Fri. May 10th, 2024









“There are no sides, but if ever there is one, know that I am on yours.” Chisenga



I watch as Vashawn drags his legs out of the house, he is a sorry sight and even though he isn’t my favorite person in the world I walk up to him.


My hands are shoved deep in my jean pockets behind, the boots I am wearing continue to make noise as I step on the branches down. I was in the orchard when I saw him drive in and I couldn’t continue picking the fruits instead I waited for him to come out.


He looks at me then ahead into nothing.


‘Hey.’ I say with a warm smile


He doesn’t return it


‘What do you want? To mock me?’ He asks with a chuckle


I don’t respond, I know it’s best not to.


‘How have you been?’ I ask instead


‘Valerie drop the act and tell me what you want.’ He says strongly now looking at me


‘Vashawn I am worried about you.’ I say honestly making sure not to break eye contact


‘Worried about me?’






‘What do you mean why?’


‘Valerie you are not going to waste my time, I have so much on my hands that I need to deal with and I can’t spend another minute listening to you.’



‘Why is it so hard for you to see good in people Vashawn? Why do we always have to be the enemy?’ I ask feeling my emotions building up


He looks at me then tries to walk away.


‘And this is the reason why Michel was and will continue being too good for you!’ I speak up


He turns around and slaps me so hard but I don’t care because I have held on for too long and I won’t stop talking until he has had a piece of my mind


‘You are selfish and ungrateful, worse off you are so mature that nothing good will ever come in your favor.’


I pause, when I sense I have his attention I continue


‘What exactly was wrong with Michel? Yes she got pregnant at the time when you didn’t want a baby but the baby was made and you had no choice but to own up and be responsible. What did you do? Ran into the hands of another and got her pregnant too but Michel was there through it all believing you regretted it and would change.’


I wipe the tears that are now falling


‘Tell me what she hasn’t done for you Vashawn! She lost herself in the hope of helping build you, she took care of those three kids alone in the process letting herself go. She served you like a king and you treated her like a servant, for twelve years she watched you change from worse to worst. You changed Vashawn, you cheated on her on numerous occasions and you didn’t even have the courtesy to hide it. All that she took in without complaining, she could have walked out on you but she chose to stay.’


‘Why do all of you make me sound like the villain here? I never asked her to stay.’


‘Neither did you ask her to leave!’ I yell back


He is looking at me with hot eyes, I can feel them burning my skin.



‘You know what Valerie, I am tired of all of you making her look like a saint. I was the one living with her and so I know what exactly happened in that house!’


‘Enlighten me.’ I challenge m


‘I don’t owe you an explanation.’


‘Of course you do.’ I say hands akimbo


He sighs


‘She should have left when I pushed her to the limit, I didn’t hold her back. She made a mistake falling pregnant the first time and she knows it. I was never ready to be a father.’


‘Vashawn that was twelve years ago, you had a choice to just support the child and not tie your life to hers but what did you do? You married her still and later had two more children, do you still blame her for that?’


He shakes his head


‘What’s the point of even talking to you when you have picked a side.’


‘Excuse me?’


‘Valerie you have never really considered me as your brother, it has always been about Michel. Not once did you ever sit me down to ask me how I was doing or how I was feeling, it was always about Michel and the kids. Never about me!’


I laugh


‘And what makes you think there was ever a side? Even if there was one Vashawn I would always be on yours but that doesn’t mean that I would put up with your foolishness and immaturity.’



‘That marriage was suffocating me, but what would you know? You are way past thirty and yet not married yet.’


His words sting but he has done worse before


‘We have tried Vashawn, really we have. But if this is how you want to spend your life, go ahead and do you. I just want you to know that when you hit rock bottom I won’t be here to help you up, I am not that kind of a person and you know it. I have given you enough rope to bang yourself and you sure have used it.’ I say with a sad smile


He looks at me then walks away.




My head is pounding, I have had too much to take in and I don’t think I can do it anymore. I drive around town for some time before parking at Central Park, for the first time in a long time I allow the tears to fall. This is bigger than me and in as much as it is true I refuse to accept that my life has the same direction that I have been refusing.


The sound of my ringing phone almost makes me jump out of my skin because the car has been quiet all the while, I look at the caller ID and I can’t recognize it. True caller is not even bringing a name.


‘Good morning Mr. Acker.’ The person on the other end of the line says


‘Good morning.’ I respond


‘This is Joshua calling you from Horizon properties.’


‘And how can I help you?’


‘We have a client that would like to view the house but we don’t have the keys and the gate man tells us you have them.’


‘What house?’



‘The one in Jesmondine.’


For a minute I want to believe that this is a sick joke.


‘The house?’


‘Yes Sir.’


‘I don’t remember putting that house up for sale.’


‘Mrs. Acker did.’


‘Mrs. Acker?’


‘The titles I have says the house is in Michel Acker’s name and she is the one that put the house up for sale.’




‘Joseph Sir.’


‘John Joseph still the same thing, let me just give her a call then I will get back to you.’ I say abruptly cutting the line


I dial Michel’s number twice before she finally picks up


‘What do you want?’


‘You put the house for sale?’


‘It’s in my name so?’


‘But you left and went to stay in PHI.’


‘It’s still in my name.’


‘But how could you do that without telling me?’


‘Vashawn that house is mine and I could have done anything with it.’




‘Just shut up, the woman you brought into our lives almost killed my children and you think I will sit back and watch you live a happy life? I know two wrongs don’t make a right but at least you would have suffered half the pain.’


‘Are you joking right now?’


She laughs


‘Vashawn messing with me was alright, but my kids. Now that’s something, I am not done with you yet trust me. I will make sure to hurt you where it hurts the most.’ She says then cuts the line


I am not done processing what she just said when my phone starts to ring again, I look at it and it is the number from earlier. In irritation I throw the phone in the nearest drainage shit my eyes.



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