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.



Diary entry: 22nd August, 1997

Today I had one of those sessions that have the potential to send you straight to hell just by listening to someone speak. Dear Lord, wherever you are, I hope you can look kindly upon me.

Kafula…oooh, what a woman!

She is not very different from the many women that have walked into my office before and humbly sat down in that chair only to rain shock unto my old soul.

“I am in a pickle Aunt!” Kafula declared. “You remember you asked me what would be the cause of my regret in future.” She said, “I think I have finally found the answer…and the devil really played a fast one on me this time around because I didn’t see it coming.”

Today’s meeting with her was not our first, obviously. She had come to me three years ago to seek relationship advice when the man, who is currently her husband, proposed marriage to her. I still remember how confused she was the day she narrated to me how the two of them had met….

*                       *                           *

The weather was just perfect for a Sunday morning. 21 year old Kafula touched her chitambala again to ensure it was still in place. There was no way she was going to risk revealing her loud blonde weave to the new pastor from Washington D.C who was to be introduced in church that day. There was electricity in Kafula’s movements as evidenced from the stares she was getting from the opposite sex as she walked the short distance from her home to her church. She was excited, and it showed on her youthful and beautiful face. She made it a point to royally wave at familiar faces along the way. There were certain perks to growing up in a middle-class neighborhood. Despite the clothes that seemed to threaten her very womanhood into oblivion, she was still a sight to behold.

Kafula was just about to enter the church hall when she felt her phone vibrate in her hand bag. There was only one person who could be calling her at that time. She still had about twenty-five more minutes till service started so she walked to a corner outside the church to take the call.

“What’s up boo!” She probably thought she was whispering, but her excitement betrayed her. She looked around to see if anyone had heard her but she was in the clear. There was only a man standing a few feet away with his back to her. He was talking to an elderly woman who seemed completely taken in by whatever the tall man in the well cut and expensive suit was telling her.

“This is me waking up, imagine,” said a male voice from the other end of the line. “I haven’t called at a bad time, have I? …I think you still have about….”

“Yeah, still got about twenty more minutes so we can chat. What time did you even sleep last night?”

There was a long sigh first and then, “I think that was around 03…you know how I hate Labour Law. That fool only talks too much about himself in class and doesn’t teach a thing so we have to find all the data for ourselves. I managed to find an old essay online and spent most of the night going through it. I think I am ready to ace that test tomorrow, babes.”

“And when you do,” this time she managed to successfully whisper, tilting her head further into her shoulder. “I think I will also be ready to let you taste something even sweeter.” Kafula’s hand was absent-mindedly making circles around her breast.

“Hmmm hmmm….” She heard someone make a play of clearing his throat and quickly looked up. She wasn’t sure whether to cover her whole face or her mouth but in trying to decide, she sent her phone flying to ground as she caught a glimpse of who was standing in front of her.

She had never seen him before, but she could guess from his suit and his looks who he was. He was very good-looking and had an air of elegance and charisma about him that only made her blush even more. What was a young sexy man like that doing coming all the way here to Africa to be a pastor? Kafula thought to herself.

“Well, are you going to continue standing here Sister, or go in and get ready for today’s sermon?” His voice was something to die for. His American accent only served to deepen his already masculine voice. Fortunately, his tone was neither menacing nor disapproving and the huge smile playing on his face helped ease Kafula’s embarrassment at getting caught talking dirty right in front of the church.

Blinking profusely and internally searching for her tongue, Kafula managed to let out a few words. “You must be the new Pastor from America….” She was debating whether to extend her hand in greeting or not when he put out his and waited for her to reciprocate, still smiling. He must think I am some naughty child in need of deliverance, doesn’t he? She thought as they shook hands.

“Yes indeed I am. You can call me Pastor Daniel Jackson. And what’s your name?”

“My name is Kafula.” She was quick to provide. Finally, her tongue back in full service. “I am very sorry about…” she looked at her phone in embarrassment. “It’s not what you think….”

“I do not think it matters what I think as long as it well with your conscious and with God. C’mon, let us go in before we are late.” He motioned for her to go ahead. Kafula took the aisle and searched for Melinda in the already filled-up church. She spotted her childhood friend and now college mate immediately in their usual sitting place, furiously waving her hand in the air so as not to be missed.

“What took you so long?” Was the greeting Kafula received from Melinda. “You know very well how special today is. Even the people that haven’t been to church in ten years have finally shown up today. I don’t know whether I should be impressed or if I should judge them. They have no shame.” Melinda was one year Kafula’s junior in age and the girl was never one to hesitate when it came to speaking her mind. She believed in speaking the truth even if it would hurt the recipient and she expected all her friends to treat her in that regard, always.

Kafula looked behind her to see if the sexy pastor had followed her but he was nowhere in sight. There was a look of disappointment in her eyes. “Who are you looking for?” A very curious Melinda asked, her gaze following the direction her fiend had just been searching.

“Let me tell you all about it after the service. All I can say for now is that I feel like the ground should just open up and swallow me.!” Kafula covered her face with both hands as if the act itself would wipe out the past few minutes.

That Sunday, the moment the service was done, Kafula was more than ready to grab her handbag and run out of the church. But just when she thought she was in the clear, she bumped right into the masculine frame of Pastor Jackson at the church entrance. He had a wild smirk about him, as if to say, I have caught you in the act, again.

“You really don’t like me much, do you?” A visibly embarrassed Kafula said while her friend Melinda stood to the side, visibly gawking at the handsome 30 year old pastor.

“Quite the contrary Sister Kafula,” replied the charismatic man. She almost laughed at the sound of her name from his lips. He remembered my name!” A little voice screamed inside her head. “Since I am the new head pastor here, I have plans to implement a few programs for the youths and I thought you might be the perfect candidate to be in charge of one of them. I have someone coming through from the RFL tomorrow evening; I would really love it if you were part of that meeting. Of course you are free to invite your guardian to the meeting since this will be on-going and will take up most of your free time.”

“Don’t worry Pastor, she will definitely be here,” replied an excited Melinda.

Kafula threw her friend a warning look that sent her locking her lips in silent. “It sounds like a great program if it has to do with the RFL…but I have to think about it first. You see, I am in my first year at college and….”

“Even better!” Pastor Jackson said. “This will definitely be good for your resume and it won’t get in the way of your studies whatsoever. Ask your parents to accompany you tomorrow and I will try to convince them about why this is an opportunity you cannot afford to miss.”

Kafula had just known him for a couple of hours, but he had a way with words that would even convince a blind man he really saw the blue giraffe that had walked by. She did not know it then, but she had already given him access to the most intimate of her thoughts in more ways than she could have ever imagined.

Three months later, Kafula’s two year relationship with her boyfriend Andy was on the rocks. The two had been having constant fights like never before and there was no denying the constant tension between them.

“All you ever talk about is Pastor Jackson, Pastor Jackson.” Andy complained one day. “Do you know that you sometimes even call him Danny? Who the hell calls their 30 year old pastor by their first name? Are you sure you haven’t already surrendered your gold to him?” Andy threw his girlfriend a look of disgust, scanning her from head to toe. Suddenly, his collage room which he had always considered big was too small to contain the two of them. Kafula was already on her feet ready to throw whatever she could get her hands on at him before walking out.

“What are you trying to say Andy?” She retorted. “How many times do I have to tell you that nothing is going on between the Pastor and me? Since when did you become so insecure?”

“Since my girlfriend who loved me to the moon came to me one day and told me that her pastor said that I am a bad influence on her and she should break-up with me if she is to attain everlasting life. And as if that is not enough, my girlfriend,” Andy deliberately emphasized the phrase, “…is gullible enough to believe that God actually came to this pastor in a dream and told him that she was his soul mate. Tell me, would you be feeling secure at all if you were me?”

“I never said that we should break up Andy. I merely relayed to you what the pastor told me.”

“You don’t need to actually say the words for me to get them. Everything you’ve been doing ever since that man came into our lives has been suggesting a break-up. You don’t call or text, you are always grumpy or absent-minded whenever we are together, if you are not with him then you are constantly on the phone with him. It’s like I don’t exist to you anymore. Right now you have no right to make me feel as if I am being paranoid. That is very unfair because you know very well that I am saying the truth. All I need is the truth from you, not this cat and mouse game you’ve been playing with me lately. Do you want us to break up or not?”

The silence that followed was enough for Andy to sing all the verses of the National Anthem backwards. “I would be a fool to still hold any hope for us if your silence is anything to go by. Get out of my room right now Kaf before I do something to you I might regret.”

“But Andy….” Kafula stammered.

“Oh, so you finally have something to say? C’mon, say it now, I’m waiting.” He went to sit on the bed, his arms resting across his chest. He didn’t need her to say anything else to validate his fears. That bus had already gone and somewhere in Kulima Tower, a conductor was very pleased.

“What you said…” Kafula stammeredall through her speech. “Well, I really don’t know for sure…but…but…what the pastor said…it really got to me. Ever since he told me, I have been thinking and thinking. What if I ignore him? Wont God punish me?”

