The Bet

The Bet – episode 1

THE BET Episode 1

©Tisa Phiri

On the cold Morning of July James and Jack walked along the road taking in the nice view of their big farm house and the environment. Their parents had built a huge farm house in the outskirts of Lusaka in 10 miles area.

James was the oldest between the two with only a year difference with his brother Jack.

The two brothers grew up with minds of competition, their parents Mr Henry Kangwa and their mother Betty Mwaba Kangwa loved them so much as they could not even have any other kids after Jack. They always spoiled their son’s with gifts. However, they had attached conditions to every benefit they gave to their son’s.

They always told them to work hærd in order to earn great things in life. James and Jack however took it as a competition, they would always compete to be the first in everything. do better than the other and be on top.

As time went by, their parents noticed how the two sons could even bet on almost everything, soccer matches, playing in door games, games at school, having high grades, even to the extent of betting girls.One of them would have a girl and the other would bet to win her over instead and the one who wins would end up with the girl.

This went on until they grew up, completed secondary school and now they had just completed their University studies and James was working as an accountant at Bank of Zambia. Jack on the other hand was into business and had partnered with his friend and opened a company. His father had given them both their share of inheritance when they completed their studies.

Jack invested all his share in the business while James built himself a mansion and posh vehicle.

They had both grown to be responsible men and had achieved quite good things at the ages of 30 and 29 respectively. Their father,A retired engineer and mother a former branch manager for Barclays bank had built themselves a huge farm house and had great yards of land where they were doing some cattle raring , poultry, piggery, they had goats as well as cultivating potatoes. They were of course doing great and their farming was improving every day.

They hired workers to look after their animals and birds including two veterinary doctors a male, Victor Bwalya they commonly called Dr Bwalya and a lady Lucy Moonga. Though she prefered her name Lucy to her surname, all the workers except the kangwa’s refered to her as Dr Lucy.

“Wow look at these animals” exclaimed James.. “they look so healthy these guys are doing a good Job here” the last time we came, the cattle was not this large in number” he added..

“Yeah you are right Jamy”answered Jack rubbing his hand on one of the bulls near the fence as they stood outside the wire fence surrounding the head of cattle..

“We where here 3 years ago and for sure this farm has grown. I didn’t know the idea of this farm will turn out well brother. we always argued that dad and mom would invest in something else rather than this farm..”

“I know man, but to say the truth am very much impressed” James responded.. ” dad told me last night when we arrived that they have hired two vetinary doctors who are now taking care of the animals and birds here, they have greatly improved this farm”

“Let’s go down to the piggery” Jack called out as he walked down the small path. The piggerry was ahead of them about 500 meters from the cattle.

They walked there their gam boots hitting the ground as they moved. It was always necessary to wear gam boots when taking a tour around the farm.

Lucy had just finished giving the pigs the morning vaccines for that day. she stood up and started packing the items back in the small case she had carried.

Grancing on the far end of the piggery, she saw the two sons of Mr Kangwa the owner of the farm . She knew the couple had sons but from the time she started working at the farm she had never seen them. she had guesed from the similarity the brother’s had with Mr Kangwa.

All she heard were stories of how the boys were succseful and some other workers told stories of how the two were outgoing but jovial and nice to the workers.

Lucy watched the two as they peeped through the piggerry. she finished packing her things and lifted the case heading back to her small office. She was the senior vet Doctor as she was hired first 3 years back. Though most of the times Victor acted more like the boss especially in the presence of the workers.

“Good morning”, Lucy greeted the brothers who had stopped watching the pigs and headed in Lucy’s direction.

“Good morning lady,” James answered extending his hands to shake her hands.

“Oh sorry, ” Lucy smiled, lifting her hands to show she still wore some gloves. “am covered” she added.

“Oh yeah..” James smiled at her, “on duty, I get it” he answered taking back his hand.

“Am James and this is my brother Jack, we are just taking a walk to see the animals.”

“Hi!” Jack greeted her as Lucy turned to look at him. He was not as loud as James, he looked more reserved but his smile was welcoming.

“I have heard about you, you are welcome!” She said stepping away from the path like giving way for them to pass.

