Love is supposed to be an eye opener. If you run blindly into it, you end up hitting blank walls because you can’t see or understand a thing until you learn to open your eyes, trace your way back to the door and get out as fast as you can. You may have scars yes but they are there to show the battles that God has fought and won for you. If for once you can have your spiritual eyes opened, you will know and understand the depth of God’s love on His children.
I had so many questions doing a complicated dance in my mind. Was this for real? If yes, what had made him realize his mistakes as suddenly as this? The Ben I knew now was different from the one I used to know. Now he was unpredictable, most of the times I didn’t know what he had hidden up his sleeves. Wanted me back? On what grounds? Did it mean he was done with Cindy or I was to play the side chick? I didn’t have the guts to spit it out because I knew his foul moods more than anyone else and I didn’t want to spoil this magical moment. I wanted to get him off my back with no offense. I had not yet forgiven myself for getting involved with him in the first place. If at all we were to get back together, I wanted to trust myself before plunging in this deep love ocean again. Mphechepeche mwa njobvu sapitamo kawiri (once beaten twice shy).
I looked in his eyes to see any trace of lies in them. Eyes are the doors to the soul and men are not good at lying if you look at them deep in the eyes. When they stammer and look away quickly, that’s a lie for you to catch. He wanted to look composed buti knew he wasn’t comfortable. Men hate to be caught off guard or look less in control.
“No I will not take you back” I had to stand my ground if I was to win this battle of the mind.
“You can’t shut me out, am back now and am here to stay in your heart. Please My Own.” When he called me that I knew he meant serious business. My name Wangu is a Tonga language which means ‘mine’. I knew he was lying even though he wanted to promise me heaven.
“Please Ben I don’t trust you anymore. Give me some time so that I most of all learn to trust myself. I know I should do this at my own risk to avoid the blame game. Who knows what you will do again.”
“I won’t do anything to hurt you again, just give me a second chance.” I looked at him and seemed to drown in the endless pool of his eyes. I felt weak at my knees and my heart somersaulted as if some strings were being pulled. He took me back in his hands and held me so tightly. I didn’t know what I had got myself into but it was fine if it felt sooo good. I was tired of the heartaches, the harsh words and all the pains for once I wanted a peace of mind. He took a bundle of some neatly stacked notes of money and gave it to me.
“Take this money, find a nice house and move out. I don’t want to be coming home and find my two beautiful women suffocating in the hands of strangers.” This was just too good to be true. I was afraid to take the money; I thought he was testing me. He said when Amanda is older it’s when he will take us to Karonga to see where he lived. If this was a dream, I wished to forever be a dreamer because it was better than the harsh tags of reality. I needed a break.
Right there and then I gave myself to him. I was so tensed up and didn’t know if he would still find me attractive, but he seemed not to mind. He made me calm and at ease, making me feel like I was the only woman in the whole world.
He drove me back home; once or twice I caught myself drifting into a fantasy world. It was night and Amanda was asleep. The moment I arrived, Norah came to help me offload the things from the car and we bid Ben goodbye. We entered our bedroom and she cornered me for details.
“What is this look you have painted on your face like you have just taken a walk among the heavenly stars?” my face was beaming with joy and disbelief. This Cinderella fairytale sort of thing was too much for me to handle. I explained everything to her and she told me to open my eyes and see that I had walked in a trap that Ben had in a sinister way set up for me to fall inside. I had acted like I was his puppet and gave him an exceptional show. I showed her the money and told her to help me look for a nice house.
“Don’t say I didn’t warn you. This guy is fake and you are helping him prove it.” I took it that she was now jealousy of my luck now that he was back in my life. Did it please her to see me being worried every sun rise and set? I told her to stop talking about my man in such a way after all wasn’t she the one who wanted me to abort? Am sure that could have made her happier. I had already made up my mind about giving him another big chance, I only told her so that as a friend she should just know and not poke her nose where I didn’t need it.
