“If it’s destroying you then it’s not love.”
“Mike?” My sister Vaniciah calls from the other side of the room.
“How nearly ready are you?”
“I am almost done.”
When i finish getting dressed, i stand in front of the mirror glancing at myself i adjust my tie and shrug my jacket into position. Once i deem myself good enough, i walk out of my room into the living room.
“You look good,” Vaniciah says.
“Are you nervous?” she asks
“Just be yourself.”
“Have fun,” she calls out as i head out of the apartment.
I am going out on a date with someone I met on Tinder and I am very nervous.
This is the first time i am going on date in three years.
After losing the love of life Sarah to cancer some three years ago, i vowed to remain single.
I still can’t believe my sister talked me into this she has been too pushy about me finding a partner and moving on, well i hope this date is going to be the start of something new.
And hopefully I will be able to move on.
I get into my car and start the engine. And before i know it, i am pulling up in front of the fancy restaurant that Lillie and i agreed to meet from. This woman and I have been texting for a month now though we have only talked twice on phone. I don’t even know much about her.
Before i step out of the car, i pull out my phone and stare at my wall paper.
Staring at Sarah’s photo, i feel a strange sense of calm, there was a time i would be filled with panic and dread at the sight of her photo. I still can’t believe it’s been three years since she lost her battle to cancer.
Stepping out of my car, i walk towards the entrance then i pull the door open and step inside.
The hostess then leads me to a table at the far end of the room and i order some wine as i wait for Lillie.
A few minutes later, Lillie walks up to me.
I swallow thickly as i stand to greet her, “Stay calm, just breath,” My inner voice urges.
“Hello,” i say, reaching out my hand to greet her.
“Hey!” a wide smile plasters on her face as she returns my handshake.
“Please take a seat.”
“Thank you,” she responds before she sits down and places her purse on the table.
There is a brief silence for a moment as i stare at her she is actually more beautiful in person than on photos though she doesn’t really look like my type.
I would never pick her out of a crowd but there is something intriguing about her.
“I hope i didn’t keep you waiting,” she says startling me from my thoughts.
“No,” i shake my head, “I actually got here a few minutes ago,” i respond and then try to quickly think of something to keep the conversation going.shared on whatsapp by Martino.
“So is this your first tinder date?” i ask
She smiles, “No, i have been on several other tinder dates and nothing seems to work out, i hope this will be different though.’’
“It’s actually been a while since I went on a date. Three years to be precise,” i explain.
‘’Wow!’’ she exclaims. ‘’You haven’t on a date since Sarah died?’’ she asks
I told her a bit about Sarah in one of our conversations a few weeks ago.
‘’You guessed that right,’’ I respond.
‘’I am sorry for your loss,” she reaches out a hand and gives mine a squeeze.
“Thank you, such is life,” i sigh.
“This place smells amazing, have you ordered yet?” she asks
“Nah, i was waiting for you.”
“Okay,” she gestures for the waitress and we order our food.
“How long have you been single?”
“Two years,” she responds
“Why is a beautiful woman like you single again?” I ask, voicing only a little of my thoughts.
She blushes,” Not a lot of men are interested in an already established woman.’’
‘’And what do you look for in a man?”
‘’I am actually a difficult person, I just require a few things from the men I date.’’
‘’And what are those?”
“Loyalty, stability, commitment, respect and genuine love, you know the kind that makes your stomach flip.”
“So..,” she is about to say something else the waitress walks back to our table with our food. When the waitress leaves, we dig into our food instantly.
We eat in silence for a moment but it is a comfortable one.
“So you haven’t been with anyone since Sarah died?” she asks
“Not even a fling or a one night stand?”
“Nah,” i shake my head.
“Okay,” she responds in way that shows that she kind of doesn’t believe me.
“Sarah and i were best friends before we started dating. For nearly 8 years i only loved her, we had a lot of plans for the future. When Sarah died, i felt like i had died too and they just forgot to bury me.”
“You can never really be prepared for death,” she responds.
“It really hasn’t been easy for me, i had vowed to remain single for eternity but my sister wouldn’t let me be and here we are,” i manage a weak smile.
“Let’s not talk about Sarah. Tell me about yourself.”
“What would you like to know?”
Lillie spends the next hour telling me about herself, aside from being a computer programmer she owns several businesses around Lusaka.
She seems like an intelligent woman and I wouldn’t mind settling down with someone like her.
But she would have to be patient with me because it will take a time for me to open up to love again.
I have been fidgety all day it’s the mood i have been in since Jason dropped me home yesterday, testy and irritable. Jason has been quiet on me since yesterday, he hasn’t picked up any of my calls neither has he responded to my messages.
