© Pauline Mumbi
“Stop crying honey let’s go to my house we need to
talk” he said.
I wiped my tears and let go of him. Atusaye pecked
my forehead before escorting me to my car.
“Please just drive behind me” he said.
Atusaye took off and I followed him behind steadily
until we reached at a beautiful house. I was amazed
but i kept my cool.
The house was beautiful inside, he had great
choice. The interior decor was superb.
“Honey take a sit. Can I get you anything?” He
“Yes … Water…” I said.
“OK I will be right back” he said.
I sat waiting patiently and he brought water on a
tray with some juice and snacks.
“This is your house too.. Feel free” he said.
“Thank you..” I responded.
“My sister and her husband moved, I should have
mentioned” he said.
“Oh… Actually I was wondering why you didn’t
mention” I responded.
“A lot was going on through my mind at that point…
Where do we start from?” He asked.
“anywhere am listening..” I said.
“Mwansa I know I was too fast and I may be even
now… Please stop me if I start rushing you. I had
just never felt so complete, Claudine used to drive
me crazy and meeting you just felt like an answered
prayer” he said.
“Talk to me honey…” He said.
“I don’t know what to say. I’m just overwhelmed” I
“Mwansa do you believe in the power of love? He
“Why do you ask?” I responded
“Do you believe love can make one do crazy
things?” He asked.
“I do believe in love am just not sure about the
riddles” I said
“I truly loved you Mwansa and I still do” he said
“I know but I was so scared. I had always been an
outcast and here I was being loved by someone
like you, it scared me” I said.
“Mwansa you’ve never been an outcast to me, I’ve
always loved you. God didn’t see you as an outcast
either, that’s why you are now a great writer.
” you know about my book?” I asked in shock
“Who doesn’t?.. Its really good” he responded
before going to get his copy of my book.
“God has been great….. Every step of the way” I
“Just give me a minute, am coming” he said before
Atusaye showed up a little while later and he asked
me to get up as we would be going somewhere.
All attempts to get him to say where we were going
failed so I watched him patiently.
Atusaye had been driving for almost an hour and I
still had no idea where we were going.
Finally we got to a house where he pulled over.
“Let’s go in honey” he said.
“What are we doing here?” I asked him.
“Honey lets go in” he said again.
I slightly opened the door before I changed my
“I don’t feel comfortable, please go-ahead” I said
“OK I will be back” he said.
It wasn’t long before he went in that Clara came out.
My heart skipped, I didnt’t know what to do as she
approached the vehicle. Clara had a child on her
back and I figured she was now a mother.
How would I explain my running away?
Clara came straight to open my door.
“Mulamu tuleyeni mu nganda. (Sister in-law let’s go
in the house)” she said with a smile.
“How are you?” She added.
“Am fine…” I responded as I came out of the car.
Clara hugged me like a sister and I felt welcome.
“Its been long… We missed you dearly. You
couldn’t even call??? We only heard about you
through Atusaye when he complained” she said.
“Anyway let’s go inside.. Will talk more.” She said.
Before we could make our first step she stopped
me and asked if I had a chitenge (zambian
“No I don’t, “.. I responded.
For a moment I wondered why she asked me that.
Maybe she didn’t want me to meet her husband
dressed in jeans.
” OK here have mine, you know being the first time
you are visiting your mother in-law …. ” she said.
“Mother in-law? She’s here?” I asked in panic as I
quickly tied the chitenge.
“Yes dear, this is her home. Wait.. Did he not tell
you that you are coming to see her?. I’m just
visiting here myself” she said.
The look on my face said it all. I was so nervous.
“Don’t worry dear, Atusaye is crazy how can he
scare you like this?” She asked me as we walked.
“My aunties are also visiting. But don’t worry my
mums family is very nice” Clara said.
“I don’t know what to do” I said nervously.
“Listen dear when we get to the door just kneel and
when we walk a few steps again kneel” she said.
“Oh Lord… Can you at least first call Atusaye I need
to talk to him” I said
“Oh come on.. I know those are your nerves talking,
just do as I say” she said with an assuring smile
I was so upset with Atusaye, what a way of
welcoming me back into his life. If I did not love
him so much I would have slapped him. The very
first day and I was already going through such
Clara and i reached the door and i knelt down with
my head facing down.
I heard women ululating and money was dropped in
front of me, Clara whispered that we had to walk
and I got up. We walked a few steps and Clara said
we kneel again. I followed the procedure until we
got into the living room where she asked me to
kneel before the chair and money was put on it
before I sat.
“Mwansa water will be brought before you, don’t
drink before money is put. And just take a sip”
Just like she said a glass of water was put on a
table before me and some money was put on the
side. It was then that I took a sip of the water.
Some words were uttered basically to welcome me
and some praises were said.
“Dear we can go, don’t kneel just walk slowly
outside” Clara whispered.
I left the house and straight away got in the car .
“You can talk now” Clara said as she burst out
I was still stiff and just smiled.
“Your brother is something else” I said with a smile.
“He really is, don’t worry I will shout at him on you
behalf.” She said.
Atusaye stepped out of the house counting some
money in his hands, obviously the money I made.
“Huh baby we are rich he said as he entered the
I felt like I could slap his face black and blue right
there and then.
” if I did not love you so much I would have
slapped you” I said.
He obviously found it funny because he burst into
laughter and Clara laughed too.
“If I didn’t know better I would think you are not the
Mwansa I saw in there. You were so humble” he
I gave Clara her wrapper and she invited me to visit
her house during the week for lunch which I agreed.
“Please let’s go.. I’m starving” i said to Atusaye.
” i finally get to spoil my woman, .. What do you
want for lunch honey?” He asked.
I looked at him with a frown before responding
“By the way let me have my money before you use
it” I said.
“OK my African queen… Nshima it is” he said
“My money…” I reminded him again.
“Pull it from the pocket” he said as he reversed the
“Ah… Its fine then you can have it” I responded.
“You are principled ayi? Your friends would have
grabbed it with everything else in the trousers” he
We both burst into laughter before waving at Clara.
” here you go bakashi bandi (my wife). You worked
for it” he said as he handed me the money.
And off we went for our first official date. Yes to
have nshima on our first official date by a mini
restaurant in town. I chose the location and he
The restaurant wasn’t fancy at all but we enjoyed
every moment of it as we had nshima with boiled
chicken and okra. We had both experienced the
good life but this was better than it all. Its that
simplicity that made it even extra special.
“Honey if we are ever broke.. I know I will forever
trust you to be by my side” Atusaye said as we ate.
“In poverty and wealth.. I will certainly be” I said….
What can I say?.. I just love this man.
To be continued…
NEXT (episode 26) PREVIOUS (episode 24)