Mzansi Stories : The Veil
Showing posts with label The Veil. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Veil. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 2


The Veil Chapter 25

Chapter 25
Joseph stared blankly in the dark. It gave him a sense of peace and security. He had never been afraid in all his life until now.
He thought he was safe at Amina's house. It was the last place anyone could think he could come. He had taken a taxi from the trading centre, leaving his truck with his shop owner friend Nelson. He knew where Amina hid the key and had simply let himself inside. She had called him earlier that morning to say she had gone to town. Her former employee at the boutique she used to work wanted to see her. He checked at the time on his phone. 9:25 pm and Amina wasn't back yet. What boutique still opened at such hours? Her phone was switched off, he had been trying it several times.

It was becoming frustrating. One of his friends from the police department had called him at 5:00 am that morning saying the police would be at his door anytime.
He had woken up hurriedly and driven off leaving his wife asleep like a log.
It was frustrating to look for a hideout where people had no idea. He stopped using his old mobile number and put in the SIM card that his accomplices knew. The news he had got was that the garage was now guarded by heavily armed police men. He had thought of being secretly led out of the area but nobody among his so called friends was willing to take the risk. The police seemed to be sniffing everywhere.
He heard the key turning in the lock. Amina was back. She switched on the lights on the living room and let out a startled cry in fright.
"My goodness, you really scared me!" She exclaimed.
He simply looked at her.
"She dropped her handbag on the nearest chair and walked to his side.
"Are you okay? You don't look yourself."
"Can I stay here for a few days?" He asked slowly.
"I don't understand you Amina. Why do you always seem to be in a rush to get rid of me?"
"What is that supposed to mean?" Her heart thumped in her throat. Perhaps he now know that I'm a police officer. She thought.
"You know I'm serious about us but sometimes you give me doubts. You look like you hold yourself back and you don't trust me." He spoke while her hands were capped in his.
"You still haven't told me why you want to stay here for a few days."
"You won't understand even if I tell you. Later it's when I might tell you everything."
"I'm sorry but I can't. If you want to stay here then tell me everything."
He left her hands then held his head in silence.
Sweat was breaking on his forehead and he could feel it too in his armpits. He didn't want to lose control.
"Lets get married then." He said suddenly.
"What? No way. I mean it's too early for that, don't you think? Besides I want to get to know you better first."
He thought she still didn't know that he was married or rather he was separated from his wife.
She was aware that the police had been at his house and he was on the wanted list in all nearest police stations.
It was a shame he thought her house was a safe haven when actually he should have been running as far away as possible.
"Have you had anything to eat?" She asked smilling.
"Not yet. My stomach is rumbling."
"Sit down and watch the television. Let me cook you something."
He grinned widely. He loved her cooking and was looking forward to what he would have. His mouth salivated.
She carried her handbag to the bedroom. Closed the door and took out her cellphone.
She called one of her colleagues on the case.
She spoke in haste cautiously. She told him of Joseph's presence and he replied that the police would be there as soon as the vehicle was back from another operation.
"Don't come raising all the sirens. He may get away."
She said before hanging up.
She changed into a simple dress and went back to check on Joseph.
"Everything okay sweetheart?"
"Yes." Feeling good he smiled in reply. He couldn't remember the last time his wife had called him such sweet names.
She went to the kitchen and started cooking while humming to herself. He heard her. Such a sweet thing. He thought.
Oh what treachery lies in a woman. He would realize soon.
She made beef stew, beans and nsima just the way she knew he loved it.
She set the table and they sat down to eat. Time was approaching to a quarter to eleven.
His plate was heaped to his satisfaction, he put pepper in his beef stew and ate with such a big appetite. Amina watched her. Her heart thumping at every passing minute. She knew time was up. Soon the police would be coming.
"Eat your food.why are you quite?" His voice jolted her back from her thoughts.
She smiled and took a piece of meat from his plate.
When they were finished eating and the dishes cleared away, he removed his shoes and put his feet on the table, a toothpick on the corner of his mouth.
He flipped through the channels. On MBC television they were beaming a program that was being repeated thrice that evening.
He switched it off in annoyance.
"What time will you be going back to your place?" She asked him.
He didn't reply. Instead he stood up from his seat and went to her. She knew what he was thinking of doing. She allowed him to hold her. Just as he was about to carry her to the bedroom, a heavily sounding knock shook the door. They both looked startled.
"Are you expecting anyone?" He asked shaken.
"No." She answered.
"Are you sure? Then who would be that at this hour?"
"I...I don't know. Let me just check maybe it's my neighbor."
He watched her go to open the door. He was alert. As soon as Amina turned her back, his hand was on his gun inside the band of his trouser.
The moment the door opened, the police burst in.
To the surprise of everybody, Joseph took out the gun.
"You can't do this. This whole area is surrounded by the police." One of the officers said.
"I don't care. How did you know I was here in the first place?" Joseph asked.
In answer the policeman just looked at Amina who in turn looked down.
"You?" Joseph asked Amina. He couldn't believe she had sold him all along.
"I will fire this gun if any of you comes near me. I will walk out of this door with Amina and you tell your colleagues out there to back off."
He told the four officers to put down their guns and they obliged by putting their hands behind their heads.
As he spoke, he straddled Amina inside the crook of his arm, choking her.
"You will pay for this b****!"
He shouted.
Amina started crying. Begging him to let go of her but it all fall on deaf ears.
"You thought I was a fool to love you? Is this how you repay me traitor?"
Joseph was becoming hysterical. He didn't know what awaited him out there.
It was evident he had nowhere to run to. He had been but a fool because he shouldn't have gotten involved with her in the first place. He had walked right into a trap, embracing it with both hands.
He had seen this only in action movies where criminals could fool the police and fight their way to freedom. Here he was weighing his survival options. They were close to nothing.
Why had he took out the gun? He had never used it before except during firing sessions which he had only done three times in the past one year.
Now they would make sure to pin it down to him. Illegal possession of firearm was a serious criminal offence.
He started imagining a penniless life in prison since all his money had been used to corrupt different people and he had thought the sale of the maize would bring back the financial flow. How wrong he had been.
He was thinking of an escape route when he felt a cold barrel of a gun behind his back.
"Let go of the lady mister before things get rough."
Another police officer had gone inside the house through Amina's bedroom window and catwalked to the living room.
Joseph was now on his knees, crying hysterically. He felt handcuffs click in his wrists.
"You are under arrest for suspected theft and conduct likely to cause breach of peace. Whatever you say will be used against you in the court of law." One of the police officers told him.
