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Heartaches and Tears – Episode 15

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HEARTACHES AND TEARS – Episode 15

A story by Kennedy C Katongo

THE BLACKMAIL

“Am just being honest. A person who can warm pasta only shouldn’t brag about knowing how to cook.” I said once again.

“This your husband is evil.” Emmanuel commented.

I finished my food and joined him. I was tired, but I couldn’t leave him hanging. The fact that he waited for me more than an hour meant he needed something. Emmanuel wasn’t exactly the patient type of a person. He wanted things to happen fast and to happen his way.

Mable went to check on the kids and then head to bed to work on her blog. She said goodnight to both Emmanuel and I as she left.

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“So how was work?” He asked me.

.

.

.

My chat with Emmanuel went on and on until it was late and he felt like leaving. I went to change into my shorts and found Mable was already in bed. How peaceful she looked when asleep. I kissed her on the forehead and then left.

Since there were no buses at night, I had to drive him home.

“Remember that job I was telling you about? Yeah! I’ve found somewhere else and the pay is much better.” He told me.

“Wait, but those guys are the reason you came back to Lusaka.” I told him. We were already on our way to his place. Emmanuel preferred staying home than working at a place where the pay wasn’t good. He always put up big talk and never considered that perfect growth comes from small beginnings.

“I know that. But I can’t start there when I’ve been offered more money.”

“That’s what you said even the last time. How many companies have you worked for since University? More than 8, I wonder if you’re even paying your student loan.” I told him.

“Look where you going. Anyway I need help, am asking for a K20,000.” He smiled.

“Huh! All that money for what?” I asked him.

“I just have a few problems to sort out. That’s all. I promise to pay you back.” He added.

“Don’t even start with your lame promises. I don’t have that much money to give you even if I wanted to.” I told him.

“look man, it’s just a K20,000.” Emmauel said.

“just a what! You need to be serious man. You told me you had many, what happened to your savings this time around?” I asked him.

“Listen man, I don’t have any money. Besides I saved you today – the least you can do is help me out here.” He said smartly. I gave it a thought, yet I still couldn’t understand what he meant.

“You saved me from that?”

“Mable called and asked me who Amanda is. I could have told her you know. But then, you my brother. I can’t snitch on you man. So I told Amanda is an old friend from UNZA.” He explained to me.

“Are you seriously blackmailing me right now?” I asked him. I had packed the car on a layby as we were approaching Kabwata. It was around 21hrs so there was a free flow of cars.

I couldn’t believe my own friend was now blackmailing me to get me to give him money. It wasn’t like this was his first time pulling such a trick on me, he once did in when we were at University to get me to buy him food.

“Listen Emmanuel. I’ve helped you a lot with money. Never for once have you paid me back. You always promise me you going to pay when you get that job or that pay. However, the outcome is always the same.”

“But…”

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“No buts! And you trying to point a gun at me… That’s just lame bro. You need to take responsibility. Stop running from your problems.” I told him, I was pissed I wanted to punch him in the face.

“Okay. Then I will just call Mable and tell her who Amanda really is. Imagine when she finds out…” He said with a smirk on his face.

“Why haven’t you called your rich friends to help you? After all, that’s where you go when you have money.” I told him. I knew he wasn’t bluffing about calling Mable. It was a good thing he didn’t bring it up while we were home. On the other hand, there was no way… I was going to give him a K20, 000.

@@ @@ MWAKA @@ @@

My day had been a busy one. Since I joined Link Pharmacy on their internship programme I was always busy.

For some reason, I never felt the need to be in a relationship anymore. All I wanted was to work hard, make my parents proud, but most of all – making myself happy. Yet, for some reason mum had continued to enquire if I happened to be in a relationship. The way life takes a turn. One minutes you being shouted at for being among boys and the next – they asking why you ain’t being seen with any boy.

Amanda hadn’t yet returned. Ever since we left college. She stopped going out and reduced on the bottle. However, for three continuous days she arrived late. At times I would be even asleep.

I knew she hadn’t called Nathan for the job offer because I hadn’t heard from him myself.

A loud noise, one almost of a truck could be heard outside as the car parked. A couple of seconds Amanda walked in, behind her was a young man. In his hands were plastic bags, he seemed to be a gentleman with his neck tie at a 100 (first impressions are always important).

“Come in…” Amanda called out to him as he stood at the door.

“No thank you. I have to get home.” He responded. His eyes met mine, he smiled and then spoke, “Hello Mwaka.”

I smiled back. Amanda helped him with the plastics, she put them on the bed, looked at me with a wink and left to walk the guy to the car. I wanted to follow behind so that I could see what car he was driving since it made a lot of noise.

“Who’s that?” I asked her immediately she walked in.

“He’s just a friend.”

“Just a friend? I don’t think friends look at their friends the way he looked at you.” I told her.

“You couldn’t even see him. How did you see the way he looked at me?” Amanda asked me.

“And that’s how she got all defensive. What’s going on between you and him?” I asked.

“Nothing. I swear. He told me he likes me and that’s all.” She giggled.

“Is he the one that has been keeping you out late?” I frowned. “He’s not good for you.” I added.

She began laughing, “He’s actually the one who forced me to come back home. The nerves. He’s controlling just like Mr Saturday.” she shook her head.

Amanda went on to explain me why she had been returning late and how she came to know the young man who brought her home.

“We’re just the same age. But the dude acts so matured it’s frustrating.” She told me.

I couldn’t help it but laugh. “So what does he do?” I asked.

“His a fashion designer and the owner of Ubuntu.” She paused. She knew I was going to go crazy once I heard the company he represented.

Ubuntu was like one of the fast growing clothing lines in Lusaka. These guys were behind the clothing of most celebrities.

“You telling me that’s him? That’s KK?” I asked her. I never knew what his initials stood for. But that is how he was popularly known by the masses.

“Yes that’s him.”

“Wow!”

“What?” Amanda giggled.

“I just don’t know what to say. KK knows my name… What else have you told him about me?” I asked her.

“Nothing much apart from the usual. I even got you something, try it on.” Amanda said as she threw me a white plastic bag that had the Ubuntu logo on it.

I opened the plastic and I was speechless. It was one of the new tops for the Lusaka Fashion week. These weren’t even out yet. I got up and went to hug her.

“I told him you are a big fan of his work. If you want we can go to the Lusaka Fashion Week.” Amanda told me. She knew I wanted to go, but then a little thought knocked on the back of my head. ‘Is KK going to be the man who takes Nathan’s place?’ I froze for a seconds before I could snap out of it.

“You such a bunny. Thanks.” I said warmly.

“Enough about me. Tell me, how was work?” She asked me as we began to unpack the rest of the plastic bags.

“Work was okay. I’ve been given a topic to present on Friday. Just when I thought am done with studying.” I sighed.

“I trust you. You will shine. Besides all that carries points at the end of the internship.” Amanda was amazing. She was crazy and fun at the same time.

“I don’t think I will take Nathan’s offer. I’ve found a good job, that’s why I’ve been arriving late these passed days. The orientation has been crazy.” She told me.

“You found a job!” I exclaimed.

“Yes. I was called at one of the places I applied. I didn’t want to tell you cause you had already dropped the Nathan bomb on me.” She said calmly.

I was star struck. I didn’t know what to tell her.

To be continued…

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