Story: Marriage Chronicles

By Angie Montes

    Sequence 1

    Now am certain everyone has at least had that one lazy day where they just want to stay indoors and maybe watch a movie, snuggle up to their partner and make lazy love. The latter is exactly what I wanted but unlucky me William was at work, on Women’s day which is a public holiday.
    My husband’s work was his main priority recently, it seemed. And even though the fact that he was spending less time with me was slowly eating me up, I just had to play mature and understand that my William really needed this job, he really did.
    Am ranting about a job such that someone out there must be wondering what sort of job William did, right? Well he was someone’s personal assistant. A woman’s personal assistant. No, no, no! He wasn’t cheating on me with the forty something year old woman who happened to be acquainted with my father.
    How do I know? I aint no stalker but I’d done some snooping.
    Dad, he had never liked William since the word go. Why? Because I was my parents’ only surviving child. Mum had had 3 miscarriages before having me and she had three more consecutive miscarriages after I was born so my parents pampered me because they adored me, I was their gem.
    They’d sent me to the best schools they could afford and gave me almost all I needed even though they both were just mere teachers at different schools in Mumbwa where I grew up. Now we all know teachers were under paid back then, some still are.
    Anyway, it didn’t sit well with Dad when I told him I was getting married to a bus driver.
    “At least find someone who’s got a decent job, sweetie,” Dad had softly said. “I have nothing against William but you yourself are unemployed and you want to get married to a bus driver?”
    “What matters is her feelings for him, Darling,” mum had said.
    I was grateful. “And Dad, I have a bachelor’s in business administration, I’ll look for work.”
    “And that’s exactly what you’ve been doing ever since you got that bachelor’s, Anna. Have you landed any decent job yet?”
    There was no point arguing with him, he’s too stubborn.
    Yes, am Anna so don’t nobody go putting an ‘H’ either at the beginning or end of my name..Am simply Anna, A-N-N-A.
    So I’ve been married to William for almost 6 years now and for two he’s been working for Lady Valerie who owns a music company. What do you call them music companies? I honestly never paid much attention whenever William was going on and on about it.
    Today as always, he was out of town on some business errand and I was home alone, sulking while watching a terrible romance movie. Fifty shades of Grey which in my opinion should have been called Fifty shades of S--t. Excuse you, I know lots of people fancy the movie but I ain’t one of them. And the fact that Anastasia aka Ana let Christian treat her the way he did really sickened me.
    Somebody knocked on my door, softly. I got up from my couch and lazily dragged my feet as I went to check who had come.
    “Who is it?”
    “It’s Coreen, you lazy monkey.”
    A smile appeared on my face..at least someone remembered I existed. I opened the door wide and hugged my best friend, ushering her to the living room.
    “You’re glowing,” I told her as she sat. “Spill the beans.”
    I’d known Coreen for 8 years now, we’d met in college and had instantly clicked. Which hadn’t been the case with William whom I’d thought was just one rude bus driver at first when he tried to run me over with his vintage bus. Oh I had been really mad, yelled obscene stuff at him which he yelled back, telling me to f--k off and go to hell.
    The next time I saw him was at a friend’s party where we recognised each other and he apologized, I forgave him and apologized too. We then became friends, lovers and boom, we were married in less than a year.
    “What makes you think am glowing?” Coreen blushed.
    “I know you, Mrs. Coreen Cephas Mwaba.”
    “It’s Coreen Hachilenge, Cephas Mwaba is his own person.”
    I couldn’t help laughing. “I thought he was your husband.”
    “Who just managed to knock me pregnant,” she stifled a giggle.
    To say hearing the news left me happy and envious at the same time is an understatement. Don’t you go concluding, I wasn’t barren. It’s William who didn’t want a child yet saying he had to make some money first and so he ensured I was on the pill which without his knowledge I’d stopped taking for over a week now and he hadn’t even made love to me for over two weeks, what a happy marriage.
    “No,” I gasped in disbelief. Coreen and her husband had been trying to have a child for 3 years. “That’s the best news ever!”
    “I know. That’s why I came here, to share it with you, Anna.” she sighed and glanced around. “I assume William is not yet back..”
    “You assume right,” I sadly smiled. “But hey, this news calls for celebration! Why don’t we go out? Let me just get dressed.”
    .
    He smelled of Protex when he joined me in bed from the bathroom. I wrapped my hands around his torso and kissed his lips, his neck and n-----s.
    “Stop,” William wearily said. “Am exhausted.”
    I sat up in bed, frustrated. He had come home earlier that evening and I was really longing to feel my husband inside me again. I was very married and 28 years old so I had every right to want to feel my husband’s touch. To get intimate with him.
    “William, you’ve been tired for over a fortnight now. Truth be told, am starting to get tired too.”
    “Baby,” he sat up as well. “Lady Valerie will give me a break soon, I promise I’ll make it up to you.”
    “Don’t make promises you can’t keep. By the way, Coreen’s pregnant.”
    “Am happy for her and her husband, that’s great news!”
    “Really?” I snorted. “And to think that they have been married for less than 6 years, huh?”
    “What is that supposed to mean, Anna?”
    “Good night, Willy dear.”
    I switched off the light and pretended to sleep. At least I knew I’d given him something to think about.
    .
    Friday, which was the day after, found me at Coreen’s. Boredom was killing me back at my place so I decided to take a bus from Roma and pay Coreen a visit back in I PHI where she and her husband stayed. Cephas had lots of money, lucky Coreen so they could afford most of the things money could buy that William and I couldn’t afford.
    For example, Coreen drove an expensive car. That aside, i knocked on the door and the maid ushered me into the house where I bumped into Cephas and some smartly dressed Indian man who looked kinda mixed race. His slim suit had fit him perfectly and his cologne was to die for.
    “Anna,” Cephas hugged me. “Coreen’s in the bedroom. Am seeing my cousin out.”
    Cousin.. well the cousin was gorgeous.
    The gorgeous cousin shook my hand. “Am Rajesh Sharma, nice to meet you- I didn’t quite get your name.”
    “Anna.”
    “Anna,” he sheepishly uttered. I loved the way my name rolled off his tongue.
    “See you,” Cephas emphasized and they walked the door.
    I looked at my palm and couldn’t believe it had come into contact with Rajesh’s. When I closed my eyes, all I could see was Rajesh and I making passionate love on some bed in an expensive hotel room.
    Devilish thought for a married woman, I know but I just couldn’t help the lust which was the genesis of my downfall.

    Sequence 2

    COREEN
    My husband’s family hates me. No, let me rephrase that cause ‘hate’ is too simple a word to describe how his mother and two sisters feel about me. They loathe me, for no apparent reason.
    When I asked Cephas’ elder sister why they, that’s her mother, she and Cephas’ younger sister hate me so much, Ethel just laughed in my face. “You don’t wanna know,” she rolled her eyes before pretending to be so engrossed in whatever on her stupid phone.
    So when Cephas came up towards me on the dressing cabinet where I was doing my hair, wrapped his hands around my neck from behind and breathed into my hair, saying a cousin of his was coming to visit us that day, I was more shocked than surprised.
    “Let me guess, this cousin of yours hates me too.”
    “Baby, you know I don’t like it when you talk like this.”
    “So we’ll just pretend your mother and two sisters don’t hate everything about me, right?”
    “Rajesh isn’t my mother and sisters.”
    “Rajesh?” I tilted my head. “That’s not a Zambian name, is it? Now you didn’t exactly tell me you have an Indian cousin.”
    “He’s mixed race,” Cephas unwrapped his hands from my neck and stood beside me so that I could see him in the mirror. “Some aunt of mine had an affair with an Indian man ages ago and bore Rajesh Sharma. His dad bailed on them way before he was born but aunt was so obsessed with the d--n Indian that she named my cousin after his run away father.”
    “Mmmm. So he’s coming to do what exactly?”
    “He’s just visiting from India where he somehow managed to take himself..he’s loaded too so he’ll be staying over at a hotel.”
    “Great. I’ll cook something.”
    His phone rang and he picked up, spoke for a while and hang up. “It was Rajesh, let me go pick him up from the hotel.”
    “Sure.”
    He kissed me on the lips and rubbed my still flat tummy. “Take care of yourself and our little one.”
    “I will.”
    He hurriedly put on some Vans and scuffled out of the room. I stood before the mirror, admiring my slender and beautiful self. I was beautiful, of this I was certain. Not even that short and plump Anna could be compared to me. She was my friend, yes, and was beautiful in her own way but I was way prettier than her. And yet her in-laws adored her..mmph! I knew she was envious of my marriage as Cephas treated me like a queen and to say the truth I was envious of her because her in-laws liked her. And because she had grown up with both parents unlike me whose mother had died giving birth to, whose father was so shattered by his wife’s death that he committed suicide. I was brought up by my grandmother from Dad’s side and growing up it had been only Grandma, Gwen who was another orphan and I. Life hadn’t been easy and today am not quite in the mood to tell you about all the struggles we’d gone through.
    So when I met Cephas in Lusaka where I was studying at Evelyn Hone, scholarship things, I fell head over heels for him and we got married three years later. Cephas’ Dad had been quite a rich and influential business man who’d left a fortune in his wife’s and children’s hands when he died, thus Cephas’ riches. But my husband was smart so he expanded the family business such that they now owned a fleet of buses, herds of cattle, a hotel and some stores and alas, people deemed him a Satanist.
    Even Anna had once hinted on the same.
    We had gone out that particular day when she and I bought take away chicken and chips plus two spa-lettas from Galitos and decided to eat inside my car.
    “This that you’ve failed to conceive despite the doctors confirming both you and your husband are medically fertile,” she began, “I hope all is well.”
    I opted to remain silent. I was pregnant, this I knew but hadn’t informed anyone yet. I needed to confirm first, needed a doctor to divulge the news to me.
    Anna was saying, “There’s talk in town about Cephas which I really don’t like but as you’re my friend, I think you have the right to know what people are saying about your husband.”
    “Really?” I took a bite from my quarter chicken. “Humour me, Anna.”
    “Coreen, rumour has it that your husband is a ritualist.”
    If I was upset, I didn’t let Anna know. “Let them talk. What matters he is not.”
    “What makes you so certain?”
    “The same thing that assures you William isn’t cheating on you.” that shut her up.
    It was later that evening when I was getting ready for bed when I saw something strange. You see I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth when I saw myself in the mirror, that’s two versions of me in the mirror. One was wearing a kimono which had blood smeared all over it and the other one was original me.
    Meticulously, I turned and there was no one behind me. I placed a hand on my chest and felt my heart beating frantically.
    “I must be hallucinating, I really need to get some sleep.”
    I turned back to the mirror and saw the kimono clad me again..this time she was approaching my back. I screamed and fell cold on the bathroom floor.
    When I came to, Cephas and our doctor were hovering over me.
    That’s when the doctor announced I’d fainted due to the fact that I was pregnant.
    I didn’t bother telling Cephas about what I’d seen in the bathroom because I knew he wouldn’t believe me. Furthermore, why ruin the ecstatic mood he was in?
    Back to my preparing for Rajesh to pay us a visit, my maid and I made several delicacies and spread them neatly on the 2,150 U.S Dollars dining table. Which is approximately K21,500
    An hour later, Cephas and the handsome looking Rajesh Sharma showed up and we had lunch together, laughing and talking about nothing in particular.
    “I like your wife,” Rajesh blurted to Cephas after we’d hugged each other goodbye.
    My husband winked at me and then smiled at him. “Do you now?”
    Rajesh smiled too. “Yeah, she’s cool.” he looked straight at me. “You’re cool, Coreen. Cephas here is one lucky b-----d to have hit such a jackpot!”
    The blushing was inevitable. “Thanks.”
    “You’re welcome, always.”
    What a charmer, I thought as I headed towards my room. If I hadn’t been happily married nor loved Cephas the way I did, I wouldn’t mind having me some Indian lover. But I wasn’t the cheating type so..yeah.
    My maid rapped on my door minutes later informing me Anna was here to see me.
    “Tell her I’ll be out in a minute,” I told her.
    I found Anna waiting for me in the living room where we shared a brief hug.
    “I just bumped into your husband on my way out,” she awkwardly said. “he was with this Indian man..”
    “Rajesh Sharma.”
    “Yes, he mentioned that’s his name. Who is he?”
    “My husband’s cousin.”
    “Cephas mentioned that.”
    “Okay,” I then told her about Rajesh’s roots. “Why are you so interested in knowing about him?”
    She shrugged. “Just mere curiosity.”
    But deep down I knew she wasn’t telling the truth.
    When she was gone and the maid had knocked off, I decided to step into the kitchen and make supper for Cephas who was yet to come back.
    I was just turning on the stove when I felt a weird vibe ooze through the entire kitchen. Almost as if someone invisible had whooshed past me. Then came the light which flipped on and off frequently, on it’s own. I began to shiver and headed towards the door which shut itself tight such that it didn’t budge when I tried to open it. To say I was frightened is the understatement of the century, I just felt like pissing in my pant! I took a few steps back in retreat when the cupboard doors began opening and closing on their own, the drawers too.
    And then the light went off for about a minute and when it came back on, there was a message written on the kitchen wall, in blood.
    ‘AM COMING FOR YOU, B---H!’
    I screamed and buried my head in my palms. I was vigorously shaking when Cephas showed up.
    “What are you doing seated on the floor like that, honey?”
    I tried to reply but no words came out of my
    mouth cause I was s--t scared. He crouched down and hugged me. “Coreen?”
    I pointed at the wall, where the message was..had been cause it was now gone.
    “What’s there, huh Coreen?”
    I narrated all that had just happened and guess his reaction? He laughed, lifting me and taking me to the bedroom. He carefully placed me on the bed, “You deserve some rest. I’ll make dinner.”
    With that, he kissed me on my forehead and left me in the bedroom.
    I knew what I had seen was real, I wasn’t hallucinating. But who would believe me if and when I decided to narrate the scary tale to them?

    Sequence 3

    ANNA
    Job hunting was one of the last things on my to-do list but staying home almost all the time was slowly starting to drive me nuts and I feared I’d start talking to the walls in no time so it was better I look for a job so that I can have something to keep me occupied.
    I arrived home from my job hunting dead tired, I had had undergone more than 3 interviews and two of the companies promised to call. Well I wasn’t going to get my hopes high cause this wasn’t the first time someone was promising to call me when in actual sense they knew they weren’t gonna call.
    I sighed as I dumped my fat a-s on the couch, taking off my heels.
    It was at such times that I wished I had a house help but even paying rent was a hustle so I needn’t even think of hiring a maid cause she’d just humiliate William and I when her pay day comes and we are unable to pay her.
    I was hungry and yet so tired but I knew William was coming home that day so it was my duty to prepare him something to eat. I was just getting up when my phone rang. I got it from my handbag and checked who was calling.
    I slid to answer. “Coreen.”
    “Anna, how are you?”
    I rolled my eyes. So she just called to ask how I was? Weren’t we together in town just the previous day? “Am fine..you?”
    “I can’t complain. So, calling to invite you to this party that Cephas is hosting this Saturday. William’s welcome as well.”
    “That’s so thoughtful of you,” I bit my lower lip. “But him and I have plans for Saturday.”
    This was a lie. Truth be told, I didn’t like Cephas one bit and the speculations brewing just worsened things.
    “It’s a shame,” she breathed into the phone. And then added in an undertone, “Rajesh will be there.”
    Rajesh? I almost felt like screaming with excitement. My God, it had been over a month since that encounter over at Coreen’s and I hadn’t seen him since. According to Coreen, he was a very busy man.
    Now I don’t know why Coreen would tell me Rajesh would be there but I suspected she knew I wanted him, in the wrong way. That cunning b---h!
    “Oh..What time is this party starting?”
    “19:00 hrs. At my place.”
    “Willy and I have plans but we can surely make it to the party. See you there.”
    “See you..”
    When I informed my husband during dinner, he reluctantly agreed. “I have no plans for Saturday..a party sounds just like the best thing to make us spend more time with each other.”
    “It sure does.”
    Saturday came and I found myself trying on so many dresses, I just couldn’t seem to decide on what to wear.
    “The only time I saw you this restless and undecided was on our engagement day,” said William who had been watching me intently. “It’s just a party, Anna.”
    Of course I knew it was just a party but I needed to look splendid.
    Now I know Coreen was all tall, slim and sexy but I was way beautiful than she was and had a body to die for even though I was short and a bit fat but my boobs and bums made up for that. The mere thought of Coreen’s flat a-s almost left me in stitches of laughter. But don’t you go judging me, Coreen was my best friend and I loved her in my own way, I really did.
    To my husband, I said, “I know this is Cephas and Coreen’s party but I won’t go there looking like some girl from the slums.”
    He wrapped his hands around my waist and handed me a dress he’d bought for me on our fifth anniversary. “Why don’t you wear this?”
    “I love you so much, William Njapau!” I exclaimed, getting the dress and hurriedly slipping into it. The red dress which was short, just how I liked em, ever since I crossed paths with Rajesh(which is a weird thing to say cause I’d only met him once), enveloped my body perfectly. I put on heavy make up and was good to go, red Stilettos on my feet and a black purse in my hand.
    “Shall we go?”
    “D--n!” William bit the corner of his lower lip and pulled me towards him. “You’re the sexiest woman alive, Anna. And today when we come back from the party, the only thing you’ll be wearing is our wedding ring.”
    I laughed. “I can’t wait.”
    I really couldn’t wait cause the last time Willy and I had had sex, it hadn’t been things. Just one round and his libido shrank, leaving me yearning for more.
    Forget that embarrassing night, today was going to be different, I had a hunch.
    Two hours later, William and I were at the party quite already but it was dead boring. Cephas kept on talking about the new hotel that he was planning to open in town and how many job opportunities that was going to create, blah blah blah. No wonder people said he was a Satanist, something was just not right about this guy. I could tell behind his huge smile hid ugly skeletons in the closet. And naive Coreen couldn’t seem to stop smiling stupidly beside her husband. Did I tell you she was wearing a white jumpsuit and that she had overslain me? Now you know.
    “Wait till she gets fat and her baby bump starts showing,” I whispered to Willy. “She’ll be looking like a pig!” I giggled and sipped on my wine.
    “I thought she was supposed to be your best friend?”
    “She is.”
    He shook his head. “Women, women, women! You never seize to amaze me.”
    My attention shifted towards Rajesh who was casually dressed and looked super sexy. He winked at me, for the zillionth time that night.
    “Did that guy just wink at you?”
    “What is that supposed to mean, huh Willy? He’s winking at-” I pointed at a random girl who was seated alone at the bar, looking lonely. “that girl.”
    He was about to say something when his phone rang. I couldn’t even listen to what he was saying on the phone cause Coreen chose that exact moment to pull me aside. “I hope you’re enjoying yourselves.”
    A lady who doesn’t know how to wear a plastic smile should be called a man. Being the lady that I am, I put on the best plastic smile I could muster. “Enjoying ourselves? Honey, Willy and I are having the time of our lives!”
    “Speaking of Willy, here he comes.”
    “Babe,” he nervously said. “I gotta go.”
    “Like right now?”
    “Yeah.” he brushed a kiss on my lips. “Am so sorry. Lady Valerie urgently needs me.”
    “Your job comes first, honey.” I feigned calm. “Go right ahead.”
    “How do you do it?” Coreen asked me as soon as William was gone.
    I sipped my wine. “Do what?”
    Cephas summoned for her just then so she left. I’d been alone for barely a minute when Rajesh appeared at my side, a bottle of Scotch in hand. “The guy who just left..he’s your?”
    “My husband.” S--t! I inwardly scolded myself. I might as well just have scared the man off! Dumb me!
    He smiled. “You look great with him.”
    “Thank you.”
    “Follow me, after a minute,” he patted my bare thigh and left before I could say a thing.
    Follow him? He could be a serial killer for all I knew.
    But the adrenaline was running and I was getting excited. I grabbed my purse, glanced around the many strangers and followed Rajesh. I found myself alone with him in the guestroom. He locked the door and kissed me, aggressively. I liked the kiss.
    “Turn over.”
    “Excuse me?”
    “Turn over, Anna.”
    Oh boy did I mention how much I liked the way my name rolled off his tongue?
    I turned over, giving him my a-s. He pulled my dress up, my panties down and I felt fresh air ooze into places which weren’t supposed to be exposed at that particular moment. Or for whom I’d exposed them.
    “Protection,” my breath was coming in short. “I don’t have protection, Rajesh.”
    “That’s taken care of..a man always moves with protection. A real man that is.”
    Did this mean even William moved with protection? Ah, screw him!
    I peered back at Rajesh and saw him slip a condom on his erect and huge penis. Gosh! My legs were now shaking and I was on the verge of pleading with him to please just enter me. And enter me he did.
    “Harder! Harder! Rajesh, harder!”
    And like an obedient pupil, he t----t me hard and fast.
    “Say my name once again,” his one hand was pulling my weave while the other was slapping my a-s. “Moan my name, b---h!”
    What did he just call me? Anyway, I didn’t bother paying attention. I just chanted his name, “Rajesh Sharma, Rajesh, Rajesh Sharma!”
    I lay in my bed later that night looking at Rajesh’s business card which he had slipped into my purse after I’d hit o----m back in Coreen’s guestroom and sat on the floor, unable to move for a while.
    On the back of the card, Rajesh had scribbled in cursive, ‘Call me to learn more about my skills in bed.’
    Am not ashamed to admit I had plans of calling him.
    Willy showed up 30 minutes later, apologized and got all touchy. I didn’t want to raise any suspicion so I let him do as he pleased and when he entered me, my mind drifted off to the wild sex Rajesh and I had had earlier that evening.
    “How come you aren’t tight done their?” William asked while atop me, the missionary position was the style we usually used whenever making love.
    “You expect me to answer that, really?”
    “Am sorry,” he breathed and continued lazily thrusting.
    I let myself replay Rajesh and my encounter and boom, I hit o----m! You should have seen how pleased Willy seemed with himself, n----r please!!!
    “I love you,” he rolled off me.
    “I love you too,” I almost choked on the words.
    So this is how women who cheat feel? The feeling is exciting and scary at the same time..there’s always that thought of what your spouse will do once they find out and that alone gives you the urge to cheat even more.

    Sequence 4

    COREEN
    “Babe, I’ll be back in a minute.”
    “Sure,” said Cephas flatly. I smirked as I made my way towards where Rajesh and Anna had headed, meandering through a string of guests. Just as I anticipated, I heard Anna moaning from the guestroom.
    “How pathetic,” I mumbled, taking out my phone and putting it on sound recorder so that I could record her moans and she and Rajesh made my work easier with all their loud moans and shouting, they must have forgotten they were attending a party.
    Well I’d decided to help Anna ruin her marriage seeing as that was her sole purpose. Why do I say this? Because no one in their right mind would be banging another man at their friend’s party knowing too well that they were married. That aside, Anna’s constant questions about Rajesh had sold her off. She desperately wanted to f--k him, of this I had been certain and today I’d been proven right.
    If there’s one thing I hate most, it’s spouses who cheat. Marriage is sacred and I know this even though am not the religious type but I believe the vows taken during the marriage ceremony should be taken seriously so it really pisses me off to know someone’s cheating on their partner. Take a good look at me, I’d had two strange encounters so far but that hadn’t prompted me to go cheating on Cephas or jumping to conclusions that he was a Satanist. Let’s now take a good look at the ungrateful Anna whose husband was doing all he could so that she could live a comfortable life and she repays him by sleeping with some random guy? Rajesh was gorgeous, this I admit but what Anna was doing was wrong and I know two wrongs don’t make a right but I was willing to go down the path of helping her ruin her marriage cause it seemed that’s what she wanted.
    Taking good looks at people, let’s consider my father who took his own life because his partner was no more and then Anna just decides to cheat on William? Awe(no) this was wrong and I wasn’t gonna allow her play such a good man.
    For starters, I’d told Rajesh earlier that day, way before the party started, that my best friend Anna liked him very much.
    “You sure you just ain’t pulling my leg?”
    “Rajesh, I’ve heard you’re a womanizer and here’s a desperate woman on a sliver platter so you either take her or leave her.”
    “She married?” he pursed his lips.
    “Yeah.”
    “Just how I like em’,” he muttered. “But what are you gaining from this?”
    “Am just helping out two friends here.”
    He snorted. “Yeah right! By encouraging one to cheat on her husband, huh?”
    “She’s a year older than me so I believe she knows what she’s getting herself into.”
    “You have a point there.”
    “Thanks,” I smiled in triumph. “But don’t you go telling anyone we’ve had this conversation.”
    “That’s a womanly thing to do, Coreen.”
    “Then I trust you to prove how manly you’re.”
    “Coreen, Rajesh, here you are,” said Cephas lightly, joining us outside where we were preparing the braii stand. “What are you talking about? And leave that, I’ve hired some people to take care of all this.”
    “That’s so thoughtful of you, honey, but Rajesh and I just wanna feel useful. And he was just telling me about the sari and jewelry shops he owns back in Delhi.”
    “Oh..you own such shops, Rajesh?”
    He shrugged. “Yeah, it’s no freaking deal, man.”
    And the party commenced and William just had to be called, poor thing. If only he knew how low his precious wife was stooping right now.
    Anyway, I recorded enough evidence to incriminate Anna if things were to come to that and left the guestroom premises wearing a huge smile on my face.
    .
    It was two days later when I was coming from the doctor’s office for a check up when I saw her or me. She was wearing the same kimono she’d been wearing back in the bathroom the first time I’d seen her and that had been over a month ago.
    Today she stood in the middle of the road causing me to hit emergency brakes. My heart was thumping so fast as I watched the blood drenched Kimono clad me stand right in front of my car, in broad daylight!
    Somebody hooted behind me. Couldn’t they see the d--n woman?
    She turned to leave before I stuck my head out the window and audibly asked, “What do you want from me?”
    Her head turned, literally! As in her face faced me while the back of her head faced the other way. She smirked, “You don’t wanna know.”
    Her voice was a replica of mine and this alone chilled my bones. She then practically vanished into thin air.
    I gasped. “Am hallucinating,” I convinced myself as I revved the engine. “That just didn’t happen.”
    In the evening, I was seated on my bed waiting for Cephas to leave the bathroom where he was taking a cold shower and when he finally did, I blurted out, “I saw her.”
    “Who?”
    “The woman who looks exactly like I do, walks like me and sounds like me when she speaks.”
    “Not again, Coreen,” he sounded agitated. “You know that woman doesn’t even exist!”
    “Are you calling me a liar? What exactly is going on, Cephas?”
    Shaking his head, he began applying cream on his body. “How am I supposed to know the answer to that question? It’s not as if am the one seeing things, is it?”
    I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. So my husband cared less that I was ‘seeing things’, as he phrased it. “Maybe all the assumptions people are making are valid after all.”
    Cephas paused. “Meaning?”
    “Never mind,” I covered myself with a duvet. “Switch the light off when you’re done, I need to get some sleep.”
    The following day, I brought a pastor home, one I’d just read about on Facebook. Of course Cephas wasn’t home when the pastor came and I warned both the maid and garden boy not to say a word about this to my husband or else they could as well just start looking for new jobs in advance.
    “What exactly did you say is the problem?” asked the pastor as we sat in unison.
    I narrated to him what had been going on recently and he frequently shook his head. “This house needs serious prayers,” he finally announced and insisted the maid and garden boy join us in prayer.
    As I said earlier, I wasn’t really religious so as the trio prayed, the pastor sprinking holy water in the many corners of the living room, I simply mumbled little words like, “God take that spirit or ghost or whatever she is away from this place, please am begging you.”
    It was several minutes into our prayers that the living room door which had been open shut itself tight, with a loud bang.
    Everybody froze, the pastor inclusive. And then wind, from no where. The wind was so strong that it blew my weave, sending it flying.
    “What’s going on?” asked my 16 year old garden boy who looked dead scared.
    “She’s here,” I said, shivering.
    “Who?” asked my maid.
    “Me!” her voice echoed..me..mee..meee! And yet she was no where to be seen.
    “Did you hear that?” I asked the pastor. “It’s her.”
    Just then the plasma T.V fell from the wall, falling to the ground and shattering to pieces. The maid screamed, going to hide behind the pastor.
    “Who..who are you? What do you want in a house filled with children of God?”
    She laughed. “And you call yourself a pastor when just last night you had sex with one of the women in the praise team?” her voice seemed to be resonating from everywhere.
    “I..don’t..don’t know what you are talking about you agent of Satan.”
    “I have no time for you!”
    The four couches rose, high, high, until they touched the ceiling, one even came into contact with the chandelier.
    We all stood transfixed on our spots, our heads up, watching the couches which floated in the air for over two minutes before they fell back to the floor, shattering to pieces, almost as if they were made of glass.
    She laughed, shrilly. “I’ll be back!”
    I looked from the maid to the garden boy and the pastor who had wet his pants, he was clinging to the bible for dear life.
    “Am out of here,” the maid was first to speak. “Madam, you can keep your money which was to be given to me tomorrow. I don’t need it!”
    The garden boy left without saying a thing, so did the harassed looking pastor.
    I sat on the floor once I was alone and cried, I dialed my grandma’s line while crying, not knowing I was making a mistake I’d live to regret.