As if he didn't know the rubbish they usually said. It was a ritual that meant nothing to the suspect who mostly didn't know what they really meant.
Of all his toughness, his manly ego, did he had to be taken down by a woman? It troubled him on a serious note. He was scared of the future. Who would take care of his mother and children? How many years would he serve in jail?
It was a moment of reflection like that of most dying men. Except that it wasn't his soul returning to the owner but his body about to be subjected to physical torture.
As he was almost thrown into the police van. His eyes met with Amina's. He thought he saw the female Judas smilling at him.
Amina personally went to deliver the news of Joseph's arrest to his wife. Nelly had barely slept that night as impatience and worry continued to eat her mind.
Amina introduced herself as a police officer who out of goodwill had came to tell her. She gave her money to take care of things at home and use for transport to see her husband at the police station at the trading centre as he was about to be transfered to prison to await trial.
Nelly now knew that her husband's night escapades had bore him nothing but a prison sentence. She was shocked to learn the extent of his crime. What gave him the guts to steal like that? For how long did he think his secret would still be intact?
What would happen to her and the children when he is locked away?
She had no idea how to set up a business let alone run it. Who would help her to stand on her feet against the harsh winds of life that threatened to come as a result of idleness?
As she got ready to see her husband, she thought of somewhere she could live if worse came to worst. Definitely her mother in law wouldn't welcome her back not after the rude manner in which she had talked to her. Who else among her relatives would put up with her and her children? She didn't see anyone.
The news of Joseph's arrest spread around the neighborhood like wild fire.
It was also rumoured that whoever was an accomplice to Joseph's many crimes would suffer the same fate.
The media went crazy. This was a crime against humanity and they would leave no stone unturned until everybody who was dented was brought to book. Government officials were involved too and the net awaited them. What sort of hardness would root so much greedy in the hearts of men?
Joseph's friend Nelson who was still keeping Loveness' property after Joseph had confiscated it was very troubled. He didn't know if he was going to be arrested too for being an aide.
He continued to think over the matter until he decided to go to the police and explain himself then hand everything over. He didn't want to complicate himself by approaching Loveness first in case some things were missing.
He regretted ever involving himself with Joseph. One could take advantage of a fellow man, cheat and deceive him to his heart's satisfaction but plowing on defenseless widows and orphans was a no. It would attract the wrath of God.
He set off and went to the police station. His statement was taken and he was referred to the officer handling Joseph's case. The officer agreed to go and see the property before handing it over to Loveness. If at all there was anything missing, he would bare the consequences.
The policeman couldn't believe Joseph's cruelty. If he was capable of harming his own late brother's family, what other impurities could he do?
He knew that he should only do his job and stop being personal but this case was enough to rise all the fury buried underneath.
He would make sure this abuse was highlighted on the list of Joseph's crimes so that justice was served accordingly.
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The Veil Chapter 24

Chapter 24
In this life we either meet for a reason or for a lesson- unknown.
When daylight came, Joseph was already gone from the bed. Nelly realized painfully that she couldn't remember hearing him saying goodbye if at all he did.
Her head was throbbing. Looking by the sun when she opened the curtain on the window, she could tell that it was already morning. She must have slept heavily. The children were already awake, she could tell from the excited chattering outside.
She managed to drag herself out of bed to prepare breakfast. They would eat leafovers from last night's meal she just had to make tea.
She noted that Joseph had not been taking his meals oftenly when she looked in the basket of maize flour. The bag of maize she had left before she had gone away remained untouched at the corner of the spare room in the house which sometimes acted as a store room.
Last night when she arrived from the village, she had gone through the house looking for any traces of another woman's presence. There were none.
Maybe she was just overreacting.
She had a lot of work to do. The children's clothes and beddings needed thorough washing. The plates as well as the house needed mopping too. Memories of bed bugs from the village still made her body cringe.
She went to the kitchen outside to light the fire. Her neighbor was sorting her firewood, preparing to make a fire too.
They exchanged pleasantries. She knew her arrival would set tongues wagging across the village as well as the scandal she had left behind would resurface. If at all the other woman was coming to the house, she would hear it all in due course for this neighborhood was too small for secrets. They were bound to come out at some focal point.She prayed that nobody would be brave enough as to ask her about it because they would be on the receiving end of her wrath.Her marriage was her business. Period.
Soon the fire was blazing and she put a pot of water to boil.
After breakfast, she helped the chil dren take their bath. As she was
rubbing oil on her youngest son's
body, she was distracted by a car
that pulled over in the compound.
She peeped through the window, her
heart hammering inside thinking
that it was her dear husband. It was
a police vehicle. The famous land
cruiser dubbed 110 for reasons yet
to be known had come to her own
door. Four police officers in civilian
clothes carrying guns jumped out of
the vehicle before it finally stopped.
Two of them run behind the house
as one came to knock on the door
while the other one looked to and
fro as if in expectation of a sudden
unknown ambush.
She felt the children coming closer
to her. The youngest held on to her
skirt tightly.
What were the police doing at her
house as if they had heard that
there were hiding hardcore
She went to open the door shivering
even though the sun was too hot
already in the mid morning.
"We are looking for Joseph."
One of the policemen who looked
like he had an extra head growing at
the end of another one said while
looking over Nelly's shoulders. He
actually didn't see the need for
introductions since the vehicle spoke
volumes. Nelly didn't think the need
to ask their names let alone if they
had a search warrant.
"He...he is not at home." She
stammered. The officer looked at her
hard in the eye before looking again
over her shoulders suspiciously. He
was acting like he could see Joseph
spring outside at any moment.
"Where did he go?"
"I don't know.I was still asleep when
he left."
"And you are?..."
"His wife."
He smiled mockingly at her
"You are his supposedly wife yet you
have no idea where he has gone to?"
She only nodded her head in
"We need you to step outside and
let us search the house."
As he was talking the two policemen
who had gone behind the house,
"Nothing yet." One of them said to
'extra head'.
Nelly stepped aside and watched
the policemen enter and turn her
house upside down. She stood with
her hand holding on to her cheek wo cheek wondering what Joseph had
gotten himself into in her absence.
Soon a crowd started gathering.
They pointed and whispered among
themselves. She was sure they were
making stories that would circulate
around, without any hint of the
Soon they were finished.
"When last did you see your
husband?" Asked 'extra head.'
He didn't think she was telling the
"When you see him again tell him
we came to say hie."
