TO FIND GRACE
“You have to get back to school Grace, am going to be fine, there is no way you will quit school and stay home because am sick” Grace kept thinking of her father
s words as she watched people pass by in campus. It was three weeks after she went back to school from home and she still couldn’t help feel bad about her fathers sickness. Even though she had to talk to him almost every day, she felt it was not enough.
“what are you doing here all alone?” a familiar voice popped up in her ears she was made to look up just to see Jack standing there tall and elegant in his denim jeans and a white short sleeved shirt he looked like he was just plugged out of the advert for some whitening washing paste. For a second Grace wondered why a man had to be that neat and perfect in his attire.
“How did you find me Jack?” she asked him standing up
“Am fine too Grace” he smiled instead
“Yeah am sorry, just that I am puzzled seeing you here. I don’t remember telling you to come” she shrugged casually sitting back on the bench.
“Well, where there is a will, there is a way they say “Jack chuckled his eyes on Grace she had to look down.
“what brings you here, I mean what is your will?” she teased looking at him as he sat next to her his legs folded displaying the charcoal gray moccasin on his feet
“I have been trying for months to get you to invite me here but I guessed it was not going to happen sooner so I decided to man and take my chances. You know my mother always tells me you cannot measure how successful you could be till you try out things” he shrugged
“so am here to get what I feel belongs to me Grace, there is something about you that makes my heart feel at peace and whenever I call you and hear your voice, I just feel complete. So am here to tell you I need you in my life, be my girlfriend “Jack stated clearly without hesitation making Grace Wonder why he was so proud of himself.
“Are you always this straight and proud or you just doing it to impress me?” she laughed softly shaking her head as she looked at his smiling face.
“Grace, am sorry if I went too fast but am one kind of person that speaks my heart out and if I like you I will not go round in circles to make you know that truth. So what do you say?” he sighed
Grace was silent for a moment, she hated the guy’s guts for sure. Though he was right about speaking his mind, she somehow found it irritating and was surely not going to give him the right answer. Her mind went to think of junior, she had seen him less that semester since she was still ashamed of the last event in her room, besides, and she noticed he had withdrawn his earlier commitment to her. Even though Junior always found time to see her, she had tried to escape his presence hating that he was what she felt she wanted but yet he had no intentions to be with her.
She sighed snapping herself from thinking about Junior and shifted her attention to Jack who was patiently waiting for her answer his face with determination she hated how she was to break his ego with her response.
“No” she finally spoke and that made Jack sit up and look at her shocked.
“What? No one has ever said no to you Mr. Bwalya?” she laughed shaking her head at his down face.
“No, um, I mean I didn’t expect that Grace like seriously, I have talked to you several times and I thought maybe you could feel the same for me you know” he responded this time his voice down and composed.
“Well, am sorry, am sure you had a wrong impression about me. Just like you said, I too tell things as they are, I don’t like beating about the bush and so that is my answer, am not going to be your girlfriend. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go” she sighed standing up but before she could move, Jack held on to her hand making her face him.
“I like you Grace, am sorry if I acted so fast and proudly but I like you a lot, in fact I think I have fallen in love with you” he uttered with sincerity for some couple of seconds Grace looked at his face and saw how truthful he was being.
Before she could say a thing, she heard someone clear his throat and she looked past Jack just to see Junior standing there his hands tucked in his black soft jeans.
“what is going on here?” he asked like a jealousy boyfriend which made Grace for a minute feel proud of herself, “so you feel something for me after all you fool” she laughed in her Heart.
“Who are you?” Jack cut through the silence.
“Oh, yeah Jack meet my friend Junior” she smiled standing between the two guys who eyed each other like angry wolves.
“I asked what is going on here Grace, who is this clown?” Junior raised his voice.
“no, junior am not going to allow you insult my visitor, like I told you, his name is Jack and he came to see me anything the matter here?” she asked inside making a happy dance seeing Junior`s face.
“Um, Grace I will probably see you some other time. I don’t like coming between people. Think about what I have told you and see you later” Jack added walking away leaving Grace stoned to the ground she hated the awkwardness the scene was making her feel.
“Who is that guy Grace?” Junior moved closer to her and she looked at him for a couple of seconds shaking her head
“You are unbelievable you know that?, how dare you! You are not my boyfriend so please stop playing like one” she snapped and walked away making Junior run after her.