    Sequence 5

    .
    ANNA
    The call came two days later.. I was washing William’s and my clothes outside while humming to Brandy’s ‘Long Distance’, a song I’d come to impulsively love over a course of two days. And I don’t know why but I was really hoping to find condoms in one of Willy’s pockets because I remember Rajesh had mentioned a real man always moves with protection. Thinking Willy was cheating on me was ludicrous cause I knew too well he wasn’t, maybe it was because I myself was cheating thats why I was thinking in bizarre lines? Anyway, the bottom line is I didn’t find anything to suggest my husband was cheating on me and this made me feel a pang of guilt. Why cheat on such a sweet, loyal and faithful man ai? Ah, the thrill of cheating.
    I was now loudly singing along to the song as I hang the clothes on the line, “With you is where I’d rather be..but we’re stuck where we are..it’s alright..it’s okay..this long distance is killing me..” when my phone rang, disrupting the song.
    Clicking my tongue, I wiped my hands by rubbing them against my chitenge (wrapper), grabbed the phone from the heap of dirty clothes and checked the caller ID. It was a strange landline number.
    I put on my best feminine tone. “Hello.”
    “Is this Mrs. Anna Mumba Njapau?”
    My heart began thumping. Who was this man that I was talking to? “Um..yes.”
    “Okay. This is Mutale, am calling from ERB to inform you you’ve been hired as the boss’ personal secretary.”
    No..I couldn’t believe my ears. Anna Mumba, a secretary, at Energy Regulation Board? OMG, this was huge news!
    “I..thank you.”
    “Please report to the office before 8 AM tomorrow.”
    “I surely will.”
    When William turned up home in the evening, I gave him the news.
    He seemed thrilled. “Am so happy for you, Anna. At least now you won’t have to nag me about staying home all the time and watch paint dry as you phrase it,” he chuckled and pulled me into his arms. “The Lord’s hand is finally upon us.”
    I couldn’t help cringing, why did he have to mention God?
    William kissed my lips, trailed kisses down my neck and I knew he wanted to make love to me which was fine by me but remember the steamy session with Rajesh? Am sure you do.
    Once again, I let William do as he pleased. I had nothing to worry about as I was after all back on the pill. You wondering why when I said I wanted to have a child? Well, not anymore. Falling pregnant at this juncture would just cut my fun short so I was better off back on the pill.
    It was only after the lousy love making session that I showered and gave Coreen a call, informing her about my job. She sounded genuinely happy even for someone who had once quit a nice job just because her husband had said so.
    “That’s really nice, Anna, at least you now have something to keep you occupied.”
    “William kinda said the same thing,” I giggled. “Anyway, am just thrilled, Coreen.”
    “You have every right to be..” we talked about other stuff for a while and wished each other good night.
    William and I slept, cuddling.
    I woke up at 5 in the morning, went jogging for twenty minutes and came back. Since when did I start jogging ai? Since Rajesh happened.
    Don’t be mistaken, I was really comfortable in my own skin but a girl’s gotta do what she’s gotta do.
    7:30 AM found me at the office, I had a job!
    The first day wasn’t hard as the old secretary, who was apparently stopping after a week, was there to help me even though I sensed she was kinda envious of me. I just wonder what it is with ugly women and their attitude towards us the pretty ones, mmmmph!
    Willy called at lunch and we talked, how refreshing.
    I also couldn’t wait to inform my parents that after so long, I had finally landed myself a job.
    “Finally!” mum exhaled when I called her once I was back home. “Finally my prayers have been answered. Wishing you all the best, sweetie. Love you.”
    “Love you too, mum. My regards to Dad.”
    “I’ll pass them along, he’s in the shower.”
    “Alright, bye.”
    “Bye.”
    .
    Saturday afternoon, I found myself at an exotic lodge where William had taken me. He was overly sweet this past one week, almost as if he knew what I’d done back at Coreen’s party. Almost as if he wanted me to feel so guilty that I just blurt out I’d cheated on him. But again, don’t they say ‘the guilty are always afraid’? Aha, I was just being paranoid.
    Anyway, the date or whatever I can call it was dead boring. I would rather have stayed home and watched Twilight, another movie which doesn’t deserve it’s massive reputation, am just saying.
    William and I were having some smoothies when the idea popped up in my mind. I set an alarm on my phone for four minutes later, putting my usual ringtone as the alarm tone.
    William was saying, “See, told you Lady Valerie would give me a break,” he patted my hand across the table. “Being with you is just beyond me. I am honestly one of the luckiest men in the world to have married such an understanding, patient and virtuous wife. Thank you, Anna.”
    “For what?”
    “For being you.”
    Was he mocking me? If so then screw him! Thank the Lord, the four minutes was up so my phone rang. I looked at the screen and feigned frowning.
    “It’s my boss,” I lied. “I have to take the call. Make a good impression and all.”
    William flashed me an assuring smile. “I understand.”
    “Hello..yes..like right now?…oh..okay. Am on my way.”
    I fakily cut the line. “My boss says I gotta go to the office and work on something which should be presented first thing Monday morning.”
    “But didn’t you just knock off like two hours ago? And now you have to go back?”
    “I can stay here if you like, Willy. And then I’ll probably lose my job over a trivial thing in the course of time cause my boss will be mad at me for making the company lose this deal.”
    If there was one thing William didn’t like, being or feeling guilty so he shrugged and said, “Go, Anna. You have to go.”
    “Thanks.” I rose from my seat and kissed him on the lips. “You’re a darling.”
    “So are you.”
    Once I was on a taxi going nowhere, my mind started processing what I’d just done. Look, Willy had left me so many times claiming he had work to do so now it was my turn to make him feel the pain of your spouse leaving you all alone, prioritizing their work.
    Since I had nowhere to go and remembered I’d not yet called Rajesh Sharma since last Saturday, I figured now was the best time to call him. Being me, I’d already made a mental note of all his three lines, which are his office line and two personal lines. And I’d already gotten rid of his business card in case William were to stumble upon it..prevention is better than cure.
    I dialled Rajesh’s MTN line and told the driver to reduce the volume. The first call went unanswered. I called again.
    “Hello,” he finally picked up.
    I felt butterflies jitter in my stomach. “Raj, it’s Anna.”
    “You called me Raj.”
    “Why..you don’t like being called that?”
    “No..as in, I don’t mean I don’t like being called Raj but no one really calls me that so-”
    “Well get accustomed cause that’s what I’ll be calling you.”
    “Sure..it’s so nice hearing from you again. What have you been up to?”
    “I’ll tell you when we meet. Where can I find you?”
    There was a pause. “At the hotel, Golden Peacock Hotel.”
    “Sharp..Am on my way.”
    “Can’t wait to see you.”
    “Me neither.”
    I arrived at the hotel and told the receptionist who I wanted to see.
    “Just a minute,” she sounded all business while she dialled a number on her landline and spoke into the phone. “She says her name is..” she gestured I give her my name again.
    I really hated having to repeat myself. “Anna.”
    “Anna who?”
    “Just tell him that, he’ll know.”
    She rolled her eyes. “Ok..I’ll send her up.”
    She put the receiver down and curtly said, “Third floor..room 408.”
    “Thanks.”
    I softly knocked on the door and Raj opened the it, wearing nothing but a towel. I swallowed hard when I saw his abs. “Nice body you got..”S--t! that came out wrong. “Am sorry..was about to say..hi.”
    He chuckled, a handsome smile. Is there such a thing, a handsome smile? Really? Whatever!
    Raj opened the door a fraction wider. “Come in.”
    I went in and he closed the door. I sat on the bed which was nicely made, courtesy of room service I suppose.
    “Am just from taking a shower,” he dropped the towel and grabbed a bottle of Nivea from the dressing cabinet. “What’s up?”
    I was tongue-tied, mostly because I couldn’t take my eyes off his body. His flaccid penis turned me on already. His whole body was to die for!
    My phone saved me by ringing and even as I removed it from my purse, I knew it was William calling.
    Real bummer, it wasn’t him. It was Cephas calling me. For the first time in forever!
    I picked up and what he told me left me in tears.

    Sequence 6

    COREEN
    “Grandma.”
    “Coreena..how are you doing?”
    Am not Coreena but Granny liked calling me that which was kind of annoying but I was too drained right now to worry about what she had called me.
    “Am not fine, Granny,” I sniffed. “I think this house is haunted or something.”
    “Haunted? How exactly?”
    I told her the supernatural happenings I’d experienced thus far.
    “And what does your husband have to say about this?” she asked as soon as I was done telling my tale.
    I sniffed, again. “He doesn’t believe me..thinks am hallucinating.”
    “Ha! People don’t just hallucinate such bizarre stuff out of the blue, do they now?”
    “What are you insinuating?”
    “Nothing really.. Something’s just wrong somewhere. You know what? I’ll talk to some witchdoctor so that we can cleanse you cause what you’re telling me sounds dangerously serious.”
    I wasn’t really for the idea of paying a witchdoctor a visit but you all know what happened with that facebook pastor so witchdoctor sounded just fine. “Okay..thanks.”
    “Take care, I’ll give you feedback as soon as possible.”
    “Alright..sleep well.”
    “You too.”
    I sighed after hanging up, at least someone believed my crazy story. I was still seated on the floor when I heard Cephas drive in, I knew it was him cause he had his own set of keys for the gate and house, so did I.
    He walked into the living room and gasped after he saw the shattered T.V and couches.
    “What happened here?”
    Really? He was asking me such? “Evil me happened,” I hotly said, getting to my feet and giving him one evil glare. “And since you don’t want to believe me when I tell you am seeing a ghost who looks exactly like me, I told someone who believes me.”
    “Who?”
    “My grandma.”
    “Oh.”
    “That’s all you gonna say? Oh?”
    “What else do you want me to say, Coreen?” he coolly said and shrugged.
    I shook my head in disbelief. “So you think I did all this? Got crazy cravings and chewed the couches, right?” I was getting emotional again. “You do know nothing remains hidden forever under the sun, right? Cephas, one way or the other, I’ll find out what exactly is going on here! And I really hope all that people are saying about you isn’t true.”
    “You said that the other night too,” his voice went slightly high. “Tell me, what exactly are these people saying about me? And since you don’t mingle with a lot of people being you, Anna is probably ‘these people’, right?”
    “Don’t you drag Anna into this or try to change the subject..You just look around here and figure out what happened or why the maid and garden boy decided to quit work at the same time!”
    “The maid and garden boy have quit work?”
    “No..this is when they are starting.” I turned to leave but added, “And oh, you’re a terrible liar, Cephas. I can see you’re hiding something from me and I’ll one day find out what it is, dear husband.”
    .
    Saturday came and I hadn’t seen the kimono me version since she went erratic and broke my T.V and couches, not that I wanted to see her again, no.
    Grandma had called me the day before saying I go to Kapiri where I’d grown up, as soon as possible and so I decided Saturday was perfect. Of course Cephas was all gloomy last night when I informed him. “Do you really have to go?”
    I had lied to him saying I just wanted to pay Granny a visit. “Yes, Darling.”
    “But I thought we agreed we’d go together this month end, what changed?”
    I snuggled up to him in bed. “Should be my hormones, am really home sick. But don’t worry, I’ll be back by Monday.”
    “There’s no convincing you otherwise, is there?”
    “Nop.”
    He heavily exhaled and kissed me on the lips. “Okay..Do what your heart yearns. Am gonna miss you.”
    “Me more..” I seductively whispered, climbing atop him and unbuttoning his shirt. “Let me just show you how much I’ll miss you.”
    “Mmmh..I like where this is heading.”
    “Am glad,” I softly bit his n----e, causing him to moan. “We’ll do this my way tonight.”
    Cephas burst out lauging and raised his arms in surrender. “Yes ma’am, you can even chain me to the bed if you like.”
    “Don’t tempt me.”
    We both laughed before getting down to serious business. You want details? Nah, am not in the mood.
    So today, I wore a white dress which had one slit that ran from ankle to thigh on my right leg, black sandals, applied a touch of make up and packed a few necessities in the handbag Cephas had ordered from China as my birthday present. I sat on the bed after doing my hair and dialed Anna’s line so that I could inform her I was going out of town.
    “Safe journey, boo. As for me am chilling at some exotic lodge with my husband.”
    “Am happy for you,” I honestly was though I felt like confronting her about the cheating part but I just let it slide. Her ruining her marriage was her own business and stick my nose in other people’s business I wasn’t going to do for the time being cause I had problems of my own to solve. When I was done talking to Anna, I played the audio recording for the millionth time in the past week and couldn’t believe a married woman could stop so low. Part of me wanted to delete the video but inner me won so I kept it, just looked it in the audio vault though, ‘Lock It’ things.
    Cephas was out running some errands so I locked up and went to the nearest taxi rank to get on a taxi going to town where I’d board a bus to Ndola but I’d drop off in Kapiri.
    I would have driven myself there, I’d done this before but remember I was seeing ‘Kimono me’, that’s what I’ve decided to call the ghost or whatever she is, so it was better I travelled with a lot of people. My intuition told me I would be safer this way.
    I was in Kapiri approximately three hours forty minutes later and Granny was thrilled to see me.
    She came to pick me up from the station and couldn’t stop talking about how nice I looked. She then told me about Gwen who’d paid her a visit just the previous week. I wasn’t really listening cause Gwen and I had never really been the best of friends even though we grew up under the same roof. She was just this church girl and church people aren’t really my thing so..we were immiscible in short, incompatible if you like. She was now married to a doctor in the Copperbelt and she herself was a nurse at a different hospital. She and her husband had two kids together, first a boy then a girl.
    Now Granny was saying, “Did she tell you she’s expecting?”
    “Again?” I couldn’t hide my shock. “Doesn’t she know about family planning? And to think that her husband is a doctor,” I laughed. “How ironic!” to change the topic as we trekked, I said, “Sorry for coming empty handed, wasn’t really in the mood for shopping today.”
    “It’s fine, Coreena. You and Gwen do a lot for me so I can’t complain.” she went ahead and told me about the witchdoctor and how she(the witchdoctor)thought I was seeing a ghost which had a bone to pick with my husband.
    “Don’t you think that’s a bit weird? If she has a bone to pick with Cephas then why torment me and not him?”
    “I told her the same,” said Granny with a shrug. “Anyway, the woman is really good at what she does so we’ll just have to hear what she has to say when we go to her shrine tonight.”
    Did she just say shrine? Okay I was officially into juju now. What a bad joke that is seeing as my husband was being suspected almost by the whole town of being a Satanist.
    Wait until I prove them wrong, I slyly thought. Especially that adulterous Anna, Ha!
    The walk from the station to home took 20 minutes and I was already feeling tired when we arrived so I just sat on the sofas Gwen had bought for Granny.
    “Let me just ease myself outside,” said Granny after she’d taken my bag to my old room, the room that I’d shared with Gwen. “We’ll come talk about what’s been happening in that your house back in PHI.”
    “Okay.”
    I was thinking about renovating Granny’s house so that it could be self contained, when I felt the weird vibe. And I knew.
    Like someone who had sat on a sharp pin, I leaped to my feet and headed for the door which shut in my face. There was no use trying to open it.
    The wind came next and the curtains began blowing, flying, up and down. The cupboard in the kitchen was vigorously shaking causing the contents to noisily rattle.
    I closed my eyes and turned just to find the Kimono me standing right in front of me, this time it was her feet which were facing the wrong way. As in, her toes were facing where her heels are supposed to face and vice versa. Seemed she really wanted to prove a point here.
    “Wh..Wh..what do you want from me?”
    “Everything..” her voice echoed from all corners..everything..everythin
    g..everything.
    “Everything? I don’t even know you!”
    “But your husband knows me.”
    knows me..knows me..knows mee.
    “Then why don’t you f-----g show yourself to him? Why punish me for his sins?”
    “Because he loves you,” she shrieked with laughter. “And hurting you is the best revenge!” revenge..revenge..revenge!
    “How do you mean?”
    “Coreena! Coreena? Open the door weh, who looks themselves inside the house in broad day light sure”
    “Its not me, Granny,” I desperately called. “She’s here. it’s her, the ghost b---h!”
    Where I got the courage to say such about a ghost, in her presence, I don’t know.
    “Coreena!” Granny was banging on the door.
    “She can’t hear you,” Kimono me whispered. “I’ve done some sort of cloaking spell. You won’t understand, really.”
    understand..really..really..
    Her voice was chilling but I had to ask her. “Why don’t you make me understand why you loathe Cephas instead?”
    “Don’t try your luck!” she pointed a finger at me, her toenails in place of her fingernails. “I have a present and message for Ceph Donut.”
    everything echoed once more, the kind of echoes you hear when you stand inside a vacant chapel or hall and speak.
    “Ceph Donut?”
    “Just call him that and he’ll know. The message, tell him I’ll slowly take back everything that he took from me. And secondly, here’s the present!”
    “The present?” there was something ominous about the way she said ‘the present.’
    She laughed, like a deranged woman, and then formed a fist with her right hand, twisting it in mid air.
    My womb exploded with pain..blood was immediately gushing out my womanhood, soaking my white dress. And then what I supposed was my baby(which was just a clot of thick dark blood) came out too and floated towards Kimono me who grabbed it in her hands, licked the clot for a while and swallowed it whole. Amidst the agonising pain, I threw up and when I looked back up, Kimono me was gone but my blood wasn’t. I had lost my baby. I was reaching for the doorknob when I lost consciousness and fell on the floor like a log…

    Sequence 7

    ANNA
    “Teddy bear, you’re crying?” Rajesh sympathetically asked me, wrapping the towel back round his waist and sitting beside me. “Who called you and what did they tell you which left you this distraught?”
    “It’s Coreen,” I sobbed. “Not that she’s the one who- who called, no. Am just from talking to Cephas who says Coreen is in Kabwe General Hospital and is unconscious..” I buried my head in his chest, inhaling his heavenly perfumed shower gel. “She miscarried, Raj.”
    “No!” he gasped and raked a finger through my now natural hair. “How?”
    “Cephas couldn’t spe-speak-clearly cause-” I couldn’t continue talking, the lump that developed in my throat saw to it that my voice just cracked.
    “Sssh, Coreen will be fine.”
    Will she? I inwardly asked myself.
    When topics for discussion were scarce, mum had told me about the pain of miscarriage, you never get used to it. And what hurt me so much in Coreen’s case was that she had taken so long to fall pregnant just for her to miscarry in her third month? This wasn’t fair at all.
    Once I was done crying, I grabbed my purse and stood. “Where can I wash my face from?”
    Raj showed me the bathroom where I washed my face and applied a touch of make up.
    “I’ll take my leave,” I abruptly announced once I was out of the bathroom.
    Raj was almost fully dressed. “So soon? What happened to Coreen is really terrible..am sorry.”
    I smiled, sadly. “See you around, Rajesh.”
    “See you, Anna.”
    I reached the door when he said, “Wait.”
    He came up to me and kissed me lightly on the lips. “Take care, Anna.”
    “You too.”
    I was drained when I arrived home, just to find the house locked. I sighed as I went to the spot where Willy and I usually hid the keys. I flipped the block over and was glad to find them keys.
    I found a note waiting for me on the table once inside the house.
    ‘Hey, I received a call from Lady Valerie and I didn’t wanna disturb you thus the note.
    Don’t know what time I’ll come back so don’t wait for me. There’s Pizza in the fridge. Love you.
    Your Darling Husband, Willy.’
    I was accustomed to this already so I just took off my wedge shoes and sat on the couch, tears falling as I texted William informing him of what had just happened to Coreen.
    In the evening, Cephas called me again to inform me Coreen had been transferred to a private hospital in Lusaka so I grabbed my purse and jumped on a taxi to the hospital.
    “Where’s she?” I asked Cephas who was waiting for me in the waiting area.
    “She’s in a ward..lost the baby but the doctors are unable to explain the cause of the miscarriage.”
    “Don’t you think that’s strange?” I was mocking him.
    He didn’t seem fazed though. “What’s strange is Coreen just visits her grandmother and this happens? No wonder I really don’t like that woman. Back in Kabwe, she insisted on coming with me here but I told her I’d take care of Coreen on my own. Besides, you’re here too. This is the ward,” he opened the door. “She’s sedated.”
    We entered the ward and I sat by Coreen’s side, watching her as tears streamed down my cheeks. No one deserves to experience such a traumatizing thing. I hated to even imagine myself in her shoes for a simple millisecond.
    Coreen came to several minutes after Cephas and I entered the ward.
    “Kimono me!” she bolted upright, sitting. “She killed my baby. Says she wants revenge from Cephas..she..she was there. I saw her!”
    What she was saying wasn’t making any sense to me. Cephas on the other hand hurriedly hugged her. “Sssh..you must have been having a terrible nightmare, honey. You’re in the hospital but you’ll be perfectly fine.”
    “No..no..no,” she kept on shaking her head as tears fell. “She said she’ll take everything from you, Cephas. She wants revenge for what you did to her..”
    “Who?” Cephas and I asked in unison.
    Coreen looked at me. “Kimono me, Anna. She’s dangerous, has powers and makes things fly around. She literally s----d my baby outta me.”
    Okay mum had mentioned miscarriage is traumatizing but Coreen had probably lost it and this made me burst into tears. I couldn’t sit there and listen to all the bizarre stuff she was saying so I just stood and rushed out of the room, covering my mouth so as to stifle my sobs.
    A team of doctors and nurses then rushed past me when they heard Coreen’s screams. I cried more as they fought with her so that they could sedate her. It was then that I realised how much I loved my friend and that I just wanted her to get well soon.
    Sunday morning, I prepared breakfast for her and took it to the hospital. William had called me late the previous night saying he was on his way to Livingstone for some business meeting and would only be back by Tuesday. I’d heard all this so many times already so all I’d said was, “Wishing you all the best in your endeavour.”
    “Thank you. I love you.”
    I paused. “I love you too.”
    He briefly asked how Coreen was doing and I told him she was still in denial, whatever made me say that, I don’t know.
    Anyway, Coreen wasn’t saying weird stuff that morning but there was still something off about how she had suddenly lost her baby. According to her, she’d gone to the toilet to pee when the blood started gushing out and led to the miscarriage. If you ask me, Cephas had a hand in this, my sixth sense was literally screaming this at me.
    In the afternoon, I was home taking a nap when Rajesh called. For a minute I wanted to ask him where he got my line from but I remembered I had called him the previous day.
    “You have plans this evening?” he asked. “Is your husband around?”
    “Which question do you want me to answer first, Raj?”
    “Any,” he chuckled.
    I told him William was out of town and I had no plans for that evening so he suggested we hook up at Arcades. We hooked up three hours later after I was well dressed and all the fuss just for him to buy a lot of popcorn and drive me to his hotel room. Like really?
    “There’s a movie I want us to watch,” he said to me when we were behind closed doors. He ushered me to the comfy couch and handed me glasses. “In 3D.”
    “Sounds fun,” I got the glasses and put them on.
    He put on his own too and joined me as the movie begun. Now let me tell you about the movie he selected, ‘Addicted.’
    The storyline kinda goes like this.. Zoe is a happily married working class lady with two kids but is addicted to sex so she cheats on her husband with a Mexican hunk and also has a one night stand with some random guy in a bar. The bottom line is she was cheating on her husband! Just like me! Well, screw the movie and Raj for trying to play mind games with me.
    When the movie ended, Raj switched off the T.V and said to me, “Remember I wrote on my business card that I’ve got skills to show you? Let me start now.” he leaned in and kissed me, I kissed him back.
    Unlike the first time, Raj was sweet as he took the time to toy with my body to the extent of me being so wet down there that I feared I was going to drench the leather couch.
    He finally entered me right there on the couch, slowly and gently. What he did today was make love to me, not f--k me. He rode me so well that I felt feelings I’d never felt in the 28 years I’d spent on this earth. He made me look down on the slow love making sessions Willy and I had had.
    This one was..intense. So, I cheated on my husband for the second time and was I feeling guilty? Hell no! Who even knew what he was doing in Livingstone right now or if he was there in the first place? What am trying to point out is William had put his job first, making me feel lonely and sidelined. To all the men out there, never prioritize your jobs over your wives, you’ll regret! Women like to be pampered and taken perfect care of lest some of them, like me, go looking for solace in other men’s arms.
    Time flew, four months past and Willy still wasn’t aware that I was cheating on him. He was seriously dumber than I’d gauged him. So my life had been fun the past four months, my job, my charade of a marriage with Willy, my sex escapades with Rajesh Sharma, in bed, in the shower, on the floor, pool table in a night club, in his car, in his office, you name a place where we hadn’t had sex from cause I’ve honestly lost count.
    And my dear Coreen, she was back to her husband’s house. What she saw in that man, I don’t know. Surely she couldn’t tell that he was a Satanist or maybe she knew but knowing her, she was too concerned about what people would say if she walked out of her marriage. Her and I talked from time to time and I could tell she wasn’t her usual self but since she wasn’t ready to disclose a thing to me, I let her be.
    Back to my Raj. Did I tell you he had a dark side? No? I also didn’t know. But he had a dark side, one that made me question what I’d gotten myself into by getting involved with him.

    Sequence 8

    COREEN
    Why don’t I just divorce his sorry a-s and move on? You might wonder.
    The answer is simple, I’d sworn to be by Cephas’ side through thick and thin until death do us apart and I was willing to stick to my vow no matter what. Even if it meant Kimono me would torment me, so be it.
    Speaking of Kimono me, I had not seen her in the past four months, not after she’d taken my unborn baby with her. Life had been rough these past months, what with Cephas and I experiencing terrible dialogue? See, I had confronted him about Kimono me and Ceph Donut but he had bluntly denied knowing anything about what was going on and this pushed me to lose some faith in him, I even moved to the guestroom. Grandma had once suggested I go back to Kapiri so that we could proceed to see the witchdoctor but I refused, I wasn’t afraid of Kimono me, not any more.
    So today, the maid I’d hired three months ago had just knocked off when I decided to take a shower and maybe sit down and watch some series. I had just stepped out of the shower and was drying my wet hair when my phone rang, R. Kelly’s ‘Storm is over’ acting as the ringtone. This had to be either Anna or Cephas calling. It was Anna, so displayed my screen.
    “Hi..”
    There was a noise and then shrill laughter, Kimono me kinda laughter. “It’s been long, Coreen.”
    Did I just say I was no longer afraid of Kimono me? I take that back cause hearing my own voice on the end of the line sent shivers down my spine.
    “Anna?” I was really hoping it was her, the caller ID insisted it was her.
    “No..” her voice echoed. “It’s me..” she laughed. “I missed you. Did you miss me, dear Coreen?”
    Since when did ghosts start making phone calls? This had to be Anna. She had after all heard some of the stuff I’d said back in the hospital that on the day of my miscarriage.
    I took a deep breath and warily spoke into the phone, “Anna, if this is a joke then stop it, please.”
    “You think this is a joke, huh? Does Ceph Donut ring a bell?”
    I hang up and threw the phone on the bed, placing a hand on my fast beating heart.
    Not again, I thought. Just when I thought she had left me alone and now this?
    ‘Oh I haven’t left you alone,’ I heard my own voice say inside my mind. ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet!’
    I rushed for the bedroom door which was shut tight, obviously. So she was telepathic too? This was getting spookier by the minute.
    I was still thinking about what to do or where to run to when my phone rang. I slowly walked to the bed and checked the caller ID.
    “Hubby,” I mumbled, grateful. “Cephas?”
    “Coreen,” it was Cephas’ voice so I calmed down a bit. “Just calling to check up on you.”
    “Oh..I-”
    “Come on you dumby,” it was my voice speaking now, “Don’t tell me it’s this easy to trick you!”
    I hang up, throwing the phone against the wall where it shattered to pieces.
    “Leave me the hell alone!” I screamed, covering both my ears as I shook on my spot.
    Just then, like someone was manipulating the pieces of the broken phone, they rose. Up, up, up and went still in mid air where they came together. My phone was whole again, no trace of it ever being broken visible. And then it rang.
    I won’t pick up, I inwardly decided while watching the unnatural happenings.
    As if reading my mind, the phone started floating towards me. My first thought was to take a few steps back but that didn’t happen as I was glued to where I stood, literally. I tried moving my legs, all to no avail. I was suddenly practically paralyzed!
    My phone answered itself and rested on my right ear. “You now ready to listen to what I have to say?”
    At least I was able to talk. “It’s not as if I have much choice, is it?”
    “Good. I’ve noticed you’ve failed to crack a single word out of Cephas, right?”
    “You’re the ghost so am guessing you already know the answer to that question.”
    “Yes, I already know the answer, Coreen. Why don’t you imitate me and see how Cephas will react?”
    “Excuse me?”
    Kimono me told me about this fake American accent that she was fond of using, she also saw to it that I learn the accent. I didn’t have much choice so I learned, to the extent of sounding exactly like her.
    “Impressive,” she said, 40 minutes after agonizing me with some whack accent. “For your looks, Coreen, you’re too dull for my liking..” there was a weird noise. “That’s a metaphor.. Now, do you want me to stop tormenting you?”
    “Only a fool wouldn’t jump for the opportunity.”
    “And I assume you’re no fool, right?” right..right..right. I could now even hear her voice from the small radio that was in the bedroom. “You do as I say and you’ll be rid of me sooner than you think.”
    So ghosts can bargain too? “Why do I have to be the one to do your dirty work for you?”
    “Because you’re the living one!” she shrieked and the call cut, the disconnecting tone so loud and screechy I feared my eardrum would split open.
    The following day, I was out shopping for a kimono similar to the one kimono me wore whenever she appeared to me when I spotted them.
    There they were, holding hands and eating ice-cream in broad daylight. All carefree.
    I took a few pics before deciding to finally approach them. The Kimono hunt was draining me and I was bored so I decided to have some fun.
    “Anna, Rajesh, hi.”
    The look on Anna’s face when she saw me was priceless.
    She let go of Rajesh’s hand like a hot potato. “Coreen? What are you doing here? In this part of town?”
    “What is that supposed to mean, Anna? Is it now illegal for me to leave my house? Am not under curfew, am I now?”
    “That’s not want I meant,” she was so nervous that she was sweating profusely on a chilly August afternoon. “It’s just that you..you usually call me when you want to do some shopping. Am just surprised to see you here.”
    “Am just as surprised myself. Rajesh, I didn’t know you and Anna hang out together?”
    Rajesh swallowed, obviously wondering what I was doing when am even the one who had told him about Anna liking him and all.
    Anna was staring at everything and everywhere but me so I winked at Rajesh and he caught the message.
    “Anna,” I pressed. “What are you doing here with Rajesh?”
    I’d never seen her so restless in my life. Why cheat if you’re afraid of getting caught?
    “It’s work!” she finally blurted out. “Rajesh and I are just out for a meeting and since we kind of know each other, we thought of buying us some ice-cream. Right, Raj? I mean, Mr. Rajesh Sharma?”
    “Right,” Rajesh played along.
    I feigned to believe her and we said our goodbyes.
    “Her lies will come crumbling down upon her one day,” I thought out loud as I continued looking for the Kimono.
    19:00hrs that day found me clad in a Kimono, a replica of Kimono me’s Kimono. I’d tied my hair in a bun, drew fake eyebrows, wore fake eyelashes, and wore Clinique Happy women’s perfume, as per Kimono me’s instructions.
    Cephas had texted to say he was on his way but I hadn’t replied so I just sat in the living room and peeled a cucumber which I slowly started eating. By the way, I hate cucumber. But Kimono me had suggested I eat one and carelessly leave the peels on the carpet. She had also instructed I make sure the living room was as untidy as it could be.
    I was in the living room listening to news when I heard Cephas drive in so I changed to channel to Trace TV before dashing off to the hallway.
    I heard the door open and Cephas gasp seconds later.
    “Coreen?” he loudly called. “What’s all this mess about? And since when did you start eating cucumber or become this untidy?”
    “Since I was young,” I said in Kimono me’s accent as I emerged in the living room. “Have you forgotten it’s my favourite, Ceph Donut?”
    He froze in the doorway, looking at me from head to toe and back again and then back again so fast that I was sure he’d get dizzy if he continued eyeing me like that.
    “Ceph Donut?” the accent didn’t quiver.
    Cephas closed his eyes and shook his head. “This can’t be happening,” he audibly said. “I must be dreaming.”
    “It’s me,” I said, walking towards him. “Am back, Ceph Donut.”
    “Lubuto?” he looked straight into my eyes and before I knew it, his hands were wrapped round my neck and he was squeezing my windpipe. “You f-----g b---h,” he growled. “What have you done to my Coreen, Lubuto? So you’ve come to torment me even when you’re in the grave?”
    I was hitting his chest, begging him to stop strangling me but he seemed adamant to end my life. “Am Coreen,” I managed to get the words out of my mouth. “Who-who is Lubuto?”
    He let me go and scuffled out of the house, leaving me choking and coughing on the floor. The anger I’d seen in his eyes when he was strangling me was new, I’d never seen him that angry before.
    After coughing for minutes, I rose to my feet and went to the pantry where I grabbed a bottle of Best Whiskey which I begun gulping down. Even as the whiskey burnt down my throat, I swore to myself that come what may Cephas was going to tell me who Lubuto was, why she looked like me and why she was so hell-bent on getting revenge from him!

