Author: Leeto Anita Mshweshwe

The orchid Chapter 2

part 3 the orchid season two

“Dear Diary I thought I should write down my thoughts today. It has only been a week since we buried ‘My Husband’. Believe me when I say those inverted commas represent my view on the matter. I may have buried him and every one may think he is dead but I I know he’s not dead. Malinga is not one to die just like that. Yes the car was a wreck but him dying just like that? I don’t believe it. There are so many things I hate him for but the ones I love him for out-weigh the ones I hate him for Even though he has a lot to explain. There were a lot of times Malinga could have died but he didn’t. He was protected by his people. But where were they? Where were they when lightning stroke his car and he had an accident? Maybe it was punishment for killing his own brother in cold blood. I miss him. We all miss him. The children are growing. MJ packed his belongings and went to Jamaica with Quinton. They sent photos of their wedding. I feel alone and lonely. Most of my days I spend wondering how our latest drama would have unfolded and how we would have ended up in bed making up. I wronged him. He wronged me but I know that our love was deeper than normal. I still love him with no exception. I still smile to myself when I think of all the crazy things that happened between us. That first day I met him and how arrogant he was; when he bought me flowers in the wee hours of morning when he left me at the hotel for three nights in a row and when we finally made love. I knew that I had fallen deeper in-love than anyone who has ever fallen in-love. His smile has always been the death of me. ‘Death’ huh? Death should not yet be proud to have made me a widow left with four children including the one that has eloped and the one I’m about to pop anytime. I still can’t believe he won’t be here to see his son but my heart still tells me that one day my husband will walk in through that door and say “My empress” with his arms wide open and that smile on his face that always made my knees wobble. The family thinks I’m crazy and that I am in denial. They don’t understand the connection I had with my husband. That certain heavy and powerful aura I felt every time he was near me. It was always weird but I loved it. It made me feel all sorts of fuzz and warm. And then… at the funeral. That man in the wheelchair. He had a beard and dark glasses. I couldn’t keep my eyes off him. There was something about him something that utterly confused the sh*t out of me. I painted him because he haunted my very soul. That was the first time I painted in a very long time. I felt that air! I felt that Aura the one that belongs only to my husband. I felt it. It felt so heavy that it forced me to actually stare at him. If I was not in mourning I would have made my way to him. I had a waiter deliver food to him and I watched as one of his bodyguards took the food utterly refusing for the waiter to get close. He refused the food and the guard returned it to the kitchen. I watched. I watched how his caramel skin reminded me of my husband. I watched how his hand and fingers looked so soft that they could touch me the way my husband did. He left. He just left with all his guards and somehow the air left with him. I was left paralysed and my heart torn into pieces. Him being there made me confused yet I enjoyed stealing glances and staring at him. And when he left it all came back; I was in a funeral; my husband’s funeral. Damn! I’m a widow. I am a few weeks left before I give birth to possibly an heir to a throne that has no king. How am I going to do this? How am I to explain to Zana Liso and this baby I’m carrying that their father is no more? How will they understand that? What do they know about death? Lord be with me.” ** ** I have been dreading to read this and now that I have I can’t begin to explain the emptiness I feel. My wife the love of my life the woman I married and vowed to love through thick and thin is all alone in this world and the only thing that keeps her going is the faith and hope she has; that one day I would come back to her. Would it all be worth it? To just go back to her and pretend like I didn’t commit all those crimes all the lies and murders? Pretend like I didn’t cause her pain? Would she even forgive me? It is one thing to hope and pray that I would go back to her but deep down chances of her forgiving me would be quite thin. My family on the other hand would have a definite hard time to come to terms with everything. My sudden resurrection my sins and … Sigh. Who am I kidding? I can’t go back home. I can’t have my old life back. I can’t even have a portion of it. I would take Leya and the kids have new identities and move to the other side of the world but I know she wouldn’t agree on top of that Liso has a duty to fulfil. I would never cause more pain to either my wife or children like that. My ancestors are very strict and ruthless. Our lives would turn into mayhem the moment Liso boards a plane. So I can’t. I can’t move any of them without having to experience consequences. I am dead and there is no going back. • “Please eat” – Anna begs. I have been turning and turning this