The Bet

The Bet – episode 19

THE BET Episode 19

©Tisa Phiri

Dad and mom.. I have something to tell you. I want you to do something for me and I beg you to promise me this won’t be a problem..

What is it? Sonny Mr Kangwa answered as he stood next to his wife who had sat on the chair..

I am not feeling so well and I want you to promise me that when am gone you are going to help Jack and Lucy to get together.. he loves her and I know she cares for him so much too..

Since she’s going to have my child, I feel the best people apart from you two to raise him better are them..

James sonny.. what are you saying? You are alive and you have to marry Lucy if you feel you love her. His mother said looking at her son who looked so sick and tired.. her experience told her he wasn’t doing well and she tried so hærd to contain her tears.. she wasn’t to cry in front of her dying son.. the one who had opened her womb and made her a proud mother.. she couldn’t bare the pain in her heart but she had to try h-rder and not show it in his face..

No mama, I wish i had that chance but no.. it’s too late.. unfortunately I took so long and my journey is coming to an end.

Please promise me when am gone you will allow them to be together.. please. He said looking at them both..

He’s father sat outside the house and remebered the day James had passed on.

He was still in shock and could cry himself to sleep every night especially that he saw how Jame’s mother was suffering moarning their son..

The funeral ended few days before and the mood of everyone at his farm was saddening .

Lucy stayed with them after the funeral as the Kangwas insisted she needed motherly care especially that she was due..

Her due date had past and everyone was expecting her to give birth any day.

Jack kept indoors most of the day and would only come out when he had to stay with Lucy.. seeing how much she mourned made him wish he had died in the place of his brother..

Mr Kangwa was lost in thoughts and didn’t hear his son go towards him..

Dad! Jack called him starttling him..

Hey ! am sorry I scared you Dad, Jack said forcing a smile and trying so hærd to prevent his face from showing the sadness in,side.

I came looking for you and I was told you are out here..

Yeah I wanted to stay outside a little..been in,side since morning. He answered

There’s a garden chair by the tree Mr Kangwa pointed.

Jack got the chair and sat close to his father not knowing how to even start talking to him..

So tell me now, what’s your plan? Your brother is gone and all responsibility remains with you.

You know what I mean right? He asked his son..

Dad you reffering to the child? He asked

Yes sonny, listen, me and your mother are not growing younger.. it’s sad that Jammy never lived to see his son but let’s not make that child come into this world and feel unloved or see the sorrows of our hearts.. it’s hærd for each one of us but let us especially you and me be strong for him and for those two women in that house.. you know how it is with them.. if we are not careful this family will end up broken with sadness. Am sure James wouldn’t have loved to see us that way..

Now listen to me sonny.. from me you are the man of the house and I expect you to grow up In everything..

Your brother made me promise that I should help in seeing you taking over Lucy as in marriage and taking care of your nephew. Am sure he wanted you to finish what he started. So what do you say?

Jack cleared his throat. Dad I love Lucy yes but honestly I don’t want to replace my brother.. I can take care of them both but I don’t think it’s okey for me to marry Lucy even when I know she loves him and not me.. no dad i can’t.

I have to learn to live without my beloved brother as well as without the woman I have ever loved. I wont let you down though.. I will see to it the baby and mother are taken care of.. I will stand by them until they are both able to stand on their own.

Well sonny, you have spoken selflessly like a true gentleman and am proud of you.. .I know you still love your brother and you feel like taking the woman he was with is like betraying him but remember he requested for this and you as much as you love him have to fulfil his wishes.. Mr Kangwa explained.

Please my son if its true you love Lucy go on and think about it.. she’s already part of this family and it’s good if we maintained it that way.

Now go on and think about it.. take your time and tell me what you decide when you are ready. I don’t want to push another son of mine to the urge again.

Make your own decison and whatever you decide I will respect your decision.

Thank you Dad, Jack sighed. I promise to give it a serious thought he smiled patting his father’s back.

