The Bet

THE BET – Episode 4

THE BET Episode 4

©Tisa Phiri

“Good morning dear” Mr Kangwa greeted his wife the morning after the party. They had slept deeply afterwards being strained by the activities that took place the previous night.

“Morning, how is that father our my children this morning?”, his wife answered waking up.

“Well, am happy and blessed” he smiled, holding his wife’s hands.

“I have lived to see this day when God has seen us through a lot of things and blessed us to the extent we are at now my wife. our children have turned out to be successful in their education and they are good to each other. I love seeing them still embracing each other like the time they were kids” he explained removing the beddings and stepping out of bed.

Mr Kangwa was Now 58 years old but a good life made him look younger than his age. his wife who was 56 and had got an early retirement also didn’t match her actual age.

The two had been through some down times in their lives. They started off without anything. Mr Kangwa had lost his parents at tender age of 10 and was raised under harsh circ-mstances by his grand mother. he was later forced to live on the streets when his grand mother died 4 years after his parents.

In the streets, he was lucky an org-nisation looking after street kids picked him and since he was a brilliant child, he was taken back to school. He completed his secondary school with a clear 6 points and the university gave him a 100% bursary to study engineering.

He met his wife when she was working in a stationary shop at campus. she too had lost her father and could not go further in her education because her mother was not working and life was hærd for them. she lived in kalingalinga in a two roomed house with her 3 siblings.

The two fall in love from there and Mr Kangwa kept his promise to marry her when he completed his course. He was lucky being offered a job in the mine as an engneer and he took his wife to train as an accountant.

Over the years they worked hærd to raise their two boys well and invested in physical Assets. They both decided to sell out everything and added up their retirement benefits to start their farm. Even when their son’s seemed reluctant to accept their parent’s decision, it turned out well.

They had decided to empower their children by giving them a share of their inherritance for them to begin their lives.

“Well my dear, you ought to be happy for sure and thank God for seeing is this far.” Mrs Kangwa responded.

” I pray always for our son’s to find good women and live happy. I sometimes worry when they seem not to pay attention to our plea for them to settle down” she complained.

“not to worry my dear.. they will settle down. we just have to be patient with them” said Mr Kangwa

They finished taking their morning bath and went to the dinning table where breakfast was being served.

Jack was already seated by the time his mother and father walked in.

“Good morning guys?” He greeted, standing to hug his mother.

“Morning sonny, where’s your brother? ” Mrs Kangwa responded hugging him back.

“Mmmmm I have not seen him yet mama, he probably over slept ” Jack added going to hug his father.

“As always”, Mr Kangwa sighed.. “James has always been the last one to wake up in this house. I wonder if he’s not always late for work. ” he laughed as he pulled a chair to sit on.

“Mmmmmh thank me dad, I always wake him up in the morning the more reason I still stay at his house. Imagine what he could have done without me” he shrugged teasingly.

“Don’t over praise yourself little brother, or I will send you to the streets” James answered from behind.

He was still in his pyjamas, an indication he had not taken his bath yet.

They all laughed as he quickly k-ssed his parents and patted his brother on the back before heading to his seat.

“Mum and dad, this your baby is trouble he’s always complaining about how I wake up late,I don’t cook blabla.. please tell him to get his house already. it’s not like he can’t” James shouted, taking a bite from his sandwich.

Jack sat across his brother and their parents where on the opposite sides of the table as they ate.

“So, you guys are here for the wh0le week right?” Asked Mr Kangwa.

“Yes dad.. I got a leave for a month from work” answered James.. “I however can’t be here for the wh0le month you know that right?” he asked with a grinn, ” I have to do some other staff in Lusaka..”

“I see”, his mother answered, ” it’s good you decided to come over boys, it’s good to have you both here. so what about you Mr Entrepreneur? How long are you off your business?” She asked Jack who was busy eating and looking at his laptop.

“Hey! Am talking to you Jack can you please close that laptop and finish eating first.” she scolded him when he didn’t respond.

“Oh sorry mother, just that a client sent me some mail I had to check it out. mum what was It you asked?” ,he responded chewing his food.

“I was asking how long you are here” she asked with a sigh.

“I have some days off mama, will see how much work I can do from here. you know sometimes I don’t really need to be at the office. I can also work from here. I was just thinking of staying here for a while if you guys don’t mind, ” he explained.

“It’s our pleasure to have you here sonny. stay as long as you want this house is too big for your mother and I ” his father smiled.

