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[STORY] LIFE, ABOVE ALL (Episode 02)

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LIFE, ABOVE ALL

Episode 02.

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“Each betrayal begins with trust.”

GANIZANI

I was peacefully sleeping that morning when I was suddenly awakened from my sleep by someone roughly shaking my shoulder.

I sprang upright only to find it was father, my siblings and I hadn’t seen him for a month now.

I rubbed my eyes and stretched my long arms, ‘Yes father!’ I said

‘You need to wake up and start cleaning the house, I have people coming over for lunch,’ he said
‘What people?’ I asked.

‘You will see them once they arrive, in the mean time just wake up and start cleaning. The house should be spotless,’ he said
‘Okay, I shook my head.
‘And make sure you all look clean and presentable. I am going out but I will be back shortly.’

I leapt out of bed and walked into the bathroom where I splashed some water on my face and brushed my teeth. Afterwards, I walked into the kitchen and prepared breakfast as I did every morning.
I set the table and woke the girls, as soon as they finished eating, I asked them to take a bath.

I washed the dishes and cleaned the entire house in an hour. I also cleaned the whole back and front yard. I took a bath too and we sat in the living room watching television.

Father walked into the house about an hour later, it seemed he had gone shopping because he was carrying a lot of plastics in his hands. He had come with Brenda, his elder sister’s maid.
‘Auntie Brenda will help cook lunch today,’ he said
‘Okay.’

Auntie Brenda walked into the kitchen and started preparing lunch, by 14: 00 the house was packed with dad’s relatives, they were acting a little strange but none of them told us what was going on.

I had this sinking feeling in the pit of my belly but I tried to ignore it that this day wouldn’t end well.

My Sisters and I were in my bedroom, Thoko was fast asleep on my bed but Tiya kept pacing back and forth.

Shortly after, Auntie Maria walked into my room and asked us to join the rest of the family in the living room. I woke Thoko up and we followed my auntie into the living room. We sat on the couch across from dad.
He was clad in a blue chitenge shirt and jeans.

About thirty minutes later, we heard singing and my aunties started ululating. Auntie Marie opened the door and a lady covered in a chitenge was led into the house by some women.

‘We welcome you all,’ my auntie said by putting some money on the floor.
The women ululated at my auntie’s gesture.

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My sisters and I watched the events of the afternoon unfold as passive participants. Later on my father was asked to unveil the woman so that we could all see her.
She was wearing a dress similar to dad’s shirt she had her gaze downcast and both hands on her lap. Father put some money on the floor next to her and she clapped her hands twice.

When she finally stood up with the help of father, I instantly recognized her she was a friend of the family before mother’s death- Auntie Stella.

There was more dancing and ululating then afterwards lunch was served.
***
Later that evening, after everyone had left (except for Auntie Stella) we gathered in the living room waiting for answers from father concerning what we had just witnessed.

‘Children!’ Father began, ‘you know it’s been a while since your mother died and it’s not good for a man to be alone hence I have brought in your auntie Stella as my new wife. Your step mother,’ he said
Auntie Stella smiled

‘You can’t be serious!’ Tiya said standing up, pacing.
‘What the hell? What is all this?’ I asked

I seriously didn’t expect father to bring in a new wife five months after mother’s death. What’s more painful is that he has married mum’s old friend. This woman was a regular visitor in this house before mother died and mother always treated her with so much love and warmth.

‘Listen..,’ father started but was cut off.
‘You can’t be serious,’ said Tiya, ‘it’s just been five months how could you do a thing like this?’ she asked.

‘I don’t owe any of you an explanation, Stella is my new wife deal with it.’

‘And to think mother loved you? You are an excuse of a man,’ Tiya Screamed
‘And you,’ she turned towards Auntie Stella, ‘mother trusted you,’ she clicked her tongue. ‘You are nothing but a common prostitute, hule,’ she screamed clapping her hands. ‘Hule!’

‘Tiya,’ I held her hand, afraid of what father would do to her. I didn’t have the guts to speak back at him like she usually does. My sister is a little too rebellious for her age.

She eased her hand from mine, ‘Leka che nikamba nibahule aba mai.’

Father jumped to his feet and slammed his fist across her right cheek.

She groaned in pain.

‘This is my house and I will not allow you to talk back at me like that,’ he said, his face contoured, sneering angry.
‘You will not silence me with one slap,’ she growled
He grabbed her by the chin and jerked her face towards him’ You will respect me in this house.’

‘Darling, she is just a child please let her go before you hurt her,’ Auntie Stella said

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I looked at her and shook my head, hypocrite that’s what she was. I bet my mother must be turning in her grave because of the unexpected turn of events.

‘Please,’ she pleaded with father.

He let her go and backed away from her.
‘I have made my decision and you all need to live with it. Stella is your new mother therefore you must give her the respect she deserves.’

‘Never!’ Tiya yelled and with that said she was gone. Father wanted to run after her but his new wife stopped him.

‘She is just a child,’ she said to him.

He looked at me, ‘Talk to her.’

I silently carried Thoko in my hands and left the living room.

‘It can’t be,’ Tiya shrieked, ‘How could he do that to mother?’ Her voice was deep and dark.
‘He has made his decision there is nothing we can do about it.’
‘So we will just fold our arms and watch her take over?’
‘What do you expect us to do?’
‘Fight back, kick her out of the house if need arises.
‘Tiya!’
‘No Ganizani, this time around I will not listen to you. I will fight back.’
There’s was no use fighting with Tiya, her mind was made up. There was going to be war in this house.

To Be Continued…. . . .


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