‘Felicia it’s high time you leave my son’s house because between you and him, I don’t see who the woman is,’ my mother in law spoke up.
This is something that had been going on for the past three years and trust me I was actually breaking. Every morning I questioned God as to why I had been put in such a situation. At first I could go for hours whilst praying and Justin could also join me in prayer but that had slowly decreased in the last two months. As if that wasn’t enough, my mother in law had come here three weeks ago with intentions of moving me out.
‘Mum, I have faith in God. Honestly do you think that am doing this on purpose; not having a child? I know how much my husband wants a child and I do too but we just have to wait on the Lord.’ I responded making sure not to face her.
‘Felicia listen to me, I don’t hate you. I have known you and Justin to be a happy couple but a child will increase the joy in this house. I asked you to see a witch doctor but all these charismatic prayers of yours keep getting in your way. Tell me how long are we going to wait? Seven more years? Am not getting any younger, neither is my son. Who will take over once his gone, do you want our family name to die with him.’ She asked whilst sobbing.
‘Mum please we have talked about this over and over again. Am not dying anytime soon and Felicia will give me a child when God sees it right.’ Justin responded
‘Justin shut up. I said shut up. How long will you defend her, I know you don’t have a problem. Both you and I know that.’ She said this time with fury
‘Mum I would suggest you leave my house, you have over stayed your welcome.’ he said pointing to the door.
‘And where do you expect me to go this time of the night Justin? Have you seen what you have done, you can’t give me a grandchild now you have turned my son against me. Felicia you will not see peace as long as I am alive, that’s a promise.’
With that she left
‘Do you care to tell me what that was about,’ I asked my husband.
‘Felicia what you don’t know won’t kill you, let it go.’ My husband responded with no remorse
‘Justin your mother says that you and she know that you don’t have a problem, you expect me to just let that go. Has it come to this, what happened to us? To not keeping secrets between us. Are you also seeing me as a barren woman like the rest of the world?’ I asked with a strong face.
‘I have a long day tomorrow, don’t switch on the lights when you come to bed.’ With that he walked away leaving me standing.
I was getting really worried, this is not the man I got married to, and I sat in the living room and started reminiscing on how we met.
My best friend back in the day was dating his best friend, I and him being single; we were hooked up and that is how we got together. Our best friends are no longer together but I and him were so in love and got married.
I didn’t know what the problem was, we did all the medical tests together and they showed that we were both fine but our marriage was slowly hanging on a thread because I couldn’t give my husband an heir. Justin comes from a well to do family and having an heir is a must and being the only male child he has always been the sacrificial lamb.
I walked to the bedroom slowly and went straight to the bathroom, I showered up and went to sleep. I made sure not to switch on the lights because my husband had told me not to. Every night was becoming hard to sleep and the lump on my throat was getting bigger by the day, I would pray and cry myself to sleep. My tears were finally giving up and now the only thing I could feel was an emptiness.
‘Feli, Feli, kindly wake up. We need to talk,’ my husband said whilst shaking me hysterically.
‘Baby don’t you have work in the morning? What time is it? Can’t whatever it is wait till morning?’ I asked him in a sleepy voice.
‘Feli, if you want to save this marriage you better wake up.’ He told me.
I finally managed to sit upright, I looked at the time and it was 03:20am. From his eyes one could tell that he had been up for some time now.
‘I am up, what is it? What is that which can’t wait till morning? I asked him.
‘Feli before I met you I got a girl pregnant.’ He told me
‘Justine it is too early for jokes, can I go back to sleep now?’ I told him
‘And why would I lie about that? To blame you for our childlessness?’ he asked
‘Well you are the one saying that not me, is that the reason why your mother said the things she said to me earlier on?’ I asked
‘Feli this is something I told myself that I would never tell anyone, not even the woman I would marry. Whilst I was in school I got a girl pregnant. I was in grade twelve she was doing her ninth grade, I swear I didn’t know she was a minor.’ He told me.
I kept quite waiting for him to finish whatever he had started.
‘She told me and I was scared, my mother had my life laid out since day one. I decided to tell my mother because I was young and the burden was too much; she invited the girl over and gave her some food, what we didn’t know is that the food was poisoned. After she left for her place, we got a phone call in the night that she had been admitted at the hospital. Upon reaching we were told that she tried to abort and it was successful, my mother denied knowing anything about the pregnancy and that I wasn’t aware as well. After she was discharged, her parents took her out of Lusaka and that was the last I saw of her.’ He narrated
‘Well, why didn’t you try to look for her? When did you know that she was making everything up?’ I asked.