Nelly nodded her head in response.
She felt like she was her youngest
son's age. The way he looked at her
was demeaning.
They went to the vehicle and drove
off with the same frenzy they had
came with.
Nelly could hear herself sigh deeply
with relief.
Joseph owed him an explanation as
to why the police were at their door.
Embarrassing them before their
neighbors. Once the police visited, it
was like a bad odour had been
planted, people would simply start
avoiding you.
Knowing her husband, it wouldn't be
easy for him to tell her the truth.
She was even lucky if he would tell
her the gravity of his crime.
She took out a wooden stool and
placed it on the verandah. Tapping
her foot in anticipation of his return
home even if he could take forever to do so.
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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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Monday, May 23


The Veil Chapter 22

Chapter 22
“Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?” – Unknown.
Lucy sat down and contemplated on her next mission. Her bubble had been busted way too soon before had plans had been fruitful. She shivered slightly, not from the cold but from the fear of what was likely to happen to her next. She didn’t know if Alick had killed the man because of Five Hundred Kwacha or because he had found out that she was having an affair with him. From what Jack had told her, she suspected that Alick already knew too much. If he was capable of killing a man for having an affair with his wife, how much more could he have punished her? He surely could have strangled her with his bare hands. She shuddered at the thought of it.
Was it her fault that he was barely at home most of the nights? When he was busy entertaining customers in his bar, she had sought her pleasures elsewhere for mostly he arrived home exhausted and drunk. What she forgot was that he did the business for her. Her insane demands for good things they could barely afford and her insatiable desire to look like they lived posh had ended up making him doing illegal businesses. That must have hurt him so much to think that he was working harder than he had done before in the whole of his life yet she was still going behind his back and sleeping with another man.
Lucy was on the crossroads. She patted her tummy in despair. Wasn’t it bad enough that she was advanced in years and now she was pregnant for a dead man or the prisoner? Perhaps it was better he had died because he was married and chances of leaving his wife for her were close to naught. It could have been better to go back to her relatives but who would accommodate her after her reputation had way preceded her?
Going to her daughter wasn’t possible as well. She was married to a Policeman in Salima and had a one year old child. She couldn’t face her for the shame and humiliation was too much. People won’t stop wagging their tongues in gossip. She knew she couldn’t wait until the baby was born to determine who the father was for already Alick looked like he was done with her. She couldn’t risk her life by getting near him when he would get out of prison, if he would at all. He was someone who held a grudge for a very long time.
It was 6:00 pm. Loveness had come back from the market and taken a bath. She was getting worried for Flora was not yet at home with the babies. It was getting dark and cold, she wondered what she was thinking to still be out at this hour. She didn’t know how many times she was supposed to tell her not to expose the children to pneumonia or coughs.
The younger children have said they didn’t find her at home when coming from school at least she had left after preparing food. She wanted to start preparing supper but was way too worried for that.
She heard footsteps outside, then a slight knock on the door before Flora and Jack entered each carrying one of the twins. She should have known better that lover boy was back no wonder Flora had been acting like she had her head in her hands the previous day. It was obvious that they would always disagree when it came to Jack.
She moved to the far end of the mat to give them enough space to sit down. The twins upon seeing their grandmother wriggled free from their parents’ hold and crawled excitedly to her. She took both of them in her arms and tickled them. Their laughter filled the whole room. They were equally happy to see her as much as she was. She put them down and greeted Jack.
“Flora I have told you not to keep the children out until dark. They might catch a cold or worse pneumonia.” She said trying hard not to sound angry. Jack’s presence was enough to rise her temper.
“I’m sorry Mama but she was at my place. We must have got caught up in chatting not to see that it was getting dark.” Jack apologized instead of Flora.
“I don’t know what I must do for her to listen to me.” She said further.
“We apologize Amai.”
It was a new experience to listen to Jack apologizing. Loveness looked at her daughter from the corner of her eye. She looked like a cat that had finished a bowl full of milk. How dare she go behind her back and get all goody with the very same man who had once treated her like trash. She hoped she hadn’t made the mistake of forgetting so easily.
“Besides… who gave you permission to bulge in and out of my house as you please?”
They both didn’t reply.
“Look here you two. I don’t want cat and mouse games under my nose. You once gave me enough grief and am having none of it again.”
“But Mum…” Flora started protesting but Loveness shut her up.
“Let me be frank with you before I have my house full of your babies. If you want to do things in the right way I demand to see your people as soon as you can arrange it. At least do the right thing and save yourself the shame.”
“Mum!” Flora didn’t want her mother to embarrass Jack, not when she had just got him back. What would he think? That her mother was pushing her to him?
“I understand your fears Mama. I already explained this issue to my Uncle and I should thank him for being the one giving me sound advice to make things right. I’m sorry for my unfortunate behavior and my father’s in the past, I’m sure you will find it in your heart to forgive me. My Uncle will come to see you before all my people comes. There is something he would like to do for you.” Jack said.
“When is he coming?” Loveness wanted to be sure he was telling the truth.
“I will let you know when he is ready because he has already returned to Blantyre earlier this morning but he will be back soon.” Jack answered.
“Please do. How is your father? Such a shame that he is in prison.”
Jack and Flora looked at each other at the sudden change of the subject. They knew for now the issue had been laid to rest.
He stayed for a few more minutes then took out Four Thousand Kwacha and gave it to a disbelieving Loveness. She accepted it and hoped one day she won’t be insulted for it.
Flora looked at Jack and wondered where he was getting such kind of money. Not mentioning of the children’s clothes they had gone to buy at the trading center that afternoon. It was just too good to be true.
She heard her name being called for like a thousand times that morning alone and wondered what it was again. As it was, her fingers hurt because of shelling maize and she couldn’t manage to go to draw water on her head with all the heat. This place was so hot. The children were playing under the big tamarind tree. She had heard her mother in law calling her but she was so tired to do any more house chores. She knew the big pot of nsima also awaited her on the fire. Since her coming, it seemed everyone had been relieved of their duties. It was left to her as the daughter in law.
This was her third month but she still had not heard from Joseph. The man was simply heartless, she thought. Couldn’t he have at least checked on the children?
Her last born son Yamiko had been having a burning fever since two days ago. At the local health center five kilometers away, they had given him pain killers yet he was getting worse and she was becoming impatient. What was she thinking anyway to move out of her home? Did she have enough evidence to prove that her husband was cheating? No, then why had she jumped to conclusions? Her husband was the most secretive person and she knew nothing about the businesses he run. He had never given her a chance to know what he was doing. It hurt to be put outside of their finance generating circle. Was it a crime that she sat at home and didn’t contribute in bringing the money? But she took take of the children and did all household chores.
