards. In fact, I was the one that initiated the conversation via text and I asked him if we could get some drinks together.
“I had no idea he was seeing someone and I wouldn’t have asked him if I was aware. I had not seen in a very long time and I thought that it wouldn’t hurt to hang out and catch up but he respectfully turned me down and told me that he was seeing someone and that it would be improper for us to meet. I still have the messages.” She checked through her phone, found the messages and handed the phone over to Mwansa.
“Until earlier today when I found a missed call from him, the two of us had not spoken.” Belinda explained while Mwansa went through the phone conversation. “I was very surprised when I saw the missed call, didn’t even hear the phone ring but I called back immediately just in case he thought I was avoiding him.”
“I guess you must think I am such a big fool.” Mwansa said as she handed the phone back to Belinda. “This is so embarrassing.” She shut her eyes and put her hands over them. “Oh my God, Stephen is sooo going to kill me.”
Belinda laughed. “I doubt that would be the case. It’s only natural to get concerned when you think your boyfriend is still in touch with his ex. I am just sorry that I am the reason for this misunderstanding.”
“Now you are just trying to make sure I fall flat on my face right? Gosh, this is so embarrassing.” Mwansa admitted.
Mwansa had expected nothing but antagonism from her supposed rival, not someone with the kind of maturity Belinda was exhibiting in the face of what could have been danger. Why did she have to be both beautiful and mature? Even though they were the same age, why did she feel as if she was a babe in front of this woman? How the hell was she supposed to compete with that? Why did she feel worse now despite knowing the truth instead of feeling relieved?
“You know,” Mwansa said when she finally looked up at her rival. “You are very different from what I imagined you would be.”
Belinda laughed. “I guess I don’t have to ask what you imagined.” She said. “People have some ideas about who they think I am and frankly, I don’t blame them. Just like Steve, I too had a phase in my life I am not so proud of…but it’s all in the past now.
“We were young and excited.” She said, a bittersweet smile on her face. “We made some pretty wild decisions and lived dangerously but we learnt the lessons and moved on. Stephen turned to the church for help and I turned to my sister. She’s the best sister in the world.”
“I met your sister once when I was at Aunt Mary’s house.” Mwansa said.
“Oh, you’ve met his family?” Belinda sked.
Sensing that this could be an opportunity to score a hundred above her, Mwansa went for it. “Yes, he’s introduced me to his family.” She lied. “Aunt Mary is not the easiest woman to please but she was very kind.”
“I am very happy for the both of you.” Belinda said, an obvious sadness filling her eyes.
“Thanks,” Mwansa smiled proudly.
“You don’t look anything like your sister but you are both beautiful.” Mwansa commented, still riding high on the wave of her suggestive lie.
Belinda smiled. “Thanks.” She said. “Alicia truly is a beautiful soul.”
Mwansa laughed “Yes she is, but I think you are more beautiful.” And then she winced in embarrassment. “Gosh, I can’t believe I just said that.”
They both laughed. “If it’s a fact, then there’s no need to feel embarrassed about it. However, I should warn you, I might have changed but I am still very short tempered. I only acted cool with you because I don’t wish to disturb Stephen’s new life. Of course I felt a little sad when I discovered he had moved on with someone but I am still happy for him…for the both of you.”
“Do you still like him?” Mwansa asked and immediately regretted opening her mouth.
Belinda was so startled by the question that she did not respond right away. Fortunately for her, she was saved by a knock at the door.
“I’ll get it!” Chibale announced from the other side of the room.
Mwansa put her hand over her mouth, then dropped it and asked; “There was someone that side?”
“Yes.” Belinda said.
“Is there someone called Belinda here?” Mwansa heard a familiar voice ask.
“Chilufya!” She exclaimed and got up from the chair to rush to the door. Chibale quickly stepped aside and watched the reunion at the door in awe.
“So you are truly here?” Chilufya said.
“What are you doing here? How-“ and then she turned to Febby who was standing next to her sister, realizing right away what she had done.
“Snitch.” Mwansa said accusingly.
“Hi.” Belinda popped up from behind Mwansa.
“Are you Belinda?” Chilufya asked.
“Yes.” She answered.
“I am so sorry for the trouble that my sister has caused-“
“What trouble?” Belinda asked. “She and I just talked, like adults. There was no trouble at all.”
“Are you sure?” There was disbelief on Chilufya’s face as she looked from Mwansa to Belinda.
Belinda laughed. “It’s all good.” She said.
Once they were seated in her car under the shade by October Car Park, Chilufya finally said the words that had been eating at her from the moment she had set eyes on Belinda. “She looks very familiar,” she said. “I feel like I’ve met her before.”
“Umm, I doubt it.” Mwansa said. “But maybe you know her sister, Alicia. She’s a nurse and works at Kondwani’s hospital. What’s wrong with you?” Mwansa stopped talking and starred at her shell-shocked sister.
“You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.” Mwansa remarked.
“Those pictures,” Chilufya said. “Can I see them?”
“What’s wrong with you Chilu? Don’t go all crazy on me right now ka. I am at school.”
“Show me the pictures or I will start pulling out my hair.” Chilufya threatened her sister.
Mwansa went straight to Belinda’s Facebook profile. The moment Chilufya’s eyes landed on Alicia, she gasped.
“What?” Mwansa asked. “You know her?”
“Karma,” Chilufya said the word with a far-off expression of horror on her face. “This is all karma.” She said, shaking her head in petrification.
“What are you going on about sis?” A visibly irritated Mwansa asked.
“I think that Steve is going to leave you for this girl Mwansa.” Chilufya said, looking earnestly at her sister, her eyes filled with unshed tears. “This family is cursed.”
“What are you talking about Chilu you are scaring me now!” Mwansa said.
“I need to go.” Chilufya said, quickly blinking back the tears.
“Just like that?” Mwansa snapped.
“Yes, just like that.” Chilufya said. “Get out, I have to be somewhere right now.”
“Weirdo.” Mwansa said as she stepped out of the car and banged the door behind her.
Chilufya called her brother right away. “We need to talk.” She said.
“I’m just leaving the hospital right now.” Kondwani said. “Where are you?”
“I am heading to your place right now.” She said.
“Okay, I’ll find you there.” He said.