A maybe love of my life


This is a work of fiction. Any names or characters, businesses or places, events or incidents are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

The rain has been pouring for some time now; it's one of those gloomy days. I'll be honest; I'm not too fond of this dreary weather, and not a cold-weather person either. The thought of getting cold, shivering, and the clattering teeth is not a look I want to wear. Ever. Today is different, though; it doesn't bother me because the weather is the least of my worries. It's raining cats and dogs, but it won't dampen my excitement. I must find an outfit that will comfort me for leaving my warm snuggly bed. My long-sleeved wool dress, thick winter stockings, knee-length boots, and my blue shawl will have to do. The curtain of the shawl shields my midsection. It's hiding away all its mystery and secrets. The full-length mirror in the corner of my room says I've nailed the look. So I take a quick photo for Instagram. Caption;

 To happy times ahead

  #theglow #excitingnews. 

Walking into the restaurant, the smell of fries and burgers wrapped together, in lovely harmony with the scent of coffee, attacks my nostrils immediately. Coffee always brings every nerve of my body alive. I am a self-proclaimed coffee junky. And the fact that I can't have any now drives me insane. 

Aaahh, Lufuno sent me a text; he's so thoughtful. 

'Mufnwa wanga, I got delayed at work, but I'm coming.'

'Ndia ni funa.'

I've been sitting here nursing this cup of hot chocolate. The news I want to share with Lufuno won't let me calm down. After today he definitely will be sending his uncles to my home for lobola negotiations. I can barely contain the excitement I feel. I have been waiting for this day for a while now. I am waiting for him at Wimpy; it's in town, right between the tall buildings in the city centre. From my window seat in the restaurant, I immediately spot Lufuno's Volvo in all its black and shiny glory. The man is in an xc90, and it suits him so well. I mean, he is handsome.No, he is beautiful. He is what we refer to as a walking cliche. Tall, lean, dark, and beautifully sculptured. He walks in with so much authority and confidence that it oozes into every step he takes. He's aroura drips of a mixture of sex appeal, a 'don't test me' attitude, and a hint of 'King of the Jung' demeanour. A dangerous cocktail.

His eyes scan for mine as soon as he enters the room filled with people trying to grab a late lunch and school kids scrambling to get a snack. When they meet, my breath hitches just for a couple of seconds. My tummy does summersaults. Two years and he still has this effect on me. 

'Mufunwa wanga,' he says as he places a kiss on my lips: him and his affection. 

'Hi,' I smile at him. I watch him as he slides into the chair opposite mine, looking delicious in his dark chocolate tone. He is such a handsome man. And he is all mine. 

He raises his hand to signal the waiter and places his order, then gestures to me to do the same. 

'Just an Oreo milkshake, thanks.' I say. He raises his eyebrows;

'You sure? You don't even want the crispy burger or the latte you always get?'

'No, baby, I'm fine. The milkshake will do'. I Love Wimpy burgers and anything coffee, but that is the last thing on my mind.

'So I have exciting news to tell you.' just then, the waiter appears with his drink and my milkshake and places them on the table. I keep quiet. I will wait till she leaves; this is too intimate.

'Exciting news,' he says after sipping his juice and playing with his beard — my new favourite feature on him. 

'Ow, yes. You know how I've been feeling sick these past weeks. Well, I finally took a pregnancy test; it was positive. Yes, I know, exciting. You will be a dad. I want a boy that will look like you, or maybe a girl. Mmm, we can wear matching outfits. I'll be a mom, hey! I can't wait. Ow, those cute baby outfits I will buy. We need to find a Gynecologist asap.'

I'm babbling. I'm nervous and just so excited. 

He says nothing. 

'Aaahh, Lu baby, I thought you would be excited. Did you hear me? I said, we are having a baby' His face becomes blank for a moment, and I can't read him at all, and then he goes into full-blown anger. And is that a hint of disgust I see on his face? 

'Lu' I use my pet name for him. My efforts to calm him down or butter him up with the endearment.

'No, this shouldn't be happening. You were never supposed to fall pregnant, Reabetswe' he barks.

