I Am Woman – Episode 16
A Story By Brian Ngoma
“So this is the Jack plane you hit him with?” Musonda turned back to look at me.
I shifted nervously. I couldn’t get any words out of my mouth. I looked at Clara and Kasuli who were equally shocked at what was happening.
“Excuse me officer, we came here to show you the ripped clothes as evidence of attempted rape,” Clara spoke up.
Musonda seemed uncomfortable for a moment and said, “Don’t tell me how to do my job.”
“I am surprised with what’s happening here that’s all,” Clara said sarcastically.
“Where are the clothes?” He pointed at me.
“They are in Enoch’s room,” I said.
“I suppose I should lead way then, right?” Enoch stood up and placed the Jack plane on the table.
We all followed him to his room and surprisingly, the room was pretty cleaned up leaving no traces of a quarrel. I wasn’t shocked at this. I knew that this would happen the moment aunt Tamara came at Clara’s place earlier.
“Where are the clothes Tinashe?” Officer Musonda asked me.
I turned around to face the three of them. They had the audacity to clean up the room with no shame at all. The only thing they left was a jack plane which would act as evidence against us.
“I don’t know; they must have gotten rid of the clothes.”
“Listen young lady, you made me come here to tell me that nonsense,” Musonda yelled at me.
Everyone was silent for a while waiting for Musonda to say what will happen next.
“Since Enoch doesn’t want to press charges against you and your accusations are baseless, I will let this one slide. Not only because of that but also that you are my in law’s niece.”
“But sir,” I tried to speak.
“Don’t interrupt me when I am talking,” He said angrily. “Listen to me, whatever you think happened is your figment of imagination. I don’t know why you hit my nephew with that tool but I hope it doesn’t happen again because you will go to jail next time.”
Everything was happening against us. Whatever force was against us, it sure was strong.
“We need to talk, Clara you may go now this is family business,” Uncle Richard dismissed Clara.
Clara hesitated to leave but I told her to go and since our bags were at her place, I assured her that we would be going back. Officer Musonda also left with the officer he came with. Aunt Tamara escorted him and I was pretty sure she was commending him for the job he did.
Uncle Richard talked about the feud he had with dad while growing up. He said how it destroyed their friendship. From time to time they would accuse each other of things and would fight to the extent of breaking each other’s bones. The hatred they harboured for each other destroyed them and their relationship. I saw what he was trying to put across but that wasn’t the case with us and his son. He’s son was a maniac and they refused to see all that.
“So what I am trying to say is that you should put your differences aside and patch things up.”
“No uncle Richard. We tried to do that the first time it didn’t work.”
“Then you have to leave my house,” Aunt Tamara added when she joined us.
“Tinashe for once listen to my father,” Enoch said.
I looked at him in disgust and said, “if it’s you Enoch, don’t you dare say anything because this time I will cut out your tongue.”
Enoch said nothing.
“See? This girl will kiss us. She has to go,” Aunt Tamara said.
“We left already,” I said.
I stood up and so did Kasuli, “I am grateful to you for all the things you have done for us. I know it hasn’t been easy for you but still, thank you.”
“Where do you think you will go huh? Do you think Clara’s parents will take you in? Who in their right mind will take care of two people who aren’t even their relatives?” Uncle Richard asked furiously.
“I don’t know.” I grabbed Kasuli’s hand and started heading for the door.
“Come back here, arrogant girl,” He ran to us and grabbed my hand.
“Uncle you are hurting me!” I shouted. “What’s wrong with you people?”
I had started crying. I had mixed emotions. I felt anger, pain, disappointment, betrayal, abandoned and I was almost close to giving up but I couldn’t. I had her to think of Kasuli and we all needed my strength to get through.
“Please let us go. I don’t want to spend another day in this house, please,” I wiped my tears.
“We promise we won’t come back uncle so that we won’t cause any problems for you,” Kasuli spoke up.
Kasuli’s words made them all quiet and their faces were filled with shame. They had probably realized how bad they were. My uncle let go of me and sat on the dining table. We left the house and went to Clara’s place. I told her what happened and asked her to talk to her parents so that we could stay for a couple of days. We stayed at Clara’s for five days and in those days, I managed to write back to Marlon telling him about all the things that had happened to us. I also wrote the new address he should be writing to.
“Thank you for your hospitality Clara and thank your parents for us,” I told her at the bus station.
“Are you sure you will find your mother Tinashe?” She asked.
“I hope and pray so. She’s the only family we have left,” I replied as I hugged her goodbye.
“I am rooting for you Tinashe,” she said. “Kasuli be a good girl and continue looking out for your sister.”
Kasuli smiled and waved Clara goodbye. She was happy that we were going to mama’s. With the money I got from papa’s company, I managed to get us two tickets to Kabwe town. The address mama left for me on the tiny piece of paper was for Kabwe. During my stay at Clara’s I went back to Mr Lubase and told him that he should never ever give my uncle money as we were not living with him anymore. I asked him if it was possible to keep the money for us until we had returned and fortunately, he said it was possible.
We got on the bus and sat side by side with Kasuli. Thinking about all the bad things that happened to us since papa passed away brought tears to my eyes. I don’t know if It was luck but I was glad Enoch didn’t manage to rape us. Even though things didn’t go as I would have expected, I knew one-day Uncle Richard and his family will meet their fate. Till then, I chose to forget everything that happened whilst we stayed with them.
“We are now in Kabwe!” The bus conductor shouted.
I hadn’t realised that we had reached Kabwe. I woke Kasuli and we got off the bus. Being new to the town, I asked around about the address and was told to get on a taxi and would be taken. Did as was told and we reached mama’s place.
The time was 05:30pm and the place was quiet. The house was isolated from the other houses and the compound was dirty as if it hadn’t been cleaned for days. With our suitcases, we found our way to the door and knocked. We knocked for a while and no one was coming to the door. I checked and saw the keys from the inside and the door was not locked. I decided to open the door and it led to a kitchen which was messed up. There were unwashed plates in the sink and bottles of alcohol all over the place and it was stinky.
“Anybody home!” I shouted.
“Help,” a female voice moaned.
I dropped the suitcase and followed the voice which led me to a bedroom. On the floor with foam in her mouth, face brutally bruised and blood on the floor, was my mother.
To be continued
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