    Sequence 9

    ANNA
    The first time he gave me a hint on his dark side, I’d thought it was the booze we’d taken earlier that evening, working.
    It was three months into our sex escapades when one evening I went over to Raj’s apartment in Rhodes Park, William was out of town as usual.
    Raj took me out and we drank some alcohol before heading right back to his apartment where we started making out on the porch as he fumbled for his house keys in his pockets. By the time we were inside the house, we were half naked.
    “Suck my c--k,” said Raj hoarsely, as h---y as h---y can get.
    “Excuse me?” the mere thought of the act disgusted me. I’d never given anyone a b-----b in my life and I wasn’t about to start now, that’s what I thought.
    He pushed me to my knees and took off his boxers. “You heard me right, teddy bear.”
    “Am so sorry, Raj, I don’t give blowjobs.”
    “You’re joking, right?”
    I ignored him and stood, reaching for his manhood. “I can use my hands if you like.”
    “No, Anna,” he was so stern. “You either suck my c--k or no sex for you tonight.”
    I couldn’t believe my ears. Some people really had nerves. Not wanting to do as he said, I grabbed my clothes and was contemplating getting dressed when Rajesh wrapped a hand round my neck and choked me.
    “B---h, I don’t like it when I tell someone to do something for me and they don’t.”
    “And I don’t like doing what I don’t like,” I retorted. “If you know what I mean! Now let go of me you son of a b---h!”
    He slowly let me go and sat down, looking disappointed beyond measure. “Am sorry, didn’t mean to choke you. Um..I think you should leave.”
    And my horniness made me stay so I gave Raj his b-----b and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
    Back to the present, I was at work that fateful Wednesday afternoon when I decided to take some documents to the second floor(I worked from the 7th floor by the way). That day it so happened that my boss Mr. Soko and I took the same elevator, it was just the two of us in the elevator.
    “How’s work today?” he casually asked.
    Couldn’t he have asked me that just a few minutes ago when I’d taken some documents to his office so he could sign? Anyway, trust him to always find an excuse to talk to me.
    “It’s fine..am not very occupied so..yeah.”
    He was about to say something but stopped short when the elevator froze on the fifth floor, the lights blinking on and off.
    “What’s going on?”
    He first pressed the ‘down’ button before replying. “I think there’s a power cut. No, we’ve got generators for that. Should be some mechanical fault, I think.”
    Mechanical fault? And he sounded so calm? I wasn’t calm, not at all. Not after all the horrific elevator stories I’d heard or watched or read about so far.
    “What will we do, sir?”
    “Don’t panic cause this has happened before. Let me just make some calls..” he reached for his phone in his pockets and then loudly cussed, “S--t!”
    “What’s wrong?”
    “I left my phone in my office, sorry.”
    “Perfect,” I muttered, cowering into a corner.
    One minute passed, and then two, then three. Ten.
    The air in the box, as I saw the inside of an elevator, was beginning to finish, literally. I was sweating and panting like someone who had run a marathon.
    “Are you alright, Anna?”
    Do I look alright to you? But I said, “It’s just too hot in here such that am finding it hard to breathe.”
    “Take off your jacket.”
    “Pardon?”
    “You need air, Anna,” he helped me take off my jacket and suggested I unbutton my blouse to pave way for some fresh air, as if there was any air in the elevator. I finally did when the heat threatened to drive me crazy.
    “We’ll be out very soon,” he assured me. “The elevator is being fixed as we speak..”
    “What if we’re dead by the time the fault is dealt with?”
    He rested an arm on my shoulder. “Always think positively, Anna.”
    Talking of possibility, the elevator began descending right then and I breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank God!”
    “You claustrophobic?” my boss asked me.
    “Claustrophobic?”
    “It’s a phobia of enclosed spaces..Do you have it?”
    “No..” I shook my head.
    It was after the elevator was open when my heart fully settled in and I put my jacket back on, I’d already buttoned my blouse though lest people conclude.. I wiped my sweaty face with a serviette and continued with business.
    Two hours later, I was knocking off when I stumbled upon a crashed bouquet of roses.
    “Who crashes such beautiful flowers?” I wondered. “Odd.”
    When I arrived home, William was on his way out. He hadn’t gone for work that day.
    My husband kissed me on the lips. “Am going out to watch soccer and hang out with some friends over beer. Take care.”
    “You too.”
    After I was settled, I decided I wasn’t gonna stay home like the good wife that I wasn’t. This was an opportunity to have me some Rajesh whom I hadn’t had for over a week. Wanting to surprise him, I bothered not call him and went straight to his apartment where I found the door ajar.
    “Raj?”
    “Go away!” came the response from his bedroom. “Go the f--k away you s--t!”
    He probably thinks its someone else who’s come, I convinced myself so I went right ahead to his room where I found him drunk, several empty bottles of liquor lying on the floor and a bottle of semi consumed beer in his grip.
    “Raj? What’s going on?”
    He stood, staggering, and stood right before me. “You’re just like Zoe from Addicted,aren’t you? No d--k can ever quench your thirst for sex, am I right?”
    “Where is all this coming from?”
    “Its coming from you giving your boss a quicky inside an elevator.”
    “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Raj.”
    “Of course she denies everything..No one ever accepts!” he threw the bottle past my shoulder and it hit the door, shattering and spilling all its contents.
    “You’re drunk,” I said as I reached for his hand.
    “I wasn’t drunk when I saw you emerge from that elevator with your jacket off and you sweating like a pig!”
    “What are-” it dawned on me. “You came to my workplace today?”
    “Yeah, dummy!” he was yelling.
    I shook my head in disbelief. “And you go concluding like that?” I couldn’t hold the laughter. “You misunderstood the situation, Raj. Let me explain.”
    “I don’t got time for lousy explanations..a
    ll I know is you’re a w---e. A relentless f-----g b---h!”
    “Whoa..whoa..whoa! Watch your tongue, man!”
    “The truth hurts, Anna. You’re a certified prostitute..hule as you people say, no two ways about it.”
    He was drunk and I was sober but there was no way I was going to stand there and let him insult me. “Its your mother who’s all the nasty stuff you’ve just called me, Rajesh Sharma! After all you’re a product of fornication!”
    “What did you just say?”
    “What you just heard!” I turned to leave when he grabbed my arm and smacked me hard across the face.
    “I’ll show you what am made of,” he hissed, slapping me countless times and pushing me to the bed. “Nobody says anything nasty about my queen and goes Scot free you adulterous pompous s--t!!!”
    I couldn’t overpower him in-spite of his drunkenness so he beat me, black and blue.
    I had broken ribs, a black eye, a split lip and split forehead by the time he was done with me.
    I lay on the bed for minutes after Rajesh left, wincing and sobbing. I finally mustered some energy to drag myself out of the house and jump on a taxi to the hospital where I lied that I’d been attacked so that they could offer me treatment. It was whilst in the hospital that I received the news.
    The male doctor sympathetically peered down at me and said, “It’s really a miracle that nothing bad happened to your baby.”
    “My what now?”
    “Your baby..Don’t tell me you weren’t aware? Mrs. Anna Mumba Njapau, you’re five weeks pregnant.”

    Sequence 10

    CEPHAS
    Lubuto Bwalya, one of the biggest mistakes of my life was now suddenly back from the dead, what a shocking and unpleasant surprise! I hadn’t believed in ghosts, not until my wife Coreen started seeing one.
    Now as I drove away from home to one of my favourite pubs, I wondered what the hell Lubuto wanted from Coreen. Why not punish me who had wronged her while she was still alive?
    Believing that the ghost Coreen was seeing was actually Lubuto Bwalya’s had been beyond difficult. At first when she told me all about the strange things she was seeing and experiencing, I thought it was her hormones at work seeing as she was pregnant. But something had been off since the first time she told me about the Kimono clad version of her… Lubuto Bwalya had been wearing a Kimono the day she had breathed her last.
    I arrived at the pub, went in and ordered a shot of Jameson at K20, and then another one, and one more. I started feeling tipsy enough to relive my past….
    I was only twenty-one by then, this was eleven years ago, when I met Lubuto Bwalya who was eighteen. But before I tell you more about her, let me tell you about my family. I grew up with both parents and two sisters. An elder sis, Ethel, and a young sis, Marjorie. My Dad had achieved quite a lot at his age so money wasn’t an issue. Life in Ndola was fun as my siblings and I had almost all we needed. At my age I even owned a car and had an account where Dad deposited money from time to time.
    I was studying Economics at CBU (Copperbelt University), and was on my way home from the University one day when I saw her. She was standing by the roadside, drenched cause it was raining cats and dogs. I parked my car right before her and rolled down my window, the rain oozed in.
    “Hello,” I loudly called. “You need a ride?”
    “Actually,” she was hesitant as she looked around. “Yes.”
    “Jump in!”
    “Thank you!”
    She got into the car and we’d only gone a few metres when the rain got so severe that the wipers were the same as useless.
    “I’ll have to park and wait for the rain to subside.”
    She nodded and I parked.
    Silence.
    Being the jovial guy I was, I said, “Am Cephas.”
    “Okay..Am Lubuto.”
    “Lubuto means light, right?” of course I knew what it meant.
    She smiled. “Yes it does.” and then after a sigh, “Whats the time?”
    I checked on my phone. “18:23..why?”
    “Nothing,” Lubuto shrugged and then after some time said, “It’s my adoptive mum, she became cold towards me ever since Dad, that’s my adoptive Dad, died.”
    “Am so sorry.”
    Lubuto took a deep breath. “I don’t even know why am telling you this but I need to get home as soon as possible otherwise she’ll lock up.”
    “I guess you’re telling me all this because you feel at ease with me, Lubuto. Let me now take you home,” the rain had subsided. “Where’s home?”
    She gave me directions and I drove her home and guess what, the adoptive mother sent her away, telling her to go back to wherever she came from.
    So after much persuasion, Lubuto agreed to follow me to my house where she was welcomed by my family.
    That’s how I came to know Lubuto. We exchanged lines the following day before she left and we started texting, from texting to calling, to setting up dates.
    We’d just come back from our third date in the course of the seven months that we’d known each other when it first happened.
    “Mum has gone to Chinsali for a funeral,” Lubuto told me when I drove her home. “Can you please spend the night here? Please?”
    It wasn’t the first time I’d be sleeping out so my parents would have no problem as long as I told them where I’d be spending the night. “Why not?”
    I parked in the driveway and she ushered me inside.
    “Now I know we ate Dolnuts but am still hungry..how about I prepare us some nshima?”
    “No problem,” I was akwardly hungry myself.
    She left me in the living room watching T.V and went to prepare supper in the kitchen. The movie I was watching was an extreme bore so I followed her there and sat on a stool as I watched her move around in her red Sari. Yeah, a Sari or Saree or however you spell it. Lubuto had a really strange dresscode. I’d asked her once why one day she’d be dressed like a Nigerian, the next like an Indian, the other a Korean or Japanese or Chinese and all she told me was, “I like being different from all these Zambian girls.”
    Now in the kitchen, I asked her, “You mentioned you were adopted, do you happen to know anything about your real parents?”
    “Nope,” she uttered the word coolly. “Life had been too good for me to wonder about my roots until two years ago when..when Dad died.”
    “Am sorry.”
    “Let’s not even bring up my biological parents because I think am better off here anyway. I’ve completed school and will go to college to study fashion designing and then I’ll become the best fashion designer in the country.”
    “You dream big, Lubuto, and I admire that.”
    “What I admire,” she slowly said, turning off the stove as the nshima was done simmering, she came to sit on my laps. “Is you, Ceph Donut.”
    “Ceph Donut?”
    “You like Dolnuts so that’s my nickname for you. Don’t you like it?”
    I didn’t like it cause it was cheesy, no offense to all those who like cheese. But not wanting to hurt her feelings because she was beautiful, cute and had this sense of vulnerability, I said, “I love it!”
    Lubuto beamed and ran hands through my head. “You know what I’d love? For you to make love to me.”
    “You sure?”
    “I’ll change my mind,” she frowned.
    I laughed and then kissed her so slowly…everyt
    hing was in slow motion that night, including the sex itself and can you believe it was after we were done that I discovered Lubuto was a virgin and I was her first?
    “Why hadn’t you told me earlier?” I asked her as I caressed her face right there on the kitchen floor where we’d made love.
    “Because I didn’t want you to make it a mission to de-flower me. I didn’t want you to be with me because of the eagerness of wanting to take away someone’s virginity. Because, Ceph Donut, most men are after sex. You aren’t.”
    “What makes you so certain?”
    “We’ve been dating for seven months and you haven’t asked for sex so I guess that answers your question.” And then she looked me straight in the eye. “I love you, Cephas Mwaba, my Ceph Donut!”
    The guilt of taking away her virginity made me say, “I love you too, Lubuto.”
    We had sex twice more in the next month and Lubuto showed up at my place one evening and mum ushered her to my bedroom.
    “Babe.”
    She pecked my cheek and closed the door and then without sugar coating, “Am six weeks pregnant,” she handed me a report from her bag. “The baby is yours.”
    When I informed my whole family that night, Dad looked at me and calmly asked, “Do you think the baby might be yours?”
    “I know so,” I shamefully said.
    “Then you’ll have to take responsibility, son.”
    This didn’t sit well with either of my siblings or mum but Dad was the head of the house and always had the final say.
    A week later, Lubuto moved into my house because her mum threw her out, saying Lubuto was on her own henceforth. I welcomed her into our home and this brought upon conflicts and many problems which eventually led to…
    “Cephas buddy!” someone jovially hit my shoulder, snapping me from my memories. “It’s so good to see you, cousin!”
    “It’s good to see you too, Raj. Take a sit, what are you drinking tonight?”
    “Whatever you’re drinking is fine.”
    He sat beside me and I ordered shots of Jameson for him. We talked about soccer, the economy and nothing in particular. Raj even told me about running into Coreen in a shopping mall earlier that day. She probably had gone out to buy the stupid Kimono that she was wearing tonight.
    I was drunk but could still drive home so I did likewise and found Coreen drunk too, for the first time in the four years that we had been married.
    She grabbed me by the collar once I was in our bedroom. “You b-----d,” she slurred and burped. “People are saying you’re a Satanist so you better tell me who the f--k Lubuto is before I pack my f-----g bags and f-----g go home!”
    “Jesus! Coreen, you’re cussing way too much due to the liquor, I guess.” I pointed at the almost empty bottle of Best Whiskey and grabbed her by the shoulders. “Come on, let’s sleep. We’ll talk tomorrow.”
    “Am not drunk..” She slurry said. “So you can goddamn tell me everything right now!”
    “Am drunk myself, sweetheart. We’ll talk tomorrow, I promise.”
    It took much wit to finally convince Coreen to just sleep. She was fast asleep by the time I was stripping and as I joined her under the duvet, I knew I had to tell her part of the truth tomorrow. I say part of the truth because I didn’t think I’d bring myself to tell her how Lubuto Bwalya, who looked exactly like my Coreen Hachilenge, had died or what I’d done with her dead body…

    Sequence 11

    ANNA
    Now we all know I’d been eagerly wanting to fall pregnant, once upon a time but not anymore so this news kinda shocked me. Plus I was on the pill so what the hell was some baby doing inside my belly? Forget that, let’s get down to business. Who’s the father?
    The doctor did some tests on me before saying, “You sure you don’t want us to call anyone? Like your husband, a friend or maybe your parents? It can be anyone! Even a workmate is fine.”
    “Not right now, Doc. I’ll tell you when I feel like letting someone know I’ve been hospitalized.” The handsome man shrugged. “Strange..” and he meticulously walked out of the room.
    I had time to backdate and calculate, and am talking about serious calculations. After recounting most of my recent sexual activities, I came to a decision, William was the father of my unborn baby. I ain’t lying. After all it’s only a woman who knows who the real father of her child is.
    You are shocked William is the father? Well some of us are just lucky so close that mouth of yours before a fly goes right in.
    So William was the father, what now? I stop cheating on him weh, simple. This was my wake up call so as soon as I get better, I had plans of confronting Rajesh and telling him we were over for good and that he could go bang his mama for all I cared. Let him lay a finger on me this time around and I’ll go straight to the police and rat him out for the woman abuser that he was. You see I didn’t want to get the police involved when he beat me because that would mean exposing myself in the process which would lead to so much disgrace and who knows what else? But now I was pregnant and had a baby to care for so it was time to fix my marriage!
    When the doctor came around to my ward, I gave him Willy’s line. I’d tossed my phone and purse(after removing my necessities from the purse)in some bush on my way to the hospital, if I was claiming of being attacked, I better make it look real.
    William showed up at the hospital over an hour later, looking extremely worried.
    I hugged him the minute he was by my side and didn’t wanna let go. I felt so secure in his arms. He’d never laid a violent finger on me ever since we’d gotten married so I wondered why I’d let myself be beaten to a pulp by someone the likes of Rajesh Sharma. “Baby, what happened to you? I arrived home and found you weren’t there..tried calling but your phone was off. I was dead worried so I phoned Coreen who said you weren’t at her place either, that you haven’t been there in weeks!” he paused to breathe as he intently studied me. The hug was a thing of the past. “Anna, where were you when this happened? Besides, you had no business being out!”
    “William, I went to- to pay some hairdresser a visit in Rhodes Park where she works from. Look, she and I had known each other via facebook and we planned to meet and discuss something so when you said you were going out to watch soccer or whatever, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to pay her a visit. I got mugged and beat up, no big deal.”
    “No big deal? Have seen yourself in the mirror? You look like you got beat up by some man who’s got serious beef with you!” “Am sorry I went out, baby. Can we drop this topic now? It’s really straining me.”
    “If you wish.”
    “And babe, don’t let either of my parents know.”
    “Why?” “They’ll be worried for no reason and I don’t want them to be.”
    “Your wish is my command.”
    William stayed for a while before he said he was going out to grab us some food. I took advantage of his absence and pleaded with the doctor to please not inform my husband I was pregnant.
    “Why?” asked the baffled man.
    I had to lie, “Because I want to give him the news myself, romantically. Over dinner, in bed or-”
    “Alright, I get it.”
    “Thanks.”
    In all honesty, I was still having trouble fathoming I was pregnant so now wasn’t the best time to tell William I was. I was scared of his reaction cause I’d been on the pill, believe me. Maybe I’d skipped it once or twice but this pregnancy was really unexpected. William spent the night by my side, how sweet. And I cheated on such a man?
    I had to force him to go home and take some rest when Coreen showed up at the hospital the following day. William finally budged and kissed me on my lips before going.
    “You sure you don’t wanna get the police involved, Anna?” Coreen asked while handing me a plate of sliced apples and oranges.
    I sat up in bed and shook my head. “It’s of no use, people get mugged everyday.”
    “Do they now? Anyway, you look terrible, no offense. Whoever attacked you did a number on you.”
    I couldn’t help but decipher the sarcasm in her tone. “Haha, how funny.”
    And then later, she asked, “Who’s the father?”
    “Excuse me?”
    “You’re pregnant, Anna. I overhead you and the doctor discussing the do’s and don’ts this morning when William stepped out of the ward so don’t deny being pregnant.”
    I swallowed. “Fine, am pregnant. Yay,” I waved my arms in the air as if I was happy.
    “Who’s the father?” “What is that supposed to mean?”
    She rested her head on her palm and sympathetically looked at me. “I pity you, Anna. A woman of your class, stooping so low? What a shame.” The eye roll was inevitable. “You either tell me what you’re talking or I ask you get thrown out of this ward.”
    “I know about Rajesh and you..I’ve known for months!” “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I said, facing the other way.
    “Am your friend, Anna, not your enemy. I know about Rajesh so don’t go denying everything. He’s the one who did this to you, isn’t he? Look, I’ve not told anyone about your adulterous ways so you can trust me.”
    I felt tears sting my eyes and I let them fall freely. How on earth did I end up like this? Knowing Coreen had known about my relationship with Rajesh made me feel filthy. Maybe I was all that Rajesh had called me back in his house yesterday after all, a certified prostitute!
    “I don’t know what prompted me to cheat on William,” I begun, my voice quirky. “But I cheated. And yes, Rajesh did this to me.”
    “You messed up, Anna, no lie. But you can still fix this. If the child is William’s, as you say it is, then that’s even better. You go up to that womanizer Rajesh Sharma and dump his mixed race a-s and do that with your head held high. Don’t let him intimidate you cause he can be intimidating and dangerous at times.”
    “How do you know?” “Ever since I came to learn you were involved with him, I’ve been asking Cephas quite a lot about Rajesh, without raising suspicion that is. And I’ve heard about how possessive Rajesh can get so the earlier you end this thing that you have going on, the better.”
    The tears overwhelmed me and I buried my head in Coreen’s b-----s. “I thank God for you, dear friend. I promise I’ll dump Rajesh and straighten my life out. Thanks for not ratting me out to my husband.”
    “I would never do that,” she assured me.
    I was released from hospital the next day and took a leave from the office so all I did was spend much of the time home. And William was surprisingly at my beck and call. New.
    I was yet to inform him of my pregnancy though. What I was waiting for, I still don’t know. I spent four full days home and William stepped out of the house that Thursday evening to go grab some groceries when I received the odd call.
    I was preparing cheese burgers in the kitchen when the call from Coreen came.
    I washed my hands as I’d been mixing mince with bread crumbs and eggs, and then picked the call. “Bae.”
    “I can’t do this anymore,” she was crying. “I need someone to talk to.”
    “What’s wrong?”
    “It’s Kimono me, she’s driving me nuts!” “Who’s Kimono me?”
    “Coreen!” I heard Cephas’ voice on the other end of the line. “What do you think you’re doing?”
    Coreen said, “Trying to find someone I can share my problems with and who best if not my best friend!”
    There was a shuffling noise before the call got cut.
    Something was amiss over at Coreen’s so I dialed her line but was taken straight to voicemail.
    “I hear you, Coreen. I’ll drop over tomorrow so that you can share your problems with me. Love you.”
    I had just put my phone on the cupboard when the knock came at the door.
    “Coming!” I rushed to open it before stopping in my tracks after holding the doorknob. “Who is it?”
    “It’s Rajesh,” came the whisper from outside. Rajesh? As in, Rajesh Sharma? I froze. What did he want?
    “What do you want, Raj?”
    “I just wanna talk.”
    “I don’t wanna talk to you so leave! And you really have guts on you ai? You dare come to my house after what you did to me? Leave, Raj.”
    “I ain’t going nowhere till you talk to me.”
    “Fine,” I angrily opened the door and there he stood, the handsome devil. “You have two minutes, Rajesh.”
    “Anna.”
    “One minute fifty eight seconds and counting.”
    “Am sorry I hit you..Um, I’ve been trying to reach you but seems you changed your line so I had to come here. Can you come over to my house tomorrow so that we can talk things through, please?”
    I still had to dump him so I begrudgingly said, “Okay.” “Thanks.”
    “Don’t count your chicks before they hatch, mister.” I snapped the door in his face as anger boiled within me.
    William came back less than a minute after Raj left.
    “Who was that?” he asked, putting the shopping bags on the kitchen counter.
    I shrugged. “No one, really. He was lost and was asking for directions which I gave to him.” “Oh..ok.”
    I woke up early the following morning and cleaned the house thoroughly. I then took a bath, dressed up and applied a lot of make up so as to hide some of the marks on my face though the stitched up cut on my forehead was still terribly visible. No matter, who cared how or where I got the cut from anyway? I could have been involved in an accident or something along those lines for all they knew. Once I was fully dressed and ready to go, I said to William who was still in bed, “Am off to visit Coreen. See you later.”
    “Alright, take perfect care of yourself for me. I’ll be home all day so I’ll be here when you come back.”
    I kissed his lips. “Goodbye.”
    “Bye.”
    I was headed to Coreen’s place quite alright but I still had Rajesh to dump so I did a detour and found myself at Raj’s who was excited to see me and became all touchy. “I knew you’d come!”
    “Oh please,” I pushed him away. “I didn’t come here to play lovey dovey.”
    “At least take a seat, Anna. Let me get you something to drink.”
    “I didn’t come all the way here for a drink either, Rajesh. I came here to tell you we’re done! We can’t continue this thing that we have going on.”
    “Baby,” he touched my shoulders and added, “If its because of what happened the other day, am so sorry. I promise that ugly incident won’t repeat itself.”
    “It definitely won’t because we are through! And you beating me is just part of the reason why.” “And what’s the other part?”
    I looked him straight in his sexy eyes. “Because am carrying my husband’s baby, Raj. That’s why.”
    “You’re bluffing.” “I don’t joke about serious matters. We are over, Rajesh Sharma.”
    “No,” he snapped. “We are not over until I say so. Now you’ll get rid of that thing you’re carrying and you and I will elope to India otherwise the consequences will be dire. If Rajesh Sharma can’t have you, neither can William Njapau or any other man!”
    “For both our sakes, don’t be so stubborn.” I turned to leave but he grabbed me by the weave and pulled me towards him. And looking into his eyes, I knew this wasn’t going to end well.

    Sequence 12

    COREEN
    My head was pounding like crazy when I woke up that morning, no wonder I hated drinking alcohol. Hangovers aren’t just my thing, I can’t deal. I got out of bed and brushed my teeth before heading to the kitchen to brew myself a strong mug of coffee.
    “Hey.”
    A little startled, I turned and noticed Cephas standing in the doorway. “I’d like a mug of coffee too,” he took a seat. I made his coffee in silence and was sipping mine when he said, “Am ready to talk..about Lubuto Bwalya.”
    I played mute and let him drone on. “I met her eleven years ago when…….”
    And so he told me about this Lubuto Bwalya who looked exactly like me, how he impregnated her and how she moved into his house. He was saying, “Lubuto was a liar, for starters. Can you imagine she lied to me about her age? Said she was 18 when in actual sense she was only 16, who does that?”
    I was sixteen myself eleven years ago. “How did she die?” I quietly asked.
    “That’s the only thing you interested in, not so?”
    “Obviously, duh!” “Fine,” Cephas sipped on his coffee. “She died while trying to have an abortion, one that I talked her into having.”
    “So that’s why she’s back from the dead? To avenge her baby’s death and hers too? Because if you ask me, you literally killed her. Am sorry but that’s the truth.”
    “I agree too. I’ve told you about her, Coreen, so I hope she’ll leave you alone now.”
    “I hope so too.”
    Did I believe what he had just told me? Not very much because I knew there was still something he wasn’t telling me and sooner or later he was going to spill the beans. I spent the whole day wondering why I looked exactly as some Bemba girl who died eleven years ago. Could it be we were related? The possibility was high..Cephas had mentioned Lubuto Bwalya had been adopted so she might as well be my twin sister. Or maybe she was my look alike? That’s possible too. I made a mental note to pay Granny a visit and enquire about any twin of mine though she would have mentioned her all these years if she existed.
    The whole of that day, I couldn’t get Lubuto Bwalya out of my head or quite figure out why on earth she was tormenting me or how possible it was that I was seeing a dead person and hadn’t lost my mind yet.
    I received some news in the evening, which distracted me from Lubuto for a while.
    “Hi,” said William gloomily on the other end of the line. “I know its late but I think you have the right to know, being my wife’s best friend.”
    “Know what?”
    “That Anna has been hospitalized…she was mugged, she says… ” “I’ll be at the hospital first thing tomorrow morning. Tell Anna I wish her a quick recovery.”
    “I will…have a blessed night.”
    “You too.”
    I didn’t sleep well that night and thank God Cephas and I slept in separate rooms cause he wouldn’t have slept too had we been sharing a bed, what with my fidgeting.
    When I went to the hospital the next day, I overhead Anna and the doctor talking. She was pregnant. I decided to grab this opportunity and tell her I knew about Rajesh and her. She tried denying everything but I won, she accepted she’d been cheating on her husband and that Rajesh was the one who had actually beat her up that bad. That’s what she deserves for cheating, don’t she? I have no hard feelings though.
    So I talked some sense into her after she told me William was the father of her unborn baby, which I highly doubted, and convinced her to dump Rajesh as soon as possible as he was nothing but trouble in bold block letters!
    And she promised to dump him, what a relief!
    Four days later, Kimono me paid me a visit again. The maid had left some clothes on the line after knocking off as the clothes were yet to dry thoroughly but looking at how late it was getting, I decided to take them into the house and it was while I was at it that I noticed Kimono me was in the house. So, I was piling up all the clothes on the bed so I could sort them out when I turned to close the bedroom door and when I turned back, the pile of clothes was gone. But there was a Kimono in place of the pile.
    My heart rate escalated with each passing second and I glanced round the room to scan it. Lubuto’s ghost was nowhere to be seen but I had the nagging feeling that she was there.
    “You didn’t get the whole truth outta him,” said her voice loudly but she herself decided to remain invisible today.
    “It’s not as if I could just squeeze the truth outta him, is it?” I imitated her accent. “Look here Lubuto, Cephas told me what he was ready to disclose so-”
    “Shut up!” shut up..shut..up..shut up! “You don’t really get it, Coreen. I want Cephas to confess and you’re gonna help me achieve this dream. But before that, I think I need to subject you to some physical pain and make you endure the excruciating pain I’d gone through a few minutes before breathing my last!” “What are-are you talking about?”
    “Patience, honey. Patience.” And then she shrieked with laughter. She laughed, laughed and laughed.
    I couldn’t help but wonder what insane thing she planned on doing to me and as if reading my mind, she gave me a clue by making a knife materialize a few steps from where I stood. It dangled in air for a while and floated towards me. I tried moving but was petrified to the spot.
    Out of the blue, I felt a force push me so hard that I fell on the bed. The knife kept on floating towards me.
    For the second time in forever, I prayed to God. Asking Him to please protect me from this evil ghost. But I doubt God has time for nonbelievers like myself cause the knife kept on coming.
    When it was hovering right above my chest, I had to plead. “Please, Lubuto, don’t do this. For the sakes of our biological parents because I have this strong feeling that you and I are related, twins even.” “I don’t give a d--n!” her voice boomed from one of the corners of the bedroom. “Am dead so I’ve got no business being sentimental, honey.” the knife was a few inches away from my left b----t. “You know the heart is located right beneath this spot?”
    “Please. Am begging you to please have mercy on me..” She laughed. “That’s how pathetic I looked and sounded when I was pleading with them to please not take out my heart but they went right ahead and did, laughing with mockery while they were at it.
    “Who’s they? Forget that, why do I get to pay for their sins?”
    “Because hurting you is the same as hurting Ceph Donut which is so exhilarating,” I heard her breathe in and out before finally driving the knife through me. I screamed. The pain was so intense but what did she care? She ripped right through me and pulled my heart out. That’s when she materialized on top of me, my heart in her grip as blood dropped onto my blouse. My whole blouse was crimson red! And the pain, oh boy was it excruciating. The heart was still bumping as she licked the blood off it, smirking.
    I begun feeling dizzy after a few minutes so I opted to close my eyes and end all this once and for all as I was certain death was waiting for me. No sooner had I closed my eyes than they flicked open on their on. The pain was gone, so was the blood and Kimono me herself. I stood from the bed and looked at my reflection in the mirror, I had no visible stab wound. Shaking my head in awe, I placed my hand on my chest and felt my heartbeat.
    Everything was back to normal, it seemed, even the pile of clothes on the bed.
    Did this mean I’d just been hallucinating or dreaming? But everything had felt so real but now that I thought of it, it felt surreal, farfetched even. Lubuto once again decided to play mind reader when I heard her voice loud and clear. “Lets just call what you experienced an illusion. But next time, it’ll be real!!!” real..real..real.
    Everything went as quiet as still water.
    “I can’t do this no more,” I thought aloud as I grabbed my phone to call Anna. I needed someone to talk to and share my problems with them lest I run mad here.
    She picked up after a few rings. “Bae.”
    “I can’t do this anymore,” I was crying. “I need someone to talk to.”
    “What’s wrong?”
    “It’s Kimono me, she’s driving me nuts!” “Who’s Kimono me?”
    “Coreen!” called Cephas who just chose that exact moment to show up. “What do you think you’re doing?”
    I said, “Trying to find someone I can share my problems with and who best if not my best friend?!” He grabbed the phone from my ear and turned it off. “Telling Anna what’s going on won’t help us one bit!”
    “But you keeping secrets from me will, right? You know what, am tired. I’ve had it! I need a break.”
    “Baby,” Cephas reached for my arm which I yanked away. “What do you mean you need a break?”
    “I just had another Lubuto encounter, Cephas. And you’ve got no idea the mental stress I go through every time I see her. I don’t even know how am still sane after all she has put me through. But enough is enough,” I wiped my tears. “Am going to Kapiri Mposhi tomorrow and you should only come looking for me when you’re ready to tell me the whole truth!”
    “Coreen-”
    “Don’t” I held up a dismissive hand. “Don’t you Coreen me, Cephas. I’ve had it!” with that, I stormed out of the room.
    The next day, I packed a few clothes and was ready to leave for Kapiri. Cephas had pleaded with me almost all night, asking I reconsider but my mind was made up.
    As I was about to start off, I thought of informing Anna I was leaving for Kapiri. I’d heard her voicemail so I dialled her line which was off. I pursed my lips and sent her a text instead. Once again, I got on a bus to Kapiri. I believe I needn’t repeat the reason as to why I was travelling by public transport.
    I arrived in Kapiri a few minutes after midday and Granny welcomed me well. Another reason why I’d gone back to Kapiri was to get Granny to tell me about my twin but I was going to do so gradually. So all I did that afternoon was tell Grandma about Kimono me and how we shared a striking resemblance, hoping she (Granny)would finally open up and tell me about my sibling. Well, she didn’t.
    Later in the evening, I received a call from William.
    “Coreen,’ he sounded frantic. “Is Anna at your place?”
    “No. Am in Kapiri by the way.” “Is that so?” he paused. “Anna left home early this morning saying she was coming to visit you. I’ve not heard from her since.”
    “Try calling her parents.”
    “I’ve tried, Coreen, but their phones aren’t going through.”
    “Don’t worry, William. She’s probably caught up somewhere, she’ll come.” “I really hope so cause after what happened to her the other day, am really worried.”
    He had every right to worry, that’s what concerned spouses do.
    Three days down the line, I found myself on a bus back to Lusaka. Anna was officially missing. And I had one mission, to report Rajesh to the police because I knew he had something to do with Anna’s missing. I feared to even begin to imagine what that psychotic son of a w---e had done to her..

