Tue. Feb 20th, 2024


October 1st, 2019. 11:00PM 02


I lay awake in bed thinking of everything that has happened to me, the tears streaming down my face. I know what it feels like to be broke and broken, to have nothing to my name and still stand strong. I thought back at memories of my past; my mother, one minute I am upset at what she had to tolerate at the hands of my father the next I am just thankful that she came out of it alive. I had it all on a silver platter, I was my father’s doll and princess but who would have thought that I would end up here?


Pushing the thoughts to the back of my head, I get out of bed and prepare for the day. Its five in the morning and a weekend, everyone will be home so meaning I need to be on my toes and at the best of my behavior.


I start by scrubbing the walls, then the couches before finishing off with the floors. Afterwards I dust every other surface and by the time its half past six I am done with the house and getting the laundry started.


‘Good morning.’ Mrs. Mubita says


‘Good morning ma’am.’ I respond avoiding eye contact


From what happened the previous day I am not sure she still wants to be friendly with me.


‘I will be traveling to Kaoma this morning, I need you to prepare my bag.’ ‘Okay ma’am.’

‘For how many days?’ I ask her before she turns to leave


‘I will only be back on Monday.’ She responds then turns around ‘One more thing.’

‘Yes ma’am.’


‘I will be leaving with Olipa.’


I almost do a happy dance, it is becoming unbearable staying under the same roof with her. How is it even possible that one person can breathe so much air – making the rest of us suffocate.

I finish off then serve everyone breakfast before heading to the master bedroom to prepare Mrs. Mubita’s bag, it is there that I find Mulife – the last person I want to run into.


His shirt is off and he looks like he is deep in thought trying to figure out something.


‘Good morning.’ He says not even looking at me


‘Good morning.’ I respond with a smile that doesn’t reach my eyes I am trying so hard not to look at him

‘Thelma.’ He calls out as I look for the traveling bag ‘Yes.’

‘Look at me.’


I don’t know if that is a good idea but I don’t want to show him the effect he has on me so I look at him.


‘Am I bad looking?’


I almost choke on my saliva, looking at him is making me have all these ideas. Ideas that my mother would crucify me for.


‘Is this a trap?’ I ask instead


‘Forget it.’ He says almost sounding defeated


I don’t want to know why he is asking but I go about packing everything his mother might need.


I am almost done before the door opens, Lackson walks in and he is smiling from ear to ear.


‘Thelma I have a proposal.’ He says coming to stand in front of me I and Mulife look at him

‘There is a dinner gala being held tonight, I was hoping you would be my date.’ He says looking me


I laugh, it’s funny but I pretend as to take him seriously.


‘You mean you didn’t have anyone else to invite?’ I finally manage to ask He sighs

‘Thelma you know I hate such events, plus I told my friends that I would come with a girl so I don’t see the reason why you would turn me down. Unless of

course you have a boyfriend.’ He says that with a questioning face making Mulife look at me as well


I shrug


‘Of course not.’ I say defensively then both men sigh


‘I was thinking of wearing this shirt.’ Mulife says to his young brother ‘How about you ask Olipa, she might have a better choice than me.’

He clicks his tongue


‘I didn’t tell her about the gala.’


‘You didn’t?’ Lackson questions with a raised eyebrow


‘You know how she is, she will make a fuss out of everything and I wont even have a good time there because she will be all up in my business.’


His young brother laughs


‘I see you are finally getting it.’


Mulife is about to respond when his mother walks in ‘And what is going on here?’ she asks looking at me

‘I was packing your things ma’am.’ I respond avoiding eye contact ‘I don’t want to see you in the same room as my sons.’ She snaps



I want to respond, but again I remember why I am here so I just walk out without a word.


I hear Lackson say something to her but am uninterested, these boys love their mother to the bone and it would be useless to think that any of them would have my back.


Olipa is in the kitchen having her breakfast when I walk in, she looks at me as if irritated. I don’t say a word to her, I am not in the mood of having an argument with her and just grateful that she will be gone for the weekend.


‘What were you doing in mum’s room?’


I almost laugh, the way she stresses on the word mum is like she is trying to send a message.


‘I was packing her clothes for the trip.’ I respond instead


She clicks her tongue, puts the plates away in the sink and walks away.


I look on after her, I had once been like her. Proud, arrogant with a big ego. But life humbled me, at a time when I thought I had it all I just ended up losing it all.


So I smile at her attitude and think about the gala, I might be a house help yes but I miss cleaning up. So I decide I will be Lackson’s date for the gala and show my beauty.


** Olipa




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