I was rushing to class 2 years later, my lecture was scheduled at 10 am and I was 10 minutes late. Without paying attention to where I was going. I felt my hand hit something/ someone and I looked back panting as I came to a sudden halt.
“Watch it you fool” I heard a voice yell from my back.
“Am sorry dear I did not mean to hit you, I was just rus…..” I could not finish my sentence and I saw her face. She was dressed in a long skirt and heavy sweater. A very awkward dress code given it was so hot the sun was bright even though it was still morning. To add to the fact that the girl standing before me was known to be one of the fashion queens in secondary school, made me wonder for a second if I was seeing the right person.
“Fey!?” I looked at her closely more of a question that a statement.
“Daniels” she too looked up at me surprised.
“Oh my God Fey it’s so good to see you again. What are you doing here?” I smiled holding her in a tight hug her slim body engulfed in my arms it felt like she belonged. Her soft breathing made me want to hold her forever recalling all the times I had spent loving her back in high school even when she dumped me. If not for the fact that she stepped back clearing her throat I could not have opened my eyes to look at her.
“Am just reporting. I was given admission to study Public Administration here at NIPA. What about you?” she asked me smiling I could not help admire her perfect but small lips and soft but bright eyes.
“Mmmm am um studying ACCA here too. I have been here since last year” I sighed taking my eyes from her.
“I was rushing for class but now, I think am late. I can just use this time to catch up with you know, it’s been forever, I never knew this day would come” I honestly told her.
“Am sorry Dan, but I have my uncle waiting up and I cannot leave him now. He brought me here and am sure I will do just fine, I only have one thing to do since I will be coming from home” she said looking uncomfortable around me I thought that was bizarre.
“Okey my dear, I was just hoping to chat a little bit you know it has been long” I spoke with a tone of disappointment.
“ I guess I will be seeing you around “ I smiled holding her hand.
“Yep, sure Daniels I will see you around “ she smiled back but her smile for some reason did not go beyond her cheek bones. I could not help the girl I knew had changed she had this sight of sadness that made me want to pull her out and bring out the old cheerful Felicia that I knew. Then I realized she was not mine to take care of. I was just a guy she had left years back because clearly I was not good enough for her.
I was hurt when I heard stories of how she had become the talk of the small Kafue town, people I knew from Kafue would tell me how my Felicia had become a girl with big cars. Rumor had it however, that her life changed a year after school but I never wanted to take any of that from people. My understanding was that some people would always talk no matter what you do, either good or bad, so I decided to shake off the story. Deep down my heart I had wished I met her again.
That day my hopes had materialized but them how was I going to get her close to me when on the first day of seeing her after a couple of years, she seemed lost and so much in a different world. I shook my head as I watched her walk away. Her behind still as perfect as I could remember. Her curves even in a long skirt she had on were evident and more appealing now. I decided to take walk to the lecture thinking I could have the last minutes to attend it before it was over.
I didn’t know seeing Daniels would feel so deep and intense. I had completely forgotten about him. I was walking around trying to finish registration. Since my mother past of the previous year, I was taken in by my uncle, her younger brother. I and my kid brother were now staying in Lusaka and our house in Kafue was put on rent. Thankfully my mother had bought another two bedroomed house within Kafue and it was also on rent. The proceeds from rentals was what my uncle was now using to take me and my brother to school. Initially I had decided to stay away from school.
I was no longer the cheerful stubborn and outgoing Felicia I used to be back in high school. My life changed the year I was completing school after I and my friends deepen our hands in darkness.
I rushed out and almost took off running to the school to meet my friends. The small maggot I saw had shook my entire body I felt I would fall down any minute. My knees felt numb even when I was trying to keep balance.
“Ba guy we are doomed1” I heard Pamela speak even before I could get to the classroom the girls were waiting for me. My mother`s speech had delayed me and so I was last to arrive.