“You will cry Wangu and it will be very soon. I will be there to see whether you will think the sun still rise out of his miserable behind.” She stormed out of the room and for days she couldn’t talk to me, there was a cliff between us. She still adored and played with Amanda while ignoring me. Few days later, I told Norah’s mum of my plans to move out and she was against the idea from the word go. She didn’t want to hear that I was back with Ben the same monster who had made me cry not long ago. She said if he was serious with me this time, he should take his people and pay my bride price because the way I was skyrocketing things, she was seeing me bearing him another baby. Honestly I didn’t like it, out of respect I told her that I would talk to him about the bride price. It was all lies, I didn’t even know the future of this relationship yet I chose to walk blindly back into it. Unbeknownst to me, I was in for a major disaster like the sinking of the titanic. She was like a mother to me and meant well, I didn’t know how I was ever going to repay her for her kindness. She was family but this was my life and I led it the way I wanted.
Two months later, I found a nice house two bed roomed. There was another house attached to it and my neighbor was a bubbly woman with four kids, we clicked immediately. The house was in Area 22 and it wasn’t far from Area 36. Sometimes I would walk to Norah’s salon with Amanda strapped on my back, singing all the way. Motherhood suited me best and I was determined to take care of my baby and gave her all the time in the world. Ben would come every weekend and to be on the safe side I went for an injection (depo) as a way of avoiding birth control, I didn’t want any unwanted baby this time. From the start it made me sick, I started being nauseous and dizzy. For the next three months I menstruated for a week, twice in every month. It was horrible and I decided not to go for it again. the name of Cindy was a taboo amidst us, if at all I wanted to ask about her, he could give me an intimidating look that made me shut my mouth. When I told him the issue of the bride price he shouted at me as if I told him to murder his mother.
“The problem with you is that you let yourself go too much. I want to take things step by step and by now you should know that I hate to be pushed.” He said that flatly. I quickly apologized. Amanda turned a year and we organized a birthday party. She was a clever and active kid who liked playing with her toys. Already she was talking and calling me by my first name. No mama for her…I was now looking better because I lost so much weight during my pregnancy. People struggle to shed off post pregnancy weight but I longed to gain so much. Ben suggested that Amanda start going to baby care so that I should go back to school. I didn’t know if this time he would honor his promise but I was ready to dive for it. He said I shouldn’t do journalism again but rather change to studying marketing. To those of you who had started marketing with board is Chartered Institute of Marketing, you will agree with me that it’s not a course for the faint hearted. It needs hard work and commitment. I was determined to prove to myself that I still had the mark of excellence.
It wasn’t easy to balance between work and taking care of a year old baby. I had to woke up at the crack of dawn, wash nappies, breakfast and lunch and get ourselves ready for school. I would first leave her at 8:00am and proceed to school then take her back at 5:00pm. Sometimes I would walk when I didn’t have money for transport because Ben said he would only give me school fees and I had to provide my own transport. When back I would wash the nappies again and prepare supper then retire for bed.
I was one of the best students in my class and mostly came out first at end of semester examinations. Six months later I had to write board examinations. I was so busy during that time I had to ask Norah to come and stay with me so that she should help me with Amanda.
One thing I noted was I started having different and strange sleeping pattern three weeks before my examinations. I would go to sleep at 6:00 pm in the evening and never stir until the following morning at 7:00 am where I would feel sleepy as if I stayed up the whole night. Setting an alarm never worked because I couldn’t wake up. It was so difficult and I was running out of time to finish my assessing the Marketing Environment project. I didn’t eat any food except have plain tea and toasted bread. At the sight of any food, my stomach would act up and I would go to throw up. I had a serious attack of malaria and recovered a week before my examinations. I was so lazy and too tired to hold a book, my eyes would be painful and I would fall asleep while studying. I didn’t know how to control my own body and do what I wanted. The examinations were like a Greek puzzle to me. It felt like the syllabus had been invented from another planet. I felt helpless and only prayed for a miracle if I was to pass them. What I know is that the Holy Spirit reminds us of what we studied not just mere guess work.
That month my period never came…. I felt trapped and was afraid if it was the effects of the depo injection I had five months ago or if I was carrying Ben’s baby, again?????