Sun. Feb 18th, 2024

November 13th, 2019. 9:00PM 25

 

We are in the house when we hear a knock at the door, Mulife reluctantly standsupbecausehelookslikeheisenjoyinglayingdown.Oliviahasher head rested on my laps as I unbraid herhair.

 

‘What are you doing here?’ I hear him ask

 

ButwhoeveritiswalkspasthimbecauseIhearstilettoeswalkingtowards me

 

‘Where is the two-faced witch?’ I hear Olipa ask with fury

 

I knew this was coming but I didn’t envision it ruining a perfect Sunday

afternoon.

 

‘Go to your room.’ I say to Olivia

 

ShelookslikeshewantstostaybackseeinghermotherbutIsmileather and she smiles back before leavingus.

 

‘What is the meaning of this?’ Mulife demands

 

She just stands there patting her leg on the tiles

 

‘Olipa if you have just come here to cause unnecessary drama, I would

suggest you leave.’ He says calmly

 

I can hear the impatience in his voice even though his pretending to be calm,butfromthewayOlipaislookingatmeIknowthereismorecoming.

 

‘So you are going to stand there and pretend as if you don’t know what is happening?’ she asks

 

Mulife looks at me expecting me to say something but I don’t. ‘Olipa.’

She removes a paper from her bag and hands it to him

 

‘What is this?’

 

‘Read it Mulife.’ She demands

 

HeopensitwithouthesitationandIimmediatelyseetheblooddrainfrom hisface.

 

He folds it back the way it was then looks at her.

 

‘Please leave.’ He says ‘What?’

‘So even after reading that paper you will still side with that snake over

me?’ she asks angrily

 

‘Olipa if you know what is good for you, you will leave this very minute with no questions asked.’ He says

 

She clicks her tongue.

 

‘This is not over and I will not allow it to happen.’ She says walking out

 

Now it is just I and Mulife, I want to see something. Anything, a sign that he is angry or hurt but there is nothing.

 

‘Is it true?’

 

That is the only question that he asks, honestly, I didn’t expect it. I mean he has read the paper and it isn’t forged so I am guessing he knows it is true. But he repeats the question for the second time.

 

‘Yes,itis.’Imanagetosay ‘Why.’

For some unknown reason this question suddenly feels tough.

 

‘You didn’t hear me?’ he asks this time looking at me ‘Mulife.’ I begin but get tongue tied

‘Thelma you told me you loved me.’ ‘Andyoushouldn’tquestionthatnow.’ ‘How can I not afterthis?’

‘I can explain.’

 

‘Enlighten me.’ He says

 

I sigh heavily

 

‘After that day when you abruptly left, I knew something was up and I couldn’t let it go.’ I begin

 

He looks at me expecting to hear more

 

 

‘I called my contact.’ ‘Your contact?’

‘I always call him when I need something.’

 

He raises an eyebrow

 

‘So I told him the situation, what I thought was happening and all the names of the people involved. He told me he would get back to me in a few hours but I couldn’t wait thatlong.’

 

‘And?’

 

‘He pulled some strings, people owed him favors and that is how I got to know about the adoption. The process was still going on.’

 

A tear falls as I pause.

 

‘AcouplefromBotswanaweresupposedtoadopther,Iknewitwouldkill yousoIdidthefirstthingthatIcouldthinkof.’

 

‘Told your contact to change everything and make Oliviayours.’ ‘Yes.’ I respond another tearfalling

‘But why did you do this behind my back?’ ‘You wouldn’t have approved ofit.’

‘And you think I do right now?’

 

 

I shake my head

 

‘IamsorrybutIamproudofit.’Isaidnotdaringtolookathim ‘Excuseme?’

‘Mulife I love you, I don’t know about you but I am sure about us. I knew you would never adopt Olivia, Lackson would never allow you. So why not adopt her myself, at least that way she would still be in your life.’

 

‘What if this doesn’t work out? What if you meet another man and he doesn’t accept her?’

 

What if you marry another woman and she doesn’t accept her?’ There was a barren silence, he was obviously letting it sink in. ‘Lackson won’t let this go, he will want to put up a fight.’

‘The law will fight for us.’

 

‘Which law exactly? Are you forgetting he knows a lot of powerful people in

the government?’

 

‘Are you forgetting who my father is?’ I ask

 

He looks at me with shock

 

‘You who hates your father is willing to ask for help from him?’

 

‘I hate him but for that little girl and you I am willing to make peace, Mulife I am not getting any younger. I am not ashamed to say that I am a woman who loves to be loved, yes I have not been with so many men. With any man, but I always knew where my heart was. I want to be married; I want to be the woman who is going to defend marriage vows when everyone is breakingthem.Iwanttotalkaboutmyhusbandineachandeverysentence I utter, I want to rush home from work in readiness for starting dinner because I know he will be home soon, I want to be the woman who puts her heart into preparing what he is going to wear the following day. Mulife I want to be submissive to a loving husband, to a king who ruleswith

everything God has instilled in him. Am sorry if this doesn’t sit well with you or anyone but I want to be my husband’s prayer partner, his gossip buddy, his warrior, his co teacher to our kids, his best friend, his woman, his mistress and his wife and above all else I want to be the mother to his kids. The mother to Olivia so forgive me if the equation seems rusty but this is all I want, all I have ever wanted.’

 

‘Marryme.’Hesaystearsfillinghiseyes ‘Mulife.’

‘Thelmamarryme,letusstartalifetogether.You,me,Oliviaandthemany babies that we are going tohave.’

 

‘Your health.’

 

‘To hell with my health, I want to watch you carry our kids and I to carry the

burden twice because the cravings will be sorted by me.’ He says

 

I laugh as tears drop

 

‘Yes Mulife, I will marry you.’ I respond as he scoops me in his arms

 

 

Winnie

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