Am I the only one that sometimes finds herself wishing that life had some sort of manual? I mean, something of sorts detailing everything we ought to do if ever a certain situation presented itself before us. Continue reading I’m Probably Gonna Burn Again
I am angry.
Before you call me crazy, let me explain why am angry.
I woke up very early this morning to prepare for a talk I have to give to a group of young women over the weekend when I stopped to take a break and went on Facebook to do a quick browse. A few minutes of me scrolling down my news feed had me looking at adorable pictures posted by a ‘friend’ showing her husband taking care of their infant. I bet you are now wondering what could have possibly upset me from looking at such adorable pictures. They are pictures of a wonderful father taking care of his child and the wife is obviously very proud of that! But here’s the thing, it is not necessarily the pictures that got me angry. Rather, it was the caption!
And please, don’t get me wrong here, even if this case might come off as me being the unrepentant feminist that I am, my anger is in no way a reflection of my personal views but rather, a reflection of what a real family picture should look like.
Oooh proud moment, hubby changing baby’s diaper. #raremoments, #Ihavethebesthubbyintheworld!
That was the caption that got me started.
Hold on now. You have the best whatiii??
I am not trying to be petty here but for me those hashtags meant more than just mere praise or words spoken carelessly by a wife or mother. For me, those words were a representation of what parenting is like in this world that we live in. Hers was not the first post of that nature that I have seen, it is one of the many many many I have come across and ignored on my Newsfeed and unfortunately, hers was the one that managed to finally tip me over.
I am angry about a number of things that seem to put women at a disadvantage in the family picture and I think I am entitled to vent if I wanna see any change take place. I just can’t hold it in any longer.
I am not for the idea of wives/women/mothers lauding their men for doing what they are supposed to do and making it seem like them doing it deserves some sort of medal. Who told you that a man changing his own child’s diaper makes him the husband of the year? I know that many will argue that it’s because not a lot of men do that and yes, you are very right! I totally agree with you and that’s exactly why I am writing this!
Why are there so few men that take on the responsibility of attending to their children’s physical or mental or emotional needs? Why? Who told men that it’s only the mother’s role to feed, clean and change the diapers? Who told you that it’s enough for the father to simply provide the money to buy the child’s clothes, food and provide shelter without taking an active role in raising that child? And women, who told you that you have the best husband in the world simply because he’s doing something that he is supposed to be doing? If he is doing all these things, what you have is a good husband and father to your children, he shouldn’t be the best of those categories because you should expect that the rest of the men out there by default should be doing the same.
And believe me, if he only changes your baby’s diapers/nappies once in a blue moon and you live in the same house, he is far from being the best of anything.
I am not against the idea of praising our partners when they do something great (and in this case I am referring to parenting) however, what I am against is the idea of both men and women assuming that taking care of their children is the sole responsibility of the mother. The danger with this kind of praise is that we make the men feel as if they are going an extra mile or doing something extra-ordinary when in actual sense they are doing something that they should be doing every day and not just when they feel like it! When a man changes his child’s diaper, he is not helping out his wife, NO. He is doing what a father is supposed to be doing! He is not doing anyone a favour.
A man physically taking care of his own child does not make him an exceptional man (although the current reality of the rarity of such men makes him so), it simply makes him a great father attending to his responsibilities which are and should be expected of him every single day.
A man might provide financially for his family but that shouldn’t exclude him from taking care of his own children whether the wife is busy with a day job or if she’s a house wife. No matter how much money you make as a man, taking care of your children is a responsibility of both parents and that includes changing of diapers as well!
What did a woman ever do to you to make you think that it is her sole responsibility to attend to the ‘dirt and the hard stuff’ of parenting while you only pick up the child when he or she is clean and parade them to the rest of the world making yourself seem like such a macho man for having highly functioning sperms? Is that all you really are in that child’s life, a sperm donor? The woman did not make that child alone and like I always tell my friends, chances are that the woman never even ‘came’ during the conception of that child whereas it’s a fact that the man did! So tell me again, who do you think should really be taking care of the poop and attending to all that crying and noise? This nonsense of shoving the kids to their mothers when they’ve soiled their pants or diapers needs to stop because that child is much yours as she is the mother’s.
For many years women have appreciated ‘men that help them out’ with physically taking care of their children and for years men have lived believing that it is none of their business what happens to their children when they poop, cry or whine over something…their job is to simply help out every now and then when the dear wife or mother is busy, sick or working out of town. But who told men that they are only helpers in this aspect of parenting? Isn’t it enough that the woman had to endure nine months of ridiculous cravings and hormonal changes and carrying around another human inside her body everywhere she went and now you want to leave her alone to handle the ‘mess’ that comes after delivery?
I understand that it’s an accepted fact that women are better caregivers but taking care of your children’s needs is the responsibility of both parents. Both mother and father are supposed…and are expected to participate a hundred percent in the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and all round growth of their children. Whether the woman had stayed at home lazing around the whole day while the man worked his brains out at the office the whole day, when he gets home, he still has the responsibility to take care of his child because that’s his child and even if it kills him, he has to spend time and attend to his/her needs (whether it’s to change nappies or tell a bed time story).
