The bravest thing that one can do is to face your fears. If you come face to face with what make your spine chill, it’s when you analyze yourself if you are a coward or not. I was standing right in front of the storm that had capsized my love canoe and I thought my eyes were playing dirty tricks with me. Standing in front of me was Cindy in all her glory, as proud as a peacock. I watched while they were exchanging kisses a thing which made me clench my jaws so hard it hurt. There was no way in reality that I was bearing witness to this. We looked at each other and I could see a glint of recognition turning into hatred.
“Who is this babe?” aah the cheek of her as if she has never seen me before.
“That’s the girl who is giving me hell that she has my baby.” Really? I watched the circus of lies circulating. I was sure Cindy was thinking that I was too plain to share a man with her, but I couldn’t play second fiddle because I had this man’s first born child and in my Tonga culture it counted even when the child was a girl.
“Are you sure the baby is yours? Because this girl has a record of blackmailing people” she said while pointing me with her long fingers. I didn’t know why she still didn’t believe me that I needed help from her grandmother (God bless her soul).
“I don’t know if the baby is mine because she used to have strings of boyfriends but you know me I am merciful” that couldn’t have set me ablaze for nothing. These people were playing with me a game right in my backyard and I didn’t want to show them that I was a fool like them. Who say such useless lies anymore? They are outdated. Gone are the days that people used to raise kids who are not their own, today they go for DNA test.
“Don’t test my patience, if you are not sure that this kid is his then go drown yourself in the lake because he knows perfectly that this baby is his flesh and blood” I was ready to take her head on because I couldn’t watch her insulting me.
“You have his kid but I have him every inch of the way and there is nothing you can do about it” her blood shot eyes were meant to send me away with my tail tucked between my legs but I didn’t flinch.
“See if you won’t join the rest of his exes” at hearing that, she gave out a loud chuckle as if what I was saying was out of this moon. All along Ben watched with a wide grin on his face. Am sure he was feeling proud to be fought over like a gold medal but I wasn’t ready to give him that satisfaction.
“Leave me alone and my precious baby, I wonder if at all you shall see yours” I fought back.
“You mean that monkey?” this time I didn’t need to answer back instead it was Ben who gave her the slap from the back of his hand with the speed of lightning. She gave out a loud shriek.
“Don’t dare call my baby that again or else you shall be sorry” he said that, went to his car and drove off, leaving her holding her cheek with her mouth wide, open rooted to the ground. If she had not closed her mouth soon enough, a fly could have visited it. The sight was priceless if only I could have captured it on camera. I gave out a loud laugh and I went back inside the house. That saved her right. What made her think she was much better than me? My baby was beautiful and I knew it.
Two days later Ben came back. Amanda was now in a stage of playing and she loved laughing so much. I watched father and daughter laughing their lungs out. He was talking to her as if she was grown up already and it brought a lump to my throat. If we were still together we could have been doing that in our house, everyday. Sometimes I cried for what we could have been. The what ifs were driving me crazy. He told me to finish washing quickly so that he takes us to town for shopping. I couldn’t believe this. What had suddenly come over him? I went to have a quick bath, looked at myself a thousand times on the mirror and came out putting on what I considered my best dress. Ben was horrified; his eyes seemed to ask if people still dressed like that.
“Can’t you find something better to put on?” the rest of my dresses were either maternity wear or not suitable for this occasion. I went back and put on one of Norah’s skirt and blouse and came out. I had a thumb up from Ben and we were ready to go. It was like I was in a dream and enjoyed every moment of it. We started with Pep stores and bought so many pretty dresses for Amanda I thought Ben wouldn’t be able to pay for it. We also went to some China shops and the shopping spree continued. He bought a plum, a walker and a bicycle as well. It was too much. He bought me some nice dresses and shoes and I loved the look on his face each time I came out from the changing room. He sure was on a mission to spoil me rotten. When it was noon, we went to have lunch at Steers and we talked and joked endlessly like old times. It was nice seeing him laughing again and often he could tap me on the shoulder to emphasize a point or to attract my attention…
How I wanted this moment to last forever. After eating we were on our way back, he asked me if I wanted to go to his place and I happily agreed. I was so excited and had to tell myself to take it one step at a time to avoid further pain. The house was in a mess and I got down to cleaning from top to bottom like a dutiful wife as he watched cartoons with Amanda. I enjoyed every bit of it. His brother was at work and that left the two of us oops I forgot the three of us. When I was done cleaning I found them asleep. My heart melted at such a loving sight. I wiped tears from my eyes. I was grateful to God for giving me this baby. I realized that God was using her for us to bond again but I felt sad because I knew he would be going back any time and I intended to enjoy every bit of the moment at his side as best as I could. He had taken pictures of Amanda and framed them. This was to cherish for a life time. Thoughts of Cindy threatened to crowd and darken my mind but I quickly cast them away. Amanda woke up and started crying. She was hungry. I breastfed her then changed her nappy. Ben stood behind me and hugged me. He told me how much he missed me. Now this was going too fast. Where was he driving to? I wasn’t sure if this was for real or he wanted to take me for a ride, again. I closed my eyes and let my mind absorb the words like a wet sponge but still more couldn’t fathom it.
“I know I might have messed up big time but you are one girl I will never forget in my life” my eyes were fixed on Amanda and I was playing with her tiny fingers pretending not to be hearing him.
“Please Wangu say something. I am dying inside can’t you see. I don’t know what came over me that I had to hurt you the precious mother of my baby.” I wasn’t prepared for this. Nobody told me the complicated dictionary of love but now things were getting twisted and I felt trapped. Tears welled up in my eyes and run down my cheeks. The memories came hurricaning back. The pain, the fear, the betrayal and the blunt rejection. This was the man I fall in love with. Who was so kind it hurt, who promised me the moon and could have bought me the whole world if he could. Who had proved against the odds that he was ready to marry me even when it felt like I was a nobody. My Ben who made me smile and told me it was going to be alright when the sun set and darkness came tumbling in. who loved me beyond the limitations of words. He took Amanda from my arms, la!d her on the sofa and gathered me in his big and comforting arms. What had gone wrong and what did I do to offend him so much that he had to evict me from his heart without a second thought? He wiped my tears and gave me a long lingering kiss. I had almost forgotten how nice and sweet it felt but here I was reviving those precious memories. He looked in my eyes as if asking for my permission to go ahead but I quickly buried my face in the crook of his arms, breathing in his familiar scent.
“I want you back sweetheart” that sent me toppling over on the surf board of emotions…