The Veil Chapter 20 - Mzansi Stories

Tuesday, April 26


The Veil Chapter 20


Chapter 20
Today is the fruit of yesterday and the seed of tomorrow, choose your seeds carefully- unknown
Loveness arrived home from the market. Flora was surprised to see her back so early but the look of exhaustion on her mother's face made her not to ask any questions.
Chifundo put her arms up when she saw her grandmother. Loveness picked her up and went straight to her room. Forgetting that it was almost empty. The day was about to end yet there was no sign of Joseph. His phone was still out of reach. She was tired of this place and everything that had been revolving around it for the past years. She loathed poverty so much that if there was a chance to dismiss it with a magic wad, she could have done so. What sort of life was this? The life of wallowing in debts that left her humiliated. Living from hand to mouth had never been something she had envisioned when she was growing up. Somewhere along the way she had made a wrong choice that had borne sour results and filled her with regrets.
She clamored for a different life far from all this. Far from being called names of ridicule. She remembered very well that there were times when people got away when she approached for fear of her begging.
She thought that she could go away somewhere and start life afresh. She could find a job as a maid or anything as long as it could bring food on the table.
She felt so bad because poverty had made it impossible to get educated. In a country where people depended on education as a means of survival, it was a real struggle especially when one didn't have the muscle to rein a profitable business.
Growing up, she had come to accept the yawning gap between the rich and the poor. The rich becoming richer. Riding in poshy cars and building mansions. The poor getting poorer. Surviving on a dollar per day, hardly earning enough to afford renting good houses. Dying from curable diseases because government hospitals didn't have medicine, a fatality of a corrupt nation.
Public services were turning into a frustration, whereby a demand for better service was overlooked by the government. It was a situation of finger pointing between the government and the people.
Government felt like people had not changed their mindset enough to be independent and create jobs of their own through agriculture and production, while people accused the government of betrayal after voting the readers in power. They turned a blind eye to their cry for almost everything. The son of a politician would be sent to an international school while the son of a voter struggled in public schools that barely had learning facilities to sharpen them for their future with teachers who were frustrated of meager salaries and poor working conditions.
She felt she had to do more. Anything that could change her life and that of her children.
At that same moment, Joseph was lighting a cigarette while explaining his ordeal to his friend and thinking of what to do with Loveness' things.
His friend, Nelson was scratching his beads before rolling into fits of laughter in disbelief at what Joseph had just done.
"She is just a poor widow. And your brother's widow for that matter. Can't you show some love?"
"No man, she has to pay back every penny. I don't own a charitable organization. Atleast if she can't afford to pay me back,she could have just agreed to sleep with me. Maybe only then I could have forgiven her."
" Well so that's it now... " He laughed again before proceeding to say," You know what Joseph just let her be if she doesn't want to sleep with you. It won't kill you."
"You are talking like that because it's not you. Have you forgotten so soon that you impregnated your wife's younger sister who was still in secondary school? Why didn't you let her be? I'm talking about a woman I have loved for a long time. My brother snatched her away from me out of scorn when I told him that I loved Loveness. After I went to work to raise enough money for her bride price, he quickly married her in my absence. What is wrong in claiming back what is mine?"
Nelson had never seen his friend in such an emotional state before.
"Just let it go man, you have a wife."
" Forget about Nelly she is there to milk me dry. I was bitter and lonely. I wanted to show my brother that I could get another woman. Nelly wanted a means out of her poverty."
Then he started telling him how she had refused to open the door for him. When he finished, Nelson said,
" You give that woman too much freedom to control you and mingle in your affairs."
"It's not like that. She just talks too much for her own good."
"Put her where she belongs then before she ruins your whole life. Imagine Loveness still stuck by your useless brother's side until the end but Nelly wants to put you under petticoat government when you have the money. Have you told her where you were?"
"It's time to show her who owns the house. Do what you know best."