I was raised in a home where the only ‘father-daughter’ moments I experienced involved a rod and sobbing. I have no memories of my father putting bandages on my wounds or soothing me from crying. My mother did all of these things. However, I do have memories of my father taking us kids all out for shopping and as far as I was concerned, that was all a father was supposed to do for his children. It was only later when I grew a little older that I realized I had had absolutely no relationship with my father and I cannot even begin to tell you how this affected how I related with men later on in life.
I want to fight for a world where men do not feel like they can get away from their responsibilities simply because of their gender. Not taking care of your children does not in any way make you more of a man than your sperm count ever will. I want to fight for a world where women do not make allowances for their men’s bad behaviour or short-comings but to make them accountable and fight to see change. As much as men expect you to be a good wife and mother to the children, expect and demand the same from them. If you keep quiet simply because you fear losing him to a much complacent and ‘domesticated’ woman, then I am sad to inform you that you married a fool. There is a huge difference between submissiveness and foolishness.
I strongly believe that the only way the above can be achieved is if things were put in perspective right from the onset, before the marriage and more so before the children come into the picture. Even way better is if parents inculcated this inot their children from childhood.
On that very first date, my fellow women, do not simply dress up and put on a persona that will ‘help you win the audition for the role of wife’ and end it there. I am not saying don’t look good when going on dates, am simply saying have the right reasons for looking good! If you are going there to audition to be his wife, be prepared to make him audition for the role of husband in your life as well! Why should you be the only one earning his love, he too should earn your love and trust!
I am so tired of seeing women constantly auditioning to fit into the lives of their potential suitors and neglecting who they really are. They put aside their principles, personalities, and ambitions simply because they want the ring and what we get in the end is a society filled with dull and complacent women married to half-baked and sometimes raw…very very raw men. The man has a thousand expectations from you and yet you have zero expectations from him as a husband or father because for you the fact that you are married is good enough.
How many times have you heard the world or the church preach about the ‘the wife material kind of woman’ and how many times have you heard them preach about the ‘husband material type of man?’ The world keeps teaching women to aspire to marriage and they tease men about losing their freedom once they tie the knot. At the end of the day we have married men still acting like single men and married women religiously holding on to their marriage bands expecting no change from their underperforming and promiscuous husbands.
Today I have a challenge for both men and women;
Men, please step up and earn the good women that you so desperately desire. You can’t have the best of both worlds; whores/side-chicks and good wives. I will be honest with you, one woman is a lot of work, on her own she can bring you to either greatness or great ruin. Now imagine having to physically or emotionally handle two or more of them at the same time? And here’s a quick thought; if you think that a side-chick is good for you, and you are aware that you and your wife are one, then it’s safe to conclude that a side-dude is good for her as well right? Because let’s face it, women too think it’s fun to sleep with all the men they find attractive! My point here is that Sin is not gender based; Adultery does not appear blue when a man commits it and red when a woman does. It’s all the same colour. And dear men, be to your children the kind of father you desire for yourself and be to your wives the kind of husband’s you would want if the genders where reversed.
To my fellow women, please, I beg of you, stop settling for the pathetic and men of low quality that keep appearing with rings in front of you. ‘Shipikishaling’ does not make you a Proverbs 31 woman, don’t lie to yourself. You have the power to prevent a shipikisha kind of marriage even before you go on that first date. Unless you have a thing for foolish men, please, you have the right to expect the best from your partner and you have the right to remind them when they seem to have forgotten (or teach them when they don’t know) that you also deserve breakfast in bed, a massage when you are tired, and a day to just watch tv or hang out with the girls without feeling guilty about it. And most importantly, remind him that you did not make those children alone, they are both your responsibility regardless of what job either of you has.
Together, let’s build better families.
Chapter 3: Final Instalment
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.
“Hello…” Racheal had to unglue the phone from my shaking hands.
“Hi Rachael, it’s me Patricia,” came a female’s voice from the other end of the line.
Of course at this point I had no idea what the conversation was about so my imagination was running wild…and off it went!
It was only later when Rachael filled in the blanks that I found out what was being said on the other end of the line.
Forget having peed earlier…I was shaking so hard I could feel the enzymes having a tough time discussing how best to handle the lunch I was just from eating.
Did Rachael just say Oh Patricia…and is that a smile I’m seeing on her face???
Um um…something ain’t right here.
What the hell is going on?
“I am so sorry,” Rachael was saying. “I had forgotten to save your number from the last time we met; I had a lot going on that day.”
“Its fine dear, I understand,” Patricia replied.
“Is everything alright? You sound a bit….”
“Ah, you can tell….”
“Of course I can!” Rachael said rather too enthusiastically. “Occupational hazard I guess. Is it something you can share with me…I could come and….”
“No, it’s fine,” Patricia quickly replied. “I am actually on a cab right now heading to Intercity…that’s why I called….”