    Sequence 13

    WILLIAM
    “Not again,” I mumbled in frustration as I tried my wife’s line for the hundredth time that day. I’d just got off the phone with Coreen who told me she hadn’t seen Anna that day and that she(Coreen)was in Kapiri Mposhi at the moment.
    The next thought that came into my mind, my wife was obviously in some exotic lodge s------g that Indian lover of hers and thats why her d--n phone was off. Yes, I knew Anna was cheating on me just as I knew she knew I had once cheated on her with Lady Valerie. Don’t be so shocked. Am a man and not that this justifies my reason for cheating but it had just been a moment of wickness…
    It was during one of our many business outings that it happened. Lady Valerie who was my boss and I were spending some time at the same hotel in Pretoria when I heard a knock at my door one night. I glanced at the wall clock and noticed the time was past 11 PM so it couldn’t be room servicing knocking. I lazily rolled out of bed and called, “Who is it?”
    “Lady Valerie.” she had a voice too soft for a woman of her appearance. She was one hot woman, I couldn’t help notice but my Anna was hot too.
    “Lady Valerie? Not to be rude but what do you want from me at this hour?” “Just open up, Willy.”
    Willy? Since when did she start calling me that? Anyway, I opened the door and as soon as she was in my room, Lady Valerie closed the door behind her and dropped her gown. She was wearing no underwear nor bra.
    I swallowed, what a stunning body she had! I tried to divert my gaze elsewhere but no, seemed it was fixed on her body.
    “I want you,” she whispered in a seductive tone, waltzing towards me and wrapping her arms round my neck. “Kiss me, Willy. Kiss the heck outta me!”
    “I- am married, boss.”
    “Oh please! You won’t be the first man to cheat on your wife and neither will you be the last. Come on, it’s just sex!”
    It’s just sex..her words reverberated inside my mind..it’s just sex.
    Holy crap, I’d have to be homosexual not to wanna bang this hot woman in-spite of her age.
    “This is wrong,” I titled my head. “But what the f--k, you’re so hot, my lady!” “That’s my boy!” she crashed her lips on mine and I kissed her back. Exploring her body with my hands, I s----d on her lips and before I knew it, I was rock solid down there and ready to go. Before we knew it, my clothes were flying everywhere and when we finally did it, I couldn’t believe a woman would have that much experience in bed! Holy crap, she made me wanna scream her name which is a girly thing to do, I know. Thank God I didn’t do that though.
    And then guilt hit me so hard the following morning that I couldn’t even stand being in the same room with Lady Valerie so I got on the next plane to Lusaka with a vow never to ever cheat on Anna again. Well guess what, the devil had other plans in store for me. The devil decided to use Anna this time around. My wife really wanted to have a child but I just wasn’t ready. This is when I was beginning to make money for us so a child wasn’t quite the best thing I wished for right now so when I told her I wasn’t ready to have a child, she started sulking.
    Like this one night I was so h---y and just wanted to make love to my wife and she led me on, arousing my feelings as best as she could just for her to say, “Sorry, no sex for you tonight.”
    “Why?”
    She let out a snort. “Why have sex when we ain’t planning to have any kids any time soon? I might as well be on a sexual fast until you decide to have a child with me.”
    “Are you even listening to yourself, Anna? Don’t be this childish and let me have what rightfully belongs to me.”
    “You are too h---y,” she pushed me off her. “Go take a shower or something.”
    There was no use pleading for sex so I went into the bathroom and masturbated, something I hadn’t thought I’d do after marrying but hello, s--t happens. I jerked it off until my gun was bullet free and then took a shower.
    “Screw Anna,” I scowled while showering. “She ain’t the only woman with a p---y in this town.”
    So the following day, Lady Valerie and I had another steamy love session in her office.
    It was after the third encounter that I knew Anna knew I was cheating on her. I’d forgotten a couple of condoms in the back pocket of my favourite trousers and came back from work that day just to find the condoms spread on the bed.
    “Those yours?” Anna asked when I got into the room, her back was facing me as she did whatever in front of the mirror.
    “Um..not really.”
    “Then how did they get into your pocket? Besides, you and I have never used condoms since we got married.”
    “I thought we could start now,” I lied, hugging her from behind. “Try something different for a change. You’ve been on the pill for quite some time now so-”
    “How thoughtful of you,” she cut me short. “But you know I hate condoms, they itch, so yeah. Am better off on the pill.”
    “How could I have forgotten? Am so sorry, baby, let me just dispose them.”
    “You better hurry.” My wife was a smart a-s so I knew she’d figured out I was cheating on her and this prompted me to tell Lady Valerie off.
    “We can’t be lovers no more,” I abruptly told my boss one day.
    She looked disappointed. “Why?”
    “Because I have a wife..and a conscience.” “Is that so? I see,” she flatly said but added, “In case you change your mind though, remember am at your beck and call.”
    I can proudly say two whole months passed without me sleeping with Lady Valerie just for Anna to start cheating on me? How did I find out? A man always knows when his lady is banging another man, especially if he bangs her the same day she banged another. And that was the case with Anna on the night of Coreen’s husband’s party.
    I was just suspecting her of cheating so I didn’t pay much attention to the issue until one day when she showed up home without our wedding ring.
    We were seated opposite each other at the dining table when I said, “Where’s your ring, honey?”
    “My ring?” she looked at her finger and almost choked on her nshima so she gulped some water. “My ring?” she repeated. “I flashed it today at the office, by accident of course…my..my finger was itching so I- took the ring off to let some blood run freely and then when flashing a tissue paper, I flashed it together with the ring.”
    “I see,” I quietly said, not believing a word she had just said.
    And so after eating, I quietly walked to the bathroom and flashed my ring too. An eye for eye. She didn’t even bother ask me what happened to mine(the ring of course). During the next four months, I was dead certain Anna was cheating on me so I hired someone to tail her and he brought back with him pics of Anna being all cozy with an Indian dude.
    I can’t believe she cheated on me with such a person, I mused.
    Maybe it wass because of his skin colour or maybe the b---h just wanted to get revenge from me for cheating on her cause I knew Anna held grudges.
    Then one day I received a call from some hospital telling me my wife had been beaten up by some thugs. Bullshit. It took me one glance to decipher her lover had beaten her up. But she went ahead and lied to my face anyway.
    I’d been patient enough so I was now even contemplating comfronting her and if she wasn’t willing to end her affair with the Indian, I’d divorce her.
    So today as I paced around my sitting room, I decided I’d had enough! I hadn’t cheated on Anna for over six months now and she repays me by spending the whole day with her lover? Well then I might as well just spend the night with a lover of my own so I phoned Lady Valerie who picked up almost immediately. “William.”
    “Hi. Remember when you said I could tell you whenever I change my mind? I’ve done exactly that right now.”
    “Slow down, William. Remind me when I said that?”
    “Six months ago..Look here, my lady,” I was wooing her cause I knew she loved it when I referred to her as ‘my lady.’ “I want us to be lovers again.”
    “Don’t joke like that.”
    “I ain’t joking. Where are you right now?”
    She gave me her location and what a wonderful night we shared.
    I went back home the following day hoping to find Anna but she still wasn’t there. Now I got worried so I tried her mum’s line who thankfully picked up. I asked if Anna was at her place and she said no.
    “Why do you ask, son in-law?”
    “Because she left home yesterday in the morning and hasn’t been back since. The worst part is that her phone is unreachable.” Her mum sounded worried but assured me Anna would retain home that day, which was a Saturday.
    In the evening, I received a call from her Dad.
    “Whatever you did to my Anna, undo it right away cause you won’t like me when am angry you good for nothing idiot!” tu-tu-tu, the line cut. On Sunday morning, I went to a police station and filed for a missing person’s report and 24 hours later, Anna was officially declared MISSING.
    10 AM on Monday found Coreen, my mum, Anna’s parents and I at the police station. Coreen was crying while saying to the police, “You have to believe me, I know that son of a b---h Rajesh Sharma has done something to my friend.” “Mind your language, miss,” said the police officer on duty. “And what makes you think we’ll believe your friend’s lover, as you put it, has harmed her?”
    “Because he abuses women! My husband who happens to be Rajesh Sharma’s cousin told me so,” she sniffed before pressing something on her phone and playing an audio recording. “You hear that? That’s Anna and Rajesh having sex in my guestroom about four months ago. And just last week, Rajesh beat Anna black and blue, she had told me so while laying on a hospital bed.” Coreen then spared me a glance. “Am so sorry that you have to find out about your wife’s infidelity this way, William.”
    I wasn’t shocked cause I already knew Anna was cheating but I did feel for her parents who seemed so ashamed, looking as if they were wishing the earth could just open up and swallow them. Poor fellows.
    My mum squeezed my hand. “Be strong, son.”
    I merely nodded.
    Coreen proceeded to tell the police about some girl Rajesh had hit so badly in India that she only woke up after being rushed to the emergency room. She(Coreen) also showed us all some pics on her phone of Anna and Rajesh holding hands at some mall.
    Coreen was saying, “And I just received a text from my husband Cephas, Rajesh has been spotted at the airport. Seems he plans on flying to India. And that’s not the worst part..the worst part is, he’s alone. Anna is nowhere to be seen!”

    Sequence 14

    COREEN
    The mirror revealed a pale faced and tear stained me. Well I’d done a lot of crying ever since I came to learn Anna was officially missing. I felt guilty for her disappearance or her death cause I couldn’t run away from the thought that maybe Rajesh had gone ahead and killed her. Oh God, if only I’d taken some action sooner, none of this would have been happening. For starters, I should have confronted Anna the first time she slept with Rajesh or perhaps I should have just gone ahead and exposed her but no, my envy had led me astray now who knew where Anna was or what state she was in?
    I washed my face and applied a touch of make up then walked out of the bathroom. I was at my place having a change of clothes. I was on my way out of the house back to the police station when I ran into Cephas who was perspiring like no man’s business.
    “Coreen,” he stood in the doorway, blocking me. “We have to talk.”
    “About how Lubuto died?”
    “No. About us, and our marriage. Lubuto is dead so let’s not give her the fun of ruining our happy marriage.”
    “Is that so?” The urge to laugh was so strong but I managed to fight it. “You do realise I wasn’t even aware you’d once had another wife not until I started seeing Kimono me, right?”
    “Don’t call her that, name’s Lubuto Bwalya. And point of correction, she wasn’t my wife.”
    “Truth be told, I no longer give a s--t,” I curtly said. “And please get out of my way cause I’ve got more pressing issues to tend to.”
    Cephas opened his mouth to say something but the glare I gave him told him retorting wouldn’t help so he moved aside and let me pass.
    I arrived at the police station to the news that Rajesh had been arrested at the airport and was now in police custody.
    William who was with me outside the police station was saying, “The b-----d is denying everything!”
    The frustration I saw in his eyes was intense. I said, “Of course he’ll deny everything but thank God I have some evidence to tie him to Anna though it ain’t very incriminating but its better than nothing, right?”
    “Yeah,” he replied while scratching his chin. “Speaking of evidence, you knew all these months Anna was cheating and you didn’t bother do nothing?”
    His words stung but I shrugged, “I didn’t really think it was my business to go around telling a grown up whats good and bad for her marriage, am sorry.”
    William shook his head and walked out on me without uttering another word.
    Anna’s mum was next to approach me. “Hi, Coreen.”
    “Hi, aunt.”
    “Can we find somewhere to sit and talk?”
    “Sure.”
    We found a bench under a mango tree and sat there. Anna’s mum said, “I find it really difficult to believe that my Anna is capable of cheating on her husband.”
    “Am so sorry you had to find out the way you did. But she was cheating on him with an Indian dude.”
    “It’s fine..Can I ask you something though?”
    “Um..yes.”
    “How come you possess evidence Anna was cheating on William? What sort of friend are you?”
    “Aunt, its not what you think. I-”
    “Save your breath, Coreen. All I want to say to you is that you’re a fake friend cause had you been a true one, you would have talked some sense into Anna. Anyway,” she stood and looked at me so intently that I cringed. “What goes around comes back around.”
    What just happened? I inwardly asked myself when aunt left. Like is she being for real? Gosh!
    Since I didn’t want to stay with Cephas for now, I booked a room at a cheap lodge and that’s where I stayed for the next stressful month.
    I call it stressful because of all the interrogations I had to undergo being Anna’s best friend. In the past one month, William and I had spent quite a lot of time together working with the police. He too was being interrogated as he had been a suspect in the beginning but he no longer was. Rajesh was the prime suspect but the psycho kept on denying seeing Anna on the day of her disappearance but he at least had accepted being her lover.
    Cephas on the other hand still didn’t wanna tell me nothing more about Kimono me so him and I weren’t on talking terms and Kimono me herself? Seemed she had decided to give me a break cause I hadn’t seen her since that encounter in my bedroom where she had presented me with that splendid illusion.
    Anyway, William and I were coming from the court one day, where Rajesh couldn’t be sentenced because Anna’s dead body hadn’t been found so the court couldn’t sentence him. Kidnapping was a dead case too cause there was no evidence to prove Rajesh had kidnapped her. He was still in police custody though.
    “Have faith, William,” I patted his hand as I led him to my car. “Am certain Anna and your baby are doing perfectly fine.”
    “My baby?” he looked shocked. “What are talking about?”
    “You didn’t know? Willy, Anna is pregnant.”
    “Oh God,” he placed his fingers on his eyes. “That f----r really has to pay for this!”
    So Anna hadn’t told her husband she was pregnant? What a shady woman. Now I was beginning to get convinced Rajesh was the father of her child.
    One Tuesday afternoon, I decided to pay Rajesh a visit in his cells. He was brought to the visiting area where it was just the two of us and some police man standing out of earshot at a distance.
    “You look pathetic,” I told Rajesh without preamble. “What I don’t get is why you murdered Anna. What wrong did she ever do to you, huh Rajesh?”
    “How many times do I have to repeat myself and tell you all that I didn’t kill nobody?”
    “Oh come on, drop the act already. I know you killed Anna, Rajesh. Because what you are is some sick maniac who is violent with women!” I leaned closer. “You are an animal, Rajesh Sharma.”
    “Fine,” he smirked and whispered. “I killed the b---h. What will you do?”
    “I wasn’t expecting you to crack open so soon, Raj. I still had some filthy names to call you but thank God you made my work so d--n easy.”
    “What do you mean?” asked a confused Rajesh.
    I shrugged and stood, grabbing my handbag from the floor. “Instead of watching those e----c movies Cephas tells me you like watching, I reckon you try other genres and maybe you’ll learn a thing or two while you’re at it. Well, it’s too late now so see you in court.”
    “You b---h!” he snarled when he realised what I’d just done, hitting the desk in anger.
    I laughed and did a catwalk outta the room. Long story short, I’d recorded our little conversation. Ten minutes ago, I thought I was just doing something silly but now I was ecstatic I finally had evidence to prove Rajesh had indeed murdered Anna. S--t, Anna was dead, Rajesh had just confessed that!
    I cried a river the rest of that day.
    Three weeks later, Rajesh was found guilty of Anna’s murder even though he pledged not guilty. He was still sentenced to life imprisonment.
    I was walking out of the courtroom while dabbing at my eyes when some typical Zambian woman walked up towards me and slapped me.
    “What the heck? Who the hell are you?”
    “Am the mother to the innocent man you just helped get locked up. I curse you, Coreen or whatever your name is. I pray you never find happiness ever again in your miserable life!” she spat at my feet and walked away.
    Before I could even process what had just happened, Cephas’ mother showed up in front of me.
    “Rajesh is your husband’s cousin for crying out loud!” there was so much spite in her tone. “But you and her are just the same. You share the same face after all so what can I expect from you? I just wish you can disappear from the face of the earth without a trace like that Lubuto Bwalya had done!” she too spat at my feet before dashing off.
    I stood in the scorching Sun and let the tears flow. Not because of my mother in-laws words nor those of Rajesh’s mum’s but because of what I’d just seen. Anna’s parents were walking out of the courtroom hand in hand, sobbing uncontrollably. William was tailing behind them while doing a fair share of the sobbing himself.
    I sobbed too and then felt strong arms engulf me. I buried myself into them warm arms.
    “Don’t pay attention to what either of them just said,” said Cephas soothingly. “You know you’ve just done the right thing.”
    “How come I still don’t feel at peace, Cephas?”
    “Because,” it was Anna’s voice inside my head. “You won’t be at peace until my body is found and you’re certain am dead. You’ve done your part, Coreen. Am dead and my body won’t be found because Rajesh had burnt it to ashes.”
    “Did you hear that?” I pulled myself out of Cephas’ embrace and asked, hoping he’d heard what I’d just heard.
    But as expected, he hadn’t. “Hear what?”
    I shut my eyes and thought, ‘So seeing Kimono me’s ghost isn’t enough, now I have to deal with Anna’s too?’

    Sequence 15

    6PM that day found Cephas and I at some fancy restaurant. He had somehow convinced me to spend the rest of that gloomy day with him and I needed the company so I accepted.
    Cephas ordered a chicken fahita while I got a cheese burger and Sprite.
    “What happened to us, Coreen?”
    “What do you mean?”
    “We used to be a happy couple once upon a time. I wish we could go back to being,” he paused and sighed. “us.”
    “Cephas, simply tell me what I wanna know and then we can have this conversation.”
    “Why don’t we forget about our problems for tonight? Let’s just pretend everything’s as it was back then and have a wonderful night. Honey, life is too short. Take a look at Anna.”
    He had a point and truth be told, I’d missed my husband big time. I’d missed everything about him, his smile, touch, fragrance, everything!
    I leaned back in my seat and smiled. “Why not?”
    The smile that appeared on his face was overwhelmingly sweet. “I love you, Coreen.”
    I just raised my bottle of Sprite and took a drag. From the restaurant we went to a quiet bar and drank ciders. Ok that sounds wrong, I drank ciders while Cephas drank lagers.
    We were feeling a bit tipsy by the time we got home. We had barely locked the door when Cephas took me into his arms and kissed me like there was no tomorrow.
    I locked my arms round his neck and wrapped my legs around his waist, kissing him back. In that position, Cephas walked us to the living room where he accidentally hit me against the door and I just laughed. It was romantic weh.
    He laughed too. “Sorry.”
    “What you should be sorry about is the fact that both of us are still fully dressed. Clothes have no business being on our bodies right now.”
    Cephas chuckled as he softly made me lay on the sofa. “Am on it, boss.”
    And so we literally ripped the clothes off each other’s bodies and soon enough we were making those sounds, you know them. To spare you the e----c details, our love making session that night was wonderful as wonderful can be.
    I kissed him on the lips when we were done and got up from the sofa. “I gotta take a shower.”
    “Mmmh,” he bit his lower lip in a sexy manner. “Why don’t I join you?”
    “You’ve had enough for tonight,” I teasingly said as I turned around to leave. I felt him smack my a-s.
    “You naughty boy, Ceph Donut.”
    “Did you just call me Ceph Donut, Coreen?”
    It was only after he mentioned it that I realised what I had called him and it sent chills down my spine to know I was now unknowingly uttering Kimono me’s words. Was I becoming her? Lord help me.
    Without saying nothing more, I rushed to the bathroom where I locked myself in. I entered the glass cubicle and opened the faucet, standing directly under the shower. The hot water was soothing and I shut my eyes. When I opened them eyes, I saw blood stained hands pressing against the steamy cubicle. A scream caught in my throat. I shut my eyes again and when I opened them the hands were gone.
    “That b---h,” I scowled. “She just can’t leave me the hell alone.” I don’t know if it was the alcohol talking.
    I continued showering just for the water to turn bloody red.
    “F--k!” I screamed, hurriedly closing the faucet which didn’t budge so I stepped out of the cubicle and stood in front of the mirror. My whole body was covered in blood.
    “What do you want this time around, Lubuto Bwalya?”
    She materialized behind me, I could see her in the mirror. She looked as Kimono me as ever.
    “How did you like my little trick?”
    “The bloody one? It was amateurish and cliche.”
    “Not that one, honey. Am talking about me playing mind games with you using your dead friend’s voice.”
    “What are-” I stopped midway. “You b---h!” and turned. She was nowhere to be seen so I turned back and saw her ghostly reflection in the mirror.
    She laughed. “Got you!”
    “You’re sick, Lubuto. Don’t tell me you now get drunk when I drink cause that’s how you’re acting. Drunk!”
    “Oh please, am just excited.”
    “Ghosts get excited too? Didn’t know.”
    “Haha. I’ve slept with Cephas after so many years so I ought be happy.”
    “Excuse me?”
    “Oh please don’t act dumb. You’ll figure it out anyway,” she snapped. “And by the way, go visit your granny and ask her about the twins your mother had almost 28 years ago and she better tell you the truth. Tell her I said so. Adios, until next time.”
    She waved her hands in goodbye and vanished. I leaned against the sink and closed my ears. All the beer was now officially out of my system as I felt insanely sobber.
    Kimono me was now giving me the creeps!
    .
    I didn’t bother telling Cephas I was going to Kapiri when the next day came. I just waited for him to leave the house and then I left too.
    When I arrived at Grandma’s, I wasn’t smiling.
    She got all busy trying to serve me food when I grabbed her by the arm and made her sit beside me. “I didn’t come here to eat, granny.”
    “Your tone is scaring me, Coreen. What’s going on?”
    “What’s going on is you’ve been keeping a massive secret from me all these years. You do know the moment of truth does eventually come, right? And it has come, Grandma.”
    “I quite don’t understand what you’re talking about, my child.”
    “Tell me about my twin.”
    Her facial expression didn’t falter. “I knew this day would come,” she stood and faced the other way. “How did you find out?”
    “That doesn’t matter.”
    “Well, your mother had given birth to twin girls before dying in labour. You are the first born by the way. So when my son, your father, committed suicide later that day, I was shattered. Life was tough back then and no one was willing to take care of two orphan twins so I took both of you in.. by then Gwen was only a year old. The problem came when I couldn’t cater for your needs so I sold one baby, the last born.”
    “You sold a baby?!” I sprang to my feet. “Jesus! That’s just wicked.”
    “It is..but I needed money, for Gwen and you. How do you think I managed to pay for your school fees despite my lack of a solid source of income? Look here Coreen, what I did was wrong, I accept. But your sister had a good life.”
    “How do you know?”
    “Because I knew the couple I sold her to,” she turned to face me. “There, you know the whole truth. Happy now?”
    “Actually, am disappointed and mad at you at the same time. You’re despicable, Grandma. And I hate you for selling an innocent baby!”
    I angrily got my bag and dashed out of the house while shedding tears. I just couldn’t believe my Grandma, the woman I had adored all my life was capable of such. I stopped in my tracks when I reached at a crossroads, realizing my life was actually at one too..where to go from here? And Kimono me? Only God knew how I was going to rid myself of an evil and vengeful psychotic ghost twin!

    Sequence 16

    CEPHAS
    “Which ones do you prefer, sir?” The female florist asked me, showing me lilies, roses and tulips.
    “I’ve never bought flowers for my lady but I think any will do. If your man was buying them for you, which ones would you prefer?”
    “Roses are my favourite so I’d love em’. I suggest you get roses.”
    “Thanks, you’re a blessing. Roses it is then.”
    “Great..” she handed me a bouquet of red roses, my receipt and change.
    I got only the receipt and roses. “Keep change.”
    “Um..thanks,” she blushed with gratitude. “And all the best with your girl.”
    “Actually, she’s my beloved wife.”
    “Wow, am jealous,” she giggled. “Your wife’s one hell of a lucky woman.”
    “Am the lucky one, sister.”
    I walked out of the store wearing a huge grin..I was just so happy things were going back to normal between me and Coreen. My God, I loved that woman!
    I got into my Allion and hit the road, listening to some tracks on the radio. And then Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’ played and I had to immediately turn off the radio.
    “Nothing will ruin my jovial mood today,” I mumbled. “Not even one of Lubuto’s all time favourite songs!”
    When I arrived home, only the maid was around.
    “Is your madam around?” I asked her.
    “Are you alright, sir? Madam hasn’t been around for weeks now!”
    “Coreen came home with me yesterday so I know what am talking about. You know what, you’re hopeless. Just go back to whatever you were doing!”
    She shrugged and headed to the kitchen. With the roses in hand, I walked towards my bedroom while calling, “Coreen! Honey!”
    Silence.
    “Baby, am home!”
    I wrenched the door open and I immediately knew, she had gone back. That cunning b---h! So she wasn’t satisfied with everything I gave her? All the love I showered her wasn’t enough? No, all she wanted to know is what had happened to her bitchy look alike Lubuto Bwalya.
    I got my phone and hastily dialled Coreen’s line which went straight to voicemail. I was in no mood to leave a message so I hang up and threw the phone on the bed. I looked at them flowers and tossed them to the floor where I crashed them with the heel of my shoe.
    I was surprisingly outraged. Why would Coreen lead me on last night and just walk away this morning? I rushed to the bar and got a bottle of Jameson. I went back to the bedroom and locked myself in, and drank. Until I was drunk.
    “Boss,” called the maid who was knocking on the door. “Your lunch is ready.”
    “I don’t want it,” I slurred. “And please leave me the f--k alone, Rosemary.”
    “Yes, sir!” she knew better than to agitate me when I was in such a mood.
    I staggered to the bedside cabinet and took a photo of Coreen. “It’s amazing how you look exactly like that witch Lubuto, my Coreen. But you two have parallel personalities, you really do…”
    And I went back to when Lubuto was still alive…
    She had just been at my parents’ place for a few weeks when one day I arrived home to a heated argument between her and my young sister Marjorie.
    “What’s going on here?” I asked.
    Marjorie who wasn’t an argumentative type said, “It’s this under age wife of yours, bro. She knows I’ve got class this evening while she’s got nothing important to do but she wants to be the first one to use the bathroom. Like really, who does she think she is?”
    “You better watch your tongue you stupid spoilt b---h!”
    “Whoa..” I came between them. “Can’t believe you two are fighting over the bathroom!” I turned to Lubuto. “Marjorie has a class to attend, can’t she bath first?”
    “Over my dead body, Ceph Donut.”
    Marjorie rolled her eyes. “You see?”
    “Just use mum and dad’s bathroom, sis, please.”
    She shook her head in disbelief. “You’re spoiling this opportunistic w---e way too much if you ask me, brother. You better open your eyes and see through her, she doesn’t love you!”
    “You better watch what you say before I shove my thong down that throat of yours which has swallowed only God knows how many men’s sperm!” Lubuto yelled.
    “Enough!” I yelled too. “Marjorie, do as I say and Lubuto, shut the hell up and watch what you say to my sister!”
    They both angrily stomped their feet, snarled and cussed before heading different directions.
    “Gosh,” I wearily pressed my eyes.
    Must be the hormones working Lubuto up, I tried to convince myself.
    But the arguments and complaints kept on hitting me from all angles. Be it mum, my elder sis Ethel, Marjorie, our neighbours, who didn’t she quarrel with over trivial matters like somebody using her make up or mum adding too much salt in the food she cooked and so on and so forth?
    Dad sat me down one evening and spoke to me man to man.
    “I do realise you’ve failed to keep your girlfriend or wife or whatever we can call her in check, son. I don’t blame you though cause that girl is a nightmare! I feel sorry for you but you’ll have to take her away from here before she brings my entire house down one of these days.”
    “I understand, paps. Guess I’ll just look for a house and move in with her.”
    There was silence for a while until Dad spoke up, “Do you love her?”
    “Honestly, I don’t know. At first I thought she was this fragile thing that needed utmost protection but now am not certain what to think anymore.”
    “Maybe it’s the pregnancy working her up, she’ll probably come back to her senses soon.”
    “Am hoping that’s the case, Dad.”
    “You’ll be alright,” he assured me.
    I found a self contained apartment good enough for Lubuto and I where we moved into a few days later. It was when I came back from class two days later when I learnt Lubuto had been playing me all along. She hadn’t heard me come into the house that’s how come I was able to eavesdrop on her phone conversation with her supposed unbearable adoptive mother.
    She was seated on the bed with her back facing me, “You really are a genius, mum. Now all that’s left is for this dummy to marry me and we’ll be flourishing in riches soon! Yeah…our plan is really working..I can’t be happier..will talk to you later, love you too.”
    She hang up and was startled to see me standing in the doorway when she turned. “How..For how long have you been standing there?”
    “Long enough to know you’re nothing but a calculative b---h who’s leaving my house and life in the next twenty minutes!” I went to her closet and begun throwing her clothes out. “Start packing, mummy, your time here is over! Game’s over, you lost.”
    “Really?” she smirked, folding her arms across her chest. “Ceph Donut, as soon as I leave this house, am going to the police station to file for defilement or rape or whichever sexual assault is done to a 16 year old girl..Let’s see how lenient the judge will be towards you. You’re stuck with me, baby.”
    I looked her straight in the eye and knew right there and then that I hated the b---h so much I might as well just strangle the living daylights outta her. “Not for too long,” I clearly told her. “I’ll have the last laugh, Lubuto Bwalya!” I kicked some of her bizarre clothes out of my way and stormed out of the house.
    For the next two weeks I was planning on how to get rid of Lubuto but no plausible idea was popping up. I was seated in a bar when this guy approached me, I knew him from the neighbourhood.
    “Cephas, can I join you?”
    “No problem, Richard.”
    We talked about soccer for a while before he abruptly asked me, “How would you like to make some fast cash?”
    Being rich and making my own money had always been a fantasy of mine. “Everybody would love that..But it all comes down to what they have to do in order to make that money, don’t it?”
    “You have a point there,” he took a drag from his Castle Lager bottle. “Am talking about a human heart here, bro. And we’ll be millionaires!”
    I choked on my beer for a while before gaining composure. “What makes you think I’d kill someone for money?”
    “Because you have it in you,” he stood and patted my shoulder. “And a friendly warning, repeat this conversation to anyone and it’ll be one of your precious sisters’ hearts I’ll be donating!”
    I wouldn’t repeat the conversation to nobody and neither would I kill anyone, of this I was certain.
    The following day, I came up with an idea to rid myself of Lubuto the witch.
    “Why hadn’t I thought of this brilliant idea earlier?” I asked myself as I bought the drugs from the drugstore. The plan was simple, drug Lubuto and make her lose her baby and walla, am free!
    Once at home, I slipped the pills in Lubuto’s open Pure Joy bottle.
    I was intently looking at her as she drank the juice later that evening.
    “What?” she irritably asked me.
    I shrugged. “Nothing.” and inwardly, Your time’s up, b---h!
    “Cephas! Open the d--n door!” someone banged on my door, interrupting my memories. “Open the door, its Coreen!”
    I’d deciphered it was her..But did this mean she was back to me for good this time around?