How many times had he refused to give her money to start her own business? Several times. He said he was afraid she might run off with another man. He was one insecure man, afraid of his own shadow. He knew that her financial independence would be a ticket for her to soar to unbelievable heights.
Nabanda was sure Nelly was playing deaf deliberately. She needed help to move the bags of maize from the veranda to the store room for safe keeping. To her, Nelly was just so lazy and wondered why she had bothered to come to her in the first place. What had she expected? A housemaid perhaps. Life was tough in the rural areas and she needed to prove her worthy and hardworking skills to her in laws.
She knew something was wrong the moment Nelly had turned up with a loaded truck even though she had pretended that everything was fine. The gift of cotton wrappers and plastic shoes which she had given her were enough to verify her suspicions. It wasn’t many a times when Nelly did that.
When she had asked about her son, she had simply said he would be coming any day to see them. Three solid months had elapsed since and he hadn’t said anything about coming the last time she had talked to him on the phone.
She went to the kitchen to check on the nsima on the fire and found Nelly putting firewood. The kitchen was filled with eye stinging smoke. She quickly withdrew, went to clear the mat and awaited the late lunch.
Later that evening when they were about to go to bed, Nabanda called her daughter in law to have a word with her. She wanted to know what the problem was because hiding under the fa├žade of having a holiday wasn’t going to sort out her marital issues. Nelly took the children to bed and came back. It wasn’t easy to sit down with her mother in law and have a serious talk when they have never been close.
After several minutes of throat clearing, Nabanda started talking.
“I appreciate a lot for your visit but we both know that this isn’t a social call. So tell me what the problem is?”
She felt that there was no need to mince about words.
Nelly was surprised of her forwardness but in another way she was glad that she was the one to start.
“Let me apologize for not being open with you. I have never been very good in communicating.”
“It’s alright. Sometimes we need something to open us up. So tell me what the problem is?”
“He sent me out of the house after we quarreled.” Nelly said.
“What is the issue you quarreled about?” Nabanda asked yet not wanting to sound like she was pushing her.
“He is having an affair and keep coming home really late. When I ask where he was, he doesn’t give me straight answers. What sort of marriage is it if he isn’t open with me?”
“Does it mean if he told you that he wants to take another wife, would you have agreed?”
“No way can I agree for him to take a second wife. Its better I end issues with him than tolerate such nonsense.”
“He complained that you are so rude to him and he wants to take another wife.”
“What are you serious? No, he can’t possibly do that. I just react to his actions. What about the children?”
“He will come for the children and you will have to go back to your people. He is arranging for his uncles to meet your uncles and get done with you.”
It felt like a very bad dream. Nelly was angry. With Joseph but mostly with herself. Did it mean the woman has been there all along or he had his chances the moment she got out of her house?
“When did he tell you all this?” she asked, hiding the tremble in her voice.
“Today afternoon. He plans to come for the children next week.” Nabanda answered.
“I’m sure you are the one supporting him.” That was rather said abruptly.
“Why would you say such a thing? Was I there when you were having your arguments? Don’t you think he is old enough to know what he wants and what he doesn’t?”
“Whatever plans you have been making behind my back will never succeed. You tell him that.”
Nelly’s voice and anger were rising uncontrollably.
“I was trying to help and here you are insulting me. I can see why my son wants another woman so he can have peace of mind since you are always barking like a dog. You talk like your mouth is on autopilot. Let me give you advice as a fellow woman. Continue talking like that and you will never keep a man in your life.”
“Are you God to decide my fate like that? Stop meddling your nose where it’s not needed. Save your breath, I didn’t ask for your advice.”
“You are in my house maybe you have forgotten. Everyone will hear about this, you can’t disrespect me like that.”
Nabanda went to her room, visibly distressed. Anali ataona malodza (don’t know the English translation to that). She was shaking all over. If not for her grandchildren, she could have thrown Nelly out. From now whatever it was about her son’s marriage, she would never get involved. It had not been her fault that she had come to her house. She knew now that Nelly didn’t need her help, she had just been desperate, with nowhere to go.
Nelly wasn’t remorseful of what she had said. She was determined to burn her bridges and keep her pride intact. It never occurred to her to love and appreciate her mother in law for telling her what was going on. She didn’t sleep a wink that night. She packed her bags and that of the children. In the morning she woke up early and got the children ready for the journey back home even if it meant using the last money she had. She would leave the furniture behind. It didn’t matter anymore. This issue was a state of emergency. She hoped she wasn’t too late to save herself and her marriage. Whoever it was who thought she could take her place, was in for a big shock because she couldn’t sit put and watch her husband with another woman without a fight…
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Tuesday, May 17


The Veil Chapter 21

Chapter 21
Rachel and Brian were standing in silence shooting daggers at each other, when they heard a light tap on the door and saw Naomi strode in confidently.
She stopped right in her tracks at the scene before her.
"Sorry I hope I didn't disturb anything." Naomi said, startled to see Rachel and lost of words.
"It's alright. In fact Rachel was just on her way out." Brian said trying to lighten the visible tension to the dismay of both ladies.
"What's this?" Rachel asked. She was obviously hurt to say she had lost him to Naomi. If she hadn't, then what was she doing there?
"It's none of your business." Brian said to Rachel dismissively.
"It's my business because part of the money in it is mine. I need to know whoever is employed here."
"Naomi excuse us, wait for me in the office next door."
Naomi didn't wait to be told twice. She got out of the office.
The moment she left, Rachel started talking again.
"You said she wasn't your girlfriend then what is she doing here? Were you cheating on me that time?" She bellowed.
"It's no longer necessary. You have no right to talk to me like that."
"I have every right to talk to you as I want.Where did I go wrong with you?"
It was becoming uncomfortable for Brian. He could feel that she was on the verge of tears. Soppy ladies have never been his favourite.
"We have already been through all that. Let it go basi and just accept that it never worked between us."
He spoke, scratching the back of his head.
"You never did enough to fight for what we had. You left it all to me. You will pay for it one day Brian and you shall remember these very words.I tell you that you won't find another woman to love you like I used to."
Did women thought badmouthing a man for a failed relationship could compensate for the pain? He asked himself. Why do women who end up with a broken heart fancy themselves good lovers? Has it ever occured to them that sometimes men could foresee draculas emerging in them?
