“You’re our only son, thus the pressure we exert on you,” said mum lovingly as she served me my supper.
I was only 14 years by then and mum and dad had seen to it that I spent most of the time locked up in my room, studying for my grade 9 final exams which were due in a fortnight’s time.
Being an only child of my parents who were both doctors by profession wasn’t a walk in the park. They wanted the best from me but I was unfortunately not as intelligent as they wanted me to be.
“Mum,” I groaned, dumping my science book on the bed. “I honestly don’t get why you and dad are trying to live your lives through me.”
Mum’s eyes went wide and she pursed her lips. It’s like I’d just uttered a forbidden curse. “Make this the last time you’re saying such, Baison Daka!” she sternly warned. “I’m your mother and won’t take such insults from you. As your parents, your father and I only want the best for you so the least you can do is cooperate and appreciate our effort. Now eat your food before it gets cold.”
As soon as mum was out of the room, I begun eating the food. The meal was cholestrol
“What’s the meaning of this?” hissed Dad, my statement of result in his hands.
“I tried my best, father.”
“You tried your best? Are you kidding me?! You scored 353, Baison. What school’s going to admit you to grade 10?”
I swallowed and felt tears sting my eyes. Dad was reprimanding me in front of the headteacher as we were in her office.
“Mr. Daka,” said Mrs. Mutale, the headteacher. “Your son hasn’t failed so I don’t get why you’re this angry.”
“And who asked for your opinion? You said it, he’s my son so I can speak to him however I please. If you’re okay with your children not doing their best, that’s your baby to nurse but please let me nurse my own child as best I can without you interferring.”
Trust Dad to make a fuss out of everything. Anyway, I was admitted to
Mum would say, “At your grade 12, please don’t disappoint us, Baison.”
I would nod my head and say what she liked to hear. “I’ll try my very best.”
“That’s the spirit.”
I sat for
“Not bad,” was Dad’s comment. “At least you can be enrolled into the school of medicine.”
All my life, I had lived in Chipata but at the age of 19, I found myself at UNZA studying medicine. I did well in my first year and found myself studying neurosurgery. My parents couldn’t be more proud. To be honest, I didn’t like the course one bit but still went ahead just to please my demanding parents. I was in my fourth year and was 23 years old when I met Doris Gondwe.
All along, I was a loner who spent my free time locked in my room at the male hostels. I shared the room with a fellow student but him and I didn’t get along fine. He came from a poor family and the dude harboured natural hatred for the rich so it wasn’t my fault we weren’t friends.
So I was in town doing some shopping when Doris was accused of stealing. I was in the same shop and had seen the real culprit thus I came to the rescue and saved Doris the embarrassment.
“I’m so grateful for your saving my neck back there,” said Doris as we left the shop. “By the way, I’m Doris. Doris Gondwe.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Doris. I’m Baison Daka.”
I came to learn she was at UNZA too, in her first year. She was studying teaching.
The irony was that I had always aspired to one day become a teacher. Anyway, things don’t always go as we want them to.
Doris and I became friends and we fell in love, at least that’s what I believed.
“Do you think what we are about to do is right?” I asked Doris who was half naked in my room. She and I had been making out and things had gotten this far.
“Are you for real, Baison? We’ve been dating for over a year and by now we know we are in love with one another so let’s just make love to show us how much we love each other.”
My heart was thumping I could almost feel it rip out my ribcage. This was the first time I was going to have sex in my life and I didn’t want to tell Doris lest she look down on me.
“You’re right,” I crashed my lips against hers. “Let’s just forget about everything else and enjoy this moment.”
“Now you’re talking.”
I was proud of myself as I didn’t play amateur. In fact, I gave in my all and I could see the satisfaction written on Doris’s face.
“You’re the best lover I’ve ever had,” confessed Doris.
I couldn’t help but smile and be proud of my huge libido. It was because of my ecstasy that I didn’t realize she’d just called me her ‘lover’.
That was two months after I had had sex with Doris. She was in my room and was standing right in front of me with her hands on her hips.
“But we only did it once, Doris.”
