FORKS AND KNIVES – Episode 6
A story by Kennedy C Katongo
∆ REFLECTIONS ∆
“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.
“What do you think of this year’s applicants?” Mambwe’s manager asked.
“They are good, really promising. But it’s hectic… These – most of them are money oriented and have no sense of duty in them at all. I don’t want such minds in my company.” Mambwe replied sharply.
“The Zambian work culture is below average. I’ve worked in many companies and a day doesn’t go by that I don’t brag about this company to my colleagues. Am sure we can do well. Am positive.” The manager said as he excused himself.
A few minutes later his phone rang, it was an alarm – a reminder to call his sister.
MAMBWE: ‘Afternoon sis, I got your message from the secretary. What’s up?’
APRIL: ‘Nothing just got back to the boarding house. There is something I want to show you at Levy Junction. Can we meet there?’
MAMBWE: ‘Aah, is this one of your tricks to lower me into buying you something? That won’t work.’
APRIL: ‘Come bro… There is nothing wrong with you buying me stuff. Hahaha.’
MAMBWE: ‘Whatever! I will be there within an hour.’
April was smart, when she wanted her brothers to get something for her she always had a way of making them do it. Well, mostly Malumbo. Mambwe was a tough case for her even though at times he would bend a little just to make sure his sister was happy.
With the stipulated time Mambwe was at Levy waiting for his sister as he toured Mr Price. The temptation of buying clothes that weren’t even in his budget just to kill time was always frustrating for him.
After strolling for 20 minutes his sister showed up, she was in her high waist jeans as usual. Walking as if there was fire on the floor. From a distance she waved at her brother excitedly.
“You seem excited. What’s going on?” He asked her.
“Am just happy seeing you that’s all.” She responded excitedly as she got a t-shirt and placed it on Mambwe’s chest, “This looks really good on you.” She said warmly.
“Everything looks good on me when you about to ask me for something.” He laughed.
“What!” She exclaimed, “Okay – let me buy it for you then.” She smiled.
They walked to the cashier’s desk and made their payments as they went to Mug and Bean to have a seat. It was more of a family thing going to this place.
“So what’s up, what did you want to tell me?” He asked her.
“I just wanted to see you, is it wrong for me to see my brother?”
“Girl stop being funny. You saw me on Sunday at church. So just say what you want…” He said, looking at her in a suspicious way.
“Okay. The thing is am having challenges with my Cosmetics Business. I told Dad that everything was going well, for that reason I can’t ask him for money. Am avoiding asking Malumbo… You know how he is. So that’s why I’ve come to you.” She said calmly with puppy eyes.
“I actually know about your cosmetic venture going down.” Mambwe told me.
His sister didn’t act surprised that he knew, after all she told Malumbo it was only natural for him to pass on the news.
“So how much are we talking about here?” He asked her, he knew very well how she loved big figures once asked to name an amount.
“About K10,000.” She smiled.
“K10,000! Why haven’t you just gotten a loan? It’s not like you can’t pay back. How much is your monthly allowance – K2,500.” Mambwe exclaimed.
“Come on bro, am going to give you back I promise.” She begged with her eyes popped out.
“That’s what you said the last time and the time before that. You already owe me about K50,000 if am not mistaken. Am not going to promise anything but will get back to you.” Mambwe said as he shook his head.
While having their coffee, Mambwe saw a young lady from a distance making a corner at the Jewelry store heading to were Mr Price was located. He quickly got up, told April he would be back and followed where he had seen her.
After searching in the two big shops, PEP was the last one on his list. He entered, the place was packed with few people here and there. Like a trained assassin Mambwe moved around the shop hoping to ran into the lady he had seen a few minutes ago.
‘What if she was going to the ladies room and am here’ he thought to himself.
When he reached the far end, were shoes were kept, a young man walked up to him.
“Excuse me sir. Is there something I can help you with?” He asked him, this man was Jeff.
“Oh. No thanks, am okay.” He responded.
After walking around and not seeing her, he walked out and went back to join his sister at the coffee shop.
“You look like you’ve seen a ghost. Who was it – John the Baptist?” She commented jokingly.
He couldn’t help it but laugh, the joke was funny after all. “I just thought I saw someone I met at the bank last week.” He added.
“Well I wouldn’t be surprised if you started seeing ghosts. You always on your laptop. You know what… Let’s go see a movie.” April suggested as she got up.
“Hey chill, let me finish my coffee. Am not paying K35 for a cup of coffee only to leave without finishing it.” He said happily with a beam on his face.
“By the way, have you spoken to Jane lately? I saw her car on Sunday evening at some lodge when I was heading back to school.” April said.
“You just had to mess with my head. No I haven’t. Maybe she was with the boyfriend or friends… I personally don’t care about her movements anymore.” Mambwe said as he got up to leave.
“Are you sure bro…”
“Oho… Am going to change my mind about the movie.” Mambwe said as a way of threatening her to keep quiet.
“Why do you look so petrified. Have you seen a ghost?” Jeff asked Tandiwe.
“A ghost! Who! Me!” She jumped in surprise to Jeff’s voice. “What you even doing sneaking around.” She asked him.
“Nothing. Am just curious that you have been in that room for 15 minutes. So what’s up?” She asked.
“Did you see that guy in a gray suit?” She asked him.
“Yes I did. What about him?” Jeff asked her.
“That’s the guy I was telling you about on Saturday. The one that almost broke my phone and began following me around.” She said in a whisper.
“Wait… Him? That’s the guy who bumped into you and then you unleashed hell on him. Huh! Strange, I didn’t imagine he had class and style.” Jeff commented as he left the changing room where Tandiwe was hiding.
“Come back! Has he gone?” She called out to Jeff with a lowered voice.
“Yes his gone. I doubt he even knew you are here. It seemed like he was just guessing.” He said, this time disappearing from her site.
‘What if he saw me. What if he started bothering me to give him my number like last time?’ Tandiwe thought to herself as she came out of the changing room.
“Where have you been?” Her manage asked.
“Was in the changing room.” She responded.
“Okay. Hurry and get to work. Jeff will give you today’s outline on what needs to be done.” He said as he went out.
“Thank you sir. She responded politely.”
Back at Manda Hill, Malumbo had taken a break. Instead of talking about what his friend was going to do. The two of them had ordered a large pizza (chicken with mushroom) and were enjoying themselves.
“I think you need to tell your girlfriend what you have done.” Malumbo commented.
“That’s not as easy as it sounds you know. That lady has sacrificed the world for me. And them telling her that I’ve impregnated another girl – man.” Roderick said with a slice in his hand.
“I know it will be hard for her. Now imagine if she hears all this from someone else… Have you thought of the amount of pain she’s going to go through then?” He asked her.
“I didn’t plan for all of this to happen. I just don’t know man. I even had the condoms, now I don’t know how I got over excited and forgot to use them.” Roderick said.
“What’s done is done. Am just worried that you’ve already made up your mind on accepting your baby mama. It’s just been 8 months – is that time even sufficient for one to fall in love?” Malumbo asked, he was just as confused as his friend was on the matter.
“If you talk every second of the day and text each other almost every minute. It’s very much possible to fall in love within a week.” He explained.
‘Busy sounding smart but he couldn’t even put on a condom that was in his pocket.’ Malumbo shook his head in disbelief.
To be continued.