" Contact me again in two months time. I'm working on a couple of deals so by then I will be able to give you part of the money." He said trying to shun the issue as best as he could.
"I want five million and above, nothing less."
"I'm sure we will come to a concrete conclusion in favour of us all."
"Then get ready to hear from my lawyers..."
With that, she strode out of the room proudly knowing that she had touched a raw nerve. She had lost him fine but she didn't have to lose her money too.
The moment she went out, Brian went in the next office to see Naomi but she was gone. He was worried having spoiled another chance with her again. Partially he was glad not to meet her just yet. He needed to compose himself and tell her the whole tale. He went to the receptionist and ask her in case Naomi hadn't gone yet.
" She has gone."
"Did she leave any message?" He still asked even when he knew that she couldn't have done so. "Why did you allow her to enter into my office when you knew I was in another meeting?" He just wanted someone to blame for the mess on his table. "I'm sorry Sir but when she came I was busy with a customer. Remember you told me to handle Mrs Ndlovu as you were in the meeting." She answered sincerely.
He went back to his office and took his car keys to follow Naomi. He knew that it was useless because Naomi wouldn't still be part of the company now as he had wished after Rachel had blown that trumpet of being a partner. She had blown his chances off.
He drove off quickly to Naomi's house but nobody was around. He waited for an hour then went away. Her phone kept ringing without answer. He just left a message saying,
"We need to talk." Hoping that she would get in touch.
It wasn't to be like that. Not for days nor for weeks for she didn't respond to his calls nor messages. To her, she had taken the job offer seriously only to be made a mockery of. Why was Brian always trying to make hers and Rachel's ways collide?
She was sure Rachel and Brian were still an item and didn't want to come between them again. It still hurt.
She loved Brian and she had to force herself against running back to him. It just didn't feel right. She felt like her inner self had been locked like a dam, oblivious of any emotions yet inside there was a fierce tag of war. She felt like life had already punished her. Taking away her first love Luke and turning him against her for good. It was impossible to think that they had been so much in love before. Her son David too had slipped out of her life, having been forced to give him up because of Luke and her parents. She didn't want his existence to tarnish her image and compromise their trust in her as well as ruin their credibility as reputable members of the church and community. Even after two years, she still had a vivid picture of David in her eyes. His chubby cheeks as he smiled at her. The automatic grip of his fingers upon hers when he slept. It had been like he had sensed that she would go and didn't want her to leave. Yet she had still done it anyway. Until now she still failed to understand how she had amassed the courage to let go of him. It hurt pretty bad and mostly the guilt was something she couldn't shed off. It felt like her second thick skin. The best she had done was to try to live with it and perhaps make the memories fade with the passage of time even though it hadn't done any healing of any sort.
She sighed heavily and decided to let the thoughts out of her mind. It wouldn't do her any good.
She was packing her bag to escort her father to the village and do the farm buying proceedings.
They had sold the house and in two weeks time, they would be relocating to the village.
Her father said it was going to be okay and she hoped it was true.
The farm had chicken pens, cattle and goat kraals as well as a water reservoir. Her first question had been to know if there was electricity. Luckily the farm used solar electricity.
How would she cope from her new life? Would she be fortunate enough to make new friends? Perhaps find a new job, fall in love again, have a wedding and bear as many children as her husband wished. She laughed to the idea. She was sure her age mates at the village would have two or three more children.
She finished packing and waited for her father to come back home from one of his final business trips. He had called her that he would be home in thirty minutes. She was waiting in anticipation to hit the road and forget Brian, not for good but enough to control her emotions which seemed to crumble to helplessness each time thoughts of him evaded her mind.
Jack stood behind the tree and looked at Loveness' house to see if anyone was around. He had arrived back from Blantyre the previous day and had been dying to see Flora ever since. He had chosen this time of the morning so that Loveness might have been gone already at the market. It was quite and he listened to any sounds of baby cries, he heard nothing.
He braced himself up after some deep breaths and straightening of his clothes before going to knock on the door.

It opened after some time when he was about to go back disappointed.
There stood Flora, puzzled at his sudden appearance and unsure if she looked good enough. She hadn't taken a bath yet and she knew she leached of breast milk with a wrapper tied around her chest. He looked different, clean and tidy. There was a sense of maturity about him from the old Jack and he had even grown a beard.
"I was putting the babies to sleep, they just had a bath."
She didn't know what else to say or do. She smiled shyly at him and would have been comfortable if he had made the first move.
"Can I look at them? I promise I won't wake them up."
She looked both ways to see if anyone was watching before letting him inside the house.
She had envisioned this day many times but had not done anything of her fantasies. A hug would have been appropriate, perfect and even polite yet she was a bundle of nerves as she led him quietly to her bedroom, fidgeting with her fingers.
Jack stood by the door, watching the most beautiful and serene faces he had ever seen. They looked so fragile yet so full of life. Inside him he felt unworthy to have fathered such precious gems. It was just too good to be true. What did God see in him to favour him so?
What he had thought as a teenage game, had seriously resulted in these lives. Loveness was doing a good job of taking care of them and he already owed her so much as it was.
What chance do I have to give them a good life? He wondered as his eyes were glistening with tears.
He felt a huge lump in his throat as he looked at Flora who was looking at him. Taking in each and every one of his reactions.
He automatically drew her to him in a tight embrace that left her breathless.
She was on the verge of tears too from the sheer beauty of it all. She felt his hand wipe a straying tear down her cheeks.
He then took her hand and led her to the lounge in case they might have waken the twins.
They sat on the reed mat that had replaced the wooden chairs which Joseph had taken.
Before sitting down, he dipped his hand in his pockets and brought out five thousand kwacha and handed it to a bewildered and hesitant Flora.
"Take it. Buy something for them."
She hesitated still. " Are you sure this isn't any trouble? We need it yes but I would hate it if it will cause you any convenience."
He nodded and said,
"It's alright. What are their names?"
"Chifundo and Chifuniro." She replied smilling.
"Nice names. How do you manage to tell them apart? I will have to buy them different arm bands to be able to tell who is who. My goodness these twins are just awesome." There was a gentleness in his words that had never been there before.
"Wait until you hear them bawling on top of their voices together."
He smiled. And she thought he was the most good-looking man he had ever seen.
Then he was saying goodbye before she could convince herself that she wasn't in a dream."When will I see you again? I missed you so much." She said hoping that he would stay for a few more minutes.
"I missed you too and i hope you will find time. There are a lot of things we need to talk about."