I loved Justin with everything in me but I knew better than to allow him or his family to trample over me, I was the kind of woman that offered tough love. I offered my emotions on a hot spindle and whoever wanted to be part of my life had to take the risk of getting burned, I never removed any jewelry from my crown to make it easy for anyone to carry it; whoever wanted to be in my life had to man up and meet my standards.
‘So what are you telling me really?’ I asked after much silence
‘Feli I do not have a problem, have you ever been preg…’
I didn’t even allow him to finish his sentence.
‘Justin honestly, you wake me in the middle of the night to accuse me of being barren?’ I asked in shock
‘Feli do not get me wrong, I am not calling you barren. I am just saying that I do not have a problem.’ He told me trying to sound reasonable
‘Well my dear husband, maybe if I was married to a different man we would be telling a different story right now.’ I said switching off the head lamp
I heard him sigh then later his head lamp went off too. Justin was the best thing that happened to me but that didn’t give him the right to question nature, I had heard stories of how marriages ended because of such cases and trust me I had drawn that line the minute I said I do. My marriage was never going to go through the courts of law, I would never lose my man to another woman, we were going to have battles yes but not anything that would tear us apart.
I said a silent prayer before closing my eyes.
I woke up very early to do the chores because I refused to hire a maid, I cleaned the house and prepared breakfast whilst Justin went to take a bath. I cleaned the bedroom then later took a bath and I joined him for breakfast.
‘Good morning.’ He said when I settled into my chair
‘Good morning.’ I greeted back
‘About last night…’ he began
‘I am all ears.’ I told him
‘You know I love you, right?’ he asked
‘Love is not the issue here, just get to the main point.’ I told him as I sipped on my tea
‘Can’t you for once just let down your high horse and at least reason with me like an adult?’ he asked in a calm voice
I put my mug cup down, in situations like these I remembered my mother’s words, and may her soul rest in peace.
‘Feli never raise your voice at your husband, no matter what humble yourself.’ She would say
I looked at him before responding as if calculating my words when in actual sense I was just dealing with my anger.
‘Babe, you wake me up in the middle of the night; tell me about a woman you impregnated back in school and accuse me of being barren then you talk to me about love?’ I asked making sure to sound numb
‘Sweetheart you know I did not call you barren.’ He told me
‘You didn’t have to spell it out, I read between your words.’ I told him picking up the mug cup with green tea.
‘Felicia I am not your enemy and I will never be one, we have come too far to allow such petty issues to come between us.’ He told me
‘It’s not petty if it’s causing you and your mother to be on each other’s throats.’ I told him holding his hand
‘I do not know what to do any more, do we really need a child?’ he asked me with a smile
I couldn’t respond, he knew just how to penetrate through me.
‘We have been happy, we can just leave the country and start all over elsewhere.’ He told me
‘And your family name?’ I asked
‘That baby making machine Priscilla can take over.’ He told me
I couldn’t help but laugh.
Justin’s mother had trouble conceiving, she only got pregnant six years after getting married and when she finally did it was hard to keep the pregnancy. She was in and out of hospital and the doctors had said that one of them wouldn’t make it if a forced abortion wasn’t done, but she wanted the baby so much and when he finally came she dedicated the rest of her life to him in the process abandoning her husband.
He came back home one evening with a tiny baby in his hands, she did not ask questions but took in the child as her own but little Priscilla grew up to be the opposite of the entire family. She had made headlines at an early age and had given birth to two kids at the age of twenty two both with different fathers.
‘Priscilla is not that bad.’ I told him as I cleared the table
‘I grew up with her, I know her like the palm of my hand.’ He told me spanking my bum
‘Babe.’ I screamed out turning to face him
‘Feli child or no child; what I feel for you is beyond me. I could never stop loving you even if I chose to.’ He told me kissing my forehead
‘I love you husband of my youth.’ I told him
‘We kissed for a while before locking up and getting into our separate cars.
My husband was a consultant under Ministry of Lands and I was an executive officer for the office of the vice president, our lives were perfect but the issue of the baby was slowly getting to me.
I drove into my parking space and dialed Justin’s number, he picked up on the first ring.
‘Miss me already?’
‘You have some lipstick on your lips.’
‘Wait, is that why that deal has failed, they must think I am a womanizer.’
‘Babe I am so sorry.’
‘Got you, I always move with my handkerchief courtesy of my lady.’
I couldn’t help but smile, God was I blessed.
‘Have a beautiful day.’ He told me
‘Even better knowing I have you.’ I said before walking out of my car
I wasn’t ready for this, how would I tell my husband that I was planning on resigning because my supervisor saw nothing but prey when he looked at me.
