Saturday 3 May 2014

Mens Secret Cries - All is well that ends well 2

'Are you going to stay in Luanshya or what?' Linda asked guiltily. She averted her eyes from the man she had grown to love so dearly. There was never a right time to say goodbye. It felt wrong to remind him that her time was up and that her journey had to continue. How could she leave him when the pain he was in was so real? it had barely been a week since her dear friend passed. Her body was not even yet cold in the ground. Linda struggled with the uncomfortable vibe that could be cut with a knife. She shuffled a little on the bed and sat on her hands to stop them from trembling.

Bwembya sat up and stretched his body as though he was determined to get rid of his limbs and exist in his own arena. He slowly dragged  his head in her direction.

'Are you late for your Livingstone trip?' he rasped at her. The voice had not been heard in a week. it startled her to note that it could still make a noise. She shyly nodded and fought with the tension that was noting her stomach. A hand rested on her cold shoulder and pulled her in closer. The hand turned her face towards the man she loved. She longed to kiss the pain away and hold him.

'I am so sorry but I will have to leave and go for work. I did not know how else to ask. You know I am rubbish with choosing the right words.  I don't know what you need right now or how I can make things better but I do know that I would like to swap places with you just to ease the pain. Just to take on your burden. I feel your pain but I know it is no where near the extent that you feel it. I am sorry baby...'

'I know. Don't be sorry because it is not your fault. You are everything I need. I have everything that I need right he and now.' He took her face in his hands and kissed her longingly. She gasped as she was consumed by his determined tongue. He softly pulled away and looked her in those big brown wet eyes. 'Would you like me to stop?' he rasped. Her eyes still closed, she tilted her head and leaned it on his warm hand. She felt at home in his arms. Completely safe. More than she had ever felt in her entire life. This must be what was meant by being in love. There had never been anything that had ever come close to this feeling of utopia. A foreign concept in her lonely world. When she did not answer, his mouth devoured her again passionately. Chris was long forgotten. There was no doubt in her heart that his mouth was where it belonged and when it explored her neck, she let it discover her weak spots without a fight. The first time since they had been together, their minds and souls where intertwined.

In that moment there was no more need for talking. No more need to dwell on the pain. She had fought away the debris that was now attempting to keep them apart. He was a master yet her naive mind had always believed that he was innocent. His lips rested weightlessly upon hers and gently but determinedly made their intentions known. His hands began to roam softly over her and reminded her to pull back. This was not the answer. This was not what he needed. He needed to be alone.

'Baby this is not what you need. You need to heal.'

'And what better way to heal than with you?'

'Yes but about when I head back home what is going to happen?'

'You are not leaving me here. You are going to Livingstone and then coming back right here to me.'

'In Luanshya?'

'No in my arms. I had to be here for the funeral but I have requested to be transferred back to Lusaka.'

'Right but stop with the caressing and let us talk a moment.'

'Life is too short for constant talking.'

'Well if you want to be with me then you need to learn to address things and not just leave them hanging.'

'Dammit Linda! What do you want me to do?  I have lost Tasha but I have made my mind up not to lose you but it is like you are always doubting me? Why do you not trust me?'

'Baby I trust you but that is not an excuse that you can use every time you want to avoid confrontation. Just relax. I am right here.'

Bwembya opened the drawer of his bedside table. Great he was avoiding issues again She hated it when he did that but she knew she had to be patient with him. He turned round to face her again holding something in his hand.

'I know you think I have been a bit distant lately. I just wanted to be sure about things and I never meant for any of it to ever hurt you but stupidly as a man I manged to mess things up anyway. I am not proud of the pain I put you through but with everything I am and everything we have been through as friends, I have no doubts that it is you I want in my corner everyday of my life. You are my ka besty, my honey honey, my sugar sugar and my everything. I want everyone to know how I feel about you not just as my girl but as my wife....'

'Bwembya what are you on about? Are you saying what I think you are saying?' she quipped in a tremor. He opened his hand and brought out a magnificent ring.

'It belonged to my mother. It was the most precious thing she had given me to give the one who would carry my name, my family and be the main woman in my life. Linda baby, as I kneel down in this miserable room, please say you will do me the honors of extending your full of gestures finger that has loved and cussed me to the earth and back and let me wife you like we were meant to be.'


