Story: The Bet

The Bet

    PART 1

    On the cold Morning of July James and Jack walked along the road taking in the nice view of their big farm house and the environment. Their parents had built a huge farm house in the outskirts of Lusaka in 10 miles area.
    James was the oldest between the two with only a year difference with his brother Jack.

    The two brothers  grew up with  minds of competition, their parents Mr Henry Kangwa and their mother Betty Mwaba Kangwa loved them so much as they could not even have any other kids after Jack. They always spoiled their son's with gifts. However, they had attached conditions to every benefit they gave  to their son's.
    They always told them to work hard in order to earn great things in life.  James and Jack however took it as a competition, they would always compete to be the first in everything. do better than the other and be on top.

    As time went by, their parents noticed how the two sons could even bet on almost everything,  soccer matches, playing in door games, games at school, having high grades, even to the extent of betting girls.One of them would have a girl and the other would bet to win her over instead and the one who wins would end up with the girl.
    This went on until they grew up, completed secondary school and now they had just completed their University studies and James was working as an accountant at Bank of Zambia. Jack on the other hand was into business and had partnered with his friend and opened a company. His father had given them both their share of inheritance when they completed their studies.
    Jack invested all his share in the business while James built himself a mansion and posh vehicle.
    They had both grown to be responsible men and had achieved quite good things at the ages of 30 and 29 respectively. Their father,A retired engineer and mother a former branch manager for Barclays bank had built themselves a huge farm house and had great yards of land where they were doing some cattle raring , poultry, piggery, they had goats as well as cultivating potatoes. They were of course doing great and their farming was improving every day.
    They hired workers to look after their animals and birds including two veterinary doctors a male, Victor Bwalya they commonly called Dr Bwalya and a lady Lucy Moonga. Though she prefered her name Lucy to her surname,  all the workers except the kangwa's refered  to her as Dr Lucy.

    "Wow look at these animals" exclaimed James.. "they look so healthy these guys are doing a good Job here"  the last time we came, the cattle was not this large in number" he added..
    "Yeah you are right Jammy"answered Jack rubbing his hand on one of the bulls near the fence as they stood outside  the wire fence surrounding the herd of cattle..
    "We where here 3 years ago and for sure this farm has grown. I didn't know the idea of this farm will turn out well brother. we always argued that dad and mom would invest in something else rather than this farm.."
    "I know man, but to say the truth am very much impressed" James responded..   " dad told me last night when we arrived that they have hired two veterinary doctors who are now taking care of the animals and birds here, they have greatly improved this farm"

    "Let's go down to the piggery" Jack called out as he walked down the small path. The piggerry was ahead of them about 500 meters from the cattle.
    They walked there their gam  boots hitting the ground as they moved. It was always necessary to wear gam  boots when taking a tour around the farm.

    Lucy had just finished giving the pigs the morning vaccines  for that day. she stood up and started packing the items back in the small case she had carried.
    Grancing on the far  end of the piggery, she saw the two sons of Mr Kangwa the owner of the farm . She knew the couple had sons but from the time she started working at the farm she had never seen them. she had guesed from the similarity the brother's had with Mr Kangwa.
      All she heard were stories of how the boys were succseful and some other workers told stories of how the two were outgoing but jovial and nice to the workers.
    Lucy watched the two as they peeped through the piggerry. she finished packing her things and lifted the case heading back to her small office. She was the senior vet Doctor as she was hired first 3 years back.  Though most of the times Victor acted more like the boss especially in the presence of the workers.

    "Good morning", Lucy greeted the  brothers who had stopped watching the pigs and headed in  Lucy's direction.
    "Good morning lady,"  James answered extending his hands to shake her hands.
    "Oh sorry, " Lucy smiled,  lifting her hands to show she still wore some gloves. "am covered" she added.
    "Oh yeah.." James smiled at her, "on duty, I get it" he answered taking back his hand.
    "Am James and this is my brother Jack, we are just taking a walk to see the animals."

    "Hi!" Jack greeted her as Lucy turned to look at him. He was not as loud as James, he looked more reserved  but his smile was welcoming.

    "I have heard about you,  you are welcome!" She said stepping away from the path like giving way for them to pass.
    James cut her, "in fact mom just told us they hired vet doctors am guesing  you are one of them, i mean,  from the outfit " he added looking up and down Lucy's white coat.
    "Well, sorry I forgot to introduce myself,  am Lucy,  the senior Veterinarian."
    " Lucy!"  James repeated her name, " Wow I didnt  know females also have a passion for animals."
    Lucy chuckled. " yeah you have no idea how much I love them", she told him.
    "Mind showing us around?"  Asked James.
    "would love to hear about the animals and not just watch them.."
    "Sorry guys but I have to check on some bulls that side,  one of them had issues with his stomac. but,  I promise to help you when am done."
    "Well please go ahead " James said with a rather disapointed voice.  He was one kind of a man who loved attention and for him he would never take no for an answer. Infact, he thought his charms where great no woman ever turned him down.

    "Mm.... the guy has just been turned down."  Jack mocked when Lucy was gone. "Wow that's a first.. " he giggled teasingly.
    "What the hell!"  James frowned, " she just turned me down, dammit! I hate that from a woman. I mean come on man, she could have chosen to show us around and not a damn animal"  he spat acting furious.
    "Come on, Jammy  let that poor girl be, shes not like those toys you flirt with. I mean just look at her" he said watching the direction Lucy  was walking in. "she's beautiful and principled. I think I like her"  he added patting the brother's shoulder.
    "Mmmmmh well look at you,  you just preached I leave her alone and here you are praising her. she s no saint man, she's just like all the girls we have seen and been with before. come on let's go " James scolded as they walked on to the other side of the road.

    Lucy had finished checking on the sick bull  and she sat down in the office. Recording the things she observed on the animals that day. she went on making a budget of the required things for the next month and by the time she was Done, it was launch time.
    Her home was near the entrance to the Ranch about a mile away from the main house. The Ranch had  houses for the workers, but her's was bigger. it was well plastered and painted and all tiled  inside with a self contained bedroom and another  spare bedroom,  a sitting room, kitchen, another bathroom and toilet along the passage near the other bedroom and a wide varanda outside.
    She had the yard planted with green grass and flowers giving the outside a neat look. she sighed as she opened her small gate leading to the front door.
     In the right was Victors house. Victor was married with two daughters . His first born of about 3 and another one of about 9 Months old. when ever she was lonely she would call the little girl and played with her.

    A lonely  life really got to her sometimes. she stayed alone most of the times as her young brother was studying in the university. He usually came to visit her on vacations but still not for more than a week. According to him, life on the farm  was boring and he would rather stay at their uncles place in Lusaka.

     Lucy's parents died years ago when she was still doing her final secondary grade. luck for them their parents left some savings for their school and so it helped see her and her brother through school. Their uncle was working as head teacher for some school in Lusaka and he supported them by helping to provide shelter.
    After Lucy completed her course from the university of Zambia. she took up the Job at the Kangwa Ranch as a veterinarian and that's when she moved to her new home.
    She was not so outgoing and she loved the ranch the moment she set her eyes on it. she was happy the Kangwas loved her work and the animals where doing great under her care..

    Leaving her boots outside she walked to the kitchen and grabbed a glass of water. she wasn't in the mood to cook so she just warmed  the left overs from the previous night and sat on the couch to eat.
    She looked at her watch, she had 1 hour  and some 15 minutes before launch time was over.
    Switching on the radio, she played Ephraim's collection. The song "Jericho" was playing and  she closed her eyes to take a nap,  humming to the song.
    Her mind wild and she recalled the moment with mr Kangwa's sons. They were both handsome but she figured they were some what different, she couldn't tell who was the oldest. They looked almost the same age and height.
    James was a bit darker than Jack and was the talkative one. she smiled slightly her eyes still closed when she remembered how their mother described her sons.
    "They are handsome my dear just like their father, only that they are different.. James is the lighter of heavy moments and Jack the calm one who would make you feel good about yourself. He always sees something good in people" she added with a smile.
    "Wow am sure you are a proud mother"  Lucy had told her, " from your description they are great kids."

    Lucy sighed,  brushing off the thoughts of the two brothers and let sleep take her over. she needed to rest before the afternoon session begun.

    PART 2

    "Doc! Good afternoon,"  Jack called Lucy from her back as she took her afternoon on the Ranch. she prefered calling it so cause the farm had more of cattle than any other animals, they had about 3000 heads and counting of cattle.
    "Hey  there!.. Jack Right?" she asked, turning to face his direction.
    "Yeah it is" he smiled standing besides her.
    "Sorry you two are like twins I had to try guess who you are" Lucy giggled.
    "You are not the only one who finds us a challange", answered Jack .
    "So what's going on?" He asked, indicating for Lucy to walk ahead as he stepped forward.
    They walked together  towards Lucy's office.

    "So tell me about this farm?" Jack started.
    "Well, depends on what you want to know", smiled Lucy raising her hand, " this farm has it all.. I would say.  The best breeds of animals, good soil for growing hay and the place is large enough for every animal here. "
    "Okey I see", exclaimed Jack . "you know when mom and dad talked about starting this farm I didn't see it working. Am really happy it has turned out so well. "
    "Yeah sure it has and am glad am part of this" Lucy responded.  "so what do you do yourself?" She asked him.
    He sighed and smiled  "well, unlike my brother I decided to open my own company, am a business man.. "
    "Oh great,  so you are the entrepreneur uh?  I just heard one of the Kangwa brothers is a business man now I know which one"  she chuckled.
    "Mmmmh it seems people here really talk about us." he scoffed.
    "Yeah,  what can you expect? I mean this place is a community and people will always seek for things to talk about."  she let a laugh as she opened the office door.
    "Are you coming in?" she looked him.
    "Well, I don't want to disturb you, but if you are free I can chat with you a bit longer"  he smiled.
    "I can use a break." she smiled back inviting him in.
    They  chatted for some time. Lucy could not believe that Jack was actually good at chatting. Though she led most of the talk, he spoke up and said some things even to the extent of making her laugh.  she had initially thought he was so quite.
    "I have to go now." Jack sighed... "mom is preparing some welcome party. I hope you will be coming"  he told her standing up.
    "Yeah sure,  she invited me earlier. I will definately not miss it" she smiled watching him.
    "Good, see you then" he shrugged before leaving.

    Later that afternoon Mrs kangwa and the house workers were busy preparing the meals for the party.
    "Make sure the table is nicely set." she ordered as she did her final touches on the cake. She loved her sons and was so excited they had decided to visit them after some years. Even if they had been to their home visiting, she still wanted them back at the Ranch.
    "Hey mom! " James called out from the door. "still busy? " He asked smiling at his mother.
    "Hey Jammy!  yeah,  just summarising " she responded wiping the small cream from the side of the tray.
    "Where is your brother?"  She asked him.
    "Mmmmm mama, Come on, we are no longer kids that I should watch over my brother everytime. I don't know why you still think Jack  is to be looked after like a child. I will remind you that he's  a fully grown man now."

    She laughed, " well I can't help it my dear, you are still babies to me and i will always look out for both of you." she talked whilst opening the fridge putting the now finished cake inside.
    "so tell me about that your girfriend, have you guys decided to settle down now? "

    "Mom! " Screamed James, "come on, I can't be discussing such things with you. Please drop it already I know where this is heading to"

    "Yeah sure Jammy, you are the oldest and...."

    "Yea yea I know mama." he cut her   "you are the oldest, lead by example for your brother, settle down.. " he mimicked her.
    " I know that talk mama and i still give you the same answer.  I will settle down when I find the right person."
    "Oh Jammy you are so stubborn" his mother sighed holding her waist as she stood next to the stove.
    "you are now 30 my son. You have a good job, a house and a car, what else would you want for you to find that woman settle down and have kids?"  she complained.
    "am not growing any younger sonny. I need to see my grand children from both you and your brother."
    "Mama where is dad?" He asked avoiding the topic.
    "he's in the back preparing the braii  stand. Don't tell me you want to walk away again."  she frowned as he left the kitchen.
    "Jammy come here!"  She shouted as he raised his hands heading out.
    "See you later mama and i love you too !" he shouted back walking to the back yard.

    Mr Kangwa and Jack were making a fire on the braii stand when James stormed out.
    "Hey Jammy! What's up? " His father called out.
    "Hey dad, just came from having our usual talk about  marriage with mama. I don't know why you guys insist I marry. Am just 30 for crying out loud.  Plus why won't you trouble Jack with the same issue huh"  He complained standing aside as the smoke from the stand rised.

    "Hey, come on bro don't push me in your things" Responded Jack.
    "Yea... because you my dear is the oldest and your brother will have to follow in your foot steps," Mr Kangwa answered.
    "No, not you too dad." Winced James.
    "I won't discuss this with you guys also.. "

    His father reaised his hands in surrender, "well sonny, I won't say another word. But you two should consider what we are telling you"  he  added taking the cooler box filled with spiced beef and chickens for braii.
    Jack  laughed and patted the brother on the shoulder."  Cool down brother.. am sure God will answer your prayers and send you a wife  soon.." he teased.
    "Jezzi! Not you this time"  James pushed his brother.  "Go marry first or what? you don't have a house yet? What's your excuse man.?"

    They all laughed, " you won't find a strategy to push me out of your house big brother" cried Jack, "after all i cook better meals for you" he  added with a chuckle.
    "Yeah sure, instead of buying your own you insist on staying with me. You are such a baby." James said shaking his head as he placed the pieces of the braiI on the stand.

    "Am not a baby, Jammy and i can prove it to you"  Jack  snapped.
    "How? " Asked James challengingly.
    "Mmmmmh let's see, am sure by the end of the day I will think of something to challenge you with" he added.
    "I can't wait brother, bring it on.."
    "Hey enough of your games you two, get to it and braii that" Mr Kangwa shouted at his son's.
    "Yes father !" they answered in unison moving closer to the braii stand.

    Mr Kangwa sat on his chair and watched his sons. He was proud they both turned out well. He loved that after all his efforts to give them a better life. he's labour was not in vain. He even wished God had given him more children.
    " It's not my own to question God " he thought  to himself, "what I have is enough and these two here make me so proud" he smiled to himself.
    He looked at them chat and laugh and wished deep inside him that nothing should have to bring the two apart. He knew they loved each other and that all their lives they had been close. They were best friends and that made him happy.

    PART 3

    Lucy looked outside from her window as the vehicles drove in, "some visitors" she thought to her self.
    She had just finished dressing up  wearing a sleevless black casual dress and some brown short  boots  matching with a brown coat she had on top.
    She looked at the mirrow  for the last time and liked her simple dress code. looking at the phone,  it was passed 18 hours.
    "The party is obviously starting any minute"  she thought, grabbing her phone after applying a bit of make up.
    She walked outside and saw little Mapalo playing in the corridor from Victor's place.She stood by the flowers demacating their yards.
    "Hey little one! " She called her.
    "Hi aunty! " Mapalo answered leaving her bicycle behind and running towards Lucy.
    "Aunty, Dad told me you are going for a party. can I go with you please,"  she begged making a face, "dad said I can't go, but I also want to be there"
    "Oh my sweet girl.. dad is right, this party is not for kids and I can bet it's boring, imagine no jumping castle and no ballons"  she smiled at her. Trying to comfort her.
    The girl frowned. "it's not fair" she cried.
    "Don't worry my sweet one. I promise to take you to the jumping castle this weekend okey?"

    "Really ?"  the girl jumped, excited.
    "Yeah really"  Lucy smiled.
    "Okay, then " Mapalo sniffed walking back to her biycle.
    "Call your father and mother  tell them we have to go now will you?" She asked walking towards the exit.
    "Am coming! " Victor responded from inside.
    "we are almost done. just that you women  are something else when it comes to getting yourselves ready:"  he added.
    A few minutes later Cheelo, victor's wife and her husband walked out dressed formally .
    "You guys look great " Lucy shouted at them as the matched  out of their yard.
     "Not sure am dressed appropriately" she winced.
    "You are okey, it's not like we are going for an official thing"  Cheelo told her.

    They walked together towards the main house.
    "So tell me my sister," Cheelo started
    "what do you think about those two hot brothers?"
    "What!" , Lucy screamed "come on, they just came in and it's not like am  looking for anyone at the moment."
    "Mmmm. My sister you are single so are they, don't tell me none of them has noticed you with your beauty huh"
    "My wife talks too much," Victor bugged in.
     "leave Lucy alone will you, don't be a match maker it doesn't suit you"  he added and they started laughing out.
    "Oh no my sister, don't listen to him, single people are supposed to eye each other it's allowed unlike marriage people who have no shame fighting  for girls." Cheelo giggled 
    "Take the opportunity and settle down already, you have been alone for a while now"  she added holding Lucy by the shoulders.

    Lucy sighed,  "my sister the thing is am not even sure am ready to start a relationship. besides how do we know maybe they are engaged or  committed to other women."  she shrugged slightly.
    Lucy had been in a relationship with a guy for over 3 years but he disapointed her over 2 years back, when he impregnated a girl and his parents insisted he married  her.
    she was heart broken for some time. it was one of the reasons she had decided to move to the farm leaving the other offer she had from Zambeef.
    She wanted to have some time away from Lusaka to avoid meeting with her ex. over the years,  she had felt better about the break up. she however, had not dated anyone since then. A certain guy from her class at campus was after her but her heart was not for him.

    "Anyway", sighed Cheelo." It's just the beginning. Am sure we will see a great story unfolding here. I can't wait to see you happy my sister " she smiled as they approached the fence to the main house.
    "Look there!  " Victor cut in... "you are not the only one in casual after all,"  he said pointing at James and Jack standing and talking. They were both dressed in  casual, James clad in a dark blue jeans and a light blue long sleeved shirt which he left loose on top of the trousers. Jack wore black pants with a cream white V necked tshirt some black sneakers on his feet. some other visitors too were dressed casually.

    "Mmmmh lucky me"  she smiled as they pushed the small gate to enter inside.
    "Just look at how they are eyeing you my dear"  Cheelo pointed out, "they are checking you out.."
    "Stop it already Cheelo and let me greet  the Kangwa's"  Lucy told her, she went over and greeted them and walked back finding some seats near the wall and sat down.
    Cheelo looked at her husband's direction," look at that husband of mine smilling like an idiot at those two girls. let me go there and show him who is in charge"  she said standing up and heading to the direction where her husband stood chatting and smilling at the girls.
    Lucy shook her head " unbelievable"  she thought  to herself. She liked Cheelo who always refered to her as a sister since they both were Tonga by tribe. she knew however, that Cheelo was a heated up person who wanted to control her wild husband almost all the time especially when she saw a challange.

    James and Jack stood near the big tree and watched as people walked in.
    "Look  bro, there comes the veterinarian" cried out James. "she's gorgeous man.. damn, I could not see that shape in her coat. wow! I didn't know there was more to her"  he added rubbing his forehead.
    "Stop that nonsense man that girl is too decent for you to play  around with.."  snapped Jack .

    "Oh yeah!,  I know let's play our  game kid brother. we are here for a week let's see who gets to win her over" he smiled looking at her direction.
    "What? Oh no, not that Jammy, come on. we are no longer in high school and we can't hurt her like that,  no way, forget it am not Betting for her man."
    "Mmmm never seen Jack backing out of a bet, come on little brother " James smiled widely his hands in the pocket "don't tell me you are that finished, you are afraid I will win uh?  Besides, you owe me a challenge remember?
    Come on don't be a coward Jack"  he whispered.
    Jack looked at Lucy and back at His brother.  He hated the idea but he knew better that refusing a challange.  James would not let it pass..
    "Okay am in " he frowned, " but nothing to hurt her man, no hearts involved, don't make her preganant or something worse"  he added pointing at James.
    James lifted his hands. "whatever! let the game begin already " he said excited walking away from  his brother to the direction Lucy was.

    " Hey Doc!" he called her out walking closer .
    "Hey! "Lucy responded with a smile.. "welcome again"  she told him standing  up.
    "Thank you, you look great this evening"  James complemented looking up and down Lucy's body.
    "Thanx and you look great too" she smiled.
    "and your brother?" She asked looking behind James.
    "oh he was around maybe he's greeting some people " he answered pulling a chair and sitting next to her..
    They were talking when Jack came by.
    " Hey Lucy!  mind I steal you for a moment? The music is nice and we have to utilise it"  he smiled handing her his hand asking her for a dance.
    "Of course" Lucy smiled taking his hand.
    "excuse me James ."she told James as she stood.
    Jack  pulled her up and as they walked to the dance centre where people were dancing. he looked back over his shoulders and winked at his brother who gave him a stern look.

    Jack and Lucy danced together and Jack asked her some questions about her family.
    "I would love to hear more about you" he smiled at her..
    "Well am the first born in a family of two.. my brother is studying Law at campus. my parents died 9 years ago and we lived with My uncle dads younger brother in Lusaka "she explained as they danced .
    "Oh am sorry for your loss" he sighed.
    "Yeah,  it's okey"  she responded.
    "  I miss them sometimes but it gets better by the day"  she smiled..
    "I can't say I understand you but I can relate" Jack  smiled.  He looked in front of him and saw his brother dancing with one of the girls and he couldn't help smile. he knew it pained James that he was the one who took the first step to be close to Lucy.
    Mr Kangwa called everyone to order and announced the return of his son's and congratulated them on their successs.
    "Am proud of you guys!" he shouted raising a glass of wine to them.
    He told everyone to sit down as they would watch a video of the two growing up. "I want to remind my two sons of how far they have come and tell them am a proud dad of everything they have become now" he added as people clapped taking their seats.
    They projected a video of the boys from the time they were still days old, the time they took their first steps, started school and all the way till high school  graduation and their University graduation cremonies.
    Everyone was smilling at the brothers as they challenged each other all way through and how close they were. it was hard to tell them apart especially when they were babies.

    "The most handsome one is me"   whispered in Lucy' s ears as she sat watching.
    Lucy laughed.. "mmmm if  you say so"  she chuckled "otherwise you two look the same to me " she told him.
    Jack had gone to the other side talking with another guy.
    "So when am I getting to see your house?" Asked James with flirty eyes.
    "What for? " Lucy smiled.
    "I can't just wait to see where a precious gem like you spend  her nights and mornings" he smiled holding her hand.
    "Well anytime  soon"  she asnwered looking at his hand on hers. He was so good looking and Lucy couldn't help admire his charms. he talked and joked around her for most of that evening until Lucy decided to leave..
     she had greeted the owners of the farm and chatted with a few people she was introduced to after the food was served.
    "This is our good Doctor"  Mr Kangwa had introduced her to his friends.  Lucy felt relaxed and now decided to leave.

    Walking back with Cheelo, she smiled at the thought of James and Jack.." those two acted  strange" she told Cheelo.
    " it's like they were both fighting to be close to me " she laughed.
    "Oh see.. I told you," Cheelo stopped to look at her. "so tell me, which one do you like? "
    "Oh please Cheelo,  I just met them I can't be as crazy as liking any of them. They are both okay and that's all,  there is nothing between  me and any of them."
    "Mmmmh soon enough this story will change" smiled Cheelo walking on, "I knew it!"  she shouted..
    "Oh you are silly"  Lucy shrugged smilling.." let's go I need to rest aleady"  she giggled as they approached their homes..

    After saying their good night, Cheelo walked to her house alone. her husband had remained behind drinking..
    Lucy walked to her house and prepared to sleep. she lay back and recalled  the activities of the day and read her bible  before praying and later on she turned off the lights to sleep..

    "Well I gues it was a good start Little brother," laughed James as he sat opposit Jack  who was browsing through some files on the laptop.
    "Hmmm I know you are excited," Jack answered his eyes still set on the screen."  I don't think this is a good idea though."

    "Well too bad for you Man. No backing out the game is on and the winner will get 20 %of the earnings for next month. " James told his brother standing up and finishing the wine in the wine glass in his hands.
    Jack shook his head as he watched his brother walk away. He looked at the photoes of Lucy on her facebook page. He had logged in his Facebook and searched for her. he smiled at her photos in campus  and also at the farm were she was with some animals.
    Her smile made him admire her, he didn't like the idea that he was actually starting to like her more than he wished he would..
    He posted a few photoes from the party and closed his laptop before heading to his room.
    Passing by his brother's room, he heard some noise and he pushed the door open  just to find him making out with a strange girl from the party.  he shook his head and closed back the door..
    He knew his brother was a lady man, he had always thought he over did it taking advantage of the Innocent women who fall for his charms..
    "I have to win this game "he thought to himself, " otherwise if  James does it he will end up breaking Lucy's  heart ......"
    Sighing he removed his jeans and t-shirts and threw  himself on  his bed. it was a great second day at the farm and everything was great so far..