Good.. do that, Mr Kangwa told him and watched him walk away..

The following day, Lucy was taken to the hospital as labour started..

Mrs Kangwa and Jack accompanied her.

Jack held her hand as they led her to the Labour ward.. you going to be okey he whispered to her as her face frowned in pain..

She smiled, thanx Jack. Mind if you join me? She asked holding on to his hand..

Jack looked at his mother who nodded.. go on son she smiled holding her face either in excitment or anxiety was not so certain..

He held her wa-ist and helped her walk into the ward.. take it easy he would say every moment and rubbing either her back or hand to comfort her.

He stood by her side and saw her to the time she gave birth. For Jack it was the most scaring moment but so amazing at the same time..

He watched his nephew now going to be in his care come to the world and he was beautiful.

Wow, look at him he exclaimed when they handed him the baby..

Congratulations Sir, you have a bouncing baby boy the doctor announced and Jack shook with anxiety as he held him tight ..

Lucy held him too and she couldn’t help shed tears. He looks just like him she smiled in her cry..

Yeah he does Jack smiled back at her.. our Jammy is back he added holding them both..

The birth of baby James brought back smiles to the Kangwas family as everyone seemed taken by his presence.. his grand parents where so excited about him and would always stay with him allowing Lucy More time to rest.

She was told to stay on as they insisted that even if she was not married to James the baby made her family.

Over time the pain of loosing James was slowly lessening and the mood of the house improved.

Jack was working from the farm as they decided to just rent Jame’s house.. James had left all his assets in the name of his child and Lucy. Even when she never really got to use the money for the baby or herself since Jack had provided everything she needed and gave her enough to not luck.

One day, Lucy sat down in her bed after bathing baby James and handing him to his grand father who gladly took him and went for a tour around the farm.. The baby had just turned 5 months and he was growing fast. Looking exactly like his father.. everyone who saw him would clearly see he resembled James.

Hey ! Are you sleeping ? Jack came to the door and called her..

Not really Jack please come in. I just handed Jack to his grand father and now i just thought of laying down.

Well anything the matter? She asked him as he stood by the door without saying a word.. Lucy was given Jame’s room and she had not changed anything in terms of beddings or curtains.. everything was as she found them and she was reluctant to change even after Mrs Kangwa insited she put her own things there.

It’s okey mom, I don’t mind the way the room is I like it. She smiled..

Well my Dota , am really glad you stayed with us.. you and James are a blessing that My son left for us and even if no one can take his place you being here makes everything seem easy she told her with a smile..

I know my son was not so much good to you but he wasn’t a bad child.. he just..

She couldn’t finish her sentence and Lucy cut her in,

it’s okey I know he wasn’t bad.. God has his way and I understand now. Wherever James is he knows I don’t hold anything against him I loved him even when I knew he didn’t but that’s okey.. am glad I got to meet him she said pushing back her tears.

Wow, you are a good woman my child and I want to tell you today that I was there before my son died.. know what he told me and my husband?

Lucy shook her head, what did he say? She asked her.

He told us to promise him that we will see to it that you and Jack are together.. for him His brother loves you and you derseve a man like him she added.

Lucy sighed, mama I know Jack cares for me so much and over time I have come to like him too. But being married to him.? I don’t think that’s alright, she complained. James told me too but I don’t know, it all just seems outragious.

Mrs Kangwa took her hand and looked at her seriously. .think about it my dear, we all love you and Jack told me way before you came into James life that he adored you.. he left this place the first time they visited if you recall because he and his brother started fighting over you with Jack insisting he didn’t want to hurt you. He genuinely loved you but he couldn’t get in the way cause he believed you liked James and he didn’t what to hurt both of you. .

Lucy looked at her and sighed . She recalled how Jack had behaved differently from James. She knew Jack really cared for her but initially she just thought he was being nice cause of the way James treated her.. now that it came from his mother she wondered how much pain Jack had to bare seeing her and holding on to that love..