His friend's words seemed to have lit a spark inside Joseph's head. He remembered how Nelly denied him his conjugal lights after misunderstandings. Sometimes the silent treatment would stretch for a week or more until he apologized with money or a new dress. He realized that he had taken so much for too long.
There and then wicked thoughts overtook his mind. He knew just how to punish her.
He said goodbye and told his friend that the following day he would make arrangements for people to buy Loveness' things so that they didn't overcrowding his shop surroundings.
He drove off home.
The moment he entered the house, he met his wife who started questioning him as if she was a Federal Bureau Investigation agent.
"Where were you? You surely had the guts to leave us with no money?"
"Oh please give me a break. Should I be scared to come to my own house?"
He said sitting next to his youngest son, Yamiko who was none too pleased at the argument which was starting.
"Just tell me who is the new woman. I have been seeing your behaviour so you can't deny anything. Why I got myself caught up with you I will never understand."
She was talking on top of her voice, heedless of the children.
"Shut up. All you ever do is moan like a cow yet you have never worked a day in your life. Fellow women are out there sweating and earning a living yet you sit on your bottom all day, just eating and getting fat."
His words sent pain in her heart. So it's true, he has just admitted to seeing another woman better than me. She thought bitterly.
She felt that the accusations weren't true. She kept the house tidy, looked after the children, prepared meals and washed his clothes, then why was she accused of doing nothing all day long?
She had borne him four precious children. Wasn't it enough to earn a little respect in his heart?
Out of anger she started breaking things.
"Is this what is important for you apart from all of us? Do you want to work and own things? I will show you that these things are never permanent.Money will never fill your heart with happiness."
The children scurried away to their bedroom, scared of this new angry and horrific woman.
Joseph watched as the expensive glass cutlery he had bought from abroad was being reduced to pieces.
Why did they end up fighting when they could have sat down and reasoned like adults?
He went to their bedroom and she followed him, hurling him with all the insults she knew under the earth. Accusing him of adultery and neglecting his family, of selfishness and hate.
"I'm leaving you so that you should continue womanizing. Fullfill all the fantasies you have of all women of different sizes."
She said, thinking that he would beg her to stay. He didn't utter any word of remorse.
She saw that he wasn't a bit moved about her leaving, so she used her last shield; the children. She knew how much he adored them and wouldn't manage to part from them.
"I'm taking the children with me. You have never cared for anything in this world but yourself."
" You will not do that!" He shouted back. That was what she wanted to fuel her anger more. The more he could answer her back, the more she could insult him and break things.
She knew where it would end; he might beat her but it did little to scare her. It seemed like she was ready for anything.
"I don't want to have anything to do with you anymore. Pack whatever is yours in this house and leave. For good!"
He knew that if he continued seeing her the whole night and listen to her shouting as if he was deaf and dumb, he might end up wringing her neck.
He dragged her outside the bedroom and locked it. She didn't stop shouting as she packed everything in the kitchen. The small television screen and radio were tied on a wrapper and put on the table awaiting the journey. She went to the children's bedroom and started packing their clothes. Tamara, her elder daughter said she didn't want to go. Her mother answered by slapping her on the face and told her not to be like her selfish father.
The poor child kept quite and started packing her things with tears streaming down her cheeks.
Anger had taken hold, it's grip so firm it would destroy them if they were not wise to see it.
She finished packing everything except for their bed and Joseph's clothes.
She then called his brother, Mussa to hire a vehicle. He did as bid. After two hours, he came with a lorry. Muses and the driver helped her load the things. The little children wondered why they were going away without their father. They knew better than to ask their mother who looked so angry as if she had swallowed a viper.
When they asked their sister she told them that,"That's what adults do when they are very tired."
She didn't even know where she got it from but from the look of things her parents seemed so tired these days. With eachother, that she was certain.
The vehicle drove off with their mother still shouting and cursing their father.Muses asked where he should instruct the driver to go.
"To your house ofcourse." She answered.
