When a man loves
‘Thank you very much,’ he said shaking hands with me.
‘I guess I will see you tomorrow.’
‘Definitely,’ he said and walked out of my office.
Exhausted will be an understatement, I was extremely tired. Being a lawyer sometimes it’s just something else. This was one of my clients that had travelled all the way from another City. He wanted me to represent him and it was a done deal. Anyway I am done with work for today and it’s already late. I pack my stuff and place them in the suitcase. I am about to leave my office when my phone rang. Its Vusi calling.
‘I am sorry but I need your help.’
‘Sure, anything for you.’
‘Chichi is at my house. It’s a long story. Can you pass by checking up on her and if you can, could you drop her off at her house. I am very busy here at work.’
‘Sure no problem.’
‘Thank you Liam. I owe you one.’
‘No need to,’ I said and he hanged up.
Vusi was like a brother to me. If he needed me to help him out with anything, I was willing to help. I have been friends with this man since primary. I know that’s why he is more than just a friend to
Anyway I left the building and got into my car. I drove to Vusi’s house and it was at around night. I was supposed to meet up with my fiancée but I told her that I had some errands to run. Well that’s me driving at Vusi’s house to check up on Chichi. The drive to his house was short and so I got there in few minutes. Since I wasn’t staying that long, I decided to park my car outside the gate. I locked it and when I was walking to the gate, I don’t know I just felt as if someone was watching me. I don’t know maybe it’s because lately I have been receiving empty threats. You know being a lawyer; you create a lot of enemies. The gateman opened the gate for me just after ringing the bell.
‘Hie boss,’ he greeted me.
‘How are you?’
‘I am fine boss. Madam is inside.’
I guess Vusi had already called him. I walked to the door and knocked before opening. It wasn’t a wise idea to just open it.
‘Liam,’ she exclaimed just after opening the door.
‘Surprise!’ I said hugging her.
She was a sweet girl. I wouldn’t want to compare but she was 100% good
‘So I came to pick you up, Vusi called right?’
‘Yes, he did. I am sorry he had to trouble you.’
‘It’s okay. Are you ready?’
‘Yes, let me j…,’ she stopped at mid-sentence when the lights went off, ‘what’s going on?’ she said.
‘I have no idea and this is the first time electricity shutting off. Just when I had removed my phone from my pocket, I heard a bang.
‘What was that?’
‘Listen,’ I said taking her hand, ‘I want you to go upstairs and lock the door. Don’t even come out. If the noise is much louder, listen to some music. Here take my phone.’
‘What about you? What is happening?’
‘I will be okay. Don’t open the door unless you hear Vusi’s voice. Okay.’
‘Good, now go,’ I said to her and she went upstairs.
I knew someone was watching me. I hide by the corner and heard someone breaking inside. I had to make sure that these people were not going to go upstairs.
‘Vusiiiiiii,’ I heard one of them saying, ‘I know you are here.’
I had to protect Chiedza and the baby with all costs and so I came out of my hiding area. Since its dark, they won’t notice that it’s not Vusi.
‘Here you are,’ he said and they are two men in the room. Shared on whatsapp by Martino
I can’t see clearly but I think one of them removed a knife from his pocket
I am curled up at the corner afraid and in fear of what will happen to Liam. BANG! The noise is louder than before, there is a loud groan which is followed by another bang. I feel like I am watching what is happening downstairs because I keep on closing my eyes. I wish I could have done something, I wish I could come out but Liam told me not to open the door for anyone. With tears streaming down on my cheeks, I plug in my earphones. I don’t want to hear the noise anymore. After some few minutes, I remove them and there is silent in the room.
I don’t know if Liam is okay but I think I should call Vusi. I am trying to call Vusi with Liam’s phone because mine I left it in the other room in my bag but my hands are shaking, I can’t even dial his number. The phone drops off on the floor and with 2% left on Liam’s phone, it instantly switches off. Right now I don’t have any phone. I am still curled at the corner with hands on my eyes. Minutes later I hear someone calling out my name.
