“All along I have been searching, listening…Oh, stop that.”
I didn’t understand what she wanted me to stop. I was just looking at her.
“That look you are giving me. I’m trying to be as stable as I can be.”
“Ok, I will look down then, since my ears can hear.”
“No-o! I didn’t mean that. Ok. Let me continue. I was saying, uhm… Waiter! Can you bring me a glass of water please.”
I was surprised, but still I was trying to make sense of what was happening. But here I am The warning bells are all ringing. Is she trying to act up, or want to create a scene? Doesn’t she know that I am supposed to be working? Yah she knows, she picked you at work, remember? Ok, I get it.
Once she took a good sip of the water that was brought she continued on. I mean, I was so troubled that I didn’t even ask if she was alright.
“Tapiwa, I was saying. I believe in Bible principles, and we are all believers, right?”
Well on that I couldn’t really answer cause I had a prayer that I thought was answered right yet twas wrong. Or the wrong was the answer. To know if I was still believing in the prayers that I had made before I went to the pastor? The prayers that I had made when I was lonely and sickly. The prayers that my mom had done for me? Uhm, I am not sure if I qualified to be a believer. I mean, reall, but I could not answer her as she continued.
“I believe if I were to be bone of yours. I mean, bone and flesh of your flesh I would have felt it, but I have been praying this past week, that’s why I was not communicating. I cant say I am so spiritual, but I tried my best to wait on the Lord, but hapana, I mean I felt nothing, dreamt nothing, heard nothing.”
“I do not want to enter into this presuming, not sure if its supposed to be or not. I want a definite, positive answer. I didn’t get that these past days. Maybe I rushed, but I believe I didn’t.”
She paused and my head was spinning. I managed to hold some water in my eyes, and lucky me I still had my face down. I had heard every word she had said, and each was stabbing right at that gangrene putrefied emotional scar.
“I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news asi tinorarama neshoko, I feel I’m the wrong person for you, you actually are the best there is to be, but I can’t match up your standard.
As she tried to console me I must have looked like I had seen a ghost. The world disappeared before my very eyes as I shrunk into space, a dark corner where I could cringe moan to myself. She was talking of my standard. What standard was I? I’m just a Johnny-come-late-to-town, I don’t have anything I call my own. I don’t get it. Why does she feel that way.
“Tee, TapMak, Tapiwa!” she said, “can you hear me.”
“Mha!” with that I came back to earth. “Yes, yes…(pause) ah you were saying?”
“I was saying, I don’t feel the pull, you know what I mean…I think we should just be friends’ maybe chizaruro chichazouya later. Let’s just be in prayer about it hanti, whilst we are friends.
I remained silent. What could I do my heart when I just been ripped into two pieces like that of a shattered glass. The world ended.
“So it’s up to you. What can we do.”
Really is this girl talking to me. Toita sei iye atouya ane answer yake anondibvunza toita sei. I wanted to give heer my piece of mind. How could she dare brake my heart,FRIENDZONE ME. Yet she want to hear my thoughts. I wanted to vent out all the flusteration but I heard myself saying.
“Oh, Ok, all is well dear no harm done. Like you said prayer is the way to go, sure we can be friends.” With that I looked at my wrist watch and continued.
“Well, I have to get back to work. Thanks for the gift.” I stood up hurriedly whilst fighting a losing battle with my tears. I couldn’t lose both battles; at least I could win the teary one till I get home. But hey I should still be a gentleman.
“I can walk you back to your car.” For goodness sake, she obliged. At least I didn’t exit the café as sad as it would look like had I left her alone there. We walked back in silence, well what could I do. Here I am saving face amongst strangers. The 5min walk seemed like forever.
“Where have you parked? I asked. She pointed to her car right in front of me yet I hadn’t noticed it as my mind was clouded with gloom and sadness. I opened the door for her and said bye friend.
“See you around, when you see me.”
“I’m really sorry Tee, I think it’s for the best…” I didn’t hear the rest as I had already turned towards the entrance.
Frankly I didn’t want to go back to work it will be worse shady and the rest of the guys would be waiting for me. But that office was a better hell than standing to hear her. I’m sure Wadza had spread the gospel that I had gone out with a pretty young damsel. What made it news was that I had never had a female visit me, even my Mama. Just as her car went out of the gate, I followed to the gate, not after her, but to find Mushika-shika. From Market Square, I took a kombi home. I didn’t bother to take my things from work, since I didn’t even make it past the reception.
“Mudara hamuna kubadara, apa makanaiwa, kuita kutota face,asi marambwa” that was the conductor referring to me. My mind had drifted away whilst I was in e kombi and I hadn’t realized how we had reached GlenView from town I had almost missed my stop. I handed him the coin as I disembarked. I didn’t even have power to reply or talk to anyone this time.
I literally ran home misodzi ichichuruka maziso akati piriviri kunge mhiripiri. I didn’t care no more who saw me. I passed the madziro committee, the well-known ZRPs of the hood, Zuva Rese Pamba. As they stopped their chit chatter and signaled each other in my direction.
“Eh-eh-eh, mashura, hona mwana wako Mai Chenge arikuchema shuwa murume mukuru kudaro ungawiwidza size yake,” one of the ladies said as I passed. They laughed their lungs out, kurova chikwe cheguwa chaicho.
In my heart I was consoling myself as I sang, Mweya wangu chinyarara Mwari anoziva nguva achaita sekuda kwake, you might call it a funeral song, well it was appropriate for me. I lunged myself on the bed, and streams were opened, yet it my hand, actually, my wrist had kept the little gift bag safe all along. I removed it from my wrist, I didn’t want to touch it. Infact, it was going to be a pain reminder, so I launched it to the wall, and the content clattered. Therein inside was two boex and a note.
I forced myself to go and check. I found inside, a handkerchief, and one of my favourite Deos. How could she do this to me. I wringled the hank, and felt there was a note. Reluctantly I unfolded it, and it was written.
AFTER YOU CRY, WIPE YOUR TEARS WITH THIS CLOTH, KNOWING THAT I BECKY … YOU
PS: Thanks to all the people who liked and followed. You support is greatly appreciated. The italised language is ChiShona (1 of Zimbabweas main languages) Google Translate can help with some of the phrases.