“What?” Rachael quipped.
“Something came up suddenly,” Patricia said. “You remember I told you about my husband and I….” her voice was getting shaky by now.
“Yes,” said Rachael, a serious expression enveloping her face as she went to sit by the dinner table on the other side of the living room.
I mentally braced myself for the worst case scenario.
“Well, he finally signed the divorce papers,” Patricia announced.
“Oh no, he didn’t!” Rachael was almost jumping from the chair.
I had frozen on the spot with only my facial features moving in reaction to whatever words came out of Rachael’s mouth.
There was something paradoxical yet comical about the whole situation playing before me. I was literally wrinkling in my fear like an uncircumcised adolescent boy after taking a long cold shower.
It was the first time in my life that I found myself at a loss for what to do.
“Yes,” Patricia went on with her conversation absolutely oblivious to my physical and mental state.
It was as if she was mocking me…carrying on her conversation without throwing hints at me as to whether I was in hot soup or not.
A man needs a strategy before going into battle you know.
“I am afraid I really messed up big this time around.” Patricia cried.
“Calm down sweetie,” Rachael said soothingly.
Calm down sweetie?? Heh.
I wasn’t sure whether to like or hate the direction the conversation seemed to be going. It left me utterly confused and miserable. It looked like the devil had come to collect his dues.
I just had to sit down this time, my hand rubbing my head into near baldness. I couldn’t take the suspense any more and falling down to the floor while my fiancé was having a conversation with someone that sounded like a friend wasn’t going to go down well for my sorry and sinful ass.
“I can only imagine what you must be going through. But, isn’t there a way you can get him to change his mind?” Rachael asked.
Did she already know what had happened? Change whose mind?
Gosh, I hated the suspense! I was dying there…
I am finished…I am ruined.
Those were the thoughts going through my head as I kept listening to one side of the conversation.
“I wish I knew how but I think this time he is really done with me. He found George and me making out on the dance floor at a club and he completely lost it.”
“Oh my gosh!” Rachael exclaimed. “You were making out at a club? Are you insane! You are a married woman for crying out loud.”
Tata Lesa nafwa ine….oy oy…aaaah
I got up from the sofa and started pacing back and forth, pretending to be doing something on my phone when both my antennas were fixed on her.
What about the club? I didn’t make out with her at the club…it was at Nchimunya’s place….
What the hell is wrong with me? Is the venue the issue right now?
This is what happens when you use your balls to make decisions.
And then I was brought to a sudden and very sad realisation;
I had made out with my fiancé’s friend!
Oh dear. Oh Lord.
I am so screeeewed. Mayooo….
As I stood there watching Rachael’s expression turn from sober to grim, a picture of my obituary in the Post Newspaper flashed before my eyes.
Suddenly, there was this strange taste on my tongue…like the kind you get when your teeth suddenly collide with a nasty rotten groundnut after enjoying a steady supply of proteins.
“I understand,” Racheal was nodding.
What did she understand?
“Just pray over it and let’s wait for a miracle. You never know what happens. And don’t worry about missing the wedding; I am sure you will get to meet my husband in the near future. Travel safely and do take care of yourself, okay.”
“Thanks Rachael, you too.”
* * *
I asked the moment the call ended, trying to come off as unconcerned as possible and painfully failing.
I hoped my usually alert fiancé would not notice.
“You are sweating like hell!” She went in for the kill.
I am in hell right now if you must know my lovely woman. What the hell is going on?
Rachael went into the bedroom and came back with a towel which she threw at me.
“I told you to get an AC for this room. One day I will find you boiling in here.”
Boiling, you think? I am getting roasted right now…tsk tsk tsk.
Was she playing games with me?
“Who was that you were talking to?” I asked again.
“That was Patricia….” she let out a heavy sigh after saying the name.
That didn’t sound promising, for me at least.
“We were roomies back at UNZA,” she had come to sit next to me. “She was three years ahead of me but we still got along well…although she used to be in her own little world back then.”
“Did something happen with her?” I was desperately trying to not sound desperate.
“Her husband signed divorce papers.”
This time I was the one almost jumping out of the sofa. “Did she tell you why?” I can swear that that phrase came out more like a whisper than anything else.
Half of me was anxious to hear the reason while the other half was wishing for the whole thing to just go away silently…like it had never ever happened.
“She didn’t tell me why…but I think I can guess why,” my overly confident and unperturbed warden said.
“And what could that be?” I said, feigning disinterest at the same time.
“She cheated on him,”
I think something had cracked inside my head.
Definitely, something had cracked.
Dear bladder, please calm down. If you can hold yourself right at this moment, I promise to listen attentively to your every demand in the future.
“I met her just a few days ago,” Rachael went on. “I had bumped into her by accident while I was getting some groceries at Manda Hill. She was just from having her hair done. We decided to stop by Steers and catch up a little bit. I was so excited to bump into her like that and was busy telling her about the wedding when I noticed she didn’t seem as enthusiastic as I would have liked her to be. I asked her what was going on…at first she kept saying nothing really but when I probed her further, she finally divulged everything to me!”