“What? Since when did you decide to stay that long kiddo? ” Asked the puzzled James shaking his head.

He and Jack had agreed to stay for a week and he knew the change of mind had something to do with Lucy.

“Well, well. I know” he laughed.. “I know,” he paused nodding his head knowingly.

“Mmmmmh know what Jammy?, come on. I love it here man, and I want to stay longer whats wrong with that?” Jack shrugged.

“Yea! I see you” James giggled pointing with two fingers at Jack.

” I know the drill kiddo, but I can assure you I don’t need a week to beat you to the game. watch me he ” grinned proudly.

“Oh you are so unbelievable Jammy, it’s not that. it’s just that I feel relaxed here and besides I don’t work for anyone like you. so I can work as I well please” Jack boasted.

“Okay, enough of the arguments guys. so who is going with me to check on the potatoes?” Mr Kangwa asked standing up.

“I will pass dad, “responded Jack.

” I have to respond to some emails before I can leave this house.”

“Let’s go dad!” shouted James pushing back his chair. “am the one on real holiday and I need to explore this place some more plus I have some early bird to catch ” he added with a wink at his brother.

Jack smiled at him, shaking his head, he went back to his laptop as the maids removed the plates from the table.

He went to sit in the garden facing the direction of the main gate against the sun the laptop placed on his laps.

After finishing everything he was working on, he opened Lucy’s Facebook page again and watched her photos. He clicked on send friend request and closed the laptop. Making a few calls to the clients and office, Jack decided to go and see Lucy at her office.

James helped his father with the inspection at the pototoe fields as they dung up the potatoes throwing in the truck.

“So how many pouches do you harvest in a season? ” He asked his father.

“Well if the yield is good we usually get about 2000 and in the bad ones we can do between 1000 and 1500. The thing is am not so much into expanding this potato thing. I think we are doing well with the animals ” he explained as they walked past the workers in the field.

“Okay, am proud of you dad,” he told his father. “you and mom have really set good examples for us. if we stray from your ways its not your fault. We will havr no excuses whatsoever. You guys are the best parents ever” James looked at his father with a smile.

“Am glad to hear that Jammy.. am so glad” smiled Mr Kangwa.

“Hey dad, let me leave you here. I check on someone” ,James said walking away.

“See you later.. ”

” see you sonny” Mr Kangwa responded heading towards the truck being loaded with potatoes.

Lucy was just done checking on the sick animal and walked to her office .

“hey there! ” She called out to Victor who was already seated in the office.

“Morning boss ” he teased as he always did.

“you still around i thought you had left for town to buy the vaccines and some medicines” he asked her.

“Um am leaving soon. I was checking on our patient ” she answered putting some cash in the hand bag and a list of the things she was to buy.

“make sure you give the animals their afternoon vaccine today and inspect the feeding. remember last time the workers didnt give the right quantities of feed.” She instructed Victor who kept nodding his head in agreement.

“I will , don’t worry.” Victor responded.

“Just do me a favour if you can, get me a pack of diapers for the baby and custard. my wife changed her mind she was supposed to go to town too.”

“No problem dear, ” she sighed bending to change from the gamboots to some pamps .

“I have to get my own grocery too so I can easily pick up your things..”

“Thanks, am going out to the goats and carry out those tests. we need to deliver some for sale tommorow.” Victor talked whilst moving towards the door.

“Mmmmh okey.” Lucy answered hanging the coat on the wall.

She closed her computer and checked her face on a small pocket mirrow.

“Good morning Doc” , she heard someone call from the door.

“James! ” She responded..” I didn’t hear you coming, good morning to you, she answered.

He stepped in,side.

“Going somewhere?” He pointed at the hand bag she was holding in her hands.

“Yes actually, I have to go and buy some things for the animals and feed for the chickens.”

“I see”, James answered.. “you are driving?”

“No.. but the driver is ready outside we are using a canter, she told him..

“Am bored here he smiled.. can I go with you?”

“Really? “She asked her face wrinkled on the forehead.

“Yeah sure dear, I need to get out of here for a bit” he smiled.

“Well then, sir, let’s move now. ” she chuckled stepping away from the table.

“Are we both fitting in the canter? We can use my car and then the canter driver can follow us” he suggested.

“Um am… I don’t know if that’s a good idea.” stammered Lucy.

“Come on girl, it’s no big deal. we can’t travel all the way squeezed in that vehicle. let’s use my car and the driver will tag along. come on,” he insisted.