I am beginning to get worried I hope he wasn’t serious about calling off the wedding. Jason means the world to me he is the greatest blessing I have ever had in my life I wouldn’t want to lose him.
Yes he is a little controlling at times but this is the man I want to spend eternity with.
And deep down I know he will eventually change.
I pick up my phone and dial his number, his phone is turned off.
I dial the number again and it takes me straight to voicemail.
I don’t want to leave him any message I just want to talk to him.
I put the phone down, nervously pacing back and forth.
“Are you okay?” Wynita slumps into a chair.
“I am fine.”
“It doesn’t look like it.”
“I am fine,’’ I snap
“You are sure?”
“Did you and your fiancé have an argument?” she asks.
I shot her an evil look, “And how is that any of your business?”
‘’The only time you are ever this moody is when you argue with Jason,’’ she says.
“We didn’t argue,” i lie
“I know you,” she says
And at this point i am boiling with anger, I never poke my nose in her business I wonder why she is always pocking hers in my business.
‘’Spill!” she says.
I am about to respond when my phone starts ringing.
I stick my tongue out at her.
‘’Babe,’ I cross to my room to talk to him in private
“What do you want?”
“You have been calling me almost the whole day.”
“And you have been ignoring me.”
“I have been busy.”
“Too busy to respond to my messages?’’
“What do you want?”
“Babe i am really sorry about what happened yesterday. Please forgive me.”
“You really hurt me.”
“I am sorry,” i plead
“Are you sure you made the right decision when you accepted my proposal?” he asks
“Yes babe, you know i love you and i want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
“I love you too but sometimes it feels like i am forcing you to be with me.”
“It’s not like that.”
“Am i too difficult or demanding?” he asks
“No you are not.”
“But what makes it so hard for you to follow my instructions?”
“I am sorry baby, i will change. I promise.”
“You know i could have any woman i want to have right?”
“But i chose you.”
“And i am really grateful for that.”
“Then you must show it.”
“I could have chosen anyone else but i chose you, you must always remember that,” he says
“I love you Wendy even if you drive me crazy sometimes,” he laughs
“And i love you even more.”
We talk for another three minutes and agree to meet later in the evening at his house.
It’s a Wednesday evening i am over at Jason’s house preparing supper.
I came straight here from school because i wanted do some laundry and clean the house. As Jason’s’ wife to be, it is my duty to make sure that the house is clean, his clothes are neat and he is well fed.
I must say the past few days have been amazing, Jason has been treating me with so much love and respect. I think he is slowly turning into the man i want him to be, my prayers are not going in vain after all.
He walks up behind me and wraps his hands around my waist pulling my body up against his then he kisses my neck and shoulder. I turn around and kiss him- we kiss for a few minutes before backing away from each other.
“How was work?” i ask
“Work was fine, how was school?”
“I hope you are studying hard for your upcoming exams.”
I am pursuing a degree in events and management skills, this is my final year.
“Now that’s my baby,’’ he says and I blush.
He lifts my chin so our eyes meet, ‘’Have I told you how much I love you?’’ he asks
‘’Babe, you have told me that more than enough and you have proved to me more than enough how much you love me. And I am very grateful to you, you mean the world to me.’’
He smiles,’’ I am very grateful to you for being loyal and honest with me. I am glad that I am marrying you, I know I will never regret this.’’
And then he kisses me again before he says, “You finish cooking while i shower, i am staving though.”
“Dinner will be ready soon.”
He walks up the stairs to his room and i finish up with the cooking. When i am done, i set the table and wait for him to come downstairs.
Several minutes later, Jason comes back and we sit down at the table to have our dinner.
“So,” i begin
“Do you remember my friend Lucy?” i ask
“Yes, what about her?” he asks sounding uninterested.
“Her birthday is coming up on Saturday.”
‘’My classmates and I are organizing a little get together for her in Siavonga.’’
He stops eating and looks at me, ‘’your point exactly?’’
‘’I need your permission to travel with them to Siavonga.’’
“What’s the day today?”
“And this is when you are asking?” he shoots me a serious look.
“Well, it was a last minute thing.”
“You are not going,” he responds before he continues eating.
I quietly look at him for a moment, trying to figure out what i will say to convince him to allow me to go. I only have two close friends, Lucy and Sonia and I don’t usually spend time with them away from school. Lucy will be so disappointed if I miss.
“Babe,” i touch his hand.
“Please, allow me to go.”
“I said you are not going and my word is final.”
“Am i one to change my mind over a stupid please?” he snaps and i know better than to pursue the matter further.
This is another thing I hate about Jason he rarely gives me permission to hang out with my friends. When I hang out with my friends without asking him first he calls me a cheat and a disrespectful woman.