"Can I come this afternoon?" She asked already excited at the thought of seeing him again.
"Not today. I'm going to see my father at the prison with my uncle. Come tomorrow afternoon."
He said and could tell that she was disappointed from the look on her face.
She watched him standing up and walking away. She hoped it was only goodbye for that moment because she couldn't afford to part from him yet again.
Wasn't she supposed to be angry with him? Her anger, it seemed had been replaced by a love that had made her heart grow fonder from the long distance and the mere sight of him again.
She was fully aware what her mother's reaction would be like. According to Flora, Jack was a changed man, responsible. She just loved him the more. Hasn't he just proved it? It would take time for her mother to come around but her approval counted more than anything else and for now she hoped her mother wouldn't blow of their chances of being together again. It couldn't hurt to give the father of her children a second chance. Besides how many girls in their community were lucky enough to have their baby daddy's support them? None. Hasn't she been dying for him? She couldn't wait to brag about him to her friends.
Jack still couldn't believe that he was a father.
Seeing the girls had woken some strange emotions inside him. He was sure something new had been born at that very moment he had set him eyes on them. He felt guilty having treated Flora so badly before. She was a strong girl. He consoled himself that he had been acting as a teenager that he was. He would be turning nineteen the following month yet he was already a father to twins. How many children would he have by the time he would be turning forty? Flora needed him, he realized and he had to be there. If not for her then for the babies.
Being a father wasn't going to be a simple task. It would change everything about him, about them. He wasn't going to lie to himself about settling down with Flora as his wife. It was too early for that and he wasn't ready yet. Growing up was going to be scary taking into account of what he had already gone through. He had a future to build, both his and the children's.
He thought of encouraging Flora to go back to school once the twins turned a year old.
He had already gone back to school, thanks to his strict Uncle who didn't want a secondary school drop out as a nephew.
He realized painfully that his father would be gone for a very long time. He missed him so much as crazy as he was. Seeing him that afternoon had only made it worse and he admitted that he wasn't looking good. He had this heart shattering cough that seemed to come deeply from within. The serious conversation they had still ruffled his mind and he blamed his father for everything. He came out of his bedroom and knocked on the adjacent bedroom. Lucy came out. "We need to talk." Jack told her. There were things his father had told him and he had been perplexed. Lucy left where she was standing and went to sit on the chair in the living room. She was tensed up but she didn't want him to see it. Since his return, life had not been so easy. He was like a policeman on patrol, wanting to know whatever went around. It made her uncomfortable. What issues was he seeking to discuss with her? Perhaps it was another accusation? She had already stopped visiting her husband at the prison. He had accused her of betrayal. One day he had asked her to bring him nice home made food for he was tired of eating nsima with undercooked beans full of weevils. She had told him that there was no money to spend on such delicacies. How could the Two Hundred Thousand Kwacha in his bank account be consumed barely in two months of his arrest. Had she been doing shopping sprees while he was rotting in prison? She had simply stopped going to see him. "What happened to the money in dad's account?" Jack asked. "Well it was our account." "I don't remember him mentioning that." Jack retaliated. "Did you expect me to starve to death when there was money? Why then did he give me the pin code of his Auto teller Machine Card?" She asked non plusses. "Was it so you should squander it?" "Listen here young man, I'm a woman and I have needs. After all his money is mine too." She didn't see why he had to explain herself to her husband's child. It was unheard of. Hilarious. "I hope you will spend the rest of it at your relatives' place. Dad has told me that you should go back to your people or to whichever hole you crawled from." Jack told her and hoped she would disappear forever. "I won't take it from you talking to me like that. I'm not going anywhere." She equally challenged him. "Don't make me throw you out. You are a gold digger and there's no place for you here anymore. Even Uncle has agreed to it." The conversation was getting heated up. Jack was shouting and sweating profusely and Lucy wasn't backing off either. "You tell your uncle or whoever you want to that I might not have a place here fine, but this child growing inside me has every right to stay here as you are." She said patting her tummy proudly. "What? If this is one of your plunks just stop it because it won't work this time. Besides who doesn't know you as the village bicycle for hire. You might have been living here but we both know that you aren't good at being faithful. Even dad knew it. Don't mistake his silence for ignorance, he was just bidding his time to catch you red handed." Jack spoke with boldness. Lucy's mouth was hanging in disbelief. Who would laugh last? She wanted to use this baby as a bait to save herself and her marriage but it seemed they were already a step ahead of her scheme. How true was it that Alick fathered her unborn baby when she herself wasn't sure?...
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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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Tuesday, April 19


The Veil Chapter 19

Chapter 19
It was 04:00 A.M when Joseph arrived at Loveness' house. The compound was very quite he almost felt bad from what he was about to do. For a few minutes he just stayed in the car before going to knock on the door.
Loveness heard the vehicle pulling to a stop outside.She tried to recall who it
might have been but couldn't. Their neighbor didn't own a car so it was
out of place to have a car in their compound. She checked the time, 04:15 A.M then she heard the
unmistakable knock on her door.
Highly puzzled, she quickly pulled a dress on the nearby wooden chair and a wrapper before going to open.
Her eyes widely opened at the unexpected sight of Joseph. What did he want this early? She
wondered as she adjusted her head scarf and still feeling sleepy. She wished she could slam the door shut in his face.
"Goodmorning my dearest" He greeted her jovially. She tried to sniff the air between them to catch the smell of
alcohol, there was none.
" I swear I will pay you back your money in two months time, I only have five thousand kwacha to spare
now." She said. Unsure of his next reaction.
"What? What will I do with the five thousand. Have you forgotten what you owe me perhaps? A whopping
hundred grand. Besides who said anything about coming here to collect money?"
Loveness' heart started thumping hard in her chest.
"Then... Why are you here?"
"I just want a place to sleep. I hope you don't mind me sleeping in your bed" He said as if it was an everyday thing.
"What? No... There's no way that can happen. What happened to your house? If your wife finds you here what will she say?" She was
beginning to question his mental status.
"Forget about her. Nobody will know I'm here, I will be as discreet as possible" Gesturing around with his
hands he continued, " it's so quiet now and I will get out in the evening."
Loveness looked both ways before shutting the door behind her to Joseph's dismay.
" Look... You simply can't come here and expect to be treated like royalty. Go back to your wife and sort
whatever issues you have. I have enough problems of my own without adding more. Please I'm begging you to leave my house."