‘Who is there?’
‘We are the police. The gateman called us and told us that the victim was with you.’
‘What happened to Liam?’
‘Liam was hurt but he is going to be okay. Please open the door for us.’
‘I don’t want to open this door and I am not opening it. I want to see Vusi.’
‘Vusi will be here but trust me, we are the police.’
‘I am not opening it,’ I said.
I am driving my car in high speed. I just had that something bad has happened to Liam and…Right now I am in a confused state of mind because I blame myself for making him go to my place. Again I am afraid that Chichi is not okay. I park my car out front because they are ambulances and police cars outside. I heard my neighbor was the one who had alerted the police. I rush inside my house.
‘Where is she?’
‘She is upstairs and won’t open the door unless it’s you. With her condition, I was afraid to break it. I didn’t want to cause her a panic,’ explained the detective.
‘Thank you,’ I said to him and rushed upstairs.
Paramedics are already standing at the door waiting for Chichi to open it. I walk closer and knock softly.
‘Chichi, Vusi is here. Can you open the door for me?’ I say but she doesn’t open the door, ‘Chichi, you can open the door for me. It’s really Vusi.’
We heard the door being unlocked and she opened it.
‘Are you okay? Did you get hurt?’ I asked examining her.
‘Vusi, a thief came into your house’ she started crying, ‘Liam told me to go upstairs and lock the door. He told me not to open the door for anyone except you. He told me to lock myself in and when I hear noise, I listen to music.’
‘I am so sorry.’
‘Where is Liam Vusi?’
‘Babe,’ I said hugging her so tightly
What would have happened if those scumbag had hurt my woman? I swear I am going to find the person who is after me. Right now Liam has been taken to the hospital and only God knows if he is going to be alright. I drove with the doctors at the hospital. They wanted to keep Chichi over night to make sure that the baby and she were fine. When we got there, I had to wait for the surgery to be over. But the night turned into morning and family members were already at the hospital.
‘How is Liam?’ I got up just after seeing the doctor.
‘The weapon pierced and damaged his organs. His body went into shock from losing so much blood. We can’t guarantee anything right now. He must regain consciousness first and foremost,’ he said and I was hoping to receive some good news.
Liam had sacrificed his life for me. I was the one who was supposed to be lying in that bed. These people they didn’t see his face or maybe they didn’t personally know me. This wasn’t a robbery because nothing was missing at my house.
‘I will be back,’ I said leaving the room.
‘Vusi wait. Where are you going?’ asked Pamela as she was following me.
We walked outside and she grabbed my hand.
‘Where are you going?’
‘This is Jay, he is the only suspect. I am going to confront him.’
‘Vusi no. let the police deal with him.’
‘Police?’ I said with a laugh, ‘no bloody police officer will believe us Pamela. He is the mayor. He bought the whole police station. We are the only ones who can deal with him.’
‘What if it wasn’t him?’
‘Come one Pamela. You know better than me that this was Jay. This is because of Marisa visiting at my house. Mind you that psycho once bugged my house. I am very 100% sure that he bugged Marisa when she came over to my house. This is what I was afraid of Pamela. Now Liam is fighting for his life. You heard what the paramedics said; he didn’t even try to fight. He was trying to protect Chiedza and didn’t want those idiots to know that she was in the room. He sacrificed himself; he gave himself up in a silver plate. We both know that Liam is a good fighter but he couldn’t fight because he wanted to protect Chichi. They stabbed him and just left. If anything bad happens to Liam, I will never forgive myself.’
‘Will you forgive yourself if anything bad happens to Chichi?’
‘Vusi she needs you right now. Let me and my father deal with Jay. He is not the only one who can play dirt. Try to stay safe for your family please. Give me those keys,’ she grabbed the keys from my hands.