Oh dear…here we go….
Tata Lesa…Lord Jesus, please take the wheel from this point on and steer it in any other direction away from the direction that will burn me. I promise to increase my tithes and do more volunteer work. I promise.
“Back at Uni,” the warden continued, “Patricia was known for her adventures with men…older men to be more specific. She used to be a hard core playa, stringing along a bunch of rich men both married and single…she didn’t care.”
The more I listened to Rachael, the deeper my heart sunk.
Without knowing it, she was throwing information at me that I would have rather not know. Within such a short space of time, everything I had ever felt, thought, or imagined had come crumbling before my very eyes…or ears in this case.
A part of me wanted to ask Rachael to stop talking…to tell her I had heard enough…but I had no grounds to utter such words when she so desperately and excitedly wanted to share some gossip about an old friend to her man.
On that day, I could have paid the grim reaper thousands of dollars to have his way with me if it meant putting a stop to the oncoming revelations.
Still, there was a part of me that wanted to know…needed to know.
What exactly or who exactly had I fallen in-love with for all those years?
The protagonist in Rachael’s story didn’t sound like anyone I knew. That was not the mysterious yet alluring girl or woman I had pined for ever since my body had awakened to the secrets of manhood.
The woman I knew…my very first love…she had the most beautiful yet innocent smile that could send any mortal man on a journey to unlimited ecstasy. She had a way of looking at someone and making them feel as if they were the only thing that mattered at that moment in the whole world.
She had looked at me like that only a few days ago.
I had believed her.
The revelations that Rachael was heaping unto me made me weak at my knees and broke my heart into pieces over and over again.
The irony of it all struck me to the very core; it just had to be Rachael.
Why couldn’t any other person have enlightened me to such gruesome truths? Why did it have to be my fiancé?
When exactly did I piss off my ancestors for them to hail down on me in vengeance like this?
Is it because I knocked up my girlfriend first before marrying her?
I always knew my weaknesses would one day land me in shit.
Well, congratulations, you have finally succeeded.
You have screwed me up so hard I can barely hear my own thoughts from all this confusion.
If this is some part of an elaborate scheme to engrave on my heart the fact that I needed to leave my past behind and start a brand new beginning as this messenger’s husband, then dear ancestors, point taken. I thought as I braced myself for the onslaught.
“…she would make them buy her whatever she needed,” Rachael continued tormenting me. “We were all shocked when she announced in her fourth year that she was getting married. It turned out that one of her lovers had really fallen in-love with her and couldn’t wait till she graduated to make her his wife. He is a very rich man and owns a number of businesses around the country. I met him only once, a huge looking fella like that. We called him Mr Banks…because you know…he’s loaded.”
I think I met him too, I said in my head.
“What we didn’t know at that time and only got to find out later was that Patricia was already married to someone else!” Rachael reported excitedly.
She was basically taking a selfie in front of a burning house.
Rachael had no idea the hell she had lit in me which was threatening to drive away all my sanity.
“Didn’t Mr Banks know that she was already married?” I asked.
“He obviously knew,” Rachael answered. “He is a well-connected man and he looks like the type that would send private investigators on your tail. We all suspected that he knew all about Patricia’s misadventures…that was probably why he insisted on marrying her that fast. Patricia’s ex-husband wasn’t really that well to do and rumours where that he accepted money from the giant to quietly divorce Patricia. But I don’t know how true that is. It could be a lie…people love a good story.”
I could not believe what I was hearing. I just didn’t want to believe that any of it could be true. Unfortunately, the vessel in which the message came made it even harder for me to simply brush everything away.
“We all hoped that her second marriage would work out since the guy had everything she wanted in a man; money, money, and more money.”
“But what happened?” I asked, nonchalantly rubbing my eyes like a fatigued man when in actual sense I was trying to wipe away whatever feelings in me where threatening to reveal themselves through the windows of my soul.
“According to what Patricia told me a few days ago, she isn’t really in-love with Mr Banks,” Rachael reported. “She was in-love with the financial security he provided which she’s never had since she comes from a very poor family. Unfortunately…or fortunately, she met someone six months ago whom she believes she’s in-love with. As expected, he is jobless and poor thus making it almost impossible for her to leave her millionaire husband for him. So she settled for having an affair with him. The two of them had a rendezvous here in Lusaka but her husband got wind of it and followed her. He found them dirty dancing and kissing on some dance floor at one of the night clubs and he went ballistic! He almost hit her and he’s never hit her before. The next day he left her divorce papers and left. I had really hoped she could come to the wedding but she is on her way back to Kitwe now to see if she can make her husband change his mind…that poor man.”
That poor man indeed.
Would that have been me instead of him?
That thought was the first thing that came to my mind the moment Rachael had finished telling the story.
All along I had been so engrossed in imagining myself as Patricia’s man that I never bothered to get to know her a little better. Everything I knew about her was either a figment of my own imagination or something I had just witnessed from afar and put into a context that I found pleasing.