" Have you forgotten who you are talking to? Let me get something clear here. You can't just slam the door
in my face like you just did, it's very rude. Just step aside and let me go inside before I woke the whole
She could feel the threat underneath his voice but it didn't move her.
"You are not entering my house. Just go away."
"Don't make me do something that I will regret"
"Like what? What can be the worst thing you can do to me? Kill me?"
Tempers were flying in all directions. Joseph pushed Loveness aside forcibly and stormed in the house. He quickly went to her bedroom, removed his shoes and dived inside
the warm bed covers.
He was smilling inside him and was waiting what Loveness was likely to do next.
Loveness was so mad, she could feel her whole body trembling. She didn't want to be a subject of gossip for the next coming days. She went to another room which
acted like a kitchen and took cold water in a cup from a bucket. She knew he
wasn't expecting this from her. She followed him to the bedroom and poured the water on his face while his eyes were peacefully closed. He jumped like he had been bitten by red ants.
Loveness knew better than to stand nearby, she went back to the lounge and stood next to the room where Flora and the children slept so that if anything she would just run
inside and lock it. She saw him coming out of the
bedroom visibly angry.
"What did you just do?" He
"I told you to leave nicely but you just couldn't."
She knew she had done a bad thing and his reaction would be so dramatic. He went back to the bedroom and started taking the blankets from the bed. He
passed her and shoved them inside the back of the truck none too gently.
As if that wasn't enough, he came back and started taking the wooden
chairs, stools and a table as well as an old radio that had stopped working long time ago.
"Please don't do that I'm sorry."
Loveness started begging. By this time the children were awake and were standing next to their mother, clueless on what was happening and what they would do to help.
"You will get back your things when you have my money." He said as he took Loveness' sack bag containing her clothes.
But as he wanted to get into the children's room, Loveness knelt down, held his feet and begged him not to take their beddings and clothes too.
" They are your brother's children Joseph, please don't illtreat them.Punish me but leave the children out of this." Tears were now
coming out of her eyes. He finished loading Loveness'
clothes and shoes as well as beddings and the mattress, then drove off.
What a way to start my day.
Loveness sighed in disbelief. It all
felt like she was in a movie and would walk out of it back to her real life. Where would she get the money to pay him back?
"Mum why had uncle done that?" Flora asked, bringing her mother back to reality. She felt like she didn't know her uncle anymore. Why
was he punishing them like that? In absence of her father, wasn't he supposed to protect them even with
his own life if necessary?
She felt sorry for her mother who had never known a day's peace since her father died. She was struggling yet there was no one to help her.
Joseph drove to the
trading centre and left the things at the back of his
friend's shop before proceeding to sleep at a nearby resthouse.He just wanted to sleep and get away from his wife until later that evening. ************************
Nelly had heard the car driving away. She was fuming inside her with so much rage. Where had he been all night when he wasn't smelling of any alcohol?
It hurt to think that she was sharing her husband with someone else. She wanted to take control of the situation before it got out of hand yet she had no idea how to go about it. He had to know that she wouldn't be taking any nonsense from him.
When she woke up and found him gone, she was disturbed. It was so unlike him. He was supposed to stay in the car until she woke up and apologize to her as usual. This was a totally different scenario. He had left without leaving any money for her to buy food. She tried his phone but it was out of reach.
She quickly went back in the house, took water in a bucket and went outside to the bathroom behind the house.
She bathed in a haste and got dressed in a hurry.
Telling her eldest daughter to keep an eye on her siblings until she got back, she left to look for her husband at his friends.
Among his four friends who she visited, none of them acknowledged seeing him the previous night nor that morning.
She was getting anxious by the passing minute, for if he hadn't been with his friends, then her fears that he was seeing another woman and had gone back to her were being confirmed. It was clearly written on the wall for all to see. What have I done? If not pushing him further to the other woman.She accused herself.
She took a bicycle for hire to the trading centre and asked around from people who knew her husband. But there was no progress for none had seen him earlier that morning.
The sun was getting high up in the sky but her search was becoming fruitless. She decided to go back home maybe he had returned in her absence.
When she was on her way, she decided to pass by the market and talk to Loveness. She remembered how Loveness' husband had for sometime been sleeping outside. How did Loveness cope? What approach did she use for him not to lose his temper and stay away. They had been together until he had breathed his last even though he had given her hell of a life.
She needed to hear from someone who had walked through that crooked path with boldness. Who had felt the pain of betrayal from her own husband but still chose to stand by his side. Binauli's womanizing was not a secret. Nelly was sure her husband was cheating and wanted to know how she could stop it before it drove her crazy for she was certain now her heart was hanging on a thin thread.
She stopped at a kiosk to buy airtime in her phone.
Loveness saw Nelly approaching at a distance and her heart could be felt thumping right in her mouth. She was sure Nelly had heard that her husband had been at her house. Knowing her well enough, she was likely to start world war. What explaination had he given her for the things he had taken from Loveness' house? It only concluded that he had ended up telling his wife about the money too. She didn't want any trouble especially here at the market. If there were issues, then she had to find her at her own house. It would give her time too to give a concrete reason why she had accepted money from Joseph behind his wife's back.
She quickly told the boy who was peeling Irish potatoes at the nearby wooden bench to look at the chips on the fire and she would be back in a moment. The boy quickly nodded, happy that he was left alone and trusted enough to take care of business in her brief absence. She left.
Nelly was sure she had seen Loveness before stopping by the kiosk but it didn't make sense for her to go away just like that. Perhaps she was wrong but she had seen her frightened face at a distance. She looked like someone who was avoiding her deliberately. It didn't make sense. The boy had said she hadn't told him where she was going but she had just said she would be back soon. Did she know anything about her husband'swhereabouts?
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The Veil Chapter 18

Chapter 18
The golden cast of the sun upon the bare ground, gave it a lifeless appeal that something could never grow on it.
Alick sat down, his legs crouched. He slumped his arms on his knees and held his head in his hands. Hopelessly and helplessly.
He sat against the high prison walls that seemed to stretch higher than his eyes could see as the days progressed.
The shadow of the walls was giving him little comfort apart from shading him from the scorching afternoon sun.
His left eye still ache. Last night his cell mates had gave him a hell of a time. Beating him up as their own way of welcoming him. They had asked why he was there and him thinking it was an honest chat, he had earnestly stated his crime. Too bad for him, he had been beaten blue black for having no respect of human life.
The cell was so overcrowded it was almost impossible to stretch one's body in a comfortable position. His whole body had been aching from silly tease that usually involved fighting. The moment he had thought he could be able to take on one of the strongest in the crew who were teasing him, he was surprised to see close to ten people coming for him.
