Lumbiwe – Episode 11
© Tisa Phiri
A month later, i was no longer the same cheerful and energetic Lumbiwe. Instead of moving in high spirts like i always did, i was calm in a sad way. I tried to pretend all was well but i just couldn`t, my cousin`s wife called me one day and asked what was bothering me. I tried leing about not feeling well but she insisted. I ended up telling her that i was missing Mani. I didnt however, touch the part of him laying with me.
A week later, i started looking pale and i had lost appetite. My friend Dolika was the one who first mentioned it.
“maybe you are pregnant” she had pointed out. I sat down the sand besides the stream, my eyes fixed on the moving water. I had placed my feet in the water.
Surely, i thought to myself, like they say, tme is like water in the river you cannot touch the same water twice. Each flow passed never to flow back. I shook my heard in agony. My life was over, i remembered the elders tell me the time i would not see my menses meant i was pregnant. Now that Dolika had said it i just realised i never had my periods the past month. Hot tears rolled my eyes without saying a word. I could hear Dolika say things but i didnt really get what she was talking about.
she shook me,
” hey Lumbiwe say something my friend you are scaring me”
” what do i tell you Dolika?” i looked at her crying.
“That i was foolish and let myself get used by a man who made me fake promises?, that it hurts cause i have never heard from him since? am finished” i cried aloud.
Dolika squeezed my hand,
“go and talk to the Prince and let him tell his friend what he did. Just maybe he will take responsibility for you and this child.”
“You are right” i said wiping my tears.
“am going to see Smart now and tell him about all this.”
Dolika walked me to the palace and we asked the servant to call Smart for us.
” oh Lumbiwe” Smart sighed after i told him what happened.
” you didnt have to have sex with him. if you never wanted to you could have refused. It’s all your fault now. That guy is my friend but i dont think he really wants to marry you after all. He hasnt said a thing about you since he left.” He remarked calmly.
“what was that?” I asked feeling powerless all my strenght was drained i couldnt stand anymore. I sat down and held my head with my hands.
” so Smart you knew what kind of a person Mani is but you went ahead and pushed Lumbiwe to him” Dolika asked angry
” you are a snake and a good for nothing prince” she spat shaking her head.
” thank God your elder brother will take up the throne after your father otherwise you could have taken this village into chaos, what a shame” she added standing up to his face. He instead smiled,
” unbelievable!” he mocked
“you mean your friend isn`t clever enough to tell a good man from a bad one? she needed me to lay out that for her.? please dont involve me in your problems” he added laughing.
I stood up and slapped him across his face and walked away without a word.
“Hes engaged to another woman!” i heard him shout after we left him.I didnt even look back my mind and thoughts were scattered i couldnt even figure out what to think next. He was right though, it was me who was stupid and naive i had just poured hot pieces of charcoal on my body and the burns were deep reaching my very soul.
My friend Dolika just walked me to my hut and watched me in silence as tears rolled my face.I couldnt utter any words.
she whispered in my ears.
“its gonna be okey Lumbiwe” with so much calmness.
” let me go home now, take it easy we will figure something out tomorrow”
As soon as she left i slowly went out and took the route behind my hut to avoid anyone seeing me. I pulled out the ropes my father used to tie to the chicken shelter and walked slowly to my favorite place, the tree near the valley.
Sometimes a person can feel their emptiness right through their soul, that’s exactly how i was feeling. I had lost the will to live, i was certain there was no tomorrow for a person like me, without hope at that moment. i knew i was a falling star, nothing made sense.
Sitting under my tree i looked at the wide valley before me.
” Lumbiwe ” i spoke to myself.
“you have no pride anymore, no one will ever remember your beauty or that you are the girl that glittered and shined the whole village. All you have remained is a useless and empty vessel and a disgrace to your parents.” I shook my head.
“It is better this way than waking up to people`s faces mocking me.”
Hanging the rope around my neck i went up the branch close by and shut my eyes. Thoughts of my family came to my mind and i pushed them back, but ended up bringing Tendeka’s face to mind
“Good bye Tendeka” i said with a whisper and as i let go of the branch i had tied the rope to, the other part round my neck, I felt the air reducing in my lungs as i gulped and struggled to breath, my end had come and i was ready to let go.
To be continued