I had seen Patricia change boyfriends more times than Rachael changes her wardrobe but I had never bothered to ask why. I simply concluded that they were never good enough for her and only I could satisfy her.
Back then, that kind of reasoning is what I needed to gain confidence before I could finally get the courage to tell her how I felt.
This was not how I wanted my first love to end.
Not like this.
“You’ve been too quite my love,” Rachael jolted me from my reverie. “You don’t look so good, are you feeling okay?” she had placed her hand on my forehead to feel my temperature and she started shaking her head. “You are burning Chola,” she sufficed. “Should we see a Doctor? You really don’t look so well.”
I got up and moved to stand by the window for some fresh air. “I guess I have just been too stressed lately working and running around trying to get things ready for our big day.”
Rachael had joined me by the window, closely examining my face with just her eyes. “Maybe we should pass through the clinic baby.” She insisted.
“Just get me a glass of cold water love…and I will go out for some fresh air just to cool off.”
“Need me to come along?” Rachael offered.
“No need babe,” I said. “I just need to clear my head for a little bit. I will be back in no time.”
I was gone for more than five hours, crying and getting drunk at Mubita’s bachelor pad like an absolute fool.
“Calm your ovaries down man,” was Mubita’s way of soothing me.
He unceremoniously threw a roll of tissue at me.
He did not need to tell me that I looked pathetic sitting on the floor and bawling my eyes out like a teenage diva that had just lost her favourite lipstick.
I felt foolish and in that moment, you could have looked up the noun in the dictionary and seen a picture of me crouched on the floor surrounded by used up tissues right next to the word.
“So why exactly are you acting like this?” Mubita asked the billion dollar question.
“My lost youth,” I flashed my nose into the tissue causing Mubita to flinch in reaction, a disgusting look glowing on his face. “I am mourning all those bloody years I spent loving a woman a barely even knew.”
“At the rate you are going, even your child in Rachael’s womb will start crying because he can’t believe he will be under your responsibility once he comes into this world. Stop embarrassing me before my godchild man,” Mubita roasted me.
Mubita is the king of unsubtlety.
He is the type to walk right over to a woman and with a straight face tell her that she had messed up her skirt from her period without so much as blushing from sheer embarrassment. “I would recommend getting an app to keep up with your flow,” he would shamelessly add whilst taking his phone out to show the poor woman what the app looked like. “I have this so I can keep up with my girlfriend…I need to know which days she’s likely to be grumpy so I can stay out of her way.”
I guess his personality was the reason I had chosen to go to his place instead of Nchimunya’s who had more maturity than both of us put together. Dating a woman older than him had forced Nchimunya to grow up faster than all of us.
I needed Mubita to grill into me how foolish I was to be feeling like that. I knew everything, but I just couldn’t stop myself from feeling like that. Nchimunya would have tried to make my feelings justifiable in his effort to comfort me but not Mubita.
If this guy was to trace his ancestry, he would discover that he was some fourth or sixth cousin to Lucifer himself.
“I was happy and content with the picture I had of her so why did I have to find out the truth now? Is this God’s way of punishing me for the sin I almost committed a few days ago?”
“Of course,” Mubita vomited the words with such impunity I had to fight the urge to mentally kill him. “Only a dickhead would cheat on a woman like Rachael,” he continued unleashing his purge unto me. “If my girlfriend was even half as good as Rachael, I would have married her already.”
“You think I don’t know that already?” I asked.
Mubita glared at me, “are you saying that you also think my girlfriend is not good enough?” He was daring me to agree. Even in my foolish disposition, I could smell the trap.
How Mubita-like of him.
“I think her boobs are bigger than Rachael’s,” I said.
A proud grin immediately appeared on his face. “So you noticed.”
“Even Jesus would notice if she walked to him for spiritual healing. Those things are a force to be reckoned with.”
“I guess my work here is done,” Mubita said, catching me off-guard.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“If an image of my girl’s boobs can pop through your head at a moment when you thought your world was crushing to an end, then obviously there are more pressing issues in this world to worry about…such as your wedding in the next couple of days.”
I had been right to stop by Mubita’s place. The guy had the brutality of Shaka but he always had a solution to everything…well, almost everything.
I was more than ready to face the facts.
* * *
If I didn’t know it before, I know it now.
If I had any doubts before, I am now convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that the woman walking down the aisle towards me is the love of my life.
Forget the raging hormones that threaten to turn me into a dark Lord whenever they attack…but this woman is carrying in her my very first child…the fruit of my…okay, let me not think about that right now.
And just why are these pants so dame tight anyway? I ordered a slim fit suit for my big day, not a skin tight.
Just look at Rachael glowing like that.
She is the most beautiful when she’s smiling. That smile is probably the reason I lost control of my ammunition and fired…calm down…calm down Chola.
Just think about the future from now on.
I don’t care about the sex of the child…but dear Lord let it be a boy, ah.
“I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and faithfulness….”