    Sequence 17

    WILLIAM
    It had been almost two weeks since Anna had gone missing which is a wrong thing to say cause now we were all certain Rajesh Sharma had murdered her all thanks to Coreen’s recording. My life had come to a stand still ever since the day of the court hearing and my parents had tried talking to me, saying everything happens for a reason but I was still having trouble grasping the fact that my wife and supposedly unborn baby were now dead. I was officially a widower. Now I know Anna had cheated on me but that didn’t stop me from loving nor missing her. I just wished she was here with me.
    I was seated in my office staring at nothing in particular when Lady Valerie showed up. I hadn’t even seen her come in not until she snapped her fingers in my face.
    “You’ve been absent minded lately, Willy,” she said and sat. “Am sorry to say this but your wife is no more and you sitting here brooding won’t bring her back to life.”
    I didn’t reply.
    She then placed her hand on mine and sweetly said, “I’ve got a surprise for you.”
    “Not today, ma’am. Am not in the mood for no surprises.” “Oh come on,” she tagged at my arm. “You’ll love it!”
    “Fine,” I lazily said and followed her lead.
    We past a string of workmates whom I guessed knew the boss and I had a thing going on but they wouldn’t say nor show they knew. We went outside the building and Lady Valerie instructed I close my eyes. “This feels corny, I can’t do it.” I whined.
    “Just do as I say, Willy, I swear you’ll love my surprise!”
    “Fine,” I repeated in exasperation and closed my eyes. I felt Lady Valerie slip a box into my hands.
    Wasn’t I supposed to be the one doing this for a lady? All this felt wrong, like really long.
    “You can now open them eyes,” she whispered.
    I opened my eyes and scanned the blue small box in my hands. It had some words scribbled on it, ‘OPEN ME.’
    I was shaking my head as I opened the box and my eyeballs dangled in their sockets for a while when I saw the car keys.
    “Press the disarm button and see which car budges.”
    Still not believing this was happening, I did as told and an Audi Q7 budged, making a sweet noise as it got unlocked.
    “That’s now yours, Willy.” I was at a loss for words as I went to open the door. Owning my own car had been a dream of mine since forever!
    “You earned the car,” she said, almost as if reading my thoughts. “I might be quite biased here, I accept. But you work your a-s for this company, Willy. And this is a personal token of appreciation so please take it.” Of course am taking it, sugar mama! “I’m- I don’t know what to say, my lady.”
    “Your face says it all..Why don’t we go for a road test?”
    “Why not?” I beamed.
    I got behind the wheel and felt as if I was daydreaming as I drove out of the company premises and joined a tarred road. “You’re a blessing, my lady.” She smiled and pulled her skirt up. “Why don’t you show me how appreciative you are? I know an exquisite lodge close to where we are, let’s go there.”
    I was too excited to say no so I drove to the lodge which I knew too. We booked a room and ordered some vintage wine which was brought to the room almost immediately. I was about to pour the wine when Lady Valerie slapped my hand. “That can wait. I’ve missed you.” she flung her arms round my neck and kissed me big time. I aggressively took off her shirt and fumbled with her bra for a while which I later dropped to the floor. Using my teeth, I took off her skirt and rubbed her underwear with my forefinger. She moaned before sitting on the bed and spreading her legs after taking off her underwear. She got the wine and poured it all over her private part.
    “Lick it off me, baby boy,” she authoritatively said. “Lick me!”
    Still fully dressed and getting really hard down there, I knelt between her legs and began licking the amzing wine off her. She moaned my name as she gripped my head with her hands, pulling me towards her.
    “Just like that, Willy, I love it like that!”
    I licked her for a while and when I felt I couldn’t hold the urge to screw her no more, I stripped naked and held my junior Willy. “Your turn, my lady.”
    Lady Valerie smiled and gestured I sit on the bed, she poured wine on my c--k and started sucking, slowly and intensely. I felt blood course through me at a dangerous pace. S--t, this felt so f-----g awesome!
    I shut my eyes to savour the moment. That’s when I saw different images or memories of Anna flash right before me. In one she was smiling at me, we were making love in another and in the other one were having a romantic dinner in our room…
    “I can’t,” I suddenly piped up, gesturing Lady Valerie stops sucking mini me. “Anna’s memories won’t let me be nor will my conscience. Am so sorry, my lady, but I just can’t have sex with you. At least not right now..it just feels disrespectful to Anna’s memories.” She looked super frustrated and let down but she forced a smile anyway. “I understand.”
    I apologized once more and rushed to the bathroom to have me a cold shower.
    Dammit, Anna! D--n you! I couldn’t seem to refrain myself from inwardly cussing her. When I stepped out of the shower, lady Valerie was fully dressed and was applying make up in front of a huge fancy mirror.
    “You can have the car back,” I started to say but she shook her head carefully.
    “I don’t work like that, William. I bought you that car so it’s yours unless you tell me you’ve decided otherwise.” “I- Thanks once again. You don’t know just how happy you’ve made me today.”
    “I could have made you happier,” she said in an undertone. “Anyway, get dressed so that we leave. We’ve got work to do back at the office.”
    “I’ll make it up to you.”
    She was done doing her make up so she put the kit back in her bag and came to kiss me lightly. “I’ll be waiting for that moment.. Though for now, you’ll find me in the car.” she got the keys and walked out of the room.
    .
    Later that evening, only but a few minutes after arriving home, someone knocked at my door. Something that rarely happened cause I didn’t receive many visitors. “Maybe it’s Coreen who’s come to check up on me,” I told myself as I went to open the door without even enquiring who was standing on the other side.
    When I opened the door, I almost froze. Anna?
    “Hi, sweetie,” she flung herself at me and hugged me.
    My heart stopped beating at that instant. I was s--t scared! Had she come to take me to wherever dead people go?
    Anna or her ghost, I assumed, broke the hug when she saw how rigid I was.
    “Why aren’t you happy to see me, William?”
    “Because you’re dead!” I shakily snapped. “Leave me alone in Jesus’s name!”
    She laughed, carefree. “Am not dead, my dear husband. All am suffering from is temporary memory loss. I woke up at one point and couldn’t remember a d--n thing but as soon as I remembered you, I came all the way here!”
    I don’t know why but Anna felt so real so I ushered her into the house and talking to her made me realise her memory was two years and a couple months short. To her, I’d just started working for Lady Valerie so she had no memory of Rajesh or whatever had happened in the last two years and some months.
    “I’ll tell you all that I can remember and what I’ve been through the past month and a few weeks,” she said as she cleared the table. We’d just had supper. “But for now I gotta have you in me, Willy.”
    Anna and I made love and cuddled all through the night. I was tempted to ask her if she was still pregnant cause I couldn’t tell just by looking at her but I failed to ask her. Anna fell asleep in my arms while I only fell asleep a few hours later cause I was finding it extremely difficult to digest what was going on. What kept me from going insane was the fact that Anna’s dead body had never been found so the woman in my arms was definitely her and not her ghost. When I awoke in the morning, I was alone in bed. Only wearing boxers, I got out of bed and called my wife’s name.
    No reply.
    I was in the living room when I heard the main door open. I went to check who had come and found two policemen heading towards me, Anna by their side. “It’s him,” she said and smirked.
    One of the policemen said, “Mr. William Njapau, you’re under arrest for the attempted murder of your wife Mrs. Anna Mumba Njapau.” he produced handcuffs and flashed them in my face. “You have the right to remain silent as anything you do or say may be used against you in the court of law!

    Sequence 18

    RAJESH
    All my life I’d adored the fact that I was a handsome mixed race dude whom girls fell at his feet for. They literally spread their legs for me as soon as I said a thing to them. I don’t know what it is with black girls which makes them be all over white and coloured dudes in particular. Its kinda pathetic you know. Now what was pathetic was the fact that I was rotting away in some prison in Kabwe. Like today I had a sore a-s. How I got it? I’m probably sure you all have an idea.
    Anyway, the first time it had happened was a few days after I was transferred to this prison. Bathing in prisons is like in boarding schools, no privacy at all. We were clamped in the dirty bathroom when a heavily built inmate and cellmate of mine pointed at me after dropping his soap, “Hey pretty boy, come pick this up for me.”
    The other inmates smirked and smiled. I knew better than play tough cause the last time I’d done that, over badly cooked food for that matter, I’d gotten beat up pretty badly.
    So I walked towards the inmate whose name was James by the way, bent down and was about to pick the soap but stopped short when he snapped.
    “Not like that, you fool! I want you to turn and then pick the d--n soap!” And I knew, even as I turned and bent down. I almost screamed when his huge libido penetrated my a-s but the man in me won and I just closed my eyes. S--t, this was f-----g painful!
    They took turns anal raping me and the painful experience made me recall that I too had once raped someone. I had forcefully had sex with her aiming to punish her and she had pleaded with me to stop molesting her but I hadn’t listened.
    Now I was experiencing pain right now but pleading was a no go area for me so I just felt ashamed as they got their way. Maybe had I been gay or bisexual, I would have enjoyed this somehow. But thank the heavens I wasn’t any of the above! The raping happened on a daily basis but there was surprisingly no getting used to it so back to my cell, I was reminiscing in Hindi. Wishing I hadn’t come back to this freaking country…I cursed the day I’d left India for Zambia, the day I’d set eyes on her and the day I’d fallen in love with her. Yeah, I’d come to love Anna with all my heart and I would forever rebuke myself for loving an adulterous woman.
    I was still thinking about Anna and how she had met her unexpected end when the warden came to the cell and called my name.
    “You’ve got a visitor.”
    It’s probably mum, I told myself as I rose to my feet and stole a glance at James who was smiling. I assumed he was obviously happy to learn mum had come to visit me which meant she had brought stuff for me which James always ended up acquiring. Who would have thought Rajesh Sharma the Casanova will be treated like a doormat by some lunatic inmate? Had I believed in religion and God at large, I would say He’s the one who had sent this ugly b-----d James to punish me for all the atrocities I inflicted upon several women but I was a nonbeliever so to me this was just fate playing its cards.
    I spotted mum as soon as I arrived in the waiting area and we were hugging when my lawyer showed up who sat down when mum and I did.
    With a rude finger pointed at my incompetent lawyer, I harshly asked mum, “What is he doing here?”
    “Him and I bear great news to share with you, sonny.”
    “Is Coreen finally dead? Cause you know too well the only good news to me at this point in time is hearing Coreen is dead or am getting outta this hell hole. So which is which?” “The latter,” beamed the lawyer. “You’re finally getting out.”
    “How?”
    “Because the real culprit has been brought to light and will soon be brought to book,” mum chirped in. “It was actually that William who had attempted to murder his wife almost two months ago and the wife has now resurfaced and as we speak, William is behind bars awaiting trial.”
    Was I hearing correctly? Did mum just say Anna had resurfaced? But how when I myself had killed her?!
    “I- What do you mean his wife resurfaced?” I stuttered, half scared and half puzzled. Mum and the lawyer didn’t know I had killed Anna so in an attempt not to blow my cover, I added, “Am kinda shocked cause I myself was starting to believe she was really dead..or missing.”
    Mum replied in ecstasy, “She’s apparently alive and has already filed a case against her husband. Now I know you used to screw her and all but right now, we all ought be grateful to her for saving your a-s.” And I quote, ‘we all ought be grateful to her for saving your a-s.’ Do you realise how ironic the phrase is? I was on the brink of chuckling but ended up asking, “How soon can I leave,” I paused to sweep the room with my disgusted gaze. “this place?”
    “As soon as all the paper work is done,” mum replied. The lawyer added, “Which is way sooner than you think.”
    Later that night and back in my cell where I was being anal raped again, my thoughts weren’t about the pain of having my a-s ripped over and over again, they were about Anna. How did she survive my attack? And if indeed she had survived and was back, why pin the blame on an innocent man? Anna was smart and I wasn’t dumb either so I figured she was brewing revenge, killing two birds with one stone. If she had the guts to send her own husband of more than six years to prison, what more me? I felt chills even though I wasn’t the type to easily get scared nor intimidated. Something told me Anna was planning something nasty for me and only psychopaths do what she was doing. Speaking of psychopaths, I wouldn’t get mad if people deemed me one too…
    .Flashback.
    It was a lazy Friday morning and being my own boss, I opted to skip work cause I had a terrible hangover. It was then that Anna showed up, telling me we were over and she was carrying her husband’s child. To say I was furious is an understatement. First of all, how could she get as careless and fall pregnant and secondly, she was dumping me? No woman had ever dumped Rajesh Sharma and I wasn’t going to let her be the first. I always did the dumping.
    I told Anna to abort the baby and we could continue our relationship but seemed she had made up her mind and was walking away. She was doing exactly the latter when I gripped her by the arm and looked straight into her sexy eyes. “You don’t call the shots, honey.”
    “Neither do you own me, Rajesh. We’re through so the sooner you accept this, the better.” “And the sooner you accept that ladies don’t have the last say in my relationships, the better too.”
    “Am not like all the previous ladies you’ve dated, she retorted. “Am a married and now pregnant woman so please just let me go, Raj. There are so many pretty girls out there and am sure-” “It’s you that I want,” I cut her short.
    She shook her head. “Am no longer available.”
    She tried to free herself from my grip and the harder she tried, the harder I gripped. With her free hand, Anna smacked my face.
    “Let me go!” Biggest mistake of her life cause no woman had ever smacked my face let alone lay a violent finger on me.
    “You’ve crossed the line, Anna, and now am gonna show you what am made of!”
    I pinned her arms behind her back and pushed her onto the couch. “You wanted sex from in the first place, right? You gonna get just that. Maybe I’ve not been f-----g you as you need the past few days and that’s why you’re breaking up with me. Maybe-”
    “Rajesh, Rajesh, Rajesh!” she frantically called. “Please don’t do this.”
    But I had made up my mind too so we struggled for a while until I overpowered her, took off her skirt and panties and penetrated her. “Stop,” she cried. “Am pregnant for crying out loud!”
    “I don’t give a d--n about your baby! Now moan, Anna, moan.”
    She didn’t moan. She pleaded. Anna kept on pleading with me to stop but I got my way with her and raped her until I couldn’t t----t no more so I just rolled off her and slumped beside her. She was sobbing as she dressed up. “You’re a monster whose gonna pay for doing this to me. I’m going straight to the police station from here and am gonna make sure you rot in jail for rape!”
    Second biggest mistake of her life.
    “The only way am going to jail is if I let you leave this house alive, Anna teddy bear.”
    “You’re insane,” she sniffed and picked her bag from the floor.
    “Let me just prove you right then,” I said while carrying her to the bedroom, against her will of course. I then locked the door and pocketed the keys. I turned to face her. “Am so sorry for what am about to do to you because I love you. You pushed me too hard, you really did.”
    “You’re sick!” Anna spat in my face. “Now let me go you psychotic son of a s--t!”
    I wasn’t listening, I reached for my gun in the closet and aimed it at her chest as she gasped.
    “Any last words, Mrs. Anna Mumba Njapau?” “Don’t do this..please. I take back all that I said, Raj. In fact, I’ll abort this baby and elope with you to India so please put the gun down..am begging you. For the sake of the love you just claimed to have for me.”
    “Nice try,” I chuckled and pulled the trigger. Anna fell to the floor as blood gushed out of her chest. I went to where she lay and stomped on her belly. “Rot in hell, my lovely b---h!”
    Now I had a lot of cleaning and cover up to do so without panicking, which came as a surprise to me too, I wrapped Anna in bedsheets after scrubbing and mopping her blood off the floor, took her body to my car’s bonnet and drove to Kafue where I dumped her body in the river. Her body had never been found but I had initially thought it had been eaten by either crocodiles or hippos but now I knew better, the b---h was back for revenge. Well, I was ready for her.
    A day after mum and the lawyer’s visit, I was released from jail. I went back to Lusaka that same day and began following William’s arrest on T.V, via newspapers and social media, and so on and so forth.
    Anna seemed pretty convinced William had attempted to murder her that even I was starting to believe she indeed had lost her memory as rumour had it. Well, good for me. Now what was going to happen when she regains it? It was then that I thought of fleeing to India but being an ex convict, I couldn’t leave the country just yet.
    I had only stayed with mum for at least two weeks when I met Anna in a boutique. It was her who approached me first, “Hey handsome.” She had this look of innocence in her eyes.
    “Hi.” “Can we continue our relationship from where it ended?”
    If she was mocking me, I couldn’t tell. “Why not?”
    Anna smiled and hugged me. I rubbed her back. Let me make things clear here, if Anna was planning on doing something nasty to me, she had another thing coming cause this time around I planned on killing her and watching her corpse burn to ashes.
    But for now as the saying goes, ‘Keep your friends close but your enemies closer…’

    Sequence 19

    COREEN
    My mind was made up. Either Cephas tells me the entire truth or I divorce his sorry a-s and move on with my life. I had a Bachelor’s in Business Administration after all so I’d just find myself a job and start my life anew, that’s if my dear husband decides to remain adamant.
    I arrived home with a bag in my hands just for the maid to gratefully sigh and say, “Thank God you are finally home, madam. The boss is in the bedroom drinking heavily, as he does lately. You go talk to him cause honestly I’ve tried my best!”
    “It’s fine, Rosemary. I’ll get through to him.”
    I knocked on our bedroom door and told him it was me. Cephas opened the door quite sooner than I had anticipated.
    “Coreen,” he called. “You’re back to me..For good, right?” I couldn’t break the news to him in his current state lest he does something uncalled for so I said, “Yes, Darling. But for starters, you’ll go into the bathroom and have a cold shower, take a nap and I’ll prepare coffee when you wake up. Am sure you’ll be feeling fresh by then.”
    He tightly hugged me. “I’ll do exactly as you say, my dear wife. When I came here and found you gone, I thought you would never come back. Thanks for coming back!”
    He was drunk and was starting to get emotional. Not wanting to have to deal with a crying man, I pushed him into the bathroom and urged he showers.
    I cleaned the bedroom as he showered and spread the bed for him. An hour later, I was seated beside my husband who was fast asleep. I couldn’t help but miss those old days when our marriage was almost perfect. The only thing that had been lacking was a child. I sighed and brushed a kiss on his lips.
    “I love you, Cephas Mwaba. I’ll always will.”
    I waited until he was sober and we were having supper..that’s when I broke the news to him.
    “I want a divorce.”
    “Pardon?” he dropped his nshima back on the plate and looked at me as if he was seeing me for the first time.
    I leaned back in my seat. “This marriage isn’t working, Cephas, thanks to your dishonesty. I thought married people aren’t supposed to keep secrets from each other but that’s now the case with you. Am the one who sees Lubuto’s ghost, not you. It’s me she torments and who knows why she’d pick me? Maybe it’s because am her twin sister or its because am married to you, her man and murderer.”
    “Lubuto is your twin sister? And no, I didn’t murder her.” “She is my twin, granny told me so today. And the other day when you told me half of the story, you told me Lubuto had died after you forced her to have an abortion which in my book makes you her murderer. Look here, Cephas. Am giving you a fortnight to man up and tell me exactly what you had done to Lubuto for her ghost to be haunting me and don’t you dare cook up bullshit stories!” I was too angry to continue eating thus I pushed my chair back and stood after washing my hands. “Two weeks, Cephas. And I’ll be gone, for good this time around cause I’ll divorce your sorry a-s!”
    “Coreen-”
    “Don’t you Coreen me!” I shouted and walked out on him. A whole week past and he wasn’t telling me nothing. Maybe the nigga thought I was bluffing no wonder I went to a lawyer and was given divorce papers which I signed right away. When Cephas came back from his business ventures that evening, he found the divorce papers waiting for him on the bed.
    “They’re already signed,” I told him, matter of factly, as he picked them from the bed. “You’ve got one week left, Cephas.” I turned to leave the bedroom but stopped when he told me to.
    “Come take a seat,” he said and patted the edge of the bed.
    I quietly sat.
    “You really wanna know what I’d done to Lubuto, don’t you?” “I wanna know so quit beating around the bush and go straight to the point please.”
    He buried his head in his palms while exasperating. “What if the truth pushes you farther away from me?”
    “Let me be the one to decide that.” “Fine..Oh God, this is tough. Remember I told you I’d forced Lubuto to have an abortion? That was a lie. I had drugged her juice, Coreen, and had watched her wince and wriggle on the floor as she bled immensely. All I wanted was for her to lose the baby so that I could finally get rid of the manipulative b---h but I think the pregnancy was quite big that time no wonder the bleeding didn’t cease and before I knew it, she was gasping for breath and begging I take her to the hospital. As I dilly-dallied around the room while pacing and thinking about what I was going to do next, Lubuto took one deep breath and went still. I panicked, thinking she was dead and not knowing she had just passed out. What to do with the dead body, I didn’t know.” “Go on, am still listening.”
    “Can you give me some goddamn time? This is harder than it looks, Coreen!” He snapped and lowered his voice afterwards. “But there was this Richard guy who had approached me about ritual killings and all so I thought he’d know what to do with the body so I called him. He showed up at my house half an hour later with a cooler box full of ice and a sharp butcher knife in the other hand.
    ‘We’re taking her heart out,’ he announced as he knelt before Lubuto who lay in a pool of blood.
    ‘We? I’ve done half the job so you just do it, man!’
    ‘Fine. Just come help me cut her up first. Come on, don’t be such a p---y!’ I truthfully don’t know where I mustered the courage from but I knelt beside him and with his instructions, begun cutting Lubuto’s chest open. And then she suddenly gasped and opened her eyes, I threw the knife with a yelp.
    ‘We have to finish the job,’ said Richard as he picked the knife up.
    ‘Please,’ Lubuto had pleaded. ‘Ceph Donut, you’re killing me.’ ‘Its too late,’ Richard hissed and cut her up and pulled her heart out. Lubuto glared at me, then the heart and mumbled, ‘This isn’t over yet, Ceph Donut.’ She breathed her last and died.”
    This level of wickedness was weakening me to the bone. “What happened next?”
    “Geez..we cleaned the house, buried her body in the middle of nowhere and sold the heart. The police investigated after Lubuto’s mum made noise but they found nothing so the case got closed.”
    “These riches that you have, the money you got after selling Lubuto’s heart is the capital, right?”
    “Does it really matter?” “Of course it does!”
    “If it makes you feel any better,” he stood and t----t his hands into his pockets. “It isn’t. My conscience got the better of me so I gave all the money to Richard, I swear on my late father’s grave! The guy is filthy rich now and resides in Dubai. My riches come from my inheritance.” The only words I could utter were, “You’re wicked, Cephas. Whether Lubuto was a pain in the a-s or not, that doesn’t give you the right to do what you had done to her. Am afraid after this confession, I can’t continue being your wife.”
    He knelt before me. “Don’t do this to me, Coreen. You know am nothing without you! Please,” his eyes were teary. “I don’t care, Cephas. What if I annoy you one day and you decide to slit my throat and sell my heart too?” I vigorously shook my head. “I love you but this is bigger than me so please kindly sign those divorce papers as soon as possible. If you really love me, as much as you say you do, the least you can do for me is sign the divorce papers and set me free.” I moved out of Cephas’ house the following day and found me a house in Kalingalinga. It was high time I straightened my life out.
    For the next few days, Cephas and Granny kept on bombarding my phone with calls and texts so I broke my old SIM card and bought a new one. I was listening to knews on the radio one day when I heard about Anna resurfacing and claiming William had attempted to murder her.
    Two weeks later, I womaned up and paid Anna a visit at her place. She wasn’t around when I arrived so I decided to wait for a while. When she finally showed up driving a new car, I braced myself for the moment I’d been waiting for. My reunion with her. “Anna!” I rushed to hug her when she got out of the car but she pushed me away.
    “What do you want?” she rudely asked me while locking the car.
    I was more shocked than surprised. “Aren’t you happy to see me?”
    “Why would I be happy to see a backstabbing b---h?” That stung!
    She went on to say, “We’ve been friends for almost a decade, Coreen. And I survive a fatal incident and hear from mum that you produced a recording of me and Rajesh having sex and also had pics of us holding hands? What exactly were you planning on doing with that evidence?” “I messed up, Anna, and am sorry. We’ll discuss that later cause right now am curious. I really wanna know who is innocent and guilty between Rajesh and William and also, what had happened to you cause I was even convinced you were dead.”
    “And I bet you were thrilled. Sorry to cut your happiness short but only the good die young so I ain’t dying any time soon and about your other concern, since you’ve become CNN slash FBI, I reckon you imvestigate and find out who the real culprit is but for now please freaking leave my premises before I embarrass you!”
    With that, she did a catwalk to her porch and took keys out of her purse. She was mad at me and had every right to be so I convinced myself all she needed was time and I was going to give her just that.
    When I arrived at my new place, I found her seated on the couch watching T.V.
    “I didn’t know ghosts watch TV too,” I froze in the doorway. “I’ve left Cephas so what else do you want from me?”
    “Your help.” “And what makes you think am willing to help you this time around?”
    “Because you don’t have a choice,” Kimono me stood and approached me. “Cephas is yet to pay for what he did to me.” she gripped both my arms and disappeared. I felt a weird sensation and then something scary happened.
    I could remember Kimono me meet Cephas, them making love, she talking to her mum on the phone, Cephas watching her bleed and they taking out her heart. I could remember Kimono me’s life so accurately that it felt as if am the one who had gone through all that she had.

    Sequence 20

    ANNA
    I open my eyes to a different ceiling and a woman beside my bed. She looks tired and terribly sleepy. “You’re awake,” she gratefully says. “I’ve been waiting for this day for over a month now! I was even beginning to lose hope.” “Where am I?” “In Kafue,” she flatly says. “Do you know who you’re are?” What a stupid question to ask someone, I think. Of course I know who I am you old b---h! But her question gives me an idea. A sick idea if I may add. “I can’t remember a thing,” I lie. “What happened to me?” “My husband and I picked you at the bank of the river almost a month ago.
    You were unconscious and had a gunshot wound. Being doctors, we brought you here and treated you.” “Thanks,” am grateful, for real. But I’ve got vengeance to tend to so I say, “Where’s the bathroom?” “Let me show you,” she helps me up and takes me to the bathroom where she waits for me outside. Later in the evening, she and her husband tell me my name as they’ve been following my case on the T.V. The husband is saying, “I know you have amnesia and all but I feel you have the right to know,” he pauses for admission from the wife. “You’re pregnant.” “I don’t remember anything,” I repeat for the tenth time this evening, looking lost. “We’ll help you regain your memory,” the wife laments. “My husband and I, we will. We want justice for what was done to you.”
    “Thank you, you’re a blessing.” I spend two weeks here and think I’ll lose my mind if I don’t escape so I write a note one evening. ‘I’ve regained my memory..I am really grateful for all you’ve done for me and my unborn baby and I assure you justice will now be served. I would have loved to get to know you more but I’ll bring you more harm than good so am better off back home. Thanks once again and may the Lord abundantly bless you. With love, Anna Njapau Mumba.’ I pack my bags and hit the road..Time for payback, William and Rajesh, I smirk as I board a bus to Lusaka. That was a few weeks ago. I was now seated in my car, a car Willy’s sugar mama had bought for him. How ironic, Ha! I sipped on my wine while playing Candy Crash as I waited for Doctor Mainza. You wondering who Dr. Mainza is, right? Just some dude who’d been hitting on me back in college and now I was here waiting for him to arrive cause there was something important I wanted to discuss with him. As I waited, I thought about my vengeance plot and how things were going according to plan so far. For starters, that cheat William Njapau was behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. This was his punishment for cheating on me with that old hag lady Valerie.
    See I had known all along that he was cheating on me. The condom incident had been what had alerted me and spying on him closely for the next few weeks, I came to learn William was sleeping with Lady Valerie. Wonderful! I am a staunch believer in ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’ so I began cheating on him with Rajesh but as you all are aware by now, things went haywire and now I was here at some hospital, taking my next step in my revenge plot towards Rajesh. Oh the b-----d was going to dearly pay for raping, shooting and dumping me in a river. I hadn’t figured out exactly how I was going to make him pay but its one step at a time so I’d get there eventually. Since am talking about payback, Coreen should consider herself one lucky b---h for not appearing on my list cause what she had done to me had stung like a b---h!
    Mum had been euphoric when I turned up at her house a few weeks back. She had been in the garden watering her favourite plants when I arrived and she had thrown the hose pipe upon seeing me, screaming for help. “Am not a ghost,” I said, spreading my arms. “It’s me, your daughter Anna. I survived the attack, mother. I survived William’s attack.” “Did you say William’s attack? I thought it was that Indian guy..whatever his name is, who had attacked you. Coreen had been so convinced. She had even produced evidence proving you had been having an affair with him!” “She had produced evidence?” instead of us having the perfect reunion that we so deserved, we ended up sitting on rocks discussing Coreen who was nothing but a backstabbing excuse for a friend! Mum finally sighed, “I still can’t believe am here talking to you, baby girl. This feels like a dream.” “You aren’t dreaming,” I hugged her. When the hug was broken, she sternly said, “I only ask one thing from you though.” “Anything for you.” “You stay away from Coreen cause she isn’t a true friend.” “I hear you.” Now seated in the car, I sheepishly smiled. Karma was already doing a number on Coreen cause rumour had it she and her ritualistic husband were having a hiccup and were currently on separation.
    Good for them. I caught a glimpse of Mainza who was smartly dressed, getting out of his car. “Game on,” I happily mumbled, taking my make up kit out of my bag so that I could beautify myself more. When I was done, I got out of my free car which I loved so much and locked it. I glanced at my outfit once again, perfect. Red really short and tight skirt that revealed my inticing thighs, white lacy top which showed my bra, black high heels, Peruvian hair on point, make up on point! I did a catwalk into the building straight to Dr. Mainza’s secretary’s desk. “Am here to see the doctor,” I told her. She looked at me, looking bored. “Do you have an appointment?” “Am afraid not.” “I’m sorry, you can’t see him without an appointment.” “Kindly tell him it’s an old friend of his, Anna Mumba.” She hesitated for a while and finally called Mainza. “Somebody is here to see you but they have no appointment ,” she spoke into the phone. “I told her exactly that but she insisted….says she’s an old friend by the name of?” she gestured I give her my name again.
    “Anna Mumba,” I mouthed. “Anna Mumba,” she repeated and then, “Fine..right away.” She placed the receiver down and gave me a plastic smile. “Next corridor, third door on your left.” “Thank you.” I knocked on Mainza’s door and he called from inside saying I could go in. “Anna,” he was on his feet as soon as he saw me. “You look ravishing, as usual.” “You don’t look bad either.” We shared a brief hug and he offered me a seat. Dr. Mainza asked if I wanted anything to drink and I said no. “I won’t lie, am surprised to see you here after so many years.” “Am surprised am here too but,” I cleared my throat. “Desperate times call for desperate measures.” “Indeed. So, how may I help you?” “This is complicated,” I said, more to myself than him. “Mainza, sorry, its Dr. Mainza now. I- I want you to do me a huge favour, I’ll pay you, of course. I’m- I’d like you to make a fake report for me. I need you to make it seem like am dying, leukaemia or some tumour will do. Just make it seem like am really sick.” “Jesus, Anna! Why would anyone wanna fake an illness? Besides, I’d lose my license if this comes to light.
    Am sorry, I can’t risk my license.” I knew he’d say such stuff. The f----r had always been annoying after all. I played my cards very well. “What if I gave you something that you’ve always wanted to have?” He reluctantly leaned back in his seat. “And may I ask what that is?” “My body,” I blurted out and before he could argue, I stood from my seat and went to sit on his laps, pulling my skirt all the way up to my bums and giving him a lap dance. He was getting hard down there really fast so I abruptly stood. “Why did you stop?” his tone was full of lust for me. I pulled my skirt down, “Because, honey, I’ll only give you my cookie once you agree to forge them papers.” He bit his lower lip. “D--n, Anna! D--n you!” he couldn’t stand because of his erect d--k so he just pressed his eyes with his fingers. “I accept.” “That’s my boy! Let me now tell you what I want you to do for me.” Men, we women will always be your downfall! Speaking of people’s downfalls, I was visiting William at the police station two days later. “Why are you doing this?” No hi or hello, I noted. “Because I want to.” “Why, Anna? How did I ever wrong you for you to frame me in such a manner?”
    “Oh please don’t be dramatic! William, you were f-----g an old lady while married to me and you expect me to be laughing my a-s off about it?” “As if you didn’t f--k that Indian guy,” he smirked. “Don’t preach water and drink wine, Anna.” “You started the cheating, I was only reciprocating.” “You cheated, we’re even. Now can you kindly go tell the police who the real culprit is and let me out of here? If you want a divorce, I’ll give you one.” I shook my head pitifully. “You don’t get it, do you? William, what I want is revenge. You pushed me to cheat and disgrace myself in the process. I almost died you know.” “You’re accountable for that,” he pointed out. “To you,” I retorted. “But to me, you’re.” “You’ll pay for this!” “When? Cause you’ll be an old man if and when you leave this place and by then our child, let me rephrase that, my child will be all grown up and will hate you with every fibre of their being.” He leaned in and narrowed his eyes. “For our child’s sake, please reconsider. I promise to become your puppet.” I laughed, sarcastically of course. The kind of laughing where one claps and ululates. “Am not up for negotiations so see you in court, Mr. William Njapau.”
    The day of the first court hearing arrived almost a week later. Lots of people were present for the hearing. Rajesh, Coreen, Cephas and many more people inclusive. I was the first to get sworn in. “Tell us about the kind of relationship you and your husband share,” said the lawyer. I cleared my throat. “Once upon a time, the defendant and I had shared a strong bond. But things started going sour when he began working for a music industry run by one Lady Valerie. My husband started slipping through my fingers slowly and before I knew it, he was having an affair with his boss. When I confronted him, he beat me up and told me all normal men cheat on their wives because that’s what men do.” I lied, while crying and being all dramatic. I lied so convincingly that where he was seated, William couldn’t close his mouth. You messed with the wrong b---h, man. Anyway, I lied so much that what William said seemed useless. After all, the husbands are always guilty, not so? The court hearing was adjourned but in the end, William was found guilty of attempted murder and was sentenced to 20 years in prison with hard labour. When the judge passed the verdict, William’s mum wailed while other people gasped. But my gaze was focused on Rajesh who swallowed, obviously thinking he was the luckiest man alive. If you ask me, he was actually the unluckiest man alive cause I was coming for him next. One down, one more left.