“am your friend and I think I have the right to know if you have a man in your life Grace, at least you owe me that you know” Junior panted as he followed her to her room.
“Hahaha, I have never heard of such nonsense, so now I get it, you think am not good enough for you and chose that my friend Dingy over me and you stand here talking rubbish. Leave me alone now Junior please” she shouted as she opens the door to her room.
“What? Who told you about Dingy?” Junior asked shocked.
“I saw the two of you Junior, you were so close and it’s not even once, the fact that I never said a thing doesn’t mean I didn’t see you two, you are so …. “ she paused before she could bring her word out.
“You know what? Just leave already. And please tell your so called Uncle Ben to stop calling me” she added closing to the door to Junior`s face.
“I can explain about Dingy, it’s just that she is, I don’t know how to say it Grace, what i feel for you is different. I like you a lot but for some reason I cannot explain myself, I don’t think we can be what you thought we could. I just feel I love you but can never get to do things like, kissing and you know what I mean” he explained.
“Huh, am supposed to be comforted by that huh? I cannot believe this my God, here I was thinking you will tell me all this is not true about you and Dingy? Just go junior please, go away” she added throwing herself on the bed.
“Okey am going I know you are upset right now.” He spoke walking to the door just to stop again.
“But what was that about my uncle you mentioned?” he asked.
“Go ask him “she snapped and plugged her face in the pillow.
Ben had called her to greet her on a couple of occasions, she had asked him why he was calling the first time he did and he told her he wanted to say hi to and find out if she needed anything. Grace had assumed it was because Junior had told him about her and she felt comforted he was talking about her to his relatives.
“No sir, am okey thank you for the gesture. “She told him and they hang up.
“the second time he called he asked to invite her home for dinner with his family saying his kids would love to see her again, she was about to say yes when she walked into the passage of the hostel seeing Dingy her Friend with Junior they were smiling to each other. She went silent for a couple of minutes and Ben kept asking her if all was well.
“Am sorry sir, I got to go and about the dinner, am sorry I can’t am going to be busy this weekend” she told him and hang up the line. Ben called her back several times but she never picked up.
“He is so pathetic!” she yelled in the pillow feeling broken at the memories of Junior and Dingy.
She lifted herself up, went to take a bath and decided to go out of campus lest she got so depressed over what was going on. Grace was walking around town taking her time window shopping when she saw Ben walking towards her with a tall beautiful woman. She was smiling so widely Grace knew the moment she saw them that she was his wife.
“Uncle Ben” she called him out making Ben stop and look at her his smile fading he fidgeted.
“Hi, Grace” Ben sighed feeling so ashamed of himself.
“Hi Aunty nice to meet you finally, Junior has told me a lot of nice things about you” she looked at the woman with him who smiled shaking her hand.
“And you are?” the woman asked her
“Am Grace Ma, am a friend of Junior” Grace introduced herself excitedly.
“Grace huh?” the woman smiled
s phone rung at the moment and she noticed it was her fathers number so she quickly excused herself.
“good to see you both, am sorry I have to pick my father`s call” she smiled an walked on leaving them watching her.
TO FIND GRACE
“Ben who was that girl?” Chipo asked looking at Ben as he watched Grace Walk away talking on the phone.
“She is um, am,” he paused rubbing his head.
“I told you walking out here like this is not the right thing to do, anyone can see us out here” Ben walked faster back to his car with Chipo trotting behind him.
“relax, she is just a girl and from the look of things she didn’t know am not your wife, see what I tell you, we look good together” Chipo smiled holding Ben`s chin he pushed her hand away.
“I knew the first time I allowed myself to fail for your trap I was in trouble, you are so insistent my God” he shook his head placing the keys in the ignition.
“Admit it already, I give you what you deserve Ben, am the right woman for you not that polished lawyer who does not know how to care for a man.” Chipo laughed and before she could say another word, Ben raised his hand at her.
“Say another word about my wife and I swear to God I will push you out of this car” he warned seriously and Chipo withdraw leaning back on the seat with a smile.
“If only you were not sleeping with me I would say you love her so much” Chipo murmured and the eye she got from Ben made her sank back defeated.
“I still got you in any case” she whispered in her head and faced ahead the road.