He continues eating but I barely touch my food. I just sit there at the table with my head held down, holding my spoon. I really want to go to Siavonga and have some with my friends.
A few minutes later, my phone rings, I get up from the table and head to the kitchen where I left it.
‘’Hey Josh,’’ I respond
Josh is Lucy’s boyfriend, they have been dating for the past two years now and their bond is out of this world. Unlike Jason, Josh is calm and relaxed.\
‘’Sorry for calling late,’’ he says.
‘’I need your help.’’
‘’I am all ears.’’
‘’My boys and I want to be part of Lucy’s surprise birthday get together.’’
‘’I want to use the opportunity to ask her to be my wife.’’
‘’Aw!’’ I exclaim. ‘’That is amazing.’’
‘’Can we all meet tomorrow so we can make a perfect plan?’’ he asks
“Sure thing, i will let the others know then i will give you feedback in the morning.”
I might not go to Siavonga with the others but the least I can do is help them plan.
I place my phone back on the table and head back to the dining room.
Jason is no longer eating he is restlessly pacing back and forth.
He looks at me and clicks his tongue.
“Are you okay?”
“No,” he shakes his head.
“And what have i done now?”
“What did i tell you about picking up calls when we are eating?” he asks
“I am sorry,” i don’t even know how i forgot about that rule.
“Who were you talking to?” He asks. The anger flits across his face.
I know if i lie, he will get my phone and go through it, which will bring harm. Jason has a tendency of going through my phone he checks my phones and texts whenever he wants.
“Lucy’s boyfriend is now your friend?” he asks.
But before i respond, i am pinned up against the wall.
“Why is he calling you and why does he have your number?” he yells his face dangerously close to mine.
“You are hurting me,” i wince
In response he yells back at me, “Are you fucking him? Are you sleeping with your friend’s boyfriend?”
“No,” i answer as tears stream down my cheeks.
“Then why is he calling you?”
“He was just asking me about the plans for Saturday.”
“And what did you tell him?”
“I told him i won’t make it,” i lie
“Good girl,” he says, “I don’t want any men calling you anyhow, you are mine and only mine,” he says before he lets me go and i slid down the wall to the floor. And i thought we were making progress, it seems we are back to square one. I rise to my feet a few minutes later then i clear the table and wash the dishes.
Afterwards, i take a quick shower, get dressed and pack my stuff in my backpack.
“I am ready to go,” i tell Jason.
“Okay,” he says without looking up at me, he is texting on his phone.
“You won’t drive me home?”
He grabs his car keys and throws them at me, “You can drive yourself home.”
“Are you being serious right now?”
“You are the one who wants to go home so you might as well drive yourself.”
I sigh frustratedly he knows i can’t drive so i don’t understand why he is throwing shade at me like this.
“Anyway, i will see you tomorrow, good night,” i say before turning haughtily towards the door.
For a moment there, i feel like he will run after me or stop me from leaving but he doesn’t.
I walk out of the house and catch a taxi from the taxi rank.
When I arrive home an hour later, I pay the driver his money before I step out of the car and head for the front door. I open the door with my spare key and walk into the house hoping to find Wynita sleeping but she is wide awake.
“Welcome back,” she says.
“I thought you were spending the night Jason’s house.”
I ignore her and head straight to my room i have a lot on my mind i don’t have the time to deal with Wynita’s tantrums. You know, at times like this i wish i can give up on this relationship but when i look back and see where we have come from and what we have been through, i hold on tight and hope that Jason will eventually change.
“You didn’t tell me how the date went with Lillie.”
I take a sip from my wine glass and place it back on the table before i respond, “The date was okay.”
“What do you want to hear sis?”
She laughs, “Did you guys connect? Did you find her attractive? Is she someone you would want to settle down with?”
“All those questions?”
She rolls her eyes, “I am curious.”
“Curiosity killed the cat.”
“And satisfaction brought it back to life.”
“Dah! So she seems like a nice woman, she is attractive though not my type but i wouldn’t mind settling down with her because she is smart and intelligent.”
“Will you go on a second date with her?”
“I don’t mind.”
”This is the best news i have heard in years,” she smiles.
“I knew you would be happy.”
“You know i loved Sarah a lot, it’s a pity she was taken away from us too soon. I am sure she would have wanted you to move on, just enjoy this friendship with Lillie and see where it will lead to.”
“Thank you sis.”
“You are welcome.”
I don’t think i will ever love anyone as much as i loved Sarah, that woman was my life, she made me whole. I would have given anything for her to still be here but death did a fast one on me.
Maybe things will work out between Sophia and i.