    Sequence 21

    CEPHAS
    Nobody ever has to go through what I was going through. Man, my life was totally messed up! I sat at the dining table, totally sober, and watched them divorce papers spread right on the table. Coreen’s signature neatly scribbled at the bottom, she was set on divorcing me and I loved her too much to tie her to a relationship she wanted nothing to do with so today I finally grew some balls and grabbed myself a ballpen. I was gonna sign the divorce papers and move on with my meaningless life. Maybe being alone for the rest of my life was the price I got to pay for s------g Lubuto like I had done. Oh God, I hated the b---h!
    I was almost signing when the knock at the door came. Perfect timing. I rose and went to see who had decided to pay a lousy man like me a visit. “Who is it?” “It’s me..Coreen.” Coreen? I wondered what she wanted but I wasn’t gonna get my hopes up so I just opened the door a fraction. “Hi.” “Hey. Can I come in?” “Why not?” I closed the door after she was in the house and followed her to the kitchen where she headed. “Am starving,” she said, opening and closing cupboard doors and finally the fridge. “Have you eaten?” Yeah..had breakfast this morning though I failed to eat the lunch that Rosemary prepared for me because am missing you. How cliche. So I said, “Nop. Am not in the mood to cook.” “Then today’s your lucky day cause I’ll cook you something.” “Am looking forward to eating your food again cause I missed it like hell!” She laughed, heartily. “You sure did.” I took a seat as I watched her bustle around the kitchen. Getting flour, beating some eggs and such. “You’re stalling,” I finally managed to say. She didn’t turn to look at me. “What do you mean?” “You want something, Coreen, so spit it out.” This got her attention and she turned to face me.
    “I sure do. Um…the past few days have made me realize something.” “Tell me about it.” Coreen took a few strides towards me and sat too. “I love you too much to stay away from you, Cephas. Lubuto is all in the past so I think am willing to continue being your wife.” “Just like that?” something was off here. “Just like that,” repeated Coreen who stood to come kiss me, smearing flour on my face and laughing. “Gosh, you look d--n sexy!” She sure had missed me. “Why don’t we have a quickie then?” I suggested but she shook her head and said, “We gotta eat first so that I have strength to ride you like a horse.” “Mmm, am liking the new you.” “You’ll like me even better by the time this night ends.” She baked us some delicious scones, grilled pork and opened a bottle of champagne. That’s what we had for supper. What a weird combination though, just saying. After clearing the table, Coreen held my hand and seductively led me to the bedroom where she pushed me onto the bed. “I’ve got a show for you so relax and watch.” She took off her clothes so that she was only wearing her best lingerie. And then a show she did give me. Swaying her hips from side to side, giving me a lap dance, dancing in a sexy manner for minutes. She practically gave me the best strip show I’d ever seen in my entire life. And then I was ready to go so I aggressively took off my shirt. I was reaching for my buckle when she softly slapped my hand and slowly shook her head. “It’s my show tonight so I’ll call the shots.
    Trust me to take care of you, honey.” The last time I’d seen Coreen in such a h---y mood had been some months ago so I just shrugged and raised my arms in surrender. “I hear you, boss.” “I think you should call me that more often.” She meticulously took off my belt and pulled down my trousers. When I was totally naked, she insisted I lay back on the bed so that she sits on me and rides me as she had promised back in the kitchen. Am a lucky man, I thought. Coreen sat on me and rode from side to side while my body burst with passion. She rode so slowly that the c----x was intense. Coreen collapsed on top of me. “I love you,” she breathlessly whispered. “I love you too. Let’s go for another round, my way this time.” “Fair enough.” We had one more round and finally fell asleep stark naked. I awoke the following morning and got out of bed. Coreen wasn’t in the bedroom but I could catch some sweet aroma so I knew she was probably preparing breakfast. I stood in front of the mirror to stretch myself, that’s when I saw it. Am ashamed to admit this but I screamed. The girly kinda screaming. My manhood was literally gone! I was plain down there, y’all. “Coreen!” “Hey sweety,” she appeared in the doorway a minute later, all smiles. “Why the screaming?” “My d--k is gone. What did you do to me? Is this your way of avenging your sister’s death? Juju? Like for real?” “Are you seriously this dumb? My God,” she slapped her forehead in frustration. “I went an extra mile and possessed your stupid wife you fool. Need I introduce myself? Fine, my names are Lubuto Bwalya and am officially back, b---h!” I felt weak in the knees so I sat on the bed and almost cried.
    Not because I was now dickless but because Coreen was going through hell because of me. “Why punish an innocent woman for my sins, huh Lubuto Bwalya?” “Honey, you the last person whose supposed to ask me such. You murdered my baby, our baby. Wasn’t he just an innocent soul?” “You want revenge for our dead baby? I think you already got it when you caused Coreen to miscarry so I think now all that’s left is to avenge your death and what best way than to kill me?” I said and stood, spreading my arms. “Am all yours. But please leave Coreen’s body and let her live her life in peace! She never did nothing wrong to you for Christ’s sake!” She laughed. “Whatever. Revenge is a dish best served cold, honey. Now dress up cause you look pathetic. And oh, you want your d--k back? You ain’t getting it back, ever! That’s your punishment for s------g other women who aren’t me.” “You’re a psycho. How am I going to be peeing?” “Magically..Go to the toilet and give it a shot. Urine might just come out your a-s, who knows?” she shrugged and laughed with mockery before heading back to the kitchen. I got dressed and left for work. But I didn’t go for work cause I kept on driving in circles wondering how I was going to rid myself of some psychotic ghost. Church, you’d say. Well some of us just don’t believe in God, no offense, so I instead parked by the roadside where an ad about some herbal man was stuck on a pole. You know those ads about penis enlargement, bringing back lost lovers, easy money and all? Yeah, that one. I took my phone out of my pocket and dialed the number advertised on the paper. Somebody picked up after the fifth ring. “Dr. Kwasakwasa’s assistant,” said a soft female voice. “Who am I talking to?”
    “Cephas Mwaba. I’d like to make an appointment with the Doctor.” “My pleasure…” I was told I could see the man that same day and his assistant gave me directions to his place. I was in Matero within an hour, traffic issues, would probably have arrived in less than 30 minutes cause am really a fast driver. I ain’t bragging. Anyway, the house was modern but the man’s office wasn’t. I was ushered into the office which had red clothes draped on all walls. The Dr. himself was seated on some kind of ancient and creepy throne. He was shirtless and had traditional tattoos all over him. There was a calabash in the centre of the room and a huge book beside the calabash. Human or animal bones weren’t an exception in the room either. In short, it was as creepy as f--k but that didn’t matter cause me being dickless right now was even creepier. “Take a seat, please.” I quietly sat on the reedmat with my legs crossed. “Dr. Kwasakwasa, I-” “You needn’t tell me why you’re here cause I already know, courtesy of the god I serve. So even before I go far, I’d like to tell you am really expensive cause you’ll never go wrong with me. You’ll be rid of that ghost which is haunting you in no time if you promise to pay me well.” “Money isn’t an issue. How much are we talking about?” “K20,000.” “Deal. I’ll pay.” He smiled. “Let’s get down to business..” the witchdoctor got out of his seat and that’s when I noticed he had a live snake wrapped round his waist. I cringed while he sat opposite me, looking into his empty calabash.
    “A vengeful ghost is really dangerous but I believe we can subdue her with my charms.” “And my manhood?” I sheepishly asked. “Will I get it back?” “You sure will. All we need to do is dig up her remains which I’ll burn after sprinkling them with my charms and chanting some spells of course and your life will go back to normal.” “Her remains?” I exclaimed. “The b---h has been dead for almost a dozen years!” “There’s always remains, my boy.” “But we buried her in the copperbelt!” “Distance shouldn’t be a barrier for someone who has a car, should it be?” “No..it shouldn’t.” The witchdoctor and I started off for the copperbelt at 4PM such that it was almost 9PM when we arrived in Ndola. I drove him straight to where Richard and I had buried Lubuto several years earlier. “Will you be able to remember the spot?” asked Dr. Kwasakwasa once we arrived in the bushy area. “I think so,” I confidently said. “I will.” “Good..let’s wait for midnight then.” And for midnight we waited. “It’s time,” he announced, getting his bag full of charms and getting out of the car. I got out too and got a spade and pick from the bonnet. “Let’s go,” he whispered, urging I lead the way. The bushes were d--n dark but I led the way anyway. We arrived at the spot which had a lot of grass but I was certain it was here where we had buried the b---h. “It’s here,” I pointed at the spot. “You sure?” “100 percent sure.” “Good, start digging.” And digging I started. If it meant me digging up Lubuto’s remains for me to get my manhood back and rid myself of her goddamn ghost, so be it!

    Sequence 22

    ANNA
    The next phase begun a few days later. See I’d been clinging to Rajesh while trying everything humanly possible to convince him that I remembered not anything about his attack. We had been laying in bed a few days back after a steamy love session when Rajesh tactfully said, “I still don’t get why you’d decide to keep a lunatic’s baby. Why don’t you just have an abortion?” “I ain’t no murderer, Raj. Willy had hurt me and he’ll be paying for his sins for the next twenty years so I got no business killing an innocent baby.” I wrapped my arms round his waist and pulled him closer to me. “Look here, I myself didn’t plan to have this baby but s--t happened so I’ve already figured what to do with it once it’s born.”
    “Really?” his eyes shone with excitement. “You gonna give it up for adoption or something?” “Kind of..I’ll give the baby to my parents who’ll be more than thrilled to raise him or her.” “That’s not a bad idea,” he kissed me. “That’s why I love you.” “I love you more. And once the baby is born, you and I will have all the fun we want.” “I can’t wait.” A few days later, I convinced Rajesh to go shopping with me. “But I’ve got work to do,” he complained. I convinced him to come with me in the end though. We were in PEP store where I was picking some stuff for my unborn baby even though I was only three months and some weeks pregnant. I picked a pair of pretty unisex tiny shoes and showed them to Rajesh who looked extremely bored. “How do you like these, Raj?” “They’re nice.” I threw them in the basket that he was carrying and inwardly cussed when I couldn’t spot Mainza. Where the hell was he? Speak or think of the devil in this case, he showed up right in front of Rajesh and I. He too had a basket and was pretending to shop. Game on. I let Rajesh take a few steps ahead of me before stopping in my tracks and faintly uttering, “Rajesh.” He turned almost immediately. “Anna, what’s wrong?” I was massaging my temples, all for show. “I feel dizzy.” Raj hurriedly put the basket down and rushed to my aid. “Must be the pregnancy, you really need some rest.” “I think so too.” He wrapped a hand round my shoulder and picked the basket with his free hand. That’s when I fainted, for fake.
    Raj was kneeling before me while calling my name and shaking me. I could hear footsteps and figured people had come to watch. And then came Mainza’s voice, “Am a doctor, everybody excuse me. Let me through..” he repeated to Rajesh, “Am a doctor. Let me check her.” “Sure do,” Raj sounded really concerned. Maybe he did love me after all. Well too late cause I wasn’t gonna get sentimental at this stage because the wheels were already in motion. Mainza was feeling my pulse and checking my eyes. “We need to take her to the hospital asap.” “What’s wrong with her, Doc?” “I think her blood pressure is high but I need to run some tests on her first.” Raj and Mainza carried me to Raj’s car and laid me in the backseat. Raj got behind the wheel while Mainza went to his car to lead the way. Once at the hospital, I was put on a stretcher and rushed to the emergency room where Mainza ran a series of tests on me. I feingned gaining consciousness almost an hour later. “Where am I?” I asked Rajesh who was hovering over me. “In the hospital, sweetie. You fainted.” “I remember.” and then I exclaimed, “My baby! Is it alright?” “It’s in perfect condition,” replied Mainza, smiling. “Am Doctor Mainza.” The fake results came out in the evening and Raj and I were summoned to Mainza’s office who offered us a seat while wearing a grim expression on his face.
    “I’m afraid I have some bad news for you,” he warily said. Raj looked worried. “Tell us already, doctor.” “Is it fine if I divulge the news to you in his presence, Ms. Anna?” “It’s more than fine,” I replied and joined hands with Raj under the desk. Mainza sighed. “You have a brain tumour, Ms. Anna.” “No, no, no!” I was shaking and crying in no time. “It can’t be.” Rajesh hugged me really tight. “Hush, baby girl, hush. Doc, how long does she got left? To live, I mean. Or is the tumour curable?” “Am afraid it’s not. She’s only get less than a year, I guage.” I broke down and staged some million dollar drama about why God would allow such a thing happen to me. I was getting dressed later that evening after sleeping with Mainza in his house when I said, “What a show you pulled down back at the hospital.” “You just pulled down a show yourself a few minutes ago. When next can we do this again?” I strapped my bra on. “Whenever I feel like. For now, I need you to summon Raj to your office and feed him some lies about how the tumour has messed with my brain and such so I ain’t never fully regaining my memory. The guy isn’t really smart so he’ll believe whatever bullshit you feed him.” “What game are you playing, Anna?”
    “That’s none of your business, mister.” I received a call from Mainza a day later informing me he’d talked to Raj earlier that day. “And?” I asked him. He replied, “He believed me. He seemed happy though, don’t know why.” “I know why. Thanks, Mainza. I owe you one.” “You sure do owe me. Let’s hook up this weekend.” “No problem. Bye.” “Bye.” Raj had moved in with me ever since he learnt I had a brain tumour. Nigga please! So when he arrived home that night, I rushed into his arms and begun crying. “Am dying, Raj.” “Don’t talk like that.” “There’s no need to sugar coat s--t, sweetheart. Am dying so let’s face it. But I wanna ask you for one last favour. Consider it a dying person’s last wish.” He was raking a finger through my weave. “Anything for my queen.” “Will you marry me, Raj?” He let go of me so that we could look at each other. “You do realise you just proposed to me, right?” “And am not ashamed.” Rajesh leaned in and kissed me quite with intense passion.
    “Of course I’ll marry you, Anna my love.” “Thank you, Raj my eternal love. You just made me the happiest woman alive cause I know I’ll get to spend my last days on earth with the love of my life.” Inwardly, I said, you just signed your death sentence you punk a-s nigga. The following day, I visited a lawyer and got myself some divorce papers which I took with me to visit William in prison that afternoon. “Am surprised the witch Cleopatra decided to visit me. Do you miss me already? To what do I owe this honour?” Willy mocked me as he sat opposite me. “Hello to you too, my dear soon to be ex husband. And I like what you just called me. I might as well call our child Cleopatra if it’s a girl.” “Suit yourself. Now tell me what you want, Anna.” “If you’re so impatient then I’ll go straight to the point,” I pursed my lips and took the divorce papers out of my bag, a ballpen too. “Sign them, Willy.” “And give you the freedom to marry whomever you please? I ain’t signing them, baby.” “What if I told you if you sign them, you’ll get the chance to name our baby and you’ll also be seeing him or her quite a number of times cause I’ll be bringing them to visit you?
    Willy, if you sign these papers, I won’t instigate our child against you, I swear on it’s life.” “Wow, you really are desperate. Gist me, what’s the catch?” “It’s none of your business, Willy. If you need time to think about this, I understand.” “I don’t need time,” he said while going through the papers. “Am trusting you this one time, Anna.” “Thanks.” He finally signed. “You ever heard of Karma?” “That’s a dumb question to ask someone.” “Call me names, Anna, but Karma is coming for you cause it never forgets an address.” “Keep telling yourself that, honey,” I rose to my feet and got my things. “See you when next I come here.” Once outside, I gave Rajesh a call. “Willy has signed the papers. You and I can legally get married now.” “Am thrilled,” he sounded thrilled as he said. “Love you.” “Love you too.” No sooner did I get off the call with Raj than I called Mainza to ask him where we’d meet. When I was off the phone with him, I adjusted my sunglasses and smiled. I was gonna become Raj’s wife just for me to become his rich widow soon. You can call me a black widow in advance if you like…

    Sequence 23

    CEPHAS
    “Dig my boy, dig!” Dr. Kwasakwasa kept on urging me much to my unwanted frustration so I replied, “You might as well drop that juju bag of yours and help with the digging if you want things to go faster!” and then I realized how rude I had sounded so I quickly apologetically said, “Am sorry, that came out wrong. I’m just tired..and scared.” “Man up,” he patted my shoulder. “Now continue digging.” “On it.” And so I dug and dug until I found the polythene bag in which Richard and I had wrapped Lubuto’s dead body on the night of her murder. “Doctor, kindly place the torch down and help me get the remains out of this ditch.” “That I’ll gladly do,” he put his bag down and placed the torch at an angle where we could quite clearly see.
    The polythene bag was super light but I could hear some clanking sounds while we put it on the grass, probably them bones was what was causing the noise. “What next?” I asked as I wiped beads of sweat off my forehead. The Doctor said, “We unwrap the remains and then I’ll do my thing. You unwrap them as I collect my bag and start sorting things out.” “Sure,” I bent down and slowly unwrapped the bones and the stench that hit my nostrils was dreadful and unbearable. “S--t! This stinks.” I was on the verge of puking cause I’d never in my entire life come across something that stinky. Dr. Kwasakwasa quietly came to where I stood with my nose covered and shook his head. “Rich people never cease to amaze me..it’s just a scent, boy!” he chuckled. “If only you knew what I had to do or go through for me to be where I am right now.” The chirping of the birds was eerie and so was the darkness itself. I glanced around the bushes and said, “I don’t even wanna know, no offense.” “None taken.” He took a bottle of some unknown substance and handed it to me. “You sprinkle this on the bones while chanting the dead girl’s name. Don’t chant her name more than three times.” I got the bottle from him and nodded, later sprinkling the substance on the bones.
    “Lubuto Bwalya..Lubuto Bwalya..Lubuto Bwalya.” “Good,” he got the bottle from me when I was done and handed me a new surgical blade. “Now cut yourself on the palm and let your blood drop onto the bones.” I was a bit skeptical this time around cause blood isn’t something that should be messed with, am just saying. “Do I really have to do this? I mean, can’t you just burn the freaking bones already so that we can leave this evil place once and for all.” “You want us to leave this place as soon as possible? Then do as I say without asking me stupid questions,” Dr. Kwasakwasa t----t the blade into my right hand. “Do it!” “Yes, sir!” I did it. Seemed my part was done for now cause he took over the sprinkling of stuff and did some incantations. He then loudly said, “Lubuto Bwalya, I command your soul to rest in peace but for now, Cephas here has something to say to you.” “I do?” I asked him, surprised. “Yes you do,” he nodded. “Just let it be from your heart, hurry.” “Okay..okay!” I took a deep breath and warily said, “Lubuto Bwalya, the mother of my first child. The child who never even got to see the Sun thanks to my evil deeds. Lubuto, I sincerely apologize for what I’d done to my child and you..please forgive me. I also pray you finally find peace.” “Not bad,” mumbled the witchdoctor who reached into his bag for kerosene which he poured on the bones. He took out a box of matches, lit a stick and dropped it on the bones which instantaneously caught fire. “It’s done.” “Thank you.”
    “Now we have to wait for the bones to burn to ashes and then we can sprinkle the ashes in any river and then we’ll call it a day.” We waited for over an hour but the bones didn’t turn to ashes even though they were aflame. “Are they supposed to take this long?” I finally asked. His answer was curt, “No.” “Then what’s going on?” “What’s going on,” it was Lubuto’s voice which replied. “is that getting rid of me isn’t this easy.” She was standing on the other side of the ditch, clad in the kimono that she had been wearing on the day of her death. Blood was smeared all over the outfit. The Doctor pointed his cane at her, “I rebuke you to go back to whatever hole you just crawled out of!” “Oh please!” Lubuto snapped and then laughed. “Am gonna have fun dealing with you both.” I don’t know why but I hurriedly stood in front of the doctor and spread my arms. “You wanna punish someone, make it me and please leave the doctor out of this because he has nothing to do with your death!”
    “But he’s here disturbing my prescious desolate grave, Ceph Donut. And such I don’t forgive!” “Move, boy,” I was shoved aside by the doctor who blew some powdered charm at Lubuto. Lubuto staggered but was on her feet in no time, shrieking. “Is that all you got? Let me show you what am made of then!” She raised her hands in the air and as if following her hand gestures, the doctor was raised into the air and dropped with a thud beside Lubuto’s bones which were no longer burning and were unscathed. The Doctor was wriggling in the grass as stuff took itself out of his bag and the contents sprinkled themselves on him. The kerosene bottle was last to pour all the kerosene on his body. “Lubuto, stop. Please,” I pleaded with her where I was fixed as I couldn’t move. Figured Lubuto had cast some spell to prevent either the doctor or I from moving. My pleas went unheard when Lubuto snapped her fingers and the doctor caught fire. He screamed, cussed, begged and screamed. And Lubuto laughed, laughed and laughed. While I stood where I was terrified to the core. Coreen had been having several encounters and was still sane? I wondered how cause this was freaking frightening and if I had a d--k right now, I would have used it to piss in my pants. The screams died down but the flames didn’t.
    They only went out when only ashes were left. With another snap of her fingers, Lubuto made the ashes and all of the witch doctor’s belongings vanish. With a sweep of her hand, her bones noisily wrapped themselves in the polythene bag which had magically survived the flames too, and went back into the ditch which covered itself with earth. Lubuto then lay on the spot and waved at me. “I’ll be back, Ceph Donut.” She winked and vanished too. I took to my heels and ran straight to my car. I was shaking as I started the engine and drove to my parents place but stayed outside the gate to wait for morning lest mum bombards me with questions on how I could arrive at her place at 2 AM. So I only hooted at 5:30 AM and the gateman opened the gate for me. Mum and my young sister Marjorie were standing on the porch by the time I got out of the car. “Look who decided to visit us,” teased Marjorie as I hugged mum and then her. “Says someone who’s just visiting,” I teased her too. “What are you even doing here?
    Did you and your husband have a fight again?” “We stopped having fights ages ago. Am just visiting mum, arrived last night actually.” “What are you doing here this early in the morning yourself?” Mum interjected. “Came into town for a business deal,” I lied through my teeth. “Just thought paying you a visit is the right thing to do.” “Thanks, son..come in, please.” Once inside, I excused myself so that I could have a bath. I sat in the bathtub and wondered where I’d go from here. What next to do cause Lubuto wasn’t gonna back down without a fight. And then I thought of the only and last solution I thought I’d never even dream of doing. Religion, church, God and Jesus Christ. We are in the 21st century to begin with so I’d heard about so many miracles and the wonders that God was doing through his chosen people. But the problem was finding a genuine man of God. Take a good look at what had just happened to the witch doctor..I didn’t want the ugly incident to repeat itself, believe me. I finished bathing and wiped myself with a towel and when I reached my genitalia which was plain as you all know, I graoned with utmost frustration.
    “D--n you, Lubuto!” I stepped out of the bathroom and took some old clothes from my closet and as I dressed up, I made up my mind to tell mum everything. And I mean everything. Seeing as she went to church frequently, maybe she’d hook me up with her pastor who would later help me with getting rid of Lubuto’s ghost. I picked my phone from the bed on my way to the living room and thought of calling Coreen but I knew Lubuto would be the one on the other end of the line so I just pocketed the phone instead. “Breakfast is served,” announced a happy Marjorie who led me to the dining table where mum was already seated. “I smell something nice,” I mused while seating. “I missed this.” Mum smiled, a sad smile.
    “Why, isn’t Coreen taking care of you as she is supposed to? Cause if she isn’t, I’ll come shove a cooking stick up her skinny a-s and make sure she goes missing like that wayward look alike of hers!” “Mother,” spoke Marjorie in a soft tone. “You don’t want brother to lose his appetite now, do you?” “My bad. Am sorry.” We ate in silence until Marjorie started talking about how well our elder sis Ethel was fairing in her new marriage and such. And then she suddenly announced, “You’re going to be an uncle, Cephas.” “Wait what? You mean Ethel is pregnant and am hearing the news from you?” “No.. am the one who’s pregnant, dummy.” Mum who seemed to already know beamed. “And am finally going to be a grandmother!” and she was sad in no time. “Wish your father was here though.” I pushed my chair back and went to hug mum, so did Marjorie. “We miss him too,” my sister and I said in unison. Marjorie was clearing the table when it happened. She screamed, dropped the tray of plates she was carrying and held her belly. I was first at her side, mum was next. “What’s the matter?” asked a frantic mum. It was the blood gushing down Marjorie’s legs which gave us an answer. “No..not my baby. God save her, please.” cried Marjorie.
    “We have to take her to the hospital,” I was desperate as I scooped her into my arms and rushed her to the car where I placed her in the backseat where mum joined her. We were en-route to the hospital and mum kept on insisting I drive faster. “Am driving as fast as I can, mother!” my tone was irritable. “I don’t want us to die in the process so please just hang on. You too, sis.” Mum groaned and began praying and asking God to please save her daughter and grandchild. And then I heard Lubuto’s voice inside my head. “You wanna save your sister’s life and that of her unborn baby? Drive to the nearest police station right away and confess so that you are apprehended and tried for your crime.” “Fine,” I mumbled and did a u-turn, heading towards the police station. “Where are you going?” asked mum impatiently, “There’s no hospital this side!” “Do you trust me, mother?” “Is this really the right time for such silly questions, huh Cephas?” “Just answer the question. Yes or no?” “Yes I trust you. Now what?!” “Now am gonna save both Marjorie’s and her unborn baby’s life so hang in there..both of you.” Too many people had suffered because of my actions so I figured it was high time I brought all this Lubuto madness to a stop!