From this point on, I promise to be more than just Chola to you my wife.
I hereby leave my past and all my indiscretions behind….
My name is Chola.
I am Rachael’s husband.
I am the father of her unborn child.
And as long as my wife is not moody from pregnancy or facing the woes of biology and nature, I intend to have an absolutely happy marriage life!
Coming Next Week:
Snippet from Echoes of the Heart
Everything around her had come to a standstill and only Veronica’s high pitched voice echoed though the four walls of the now empty restaurant.
“If your mission was to come here and insult me, you could have at least gotten your wardrobe choice right.” The woman’s bloody lips taking up half of her face and the long fake lashes threatening to drown the rest of it made it even harder for Sibusiswe to look at her.
Was that the kind of beauty they kept talking about these days?
“All those pearls and fancy clothes make you look pathetic and ridiculous.” Veronica continued.
Sibusiswe could only shake her heard as she took in the insults. There was something about Veronica’s face that made her look as if she had been born naturally drunk and upset.
“I find it hard to get offended when classy looking people attack me,” the ghetto born diva continued her attack on Sibusiswe.
“I didn’t ask to meet you so I could attack you,” Sibusiswe said, still maintaining her poise – much to Veronica’s chagrin.
“There you go again,” Veronica was close to snapping now, her long reptile-like nails digging into the beautiful expensive furniture of the high class restaurant. She hated everything about the restaurant her nemesis had picked just to reel her in. “That tone of voice,” her venom-like tongue hissed, “how the hell am I supposed to feel offended when you sound so melodic and corny?”
Sibusiswe couldn’t help laughing. “You seem to be under the impression that I came here for an attack,” she said. “I don’t think I have ever given you any reason to feel like that. If anything, I have been more than civil during all our interactions. You on the other hand have done nothing but antagonize me every step of the way. If anyone was looking at us, they would think I was the other woman.”
Veronica rolled her big round eyes, forcing Sibusiswe to move her drink away lest one of her gigantic eye lashes decided to take a dive in protest. It can’t be easy for the pair to try to make a woman like Veronica look beautiful.
Those poor lashes… she silently sympathized.
Perhaps she would have felt a little less offended if her husband had left her for a better woman. She didn’t even have to be good looking. She just had to be easy on the eye and clean. Just how many layers of make-up did the eye have to beat to get to the woman’s actual skin? The make-up was literally wearing her, she wasn’t wearing it.
“I can hear you thinking awful things about me,” Veronica put her arms across her chest defensively. “It must hurt your pride knowing your husband left you for a woman like me, er?”
Sibusiswe scoffed. “As a matter of fact it does, I won’t lie.”
Veronica looked confused, not sure whether to get offended or not. Why did her already tiny IQ shrink every time she was faced with this woman?
“Having said that,” Sibusiswe continued, “I don’t regret the divorce. I only feel bad for….”
Veronica raised her hand to shut her nemesis up. “I am really not a fan of yours Sibu and I would pay any amount of money just to get you to shut up so I can leave. The only reason I agreed to this meeting is because you and I need to come to a conclusion about Jacob. I am not comfortable with this arrangement of my husband constantly having to meet you whenever he is picking up or dropping off Jacob.”
“When are you going to get over your insecurities Veronica?” Sibu asked. “Martin and I have been divorced for over four years now. Apart from Jacob, I have no other business whatsoever with him. Unlike some women, I don’t find married men attractive. They reek of another woman whenever I am talking to them.”
“You might think that but Martin is a very kind man,” Veronica was saying. “He might still have lingering feelings…you are the mother of his child after all.”
“You’ve been with Jacob’s father for eight years now, four of which were during the time he was still married to me…and you are telling me you still don’t know him that well?” Sibu asked.
Veronica shifted uncomfortably in her chair. “What do you mean?” She flapped her lashes at her rival.
“Martin is not a kind man. You can call him anything else…but kind isn’t one of them.” Sibisiswe replied. “Anyway, I didn’t ask to have this meeting with you so we could talk about your husband. I want us to talk about something you might actually find pleasing.”
“And what is that?”
“From now onwards, I would like it if you were the one responsible for Jacobs welfare…and by that I mean bringing him back to my place after his visits to you. I do not wish to have any more contact with Martin.”
Veronica took a moment to mull over what she had just heard. Again, she wasn’t sure whether to be happy or sad about such a development. Isn’t that what she had always hoped for? She had been on Martin’s neck the past years trying to get him to let her take charge of that situation but he never relented.
What was really going on here? Something didn’t seem right.
If you even knew half of it, you would be using your fake lashes to hang yourself woman, Sibusiswe thought as she watched Veronica battle her demons.
“Is this what they call in the movies psychology reverse?” Veronica asked.
Sibusiswe had to hold her hand to her mouth to keep herself from laughing out loud. “It’s actually….forget it,” she gave up teaching the vixen. It wasn’t her job anyway. “I am being sincere with you Veronica,” Sibu said.
