FORKS AND KNIVES – Finale episode 28
A story by Kennedy C Katongo
∆ IN ANOTHER LIFE, I WOULD MAKE YOU MINE ∆
The days that followed, Mambwe had not contacted Tandiwe… It had been almost two weeks now. Malumbo kept asking him to meet her and resolve things diplomatically, and not just walking out on each other. He wasn’t for the idea, he didn’t want to be a thorn in her life and that’s why he had decided to leave her alone.
“Okay, I know you pissed. You were expecting her to open up… Things didn’t go your way. But you can’t just leave everything like this… Talk to her, listen to what she has to say at least and then move on.” Malumbo told him.
“I don’t see the need. She already made it clear. What’s there to talk about kanshi?” He asked.
“Just meet her. Please?” His young brother begged him.
It took almost a month for Mambwe to call Tandiwe and ask that they meet. Since she knew she had some explaining to do, she agreed to meet him and they chose the hidden restaurant in town. The same one they once visited.
“You a good man and you deserve better.” She told him. They had been talking for almost an hour and things just kept heating up. In his mind, he still couldn’t get why she wasn’t telling him about her son.
“You don’t have to tell me what I deserve!” He shouted.
“Now what do you want me to do? I’ve told you countless times that my church doesn’t allow for me to date someone from another church. If you can’t take that then join my church.” She responded strongly.
Tandiwe was already in tears as she spoke to Mambwe, her white top was w€t. It was as though with every word she spoke a thousand tears followed.
“If it was up to me I would have said yes. But it’s not. Please understand.” She begged of him, “I wish we could have met in a time where things are much better than now.” Tandiwe said to Mambwe.
“Things never get better. We just grow to accept the pain, the frustration and the rejections. Maybe in another life, but in this one, we just adapt.” Mambwe said as he turned around to face her. “But why didn’t you tell me you have a son? Am sure you owe me an explanation on that…” He added.
“You want to know the truth, okay then. You not like me Mambwe, you come from a rich family – I mean, you yourself… You listed among the top 10 influencual youth in Zambia. What would people say of me – that am dating you because of money? No maybe that am looking for a rich father for my son. No. I decided not to tell you because I wanted to see just how far you would go… To tell the truth I thought you would give up.” She said as she sighed. “I had no idea things would get this complicated.” She said as she breathed out relief. The pain of having to hide a part of who she was really hurt her and telling him, made her feel free once again.
Mambwe strolled around a bit, he had refused to take a sit. He knew very well no matter how much he would try to convince her that things would be worked out… Religion would always come in to separate them.
“I see. So you more worried about what people might say or think. That’s a sad way of living your life. I mean, what’s the point of depriving yourself the finer things of life in order to satisfy a bunch of people who have to value in your life story?” He giggled as he spoke.
“If I told you I would join your church because of Jesus that would be a lie. Further more, if I was to join just because of you – that wouldn’t fit well. It means one way or another am prone to leave if things don’t work out between us.” Mambwe said thoughtfully.
He had tried his best not to be emotional about the whole thing. Because after talking to her, he realised nothing was going to change. This was just the end of them.
“I know it’s complicated. We can still be friends. That’s if you are okay with that.” Tandiwe said in a low voice.
“Friends? I don’t need more friends Tandiwe. I already have friends. If I wanted you to be my friend I would have expressed that already.” Mambwe responded.
“Then… Then let’s go our separate ways. I can not change the beliefs I’ve grown up with for something am not even certain of. I already made a mistake when I dated Peters father. I’m not willing to repeat the same.” She said to him.
“Repeat the same!” He exclaimed in surprise, “Wow. I didn’t think you thought of me as such. It’s not s£x I want from you. That has never been my intention. Am sorry you loved the wrong person and all they did was take advantage of you, but not all men are like that.” Mambwe said strongly.
“I didn’t mean it like that…” She said as she touched his hand.
