THE HOUSEMATES – Episode 1
A story by Kennedy C Katongo
“Are they fighting again?” Maluba asked in a whisper as she laughed.
“You very nosy.” Bwalya said.
“I don’t get it, its hard to accept that a smart girl like her had to fall for a drunkard like him.” She whispered.
“Wait till you get married. That’s when you will understand it.” Bwalya said as he took a sip from his wine glass.
“And what makes you think I want to get married? I have a lot of things I need to do and marriage ain’t going to hold me down nor cut my dreams short.” Maluba spoke with a serious tone.
“Now you sound just like Max. You two were cut from the same tree.” Bwalya laughed.
It was a rainy day, the streets had been abandoned as people stood under trees waiting for the rain to run its time.
“Excuse me please!” A lady called out as she pulled over. Despite the floods caused by the heavy rains, Max had managed to find his way to Hungry Lion.
“Hi..” Max responded as he confirmed that the lady was looking at him.
“Sorry, I think we lost.” She giggled with a bright smile. “Am looking for 8th New Kamenza, Chanda Mulilo Road.” She added.
Max’s heart jumped. Was something going on that he wasn’t aware of? or maybe it was just him over thinking stuff like he usually did when alone.
“Did you just say 8th New Kamenza, Chanda Mulilo Road?” He questioned her.
“Yes.” She shook her head as she looked on her phone.
“Its just a few roads down Kakoso Road. Its the 5th road on your left, you will find a black gate. That’s the place.” Max said sharply.
The young lady was a bit surprised that he even knew the house, however she didn’t ask any further questions, with a thanks she drove off.
With the curiosity of a cat he immediately called Bwalya; Bwalya was a Clinical Officer at Open Words Hospital. Unlike Max, he spent a lot of hours at home since he worked shifts instead of knocking of at 16Hrs like most normal people did.
“Are you home?” Max asked.
“Nope, am still at work. knocking off at 18hrs today. What’s up?” Bwalya asked him.
“While, some small cute lady was asking for directions to the house…”
“Now what made you think am home? Just because ladies are coming to the house doesn’t mean I invited them iwe ala!” Bwalya exclaimed.
“I wasn’t pointing fingers. Have you heard from the landlord today?” Max asked.
“Yes, he said something about people moving into the room next to us. I was busy so didn’t pay much attention. Do you think the small cute lady is moving next door?” Bwalya asked with an element of excitement in his voice.
“Why are you smiling? you sound happy all of a sudden.” Max noted.
“Am not happy, where are you in fact? ain’t you supposed to be home…”
“Am seeking shelter pa Shoprite it’s raining cats and dogs here.” Max said.
“Oh! I haven’t been out of the office since I reported for work. Get some Jam when going home.” Bwalya told Max as he cut the line. A chat between guys was always weird. There was nothing like ‘bye’ whatsoever.
THE GIRLS NEXT DOOR!
“I told you it was a nice place. My cousin assured me I would love it.” Maluba told Rose as they sat in the TV room.
“I wonder who the girls next door are.” Rose said as she stretched her hands. “Driving is rough, my hands are aching.”
“You the medicines person, don’t you have Panado in one of your boxes?” Maluba laughed as she asked.
It was then that Maluba remembered what her cousin had said, it wasn’t females next door but two guys who stayed there.
“I believe the people next door are guys.” Maluba said as she began walking around the TV room.
“Guys! Bae isn’t going to like this arrangement.” Rose said out loud.
“You need to stop acting like your boyfriend is your god.” Maluba said furiously.
The two had been friends for a long time, they met while at Fatima Girls in Ndola and were now renting a room together.
Maluba was a Teacher by profession and had just been posted to Makumbi Secondary School which was located
near Kamenza Secondary School. Rose on the other hand wasn’t new to Chililabombwe, she was now a 3rd year student at Chililabombwe College Of Nursing. Her boyfriend whom she spoke about almost every second of the day was a Miner at KCM.
As the two were busy talking a young lady walked in and was startled by the presence of Maluba and Rose.
“Are you one of Bwalya’s girlfriends?” She asked without even greeting them.
“What! Who are you?” Maluba asked.
“I stay here and who are you?” Chongolo asked them.
“We stay here!” “We now staying here, we are new.” Rose jumped in quickly before Maluba could drop a bomb on the young lady.
“You are the ones staying in Mwape’s room?” Chongolo asked them.
“Yes we are. Mwape happens to be my cousin. Who are you?” Maluba asked.
Chongolo blushed as she began to apologize for assuming they were Bwalya’s girlfriends.
“Am really sorry. Forgive my manners. Just that Bwalya likes bringing different girls over every single weekend. My name is Chongolo, my husband and I are the caretakers of the house and all.” She said in a fast twitting voice.
“And whose Bwalya?” Maluba and Rose asked at the same time.
“Bwalya is one of the guys who stay next door. Am sure you will meet the guys when they back from work.” “Am really sorry once again for being sassy and everything.” Chongolo said as she left.
Chongolo stayed in the third room with her husband Peter. She was into fashion and owned two boutiques one in Mine area and another near Lubengele bus station.
Her husband was a sales manager at Shine-Stores in town. He was a loud mouth that drunk a lot.
“Did she just say she’s married?” Rose asked Maluba as Chongolo was now out of site.
“Yes she did. She looks young to be married though.” Maluba said as she shook her head.
“Iwe, as long as you 18 years and above then you can get married and do what ever you please.” Rose jumped in with a defensive approach to the matter.
Maluba was never for the idea of early marriage and she was bitter about it.
The two young ladies watched a bit of TV and finally went to their room. It was a Friday and both of them were tired from the long drive from Ndola to Chililabombwe.
“Am going to unpack my things tomorrow. Am tired.” Maluba said as she threw herself on the bed and closed her eyes.
On the other hand, Rose was wide awake and busy texting with her boyfriend. She was giving him an update of the house and how they traveled.
MENGO: “It’s a boarding house?”
ROSE: “Its nothing like that baby, both three rooms are self contained. The only thing’s being shared is the TV room and Kitchen.”
MENGO: “I don’t like that bae.”
ROSE: “You don’t have to like it, trust me their is nothing to worry about. Am safe.”
MENGO: “I know you safe, I just don’t want those boys next door looking at your and bringing ichibeleshi.”
While Rose was busy texting, she heard the gate open and then close. She took a look out the window and saw a guy closing the gate as the other one went to pack the car.
“Hey Max, whose car is this?” Bwalya asked as he shut the door.
“How can I know? we both just arriving.” Max responded as he shook his head.
“I wish I had money, would have gone at the Square for a drink.” Bwalya nagged.
“I knew you were going to say something like that. Its a good thing your girlfriend is the one having your wallet.” Max laughed as they walked in the corridor to their room.
“Do you think the new neighbors are awake?” Bwalya asked as he tapped Max while pointing his finger at the ladies door.
“Am sure they sleeping. You will talk to them tomorrow.” Max responded as he entered the room.
Max wasted no time and immediately went to have a shower since he had slept with the rain and he needed a good wash before a cold could get him.
Bwalya on the other hand was hungry and was busy looking for something to eat.
“I think the maid needs to start cooking for us. What you think?” He asked Max.
“I prefer my food cooked by someone I know.” Max answered.
“Exactly. I mean she has been working for us for two years now. I don’t see any harm in her cooking.” Bwalya said. He got a pot, a plastic of rice and went to the kitchen.
°°°°°TO BE CONTINUED°°°°°