'Please say something. Is it the timing? I have told your mother and Sandra and we have their blessings. Please say you will.'

'When did you have time to do all that?'

'See I told you you doubt me too much. But that is one of the many reasons I love you. You dont let me off the hook easily.'

' The answer is a full and uncompromisable yes.'

Bwembya pulled her into his arms and sealed the love with a kiss that would bind them forever. The anxiety he had felt all week was not due to the funeral. It was the fear of losing yet another of his loved ones. The struggles and emotional dramas had been worth it to get this one. She was his and he was comforted.

Monday 28 April 2014

Mens Secret Cries- All's well that ends well

Bwembya watched as the frail woman lay in front of him refusing to go to the hospital. The walls closed in on them as they sat waiting for the inevitable. What they all knew was coming at a painfully slow pace. She was not the sister he had always known. In her place lay a small child desperate to be held. The anguish kicked at him as he built the courage once more to look at her. How could things have gone so terribly wrong in such a short space of time? Was it his fault for not paying more attention than before? Had he been so wrapped up in his own world that he did not even seem to notice that his sister was taking a turn for the worse?

'Come closer,' a chilly voice erupted from her throat. Unsure of whether to move, Bwembya waited for her husband to take a step closer. She shook her head. a bony finger pointing at Bwembya. She had the life sucked right out of her. He had thought she looked small before but the coat she was always wearing and long hair deceived him. The hurried way in which she scurried around in a a desperate bid for Siphiwes blood had made it impossible for anyone to see any changes in her health. Not any real ones anyway. 'I am sorry,' she managed.

'Tasha don't. You better not die on me or you will have something to be sorry about.'

'How you going to crack jokes now? It is my time she smiled,'

'No sis. I am a man. Do not leave me here crying. I will not be able to be strong. Why did you not tell anyone things were so bad?'

'Baby - let her rest. Let her say what she needs to,' Linda rubbed his back and sat on the bed beside her friend.

'Promise me that you will make an honest woman of her and  tell Siphiwe I am sorry for threatening her life,'

'You did what?' Bwembya exclaimed. Threatened her life? What was Tasha talking about? She could not have been responsible for what he heard happened to Siphiwe. The woman was left so traumatised that she never dared utter a word about her perpetrator.

'I did it. She knows I did it but I just want her to know I am sorry.' Tasha coughed twice and then summoned her husband to her side. Her bony hand held his tightly as water rolled down in little droplets down her cheeks. 'I know you have always doubted my heart, but never forget that I loved you so much. I had to expel past demons but all of me wishes I had more time to show you how I appreciate and love you. If you must remarry, make sure it is not Siphiwe or her incarnate....I...I -' coughs splurted out, eyes rolled back as she made her way to meet her maker. The room fell silent for a moment. Bwembya shook her a few times before crashing his entire being on her body. His bleeding soul poured desperate life on a motionless body. He was alone in this world. With no sister to run to or confide in.


That felt wrong on all counts. He could not envision a life without her. How could everything fall apart so easily. So quickly. How could no one have told him she needed him?

'Baby, it is well. God knows what he is doing.'

'Do not tell me about that right now,' he growled. 'I know he has his reasons but what could be the justification for this?' he shouted sending small stool flying through the bedroom window. Linda backed away in fear as Tasha's husband reassured her. He calmly sat down beside his wifes bed and held her hand.

'I would like to be alone with my wife please,' he said without looking at anyone. Bwembya shot out of the room and slumped himself onto the sofa. Soon as he was happy, he was broken again. Linda crawled cautiously after him.

'Baby, i know you feel alone right now but I am here. We have been through so much together and we will keep on going through everything together but you are not alone. I am here. If you need to scream or whatever you need to do to feel better, I will still be here waiting on you to reach out to me and to God. I am here. I am your family. I love you.'

He pulled her in close and broke down on her shoulder in violent sobs that Linda had never witnessed before. It was the end of a sad era but the beginning of a fresh life. She could think of no better place for him to lay his head and be comforted. The maid took the children out of the house to the park knowing what had just happened. It would give them time to pull themselves together and make the right arrangements.

He was her man. She was his woman. His cries need not be secret anymore. Not in her arms.

Sunday 27 April 2014

Mens Secret Cries- Not without me

'Is Linda in?' I asked the burley guy at the front door. He stroked his jacket and put on his shades in a carefree manner like he had all the time in the world before bothering to respond to me.