    Sequence 24

    COREEN
    I awoke with a pounding headache in Cephas’ house. How I got here or why I was here in the first place, I didn’t know. I dragged myself from the floor where I’d been sprawled and stood in front of the mirror. I was wearing my clothes quite alright but I couldn’t remember putting them on in the first place. Oh God, this was d--n confusing. I racked my brains as I threw a couple of painkillers into my mouth and swallowed. The last thing I could remember was going to pay Anna a visit and she rudely telling me to stay away from her as she deemed me a backstabbing friend. I was still wondering why I couldn’t remember nothing more when my phone which was on the carpet vibrated, a sign that I’d received a text. I grabbed the phone to check who had messaged me and clicked my tongue when I realised the text was from MTN, some ad about caller tunes to be accurate. It was then that I saw what the date was. 12th March, 2015. But wasn’t it on the 10th when I’d paid Anna a visit? All this obviously had only one rational explanation, Lubuto Bwalya.
    As I wondered what she had done to me, my thoughts were disrupted by a knock at the door. “Come in,” I called. My maid Rosemary opened the door a fraction and stepped into the room. “Good morning, madam.” “Morning, Rosemary.” “Did sir turn up yesterday?” Wasn’t that a weird question to ask your boss? “Um..I think he didn’t turn up. Honestly, I don’t know. But Rosemary, how do you know he didn’t turn up yesterday?” She heavily sighed and looked at me pitifully. “Can I take a seat?” “Sure.” She sat on the edge of my bed and I sat beside her. Rosemary was slightly older than I was and the look that she gave me right now was a look Grandma used to give me when she was feeling motherly. “Madam, you were acting weird yesterday and you are asking me right now how I know sir didn’t turn up? You mean you don’t remember how you made me stay here keeping you company until 9 PM saying you were in no mood to do anything so I had to prepare dinner and do other chores? Or how you kept on cussing cause sir was taking forever to arrive home? Now I know it’s none of my business but with all the ritual killings going on, am just concerned.”
    “I understand, Rosemary. What I don’t understand though is why I can’t remember nothing about yesterday. Oh God,” I closed my eyes and opened them. “In as much as what am about to say may sound unbelievable and farfetched, I don’t recall a thing about the last two days, Rosemary. So many bizarre incidents have been happening lately and to tell you the truth, I think am now fade up!” I stood from the bed and started packing the few clothes of mine that were in the wardrobe. “I don’t know how I got here nor what am doing here but all I know is I can’t spend another minute in this wretched house.” “Why, because sir is a Satanist?” before I could reply, she hurriedly said. “Am sorry, that came out wrong. People do speculate though, no lie.” I wasn’t upset, I felt nothing. “Let them talk cause I honestly no longer care..Cephas and I are through!” “Don’t tell me you’re just going to take back the vows you took when getting married to sir, madam.” I zipped my small bag and turned to glance at Rosemary. “You don’t know nothing about what am going through so you have no right to bring up my vows.” “How would anyone know what you’re going through when you don’t confide in no single soul?
    All you do is carry the weight of the world on your shoulders and pretend everything’s cool. Don’t look at me like that, madam. For the few months that I’ve worked here, I’ve studied you and sir and your marriage. Not that I am a spy but I think you two love each other and whatever your marital hiccups, divorce ain’t the solution.” Her words were sinking in and even though she and I hadn’t been the best of friends, I still felt like I could talk and confide in her. She was saying, “My husband and I had had marital hiccups of our own and guess what, all our problems vanished when I turned to makufi (knees) ministries. I took all my problems to the Lord with the aid of my powerful Bishop Mwape and now my husband and I live happily with our three kids. We do fight from time to time but it’s nothing serious.” “In short, you’re saying the solution to my problems is prayer?” “Exactly! Prayer is the key, mama.” “Wow! The last time I tried that, things didn’t go too well.” “What do you mean?” I gestured we sit and once we were seated, I narrated everything to her and when I was done, her jaw was almost touching the floor. Rosemary hugged me and wiped the tears that had stained my face while I was telling my tale. “You’re a very strong woman,” she took my hands in hers.
    “I’ve always thought dealing with a juju kinda sidechick was handful but after hearing your story, I now know people face problems bigger than Zambia but I’ll assure you one thing, trust in the Lord and leave your problems to Him and believe me you’ll be rid of all of them sooner than you think.” she excused herself and brought back with her a Good News Bible. Rosemary read some chapters to me and shaded more light on their meaning. The last verse she recited was from John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life… Madam Coreen, believe in God and he’ll fight your battle for you because he says in his Word the Bible that no weapon formed against His children shall prosper and no situation is permanent so it is up to you to decide if you want to get rid of this ghost that you’ve been seeing and if you want to save your marriage.” Rosemary and I helped each other with house chores as she told me about all the miracles God was doing through her Bishop. She was saying, “Bishop Mwape is a very simple man by looking and one look at his simple house and lifestyle, you’d doubt he’s even a man of God because these men of God of nowadays drive Porsche cars and all. Anyway,” she was scrubbing the tiles as she spoke. “my point is I admire and respect the word in the Bishop. I thank God for that man.” “After all that you’ve told me about him, am now anxious to meet him. When can you take me to see him?” “I won’t take you to see him,” she said with a cheerful smile.
    “I’ll bring him here. This house needs prayers, no offense.” “None taken,” I laughed. “Thanks, Rosemary. I already feel delivered.” “That’s the spirit! I’ll bring the Bishop tomorrow morning by the way.” “Thanks once again.” I felt lighter the rest of that day as Rosemary shared more and more of the wonders God was performing through different men of God. She also urged me to have Faith in Jesus Christ and God the Father. It was only after Rosemary left that I remembered I had a husband by the name of Cephas Mwaba whom I finally decided to call so I could find out where in the name of God he was. His phone went unanswered all the five times I called and even went off on the sixth. Odd, I thought. Cephas never ignores my calls and neither does he switch his phone off. Something must be really wrong. But what could it be? I was listening to the main news in the evening when I saw the headline. “31-year-old Lusaka man confesses to have murdered his girlfriend whom he’d been cohabiting with, 11 years ago.” And I knew this had to be Cephas even before I heard the full report and saw Cephas on T.V. He had confessed to killing Lubuto in cold blood and was now apprehended in a police station in Ndola. Awaiting trial. The tears were inevitable. Lubuto Bwalya had finally won. Speaking of which, she appeared right beside me such that I gasped and leaped out of the seat. “Hi, honey,” she waved at me. “You killed my unborn baby and now Cephas is in police custody so may I ask what you’re doing here? Isn’t your revenge complete?”
    “My revenge will only be complete once I kill you, which I’ve come to do.” She floated off her seat and came to a pause in mid air where she pointed a shrewd finger at me. “Any last words, sis?” I was sick and tired of this ghost who had drastically ruined my life since the first day I’d set eyes on her. I recalled losing my baby and seeing Cephas confess on T.V. and then came to a final conclusion, I’d had it! So I took a deep breath and inwardly asked for forgiveness from God for all my sins and loudly, I said, “My only and not last wish is this house be covered with the blood of Jesus Christ and that you leave my presence right this minute you agent of Satan!” I meant every word I uttered thus Kimono me painfully screamed before vanishing. I breathed in and out and waved my arms in the air. “Thank you, Jesus.” I didn’t sleep a wink that night as I kept on binding the evil spirits out of my house which was quite a refreshing and fulfilling thing to do. At 15 past 8 AM, Rosemary showed up with Bishop Mwape who as she had described the previous day was simple by looking. We exchanged greetings and when I offered him food, he politely declined saying God first and then human needs last. “Kindly take me through all that you have been going through ever since the ghost of your husband’s late girlfriend showed itself to you.” I told him everything without leaving anything out. Rosemary kept on nodding and smiling at me, assuring me I was doing the right thing. “Do you believe in God?”
    Bishop Mwape plainly asked me when I was done telling him my tale. “Two days ago, I would have said no. But Rosemary here, God bless her, made me believe in God.” “That’s a wonderful job you did, sister Rosemary,” the Bishop quietly said before standing and gesturing Rosemary and I do the same. “Let’s pray.” Him and Rosemary opened with a song of praise before breaking into prayer. I joined too. We prayed, covering the house with the blood of Jesus and asking God to send his holy spirit upon us so that we could do away with Lubuto’s ghost and asked her soul rests in peace. The Bishop was first to break into tongues followed by Rosemary then me, much to my surprise. I knew what I was saying even though I seemed to be saying it in a foreign language. We prayed harder and harder and only slowed down when someone shouted, “Shut up, y’all!!!” It was none other than Kimono me herself who had decided to grace us with her unpleasant presence. I didn’t stop praying though cause I desperately wanted and needed my freedom from her. “What do you want?” asked the Bishop calmly as Rosemary cowered behind him while mumbling the Lord’s name. “Revenge,” revenge…revenge…revenge..echoed Kimono me’s voice. “But vengeance is for God, don’t you know?”
    “To hell with that! I’m halfway through my revenge and none of you here can stop me, neither can your God! Do you know how patient I’ve been all these years?” she said in a dreamy tone as she floated in the air. “I had to wait for the perfect moment to strike. I had to wait for Coreen to fall pregnant so that I could snatch the joy of parenthood away from Cephas and her.” “But I believe she hasn’t wronged you in any way so why punish her?” “Because I’ve always been second best because of her but not anymore and I won’t have a bunch of wanna be men of God ruin my plans. I went through so much pain and now am back for revenge. You said Coreen has never wronged me? Ha,” she let out a brief laugh. “The b---h became my nemesis the second she spread her slutty legs for my Cephas! You know what, am just wasting my time talking to you all. What I should be doing is have fun killing the lot of you. Whom should I kill first?” “You aren’t God to decide who gets to live,” I managed to bravely say. “Look who just found her voice,” she mocked. “You’re wrong once again because I am a god. I became a god the night I was murdered cause it was while my heart was being taken out of my body that I vowed to all the evil spirits that I’d be back for vengeance so here I am.” Lubuto spread her arms in triumph and added.
    “I’ve talked too much..it’s Showtime!” She twirled her forefinger and the chandelier unscrewed itself from the ceiling and began descending onto the Bishop who was standing right under it. He put his Bible over his head and chanted the Lord’s name several times such that the chandelier came to a stop right atop his head. Bishop Mwape moved and the chandelier fell, shattering to pieces. Rosemary and I hugged each other and clinged to one another for dear life, awestruck. “Not bad,” mumbled Lubuto Bwalya who raised her hands and with them rose all knives from the kitchen, pots, pans, spoons and other cutlery and she aimed them straight at the Bishop, Rosemary and I. “Goodbye!” she erratically screamed before launching the cutlery at us. We as a trio broke into prayer, binding them cutlery back to the sender.
    The whole lot of steel came to a stop in front of us as if they’d come into contact with a fortress. Bishop Mwape smiled, “The Lord I serve will never fail me. Now in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord who had sacrificed so much on the cross of Calvary, I send all this back to its sender, tenforth!” At jet speed, everything shot back at her so fast that she had no time to pull any vanishing stunt. Everything happened so fast such that before I knew it, Lubuto was lying on the floor with knives and forks dug in her flesh but there was no blood. Bishop Mwape took a few strides towards her and peered down at her. “It’s over, Lubuto Bwalya.” he took a bottle of holy water from his pocket and sprinkled the water on her. “I hereby banish you from this earth..In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.” “Amen,” Rosemary and I shakily repeated. Lubuto craned her neck so that she was looking at me. All she weakly said was, “You and Cephas love each other so much..never let your love die.” She screamed and wriggled on the floor as she literally melted, like when ice cream comes into contact with heat. She melted, burst into flames and vanished with a pop sound.

    Sequence 25

    ANNA
    The plan had been on hold for far too long and the best time to execute it was now. Three solid years after my marriage to Rajesh. Yes, it had been 3 years since I’d married that monster and I was yet to fully have my revenge. I say this because I was partially avenging the atrocities inflicted upon me via how I treated Rajesh and slowly made him my slave. That’s really punishment to manly men if you ask me..men of Rajesh’s likes to be specific.
    But before I go deep into explaining some of the mental ways I was punishing Rajesh, let me gist you on some of the major happenings in the past three years. For starters, I now had a son who was 100% William’s cause there was no trace of Rajesh in him whatsoever. Thank God cause truth be told, I’d been fearing the child would end up being Raj’s after all and then what? I’d be disgraced like no man’s business! My son was 2 years 6 months old and was staying with my parents whom he had been staying with ever since he was six months old when I’d weaned him. His name is Benjamin, courtesy of his father who still had 17 years to serve before he could finally leave prison. I did feel sorry for Willy from time to time but the b-----d had hurt me and no man toys with my emotions and goes scot free. But Rajesh was free, you’d say. Take a chill pill and sit down cause honey, I’d just been having cold feet killing the son of a b---h these past three years.
    At first I’d thought of slowly killing him by slowly poisoning his food, which I’d even started doing until I realised one day that an autopsy would be conducted after his death and the slow poison would be found and then I’d be busted..I’d go to jail for murder obviously which was too big a risk so I quit poisoning the b-----d. Who had been supplying me the poison? You may wonder but it was none other than Doctor Mainza. Him and I had become so involved over the years that if I asked him to jump he’d ask how high. Speaking of him being at my beck and call, he’d saved me from Raj doubting me when a year elapsed after I was diagnosed with that fake tumour by him (Mainza). I had been breastfeeding Benjamin that night when Raj wrapped his hand round my waist and kissed my neck. “I wanna have me some Anna tonight. These days, all you care about is this baby of yours.” “Raj, Benjamin will only be here for three months more before I take him to mum’s so kindly exercise some patience..I’ll give you me once he falls asleep.” He breathed down my neck before sighing with frustration. “It’s fine..I’ll just sleep. We can have sex tomorrow, or the day after.
    Or the day after.” See I was sexually starving him cause I knew he’d feel too guilty to cheat on me since he believed I was dying any day from now and that I was trying my best to convince myself and him that I wasn’t dying. He slipped under the covers and was telling me not to forget to turn off the light when his phone rang. “Are you going to pick that, Raj?” He groaned and reached for the phone. “It’s Doctor Mainza,” he announced before picking up. “Hello….tomorrow? Is it good or bad news?…Okay, Anna and I will be there…Sleep tight, man.” “What did he say?” I enquired as soon as he was off the call. Of course I knew what Mainza had just told Raj cause I was after all the one who had instructed him to make the call in the first place. “That he has some news to share with us tomorrow. I asked him whether its good or bad and he said we just have to go over to his office to find out.” “Okay..” I said, feigning sadness and finally dropping some crocodile tears. “Not again,” he got out of bed and put Benjamin who was fast asleep in his crib. Raj hugged me tightly and rocked us back and forth. “You know I don’t like it when you cry, teddy bear.”
    “It just hurts, knowing am gonna die any time from now and leave my son all alone..You too.” He didn’t say nothing. If there’s one thing I’d come to learn, Raj loved me with his whole heart but my son, he despised him. No wonder I just wanted to take him to my parents’ place as soon as possible. The following day, Raj and I paid Mainza a visit. We were seated in his office while sipping on mineral water as Mainza said, “I didn’t wanna tell you this earlier cause I didn’t want to raise your hopes. Mrs. Anna Mumba Sharma, I have great news for you. Your brain tumour has been cured.” “You lie!” I screamed, faking disbelief. Rajesh looked equally bewildered. Mainza shook his head and assuringly smiled at us. “Am not lying..” he got two envelopes from his drawer and spread two x-rays on the table. “You see this,” he pointed at one where there was some growth on the brain. “This was the tumour.” and then he pointed at the other one which had no growth. “In this one the tumour is gone..” He leaned back in his seat. “If you ask me, this is nothing short of a miracle.” You’re a miracle worker yourself, I thought and broke down, dramatically. “This..is..overwhelming news!” Raj scooped me into his arms and spun me around, kissing almost my entire face. “You’ll live, Anna. You’ll live!” And you think that’s something to be happy about? Just how dumb was this Rajesh ai? And so I continued living with him. When Benjamin clocked 6 months old, I took him to my parents’ place who kept on asking me why I was practically abandoning my son. “Mum, Dad, I wasn’t prepared to have this baby in the first place so instead of whining, you two ought to be thankful I even kept the pregnancy and gave birth to Benjamin.” Did I love my son? Hell yeah I did!
    It was because of my love for him that I was keeping him away from Raj the lunatic. Raj was so euphoric when I took Benjamin to my parents’ that as a reward, he took me on vacation to India for a whole month. To cut a long story short, he treated me like a queen, his queen. But to me all that didn’t matter, all I wanted was revenge. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth was my slogan y’all. Upon our return to Zambia, I begun poisoning him at the price of being Mainza’s lover which wasn’t really bad a price to pay cause the guy had skills in bed. As I’ve stated, I quit poisoning Raj when I realised I was implicating myself in the process so I decided to dig up some dirt in his business cause I wondered how boutiques and jewellery stores would make someone as rich as Rajesh was and walla, the dude was into drug trafficking. I made my private investigator provide me with enough evidence and then I was ready to strike. By then Raj and I had only been married for a year and eight months. I served breakfast for him that morning and put them implicating pictures of his transactions under a plate I knew too well he’d use. I sat opposite him and rested my chin on my right palm as I watched him lift the plate and notice the pics.
    The look on his face was priceless. “What’s the meaning of this, Anna?” “You don’t trust me. That’s the meaning, Rajesh. Am your wife and yet you didn’t tell me you into drug trafficking? Do you know how cheated I feel?” “It was for your own good.” “Spare me that crap!” I slammed my hands on the table. “I hate it when men are dishonest with me. Your punishment for lying to me all this while will be you doing everything I ask you to do henceforth without questioning me or else you’re going back to jail. And don’t you dare try outsmarting me cause should anything happen to me, I’ve made sure you’ll be the prime suspect, Rajesh Sharma!” Since that day, I literally turned Raj into my b---h. I made him cook for me, wash my clothes, sexually starved him and checked his manhood every time he came back from somewhere to ensure he wasn’t s------g some chick out there. Once he got home, I would tell him to take off his trousers and boxers and show me his penis which I’d thoroughly examine. “You didn’t f--k no one today,” I’d say, instructing he dresses up. “And don’t you even dare try it cause I have eyes on you, 24/7.”
    “Noted, boss.” He’d roll his eyes and dress up. Whenever I felt h---y enough to have me some Rajesh, I’d dominate the session, much to Raj’s frustration as he couldn’t do nothing to save his huge ego. So turning a man into your b---h for 14 months eventually becomes old and an utter bore. That’s what it became so I decided to finally end it all. Just as Coreen’s husband Cephas had ended his girlfriend’s life 14 years ago. Yes weh, I’d been following the case on news and now Cephas had how many more years to serve? 27? Yeah, 27. The nigga had been sentenced to 30 years in prison when he was found guilty of murdering Coreen’s twin. I’d laughed my a-s off when I’d read the verdict in the newspaper. And Coreen herself? I hadn’t heard from her for years as she had moved to the Copperbelt and I cared less about how she was doing. She might as well just drown herself in the river for all I cared. So today, I woke up early in the morning and dressed up as best I could. Today was the day I finally put my plan to kill Raj into motion after all so I had to look splendid. I was humming Pharell William’s ‘Happy’ as I got into my expensive car which Raj had bought for me only but two months ago. I hit the road and smiled, “Game on, b---h.” If only I knew how much things would spiral out of control, maybe I would have come up with another plan.

    Sequence 26

    Raj’s mechanic Chuba came out from under the car that he was fixing with his colleagues when someone informed him I’d gone looking for him. His work suit was smeared with oil and other black and stinky stuff as he approached me where I stood at a distance. He wreaked of diesel. “Bamuka mwenye(an Indian’s spouse),” he teased me as usual. “You look tantalising like always.” “Oh please..save your flattery, Chuba.” “You know am not flattering but complimenting you.” “Of course you are.” “So,” he pursed his lips and looked around.
    “What can I do for you this morning?” I did some looking around of my own just to ensure no one was within earshot. I mischievously whispered to Chuba, “How would you like to make some easy and fast cash?” “Everybody in their right mind would like some easy cash, ma’am. But there’s always a catch, ain’t there? What’s yours?” The time had come. There was no backing down. I pointed at a car, “You see that car?” “The Sedan? Isn’t that your husband’s car?” “Of course it is. Now before I tell you what I’d like you to do for me, I’d like to give you a friendly warning in advance. Chuba, should you contemplate double crossing me, I know about that eight year old daughter of yours that you adore so much. What’s her name again? Ah, Jane.” I saw a hint of fury and fear in his eyes. Perfect. “Why do you sound like you’re threatening me?” “Because I am, sweetie. Now here’s what I want you to do for me. I want you to tamper with the breaks of that Sedan. Make sure you completely wreck them breaks.
    I’ll give K15,000 for the job. K5,000 down payment and K10,000 once the job is completed.” Chuba crossed his arms and intently looked up at me as he was a short man. “What makes you think am willing to commit murder for such a small amount of money? Give me K30,000.” “I’m willing to give you 20K. 10K as down payment while the other 10 once the job is done.” “25K.” “22K, that’s my last offer.” He went quiet for a while and then, “Deal.” He extended his hand so that I could shake it. I looked at the greasy hand and almost puked while I shook it. “Deal. 11K down payment so you better sms me your account number.” “Am on it.” I turned to walk back to my car. “Your time is up, Rajesh b---h!” From the garage I went into town to buy lingerie, a rope and whip. I put the stuff in the bonnet and went to buy groceries for mum and Benjamin. I drove all the way to Kafue just to deliver the groceries. I found mum seated on the Veranda picking beans while Benjamin was playing with his toys at a distance. Mum didn’t even bother to stand up or greet me cause she was still mad about me dumping Benjamin on them. I greeted her, put the carrier bags down and went to lift my baby whom I’d missed so much. I kissed his chubby cheeks.
    “Mummy missed you, Benja.” But I wasn’t the boy’s favourite person so he said, “Put me down, Anna.” Mum giggled where she was seated, obviously enjoying the scene. “Fine,” I begrudgingly put him down. The boy was quite too talkative for a two and a half year old if you ask me. Anyway, I took the bags inside and joined mum and started helping her with the beans. I stole glances at Benjamin and smiled, just seeing him play was more than fulfilling to me. That’s how much I had missed him. . When I arrived back home in Lusaka in the evening, I hid the lingerie, rope and whip in the closet and later wrapped a chitenge round my waist..I walked to the kitchen to prepare Raj some Pita bread and other Indian delicacies that I’d gone out of my way to learn back in my first year of marriage with Rajesh. Upon completing cooking, I meticulously served the dishes on the table and was winding up when I heard the living room door creak open and Rajesh enter, looking weary. “Hi, Anna. So I’m quite exhausted today so you better come check my d--k and be assured I hadn’t gone out fornicating.” I felt a tinge of sadness but just grabbed him by the arm and led him to the table.
    “Not today, Raj. Today, I want us to sit down and have dinner as a normal married couple should.” “So we’ll just have to pretend to be a normal couple?” He swept the dishes with a careful gaze. “Forget us pretending, how do I know you’ve not poisoned the food cause I can’t even recall when last you cooked for me let alone us.” “Let’s just say today is one of my good days and to assure you the food ain’t poisoned, I’ll eat first. Sit, Raj.” We sat and I dished out some food for myself which I ate. “See, it’s poison free.” He looked surprised. “Wow!
    You should have these good days more often then.” I laughed. “You wish.” “This food looks and smells yummy, Anna,” he longingly said as he dished out for himself. I caressed his face. “It’s all for the sexiest man alive.” Raj and I ate while making small talk and once we were done eating, he stood to clear the table but I shook my head. “This can wait,” I grabbed his necktie with so much fiery passion. “What can’t wait is how much I wanna feel you inside me tonight.” You should have seen the look he gave me. One of those looks that money loving women give their men when they see them counting money. I led him to the bedroom where I made him sit on a four-legged chair. “I’ve got a free strip show for you, Raj, so you better relax and enjoy yourself.” He smacked my a-s and I just laughed. I went to the closet, took out the lingerie and went to the bathroom to put it on. When I came back, I gave Raj the strip show of his life such that by the time I was done his manhood was rock solid and I could spot a trace of semen on the white trousers that he was wearing. Poor thing. This guy was just way too h---y.
    I took off his clothes, s----d him until he released and then I tied him to the chair with the rope I’d bought earlier that day. “What are you doing?” “Honey, am about to give you the best f--k of your life.” and I meant it. I grabbed the whip and spread my legs as I sat on him. Oh Gosh, I must have forgotten just how huge his libido was. Is it really fair for one to be so good looking and have such a huge penis? Just wondering. I flogged him as I rode him and hearing him moan with a mixture of passion and pain turned me on like crazy. This was the last time I was going to sleep with Raj and it was totally worth it. Morning came and as Raj left for work, I indirectly mocked him by saying, “Take perfect care of yourself today, Raj.” “I will,” he smiled and pecked my cheeks. I was left thinking about his smile once he left. It had looked almost like…a smirk. Almost as if he knew what lay ahead. Am just being paranoid, I told myself. Framing and sending Willy to jail was something but killing Raj, this is huge! I spent the whole of that morning sitting on pins and needles as I anxiously awaited that call which would change my life for good. I couldn’t even eat a thing, that’s how nerve-racking this situation was. The call finally came at a few minutes past midday. I picked up immediately. “Hello,” said a female voice on the other end of the line. “Is this Mrs. Anna Mumba Sharma am speaking with?” “Yes.”
    “This is Detective Alicia Zulu and am calling you from The University Teaching Hospital… Am afraid am a bearer of bad news but you just have to come here as soon as possible.” “Is my husband okay?” I feigned being frantic. “What’s going on, Detective?” “Just come to the hospital, ma’am.” I made sure to go with unkempt hair, looking as scruffy as I could look. Detective Zulu came to pick me up from the parking lot. “Detective, what’s going on?” She was leading me into the hospital. “You can call me Alicia… Earlier today, an accident was reported along Kabwe road and my team and I rushed there and found a Sedan in a really terrible state.
    Shattered glass and all. So we took the number plate and sent it to the department which deals with such and we were informed the car belongs to Rajesh Sharma and you are listed as his next of kin so we decided to give you a call. Am so sorry for this but you’ll have to identify two dead bodies for us.” Two dead bodies? I almost screamed. Did Raj really have to drag someone to hell with him? Screw him! And then I realised drama came in handy at this juncture so I begun sobbing as Alicia led me to where the bodies were, in body bags. There was a man in the room who looked at me pitifully and asked, “Are you ready to do this?” “I don’t have a choice, do I?” I sniffed. Alicia rubbed my back. “Be strong.” The man unzipped the first body bag and when I saw who lay in the it, I wailed. For real this time. “Do you know her?” Alicia patiently asked me while hugging me tightly as if she’d known me her whole life. “It’s..it’s..my..mother!”
    “Am so sorry,” said the man dryly as he unzipped the second body bag and when I saw who lay in it, I felt so weak that I lost consciousness. . Two days later, both my parents were put to rest. It was while at the graveyard that I received the note from a random man and one look at the handwriting, I knew who had written it. ‘How does it feel to get played at your own game, huh b---h? Have fun spending the rest of your pathetic life in jail, Anna. With love, Rajesh Sharma.’ I looked at the two graves and broke down as people attempted to calm me down with their comforting words. I’d never felt so much pain in my entire life..I just wished I could die and follow my parents wherever they’d gone to. If it wasn’t for having Benjamin, I would have committed suicide that very day that my parents died. I was still wailing on the ground when I saw Detective Alicia Zulu and her colleague Baison Njobvu approach me and I already knew what lay ahead.

    Sequence 27

    COREEN
    I sang to my two baby boys as I drove them to the day care..Aside from Cephas who was still in jail and had at least 27 years and some months more to serve, my 2 years 3 months old twin boys were everything I had. Not a day passed without me thanking the Almighty for blessing me with twins. You see a few weeks after Cephas’ arrest 3 years ago, I found out I was pregnant and went down on my knees to thank God for this blessing.
    The first few months of my pregnancy were hectic..what with Cephas’ court hearings and all. Four months down the line, he was sentenced to thirty years in prison…with hard labour. That day the Faith that I’d come to have in God was put to the test. I locked myself up in Cephas’ room at his mum’s place and loudly cried. “God, you have saved me from Lubuto the ghost and for this I am immensely grateful. But Cephas? Does he really have to rot in jail? How am I going to take care of the child that I am carrying without my husband by my side? I don’t think I am ready to be a single mother, oh God.” I was beating my b-----s in misery as I poured my heart out to the Lord. “We’ll help you,” came a voice from outside. It was mother in-law’s voice. “But for now please open the door, Coreen.” I sniffed and wiped my tears before opening the door. Mum in-law, Ethel and a heavily pregnant Marjorie stood in the doorway looking teary but obviously fighting composure for my sake. Marjorie was first to hug me before breaking down. “We’ve wronged you terribly, Coreen. You are nothing like that nightmare Lubuto. You’re your own person and my sister, mum and I have come to realise that you are just a victim of circumstances here..like we all are.” Mum hugged me next, sobbing.
    “I am so sorry for all the hurtful words I uttered towards you in the past. The past few months have made me realise just how much you care for my son and our family at large.. you’ve been praying without ceasing and even though your prayers haven’t been answered, I know God will certainly answer them one day.” “Believe that,” Ethel backed her up and hugged me too and in that position, we did a lot of crying. I forgave the three of them and we became friends since that day. Mum in-law even insisted I move in with her when Ethel and Marjorie left to go back to their husbands and staying with her sounded like a good idea cause I really needed the company so I agreed. Coming to terms with Cephas’ imprisonment was really one of the hardest things I had to do in my life and I was thankful to God for people like Rosemary and Bishop Mwape who would frequently call me to encourage me to accept what was going and move on as in life, everything and anything that happens to us happens for a reason. Bishop Mwape would say, “Regardless of the hardships you are currently facing, sister Coreen, never forget God loves you.” There were nights when my hormones would work me up so bad that I’d sit up in bed till dawn, wondering if indeed God did love me as much as Rosemary and Bishop Mwape assured me He did. And then I’d recall all that Lubuto had put me through and yet I was still here, alive and well, and I’d reprimand myself for ever doubting God’s love for me. In the fifth month of my pregnancy, I went for a scan and was told I was having twin boys.
    That was officially the happiest moment of my life. I was so eager to share the news with Cephas that I feared I would develop a growth in my throat if I didn’t give him the news asap so I drove all the way to Mukobeko Maximum Prison, now called Mukobeko Correctional Service, to pay him a visit. I took with me some foodstuffs of course and sat in the waiting area waiting for Cephas and when I saw him, how malnourished he looked, my eyes stung with tears but I fought them lest I sadden him. We hugged and took our seats. “Hi,” he said. “You’re starting to show.” “My baby bump ka? Am afraid I’ll burst soon enough, what with two baby boys growing in there?” “Did you just say two baby boys?” he was beaming. “Tell me you’re joking!” “Honey, we’re having twins.” Cephas took my face and kissed me on the lips. “Thank you.” “It’s God that we ought to thank,” I said as I served him some food which could be eaten right now. He didn’t reply. You know Cephas didn’t really believe in God but I’d glimpsed a hint of Faith in his eyes when I had narrated to him how God had helped Bishop Mwape, Rosemary and I to defeat Lubuto. And now I was set on making sure he too became a staunch believer like myself. While he ate, Cephas looked sad. “How are you running my business? Hope you aren’t facing too many challenges though.” “No I ain’t..The CEO your board of directors appointed is really doing a great job.” I worked as the CEO’s assistant though I did my work from the Ndola branch.
    “I thank God for him..and the board of directors at large cause they’re all supportive,” said Cephas who later on took a deep breath. “You take care of yourself and my babies..oh Gosh, this place is hell, Coreen. And I just wish I was out there with you to help you raise our boys. You’ll do a good job though, of this I am certain.” His words were saddening me to the core. “I don’t know how, Cephas, but you’ll get out of this place before your 30 years are up. Just believe in God and pray to him..I’ll be praying for you too.” “Alright,” he said it just to please me. And now today I drove the babies whom we’d named Mark and Luke, to the day care as I had a counselling session to conduct at church while mum was busy with her day to day errands. Did I mention I was now a part time marriage counsellor? Now you know. I dropped Mark and Luke at the day care and drove to the church I now went to..I went straight to my office and a few minutes later, there was a knock on the door and I told whoever was knocking to come in. A light skinned lady who seemed to be in her early thirties walked in.
    “You may take a seat, ma’am” “Thank you.” “Is your husband running late?” “Am afraid he’s not coming.” This wasn’t the first time a man was bailing on the wife and not showing up to such sessions so I patted her hand. “I understand, Mrs. Bwembya.” “Thank you…So, my husband has literally grown tired of me after giving him four kids back to back. He says am illiterate thus me giving birth to children anyhow..The fact that I don’t work also adds fuel to the fire. To be honest, am fade up. He mentioned divorce the other day and looking at how things are going, I might as well just divorce his sorry a-s..am sorry for the language.”” “It’s fine. What’s not fine is you making him treat you the way he is. He says you don’t work, look for a job. The kids? They are his kids too. All these are just trivial excuses men give when they wanna end things with a woman but tell you what, divorce is a sin and you divorcing the father of your four children will be the biggest mistake of your life which you’ll be beating yourself over every once in a while. You want my advice,” I paused for breath.
    “Take the problem to the Lord and fight hard for your marriage cause divorce isn’t the solution..” whenever I was giving such sessions, I liked using my own story as an example and I did likewise today. By the time Mrs. Bwembya was leaving my office with her head held high, she was set on making her marriage work come what may. That’s the spirit, y’all married couples out there! From church, I drove to Kabwe to visit my Cephas who no longer looked malnourished but just plain miserable. “Do you pray?” was the first question I asked him. He chuckled. “I do, bosses. What with my friend who prays with me?” Cephas had informed me about two years back that he had a friend who preached to him (Cephas) about God and I was more than glad. “That’s great, sweetheart.” We sat. “How’s Mark and Luke?”
    “They’re naughty but doing fine,” I said with a giggle. “I left them at the day care on my way here. Mum will go pick them up at 16:00hrs.” “I miss my boys. You bring them over for a visit this weekend.” “Alright..Cephas?” “Mmmm.” “Please never lose Faith in God, I beg you. I know being in here makes you doubt his existence but just hang in there because not all days are Sundays. You’ll leave this place soon.” “I know, Coreen. I can feel it.” Cephas and I talked about this and that and as I was driving out of the prison premises, I heard on the radio that someone named Anna Mumba Sharma had just been arrested for indirectly murdering both her parents. Apparently she’d sabotaged her husband’s car in a bid to kill him but things went terribly wrong and her parents ended up dead. God, what had Anna gotten herself into? What I heard on the news was so disturbing so I was prompted to drive to Lusaka and pay Anna a visit. When she saw me, she frowned and sat down. “What do you want, madam Coreen? Have you come to laugh in my face because I’ll rot in jail?”
    “No, Anna. I’ve come as a friend. One who wants to find out why on earth you’d do what you did.” “If my memory serves me right, I owe you no explanation so just get the f--k outta here!” “God loves you, Anna. Never forget that,” I rose to my feet while she clicked her tongue. “Oh please,” she stood too. “Save your sermons, Coreen, cause I don’t need them. Neither do I need nor want any visits from you..you’re even lucky I didn’t scribble your bitchy name in my book of revenge.” “Revenge should be left for God..look where vengeance has landed you.” “Eh…Go, please! Screw you, your God, William, Rajesh and everyone else who has messed with me!” “You’re insane,” I couldn’t refrain myself. “And may God have mercy on you.” She cussed at me in Bemba as I left while I just asked God to forgive her. I spent one night at a lodge and decided to leave for Ndola the following day cause I’d missed my babies so much. I was parked by hungry lion in Kabwe where I was grabbing myself some lunch when my phone rang. The caller ID was unsaved so I was quite hesitant when picking. “Coreen, God has answered our prayers!” “Cephas? What do you mean?” “I’ve been released, honey. It’s a long story which I’ll share with you once we meet. Are you back to Ndola?” I was so happy right now that I was shaking as I said, “As a matter of fact, am not. Am in Kabwe so just tell me where you’re and I’ll come pick you up.”

