FORKS AND KNIVES – Episode 1
A story by Kennedy C Katongo
∆ FAMILY ∆
“Where is your brother?”
“Mum! You need to knock and not just kick down doors… I think his in the study.” Malumbo responded as he walked up to lock the door.
It was a Saturday morning, with the sun already at it’s pick, boredom had struck like lightening.
Malumbo was the second born from the Katongo’s family. His elder brother Mambwe who happened to be next in line to run the family business was the sheep among the wolves in the family. And lastly was April, she was the last born and was finishing her studies at Apex Medical University. She was the spoiled one among the three and happened to be everyone’s headache in the family.
“I’ve been looking everywhere for you…” His mom said as she entered the study room.
“Mum the house is huge, why didn’t you just call me instead of searching for me in every room?” Mambwe asked her.
“That didn’t cross my mind. Anyway I want you to deposit money at the bank, am hoping you can make it before they close.” She said as she got a small black bag and placed it on the table.
“Why am I depositing money – Isn’t this April’s job?” He asked her as he placed the book he had held in his hands on the table.
“Nope! She’s grounded. I just got a call from the landlady at her place that she went out clubbing and drinking again. In fact am telling your father to cut on her allowance.” His mom said strongly. He could see it in her eyes that she was really upset about it.
After all, the last time his younger brother was reported of a similar offense she had to sale his car just to set him right.
“Have you asked Malumbo to do it?” Mambwe nagged.
“No I haven’t. Unless you want me to ground you as well keep asking those questions.” She lashed out, “That’s K20, 000, it’s from the houses… So make sure you deposit in that account.”
With those words she got up and left. Unlike his siblings, Mambwe wasn’t a mobile person. Most of the times he could be studying or catching up on some new series on Netflix. He rarely went out and all this started when his previous relationship had to end because it caused tension and drama among most of his family members.
“Hey bro, have you met mom… She was looking for you.” Malumbo said as he walked into the study room with a laptop in his hands.
“Yes I have. I need to go to the bank, April has been grounded again.” Mambwe said.
“She’s now becoming a problem, she wants to be out partying on a daily basis. She will be lucky if mom doesn’t tell dad.” Malumbo exclaimed with a laugh.
“You too late, she’s already spoken about having her allowance cut.” Mambwe said as they both began laughing.
“What’s that book? I don’t think I’ve seen it in here before…” Malumbo said as he pointed at the book that Mambwe had placed on the table earlier.
“It’s new, Jane sent it… It’s a pretty good read. Kind of heart breaking though.” Mambwe noted as he turned to pick up the small money bag.
“Broken Tie huh! Sounds intriguing. Will read it when you done. Get some pizza on your way back.” Malumbo said as his brother walked.
Mambwe arrived at the bank and found people lined up, instead of just going inside like always he joined the line.
After what seemed like 20 minutes he was still there, in an attempt to leave he bumped into someone.
“Damn! What’s wrong with you!” The young lady exclaimed. Her bag and phone were on the floor.
“Am really sorry.” Mambwe responded as he bent over to help her pick her things.
“Don’t touch anything. My God! you need to watch were you going. You lucky my phone ain’t broken.” She said as she stood up.
For Mambwe, being spoken to as such was a new thing. After all, he was considered as one of the youngest minds to make it on the Real Estates Market at such a young age. Yes, other than the family business – Mambwe owned houses and a small construction company.
Being spoken to with no regard of who he was was overwhelming on his side.
The young lady left in a rush as she seemed frustrated.
‘Should I follow her? What if she’s married?’ Mambwe thought to himself as he stood wondering what to do next, without even making a solid decision… He found himself following her.
“Hello, excuse me.” He called out to her.
“You again… Why are you following me? Are you some pervert or something?” She said in a harsh toned up voice.
“Wow. Like seriously…” He paused in surprise.
“Look, stop following me okay.” She said as she stood and began walking again.
“Just a minute please… I would like to know your name.” Mambwe said calmly.
“What’s wrong with you dude? Get a life.” She said.
Mambwe stood in the corridor lost of words. Such a thing had never happened to him, for some unknown reason he felt guilty. Like a w€t cat, he humbly walked himself back to the bank.
Instead off lining up like before, he went direct to the door were he was stopped and denied entry by the officer.
“Am sorry sir but you will have to join the line like everybody else.” He said.
“Actually…” Before he could speak the officer cut him short.
“I saw you pa line boss, so I don’t even know why you trying to enter. These people came here earlier than you by the way.” He said rudely.
“What’s your name?” Mambwe asked him.
