FORKS AND KNIVES – Episode 27
A story by Kennedy C Katongo
? WHAT I WANT VS WHAT I GET ?
“Am sorry Mambwe. You a good guy. But I can’t date you and am sorry if – if the few times we have spent together I’ve led you on.” Tandiwe said calmly as they stood near the glass windows looking towards the Levy Junction view.
“I don’t get it. Did I say or do something that hasn’t been pleasing to you?” He asked her as he hit his forehead a few times.
“Don’t do that.” She said.
“I don’t know what to do. I was thinking this is it…” Mambwe sighed heavily.
“It’s not you …”
“Yeah – yeah – yeah I’ve heard that before, ‘it’s not you – it’s mean’ I get it.” Mambwe said as he interrupted her.
He managed to do the one thing that got her really pissed, being interrupted while she was still talking.
“This whole thing was a mistake. I can’t do this, this isn’t me. Expensive places, food and drinks. That’s not my life – am a simple person and all this makes me feel like am moving to fast.” Tandiwe said as she turned around, got her bag from the table and left.
Mambwe wanted to follow her but at the same time he wanted to respect her desires.
As she stood waiting for the elevator, she called Jeff and asked him to pick her up, since it was a weekend, he rushed from Fresh View to go and meet her in town.
When Jeff arrived, Tandiwe was sobbing with a piece of tissue in her hand. He walked up to her and hugged her, a tight grip that left no space between them. “It’s okay. Don’t cry am here.” He said as he tried to comfort her.
“What happened? What did he say to you? Tell me and I swear am going to knock his teeth out!” Jeff spoke strongly.
“It’s nothing don’t worry.” She responded.
“Don’t ask me not to worry when you crying. What did he do? He thinks just because he has money he can treat people like trash.” Jeff added as he spoke.
“Jeff!” She raised her sobbing voice, “I’ve said it’s okay. Let’s just go home.” She pleaded with him.
Jeff wasted no time, he got her hand bag, held her hand as they walked to their right hand heading to Kulima Tower.
The worst part of everything, was Tandiwe knowing that Jeff said something like this was going to happen if she wasn’t careful.
MAMBWE: ‘Hey bro, are you still in town?’
MALUMBO: ‘Yes. Am about to leave though. Sup?’
MAMBWE: ‘Come and get me. You will find me on the first floor.’
MALUMBO: ‘But you just got there some hour ago!’
MAMBWE: ‘Iwe just come and get me that’s all.’
With that last text, Mambwe paid the bill and was on his way to meet up with his brother. At least this time around he wasn’t picking up a bottle of alcohol to calm himself down.
Once on the first floor he met up with Malumbo who seemed interested to know what had happened between him and Tandiwe.
“What! Why you so serious? Did she tell you she had a kid?” Malumbo asked his brother.
“Nope. She didn’t say anything of the sort.”
“What! You take her to an expensive place and she doesn’t even have the guts to tell you the truth… No bro that’s just wrong.” Malumbo said.
“I can’t force her to tell me about her kid. If she feels safe not saying anything about it then it’s cool – she will tell me when she sees the need.” Mambwe responded.
“Nope. You being too soft on her.” His brother jumped in again.
“Malumbo please! I don’t want to talk about it. Can we talk about something else if you don’t mind…” He asked of him.
“Sure-sure all am saying is, a lady doesn’t have to lie about her child. If she can’t admit she a baby mama then she ain’t to be trusted.”
“Malumbo. Please! For just an hour can we not talk about her?” Mambwe requested of him once again.
When Tandiwe arrived home. Jeff stood outside waiting for her to change her clothes as she had requested him to wait for her. Walking passed the living room, her mother sat watching TV when she saw her downhearted daughter head to her room.
Not even a second passed and there was a knock at the door, “Can I come in?” Her mum asked. Without making a sound she swiftly walked in and found her daughter seated in front of the mirror wiping off her tears.
“Do you want to talk about it?” She asked.
“I really don’t know mama, I feel paranoid. The whole thing of knowing who he is just depresses me.” She said in her sank, low voice.
“Baby, you need to take it easy. From what you’ve told me he seems to be a good man.” Her mum said.
“A good man, his a good man because he affords everything. He took me to Hilton and tipped the waiter a K200 – I can’t manage such a life.” Tandiwe said as she sat down. Peter then came running and jumped on her.
“Mummy, uncle is outside.” He said with a smile.
“Uncle? Whose outside?” Her mum asked her.
“It’s Jeff. His the one that escorted me here.”
“I thought you two are not talking anymore?” Her mum asked.
Tandiwe just looked at her mum, in her attempt to respond she just went silent, “I will be back. Let me just give him a push.” She said as she left the room.
Once Malumbo and Mambwe arrived home, Mambwe went straight to his room.
“Malumbo, is Mambwe still in town?” His mum asked. She was in the study as he entered.
“No, his in his room. I don’t think it’s a great time to talk to him.” Malumbo said passively.
“Did something happen with his date?” She asked.
“Am not in the position to respond to those questions mum.”
Back in Mambwe’s room, he changed into his evening wear and locked himself. This wasn’t how he expected his day to end, it was as though someone had changed the script.
MALUMBO: ‘Am telling you the truth. That girl is fake just. Can you imagine she stood up the big man.’
RODERICK: ‘She what? That’s the problem with these girls, busy posting ma relationship quotes on social media but can’t identify a good thing when it’s in front of them.’
MALUMBO: ‘You see, that’s the thing. I won’t lie man, I thought she was mature and all. But with these ladies you never know. How’s your girl doing?’
RODERICK: ‘She’s strong, the miscarriage really wrecked her and left her depressed. I’ve been trying my best to comfort her and spend as much time with her as possible.’
MALUMBO: ‘Okay but you’ve grown. Cause the Roderick I knew would have left the poor girl hanging a long time ago. Hahaha.’
RODERICK: ‘Iwe stop making fun of me.”
Roderick and Malumbo’s texting went on for a long time that evening. On the other side of town, a compound known as Ng’ombe, Tandiwe had also locked herself up after escorting Jeff to the station. She sat on her bed, deep in thought as she frowned herself in regret. A flash back to a couple of minutes ago was her and Jeff standing near the road waiting for a bus as he closed in on her and kissed her.
‘I can’t believe I allowed that to happen.’ She thought to herself silently while shaking her head. The memory of him touching her cheek and then her lower lip followed by a strong breathe taking kiss made her thighs shiver with goosebumps accompanied.
‘Why does it have to be like this, Jeff, Baby Daddy and now Mambwe. God why?’ she questioned herself. For some reason, she felt safe in Jeff’s arms. Even as he waved at her from the bus she couldn’t help it but smile.
But the thought of Mambwe was still fresh, the way he behaves around her and just how polite his voice echoed in her ears when he spoke. The smile, the gestures and just how organised he carried himself turned her on. But she felt like something was missing, she felt like she was falling into another trap of romantic injustice. It was for that reason why she suddenly got up and left.
Whilst still deep in thought, her mother walked in. She had that strong intrusive look on her face. With a smile she sat beside her daughter and then spoke, “What is going on with you?”
“Nothing. I just fill confused that’s all.” She responded.
“Am your mother, you can talk to me.” She said calmly.
“Then I can start by telling you that Peter’s dad is in town. His asking if he can see him.”
“You know, in as much as I hate that boy and how foolish he made our family look… I can not always be there to stop you from talking to him nor him seeing his child.” She explained. “So am going to leave that decision to be made by yourself. Just don’t bring him here otherwise I will be forced to break his neck.” She said as they both began to laugh.
To be continued.