It’s been a week already and Liam hasn’t woken up from his comma. I promised Pamela that I won’t do anything stupid but I don’t want to lie to you, I feel so much guilt right now. There is nothing that I can do about this issue, knowing very well that Jay was after this attack. Did I mention that Marisa called me? She did, she called me asking if I was okay and apologizing. I asked her what she was apologizing for but she hanged up on me. That’s when I was 100% sure that Jay was behind that attack.
I am trying to keep calm and not go after him because I wouldn’t want something bad to happen to Chiedza and the baby. As for Chiedza, she is still in shock and blames herself for being a coward. How was she going to fight the thugs in her condition? I told her that Liam was going to be okay, although I wasn’t sure with my words. The situation was really bad; he was connected with so many tubes and different kinds of machines. Those machines were keeping him alive. Maybe if someone had arrived early, maybe then Liam wouldn’t have lost a lot of blood. We are just praying that he wakes up from that comma. I personally miss him a lot. Today I am taking Chichi to the hospital for her checkup and also I will be checking up on Liam. His condition hasn’t changed at all and he is getting me worried. I know that he is a fighter and I haven’t stopped praying for a miracle. Liam is like a brother to me; he is more than just a friend and let’s not forget the fact that he saved Chichi’s life. He literally took a bullet for me and so he deserves a special place in my heart, trust me he does.
I am picking her at her house; I am already there by the gate waiting for her. I called letting her know that I was outside the gate. She walked out of the house dressed elegantly, smartness something that I loved about her. I quickly got out of the car and welcomed her with a hug.
‘You are looking beautiful,’ I complimented.
‘Am I?’ she smiled after breaking the hug.
‘Well, thank you.’
‘Shall we?’ I took her hand and we walked back to my car.
I opened the door for her and she got inside.
‘Thank you,’ she said after I had helped her with the seatbelt.
I strode over to my driver’s seat and got inside it.
‘Did you sleep well?’
‘I tried to.’
I actually feel for her,
‘I am thinking to sell that house,’ I said to her just after starting the car.
Trust me it was the best thing to do. After all I had already moved out from my house, I was currently staying at my parents’s house, the one in town and not the farmhouse. I didn’t feel like staying at my house anymore since it had bad memories, my wife leaving me, I am sorry Marisa leaving me and Liam getting stabbed, that was something else.
‘Are you sure about it?’
‘I am 100% sure; I wouldn’t want my baby to be raised in that house.’
‘Are you done with your exams?’
‘How were they?’
‘Fine, I guess.’
‘You are not sure.’
‘I am sure, they were okay.’
‘I was thinking to take you out for lunch just after this meeting with the doctor.’
There was just something about her, her responses and the look on her face. She was worried about something I couldn’t quiet point out what it was. When we got at the hospital, Chichi didn’t look happy at all. Even when the doctor was showing her the baby or when he said that she is healthy, she was feigning a smile. This is unlike her, she is always cheerful and always smiling. I thought maybe she was stressed up about the exams but there was more to her sadness than just an exam. We went to visit Liam but I didn’t plan on staying that long. I was worried about Chichi, honestly I was and I think today I won’t be able to sleep because of that. We got at the restaurant and ordered something to eat.
When our food came, she hardly touched it. When I tried engaging into a conversation, she didn’t say any word. She just responded with 1 word replies. We finished off and went back to the car.
‘Chichi, what’s wrong? Talk to me,’ I finally spoke.
There was a moment of silence in the car. She was quiet and so was i. the tears started flowing from her eyes and that got me really worried.
‘Chichi, what’s wrong?’ I asked concerned.
She actually cried more loudly than before and I had to pat her back. I don’t know why she was in tears but I have to wait for her to finish off crying and then I can ask. She wiped off her tears,
‘I am sorry.’
‘It’s okay. Can you tell me now what’s wrong?’ I asked really concerned.
Maybe they were the hormones acting up, I just don’t know and I hope she is going to be open with me. I worry about her a lot, she is the only important person on my mind right now. I know I shouldn’t be saying all of that but you know when I heard about the incident at my house, the first person I thought about at that moment was Chichi. I know I know I was supposed to think about Liam, the one who was hurt but I honestly thought about Chichi. I guess I liked her that much. I took her hand and advised her to open up with me.