Ben`s heart was bleeding inside, he knew what he was doing was going to crash Jena if at all she was to find out. Seeing Grace made him even guiltier, the innocent Girl looked at the woman he was cheating with, with so much respect and love he felt bad.
He remembered how Chipo had lured him to sleep with him the first time. He had knocked off from work but decided to sit in his car outside the building watching as people left till it was dark.
“Where are you coming from Jena, I called you several time but you couldn’t answer my calls” Ben had confronted his wife one day seeing her rushing inside the house.
“I went to see Muma My love, she had issues with her child so I went with her to the clinic” Jena quickly cooked up a lie. She had not prepared herself to explain herself and she spoke the first thing that came to her mind.
“Muma Huh?” Ben shook his head walking away. What Jena didn’t know was that Ben had called Muma earlier and she had no idea where her friend was. He didn’t ask further knowing from history his wife won’t say a thing. With her guilty Jena went to bed sad that night.
Ben was still lost thinking about his wife when they came a soft tap on the window making him wipe his face turning down the window to see who it was.
“Someone wants to see you sir” the Guard told him.
“What? This time of the day? Who could that be?” he asked surprised seeing it was almost 20 PM.
“I don’t really know the woman sir, but she insisted on seeing you saying…” the guard could not finish explaining himself when Chipo walked to them.
“Hey Ben! “She smiled her perfect fitting dress leaving her cleavage exposed her inner skin so revealing.
“What are you doing here?” he asked surprised.
“Am gonna leave you two” the guard excused himself.
“Thank you kamwendo” Ben responded to the guard.
“I came to see you Ben, Mat gave me your line and from the first time you knew my line, you have not picked up my calls. I needed to see you Ben, you are the only on who can help me” she lowered her face deliberately.
“What is going on, is this some kind of game Chipo?” he asked
“No, I couldn’t be here if it wasn’t important. My son is sick Ben and like I sent you that message which you never bothered to respond to, I need help” her voice was breaking Ben thought she was serious.
“What is wrong with your son and how can I help you?” he asked her without moving an inch from the car.
“He is sick, the doctors say he has some kind of cancer in his leg and I need money to get him an operation. Please help me. Am just a nurse and my salary doesn’t allow me to cater for his bills. I will return it when I save up. You are the only one I could think of Ben, please help me” she had pleaded her eyes teary Ben believed her.
“Come on in, I will take you home and tomorrow I will see if I can find something for your child. Mind you am not doing this for you Chipo. I hope you don’t misinterpret my gesture” he warned beforehand but when they got to her house she had invited him in and reluctantly Ben found himself inside. He got the chance to see the sick boy and was glad Chipo was not lying about the boy`s sickness.
“Well, I got to go now Chipo, am already running late” he had told her and she saw him to the gate.
“Thank you Ben, I have always known you were a good man, your wife is lucky to have you” she smiled at him.
“Well, I will pass through and bring the money tomorrow so you can get your son the help he needs” Ben responded and drove away.
Chipo made a happy dance knowing she got him where she wanted him to be. The sickness of her son was a better way into the life of the man she loved. She walked inside humming to a love song.
The following Morning, Ben kept his promise and went to take the money Chipo had asked for. He walked to the door and knocked softly.
“Come in the door is open!” Chipo shouted from inside and Ben pushed in the door walking in.
“It’s me, Chipo” Ben shouted and he could not finish his sentence she walked out of the shower a short towel around her body she was still so wet. He paused and took his time watching her his heart racing for a moment he forgot where he was.
“Um, am sorry I didn’t “he stammered and Chipo smiled knowingly walking away seductively Ben like a fool followed her to her room.
“I brought this money Chipo, it’s a 10 thousand, 2 thousand more than what you asked for in case of anything else” he murmured standing there as she bit her lips invitingly.
“Are you sure you don’t want to stay for a while, I mean I can make some breakfast for you “she smiled walking towards him.
“Um, am okey thank you, I have to go now” Ben walked away but she blocked him throwing away the towel and grabbing his neck closer to herself. Ben could feel the fresh body wash on her skin and her wet lips playing on his neck made him swallow hard his man was struggling to stay down. What with the mood of his wife at home, he had not relieved himself for days.
“stop Chipo, this is not right” he whispered but his desire was so evident she pulled him to the bed he followed silently panting hard as he tried to warn himself of the danger of doing what he was about to do.
