Marrying Angela Habeenzu was the biggest mistake of my life. Maybe if I had been brave enough to stand up against her father Webster Habeenzu I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Shortly after marrying Angie, her father had instructed I take her and Fred and relocate to Kenya, of course no one else except Angie, her father, Fred and I would know about our whereabouts. Since I was already Webster Habeenzu’s pawn, all I could do was nod my head like the fool and coward that I was.
So my new family and I relocated to Nairobi, Kenya. Webster had seen to it that I had a job at one of the renowned law firms in town so settling down in Nairobi had been quite easy.
“Bob!” Angie vigorously shook me one night. It had been a month since we’d moved to Kenya. “I think the baby’s coming.”
“Like right now?” I was so sleepy.
“No, like last year. Of course it’s right now you moron,” she snapped. “Can you take me to the hospital already?”
I woke up, got dressed and rushed Angie to the nearest health facility where she gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl. I was so overwhelmed by the news as this came as a shock. Angie had refused to go for ultrasound when she was pregnant so we had had no idea she was carrying twins.
“What shall we name them?” I asked Angie a week after she’d been released from the hospital.
She was breastfeeding the girl and didn’t bother glancing up. “I’ll name the girl and you the boy. In fact, Dad has already christened the girl, he said her name’s Angela, a mini me. Isn’t that thoughtful of him?”
I felt my intestines churn.
Lord have mercy on us, I silently prayed. Please don’t let my daughter take over her mother’s character.
“Yeah,” I feigned sweetness. “That’s sweet. I’ll name the boy Francis.” after Alicia’s late twin brother. The guy and I had gotten along so fine that I was shuttered when he had died at the age of 18.
“I like the name Francis,” said Angie absent mindedly. “I’ll call the twins Fra and Angie, how classic!”
Four years down the line, Angie proved to be not only a lousy cook but a lousy wife and mother. She didn’t seem to care about Fred, Fra nor Angie junior. All she did was go out and have fun with the Kenyan lunatics that she’d befriended. And to think that all of them were unmarried, what advice could they give her?
Angie senior came back drunk one night as usual, a bottle of Brandy in one hand. I was tired as I had just read stories to Fra and Angie junior after knocking off from work. Fred usually was the one to read them stories but I told him I’d do it tonight.
“It’s alright, Daddy. I love reading my siblings stories,” Fred had insisted.
“You deserve a break, champ.” I had said. “You’re literally their nanny, Fred. Let me read them the stories tonight.”
So Angie senior now walked into our bedroom, drunk.
“For how long will this go on?”
“Don’t start with your rubbish, Bob. I’m not in the mood,” said Angie in a slurred tone as she sat on the bed and took off her heels.
“Angie, for once please stay home and take care of our kids.”
“Bob, you knew what you were doing when you fired their nanny ai. So please stop pestering me cause I wanna get some sleep, I’m wasted. Besides, Fred is their elder brother so I see no harm in him looking after them.”
“Are you even listening to yourself?” I was trying my best not to yell. “If things go on like this, I’ll be forced to-”
“To divorce me?” Angie cut me short and let out a laugh full of mockery. She then hit the bottle of Brandy against the dressing cabinet that the bottle broke. She grabbed a huge piece and threateningly pointed it at me. “I’m not as naive as Alicia so I’d like to see you try, Bob. Trust me you won’t like what I’ll do to your manhood and balls. For the record, I’m not one to make empty threats so I dare you to try me.”
It was a month after this scene that a tragedy occurred. I was out that evening, having some alone time with my fellow lawyers. Talking about stuff like beer, soccer, and then women.
It was past 21:00hrs when I finally decided to go home. I was shuttered upon arrival, my house was ablaze!
There was already a crowd outside and the fire fighters were already here. I tried to rush into the burning house but strong hands held me back.
“My three kids are in there!” I desperately called. “Somebody save them please. They are all I have!”
Somehow I knew Angie wasn’t in the house. Oh God, I prayed nothing bad happens to my children cause I didn’t know what I would do without them.
By the time the fire fighters managed to retrieve the three kids, all of them were severly burned that even making out their faces proved to be a challenge for me, their own father.
My kids were rushed to the hospital and I followed suit. They were then rushed to the operating room. After waiting for over four hours, a white male doctor finally approached me.
“Doctor, how are my children?”
The doctor took a deep breath and closed his eyes and then opened them again.
“Doctor,” I grabbed his collar. “Tell me nothing bad has happened to either of them, please.”
