Sun. Feb 18th, 2024

Sequence 5

 

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‘Aren’t we spending the night here mummy,’ Trinny gave her a suspicious look ‘Something came up,’ Mattie spoke softly blinking a few times to keep her tears at bay.

 

‘Okay mummy.’

 

‘Trinny hun, here play a game on my phone while I talk to mummy for a second.’ ‘Okay Granny Debby.’

 

Debby walked towards the bathroom and gestured for Mattie to follow her. ‘What’s going on?’ asked Debby once they were inside

 

Mattie had tears rolling down his cheeks ‘I don’t know why mum asked me to come when she knew she was going to insult me.’

 

Debby sighed,’ you know how your mum is don’t take what she says to heart.’ ‘I think the best is for me and Trinny to go back home.’

 

‘I can’t allow you to drive back home, stay for the night, I will ask your mother to behave.’

 

Silence

 

‘Please, just stay the night I am sure you can handle her, if anything happens to you on your way back I would never forgive myself.’

 

‘Fine, i will stay only because you asked me too but this is the last time I am coming back home to attend any of these functions.’

 

‘And what will people say?’ Her mother burst into the room, ‘You want people to think I have cut you off, why should you even get upset when I was airing my views?’

 

Mattie looked at her mother her face was blank and devoid of emotions. The two had always been emotionally disconnected. Sometimes Mattie wondered if the woman standing in front of her was truly her biological mother.

 

‘So you………………,’

 

‘Na Claire, muleke umwana’ Debbie said cutting her sister off before she could even start.

 

She raised her hands in surrender, ‘I won’t say much least I am accused of being wicked.’

 

‘No one said you are wicked,’ said Debby

 

‘Okay. But you are not going anywhere, this dinner is important don’t ruin it for me.’

 

And with that said, she marched out of the bathroom.

 

‘At the end of the day she is still your mother hun, just be patient with her.’

 

’34 years, that’s how long I have been patient auntie, I have had it up to here, I am tired.’

 

‘She is my sister imagine what I have had to go through with her.’ Mattie managed a weak smile, ‘I don’t envy you right now.’

 

‘I know,’ she laughed, ‘Let me get to the kitchen and start preparing supper.’ ‘Okay, I will join you shortly.’

 

***

 

An hour later

 

The table was adorned with red velvet table cloths and a selection of dishes. Seated around the table was Mattie’s entire family, Christina’s fiancé and some of his sisters.

 

There was a silence at the table as everyone enjoyed their meal.

 

‘I am thankful for my beautiful daughters and that they got to be here today,’ Mattie’s mother broke the silence a moment later.

 

Her daughters smiled at her except Mattie.

 

‘Kasuli Mwandi Christina, I am supper proud of you, at only 24 you are a successful young entrepreneur and you are set to get married soon. Oh your father would have been proud to see how much you have grown and all the stuff you have achieved.’

 

‘Thank you mum, I am who I am because of you, you raised me well,’ Christina said

 

She turned to Christina’s fiancé, ‘Jericho you are welcome to the family my son.’ ‘Thank you for this warm welcome, I love Christina and I can’t wait to marry her.’ Christina smiled the sparkle was evident in her eyes when she looked at Jericho. ‘And least I forget, this is Matildah, she is my eldest daughter I am sure she is the only one you haven’t met,’ her mother said ‘Hey,’ Mattie said

 

‘Matildah here is single perhaps you have any single friend who wouldn’t mind marrying a woman with a child,’ she said hotly

 

Mattie shot her mother a painful look, her mother always found ways to humiliate her in front of other people.

 

Silence settled over the room again until Jericho cleared his throat.

 

‘So Mattie, what do you do?’

 

‘She is a camera woman,’ her mother responded before Mattie could say anything.

 

 

Debby shook her head, ‘Mattie here is a photographer and she owns her own studio called ‘Captured Moments’ in Lusaka.

 

‘Captured Moments!’ Aggie one of Jericho’s sisters asked ‘Yes.’

 

‘I have heard of it, my friend is a regular customer there, I am impressed.’ ‘Thank you,’ responded Mattie

 

‘I bet we don’t have to look for a photographer for our wedding,’ Jericho smiled ‘I already have someone in mind for our wedding photos hun,’ Christina said ‘So Mattie….,’ her mother began, Mattie shifted uncomfortably in her seat somehow she knew what her mother was about to say to her.