“I love you Ben, you have always been the one for me, please don’t turn me down, only this once, make me feel like a woman again and I swear I won’t bother you again” she whispered as she pulled down his zip thrusting her hands in his boxers proud he was hard and wet for her.
Ben Could not take the pressure anymore, he pushed her to the bed and within a few seconds he was getting into her excited as his body got the satisfaction he was looking for yet his conscience was fully alert the moment he was calm he stood up sharply shaking his head.
“Oh dammit! This is so wrong, we shouldn’t have Chipo. We shouldn’t have” he kept saying making Chipo smiled at him.
“We are both adults and attracted to each other Ben, stop acting like a child” she laughed as he dressed up quickly like someone was after him.
“It was a mistake and this should never happen again” he pointed his fingers at her and stormed out.
Well, he got it all wrong with thinking he was going to stay away from her, she made sure she made herself available. Ben
s shame and guilty kept him away from his wife. Jenas secret mission too, made her close in making the couple less and less close to each other.
Chipo took advantage of this fact like she was aware of what was going on and made sure she gave Ben what Jane was not able to at the moment.
Now Ben was feeling his marriage drifting away and that ate him up every day. Seeing Grace that day made things worse as he kept thinking of how pathetic he looked in the girl who was old enough to be his daughter see him cheat on his wife with a woman who kept manipulating him and like a fool he was failing into her traps every day.
“Get out” He looked at Chipo as he drove to her yard.
“What? Just like that sweetie?” she looked at him
“Yes, I know I shouldn’t have let this thing get this far Chipo. This is over, so get the hell out and never call me again, not on phone or come to my office again” he added seriously. Chipo shook her head laughing.
“Hm. after laying with me in all styles like a b** you think I will let you just walk away? You have no idea what awaits you Ben, no idea at all” she frowned getting down the vehicle.
“What is that supposed to mean Chipo?” he asked her before she could leave.
“Just that sweetie, you are mine and there is no going back” she kissed his forehead and walked away leaving Ben upset he breathed out to relax himself.
Driving home, Ben found Jena seated in the couch crying softly her handbag thrown to the floor.
“My love! What is going on?” he asked rushing to hold his wife.
“Jena looked at Ben`s face. She was about to tell him she found out the remains of the ashes from the accident had no traces of their daughter but she saw the lip print of his forehead and the cologne on him told her he was with a woman.
“Where are you coming from Ben?” she asked wiping her tears away.
“Stop diverting my questions my love, you are crying what is going on? What does it matter where am coming from?” he uttered and that made Jena stand up her hands on her face. Now it was double the hurt. The fact that she knew her daughter was taken away and now that she had just lost her husband to another woman.
“God what have I done wrong? “She cried out walking away from Ben her face so wet.
TO FIND GRACE
Jack stood by the small window of his two roomed house he was renting near Cavendish University. He had just walked in from the last lecture of the day and felt lonely and kind of low. He held his phone to make a call. Looked at the name list, scrolling down till he saw Grace
s name. One of his senses told him to get over it and make a call, the other warned him he might end up having a heart break with what Grace would tell him. It had been days since she refused his proposal and initially he had thought he was to get over her and move on.s house, there was sadness as Jena had refused to open up to her husband concerning what she had found out. She had retired to be the previous night wetting her pillow as she cried herself to sleep. Ben had tried to get her to tell him but she would not look twice at him.
The fact of seeing another guy walk on to them with Jealousy gave him the impression that guy was the reason Grace was not responding positively to him.
“I need to let go now” he whispered to himself and threw the phone on a table walking out to make something for him to eat. His roommate was not yet back and he knew he wouldn’t come back probably till the following day it being a Friday.
Jack was just turning on the small cooker to make some scrambled eggs for himself when the phone vibration hit the table making him turn quickly back and grab it.
“Grace” he sighed before answering.
“Where are you?” he heard her ask after greetings
“In my room, why?” he asked wondering why she was asking him.
“I wanted to tell you that am going back home this weekend. I got to see my father” she announced calmly.
“What happened, is he bad again?” Jack asked concerned hearing her voice was so low and sad.
“I don’t know. They won’t tell me the truth but I intend to go and find out myself, I cannot stay here not knowing what is going on Jack”
“Yeah, I understand Grace, am glad you called me, been worried with your silence since we meet yesterday” he frowned
“I didn’t intend to hurt you and am sorry for what Junior said last time, he was just being stubborn” he heard her chuckle, Jack smiled feeling the easiness in her voice
“No offense taken dear, just tell me the truth, does he have anything to do with the negative response I got from you?” he asked cautiously to avoid crossing the line again
“Um, yes and no” Grace giggled.
