FORKS AND KNIVES – Episode 5
A story by Kennedy C Katongo
∆ BAD DECISIONS – 1 ∆
“Dad. We not going to talk about women. Can we talk about the business… How was the meeting with the Mayor?” Mambwe asked in a flash as a way of changing the topic.
“Son, ‘what’s the worth of a king if he has no children to share his kingdom with’ am worried, you so much absorbed into your work that you forgetting to live. I understand you trying to secure a future and all that, but there is nothing wrong with living.” His dad told him.
“You don’t need to worry old man.” Mambwe joked, “I will get married when I find the right woman for me.”
“And how are you going to do that when you always cooking yourself in that study room? You have money boy – go out once in a while, be like your brother.” Mr Katongo said as he got up, “Escort me to my room please.” He said to his son.
“And about the meeting with the mayor, it went very well. He has some land somewhere in Chongwe that he wants to develop. He wants me to head the project.” His father side.
“That’s big dad. Am sure Malumbo will be excited about this, his business really needs a boost in terms of growth if he comes aboard.” Mambwe said.
“Am actually planning on taking all of you aboard. That small construction company of yours can merge with mine and we can see how best we can make the Mayor’s dream come to life.” Mr Katongo said.
“Thank you Dad. That’s very considerate of you.” He said excitedly.
“You need to know how to make big relationships with these guys. Soon it will be your time to lead the family business into another phase of growth. Already am very much pleased with the flats in New Kasama.” His dad congratulated him. There was never a dull moment when he was with his father. The man was getting old, yet, his attention to detail was sharper than ever.
Mambwe reached his father’s room, it was more of a self contained room on it’s own. According to the design of the 8 bedrooms, the master bedroom was the biggest room. He gave his father a hug and left.
Only Jane knew how he truly felt about taking over the family business, It wasn’t something he wanted to do. If only he could tell the old man, but breaking his heart was something he would never want to do – he loved his dad.
A few days had gone by since Mambwe and his father crushed in thought regarding him finding a wife as time wasn’t with him. Among the many things his father said, one stood up. ‘Have children while you are strong and not when old age has began to catch up.’ Damn the old man, he thought to himself and smiled.
For some reason he always sounded smart even when just encouraging you to eat vegetables.
The day had been going well so far, about 10 people had been called to attend interviews every day – for what it was worth, the applicants looked promising to carry Bliss Estate into the future.
“Excuse me sir…”
“I thought we done with the interview…” He said as he swinged his chair around.
“It’s not that. I’ve come to notify you that Miss April has asked me to find out your schedule this afternoon. She would like to engage you in something.” His secretary clarified.
His sister had a weird way of asking for money, “Don’t worry I will give her a call.” He said.
Malumbo was working at the office; his father’s company, when he got a call from his good friend asking if they could meet for tea at Mug and Bean – Manda Hill.
Without much to do, he agreed and was now on his way. Unlike his elder brother, Malumbo worked full time for his father with a few small business venture around Lusaka for himself which were doing very well.
“Wow! You already here. Since when did you start being early?” Malumbo teased his friend as he took a sit.
“Look whose trying to be funny. Haha.” His friend said while they shook hands. Roderick, the guy whom Malumbo had met for tea was a close friend of his during their High School days.
“You look gloomy. What’s with the miserable look on your face?” Malumbo asked.
Roderick looked up at him, he wanted to smile – but the matter at hand was already difficult for him, “Do you know how long have been dating?” He asked Malumbo.
“What sort of a question is that? Everyone knows how long you have been in a relationship bro, you a godfather.” Malumbo responded jokingly.
However, his joke was true. Almost every one who knew Roderick also knew his girlfriend. As things stood, It was now their fourth year together. He met his girlfriend when he was completing his studies at the University of Zambia. At that time, she was also a second year student at Open Words College of Education.
“Okay, jokes aside. What’s going on?” Malumbo asked his friend, this time giving him the serious-attentive look.
“Do you remember the girl I told you about some time back – the one from the Media department?” He asked.
“Let’s see, the one with the big nanikane?” Malumbo paused.
“Yeah…yeah! That same one.”
“I remember her. You were actually very obsessed about wanting to sleep with her ‘wonder how that went’. Is there something going on?” Malumbo questioned him. He now got worried because his friend was starting to worry him. It wasn’t like Roderick never had girls on the side whom he happened to sleep with. Furthermore, he was the type to make sure he slept with every girl he found appetizing at all costs.
Never for once did he ever get bothered by some girl, unless it was more than a one night stand.
“Did you smash?” Malumbo asked him, Roderick shook his head in agreement.
“How many times are we talking about…?” He asked curiously.
“Damnit Malumbo stop patronizing me. The only way I could smash was if I dated her. And that’s what I did.” Roderick lashed out – his hands were in the air as he gave the innocent, victim gestures that suggested it wasn’t his fault, “What was I to do… I mean am only human. I never thought it would turn out to be serious and everything.” He said confusingly.
“Oh man. Like seriously? But why man… Why didn’t you just give up the moment she told you she wanted a relationship and not some one-night-stand!” Malumbo exclaimed.
Even though Malumbo was now pissed at the behavior of his friend, little did he know there was more news about to knock his socks off.
“So how long have you been dating her?” Malumbo asked in a whisper.
“Well, it’s been 8 months now.” Roderick responded, “I know what you thinking. But trust me she’s different. She’s charming, loving – very considerate I tell you.” He added.
“Good for you. Good for you and have you told her about your 4 years old girlfriend? The one you promised marriage, the one who sacrificed her tuition fees so that your butt could go for an interview or maybe you don’t remember that.” Said Malumbo.
“I Know – I know. You don’t have to rub it on my face. But it’s the world we live in, things change. Change is inevitable. But that’s not what I called you here for, I need your advice on something else.” Roderick said calmly.
“You want to drug me into your mess? Oh no! Am on your girlfriend’s side on this one. Whatever the problem is fix it.” Malumbo demanded.
“Bro. If I could fix it I wouldn’t even have bothered to ask for your help. Just that, well. The same girl is pregnant.” Roderick said.
From Malumbo’s said, his friends words sounded like they were distorted. The weight of the conversation had just changed from lite to super heavy.
The thought of how Roderick’s girlfriend could probably behave once such news was delivered to her happened to be like the probabilities that Dr Strange saw with regard of defeating Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. The end result was horrible, Roderick’s girlfriend was still going to go insane.
Malumbo knew very well how much his friend loved babies.
He sat opposite him, now with a long face which was accompanied by a gloomy look.
Malumbo wanted to say something, but he just couldn’t get himself to say it, “Let’s get some pizza.” He said politely instead.
“So tell me, what do you plan on doing?” Malumbo asked.
“I don’t know man. Cause I can’t say I will get married to my first and just accept the baby from the other. I want my kids to have both parents.” Roderick responded.
“But man, you Know change is inevitable, why did you go around making marriage promises to her? Why didn’t you just lie that you loved her like all the guys do?” “Am putting myself in your shoes and I feel this complicated. Yet their you are with your chin up looking like Superman. You could have used a condom like normal people.” Malumbo nagged. He nagged because the girl his friend was dating for 4 years was also a friend to him. This meant what ever choice Roderick would pick, Malumbo was still going to get in the middle of it.
To be continued.