She tilted her head. “Don’t insult my intelligence by calling me a s–t, Baison. You banged me and now I’m pregnant so I suggest you deal with it.”
“Doris, I love you so I’m obviously going to marry you.”
“Are you telling the truth?”
She flung her arms around my neck. “Now you’re talking. Oh, how much I love you, Baison.”
“There’s no way I’ll sit by and allow you to marry that piece of trash!” it was mum yelling. I’d taken Doris back home to Chipata with me and presented her before my parents as the woman I loved who was carrying my seed and whom I intended to marry.
“Mum, lower your voice. Doris’s just in the guestroom, she might hear you.”
“Let her hear me. I’ll call a spade a spade and I’m telling you this now, Baison. That girl’s a gold digger and am not welcoming her into this house, never! In fact, she should abort the bastard she’s carrying!”
“You heard your mother, boy.” said Dad dryly. “Get that low life out of this house asap!”
“Mum, Dad, sorry to disappoint you but I’m marrying Doris whether you like it or not, period!”
“Do that and consider yourself dead to us,” warned Dad with blazing eyes. “I’m not joking.”
“You can do your worst,” I calmly said and walked out on both of them.
Five months later, I was at the altar awaiting my heavily pregnant Doris. Today was my wedding day and I couldn’t wait to marry the woman of my dreams. The church was packed with Doris’s relatives and friends. Unlike me, she came from an extended family system while I came from a nuclear one thus it was only Dad and Mum present in the church. I was even shocked to see them here cause after their threats of disowning me and quit sponsoring my education, I wasn’t expecting to see them here.
Well, Doris never turned up for the wedding. Before I knew it, the church was literally empty as it was only the pastor, Mum, and I inside.
“I’m sorry, son. But I think your bride has developed cold feet.” the pastor patted my shoulder and left the church too.
Mum approached me. “Can’t believe you ruined our family for such a girl.”
That night as I was seated in my room trying Doris’s phone for the millionth time that day, it finally went through.
“Doris!” I exclaimed when she picked up. “Tell me you and my unborn baby are unharmed.”
“We’re fine, Baison.”
“Then why didn’t you show up for our wedding?” I wanted to know.
There was a pause. “I’m sorry, B. But I couldn’t take your parents’ insults any longer and I couldn’t picture myself taking them all my life.”
“But Doris, that’s no reason for you to bail on me. At least think about the future of our unborn baby.”
“About that,” Doris warily said. “The baby’s not yours. I only pinned the pregnancy on you with the thought of getting married to you and living a life full of lavish but I was wrong. I’m sorry, B, for wasting your time. I really am.”
“Did my parents blackmail you to say all this?” I inquired, anger bubbling up within me.
“No, they didn’t. I swear on my late father’s grave they didn’t. I just can’t take the insults, B. Besides, I just freed you from the burden of taking care of another man’s child so you should be happy.”
All I said was, “I hope you rot in hell for doing this to me, Doris. I loved you but not as much as I loathe you right now. Go to hell, you class A b—h!”
I hung up on her. That was the last time I heard from Doris. I packed my bags and left the house. It was because of my parents that my life was this messy and I wasn’t willing to stay with them any longer.
I went to Lusaka and joined the police force. I became a police officer six months later. Mum died a year later and I went to her funeral. She had apparently been suffering from chronic depression.
“Come back home, son.” said Dad pleadingly after the burial.
“As far as I can recall, you don’t have a son and I a father.”
That was the last time I had set my eyes on Dad nor spoken to him.
I went back to Lusaka and led a lonely life till Alicia came my way. I gradually fell in love with her despite fighting hard not to cause I knew love brought too much heart ache. Anyway, I fell in love and I hopelessly did so. The sad part was that Alicia couldn’t love me back and I couldn’t picture my life without her by my side. What worth is a lonely life?
A day after Alicia had told me off, I locked myself inside my house and got senselessly drunk. The beer gave me the courage to commit suicide so I went to my bedroom, opened my drawer and grabbed my pistol.
“This is it, Baison. Safe trip to hell,” I mumbled as I pointed the gun at my forehead and pulled the trigger.