The Veil Chapter 23 - Mzansi Stories

Tuesday, August 2


The Veil Chapter 23


Chapter 23
Early the next morning, Nelly walked towards the bus depot, dragging all the children along. She had knocked on her mother in law's bedroom but had got no response. Angrily she had shouted that she was going and cared less if she heard or not.
It was a trying moment for Nyabanda, her mother in law who thought from then onwards she would never have anything to do with her daughter in law again.
She had washed her hands off that forsaken marriage and her son would see to himself how best he was going to handle this situation.
She had laughed inside her that it saved Nelly well for her husband to take another wife, maybe she would learn the real meaning of respect.
Nelly boarded a truck that carried cabbages after waiting for a bus that didn't come until midday. She was terrified sitting on top and seeing the children clinging to her in equal fright, made her think twice if her marriage was worthy risking her life and those of the children.
It wasn't an easy journey along the zigzag roads that made her shut her eyes not to see the ground below that seemed to stretch into nothingness.She wished for a way that could have made her skip the way through the mountains.
They arrived in Lilongwe when it was late in the night. Her body was sore from the bumpy potholes on the road. She boarded a bus to her home and thought that it was good that she was arriving at night so that she might catch her husband and his mistress red-handed.
Her heart beat inside her wildly in excitement. She looked forward to seeing her rival and show her a thing or two about herself.Along the way, the younger children were complaining about being hungry, she told them that they would eat at home.
At the same time, Joseph was in the arms of another woman Amina. He was laughing at something she had whispered in his ear. He was enjoying his freedom as he loved to put it. It felt like the good old days when he was enjoying his bachelorhood.
Coming to Amina's house was
something that gave him both relief
and excitement. She was a fun loving
woman and everyday was becoming
adventurous with her. They went to
see different places, a thing he had
never done before in all his life. He
had only seen the shimmering Lake
Malawi in the newspapers. The
wonderful Mulanje mountain had
been but a mystery to him.
He had seen it all with Amina.
Money was no longer a problem and
he could now afford spending it for
their leisure.
They had just returned from a
weekend at Liwonde national park. It
was hard to leave her every night.
She always insisted that he return to
his house no matter how late the
hour was. Sometimes he came there
very late so that he should spend
the night, but Amina always
"I will miss you love." He told her
holding her tightly yet again.
"I will miss you too dearest."
She smiled, her eyes misted.
He drew her closer again and closed
his eyes before exhaling heavily. He
could feel that he was in love.
He kissed her on the forehead then
reached for his shoes next to the
Amina stood with her arms across
her chest. She watched him put his
shoes on. He looked at his wrist
watch. It was 10:48. He wished he
couldn't have to drive all the way
back home. He was so exhausted
that he just wanted to fall asleep.
He stepped outside, into the cold
night. The biting wind outside
replaced the warmth he had been
feeling few minutes ago. He walked
hurriedly towards his truck.He
started the car and drove away
without a second glance.
Amina watched him until he sped
off. She felt so sad. She was starting
to blame herself for becoming so soft
all of the suddenly.
She could feel herself slowly
drowning in his charm. He seemed a
nice man and she couldn't deny that
the few months she had known him,
have been some of her happiest.
She couldn't help comparing him to
her ex husband. She had almost
died from his cruelty.
She wished she was doing this in a
different time, under different
circumstances perhaps things could have made
more sense than they were now.
Across the house, she could see
silhouettes of her fellow two police
officers. They were watching her
every move.
The police had set her on his tail
few months ago. She was a Criminal
Investigation Department officer as
Joseph had no idea when she had
begun her seduction until he had
her wrapped around her finger. The
problem now was that she was also
wrapped around his. It was
becoming increasingly difficult to
digest that she was leading him to
his arrest.
She was doing well, The sub
inspector had told her. So far they
had managed to find out that he
had started bringing buyers to the
old garage where he had hid the
maize. It was just a matter of time
before they arrested him. She had
done her job and the other officers
would act like buyers.
They had managed to track each and
every of his movements. She had
seen the bags of maize piled so high
to the roof in half of the garage. The
community was wallowing in hunger
while he was running a one man
show -greed.
She went to bed feeling sorry that
she couldn't prevent what was
coming his way. She had a job to
protect and a long awaited
promotion once this mission was
Sleep was the only thing on Joseph's
mind until he reached his house to
find the lights on.
Could a burglar be so brave as to
make himself so comfortable? He
asked himself.
He switched off the car engine and
cautiously got out. Perhaps his wife
was back? He didn't think she could.
Her pride was too much, she
couldn't have returned without his
convincing and throwing himself at
her mercy. Whoever was inside the
house might have been somebody he
He tried opening the door but it was
locked and he was forced to knock
angrily on his own door.
A wide eyed Nelly opened the door
to his utter disbelief. Who did he
think would open? Amina... Her
name came into his mind
automatically and he smiled. Nelly
thought he smiled at her. She
smiled back.
He walked past her without a word.
Nelly closed the door and wondered
what next to say to him. Asking him
where he was coming from would
ignite wrong switches.
"Your food is on the table."
She said softly.
He turned when he was almost at
the bedroom door.
He went to open the food warmer on
the table. Rice and chicken greeted
him. It looked delicious but his
stomach didn't agree with him. It
was already full from the nsima and
flied fresh fish with seasoned
pumpkin leaves that Amina had
prepared for him earlier.
"No thanks." He said suddenly
closing the food warmer and walking
to the bedroom.
She went to switch off the lights
before following him. She knew he
wouldn't eat. Her thoughts were
wondering all over the place. She
didn't know how to handle it all.
Which one would come first? The
questioning and confrontation or the
make up? Of what? She felt that she
wasn't the one on the wrong. If
there were apologies to be done,
they wouldn't be coming from her.
After all he was the one who had a
girlfriend. If he didn't have one,
where was he coming from at such
an awkward hour?
They spent the night each glued at
their sides on the bed, an abyss
stretched between them which each
of them was too proud to close.
Joseph fall asleep with Amina on his
Even though Nelly was exhausted,
sleep was far from her. She was
awake for a long time. Wondering
why he wasn't asking her anything.
It hurt to think that she came back
when it was obvious that he wasn't
expecting her and he didn't look too
happy seeing her. Did it mean he
had nothing to do with her
anymore? Ooh he hadn't even
bothered to ask for the children let
alone his own mother. She didn't
like this change in him and she
knew that things would never be the
same again between them.

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