Just listen to yourself Kafula?” Andy cut her off. “For the past two years I was under the impression I had the most intelligent woman by my side. The Kafula I know wouldn’t be standing here telling me she believed the words of a wanna-be prophet instead of using logic to assess things. These people calling themselves pastors are busy feeding you fables and presenting them to you as gospel truth and you are not wise enough to tell them apart. I am telling you, God does not appear to men and deliver useless messages like that. This has nothing to do with God. Just tell me that you were flattered when he told you that he traveled all the way from the States just to meet with you after God had come to him…in a dream? Do you think you are the only he is feeding such stories?”

“I trust my pastor, Andy; he is a man of God. I won’t have you say such horrible things about him. I have always known you have little faith. I just didn’t know it was this serious. You are right, I have already made up my mind,” she spoke with conviction this time around. “I do not wish to continue this relationship. Of course I am flattered that a man like Pastor Jackson has shown interest in me and wants to marry me. What red-bloodied woman wouldn’t? I have heard him speak the word of God in church and there is no doubt the spirit of God resides in him. That is the kind of man I want to spend the rest of my life with. I am really sorry that things turned out this way between us. Until Danny, I truly believed I was in-love with you. I am truly sorry.”

“Yeah, so am I.” These were the last words that Andy said to her. Six months later, he heard through his friends that she had dropped out of college and gotten married to the charismatic Man of God. He knew it was time to move on.

^                 ^                 ^

What Andy didn’t know was that just a week before Kafula’s wedding to Pastor Jackson, she had come to my office to voice her confusion over the men in her life.

“There is a part of me that thinks that this is too good to be true and that I might end up regretting the choices I have made.” Kafula said, not hiding her worries at all.

I had my own concerns over her decision to get married so soon but while I was busy debating how to relay the message without hurting her, she beat me to it. “I know that we haven’t known each other for a long time but I feel as if I have known him all my life,” said Kafula. “I feel like I have known him all my life.” She repeated. “He makes me feel…different…nice.” She was literally blushing.

“Do you believe that he genuinely loves you?” I asked.

She nodded, “I have no doubt about that.”

“And how do you feel about Andy, your ex?”

“I used to think that I was crazily in-love with him until I met Danny. I don’t think I have ever felt this way for anyone before. This truly must be love.” She proudly announced.

“So, tell me again why you came to see me my dear?” I asked.

“Well, I heard from a friend at school that you are really good at helping someone get a piece of mind.” I couldn’t help laughing a little at that. “You see, ever since Andy and I broke up,” Kafula was saying, “I have been feeling a little guilty. I want that guilt to go away before I get married to Danny. He doesn’t deserve this.”

“Why do you feel guilt over Andy?”

“…I really don’t know,” then she paused, scanning the roof of my home office. “He was really a great guy. Even though I told him I wasn’t yet ready to have sex, he was very patient with me and never pressured me or anything. Despite his challenging classes, he still made time for me. He is a really good guy and I can’t help feeling bad about how I treated him.”

“Are you perhaps confusing the feelings you still have for him for guilt?” She was more than ready to refute my theory but then I cautioned her, “I need you to really think about this before responding.”

I could tell she was having a hard time sorting out her feelings for the two men. She obviously didn’t seek me out for guidance. She just wanted me to tell her what she wanted to hear so she could have a free mind.

It took her about two minutes to come to a conclusion. “I really don’t know…I am really confused,” she admitted. “There is no way my feelings for him could disappear suddenly even if I am now in-love with someone else. After all, we were together for two years and we knew each other long before we started dating. So isn’t it understandable that I might still feel a little confused about my feelings for him? It hasn’t even been long since we broke up, don’t you think?”

“Is it me you are trying to convince, or yourself?” I looked at her keenly.

She didn’t reply immediately. I am sure her mind was busy at work somewhere. And then, “One thing I know for sure is that my feelings for Danny are way more than my feelings for Andy.” She revealed.

“…and, are you sure those feelings are indeed love and not just sexual attraction? I have heard that he is a very good looking man.” Kafula was smiling and blushing all at once.

“I don’t think it has anything to do with sex…although I have thought about it several times. He is even the one who has kept on insisting we do nothing intimate until the wedding.”

“That is very noble of him.” I said. It was meant to be sarcastic, but obviously that was not how it came out looking at the proud expression on Kafula’s face.

I had my own feelings about the man but I was not about to impose my suspicions on a 21 year old riding high on an oestrogen wave. She was in a better position to see things for how they really were and there was nothing anyone could tell her that would make her change her mind. And what if the pastor’s intentions where truly genuine? There was no way of confirming that or anything else otherwise. “I know why you came here to see me,” I said. “But I am not in any position to give you the response you so desperately want to hear. I would only advise you take your time to get to know each other…get to know more about Pastor Danny and where he comes from, his family and other things like that. As it happens now, the only thing you know about him is what he has told you. I understand that trust is essential in a relationship…but it is also not a crime to question certain things sometimes. Try to find out a little more about his background and what sort of family he comes from. When you marry someone, it is not just them you marry, but their family too. So try to find out about that as well.”

“He said that he has no family. He grew up in an orphanage. He even showed me a picture of him and his siblings at the orphanage when they were young.  He had a tough life after leaving the orphanage so he lost contact with most of them. Only two of his close friends will be coming but that will be only a day before the wedding.”

“That’s quite unfortunate…about his life I mean. Do you think that there is a possibility you might regret your decision in future?” I asked.

“When it comes to love, there is always a possibility of regret aunt.” She replied confidently. “Love is a risk we all take and we never really know the end unless we allow ourselves to succumb.” I was amazed. Perhaps I should have been the one sited in her chair and not the other way round.

“Besides,” Kafula added, “he did say that God revealed to him that I was his soul mate. I believed him.”

“Let’s do hypotheticals…hypothetically speaking, if you were to regret in future, what do you think would be the one thing you wish you had known or avoided today? Or, let me rephrase…what do you think would be the cause of your regret?”

She paused to think about this one before replying. “The devil,” she said. “The devil always has a way of ruining good and pure things so I can’t really tell which route he might use to get at us but I will always be prayerful.”

“That’s a good response Kafula.” I said and made preparations to end our session.

*                       *                           *


“What do you mean you have found the answer?” I asked the young lady. “Did something happen?”

“Not something, someone, to be more precise.” She said.

“What is that supposed to mean?” I asked.

“My husband, he isn’t who he said he was. I only found out the truth yesterday, after I discovered his affair and he found out about mine.”

Now there was something I wasn’t expecting. “Wait a minute, you mean the both of you cheated on each other that early in your marriage? I don’t know about him but what’s your excuse, Kafula?”

“At first I also thought I was a Jezebel kind of woman just like you are thinking right now, but not anymore.”

“There is really no excuse for cheating on your spouse Kafula, especially if it happens only three months after the wedding.” I tried to reason with her.

She laughed, but sarcastically. “I might have been the one who ‘cheated,’” she raised her fingers as if to literally put her words in inverted commas. “But he is the biggest cheat of them all. It turns out, our marriage wasn’t even valid to begin with.

“What do you mean by that?” My walls have heard and witnessed crazy things, but each new day always seems to bring with it a whole new flavor of sin.

“My husband…oh, I can’t believe I am still calling him that after all that happened!” She pulled a disgusted face. “It turns out Danny is already married and I am the other woman.” She dropped the bomb.

“Dear Lord,” I said. Yes, it also happens to me. Sometimes I get so shocked I run out of words too.

“You remember last time, I told you he had invited two of his close friends to our wedding? Well, it turned out that one of them was actually his wife.”

“But why did she come to the wedding if she was married to your husb…I mean to the pastor?”

“Wait until you hear the whole story then you will understand just how sick this whole thing really is. I feel like going for surgery just to have all my insides flushed out. Just after the wedding….”

*                       *                           *

The day after the wedding, one of Danny’s friends had gone back to the States while the other had remained behind to stay with the new couple. It had been brought to the Jackson’s attention that Hilary had no home to return to in America as notice of repossession had been served and there was no place to call home. Wanting to please her husband, Kafula had persuaded him to let Hilary stay with them since that was as close to family he would ever be. Only two months had passed after the wedding when Danny started keeping late nights away from home. In a dramatic turn of events, the interest he had shown in her before the wedding had suddenly waned. It was as if a switch had been turned on…or off and a whole new person was born.

Kafula couldn’t believe just how things had ended up taking such a dramatic turn. She had envisaged a wild night of uninhibited sex on her honeymoon but her new husband would not hear of it. He feigned illness that night. Kafula woke up the next morning to the sound of her husband packing and getting ready to check them out of their honeymoon suite.

“What are you doing honey?” A confused Kafula immediately came to full consciousness. “Are you packing?”

“Yes,” he answered nonchalantly. “I have some visitors from Cameroon who arrived earlier than scheduled. I need to attend to them. They are very important people and likely to bring more funding to the orphanage. I really can’t miss this opportunity honey…we can’t afford to miss this…” he moved in closer to her and planted a kiss on her lips. “I know this isn’t good but I promise to make it up to you as soon as they are gone.”

“When are they supposed to leave?” She asked, her lips tight in a pout.

“They are here to ensure that everything is set up nice and running smoothly before the official opening.”

“And how long is that supposed to take?”