“well, if you want to ask whether am going out with him or not, the answer is no. he is actually seeing my best friend” she spoke the words chocking her throat she felt awkward she was actually agreeing to the fat that the person she cared for was seeing her friend instead.
“That is a relief then” Jack responded.
“well, I got to go, just thought of feeling you I will be travelling in case you decide to show up unannounced again” Grace laughed softly.
“What time are you going? I might come to see you off” he offered quickly
“Just parking up, should be done in an hour”
“Okey will meet you at the station then” Jack answered
An hour later, Grace was getting on a bus after Jack helped her buy a ticket. She looked at him as he walked towards her with the drinks and fruits he acquired for her to be eating on the way. He looked so good she smiled to herself. Now that she had decided to pay attention to him, she stared noticing how easy and charming he was.
“What?” Jack smiled Standing closer to Grace who was still lost in thoughts analyzing him.
“I like you too you know, I think we can make good friends” she smiled and before he could respond she pecked his cheek and walked away to the bus getting on and he saw her disappear in the seats.
“What was that?” he smiled to himself touching where she had planted a kiss and walking away happily.
“Yes! Yes!” he jumped up as he walked making the guys who were seated in a small shop in intercity bus station.
Back at Jena and Ben
“at least have the decency of removing those clothes and washing up so I don’t smell the scent of another woman on you” she had told him when Ben insisted she told him what was going on.
Silently Ben walked to the bathroom and he was standing before the mirror when he saw the mark that had sold him out.
“oh no” he whispered to himself realizing now how Jena had known, he had initially wondered if at all she had suspected a thing that is why she was crying, but now he knew how she knew.
“Oh God, what have I done?” he cursed himself making a fist and clenching his teeth in anger. His anger for himself for being a fool and for Chipo for luring him to do what he had vowed never to do to his wife.
“Jena I can explain, he walked to her after washing up and putting on his night gown.
t want to hear it Ben, keep it to yourself” she snapped and pulled over the blanket over her head covering her ears as she cried.s voice was shaky as she cried out her face covered in tears she could not control them.
The following morning she woke up with some headache, she stood up to walk back fall back feeling dizzy thankfully Ben was close by he caught her before she could fall. Jena had developed a fever and her body was heating up. Ben could feel the heat on her skin as he held her close.
“My love, you are heating up, are you feeling okey?” he asked her but she looked at him then away
“Why? “She asked her husband tears coming down her face
“What? “He looked at her, he had not expected the question right that moment
“Why did you do it?” she asked him looking at his face.
“Um, am sorry my love, I didn’t mean to…” Ben sighed holding his head. He could not hide the truth anymore but telling her to her face he cheated was not the easy thing to do either.
“You need to be taken to see a doctor my love. You are heating up” he responded instead
“I asked you a question Ben and if you are not ready to answer it then get out” she responded her voice calm but firm it made Ben shiver in guilty and shame.
“Please Jena, just “
“You know what? I trusted you, I believed in you Ben, in fact, I never even for a day doubted you loved me, that we are a family that has the ability to withstand all pressures. For years I have known am married to a faithful and good man, now this? “She cried her heart filled with pain Ben could not look her into her eyes.
“I was lonely Jena, you shut me out and I felt lonely, I missed you so much yet you were close. I wanted to help you open up and tell me what was keeping you away, but nothing” he outlined
“So, you decided to find comfort in the arms of another woman” she completed the sentence for him and Ben was silence without any words to answer to his wife.
“Say it dammit! Say it Ben, say it to my face you cheated on me because I was down for a few weeks, tell it to my face you could not hold yourself for less than a month of my weakest moment. do you have any idea how much this means to me Ben” Jena
“Please baby, am sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you I swear, it will never happen again” he tried to hold her but she pushed his hand away and stood up walking about.
“Do you have an idea what I have been through after losing our baby just to start having this inner feeling something somewhere was not okey? I tried to tell you several times what I was feeling but you thought I was being insane Ben, how could I tell you what was happening when whenever I talked about Grace you had no slight belief in me?” she looked at him wiping her tears
“So this was all about Grace?” Ben asked standing up.
