FORKS AND KNIVES
A story by Kennedy C Katongo
∆ ALONG THE WAY – PART 1 ∆
Malumbo went on to thank her for being very thoughtful, he offered her to join them for Pizza but she refused – giving them an excuse that didn’t add up.
“Now you following strange girls? Look what alcohol has done to you.” Malumbo said as they were eating.
“I don’t remember saying she was a stranger. You the one who has assumed she is.” Mambwe said.
“Come to think of it she does look familiar. I don’t know, but I think I’ve seen her before.” Malumbo said.
“Come on bro…” “Every cute girl looks familiar to you. Maybe you’ve seen her before – maybe you havent.” Mambwe said as he took a bit off his last second piece of pizza.
“That’s not funny. Haha.”
The two enjoyed their pizza, with Mambwe now sobering up. It meant more drama as they drove back home.
“So what’s her name? Do you have her number?” Malumbo asked his brother. They were now heading home.
“You still asking about her? Well, her name is Tandiwe. That’s all I know.” He responded.
“Does that mean you don’t even have her line?” He questioned him.
“Damn it. I forgot to ask for her line. That was actually the second time and the longest I’ve ever spoken to her.” Mambwe said with a smile. Despite all that had happened, there was no room for him to approach her or even run into her again.
Tandiwe had finished doing her usual shopping in town before going home. Since she knew Malumbo and now knew exactly who Mambwe was, she just went on Facebook and looked him up so that she could get to Mambwe.
Once she saw his profile, just as she was about to dive in and read up on him; her phone rang and it was her baby daddy calling. This time around – she decided to answer his call.
“Don’t hey me. Where are you? I’ve been looking for you everywhere.” He said, leaving out the fact that he knew she had left with a man.
“Am really sorry I didn’t mean to leave. Everything was just happening so fast and I panicked and left. I don’t think meeting up with you is okay.” She said calmly.
“Tandiwe calm down, I understand what you mean, you need to rest that’s all. We will talk later then.” He said, “Oh, let me know when you home so that I can talk to my son.”
“Your son? Oh, now you want to call him your soon huh?” Tandiwe sighed as she hang up on him.
The old lady next to her tapped her on the shoulder, “Baby daddy drama huh?” She asked.
“Something like that.”
“Don’t bother yourself, they always come back acting like they have met the son of man.” She said with a small giggle.
Tandiwe looked at her and smiled, for some reason it’s like the lady knew exactly what was happening to her. After was seemed to be 10 minutes on the bus to Ng’ombe, her phone received a message and it was from Jeff.
JEFF: “Hope you have arrived safely. Say hi to Peter.”
TANDIWE: “Am still on my way home. Will say hi to him was am there.”
JEFF: “For a second I thought you wouldn’t respond.”
TANDIWE: “Am still mad at you. My response doesn’t mean anything has changed.”
JEFF: “I know I’ve messed up.”
TANDIWE: “You always messing up Jeff. Chat later.”
She switched off her phone and placed it in her pocket. In that moment her whole life appeared in front of her. The thought of leaving her baby daddy making an order to help out a man she barely knew anything about. Well, except that he came from a very rich family.
“I don’t think drinking is your thing. You should just look for something else to do.” Malumbo said as they were now almost reaching home.
“I just wanted to numb the pain. If it can help me forget my problems, then toast to that. I just needed to get wasted.” Mambwe responded.
“I don’t think such an excuse will cut it. Right now am afraid to him leave you near a bottle – who knows what you will do to the power thing. Am the dude in the family that drinks to kill stress – you the dude in the family that’s always saying the correct thing and buying expensive food when upset. Not the other way around.” Malumbo said as they both began to laugh about it.
“Hey bro… Can I ask you something stupid?” Mambwe asked.
“I don’t feel comfortable with such a question, fire away.”
“Do you think I should delete Jane’s number?” He asked.
“That’s tricky. Do you think it’s the right thing to do? I mean, she’s probably going to notice that your Whatsapp profile is blank.” Malumbo commented.
“I don’t care, I just feel like there is no need for me and her to be friends. Will remain colleagues, but that doesn’t mean I should have her number right?” He asked.
“Personally losing contact with someone helps me move on and forget them. But you need to be very sure you making the right decision. That’s all I can say.” Malumbo said in a rather thoughtful manner than usual.
Once they got home, Mambwe went to his room to get the bottles of wine so that he could dispose of them. To his surprise they weren’t in his room.
“Malumbo!” He called out.
“Why are you shouting?”
“Oh, I thought you’ve reached far. Did you take the bottles out?” He asked him.
“No I didn’t. They have to be under the bed. That’s where I put them.” He said as he knelt down to help him look.
“They not their. Do you think mum was here?”
“I doubt that. Maybe the maid came through. Even your room is clean.” Malumbo said.
“She never comes into my room without notifying me.” Mambwe objected.
“Well your phone was in the car the whole day. Maybe she did.” Malumbo said as he walked out leaving his brother confused.
Mambwe’s guess was correct, his mom was suspicious of how he behaved in the morning; Not going for breakfast and absconding from work – that was never Mambwe. No matter how tired he was, he made sure he reported for work. After suspecting something was wrong, she immediately went to his room after she knocked off from work. The look on her face when she found the 6 bottles of win was priceless, her heart was filled with pain knowing that Mambwe of all her children was now drinking.
Following what Malumbo had done earlier in his brother’s room, His mother cleaned up and arranged everything in order. She got the bottles and threw them in the bin.
At last it was dark, Malumbo had left his brother sleeping. However, the thought of Tandiwe was still on his mind. He was certain he had seen her before, and the more he thought about it the more it became clear. “Bingo!” He exclaimed to himself.
He had remembered exactly where he had seen her.
With his phone ringing, he patiently waited for Roderick to respond.
“Sup, how are you doing?” Roderick said excitedly.
“Why do you seem so happy?” Malumbo asked him.
“It’s nothing really. Am at bar’s place and she was showing me some recipe for a cake we about to attempt.” He responded.
“You bake?” He questioned him, “Anyway. Do you remember that girl that was with Jeff?” He asked him.
“Oh! You mean Tandiwe, yes I do. Don’t tell me you want to get her.” Roderick said in a disappointing voice.
“No! Come on you know me. Anyway, it seems like she knows my brother. What can you tell me about her?” Malumbo asked.
“Well, there isn’t much to tell. I mean – she’s Jeff’s close friend and crush. She has a child about 3 years of age. Baby daddy left her hanging. I don’t know much about that. Oh! She also works with Jeff.” Roderick said.
“You know I don’t know anything about Jeff. Where does he work?”
“PEP, Levy Junction. Listen bro… I would love to chat but I really need to get to the kitchen. Will update you props when we meet.” Roderick said as he cut the line.
‘What the hell, why does love make him a fool. Now it’s driven him to baking cakes. Lord have mercy on your sons.’ Malumbo said as she nod his head.
After what he had gotten about her, he knew Mambwe would drop after hearing she has a child. He had never been of the idea of dating someone who had a child.
‘Now that I know – I can’t keep this from him.’ He thought to himself.
‘But I can just let him find out on his on. After all, he seems to like her. As long as I don’t say anything everything will just flow.’ He objected himself in thought once again.
To be continued.