“…say…about three months? C’mon, get up right now before we miss our flight.”

Kafula wanted to complain but his flight announcement distracted her, as was intended. “You already booked us a flight out of here?” She found herself asking.

For the next three months, Danny worked non-stop and rarely came home. Kafula was still impatiently waiting for her first night with her husband and she still couldn’t believe that she was already three months in marriage and still a virgin. There were times she truly appreciated the company of Hilary otherwise she would have died from boredom. The two of them stayed up in the lonely hours of the night chatting. Hilary would tell Kafula stories of Danny growing up and his life in the US and Kafula would tell her new found friend stories of her childhood, all the way to when she met Danny.

One night Kafula had been worn out from crying after her husband had mercilessly rejected her, again and went off on a supposed business trip. She had been so wrapped in in her emotions that she cried herself to sleep on Hilary’s laps. At first, she thought she was dreaming; after all she was a sexually starved woman. She could feel a soft hand caressing her face before slowly moving downwards to her arms. She could feel the tingling slowly move to her breasts and she wanted to be touched there. As if reading her mind, the buttons on her blouse where loosened and her whole breast was cupped into the gentle hand that went right to work. When she moaned, she knew it was no dream and her eyes immediately flipped open.

“Hilary!” She almost jumped up from his embrace but he held her down.

“Shh…” He held a finger to his lips. She had never noticed before just how good looking of a man he was because she was so enamoured by her husband she had no time to look at other men. But there he was…for the first time she could clearly see his eyes, blue they were. From where she was lying, she had the best view of his face, and his lips. He had the best lips she had ever seen on any man. His long hair that always made him look so feminine fell on either side of his cheeks. There was nothing about the look in his eyes that said anything about femininity. The eyes, piercing through her body and tearing her into total nakedness were those of a man hungry for a woman. Without saying a word, he told her exactly what he wanted to do to her…and he did.

She made no effort to stop him.

That night Kafula had touched the whiskers of temptation and fallen into the chambers of everlasting lust. Not once did the thought of her husband come to mind. Without shame or resistance, she had allowed herself to be taken in by the unspoken charm of a man she had not once considered a man. She had allowed him to drive her to a world she had never been and he did so with pleasure. It was only when she awoke the next morning and found herself sleeping in her own bed that events of the previous night started playing in her head, and then the guilt sunk in. She looked around the room for signs of her husband but there was nothing. Then she paused, how did she end up in her bedroom? Did that night really happen or had she dreamt it? Then she noticed the clothes on her. She had clearly allowed someone to strip her naked in the night yet her clothes were all in place.

What is going on? She wondered.

Kafula ran out of the bedroom and headed towards Hilary’s bedroom but he was nowhere in sight. She shouted his name across the house and finally got a response when she went downstairs. “In the kitchen,” she heard him shout and quickly rushed there. Hilary was in his usual somewhat feminine look; short-shorts, pink apron on top of a tight t-shirt and his blond hair was tied in a neat pony-tail. This couldn’t be the same man that had awakened things in her body she never imagined she possessed, could it? She could still feel him inside her, a feeling so strong she wanted to hold on to it for eternity. That feeling…that feeling couldn’t have been a dream.

“Good morning Mrs J,” he greeted her excitedly. “Figured you would wake up hungry…you had such a rough night after all.”

“Do you know what happened last night? I seem to have….” Kafula scratched her head in frustration. “Last night…did we….”

“Calm down love,” Hilary waved his hand as if to brush off her worries. “You cried so hard last night after that unfortunate episode with Danny and then you fell asleep. I kept talking and talking only to later realise that you had fallen asleep on my laps. I thought about laying you on the couch but figured you might get a headache so I took you to your room…hope you don’t mind.”

“Is that all that happened?”

“Yeah, that’s about it,” Hilary replied nonchalantly. “Juice or tea?” he asked.

For a moment, Kafula stood in the doorway of the kitchen starring at Hilary as he worked, looking so carefree.

Weeks had passed and Hilary carried on as if nothing had happened between them until Kafula finally convinced herself that she had dreamt the whole thing. One afternoon, Kafula was at work supervising the employees at her restaurant when she got a call from Melinda. The two of them had not seen each other after the wedding as Melinda had to go back to campus to continue her studies while her friend stayed behind to run her new home.

“Am on my way to your place,” Melinda announced excitedly.

“I’m not home right now sweety. How far are you?” Kafula asked.

“About thirty minutes I think. I just got off the bus right now.”

“Cool, then I’ll start off from here right away. You’ll find me home. I can’t wait to see you!”

Kafula was surprised to find her husband’s vehicle parked at home when she opened the gate. He had been gone on his usual trips for over a week already. She wasn’t expecting him back till Tuesday the next week. Excitedly, she parked her car next to his and rushed into the house. Wanting to surprise him, she tip-toed upstairs to his study where she figured he would be preparing for Sunday’s sermon but he wasn’t there. She then headed towards their bedroom and slowly opened the door. She finally found him, all covered up and snoring as hell. She laughed to herself as she went to uncover his head. “Sleepy head,” she teased him and planted a kiss on his forehead.

Not wanting to disturb him, she turned around to leave the room only to turn right back around when she saw thought she saw an outline of another figure next to her husband. She threw off the beddings immediately to reveal two naked figures of her husband and Hilary whose long legs were wrapped around him as if for dear life. No sooner had the meaning of the revelation sunk in than the two men bolted straight up in bed, both in utter embarrassment. Daniel was the first one to get out of bed to try to calm down his wife who stood frozen on the spot, her hands covering her mouth in disbelief.

“I can explain this honey,” he tried to touch her but she flinched and the look in her eyes screamed for him not to even dare. She started backing away from the room and the moment she was outside, she ran downstairs sobbing, one hand pressed against her heart as if to keep it from exploding. But she was already on fire. By the time it took Daniel to put on his boxers and chase after his wife, she was already outside getting back into her car and ready to speed off, if not for Melinda who chose that particular moment to appear right in front of the car, arms stretched with a huge smile on her face.

“Guess whose home?” She shouted excitedly. However, it only took a split second for her to realise that her friend was not in the mood to play catch-up. Just then, Daniel appeared from the house, almost out of breath and in nothing else but his boxers. A shocked Melinda almost missed her breath as her hands went straight to cover her eyes, dropping her small luggage bag to the ground in the process.

“Get in the car right now Melinda or I will leave you!” Kafula shouted as she hit the gas. Melinda was wise enough to not ask any questions and got in the car. While Kafula kept her sight focused on the road ahead, Melinda took the time to look behind them and saw Hilary also come out of the house, but unlike Danny, he completely had no clothes on. She could see Danny say something to him in anger and his hands immediately went to cover his nether parts. The whole thing looked comical and Melinda couldn’t help laughing despite the situation. He is quite packaged that sissy fella, wow, was what was running through her mind. When she turned back around, she could feel Kafula’s glare and she quickly apologized. “You have to admit the whole thing looks ridiculous Kaf.” She stifled her laugh. “But then again, it can’t be like that from your end…right?” She patted her friend on the shoulder.

A week had passed when Kafula finally decided to confront her demons. She checked out of the hotel and drove back home to confront her husband. There were still a lot of questions she needed answered and as long as things remained like that, she would have no peace of mind. The two of them had probably already forgotten she existed and went back to shagging each other as if they had no care in the world. She couldn’t let them have that.

The first person Kafula ran into when she entered her house was Hilary. He was sited in his usual spot in the sitting room, his long legs stretched out on the sofa. It seemed one week was enough for him to recover from the bolt of embarrassment he had felt that day because he was smiling at her as if they were the best of buddies.

“Where is Danny?” She threw him a stern look. She was in no mood to play games with anyone.

“He’s at church for his usual counselling sessions. He said he would be back later in the evenings.” Hilary replied, slowly losing hold of his act. Before he could say another word, Kafula was already on her way upstairs. “He already knows…Daniel, he knows everything.” Hilary barked from behind her.

She told herself to just ignore him but for some reason, her body and mind seemed at odds with each other. She reluctantly turned around to face her enemy. “What is that supposed to mean?” She asked.

Hilary took steps to cover the distance between them. He stood just a step below her and with one hand holding on to the stairway rail; he leaned in closer and whispered in her ear, “…what happened between us that night….”

Kafula held her breath. “I don’t understand what you are trying to say.” She was truly confused. As if to confirm her worst fears, Hilary started stroking her hair with his free hand, tilting his head from side to side in her face and every now and then leaning in even closer as if to kiss her. This whole time, his eyes were fixed on her lips and nothing else. He could not see the petrified look in her eyes otherwise he would have stopped to help her to a seat.

“I don’t…know…what….” Kafula was more than ready to feign ignorance but reality had finally sunk in.

“There is no way you could have forgotten your very first time… and with me.” Hilary could not let her have the luxury of doubt, “you seemed to have loved every second of it. I still get hard every time I look at you after our special night.” He was still playing with her hair.

“Get the hell away from me you pervert!” Kafula tried to get away from him. “I think you have overstayed your welcome in this house. Get the hell out of my house right now before I call the police.” She tried to break away from him again but he held her in place by her shoulders, this time using both his hands. His strength always seemed to take her by surprise.