“It’s okay. I think I’ve heard everything. I wouldn’t want to be the man who caused you not to enter heaven.” He smiled.
When Mambwe arrived home, he found April and Malumbo outside having a braii. “What’s the occasion?” He asked them.
“Nothing really. Just one of those days when life is depressing and food is still there for you.” April responded.
“How did it go?” Malumbo asked. He was the one who forced Mambwe to just meet her and talk things out like adults rather than just going silent on each other.
Mambwe sat down, then he laughed. “At times I thought love was easy when you have money. Seems it’s just another complicated desire.” He said.
“What you mean?” Malumbo asked.
“We spoke about everything. I apologized for not calling her after she walked out on me. It’s like April said, there was no way she would want us to date because she’s a Witness and it’s against their Church… Not only that, but she already tried dating someone who wasn’t from her Church and she ended up pregnant.” Mambwe said dramatically.
“It’s okay. The good part is you stepped out, you put yourself out there. Things might not have worked out… But at least that showed you can move on.” Malumbo said as he tapped his brother on the back.
“Why you looking at me?” April spoke out after being silent. “Am not going to say anything about it.”
The three of them continued with there small braii, later on they were joined by the head of the family (parents).
When Tandiwe arrived home, she had gone straight to her room. There she cried until there were no more years to pour out.
Letting Mambwe go wasn’t something easy for her, she swore she had found a good man. But love doesn’t always come through, instead, she had to give up love in order to honour the traditions and beliefs she had grown up to know. Her mother wasn’t the problem, it was her relatives who had ganged her mother and spoke fear into her regarding Tandiwe leaving the church to be with a man from another congregation.
Her mother walked into the road and sat beside her, “Don’t worry. God will provide.” She said in a calming voice.
“He already did mum.” She sobbed, “Is happiness to much? I never choose this path, I just found myself in it.” She said as she cried.
“What did he say when you told him about Peter?” She asked.
“He wasn’t mad, he just had a disappointing look on his face… He was went on to ask me why I didn’t tell him about Peter.” She said.
“Don’t worry. Everything will be okay.” Her mum told her.
“What guarantee do I have? What if he was the one? And I gave him up?” She asked.
Tandiwe never really thought she like Mambwe, she acknowledged his good looks, nice smell and just how welcoming he was. He did have the qualities she wanted in a man… But it was just that – plain thoughts.
However, after facing seeing him and hearing the word that he spoke, it wasn’t a lie, Mambwe was just a charming young man who stood out from other guys his age.
Roderick wedded the young lady that he had fallen for, while Jeff, while he continued to be Jeff and Tandiwe’s best friend.
April finally cut who strings that connected her to Goodson. She went as far as reporting him to the police just for him to back off.
Malumbo was still the same, he still denied ever getting into a serious relationship. But that was about to change, one of his former class mates had just returned from Netherland. The two were spending more time together than usual.
After Mambwe and Tandiwe met to talk about what would follow, the two never saw each other for almost 3 months. Their next meeting was at Roderick’s wedding.
In the short story Heartaches and Tears, Kennedy C. Katongo writes, “Love never dies. It just fades away – then becomes forgotten.” The two spoke for not more than 5 minutes.
Tandiwe had taken a step of allowing baby daddy to see Peter once every month but denied any form of help from him.
As for Mambwe, he focused more on growing his business than meeting ladies, but that wasn’t the end – April’s Friend had reached out to him, it was nothing serious but the two would go out for dinner once in a while.
NOTE FROM WRITER.
Am sure a lot of you thought Tandiwe and Mambwe would end up together, that’s what it seemed like after all. But when I wrote the draft for the story, The two were never going to end up dating… My first reason wasn’t based on Religious beliefs and traditions though, this just came up later in the story.
I wanted them to be very good friends despite not dating, but that couldn’t work out due to their difference in social class. It didn’t make sense. That’s why Mambwe told her that he already had friends and didn’t need more.
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