spoon on my porridge for the past 15 minutes. It’s my favourite; Plain Mealie meal porridge with sugar and vinegar. Leya used to make it for me especially when I was hung over. But I can’t eat today. I have no appetite and Anna just doesn’t understand so I force a few spoons. This porridge is not thoroughly cooked. I taught her how but she keeps messing it up and right now it tastes like sand and water. “Can I have muesli instead?” – She looks at me. – “This porridge is a mess.” “I told you I can’t cook this bloody thing!” – She’s pissed about last night. I can see it. I have bigger and more important things to worry about than a stupid high school girl crush. She gets up and prepares the muesli with strawberry yoghurt. I can sense the heat in the way she bangs everything; the fridge door the drawers and cupboards. “Anna not today Please.” – I beg her. She comes back and tosses the bowl in front of me. She sits opposite me and carries on eating her porridge in silence. “Anna?” – She looks at me with dagger eyes. – “Listen I’m sorry about last night okay. But like I told you I am married and I love my wife…” – “But you’re dead!! In her eyes you are!!” – “You read her diary. She doesn’t believe that and until she does I will remain faithful to her. I failed to do it while I was with her I will not now.” – “Oh so fuck my feelings? Fuck the fact that I distanced myself from life to help you?” – “But I pay you…” – “Is that fucken supposed to make me feel better?” – She screams getting up and standing in the middle of the kitchen. She huffing and puffing close to tears. “Please refrain from speaking to me at that tone using that kind of language.” – She looks away. – “if you are unhappy here I’d be happy to compensate you for the rest of the year and find someone who will be more than happy to help me.” “I didn’t say I’m not happy.” – She mumbles. “Then what?” – “I… I just…” – she stutters! “Just what? I told you our relationship is strictly platonic and professional. I am way older than you and I am married!! I have a wife and three children with a fourth one on the way. You are the same age as my first born…” – “I know that … but I love you!” – Silence!! She squirms in humiliation and stands still near the sink. I just lost my appetite. I attempt to wheel myself to my bedroom. She moves closer. “Mal?” – I stop and look at her. – “I’m sorry” – she whimpers twisting and turning her fingers in fear. Sigh! I turn and look at her. She’s a quick crier too. Like Leya. I remember when she just burst into tears because she realised that she was pregnant and that in nine months she would be a mother. I spent some time convincing her that everything would be fine and that I would always be there for her. I deceived her! “It’s okay. I’m sorry too but there’s nothing I can do Annabelle. I can’t give you what you want. There are so many reasons I can’t. Including the fact that I already ruined one woman’s life I can’t ruin yours too. I am poisonous and the only way to be safe is staying away.” – “I’m a big girl Mal. I can take care of myself” – “Then do exactly that; take care of your-self by staying away from me emotionally. All I need is your help to get me off this chair.” – She looks at me and exhales. She walks past me and heads for the key bowl. She grabs one and walks to the door. “I need some air. The driver will be here like you asked to take you to your wife.” – She says and exits. Sigh! *** *** It is fifteen minutes after twelve. Where the hell is that damn driver? It is times like these I miss Zamani. He was always punctual. These men that Jimmy outsourced are very much incompetent. He told me they are the best and so far they are not living up to their set standard. “Where the f* have you been?” – I can feel my face heating up. “I’m sorry sir. I was at the park as you ordered. Miss Annabelle said I should make sure that your wife is there first before I take you.” – He pushes me out to the car. “Is she there?”- I ask feeling suddenly pensive nervous and scared as hell. I am disguised and there’s no way she would recognise me but… F** this wig and moustache are so itchy and uncomfortable. It’s so hot! “Sir she’s with two little girls and a nanny.” – He says as he prepares to drive. He’s not looking at me but the road ahead. His voice suggests fear. “Do I look scary? Is the disguise too much?” – I ask. I don’t want the kids to be afraid. She might also become scared. I mean it’s a different one from the funeral. I didn’t want her to recognise me. But then again the wheelchair might give it away. She might put two and two together and get twenty two. He swallows hard and steals a glance. “Sir can I give my two cents worth of advice?” – He asks. We still parked in front of the forest house. I nod. “Your wife sir miss Leya. I’m not sure whether it was me alone or the other guards saw it but she couldn’t keep her eyes off our direction. My point is sir at the funeral your disguise was plain and simple and now it’s scruffy and unclean but one thing remains constant; the wheelchair. Should it happen that you share a word or two with her she will ask or rather she will use her head and wonder about the wheelchair and two different personalities and identities. My