FORKS AND KNIVES – Episode 25
A story by Kennedy C Katongo
∆ LIFE AND FIREWORKS ∆
“Stop stalking me!” Mambwe exclaimed.
“I wasn’t doing anything. Ease up.” She said.
“Am easing up. I doubt want to find myself on the front of a news paper. You know how these young journalist can be instructive at times.” Mambwe told her. As they were busy talking waiting for their order, Malumbo walked in with a smile while waving at them.
“Sorry am late. Hope you haven’t started without me…” He said as he hugged his sister. Mambwe was just there seated, “you not even going to stand to give your brother a hug? Eish!” He said as he sat down.
Mambwe immediately got the order number and passed it on to him. “Welcome.” She said.
“I thought you weren’t busy at the mall, but you’ve taken longer.” April said.
“About that one, I had a lot of catching up to do. Apparently, Roderick is getting married this year.” Malumbo said warmly.
“Wow that’s amazing. It’s about time. Him and that skinny girl have been dating like forever now.” April commented in a flash.
“Oh, No! His not actually getting married to Cherry. They went their separate ways a long time ago. Am surprised you remembered her.” Malumbo said as he gave his sister a strong confronting gaze.
“I met her a couple of times when she came to your parties. Am surprised we not having one this year.” She said as she bumped Mambwe, at the time, he was glued to his phone and busy smiling.
“That’s it, phones on the table.” Malumbo said as he switched off his own and placed it on the table.
“Come on guys – it was just one text.” Mambwe protested.
“Nope. You know the rules. Phones on the table.” April said as she seconded her immediate elder brother.
The three of them had agreed never to be on phone when they were hanging out together. To toughen up the rule, who ever was found using their phone without exclusive person would pay a K500 and take care of the bill. Non of them had paid a K500 yet, but when it came to taking care of the bill… Mambwe was always caught up in that trap.
Malumbo stood up once he heard his number being called, “111” the lady called out.
“How’s mum doing?” April asked Mambwe.
“She’s good. Still busy balancing her books. I thought she was talking to you yesterday…” He responded.
“She was. I’ve asked you because she complained that you’ve been very distant off late. What’s up with that?” She asked him.
“It’s nothing. I just feel like not talking to mum about my relationships. I don’t want to sit for one of her lectures.” He answered.
April began to laugh, “You afraid she might not like the next person you bring home – isn’t it?”
“Well, that can be one of the reasons. I just don’t get why mum makes it a big deal. Ain’t I suppose to marry someone I want? That’s how it needs to be and not busy trying to please our parents.” Mambwe said in a rush of words.
Malumbo was standing behind him as he spoke. He gave each one of them their pack. “What has mum done this time?” He asked.
“She thinks brother is being secretive.” April responded.
“Wow, it took her that long to actually come to that conclusion – that’s strange.” Malumbo said as he laughed.
“Hahaha very funny genius!” “I think you should take your time. But find another girl, not the one you went to see.” April told Mambwe.
“What’s wrong with Tandiwe?” Malumbo asked.
“She’s a Witness. And he knows very well mum would even let him think of changing churches.” April went on to burn the bush.
“Why is her being a Witness such a big deal? I don’t see how religion can separate us from being together…” Mambwe responded with a piece of chicken in his hands.
“Am with April on this one. There is no way Tandiwe is going to date you provided you not from the same church. If she does, she’s going to be segregated – something similar.” Malumbo said.
“Can we talk about something else? Am not ready to start fighting religious beliefs here. I will talk to her and if she says we can’t date, then well and good.” Mambwe responded, they could tell he had felt bad about it, however, there was no proper way of telling him that there was a chance things between him and Tandiwe wouldn’t work out.
Not only that, he already had a thought that was begging him, the one about her having a child and yet she hadn’t said anything about him yet. Among the three of them, he was the only one that hadn’t looked her up on Facebook. Not only that, but her account didn’t have any pictures of her child as viewed by his siblings.
After their small come together was over, Mambwe decided to go to the office instead of heading back home.
“Are you okay?” Malumbo asked.
“Am okay. Don’t worry.” He said with a fake smile. “Don’t look at me like that. Am not going to get drunk if that’s what you thinking. I haven’t been at the office much today because I’ve been trying my best to catch up with life.” He said sarcastically.
“You know you can talk to me right?” Malumbo asked him.
“How can I forget when you constantly remind me.” He smiled. This time, the smile was real.
In Ng’ombe, Tandiwe was busy playing with Peter. They were on the floor constructing picture puzzles.
“Am waiting.” He young sister said as she joined them on them.
“Waiting for what?” Tandiwe asked her.
“Am waiting for you to tell me how your date was. I know you met him again.” She said in a whisper.
“What makes you think I saw him?” She asked.
“Let’s see… You blushing from time to time. You just have this glow. Like you have been laid.” She laughed.
“You need to shut up… Since when did you start saying that even?” Tandiwe asked her… But her young sister had a pont.
On all occasions that she met up with Mambwe, she would be cheerful and happy once she got home. She use to worry a lot about her son and how she was going to take care of him. He was everything to her and she didn’t want him to suffer because of her bad parenting. Though she wasn’t even a bad parent.
“Okay. I will tell you this once. After work I met up with him in town. We then went to a secret location, a kama nice restaurant like this… We spoke for hours… It was calming, his a really good listener…and he smells amazing.” Tandiwe told her younger sister.
“Seems like you really like him?” She giggled.
“I do. I do. I just feel bad I once called him a pervert. Not only that. I haven’t told him about Peter.” She said.
“You should tell him. You’ve already gone out with him a number of times… I think it’s only right that you do.” Her young sister advised.
“I don’t know. What happens when I tell him and then he walks away?” She asked.
“That’s not the question. The question is what if he finds out that you have a child and you never told him?” Her young sister asked her.
“I don’t know.” She responded.
“What church does he go to?” She asked.
Her young sister went silent for some time, “Have you told mum?”
“Nope I haven’t. I don’t want to, after all I know what she’s going to say.”
“Then you better think things through. I like seeing you happy. You deserve it.” She said happily.
While they were talking, Tandiwe’s phone rang. It was Jeff calling. “Look after Peter, let me just take this call.”
TANDIWE: ‘Hey. How are you doing?’
JEFF: ‘Am good. Where were you today after work?’
TANDIWE: ‘I went out with a friend. Why do you ask?’
JEFF: ‘A friend, the same guy that came to see you that day? Another one of your friends came looking for you.’
TANDIWE: ‘Yes. I was with Mambwe.’
JEFF: ‘I see. Anyway. It’s okay.’
And with those words he hang up on her. She knew there was only one person who could have gone to look for her at work. She called Baby Daddy.
Baby Daddy: ‘Hey Tandiwe, I was just thinking about you.’
TANDIWE: ‘What is wrong with you? I told you to never come at my work place and you did it. You are not even going to see Peter. I warned you that if you did something crazy you wouldn’t see him.’
Baby Daddy: ‘You can’t do that to me. That’s my child.’
TANDIWE: ‘Your child? You now want to be a father? Didn’t you or any of your family bring anything? Don’t ever call me.’
Before he could respond to her words she hang up and blocked his line.
To be continued.