 

‘Two of your young sisters are married and the youngest is almost getting married to, when do you plan to get married, do you have a boyfriend perhaps?’ she asked ‘When the time is right mother, I will get married.’

 

‘You are the oldest you need to get married before you hit menopause,’ Vanessa added

 

‘Marriage is not everyone’s ultimate goal,’ she said.

 

With that said she got up and walked out of the house, it was a good thing Trinny was already sleeping.

 

‘Na Mattie that wasn’t necessary, you don’t have to humiliate her like that.’ ‘Auntie Debby you always support Mattie,’ Vanessa rolled her eyes.

 

‘You guys let’s not start arguing,’ said Claire ‘Have you guys set the wedding date?’ Aggie asked ‘Not yet, still looking at some dates.’ ‘Okay.’

 

‘And what kind of wedding do you want?’ she questioned ‘Obviously big and extravagant,’ her mother responded

 

‘J wants something small and private,’ Christina said to her mother. ‘Darling! The Moonga women don’t marry small. It will be big it has to leave people talking for at least a year and some months.’ Christina smiled at her mother, ‘Then big it is.’

 

Jericho’s sister’s exchanged quick glances, inwardly they were both wondering why Christina’s mother having the final say over the wedding.

 

***

 

Emma stepped out of her car and breathed in slow and deep, she opened the back seat and carried her son who was sleeping peacefully and walked towards the front door.

 

 

She knocked lightly at the door and waited for an answer. She knocked again. The door opened.

 

‘Hello,’ she said

 

Salma smiled at her, ‘Hello.’

 

‘I am here to see Theo’s dad, is he in?’ she asked

 

‘Yes,’ Salma nodded.

 

‘Okay.’

 

‘Come in,’ Salma opened the door widely and allowed them in.

 

She led Emma into the living room.

 

‘Would you like something to drink? Coffee, Tea or Juice?’ she questioned politely Emma sat down, ‘I am okay thanks please call Theo’s father for me.’ ‘Babe,’ she called out.

 

‘Yes.’

 

‘Someone is here to see you.’

 

‘Who is it?’

 

‘Emma.’

 

‘Okay, will be down shortly.’

 

Salma sat down on the couch across from Emma’s admiring how motherhood suited her so well.

 

Chard walked out shortly,’ Emma! What a pleasant surprise.’

 

‘Hey,’ Emma smiled

 

‘Is my son okay?’

 

‘Yes, he is very fine,’ she handed the boy to him and he opened his eyes. ‘Hey my big boy, how are you?’

 

Theo smiled at his father he was excited to see him. The boy was only two but he had a deep connection with his father, even though they hardly spent time together. ‘Sorry for coming unannounced but I needed to talk to you and it couldn’t wait.’ ‘It’s okay.’

 

‘So can we talk private please?’

 

‘Yes.’

 

Chard turned to Salma, ‘Can you please excuse us.’

 

Salma shot Chard an evil look before she marched out of the room. Instead of going to the bedroom Salma stood behind the door, she leaned her ear towards the door and tried to eavesdrop on the conversation.

 

‘So I need a huge favor,’ Emma said

 

‘Which is?’

 

‘I need you to watch over Theo for the next one week.’

 

‘And where are you going?’

 

‘I have to travel to S.A tomorrow for work, it’s really urgent and I can’t take him along because I am going to be very busy.’ ‘Oh.’

 

‘So?’

 

‘You are engaged?’ He asked spotting the engagement ring that graced her finger. ‘Yes.’

 

‘Congratulations Emma, I am happy for you.

 

Chard was genuinely happy that Emma was finally getting married. She deserved to be with someone who loved and appreciated the woman that she was.

 

‘Thank you.’

 

‘And ya I can watch him for a week, that’s no big deal.’ ‘Thank you.’

 

‘You are welcome anytime, so mind if I ask a question.’ ‘No.’

 

‘Your fiancé is he okay with the fact that you have a child with someone else.’ ‘Yes he is.’

 

‘Great. If both you and Theo are happy then I am happy too.’ ‘So I will bring him tomorrow before I leave.’ ‘Sure.’

 

*****

 

TBC

 

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THE CLOCK IS TICKING

 

 

Ella❣

 

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