“Lubona please don’t tell me you knew the whereabouts of your sister and my ex husband all along and you didn’t bother to tell me?”
“Alicia, how do you know me?”
Lubona had just gotten off the phone with Angie and she had just told me Angie and Bob would be on the next flight from Nairobi, Kenya to Lusaka, Zambia which meant she knew where they were.
“How do I know you?” I incredulously asked her. “Lubona, you’re Angie’s sister so I would not be shocked to learn you’ve been playing cover up all along.”
“Madam,” Mulenga who was still present in the room cleared her throat. “I think you’re quite angry and calming down seems like the best option. Look at how pale madam Lubona is, can’t you ask her all these questions later?”
I rolled my eyes at Mule. “Who asked for your opinion? My friend, can you evaporate off this conversation!”
Silently, Mule rose and dashed off to the kitchen.
“I’m still waiting for an answer, Lubona.”
Lubona got a handkerchief from her purse and blew her nose, she then wiped her tears. “Alicia, I swear on my late father I knew nothing about Bob and Angie’s whereabouts, not until this morning when Angie gave me a call asking me if indeed Dad was dead. I confirmed and asked her what country she’s in, that’s when she told me it’s Kenya,” Lubona took a pause. “Alicia, look me in the eye and tell me you believe I’m capable of backing Angie up after all the atrocities that she had made you go through years ago.”
I sighed and could tell Lubona was being sincere. “I’m sorry, Lubona,” I took her hand in mine. “I shouldn’t have doubted you one bit. So you talked about Angie and Bob coming here, what about my son Fred?”
“Fred? Angie hasn’t said a thing about him. Maybe they’re bringing him with them, Alicia. Maybe they’re not.”
Lubona’s Dad had been living in Ibex Hill for the past six to seven years and I texted Curtis the adress as Lubona and I went to the funeral house. I only texted Curtis the adress cause I knew he’d love to pay me a visit later.
Monde showed up at the funeral house too and now it was my job and hers to console and comfort Lubona who couldn’t seem to stop weeping anytime soon. The funeral house wasn’t really packed but there was still a crowd present. The mourners present ranged from late Mr. Webster Habeenzu’s relatives, to his fellow lecturers to his students and so on and so forth.
It was after hours of being at the funeral house that we heard dramatic wailing from the entrance. There was no mistaking who it was. Even as Angie made it into the house, I felt my blood boil with anger. She was heavily pregnant and Bob was trailing behind her with huge bags in his hands. Angie looked as dashing as she had always looked back then and she hadn’t aged a little. This showed Bob and she had led a happy life. Bob on the other hand still looked handsome in the red golf t-shirt and white soft jeans that he was wearing.
Where I was seated, I glanced behind Angie and Bob in a bid to see a figure that resembled my son but there was nothing.
As Lubona got up to go hug her sister, I got up to angrily fling myself at Bob whom I grabbed by the collar with all my might. He let go of his bags and held my hands as he looked me straight in the eye.
“Alicia,” he said in an almost inaudible tone. “My Alicia, I’m so happy to see you.”
He tried to pull me into an embrace but I restrained him, slapping him hard across the face. I was a trained slapper so I made sure he felt the pain.
People were now staring at Bob and I as Bob held his cheek in pain. I grabbed him by the collar once again and glared him in the face with so much contempt written in my eyes. “Where’s my son, you scoundrel?!”
“Our son? Alicia, calm down so that I can tell you-”
“Oh please, Bob,” Angie cut in, stifling sobs. “Why don’t you tell Alicia you’ve not known your son’s whereabouts for eight months now? Alicia,” she was now directly talking to me. “Bob here was such a lousy father that Fred ran away from home. With a father like Bob, I don’t blame the boy.”
“Angie, shut up already.” Bob spoke up.
I felt my knees go weak. For hours now I had had the hope of getting reunited with my son and now this?
“Bob,” I let go of his collar. “Is what Angie saying true?”
“I’m afraid it is. But-”
I raised my hand dismissively and rushed out of the house to outside the yard where my car was parked. Bob came running after me.
“Let me explain, Alicia!”
“What is there to explain?”
He caught up with me before I could enter my car. I was now sobbing.
“There’s a lot of things to explain. Like why I divorced you for starters.”