“I think you should really reconsider how you treat me from now on love,” He instructed, in a very controlled tone. “I am the only one who can get you out of this mess you so carelessly put yourself in.”

“I would rather die than seek any kind of solace from you.” She gripped his arms hard and pulled them off of her. If she didn’t know better, she would have read sadness in his eyes but she was not going to be fooled by him anymore. She was back on her voyage upstairs when she felt him right behind her. She was just about to turn around to ward him off when his arms went around her waist and he held her tight in an embrace from behind. She violently tried to set herself free but she was no match even for his slim frame.

“Just hear me out this once, Kaf.” He pleaded, but Kafula would not hear any of it.

“Get off of me before I do something to you that we will both regret!” She yelled, but Hilary still kept the position.

“I will not let go until you hear me out,” he insisted, resting his head on her back. “I know what was done to you…what we did to you is unforgivable….” His voice was almost breaking.

“Wait a minute,” Kafula interrupted. “Don’t tell me you’re crying?” She scoffed. “Aren’t you taking this act a bit too far Hilary? The cat is already out of the bag. Everything is done now. Can’t you get it? Save those crocodile tears for someone else who’s going to fall for such rubbish.”

“I really don’t blame you for thinking that.” Hilary tried to hold back his tears but it seemed they had a mind of their own. “You still don’t know the half of it Kafula. There is nothing about this that is even close to what you might be imagining. Daniel isn’t going to let you go despite what you found out.”

“What?” Kafula asked, trying to turn around to look at him but only managing to put them both in an awkward tight position.

“I will let you go now since it seems I have managed to get your undivided attention.” He let her free and stepped back from her. “How about we talk in the living room?” Without waiting for her response, he took the few steps back downstairs and into the living room, back in his spot.

“What do you mean Danny has no intention of granting me a divorce?” Kafula had followed him and was now sitting on the other side, facing him. “After what you two have done, there is no way he would expect that I would stay quiet and continue with this charade of a marriage. I will take him to court if I have to.”

You see,” Hilary got up and went to sit next to her. “I don’t think that’s going to happen.” He said nonchalantly. “Danny is no fool. He knew that one day you would find out and so he made sure to have leverage for when the time came.”

“What leverage are you talking about?” A very perturbed Kafula asked.

“There is a video….” Hilary paused for effect. “…of you and me…that night.” Kafula almost jumped out of her seat.

“You are joking, right?” She kept praying that it was only a dream, a very bad dream. “This is just a way of threating me, isn’t it?”

“If you don’t believe me, then you can go in his study and open his safe. I have his password; I don’t mind sharing it with you.”

“Just what is he planning on doing with that video if I don’t corporate?” Kafula looked defeated, but she knew the fight was far from over.

“You don’t need me to tell you that,” Hilary said. “You are a smart woman. You can figure it out on your own.”

“What have you people done to me?” Kafula cried. She furiously tried to wipe away the tears but they kept coming. “I trusted you guys, both of you.” She said whilst crying. Hilary tried to get closer to her again but she pushed him away from her hard. “And you,” Kafula continued, raising her head up to look him in the eye. “You are even worse than Danny. You took advantage of me in my most vulnerable state and went on with life as if nothing ever happened. As if that wasn’t enough, you filmed the whole thing!”

Hilary looked like he had just been hit by a brick. “I know, I know,” he kept repeating himself. “I might have been part of the plan from the very beginning but I stopped the moment I realised my feelings for you. Please believe me when I tell you that I had no idea he was recording us. Had I known, I wouldn’t have gone ahead with the arrangement.”

“And you actually expect me to believe that?” Kafula muttered something under her breath in vernacular but Hilary had an idea of how grave an insult it likely was. He moved to position himself in front of her and quickly took her hands in his before she could move away from him. As he expected, she tried to free herself but his strength seemed to surprise her again. Her eyes instinctively went to the hands that were holding her hostage.

They were long fingers, lean, soft yet strong. Unfortunately, that realization seemed to trigger memories of their night together; the night that almost never happened but actually did happen. She could remember how he had looked that night…his scent, his eyes…his hands on her. No one had ever touched her like that before or let alone make her feel like the most beautiful woman alive. In a sudden turn of events, Kafula could see that man again standing right in front of her. How was it possible that she could have such complicated feelings for the same man?

“Your body doesn’t lie Kaf,” Hilary was looking at her nipples threatening to reap through her blouse. “And your eyes are telling me how much you want me…” his hands where caressing the side of her eye while his head leaned in as if for a kiss.

“Aren’t you supposed to be gay or something ?” Kafula found herself asking, her shaky voice betraying her show of confidence.

“I am the kind of person who doesn’t look at the sex of a person to fall in-love with them.” Hilary confessed.

“Ah, so you are actually in-love with my husband…yet you claim to be in-love with me.” Kafula took the opportunity to quickly free herself from him and went to stand by the window, putting as much distance between them as possible.

“Technically speaking,” Hilary sat on the arm of the sofa she was sitting on, his arms crossed over his chest. “Daniel isn’t really your husband. He is mine…married for six years already.”

“What nonsense are you sprouting now?” Kafula wasn’t about to be dragged down the deception road again.

“You can ask Danny if you like, he will probably tell you the truth since everything is all out in the air now…and, he has something to ensure your silence, forever.”

“What can that be? I have no secrets….” Before she should finish, she realized exactly what Hilary was talking about. “…the video.” She was shell-shocked. “That bastard, he wouldn’t….”

“Oh yes he would,” Hilary confirmed her worst fears. “He is the kind of man who would do anything to survive, and I mean anything., well, maybe except murder.”

“But why is he doing this to me? Why me?” There was no missing the anxiety and disappointment in her voice. All along she had thought she as the most outstanding woman in the world because out of them all, the most eligible bachelor had chosen her and not anyone else.

“Because of your money…your family’s wealth, to be specific.” Kafula’s parents owned one of the largest local chain stores in the country and she was the only heir to that fortune.

“Dear God,” Kafula said. “So all of this is for money? Does he think that my father will let me lay a finger on that money while he’s still alive? Wait a minute…he is not planning on killing my father now, is he?”

“Danny might be a bigamist, but he is no murderer.”

“Easy for you to say.” Strangely enough, Kafula found herself relaxing a little. “So is that why you are pretending to be in-love with me as well, because of my money?”

Hilary laughed. “I grew up very poor so I have always loved money, and you just happen to have a lot of it.”

“Should I applaud you for your honesty?” Kafula said sarcastically.

“I never said that that was the only reason I love you. I am just fortunate that it is part of the package that comes with you but it never even crossed my mind the first time I realised I had fallen for you.”

Kafula was starting to feel uncomfortable again. “I don’t want to talk about this again…your feelings. I think I have heard more than enough today….” She was getting ready to leave. She picked up her handbag from the floor but Hilary was already in front of her, blocking her way.

“I have a way to get you free from Daniel and make sure he doesn’t use that video against you?”

“Let me guess,” Kafula said. “You will only help me if I accept your feelings?”

Hilary was shaking his head in disagreement. “No, I intend to help you whether you accept me or not. I happen to be a sucker for love.”

“And what happened to that love with my…with Danny?”

“I don’t know…. I don’t know who changed between us but something or someone definitely changed. All I know is that, talking to you…spending time with you has made me realise exactly what I need in my life. I never planned on falling in-love with you Kafula. It just happened…and that night between us, that changed everything. I haven’t been able to think about anything else.”

“I take it you were thinking about me while you cuddled up with Danny after a steamy session a few days ago?”

She didn’t miss his look of guilt. “I needed Danny to tell me where he kept the video of us…you and me and the only way to do that was…you know….” He shrugged his shoulders.

“And did you find out…where he kept them?”

Hilary smiled. It seemed she was going to accept his help after all, but what about his love? He wondered.

*             *                  *

“I take it you accepted Hilary’s feelings for you?” I asked Kafula. I really couldn’t tell what she was thinking. She was like a time bomb, just waiting to explode.

“I don’t know what to do aunty. Although Hilary managed to help me get rid of Daniel by threatening to expose the videos of them together, I am still not sure about my feelings for him. What’s worse, I ran into Andy a few weeks ago with his new girlfriend. I thought I had gotten completely over him a long time ago but seeing him with someone else…it didn’t make me feel good at all. I could tell by the way he was looking at her that he was in-love with her because that is how he used to look at me.”

“What you feel for Andy isn’t love per se. I think it is just jealous…which is natural to feel towards people that we once cherished. Realising that those special feelings he ponce had only for you have now transferred to another person can leave you feeling like you lost something. However, instead of dwelling on the past, it is better to move on with your life. I am sure Andy must have felt the same, if not worse when you left him but look at him now. If you truly loved him before, then you will let him move on with his new life while you try to bring some order to your own love life.”

“I guess I needed to hear that from someone else.” Kafula said, looking a little defeated. “Melinda has said something in those lines before but I thought it was only because she didn’t like me and Andy together. But you know what still bothers me about all this drama with Danny? I still find it hard to accept the fact that he was once a woman. I mean, everything about him seemed so masculine. I even saw him naked and…” Kafula threw her head into her hands.

