By Tap Mak
As she slid behind the gate I remained rooted at my spot too numb to move, neither could I fathom the meaning of that very last statement. She showed so much care, about my well being, or was she trying just to soothe a burn she had inflicted.
Why of all the names did she choose “Tee”, I mean many people just call me TapMak in its variations though I prefer the Shona one. Was it a case of distinction? Was she sending a message? I wasn’t sure, for my pride and arrogance didn’t understand subtle communication and encrypted messages.
It’s not like I’m the honest guy but I consider myself to have a very well oiled jaw bone that my lips and mouth are the easiest to open an opinion, does not matter who needs it, I can say till my former classmate vowed I will grow up without frontrow teeth. Alas for now they are still intact with a couple damaged because of liking sweet things.
I traced my path back to the car and involuntarily slammed the door. I was so absent minded that I just threw it after me. That is when I saw the small gate closing. “Oh my word!”, how couldn’t I notice that, I mean thats the most obvious thing that should happen after opening and entering through a gate, at night, you close it. But I wasn’t paying much attention as thoughts raced within.
What will she make of me slamming the door? Will it be considered rude, nervous ill tempered brat? These thoughts I quickly brushed aside and tried to focus on “Tee”. Something sounded strange about that name. It was familiar and someone somewhere called it oftenly. I wasn’t establishing the connection yet, then I realised that it was Tsitsi.
I’ve been called Taps, Badza, Chitoyi, Chabvapasi and of course TapMak but Tsitsi insisted on calling me Tee.
“I SHOULD CALL YOU WITH A SPECIAL NAME DIFFERENT FROM ALL OTHERS” she said then. Whether twas romantic or whatever she knows better. I guess it was a more of a dog marking her territory, just like any other animal does. She had claims on me as Tee and nobody else did.
For Becky to call me “Tee” will be problematic in that Tsitsi, my Ex, yes the one we broke courtship, would suddenly appear. Its not like I had not gone over her but it what she did to me that left that slow to heal scar-wound.
I had known Tsitsi from College and we became friends. I didn’t fancy her but after school we kept in touch till I thought she was the one. I didn’t tell her what I was planning and she thought I was interested in this other sister. I told my pastor the whole story and after a couple of months we started dating. That’s after I had ignored rebutted accusations and defended my cause.
We started out well and things were going on fine until I discovered a text. Had the sender been someone I didn’t know I tell you I wouldn’t have opened it but twas from someone I considered a friend so no harm. What I saw shocked me. Let me just cut the story short.
So Tsitsi like this friend of our but our friend was too blind to see it. He was concerned with his career that he didn’t notice all the advances. When he started raising his head me and Tsitsi were already in courtship. But to Tsitsi, he was the first love and she was determined to go to him.
When ever we had challenges comparisons would be thrown around. He could do this, probably that. I started smarting but it didn’t help until I sacrificed my pride and all to end the courtship.
Being treated as the second option that came faster than the first option killed me. When I was giving my all, she was just waiting if the brother will open his eyes. She sacrificed me, me, me and called me “Tee” for nothing. That’s why I wasn’t sure if Becky calling me “Tee” will be a good idea. Either way I feared for the worst.
Just then my phone rang. Twas Becky.
“Hey Tee, you still at the gate you have to go Dad thinks I broke your heart. Please go and call me when you are home. No text and driving.”
“Ok, dear, bye.”
That was blessed assurance.