Story: Tears On My Pillow


    EPISODE 1

    I looked up the heavens and said a little prayer, “Lord Jesus, I know I am not always right and what I did and is about to do is wrong , but please take away this pain. Forgive me and let me live? Amen.” I held my tummy as the pains of motherhood increased by each approaching minute.
    The night was bright with the shinning September moon. The night was quite as though I was the only being in that part of the world. The only noise getting to my ears was the sound of the singing night birds from top of the trees. I looked around the area again , it was a good spot. About 3 kilometres away from the main round and township. For a second l wondered how in the world I got here.
    People in my state, that is 9 months full term pregnant where in the hospital or clinic giving birth. But here I was , a 17 year old grade 12 girl experiencing labour in the thick bushes alone. “What in God’s name was I thinking?” I asked myself.
    I was almost making up my mind to go back home tell my hidden secret to my guardians and live a normal life once again. The past 9 months had been hell, suddenly the sharp pain pricked again making me kneel down in pain. The baby inside me was quite as compared to the past few months when I could feel her move and kick. The pain got stronger, holding my back bone and making me mourn in pain. I couldn’t move , each passing second was unbearable. I made little sounds as I felt the pain increase.
    “God help me” l said aloud,
    ” Please I can’t do this anymore , please.”
    The next hour I spent it Moarning and pulling the dry grass in excruciating pain.
    Finally when I was almost giving up thinking I was going to die I felt the urge to release like when you go to answer the call of nature. Before I knew it I felt a warm thing coming out of me. I pushed hard and done , my baby girl was out of my body. I held her as I felt something else come out. All pain ceased when she cried out. I spent a few seconds looking at my baby who was still connected to me. I kissed her tiny head and I felt it , the love of a mother. It was so powerful.
    Everything stood still as I admired the product of my Labour. Quickly I pulled my small bag got a scissors and cut the cord. I then got a cord clamp from the bag and tied it on my baby’s ambilical cord. I wiped her as fast as I could and dressed her up in a small pink dress. Wrapped her in a towel nappy and covered her up with a showel. I liked the look on her tiny face she looked comfortable.
    layin her down besides me, I got to clean myself , lots of blood was still coming out. After changing into clean clothes from my bag and putting on cotton wool down there I felt better.
    I summarized everything by wrapping up the things which came out in a plastic bag and dug a small hole to burry them.
    When I was satisfied all was ok I got my baby and walked back a little before sitting down under a big masuku tree.
    “Thank you Jesus” I prayed again , “thank you.”
    “I shall call you Grace my little Angel.. I love you so much, I loved you since the day I conceived you. Forgive me that l will give you away. I have no choice this life is hard to understand. I hope one day you will forgive me and accept me as your mother. I promise to work extra hard and be a capable mother worth of looking after you as you deserve.” I said tears streaming down my face.
    I wished things were different. I put my tit in her tiny mouth and felt her suck gently. Holding her tight, I cried the more. I really loved her and letting go was hard. I held her neck and felt a round spot. it was a small dark pimple like Mark below her hair in the back of her neck , l had a similar Mark under my right breast. I touched it a bit longer as she sucked. After about an hour , she fell asleep.
    I looked at my watch it was 45 minutes passed 21 hours. I had to get back home , but first drop Grace at her new parents.
    I walked to the Mwapes residents. Mr and Mrs Mwape lived on a farm a few meters away from the bushes I gave birth from. I spent time observing them. They seemed to be good people , they looked happy together though they had been married for 20 years without having any children. I remember my aunty who were friends with Mrs Mwape gossip with our neighbour Bana Juniour how she couldn’t bare children despite living a good life.
    I Had Shaken my head in disbelief, the time I overhead them.
    Life isn’t fair indeed. Those two were snakes , they looked at others with so much jealousy and treated their dependants like dogs but they had children. On the other hand, Mrs Mwape was a good woman , she smilled at everyone and even raised two boys they barely knew. She just helped two orphans from the streets.
    As the thoughts ran my head I noticed I was almost at the Mwape’s farm entrance.
    I got a stone and knocked hard on the gate , putting my baby down with tears still running down my face. I hid a few steps away behind the tree and waited for someone to show up.
    The worker opened the gate and I could see him flinch and jump back when he saw Grace wrapped up. He picked the note I left on top. After reading it, I saw him ran back into the yard shouting.
    ” Boss! come and see there is a baby outside the gate!”
    Mr Mwape Came trotting to the gate his wife running behind him whilst tieing her chitenge around her waist. They looked on the baby in awe and the worker walked down the road to check if there was someone.
    He came back and told them,
    “boss there’s no one”.
    “Give me that paper,” Mr Mwape extented his and read through the note aloud.
    “To the Mwape’s,
    sorry for leaving my baby here with you. You are the only people l can trust that you will raise her well. You can’t understand me but know that l love her and l want what’s best for her. I can’t give her a life she deserves but I know you are good people so you can take good care of her. Her name is Grace.”
    “my God who could have done this.? Why would someone just leave their new born baby out in the night like this?” Lamented Mr Mwape.
    “Honey let’s take her inside we will go to the police and report this tomorrow. I can’t stand seeing this innocent baby outside like this” his wife said as she picked Grace and held her close.
    “You are home my little Angel”
    I whispered to myself after the Mwape’s went in and the worker closed the gate.
    I sat down and hugged myself feeling so empty. A big piece of me was gone and the pain was so big , my heart swelled up.
    With pain I walked slowly down the road. I cared less what my aunty would do to me when she realises I wasn’t in the house , after all, A week after l was going back to school , a boarding school..
    How did I get here…..?