    " I loved your moves baby girl James," sighed after doing his thing with a girl he met just a few hours ago outside. she told him she was a daughter to one of his father's  friends.
    "Well you are the real deal handsome, " Charity smiled at him.  Running her hands on his chest.
    "Am sorry babes but you have to go now. I can't have people discovering us" , he said grabbing some clothes and throwing  them at her.
    Charity complained, but had no option.. she walked out and drove  her small car out to the gate.  She smiled however, "I got the hot guy"  she called her friend "I told you I will have one of the brothers girlfriend !" she shouted on her phone as she drove.
    Her aim of coming was to win over any of the Kangwa brothers. she was glad James called her for a dance and she ended up in his bed.
    "I got him..." she smiled to herself after hanging up the call with her friend. she planned on being a regular visitor till she acomplished her mission..
    Unknown to her,  James was already done with her. he got what  he wanted from  the girl who kept on  flirting with him and his brother.  She had a great figure and a perfect skin but he never got to see her beyond  her external beauty. To him she was just one of those girls he slept with and damped without hesitation.
    He imagined the day he would get to taste Lucy. The thought excited him as he took a shower. she was nice and seemed decent but that wasn't the issue,  his own was just to win the bet and lay her first before his kid brother would.
    He wondered why Jack was so hesitant to take the bet. it wouldn't have been interesting without any challange he thought to himself.
    "Am coming for you cute girl"  he thought to himself letting the warm water run over his body, "I am the man," he smiled.

    PART 4


    "Good morning dear"  Mr Kangwa greeted his wife the morning after the party. They had slept deeply afterwards being strained by the activities that took place the previous night.
    "Morning,  how is the father to our my children this morning?", his wife answered waking up.
    "Well, am happy and blessed" he smiled, holding his wife's hands.
    "I have lived to see this day when God has seen us through a lot of things and blessed us to the extent we are at now my wife. our children have turned out to be successful in their education and they are good to each other. I love seeing them still embracing each other like the time they were kids" he explained removing the beddings  and stepping out of bed.
    Mr Kangwa was Now 58 years old but a good life made him look younger than his age. his wife who was 56 and had got an early retirement also didn't match her actual age.
    The two had been through some down times in their lives. They started off without anything. Mr Kangwa had lost his parents at tender age of 10 and was raised under harsh circumstances by his grand mother. he was later forced to live on the streets when his grand mother died 4 years after his parents.
    In the streets,  he was lucky an organisation looking after street kids picked him and since he was a brilliant child, he was taken back to school. He completed his secondary school with a clear 6 points and the university gave him a 100% bursary to study engineering.
    He met his wife when she was working in a stationary shop at campus. she too had lost her father and could not go further in her education because her mother was not working and life was hard for them. she lived in kalingalinga in a two roomed house with her 3 siblings.
    The two fall in love from there and Mr Kangwa kept his promise to marry her when he completed his course. He was lucky being  offered a job in the mine as an engneer and he took his wife to train as an accountant.
    Over the years they worked hard to raise their two boys well and invested in physical Assets. They both decided to sell out everything and added up their retirement benefits to start their farm.  Even when their son's seemed reluctant to accept their parent's decision, it turned out well.
    They had decided to empower their children by giving them a share of their inherritance for them to begin their lives.

    "Well my dear, you ought to be happy for  sure and thank God for seeing us this far." Mrs Kangwa responded.
    " I pray always for our son's to find good women and live happy. I sometimes worry when they seem not to pay attention to our plea for them to settle down" she complained.

    "not to worry my dear.. they will settle down. we just have to be patient with them" said Mr Kangwa
    They finished taking their morning bath and went to the dinning table where breakfast was being served.
    Jack was already seated by the time his mother and  father walked in.
    "Good morning guys?" He greeted, standing to hug his mother.
    "Morning sonny, where's your brother? " Mrs Kangwa responded hugging him back.
    "Mmmmm I have not seen him yet mama, he probably over slept " Jack added going to hug his father.
    "As always", Mr Kangwa sighed.. "James has always been the last one to wake up in this house. I wonder if he's not always late for work. " he laughed as he pulled a chair to sit on.
    "Mmmmmh thank me dad, I always wake him up in the morning the more reason I still stay at his house. Imagine what he could have done without me"  he  shrugged teasingly.
    "Don't over praise yourself little brother, or I will send you to the streets"  James answered from behind.
    He was still in his pyjamas, an indication he had not taken his bath yet.
    They all laughed as he quickly kissed  his parents and patted his brother on the back before heading to his seat.
    "Mum and dad, this your baby is trouble he's always complaining about how I wake up late,I don't cook blabla.. please tell him to get his house already. it's not like he can't"  James shouted,  taking a bite from his sandwich.
    Jack sat across his brother and their parents where on the opposite sides of the table as they ate.
    "So, you guys are here for the whole week right?" Asked Mr  Kangwa.
    "Yes dad.. I got a leave for a month from work" answered James.. "I however can't be here for the whole  month you know that right?" he asked with a grinn, " I have to do some other staff in Lusaka.."
    "I see", his mother answered, " it's good you decided to come over boys, it's good to have you both here. so what about you Mr  Entrepreneur? How long are you off your business?"  She asked Jack  who was busy eating and looking at his laptop.
    "Hey! Am talking to you Jack can you please close that laptop and finish eating first."  she scolded  him when he didn't respond.

    "Oh sorry mother, just that a client sent me some mail I had to check it out. mum what was It you asked?" ,he responded chewing his food.

    "I was asking how long you are here" she asked with a sigh.
    "I have some days off mama, will  see how much work I can do from here. you know sometimes I don't really  need to be at the office. I can also work from here. I was just thinking of staying here for a while if  you guys don't mind, "  he explained.
    "It's our  pleasure to have you here sonny. stay as long as you want this house is too big for your mother and I " his father smiled.

    "What? Since when did you decide to stay that long kiddo? " Asked the puzzled James shaking his head.
    He and Jack had agreed to stay for a week and he knew the change of mind had something to do with Lucy.
    "Well, well. I know"  he laughed.. "I know," he paused nodding his head knowingly.
    "Mmmmmh know what Jammy?, come on. I love it here man, and I want to stay longer whats wrong with that?" Jack shrugged.

    "Yea! I see you"  James giggled pointing with two fingers at Jack.
    " I know the drill kiddo, but I can assure you I don't need a week to beat you to the game. watch me "  he grinned proudly.
    "Oh you are so unbelievable Jammy, it's not that. it's just that I feel relaxed here and besides I don't work for anyone like you. so I can work as I well please" Jack boasted.

    "Okay, enough of the arguments guys.  so who is going with me to check on the potatoes?"  Mr Kangwa asked standing up.
    "I will pass dad, "responded Jack.
    " I have to respond to some emails before I can leave this house."
    "Let's go dad!"  shouted James pushing back his chair. "am the one on real holiday and I need to explore this place some more  plus I have some early bird to catch " he added with a wink at his brother.

    Jack smiled at him, shaking his head, he went back to his laptop as the maids removed the plates from the table.
    He went to sit in the garden facing the direction of the main gate against the sun the laptop placed on his laps. 
    After finishing everything he was working  on, he opened Lucy's Facebook page again and watched her photos. He clicked on send friend request and closed the laptop. Making a few calls to the clients and office,  Jack decided to go and see Lucy at her office.

    James helped his father with the inspection at the pototoe fields as they dung up the potatoes throwing in the truck.
    "So how many pouches do you harvest in a season? " He asked his father.
    "Well if the yield is good we usually get about 2000 and in the bad ones we can do between 1000 and 1500.  The thing is am not so much into expanding this potato thing. I think we are doing well with the animals " he explained as they walked past the workers in the field.
    "Okay, am proud of you dad," he told his father. "you and mom have really set good examples for us.  if we stray from your ways its not your fault. We will havr no excuses whatsoever. You guys are the best parents ever"  James looked at his father with a smile.
    "Am glad to hear that Jammy.. am so glad" smiled Mr Kangwa.
    "Hey dad, let me leave you here. I check on someone" ,James said walking away.
    "See you later.. "
    " see you sonny" Mr Kangwa responded heading towards the truck being loaded with potatoes.

    Lucy was just done checking on the sick animal and walked to her office .
    "hey there! " She called out to Victor who was already seated in the office.
    "Morning boss " he teased as he always did.
    "you still around i thought you had left for town to buy the vaccines and some medicines" he asked her.
    "Um am leaving soon. I was checking on our patient " she answered putting some cash in the hand bag and a list of the things she was to buy. 
    "make sure you give the animals their afternoon vaccine today and inspect the feeding. remember last time the workers didnt  give the right quantities of feed." She instructed Victor who kept nodding his head in agreement.
    "I will , don't worry." Victor responded.
    "Just do me a favour if you can,  get me a pack of diapers for the baby and custard. my wife changed her mind she was supposed to go to town too."
    "No problem dear, " she sighed bending to change from the gamboots to some pamps .
    "I have to get my own grocery too so I can easily pick up your things.."
    "Thanks, am going out to the goats and carry out those tests. we need to deliver some for sale tommorow." Victor talked whilst moving towards the door. 
    "Mmmmh okey."  Lucy answered hanging the coat on the wall.
    She closed her computer and checked her face on a small pocket mirrow.
    "Good morning Doc" , she heard someone call from the door.
    "James! " She responded.." I didn't hear you coming, good morning to you, she answered.
    He stepped inside.
    "Going somewhere?" He pointed at the hand bag she was holding in her hands.
    "Yes actually,  I have to go and buy some things for the animals and feed for the chickens."
    "I see", James answered.. "you are driving?"

    "No.. but the driver is ready outside we are using a canter, she told him..
    "Am bored here"  he smiled..
    " can I go with you?"

    "Really? "She asked her face wrinkled on the forehead.
    "Yeah sure dear, I need to get out of here for a bit" he smiled.
    "Well then, sir, let's move now. " she chuckled stepping away from the table.
    "Are we both fitting in the canter? We can use my car and then the canter driver can follow us" he suggested.
    "Um am... I don't know if that's a good idea." stammered Lucy.
    "Come on girl, it's no big deal.  we can't travel all the way squeezed in that vehicle. let's use my car and the driver will tag along. come on," he insisted.
    "Oh, okey, if you insist" Lucy sighed." but I have to pass through some some grocery shops and do my personal shopping too."
    "Yeah no problem,  count me in, James" smiled heading out.
    "Wait up here let me get the car from the garrage ," he told her.
    "Okey, sure am here"  she nodded ...
    "Ba driver, I think you can go right ahead. Mr Kangwa's son wants to come with us. We will be right behind you." Lucy informed the driver 
    "It's alright"  Ngulube, answered. He was the driver for the farm and a well mannered man. He was single and from the first time he saw Lucy he admired her. but since she was on a higher level than him. he never bothered to tell her.  however had befriended her and always liked the trips to the city as he got a chance to talk to her and be close to her..
    He felt disapointed that she wasn't going to drive with him that day. He had hoped to have a moment with her.
    Lucy waved  at Ngulube as he drove past her. "see you " she smiled at him.
    "Yeah sure, " he answered hooting at her.

    She waited for James to come by and as she stood looking at her phone screen , she heard someone walk to her. Raising her head to see who was coming, she saw Jack.. 

    "Good morning,"  she greeted him.
    "Morning Lucy, how is your morning " he walked to her his face dressed in a wide smile.
    "Am good." she answered him.
    "I see you Are going somewhere. where to?" He asked.
    "Yes, am going to buy supplys for the Ranch" she nodded.
    "your brother just offered   to escort me, so the driver left with the canter we will meet up in town."
    "Mmmmh my brother uh?" Responded Jack a tone of disappointment in his voice.
    "Yeah James?"  She laughed rolling her eyes at him.
    "Yeah I know my brother "  he  too let a laugh.

    James drove by as they talked
    " hey  brother, am sure Lucy has told you am  driving her to town" . he said from the window of his X5 car.
    "We have to leave now and keep up with the driver Doc, " he added opening the door for Lucy .
    "See you Jack," she told him walking to the door.
    Jack smiled at her " yeah take care and Jammy drive decently !" he shouted at his brother.
    "remember you are driving a lady."
    "Well, not to worry man. it's  my thing to get  gentle with women" he smiled winking at his brother.
    Jack shook his heard,  he was lossing it.  he couldn't help feeling jealousy of his brother. he liked Lucy so much that the past days he had been thinking of her. but he wouldn't tell his brother that. He was the one that suggested no involving hearts in the bet  .
    But how could he fight what he was feeling?,  for him it was more than a game. He actually wished he had not accepted the bet, but instead for him to know Lucy more.
    He sighed, sitting down by her office corridor watching the goats being led for grazing  at some distance.
    Jack was quite  different from James, he too had some relationships, but he always treated women better than his brother. Jack would not take advantage of a woman's feelings for example, but unfortunately for him, so far all he had  managed to get from the women he dated before are those who were after his money.
    On  the other hand, James was the lucky one when  it came to women. he always  got good ones who fall for him genuinely but unfortunately, he never took any of them seriously.
    He wished things wouldnt turn out bad for both of them.He and his brother had a great relationship. he was staying with James not because he couldn't buy  his own house but the fact that he loved his brother and wanted to be close to him made him stay with him at his house.
    Jack was glad his business was doing well and his project in South Africa was coming up well.
    He was specialised in vehicle assembling, buying car parts from abroad and assembling the vehicles, so far his partnership with a white man his friend he met when he had gone to the UK some few years back turned out well as Hilary was well connected and knew some people who helped them start up.
    His company was one of the few car  assembling companies in the country and was doing quite well.
    Unlike James, Jack didn't expose it so much to people that he had it all, he drove a normal Benz instead of a big car.
    Inside him he liked being simple and decent. His mother always told him that he was like his father. He wasn't the show off type.
    "Your brother on the other hand," she smiled, "is wild, he's like me, wanting to explore and be exposed. "
    Jack had smiled.." no mama you aren't like that. I have known you to be humble and not as wild as Jammy" he told her..
    "Well my dear, I have grown and besides your father helped me stay calm and tone  down. otherwise I wanted to go places, have all the funny. but when the two of you were born we settled down and deicated our lives to raising  you. That's why you never got to see my wildness " she laughed..
    Jack smiled at the thought,
     "My brother is not a bad person, he's got a great heart though he wants so much to be free and that was in his nature". he thought.

    Walking back to the house Jack changed his mind and decided to go and watch the goats grazing in the far end of the farm. Taking a bottle of water and his laptop. He went and sat on a small hill working on some projects online.

    PART 5

    "So how long are you guys visiting at the farm?" Lucy asked James as they moved.

    "I  thought of staying here for a week but since you are here I could spend some more time. how about that? " He smiled at her, his flirty eyes on her.
    "I don't think it's me you ought to stay for anyway. Am  just a worker and you and me we don't know each other that well, so I wouldn't say it's exciting to hear you are staying cause of me.." she shrugged.
    "Mmmmh I like you and I can use some time hanging out with you here, is that okey?" He smiled glancing at her..
    "It depends on what 'hanging' around means. " Lucy told him, "otherwise if you mean being friends that's okay. anything else beyond friendship then  am sorry. Am not ready" she said with a laugh.
    "Ouch!"  James screamed pretending to be hurt.. "I really feel like the most urgly guy around. how can you reject me before I could even propose, come on swity  don't do that to me.." he cried turning to look at Lucy as she laughed slightly.
    "Well I believe in knowing the person before I could date them" she smiled 

    "and at the moment  i still want some break from any relationships," she explained looking at the road ahead of them.
    They had joined the main road and Lucy could see the canter a few meters away from them. James was almost catching up, but he reduced  speed when they were  a 100 meters away from Ngulube's canter.
    All the way James tried to get Lucy to accept more than friendship but she refused. She looked at him when he was finally quite.
    He was good looking for sure and his sense of humor was great. she smiled in her heart knowing she actually liked James. But her instincts warned her to be careful. she wasn't going to throw herself at him. she barely knew Him and the fact that he was too quick to take advances sounded some warming bell .

    James decided to change strategy. he knew it wouldn't be so much of a problem to convince Lucy to be with him. after all, most of his relationships he was invoved in he never got to really beg for a woman. In his heart he knew he was going right ahead for her with or  without her acceptance .  He had to win the bet and he wasnt going to let his brother get his soft way to her. He brushed off the thoughts and cleared his throat.
    "So what are we buying and from where ? "  He asked Lucy as they drove into town.
    "Some feed and vaccines, let's just follow the canter the driver knows our buying points."

    "Okay" then James shifted in his seat removing the seat belt.
    In about 2 hours they had finished buying all the supplies and had them loaded on the canter.
    "Go right ahead Mr Ngulube." Lucy told the driver, " I have to buy a few groceries around here and I can't have you waiting when I will have to drive back with James" she explained leaning on  the window handing the driver some notes  for launch.
    "Thank you Doctor, " Ngulube sighed  " it's a lonely journey for me today" he smiled.
    "Yeah am sorry dear"  she said with a laugh.
    "it's just that you know... "
    "Well,  don't worry about it am just kidding" Ngulube smiled. "Will see you back at the farm then.. "
    "Yeah sure,"  Lucy nodded leaving the side of the vehicle as it started moving.
    "Well, we are done  with work business now I can buy my personal staff" she reminded James as she opened the  car door to sit. Pulling her skirt down which went up as she sat.
    James gazed  at her exposed part of the legs and he swallowed hard. "Show me the way swity  and I will  take you there" he grinned proudly.
    "Thank you.. " Lucy answered honestly and directed him to Manda hill where she picked up her cosmetics from some shops and  later on went to shoprite to get a few foods, groceries and diapers she promised to buy for Victors child.  
    "You have a baby? " Asked James, pointing at the diapers she threw in the trolley..
    She smiled, "mmmmh I would love to have one since am turning 26 this year,  but no they are for Victor's child.."
    "Victor?"  James asked her.
    "Yeah, he's the other veterinarian, seen  him around i guess..."
    "Yes i think I have, the guy who drunk a lot last night in a suit not  sure  if it was black or grey?"  he asked with a laugh.
    Lucy laughed too as she walked at James side he was the one pushing the trolley..
    "I should think so" she responded, "he's quite good with beer"  she added..
    "Mmmmh  I know him, so he's married then? "
    "Yeah with two kids, the wife sat with me last evening only that she went away the time you came over."
    "So do you wish to have your own children James? " Asked Lucy
    "Mmmmh not any time soon honestly " he answered with a frown. "i am not ready to take care of a baby my dear. I know I can financially but not physically and emotionally and my parents taught  me better on matters of raising   children. I have to make sure am ready to take up responsibility but not now.I don't think  I am ready yet " he explained looking at Lucy.

    She sighed.. "well you have  your own theories   uh! So In  short you are saying, you don't feel you are ready to marry and have children? "

    He smiled touching her shoulder, "yeah I love being with a woman but not to committ myself  to the extent of talking it to marriage" he said with a scoff.
    Lucy shook her heard,
    " you are unbelievable Mr Kangwa " she teased as they waited in the queue for the till.
    "so I get it now, for you a woman is just for pleasure and nothing more uh?"
    "Come on don't say it like it's a bad thing to be with a woman. I like being around beutiful people that doesn't  make me bad  does  it?" James asked in a flirty voice.
    Lucy shook her head without responding. Instead she started unpacking the items placing them on the counter to pay for them.
    He offered to settle the whole bill for Lucy's things using his credit card. After which they went for launch at some restraunt right at manda hill..
    All along they talked but Lucy realised he rarely talked about wanting something tangible with a woman. he was so jovial she laughed almost all the time.
    Later on they  decided to head back home after Lucy insisted they drove back. James on the other hand,  wanted to spend the whole day out with her. deep inside he knew that would get Jack so pissed since he wouldn't have time to set his cards for the bet that day.
    "Alright then shall we go" he sighed after minutes of arguing.

    "So now we are here, "he spoke up when Lucy finished putting her things in the house.
    "Yeah I really appreciate your escort, the lunch and the groceries as well " she smiled folding  her hands around herself as James leaned  on  his car..
    "Don't mention it Swity, you deserve more" he blushed.
    "So Its weekend, you still going to work?" He asked
    "Not really, it's Victor working this weekend. I will only check on my sick Bull then am done till Monday."
    "See you soon then," he smiled opening the vehicle.
    "Yeah sure," she said standing back as the car moved.
    She went back inside and unparked  her things. before she could finish a soft knock came from the door and she thought it was Cheelo who had come for her baby's diapers.
    "Come on in ! " She shouted. "The door is open.."
    "Hey! " Jack called her out,
    Surprised to see him immediately his brother had left." Hey there" she smiled not really sure what to say to him.
    "I saw my brother drive to the house and I thought you are back."  he started still standing.
    "Yeah we just returned " Lucy responded.
    " Oh  sorry.. you can sit please" she sighed pointing at the seat before her.
    "No thank you" he shrugged shly .
    "I just came to ask for your power pack"  he lied.
    " I left mine in Lusaka  and now my laptop is down.. that is if you have it.."

    "Of  course, " she smiled,
     "give me a moment and I insist please sit down"  she added standing up,
    " don't mind the messy am still parking the groceries.."
    "It's good,"  Jack smiled at her.
    He sat down and shook his head,  he had no idea he would come like that.  he had just seen his brother pass to the house and he rushed from the back yard to go and just see her. he had no idea what he would tell her so he was also surprised the issue of a power pack came out of his mouth.
    He looked around the room and liked the neatness. if it wasn't for the plastics still scared on the small carpet the room could have been so neat ..
    He looked up and watched a photo mount on the wall of Lucy in her graduation gown.
    He smiled and stood up to take a closer look,  the next one hard a photo of a guy he couldn't recognise. His heart  skipped.
    "He's my young brother" , Lucy spoke up from behind him pointing at the photo where Jack had his eyes..
    "Oh I see the resemblance " he sighed in fact relieved that it turned out that way..
    "The one i told you about yersterday" she added..
    "Yeah I remember" he answered turning to face her.
    "Thank you!" He smiled lifting the power park she handed him.
    "I will surely return it soon"  he added.
    "Take your time " she smiled back,
    " mine is full and it can go up to tommorow " she told him.

    When he left, Lucy smiled to herself," these guys are starting to worry me " she thought. she found it awkward  that Jack would come to ask for her power pack when she was almost  certain someone in their house probably had laptops and that wouldn't lack a power pack. She shrugged as she went back to packing her items.

    PART 6

    A week passed and the game of the two brothers was getting intense everyday as they fought to get the attention of Lucy.
    With James using his direct persuasion and Jack trying to play a gentle way of winning her over. for Jack however,  it wasn't a matter of the game. He had actually fallen in love with Lucy.
    James on the other hand, was just trying to get to win the bet and move  on as was his trend.

    Lucy was now getting confused with the two. she noticed how each brother was trying to get close to her. It was quite a challange for her because she felt both James and Jack where great in their own way.
    The only difference was that Jack wasn't proposing her per say  and James was always asking her for more than friendship.
    She sat in  her office one afternoon recalling the previous day when James went to her house.
    "Hey Sweety !" he called her out when she opened the door for him.
    "James, what are you doing here?"  She asked standing by the door.
    "I just missed seeing you Lucy,"  he whispered holding the door frame and moving closer to her, " are you going to allow me in ?"  He asked with a smile.
    Lucy looked at him for a few seconds and sighed, before opening the door wider and stepped aside to allow him in.
    He just went  in a bit and stopped pushing the door close. he moved closer to her pushing her to lean to the door.
    "James,what are you doing?"  Lucy asked him trying to avoid his closeness.
    She was feeling a bit uncomfortable being so close to him, his nice scent reaching her and making her strenght reduce. his dark blue shirt paired  with a white vest inside, defining his well structured shoulders.
    He let his hands touch her face embracing her..  "you are so fair and beautiful " he whispered. " I have dreamt of touching your face so close like this since the first day I saw you."