I have never seen anyone get angry this fast. Also, my full name sounds strange coming from his lips. He calls me ‘mufunwa wam.’ I am still trying to understand what is happening when he abruptly gets up and leaves. His long legs take giant strides, and he is outside in a blink of an eye. I watch him through the window; as he leans on his car. He seems deep in thought. I'm just numb. I think I just met the other side of Lufuno Tshivhase, and I loathe it.

I'm brought back from my thoughts by the chair he's dragging on the floor. He's back, but I can't see him. My Lu is gone.

'I'm married. I have been for the past three years.' His voice is so cold; who is this man? No one can change this fast. I bite my bottom lip hard. It's getting numb, but I need this pain. 

'You're married, Lufuno? How could I not have seen this? How could you do this to me? I am carrying your child, Lufuno! We were always supposed to do this marriage and parenting thing together. Me and you, Lu', I am screaming and crying now.

'Keep your voice down' his voice is still ice cold.

My hands shake from anger, and a deep hurt pierces right across my chest. My tears won't stop spilling from my eyes. My nose must be equally spilling because I tase saltiness and a bit of the metallic taste of blood. I must have gone hard with my teeth on my bottom lip. The tables in the restaurant are filling up, and people are staring at us now. I don't care. 

'The thing is, my wife and I have been trying to have kids for a while now. It's been so hard. Every negative pregnancy test hurts my wife so much. Things have been stressful for us.' 

'I guess I should feel sorry for you then' I can't help the bitterness in my words.

'We have tried everything, the best OBGYNs and going the cultural route. Nothing seems to help.' 

I almost feel sad for this "wife," but this is my man. Maybe there is still a chance for us. I mean, I have the thing he wants the most, a child. And I am carrying the first of the Tshivhase grandchildren. Yes, he is going to leave her for me. I am going to have the family I have always wanted. He adjusts his watch on his wrist, leans forward on his chair, and then his eyes finally meet mine—cold empty eyes.

'I think you should let my wife and I raise the child. No, I am not saying you will lose contact with the child. I mean, you can come to visit us. '

'What? You want me to be an incubator for you and your wife.' I spit the words laced with so much venom they could poison anyone who dares look. Breathe, Rea, I remind myself. Breathe.

"Keep your voice down; you know I hate people in my business." He must think I can care about him and his inflated ego. Was he always this selfish?

"We have been together for two years, Lufuno. When did you get married?" My voice is calm but not above a whisper. I hate that I obeyed his demand to be quiet.

"I had been married a year when I met you." His eyes still hold no emotion, and his words are spiteful with no regard for my heart, none whats so ever. I push my chair back a bit. I feel it bubbling in my core; something in me rips the calm and quiet shield I have on. And I light up like a firecracker.

"Listen to me, Lufuno Tshivhase; this child is not the answer to your prayers. You and your Wife can adopt a child if you want one so badly but don't think for a minute that this one will complete your family. You can be a part of this one's life. But that is where it will end. Three years of marriage, and I didn't even suspect a thing. Wow! I must be the dumbest fool. How did I not see this?"

My voice must have risen two octaves; my face feels moist from the tears and mucus flowing out. But I don't care. 

"Lufuno, I am pregnant. Does that not mean anything to you? My life is about to change drastically, well, our lives. Our child needs us, together as a family.' I am pleading with him now. The tears won't stop falling, but I won't wipe them off. He needs to see me like this; he should see how he has torn me apart, how deep the hurt runs. 

I push my chair further back. I must have put too much force into it because it falls to the floor. I am just so angry and so hurt. I can't breathe. I rush out with my bag slung over my shoulder. I gave him a chance to change his mind, an opportunity to take his words back. But he didn't. The rain is doing a great job of washing my tears away. Lufuno is married, my Lu, the one who finishes my sentences. My soulmate is not mine. He has been married for three years. My legs finally give in, and I drop to my knees and fall. At the exact spot, he was in earlier when he returned and shattered all the beautiful dreams I had imagined for our soon-to-be family. I let out a gut-wrenching cry. It's been brewing for a while now, and letting it out allows me the chance to scream. 

I don't know who that man back there was, but that was not my Lu. I thought I knew him. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing indeed. I am a single parent as of now. I did not imagine today playing out like this at all. I was so wrong about him; he is a cruel, self-centred bastard.