“Fey, what took you so long” Ritah stood up from the top of the ball rack she sat on stepping forward towards me.
“Did you see it?’ was what I managed to say instead trying to catch my breath.
“Yeah we all have the thing in the bucket. What is that Felicia?” Ritah asked me like I was all knowing. And for the first time I felt I had no answers. I was as puzzled as she was and it felt stupid that she would ask me when we did everything together.
“I don’t know girls, I have no idea but whatever that thing is it has given me a pretty good scare. The question should be what are we going to do about it?” I looked at Pamela then back at Ritah who was now shaking and crying
“Remember that man said anything we go back to him, well this is it. Let’s go and ask him what to do because I have heard stories of `ama lomba” and am almost certain those things are a part of us. We have to ask him so he tells us what to do or we will all die” Pamela responded.
“Yeah you are right, why waste time, let’s go now” we both added and the very minute we took off to Chilanga.
The w!tch doctor looked unconcerned about the issue. He in fact acted so calm I knew he was aware of what was to befall us.
“Well are you able to get what you wanted or not?” he asked looking at us one after the other.
“Yes we are but the thing is you never told us about that maggot in our water” I answered first.
“ mmm I see, that maggot is a copy of yourself. It will grow into snake but it will have your face. If you try to kill it then you die with it, go home my children and find a way of taking care of it. Feed it and do as it will start telling you. “He spoke calmly making us all shiver even more upon mentioning a snake.
“And if you don’t want it to grow? “ Ritah asked sitting up her face full of fear.
“Well there is another way, “the man sighed deeply. We all sat up our eyes filled with hope now as we felt he would give us a solution.
“You can go and swallow it, place it on the lump of nshima or bread and swallow it then it will be over, failure to that, it will grow and you will have to take care of it till the day you die” he added with a smile
We looked at each other and sighed deeply, well that sounded easy.
We left the man and went back home.
I rushed inside and luckily my mother had left nshima for me. I looked around for any sign of my mother or brother, satisfied no one was around I took a lump and ran into my room locking myself up.
The sight of the thing in the bucket itself made me want to puke. I felt my insides come out before I could swallow the lamp where I had it folded. I closed my eyes and placed the nshima in my mouth and tried to swallow hard. No sooner had it reached my gullet, than it came back rushing in vomit.
I coughed as I continuously vomited feeling so sick. The second attempt to swallow was a complete and the weeks that followed too.
After weeks of trying and now the thing had grown it was impossible to have it swallowed.
“I have no idea what I will do girls, am happy you all managed to swallow it but am so unfortunate. Why is it so hard for me to get rid of that thing, you should see its face, it’s an exact copy of mine.” I cried out to my friends behind the school classes.
“Am sorry Fey, maybe you should go back to that man and give it to him. Am sure he will know what to do with that thing” Pamela held my hand in sympathy.
“I did ba guy and he told me there is no one who would take that from me. It’s part of me now and like he had told us all earlier if it dies I die too” I cried my face wet.
“I don’t want to die girls, I cannot die. I have dreams and hopes you know, I know I have not been so good but I swear I did not know it will get me to this. Am sorry I influenced you all am so bad and hopeless now. What will become of me? “I went on sobbing.
“Take heart my friend, you are intelligent and right now we need to prepare for exams. Let’s try to catch up and make it through high school. I for one am tired of repeating and am sure we all can do better if we put in our best” Ritah hugged me closely.
However, after the exams I saw less of my friends and I knew the obvious, they had moved on and did not want my reborn self being part of their lives.
“Are you done now?” came the voice of my uncle bringing me back to the present as I approached his car lost in my own memory.
“Yes uncle. Am sorry I delayed, they were a lot of people at the library but am done now” I sighed getting in his Toyota Allion.
“Take that thing off Felicia, can’t you feel the heat?” he asked looking at my sweater.
“No am comfortable this way uncle, thank you” I faked a smile. If only he knew why I had it on he would throw me out of his house.
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