'yes she is. You need something?'

'Who is it Anderson?' Linda shouted out from inside. 'I just have to put my shoes on then I will be out. I finally decided to wear the trainers after all. Man I cannot be bothered to be fighting with the mud i tell you.' Funny she sounded much happier than I was led to believe. She did not sound like someone whose heart was breaking.

'The last time I checked, the lil lady did not want any visitors,' Anderson shot at me.

'I am not just any visitor. I am her -'

'Bwembya! What are you doing here? How did you know I would be here?' Linda interrupted as she got closer to the door. The Guy leaned in even closer to claim my territory.

'I came to see you. You left in such a hurry but it looks to me that you are already moving on,'

'Whatever. What can I do for you?'

'Can we talk outside please?'

'Anderson give us a minute please,'

'Sure. Let me know if you need me,' her bouncer said without as much as giving me a way out with that stare of his. A hand enough to hold five children grabbed her by the waist inching her closer to him. A fiery pit in my stomach promised to expel its bowels on him. I loathed the self control that resided in me. she widened her lips as he planted a soft petal like kiss on her forehead and marched back inside.

'So that is my replacement is it?'

'Who he is is none of your business. The way I see it, I don't owe you any explanation. At least you friend has finally got the message.

'What is it that you want me to do to prove that I love you and only you Linda? For goodness sake, I think I have pulled out all the tricks in the book that I can master!'

'I don't have time for this. I am about to leave for  Livingstone so...deuces,' She said turning to give me her back and strut back into the house. Without thinking, I placed my foot in between the door to wedge it open.

'No way are you going anywhere with that clown!' I exclaimed.

'Don't you have somewhere you need to be?'

'If I did I would be there right now. I am where I want and need to be. We are going to talk about this and no more drama!'

'Are you still friends with Chris?'

'Yes because I do not have a problem with him! I have a problem with you focusing all our energy on the details of how close he and I are!'

'That is silly. I am not concerned about any of that! You are the one that swings between us like a pendulum hence making it a problem!'

'Oh so you decide to hang out with schwartznegro to teach me a lesson?'

'No. I am done teaching you a lesson. I am moving on for myself and my own peace of mind.'

'Not without me you are not. You are not living without me nor are you leaving without me!' I grabbed hold of her  wrist and dragged her off the doorstep.

'Bwembya, let go of me. This is ridiculous. you are making a fool of yourself.'

'Linda for a minute can you just listen to what I have to say.'

'Fine you have one minute. Make it snappy.'

'I cannot make it snappy. Just knowing that you were heading the other way in my life instead of where you need to be left me breathless. I could not breathe. I have not even showered. I have forfeited my job when you know i never ever miss work but this is more important to me and yes I have taken you for granted but its the inevitable stupidity of men to get ahead of ourselves when we should know better. I have loved you for the longest time. Your place in life is beside me. you know how you can never go to bed alone. Well I think I have a permanent solution for that if you will have me.' She looked away as a tear threatened to expose her secret that her heart was still with me.

'Bwembya you have been my best friend for like forever and I said yes to being with you because I believed with all my heart that you would never hurt me. You knew everything about me and maybe, maybe that was my weakness. I should have never left myself open like a book to you. I know you think I was weak with Chris and yes I was but I am not that woman anymore. I am not just any woman to you. I am your best friend so how dare you treat me like garbage!' Her voice trembled as her words grabbed at my heart strings.

'I know baby. Nothing will ever tear me away from you again. Just give me another chance. You know my word is my bond and I don't just know what came over me. I promise I will honor you the way God intended. I love you, so much I think I love you more than I love myself. You are my world woman,' I tilted her cute chin towards my face and caressed it with my thumb.   A resilient tear finally escaped along a track on her face. She had never looked more beautiful. I kissed her eyelids one by one. A silent promise of the love I was to dedicate to her. 'I will never hurt you like that again. All I want to do is be with you and I will give my right hand to be right with you baby. Believe that I will. Now who is that James Bond looking dude? God you move with power! Couldn't you get a gardener?'

'Silly. Anderson is Julies brother. He is married and was just going to take me to Livingstone because he has a conference there. Sort of killing two birds with one stone.' She smiled playfully and took my palm in hers placing a comforting kiss upon it.