“You divorced me because you had fallen out of love with me, Bob. You yourself had made this clear back in court so I don’t think there’s another explanation to why you divorced me. Besides, I’m not even interested in knowing the d–n reason! All I wanna know is where my son is. What did you do to my son, Bob?”
Seeing Bob so close to me got me so infuriated that I was grateful I wasn’t in possession of a gun right now otherwise I’d have blown his useless head to pieces.
“Alicia, there’s no smoke without fire so you’ll have to listen to the whole story first and then we can figure out how and where to find our son.”
“I’m all ears, Bob.”
Bob shoved his hands into his pockets and glanced around. “Can’t we go to a quieter spot?”
“I think my car qualifies to be that spot, let’s talk from inside.”
Bob and I hopped in. I was no longer shedding tears so it was quite easy for me to sound fierce. “Say your piece, I don’t have all day with me.”
“Fine. Where to begin… Where to begin…. So almost twelve years ago, I was blackmailed by a mafia dude by the name of Daniel Mkandawire……
“Angie was so reckless concerning the twins and our Fred that one night…..
“Alicia, that’s the whole story, believe me. Now do you still think I’d fallen out of love with you?”
I couldn’t help clapping out of mere sarcasm. “Well articulated, Bobby Chizinga. For how long have you been rehearsing this story? In fact, it sounds so authentic and far-fetched at the same time that you’d qualify to be a Hollywood movie writer, your movies would be blockbusters!”
“Alicia, you think the story I’ve just fed you was made up? Come on, you can do better than this. I’ve just told you all that has transpired in the past 12 years and this is your reaction?”
“How do you expect me to react, huh Bob? I should fall at your feet and lick your toes for doing what was best for Fred and I? Well guess what, your cowardice ruined our lives!”
“And I’m sorry for that, Alicia. Believe me if I could turn back time, I’d gladly do that so that I can mend all my wrongs,” said Bob pleadingly.
“Well it’s quite too late for you, my dear ex husband,” I said the words ‘ex husband’ with emphasis. “Your story hasn’t moved me one bit but has just made me loathe you more for being such a weak man, husband and father. If you think I’ll forgive you and go back to being your wife then you have another thing coming. Let me enlighten you on the type of Alicia that I now am. I’m no longer naive nor dependent on a man cause I’m an independence police woman who takes no shit from men like yourself and I’m also a mother to a beautiful 10-year-old girl and lastly, I’ve got a man in my life.”
Bob seemed so awestruck by how much my life had changed that he was too tongue-tied to utter anything in response.
“Why the silence? You thought I’m a museum for storing feelings so I would stay here with my arms folded and wait for you to come back into my life whenever you please? Sorry darling but people change and I’ve changed too. For starters, I don’t give a d–n whether you divorcing Angie or not and secondly, I want you to find my son before I sue you.”
“Sue me?” said Bob in disbelief. “Alicia, it’s not my fault he stole my money and ran away.”
“Everything’s your fault, Bobby. Had you not taken my son with you, he wouldn’t have endured all that you’ve just narrated to me. It’s because if you that he even got burned in that fire, everything’s your fault. You’re a bad omen, Bob. You tend to ruin the lives of all those that come close to you.”
“Alicia, you can’t possibly blame me for-”
Bob was cut short by a tap on my window. It was Curtis. I opened my car door and threw myself into Curtis’ arms, kissing him like there was no tomorrow. I was only doing this to prove to Bob that I had really moved on.
“I missed you,” said Curtis charmingly.
I blushed. “And I missed you more.”
“I brought Logan with me, it took me years just to convince him to do so,” Curtis pointed at where his car was parked. “He really needed to leave the house.”
“You did well,” I said in a whisper, waving at Logan who waved back.
“Wait a minute, Ali. Who’s that dude in your car?”
I sighed. “Was hoping you don’t notice him. That’s Bob, my ex husband.”
“No way, what’s he doing here?”
I was about to reply but for Bob getting out of the car and sarcastically saying, “Hello, my ex wife’s new boyfriend.” he was smirking but his smirk vanished instantly when he spotted Logan. “Fred?”
“Dad?” Logan called back.
Holy mackerel, this was now confusing! Logan and Bob knew each other?
And then realization hit me and it did so really bad. Was Logan Fred? If so, did he know I was his mother? Of course he did. But why hadn’t he just told me he was my son?
There were so many questions going on in my mind at that moment that I feared if I didn’t get answers as soon as possible, my brain would give up and shut down.
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