    Sequence 28

    RAJESH
    The plane touched down at Manchester International Airport in Manchester, England. I disembarked and went through immigration just to find Ashley Shelton waiting for me..she looked so much prettier and sexy in person.
    “Rajesh?” she called when she saw me. “OMG, you’re hot!” she had a thick American accent. Ashley flung herself at me and kissed my lips like we’d been lovers for ages. “Welcome to England, babe. I promise you’ll have fun.” “With a girl as pretty as you are, I’d have fun even if we were dropped in the Sahara desert.” She laughed. “I’m flattered.” Ashley and I walked out of the airport hand in hand. You wondering who the girl is? She’s just seem chick I’d hooked up with on social media, no big deal. What you should be wondering is what I was doing in Manchester when I was supposed to be dead back in Zambia… Ever since Anna returned from the dead, as I liked to think, I knew something was amiss. I mean, I’ve heard of amnesia quite alright but Anna’s was extremely odd thus suspicious.
    Who loses their memory but frames their innocent husband? I knew right there and then that she was up to no good and as I had said earlier, I was more than ready to play Anna’s game. I am Rajesh Sharma after all and I was born ready! “Are you sure marrying this lady is the best thing to do, Raj?” Mum had pestered me when I informed her I was marrying Anna in a few months time. “I mean, there’s so many ladies out there who’d kill to be your wife!” “I love Anna, mum, and am only telling you about me marrying her just so you don’t hear it from nobody else.” I did love the b---h but I loved me more so…Game on! Did Anna really think I’d buy her crappy story of having a brain tumour and all? I’m smart, y’all. I knew from day one that she and that doctor Mainza were in cahoots and one day I’d have proof. But before that day came, I lay low and played dumb. A year passed and the doctor informed us Anna’s brain tumour had been cured. Like really? Too many loopholes in the plot if you ask me. Look here, I had no grudge against Anna but the w---e was trying to outsmart me thus my urge to beat her at her own game.

    If there’s one thing that almost got in my way, it was that stupid baby of hers. The child was a seed of her ex husband who was rotting away in jail and I hated the child as much as I hated his father. Can I reveal something? I wished the child was mine, I really did. Anna was taking a shower one night while a four months old Benjamin lay on our bed. “God, I hate this baby,” I thought aloud as I loomed over him. “Why don’t I just kill him right now and end everything? That will shatter Anna cause I know how much she loves the b-----d.” With a smirk on my face, I wrapped my arms round the baby’s small neck and begun squeezing. The feeling of slowly taking away its life was so exhilarating. “What are you doing?” I was startled but played cool.
    “Um..The baby is awake..Was awake,” I lied. “Was he now?” she came to check on him and by now I’d let go of Benjamin’s neck. I didn’t sleep much that night as I kept on thinking about the best way to end things and killing Anna’s son wasn’t a rational thing to do. I need to hit her where it really hurts so that she knows who it is that runs the game, I told myself and finally fell asleep. I came to learn that I had underestimated Anna’s intelligence a few months later when she shocked me with pics of my drug dealing transactions. The b---h was really smart and with this evidence, she vowed to make me her slave while I vowed to make her believe she’d made me her slave. I hope am making sense though. Can you believe she went as far as trying to mess with my sex life? Haha, tough luck. B---h. So what if she denied me sex? I was Rajesh the Casanova so I managed to scoop myself this hot Tonga babe called Mutinta. D--n, the chick was on fire! She and I would hook up in hotels and have crazy sex. Like that day, we lay in bed butt naked while panting like we’d just run a marathon. “You’re a beast in bed, Mutinta.” She giggled while running playful fingers on my chest. “You brought your A game too, my hot Indian pie.
    The way you banged me today, I felt as if you’ve been starving. Is that wife of yours starving you? If she is, I’ll come over to your place and pump some sense into that her head.” I couldn’t help laughing. Mutinta was a crazy soul whom I’d been honest with since the word go. She knew I was a married man thus knew her place. She was just my booty call and I paid her well so even right now I knew she was just cracking a joke cause she really had a knack for jokes. “Speaking of my crazy wife,” I said, kissing Mutinta’s angelic lips and wishing I could have one more round with her. “I gotta shower. ” She moaned complainingly as I got out of bed and I merely chuckled. In the shower, I took a good 15 minutes cleaning my penis. The things Anna made me do these days amazed me. I got out of the shower and dressed up. “I’ll text you when next I feel like seeing you,” I told Mutinta who was still in bed. “But I’ll e-wallet you some cash tomorrow.” “I’ll be waiting..for both the cash and your phone call.” I was driving home when my phone rang.
    “Where are you?” Anna commanded on the other end of the line. “Am on my way, ma’am.” I liked to make her think she called the shots. “You better hurry, Raj. I’m starving.” The nerve of the b---h! I hang up and hit the steering wheel in frustration, blowing the horn. She made me clean, cook, wash and do other womanly stuff. The only solace I got was knowing that one day, Anna would pay dearly. For everything. So I arrived home and Anna made me strip and checked my d--k. “You didn’t cheat,” she concluded with a triumphant smile. Like really? How pathetic. The urge of laughing in her face was so strong but I managed to control myself. I dressed up and went to prepare dinner. As I cooked, the thought of poisoning her food crossed my mind as it had done several times but I shook my head and smiled. Death would be too simple a punishment for her. She needed to suffer emotionally, mentally and physically and then I’d know I’d delivered. The following day, I lied to Anna saying I was going out when in actual sense I just parked my car at a police station, got on a taxi and asked the driver to park by the curb where I could spy on Anna. She drove out of the compound only but a few minutes later. “Follow that car,” I instructed the driver who obliged.
    Anna led us to Protea Hotel where Dr. Mainza was waiting for her. They hugged and kissed in public. Big mistake cause in the car where I was, I was like..click..click..click. Pics taken. That very day, I paid Mainza a visit. “Take a seat, Mr. Sharma. It’s so nice to see you!” I forced a smile and sat. “What can I do for you this afternoon?” I scornfully glared at the b-----d whom I knew was f-----g my wife behind my back and if I had a gun with me that day, I’d have blown his brains off. Wearing a taunting smile on my face, I handed Mainza my phone which had pics of him and Anna kissing spread on the screen. The sucker almost choked on his saliva. I quietly got my phone from his grip and said, “You wanna keep your license, tell me all that Anna is planning. And don’t think am dumb cause for starters, I know Anna never even had any tumour in the first place so you better start talking before I show you my bad side!” Turned out the man was a snitch b---h so he talked, talked and talked. And I listened. He was saying, “As I speak, she’s got plans of slowly poisoning you.” “And I guess you’ll be the one supplying her the poison?” He was hesitant. “Am afraid so.” “Good..you supply her with harmless drugs and we’ll be friends, Mainza.”
    “As you wish.” You see the good part with me is am loyal to those who are loyal to me so Mainza and I became buddies and I forgave him for banging my wife. I was cheating on her too after all so what right did I have to get mad if she cheated? Cheating was in our blood, it seemed. The final phase came a year and some months later. Olivia my secretary walked into my office unannounced. “Just because we had sex yesterday, Olivia, doesn’t mean you should lose all the respect you have for me.” “Am sorry, sir.” “You better be. Now tell me why you’re barging into my office like that?” “There’s some guy by the name of Chuba looking for you. He says he’s your mechanic, should I let him in?” “Okay..let him in.” She went out and I couldn’t help admiring her a-s. Mutinta had left for Southern Province a couple months back so I planned on making Olivia my new booty call. Chuba came into the office and greeted me. I replied and offered him a seat. Without preamble, he said, “Do you know what type of woman you married?” “What is that supposed to mean? You know I hate it when people beat around the bush.”
    “Man,” Chuba blew some air and shook his head disdainfully. “While you’re seated here, your wife is out there plotting your death.” “Excuse me?” “Boss, your wife paid me a visit this morning and…..” Chuba told me all about the conversation him and Anna had had earlier that morning. “Why are you telling me all this, Chuba?” “Because you’re my boss and am loyal to you, that’s why.” “Thank you,” I was short for words. “Am really grateful and I tell you right now, your loyalty will pay off immensely. But you need to go ahead and sabotage that car.” “Boss-” I held up my hand to disrupt him. “I know what am doing, Chuba. I won’t be the one driving that car. Trust me.” Once he was gone, I gave my father in-law a phone call. Thank God the man had a soft spot for me. “Son in-law.” “Paps. How busy are you tomorrow morning?” He paused. “I have nothing scheduled for tomorrow morning. Why do you ask?” “Because I want to give you my Sedan.” “You lie!” The old man’s car had issues so I knew he’d jump for my car. “Why would I lie to my father in-law? Its at the garage so I just need you to get it from the garage, I’ll text you the address, and drive to 10 miles where some guy and I will be waiting for you. Change of ownership things.” “God bless you, son. You don’t know how happy you’ve just made me!”
    “Don’t mention. Can you bring mum with you? I just want her to be the witness.” “No problem. God bless you once again, Rajesh.” “Amen.” Chuba was the next person I called and instructed he calls Anna once he’d wrecked the breaks and record their conversation while they were at it. It was high time the b---h went down with a bang. Now back in Manchester with my Ashley, I knew Chuba was out of Zambia with his daughter and was gonna start his life anew with the money Anna and I had paid him. Lucky nigga! Ashley led me to her hotel suite where I had the best sex session of my life. When I woke up in the morning, I was alone in the room and when I tried to move, I couldn’t cause I couldn’t feel my legs. It was almost as if I was….paralysed! That’s when I saw the message written on a manila paper stuck on the wall, ‘Good morning, Rajesh Sharma. For starters, my name ain’t Ashley Shelton. Am just some psycho on the loose who wants to bring cyber dating to an end by subjecting men who hit on me via social media to terrible punishments. My job is really fun, hun. Your punishment dear Rajesh is that you’ll never walk again. Don’t ask me what or how I did it cause you don’t wanna know, trust me. With love, the unknown.’

    Sequence 29

    CEPHAS
    Jail. This is one place that I wouldn’t even wish my worst enemy should go to. If there’s a best definition for hell on earth, jail can take the prize. To all those who are free out there, am appealing to you to please stay out of crimes cause jail is a place you don’t wanna spend a night in, am speaking from experience. Now I know there are innocent people behind bars so am urging all of you to pray without ceasing cause this world is full of crooked people and I might fall under that category taking a good look at what I’d done to Lubuto Bwalya several years ago but am a changed man now, this I proudly tell you. When the judge sentenced me to 30 years in prison with hard labour, I was shattered. He might as well just have told the court and I that he was sentencing me to life imprisonment because almost everyone is familiar with the high death rate in prisons. The treatment of human beings in that place is just beyond me. Coreen gave me hope to continue living when she informed me of her pregnancy. What bugged me though was how religious she had become. God this, God that, she would brag. And I’d fight the urge to laugh. Where was God when the devil was using me to kill Lubuto?
    Where is God when all those kids on the streets are begging for food and money in order to survive? If God exists, I’d debate within myself while in incarceration. No one would be suffering today. Hell, I wouldn’t even be in this hell hole in the first place! The first year in prison was really rough, no lie. Man there are bullies in that place and even though I tried my utmost best to fight for myself, them gangs were just too powerful for me. Them fellow inmates too just seemed to harbour some sort of natural hatred for we who have the finer things in life. That aside, a man by the name of Peter was brought into the cell I’d spent a miserable year in with some crazy a-s niggas… One night after standing in a queue for minutes, we got our food and some boss wanna be came right at Peter seeing as he was a newbie. “Give me your food, b---h.” commanded the guy. Peter looked at the guy and smiled. “You might as well just politely ask me. Here you go.” “Whoa!” I stood in the way. “Man, we’ve been in line for almost an hour and you gonna give away your food without putting up a fight?” I for one did always stand up for myself. Peter shook his head and handed the plate to the other inmate.
    “Man shall not live by bread only but by every word of the Lord.” The wanna be boss laughed as he snatched the food. “What are you? The Zed version of Jesus? Come on dude, there ain’t no Jesus nor God cause if there was you’d be out there enjoying your life.” “We’ll share my food,” I told Peter as we took a seat. He merely nodded. As we ate, I said, “Of all the things that b-----d who got your food said, I just conquer with him on one part.” “Really? What part could that be?” “Jesus and God don’t exist, bruh.” “What makes you say or think that?” “I just don’t believe in them, no big freaking deal.” “Well, am a pastor so I happen to believe in Jesus and God.” “You’re a pastor?”
    I didn’t see that coming. “Then what are you doing here?” “Injustice…my brother.” “Haha, and yet you still believe in God?” He didn’t reply but just gave me a pitiful gaze. We were back in the cell when he came to my space and told me about how he had been framed. “There was this married woman who was having trouble conceiving so she and her husband came to my church and I prayed for them. A few months down the line, the couple came to me in gratitude saying the woman was pregnant. I was elated and thanked God with them because I know He never forsakes His Children. As a token of appreciation, the couple donated bass drums and a large amount of money to the church..my church and I were grateful. And then one fateful afternoon-” “Can you tone it down?!” snapped one inmate who was trying to get some sleep. “F--k..just shut up already!” “Lord forgive him,” said Peter in a whisper and then, “The woman showed up in my office one afternoon, Cephas. She was all over me and I knew what she wanted so I told her fornication and adultery are sins.
    That pushed her off the edge..she ripped off her blouse, hastily took off my belt, catching me offguard and pulling my trousers down so that I was only left with boxers down there. And then she screamed, ‘rape! rape!’ Am single and she’s rich so I guess you can connect the dots. The bottom line is I’ll be in here for at least 10 years.” “And yet you still believe in God?” I scoffed. “Yes I do,” he said with a simple shrug. It was Peter’s charisma and Coreen’s constant nagging that prompted me to gradually start believing in God and even taking time to kneel in my cell and pray. The prayers were answered three years after my imprisonment… One day the warden came to my cell and ordered we all get out cause there was work to be done outside the prison. “I’m only taking y’all out cause we are short of labour but let me warn you in advance,” he snarled as he led out us of the prison premises. “Should any of you try anything funny…escaping, to be precise, get ready to have your sentence tripled. “I wouldn’t even contemplate escaping,” Peter said to me. “That’s because you’re a coward,” responded a random guy. “No,” Peter said in retort. “It’s because am waiting for God to pave a way.”
    “Then keep waiting until judgement day, man of God.” he roared with laughter and increased his pace. “He’s in the darkness,” I told Peter. “Like I once was.” We were taken to a huge portion of grassy land. Several wardens stood in guard with rifles at bay. The chief warden was saying, “The commissioner wants to put up a mansion here so this land needs to be cleared. Now get slashers and start slashing, you all!” They could have used lawn mowers but no, we the prisoners had to do the manual work. Not that I am complaining. Actually, I thought of all this as penance for all my sins so I gladly grabbed a slasher and set to work. It was Peter that I felt for cause he was innocent. We had been slashing for hours when it happened…we were all taking a rest and were drinking water when I saw the scene. A young boy was trying to cross the road and a few metres away, a truck was cruising towards the boy. I didn’t stop to think as I leaped to my feet and was running towards the boy. Everything happened so fast, my arms were wrapped around the boy and I was pushing him off the road..we were laying in the grass and the truck was cruising past us behind us
     And then people were clapping and whistling. I sustained a few scratches which were later tended to by one of the prison nurses. I was seated in my cell listening to the word of God which was being read by Peter the following morning when a warden called my name. “You’ve got a visitor,” he was telling me as he led me to the waiting area where I found a pot bellied tall balding man waiting for me. He offered I sit down and once I was seated, he introduced himself. “Am Commissioner Sakala…I owe you my son’s life, Cephas Mwaba.” “Pardon?” I was confused. “The boy you saved from getting run over by a truck yesterday, that’s my son. His deaf but means the world to me.” “I- I didn’t know, sir. Am so sorry.” “You needn’t apologize, Cephas, cause that selfless act of yours has paid off. I didn’t sleep all night as I was working on getting you released and guess what, you’re leaving this place today.
    That’s my token of appreciation.” I couldn’t believe my ears. “I don’t know what to say,” I repeated in honesty. When I informed Peter, he told me that was God’s work. “He’s a God of miracles, Cephas buddy. Am so happy for you!” “I won’t forget about you, Peter. I promise I’ll be paying you visits every time I can.” Me getting out of prison just like that felt surreal but it was really happening even though I was on some sort of police bond as the rights I could enjoy were limited. But what did I care? As long as I was out and could help Coreen raise our twins, that’s all that mattered. Oh God, you’re wonderful. Coreen came to pick me up at the prison gates and she couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw me. My wife flung herself at me and shed tears of joy on my shoulder. “You’re free, Cephas. How? When?” “Easy, Coreen. It’s God’s doing.” Once she was composed, we got in the car and as she drove, I told her how lucky I was.
    “The God I serve is a miracle working God,” was all she said, shaking her head in amusement. “Indeed He is..”I leaned back in my seat. “I can’t wait to reunite with my family.” She passed through her grandma’s place in Kapiri. To say her grandmother was euphoric when she saw us is a big understatement. She was so happy that her happiness was contagious. And to think that I’d once disliked the woman, ha. She hugged both Coreen and I as she sobbed. “You two are a match made in heaven, you’re exceptional. You two have made me rekindle my love for God so I’ll be forever grateful..now come in let me serve you some of my delicious foods.” Coreen and I were all smiles as we entered the house hand in hand. Now all that was left was for me to reunite with my entire family and start my life afresh…..

    Sequence 30

    WILLIAM
    Anna Mumba, the biggest mistake of my life. For all the three years I’d spent in jail, I kept on cursing the day I’d met and fallen in love with that lunatic. My God, I was here suffering for a crime I knew nothing about and she was out there enjoying her life with her new husband Rajesh Sharma. Can life get more unfair? I had gotten accustomed to mum’s and dad’s visits as Anna only paid me a visit when she felt liking taunting me so I was all smiles that day as I went to meet mum in the waiting area. “William,” she hugged me.
    “How are you fairing, my son?” And hurriedly, she apologized. “I am so sorry..thats the dumbest question to ask someone who’s in incarceration.” I forced a smile and we sat. I was eating the food mum had brought when she said, “I have good and bad news for you, son.” “Start with the bad.” “If you wish,” she sighed and patted my hand across the table. “Both your in-laws..no, ex in- laws perished in a terrible car accident.” I instantly lost my appetite. Now I know Anna’s Dad and I had never seen eye to eye but I still respected the man and her mum? God I loved that woman. “That’s..that’s terrible. How is Anna coping with the loss?” I hated Anna, I won’t deny this fact but I’d have to be inhuman for me to rejoice over something so tragic. “That one?” asked Mum with disgust. “She’s behind bars as we speak…she was arrested two days ago for their murder.” “Anna murdered her parents?” “She didn’t intend to, but she did anyway….” she told me all about Anna and Rajesh’s beef and how that had landed Anna in jail.
    “William, that woman is bad news. She’s a psychopath and I’m grateful to God for freeing you from the claws of that Delilah!” What mum was telling me about Anna was unbelievable and disturbing. But lets stop to think, if she was capable of framing me without any remorse, then she was capable of plotting murder too. D--n, that woman was crazy! “Mum, wasn’t Benjamin staying with his grandparents? Who’s he staying with now that they are dead and his crazy mama’s behind bars?” “Oh my, how could I forget to tell you?” she slapped her forehead in frustration. “The boy has moved in with your father and I!” “Why didn’t you bring him with you then? You know how much I miss the boy..” “He’s bonding better with your father so they are home…Son, the good news is that with Anna’s arrest, there’s a possibility you might leave this place soon.” “How when the courts of law are convinced am guilty beyond reasonable doubt?” “Do you trust me, Willy?”
    “Of course I do, mum.” She took both my hands in hers. “I’ll have a serious talk with Anna and believe me when I say I’ll try my utmost best to pump some sense into that her crazy head. Benjamin needs the love of a parent, she knows that too so I’ll use your son as bait. Just wish me luck.” “Alright, mum.” I wasn’t gonna get my hopes up though. A week and a few days down the line, I was cleared of all charges and released from jail. As mum had promised back when she had come to visit me in jail, she had managed to pump some sense into Anna’s head. I arrived home with Dad as he was the one who had come to pick me up from prison and found mum seated on the same couch as Benjamin watching cartoons. When my little boy saw me, he excitedly rushed towards me and I scooped him into my arms. “My little boy,” I kissed almost his whole face while he giggled and angelically said,”Daddy, daddy, daddy.”
    If there was one thing I was grateful to Anna for, it was the fact that she had nurtured Benjamin to see me as his only father. At least the witch could be sensible at times. Dad rubbed my back while mum stood with her arms spread, ready to embrace me. “Welcome home, son,” said Dad. I was behind the house the following evening, burning all pictures of Anna..even the ones I appeared in..burning all of them to ashes! “I wanna forget about you,” I kept on angrily mumbling as I threw the pics into flames. “I just wanna get rid of everything that reminds me of you!” “That’s a funny thing to say seeing as you can’t rid yourself of the greatest thing that reminds you of your ex-wife Anna,” I heard a familiar voice say behind me. I needn’t even turn cause I already knew who it was.. I could recognise that voice anywhere! “Lady Valerie.” “It’s nice to see you again, Willy.” she was standing beside me. “Eh-em. You might burn all these photos, William, but you can’t erase the memories of your wife that are stuck in your mind and neither can you get rid of your son whose Anna’s son too.”
    “Thanks for making me realise that I’m never gonna forget about that b---h no matter how hard I try, thats so thoughtful of you, my lady,” I was obviously being sarcastic. “You’ve lost weight,” she said, crossing her arms and gazing straight into the flames so that her eyes shone. “So says someone who paid me how many visits when I was in jail? Ah, I remember. Zero visits!” “You have every right to be mad, I know. But Willy, I just couldn’t bring myself to pay you a visit. I don’t know why.” “I know why,” I turned to face her. “It’s because you were ashamed of admitting you were sleeping with a man younger than you!” She slapped me. “I won’t have you disrespect me like that! Do you know how difficult it was for me to wake up every morning knowing you were locked behind bars? Paying for a crime you didn’t commit? Look here William, I love you thus I know you. And knowing you, you couldn’t have attempted to murder Anna late alone laying a finger on a strand of her hair.” I was boiling with anger because she’d slapped me but retaliate I couldn’t. She firmly took my arms and wrapped them round her waist. “I missed this, Willy.” she kissed me and I pushed her off.
    “I can’t do this no more, Lady Valerie. I have a son now whom I wanna dedicate my whole life to.” “I understand,” she sadly said, facing the other way. And then after a few minutes of silence. “Your post is still open at the office so you can come back any day you please. And before you refuse my offer, think about Benjamin and his needs.” I took a deep breath. This was so d--n difficult! I really wanted the job but my priority right now was Benjamin and having a relationship with any woman, not just Lady Valerie, would jeopardize my father son relationship with Benjamin and that I didn’t want so I said to Lady Valerie, “If I were to start working for you again, Lady Valerie, promise me the only relationship you and I will share will be that of an employer and employee.” “For your son’s sake, I promise.” “Thank you.” She pecked my cheek before turning to leave and turning back to say, “How soon can you resume work?” “As soon as possible, boss.” She grinned. “My company awaits your services, William Njapau.” With that, she left.

    Epilogue

    Saturday 31st March, 2018.
    RAJESH
    I am seated in a prison cell where I’ll spend the rest of my pathetic life in, yay! I am literally screwed! As if being paralysed isn’t enough, being deported back to Zambia ain’t enough, now am gonna spend years and years in this treacherous place! Room service had found me in that hotel suite back in Manchester and I was deported to Zambia a few days later. The English men were kind enough to buy me a wheelchair, as if mocking my predicament! Upon arrival in Zambia, I was arrested and tried for several counts. Be it drug trafficking, rape and attempted murder of Anna Mumba and being an accomplice regarding the murder of her parents. Now I’ve been sentenced to life imprisonment.
    The b---h had snithed, she couldn’t afford to go down alone. Oh how I wished I had wrung her stupid neck and strangled the b---h to death! Gosh, my life is f-----g messed up and now am gonna spend the rest of it in this hell wishing I’d done this and hadn’t done that. All am left with now are ‘if onlys.’ If only this….if only that.
    CEPHAS
    The day is chilled, so’s the weather. Perfect for the family reunion that will be held at my house tonight. I am outside supervising some men who are decorating the place for tonight’s event. I know it’s gonna be epic, I have a feeling. As I stand in the cool breeze, I inwardly pray for Pastor Peter whom I have plans of visiting tomorrow. Mum walks up to me with a broad smile on her face. “I still can’t believe you are here with us, son.” “With Coreen’s, mine and Pastor Peter’s prayers, am untouchable.” “Indeed you are. And Coreen, that woman is a gem,” she pats my shoulder. “I regret ever thinking she was like that nightmare Lubuto.” “That’s all in the past mum,” I say, looking her straight in the eyes.
    “The future will be better.” “In Jesus’s name it will be!” Her phone rings. “It’s your sister. I think they’ve arrived. Let me go pick them up from the station.” “I can’t wait to see them,” I beam, urging mum on. Coreen shows up with the twins tailing behind her as soon as mum leaves. I take Luke and Mark into my arms and peck their cheeks. “This moment,” I say to Coreen. “The four of us together, no words can express how happy and fulfilled I feel.” She smiles, charmingly. “I can relate.” And looking into her eyes right now, I realise she and I were meant to be. We are a match made in heaven.
    WILLIAM
    “If it isn’t my ex-husband,” says Anna as she sits down. “Have you come all the way here to mock me?” “I don’t do things your way, Anna. I just came to see how the mother of my child is fairing.” “Am very fine, Willy. After all am being treated like a queen in here,” I can tell she’s being sarcastic. “You’ve been here before so I don’t expect you to ask me such a lousy question! That aside, how’s Benja?” “He’s fine. You know you could be telling a different story had you not been so vengeful, right?” “What’s done is done,” she snaps and rises. “And I have no remorse for what I did, Willy. If I was given another chance, I’d screw you all over again!” I watch her yell at a guard to take her away and realise that Anna shouldn’t be in police custody. She should be in a mental asylum cause she’s nuts! From the prison, I drive to my workplace and Lady Valerie looks genuinely happy to see me. “Welcome back, William.” “For my son, am willing to move mountains. So, what work do you have for me today?”
    ANNA
    Of all my actions, the only thing I am remorseful about is not killing Rajesh. If only I can be released from this hell hole just to go murder that son of a b---h, I’d be forever grateful. Don’t be shocked, y’all. Yes I am sorry my parents are dead but all of us will kick the bucket one day, not so? Let’s just say they kicked theirs early. I’ve been sentenced to life imprisonment but I don’t give a d--n because I’ve served my purpose. I’d ratted Rajesh out after mother in- law’s visit some time back. “What do you want?” I had rudely asked her. “Do you love your son?” she had answered my question with a question of hers. That stupid old hag! “Of course I do.” “Then you’ll do right by his father.” “Meaning?”
    “You’ll tell the truth, Anna, so that William is set free. And so that Benjamin grows up with at least one parent cause you my dear ain’t getting out of here any time soon. For once, I ask you think about others and do what’s right.” I told the police the truth knowing that I was framing Rajesh in the process. He wasn’t dead so him being in prison wasn’t bad either. So yeah, am here. In jail and am not going to repent because repentance is for the likes of Coreen and her pretentious husband. Let’s talk about Coreen, Cephas, Rajesh and even William. I too. Amongst us all, am the only one whose life and actions have served a purpose.
    People will hear about my story from their friends, will read about me in the newspaper and will see me on T.V and they’ll cringe and shiver. Married spouses won’t even dare cheat when they think about what I’d done to Raj and Willy. I am a heroine, a legend! I am Anna Mumba. No more Sharma nor Njapau because I am an independent woman. I look at all the brooding faces in the cell and smile. We’re all legends
    COREEN
    My husband and I are preparing for some family reunion which will be held at the Mwaba residence this evening. I am super elated and can’t wait for the reunion cause nothing beats family. And us being together right now, Cephas, the twins and I, I owe all this to God to whom I’ll be forever grateful. Come rain, come sunshine. So much has happened to me and me standing here alive and well is nothing short of a miracle. My husband has been to jail, my friend and husband’s cousin are there as I speak and my friend’s husband was just released days ago. Let me not even get started with Lubuto Bwalya… People may say it all comes down to the choices we make but what say you?
    THE END

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