    Lucy was speechless, she just stood there watching him.
    He moved closer and placed his lips on hers. she however didn't respond..
    "Stop it !" she screamed finally stepping away. she walked and sat on the couch leaving him standing.
    James felt his temper rise,  she was rejecting him and he was getting sick  of her rejection. she had even made him stay longer than a week as he had planned. He knew his brother was playing it cool trying to scoop the game.  But he wasn't going to let him win.
    "Tell me why you keep on rejecting me Lucy? " he asked almost in a furious tone.
    "Am, I um  I am  sorry,"  Lucy stammered holding her face."  James I already told you I don't want anything more than friendship I don't know why you still insist " she said with a sigh.
    "Well,  why won't you tell me you are intrested  in my brother instead of beating around the Bush. Don't you think I see how he is always coming and chatting with you ? I see how you always smiling at him and you give  me that nonsense, come on Lucy you and me are not kids and I don't appreciate you treating me like one. ." He snapped.
    Lucy shook her head.
     "what? Oh no,  James you are something else. how can you even think I would want to be with you and Jack  at the same time. you guys are brothers for crying out loud"
    "Yeah we are brothers and I was supposing you make your choice already " he snapped.
    "Choose already!"  he shouted before storming out.
    Lucy watched him leave and she was quite. she didn't understand his rush and frustration. it was like James was so much in rash  to have her. even when she had started liking him as well she didn't like the fact that James was acting all bossy and pushing her to accept him even when she knew dèep down her heart James was not intrested in a serious relationship.
    She relaxed  and bent down on her table as thoughts  of James lingered her mind. she wished he was more gentle like Jack.
    For some reason she liked the way Jack  played it cool,  she started believing Jack wanted to befriend her.
    He was intrested  in her personal life. asking her about her past and what she wanted.

    She recalled the day he walked with her around the farms one morning.
    "I like the fact that you do your job with passion   Lucy.. " he had told her.
    "how did this thing start anyway?"  he asked looking at her.
    "Well " Lucy, smilled.." my father used to keep pets,  he loved dogs and cats. I think it started from there cause he had bought me a puppy when I was just 4 years old. I loved that dog so much I would sometimes sleep in the same bed with him. He was so protective of me and we walked to and from together except when I went to school. One day he got sick and died and I was so heart broken. I mourned him like he was a human,  from that day I had this passion to want to save animals"  she added almost sad at the memories.
    " Oh.. what a sad story " Jack had told her holding her hand as they sat near the cattle ranch.
    "Yeah"  she sighed, " it all started back then when I was only 12 and here I am"  she smiled looking at his hand still holding her.
    She couldn't help admire his gentleness.
    "So enough of me " Lucy told him, "tell me about you and your business."
    "Mmmmh there's nothing so much touching like yours " he smiled,  "I just wanted to work for myself, though i went to study business courses it was just to help me run my business effectively. Otherwise the main issue of my choosing business was to avoid being ordered around" , Jack let a laugh.
    They spent time talking and Lucy felt relaxed around him. His calmness was great but unfortunately Lucy knew what her heart wanted was what her mind was saying no to.
    She had fallen for Jame's charms. unbeknownst to her, James wasn't genuine with his feelings, His was just to win the bet  and lay with her.  He had not considered to have anything more with Lucy.

    "You have been too quite,"  Victor startled her, bringing her back to the present.
    " what is bothering you Doc? "
    "Am okey"  Lucy responded sitting up
    "just had some thing to think about but am back now"  she smile..
    "Listen Lucy.. I have noticed one thing,  the kangwa brothers,"  he paused.
    "What about them ?" Lucy asked looking at Victor..
    "I have observed how these two men are almost fighting over you, am sorry to tell you this Lucy but I think If you are intrested in any of them you make a choice sooner than later."

    "What do you mean they are fighting ?"  She  asked surprised.
    "Yeah I found them the other day almost quarreling in the back yard of their house"
    Victor explained what he had seen when he had gone to talk to Mr  Kangwa on that same day he overheard the brothers talking.
    " what is wrong with you man?" He heard Jack  tell his brother..
    "She's not like those empty women you play with and I don't want to play your stupid game. just let her be  already.. "

    "I will do as I please and I know she likes me. if you cannot deal with it Jack  thats your own loss otherwise stay out of my way ,"  he heard James respond.
    He couldnt get to hear more as the other worker walked to him and Victor walked away..
    "You see,  what I am telling you is that you are the key. help sort this issue before it's too late my dear. You can't afford having these guys fight over you. Am not sure  our  bosses will take that lightly. I mean you,  coming between their family."
    "Oh Victor, what can i tell you. it's not like I tell them to come to me. I have not given any of them an indication  I am intrested. it's not my fault that they are behaving  that way. am sure all this will come to an end when they finally decide to go back to Lusaka. otherwise I was okay before they showed up here." lamented Lucy..
    "That's the problem,"  Victor cut in.. "you have not given a right indication to any of them meaning they are both hoping to get you."

    She stood and walked out. she had to take some fresh air outside. walking to the sheds she played around with the bulls in their shed trying so hard to avoid thinking about James or Jack ..
    "How am I going to choose any of them if that will cause them to fight ?"  she asked herself as she rubbed her hand on the cow near her.
    "I can't"  she sighed.. "Victor is right,  i am the key and I have to set things straight. I have to let both James and Jack know my stand and hopefully this issue will be sorted out once and for all."
    She felt bad she had to give up her developing feelings for James. she thought  she had to  for their own sake and for everyone's peace of mind.

    PART 7

    Jack woke up one morning after he had a fight with James. He had insisted  they both stopped playing the game on Lucy. his brother wasn't for the idea of stopping..
    He felt irritated that he wouldn't get him to reason.
    " okay tell me one thing Jammy and i won't bother you about this.
    Do you love Lucy, I mean do you like her to the extent you feel you want her to be yours?"  He asked him as James stood and him was seated in the garden chair at the back yard.
    "Give me an answer Brother yes or  no and I promise if  you feel something special for her I won't get in your way. I honestly don't care whether you win or loose"
    James scoffed,
    " I see you are afraid of losing Jack. just admit it already, am man enough and you on the other hand is not yet there." he responded avoiding the question..

    "No, Jammy am serious we are grown ups for God's sake, we can't play with people's feelings like that. Just come to think of it,  if Lucy was to find out or maybe she fell in love with you,  then what? You just damp her and leave?"  He asked seriously his face could show it.
    "I don't have time for your preaching Jack, you know I get what I want and if my head tells me to go for Lucy, that's exactly what am going to do whether I like her or not is not the question here. so get out of my way already," he snapped leaving Jack staring in shock.

    Jack had felt bad about the unfolding of the events. He had come to learn that Lucy was a great person. she was humble and her life was not as exciting.
    He felt so much attached to her, that any day that would pass he would desire to see her even at a distance.
    He woke up and took a quick shower before heading out to the dinning table.

    James was already up that morning.
    He greeted him and later his parents.. sitting  down on his usual seat he nibbled on his food.
    "Jack , I have noticed you look bothered the past days. is everything okey sonny?"  His mother asked.
    "Am fine mama, nothing is bothering me don't worry."
    "Yeah I have noticed too" James responded looking at his brother a cup of coffe close to his mouth.
    "are you home sick brother? " He teased with a smile..
    "Nope !" Answered Jack not raising his head to look at his mocking brother. am "perfect here.."

    "Yeah sure, you look great man I can see through your lies ." James scoffed. 

    "Hey guys am going out today, Charity is coming over and we are going for a tour at some place called Fringila. i hear they sell great sausages there"  he added..

    "Mmmmh Charity? " Mr Kangwa burged in.
    "sonny I have seen that girl here twice now. what's going on between the two of you?"  her father is a good friend.

    "Twice?"  Jack asked looking up at James like trying to pin point the fact that his brother, was playing Lucy and had another girl he was hanging out with.
    "Yeah" , James nodded.
    " she's a friend dad. Nothing more. I just like hanging around with her." he said avoiding to look at Jack .
    Jack  shook his head in  disbelief. Not understanding his brother one bit .
    After breakfast he followed him to his room when James was changing to prepare himself for the outing .

    "Brother, tell me you are not seriously going out with another girl and you are still insisting on hurting Lucy.
    what is wrong with you?"  He snapped standing before him..
    "Stay out of my life Jack, its not like i have stopped you from getting any woman you want. mind your own business now will you?"  He said in his face.
    "Stay away from Lucy James, am serious " he spat.
    James pushed him back making him stamble backwards to the wardrobe.
    "Don't you dare"  Jack charged forward his furry mounting.
    " you jerk you think all women are toys.. ? You are such a loser. you think playing games makes you a man uh? " he raised his voice.

    "Get out of my room Jack ! " James shouted his deep voice loud enough to be heard from the other rooms, reaching Mr Kangwas ears as he prepared to leave the house to go and  inspect the workers..
    "Get out now! " James screamed again.. and Jack shook his head and stormed  out furious.
    He met his father on the way who was heading to Jame's room to find out what was happening.
    "What is going on here?"  he asked the angry Jack but he passed without answering heading out.
    "James ! Wait! What is going on with your brother? What is this shouting I heard ?" Mr  Kangwa asked  walking to James room.
    "It's nothing dad" he sighed.
    "It was just a little misunderstanding and it is settled now"  he responded.
    "Nothing? You call all that yelling nothing?"  He asked worried that his son's were fighting..
    "Yeah dad.. please excuse me am late. I have to go now"  he said passing by his father who stood  shaking his head. He sighed and walked out leaving the door closed..
    He couldnt help feel something serious was happening with his son's.
    Jack went to the garrage and got his car driving out. He felt the urge to take some time out,  he drove at a high speed as he joined the main road. He went on driving for miles before stopping at some lay by near 10 miles.
    He parked the car and stepped  out.. leaning on the front boot, Jack faced the direction where the car faced and sighed.
    He hated the hurt feeling in his heart. "how was he going to cope with seeing his brother play around with a woman he had fallen in love with?"  He was certain that despite him trying to be close to Lucy, she seemed to like him just as a friend and over time he had noticed she liked James more than she did him.
    He couldnt get to tell her about the bet and that James was just playing  her. He knew that would hurt her feelings even more.
    "Oh God help me"  he sighed..
    "I need to put this nonsense to a stop, but how?"  He shook his head walking up and down alone around the Bushy  area he had parked..
    The tension that was growing between them was making him and his brother more separated. He recalled the times growing up, when all their bets used to be funny.
    He had asked his brother to bet for a girl that James was going out with and after some time he had managed to convince her and she damped James and accepted him..
    They both laughed over it and James actually told him he was glad she left him cause he was about to get rid of her. The two had later confronted the girl and beat her up for betraying them.
    He sighed, back then they were having their childhood moments and things were not that complicated, they had been in Grade 11 and whatever they did didn't really matter.
    Now it was different he knew that, that time around whatever they did ended up affecting their lives. he regretted ever agreeing to the bet.
    Thinking over it, Jack decided to end his vacation and head back home. It was the only solution he could think of as to avoid fights with James. He knew deep down his heart he would miss her but since his mind already convinced him she liked James, he was to let things be. Hoping deep down his heart James would change and take Lucy seriously.
    Jack went back into the car after over an hour of thinking. He drove back home and found his parents seated outside under some tree near the house..
    The weather was a bit cold and the clouds covered the sky making the day look colder that it actually was.
    He went to sit next to them and they both looked at him expecting some kind of explaination for the shouting they had heard that morning.
    Jack leaned back in the wodden chair he sat  on his eyes set on the deep leaves up in the tree. They moved slowly with the breeze and he kept on  staring without saying a word.
    "Sonny, are you okey?" His  mother asked her face displaying  worry at the look on her son's face..
    Every child has a parent who loved them more than the other and for Jack his mother loved him more than James who was Mr Kangwas favourite. Though they never got to show it clearly, they both knew in their hearts about that fact.
    Jack sighed holding his head before answering..
    "Mom and dad i think am going back home tomorrow.  I have at least stayed her for over a week and I feel it's high time I went back to help run things at the company. some things just need me to be present physically."
    "Mmmmh I see"  Mr Kangwa responded,
    " tell me this has nothing to do with your fight with James."
    "No dad that was just a minor dispute. I planned on telling you this earlier. He lied  looking away."
    "Okay then, you can always come over to visit after all Lusaka is just a few minutes away"  his Father told him.
    "all I want is for both of you to look out for each other and  remain good friends like you have always been okey?"  He asked patting Jacks knee .
    "Yeah dad.. not to worry everything is okay " he answered still staring up.

    His mother however felt something wasn't  right but she decided to speak to him over it later that day.
    She sighed and  handed him a cup of coffee from the small table besides her as they had been drinking it earlier.
    Thank you mama, he faked  a smile at his mother. She shook her head and he knew she didn't buy his story..

    PART 8

    He stood watching her as she talked, raising her hands and smiling broadly. she was great and beautiful, very cheerful and he was begining to like her but not to the extent of committing  himself to her. They had been out together  3 times in a week and he was begining to enjoy being with her she was easy to be with.
    James sighed and smiled back at Charity when she went closer to him and extended her hands to hug him.
     "what's up handsome? " she smiled with a flirt look,
    "it seems you are not even here you can't even get what am saying."

    "Oh no,  am here, babes just admiring your beauty " he smiled holding her.
    He however was too scared to develop any strong feelings for her. what Jack and other people didn't know was that James had this inner fear of falling in love. He had a girlfriend in campus  whom he loved so much despite him having other playing girls around.
    He was played to his game when the love of his life disapointed him and went for his friend.

    Since then James had never opened up to love anyone. He just saw a woman as a tool for his pleasures. He had even made it his daily trend to buy condoms for his protection as he never hesitated to lay a beautiful girl whenever he could.
    "Hey , let's go have lunch now handsome,"  Charity pulled him towards the restraunt. They sat  and ordered some food,  but James was for some reason feeling out of place.
    His eyes went around the wodden and natural environment around Fringila. He loved the calmness of the surrounding and the quiteness  even when there people around making him think about his brother.
    James had always loved Jack and he was glad he decided to stay with him back at His house. He knew that Jack always kept him in track though he never got to admit it direct to his face.
    He had noticed how Jack looked and talked about Lucy he couldn't help admire the fact that he had genuinely fallen in love. He refused to let him win however.  But he couldn't give a reason for that either, James  just hated the fact that his brother was not as wild as him and that he acted more sane and calmly.
    It was a bet after all and he wasn't  going to let his young brother win, he was the oldest and according to him losing would make him seem to be weak.
    "He will get over her"  he thought to himself, sighing  and taking a big bite on the sausage on his plate. He had been out of place from the time they had been out and Charity was getting irritated.
    "Let's go back," James had announced when they were done eating.  "I have to work on something " he added,  grabbing Charity's hand and leading her to the car.
    She complained bittery.
    " But we agreed to spend the whole day here James", she told him with a sad face.
    She was hating the fact that James seemed less interested  in her. The only time he seemed excited around her was when they made love and that frustrated her.
    She had even put on hold her going to college that week. Hoping she would get him to love her.

    Back at the farm, James walked to the house and found Jack seated in the sitting room watching some movie.
     "hey! "Jack greeted him.
    "Hey there!"  he responded waving at him.
    "We are good right? " James asked still standing.
    "Yeah man, we are good and I have decided to head back home tomorrow " Jack  added.
    "Oh I see, " James answered. 
    "That's too early as compared to the initial plan of staying over for more days" 
    "I know, " Jack said with a chuckle.
    " I decided to go see what is going  on at the office. So..... " he shrugged  " its time I guess. happy i have lost?"  He asked with a more serious face than he actually intended it to be..

    "Yeah! Actually am glad I won " James answered carelesssy and left, just to peep back  from the door and whispered to Jack.
    "I am actually going to see her now..."

    Jack smiled at him, " best of lucky brother"  he responded and set back his eyes on the TV.

    Lucy was laying down in her bed when she heard a knock on the door.
    She sighed as she heard the knock for the second time.
     "who could it be?"  she asked herself pushing her self out of the bed. she was feeling tired after a days work and she wanted to have some rest.
    "Am coming!"  She's shouted, her short dressed lifted up her thigh. she pulled it down as she walked to the door.Wiping her face she saw James standing by the door.
    "James, what are you doing here? " she asked him leaving the door wide open to allow him in. Knowing so well he wouldn't agree to talk by the door.
    He walked in,  his face focused on her.. "I came to apologise for the other day Lucy,"  he begun.
    "I acted foolishly and am so sorry. I have no reason to judge you and I feel bad I talked that way.. ."
    "It's fine,"  Lucy responded." I understand"
    "you do ? " He asked with a smile, " I know am not that much of a good person but I like being with you and  I hope you will accept me for who I am."
    Lucy looked at his long face, his deep eyes calm and showing off some passion, she knew she liked him so much and her body was aching to have him close.
    Forgetting  her initial idea of telling him off and staying away,  Lucy smiled at James in a way that showed him she was intrested in him.
    "I love that dress," James managed to say after a few seconds of silence.
    " um am, I came to say am sorry, um.."  he stammered..
    "And what? " Lucy asked him.
    James looked at her from head to toe her looks raising the beast in him. he swallowed hard trying to push the urge to launch on her and get a taste of her already.
    "And I , oh God Lucy i don't know how to say this but..... "
    He couldn't finish his sentence and Lucy moved closer to him, "say what you want to,"  she told  him in a low tone that made him even crazier than he already was.
    Taking the chance he had been longing for, James was excited and took her in his arms, kissing her and embracing her like his passions where heaped up for that very moment.
    Without another word he lifted her to the bedroom his passionate eyes still focused on hers, seeing her desire and vulnerability.
    Taking  his time to do what he knew best, James spent the rest of the afternoon driving Lucy to some great passionate moments full of excitment.
    Lucy felt fully satisfied and even fall more for James, everything felt so right at that particular time her reasoning was not as it was before. she looked at him as the perfect guy she had been waiting for. Deep down her heart she hoped that James would change his mind and once in his life become serious with her.  she felt she derseved him and that God was giving her a chance to be happy again.

    "Hey ! " She whispered raising her heard to look at him as she leaned on his chest. "that was great " she smiled..
    "Yeah I know " he chuckled.."  I have longed to be with you like that since the first day you chose an animal over me. " he faked being sad.

    "What? When was that? " Lucy asked surprised..
    "Yeah the first time I saw you and asked you to take us around but you gave  an excuse of going to see a sick bull or something" , he explained his hand rubbing  her back .
    "Oh that day" , she giggled. "Am sorry you felt that way but that's me, I love my job and I couldn't give up on the sick animal just to walk you around when there are plenty of people here who could escort you."
    "Mmmmh you are such a proud one sweety,"  he let a laugh..
    It was the most fulfilling moment for Lucy but unfortunately for James it  was just one of those things he did with some other girls and moved on.
    His pride took the best of him and he decided to play the game longer.  going to her house and making love to her for the weeks he had remaining before the leave he had was over.
    What shocked and hurt Lucy was the fact that James was not intrested in her as a person, he loved her body and showed less interest in  her personal life.
    She felt bad but played along with his sleeping with her, she comforted herself hoping that if she gave herself more to him he would eventually fall in love with her and change.

    One Morning they woke up toghether in her bed, he had sneaked out of his house and went to her.
    She sat up and asked him to do the same.
    "James, I have something  to ask you.."
    "Yes what is it?"  James responded rather disappointed she had to wake him up that early to just ask him things.
    "I want to know what this relationship is all about " she told him. " I mean, what are we and where are we going? It seems we don't talk about us as persons and you don't really ask me about my life, what I want to do, what I love and staff like that.. "
    "Mmmmh is that the reason why you woke me up? Lucy, come on, I thought I already made it clear way before we came this far that am not ready to committ to anyone at the moment.
    Let's take one day at a time okey? There's nothing to rush for, let's enjoy making out and have funny life is too short to live  it all stressed out " he smiled holding her face and going right back to sleep covering his face with the blanket.
    Lucy looked at his form and tears appeared in her eyes, she felt  betrayed and used,  her hopes  to get him to love her back where really failing and she couldn't do a thing about it.
    Standing up she walked to her bathroom and looked at her naked self in the mirrow..
    "What have you done to yourself Lucy?"  She asked herself crying, "you could have ignored your feelings for James and moved on with your lonely  life. it could have been better than giving yourself to someone who doesn't care about  you." 
    "Oh God help me"  she wiped the tears  and went in to take a quick bath  before heading out to take a walk outside the farm,  it was a Sunday and her weekend off.

    PART 9

    Jack had left the farm after he had a talk with his mother. He had tried to buy his way out but she caught him up in his lies.
    "Just tell me the truth Jack,  am no kid and I have noticed you and your brother have not been in your right altitudes towards each other lately. Is this about the veterinarian? "  She asked him and Jack quickly looked at her shocked that his mother knew something about Lucy.
    "Oh mama, what about her? Come on its not that. I told you it was just a minor misunderstanding and we sorted it out."
    "Jack! " She called out her face frowning.
    "I am your mother and I have seen you both grow up, you have been out of my care for just like less than 6 years if I could guess. so don't play that game with me,  tell me you and your brother are not fighting over that girl.
    I have noticed how both of you try to get close to her and I have heard stories around. so don't  you dare lie to me again."  she added sitting down on his bed whilst he lay on his back in his vest. He had prepared to go to bed early that night.
    "Okay mama, you are right we had this bet to win her over and..."
    "What? " Mrs Kangwa asked shocked "you mean you and James Bet to win over  a woman like you bet  for games? How crazy. Jack tell me all this isn't true.."
    "Oh mama, what can i tell you ? I know we were wrong and I really regret accepting the challenge.." Jack sighed sadly.
    "Mmmmh so you  are telling  me you accepted, meaning your brother suggested this nonsense. How ironic, I raised you two better than this Jack, and you have disapointed me." Mrs Kangwa scolded her son.
    Jack sat up and held  a pillow close to him,  either to conceal his shame or to show he was really sorry wasn't so clear at the moment.
    "So what happened? " she asked after she was Done rebuking him.
    "Mama the truth is, I fall in love with her and James refuse to stop the bet, he insists to win and I can't stop him cause I can't say the truth to her. I don't want to hurt her mama and i know she likes me but not as much as she likes James. I can't stay here and watch him just screw her life over without even a bit of care for her. so am leaving mama, Am sure if I stay away I will be able to forget her." Jack expressed himself honestly..

    Mrs Kangwa sighed looking at his son's sad  face. She could tell he was hurting and she had no idea how to get him feel better. he wasn't a kid anymore, she knew he had his own life to live now though she was his mother, the only thing she could do is be there for him and guide him.
    She felt disappointed that the boys decided to play around with matters of the heart. but now wasn't the time to continue throwing it in his face that he was wrong.
    "Listen sonny, " she started, " I don't support what you and James did, I will in fact let your brother hear me out today. but I want you to know that this is not the end for you. There a lot of good women out there and am sure  God will guide your heart to that one person you will fall in  love with and you will see that Lucy wasn't  that girl after all.
    I am glad you have decided to choose to live in  peace with your brother and stay away. It's not up to you to make that woman fall for you, let her choose what she wants. I like her and I know she can make a good wife for any of you but that's not for you to decide. let her make her choice and as good sons you are I expect each one of you to respect her choice and stay put."

    "I get you mama, thanks. I just hope that I would honestly feel what I feel for someone else though, it hurts to see her and not have her." He sighed sadly.

    "I know my son, take it easy and believe me it will get easier," she told him patting his hand. She talked to him at lenght and she left him to sleep.

    Jack was staring out at the office building as he recalled the moments, he had been there for over 30 minutes and his partner and friend watched him from his office as the walls were glass. he could see Jack stand in one place lost in thoughts.
    He had observed how much of such moments Jack had had since he got back from visiting his parents.
    He decided to walk over to him and have a talk.
    "What's eating you up Jack?"  he asked making Jack jump a bit coming back to the present..
    "Oh am sorry Hilary, I didn't hear you walk in.. what's up man.?"
    "That's what I want to know Jack you have been acting  out since you came back from your vacation and I couldnt help it,  seeing you all cooked up and groomy is unlike you my friend, care to share?. you know maybe I can help you."
    "No"  Jack smiled,
    "you can't my friend am sorry I have to work myself through this and I promise to act normal from now on.  I know I need to have my mind up for our business." He shrugged.
    "Yeah I hope so too Jack.  Get it together already and prepare for the meeting in 5 minutes"  he told him leaving the office.
    "5 minutes," Jack sighed flipping through the paper's,  he had some presentation to give to the clients and he had not gone through it.
    He quickly grabbed the file and took a quick glance at the contents. Walking to the gents, Jack looked at his watch. he had a minute before the Presentation.
    Looking at his face one more time from the mirrow he wiped his face and walked out.

    30 minutes later, he walked out of the meeting and went straight out. It was lunch time and he wanted to grab something to bite. He had not eaten any proper foods for the last 2 weeks since he returned from the farm. James wasn't back yet and he knew it was because he was having funny with Lucy. 
    He felt jealousy mounting up when thoughts of his brother sleeping with Lucy went round his head. It was done and now Lucy was officially won over.
    James would call him almost everyday and he had boasted on how he had Lucy in his palms.
    "she's mine now"  he had said proudly.
    "Yeah sure James, I just hope you are not planing on damping her when you are done playing with her."  he told him seriously.
    "That's my own to judge brother and i won't ask your permision to do what I feel like doing."  James scolded and cut his brother off Jack sighed pushing the sad thoughts out..

    He ordered his lunch and got his phone watching posts on face book.
    Lucy had accepted his friend request on FB and he almost regreted ever sending her the request. He had been seeing her posts lately were she would post about love and being happy. He knew whatever it was had something to do with James.
    In that particular day he looked at her new update.
    " life sucks at times... some people can never get to understand the pain of being rejected by the one you love"
    Jack read the post again and couldn't help feel rage. It was James and he felt sweat  run under his shirt .
    At that very moment his food  was served but he didn't feel like eating anymore. He stood up and left his bill placed on the table.
    He decided to call his brother and find out what was going on.
    "Hey Jack"  he heard James answer when the phone rung for the second time.
    "Hey Jammy ! How is home man?"
    "Good and am coming back today"  he responded before Jack could say any more.
    " I have stayed  here for almost a month,  I think it's time I came back and I have missed my kid brother"

    "Okay that's good then, will see you back at home" Jack  said stopping himself from asking him things as he had planned.
    "Since he's coming back"  he thought to himself,
    " I will  talk to him when hes here."
    Walking to the car, Jack went back to his office, trying so hard to stay calm and just work without thinking about Lucy.

    Back at the farm, Lucy tried tried to avoid James the week that had followed. she kept herself busy with work..
    He however didn't make any effort to see her per say. He tried going to see her one night and she told him she was busy, he made  some advance move to get here to sleep with him but she refused.
    Irritated James went back to Charity who he had not seen for some time since he started making out with Lucy. she also wasn't around at the time.

     Days later he decided to go back to his house,  he only had a few days before his leave was over and he thought he could go and get ready for  work.

    "Mama and dad am going back tomorrow." He had told his parents as they had their supper one evening.
    "Mmmmh okey Sonny, but you still have days  before your days are over right?"  Asked his father..
    "Yes dad, but I need to go and prepare myself i have been here for over 3 weeks and I think I have stayed enough."
    His mother looked at him,
    "sonny what about your relationship with Lucy?"  She asked looking at him.
    "What about it mama, we are just friends I told you even the other day.." he responded upset that his mother was bringing the topic he tried to avoid.

    "Just a friend that you sneak into her house, come on sonny, grow up already and find one person to settle down with,  don't live your life like you are still 18 years old. get decided okey? It's not good to move from one person to another, remember there are diseases in this world."
    "I know mama and i already told you if I find the one my heart wants I will settle down. I don't feel Lucy is the one, she's great and all that but i don't just want her for more than just friends mama please understand me."
    His mother shock her heard, she wished her son could start reasoning as a 30 year old that he was. she remembered  how passionate her younger son talked about Lucy and felt bad that she had to choose James who cared less about her.

    The day James was travelling he met Lucy around the farm.
    "What's up? " He had asked her after greeting her..
    "Am just doing my job here James"she answered..
    "What's up with you? "
    "Am okey just disappointed you shut me off the past two days. I wanted to have some quality time with you."

    "Yeah I know James. that's all you care about  me, sex and nothing else. well I won't be a fool  twice dear. I think am not ready to be played like a toy  and I don't really care what you say anymore. I love you genuinely and look at you, you can't even tell a thing about my life, the only thing you know is my body." She pointed out looking at him.

    "Oh no don't say it like that Lucy, believe me I care for you in  my own way"  he smiled holding   her hand..
    Lucy sighed,
    " yeah what ever you say its great James, and I can't take it anymore so leave me alone already"  she scolded withdrawing her hand.
    He grabbed her by the waist and pulled her towards himself kissing  her.
    She tried to push him away but he held her tight.
    "i came to say bye sweety" he whispered still holding her.
    "and I want you to know that I care and trust you enough. no wonder I made love to you without any protection which I rarely do with some other people"  he added with a smile.

    "As though that should make me happy " Lucy pushed him back.
    " just go already" she said her eyes almost tearing.
    "Am sorry Lucy I really am. I wish we could have more funny but my time is up, am sure we will  get to meet again after all, this place isn't that far,  take care okey? " he smiled walking away.

    Lucy watched him as he left, tears  rolling down her face. she knew in her heart that his leaving could be the end of them. sniffing and wiping her face Lucy turned to walk to her office.
    Ngulube, the driver watched at a distance how sad Lucy looked. he shook his heard sadly.
    "how ironic"  he whispered to himself.. "women mostly fall for the wrong persons and are blinded not to see beyond their nose." He was hearing stories from the workers how Lucy and James had grown close..
    He knew James didn't love her but it wasn't possible to warn her. Just the previous week James had sent him to take a parcel to another woman named Charity at some farm a few miles away. he knew something was going on between James and that Charity,
    However what really shocked him was that, the time he reached Charity's place, she was with another guy and from the awkward position he saw them in, he could tell they were not mare  friend.
    He didnt get to tell that to James. It wasn't his business anyway, he had thought. Ngulube held his waist as he stood near the canter he had been cleaning  that morning.
    "It is a crazy world"  he thought  to himself as he wished he was in James shoes  being loved by Lucy, but the reality was different. He was just a grade 12 with nothing but a driver's licence to his name. finding that Job at the Kangwa's farm was a blessing. He was given a house and his pay was enough to feed him and his two sisters he had to raise since his  parents where poor and lived on the little they could gather from their small farm around that area.
    He wished things were different for him and the circumstances in his life would allow him to take a step and courage to propose the woman he felt so much in love with even when she could barely see past his position as a driver.

    "Some day"  he sighed getting back to finish what he was doing,
    "maybe someday.  i will get to fall in love with someone who can love  me for who I am"  he shrugged pouring water in the back of the canter before scrabing off the dirty.

    PART 10

    "Welcome back Jammy!" Jack welcomed his brother. It was almost getting dark when James walked to the door from the garrage, his wall fenced  house in Chalala was quite as was always the case since it was one of the houses at the end in the area.
    "Hey Jack"  he gave his brother a quick shoulder hug pulling his case of clothes inside.
    From the door was a sitting room wide and so spacious just the way he loved his home, with a 52" flat screen TV mounted on the wall, two brown fancy couches and a small coffee table in the side of each couch. Nothing else was in the sitting room apart from two flower bases with dry nice flowers one on each corner of the room.
    His portrait displayed on the wall, he was dreessed in a suit. Everytime  he looked at it, it reminded him of the time he got a promotion from work 2 years after he started working for bank of Zambia.
    His ACCA professional papers and a degree in financial accounting gave him a greater opportunity to be promoted. James was now planning on getting an MBA.
    "How is home?"  Jack asked as James threw  himself on his bed a wide king sized bed was neatly done. The mild green bed cover blending well with the wall painted with a cream white paint almost looking like yellow.
    "Home is great brother, I can assure you I enjoyed  my stay. I had lots of funny with a beautiful woman"  he said with a wide smile looking at his brother who stood next to the head board looking down at him.
    "Mmmmh I can imagine"  Jack nodded his head..
    "Come on I have just prepared dinner, let's go you taste my delicacy"  Jack smiled trying to ignore his brother's  silly smile which explained how he was enjoying seeing him jealousy.

    "Yeah I really missed your cooking Kiddo, let's not  waste any more time" he said jumping out of his bed.
    He went ahead of Jack to the dinning table where Jack had prepared Roasted t born, nshima and green vegetables.
    "Mmmmh" James sniffed in the aroma as he sat down rolling the round top of the table to serve hiself.
    Jack watched him as he sat, without another word.
    "Mmmhm so? What happened in my absence? Did you finally make up with Nancy?"  James asked while chewing  on his food.
    "Nope" Jack answered carelessly.

    "I guess you don't love her then uh?" 

    "Yeah, I don't just like being cheated at and lied  to because i can never do that to someone i care about." 
    "Oh.. sad, I always watch out for my self and you people judge me to be a bad person. women will never appreciate you being all good and faithful to them. They will always find a way of making you feel like you aren't enough. so before they beat me to the game I do watch out and take precautions." James shrugged biting on the meat.

    "Yeah, just like hurting the feelings of those that love you genuinely" added Jack looking at his brother while his hand was still on the plate.
    "What does that mean Jack?" He raised his eyes at him. 
    "Just wondering if you have ever considered the fact that maybe some of the people you treat like that fall in love with you for real.." Jack answered.

    "Listen James, the fact that one woman disapointed you once does not mean you have to purnish every other woman that comes in your life. come on man, it's not fair, you have to grow up Jammy, we are no longer kids. women are not games they are human  beings with feelings and expectations. Some of them deserve better. " 

    "You know one thing about you Jack ? you forget that am your elder brother and I won't take some stupid lectures from you,  the fact that I was born a year before you must give you some sense to respect me." James snapped washing his hands.
    "Am sorry you take it as an insult Jammy but am just trying to make you understand. It's no good to play with people's lives all the time. mom and dad always taught us how to respect people."
    "I know and I do respect people, but if a woman likes me and gives herself to me, is it my fault? They just give in and I on the other hand as a single man I do what I can with whoever makes themselves available.
    Like that Lucy, she knew my intentions from the beginning. I told her am  not intrested in committing myself to anyone, I don't want to marry anytime soon and later on have children untill  later in my life. But what does she do? she starts asking me questions about "us" and getting to know each other more and staff that i dont want to talk about now.
    So tell me brother, how am I a bad person if I tell someone the truth from the beginning and then they expect more? no way that's insane. I won't let a woman decide my life for me." James added
    "When I find that one person I will want to settle down with I will definately be the one to ask her for anything more,  Not the other way round."

    Jack looked at his brother, his theory was outrageous and he knew James had convinced himself about whatever he was saying and nothing he would say would change his mind..
    "Anyway what can i say" he sighed..
    " it's your life brother and like you said no one can control it but yourself. so I have no say. Just a bit taken aback by the way you treated Lucy, that girl loves you and you just used her."

    "Stop it now Jack am not talking to you about this any more. Lucy or whoever, doesn't matter. it's not like she's a kid who cannot make a good judgement of things. If she gave herself to me it's because she wanted to." he spat pushing  back the chair and standing to go.
    "Get a life , brother and leave mine alone"  he added patting Jacks back before heading to the  other room..
    Jack sat back in his chair his hands still unwashed..
    To some extent,  he thought to himself.. James was right, Lucy could have known better than to fall for James and letter on  sleep with him. He felt bad that now James was done with her and it would be difficult for him to get with her.
    He thought of his ex girlfriend Nancy. she had been calling and coming to ask him to forgive her and forget about her cheating. saying it was just a mistake.. he however, was not willing to get back with her. she was not the kind of person he wanted to be with,  knowing he was cheated on by her would hinder the pogress of their relationship and the main issue was the fact that he never really got  to love  her as much.
    Collecting the plates and cleaning them up, Jack later went to join his brother who was watchting  some reality show on DSTV. They watched in silence with each one of  them focusing on the screen.

    .......A month later....

    Mrs kangwa was walking around the farm. she walked near the vet offices and saw Lucy seated at a stool at the back.  she ignored her at first but later on saw that Lucy was vomitting again.
    She stood at a distance and watched her .Lucy stood and staggered to walk back to the office.
     Mrs Kangwa shook her head and decided to pass  and went on her walk.. It was the second time she was seeing Lucy vomit and she even noticed Lucy looked pale over the period. 
    Later that evening she called for Lucy to go meet her at the main house.
    "How are you dear?"  She greeted Lucy after welcoming her and serving her a glass of pure juice.
    "Am fine mam" , Lucy responded  wondering why she was called, it was rare that Mrs Kangwa called her for anything. Everything to do with reporting and any work related matters she always discussed with Mr Kangwa.
    "Am sure you are wondering why I called you here my dear.  am sorry to meddle but I have noticed some changes on you and you seem not so active as you are always. Tell me is everything okay with you.? I mean am a woman and they are things that you can't possibly hide from me."  she added holding her hands tendery.

    Lucy looked at her and looked back down tears forming in her eyes. she was surprised to know that the mother to the man that had changed her life had noticed she wasn't okay.
    How could she get to tell her that her son had impregnated her and that he was clear to mention that he was not ready to committ to anyone and have children for that matter.
    She had not even called him to let him know about the pregnancy. knowing so well what he would say. she decided to keep it to herself instead.
    Her eyes remained focused on the brown coffee table looking on the glass of juice that she had barely  touched.
    "Please stop crying my dear and tell me what is wrong, are you pregnant?"  Mrs Kangwa asked her..
    Lucy nodded in agreement  she knew there was no hiding the truth from the woman before her. 
    "How far along Lucy? " Mrs Kangwa asked again.

    "Almost 6 weeks."  she responded.
    Mrs Kangwa was quite for a while recalling the time she had talked to James..

    "Sonny tell me you are not playing with that innocent girl's  feelings"  she had told him.
    "Mama, it's not like she's a baby and I am not playing with her she's just a friend . " he told her avoiding her eyes..
    "I know about the bet you and Jack  had upon her James. so don't tell me otherwise. I am aware of what you two did and am disappointed in you. how can you think of betting to win over a woman .? So  what's your plan now since your brother has  backed out?"  She asked him..
    "There's no plan mother and I told you already we are just friends, so drop it already"  he had told his mother with a face to show he was not intrested in the talk.
    Mrs Kangwa talked and lectured  her son and made it clear she was not happy with his behaviour and insisted he put things in order. she had warned him to either leave Lucy alone or got  serious with her.

    Now coming to the present, Mrs Kangwa watched Lucy sobbing . she knew it was definately her son's pregnancy. 
    "Is it Jame's ? "  She finally asked Lucy..
    "Excuse me mama, am sorry I have to go Lucy " answers standing and running out without answering her question.

    she couldnt stand being close to Mrs Kangwa anymore. she was hurting and she hated that she looked so vulnerable in front of her boss.
    Shaking per head sadly ,Mrs Kangwa watched Lucy run to the direction of  her home.
    Later on she told her husband about the issue. even when Mr Kangwa scolded  the wife that she didn't tell him earlier about what was going on. They both decided to call their son after Mrs Kangwa insisted that it was definately James's pregnancy and they both agreed to make him take responsibility..

    "Son, we want you to come over this weekend."  Mr Kangwa called James.
    "What for dad?, don't tell me you miss me already"  he joked ..
    "Just come over here." Mr Kangwa answered seriously and James could tell by the tone of his father that his father had something really  serious going on...
    He sighed and placed down the phone as he sat in his office chair.
    "What could it be? " He whispered to himself..
    After going back home he asked Jack to go with him to the farm.
    "Dad called that he wants to see me this weekend Jack and I don't know what for, just that he sounded so serious and am worried."

    "What could it be then?" Jack asked concerned..
    "Did you ask him if mama is fine? "  He asked as they sat in the dinning table.
    "Yeah I did actually, and he told me she was okay. I just hope they  are both good"  he added..
    "Well, I will go with you man, am worried too. let's go and find out what is going on back there."
    "Yeah sure."  responded James.

    PART 11

    "Mama! Hey! " The brothers called their mother as they got out of the vehicle. They had used Jame's X5 that weekend.
    "Welcome home boys!" Mrs Kangwa greeted them walking towards the car.

    That Saturday morning she had prepared to received them after they called to let them know both of them were going to the farm.
    Mr Kangwa walked in the sitting room as James and Jack sat down. He greeted them but not in his usual cheerful way..
    "How are you dad?"  Jack asked him when he had finally sat on his favourite seat.
    "Am okey, how have you two been? And how is work over there?" He responded looking sternly at the two brothers. 
    "We are okey dad and work too."  James answered first.
    "Well just worrried you called and sounded rather serious. what's going on dad? " He added sitting up in his seat.
    His father looked at him sighing
    "let's wait for your mother James, it's indeed a serious matter or  else I could have not called you over " Mr Kangwa told him his serious tone evident.

    At 10 o'clock after serving them breakfast. Mrs Kangwa called back James and Jack to the living room.
    They were all quite for a while each one of them looking up or down. With Jack scrolling on his phone.
    Mr Kangwa cleared his throat before begining..
    "I called you, James specifically so that we talk about the what you did here and am glad you Jack decided to come along" he said turning his eyes from James to Jack.
    "First of all,  I want to tell you guys that am very disapointed with you. I taught you to respect people, to value the life of everyone around you. We may never know what the future holds and who would be the person to help you one day. no wonder it's good that every person you meet, you treat them with respect no matter what.
    That goes for women too, I remember  calling you one day before you both left for the university and told you how a woman is.
    They are what you make them as a man
     If you are going to find a woman and respect her, treat  her well, honor her and above all love her, am certain you will live a happy man because women are wonderful when they are happy.
    Look at me and your mother, have you ever seen her cry beacuse of me in your entire lives?" He paused looking at them..
    Both James and Jack shook their heads. "no dad not even a day" Jack  added..

    "Well it's not like we never have differences but as a man I learnt to control the situations and made it my mission to see her happy. she's the way she is because she felt and still feel my love and support no matter what comes out way.
    Now what am I trying to tell you boys?
    I want to say, I expected you to follow my ways. No wonder your mother and I always insisted you get settled. find a woman  and start  living like normal people, instead of jumping from one woman  to another. I know it's exciting to play around since you  have money and all that,  but let me tell you. Money is nothing if you have no that special person to share it with, your children to look after. It becomes nothing except what you just spend around like a man without a future.
    After all these leassons what do I hear?" he continued,
    "your sons have bet to win over a woman and whoever would win would get to lay  with her and that's it.
    Are you two mad or what? " he shouted raising his voice and the two knew were the story was going. They both looked down without looking straight  at their father. they knew so well when he heard the issue that was bound to happen and they understood making their father that upset wasn't a good idea.
    "Can any of you care to explain what is going on?"  He asked his face wrinkled on the forehead a clear sign it wasn't time for jokes..

    "Dad am sorry we did that but we have resolved it after we realised it was a bad thing to do."  Jack spoke up looking at James who fidgeted in his seat.

    "Yeah sure dad, it's all over now and we are sorry we behaved like kids. I can assure you now that we will stay away from Lucy and this whole thing won't repeat itself" James added with a shakky voice knowing most of it was his fault  and the bet thing was his idea.

    He saw his father stand and pace around the room for some minute before he stood in one position.
    "Well, I hear you and my answer is not as you expect, the consequences of what you have done especially you James," he paused
    " will not allow you to just walk away. your mother and I have come to know that Lucy is pregnant and."
    He couldnt finish his sentence when both Jack  and James shouted at once . "preganant! "
    "Yeah preganant, as in having a baby? " Mrs Kangwa spoke for the first time.
    "And I know it  is yours James"  she added firmly.
    "Um mama, how can you just say it's mine. I am.. I didn't..." he stuttered

    "You what, young man?"  Mr Kangwa interrupted.
    " are you trying to deny you got her pregnant? "
    "No dad.. am just surprised you say it with surety, I did it, did she tell you its mine? "
    "She needed not to James, that girl stays in this farm and you are the one who was with her. she told me how long the pregnancy is and it matches the dates you were here." Mrs Kangwa answered him.
    "But mama, she knows I don't want to have kids yet. how could she get pregnant just like that? I am not going to accept being pushed into some responsibility I am not ready to take.. besides, ask her to tell you who the father to that child is, maybe she met with someone else."   he said,  his face all sweaty.

    "I can't believe you want to reject her after sleeping with her Jammy. you can't say she was with another man when you know you slept with her, come on. Accept it already and be mature enough to take responsibility for once in your life."  Jack answered calmly. He didn't get to doubt even once that it was Jame's.
    "What is your problem Jack?  Just shut up now!  who knows who else that slut slept with, maybe she was with you at the same time. why would you all just point at me even before she says it's me." he spat giving his brother a stern look.
    "Grow  up man! You are the one who was with her and you want to point at me,  what the hell? at least care enough and do the right thing, dad tell this boy to reason like a man."
    "Am a man you idiot!" James shouted standing up and grabbing his brother by the shirt .
    "Leave me alone Jammy or else." Jack backed..
    "Or what? Who do you think you are ! " James screamed shaking him.

    "Stop this nonsense you two, now!"  Mr Kangwa shouted angrily
    " are you out of your minds..! You want  to fight in our faces when we are talking about something this serious issue? sit  down now! " He added...

    Mrs Kangwa shook her head in disbelief she just stood and went to the other room without a word.
    What James and Jack didn't know was that Lucy was called earlier and she was in the house waiting to be called to confirm the whole issue.
    She sat down on the chair in the room she was told to wait from.  She could hear the screaming and shouting and she knew from Jame's tone,  He wasn't ready to take responsibility. she cried as she recalled her conversation with her uncle.  Who told her that the man who impregnated her was to take responsobilty, he was clear he would not support her raising a child outside marriage.
    "You are old enough to marry and don't tarnish the name of our family by having a child outside marriage, start a family already"  he had told her.
    Lucy had tried to call and talk to her friend and she was told to let the guy who got her pregnant know as her earlier intention was to hide that fact knowing so well James might refuse.

    Now here she was hearing it for herself,  the man she fall in love with couldn't  even get to accept he got her pregnant. Most of her crying wasn't because she wanted money to raise the child,  she could well take care of that but her pain was the  issue of being rejected by the one man she had come to love so much despite him not showing any signs of commitment to her.
    She was lost in thoughts tears running down her face when Mrs Kangwa walked in.
    "Stop crying my child" she whispered taking her hand.
    "whether he likes it or not he's  going to take responsibility, come on here." he tried to smile pulling her up. They both walked into the sitting room and Jack felt sad seeing Lucy looking pale  and crying. James on the other hand gave  her a killer look that spoke thousands of words..
    Mrs Kangwa asked Lucy to confirm who between the brothers got her pregant and she with tears told him it was James.
    "I know he doesn't love me and am so hurt  knowing that Jack and James had to bet  over me. I feel used and I don't even know what to think of that. How could you both decide to play with my feelings like that?  I liked you as a person Jack.  I respected you as a friend you were to me. I never knew you also are  like your brother."  she added looking at Jack  who had now bow down feeling the heat from her words.. .
    "as for you James, I know you don't want this child and that's why I didn't say anyting to you.  Even the few times you decided  to call me, you made it clear. From the beginning you continued saying it and I was a fool to fall  in love with you. I regret the day I met you and I hate myself for falling For you even when you showed me a monster that you are.
    This baby is in me and believe me an not going to ask you to take any responsobilty. Just live  your life and forget we ever met" she added crying.

    Mr Kangwa cleared his throat and cut her shut...
    "My Dear.. not to worry, no child of mine will make such a mistake and walk  away  from it he knows better than that and as his father am telling you that this boy here"  he said pointing at James.
    "is going to marry you and you two are going to raise that child together." 

    "No dad, please dont do this to me please don't"  James begged looking at his father.
    "I can't marry her just like that am not ready"  he panted pointing at Lucy.
    "Well sonny, since you decided you are man enough to lay a woman,  you have to take responsobilty of your  actions period."  he responded and Mrs Kangwa nodded in agreement. 
    "I called Lucy's uncle and tomorrow we are going to his place in Lusaka were we are going to be charged traditionally and later on you will go and live  with this woman,  take care of her until she delivers and later on you two will  decide whether  to get married, which  should  be the case  to avoid having  your child grow up  with  his parents  in different homes. is that clear?" Mrs Kangwa asked strongly.
    "Am not doing it mother, I won't.. besides you heard her. she can take care of herself. " James answered standing up.
    "Sit down now!  You ungrateful child " his father scolded..
    "It is settled and you will do as I say. unless my name is not Henry Kangwa." he shouted and they all knew the matter was settled.
    "Jack prepare to take your sister in law to your house will you?"  he added looking at Jack who nodded quietly
    "of course dad." Jack murmered.

    James stood up and stormed out of the room like a mad man without saying a thing. He felt bad he was being forced to be with a woman he didnt love. he went to his room and walked around furious.
    " she did it deliberately to get to me " he whispered to himself, he shook his head sadly but he had no option.
    James knew his father was a great man but that he would never let anyone mess with someone's life without taking reposibilty.
    He recalled some years back when he and Jack were meant  to go and apologise  to the neighbour's house for breaking their window even when no one  saw them do it. He had later on  told them to go and do some piece work of weeding people's farm in the copperbelt where they were staying to raise money to buy the glass panes and had the window fixed.  Since That day the two had stopped playing with a ball near the neighbour's homes.
    He sat on his bed holding his face
    " my God what am going to do with her and  that child, am not ready for this"  he asked himself.
    "I don't want this"

    Lucy was told to go to her home and the following day the whole family went with her to Lusaka were they discussed the matter and it was decided she moved in with the boys. Her uncle was glad the Kangwa's were willing to accept his niece, of course he didn't know James was forced to do it.

    Lucy tried to talk Mrs Kangwa out of it saying she wasn't comfortable going with a man who rejected her but Mrs Kangwa assured her James would grow up now and that if he cared even a little. he would learn to love her too.

    she reluctantly agreed and when they took her to the house Jame's house, she wasnt sure that was going to work..

    The Kangwas left that evening back to the farm leaving Lucy in the hands of James and warning  him to take care of her till she gave birth,  they told her she could resume her work after she delivered and things were settled. It was the genesis of a new chapter in Lucy's life..

    PART 12

    "Hey!" Jack called Lucy,
    she sat  on a couch her eyes focused on particularly nothing.  She didn't really feel at home.
    In fact the moment the Kangwas left James got his keys to the car and headed out without  a word. 
    Lucy had remained seated in silence not knowing how to begin and what exactly to do. she wished the situation was different. looking around she saw the portrait for James on the wall and looked at him. He was handsome no doubt, his flawless skin could be seen even from the photo. May be working in the bank added to that smoothness, for whatever reason Lucy couldn't help admire him..
    Unfortunately her heart still longed  for him even when it pained her so much he wasn't intrested in her.
    Surprising how a heart can choose, it has no reasoning, all it does is choose what it wants,  the person in love has no control over their own feelings involving love. She hoped  to forget the feelings and one day live  her life as normal as possible..
    "Hey !"  She responded to Jack ..
    "Lucy I dont know what to say to you am really  sorry for what happened. I just.."  he couldnt get to complete his sentence and she cut in..

    "Are you really sorry Jack? Or it's your way of teasing  me. how dare you show that face in front of me right now pretending to be sorry.  am sure you are glad you lost and you are not the one in Jame's shoes uh?
    You know what? just show me my room already and leave me alone. you are both the same and I regret ever meeting you"  she scolded him..

    "Lucy calm down please and hear me out."  he said holding her hand to stop her from walking away.
    "Stop touching me Jack  and show me the room I want to rest already,  at least I thought you were a good person but now I can see clearly. I beg you show me the room I will be sleeping in"  she sighed wiping some tears  from her face..
    "Come with me,"  Jack frowned, his voice almost inaudible.
    " I will show you the room for James." 
    "No, I don't want his room and you know why. this house is big enough I am sure there's a spare room somewhere."
    Jack stopped for a while. she was right.. at that moment it wasn't a good idea to let her in James room. He walked her to the spare bedroom and got some clean sheets and made the bed for her while she stared at him in silence.
    He finished and turned to look at her her pair of jeans defining her figure and her blouse well fitting her top  part of the body. If not told one wouldn't tell she was even pregnant. he imagined how she would look in her 9th month.

    "I really wish she was surely preganat  for me" he thought to himself.
    " it could have made me a happy man knowing she's carrying my precious child."
    "Why are you staring at me like that ? " Lucy asked him bring him back to reality..
    "Oh am sorry.. I was just.. forget it.. and please your bed is ready" he added heading out to the door..
    "Am sure you are laughing at me now? I mean looking at how i fall  for your brother and ended up getting pregnant.  what can i tell you Jack , I fall in love" she said between tears with a smile.
    "I fall in love and I couldn't control what I felt for him. it's foolish you think?"  She asked him..
    Jack  had stopped by the door listening to her. He turned his back to look at her.
    "No actually.. I understand you perfectly well Lucy. I have been where you are."
    "Mmmmm you got pregant?" she teased shaking her head making it clear that Jack wouldn't say he understood what she was going through.
    "Not really.. but falling in love with someone who doesn't even see me."  he told her leaving the the room before Lucy could answer.
    Lucy looked at the closed door in front of her wondering what Jack really meant. She lay down and closed her eyes her hands on her stomac. imagining her child growing inside her. she whispered a prayer for the safety of the child and that one day his father would get to love him.

    Jack went to his room and hit the wall hard. He couldn't even feel the pain in his knuckles as he continously did that until blood started coming out. he sat down on his small side chair holding his now paining hand.
    The pain in his heart was however heavier and stronger, he was  trying to concetrate on his hand for minutes and when he realised he's been in for a while he got out and went to prepare a meal for supper. Walking to Lucy's room when he was done, Jack stood and knocked on the door..
    It was quite and he knocked again.
    Lucy opened the door and stood there her  eyes puffed. Jack  could  tell she was crying.
    "I came to call for you. super is ready"  he told her..
    "Thank you, I will be coming." She responded without moving .
    "Well"  Jack sighed indicating his hands for her to go ahead of him..
    "I will eat later Jack  thank you"
    "No Lucy you are not alone and I can't let you stay with hunger, remember we all didn't have a proper meal for lunch. so let's move. I want my nephew fat and heavy" he joked making Lucy smile weakly ..
    She had no apetite to eat but the look on Jack's  face and the feel of wasting his efforts he put in for her made her go..
    "So where is James?" She asked him when they begun eating.
    "Mmmmm I don't know my dear, but not to worry am sure he will buy himself food  wherever he is." he added with a grin..
    "He can't stand being around me, this isn't a good idea at all. I hate to be forced on  a person who doesn't want me." she complained
    "Well let's take a break from all this sadness and enjoy this meal I put in so much energy" he told her trying to change the subject.
    "Yeah it's great"  she said with a weak smile.
    "Sorry I took it on you this afternoon Jack."
    "Yeah you were right after all. I was  stupid and am sorry, trully. but let's change this subject already. " he shrugged.
    They ate in silence and Lucy noticed the bruises on Jack's hands which she had not seen before but she kept it to herself. That evening she took a bath and went to bed at 21 hours leaving Jack  in  the living room watching soccer.

    James looked at the dance floor a lot of people where shouting on top of their voices and dancing to the loud music from the stereo. He could see their mouths open and some movements but he could not hear a thing. it was like everything was on mute.
    He's  mind was not even there, he could only feel the hurt in his heart. blaming Lucy for everything that was happening.
    For some reason he could not see any good in her anymore, all he felt was like a huge cloud was covered on him.
    "How could they force me to marry her..? Why didn't they just let her stay back and ask me to support the child instead of throwing her in my life..?"  He asked his friend besides him.
    "I don't know man.. I dont  understand your parents man.. they are too much old fashioned.. these days people get pregnant and the man is just asked for financial support not to marry the one you don't even love.. that's so outrageous... "
    "Yeah you are right Kelvin... I don't get them too.. and my father is  hard core my man.. he doesn't easily bow .. I don't know what  to do with that woman back in  my house.. I don't even want to think that I hate her.."

    Kelvin looked at his friend and shook his head.
    "just let her stay intil she gives birth then you can let her go. it's simple"  he told him and James nodded..
    " you are right man. I will try endure her presence for a short while."

    Kelvin was friends with James and he was so outgoing too. though he was married his behaviour said otherwise.
    He was always out playing and making out. luckly his wife was from a wealthy family and had a good job. The main reason  why he even married her. she was able to take care of their two kids without any fiancial challenges. she was actually the one that helped Kelvin start a business and now that he was making his own money and business had grown.. he started drinking out and having multiple partners..
    Jack had tried to warn  James over such a friend and it all fell on deaf ears..
    He had even started drinking too,  though Jack never got to tell their parents James started drinking.
    As of that time the Kangwas had no idea their son drunk any alcohol. he hid from them and never drunk more than  a glass of wine in their presence.
    That night he drunk more than his limit and he spent the night in one of the rooms at the lodge near the night club he and Kelvin where drinking from.

    Jack  woke  up in the middle of the night and found His brother wasn't yet back after checking his room.. 
    He tried to call his cell but it went unanswered for the 10th time..
    Jack was worried and tried to call Kelvin to find out where his brothers was.. knowing so well he was the only friend that could keep James that late.

    "I left him at some lodge, he was too wasted  to drive"  Kelvin answered him.. he's voice making Jack realise they had been drinking heavily. 
    "Tell me the name of the lodge and I will  go pick him. he has to go for work tomorrow for goodness sake."

    Jack  paced around the house holding the car keys, he looked at the phone in his hands. It was almost 02 am and he thought of how  dangerous it was to drive out in the areas of Chalala with groups of thugs rooming around..
    He went back to bed deciding to go early that morning and bring back his brother before time for work.. 
    "What is going on with Jammy?" He asked himself folding his hands around himself and closing his eyes to try get himself to sleep. It was going to be a different home he could feel the tension building up.

    PART 13

    The whole week passed and James had not talked to Lucy. He could wake up early and prepare himself for work while she was still asleep or even ignore her whenever he saw her up. After work which was usually late, as he would come home at either 21 or later when she was asleep.
    The only comfort  for Lucy was that Jack was always there for her. He would wake up and greet her in the mornig before leaving for work and whenever he was back which was usually early,  sometimes around 12 or 14 hours. since he was his own boss he needed not to stay late unless need be. He would help prepare meals, their house worker used to do all the cleaning in the house and cooked before knocking off.
    Lucy had less to do,  though she tried insisting that she cooked which Jack wouldn't so much agree  with when he was around.
    One morning the maid asked Lucy why she used to sleep in a separate room from Jack her husband to be.
    Lucy laughed, she looked at the maid and sighed. "who could blame her?" she thought to herself. Jack  was always there for her but James never even bothered himself about her.
    "Well.. to start with, am sleeping alone because we are not yet married and the man am here for is not Jack  but James " she told the maid.
    "Oh no.. am sorry mam , just that I thought.. "
    "Yeah I know"  Lucy cut her with a smile.
    She however went to her room and cried. It was over a week and James had not even uttered a word to her. she could feel out of place if  it wasn't for Jack  who stood by her like he was the one who got her pregnant. he wouldn't let a minute pass without talking to her whenever he was around making sure she wasn't sad. sometimes she recalled him staying and working from home and she knew he was doing it for her.
    Wiping her tears,  Lucy planned to call on James and have a talk with him. she knew he didn't want her but treating her like she never existed really got to her.

    Jack was just done making a large business deal and he and his partner Hilary had gone out to cerebrate their achievement.
    "Hey man.. so what's up with that hot sister in-law  to be you have.?" Hilary asked him as they relaxed after the meal.
    He had seen her once when he went to Jame's house and he had praised how beautiful Lucy was. even when Jack went on to tell him how she ended up at their house Hilarly had wondered what was wrong with James.
    "Your brother is nuts Jack.. " he had told him.
    "how can he not fall in love with such a calm and beautiful girl? what the hell is your silly brother looking for ?"  He had exclaimed.

    "Well it's rough man,"  Jack answered leaning back on the seat in the restaurant.
     "my brother has barely stayed  home since she came. I really wish i had her for myself man, now you know how it is. she loves him and not me."

    "Yea she's not lucky"  Hilary chuckled.
    " you my friend are a good person and a good man too. you have it all the looks and the gentleness, the money and a biggest heart I know.."
    Jack sighed looking at him " well I wish she took it that way but you know the heart wants what it wants. In fact,  I intend to  meet with James after work I need to try talk to him. it's not fair how he's  treated Lucy. even if he will not listen to me I will still give him a piece  of my mind." Jack shook his head grabbing a glass of water and drinking its contents.
    "You do that Jack, it's the right thing to do. let him try  supporting her until she gives birth and later on they can decide to go separate ways " Hillary agreed.

    Later that evening James and Jack sat in Jame's room where Jack had asked to meet him.
    "What's up brother ? you called for me.. " James asked removing his shoes and pushing them away from his feet.
    "Yeah I wanted to talk to you man and its about Lucy" he responded.
    "What about her ? " The unconcerned James responded.
    "Well.. to start with,  I have noticed you don't even greet her or ask how she is and I don't think it's a good thing to treat her that way especially in her condition. Atleast you felt something for her before you lay with her, so it shouldn't be a big issue to at least try act with a bit of care."
    "Mmmmh!"  James murmured making a face.
    "I see.. so you are happy am being forced  to be with the person I don't want uh?  Tell me Jack,  if it were you in my shoes what would you do?"   He asked back.
    "I wouldn't treat a woman like she doesn't exist after getting her pregnant no matter what James,  come on man, you are not like that.."

    "Well you and me are from the same mother but we are different, at least I don't pretend. I call things as they are,  if am not happy I say am not, if I don't want something then I don't. it's that simple" James explained.

    "I don't know about pretending,  all am asking is for you to show concern and make an effort to support her for the sake of the child. I don't think that's  so hard to do, is it? " Jack argued

    "Okay tell me what you mean by showing concern, is it greeting her?  that's what you want mmmm? " James shifted sitting up and looking at his brother.
    "That also." Jack answered "just look at how wasted you were the last time I picked you from the lodge, not to talk about the late comings. you are affecting your life as well. if only you can turn the tables and do the right thing you wouldn't have to go through all this. I love you Jammy and I think you can do better than this. "

    "It's not my fault that she decided to ruin everything by getting pregnant  even when I made it clear to her I wanted no commitments nor  kids. she's the reason am not even happy in  my own house." James burst out now angry.

    "Don't throw this on her Jammy. Remember where all this started from. it was all your idea and you followed her, whatever happened is not her fault but yours. She's suffering, can't you see ? She loves you man and all you do is treat  her like shit. mom and dad will not like it if  they  hear you can't even talk to her." Jack talked raising his hands in gestures to make his brother get his point.
    "You know what Jack?, I think this discussion has gone over board. you started complaining I don't greet her so I will be doing that,  don't push me to do anything else. if you think am  not a responsible person you can as well be with her,  after all you are the one who got to fall in love with her and not me.  so now , can i get my rest?"  He asked raising his hands indicating for Jack to leave his room.

    Jack almost said something but James shouted..  " please.. it's late ! Good night! "

    "Yeah of course " Jack shrugged leaving the room.

    In the morning,  Lucy also woke up early and sat  on the dinning table prepared to confront James.
    "Good morning.." James greeted her.
    She looked at him surprised he talked to her for the first time in a week.
    "Good morning. " she answered in a low voice tone.
    He moved to the coffee maker and made himself a cup of coffe and grabbed a piece of bacon from the fridge.
    "James, I wanted to talk to you if you dont mind."  she started, her voice almost choking her.
    "Mmmh okey,  I have 5 minutes" he said sitting down his eyes on the cup. he couldn't even get to look at her face.
    "What? " He asked when Lucy stayed  quite for a while.
    "James am here because of you. I didn't put myself in this condition,  you made me this way. what wrong have I done for you to treat me this way? " she asked calmly.

    "What way?"  James asked chewing on the bacon his face lifted up.
    Lucy shook her fingers,  seeing James was not even intrested in the talk.
    "So according to you the way you have been acting since I came here is normal? " She asked almost  raising her voice.
    "Oh please , don't give me that Lucy. you got pregnant because you wanted to. I on the other hand , told you in a clear voice and sobber mind I wasn't intrested. so whatever  is happening to you is a result of your choice and dont  tell me you know me that well  to say i am not acting normal.  well you wanted James! here I am" he patted his chest.
    " James Kangwa,  so deal with it, this is me and don't expect  me to give you a peck  for ruining my life." He spat standing up and dropping the cup on the sink.
    "Oh sorry, time up " he chuckled looking and patting at his wrist watch before grabbing his car keys and walking out.

    "Jack am out!"  He shouted looking in the direction of the  bedrooms.
    Lucy watched him leave and she shook her head tears falling her face. nothing hurt her more than hearing she had ruined the life of the man she loved.
    She sobbed silently holding her stomac.

    Jack stood behind her his hands akimbo, he felt bad. he had listened to the conversation and he hated that his brother had no small sense of compasion, "how can a normal person behave that way? " he asked himself shaking his head.

    "Come here " he whispered holding Lucy's hands and pulling her into a hug. He held her for some time as she sobbbed tears wetting his shirt, it's gonna be okay, please stop crying" he  told her rubbing her back.
    "I can't take this anymore Jack.. it's hard, am trying to but I can't " she cried holding on to him.
    "I know and don't worry am here for you,  let's forget about Jammy for a while and concetrate on making sure you are okey and the baby too. that's all that matters now"  he added leading her to her bedroom.
    Lucy nodded and wipped  her tears as she sat down.
    "Let me make some tea to calm you down"  Jack told her helping her into the bed and pulling the cover half way her body as she lay down.He came back later with a cup of hot tea and asked her to take it while he watched in silence. .
    "So how does it feel like?"  She asked him sipping on the tea.
    "What ? " He asked looking up.
    "Being In  love with someone who doesn't love you back,  I mean for a man? " She added raising her shoulders.
    "Well.. what can i say,  it's painful seeing her so close and yet so far away.  It's hard to watch her and feel you can hold her in your arms and make her feel safe and loved. it's even harder to know she can't even notice you like she does and pays attention to someone else.
    All I do when I see her is desire  to run and hold her so close and assure her it's gonna be okay, to tell her that I feel her pains and her happy moments."  Jack told her, his eyes set on hers without blinking.

    "Wow! " She sighed.. "that is deep, it's so unfortunate that woman is not lucky. you are the almost perfect man I know, " Lucy smiled.
    " a gentleman and the dream of every woman"  she added.
    "Yeah.. anyway such is life my dear, but now I take one day at a time. someone taught me that patience pays." He shrugged calmly.
    "But why can't you tell her how you feel about her Jack..?  Let her know how you feel, you will be surprised what she has for you as well..." Lucy went on trying to ignore his soft but sad eyes.
    Jack smiled.." I will one day " he said standing up. "Now,  you take care of yourself and no more crying " he patted her shoulders and left.

    She  looked at him leave and shook her head.. "what a good man. It's like the two were born from different mother's " she thought setting the cup aside and pulling the cover on herself again.

    PART 14

    "Do you think she's really okey? " Mrs Kangwa asked her husband when she hung up a call she had made to Lucy. she had been calling her since they left her.
    "I just can't help but feel she's not doing well there, are you sure it was a good idea to make her to stay with them?"  She asked her husband who was busy helping feed the chickens.
    "Oh my dear wife, take it is. I know what am doing. out  of all this,  James will learn to be responsible. I understand it will be rough on Lucy for some time but James can't hurt her especially when Jack is around."  Mr Kangwa responded.
    "Well.. I think that stern order for Jack to look out for Lucy untill everything was okay before moving out was a good thing to do."  she sighed  lifting a small bucket her husband was using to put feed  in the chickens.
    "I wonder what James wants. just look at that girl, for the past years she has worked here I have come to love her. she's so decent and hard working . Look at how she helped with the animals here, not to talk of her good relations with others."
    "Yeah she's beautiful too and I know my grand child will be so cute"  Mrs Kangwa smiled proudly.
    "Well pray your son gets to his senses and be there to help her through this so that he doesn't give her unnecessary stress. " Mr Kangwa said looking at his wife.
    "His mine alone now that he's done something wrong uh? " She teased " I thought he was your favorite son. what happened?  " Mrs Kangwa let a laugh.


    Lucy took a bath after breakfast one Saturday and prepared to go into town. She walked to Jack's bedroom to say bye to Jack knowing so well she couldn't disturb James whom she saw walking in earlier around 04 am, "he was probably drunk"  she thought to herself as she stood to knock  on Jack's door.

    She had been around for over 3 weeks now and over time she started getting used to James ignoring her. he would only greet  her whenever they met either in the passage or  kitchen. If he finds her seated in the living room he would go straight to his room.
    Over time she realised she had grown close to Jack, they would chat and laugh. He told her stories of them growing  up. how he and James were raised as responsible kids. she wondered how James ended up being so outgoing and reckless with his life.
    "He wasn't always like this " Jack had told her.
    "he's usually home from work and used to drink once in a while, this behaviour am seeing now is something else and if it persists I have no option but to tell mom and dad. " he explained sadly.
    "Am a curse in his life then. he's right Jack.."  Lucy had complained,
    "I destroyed his life and I feel so bad about all this.  I swear, I never intended to get pregnant and later on tell him. it's your mother who noticed and she insisted  I told her. she told me she was certain it was Jame's as she had known what was going on.

    "I know my dear,  don't bother yourself to explain. I thought we agreed no more stories to stress you out please.. " Jack responded and smiled. Jack  really made everything else seem so easy.

    "Come in!"  she heard Jack call her in bringing her back to the present. Jack sat on his bed looking at his laptop. He looked up to see who had knocked on the door and he couldn't help admire the figure before him.
    She wore a black pencil skirt with patches of small prints in pink it  went slightly above  her knees shaping her hips and seemingly still flat stomach, one wouldnt tell for sure she was almost 3 months pregnant, a black sleeveless  blouse that  had an open front outlining her now more rounded  breast, a small gold chain around her neck falling right on top of the cleavage.
    He stared  at her smooth exposed legs and swallowed hard, " she is perfect,"  he thought to himself forgetting he had been watching her in silence.
    "Is anything the matter?"  Lucy asked when she realised how quite Jack was.
    "Yea yeah!  am  sorry,  I was taken by your beauty " he smiled clearing his throat
    " please come  on in.. "
    "No, am not here to sit Jack.  I just came to tell you am going out to do a bit of shopping in town and will meet a friend afterwards."

    "Well that's  okey, but how are you going into town? I mean you can get my car " he told her.
    "Thanx Jack but I can't drive yet. not to worry though,  I will  get a cab outside. The maid told me I can get one by the corner." She pointed out still standing by the door.
    "Oh no,  not a taxi Lucy come on, we have vehicles here how  can you even think of booking? No way.. just give me a minute I change into something decent"  he said point ing at his shorts.
    "I don't want to bother you Jack, please you have done enough already. it's okey,  besides I might  take long since I have to meet a friend."

    "Well am not complaining Lucy and am not letting you on a taxi either. So wait for me or I change with you in here"  he teased making Lucy shake her head and walking out.

    He drove her to town and walked her from one boutique to another. "I need to change my wardrobe, all my clothes are becoming small " she laughed  as they walked.
    "You don't look any different dear " Jack responded.. "in fact you look more beautiful"  he added with a smile.
    "Wait until I have a potberry reaching steps away"  she laughed.
    He settled all the bills for her clothings that day and when she met up with her friend later on Jack told her he would be somewhere near and that she could call him when she was done.
    "See you soon then,  " Lucy waved  at him as she got out of the car to the place she went to meet her friend..

    "Wow, my friend, you never told me you sorted out things with your man. I cant help admire you Lucy,  that guy loves you and the way he looked at you. wow! And he's  so cute," Harriet exclaimed.
    Lucy looked back, where Jack was driving away,  shaking her head, "how I wish he was James my dear"  she responded sadly, "  that's not him Harriet that's his brother."

    "What? Oh no Lucy don't tell me that man is not James. " Harriet asked sadly.
    "What can i tell you dear.  James barely looks at me and later on drive me into town." she said indicating her friend to sit on the chair outside hungry lion at Manda hill.

    "Oh no,  am so sorry Lucy. I thought now you guys are okey and things are back to normal,  you are 3 months pregnant my friend that man needs to man up and stop treating you badly it aren't good for your child. At least let him know how you feel my friend,  maybe it will help"  Harriet added.
    "I have tried and am tired. I have cried over that man i swear I love  him. Dispite what he's done, my heart still wants him and it hurts so much Harriet,  thank God Jack is so supportive. I could have died with depression in that house.  You know I called my aunty to help me reason with uncle and make me leave that place. Guess what she told me..? " she paused

    "What?" Harriet  asked holding Lucy's hand as she was shedding tears.  "She told me uncle said if  he didn't want me then he should keep me and return me the way I was before. That I should stay until i give birth and then leave the child with James." She cried tears rolling down her face.
    "Oh no.. that's hard Lucy, believe me. no matter what, the moment you will see your child you won't ever feel like leaving her or his side, it cant happen.. "

    "I don't know what to do Harriet " she cried.
     " I miss my lonely life sometimes and I wish i never fall in love, am I stupid? " She sniffed looking at Harriet.
    "No my dear you are not stupid. its unfortunately most women are in your situation. you know when a woman  is in love we go miles for these men,  some even spend their whole fortune just to please a man.  Others do many silly things just to make a man love them back,  but unfortunately you know  the case.
    Don't beat your self over this, it's not entirely your fault  Lucy. stop crying now and put yourself together. remember this child can feel all your emotions. you can  end up having a depressed child, that's no good" . She encouraged her.

    "Am just so tired, Harriet,  I can't sleep properly knowing he's  in the next room and doesn't even feel I exist.  It hurts to be cared for by his brother when he's around and so much okay. Jack is an angel my friend I can't help admire his gentlemen and calm character. what could i be without him? "

    "Yeah I saw him Lucy and I  can't  help feel Jack loves you more than you think."  Harriet nodded.
    "Oh no, he doesn't love me,  he told me he's in love with someone who doesn't love him back."  she said with a chuckle.. " how funny.."

    "Mmmmh If you ask me Lucy I would say that woman is you. I saw it,  the way he moved to open the door for you, the way he held your back to help you out of the car and the way he looked at you as you walked here. My friend that guy is into you and you are being blinded by the love you have for that stupid brother of his to see it." 
    Lucy looked at her friend.. " oh no I didn't think of it in those lines, it can't be,"  she  said with a small voice her face sad.
    "Believe me he does, it doesn't take an expert to see a man in love."
    Lucy was quite for a while, remembering how Jack cared  so much for her, his smiles, the way he went over to her room every morning and evening to say good morning or good night.

    "But why does he do that? I mean love me, if at all he does?"   She asked her eyes focused on the table.
    "Mmmmh just like asking why do you love James?  Lucy it's the heart not the mind,  the two don't reason in the same way dear." Harried answered seriously.

    They spent two hours talking about Lucy's issue. She cried through most of it pouring her heart to her  best friend,  who was married.
    By the time she realised how hurt she was feeling,  Lucy felt light headed and before Harriet could move to hold her she fall  back down in the chair and fainted.
    "Lucy! Lucy! Come on.. wake up.. Lucy please!"  Harriet shouted shaking her unconscious friend.
    People started gathering watching them, "oh no she fainted, someone help me here"  she cried holding her friend.  she got Lucy's phone and quickly looked through her contacts and called Jack's number who picked it immediately.
    "Lucy are you done now? " He asked without saying helo.
    "No , it's Harriet please Jack  come over Lucy just collapsed we need to take her to the hospital.. " Harriet responded.
    Without asking any more Jack cut the line and got into  his car,  luckily he had gone to Arcades,  he drove to manda hill and in a few minutes he was there.
    Lifting Lucy to the car, Harriet ran behind him as he walked  his long strides.
    She got in the back and he instructed her to hold her close as he cruised to the hospital.
    Praying in his heart she and the baby were okey. He was almost crying but tried to contain himself for fear of embarrasing himself in front of Harriet.

    He watched holding his head as the nurses pushed the bed into the Doctor's room. He told them she was pregnant immediately they got there.
    "your wife  will be fine don't worry sir " one of the nurses told him before heading back to the Doctors room.   Jack nodded and looked at Harriet who was now seated in the bench.

    PART 15

    James was still sleeping when his phone vibrated, he sighed and opened his eyes to look at his phone and when he saw it was Jack calling he ignored it the first time but when it rung for the second time he pushed himself  to answer it..
    "What's up Jack?  Am in bed man. I thought you were in the house. why are you calling me.. ?" 
    "Wake up James something serious happened." Jack told him..
    James wiped his face and sat  up worried something might have happened to his brother. Despite everything James loved  his brother and he was glad Jack had stayed with him after Lucy came. He had noticed how Jack loved Lucy and cared for her. deep down his heart he felt a bit sad he wasn't being  so nice, but his mind convinced him he had nothing to feel guilty about. For some reason he felt Lucy got pregant deliberately to corner him into a marriage.  
    Lately he had decided to continue his relationship with Charity. he loved her company and since she was within Lusaka at NIPA college he had taken advantage and always got her out especially on  the weekend.
    What James didn't know however, was that Charity was not in for love but for fame and money. she had multiple boyfriends and had put a tag to each one of them. one was for funding things like talk time and clothings, the old man she had as a sugar dad was for big cuts of cash he even got her a car she used to drive. James on the other hand was handsome and rich too giving her the admiration amongst her friends in school which she loved so much.

    "James! You have to wake up now Lucy is in the hospital she collapsed a while ago at Manda Hill I rushed her to the hospital at Levy Mwanawasa"Jack raised his voice as he spoke to him..

    "Well I thought maybe you had an accident or something big.  what was she doing at Manda Hill anyways? "  he shrugged.
    "Jammy.. come on man don't give me that cold voice now. get out of bed now and rush here you see  the mother to your unborn child!" Jack shouted..

    "But you already there man.. what's the rush. I have to clean up first you know I had a long night and this is weekend."  James responded his voice as calm.

    "You know what? you jerk, if you don't get up and drive your stupid face here am going to call dad and tell him how you have been mistreating Lucy and inform him she's streessed  because of you, lets see how you explain yourself to your father!"  Jack shouted before cuttig the line..
    James cursed as he woke up furious that his sleep was disturbed.
    "she wants to come in my house and start to control everything!"  he said to himself standing up and heading to the shower, knowing so well if he didn't go his brother would go on with his threats of telling his parents and that's the last thing he wanted.  Having his father on  him was just not a good idea. 
    He bathed and dressed into a Jean  trousers and a plain shirt and sleepers before reluctantly grabbing his keys and walking out to the car..

    He drove to the hospital playing some loud music making sure his Windows were shut. He had to keep awake as the hang  over was stil affecting him.
    Packing at the hospital front James walked margestically to the entrance his good looks and the type of car inviting a lot of glances.
    "I still got  it"  he whispered to himself walking towards the reception to inquire about the room Lucy was taken..
    "Go down the corridor and ask for the emergence  room sir," the nurse at the reception told him..
    "Thank you" he smiled and walked away his eyes on the phone. Surprising how he was taking his time like whatever he was doing at the hospital wasn't important after all.
    He found Jack pacing  around the corridor,  looking up he saw a woman he didn't recognise seated in the bench. From the look of things it seemed Jack was talking to her.
    "Finally you are here" Jack sighed going towards his brother.
    "What happened?"  James asked his hand placed in his pocket and another one holding his iPhone.
    "I took her for shopping when she told me she had to buy some things in town and later on she met with a friend. I dont really know what happened Her friend here,"  he said pointing at Harriet.
    " called me to say she collapsed so here we are.  The doctor told us she's conscious now but needs to rest a bit before we can see her."
    "Well that's Good"   then James sighed sitting down..
    "Are  you going to ask about your baby?"   Harriet looked at him when he sat  near her.
    "and who is she?" James asked looking at Jack.
    "I just told you she's a friend to Lucy. they were together when it happened."

    "Oh I see. So tell me since you seem to know it all " James smiled at her. 
    Harriet shook her head and stood up.
    "Jack pleased tell me when its okey to see her I will be outside" she looked at Jack, grabbing her hand bag and walking away her heels making a sound..
    "What ?"  James shrugged looking at Jack who remained giving him a serious look..
    "You are not the James I know brother and I can assure you I am beginning to lose my patience. Grow up already!" Jack snapped sitting down.
    "You are so irritating" he added..

    "Calm down Jack. I was only playing with her."  James smiled patting his brother in the shoulder. They were still talking when the doctor walked to them.
    "Who is the husband to Lucy?"  He asked and Jack turned to look at his brother. James looked back at him shrugging.
    " am not her husband"  he whispered.. "you brought her here." 
    "Well, doctor he's  just scared something might have happened to the lady  and the child. He's my brother you can tell us anything toghether." Jack smiked standing up.. .
    "thank God we managed to save them both. The baby is okey, the lady is just tired and I have to talk to the baby's father. It seems that lady in there has had a lot of stress and it's affecting her especially in her condition.  Is anything the matter at home?" The Doctor asked looking at James. 
    "No Doctor.. everything is okey. So what can we do now?"  He asked pointing at himself and his brother.
    "Well, I have some more serious news"  the doctor added.
    "she has developed high blood pressure so I recommend you help her stay calm all the time. her pregnancy is now high risk and she needs proper attention if  the baby has to survive until full term."

    "Oh God" Jack sighed worriedly.
    "So what can we do to help her Doctor ? my brother and I are really worried"
    "Don't expose her to anything that puts stress on her. Anything stressing can trigger her BP and that's  not good for both her and the baby." 
    "Can we see  her now?" Jack asked before the doctor went past them.
    "Yes you can and remember don't upset her." He told them and walked away.

    "Go and see her first.. " Jack told James..
    "she needs you more than ever."
    James looked at his brother and then back at the wall, he wasn't ready to see her but he knew he had to.
    "Come on man, go already" Jack pushed him towards the ward.
    He walked in quitely..

    Lucy was taken for high cost ward and so she was given a separate single room detached from the other rooms with 3 people in each ward.

    She had faced the window when James walked in. She turned to look at the door when she heard it open expecting to see Jack. she opened her eyes wide open upon seeing James.
    "What are you doing here? " She asked bringing down her face which was lit in expectation to see Jack..
    "Well I was called to come. Jack insisted I came by, he told me what happened.."

    "Oh I see.."  Lucy sighed.
    " so you mean he forced you to come.  Thank you but you shouldn't have bothered James am sure you had better things to do."
    "so how are you feeling?" He asked ignoring her comments..
    "I will survive James and the baby too.. unfortunately for you uh? " She asked him her eyes direct at his face.

    "You know what Lucy?  am not here to start a fight with you. I just came to see how you are doing and since the doctor said you are going to be fine and that child you are carrying  too  I think my visiting hours are over" he added turning to walk out..
    "You are right James, you made a mistake of coming here."  she shouted tears in her eyes.
    He didn't say a word and turned back pulling the door open. Lucy watched as he disappeared in the other room and she cried loudly.

    A few minutes later Jack walked  in and stood close to the bed watching her cry painfully.
    "You know the doctor said you have to ensure you are not stressed out and that whatever you do to  put pressure on youself will affect your child as well."

    Lucy looked up at him her eyes blured with tears.
    "he just hates  me so much I can't bare to see him. I wish i could die Jack and put an end to all this"  she cried..

    "Don't ever say that again Lucy not even jokingly. I forbid you to talk that way you hear ? " he said looking at her.
    " Let James be with his pride, one day he's going  to come back to his senses and am sure he will apologise to you.
    Let's just conctrate on seeing you to the last trimester of  this pregnancy and you bring in my nephew or niece to this world."
    Lucy sighed looking away. She felt sad after remembering her friend's words about Jack..
    "he loves  you Lucy"
    She felt bad looking at his concerned face. It seemed he was suffering and she felt guilty.  She knew it was almost impossible being with him now. But in  her mind she told herself to be strong,  not for herself but for the baby and Jack.
    " I will not to let him down after everything he has  done. Even if I can't love him as much as I love his brother I will endeaver to help him smile and be happy instead of having him worry about me all the time." she thought to herself turning to look back at Jack.
    she lifted her hand to him and he held it gently.
    "Thank you for being here and saving my life Jack. I pray God will reward you with lots of love and peace" she smiled. 
    He smiled too rubbing  her hand gently. "you are welcome dear.." he smiled

    PART 16

    Months later....
    Lucy had recovered and her pregancy was now showing, she was 7 Months up.
    Jack as always stayed by her side and they were now best of friends. they would cook together, go out for buying food  and other things for the house. She would even help in getting his clothes ironed  as Jack never wanted the maid ironing his clothes.
    Jack was happy, it was not like he had Lucy as he wanted her to himself but being so close to her and see her improve  her mood greatly made him  excited. He would give anything to see her continue smilling.
    He sat in his office one day browsing through the photos he had taken of her, he smiled at how she held her stomach and smilled  at the camera. she looked good and he couldnt help watch her over and over again. He played the video clip he had gotten of her. 
    She was seated outside the house at the back with a dish full of mixed fruits as she liked  them.
    "Jack it's  not funny, stop taking such videos they are so embarrassing" she laughed.
    "Well you look great I want to come and show your child how much you are eating"  he teased her..
    "Stop now!"  she sreamed as she stood to grab the  camera. Jack smiled his eyes on the now shaking images.

    " If I didn't know better. I would say you are the father to that baby in there"  Hillary spoke up from the other side of the table.

    Jack lifted his eyes to look at him.. "well man I feel good what can i tell you, the past months have been great and I can't wait to head back home everyday just to be with her"  he added with a smile.
    "Mmmmh I see the brother is in love with his sibling's woman." Hilary teased.
    "Shhshsh don't say it aloud man, the walls have ears too"  he laughed holding his mouth.

    "So tell me now, " Hillary asked sitting down.
    "What's your plan man? Lucy will give birth soon and since  your brother has  not come to his senses yet. it's probably possible that she will go away, what are you going to do when your little fantasy comes to an end?"  He asked him.
    "Oh my God, my friend that's a milion dollar question and I have thought about it but i don't want to answer it,  because I can't imagine my life without her man. she's my woman and you know what honestly?  deep  down my heart am glad that my brother hates Lucy. I know  am being selfish but I love her Man and I can't help feel so excited everytime she's around me. "

    "So you told her about this crazy love you have?"  Hillary asked him again.
    "No way,  I can't do that, first of all am afraid she might hate me instead and the fact that she was with my brother,  it's complicated man."
    "Well, get real my friend, one day you will want  more than the chit chats you people are doing, tell me, what are you going to do then? Your feelings are growing everyday you interract with her Jack am afraid you will want  to taste the forbidden fruit and in this case yours is more forbidden especially that you are a true African man,  it's tough for you."  he added with a chuckle.
    Jack scoffed, "you are  right and it's clear I don't know what I will do next man. I don't know"  he said sadly leaning back in his chair.
    "life is hard  sometimes uh? I really wish everything was in black and white."

    James was back home earlier the same day Jack was having a talk with his friend and partner at their company.
    He walked to the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of water and poured it all in the glass cup. he seemed to be lost in thoughts as Lucy stood in the door way.  when she heard someone come in she had walked to check if it was Jack,  excited that she would tell him about how the baby had kicked so much that day.

    She looked at him lean on the fridge and closed his eyes,  he seemed sad and she wondered what was eating him up. lately she had observed James stopped coming late, he was always home early and spent most of the days during the weekends watching soccer or some reality shows on the TV.

    Jame's mind wondered away as he felt the cold water run down his gullet.
    He recalled the time he had gone to see Charity at her room. he didnt tell her he was going deciding to surprise her on her birthaday.
    He had bought the latest version of a Samsung phone and had it wrapped nicely. He had decided to take her out that evening.
    Knocking on the door there was no response. he looked at his watch it was slightly after 17,  she was supposed to be out of class and since  she told him earlier that morning that she wasn't going anywhere, he thought she could be sleeping.
    He knocked again and there was no answer,  he tried to call her but her phone was off. As he walked away he met the girl from the next room and he asked if she had seen Charity somwhere..
    " Yes, she left a while ago with her boyfriend,  something like he's hosting a birthday party for her " she explained..
    "I see, " James pretended to be ok with the news.
    As he went to the car he felt the strike  of the news he just heard. He had really started liking her and he felt weak when thoughts of being betrayed again lingered his mind.
    That day he had gone back home and for the first time felt jealousy of his brother.
    He found Lucy and Jack in the kitchen cooking. she was busy explaining  to him how to cook vegetables with groundnuts,  he stood behind her and watched.
    Taste this, Lucy had lifted the spoon to Jack's mouth.. " mmmmmm!  this is so nice"  Jack exclaimed nodding his head.
    "see i told you a little soda will do wonders"  she smiled wiping his chick where a small drop fall on.
    James had watched in silence and left before they could see him. That night he took his time to analyse Lucy,  how much he had hurt her and for the first time since she moved in,  he had realised how wonderful a person Lucy was. she had it all but he had refused to see. He sighed in his bed and slept.

    From that day James had been thinking and watching Lucy and Jack, they both  seemed not to mind what he was doing.. All they did was greet him and sometimes Jack would go and talk to him.
    James grew sad with each day that went by.  Charity denied every alligation of having another guy,  even after James produced photos that showed  her with two different men in awkward positions.
    He had decided to stay away and Charity teased him that he was just starting to feel jealousy now that Lucy looked happy with his brother.
    She was the first one who pointed out that the two where so close to him.
    "I can see those two are beyond any in-lawship James, " she had told him..
    Until  then, James had not really taken time to see the Bond  growing between his brother and  Lucy But since he had Charity then, he didn't let it bother him  much. Now that he was all alone, he saw and felt it.

    Lucy cleared her throat making James jump up coming back to the present.
    "Sorry I startled you"  she told him.
    "Yeah...I guess I have been standing here for some time uh? " He asked placing back the cup in the sink.
    "Yeah sort of " Lucy smiled. she had overtime started ignoring him as well and she realised with time she felt much better. she realised  her life was actually more free and peaceful without stressing and thinking over James. being around Jack was worth it.

    "I came to check on who entered the house I thought Jack is back"  she added walking back.

    "Lucy! " James called her back.
    "Yes? " She responded turning back..
    "How is the baby? "
    Lucy was silent for a second wondering what was up with James.
    "He's okay."  she responded directly, " thanks for asking.. "
    "He?" James asked,  he never  knew Lucy and Jack had gone for a ultrasound and they knew the child was a boy.
    "Yeah.." she smiled rubbing  her belly

    "Jack took me for a scan and we were told it's a boy a month ago. we have been buying clothes for boys since then " she added proudly.
    "That's wonderful"  he answered looking down  at her..
    "Okay let me continue what I was doing"  she told him walking away.

    "What was that? " He asked..
    Surprising Lucy even more. she couldn't help wonder why  he was prolonging the conversation between them.
    "James are you okey? " She asked instead.
    "Yes am fine why? I look sick? " He asked  her.

    "Well you are behaving funny, you never talk to me in this house. what is going on?" 

    "Am sorry I just wanted to talk to you" He answered syhly .
    Just then Jack  walked in with his briefcase.
    "Hey pregnant woman !" he smiled giving her a peck, he rubbed her belly gently " and how is my Handsome Nephew? " he smiled looking up her face.
    "Fine" Lucy answered her eyes on James who was watching them without a word. Jack looked up and followed Lucy's eyes.
    "Oh James, am sorry I didnt see you man. you back early? " He asked giving him a quick shoulder hug as he always greeted him.

    "Yeah I came in early,  I was just asking Lucy about the baby. Excuse me, " he said walking away.
    Jack looked at Lucy and raised his shoulders, 
    "what was that? " He whispered to her.
    Lucy shook her head. "I have no idea"  she smiled "but if you ask me he's been acting weired the past days and he comes home early."
    "Well.. maybe God is answering our prayers after all" Jack  sighed.
    "So tell me how have you been ? " He asked her pulling her to sit on the chair.

    "Been okey, I couldn't wait to tell you how much this child was kicking today. it's like he was dancing or something " she laughed..
    " Well that's a good sign i guess" Jack told her.
    He handed her a packet of chocklet.
    " here.. just as requested" he smiled at her.

    "Wow! You remembered! " she said excited and opening the pack.
    "Oh no Jack,  I said white and not this one" she cried making a face..
    "Really? Oh no, my bad I forgot I only could remember  the brand." He shrugged

    "So what now we throw that away? " He let a laugh when he saw her throwing a piece in her mouth.
    " but I thought you didn't. ..."
    She laughed before he could finish his sentence. " well Mr since it's here already, am not giving it a chance. but you owe me two more packets for this mistake"  she chuckled her mouth full.
    Jack folded his hands and watched her in silence. He was enjoying seeing her chew the chocolate he smiled happily.
    "What? " she asked him her hand mid way to the mouth.
    "Don't you think that's enough? " He asked laughing " you almost taking down the whole thing."
    "Mmmmmhh I can't stop eating it. it's so addictive " she laughed making him join her in laughing filling the whole house with their laughter.

    James sat on his bed his ears taking in  the happy voices of the two. he shook his head and went inside the blanket covering his ears that he may not hear anymore.

    3 weeks later, James received a call from Charity. " I have to see you James " she had insisted  when James refused to go and  see her..
    "What for? " He asked carelessy. " i don't want  to see you and am not buying any of those stories of yours. you are a cheap bitch  who has  no respect for yourself and other people.
    "No Jammy if it wasn't a matter of life and death I wouldn't have called you, trust me it's important you come over. let's meet at an address I will text you"  she added before hanging up.

    James looked outside the car as he drove to meet Charity wondering what was going on with her? she sounded so serious and he was concerned.
    He remembered how his mother had refused him to date Charity.. " she aren't  good  for you James"  she had told him.
    "But mama, how can you tell she aren't  good?  You barely know the girl." He argued profoundly.
    "I know enough Jammy,  am your mother even when you insist she's just a friend I recommend you be careful with her."

    James sighed at the thought, " she was right"  he had chosen a wrong girl though he wasn't so sure he loved her, but he had cared enough to feel hurt when he discovered she was cheating on  him with a couple of other men .
    He looked outside and saw her seated on the lawn at the lodge they  were meeting up.
    He stopped the car engine  and walked towards her.  Realising when he got closer that she was crying, his heart beating faster he walked quickly and held her shoulder. " Charity what's wrong? " He asked and when she told him what was going on, James went down on his knees powerless.
    "Oh no my God. what have I done to myself !" he cried going done until his hands met the soft grass.

    PART 17

    "Oh no... you are Joking right?"   James managed to ask Charity after minutes of being quite.
    "I can't joke over such a serious issue James. from the day we last talked two weeks ago I have not been feeling so well. I went to the hospital and they carried some tests to find out what is wrong with me. Just yersterday they told me I needed to do an HIV test and unfortunately am positive James." She told him.
    James listened his mouth open, he couldn't say anything it was like his whole body was just crushed with some heavy thing that he couldn't move from himself.
    All kinds of bad thoughts crowded his mind. he thought of how reckless he had been,  at some point in his usual drinking sprees he had taken a woman from the bar and slept with her. The following Morning he realised what a great mistake he had made. especially that he didn't get to use protection like he always  did when he was sobber.
    He was even more shocked when the woman he slept with in the hotel room demanded for payment.
    "What?  You mean you are a prostitute?"  He had asked her.
    "What do you think man? You called me yersterday and I offered my services so pay up now and I will be on my way. " she snapped dressing up.
    James had given her the money in silence and regreted  his actions, he however comforted himself that all was well.
    Now with the news from Charity he knew it was possible. any of them would have given the other. Charity had multiple boyfriends and him too even when he had maintained sleeping with Her, he knew that the posibility of him getting the virus from the prostitute was high. He couldnt blame her entirely.

    "James are you okey?"  Charity asked him when she realised he had been quite for some minutes.James didn't answer he just stood and walked to his car in silence.
    "James talk to me I had to tell you cause despite everything I care about you and I want you to carry the test too. if you are lucky you might find you are not infected"  she added.
    James walked on until he reached his vehicle. Getting his phone he called his Doctor friend from UTH and asked he saw him that same day.
    "I have to see you man, are you at the hospital? " He asked him.
    "Of  course James, come over my shift ends in an hour. "
    "Am on my way,"  James answered and speed off to  meet him. all he wanted was to carry the test no matter what and got to know the truth. Deep down his heart it scared him that he was not well too but he convinced himself he would know.
    After the friend did the test he told him the worst news that James had ever heard his entire life.
    "Am so sorry man.  But the results are positive.let me call you one of our councillors here and they will help you through this. A lot of people are living positively. don't despair  James be strong  and live a healthy life. it's okey my friend you will live longer than you think. Your CD4 count is still very good and you have the virus and not Aids yet so cheer up."

    "Well thanks my dear but I don't need a councillor am fine I can do just fine"  He responded standing to go.
    "If you say so"  the doctor told him after he tried convincing him otherwise.

    James got in the car and leaned his head on the steering, tears  running down his face. he cried for almost 30 minutes regretting every action that he had taken over the months. he thought of Lucy and the baby. Thankfully Jack had told him  months ago that Lucy carried all necessary tests because of the pregnancy  procedures and she was okay.
    During that time James didn't really care. Jack had told him that because at the antenatal clinic Lucy was told to go with the father to the baby and she asked Jack to talk to his brother.
    "If she is okay then I am too"  James had told his brother.
    "so just leave me alone now."

    Later on in her second visit to the clinic Lucy was tested again and the results were still okay.
    James sighed with relief to the thought, he wouldn't have forgiven himself if he had her infected too. she was innocent and a good woman who derseved  better,  he thought to himself. some how glad that he never touched her ever since she got pregnant.

    James imagined being with Lucy, how happy she was around him. how much of a smile she gave him everytime she saw him. He  knew she loved him and he was too scared to fall  in love. He somehow didn't want to open his eyes and his heart to her. it was like deep down his heart he cared for her but was too afraid to have anything good in his life. she was perfect and it scared him,  hence over time James had decided to shield his heart with actions that said otherwise.
    Sometimes in the night what Lucy never knew was that James would wake up and slowly open  the door to her room and watch her sleep.
    The time she was not well and Jack called him. He knew being near her and watch her closely would make him vulnerable and fall  for her,  according to him any close contact with Lucy was to be avoided as that would one day lead him to get attached to her.

    What people didn't know was that James was too scared to start a family. he thought  he couldn't be a good father as his father was. He thought having a woman and child to look  after was a big challenge  that deep in his heart he feared if  he failed it would end badly.
    James was not the type to show he was desperate and vulnerable. he always acted tough  but deep  inside it ate  him up that he wasn't able to give Lucy what she deserved .

    One day Jack had pointed that out when he told him point blank,
    "I know you are not this heartless jammy.. you are just scared of falling in love with an honesty girl. You are a coward who fears he wouldn't make a person happy and you project it by acting all rough and heartless.  put yourself together and man up dear, that child will one day need a father and you will have to grow up and face  the challenges that comes with parenthood, " Jack told him..
    James had looked at his brother and laughed.."  I won't listen to you brother because you have  no idea what you are saying. If you love her just admit it already instead of pushing this on me " James spat walking away.

    Now,  James remebered all those times and wept even more,  wishing he had listened to his inner heart and did the right thing like all sensible people had told him..
    Now he had dipped  his hands in hot soup and the burns were too deep he didn't know how to cope with them.
    After almost an hour of sitting  in the car.. James decided to drive home,  he's mind  filled up.
     He tried to join the road from the UTH as he was turning to the way leading to His home direction, James didn't watch out and he drove his car right into another car coming from the opposite direction..
    In an instant James watched as his vehicle over turned and moved away from the road into a nearby tree, till he was unconscious.

    He woke up hours later in the hospital connected to some machines  and his leg tied up.
    "What  happened?"  James asked shocked..
    "Dont move sir you are hurt, you had an accident yersterday and you were rushed here. " the nurse explained.
    "Don't worry your brother is here,  he spent the night by your bed side" the nurse told him.

    James turned his head to look around and he saw Jack talking on  his phone on the other end of the room..
    Jack was calling his parents giving them the room number where James was admitted.
    "We are almost at the hospital Jack, see you soon"  his father told him before he cut the line..

    Jack sighed.. he was called the previous day that James was involved in an accident by the poilce officers who saw Jack's number from Jame's phone which he had saved Brother.
    Rushing to the hospital with Lucy, they found him in a terrible condition and right away requested for him to be moved to high cost after they stiched  his cuts and they were told he had a fracture in his left leg and some internal injuries.

    Turning back, Jack  was happy to see his brother had come to concious.
    "Hey Jammy! Welcome  back to life brother. You scared the hell out of me."  He added with a smile.

    "What happened ? " James asked his brother.
    "I don't know exactly man but it seemed you drove  yourself into another car and overturned,  the other driver wasn't so much hurt he was discharged yersterday he only had minor injuries but he was demanding for another car as you were at fault. Though the insurance company will sort that one out,  yours is to concetrate on getting better.. " Jack told him with a calm face.

    James shook his heard " am sorry Jack, "

    "No don't say anything now my brother you will be fine in no time and soon we will both get to fight again"  he smiled trying to cheer him up.

    Later that day The Kangwas went to see him and stayed there with their son while Jack went to freshen up at home.
    His parents were sad with the condtion James was in and couldn't stop comforting him. They told him it was just some fracture and wounds which  would heal eventually.  what they didn't know was that James was crying not because of the wounds but with the fact that he was sick and he would die soon anyway. He knew people lived positively and for years too. But the fact of being aware you have the virus was not so much of a comfort after all. He knew it will take time to make his mind adjust to that fact.

    He looked at them and told them how wonderful parents they were and the great job they had done raising them.
    "You never failed me mom and dad.  I have learnt better but unfortunately I disapointed you and am  so sorry " he cried..
    "You are a good child Jammy,"  Mrs Kangwa had told him.."  you are only human and you are bound to make mistakes. however the Most important thing is to learn from your mistakes and move on in the correct path.
    Jack told us how you have not gotten to be in better relationship  with Lucy, that you have practically rejected her.  My son we won't force you to marry that girl. we only wanted you to realise  how special that girl is and learn to take responsibility. no wonder we told you two to decide either to marry or not after the child was born, now that you don't want just accept taking responsobilty  of  the child and marry the woman you want " Mr  Kangwa told him.
    "Thank you dad,  you have  no idea how much I wish i did otherwise but I can't now I have messed up big and there's no turning back."
    His parents wondered why James was insisting his life was over even after telling him the wounds and injuries  would heal.

    "How is he today?"  Lucy asked Jack who had arrived and sat on the couch looking exhausted .
    Not so good my dear and it seems hes more hurt emotionally than he is physically. what he's  saying is all not making so much sense."

    "Am sure whatever is eating him up isn't to do with the accident really, " Lucy sighed.."  it could be the thing that caused the accident in the first  place. "

    "Yeah you must be right.. am really getting worried. It's unlike James.. he's usually tough even though he has  some soft spot deep inside." Jack explained.
    "I have to find out what it is and maybe I can help"  he added shrugging..

    "I know he treated me badly but I can't help feel sad about what your brother is going through Jack.. I feel like he needs me now, something tells he needs us both  Jack and am not going to abandon him. Come on and freshen up and eat your food we are going together this afternoon I go and see him."

    Jack stood..
    "well you still love him don't you?" He asked her.
    "I don't know Jack.. honestly.. all I want  is to help him not to feel alone. Even when am this heavy I can help take care of him. Plus he's  the father to my child I want  him to be there when his son is born"  she said sadly..
    "It's okey, i will take you" Jack held her hand and left for his bedroom..

    PART 18

    "Am ready,  now we can start off?"  Jack asked Lucy. She had insisted to go with him to the hospital. That afternoon she had taken time to prepare some food for James.
    "Am all ready too"  she told him lifting the basket she had packed James food.

    "Hey ! How are you doing?" Lucy greeted James after she was done saying hi to the Kangwas . They had left them and went to stay at some hotel where they decided to book a room instead of staying with their son's.
    "Hey..I feel pain all over"  James winced..
    "You will be okey" Lucy answered sitting on the chair next to the bed.

    Jack had gone to see his parents off outside. Inwardly he wanted to give a chance to Lucy and James to be alone.

    "How is the baby doing Lucy?" He asked turning his head to look at her..
    "I think he's fine"  she smiled..
    After some silence James extended his hand indicating for Lucy to hold it.
    "You gonna be okey James"  she whisprered trying to control the tears forming in her eyes. Seeing him hurt and so weak made her feel for him.
    "Yeah.." James sighed.
    " you know what Lucy?, I owe you an apology for doing what I did to you"  he started his low tone filing Lucy's heart with sadness.
    "I was a fool and I let pride get the best of me. It's only that I can't really say anything to defend my actions towards you only that am a coward who was too scared to open my heart to something good."
    "James it's okey.."  Lucy interrupted.. "am sure it was partly my fault cause I didn't take the necessary precautions to prevent myself from getting pregnant. I know you were clear in the first place. Just that I loved you so much I couldn't get myself to reason so well, but now it's all in the past I have learnt to live with my mistakes. You should do the same too, accept the errors you made and move on with your life. You derseve to be happy and it's unfair for you to be pushed to be with me James and I understand that now.  somehow i feel guilty I agreed to come stay with you beacuse it's evident  since I came in your life ha changed and in a negative way.
    Forgive me for being so persistent.. the truth is I wanted to be with you James"  she said with a laugh, tears running down her face. I really  hoped  we could be more than just parents to our  child and now I reggret that cause I saw how much you suffered over time,  am sorry " she cried..
    "Please don't cry Lucy. You know I couldn't see all that. I knew that you liked me but I didn't know you felt that way." James said shedding tears..

    Jack stood by the door, he couldn't get in when he found the two talking. Standing still, he listened in to the conversation. He's heart was heavy with a combination of pity and concern. The two people he was watching confessing things to each other both mattered the most in his life.
    He loved Lucy so much he would give anything to see her happy. At the same time he loved his brother and always wanted to see him happy too, deep in his heart he knew Lucy was still in love with his brother despite what had happened.
    "Don't ever blame yourself for what I did Lucy" James continued.
    " I should have known better. 
    Am sorry please find it in your heart to forgive me. I know I can't ask you to be with me now, its too late. I have wasted my chances of being with you. all am asking is for you to be happy. Be healthy and raise our boy  in a good way as I trust you will,  know that whatever happens to me I love that baby"  he added looking at her belly..
    Lucy all this time was shedding tears too, wishing whatever James was saying at that moment was said a few months before.
    "I don't know how to love Lucy but in my own crooked way I love you."

    "You love me?"  Lucy asked opening her eyes wider to look at James..
    "Yeah so dramatic right?"   he said with a chuckle..
    Lucy shook her head.
    " I honestly don't know why you saying all this James but am not here to make you feel compelled to say things to me. I am here because you aren't  well and I want to be here for you.  You are the father to our child and that matters to me more than anything else" she explained honestly.
    "No am not compelled in any way Lucy am just accepting what I really feel for the first time in my life. please give me a chance to be myself and hear  me out."

    Jack was frozen in one point listening until when he realise that he couldn't control the tears from his eyes. he decided to walk away and didn't get to hear what followed.
    James poured  his heart to Lucy about how much he wanted her to be okey and to move on without him . He explained that even when he wanted to, he  couldn't be with her.
    She didn't understand him at all but tried to ignore that comment. He had said more than enough and seeing him sad really got to her.  She excused herself later on and walked outside trying so hard to control her tears when she saw Jack seated in the car.

    She open the passenger seat and sat with a sign.
    "Are you okey?"  Jack asked pretending he didn't hear a thing..
    "Yeah I think so"  she said wiping her tears.
    "am just .. forget it " she tried to smile..
    "Go on now and see your brother he requested to see you"  she told him grabbing a bottle of water and drinking it while Jack opened the door to leave.

    "Oh God heal him and let him be well again"  she whispered a prayer.
    She called her uncle to tell them about the accident and she later on talked to her friend Harriet.
    "He's in pain Harriet and I can't stop worrying about him. I don't know my friend I thought I had gotten over him but no. I still feel so concerned and it hurts seeing Jim lay there in pain and so weak"
    "It's normal my dear friend." Harriet told her..
    "you love him and love doesn't just go away. put yourself together though and mind your child. You have a few weeks to your Labour we can't afford to have you sick again" Harriet advised her on the phone..
    "Let me see if I will have some time this afternoon I will come check on you" she added before cutting the line.. .

    Lucy closed her eyes and recalled her talk with James. It was clear James was suffering but she had no idea there was more to the physical  pain.

    "Jack, am sick"  James told his brother a week later.
    "I know man. you were in an accidednt but you will get better you will see. The doctors say you suffered some internal injuries too but you still will get better, so be strong brother and hang in there.."
    James shook his head.. "I don't mean my wounds Jack. you are my brother and the only true friend I have. I have to tell you the truth Brother" he sniffed. .

    "What's going on man? You are scaring me."  Jack asked holding his brothers head as he stood close to him.
    "Sit down Jack"  he told him..

    " That day the accident happened I came here to meet a friend of mine the one who came to see me the other day remember?" He asked.
    "Yeah I think you told me something about your friend from UTH." Jack responded..
    "Yeah.. I came to see him because Charity had just informed  me that afternoon that she was positive  and I straight away came to get tested too." He paused 
    "And?" Jack asked worried he would get the news he didn't want to hear.
    "Am also infected brother"  James told him his voice almost inaudible..
    "What?"  Jack asked letting go of Jame's hand in shock.
    "I am Jack." He sighed sadly..
    "am HIV postive."
    "Oh no my brother, you are stubborn and a jerk sometimes but no, you don't derseve that man. You cannot be"

    "No you wrong Jack I derseve it. you are the good one, brother. you always making the right decisions and you dont usually mess up. But me on the other hand you know the story.."

    Jack held his hand back..
    "listen Jammy what has happened has happened and it's not time to crush yourself over this. You are not the first to be infected. People live even longer than those that are not infected. You just have to accept it and live  a postive life. You still have a huge road ahead of you man, your child is on the way and you have a woman who loves  you.
    Be strong Jammy and fight this. you are strong  brother and it doesn't matter your status you are going to live and grow old. you will be happy and you will excell in life just like we have both always dreamed of.
    If that's the reason you have been putting on a sad face and giving sad talks this ends now okey?.  you are getting on your feet like the wild Jammy that I grew up with and you are going to dress up and look hot as you are always" he added tears  in his face..

    James shook his head..
    "you know I love you kiddo?" He asked with a weak smile..
    "You always act like you are the oldest between the two of us and you always put me in check. I hate your guts but I love you beyond what you can imagine for being so persistent in controlling me, because I know you do it cause you love me."

    "Yeah"  Jack smiled..
    "you are my only brother and I want you to always know that no matter what you will be loved."

    "You know what?  the doctor said my internal injuries are not improving so greatly. am worried brother, honelsty I want to be well again and beat you to another bet " he teased with a weak smile..
    Jack laughed too.
    "I know and I can't wait to see you set another challenge " he said giggling..

    They spent some hours talking. That day Jack stayed  by his side the whole night as he always did since his brother was admitted. he's father would help stay with him on some occasions. 
    Over the month James had not improved much. He was told by his friend that he had to learn to accept his status and start  thinking positively  if  he had to heal from his physical wounds too.
    " your emotions have a great effect on the speed of your healing James' he told him. He insisted he saw a councillor but James refused.

    Lucy had only a week towards her due date when she went as she had been doing over the month to visit James.
    "So when are you due ? " James asked looking at her.
    "in a week's time James and I want you to be there."  she smiled...
    "I wish i was really."  he smiled at her.
    "Can I feel him" he asked looking at her face..
    Lucy smiled and went closer to the bed. James extended his hand and touched her belly. like he was aware,  the baby moved making James smile..
    " wow! I think he felt that' Lucy smiled touching James hand to move it where the baby was kicking.
    "I love you sonny"  James whispered.. "be good to your mother and listen to her okay? Daddy will always watch over you."
    Lucy sat down with a sigh,
    "James stop saying it like you going somewhere. You will get better and you will tell him that when he's out."  She told him..
    "Listen to me Lucy. I know how am feeling. I can't  lie that I feel good. The pain isn't ceasing my dear and I don't see myself living  longer. I feel tired and so weak"
    Lucy  cried..
    "if you talk like that again am not coming to see you here. Why won't you fight harder? Try to be well James . I want you to be fine and to be able to raise your son with me please fight harder " she said crying..
    James raised  his weak hand and wiped  her tears.
    "don't cry Lucy. I can't bare  to see those tears. you are an extra ordinary  woman and I wish i had enough time to get to know you. But I can't and am sorry again I never got to let you enjoy the love you have  for me.
    Is it possible you can love without so much pain?"  He asked shedding tears too.
    "I mean I want you to forget about me, my brother loves  you, I know you care about him too and..." 

    "Stop it James please!" Lucy cried loudly..
    "please stop talking, please" she sniffed her tears falling heavily now..
    "You have to listen Lucy.. your time of suffering is over. I want you strong for our child." James continued, 
    "you have to let me go.. my brother loves you more than you know. He loved you way  before I made him bet  to  win you over. give him a chance and be happy with him he's  a good man and am sure you have seen how  he stays by you all the time. There's no one else I would recommend to raise my son than my brother. I am setting you free Lucy,  be free to love  and live  happily you derseve  it."

    Lucy cried trying so hard to stop James from giving sentimental words that pricked her heart like Sharp spears
    "I  love you James.. i do.. I cnt do this anymore.. i know I like Jack a lot but it's you I love . Please fight for me.. stay alive please"
    He smiled and squeezed  her hand
    "he has  vast amounts of love to catter for both of you. You  dont have  to love him now, but am certain you will fall in love with him and you will forget all this pain I put you through.. "

    "Jack! Come here please" James called out when he saw Jack coming but he stopped him when he saw him trying to go back. He stood close to his head..
    "Yes Jammy what is it man. need anything..?"  he asked him
    "Yes actually.. come here" he said pointing at a space on his bed.
    Jack went and sat facing Lucy.
    "I know you love her man and you haven't stopped. so now I give you a go ahead, make this woman here happy. I know you two will together created a powerful relationship and will raise my son well."
    Jack interrupted..
    "stop giving me your job Jammy.. you are the father and so you are going to be there for your son and raise him the way you want.. I love him yes.. he's my nephew but am not going to take your place brother forget it"
    James held his hand..
    " my days are numbered brother.. I am damaged  inside my internal wounds are bleeding and the doctors have told me it's hard to control it, am too weak my brother and I want you to be strong for me. Take Lucy and my child and make them both happy I know you can do it.. promise you will.  " he squeezed his hand..

    Jack shook his head standing up. 
    "you cant do this to me brother, we have grown up and lived together our  whole  lives.. how do you tell me to start living without you. you can do this Jammy you can fight harder and get better" he said walking up and down the room as Lucy kept her face down crying. The whole environment full  of sadiness..
    She couldn't help bare to see the two important people in her life suffer.
    She didn't know who to comfort more.. James who was saying bye forever or Jack the man she had come to like so much she always wanted to see him smiling.

    The following day they came back to the hospital and found the Kangwas already there. she saw his mother crying and she knew James was gone.
    The man she had loved  without measure, one who hurt her but she still loved was gone and it was hard to cope with.
    Jack held her close as she slid to the ground weeping. giving away all the strength she had in her. He tried to control himself to help her stay strong which himself wasn't able to..
    His only brother and best friend was gone forever and it was the darkest hour in Jack's life.

    The Kangwa's on the other hand were devasted. They didnt know about James status. Jack never told them all anything, he was the only one who had known the truth and he had vowed to never say it to anyone in honour of his brother.
    The funeral was at the farm and all their friends gathered to say their good byes..

    PART 19

    "Dad and mom.. I have something to tell you.  I want you to do something for me and I beg you to promise me this won't be a problem.."
    "What is it Sonny?" Mr Kangwa answered as he stood next to his wife who had sat on the chair.
    "I am not feeling so well and I want  you to promise me that when am gone you are going to help Jack and Lucy to get together. he loves her and I know she cares for him so much too.  Since she's going to have my child, I feel the best people apart from you two to raise him better are them." 
    "James sonny.. what are you saying? You are alive and you have to marry Lucy if you feel you love her."  His mother said looking at her son who looked so sick and tired,  her experience told her he wasn't doing well and she tried so hard to contain her tears. she wasn't to cry in front of her dying son, the one who had opened  her womb and made her a proud mother. she couldn't bare  the pain in her heart but she had to try harder and not show it in his face.
    "No mama, I wish i had that chance but no.. it's too late.. unfortunately I took so long and my journey is coming to an end. Please promise me when am gone you will allow them to be together.. please."  He said looking at them both..

    He's father sat outside the house and remebered the day James had passed on.  He was still in shock and could cry himself to sleep every night especially that he saw how Jame's mother was suffering moarning their son..
    The funeral ended few days before and the mood of everyone at his farm was saddening . Lucy stayed with them after the funeral as the Kangwas insisted she needed motherly care especially that she was due.
    Her due date had past and everyone was expecting her to give birth any day.
    Jack kept indoors most of the days and would only come out when he had to stay with Lucy. seeing how much she mourned made him wish he had died in the place of his brother..

    Mr Kangwa was lost in thoughts and didn't hear his son go towards him.
    "Dad!"  Jack called him startling him..

    "Hey ! am sorry I scared you Dad"  Jack said forcing a smile and trying so hard to prevent his face from showing the sadness inside.
    "I came looking for you and I was  told  you are out here."
    "Yeah I wanted to stay outside a little. been inside since morning." He answered
    "There's a garden chair by the tree." Mr Kangwa pointed. Jack got the chair and sat close to his father not knowing how to even start talking to him..
    "So tell me now, what's your plan? Your brother is gone and all responsibility remains with you. You know what I mean right?"  He asked his son..
    "Dad you reffering to the child?"  He asked
    "Yes sonny, listen,  your mother and I are not growing younger.. it's sad that Jammy never lived to see his son but let's not make that child come into this world and feel unloved or see the sorrows  of  our  hearts. It's hard for each one of us but let us especially you and me be strong for him and for those two women in that house. you know how it is with them. if we are not careful this family will end up broken with sadness. Am sure James wouldn't have loved to see us that way.
    Now listen to me sonny.. from me you are the man of the house and I expect you to grow up In  everything. Your brother made me promise that I should help in seeing you taking over Lucy as in marriage and taking care of your nephew. Am sure he wanted you to finish what he started. So what do you say? "

    Jack cleared his throat.
    "Dad I love Lucy yes, but honestly I don't want to replace my brother.. I can take care of them both but I don't think it's okey for me to marry Lucy even when I know she loves him and not me.. no dad i can't.
    I have to learn to live without my beloved brother as well as without the woman I have ever loved. I wont let you down though. I will see to it the baby and mother are taken care of. I will stand by them until they are both able to stand on  their own. " Jack outlined seriously..
    "Well sonny, you have spoken selflessly like a true gentleman and am proud of you. I know you still love your brother and you feel like taking the woman he was with is  like betraying him but remember he requested for this and you as much as you love him have to fulfil his wishes."  Mr Kangwa explained.

    "Please my son if  its true you love Lucy go  on and think about it. she's already part of this family and it's good if we maintained it that way.  Now go on and think about it, take your time and tell me what you decide when you are ready. I don't want to push another son of mine to the urge again.
    Make your own decison and whatever you decide I will respect your decision." 

    "Thank you Dad," Jack sighed.
    "I promise to give it a serious thought " he smiled patting his father's back.
    "Good.. do that"  Mr Kangwa told him and watched him walk away.. 

    The following day, Lucy was taken to the hospital as labour started
    Mrs Kangwa and Jack accompanied her.
    Jack held her hand as they led her to the Labour ward..
    " you going  to be okey"  he whispered to her as her face frowned in pain..
    She smiled,
    " thanx Jack. Mind if you join me?"  She asked holding on to his hand..
    Jack looked at his mother who nodded.. "go on son"  she smiled holding her face either in excitment or anxiety was not so certain..

    He held her waist and helped her walk into the ward..
    "take it easy" he would say every moment and rubbing either her back or hand to comfort her.
    He stood by her side and saw her to the time she gave birth. For Jack it was the most scaring moment but so amazing at the same time. He watched his nephew now going to be in his care come to the world and he was beautiful.
    "Wow, look at him." he exclaimed when they handed him the baby..

    "Congratulations Sir, you have a bouncing baby boy " the doctor announced and Jack shook with anxiety as he held him tight. Lucy held him too and she couldn't help shed  tears.
    "He looks just like him" she smiled in her cry..
    "Yeah he does"  Jack smiled back at her..
    "our Jammy is back"  he added holding them both..

    The birth of baby James brought back smiles  to the Kangwas family as everyone seemed taken by his presence. His grand parents were so excited about him and would always stay with him allowing Lucy more time to rest.
    She was told to stay on as they insisted that even if she was not married to James the baby made her family.
    Over time the pain of loosing James was slowly lessening and the mood of the house improved.
    Jack was working from the farm as they decided to just rent Jame's house.. James had left all his assets in the name of his child and Lucy. Even when she never really got to use the money for the baby or herself since  Jack had provided everything she needed and gave  her enough to not luck.

