THE PLIGHT OF AN ORPHAN
“Are you serious with what you are saying Tasila?” I asked. “I am sorry it was just a joke. I have brought invitation cards for you and Esnart. I have put Kondwani as your partner, I hope you don’t mind” said Tasila. That was really a bad joke for me. She did not even enter the house, she gave me the cards and hugged me. I walked her to the gate and found her fiancé parked outside. I greeted him and went back into the house.
Life moved on and on the day of Tasila’s wedding, Kondwani, Esnart, and her fiancé came to my place and we drove to Sandy’s Creation for the wedding. People were really dressed to kill, it was a wedding for the rich. I remember Kondwani saying, “I really feel out of place here, I wish we were told the dress code.” In no time the bridal part came and danced. The time everyone was waiting for except me came. Tasila came in dancing, she looked so happy in her wedding dress. She danced with the groomsmen and everyone was cheering except for me of course. I felt out of place, I excused myself and went to the toilets where I cried. I knew that finally I had lost her. She was the love of my life, someone I was supposed to spend my whole life with. Someone who made me so happy and now she was going to make someone else happy. I walked back to the main hall and found that the bridal part had sat down. Esnart held my hand as soon as I sat down. The master of ceremonies was cracking funny jokes that everyone was laughing at except for me. Tasila’s mother was very excited, she kept dancing throughout the wedding. Finally, she spotted me. When she saw me she even danced more to show me that finally her daughter was married to a man she dreamt of. Kondwani kept talking to me but she realized that I was in my own world and would not hear what she was saying. Each time I looked at Tasila and the husband, I would imagine that I was the one sitting next to Tasila. When it was our turn to get food at the serving stations, I stood up with the rest of the table even if I did not feel like eating. It was at this moment that Tasila saw me. Our eyes met and then she looked down and that made it worse for me. I got the food and just gave it to Tinei. While eating, Tasila’s father came to get Tinei from us. He sat with her for a short period then Tasila’s mother brought her back to me. “I am happy you came to support your friend on her wedding day Sepo. We will also support you when you get married.” said Tasila’s mother. “Thank you, mum.” I said cynically. She walked out and I noticed Tasila was looking in our direction. Cutting of the cake was something I did not look forward to, but I knew it was going to be there. Tasila and her husband cut the cake, fed each other and then kissed. They danced and opened the floor for everyone to join. I am not a good dancer and have never been, so I decided to just sit and watch people dance. One lady on the bridal part came to pull me to the dance floor so I could dance with her. I stood up and danced with her. During ball dance, the same girl asked me to dance and we danced together. “Whose side invited you to this wedding? Joseph or Tasila?” she asked. “I am Sepo by the way. Tasila invited me…and who invited you to be on the bridal party; Joseph or Tasila?” I asked. “I am Mutamenji and I am Tasila’s cousin. Tasila’s dad and my dad are first cousins.” She said. The song ended, and she went back to sit. When it was finally time to greet the bridal part and congratulate the bride and groom, I did not stand to go and greet them even if Esnart tried to make me do it. When we went out of the hall, Esnart, her fiancé and Kondwani went to talk to Tasila but I walked to the Car with Tinei. Tasila’s father came and asked me if he could get Tinei and promised to bring her home on Sunday evening. I did not object but let her go. I sat in the car alone when Mutamenji walked to me and said, “hey, I hope I did not cause trouble between you and your girlfriend when I danced with you.” “No, you did not, she is not my girlfriend.” I said. “We are going to the THE CAGE night club; do you want to come? I want you to come if you are not busy.” I looked at her and said, “I don’t want to bore you will my sob stories so, I will pass.” She laughed and said, “I will not even be sitting with you because I will be dancing. I love dancing” I agreed, and we went as a group. Esnart and her fiancé left early, and I remained with Kondwani and Mutamenji. Both Kondwani and Mutamenji could dance, men would try to dance with them, but they would move away when a man walked to them. After some time, a man walked in and went to Kiss Kondwani, she came and introduced him to me. as her boyfriend. After a short time they left. I remained with Mutamenji. The other people who were on the wedding lineup were still in the club too. When I told Mutamenji I was leaving, she said she was coming with me. While in the car, she asked, “how do you know Tasila?” “I don’t want to talk about it.” I answered “Ok. I hope you don’t think I am loose because I like going out. I just enjoy going out to make myself happy; it’s not that I go out with different men. I usually go out with people I know and trust. Who do you stay with?” she asked “Who am I to judge people? I don’t judge people. We have different life styles and I can’t judge people because they may also judge me. I stay with my daughter but today I will be alone. Where should I take you?” I asked. “If you don’t mind I can come and spend a night at your place then I will go to my place tomorrow morning. I stay with my parents and they are asleep by now.” We drove to my place. I showed her the bedroom where she was going to sleep, and I sat in the living room and switched on the TV. She came to me and sat opposite me and said, “Why didn’t you tell me the truth about yourself Sepo?” asked Mutamenji. “What did I not tell you? I thought I told you everything you needed to hear?” I answered. “Tasila just called me and I excitedly told her I am with you. She told me to stay away from you because you have a child together. You are such a good guy, but she could not tell me why you too could not marry. Can you explain please?” She asked. “Whatever Tasila told you is the truth.” I answered. She noticed that I was not ready to talk about it so she just remained silent and watched a movie with me. I dozed off while watching and she covered me with a blanket while she sat next to me. When I woke up, she also woke up and said she did not want to leave me alone. I went to the bedroom and slept while she also went to the other room to sleep. In the morning, I found she had cleaned the house and prepared breakfast. She had a pretty smile with nicely shaped lips. “Morning Mutamenji, how was your night?” I greeted her. “Morning Sepo, I am fine thanks and, how are you? My night was ok. You keep your house very clean. I felt like I was in a hotel or something. Who puts white beddings in the guest room? Are you bathing first, or do you want to eat first?” she asked. I smiled and told her I was going to bath first. After bathing, I had breakfast with her. She was wearing the same dress she wore the previous night. I noticed how pretty she was in the morning as she did not wear any make up. As we were eating, she kept talking and she did not ask me about Tasila. After eating, she went to bath and wore my shirt which was in the room she slept in. “Sorry I should have asked but I have worn your shirt. I have washed my dress.” She said. “Its fine’, where do you stay? I forgot to ask you last night.” I said. “I stay in Avondale with my parents.” she said. I thought that she was going to leave in the morning, but she hung around for hours. I drove her to her place and we exchanged phone numbers. We started texting each other once a day and eventually we would text more often. short mother of the bride dresses
My grandparents were now happy that grandma was back on her feet. We renovated the house they were staying in and the ones they had bought. They even bought a smaller car that they would use when going to church and coming to visit me. They would always ask me when I would marry each time they would visit me. To make them stop asking, I invited Mutamenji to come over for lunch while they were around. They liked her the moment they saw her. With time Mutamenji and I became so close that at times she would come and pick Tinei from home for sleep overs but at no time did she sleep over at my place. I thought that one day she would ask me about Tasila, but she did not.
Meanwhile, Tasila was in her marital home. I thought that she was happily married and enjoying her new life, but I was wrong. The first month of their marriage her husband started cheating on her with his ex-girlfriend. Then after that he started spending nights away from home. She never used to tell her parents what she was going through until one day when they visited her, they found she had a swollen face and they were surprised when Tasila’s husband shouted at her for letting her parents visit without him knowing. Tasila’s husband did not even greet Tasila’s parents. That’s when she explained what she was going through to her parents. “Mum and Dad, I married this man who does not love me at all, he started sleeping out in the first month of our marriage. The other time he came home with a woman while I was waiting up for him. When he opened the door, he noticed I was at the living room. He just said, “oh sorry, I forgot I was married.” and gave the lady money to get a taxi. We have been married for 4 months but this marriage is not going anywhere. He told me not to be calling him if he does not show up at home. He told me that he did not want to marry me, but his parents forced him to marry me because I come from a rich family and they knew my parents. Dad this life is hard for me. If I want to go out, I must tell him. If he is busy, then I can’t go out. When we go out and a man greets me then he will come and beat me up accusing me of cheating on him. I have tried to talk to bashibukombe and they have tried to meet him, but he does not show up. Mum, I have married a monster. He looked to be a good person, but I was wrong. I need you to pray for me because I don’t know what will happen to me next. He spends most of his time away from home and comes here when he feels like. I don’t remember the last time I met him.” cried Tasila.
Mutamenji and I were getting closer by the day, we started going on dates often. I introduced her to Esnart and we attended Esnart’s wedding together. She would come and clean my house and would be with me during weekends. After six months of Tasila being in marriage, her father called me and asked me to visit him at his office. When I reached, I found Tasila who had lost so much weight. She looked so different and unattractive too. I was with Mutamenji who was so surprised to see Tasila looking like that. Tasila left as soon as we sat in her father’s office. Her father looked very sad and complained, “Sepo, I know I am not supposed to be telling you this, but I have no option. I loved you from the first day I saw you and I saw your potential even though my wife and daughter could not see it. I am here as a very bitter man; my daughter is suffering like she does not have parents to come back to. My daughter is leading a miserable life, but she can’t leave her husband because she said for better for worse. Why should I live to see my daughter suffer? Sepo please help me. My days are numbered and would want to die a happy man. Please rescue my daughter.” lamented Tasila’s father. I promised to help, and he gave me her new phone number. He told me never to call her directly but use someone else. As I was walking out with Mutamenji, she said, “You know that my uncle is not a type that would get involved in such issues. If he does then just know that things are bad. I know that you love Tasila and I would not stop you from rescuing her from her bad marriage.” We agreed with Mutamenji to call her and arrange to meet up with her. She called her as soon as we reached home, and the husband answered. When he heard that it was Mutamenji, he handed over the phone to Tasila. We arranged to meet her at Mutamenji’s place. She came with the husband who left her at the gate. When she saw me, she wanted to go back but Mutamenji pleaded with her not to go. “Tasila, please let’s talk. Uncle was crying when he told us what you are going through. Please let us help you.” said Mutamenji. I sat looking at how frail she looked. She had lost so much weight that you would think she had full blown AIDS. Tears started dropping down her cheek as she started narrating what she had been going through. “Mutamenji, I am a dead person walking. When I cough, my husband beats me up, when he coughs, I must run to him or else he will beat me. My marriage has been bad from the beginning, but I thought he would change. Mutamenji, I was 5 months pregnant and this man came back home drunk and beat me up badly, he hit me on my tummy so hard that I fell to the ground and I became unconscious. He left me for dead and went out of the house. The maid is the one that called my father who rushed me to the hospital. I woke up the following day only to be told I had lost my baby.”
TO BE CONTINUED