Jack cleared his throat when he noticed Lucy had stopped talking and her eyes were set on him even when he was sure she wasn’t really looking at him..

Hey are you okey? He asked waving his hand to bring her to the present.

Oh sorry Jack I must have gone so far. Please come in she smiled sitting up.

Lucy I don’t know how to start this.. anyway I have to say it now or never he said with a laugh.

I wanted to talk you that I was thinking of building my own home. I already have some land somewhere in meanwood.

That’s a good idea Jack, it’s good you have your own home.. I mean you are almost 30 and it’s high time you settled down.

Yeah, he smiled I know right.. I was just used to being around Jammy and couldn’t get to move out yet but I think it’s high time I did my own thing now he added.

Now that I want to settle down I need a woman by my side Lucy. I want to start my life with the woman I love.

Lucy looked at him. That’s good Jack I wish you all the best she told him honestly.

Well don’t you want to ask who the woman is.? He asked looking at her.

Lucy chuckled, well Jack I know you are a good man and every woman would want to be with you so I wouldn’t be so worried knowing for a fact that you made the right choice she smiled.

Lucy, I don’t want any other woman.. I want the one that am looking at right now, I want her cause From the first time i saw her my heart has not rested. She’s the only woman that my wh0le being desires. I can’t control it anymore Lucy I love you and I know sometimes I become selfish but what can i do? I just can’t take this anymore. James was right. I can’t be happy unless am with you because you control me in a way that no other woman does.

Lucy looked at his tearly eyes. His sincerity making her feel she could hold him and comfort him.

Am not saying all this because someone has obliged me to. Am saying it cause I can’t deny what my heart wants despite the fact that you were with my brother I can’t still get you out of my mind he added holding her hand..

Say something please, Jack said when he realised Lucy was just looking at him without a word..

Lucy stood up and held his hands to make him stand up..

His eyes still on her he stood his height above hers. She held his face in her hands and smiled. .you are the best Jack. You showed me what true love is and I swear I have never seen anything like that my wh0le life. You stood by me and honelsty someone told me you loved me way back and I wondered why.

You are too perfect for me Jack . You know what I think? She asked with a smile..

I think you need to find another woman who deserves you.. I don’t think am the one..

Jack took her hands in his and sighed.. how can you ask me to leave the only thing thay i want. I want you my Lucy please dont purnish me away anymore. Give me a chance to fulfil what my heart desires please.. he said with tears in his eyes.. I love you, I love you and I need you he whispered.

Lucy walked back and went to stand a step back near the closet. I can’t.. am not sure if I can do this Jack. I don’t want to hurt you and am afraid I might not be what you need she cried.

Jack steped forward too making her lean on the closet.. just promise you will try please, I won’t have another chance to be able to say this Lucy. I cant live without you.. I want to have you and the two of us will raise Jammy together.

He bent forward and k-ssed her gently..

Stop it, Jack she withdrew her eyes closed..

Jack looked at her , sorry Lucy. Am so sorry I didnt mean to do that.. forgive me he said walking out of the room.

She sat down and cried, oh God what do I do. She couldn’t get to admit being so close to him made her shiver.. not sure why. She was more scared of what he made her feel. She knew any more minute close to him would have made things more complicated and she doubted if she had any right to feel that for a man who was the brother to the one she had loved..

The following day she woke up and was told Jack had travelled back to Lusaka.

What time is he coming back? She asked Mrs Kangwa.

He told me he’s not coming back my dear. I saw Him this morning and he didn’t look himself. Did you talk to him yersterday? she asked her.

I did but I never saw him at supper last night.

She was quite for a while knowing so well Jack left because of what transpired between them.

Feeling so sad he left.. she missed him and grabbed the phone to call him but put it back. She struggled the entire day thinking of what she was to do.. he was gone and she felt lonely .

He had been by her side since she went to stay with them up to the time they had a funeral and all along she had not seen how much she needed him in her life.. she felt a deep gap in her heart. Wondering why her heart was playing tricks on her.

To be continued…

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