James cut her, “in fact mom just told us they hired vet doctors am guesing you are one of them, i mean, from the outfit ” he added looking up and down Lucy’s white coat.

“Well, sorry I forgot to introduce myself, am Lucy, the senior Veterinarian.”

” Lucy!” James repeated her name, ” Wow I didnt know females also have a passion for animals.”

Lucy chuckled. ” yeah you have no idea how much I love them”, she told him.

“Mind showing us around?” Asked James.

“would love to hear about the animals and not just watch them..”

“Sorry guys but I have to check on some bulls that side, one of them had issues with his stomac. but, I promise to help you when am done.”

“Well please go ahead ” James said with a rather disapointed voice. He was one kind of a man who loved attention and for him he would never take no for an answer. Infact, he thought his charms where great no woman ever turned him down.

“Mm…. the guy has just been turned down.” Jack mocked when Lucy was gone. “Wow that’s a first.. ” he giggled teasingly.

“What the hell!” James frowned, ” she just turned me down, dammit! I hate that from a woman. I mean come on man, she could have chosen to show us around and not a damn animal” he spat acting furious.

“Come on, Jammy let that poor girl be, shes not like those toys you flirt with. I mean just look at her” he said watching the direction Lucy was walking in. “she’s beautiful and principled. I think I like her” he added patting the brother’s shoulder.

“Mmmmmh well look at you, you just preached I leave her alone and here you are praising her. she s no saint man, she’s just like all the girls we have seen and been with before. come on let’s go ” James scolded as they walked on to the other side of the road.

Lucy had finished checking on the sick bull and she sat down in the office. Recording the things she observed on the animals that day. she went on making a budget of the required things for the next month and by the time she was Done, it was launch time.

Her home was near the entrance to the Ranch about a mile away from the main house. The Ranch had houses for the workers, but her’s was bigger. it was well plastered and painted and all tiled in,side with a self contained bedroom and another spare bedroom, a sitting room, kitchen, another bathroom and toilet along the passage near the other bedroom and a wide varanda outside.

She had the yard planted with green grass and flowers giving the outside a neat look. she sighed as she opened her small gate leading to the front door.

In the right was Victors house. Victor was married with two daughters . His first born of about 3 and another one of about 9 Months old. when ever she was lonely she would call the little girl and played with her.

A lonely life really got to her sometimes. she stayed alone most of the times as her young brother was studying in the university. He usually came to visit her on vacations but still not for more than a week. According to him, life on the farm was boring and he would rather stay at their uncles place in Lusaka.

Lucy’s parents died years ago when she was still doing her final secondary grade. luck for them their parents left some savings for their school and so it helped see her and her brother through school. Their uncle was working as head teacher for some school in Lusaka and he supported them by helping to provide shelter.

After Lucy completed her course from the university of Zambia. she took up the Job at the Kangwa Ranch as a veterinarian and that’s when she moved to her new home.

She was not so outgoing and she loved the ranch the moment she set her eyes on it. she was happy the Kangwas loved her work and the animals where doing great under her care..

Leaving her boots outside she walked to the kitchen and grabbed a glass of water. she wasn’t in the mood to cook so she just warmed the left overs from the previous night and sat on the couch to eat.

She looked at her watch, she had 1 hour and some 15 minutes before launch time was over.

Switching on the radio, she played Ephraim’s collection. The song “Jericho” was playing and she closed her eyes to take a nap, humming to the song.

Her mind wild and she recalled the moment with mr Kangwa’s sons. They were both handsome but she figured they were some what different, she couldn’t tell who was the oldest. They looked almost the same age and height.

James was a bit darker than Jack and was the talkative one. she smiled slightly her eyes still closed when she remembered how their mother described her sons.

“They are handsome my dear just like their father, only that they are different.. James is the lighter of heavy moments and Jack the calm one who would make you feel good about yourself. He always sees something good in people” she added with a smile.

“Wow am sure you are a proud mother” Lucy had told her, ” from your description they are great kids.”

Lucy sighed, brushing off the thoughts of the two brothers and let sleep take her over. she needed to rest before the afternoon session begun.

To be continued…

NEXT episode ➡️ 
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