I sighed as I looked at the boardroom door, the meeting was scheduled for 5minutes and even though I wasn’t doing any presentations I knew that one of the permanent secretaries Mr. Mtonga; would do his best to make sure that my presence was noticed. Rumor had been going around in our offices that I was his new girlfriend and I knew trying to justify myself would be like trying to clean off wet mud – it only makes it dirtier.
I slide the glass door and everyone was in their positions. I walked slowly and found myself a spot with the other executive officers.
‘Felicia over here.’ I heard a familiar voice; it was the vice president Mrs. Wane Musoni herself and there was no way I was going to refuse.
I dragged my feet to where she was and I could see how Mr. Mtonga was now smiling because we were now facing each other.
‘Good morning, without wasting much time let’s get to the issue at hand.’ The other PS said
We all opened our files and there were photos of the Inspector General of Police in a compromising situation with a lady I didn’t recognize.
‘What you have in your hands are pictures of the IG and as you can see, they are not pleasing.’ He said as he connected his projector, the images now on the screen.
‘Who has any idea who the girl is?’ he spoke after a slide show of the images
There was silence in the room.
‘Just as I thought.’ He said
‘She is the daughter to the commissioner of police – Kenya.’ The vice president spoke out
We all turned to look at her.
‘The girl’s full names are Abasi Obiero, a student here at the University of Zambia. Her father trusted us with her and am sure all of us in here know the relationship that he has with the President, if this leaks, we are doomed.’ She continued
‘But ma’am, who is the other man on the picture?’ someone asked
‘Apparently that is her boyfriend and he is threatening to expose him if he doesn’t give him some money.’ The PS responded
‘Why not pay him off?’ my colleague and closest friend Lindile asked
‘If we pay him off, he will come back for more.’ I responded
‘That is true.’ The vice president responded
‘But why not get him arrested?’ Lindile asked
I noticed how Mr. Mtonga looked at her with irritation
‘We cannot have him arrested because he has not done anything wrong.’ The PS said
‘He is threatening the Commissioner of Police, isn’t it enough reason to have him arrested?’ Lindile asked again
‘No, it isn’t, if we arrest him on that account the media will want to know why he is being threatened.’ The PS responded
‘We take him down,’ the vice president said.
This is the part of my job that I hated, such decisions had to be made and it was a centralization kind of decision so none of us could do anything about it.
‘Or we can just have him deported, there should be something we can use against him before this matter gets out of hand.’ I told them
The vice president looked at me intently.
‘You look into him; I am giving you an hour to do so. If you find nothing, we are taking him down.’ She said before standing up
I could feel all eyes on me, the Vice President had a soft spot for me, if anyone else had wanted to go against her they would have been signing their termination letter right now.
We walked out of the boardroom after her, I was running out of time. I needed to get to my office so I could come up with something that would cause a loop hole on the boy, I didn’t want him being assassinated. Who knows the kind of future he had ahead of him, who were we to just shorten his life without such considerations?
I logged into my account and searched for him, it was true he was dating Abasi and it seems they had come a long way. Everything on the net showed he was genuinely in love with her, I searched through his birth files and got his home address.
Our office had officers everywhere in Africa so I called the ones in Kenya and asked them to talk to his family and friends. In a few minutes I got all the information I wanted and it was sad because he was the perfect child and the bread winner in his family.
I was defeated, I had wanted to help him but I couldn’t do anything about it. I walked to the Vice President’s office with my head held high, I was really hoping there was something we could do about it.
I signed in using my ID and the door unlocked, she was on the phone when I got in.
‘Felicia.’ She spoke out after dropping the landline
‘Please take a seat.’ She told me
‘Thank you, ma’am.’ I told her as I made myself comfortable
‘Coffee?’ she asked
Who would honestly want to drink coffee knowing that another person’s life was going to be taken?
‘No ma’am I am fine.’ I responded with sweaty palms
She stood up and pulled herself a cup, she was still a very beautiful woman, and at 45 she had no sign of aging on her skin.
She had been for the opposition party and stood up for presidency in the previous elections but had lost by 10points. We all thought she would stand again but was shocked when the president announced her as Vice President during his inauguration, it’s true what they say about politics being a game for the strong only.
‘You have been starring at me.’ She said awakening me from my thoughts
‘I keep wondering how you have been able to stay this beautiful.’ I told her honestly
‘A good personality is better than good looks, I would give up anything to have your character Felicia.’ She told me
‘What?’ I asked in shock
She smiled as she sipped on her coffee and walked over to where I was.