'So may I take you to Livingstone?'

'Oh gee I don't know, you best ask Mr Bond.'

'Girl don't play like that. I wanted to kill him just seeing that hand on your lower back.'

'I love you Bwembya. Even when you want to act like a spoilt brat.'

'I love you too baby girl. Lets get going shall we?'

Anderson came out and flashed a wealthy smile as he headed to the Range and snapped his fingers fro the houseboy to open the gate.

'You need to keep her close to you if you don't want to lose her man. She is a power ball.' My phone rang and interrupted  the perfect moment.

'Hello Bwembya it's your secretary. It is about your sister.....'

Friday 25 April 2014

Mens Secret Cries- Moving on

I threw the remote at the TV. What can I say it was the only thing in my vicinity that could express my anguish. The tears I had harbored for so many years came tumbling down violently. Cries were no longer secret. They were as loud and angry as a hungry new born. I had lost her. How could I have been so stupid? To make her think that any of what we had was a lie?How did I manage all that in less than a week?

To be honest, every single time I thought she was going to leave,  I got the feeling that she was not being serious but the look on her face this morning suggested different. I have to find her.

'Julie, Julie thank God,' I panicked after Julie picked her phone on the third ring. 'No please don't hang up!'

'What do you want now Bwembya? I am tired of this drama between you two. I have better things to do with my time.'

'I know but I could really use your help and this is the last time I promise. Just tell me where she is,'

'I wish I could but you know what your girl is like. She will have my head.'

'I know but you and I both know I messed up,'

'Have you been crying? Your voice sounds wet.'

I ignore the comment but i am fully aware that she can hear the tremor in my throat which is proving harder to hide by the minute. Just wish she did not have to complicate issues further. As though reading my mind, she heaves and decides to release me from the pressure of hiding the tears.

'She is at my house but I am not sure that today is the best time to see her. You have really hurt her Bwembya I mean seriously! How could you fail to tell her you love her back instead you lay there and query what Chris did to her? what the hell were you trying to prove man?'

'Julie I know. I messed up big time really I did but I cannot....I cannot breath without her. I hate breathing without her. The mere thought that I may never see her again....Julie please. I am dying without her,'

'I am not the one you should be telling that. You should find her but only go for her if you are sure that she is who you want. For real.'

'Thanks. I will.' With a bolt of hope racing through my veins I put my act together and took to the road. Nothing was going to keep me from her again. I blasted Aaron Neville 'I'm gon love you even if my heart would break' as the car eased through the great east road towards my woman. The closer I got, the more I felt nervous. She had every reason not to take me back but I prayed relentlessly for divine intervention. Moments later I was parked outside Julies home. The big silver gate blocked any view of the interior. I hooted twice and the gates swing open. A young man of about 18 opened the gate in ankle swingers and a tattered t-shirt that hang off his shoulder.

'Is anyone home?' I asked him in Nyanja. He nodded in agreement. The garden was decorated by an expensive Range Rover facing the front of the house. I got out slowly and contemplated whether or not to call her first. It is probably better to just get on out and face her without giving her a reason to block me out. A range rover? That is something new. I never thought for  second that Julie was doing so well. I head over towards the front door and hear a couple of voices laughing and giggling. Before I  rap on the door, a tall handsome guy steps out the door looking like a black James Bond.....

Thursday 19 December 2013

Mercy- Part 3

 Chapter 2

I hate the way this is turning out. I mean it. Do someone a favour and they grow wings. They begin to think that they own you. That is the problem with this world. They do not see what someone has done for them. That little fool is going to ruin things for me if I am not careful. How hard is it to follow instructions? It makes me sick!

‘Taffy, I have to have two more girls in the next two weeks. They need to be at the auction so pick the best ones. Preferably the new one. She is popular among the clients.’

‘Jim darling you know that is not a problem. I will make sure they bring the perfect return.’

‘Of course you never disappoint.’

‘Have you handled the other problem?’

‘It is no longer a problem. As we speak, Gege has gone to the village to get a new girl again – you know, to replace the other one.’

‘As long as you keep Gege on a leash. She has been looking a bit shifty lately – you know – distracted.’ Jim strokes my hair and lifts my chin up to kiss him. This man is so much better than Big Jim. So much better. His whisky breath tantalises me. I flirt with the thought of taking advantage of him but decide against it. My needs will just have to wait. There is more pressing work to be done. Do you see what I was telling you about this woman? I will get to the bottom of it.