Lord I suggest you maintain the same disguise. At least that way she will not wonder about the reason to change identities.” – I exhale and look out the window. “Very well spoken young man. What’s your name?” – “Uhm… Sabelo sir.” – He stutters. “Thank You Sabelo. Take me back inside. I need your help with something.” – “Yes Sir” – He says eagerly and quickly helps me out. ** Standing well in my case sitting in front of this mirror and all I see is one big disappointment to my children my wife my parents and my people. I do not deserve to be called a man. This is not what a fully grown man with responsibilities does. This is not how I was raised and certainly not what I was taught at initiation school. “Are you ready sir?” – He asks and all I can do is nod. The wig is off along with the moustache. I watch through the mirror as Sabelo slowly and passionately shaves off the little bit of hair I had left along with little beard. I’m gonna be bald in less than a few minutes. “What’s going on? I thought you had left?” – Anna walks in. – “What are you doing?” “Shaving my hair.” – “Why?” – She asks. The look on her face tells me she is not happy one bit. “Because Anna after some good advice and soul searching I decided it would be best if I maintained one disguise until I get out of this wheelchair.” – Sabelo is quiet and just slowly shaving my hair. Making sure I am as bald as a slimy toad. “Mal! This is not a good idea. She will recognise you if you get any closer.” – “Then I will regard it as fate and destiny.” – “Mal please! Don’t do this. This will crush you. After all the work we have done. What if… what if she recognises you then what?” – “Annabelle please let me do this. This is my wife. I owe her this much; to spend some time with her even if she does or does not recognise me.” – “Fine! If this backfires I’ll be here as always.” – She walks out. Sabelo looks at me for a second and quickly looks away again when our eyes meet through the mirror. “I know. Her affection could be dangerous.” – I say. “Should I speak to one of the guys?” – He asks rather nervously. I know what he means. “No. not yet.” – “All done!” – He says as he switches off the machine and I am staring at myself. I am Bald as a slimy toad indeed. He cleans me up. “Please call Anna for me” – He walks out and she comes in a minute later. – “Close the door.” – She does and walks towards me. “Anna I appreciate all you have done for me. I appreciate the confidentiality and the help even though I pay you enormous amounts of money. With that being said you are my employee and I expect you to act in that manner. Do not make me regret trusting you and being friendly the way I am with you. It is not supposed to happen like that but I needed someone I can trust and talk to. Now I understand you gained some feelings you need to keep those in check. I can’t and will not be in any sexual and emotional relationship with you…” – She attempts to speak. – “I’m not done… Anna I am married. I have children; my son is a bit younger than you if not the same age. I love my wife. Yes you are attractive and believe there are a lot of guys out there who would love to get it on with you… but I’m not one of them. I am not old enough to be your father but I am damn well old enough to know that I cannot be in any sexual and emotional relationship with someone your age. I’m done. I hope you understand.” – Her tears are like glitter with the sun coming through the window shining upon her face. “One last thing; No more reading my wife’s diary or keeping tabs on her. You are only my physiotherapist and keeper.” “I understand and I’m sorry Mr Malinga.” – “I’m glad we understand each other. Please tell Sabelo I’m ready to go.” – She nods and rushes out in tears. *** “I spoke to her. I doubt there will be a need for what you suggested.” – We are in the car on route to the park. I hope they are still there. He nods. “Exton sent a text. He said Miss Leya is alone. The nanny and the little ones left.” – “Oh. Okay.” – My hands and knees start to shake and tremble as we approach the park entrance. “Sir are you okay?” – He asks. “No Sabelo I am far from being okay. What if… what if everything goes wrong? What if… fuck I don’t know what if what but I am nervous!! I am scared as hell. It was easy at the funeral but now… it’s just me and her.” – The car comes to a halt. It’s now or never. Whether she recognises me or not I just need to see her at close range; her eyes those lips and those cheeks that rubbed off on Liso. “Help me out Sabelo.” – “Sir are you sure?” – “Yes! Damnit!! Let me see my wife!!” – * Here goes nothing. Breathe Malinga… breathe. Sabelo slowly pushes me towards her. She is sitting on a blankie with her back towards us. She’s watching the ducks that are on the lake. “Faster Sabelo…” – “We are almost there sir…” – Her hair looks beautifully shiny. She’s heavily pregnant. Perhaps the lake and the ducks keep her calm. I hope she likes the flowers I bought. I wanted to buy Orchids but I decided against it. Let me act like I don’t know her at all. “Good afternoon” – I say with my fake tone and accent. She turns and looks at me. She gasps. “OH MY GOD!”

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