‘You lied to me,’ she accused.
‘About what?’ now I am confused.
Could it be that she had bumped into Jay or Marisa but none of these people know about her. I shouldn’t jump to conclusion, what am I thinking. I am too fast forward right.
‘What do you mean?’ I asked again because she had gone quiet.
I think Chichi still thinks it’s a big deal to speak freely with me.
‘You can talk freely with me Chichi. I told you that I am no longer your boss and whatever you say, I won’t get mad at you. Tell me what’s wrong?’
It just hurts me a lot to watch her cry knowing that I am the main reason for her tears, breaks my heart. I would never make a woman cry, that’s the promise I made to myself and I had to live by it.
‘What really happened to Liam? That wasn’t a robbery right?’
I had lied to Chichi that was Pamela’s idea. You know I am not such a good liar and if it were up to me I would have told her the truth, the way it is and no hiding things from her. But then Pamela told me that she was better off not knowing for her safety. Now she has finally figured out that she was lied to but the question is how did she find out? Could it be that it was my mother who had told her the truth.
‘I heard you talking with Pamela over the phone.’
But of cause she must have heard my conversation with Pamela when she was still admitted at the hospital. Pamela had called and I thought Chichi was sleeping when I answered the phone in her room.
‘Who wants to kill you? Who is after your life? That could have been you who were stabbed. What will happen to me when something bad happens to you?’
‘Nothing bad is going to happen to me.’
‘How will you know that? What if these people are going to come back? What if they already found out that it weren’t you they stabbed but Liam? I don’t want to lose you Vusi; I don’t want to raise this baby alone.’
‘No, Vusi please. If you are in trouble then let’s leave this country. Me, you and our baby. I don’t want this baby to grow up without a father I d…’
I ended up kissing her just to shut her up, damn I have always wanted to do this and this is my genuine first kiss with her. We can’t count the first one because we were both drunk. I broke the kiss, with my hands on her cheek, I said to her.
‘Nothing bad will happen to me Chiedza. I am going to be here for our baby and for you. Whoever was after my life, they won’t dare hurt me because the almighty protects me. I promise you I will protect myself and I will protect you,’ I said and hugged her.
Nothing bad was going to happen to me
I tried sleeping that night but I kept on tossing and turning on the bed. Man I couldn’t believe on what just happened this afternoon when Vusi kissed me. I mean I wasn’t expecting that kiss but he just had to. Right now I feel like a teenage girl, hey. Well maybe it’s because I have never liked any men other than my dad. Vusi was a good man and boy a good kisser too. Just when I am busy imagining things, my phone beeps and it’s a message. Opening it, it’s from Vusi.
‘Are you sleeping?’ he asks.
‘No, I am awake. What’s up?’
‘I can’t stop thinking about you.’
‘Really?’ I ask with a blush.
If only he was seeing me, we continue to chart until I finally say goodnight to him at around 11pm. I was already dosing off. I slept well thinking about Vusi and what a great man he is. When I woke up the next following day, my Auntie and Claire had already left. I was having my last paper in the afternoon. The exams were not that hard because Vusi had been of great help. Well I finished bathing and decided to go to school for a study. I have actually gotten used of going school with a baby bump. Lots of people were surprised when they found out that I was pregnant. With my baby bump already showing, some even had the guts of calling me a bitch. People never listen to them.
Anyway I walk out of the house, to the gate where I close it. Just when I am walking to the taxi rank, a car pulls in front of me. It’s a black corolla vehicle. Someone is inside and they lower their car window.
‘Are you Chiedza?’ she asks and I open my eyes widely.
I never expected to see her, not her and why was she looking for me. She looked at my baby bump and her gaze sent cold shivers down my spine, I was scared.
‘Can you get inside the car? I won’t take long.’
I decided to put my phone on record before getting inside the car. I got inside the car and the driver drove off.