“There are a lot of procedures one can undergo to change like that and modern medicines are helping to speed up such progress. Although it is not very common here, it is not like that where he comes from.

“So where is Hilary right now since Daniel went back to the states?” I asked.

“I doubt if Danny went back to the States. He is probably in another country in Africa trying to trap another desperate and gullible girl like me. Good luck to whoever that is.” She said. “As for Hilary, he is staying with one of the many friends he managed to make for himself during the period he’s been here. That man could get along even with a serpent.” She was smiling proudly as she spoke.

“You like him, don’t you?”

“Me? No!” She vehemently denied it with her voice but her body said something else. “He really confuses me.” She finally admitted. “I can’t really tell whether he is a man or a woman…what with his long hair, his weird clothes sometimes…and he also likes men! How can I possibly go out with someone like that? And what’s worse, I don’t know if I should trust him or not.”

“At least he has told you exactly what he wants from you but as for the issue of trust, that is not something you can teach someone to do. It is obvious you like him too but you are not sure of his intentions. Why don’t you give it some time…get to know each other first and perhaps in due time he could earn your trust or you can choose to start afresh with someone else.”

“What if I really lose him while I am trying to get my thoughts in order?”

“Then you would have known for sure exactly how much he loved you in the first place. Either way, it’s a win-win situation for you.”
“I see what you mean.” Kafula said.

“Don’t be too anxious to fall in-love.” I cautioned her. “It will happen when it wants to happen, whether you like it or not. However, it is important to guard your heart against things that only look right with the eye and not with the mind. Questioning something that seems too good to be true does not mean you love it less. It simply means you have devoted much of your precious time thinking about it because that’s how much it means to you.”

As I watched Kafula drive away from the house, I had a feeling that I would be seeing her again soon. When I got back to my office, I prayed that our next meeting would be on a good note and that she would have matured into the kind of woman any man would be proud to have. Despite the terrible decisions she’s made in the past, she is a lovely girl desperate to find a man who would have eyes only for her. Isn’t that what all of us want and need?


Chronicles of my Mother: Chapter Two – The Surprising Case of Brenda and Richard


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.

*         *         * 

blog profile picIt was three hours past midnight when I heard a pounding on the door. If I had taken any second longer to answer, I am positive my family and I would have been picking up pieces of what used to be our door. By the time I got to the sitting room door from my bedroom, my three children where already waiting in there, looking like a bunch of scared teens hiding from a hungry lion. They were not pleased at all that someone had had the audacity to awaken them form their beautiful sleep with such impunity.

There was a debate amongst them on whether to open or not open the door. Suffice to say, I finally opened the door to let in a very distraught pair of humans; Brenda and Richard.

With time, I had come to treat the two lovebirds like my own children. I was there before they got married and obviously during their five happy years of marriage. Of course I knew Richard the longest because his parents and I were brought up in the same church and our families were very close. Gosh, I was there when he was born! But I only got to meet Brenda when her grandmother moved with her into our neighbourhood. She was just about eight years old then. Both her parents had just died in a road accident and the little girl was left under the care of her grandmother who struggled to make ends meet. It wouldn’t have been easy having such heavy responsibilities when your own health was failing you.

As fate would have it, her grandmother gave way to pneumonia a year later and the kids where left under the care of Brenda’s eldest brother Martin. The poor child only went up to Grade 10 because he had to quit and find work. Brenda was thirteen when she suddenly disappeared from home. The whole community believed she had ran off with a boy because there was no guardian to show her the right path which was not true because she was a member of my congregation and the church made sure that her family never went to bed hungry and that the little ones got an education.

Brenda was to later return to our old neighbourhood fourteen years later as a totally different young woman. By then I had moved my family to another neighbourhood after the death of my husband. Despite the many years that had passed, I still thought about that little girl with the sad little eyes who looked as if she was carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. I wondered every now and then what had become of her. And so when I heard of her return, I decided to pay her a visit at the home of the friend with whom she was living. It was then that I had learnt that she was looking for an apartment to rent and I ended up recommending one of the flats I had just finished constructing. I was very happy to see the positive change in the young lady and my happiness became even more when she moved closer to my home.

At that time, Richard had been married for two years to a beautiful woman and kind hearted woman. Sadly, due to a very complicated child bearing process, Richard lost his wife but he had also been blessed with a lovely baby girl he named after his dearly departed wife, Thokozile. Raising a baby girl all by himself was not even a possibility in Richard’s mind. And so, after just four months after Thoko’s death, he married Brenda who by this time had become a devout member of our church.

How is it that just after five years of marriage that seemed almost perfect, there they were, out in the cold July night wearing expressions that would give Mr. Bean a run for his money? I did not need to see the flames burning in Brenda’s eyes nor the smoke emanating from Richard’s ears to know that something was very wrong. I quickly opened the door wide and without waiting for my instructions, the two led themselves straight to my office.

“Obviously something is up between you two otherwise you wouldn’t have come all the way here at this ungodly hour.” I said to the couple once we were all sited.

I watched in amazement as the two of them gulped down the glasses of water I had offered them after the usual routine prayer before the start of every session. Despite the weather, Richard seemed to be riding high on some strange summer wave somewhere in the Luangwa Valley.

“What is so bad that it couldn’t wait till morning?”

I waited for one of them to speak but they were still operating on mute, only raising the temperature in my office to an all-time high. Any more of that and we risked losing whatever shred of melanin we had left on our skins.

“I am very sure that I need a divorce but this woman has been refusing to let me go quietly.” Richard was the first to finally break the silence.

Without saying a word in response, I turned around to fully focus on him. I did not want to risk saying anything lest I disturb his chain of thoughts. I could tell he had a lot he needed to get off his chest and so I waited patiently.

“It’s been over three months now. I just need a break before I do something to her I will end up regretting.” I looked over to where Brenda was sited but she had her head and eyes down so I couldn’t tell whether she was crying or sleeping.

It was after all still bed time. But she was definitely listening, I later concluded.

“I take it that something big must have happened between you two…” I stated the obvious, looking from one to the other. “Why don’t you take me through all that happened Richard?”

“It all started about three months ago when we lost Nana,” said Richard.

Although it had not been declared in stone, it was common knowledge that Richard’s new wife felt uncomfortable having to constantly hear the name of her husband’s late wife around the house and everywhere she went and so she decided to give the child another name which they shortened to Nana.

I had just come back from a trip three months ago when I heard about the terrible incident. I could have never imagined something like that happening to these young ones. Anyone looking at the three of us in my very immaculate yet homely office would have known exactly where our minds had drifted to.

*         *         *

Richard was chairing a meeting at his firm when he got the call. He excused himself and went to stand by the window to take it. It was very rare that his wife called especially that she was aware of his weekly meetings at that particular time.

“What do you mean Nana is missing?” He turned around to look at his subordinates, realising that he was almost screaming, he quickly excused himself from the room and headed towards the staircase to get some privacy.

All this while, Brenda was having a cry feast on the other end of the line.

“I was only gone for a short while…maybe just about five minutes,” she sobbed. “…but when I came out of the store…I came out…I looked….”

“You looked and what? What nonsense are you talking about woman?” Richard snapped.

“I couldn’t find her Richard.” She sobbed uncontrollably.

Before he could respond, he rushed back into the boardroom, “Daniel, take care of the rest okay,” and he flew out of there without waiting for a response, leaving the whole room shell-shocked.

He quickly connected his phone to his car the moment he got on and poor Brenda was still sobbing. “Tell me where you are right now and I will come to you,” he instructed.

In-between sobs, she said, “I am here…what is this place called?…Kilimanjaro Shopping Mall. You will find me at the boutique where…”

“But of course that’s where you would be!” He cut her off angrily.

“I am sure you were busy enjoying my hard earned money while my daughter was somewhere desperately looking for you. You wait till I find you.” Brenda had never heard him sound as menacing as he did right then and there had been a lot of times when he had been very unpleasant to her.

One moment Brenda was on the floor sobbing her way into self-pity as everyone around her watched and the next moment she was being yanked rudely from the floor by her arms.

“Tell me what happened and don’t even think about leaving anything out!” Richard yelled.

Brenda could do nothing but cry some more. If looks could kill, her husband had already killed her a thousand times in just those few seconds.

“If you are going to pretend to cry over your missing step-daughter, at least get your make-up in order first. How can a woman who had wailing into my ears not so long ago still have all her make-up in place? You disgust me.”

One of the female security guards who had been standing beside his wife when he entered the boutique decided right then to put a stop to the abuse.

“Your wife is very distressed Sir,” she said. “Why don’t you take this conversation somewhere private. The cops are already on their way and others are still searching the premises for your daughter. The two of you can talk in the changing rooms over there; no one else is in there.”

“Don’t you have any surveillance in here or anywhere around this mall?” Richard remembered seeing them during the times he would come shopping with Brenda and Thoko and he could see a couple of them in the store too.

Quickly shaking her head, the guard leaned in closer to him and in a voice close to a whisper said, “those are not actually real cameras Sir…they are….”

