The Changing tides
Months had past and Maria was settled, she had managed to get herself a self contained room for
rent in the township near town and she had enrolled to continue her night school in grade 10.
Every day that past Maria worked hard both at work and school.
She at least had that opportunity to talk to her son everyday during the week. She always called
Chanda during the day and she would talk to baby Paul.”Aunty, this house is not the same since you left” Chanda would complain..
“this cousin to the boss has come to stay with us and she’s so mean I fail to understand her. ”
“Well” Maria sighed,
“what do you expect? People can’t be the same. I only hope she’s not mistreating my son
Chanda, otherwise I won’t take that. Even if am struggling here I will have to come get him.” Maria
“Of course not, she barely has time for him and you know how the boss is he wouldn’t tolerate
that and I promise you if she does even a small thing to hurt him, I will ran to tell the boss don’t
worry yourself.” Chanda promised making Maria Smile
“Am glad to hear that Chanda thank you so much for being there for my son. I really appreciate it.”
After cutting the line, Maria sighed pushing away the shoes from her feet. She had knocked off
early that weekend and she decided to spend the whole day resting and studying.
She was just starting to doze off when she heard a knock on the door. Standing up, Maria wiped
her eyes as she walked to the door.
“Hey!” Musonda the neighbour, who was staying in the main house, as Maria was renting a
quarter in the same yard.. called her out with a wide smile.
He was the one that had tried befriending Maria apart from the work mates from the shop.
“Hey Musonda,” she responded.
“I noticed the door was a bit open and I assumed you are home now. How was work today? ” he
asked folding his hands. .
“Well I love the fact that it was half day today and I have to rest and do some studying” she
responded with a laugh.
“That’s good Maria remember last week you promised you would go with me to the games I told
you about, well it’s today and am ready.” He added looking at Maria who was clearly not ready at
all. He knew she had forgotten as he had tried to get her out for some time but she always gave
him an excuse.
“Oh my God, am so sorry I forgot that ” she said pressing her hand in her head.
“Well, we still have about 30 minutes before the game starts you can just change from that
chitenge and and put on something appropriate” Musonda insisted.
Maria looked at him and sighed, the guy was so persistent and she knew he wouldn’t take no for
He was a good looking guy working with Sabol Ltd a company that supplied mines with heavy
equipment and machinery.
From the look of things, Musonda was doing great. He drove a big vehicle and his looks showedthat he had good earnings. Despite all that, Maria never paid attention to him and only took him
as a friend. He was always jovial and made her laugh most of the times.
“Even if I know nothing about rugby, I will go with you because I promised , ” she smiled at him
walking back inside.
“Please come in and have a sit” she called him out.
Musonda sat in one of the two and only seats that Maria had in the room. She had divided the
room with two big and thick curtains.
Maria quickly changed into a jean trousers and a t-shirt. She patted her face with some fresh
powder and used some coloured lip gross before moving out. .
“I think we can now leave” she smiled at Musonda who was busy scrolling something on his
He raised his eyes and looked at her, “wow that was quick” he smiled,
” I expected more minutes from a lady ” he teased standing up.
“Well, consider me a new version of a lady” she laughed walking him out.
Musonda looked at her figure and smiled to himself, the lady before him was definately beautiful
and he wished she was more open with him and maybe he would ask her to be his girlfriend but
her straightness made it so hard for him to take a step in that direction.
Maria sat down and watched as Musonda and his team ran into the field, the game was to begin
and she sighed anticipating how the game was even played as she had never seen rugby before.
As time went by and some people cheered Maria found herself feeling relaxed and was enjoying
watching the game .
She smiled at Musonda who waved at her his hand lifting his muscline hand.
She waved back at him and smiled clapping her hands for him.
When the game was over, Maria was busy looking at a text from Doro where she was telling her
how her boyfriend was in some kind of problems with the police. .
“Hi! So?” Musonda asked bringing Maria to with a start. .
“Well not bad” she nodded her head.
“I think you played well” she smiled at him as he sat next to her.
“it’s a nice game if only I can learn the rules and know when you make a mistake instead of
thinking you were perfect” she teased him.
Musonda laughed so hard he held his mouth.
“That’s something” he smiled chuckling.
“Yes” Maria told him,
“I want to know if you are good or not but it’s hard to tell if I know nothing about the game ” she
“Mmmh I gues I will have to teach you then,” he smiled letting his hand loose on hers and
withdrawing it quickly when Maria’s smile faded and she looked at his hand on her.Was that all? we can go now?” Maria cleared her throat avoiding the glance from Musonda’s
“Oh not yet, there’s another team coming up soon, look!” He shouted facing the field,
“they are almost starting now” he added.
Maria leaned back in the seat.
“Okay, lets watch then..” she smiled at him and looked back to the field.
“So your family is back in Lusaka? ” Musonda asked her as she kept her eyes on the game going
“Sort of…” she responded without turning to look at him.
“Sort of?” Musonda asked.
“Maria, I have come to know you for almost 6 months now and it’s like everytime I ask something
a bit personal you turn it down. Why is that? ”
“Oh Musonda, some things are better left unsaid” she responded sadly.
