HEART DESIRES – PROLOGUE
A story by Jochrine Kunda
The beginning of another year and the sun had set when I walked home alone with my half empty bucket of fritters while the other girls who were in groups had emptied theirs and I envied them, I had second thoughts about going home because I imagined the torture I’d receive from grandma for not emptying the bucket so I walked home slowly wishing my life was different from the way it was.
I was born with HIV/AIDS and lost both parents to the same disease at the age of 3, living with grandma (who happens to be dad’s step mom) and her two granddaughters Mary and Kabwe hasn’t been any easy. They’ve alarmed the whole community about my disease and everyone always points fingers at me, I’ve tried my very best to adapt to that treatment but it doesn’t work coz everyday is different, new hurtful words are said to me everyday both directly and indirectly, it was like people in the community fed on my tears. I hated myself for it but there was nothing I could about it and ending my life was the last thing on my mind.
I put every effort in my education to even drop out in Grade 9 because what I under went in my school days is even worse than hell but I endured it all until grandma finally gave up on paying for my school fees and decided on marrying me off to Ba Bwalya, a charcoal burner who was exactly twice my age since it was known that we had the same status, he was in search of a second wife to bear him a male child coz he never had one and grandma thought I was the perfect candidate so he always brought her gifts when he came to the house and his wife always harassed me whenever we crossed paths.
I finally got home and heard a familiar hoarse voice then I immediately knew that it was Ba Bwalya and I felt my insides turn so I slowly got in praying that I’d have my peace
He said excitedly
I greeted them both and didn’t wait for them to even reply as I attempted to walk away but was stopped by grandma
“Your soon to be husband is here and you’re pretending as if you haven’t seen him, these kids of nowadays are really something else”
Grandma said trying to maintain a smile
“Come on and sit next to him”
She continued and she took the bucket away from me leading me to take a seat, she took the money I sold for fritters that day and told me to be a goof girl then she winked at me and walked out. The figure next to me was speaking but I wasn’t interested in what he said until he started touching me in inappropriate areas then I yelled at him to stop and he covered my mouth but I managed to get away and went out screaming then grandma came out wearing an angry face and was ready to hit me until I heard a voice.
Twenty years of age, dark skinned, size 28, long curly hair
A mother’s lessons, as old fashioned as they seem but it’s worth following them because they’re for the best. Raising a child on your own while knowing fully well that the father is somewhere in the world enjoying himself is a bitter pill to swallow. Being mom’s only child she had high hopes in me and trusted me to the fullest until I dropped out of school in Grade 9 when I fell pregnant, I called Mwelwa who was my Science teacher and told him about my pregnancy but he told me to stay away from him and his family then I sank to the floor as I remembered the times I’d leave school and even jump over the school’s wall fence just to be with him and he rejected me after putting my education at stake so my only option was to abort the pregnancy but my Heavensent best friend talked me out of it so I carried it to full term and gave birth to my now 3 year old princess who’s fond of my best friend since she’s her godmother.
I had just come from taking a bath when my phone rang and the number wasn’t saved so I hesitantly picked it up
I instantly recognized it as Mwelwa’s
Me: what do you want?
Mwelwa: baby, can we meet up? I really need to discuss something important with you and see my little princess
Me: the one you rejected
Mwelwa: baby please
Me: I’ve got nothing to say to you
I hang up and curled myself in a ball remembering what I went through alone and decided to go and see my best friend coz I really needed to speak to her. I got dressed in black ripped jeans, pink vest, black pumps then strapped my baby on my back and started off.
Twenty three year old, yellow bone, size 25, short blonde hair
I was so glad that the week was over and I’d finally relax, I thought of my brother Justin who was the son to dad’s young brother. Mom is British and dad is Zambian who is a feared drug lord and gang leader that he even located to Italy, being their only son has made them love me like nothing else while others think I’m spoiled. Mom still calls me her baby so I thought I’d be over spoiled and decided to leave them to come for the school holidays back home and met with my cousin Justin who I became so fond of that I didn’t want to go back to my parents so dad innovated grandma’s house and I began with my grade 8 but later did my Varsity in the United States along with Justin and studied law coz dad wanted me to be part of the business so Justin is a twin brother to me. We’re gangsters who hide in white collar jobs just like dad but for us we’re only involved in gun smuggling and money laundering
I picked up my phone to call Justin so he could come over to my house and just have an ice cold drink while we were our usual self until someone snatched my phone from behind and I turned only to find Grace, my fiancée
Me: and then?
Grace: I want you to take me out, it’s been quite long since I spent time with you
Me: I’m sorry babe u can’t, I really need to rest coz the week was quite exhausting
Grace: you tend to forget that I’m your fiancée, I go to day spa’s alone, do my shopping alone and you never return home sometimes because of your business trips, don’t you think that’s too much for me to handle?
Me: alright, I understand so can I just have my rest today and I’ll be with you this whole week?
She rolled her eyes
Grace: can I have your card? I need to do my shopping
Me: but I just gave you my card last week
Grace: ARE YOU COMPLAINING ABOUT YOUR MONEY NOW? SO YOU’VE FOUND SOME GIRL YOU’RE SPENDING ON AND I SWEAR I’LL KILL THE BOTH OF YOU
She rushed to the bedroom and banged the door which meant I’d have to shower her with gifts in order for her to forgive me but I was too drained to do that so I let her be and sat on the couch where I proceeded my call with my brother
“The begging begins, women are just a total different species altogether”
I said as I roughly rubbed my head
Twenty eight years of age, coloured skin, tall, slim
Meet Thomas Musonda Smith
Story starts fully on Thursday, September 10, 2020
To be posted on weekdays only