TELL ME LIES
My whole life has been a lie, how can a mother be this cruel to her own child? She told me my father died when I was very young. She showed me pictures of one Mr. Chiluba and said he was my father. I have pictures of him in my purse. When I was a child, I envied my friends who had both parents. There were so many nights that I cried myself to sleep because I was fatherless and didn’t have what my friends had.
They were men that tried to step in as father figures for me. I didn’t want a father figure—I wanted my own father but because I thought he was dead, I knew there was nothing I could do about it.
And every time our school held a father- daughter lunch, I would beg my mother to let me abscond but she would not have it. During those times my heart ached especially when I saw girls with their fathers bonding- I wanted that too.
Growing up, I had a terrible childhood, my mother ba-rely had enough money to take me to decent schools. I tried the best I could to get an education so I could change her status because I felt sorry for her. She was so young to be widowed l and single handedly raise a child. There was a time in my life when I bec@m£ so bitter towards God- I blamed him for everything we were going throu-gh.
I drive around in circles throu-gh the streets for some time before I head back home , there’s so much going on in my mind, if it were up to me, I wouldn’t want to see my mother again but I need to ask her some questions, she owes me an explanation.
When I walk in the house, I find mum sitting on the floor in the living room crying.
“Baby!” She quic-kly rises to her feet with tears in her eyes and takes a step towards me but I step back.
“plea-se don’t t©uçh me.”
“Iris Chilu….,” she st©ps halfway throu-gh her s£ntence and I laugh, “Is my name even Iris?”
“You don’t have to do this.”
“Why Mama? Why?”
“He hurt me.”
“And in turn you decided to hurt me?”
“Listen to me child, I had my reasons.”
“I am all ears.”
She narrates the whole story and I listen to her attentively, when she is done, I shoot her daggers with my eyes.
“He was someone’s else’s husband? You were his mistress Mama? You didn’t care about what his wife would do?”
“I loved him and I thought he loved me too.”
“Mama I am so disappointed in you, how could you? So this is what it’s been all about? You hating Rissa and not wanting me to @ssociate with her?”
“I am sorry child.”
“You disgust me Mama.”
“I am still your mother, you can’t talk to me like that,” she says, cleaning her face with the palm of her hand.
“I can’t stand you,” I gr-ab my bag.
“Just leave me alone Mama, don’t call me and don’t come looking for me, I need some time alone, I don’t want to say something to you that I will later regret.”
“I love you child.”
“You don’t lie to the people you love,” I turn and head to the door but before I walk out I turn, “Just out of curiosity, who is Mr. Chiluba? You gave me ph0tos of that man and told me he was my father.”
“My late uncle.”
“Like really mama, really? did you have to take it that far?”
“I am sorry.”
Ignoring her I leave.
I pu-ll up in front of the house , but I don’t get out of the car right away . I sit there with my head in my hands , trying to decide how I will break the news of me having another child with someone else.
I love my wife a lot, cheating on her with Trish was a mistake. That was the first and last time I cheated, I don’t know how she will take this news. I don’t even know if Rissa will ever forgive me for this. A number of thoughts are still running throu-gh my mind when a knock on my car window startles me. Looking up, I lock eyes with my wife and I open the door and step out.
“Bashi Rissa!” She exclaims. “Are you okay? You have been sitting in this car for a long time? Aren’t you coming inside?”
I manage a smile, “I am okay, I just felt like sitting here for some time.”
“Rissa is in, she has been waiting for you.”
My heart races, “why?”
“Did she say why she is waiting for me?”
“She is your child, does she need a reason to come and see you?”
“No, come on let’s go inside,” I hold her hand and we walk inside the house.
“Daddy!” Rissa stands up and rushes towards me then she wra-ps her hands around me like she used to do when she was young.
“How are you?”
“I am okay.”
We sit down and I take a de-ep breath before I say, “There’s something I need to tell you both.”
“What is it?” my wife asks.
“Is everything okay daddy?”
“I love you both so much, what I am about to say might hurt you to the core but I hope you find it in your heart to forgive me.”
“You are scaring me, Bashi Trish?”
“Iris is my child,” I say, the words flying out of my mouth before I can st©p them.
Both my wife and daughter look at me with confused expressions on their faces.
– ~TELL ME LIES-~ 🍷🍸🍸🍸
The atmosphere is quiet with some tension brewing in the air.
My father has just finished telling us about the affair he had with Iris’ mum 29 years ago. So now I have an elder sister and as if that is not enough, she is engaged to the man who is supposed to be my b©yfri£nd- wow just wow.
My mother is sitting on the floor with her hands over her head and from the pained expression on her face, you can tell that she is de-eply shattered with the news of my father having a child with someone else. Meanwhile, I am still in disbelief and have not even fully processed this news. I have always held my father in high esteem, I have always envied what he and my mother shared, in my wildest dreams I would never have believed my father was capable of cheating. To say I am greatly disappointed in this man is an un-derstatement- how in hell did my father mess up this badly?