“We tried everything we could, believe me, we really did. I don’t know how best to put this but I’m sorry for your loss, Mr. Bobby Chizinga,” he paused to gather enough courage. “We lost the twins.”
I felt my heart stop beating. A lump formed in my throat and a tear ran down my face. “And my other child, Fred?”
“He’s still alive but I don’t know if he’ll make it. He sustained third degree burns and his face and legs are charred beyond recognition. Only a miracle can save your son, mister.”
With that, the doctor walked out on me.
I was just leaving the mortuary where my twins had been taken minutes back when I bumped into their mother. At least she wasn’t drunk today but she was still dressed like the w—e that she was.
“Where are my children?” she breathlessly asked me.
I blankly stared at her for thirty seconds. “Where you always wanted them to be, in the morgue.”
“Tell me you’re joking.”
“Why would I? Go see them for yourself. I hope you’re happy now.”
Angie came out of the mortuary wailing like the drama queen that she was. Seeing her cry like that got me so infuriated that I grabbed her by the neck, choking the living daylights out of her.
“You’re going to kill her, calm down.” said a male nurse who finally managed to get me off Angie.
Our twins were buried two days later and by then Fred had slipped into a comma. For the next one month, I said little prayers though I doubted God would listen to a sinner like me. Fred finally regained consciousness and I was glad he was even able to recall the reason for the fire.
“Francis had accidentally turned on the gas in the kitchen,” said Fred. “When there was a power cut, I tried to light a match stick in a bid to light a candle and boom, there were flames everywhere.”
After Fred was released from hospital, he spent most of the time locked up in his room, staring at his disfigured face and crying. He now even refused to go to school.
“The boy seems so affected by his altered face,” Fred’s doctor confided in me one day.
“What do you reckon I do?” I asked him.
He pursed his lips. “The solution is quite expensive but I think plastic surgery is the only solution.”
“Fred is my only son so I’ll do anything for him, plastic surgery it will be then.”
“How would you like to get a new face,” I asked Fred once his doctor was gone.
“Anything to make me look better again is fine by me.”
“Don’t worry, Daddy will make sure you get a new face and all the scars on your body will be a thing of the past too.”
Angie had been depressed ever since our twins died so she rarely spoke and I cared less. The first time she said much was when Fred’s plastic surgery was a success.
“I’m happy for the boy, Bob. What he went through was traumatizing and the least he could get was a new face. How I wish my twins had had that opportunity too.”
But this didn’t make me start loving her. Ever since the death of Francis and Angie junior, I loathed their mother to the core that I could no longer even make love to her.
Fred resumed school and most of his normal activities after the plastic surgery and I couldn’t be more happy for him.
“Now that your father’s dead,” I smirked. “I’m finally divorcing your pregnant ass, madam Angie.”
It had been 7 years since the death of our kids and Fred getting a new face.
Old habits die hard so Angie had gone back to her wayward ways and she was now even heavily pregnant for God knows who. I wasn’t the father cause I’d never touched Angie romantically in the last seven years. I wasn’t even ashamed that I had found solace in whores.
“I don’t care Bob,” she sniffed as she packed her bags. She’d just gotten off the phone with her sister Lubona informing her we were going back to Zambia for the funeral.
Angie said in between sobs, “You can go ahead and divorce me, I don’t care.”
“Why would you care when you’ve finally achieved what you wanted? Thanks to your mistreatment of Fred, he stole thousands of dollars from me and vanished into thin air. It’s been almost eight months since my son left without a trace. I’m sure you’re having the time of your life believing we are now even as we are both childless. Well guess what, I’ve got a feeling my son’s still alive and I’ll one day get reunited with him.”
“I also don’t give a d–n about that, Bob. I’ve just lost my Dad so please let me mourn him in peace without you mocking me ai.”
“I wonder why you’d even waste your precious tears on a man as wicked as your father had been. In fact, whoever poisoned the old bastard deserves a pat on the back cause they’ve unknowingly helped me. But I can get why you’re shedding floods, you and your father are birds of the same feather so it’s only right you mourn his death. And Angie,” I paused to set the tone of my mockery. “I know he’s where he rightfully belongs, in hell! That’s where you’re going too when you die.”
She didn’t reply but just continued packing while sobbing.
I sighed when Angie and I got on a plane. Even as it took off, I had this feeling of freedom. I was divorcing Angie as soon as we buried her father and then I could go looking for my Alicia and explain things to her. I just hoped she’d understand me though cause I still loved her and still wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.