FORKS AND KNIVES – Episode 23
A story by Kennedy C Katongo
∆ BABY DADDY ∆
“This isn’t fair. We’ve been here for like two hours and you haven’t said anything about yourself.” Tandiwe said to Mambwe.
It was a beautiful afternoon, the two had met for a snack in town after work. Since Tandiwe had insisted on picking the eating place, she took Mambwe to a nice Take Away restaurant that was hidden in town.
“Okay, let me ask you one last question…” Mambwe insisted.
“Just one… That’s all.” Tandiwe smiled. After all, this wasn’t the first time he had said ‘one last question’ since they started talking.
“If you won the Zambian Lotto, what would you do with the money?” He asked her. He got a cracker from his plate, dipped it into some soup then crunched his way as he kept a steady-direct look into her eyes as she spoke.
“I’ve always wanted to build an Orphanage. It’s something that has been at heart for years now. It breaks my heart seeing kids begging in the streets, I would like to help them out.” Tandiwe spoke, there was energy and passion in her words as she spoke.
Mambwe just smiled, then he went on to hand the conversation to her.
Tandiwe looked at him for a second, ‘Finally his done with the questions. What should I ask him… Can I ask why his still single – or that’s too soon?’ she thought to herself.
“Am waiting for your question.” Mambwe said as he cleared his throat.
“Okay… What do you do for a living?” She asked him.
“Am a consultant and am into real estate.” Mambwe answered sharply.
“Mmmh. You knew I was going to ask that didn’t you?” She asked him as they both began laughing.
“Don’t mind me. Feel free. Ask what you want to know.” He said as he got himself together.
“Do you consider yourself to be a religious man?” She looked at him strongly as she asked.
‘This question has come early, or maybe it’s just me.’ He thought to himself before he responded, “I think I am. Am actually Pentecostal. I rarely miss church.”
“Oh!” Tandiwe exclaimed. Her eyes had popped out a bit. When Mambwe asked if everything was okay, she shook her head and then smiled at him. “You don’t seem Pentecostal.” She giggled.
“Well, how do Pentecostals seem like?” Mambwe asked with a surprised look as he continued with the crackers.
It took a while for her to respond because she got a call from baby daddy and had to be on phone for a few minutes.
“Am really sorry about that.” She said as she sat down. “Where were we?”
“You were about to explain why I don’t seem Pentecostal.” Mambwe clarified in a snap.
‘I didn’t really say you remind me. Dude, you gotta let things slide.’ Her inner thoughts echoed. “Well, Pentecostals force Jesus down your throat every second they get. Besides I thought maybe you Catholic.” She beamed her teeth as she once she had said that.
“Am guessing the others don’t?” He laughed, “what about you… Are you religious?” He asked her.
“You can say that. Am a Witness. I rarely miss church as well.” She told him.
Mambwe was aware about how strick outside dating wasn’t allowed at her church but he wasn’t ready to bring that up.
On the other side of town, Malumbo had just met up with his friend, Godfrey. It had been a while since the two of them met.
“Long time.look at you, you have even gained.i can see shes taking good care of you.” Malumbo said as he tapped him on the shoulder happily.
Godfrey laughed, he always enjoyed Malumbo’s company, “I guess you can say that. Infact, Last week my people went to meet her people.” He smiled.
“Your people; Her people, are you getting married or something – what’s with all the people?” He asked.
“Planning on marriage actually. But we just want something small. A family gathering kind of wedding.” Godfrey responded.
“That’s aw-e-some.” He skipped through words as he spoke, “But…” Malumbo paused – he didn’t know how best to say his thoughts without being offensive.
“But what? Just say it.” Godfrey insisted.
“Don’t you think you’ve made this decision a bit too fast? I mean you just broke up with Cherry about two months ago and now this… See; You guys haven’t even dated for more than a year.” Malumbo said as the tone of his voice echoed concern.
He smiled warmly before responding, “I gave it a thought and am certain she’s the one. Waiting for two more years won’t solve nor help anything. Well, except her bride price going up.” “When I was with Cherry everything was great as long as I provided when she asked for money and took her out. People looked at us and saw the perfect couple – instead of the broken couple we were.” Godfrey said as the two of them sat at Keg and Lion. Malumbo seemed puzzled, he hadn’t heard this side of the story before.
“I loved her, I thought I was ready to sacrifice all I had for her… But then at times I would of what kind of a wife she would make. It just didn’t seem right. Am not saying I was perfect in all of this – but this choice I’ve made, is one I can never regret.” Godfrey explained. In his friends eyes, it was still difficult to believe that the guy who was freaked out and not certain about which girl to go for was now so bold and confident about his decision to get married.
They ordered some food, and as the conversation slowly went, Godfrey threw in a nail… “What’s happening with your brother and Tandiwe?” He hammered it on the head.
“I really don’t know. He seems to like her very much. His actually with her right now.” Malumbo said.
“That’s interesting. There has been some serious tension between Jeff and Tandiwe… I told you he loves her and all that. He thinks your brother just wants to sleep with her and walk away.” Godfrey said.
“What makes him think that? Just because he has money… It’s funny how people think evil of others. I know my brother, but if him seeing Tandiwe is causing problems then I will talk to him.” Malumbo assured him.
“Don’t do that. I think it’s about time Jeff leant to deal with rejection. His grown big headed always having his way.”
“You such an evil Friend!” Malubombo commented.
Mambwe and Tandiwe were having a good time. They had been talking for hours which gave them a lot of time. In all that they spoke, Mambwe was surprised that not even once had she mentioned her son.
“So, what kind of boss stays absent from work the whole day?” She asked him.
“The type that works very hard.” He giggled, “They send everything that needs my concern to my email and when I get home…I work on them. Usually starting around 02AM.” He said in a more serious way.
“And what time do you sleep?” Tandiwe asked.
“Most of the time am asleep by 22hrs.” He smiled. She strongly looked him with one eye before popping another question.
“So you don’t do Social media? I took a look at your profile and it looked abandoned.” She said.
“Am not into Social Media. I use the account because it’s connected to my page. I rarely watch TV. I spend most of my time in the study room _ reading books mostly. That’s if am not working on my laptop.” He said.
“You boring.” She jumped in as they both began to laugh.
“Well, for me, I love going out for movies. Visiting knew eating places, I’ve always seen food as art rather than just food- you know what I mean?” She said as she kept smiling. Mambwe was glued by her smile, he attentively listened as she told him about the things she loved.
“Why you looking at me like that? Do I have something on my face?” She blushed as she asked him. However, he just smiled at her.
“You need to stop that – you making me feel shy. I don’t like being looked at like that.” She added.
“Am sorry. I just can’t help it. You really glow when you happy. It’s nice to see you full of life and happy.” Mambwe told her. His simple words had caressed her soul, because of that she covered her face.
After her last call with baby daddy, Tandiwe switched off her phone. From time to time he kept calling hoping it would go through. The thought of her being with another man really drove him crazy. He got his coat and walked out of the office.
“Any update sir?” One of the workers asked.
“I’ve gone out. Will be back. Keep me posted if anything.” He said to one of the students he was supervising. At this instance, he didn’t care what he promised he wouldn’t do… He was now on his way to Tandiwe’s work place to find out if they had an idea of where she had gone.
His intuition was on, her switching her phone meant she was with the same guy that she took off with the time he took her out.
To be continued.