His branket had been taken from him the very first day he had arrived in this condemned place. He had once thought sleeping on a bare reed mat was hard not until he had felt the pain of sleeping on a cold and bare floor. With only his prison shirt shielding his body against the cold. He scratched the soles on his skin from the scabies that were revolving around the prison like wild fire. Not mentioning of his ribs that were aching that breathing was becoming a luxury too good to afford.
The two weeks he had been here already felt like forever. This must have been the hell that is mostly talked about. It was another world, totally different from the one he had just left which his heart was still desiring and would give anything to have it back.
They seemed to be people, totally forgotten by the outside world. Who either seemed to ignore them or leave fate to deal with them as it seemed fit. He hadn't been here long but he had already met prisoners who were left to rot for the sins they never committed. It left one faulting the judiciary system yet it seemed a universal plague. Some were confined in these walls without trial for as long as ten years. It left one wondering what strategy was used to subject prisoners to such unfairness.
Not far from where he sat under a make shift shed that was being used as a classroom, were fellow prisoners. He envied the seven plus scholars whose minds seemed to be totally engrossed in what the teacher, a fellow prisoner was saying. The small blackboard reminded him of primary school children from his own home who didn't know the luxury of learning in a classroom until they reached the last class of primary school, Standard eight. They had to endure the cold and rain that would usually mark the end of lessons. If it rained for more days, it meant no classes.
These prisoners were taking another bold step in life, trying to prepare for the outside world once their respective sentences came to an end. Alick didn't want to take that leap of faith, it was already too late. He doubted if at all he would get out of this place alive for every passing day was harder than before. More prisoners were coming and it was getting flooded. The number of prisoners dying overnight made one realize how short actually life is. It made Alick bang heads with the reality on the ground. It was the survival of the fittest and a test of one's faith in almost everything.
Naomi and her father were on their way to Brian's office. Ever since her father had met Brian, he made it his business to tag her along to all his visits. It wasn't funny to face Brian twice every week for the past fortnight. She had tried refusing but it didn't work and it seemed like he was on a mission to match them for he had turned down good offers from many customers. Naomi had to ask if he had changed his mind about selling the house to which he replied that he wanted someone special to buy his house and when he meets that person he would Know. It was becoming frustrating for Naomi and Brian too.
What sort of client wanted to meet the buyer himself when the deal was just startin. Wasn't it the money he wanted? He was only tolerating him because of Naomi. He gazed at his watch and knew that any minute they would be walking in. The potential buyer this time was an old woman who had only uttered few words since she had been in his office. She was offering more and hadn't bargained like the others before her. She owned a hotel and a car hiring business.
Seeing Naomi frequently had done little favour to his heart. He vowed to himself to man up and ask to talk to Naomi again and they could start again. He must have been losing his appeal to be such a bundle of nerves.
He was deep in his papers when his secretary walked in and announced the arrival of Naomi and her father. She ushered them inside.
As the meeting was about to start, a thought snapped through Brian's mind which he thought of mentioning it later. Would Naomi like to work for him? He knew he wouldn't offer her much but it could still be something. He didn't like what staying idle was doing to her and she looked like someone who would do with some company, his company to be precise.
As the meeting progressed. Naomi's father seemed to be impressed with this woman, Mrs Kambewa. Just by looking at the interior and exterior pictures of the house, she was offering a higher price than the other customers before her. She seemed to have an air of authority about her that called for respect even if one didn't feel like doing it.
She spoke every word confidently and at last they agreed to go and take a look at the house and see if it needed some renovations. For Brian it was a positive step ahead for Naomi's father had abruptly been refusing anyone to view the house even him as an estate agent for the past three months. He had been so close to telling him to look for another agency because he was getting fed up.
Joseph pulled up the collar of his jacket tightly against his neck to shield from the cold. They had been out half of the night shifting the maize from the warehouse to an abandoned garage in another location for the police were sniffing like dogs with rabies. He had heard from one of their reliable police informant that there was a special force deployed to look into the maize robbery.
From the eight men he normally worked with, he only chose three who he could trust in this special escapade. Trust was crucial at this point for one risked blackmail from those he could consider reliable and loyal.
He took a glance at the time on his phone 02:30 A.M. He was tired. The job had been completed and he supervised as one of his men locked the old garage as the other two were pulling two old cars to shield the entrance and make it look like the place hadn't been touched for ages.
He wanted his bed so badly but tonight he was sure he would have the rash of his wife's tongue. He had ignored her ten calls before he decided to switch it off completely. This job wasn't for his wife's knowledge. If he just made the mistake of telling her this secret, he would be in police custody before dawn and the keys thrown in the middle of the sea. She just didn't know the meaning of secrecy. That was the reason he constantly did things behind her back for she always misinterpreted him or read his actions wrongly. This secret only would follow him to the grave even if it had to before it got within her ears.
He gave the men wads of money before dropping them off to their respective homes in the three tonne truck he had hired only for this . No questions were asked, they knew better and only waited for their next orders.
He drove to his house and wished he had a spare key to let himself inside without disturbing the whole household. He switched on the phone and dialled his wife's number. It wasn't available. He got out of the car and knocked on the door, it wasn't opened and nobody answered. He then went behind the house to the master bedroom window and knocked until he felt his knuckles hurting, yet nothing. He still knocked and realized that his wife probably was doing it deliberately.
He continued knocking until at last the curtains were set aside and a window was opened. He had to face his wife's wrath.
"What do you think you are doing?" She asked him.
"Just go and open the door. It's so cold out here."
"Where are you coming from?"
" Open and I will tell you."
"No you won't telling me anything. Not when you switched off your phone. How was she tonight? Better than the last time I guess or better than me?."
He could feel the mockery in her voice and he swallowed hard to control the temper which was rising within him like bile.
"I don't have time to listen to you. I'm asking you nicely to open the door for me." He said it calmly in contrast to what he felt.
" You go back to where you are coming from. I won't open the door for you."
She spoke every word emphatically.
He thought she was joking when she closed the window firmly back and closed curtains.
He went to stand at the door but thirty minutes passed and still the door didn't budge. The kitchen next to the house was full of ash for him to lie down.
He went back to the car and tried to sleep but it was too uncomfortable. He then decided to drive away.
He knew the perfect place to go. It was Loveness' house. After all she owned him so much, she couldn't refuse him a place to sleep and even warm arms around him. He smirked to that thought...
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