He kneels beside her and takes her hand, ‘’Tamara, I am sorry, I never meant to hurt you, you know I love you and our daughter so much. This happened a long time ago, it was a terrible mistake- I have never cheated on you since then.’’
She looks at him and tears so long held back start falling freely now.
‘’A grown- @ss child Christ©pher? While I was here crying myself to sleep those nights because I couldn’t give you a child, you were out there warming another woman’s be-d. You expect me to forgive you and turn the other cheek, would you do the same for me if I told you that Rissa is not your child? Would forgive me for not only cheating but having a child with someone else?’’
My dad chooses to remain silent and mum shakes her head before she rises to her feet, ‘’I thought as much,’’ she says before marching off to her room. My father stares at me and for a moment there I feel sorry for him but he deserves it. Who cheats on someone as amazing as my mother? This woman has held him down when no one else did, he deserves it.
‘’I know you are also angry at me but look at it from the positive side, you now have an elder sister.’’
I laugh, ‘’ this is not even funny daddy, I have always wanted to have a sister but not like this, you messed up big time. What happened to all those talks we had about cheating? You always point f!ngersat Gabriel but you men are–.’’
‘’Don’t you dare compare me to that excuse of a man,’’ he cuts me off mid- s£ntence. ‘’I know I made a mistake and I un-derstand that you are de-eply hurt but I am still your father and I will not allow you to insult me like that.’’
Before I respond to him, mum emerges from the be-droom with a suitcase in each hand.
‘’Bana Rissa! Has it come to that? We can talk about this, you don’t have to leave.’’
‘’I can’t stay in this house with you, I might end up murdering you,’’ she responds in a serious tone.
‘’But where are you going to go?’’
‘’She will come to my house,’’ I respond before getting the suitcases and carrying them to my car. Then I head into the house and gr-ab my bag, dad tries to plead with mum to forgive him and stay in the house but she refuses and we walk out.
Once in the car, she closes her eyes and takes a de-ep breath, I feel sorry for her but I don’t know what I can say to make her feel better. Reaching over, I squee-ze her hand, ‘’I am sorry mummy, it shall be well.’’
‘’What father did is inexcusable.’’
‘’I trusted dad.’’
‘’These men are all the same.’’
We drive the rest of the way in silence. Upon arrival at my house, I help her with the suitcases and we enter the house to find Gabriel lying on the couch texting away on the phone. This man is the worst of them, I have never seen someone this lazy.
‘’Babe!’’ he sits up.
‘’Mrs. Hadebe, what a plea-sant surprise, how are you?’’
‘’I am fine,’’ mum coldly says before she turns to me, ‘’take me to my room, I want to rest.’’
‘’Alright mummy,’’ I say, leading her to one of the spare be-drooms.
When she is fully settled I ask, ‘’should I get you something?’’
‘’No, I will be okay, just give me a few moments to myself, I will call you when I need something.’’
‘’Alright, mummy don’t be too h@rd on yourself.’’
She smiles, ‘’I will be fine baby.’’
‘’I love you.’’
‘’I love you.’’
I walk out of the room and back in the living room, ‘’plea-se pick your shoes and socks and place them where they are supposed to be. You can’t expect the house help to do everything for you.’’
‘’What is your mother doing here? Is she moving in?’’
‘’She will be living here for some time.’’
‘’Why? Don’t you think you should have asked me before bringing her here.’’
I laugh, ‘’you are joking right? I should ask for permission to bring my own mother into my own house.’’
‘’You don’t stay alone, you should consider my feelings too.’’
‘’Well, you should leave if you want to, I have more than enough things to deal with, I will not add your issues to the list.’’
‘’Do you want to break up? You have been acting up for the last couple of months and I can’t deal anymore.’’
‘’If you can’t deal then leave! Leave me the fv¢k alone Gabriel, I am tired.’’
‘’Where is this coming from?’’
My phone chooses that moment to ring and I pu-ll it out of my pocket and stare at the screen, Iris’ name flashes on my screen. I haven’t really processed the idea of having her as an elder sister, I don’t even know if my mother would be comfortable with me being in constant communication with what’s currently going on.
‘’Aren’t you going to pick that up?’’ He asks, eyeing me suspiciously.
‘’Hey Riss,’’ she says, her voice cracks and I can hear her crying.
‘’Are you okay?’’
‘’No! Can I see you? I need someone to talk to.’’
‘’Where are you?’’
‘’I am at home.’’
‘’Okay, I will be there in a bit.’’
‘’Who was that?’’
‘’That’s none of your business,’’ I gr-ab my car keys.
‘’You are going out again?’’
‘’Yes I am.’’
‘’What’s with the 99 questions?’’
He raises his hands in surrender, ‘’fine! You can do as you plea-se.’’
‘’Thank you,’’ I respond marching out of the house.