“Martin might still have a soft spot for you but he would never leave me for you. i am not the kind of woman to get her husband stolen by another woman. I always protect what’s mine.”
Sibusiswe scoffed once again. “You know what’s funny,” she said in a very calm yet menacing tone. “That Martin will not be coming back to me by my own doing. With your own tongue, you will beg him to get back with me.”
“Keep on dreaming,” Veronica hissed. “Over my dead body, you get it? Over my dead body.” She got up to leave.
“If you say so,” Sibusiswe replied nonchalantly, looking out the window towards the blue Jaguar still parked in the same spot.
Was this war ever going to end?
Or should she put an end to it right there and then?
This would not be the first time she was getting blood on her hands. Only this time, she would make it worth her while.
Look out for Part One of Echoes of the Heart coming Next Week!
Is it love that changes…or it is the person that changes?
I encountered this question when I was watching a certain drama recently. I had pressed pause and pondered the question for a little while. I had never really thought much about it before until I heard someone ask the question out loud.
It has been said that the only constant thing in life is change. Unfortunately, it is not always that when change occurs, we are prepared for it or willing to adjust to it. Thus, when we look back into our past…when we look back at all the failed relationships and all the broken marriages we wonder – what or who had really changed? Does love remain constant? Can love change? If so, what causes it to change? Do people change? What causes people to change? Is it something that can be prevented or it’s simply nature running its course?
How many times have you felt like you were so in love you would lay down your life if it meant protecting your love? Those moments…when our eyes see no one else but the one…when we feel nothing in the world can pull us apart…when we love without a reason except for our feelings…when together-forever is not just a promise but fact and part of our reality. Do you think you would be asking too much if you wanted things to remain like that, if not better than that forever?
The first time I fell in love, I did not picture myself having those feelings for any other person but that one. Loving another person at that time was not even a possibility! Yet today in my life, I am so in love with one man believing for a fact that I have never felt like this for any other person before. I look at how this man loves me and I cannot imagine him loving another like he loves me. This is my present reality…a reality I do not ever want to see change, ever. But the question is, is that even possible? Can you spend a lifetime loving the same person with your feelings intact to the very end? I want to believe so!
But the question still remains, what causes relationships to end; is it their love that changed or it is the people that changed? Firstly, I want to admit that it is very possible for love to change and by this I am referring to the many stages that psychologists have argued intimate relationships have to go through in their journey of love. That first time feeling you have…all those emotions you wish you could bottle up and take a sip from for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, because we are human beings packed with red blood cells, hormones and senses, we cannot help undergoing emotional changes in our relationships.
At the start of every relationship, there is excitement and expectation. There are things we want and things we expect. As time goes by, we get to discover all of this…the ideas we had in our minds start turning into reality or lack thereof. Sometimes we are disappointed and sometimes we are surprised when our loved ones deliver beyond our expectations. And sometimes we simply choose to be content with the life we have despite it not being up to standard. As always…time is forever moving and we are forever learning, discovering and going through numerous experiences. These too can change us as individuals and also change our feelings towards each other either for the better or worst.
The problem that most people make is never to expect change or refusing to adjust to it when it occurs. Using a very practical example – when a man starts sleeping around after his wife has given birth because he believes her body has changed or that she has been distant since giving birth. A little patience with her and support as she adjusts to her physiological and emotional changes is all it takes to make their love flourish. Any deviation from this is what will lead to a failed relationship. In this case, it would be the husbands inability to adjust to change, to live up to his spouse’s expectation to be there for her in her most trying times and to be understanding…it is these things that would make her believe he has changed and this will ultimately have an effect on her feelings for him. Likewise, if the man strongly believes that she is being unfair to him by not fulfilling her marital duties in bed (not taking into account any possibility of posttraumatic stress), from his point of view, it would be the woman who has changed. This too, if not properly communicated can result in a failed relationship.
Yes, we all want perfect relationships but the truth is that they don’t exist. The only thing we can do all throughout our relationships is to strive for perfection in what we do but never to expect it. We love abundantly, we give abundantly, we forgive abundantly, that we be understanding and all the while expecting the same from our partners. It is foolishness to expect things to remain constant. Of course this does not mean that we should love less or expect less. It simply means that we should keep in mind that how we felt about each other when we were strangers can no longer be the same once we become friends and family.
As time goes by, we will become too familiar with each other, never pretending and ever showing our true colours. However, although a familiar feeling is something that happens naturally, having a boring or less exciting life as a result of it is a decision we make consciously. Yes, it is very boring when every aspect of your life becomes routine and predictable – knowing that today when I go home she will welcome me by the door, take my bag, ask me how my day was, serve me dinner, go to bed, make love the missionary way, sleep, and when morning comes repeat steps 1-2-3, etc. As long as one does not strive to keep things exciting despite being familiar with each other, do not expect a happily-ever-after. The tendency to believe that just because a piece of paper was signed and the deal’s done then we no longer have to work hard is what leads our loved ones to walk away from us.