“You gotto be kidding me!” Richard felt like hitting something this time and before he could give in to the urge, he turned around to face the wall, his fist clenched so tight the veins in his hand could be seen through his white sleeve. For a few seconds that feft like hours he remained there, his back to her.

The suddenly, he dragged her by the hand and led her in the direction the guard had pointed earlier. Brenda sank back to the floor the moment they were behind closed doors. It would not be the first time he had laid a hand on her but she was sure that is he did then; it would hurt more than it ever did before.

“What did you do to my daughter? And don’t even think about crying any more I don’t buy any of that. I always knew you didn’t like her but I never thought it would reach this far. Where have you taken my daughter?” He towered over her, every bone in his body wanting to lash out.

The truth was that he had already lost his mind the moment she had announced Thoko had gone missing. He knew, and she knew too and that made her even more scared.

What was he going to do to her? She thought.

After finally calming down a bit, Brenda explained herself to her husband. “Thoko is five now…. She is very intelligent unlike most kids her age so when I went into the dressing room and told her to wait for me for just a bit….”

“Are you trying to make excuses right now, really?” Richard threw his wife a condensating look. She was wise enough to keep quite after that no matter what questions he threw at her.

That night none of them slept. After searching in all the places he could think of the rest of that day, he had come back home in the early hours of the morning, exhausted and looking as if he was ready to be taken into the other world. He had walked passed his wife who had been waiting for him in the living room…well, mostly, sleeping on the couch while she waited to ensure that he came back home safely.

“I have never seen you look so at peace in your sleep before.” His tone was very low but the coldness with which it was delivered was enough to burn her into consciousness. She found his huge and masculine stature towering over her again.

“I was very worried and waited for you to come home.” She could not look him in the eye.

He uttered something under his breath, pointed at her accusingly and walked to the bedroom. She had followed him behind but was not quick enough to enter the room before he banged and locked it right in her face. Back to sobbing, something she had learnt she was very good at that day, Brenda cried herself to sleep on the floor right outside their bedroom door.

When she awoke the next day, it was to the sound of her husband again.

“Only you would have the nerve to sleep when a child who called you mother for five years has gone missing out of your own carelessness. Ungrateful wench.” He spit and walked away again. Brenda could do nothing but drop her head into her hands.

*         *         * 

“It’s been three months now since we last spoke and I can see that nothing has changed between you two.” And who could blame them, their daughter had been missing for those months and nothing about that tragic event had changed.

“Last time we spoke I suggested that you could see someone….”

“There is no need for us to see some kind of therapist,” Richard cut me off.

“This is Zambia and that crap doesn’t work here. Besides, how often do you hear of children getting lost at the mall? I had my own suspicions before but after confirming everything, I know that I want no part of this charade you call marriage. I need this woman to bring my daughter back.”

I had known for a while that he suspected his wife had a hand in the child’s disappearance but I thought the two of them had worked things out and decided to face this tragedy together.

Everyone in the neighbourhood knew that Thoko was not her real child but they also knew she treated the child as if she was her own. I always thought I was good at reading people because I got my readings right most of the time. I truly knew Brenda to be a very good woman.

Unbeknownst to her, I had watched Brenda with little Thoko and not even for a second did it appear as if the two were not blood related. I did not care what Richard’s family thought but this girl had done everything possible any mother would do to care and love that child, a child who was the daughter of the woman her husband was still in love with. Richard had been unfair on Brenda, vehemently suspecting her throughout the tedious ordeal.

Something from what Richard had said earlier had piqued my interest and I needed it to get out of the way.

“Richard, what do you mean you had your suspicions?” I asked.

“Did something happen that I don’t know about?” I could see Brenda getting extremely uncomfortable all of a sudden. Her head down and her hands furiously playing at her skirts.

“Brenda my dear….please look at me for a bit.” The 32 year old finally looked up at me, reluctantly. Her face was drained of any life. Where once her cheeks stood and glowed with youthfulness, in there stead were two hollow holes threatening to turn her whole face into its framework form.

“I want it to go away,” Brenda said. I found it amazing that she still had any form of liquid left  in her system after all that crying she had faithfully committed herself to. I poured her another glass of water for her.

Oooh, the poor soul.

“Nalema,” she buried her face in her palms again. “Nalema amai…” she said, slowly raising her head to look up at me.

“If she says she’s tired, what do you think I am feeling after going through all this?” Richard asked. I could see him clearly fighting off the tears threating to pour. Now here was a true representation of his species.

“I just need her to tell me where she took my child.”

“Why do you insist she has something to do with it my dear?”

“Because just a while ago at home I overheard her conversation on the phone with some guy…” Richard waved his hand in the air, as if to illustrate the insignificance of the guy in question.

“I grabbed the phone from her and there was a man on the line. He was saying something that made me confirm my suspicions that she truly knows what happened to my child. I am not accusing her of killing my child. I just think that she either sold my daughter to get rid of her from our lives or she is keeping her somewhere and starving her to death. I need to know the truth about where my daughter is and what she has done to her. I took her to the police two days ago and they questioned her but she vehemently denied having anything to do with my Thoko’s disappearance. Everyone at the police station seemed to sympathise with her and they made me look like an uncaring spouse.”

“You went to the police?” I asked.

We live in a small town where everyone knows everybody’s business so I was surprised that I had not heard about Richard taking his wife to the police because that would have made gossiping headlines.

“The police said that they would look into it but you know how these people work. I figured the only way to get her to talk was if I brought her here because you are the one person I know who can get her to open up and tell me the truth.”

“What did the man on the phone say that made you come to such gruesome conclusions?” I asked.

Richard was suddenly very keen on sharing. “At first it was something she said. I heard her say something like ‘a part of me gets pissed every time I see him depressed over our child…and a part of me wants to grill the real picture into his thick scalp.

“When I heard those words I got curious. Ever since Thoko went missing, I am suspicious of everyone around me. So I grabbed the phone from her without warning her and quickly ran to the bedroom before I could give her time to scream and alert the person she was talking to. I locked the door behind me and kept the phone to my ear. The guy had continued talking of course and by the time I had the phone to my ear. He was saying… ‘I don’t think it’s the right time to tell him the truth right now babe. I am still not convinced he has suffered enough and learnt his lesson. If he even as so much as dares to threaten you with physical violence again, I will kill him myself.’”

A huge part of me hoped to hear Brenda deny everything her husband had just said but oh no, she just sat there looking like a wet stray puppy. How could this be…certainly not my Brenda…not the little girl I had watched blossom from an awkward introvert teenager to a beautiful woman full of life. Like a fool, I still needed to be sure.

“Is that true?” Even as I sat there looking at her in what seemed like complete attentiveness, part of my mind was fighting the urge to shield itself from the truth.

But Brenda was not going to give me a break. “He is right,” She confirmed.

And just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, “…but this isn’t my fault at all. It is his!” Brenda shouted, pointing a finger at her husband.

Richard looked like he was just about ready to blow into flames. “What do you mean this is my fault? You kidnapped my daughter! God knows what you are doing to her and you have the audacity to place blame on me? Are you nuts?”

Naturally, I expected them to get into another verbal battle but again, Brenda put herself back on mute. She just sat there with a faraway look in her eyes, staring blankly at the wall ahead. It was as if a switch had suddenly gone off in her head.

A sudden chill went through my body, that strange feeling you get when you had been expecting bad news and then someone goes ahead and confirms it. What was going on in her head? I wondered. For the next few minutes, there was complete silence in the room except for the sound of Brenda’s tears falling onto her chitenge material. I moved closer to her and put some tissue in her hand but she did not use it, and neither did she flinch. The tears just kept pouring, undisturbed.

As if waiting for forever to come, we all sat there in total silence. When Brenda next spoke, it was to rudely awaken me to the fact that even at my age, there were still people that could surprise me. I had heard of life being cruel to others but that was not the case for these two. Life had swallowed them up, chewed them up and then regurgitated pieces of their wonderful memories together into something none of us in the room could recognize.

Looking at them looking at me, their eyes filled with expectation, I feared I was not the right person to give them the miracle that they were hoping for. I am after all only human. Every part of my body wanted to jump up and tear at something but there I sat, smiling at them as if I had the password to opening heaven’s doors.

“Do you remember, Richard?” Brenda finally broke the silence.

“…19 years ago. How old where you then?” Brenda’s tone and demeanour had taken a 360 degrees turn.

Her eyes where suddenly dry and fixed on her husband. There was something about them…about the way she looked that made everything else in the room seem frozen.

Unperturbed by his wife’s sudden change in demeanour, Richard replied, “I am 40 years old now meaning I was…let’s see….”

He did some mental calculations and then – he finally found a reason to be nervous. I could see it written all over his face. I am not sure when it happened but when I next looked at him, he was on his feet, glaring at his wife in utter disbelief.

Something must have happened nineteen years ago and something serious if it could cause such a reaction after so many years. I knew we were making progress.

“Richard was 21 then,” I volunteered the information, wanting to move the conversation along. The silence was starting to creep me out and the curiosity was killing me.

Brenda let out a cryptic laugh, her lips pursing as if she had just smelt something rotten.

“How old do you think I was then Amai?” Although her question was directed at me, her eyes had not left her husband who was now standing away from the two us but closer to the window, his back against the wall.