‘Jim, she is not a concern. She has just been overwhelmed. I will see to it that she does not ruin the operation.’

‘That is my girl. Jim loves you.’

‘I love Jim.’

Some might think I do not think about others. That I have no compassion or empathy for others. It is true but this maks only slips when I let someone too close. I do not need Jim emotionally nor do I fear taking risks – necessary risks – to propel my ambition. I have one life only anything else is secondary to my existence. Floundering with emotions and the like, leaves you in unwarranted destiny. Living a life that you were never designed for but mere mortals. Mine is of a higher calling. I am the best at what I do and perhaps even breath better than most folks. Too many wander this earth, envying the life of the next person or lamenting about where their lives went wrong. Call me a dark angel – I simply use this information to help them help me. If you do not want your life, I might as well use it. How you respond to it is not my problem.

Bloody Gege is too sensitive. I just have to keep her from the can of worms that is bound to pop open soon and let its foul contents out. I think it is a beautiful tragedy. No doubt she won’t feel the same way. I watch Jim leave out the driveway. Taffy you are heartless she often whines. I have a good mind to send her back to Big John.
The smell of scotch whisky beckons to me. Pouring myself a generous amount, I gulp the horrid drink in one helping. It scorches my throat in bitter episodes the flows warmly down to its destination. My eyes grimace in contention chastising my rebellious body for exposing them to such anguish.  
Slowly, I allow my no slumbering legs to march down the lengthy hallway and up the stairs to the hallway of doom. The pungent scent of vomit still hung resonantly in the air claiming its new domain. This fatal flaw has set us back three days. I told Gege not to get tiny little girls but that crack is always in a world of her own.
Mercy’s room is quiet. Apart from the noise of the ghost next door, nothing else stirs. If I had half the emotions of anxiety or concern that others encounter, I would think she has harmed herself but she is not like that. She is stronger. More determined, like me to succeed even though our ambitions may be different. Her face constantly haunts me reminding me of days gone by. Reminding me of the day my mother killed herself because she could not stand the whining of my baby brother. He had been crying all night long. Nothing she did was good enough. He just carried on bawling, robbing me and mother of my sleep. What else could I do? When she went downstairs, I took the pills that I knew she used to help her sleep. I gave him a couple. Then a couple more. I was six years old at the time, but I knew it would kill him. My mother had told me several times not to take any of the pills. She warned me that if you took too many, you would never wake up.

I took the pills and gave them to the crying noisy bundle. When mum came upstairs, she found me holding the bottle of pills. She looked at the cot and knew instantly why the baby was not making a sound. Now had I been my mother, I would have made me drink the pills and save myself but how would that have looked to her neighbours? They would have queried how two young children got hold of that many pills wouldn’t they? So instead, in between sobs and cussing my soul into eternal damnation, I watched my mother sleep with her baby.

I woke the next morning and neither of them stirred. I let the maid find them. Neighbours had flooded our small house in Mbare that day, crying at the top of their voices. Some sung hymns whilst crying. Others tried to hid their awkwardness by hugging and comforting my soulless being. Why could I not cry like the rest of them? A woman I had known since I was a child sobbed relentlessly.
Mwari what am I going to do? How can you take Chiedza just like that? In the night Mwari wangu?’ she cried out on her knees to her God, questioning him on how she was now going to look after me. I had no father, she cried. ‘What will I do with my friends child my God?’ I never understood why she took it upon herself to take responsibility for me. The little cotton Zambia that was laid on the floor for her comfort, rolled in folds the more distressed she became. My head was flung to and fro with her ardent movements. I just wanted the whole travesty to halt. It was driving me mad. Yet no tears fell from my solid eyes.
Less than a month later, I had been brought to Zambia with her brother and his wife in domestic servitude until I landed in the gracious arms of Big John. Among the haze of ganja and prostitution, I found my calling – and a chained redemption.

So yes. When I look at Mercy, I see the little girl I once was. I also see the monster that she could become. Perfect in this business.

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Mercy part 3

part 3

She was just lying there. Consumed by a pool of her own blood – at least I think it was her own blood. It sprawled all around her small body like someone had just poured a pot of paint around her, except it was not that neat. It was splattered around her with some of it lingering around her lips.

