The Bet

The Bet – Episode 11

THE BET Episode 11

©Tisa Phiri

“Mama! Hey! ” The brothers called their mother as they got out of the vehicle. They had used Jame’s X5 that weekend.

“Welcome home boys!” Mrs Kangwa greeted them walking towards the car..

That Saturday morning she had prepared to received them after they called to let them know both of them were going to the farm..

Mr Kangwa walked in the sitting room as James and Jack sat…. he greeted them but not in his usual cheerful way..

How are you dad? , Jack asked him when he had finally sat on his favourite seat..

Am okey.. how have you two been? And how is work over there?

We are okey dad and work too.. James answered first..

Well just worrried you called and sounded rather serious.. what’s going on dad? He added sitting up in his seat..

His father looked at him.. let’s wait for your mother James, it’s indeed a serious matter or else I could have not called you over Mr Kangwa told him his serious tone evident..

At 10 o’clock after serving them breakfast… Mrs Kangwa called back James and Jack to the living room..

They were all quite for a while each one of them looking up or down..

With Jack scrolling on his phone..

Mr Kangwa cleared his throat before begining…

I called you, James specifically so that we talk about the what you did here.. and am glad you Jack decided to come.. he said turning his eyes from James to Jack ..

First of all.. I want to tell you guys that am very disapointed with you.. I taught you to respect people.. to value the life of everyone around you.. we may never know what the future holds and who would be the person to help you one day.. no wonder it’s good that every person you meet.. you treat them with respect no matter what..

That goes for women too.. I recall Called you one day before you both left for the university and told you how a woman is..

They are what you make them as a man .. if you are going to find a woman and respect her, treat her well, honor her and above all love her.. am certain you will live a happy man because women are wonderful when they are happy..

Look at me and your mother, have you ever seen her cry in your lives? He paused looking at them..

Both James and Jack shook their heads.. no dad not even a day Jack added..

Well it’s not like we never have differences but as a man I learnt to control the situations and made it my mission to see her happy.. she’s the way she is because she felt and still feel my love and support no matter what comes..

Now what am I trying to talk you boys?

I want to say, I expected you to follow my ways.. no wonder your mother and I always insisted you get settled.. find a woman and start living like normal people.. instead of jumping from one woman to another..

No.. I know it’s exciting to play around since you have money and all that.. but let me tell you..money is nothing if you have no that special person to share it with.. your children to look after.. it becomes nothing expect what you just spend around like a man without a future.

After all these leassons what do I hear? , he continued, your sons have bet to win over a woman and whoever would win would get to lay with her and that’s it..

Are you two mad or what? he shouted raising his voice.. and the two knew where the story was going.. they both looked down without looking straight at their father.. they knew so well when he heard the issue that was bound to happen and they understood making their father that upset wasn’t a good idea..

Can any of you care to explain what is going on? He asked his face wrinkled on the forehead a clear sign it wasn’t time for jokes..

Dad am sorry we did that but we have resolved it after we realised it was a bad thing to do.. Jack spoke up looking at James who figited in his seat..

Yeah sure dad, it’s all over now and we are sorry we behaved like kids.. I can assure you now that we will stay away from Lucy and this wh0le thing won’t repeat itself James added with a shakky voice knowing most of it was his fault and the bet thing was his idea..

He saw his father stand and pace around the room for some minute before he stood in one position..

Well I hear you and my answer is not as you expect, the consequences of what you have done especially you James, he said.. will not allow you to just walk away.. your mother and I have come to know that Lucy is pregnant and….

He couldnt finish his sentence when both Jack and James shouted at once.. preganant!

Yeah preganant..as in having a baby? Mrs Kangwa spoke for the first time..

And I know it is yours James she added firmly..

Um mama, how can you just say it’s mine. I am I didn’t… he stuttered

You what? young man, Mr Kangwa interrupted .. are you trying to deny you got her pregnant?

No dad.. am just surprised you say it like I did it.. did she tell you its mine?

She needed not to James, that girl stays in this farm and you are the one who was with her.. she told me how long the pregnancy is and it matches the dates you were here..

But mama.. she knows I don’t want to have kids yet how could she get pregnant just like that? I am not going to accept being pushed into some responsibility I am not ready to take.. besides.. ask her to tell you who the father to that child is.. maybe she met with someone else.. he said, his face all sweaty..

I can’t believe you want to reject her after sleeping with her Jammy.. you can’t say she was with another man when you know you slept with her.. come on.. accept it already and be mature enough to take responsibility for once in your life.. Jack answered calmly.. he didn’t get to doubt even once that it was Jame’s.

What is your problem Jack? Just shut up now.. who knows who else that slut slept with.. maybe she was with you at the same time.. why would you all just point at me even before she says it’s me.. he spat giving his brother a stern look..

Grow up man! You are the one who was with her and you want to point at me.. what the hell.. at least care enough and do the right thing.. dad tell this boy to reason like a man..

Am a man you idiot James shouted standing up and grabbing his brother by the shirt ..

Leave me alone Jammy or else.. Jack backed..

Or what? Who do you think you are James scre-med shaking him..