“I came this far away from the people i know for a reason dear and that’s not something I really
like to discuss. Maybe some day but for now please let it go..” she added turning her head to look
“Well Maria, you know am your friend and you can count on me, I hope one day you will trust me
enough and open up to me”
Maria smiled at him and patted his hand,
“thank you Musonda. You are a great guy and I know you have a big heart too” she sighed taking
back her hand.
Weeks went by and Maria was always keeping herself busy and had updates from Chanda on her
son. The year was over and new years day past. Maria spend most of the festive season days at
church and even when Musonda tried to persuade her to go out in the night with him, she
She however invited him for a service at her church and when they were seated with him in the
benches waiting for the priest to arrive, Maria looked at an elderly man walking into the church
who so much resembled her father.
“Musonda” she whispered to him as the man walked to sit at one of the benches in the front.
Musonda bend his heard to listen to her,
” I think that man’s face looks familiar” she whispered to him.
“Who? He resembled who?” He asked.
“My father, if he was younger I would think that man was my father.”
“Well, maybe he is family” Musonda whispered back.
“Where is your father now? May be you can call him and ask if he has any relations here, youmight not be all alone in Kitwe after all” Musonda added with a shrug.
Maria looked at Musonda and her heart beat fast,
“you may be right Musonda, though i can’t call my father cause both my parents died years back”
she said sadly.
Musonda looked at her surprised,
“oh no, sorry Maria” he said holding her hand.
” You never told me anything so I had no idea.”
“Yeah,” Maria smiled sadly,
“it’s not your fault dear but I will tell you the story when we get home. But before we leave church
today i have to talk to that man, something tells me his not just a stranger. It’s like I know who is
and the instinct is so strong,” she added as the bell to indicate the priest was entering church rung
and everyone stood up.
Musonda looked at her anxious face and wondered the tale behind Maria’s mystery was. He knew
if she trusted him enough to want to tell him something about herself then it was a good sign.
He followed suit and sat down as everyone sat back in the benches. He was not Catholic but was
familiar with the Catholic way of worship.
After mass was over, Maria saw the man she was waiting for greeting some other men of his age
and she stood by Musonda’s vehicle waiting to go to him when he was alone.
“Here he comes,” Musonda announced from the car window.
” Do you want me to go with you?” He asked her.
She looked at him and back at the man, “no, I think I will be fine dear, thanx. Wish Me lucky
thought she smiled nervously.
“Am actually having sweaty hands” she told him.
Musonda shook his head.
“Go now Maria, that man is almost walking out the gate ” he told her giving her a small push on
Maria gained courage and her mouth went open when she was close to the strange man.
“Excuse me sir” she started standing opposite him as he stood to look at who called him.
“How are you young lady?” The man smiled gently and Maria froze. Her voice couldn’t come out,
she felt so numb in her legs.
” The voice” , she shouted in her head speechless.
“Hey , are you okey my child? ” The man asked her when Maria stayed quite for some time.
Maria came back to her senses and looked at the man before her.
“Am so sorry sir, I thought you looked like someone I know but I was wrong ” she told him and ran
back to Musonda’s vehicle as the man looked at her surprised.
“What?” Musonda asked her when she sat down panting in the passenger seat. .
Maria stayed quite and Musonda got concerned,
“Maria!” he shook her.”Are you okey?” he asked seeing tears running down her face.
Maria looked at him tears falling.
“That man sounds just like dad. His voice, seeing him so close felt like I was talking to my father
and I couldn’t get myself to ask him anything cause I was almost breaking down in front of him ”
she explained crying.
“Musonda my family died in a road accident when I was only about 11 years old. I was left all
alone without any relatives. My parents married without the concert of their parents and they were
somehow disowned. I never knew anyone else from their family’s Musonda.” She explained to
the Musonda who was watching her shocked at what he was hearing .
“But Maria, who did you live with after the fatal accident?” he asked her..
“Well I stayed on the streets for 5 years but its a long story how I got out. I got pregnant and now
the father to my child got my baby we are no longer together so I moved here to have some kind
of start over ” she explained…
“Wow! That story is so touching Maria and am sorry for what you have gone through . You have
had it the hard way and I promise you I can’t even understand what you have been through but I
can say for sure that you are a strong woman . You are dertermined to complete your secondary
school and I know you will make it through life. ” Musonda said
Looking at Maria as she closed her eyes and leaned on the seat tears falling.
“It’s been so hard I never want to remember the pain I have been through Musonda. My only hope
is my son and now I met this man who has just reminded me of my parents. I don’t know what to
“Well ,” Musonda held her. held
“You will have to ask that man one of these days and just know for sure. It wouldn’t hurt to try
right?” He asked her as she removed tears from her eyes with a piece of tissue he handed her.
“I will help you to find that man and am sure since we saw him here he will probably be at church
again” he added.
Maria looked at him and sighed.
“Thank you for being here ” she whispered honestly .
” You remind me of my friend Jake” she smiled.
“Well I hope to be more than him” he teased starting the ignition.
“We can go now, are you feeling okey?” he asked, as the car started moving.
“Yeah, thank you” Maria sighed putting the seat belt on.