“Oh, okey, if you insist” Lucy sighed.” but I have to pass through some some grocery shops and do my personal shopping too.”

“Yeah no problem, count me in, James” smiled heading out.

“Wait up here let me get the car from the garrage ,” he told her.

“Okey, sure am here” she nodded …

“Ba driver, I think you can go right ahead. Mr Kangwa’s son wants to come with us. We will be right behind you.” Lucy informed the driver

“It’s alright Ngulube,” answered. He was the driver for the farm and a well mannered man. He was single and from the first time he saw Lucy he admired her. but since she was on a higher level than him. he never bothered to tell her. H however had befriended her and always liked the trips to the city as he got a chance to talk to her and be close to her..

He felt disapointed that she wasn’t going to drive with him that day. He had hoped to have a moment with her.

Lucy waved at Ngulube as he drove past her. “see you ” she smiled at him.

“Yeah sure, ” he answered hooting at her.

She waited for James to come by and as she stood looking at her phone screen , she heard someone walk to her. Raising her head to see who was coming, she saw Jack..

“Good morning,” she greeted him.

“Morning Lucy, how is your morning ” he walked to her his face dressed in a wide smile.

“Am good.” she answered him.

“I see you Are going somewhere. where to?” He asked.

“Yes, am going to buy supplys for the Ranch” she nodded.. “your brother just offered to esc-rt me, so the driver left with the canter we will meet up in town.”

“Mmmmh my brother uh?” Responded Jack a tone of disappointment in his voice.

“Yeah James?” She laughed rolling her eyes at him.

“Yeah I know my brothe” he too let a laugh.

James drove by as they talked

” hey brother, am sure Lucy has told you am driving her to town” . he said from the window of his X5 car.

“We have to leave now and keep up with the driver Doc, ” he added opening the door for Lucy .

“See you Jack,” she told him walking to the door.

Jack smiled at her ” yeah take care and Jammy drive decently !” he shouted at his brother.

“remember you are driving a lady.”

“Well, not to worry man. it’s my thing to get gentle with women” he smiled winking at his brother.

Jack shook his heard, he was lossing it. he couldn’t help feeling jealousy of his brother. he liked Lucy so much that the past days he had been thinking of her. but he wouldn’t tell his brother that. He was the one that suggested no involving hearts in the bet .

But how could he fight what he was feeling?, for him it was more than a game. He actulay wished he had not accepted the bet, but instead for him to know Lucy more.

He sighed, sitting down by her office corridor watching the goats being led for grazing at some distance.

Jack was quite different from James, he too had some relationsh¡ps, but he always treated women better than his brother. Jack would not take advantage of a woman’s feelings for example, but unfortunately for him, so far all he had managed to get from the women he dated before was those who were after his money.

On the other hand, James was the lucky one when it came to women. he always got good ones who fall for him genuinely but unfortunately, he never took any of them seriously.

He wished things wouldnt turn out bad for both of them.He and his brother had a great relationsh¡p. he was staying with James not because he couldn’t buy his own house but the fact that he loved his brother and wanted to be close to him made him stay with him at his house.

Jack was glad his business was doing well and his project in South Africa was coming up well. he was specialised in vehicle assembling.. buying car parts from abroad and assembling the vehicles, so far his partnersh¡p with a white man his friend he met when he had gone to the UK some few years back turned out well as Hilary was well connected and knew some people who helped them start up.

His company was one of the few car assembling companies in the country and was doing quite well.

Unlike James, Jack didn’t expose it so much to people that he had it all, he drove a normal Benz instead of a big car.

in,side him he liked being simple and decent.

His mother always told him that he was like his father. he wasn’t the show off type.

“Your brother on the other hand,” she smiled, “is wild, he’s like me, wanting to explore and be exposed. ”

Jack had smiled..” no mama you aren’t like that. I have known you to be humble and not as wild as Jammy” he told her..

“Well my dear, I have grown and besides your father helped me stay calm and tone down.. otherwise I wanted to go places, have all the funny. but when the two of you were born we settled down and deicated our lives to raising you. That’s why you never got to see my wildness ” she laughed..

Jack smiled at the thought, “My brother is not a bad person, he’s got a great heart though he wanted so much to be free and that was in his nature”. he thought.

Walking back to the house Jack changed his mind and decided to go and watch the goats grazing in the far end of the farm. Taking a bottle of water and his laptop.

He went and sat on a small hill working on some projects online.

To be continued…

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