Personally, I refuse an ordinary love. I rebuke it in the name of Jesus! I want an extraordinary love and nothing less! I do not expect a happily ever after, I am neither a Cinderella nor he a prince in shining armor. But I expect my life to be filled with happiness MOST of the times. I want to be extremely in love even in old age. Therefore, I should…no, we should both work hard to have that because it doesn’t come easy. I should be aware that change is inevitable and change in itself has the potential to alter my feelings. I should be aware that one day my spouse will not be as energetic as he is today no matter how many times he hits the gym, that his head full of black hair will not always be like that, that he also makes mistakes, and that we will not always share the same views.
How will you feel if the man you love suddenly stopped buying you flowers or taking you to fancy restaurants because he either lost his job or because you both made a bad investment and lost out financially? Does it mean that he has changed as a person or that he doesn’t love you anymore? Or perhaps, does that mean you should change the way you feel towards him? I should prepare myself for the unexpected, to not always expect perfection and to be understanding when my spouse falls short of my expectations. And if I am not pleased, I should communicate this in the most respectable manner. It is a learning process, one I am willing to undertake for the rest of my life. Right now I believe I am falling short.
If ever love should change, it should be for the better – from stranger to infatuation, from hate to love, from mere love to a meaningful love. I want to love like that. I expect to be loved like that. So far, I am loved like that. And in the future, I hope to love more and be loved more, not less. Is that possible?
I will give 20 pin talk time to whoever is first to get this question right; you are at the mercy of a killer. He tells you that you have no way out except for one: he folds two papers in half, each with the words ‘you will die’ written on them. He labels them A and B. He asks you to pick the paper with the words saying ‘you will live.’ It’s a trick. He knows this but you don’t. You actually think that one of the papers will save you. You have no choice but to pick one. And you must choose to live. And the truth is that you lived. How did this happen?
I promised to post the answer on my blog so here we go!
I must say I had a lot of fun reading all the responses. The truth is that I came across this trick question when I was watching one of my all-time favourite Korean dramas. When the heroine asked the hero (or should I just say the two leads in the drama?) this question, at first, just like the hero – I had no idea what the correct response should have been.
It was only later in another scene that the hero got an epiphany whilst he was eating something from a plate …when the answer occurred to him. At that moment I thought to myself, “Oh wow…didn’t even cross my mind!”
However, out of everything that was said, I found that I loved the lesson of the trick question more than the trick itself. It was one of those moments that led me straight into reflection. So I thought it would be great to share this with my friends and let’s see how they work around it!
Suffice to say, many tried to tackle the question and some did give very good possible answers, except, I was looking for the best answer that would explain how it came about that the person in question was still able to live despite having picked one of the papers that said he would die. Despite increasing the reward prize, it seemed they all just wanted me to keep my money. I like that. 🙂
As I keep writing, I am sure that the answer will slowly be forming itself in your heads…of course I am assuming that not everyone who is reading this has watched the drama I am referring to where this question came from. If anything, I would give the little prize money to the person who could tell me the title of that drama! Now that would be fun, wouldn’t it?
Now picture this;
In the drama, the answer came to the hero/protagonist/lead while he was eating something from a plate. As he kept picking a piece off his plate, he looked at what was remaining on the plate and suddenly stopped! The answer had occurred to him.
And this is the answer:
If the victim (I will call him/her that for lack of a better term) was expected to pick the note that said, ‘you will live’ when in fact we know that both notes said he would die, how is it possible he was able to live? It is because the note that was meant to decide his fate …and in this case it is the note that had remained, the one that was not picked read – you will die. Therefore, if the note that was not picked said he would die, doesn’t it automatically mean that the note he had picked said ‘he will live’? Remember, he was asked to choose the choice to live. Irrespective of what was written on the note he picked, the note that was meant to decide his fate – the note that had remained to be read out by the killer said he would die which meant by default that the victim had picked one that said he would live. And this is how he survived!
I hope it’s all clear. I know it might be a little confusing for some but keep going over it and it will soon make sense. And to borrow the words of the actor, “to every trick question, there is a trick response.”
Like I said before, I found the lesson behind the trick question even more interesting. Here’s why:
Whenever life is difficult, we always think that there is no way out….just like everyone who didn’t know the answer to the question. But I am here to tell you that that’s not the answer. There is hope no matter how difficult the situation you are in might seem, whether you have a small trouble or a variety of troubles…always choose the best choice to live.
Those were the ‘not so exact’ words of the actress in the drama. Of course it helped that she was a psychiatrist. But I believed every word of it.
There was a time when my family had it all and then there was also a time we had absolutely nothing except each other. I remember thinking at that time…. “Is this all there is to life?”
But that is all in the past now; a past I feel was very important because it has shaped me into who I am today. I am now grateful for everything I have in my life because I know exactly what if feels like to not have anything in your life. Back then we did everything humanly possible to survive…to make sure we were still alive the next day. Instead of wallowing in misery, we chose to live.
And I will continue choosing to live because…even as clique as it sounds, it is the truth; what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger!