NOT ANOTHER LOVE STORY
#CHIPO ( Mwape ‘s elder sister )
Those words she said hit me, nonetheless, people don’t just get it. When you love someone nothing matters _ even when people see the wrong things your spouse is doing, you can’t see it from their perspective because from your tiny mountain of love everything is different.
When I met my husband he wasn’t this drunkard many people know him to be, maybe he wasn’t showing his true colours, maybe I had fallen deep that I couldn’t read between the lines. Regardless, I loved the other side of him _ it was that side that made me want to spend the rest of my life with Bashi Junior.
Being a punching bag never bothered _ marriage is like that, person fight and makeup. Shipikisha club mentality.
Abraham was a good man despite his rich temper which scared me. Traditionally it was okay for a man to beat up his wife because he was trying to discipline her. To cut the story short, I didn’t mind, I just needed a break (time out).
“Bana Junior, you will lock up when going to bed.” Besa, my little sister said.
“Just lock up,” I said getting the baby. Mwape was already fast asleep.
“You can share the bed with Mwape. I will sleep on the mattress with the baby.” I said.
She handed me the blankets when we got to the bedroom and that’s how we called it a night.
“I want my wife!” I heard a man shouting.
“Chipo, wake up!” Someone jerked me.
I opened my eyes and mom was the one waking me up.
“Aba kashana ukulala kwati namufwa (Ladies sleeping like you are dead). This is the nonsense I was telling you about. You see?” She asked me, more like rubbing it on my face.
“What is it mum…” I asked.
“You can’t hear your husband shouting outside, uku kumbweneshamo (this makes me look bad). It’s 03 AM, close to 4 AM _ we are supposed to be sleeping, I have church in the morning for Christ’s sake!” She said furiously.
“Iwe na Junior, let’s go!” Bashi Junior commanded.
I got up and went outside.
“What do you think you are doing?” I asked.
“Let’s go home. You are my wife.” He said.
“Look at what you did to my face!” I showed him.
“I’m sorry babe, I promise never to do it again. I swear,” He said.
“That’s what you said three days ago and the days before that. Yet, here we are!”
“This time…” Because he could finish his well-rehearsed line I cut through it.
“Am not going back with you Bashi junior,” I said folding my arms.
“Is that what your family is teaching you? I own you and can do whatever I want to you.” He raised his voice.
I couldn’t see her, but I was certain mum was getting a good laugh out of this.
“You better leave now…” I said.
“Am not leaving. We are going together, I paid my dues _ full amount, cash.” He said boastingly.
“Just because you paid up doesn’t mean you are supposed to beat me,” I told him.
“Remain here if you want, am going back inside,” I added.
“Bana Junior! come back here this instant!” He yelled.
I locked the door behind me, mum was right there in front of me shaking her head. ‘Disappointment’ was the word that was written on her face.
“This is what you call marriage? He’s even proud of himself to be shouting such despicable things at his in-law’s house.” Mum was enraged.
“Not now, please… as if you and dad never used to fight,” I said.
“Your father and I had our differences but never did he ever lay a hand on me.” She said.
“You are lying…” I told her.
She laughed as she looked at me, I could tell that she felt sorry for me.
“If I’m lying let lightning strike me dead. While we wait, that man outside there is only here because you let him treat you like this. Allowing a man to stomp on you isn’t womanly _ how can he respect you when you don’t show any sense of self-worth.” With those words, she went back to her room.
I took a deep breath.
‘Lord what should I do’
“Bana Junior! let’s go…” He shouted again.
“He is making noise!” Mum yelled from her room.
I loved Abraham (Bashi Junior) so much, sometimes I would question myself, “Am I in a bottle?”
When it was finally quiet, I peeped through the window to see if he was still there but he wasn’t. I went back to sleep.
In what seemed like a second, I heard footsteps _ when I opened my eyes, Mwape was preparing for work.
“Even on Sundays, you work?” I asked her.
“Yes, we do… it’s a busy hotel and people need to eat on Sunday as well.”
“You must have been tired, I mean, this morning you couldn’t even hear Bashi Junior and his drama,” I said.
“I heard him. It was none of my business. After all, he is your husband and you know him better.” She sarcastically responded.
“You can’t say that!” I objected.
“Chipo, go to your house. We all know you want to go.” She said while putting on her shoes.
“Have you ever been in love before?” I asked Mwape.
“I don’t think you have, love is something you can’t understand,” I told her.
“Love is something you have to understand, love shouldn’t be a cat and mouse kind of game. Look at you sis, even in your own house you are not at peace. Yet, here you are trying to preach about love.” My sassy sister said.
“You will understand when you find a man to sweep you off your feet,” I told her.
“I hope that man doesn’t turn me into a punching bag.” She said harshly.
Once Mwape was done, she walked out of the room without a word. My life now depended on the next decision I was going to make, ‘Stay or go back to my husband.’
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WERE IN CHIPO’S SHOES?
KENNEDY C KATONGO