“You must have been 13 years old then,” I answered, wondering where all this was leading to. “Did something happen 19 years ago?” I asked.

Brenda had still not taken her eyes off of Richard. “Why don’t you answer that Richard?” She said. “You are the one who insisted on finding out what happened to your daughter. Here’s your chance. The only way I’m gonna open my mouth to talk about Thoko is if you tell Amai here what happened so many years ago because that’s the key to unlocking this mystery.”

Richard seemed to have regained his composer. He put his hands into his pockets and looked his wife straight in the eye.

“You said it yourself; it happened so many years ago so how do you expect me to remember?” He said.

I could tell that Richard had a vivid memory of whatever had happened years ago but he was not willing to make it known.

“Did the two of you perhaps know each other 19 years ago?” The answer was obvious, but I still had to ask.

I had never thought of the possibility of the two knowing each other before their meeting at church but Brenda was quick to put things into perspective. “I know about that girl that used to work in your house as a maid 19 years ago Richard. I know everything about what you used to do to her.”

Richard still played ignorant. “What has that girl got to do with my daughter’s disappearance?”

There was no missing the smirk on Brenda’s face. “I see your memory is back in functioning mode now,” she responded, sarcastically. “Do you remember her name?” She asked.

“How the hell am I supposed to remember? So what? We dated for a couple of weeks before she stopped working at our house. I still don’t see how….”

“You dated? The two of you dated?” Brenda looked like she had just been slapped in the face.

There was fear in Richard’s eyes. I had questions I was dying to ask but I didn’t want to disrupt their conversation. “I don’t know what you are trying to achieve by bringing up the past,” Richard went on defence.  “I don’t even remember that girl’s name or how she looks li….” He suddenly stopped, realisation finally dawning on him. “Does she have something to do with my daughter’s disappearance?”

“Isn’t that what I have been trying to tell you all along?” Brenda replied nonchalantly.

Before she knew it, Richard was on her. He grabbed her by the shoulders and lifted her up from her chair.

“What has she done to my daughter?” He was screaming at the top of his voice and I am suspected the kids were seated somewhere trying to listen in on the conversation.

I was also up on my feet and quickly tried to separate the two before cautioning Richard to tone it down a bit. Brenda was back in her seat but Richard refused to be sucked in.  He was back by the window, one leg resting against the wall while did everything possible to avoid eye contact.

“What happened 19 years ago, Brenda?” I asked again.

Now afraid of getting a heart stroke from all the suspense, I pushed a little further, “Did the two of you know each other back then or perhaps you had a friend in common?”

Richard should have been in college by then and that was around the time Brenda had disappeared from home. But then something occurred to me.

I turned to Richard, “the girl you said worked at your house, could it be….”

I was now looking at Brenda who still had this mysterious look about her. She seemed to be enjoying every bit of whatever was transpiring. Unlike his spouse, Richard looked like a man who had just been confronted with a past he would have rather forgotten. It made me even more curious.

“I told you, I really don’t remember much,” He reiterated.

“All I know is that there used to be a girl who worked in our house. I was young then…I didn’t know better. We had an intimate relationship but it only lasted a couple of weeks.” If Richard was still trying a go at nonchalance, he was failing terribly.

“I had to go back to school and that was how we lost contact. When I came back home, I was told she disappeared. I haven’t heard anything from her since so I don’t understand why Brenda is bringing her up.” He shrugged his shoulders, as if the act itself would erase whatever happened from that past.

I wanted to believe Richard. He seemed sincere yet the look on Brenda’s face had now grown a dark shade deeper the more Richard spoke about the past.

“I sense that you disagree with your husband Brenda. How well did you know the girl in question? Was she your friend?” I asked.

“Friend you say?” Brenda scoffed. “That girl this man took advantage of…the girl he made fake promises to…promises of a better life and taking care of her family when he graduated…that girl was not my friend. She is me.”

Somewhere, I could hear a pin drop. Both his feet were now on the floor. The look of bewilderment on Richard’s face equalled mine.

“Hell no,” I heard him say. “No way….”

I honestly think that he covered all the phrases and words synonymous to his feelings and even without saying one more word, his wife’s gaze assured him of the facts.

“There is no way you still expected me to look like that rugged little girl your whole family looked down upon and treated like trash. You of all people should have known what kind of person I would become. My personality could not allow me to continue living like that. I had to get myself up and prove to you and your snotty rich family exactly what I am capable of.”

For a while Richard stayed on the floor, his face down in shame. Then suddenly, as if he had just been struck by a bolt of lightning, he was up and back to shaking Brenda.

“What the hell have you done to my child you miserable woman?” He was shaking her so hard yet she let him, laughing at him the whole time.

“If you want to know where your child is,” her tone was calm but menacing. “I suggest you behave yourself and start asking the right questions. Thoko is safe wherever she is so you can stop worrying about that.”

“How do you honestly expect me to trust your words? You heard her yourself aunty,” he turned to me. “She confessed that she has my child. If I go to the police right now, you can be my witness.”

“I won’t stop you from going to the police Mr Hotshot,” his wife replied, still in the same tone. “But if you do, please note that no matter what you do or what the police do to me, I will never tell you where the child is. That child isn’t even yours to begin with.”

“What are you talking about?” I wanted to ask the same question too. He had finally let her go but he still remained towering over her seated figure.

“I think it would be best if you sat for this one my dear husband,” she was as sarcastic as could be. She was now the one standing while her husband, like a man truly held at ransom, silently obeyed her command.

Her arms crossed over her chest, she walked around the room in circles as she took us back to the past.

“I was only 13 years old when I discovered I was pregnant by you.” Brenda announced.

That announcement was greeted with shock by Richard. He had no idea at all, I inferred.

“When you first approached me that night when I slept over at your place because I couldn’t travel back the long distance to my family…I believed every word you said to me.” She continued.

“It flattered me to know that I was being fancied by the son of one of the richest families in town. Unfortunately, I was naïve just as I was poor. I was simply nothing but a moment of pleasure for you…something to keep you busy as you waited for school to open again. You didn’t care about me. I was just a bag of dirt that should have been happy and content from the mere fact that a handsome boy like you had given me the time of my life…your words, not mine.” She threw him another accusing look.

“When I realised I was pregnant, you had already gone back to school. I remember working different jobs just so I could make enough money to meet you at campus and ask you to take responsibility but you still refused to see me. You said you didn’t know who the hell I was and made me a laughing stock of your rich friends. You remember that day, don’t you?”

Richard couldn’t look up at her. But the shame was written all over his body.

“I had hoped you would give me money to travel back home but nothing like that happened. I was stranded in a big city where I knew nobody. I was young, pregnant, and broke. I couldn’t go back to my family. At first it was because I didn’t have enough money but then as my belly grew, I was ashamed to go back and have everyone judge me. I also figured that it would be less of a burden for my brother if one person was out of the picture. There was no way I was going to impose another human being on him. It was going to be unfair. And so I stayed. My baby girl was only three months old when she died because…I mean, what child would survive the kind of life I led back then?

“Many times I had thought about abortion but I just couldn’t get myself to do it. I figured she would be my new family since I had already lost my family. Sadly, your inhumane treatment of me and your refusal to accept responsibility for your actions is what led to my baby dying. I could never forgive you for that. I had to find a way to make you pay. It wasn’t enough that you had taken my innocence away, my family and whatever little pride I had left, but you also took my baby away.”

“How was I supposed to know you were pregnant? Don’t you think I would have done something if I knew?” Richard finally spoke.

I was still seated by the side watching the two of them at it. I could now see the light coming through the curtains. I guessed we had entered the early hours of morning. It occurred to me that we had been in that room for a very long time and it didn’t look like we would be finished any time soon. Had I known, I would have brought some popcorn in before the session started. I should remember to do that during my next appointment.

“You have finally asked a very good question, Richard.” It was the first time I had heard Brenda refer to her husband by his name. It was a sign that there was no turning back between them. I shuddered.

“It is because I know…I knew that despite you being a jerk, you would have taken responsibility if you had known I was pregnant.” She replied. “But you had not given yourself the chance to find out because you were too ashamed to admit to your pals that you knew someone like me. It was that decision you made that made me lose my child.”

“So what…I made you lose your child so you kidnap mine to get your revenge? What sort of woman are you?” An agitated Richard could now face his wife, total disdain registering on his face.

Surprising enough, Brenda still had her composure about her. “Ah,” she said. “That’s another thing you need an update on.” She let out a short dry laugh. “That child you keep calling my daughter, my child…” she mimicked his masculine voice. “That child isn’t yours Mr Chilufya.”

She had earlier alluded to this claim but I thought she was referring to something else instead. Unfortunately, it seemed she wanted us to take her words literally. Richard was once again shaken, and so was I.

“What do you mean she is not my child? If you think you can feed me fables about my wife – God rest her soul…sleeping with another man and passing off the child as mine, then you are more demented than I thought.”

Richard was sure about the paternity of that child as he was sure he was a male. He always thought that he did not deserve a woman as angelic as Thokozile. There was no way she could be capable of whatever evil this woman was cooking up.