I covered my lips in horror as I tried desperately to hold back the screams that were threatening to escape my mouth once more. Aunt Gege was holding me firmly warning me to shut the hell up. I looked down at the floor again. The girl had chewed her own hand and pieces of flesh were ripped but not torn off. The fear in her eyes  was eminent. As the big eyes met mine, they forced water out of my own in small spurts. Her body was gaunt exposing any part of her body that had bones or knuckles. She was clearly sick and kept coughing up more and more blood. All this seemed  to happen in a short space of time.

The cleaning lady brushed past us nonchalantly with a bucket of water and soap dancing swiftly in her hand. It seemed the sight of so much blood did not bother her one bit. Aunty Gege’s hand pushed the air with her slightly folded fist ordering the other girls to go back to their rooms. They moved backwards into their rooms hoping to catch a last glimpse of what was going on. I seemed to be the only one who was allowed to stay a little longer. Perhaps because I was the new girl. I watched as the maid cleaned the skeleton on the floor.

‘This one is no longer profitable. Get rid of her.’ Ba Aunty  ordered the maid. She did not argue but carried on working. Tears carried on their downwards journey on my face. The water in the bucket had quickly changed to red painting the once white cloth in the maids hands, a dull brown. ‘What a waste of money. We could have raked in $1000 dollars for this one.’ She kicks the girls leg gently to the side and grabs me by the elbow. The bar shuts behind us.

‘Sit down.’ She orders. ‘Why were you screaming like that? We do not do that here do you hear me?’ Her eyes flash a cold glazed icy look. It is as though there is no one in that body. It is like having a robot talk to you.

Her lips move inaudibly for what seems like eternity. I stare at her nodding my head every two minutes in orderly fashion. I appear to hear her but my mind is adamant it wants to stay with the girl on the floor. What were they going to do with her? What did the mean by getting rid of her? Was the maid not disgusted by the way the water smelled of metal and soap? A thick sting pastes my face forcing the bursts of tears to now fall freely.

‘Are you listening to me? If you act like you do not know what this is all about you will find yourself gone like her!’

‘Ba Aunty, I do not understand what you mean…’

‘Don’t you dare talk back at me. You and me is not size do you understand?’

‘Yes ma.’

‘Stupid girl. Do you want to kill yourself because some village idiot wants to bit off her own arm? Is life for you here so bad that you think eating hands is a good idea? Let me tell you something, I have done more for you and your family than you know!’

‘Aunty, I would really like to go home. I am sorry but I would like to go home to mummy.’

‘This is your home now. I have been very patient with you. If you keep talking about that foolishness I will have no choice but to ship you out. She is not even your mother. You are unwanted! Scrum like you do not have any mother in this world that would want to be stuck with you so shut up and deal with what you have. In fact be grateful you did not end up on Big John’s gutting table. I would have sworn that you had more sense than the rest of these. Get ready for your next client.’

She stormed out of the room the deafening silence my only companion. The questions unremittingly flood my thoughts. Sitting on my small bed in the corner of the room, I rest my head in my lap wishing that I could turn back the hands of time. Wishing that the argument with Grandma Nettie had not been so bad, wishing that I could see Mose again and wishing more than anything, that I could pray. I had heard of people praying. I had seen people being prayed for to get Satan out of their bodies. I had even watched as Amake Feki was prayed for when she was very sick that they thought she would surely die. People came from far places to see her. They put their hands on her head and shouted at the top of their voices to get the devil out of her. They wanted to shock him out of her system. Some shouted with their eyes closed that he did not belong there and some pointed with ferocity at her whilst speaking a language I had never heard before and others commanded him out by pushing her head back and forth. Amake Feki looked like a lot of water had been poured all over her body. She was sweating so much. I was not sure if this was the devil leaving or if it was just hot from all the people cramped in one small shack. The air was stale with a stiffness that could be cut with knife!

I had not learnt to pray like that. I was alone. I was alone because of my love for nyama. All I could do was wait for the next man and the next and never see how it helped Ba Aunty. For the first time, I wondered whether I cared about finding Tata or even my real mother. Perhaps if my real mother was around, my life would have been different. But she is not here. I am. i cried into my lap until I fell asleep.