‘You see Felicia, when people look at me on any platform all they see is the vice president, they see my husband’s wife. They will never look at me as Wane, it’s like my identity has been lost in everything I have built for my name, but that alone doesn’t mean I should lose myself in the fame and fortune.’ She said and went over to her wall of fame
‘Come here.’ She told me
I walked over to where she was standing and noticed that her eyes were fixed on one particular photo, it was her photo when she was very young. She was in a school uniform with spectacles on.
‘You see my dear, this right here was the peak of my life. I knew what I wanted in my twelfth grade and I worked towards that. I passed with distinctions and studied political science, many told me that I couldn’t make it in politics because it was a game only for the strong, for men but I wanted to prove them wrong. I do not believe in equity, I believe in equality and so I strived with every fiber in me to get to where I am.’ She said
I passed my fingers on the images, she was young and innocent with a vibrant smile.
‘Felicia you are still young and have a life ahead of you, do not allow matters of the state to change who you are. Pull out while you still can.’ She told me with a blink of sadness
‘But ma’am the rule is that…’
‘I will be here to back you up, no one will hurt a strand of hair on your head.’ She responded
‘I know too many state secrets, I could be taken down if I quit.’ I told her rubbing the tips of my fingers
‘You know nothing Felicia, I want you safe. It is getting dirtier here by the day, you deserve better.’ she told me
I couldn’t believe my ears, all I ever dreamt of was working for the state, yes I knew it wasn’t going to be rosy but little did I know the effect it would ever have on my life.
‘Away from that, did you find anything on that boy?’ she asked
‘No ma’am. Actually that is why I am here.’ I told her
‘Do not worry yourself, his body is already being shipped.’ She told me
‘What! How did you?’ I asked moving away from where she was standing
‘Felicia we are the state, the government. We execute the laws, your job as an executive officer is to implement them but when you can’t we take matters in our own hands.’ She told me perusing through some papers
‘That is not right, you execute we implement, there is a line between your job as the state and us as public administrators.’ I told her with hurt
‘He was the bread winner, the only good child of his parents.’ I had continued without realizing the hot tears that were now streaming down my face.
‘More reason why you need to get out my dear, this place is not suitable for you and it will get worse.’ She said dismissively
I walked out of her office with the weight of the world on my shoulders, I was depressed I won’t lie.
I got my phone and found missed calls from babe. I quickly called him back and he picked up on the first ring.
‘Babe.’ I told him
‘Mrs. Kunda.’ He responded
‘Sorry about missing your calls, I was in a meeting.’ I told him leaving out details
‘It is okay babe, you do not sound fine. Are you sure you do not want me to come over?’ he asked
‘No sweetheart I am fine.’ I lied
‘Alright wify, see you in a few hours.’ He told me
‘I love you.’
‘I love you more.’
I dropped the line and allowed the tears to fall, you see the other condition about the office I was working in was that no one – not even my spouse was supposed to know the nature of my job.
Lindile came into my office looking like it was a casual Friday.
‘And you?’ I asked
‘I need to go on a drinking spree with one of our targets, I need to get dirt on him but you know I have to pretend to like him.’ She responded
‘Lindile not that again.’ I told her
‘Hey, I love my job and everything that it comes with. Besides it’s not every day that I get huge tips.’ She responded
‘Lindile that could be someone’s husband you are messing with.’ I told her
‘If it’s my job and puts food on my table, cool.’ She answered
‘Not everyone is privileged enough to have a loving husband.’ She had continued crossing her legs on my table
I just looked at her and stared at the images on my PC once more, the email had just come in of the recent execution. I blinked back the tears and concentrated on Lindile who was busy with my pens now.
‘Do not tell me you are still sulking over a boy you had no connection to.’ She said blowing a gum in my face
‘Unlike you, I have a heart.’ I told her.
‘Boo with this kind of job you do not need a heart.’ She rebuked
‘And where do you expect me to leave my heart once I walk into this building?’ I asked her
‘I don’t know.’ She answered
‘Hey do not get worked up, you know I gat your back but these past days you are becoming too soft. Is it Justin? Or his mother again?’ she asked
I loved her with a passion but I wasn’t going to talk about my marital issues with her.
‘Your excellence.’ He responded
‘We are pushing her to quit.’
‘But she is good at her job.’ He told him
‘We know but we need you in full operation.’
‘She will never forgive me for this.’ He answered
‘You do not need her forgiveness, you need to serve the country.’
‘But she is my…’
‘Don’t forget we made it possible, we can take her down any minute.’