“You don’t need to know my name just follow the line that’s all.” He responded.
In that moment a young man came out from inside to meet Mambwe.
“How are you sir?” He said with a warm look on his face.
“Am fine thank you. Long time no see…” Mambwe said warmly.
“Yes sir. You rarely visit us. We didn’t know that you are the one coming today.” He said as he opened the door for Mambwe. The security officer just faced down in shame without a word.
“Is Jane around?” He asked.
“At the moment she’s in a meeting, would you like me to notify her of your arrival?” He asked as they walked into a private lounge.
“No it’s okay. I will just wait for her. Here is K20,000, and you can bring me the papers please…” Mambwe said as he sat down.
“Would you like me to bring you something to drink?” He asked.
“Just a bottle of water will do.” Mambwe responded.
Just after he was done making the deposit, Jane walked in. She had her red high heals and black dress that caressed her body. On top was a bit of red to match with the shoes.
“Why didn’t you tell me you coming?” Jane asked as she hugged Mambwe.
“I didn’t want to bother you, besides it was a last minute kinda thing. How’s the new CEO of ZANACO bank doing?” He asked her as they both sat down.
“Everything is going well thank you. And how’s Bliss Estates future CEO doing?” She asked him.
“Come on, you know I have no plans of taking over the family business. Am doing just well on my own.” Mambwe smiled.
“It’s a good thing am the only one who knows that crazy idea of yours. Otherwise if your mom knew about it she would collapse to meet father Moses.” Jane said as they both began laughing.
“I see you still have the watch I bought for you.” Mambwe noted, his eyes were all over her body as they sat.
“Just because we no longer dating doesn’t mean I have to throw the things you got me. Beside, it looks dashing on me – what you think?” She smiled with her hand raised for him to have a better view.
Jane was Mambwe’s ex-girlfriend. The two of them had dated for 2 years and then one faithful day Jane was approached and warmed to stay away from Mambwe.
All this happened before she even joined ZANACO, that time she was just an ambitious accountant trying to make it on the cooperate ladder. To stay away from Mambwe, she cut all forms of communication with him untill a year ago when the newsletter of Zambia’s youngest CEO to run a bank went viral on social media.
“You seem stressed. Is everything okay?” She asked him.
“Everything is fine. I just found out that mom knows we’ve been communicating.” He told her.
“Don’t tell me she thinks am going to steal her baby boy from her.” She giggled.
“Did you have to say that? Come on. It’s not like that.” He objected.
“Your wife better be strong.” She commented as she continued laughing, “Did you get the book I sent you?” She enquired of him.
“Thanks, I don’t know how I forgot to call you. It’s lovely. Am really enjoying it .”
“I knew you would like it.” Jane said with her white teeth beaming at Mambwe.
It wasn’t always when the two of them met, but when they did. It didn’t take one to be a genius to notice the deep chemistry between them.
“Malumbo!” She called out for the third time.
He came rushing to the living room as he found his mother seated waiting for him.
“Mum you need to stop shouting like it’s an emergency. What happened this time?” He asked her.
“Is your brother back from town? I’ve tried calling him but his line isn’t going through.” She said with a disappointed look on her face.
“Am sure he will be back soon.”
“Do you think your brother is still in contact with that CEO from the bank?” His mum asked.
Malumbo sighed heavily, he knew what this meant… She was worried about his brother because at the back of her head – she didn’t want Mambwe spending time with Jane.
“Mum. Seriously! Don’t you think it’s time you stopped putting everyone under your raider? Mambwe isn’t a kid anymore, he can run his life just fine.” Malumbo said with a frown on his face.
“If you want me to ground you… Say something silly again.” She said as she got up from where she sat. Leaving Malumbo in silence.
A few minutes later Mambwe walked in with a box of pizza in his hands. He wasn’t all cheerful as he joined his brother in the living room.
“Pizza hut or debonairs. What did you get?” “Did they change the banks location?” Malumbo asked.
“What sort of question is that?” His elder brother responded with a snap, from the look of things he was exhausted.
“First of all; you never take more than an hour when you go to the bank or even in town – we all know that. Mum was just here – busy asking me questions.” Malumbo said in his low tone voice, “You met her didn’t you?”
Mambwe just smiled, he knew his brother was making reference to Jane.
“Mambwe!” His mum called out from the kitchen.
“How did she know I was back?” He asked.
“Mum always knows everything around this house. Am sure she’s going to ask you the same things I’ve been asking.” Malumbo said as he got the box of pizza and went to the study.