Stop this nonsense you two now! Mr Kangwa shouted angrily .. are you out of your minds..! You want to fight in our faces when we are talking about something this serious.. .. sit down now! He added…

Mrs Kangwa shook her head in disbelief.. she just stood and went to the other room without a word..

What James and Jack didn’t know was that Lucy was called earlier and she was in the house waiting to be called to confirm the issue..

She sat down on the chair in the room she was told to wait from. She could hear the scre-ming and shouting and she knew from Jame’s tone. He wasn’t ready to take responsibility.. she cried as she recalled her conversation with her uncle.. who told her that the man who impregnated her was to take responsobilty.. he was clear he would not support her raising a child outside marriage..

You are old enough to marry and don’t tarnish the name of our family by having a child outside marriage.. start a family already he had told her.. .

Lucy had tried to call and talk to her friend and she was told to let the guy who got her pregnant know as her earlier intention was to hide that fact knowing so well James might refuse..

Now here she was hearing it for herself.. the man she fall in love with couldn’t even get to accept he got her pregnant.. most of her crying wasn’t because she wanted money to raise the child.. she could well take care of that.. but her pain was the issue of being rejected by the one man she had come to love so much despite him rejecting her..

She was lost in thoughts tears running down her face when Mrs Kangwa walked in..

Stop crying my child she whispered taking her hand.. whether he likes it or not he’s going to take responsibility.. come on here.. she added pulling her up..

They both walked into the sitting room and Jack felt sad seeing Lucy looking pale and crying..

James on the other hand gave her a killer look that spoke thousands of words..

Mrs Kangwa asked Lucy to confirm who between the brothers got her pregant and she with tears told him it was James..

I know he doesn’t love me and am so hurt knowing that Jack and James had to bet over me.. I feel used and I don’t even know what to think of that.. how could you both decide to play with my feelings like that.

I liked you as a person Jack .. I respected you as a friend you were to me.. I never knew you also are like your brother.. she added looking at Jack who had now bow down feeling the heat from her words.. .

as for you James, I know you don’t want this child and that’s why I didn’t say anyting to you. Even the few times you decided to call me.. you made it clear from the beginning and I was a fool to fall in love with you.. I regret the day I met you and I hate myself for falling For you even when you showed me a monister that you are.

This baby is in me and believe me an not going to ask you to take any responsobilty.. just live your life and forgot we ever met she added crying..

Mr Kangwa cleared his throat and cut her..

My Dear.. not to worry .. no child of mine will make such a mistake and walk away from it he knows better than that.. and as his father am telling you that this boy here he said pointing at James.. is going to marry you and you two are going to raise that child together..

No dad.. please dont do this to me please don’t, James begged looking at his father.. I can’t marry her just like that am not ready he said pointing at Lucy..

Well sonny, since you decided you are man enough to lay a woman.. you have to take responsobilty of your actions period.. he responded and Mrs Kangwa nodded..

I called Lucy’s uncle and tomoro we are going to his place in Lusaka were we are going to be charged traditionally and later on you will go and live with this woman.. take care of her until she delivers and later on you two Will decide whether to get married..which should be the case to avoid having your child grow up with his parents in different homes…. is that clear? Mrs Kangwa asked strongly..

Am not doing it mother, I won’t.. besides you heard her.. she can take care of herself. James answered standing up..

Sit now You ungrateful child .. his father scolded..

It is settled and you will do as I say.. unless my name is not Henry Kangwa.. he shouted and the knew the matter was settled..

Jack.. prepare to take your sister in law to your house will you.. he added looking at Jack who nodded quietly ..of course dad..

James stood up and stormed out of the room like a mad man without saying a thing..

He felt bad he was being forced to marry a woman he didnt love.. he went to his room and walked around furious.. she did it deliberately to get to me he whispered to himself.. he shook his head sadly.. but he had no option..

James knew his father was a great man but that he would never let anyone mess with someone’s life without taking reposibilty.. he recalled some years back when he and Jack were meant to go and apologise to the neighbour’s house for breaking their window even when no one saw them.. he had later on told them to go and do some piece work of weeding people’s farm in the copperbelt where they were staying to raise money to buy the glass panes and had the window fixed..

That day the two had stopped playing with a ball near other neighbour’s homes..

He sat on his bed holding his face.. my God what am going to do with her bad that child he asked himself.. I don’t want this.

Lucy was told to go to her home and the following day the wh0le family went with her to Lusaka were they discussed the matter and it was decided she moved in with the boys.. her uncle was glad the Kangwa’s were willing to accept his niece.. of course he didn’t know James was forced to do it..

Lucy tried to talk Mrs Kangwa out of it saying she wasn’t comfortable going with a man who rejected her but Mrs Kangwa assured her James would grow up now and that if he cared even a little.. he would learn to love her too.. she reluctantly agreed and when they took her to the house for James.. she wasnt sure that was going to work..

The Kangwas left that evening back to the farm leaving Lucy in the hands of James and warning him to take care of  her till she gave birth.. they told her she could resume her work after she delivered…

Now it was the start of a new chapter in Lucy’s life..

To be continued…

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