However, the sarcastic smile playing on Brenda’s face threatened to cast doubt on the one foundation he thought he had lain right.

“I really pity you,” she was pointing at him, her finger moving up and down. “Unfortunately, that woman you have been holding in such high esteem and always comparing me to…if it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t even have met her.

“And did you just say God rest her soul?” She burst out laughing.

She was laughing so hard she had her hand on her stomach and slowly bending down as if to calm herself down. Still, I could tell her laughter was forced. It was mostly a show she was putting on for her unfortunate audience.

“Your wife is alive as all of us in this room are.”

“What do you mean by that?” I was almost jumping out of my seat and didn’t even realise I had said those words out loud.

“What do you mean my wife is alive? We buried Thoko….” Richard looked over at me for support.

“I was there,” I said. “Of course we buried her. I saw her body…Christ I even touched her. What are you talking about my dear?”

Brenda sat back into her chair for this one. She faced her husband and I.

“Just a bit of research on Google and you will discover how to make someone appear dead and even bury them alive. Fortunately, I have a few friends in the medical field that helped me pull everything off. Thokozile is still very much alive and she was never pregnant. Thanks to an ever absent husband, she successfully managed to carry a fake pregnancy for nine months and even deliver a bouncing baby girl. That girl she presented to you was my child. I carried her nine whole months and paid Thokozile a large sum of money to work for me and then disappear. If you don’t believe me, you can do your own DNA tests.” Then she added, “And of course, you can meet your wife if you like. Lately, she has been troubling me about wanting to atone for her sins against you because it seems she had truly come to love you. Sad…isn’t it?”

Disbelieve…that’s what filled the room after Brenda’s revelations. I could not recognize the woman that was sitting in from of me and looking as if she had no care in the world when she had just informed the two people that trusted her in the world that she had been lying to them. I have always treated Brenda as if she was my own child and after her revelations, I wondered if there was any other way I should have reacted instead of just sitting there in disbelief.

My tongue couldn’t seem to move and my lips, though wide open, could not produce any sound. I looked over at Richard. It didn’t look like anything his wife had just poured out had sunk in yet. He was in disbelief for sure, but only because he thought his wife was spilling fables out of hate. Fortunately, I had enough sense at that time to believe every word she had said. The only thing I could not get myself to accept was the idea that it was possible for someone I knew and trusted to orchestrate such an elaborate evil plan all in the name of revenge. A part of me couldn’t help feeling like I had just been made part of a very bad joke.

“How could you…” I had started to ask when Brenda cut me off.

“How could I be so evil?” She finished for me.

I had wanted to ask her how she could do such a thing but it seemed she was very much aware of the classification of her deeds.

“I hated the fact that he had moved on with his life as if nothing had ever happened.” She answered herself. “I hated the fact that he had ruined my life. He had taken advantage of me at the most trying time of my life. He had everything going for him so why did he have to play with my body and my feelings like that? He could have had any woman he preferred but he still chose to add me to that list. Why?”

“Don’t you know you could get arrested for what you’ve done?” I tried to reason with her.

“I am well aware of the law in this matter,” she replied nonchalantly.

“However, I do not think Mr Chilufya over here will be pursuing this that far because you see, despite what the law says, any claims of him raping someone will not sit well with his rich family and his brilliant career. A scandal as massive as this one will not only shake him and his business, it will ruin his reputation…the one thing he would rather die than see fall to pieces. Besides, once he confirms paternity of that child, he won’t want to have anything to do with her. I know this man very well. I have spent most of my life being his shadow.”

Initially, I had thought that what the two of them needed was time; time to heal all wounds and probably work at their marriage. As it turned out, there was no marriage to speak of between them. There was no possibility of reconciliation between them and there certainly had never been any love.

The kind of help they needed wasn’t going to come from me.

And most importantly, what they needed most was a new start.

Chronicles of my Mother: Chapter One – The Unexpected


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.

blog profile picMy name is Stella. Yes, you can just call me Stella. I have changed all the names and places in all these stories I am about to share with you, including mine for reasons that will become obvious soon enough. You see, I lost my mother in a terrible accident two years ago. Her death was sudden and very unexpected. My mother was a very healthy and lively woman who was respected by everyone…well, almost everyone in society.

If not for her character, she was mostly known as a counsellor although her work was just shy off that of a professional marriage counsellor with a fancy certificate hanging on the wall. Before I forget, my mother’s name was Beatrice. That is what we will call her. She had been married to my father for over thirty years before he died from Malaria years ago. My parents where the happiest and most suited couple I have ever known which is why it was no surprise that everyone treated her with so much respect and came to her for marital advice before they got married and/or after they got married.

Unfortunately, or fortunately (I haven’t yet decided), in her will, my mother left me the house which we lived in and with this house came the huge room she had used all these years to conduct her ‘sessions.’ It was while I was going through her office to try and get a feel of her for the last time before clearing the room to be used for something else that I came across her diaries…diaries that have a record of every little detail of what transpired inside the walls of this office. The first time I found the diaries, my conscious told me not to open them but instead to go straight in the backyard and burn all of them to ashes. And I did exactly that!…well, maybe not exactly, but I did go all the way to the backyard and stood there contemplating whether to burn them or not until I eventually convinced myself that I would need more time to think about it.

And so I took the diaries back to that room and locked it behind me. For the weeks and months that followed, I kept thinking and thinking; to burn or not to burn? Before I realised it, a year had passed and I still had not decided what to do with them.  Fortunately, the decision came to me like a thief in broad daylight, unexpected. A married friend of mine was having problems in her marriage and she came to my place to “get some fresh air,” was what she first claimed. But the truth of the matter was that she needed someone to talk to and me being a very single woman, she did not think it was a good idea to share her marital problems with me. I had seen her on different occasions having deep conversations with my mother whenever she visited me but I never bothered to inquire the details of those conversations.

You see, despite having such a brilliant and wise mother, I knew that there was a huge part of my mother that was disappointed in me because at thirty-five, I was still not thinking about marriage. Who would want to get married after seeing all those millions of people coming in and going out of our home all with their own set of marital drama, seeking guidance from a stranger who had not even been there when they were throwing vows of everlasting love at each other? When I was a kid I used to wonder why my mother used to take longer than the rest of us in confession but as I grew older and saw all those people coming and going, I had an idea of what sort of demons she was fighting with. I wanted no part of that circus and I preferred living my life free from all the drama. But that was two years ago.

I had been on the phone for what felt like forever flirting with some idiot I was hoping would give me a deal on renting some spaces on the soon-to-be opened shopping mall when I heard a knock on my door. It was my friend Nomsa, the very married friend I mentioned earlier. For the next thirty minutes or so, I sat there and listened to her complain about how much life sucked and how she wished my mother was still alive so she could tell her what to do. Thinking back, we were like a twosome of fools, crying and hugging each other and both praying a miracle would happen. But my mother never showed up that day or any other day after.

That day as I watched Nomsa leave my house, I made up my mind to open every one of those diaries to look for the answer that my friend was in desperate need of. I hang on to the hope that there might be someone who might have had a similar problem who came to my mother and got the advice that she was looking for. What if from her grave, my mother could still help out all these people? That night I searched for the diary that was dated the oldest from among them all and from that day forward, my life has never been the same. I went in those archives looking for answers but I found way more than what I bargained for. I found love, hate, temptation, scandal, sorrow, happiness, humour, laughter, tears, complications, secrets, lies, betrayal…and everything else that you can think of that is made up of life!

Over the next months, I will steal a glimpse from a page in my mother’s mind and hopefully, like Nomsa and I, you can also learn one or two things. But, instead of keeping you waiting, here’s a snippet from the story of Brenda and Richard as seen from the eyes of my mother:

Excerpt from Chronicles of my Mother: Chapter Two: The Case of Brenda and Richard

I sat there studying the two of them. I knew that one of them was to blame for how things turned out but of course I could not tell them that. The last thing they needed was for one of them to be handed the weapon to attack the other. What these two needed was time…time to heal all the wounds and erase all the bad memories. Looking at them looking at me with eyes filled with expectation, I feared I was not the right person to give them the miracle that they were hoping for. I am after all only…a mere mortal.

Every part of my body wanted to jump up and tear at something but there I sat, smiling at them as if I had the password to opening heaven’s doors. “I want it to go away,” Brenda said. I found it amazing that she still had any form of liquid left in her system after all that crying she had faithfully committed herself to. I poured her another glass of water. Oooh, the poor soul.

“Nalema,” she buried her face in her palms. “Nalema amai…” she said, slowly raising her head to look up at me. “If she says she’s tired, what do you think I am feeling after going through all of this?” Richard asked. I could see him clearly fighting off the tears threating to pour. Now here was a true representation of his species.

“Brenda my dear,” I moved closer to her and took her hand in mine. “Can you tell me again why you did it? I know that somewhere at the back of your mind, you must have a reason. I need you to stop crying for a moment and just think….think back to that time when you felt it…think my dear…just think….”

As if waiting for forever to come, we waited and waited. When Brenda next spoke, it was to rudely waken me to the fact that even at my age, there were still people that could surprise me.  

Watch out for Chapter Two of the Chronicles…coming next!