Mambwe entered the kitchen and found his mum blending what seemed to be fruits. He gave her a hug as he handed her the receipt for the deposit.
“How’s she doing?” She asked.
Mambwe was star struck, he froze. The last time he had a conversation with his mother that was centered around Jane… Things never ended well. Pretty much a bit of everything; yelling, shouting and more shouting.
“She’s good.” He responded with a low calm tone to his voice. A thousand thoughts rushed into his head, he couldn’t tell if this was another one of her tricks.
“I know you love that girl. But it’s time you moved on, there are a lot of young ladies around. Find one.” His mum said calmly.
“I don’t get why you don’t like Jane. I mean, she’s everything every mother would want from her daughter in-law. But for you – she’s just not enough. I don’t get you mum.” Mambwe said in an attempt not to lash out.
The conversation between the two of them dragged on for almost half an hour, when Mambwe went to check on his brother in the study – he found his young sister had already jumped on the pizza with only one slice left to go.
“How was the lecture?” She asked him.
“Shut up.” He said as he covered her face with his hand, “I thought we spoke about your clubbing habit.”
“Oh! So mum already snitched on me. It ain’t even like that, I just wanted to kill some stress that’s all.” She responded.
“Just pray dad comes back in a good mood. Otherwise you might just lose your allowance for the 5th time this year.” Malumbo commented.
“You guys need to stop treating me like a child. Am 19 you know?”
“That doesn’t change the fact that you our little sister. You know how mum and dad expect a lot from you and all you do is use your money to party and buy clothes.” Mambwe jumped in as he sat down.
“Am still young. I have until 25 to be serious with life. Don’t worry I won’t mess up. Hey! Malumbo… Can we now talk about big brothers relationships?” She asked giving off a mischievous smile.
“You know April – Bro is right. You need to get yourself together. Otherwise you might end up being the drunkard Doctor. As much as I love teaming up with you to bring Mambwe down, this time around am not on your side.” Malumbo said as he shook his head.
April went cold, it was a good thing non of her brothers had asked whom she had been going out with. Since the landlord had reported of a young man who kept coming to take her out almost every weekend.
Goodson was his name. Him and April had dated for 2 years until their relationship took a turn when she found out that he had slept with one of her friends. That incidence happened way back before they even began dating. However, the fact that Goodson had kept it from her rose tension once April found out and that was how she decided to end the relationship.
It didn’t take long, Goodson moved on. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop him from pleading and finding his way back into April’s life every now and then.
“I saw a certain girl while i was at the bank. She was an angel.” Mambwe said.
“You were at the bank and you noticed other people? Wow. That’s new. So did you talk to her?” Malumbo asked.
“Nah. I tried but she brushed me off.” He laughed.
Unlike Mambwe, Malumbo was a people person and knew his way around females.
“Like seriously bro. You need to step up your game if you want to have a girlfriend. Ladies want a man who can pursue them and that’s just the thing you happen to lack. You give up to easily.” Malumbo pointed out.
“I’ve never seen the girl in my life, you don’t expect me to start stalking her… That’s just wrong.” He objected.
“On the contrary. That’s the exact thing you were supposed to do. I know you love Jane and she loves you as well – but let’s face the truth here, mum has never liked her. This is Africa, we aim to please our parents after all.” Malumbo said as he tapped his elder brother on the shoulder.
“This isn’t about Jane. Me and her are just friends now.” Mambwe said with a straight face.
When his young brother heard that, he began laughing. His puffed cheeks and bright face was always annoying.
“Why are you even friends? I don’t get why you want to keep holding on to her. The fact that you two are still close is the reason why you find it hard to move on. There is a reason why its a bad idea to have your ex as a friend bro. Am not trying to be Dr. Phil but trust me on this… The less time you spend with her, the more time you will have to look for someone else.” Malumbo said as he left Member’s bedroom.
The two brothers were close, since most of their childhood was spent in boarding schools and tuition centres, they spent more time together than they did with other people and that made them good friends.
‘Now am taking advice about women from my young brother. Who would have thought that I would lose my mojo with women.’ Mambwe said to himself as he smiled.
The thought of the young lady he had crossed paths with was still on his mind. There was no guarantee he would ever see her again and that just got to him. If only there was a way he could see her once again.
He got his laptop and began attending to his emails. His heart however was filled with regret. If only he had insisted to get her name or even her number. ‘Why does having a girlfriend have to be so complicated, some guys just snap their fingers and ladies flock around them like bees in a hive. Now ise (me)’ he said to himself as he slowly went through an email.
To be continued.