‘That won’t be necessary, I will see to it that she resigns.’ He said before hanging up
To be continued tomorrow
I had just gotten off the phone with the president and now more than ever I wanted to tell Felicia what it is I was really involved in. I have been scared of this day and I know it is against policy to tell her anything but how could I continue living with myself knowing that the state wanted me to push my wife into resigning.
She had no idea that I worked for the office of the president because I have always been an undercover agent but now more than ever the state wants me to be into full operation and that can only be achieved if Felicia is out.
I sighed as I thought about it.
My door opened and I didn’t bother to look up because I knew it was Mercy my secretary.
‘Good afternoon Mr. Kunda.’ She greeted politely
‘Good afternoon.’ I responded without even looking up
There was silence in the room and I was now wondering if she was still there.
‘Uhm, Sir.’ She began
I put the files that I was looking at down and lifted my head to face her.
‘Yes?’ I responded formally
‘I think your wife is cheating on you.’ She said whilst fidgeting
I wasn’t one for allowing people into my private life and now I was wondering what gave her the guts to talk to me about my marriage.
I looked at her as if signalling her to go on when in actual sense I was just getting irritated
‘Well you know our offices work hand in hand, and I wouldn’t get into your personal business if I didn’t believe it. I hear the PS has been asking her out and she has finally given in, well everyone is talking about it.’ She said her eyes beaming
Nothing went under my nose without me knowing about it, I knew the PS had been eying Felicia but I was just waiting for the day she would tell me about it. What I didn’t like now is that everyone was talking about it making it look like she was indeed cheating on me. And it is actually funny how people will come up with conclusions without getting the first hand information, I for one know my wife like the back of my palm and I know she would never cheat on me.
‘Make sure to lock up before leaving the office.’ I said and stood up to leave
‘But Sir…’ she protested
‘Mercy never forget your place, do not become too comfortable. I can easily replace you.’ I said with a smile
‘Justin are you threatening me?’ she asked her hands on her waist
‘Take it as you have received it.’ I responded and walked to the door.
‘And it’s Mr. Kunda.’ I said before banging the door behind me causing her to startle
The drive home was slow, it was a Monday and there was a traffic jam. I kept thinking of ways of telling my wife to resign, I don’t know if I had to push her into doing it or maybe tell her the truth.
I was awakened from my thoughts with the sound of my phone; it was a private call from state house.
‘Your excellency.’ I responded
‘We do not have time Justin.’
‘Sir, she does not know anything. So how do I tell her in a short pace of time?’ I asked almost sounding frustrated
‘I do not care about that.’ He answered firmly
‘She is my wife and I care about how she feels, I just can’t wake up and offload such news.’ I responded
‘You have a month to do that.’
‘Your excellence a month is not enough time, our anniversary is….’
‘Unless you want me to tell her that she is not the one with the problem.’ He threatened
‘That won’t be necessary Sir, thirty days it is.’ I responded feeling defeated
The line went dead and I cursed under my breath, I was young and naïve and I didn’t ever think that having a child was such a major thing until now. I saw how Felicia looked at her best friend’s kids, she wanted a baby of her own but how was I ever going to tell her what I did.
I drove into the yard and the first thing that welcomed me was the scent of her cooking, my stomach made a sound and I smiled to myself. I walked into the house and she was in the kitchen wearing a wrapper and one of my t-shirts with her house warmers.
I walked up to her and wrapped my hands around her waist slightly kissing her neck. She sighed, put her wooden spoon down and turned to face me our lips meeting. She wrapped her hands around my neck and we kissed for a few seconds.
What I loved the most about our marriage is that we always tried to live as if we just got married yesterday, we kept the fire burning and that is mostly because we never allowed a third party.
‘My food.’ She said, her lips still on mine
I smiled a little and allowed her to turn but my hands were still on her waist.
‘What’s cooking?’ I asked
‘It’s a surprise my baby.’ She responded
I moved a little away from her and gave her my back, whilst I took a photo.
‘I wonder why you never even use those photos that you continuously take.’ She told me
‘Well I keep them for the kids.’ I said without thinking through my words
There was an awkward silence between us.
‘You take your bath and meet me in the dining room in five minutes.’ She said breaking the ice
I felt a rigidness in my legs, I really wish I could be open with her.
‘Felicia?’ I called out before walking out
‘Yes, my love.’ She turned with a smile but I could see the sadness in her eyes
‘I love you.’ I told her with everything in me
‘I know Justin, you are all and more that I could ask for.’ She told me
I walked to the bedroom knowing that she meant every word she said, even if the world came crushing, I knew I would be safe with her by my side. What we had was so strong not even the state would break us apart. Next