FORKS AND KNIVES
A story by Kennedy C Katongo
∆ ECHOES OF LIFE ∆
“He wants to go for the baby mama, Roderick has always been a family person. I don’t think he would allow the kid to be without a father.” Malumbo responded to his brother’s question.
“Yeah. Family is everything after all.” He seconded. “And don’t forget to cash in my money. Can we buy some wine at the liquor store? I feel depressed – I just want to drink myself to sleep.” Mambwe added.
Malumbo was a drinker, his brother on the other hand was a special case. Mambwe only drunk alcohol when he was depressed or going through something difficult. Catching him drinking was a one in a million gift card.
His young brother knew that if he was asking about buying a drink, this meant his problem was really deep. The last time Mambwe drunk himself to death was when his mum demanded that he stops seeing Jane.
The battle of abiding to his parents and also going against their will was so strong such that alcohol was the only comfort he had.
A few days went by since Malumbo and Mambwe had gone to the Hospital, Roderick had been discharged and was still facing another heart breaking battle. Mambwe on the other hand was still broken, he hadn’t been to work in days and found himself unable to work.
Malumbo was the only one who knew what was truly wrong. However, when his sister confronted him, she as well was able to put the pieces together and the worst part of it was that there was nothing they could do.
“Malumbo!” His mum called out. It was around 7:30hrs and everyone was walking up and down preparing for the day.
There day was at the dining table, reading a News later on his tablet while he enjoyed his morning breakfast; Hot coffee, 4 slices of toast with some melted cheese on the side.
“Yes mum.” He responded.
“Where is your brother?” She asked him.
“He has to be in his room.” Malumbo responded as he went to the kitchen to pour himself some tea.
“Somebody wake that boy up. His not going to make a single coin with his back on the bed.” His dad commented.
“April, check in your brother…please.” Her mum asked.
“But mum… I need to get going. I don’t want to be let for the Rounds at the hospital.” She complained.
“Your supervisor is a good young man. He will understand.” Her mum responded.
Malumbo began laughing from the kitchen as he walked to the dinning table to going his old man, “Good young man..” he said as he continued to laugh.
“It’s not funny Malumbo…!” She shouted as she went to check on Mambwe.
When she got to the door of his room. There was soft music playing in the background. She knocked on the door twice and that’s how she heard his voice utter the words ‘come in’ faintly.
She walked in and her brother was still in bed, with his heard covered.
“Oh no. Listen I have to go and am not going to seat here and comfort you. Mum is worried and she might be hear any minute.” April said in a rush.
“Don’t worry. You can go. Just tell them am not feeling well.” He responded.
She instantly agreed and left the room. But for some reason she couldn’t go, she entered his room once again and called out his name.
“You know what… You need to fight this, if it takes you a week or more, that’s not a problem. But what ever you do, Don’t fall prey to that depression.” She said calmly and then left.
Mambwe had been drinking consistently since the day he had a chat with Jane on the phone. After all, he bought 4 bottles of strong wine. It might not have been helping, but it did get him high enough to bare the pain he felt every second he thought of Jane being with another man.
“Where is your brother? What has he said?” Her mum asked her, question on question.
“His awake. He says he might be running a bit late.” She said as she packed her breakfast in her bag. Walked over to her father and gave him a kiss on the forehead and a hug for mum, “I will see you guys on Saturday. Love you.” She said as she winked at Malumbo.
“Running late! Since when did Mambwe ever run late for work?” Their mum asked. She was also at the dinning table having breakfast.
“The boy works himself out. I always tell him to take a break but no sir. Am sure he just slept late.” Dad commented.
“Yeah. His really been different these past years. I hope he finds a fine girl. Same goes to you Malumbo.” She said.
“Huh! What have I done?” He asked his mum looking surprised as ever.
“I want grand children. You want me to die without seeing my grand children ka?” She asked with a laugh.
“Mum… Why do you always have to put it that way. You not going to die. Am just waiting for Mambwe to get married then I follow.” He said with a smile. His mum was astonished.
“Don’t even look so surprised. I told you these boys are on a pack but you didn’t want to listen.” He laughed, “Am done here, I will be on my way. Malumbo, make sure you check in with the survey team on that land before you head to the office. I might be traveling to Kafue later in the day.” His dad said as he kissed his wife.
“Guys… Guys…. Time out. Am here.” Malumbo said as he covered his face.
“Mummy…!” Peter screamed as Tandiwe left the house.
“She will be back okay…” Her little sister tried to comfort him. But that didn’t work, the more she tried to calm him down the more the baby cried out.
It had been a busy week for her, not just with work but because Peter’s father was in town and wanted to see the baby. She had no problem of letting him see the child, however, he wanted to rent a lodge and they could spend the night there and that was what she didn’t want.
Time and again she made herself clear that she didn’t want anything to do with him, But that was just another song that fade away by the minute. He kept apologizing for what he did and professed his love for her. He spoke of how he missed her and wanted to be part of her life. He spoke of fixing things and getting married.
Even if this was the man she once loved, those feelings had died. To Tandiwe, he was just that guy who disappointed her when he was needed the most. Not only that but he denied the pregnancy and insisted that she might have been sleeping around with other men.
Regardless of her forgiveness, those are some of the things she couldn’t forget. And the more he tried to force his way into her life the more those memories elevated and become fresh.
She got on a bus heading into town, it was the usual bus mostly.
Jeff was also working in the morning shift, he was about to reach ZESCO and wait for her. He enjoyed walking with her to work. After all, most employee’s at Levy who knew them already suspected something was happening between the two of them.
JEFF: ‘I’ve reached ZESCO. Where are you?’
TANDIWE: ‘Sorry boi (friend) I just got on a bus. Peter was crying. You can go ahead I will find you.’
JEFF: ‘Nah. I will just wait for you.’
TANDIWE: ‘Are you sure about that? It’s kind of cold today.’
JEFF: ‘Am positive.’
Jeff stood near the school that was next to Mum’s Clinic. With his eyes open, he watched as the students from Evelyn Hone matched around heading to school.
“Jeff!” A sharp small voice hit his eardrum. When he turned, it was a young lady he had met at the club about two months ago.
“Hey you. How have you been?” He responded.
“You don’t even remember my name. Wow.” She said sounding disappointed in him.
“Am sorry. It’s just been long since we met at Hollywood.”
“I waited for your call the day that followed. I thought you would call me.” She said.
“Ooh. I actually lost my phone that same night. But if you don’t mind, you can still give me and I promise – I will call you.” Jeff said with a smile.
The lady got his phone and tapped in her line, without saying her name, she just smiled and left. From the look of things she was rushing for class.
He looked at his phone, tried to remember her name but ended up saving her as Brown Skin Girl. It was just a matter of hours and that name was going to bring trouble for him.
To be continued.