"No ways sis. You can't leave your husband's house and expect to overload mine. Look at all this, where will it be? Besides, my wife won't be pleased."
"Where do you suggest I go then?" She asked again, taken aback for a moment that she had nowhere else to go. Their parents were long deceased and her older sister's house was a no go zone since they weren't on speaking terms at the moment.
"How about you go to your mother in-law's house?"
He suddenly suggested.
"You can't expect me to go and stay with that woman. We have never got along."
She said sarcastically.
"The choice is all yours. We can't be moving around with all these things. The driver will want extra money. Why do you hate your mother in law so much?"
" She has never loved me."
She answered simply.
"Has it ever occurred to you to love her first?"
" I don't need your lecturing brother at this moment. Save it for another day."
She said dismissing the issue.
"I was just trying to help."
"Let's go there then. It's in Chikwawa."
"I know the place, I went there with you soon after you got married."
Nelly only nodded. She didn't know how she would cope for the whole time she would be there. She didn't have any other choice but to go. From Lilongwe to Chikwawa it was going to be a long journey. Travelling down the snaking roads of the lower shire would feel like she was living her life behind.
Perhaps being at his mother's place would make him come quickly for her and the children.
Naomi looked at herself again in the mirror. Impressed with what she saw, she proceeded to put on her black heels. Clad in a black dress and a cream white jacket, she knew she looked good. Her braids were tied in a ponytail that showed her forehead perfectly. Giving her a neat appeal.
She was excited. Brian had told her of his idea to employ her and she agreed that it would do her good. The house sale procedure was almost coming to an end. Even if her father would move to the village, she was likely to afford staying alone. Her brother would be at a boarding school and during holidays he would be at the village. Her father had told her of his plans to buy a farm. To raise cattle and grow crops peacefully.
She had come to understand his good intentions and not judge him for wanting something different. She wished him luck and prayed that he would manage his new life well.
She waited for her father to finish his breakfast and drop him at Brian's office. Most of these days he was in good moods that sometimes led to eating out at her favorite restaurant since she was a child or taking her shopping just as he used to do when she was little.
Her appointment was at 10:00 AM. She had wanted to confirm it that morning if her phone battery had not died, there had been no electricity since the previous morning. The load shedding was becoming hard everyday yet they still received absurd high bills at the end of the month.
She checked the time, 09:00. It gave them enough time to beat traffic. This was her ever first interview and she wouldn't want to spoil it by showing up late.
Her father went to take the car keys and they drove off.
Brian was chewing on his nail furiously in agitation.
Rachel was standing in front of him, none too pleased. She wanted her money back. Part of the money he had used to start BQ Estate Agent had been hers three years ago. They had meant to make it as a family business for they were sure that they would get married some day. Unknown to both of them that someday they might part ways. She had sold her car that her father had bought as her twenty-fifth birthday present.
She was demanding more now including the interest that had accumulated over the years. It had been two million but not she was demanding not less than five million failing which she would seek legal counsel.
As if that wasn't a problem enough, it was just a matter of time before Naomi came for the meeting. How would he explain this situation to her? He was sure she was likely to think that he had invited them both deliberately.
Why was fate playing with him in such a way? Just when he thought he had Naomi back, the cards turned upside down.
He was sweating profusely as Rachel refused to get out of his office without a concrete answer.
She had presented him this absurb idea of equal partnership of the company. For the moment, the economy was not in his favour, so taking out money not less than five million was a business risk he didn't want to dive in.
He had thought he was biding time to make more money before she came to claim hers back, hence the relocation.
She had looked for him and found him and wasn't to listen to anymore of his stories.
Rachel thought herself a stubborn fool who never listened to anyone else but herself. Her best friend had once warned her from investing so much money in a man who she had not got married to. She had dismissed it as mere jealousy. Did she know the things true love was capable of making one do?
If he was fond of swindling other people's money, then he was in a for a big surprise. She was going to leave no stone unturned until she got her money back.

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