“What were you planning on doing Jena, please tell me.”
“No, I won’t tell, you a damn thing Ben, you have betrayed me and your kids by giving yourself to another woman. There is a reason the bible talks about a man and woman separating if there is infidelity Ben, this hurts beyond what you could ever imagine but I guess you will never feel that since I cannot do what you have done to me. I don’t even think I will ever look at you the same Ben” she shook her head
“Please don’t say that Jena, I love you, it has always been you. You know that. Forgive me my love, am sorry please let’s start all over again” he pleaded kneeling down
“Am going to tell you one thing Ben, am not ready to deal with this now, I swear to God I was so worked up trying to hide things from you and I was going insane every day. But now I know that I cannot depend on my husband to be patient with me and support me even if it meant blindly. He has his eyes on the outside and no matter how much you justify it that is what defines you”
I have not even once my whole life looked at another man, you broke my virginity and married me. I honor my vows and never look away no matter how hard it is with you. Forget about me for a while Ben. Am going to stay here but don’t expect anything from me. Am going to find my baby, God knows how much I have suffered and now I have to find another piece that has been missing in my life.” She paused
“My daughter” she added and walked away, Ben run towards her but she closed the door to the bathroom and sank down as she cried wounded.
“Open the door Jena please, what about our daughter? Will you please come we finish talking” he spoke against the door hearing her sniffing and crying inside the door.
“Go away Ben!” was her only response after several minutes of him giving his long speech of how sorry he was.
TO FIND GRACE
Grace walked in the house and the silence that surrounded it made her heart skip a little bit as she went round the house calling for her father and mother.
“Mommy! Am home! Mother where are you!” she yelled as she walked outside seeing there was no one responding from inside.
“where is everyone?” she was asking herself when her mother`s vehicle pulled over she quickly turned to watch the it park, she rushed to the vehicle before her parents could come out.
“Grace what are you doing here? Are you not supposed to be at school?” Diana asked as she got off the car.
“Mom, I missed you” Grace hugged her mother instead and smiled in her face.
“I knew calling you to seek your permission would get me a no answer, so I decided to come see dad myself. I don’t like the way he sounded yesterday. By the way where is he?” she asked looking inside the car.
“Hm.” Diana murmured sadly avoiding to look at her daughter who looked worried.
“What is going on mother? Where is dad?” Grace held her mother`s hand
“Am just coming from the hospital he was just admitted again. He insisted I don’t call you immediately so that you are not disturbed at school. Your father is not so well Grace am sorry” Diana shed a tear as she explained the predicament to her daughter.
“My God, I felt it in my heart yesterday, dad sounded so weak even though he was insisting he was okey. Am going to see him right away mom.” She looked at her mother.
“I need to wash up. I have not rested since morning and am so tired Grace. Let me just freshen up and eat something then I will take you there” she told her
“No mom, you rest I will let one of the workers take me to the hospital. Don’t worry yourself do what you got to do” Grace responded and before her mother could say a thing went inside to get her father
s car keys and ran towards the workers` quarters to get one of the workers who drove the farm trucks to take her to the hospital.
Upon arrival she rushed to the ward and found her father just waking up from his sleep and struggling to grab a bottle of water.
“Here, let me help you dad” she rushed to the cup and Mr. Mwape looked up at her surprised.
“Grace, what happened to you? When did you come?” he asked one question after the other.
“Calm down dad. I arrived an hour ago. Came to see you, tell me how you are feeling right now” she asked him sitting next to his bed and leaning her hands on him.
“been feeling very weak of late my dear, don’t worry yourself though, am not that bad” he chuckled trying to smile at his daughter but his weak smile sold him out Grace could see he was in pain.
“you have done well to come Grace, somehow I wished to see you like this, alone without your mother around cause I know she wouldn’t approve of what am about to tell you even though it is the right thing to do” he started trying to sit up, Graced helped him up putting the pillows on his back to support him.
“What is it dad?” she asked sitting back on the chair.
“Am going to tell you a story that happened a long time ago. I want you to understand something very important.
“Okey am listening father, go on…” she encouraged him and he leaned back comfortably as he told his story.
“A long time ago, there was a girl from Chilanga. She was a good child and very hard working. Something happened along the way and the girl got pregnant. Well, according her, she had fallen in love with this young man and got pregnant. I don’t want to tell you the rest of the story because I really don’t know it all, the only thing am sure of is that, this girl got pregnant and concealed it from everyone including the people she was staying with.” He paused looking at Grace who was listening attentively without moving an inch.
“What Happened to her?” Grace asked impatiently.
“well, this girl gave birth alone in the bushes and gave away her baby to a family that according to her, was the best to raise her baby and she was right, this family loved the baby and raised her as their own, till one day she went back and pleaded to get her child back saying her boyfriend was back from where he had gone to study and they wanted the child back” Kent coughed stopping for a moment.
“Are you okey?” Grace stood to help him handing him some water.
‘Yeah am okey just my throat feels dry.
“But dad that is not fair, how can someone just damp their baby like that no matter what the person was going through? Why didn’t she just keep the child to herself and face the consequences of having an early pregnancy?” Grace spoke up as her father rested his head on the pillow.
“To make the matters worse my child, she went back to claim the same child she had thrown away. No that is just insane” she added shaking her head.
“Wait a minute” she looked at her father seeing him looking at her serious without a word.
“What is this story supposed to mean dad? Am I that child?” she felt her heart race seeing her father look down
“Grace listen to me, whatever I will tell you today should never at any point make you feel I and your mother never loved you, you are our baby girl and we have loved you since the first day you came into our lives” Kent sighed sadly
“What? So it’s true? Am the child in your story, did mom throw me away when I was a baby? Please tell me she didn’t dad, tell me you guys are not the once who went to get me back after throwing me away to another family, please tell me the truth now this is making my head go crazy” Grace stood up shaking and crying as her father tried to calm her down.
“it’s not like that Grace, its…” he almost finished his clarification and Mrs. Mwape walked in her face wet with tears as she realized her husband had told the truth to Grace.
“no my child, we are the family that took you in, we could not let you go my baby, you belonged to us and you should know that I for one would do anything to make sure you are okey and happy” Diane sobbed as she spoke making Grace stand up and look at both her parents shocked her hands and lips were shaking as she could not believe she was raised by the people who never gave birth to her.
“I, I , I can’t believe this, you mean to tell me am not your biological daughter? And all these years you hid that truth from me?” she looked at her parents.
“Am sorry Grace, I know this is hard for you to take in but I wanted you to know the entire truth before it’s too late. Please forgive me for hiding the truth Grace, there is no day that passed without me feeling love for you my child, to us you are our daughter despite the fact that we never gave birth to you” Kent spoke gently
“I only want to know one truth dad, how you got me back. Did my parents throw me away again or what?” Grace sniffed in still standing as her mother shook her head at her father to stop him from telling the rest of the story.
“That is enough Grace, your farther needs rest now, and this can be talked over some other time” Diana cut in.
“No, my dear wife, let me finish the story and rest easy… I , I” he stammered as he felt his heart race faster than before.
“Calm down honey, please look at how you are stressing yourself up” Diana held her husband and the next moment he was panting for his breath she screamed out for Grace to call the doctor.
“Go get the doctor Grace, your father is not well” she cried out and without hesitation Grace run out as fast as she could.
“Tell her the whole truth my wife, it is the right thing to do please” Mr. Mwape whispered his last words and the moment the doctor got in he pulled himself last and was gone.
“Honey, wake up please” Diana cried out as the doctor came closer taking his heart beat and looked at her shaking his head.
“Am sorry mam, he is gone” he breathed out sadly Diana went down her feet wailing in tears. Grace who was standing by the door seeing everything was shattered seeing her father being covered and declared dead in her eyes. The hot tears coming out of her eyes touched her skin and she felt herself go down the floor powerless.
“Am sorry young lady, stay strong” the doctor whispered to her and left the room leaving the mother and daughter in tears and sorrow. It was the sad moment for the family and the lost was so much. Grace felt like it was all a dream and she would wake up to see her father and that the story he just told her was not true either. There is no way she was born from someone else, she thought to herself. Since the first memory of her life, she could not remember any other mother and father but them.
She had no idea what Diana had to do to get her back and make her know only them as her parents. As she cried, she looked at her devastated mother and even though she wanted to ask more about her past, she knew what they both where going through was the most hurting moment.
Grace walked to her mother and the two hugged each other crying out as the nurses came in to take the body away to the mortuary.