    One day, Lucy sat  down in her bed after bathing baby James and handing him to his grand father who gladly took him and went for a tour around the farm. The baby had just turned 5 months and he was growing fast. Looking exactly like his father. everyone who saw him would clearly see he resembled James.
    "Hey ! Are you sleeping ?"  Jack came to the door and called her.
    "Not really Jack please come in. I just handed James to his grand father and now i just thought of laying down.
    Well,  anything the matter? " She asked him as he stood by the door without saying a word. Lucy was given Jame's room and she had not changed anything in terms of beddings or curtains. Everything was as she found them and she was reluctant to change even after Mrs Kangwa insited she put her own things there.
    "It's okey mom, I don't mind the way the room is I like it."  She smiled..
    "Well my daughter , am really glad you stayed with us.. you and James are a blessing that My son left for us and even when no one can take his place you being here makes everything seem easy " she told her with a smile..
    "I know my son was not so much good to you but he wasn't a bad child, he just...."
    She couldn't finish her sentence  and Lucy cut her in, 
    "it's okey I know he wasn't bad.. God has his way and I understand now. Wherever James is he knows I don't hold anything against him, I loved him even when I knew he didn't but that's okey.. am glad I got to meet him"  she said pushing back her tears.
    "Wow, you are a good  woman my child and I want to tell you today that I was there before my son died. know what he told me and my husband?  "
    Lucy shook her head, "what did he say? " She asked her.
    "He told us to promise him that we will see to it that you and Jack are together. for him His brother loves you and you derseve a man like him"  she added.
    Lucy sighed,
    "mama I know Jack cares for me so much and over time I have come to like him too. But being married to him.? I don't think that's alright"  she complained.
    " James told me too but I don't know, it all just seems outrageous."
    Mrs Kangwa took her hand and looked at her seriously.
    "think about it my dear, we all love you and Jack told me way before you came into James life that he adored you.. he left this place the first time they visited if you recall because he and his brother started fighting over you with Jack insisting he didn't want to hurt you. He genuinely loved you but he couldn't get in the way cause he believed  you liked James and he didn't what to hurt both of you. "
    Lucy looked at her and sighed . She recalled  how Jack had behaved differently from James. She knew Jack really cared for her but initially she just thought he was being nice cause of the way James treated her. Now that it came from his mother she wondered how much pain Jack had to bare  seeing her and holding on to that love.

    Jack cleared his throat when he noticed Lucy  had stopped talking  and her eyes were set on him even when he was sure she wasn't really looking at him.
    "Hey are you okey? " He asked waving  his hand to bring her to the present.
    "Oh sorry Jack I must have gone so far. Please come in" she smiled sitting up.

    "Lucy I don't know how to start this.. anyway I have to say it now or never"  he said with a laugh.
    "I wanted to talk you,  I was thinking of building my own house. I already have some land somewhere in meanwood." He started

    "That's a good idea Jack, it's good you have your own home. I mean you are almost 30 and it's high time you settled down."

    "Yeah"  he smiled I know right..
    " I was just used to being  around Jammy and couldn't get to move out yet but I think it's high time I did my own thing "  he added.
    "Now that I want  to settle down, I need a woman by my side Lucy. I want to start my life with the woman I love." 

    Lucy looked at him with a smile.
    "That's good Jack I wish you all the best"  she told him honestly.
    "Well don't you want to ask who the woman is.?" He asked looking  at her.
    Lucy chuckled,
    "well Jack I know you are a good man and every woman would want to be with you so I wouldn't be so worried knowing for a fact that you made the right choice"  she smiled not wanting to believe that woman was her.

    "Lucy, I don't want any other woman.. I want the one that am looking at right now, I want her cause From the first time i saw her my heart has not rested. She's the only woman that my whole being desires. I can't control it anymore Lucy I love you and I know sometimes I become selfish but what can i do? I just can't take this anymore. James was right. I can't be happy unless am with you because you control me in a way that no other woman does." He shrugged honestly

    Lucy looked at his tearly  eyes. His sincerity making her feel she could hold him and comfort him.
    "Am not saying all this because someone has obliged me to. Am saying it cause I can't deny what my heart wants despite the fact that you were with my brother I can't still get you out of my mind" he added holding her hand..
    "Say something please," Jack said when he realised Lucy was just looking at him without a word. Lucy stood up and held his hands to make him stand up..
    His eyes still on her he stood his height above hers. She held his face in her hands and smiled.
    "you are the best Jack. You showed me what true love is and I swear I have never seen anything like that my whole life. You stood by me and honestly someone told me you loved me way back and I wondered why.
    You are too perfect for me Jack . You know what I think?"  She asked with a smile..
    "I think you need to find another woman who deserves you. I don't think am the one." She nodded her head.

    Jack took her hands in his and sighed.. "how can you ask me to leave the only thing thay i want. I want  you my Lucy please dont  push me away anymore. Give me a chance to fulfil  what my heart desires please."  he said with tears in his eyes.
    "I love you, I love you and I need you"  he whispered.
    Lucy walked back and went to stand a step back near the closet.
    " I can't.. am not sure if I can do this Jack. I don't want to hurt you and am afraid I might not be what you need. she cried.
    Jack steped forward too making her lean on the closet.
    " just promise you will try please, I won't have another chance to be able to say this Lucy. I cant live  without you.. I want  to have you and the two of us will raise Jammy together. "
    He bent forward and kissed her gently.

    "Stop it Jack !" she withdrew her eyes closed. Jack looked at her ,
    "sorry Lucy. Am so sorry I didnt mean to do that. forgive me"  he said walking out of the room seeing she was not looking back at him.

    She sat down and cried,
    "oh God what do I do? "  She couldn't get to admit being so close to him made her shiver. Not sure why. She was more scared of what he made her feel. She knew any more  minute close to him would have made things more complicated and she doubted if  she had any right to feel that for a man who was the brother to the one she had loved.

    The following day she woke up and was told Jack  had travelled back to Lusaka.
    "What time is he coming back?"  She asked Mrs Kangwa.
    "He told me he's not coming back my dear. I saw Him this morning and he didn't look himself. Did you talk to him yersterday?"  she asked her.
    "I did but I never saw him at supper last night. "
    She was quite for a while knowing so well Jack left because of what transpired  between them.
    Feeling so sad he left.. she missed him and grabbed the phone to call him but put it back. She struggled the entire day thinking of what she was to do. He was gone and she felt lonely .
    He had been by her side since she went to stay with them upto the time they had a funeral  and all along she had not seen how much she needed him in her life. she felt a deep gap in her heart, Wondering why her heart was playing tricks on her.

    PART 20 (Final)

    "I don't know what do anymore man, it's hard for me to move on. The past week has been the longest and most lonely week of my life.
    She wouldn't accept me and I don't know why am so sad when I somehow knew she wasn't going to agree.
    It was hard enough to beat my brother to the bet  when he was alive, now that he's  dead it's even harder. You can't compete with the dead my man. Am so foolish I should have kept quite. " Jack complained to his friend.

    Hilary looked at him and sighed." I don't know why you guys are making a big deal out of this. It's simple you love her and your brother knew that,  he recommended you two got together, so what's all this.? That girl wants you and she knows how you feel about her. come on,  she can't tell me she hasn't noticed how you have stayed by  her side all these months. "

    "I don't know Hilary, if she liked me she could have agreed to be with me. I guess she's still holding on to my brother and  theres nothing I can do about it. I think it's high time I moved on " Jack added.
    "I have to accept things as they are and try to ignore what I feel, " he sighed sadly.
    He had rented an apartment awaiting his house to be completed. He had a contractor who was to complete building his house in 2 months.
    The whole week Jack never called Lucy directly. He would call home and ask his mother how Lucy and baby James were doing.
    Jack went back home that evening as he forced himself to work beyond his normal time ensuring that he got tired so that he could just fall asleep without thinking so much about the situations surrounding his life.
    He took a quick shower and got in his bed closing his eyes.  His mind wild back to the day he last spoke to his mother before he left the farm.
    "Am going back home mama, I need to go for work. " he told his mother.
    "My son, I know this is not easy for you but running away every time  you have a challenge is no good for your well being."  she told him.

    "I know this is about Lucy and once again you are running away from her as you did before she even got close to James. Don't you ever think if  you had stayed and showed her what you really felt you could have ended with her already?"  She asked holding him and leading him to sit on the kitchen table.

    "Mama, I don't know what to think anymore, she doesn't want me and you have no idea how much that hurts mama. I wish i never fall in love with her"  he scoffed his hands holding a cup of coffe his mother had given him.
    "Am sure she thinks am just taking advantage of the fact that Jammy is gone  and she thinks the moral grounds won't allow her to be with me. I don't know why it has to be so hard to find love mama, I swear my heart will burst if  I stay here any longer. I can't even face  her after what happened yersterday. I think it's okey to run away than to live with her,  I might end up making some mistake I will regret. "

    His mother looked at him. " I wish you were happier sonny, I lost my other son to death and I can't loose you to a life of loneliness and pain. I just hope you will do just fine"  she tried to smile touching his chin and lifting his head.
    He looked at her and asked,
    "Mama.. tell me the truth, is it so wrong for me to be with her? "
    "Jack, listen to me. It's now that things have changed because  of issues of sicknesses and the coming of New cultures in our country, otherwise some of our traditions for example the same Tonga tribe for Lucy, they could let the brother or cousin to a man who died take the wife of the late and marry them. The trend was to avoid letting the children suffer,  they wanted someone to help take care of  the children of the late and it worked  for them. Now the changes in this modern world discourage that.
    The fact that you love her and your brother asked you to doesn't make this any hilarious at all. If you ask me I would tell you, go on and be with her. Not for the baby only but for your heart. You love her and that is beyond any tradition and the views of the world. " She added with a smile.

    "Wow, mama the way you have said it just makes everything seem so simple. But unfortunately Lucy doesn't see it in those lines.
    Anyways,"  he shrugged standing up. "I guess things were not meant to be. And so to forget her am  moving away, Try concetrate on my life and see how far I can go"  he added pecking his mother to say good bye. He rushed to his father's bedroom and said his good bye and left before Lucy was up.
    So now here he was alone and sad But without any alternative.

    Months passed and he was called one day by Lucy since sometimes he would call her and ask her about the child without any long conversations.
    Lucy had wished Jack would say more than just greetings to her. Wishing deep in her heart he would ask her again to be with him but over time she realised Jack never even mentioned the topic.
    She felt bad that maybe he had moved on and it was her fault she pushed him away.
     The gap between them made her realise she had fallen for him more than she had ever imagined to.  Sometimes she would feel guilty she was cheating on James even when her love story with him wasn't the amazing one. But the desire to be with Jack grew stronger every day and she longed to see him again.
    " But how do I get to tell him this? " she asked herself every time  she would call or recieve a call from him.
    He had been sending things especially toys and clothes for baby James through the driver but he never went back to the farm.

    "Helo!"  She heard Jack answer.
    "Hey Jack how is your day?"  She asked him.
    "It's okey just a bit tiring I had a chain of presentations today and am so exhausted"  he added with a sigh.
    "so what's up there ? Is sonny okey? "

    "Yeah he is Jack, that's why I called you.  He's turning 1 year old  this Saturday and we want to do a small party  for him to celebrate his birthday. Am asking if you will make it here"  she asked her voice almost shaking at the thought of seeing him again after almost 7 months.

    "Oh so soon?  days are really moving, the last time mom came here with him he was just 8 months old " he answered.
    "It's almost  a year"  she laughed. " So you coming over? "
    "I don't know Lucy,  I would really love to come but I don't know. It's just that I have this meeting in South Africa with one of our suppliers and I won't be back till Monday." he lied  rubbing his head like Lucy could read his thoughts.
    He wasn't going to face her again. Knowing for sure seeing  her would make him go crazy again.
    "Oh too bad then, " Lucy responded.
    " alright then will talk to you later,"  she told him before cutting the line.
    She threw her phone on the table and frowned  sadly.
     "He's not coming?"  Victor asked her.

    She had gone back to work after she convinced Mr Kangwa she needed to do something instead of just staying at home.
    "Yeah he's going somewhere " she answered sadly.
    "I wonder why you still purnishing yourself Lucy,  if I were you I would go and tell him the truth. Just look at you, he's  all you talk about.you love him but too sacred to speak out. Go on and start living already. Life is too short to live it in sorrow and regrets."  Victor added.
    She sighed and leaned back on the chair. "I don't know if I have to do this Victor, it's been 7 months and he hasn't said anything to me. What if he's moved on? Am scared I won't survive being let down again. I can't fall in love again and end up heart broken. " she sighed shaking he head.
    "What is better ? beating yourself up here or finding out for sure if he still wants you?"  Victor asked.

    Lucy went to bed that evening and took her time analysing everything. Victor was right it would hurt her more if she wouldn't try her chance with Jack. She loved him and she knew what she felt was deep.
    "Sonny, come here!"  She called her son who walked in holding his toy . Baby James stepped forward to his mother and she lifted him.
    "Am going away tomorrow , I have to see your father"  she smiled at him."  Am sure you would love to be with him too right?"  She asked kissing his chick.
    James smiled and played with his toy. She placed him down feeling so excited.

    "Mom, am going to town tomorrow will you watch over Jammy? " she asked Mrs Kangwa.

    "Of  course my dear, he's my grand son and you need not ask for my permission.  Go for days if  you want"  Mrs Kangwa teased "he will be fine. "
    "I know, " Lucy smiled. "He has  the best grand parents in the whole world. "

    "Lucy!" Mrs Kangwa calls her back as she walked away.
    "Yes mom, " she answered  turning back.
    "Will you carry some lamb meat for Jack tomorrow?  I left some pieces for him from the one they were selling last week. "

    "Yes i will do that mom, no problem"  she smiled, happy that she would at least have an excuse for going to see him.
    THE BET FINALE

    "You cant scale a mountain in a single step, however, you can take on the challenge one step at a time. The same is true of most obstacles you face, no matter how mountainlike they might seem to be, chose to be happy.
    One of the gifts of life is to love and be loved.
    Everyone's ultimate  desire in this life is to feel loved, love makes people to smile, to cry, to destroy and to do lots of undescribable things in this world." Lucy smiled as she recalled the words of her late mother who had called her and spoke to her when she was still alive.

    She looked outside the window as Ngulube drove her to town. The grass which was now turning green to brown with the chilly cold of April month passing fast backwards as the vehicle sped past.
    Her natural hair combed back revealing her round face neatly patted with some mild makeup. She had done it more carefully to give her face a smooth and bright look.
    "So, I will have to wait for you? " Ngulube asked her, he had come to accept that his fantasy love for Lucy was just that, a fantasy.
    He was glad Lucy looked happy especially when Jack was around.
    "No, you don't have to, I will find my way back  don't worry " she answered with a smile.

    Mr Kangwa had given Ngulube his car to take Lucy where she wanted to go.  Since Ngulube knew where Jack stayed,  Lucy needed not to call Jack to ask for directions to his new house. She knew he had shifted to his new house and from what she heard from Jack' s mother, it was beautiful.
    She kept her eyes outside as they approached  Mean Wood anxiety building up. she felt so nervious with each passing minute and her heart was pounding. Lucy squeezed her hands to keep calm. She wondered how Jack would react seeing her,  what gave her more shivers was the fact that she had to tell him about her feelings.
    Trying so hard to push out thoughts of finding another woman in his life." I have to do this,"  she thought to herself.

    "We are here!" Ngulube announced pointing at a brown gate ahead of them.

    "Oh okey, " she sighed sitting up. She looked at her phone and it was a few minutes past 15 hours. Hoping to find Jack home, She stepped out of the car as they drove in  after the gate man opened for them.

    As Ngulube and the gate man exchanged greetings, Lucy held her bag and looked around the house,  it was indeed beautiful. one would think they just entered one of those houses she saw in the Nigerian movies.
    The pavers surrounding the whole yard making it look so neat. She looked towards the wide slide glass Windows from the room adjacent to the gate and she was amazed.
    Indeed Jack had built his dream house and for a second she felt out of place. She was brought back to the present when Jack walked out and Called to her.

    "Hey! I didn't know you will be coming " he said walking towards her.
    She turned to look at him and her heart skipped. she had not expected to see him yet.
    " Hey there! " She smiled trying to compose her posture as she felt her legs shiver.
    He gave her a hug  and invited her in after he greeted Ngulube who left immediately.

    He went to the kitchen and closed the door behind him, leaned back on the door. Jack closed his eyes and sighed. The sight of the woman in the other room bringing back every passion and feeling he had for her.
    He had almost convinced himself he had forgotten her over the months.
    Now he understood how wrong he was. He opened the fridge and looked in to see what he could pepare for her to eat but his mind couldn't come up with anything to cook.
    He sat down on the long stool he had in the corner and tried to compose himself looking at the small bag of lamp meat  placed on the table which Lucy had told him came from his mother.

    Finally,he wiped  his face and pulled back the short cargo pant he wore and walked towards the TV room where he left her seated.
    "So how is sonny? " He asked her with a grinn,
    "Well Jack you asked me that already"  she smiled, "He's fine, I left him playing in the gardens with his grand father."  She explained.

    "I came here to check on some things for his birthday"  she added shly, noticing how nervious she was.

    "Jack I have to go now,"  Lucy told him after they had finished  eating the food  he had ordered.
    "Where are you going to? It's already dark outside why can't you sleep over here since you are doing the buying tomorrow. I can take you to do your shopping before you head back" Jack  insisted  looking  at her.
    " I don't think it's a good idea to sleep over here Jack. " she started looking down her hands.
    "Why is that my dear? it's not like we have never stayed in the same house before. Can you tell me why you are trying to avoid me? I have noticed how nervious you are. Please I don't  want you to feel out of place, " Jack told her honestly.
     " I want you to be free with me. We are practically family"  he added, stressing the word 'Family'.
    "I know I made a mistake to do what I did at the farm but I can assure you I will never get to force you to do that again. "

    Lucy felt her heart beating faster, how was she going to tell him she didn't want him to regret. How could she tell him she came because she couldn't bare staying away from him.
    "Have I said anything bad? " He asked after he saw how quite she had become.
    " No.. no it's not that Jack I heard you."  She responded her eyes open.
    "Well then can i show you the room?"  He said standing up.
    "Of  course " she smiled standing up too.

    They came to the view of a wide room with a bed placed  in the left corner. The long cream white curtains drawn apart a bit showing off the white net inside. There were in built wardrops on the right side of the room and a white door next to it.
    "This is where the bathroom and toilet is,"  Jack informed her opening the door. Lucy nodded .
    " It's a beautiful house you have built here Jack. I like it. Well done " she added with a smile.
    "Thank you,"  he smiled at her. "Let me get you some beddings from the laundry room"  he said walking out.
    She sat on the soft bed waiting her eyes set on the open door. He came  back and handed her the beddings.
    "You can do the bed I will be in the TV room"  he said stepping back. "Am sure it's too early to sleep right ?" he asked avoiding her eyes.

    "Jack !" Lucy called him back before he left the door. He stood in the door way.. " yes what is it ? " He asked not moving fighting the urge to run in her.
    Lucy walked towards him and stood on the other side of the door facing him.
    "I want  to ask you something" , she said softly.

    "Well go on " he responded.
    "I'm.....Am, I  wanted to ask you if you have someone in your life"  she stammered.

    "What do you mean someone? " Jack asked with a laugh.
    "Am sorry I shouldn't have asked that. it didn't come out right "she struggled to say.
    "Forget it " she quickly mentioned turning to  walk back.

    "Lucy.. " Jack whispered holding and pulling her back.
    "  Are you okey? You are acting off today. "
    Lucy lifted her head looking at her his face.
    "I missed you so much Jack , I can't bare staying away from you. I just got  so used to being  around you and now everything isn't making sense in my life"  she said without a blink.
    "What are you telling me? "  Jack asked in a low tone, his voice calm and composed .

    "I didn't come here to buy anything, your mother already bought  all the things needed for Jammy's birthday party. All i need to get him is a my present. I dont really know why am here. All i could think about was you and what you told me last time. I don't know what to say to you Jack .... I...I " she stammered not finding words to tell him.
    He looked at her his heart jumping with joy . he couldnt believe his eyes and ears. What he was listening to was like a dream come true.
    Without any word he held her by her back and pulled her closer to himself, Jack smiled before kissing her.
    She held on to him inhaling the sweet scent of his perfume his heart pounding against her chest as he worked his way in her mouth.
    Without letting her go, Jack moved towards the bed and lay her down making sure his hands and mouth got to work their way to her.

    "I waited for this moment forever, " he smiled looking at her now narrowed eyes that displayed true desire and passion. " I love you so much and don't ever push me away  again"  he whispered rubbing her forehead with his.
    "Thank you for coming. "
    Lucy smiled,
    "I never knew knew being so close to you would make me grow butterflies in my stomach " she said with a laugh..
    "I love you too Jack,  I never knew I would get to love someone beyond what I felt for James. This is so different. It's like am free, everytime  I think of you I feel calm, I feel safe and I feel complete. it's strange how just yersterday I thought I will never feel so deep for anyone Jack. " she told him sincerely.

    "Shshshshs !" he whispered rubbing her lips. I don't want to talk anymore,  aren't you scared of getting pregnant again? " He teased pulling off her top.
    "You afraid to be a father? " She smiled holding  his face.
    "Well I would love to have lots of babies" he smiled back at her.
    "We can't have a child yet Jack, I want to have a wedding and a ring on my finger." She said giggling.
    "lets find one then"  he smiled  kissing her. They spent the next  hour kissing and whispering words to each other with Jack fighting the urge to finish his desire to make love to her.  But he had to control it as he didn't want to rush things..

    "Mama Lucy is here,"  Jack called his mother watching Lucy as she slept in her bed peacefully, he moved to talk from outside .

    "Tell me sonny.. how come you sound so happy. whats the good news. ?"  Mrs Kangwa asked  him.
    "She loves  me mama, this is the best day of my life, you have no idea how excited this makes me. Am marrying her mama. Do me a favour" he told her the secret he had planned and hang up going back in the room Lucy had slept and planted a kiss on her sleepy face and left for his room.
    The following day they went into town where Lucy got a present for her son. Jack had left her checking out her own things and disappeared  for some minutes at Levy park where they had gone.
    "Am going with you to the farm, I  have to attend Jammy's party"  he informed her as they drove back to his house. "let's just get a few things from home"  he said holding her hand.
    "What happened to that trip to south Africa?"  she asked  him turning in the seat to look at him.
    "Well, I cancelled  it"  Jack  answered without looking at her and Lucy knew he was lying.
    "Mmmh I see.. cancelled huh ?"  She laughed shaking her head.
    "I couldn't come and watch you from a distance it was hard for me"  he told her finally.
    All the way to the farm, Jack couldn't help stealing glances at Lucy, he couldnt help the happiness he was feeling now that she was   finally going to be his.

    As the party came towards the end, Jack stood in front of all the people and the kids from around the farm that had gathered for  Jammy's birthday party . He thanked them and as they all went in different directions he asked his parents, the uncle to Lucy and her aunty who were also invited together with her brother to go have a talk with them in the living room.
    Lucy wondered what was going on as she sat next to her brother.
    Jack cleared his throat and went down on his knees  "My family, I called you all here because I have a special request to make. " he begun

    They all looked at each other in awe,
    "Over the time, I have come to learn about this person that my heart longs for. She makes me happy and I want her to be my wife. I know some people may say otherwise but am sorry to you all, for the first time in my life let me do something from my heart. "
    Lucy looked down knowing where the story was going. She was glad she had called her aunty to tell her about Jack earlier otherwise they all could have been shocked.
    "Lucy, please honour me by accepting this ring " he said lifting a gold engagement ring up towards her. "I love you and am not afraid to say it with these people around. I want to live my life with you and in some way fulfil my brother's last wish." 
    She cried as she went to join him on the floor he was kneeling and extended her hand to accept the sparkling gold ring he placed on her fingers.
    " thank you and yes"  she said loudly.
    And everyone clapped their hands in happiness as Mrs Kangwa shed tears. She could see the joy  in her  son's eyes and she was glad he was finally where he wanted to be. She held her grand son tightly and smiled in tears.

    After they all spoke a word or two, they agreed to marry Jack and Lucy in a month's time at the farm.
    "We don't need to go anywhere far away,"  Lucy had told Jack, " from church we can gather here and have our celebration in the garden behind the house."

    It was a small and intimate wedding they had and they dedicated the day to James as the Kangwas gave  their speeches making the guests shed tears because of  their sentimental words.

    "Where ever you are my brother, I want you to know that you are the one who has sacrificed yourself to give me this happiness today. I miss you and I wish you were here to see how happy I am,"  Jack said holding Lucy as they stood in the hotel room they had booked.

    Jammy was left with his grand parents.
    Jack and Lucy had booked to fly to the United States of America where Jack had planned to go for their honey moon.
    "I have never felt so much at home my entire life " Lucy confessed as she lay her head on his shoulder that night after some moments of being tangled in some romantic and passionate love making that made them both connected and bound forever.

    It was a happy ending for Lucy and Jack. Their love had conquered all odds and with each passing day, Lucy realised  how right James was. Jack loved her more everyday, making life with him easier and happier. she had fallen more and more  in love with Jack. 
    They stayed with Jammy and raised him together. The boy called Jack dad as he was the only father he knew. The family agreed to keep it that way until later when Jammy was older.
    THE END

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