    EPISODE 2

     I walked down the road from Mwape farm it was a cool clear night. Making me feel more empty, with every step I took away from where I left my little Angel. I wondered what was going on inside that house.
    “was she ok? Maybe she was awake and needed me.” I quickly brushed off the sad thoughts and walked back home in silence. Saying little prayers and pouring my heart out in tears.
    I wasn’t a bad person. Infact I was a born again Christian and a humble girl everyone liked me that i wasn’t as wild as other girls of my age. I worked hard at school and though I lived with my aunty my late dad’s sister who treated me less than a human being. I had an inner inspiration to make it big in life and help take care of my poor mother who was still living in missis compound in Lusaka. My aunty Nelly decided to take me in when I qualified to grade 8. since my mom had no means of seeing me through school, she was happy aunty took me so that i can complete my education.
    My aunt’s husband was a manager at Lafarge cement company in chilanga district. And I can say that they were doing fine.we lived in a big house opposite the plant.
    Though it was a relief my aunty Nelly took me in. I had to endure her heartless attitude. She treated me and the brother to her husband harshly. sometimes we went without full meals. Meanwhile her and her two children would eat nice meals at the dinning table as we watched in silence. she would shout at us and mock our poor families and how lazy our parents were that they couldn’t take care of us.
    I remember growing up, she lived with us before dad passed on. He educated her up to college level and even helped her get a job at Lafarge through his friend a few months before he died. I was in grade 5 then. My mom tried taking care of me and my two siblings Joseph and sila. But it wasn’t easy with the fact that she was uneducated and bad at business too. she ended up selling our house which was in chilenge and we moved to misis compound.
    Now mom was working as a maid. She asked Aunty Nelly to help with my school fees, that’s when she agreed to let me stay with them in chilanga. Of course it wasn’t like she wanted to, but her pride made her. she was the kind to show off like she was a good woman to other family members but deep down she was heartless. Aunty Nelly made me and Chisha the brother in law clean and do all the house work and left us meagre meals when she left for work.
    I had to ensure i did all the work and took her first born girl to school before preparing myself for school. She only hired a lady to look after her 1 year old second born girl. According to her there was no need to hire a maid when we were around.
    Her husband was good though. He was so good to me he even gave me money for clothes and any school requirements. Though this got to aunty Nelly, even when she never said it, I knew she hated the fact the her husband wasn’t as evil as she was.
    I was happy when I made it to grade ten. Uncle Chilufya suggested I go to a boarding school since I had good results. Aunty objected but she gave up when her husband insisted I go so I put in all my effort and work hard at school. So he found me a place at Chipembi girls in central province.
    I was ok up until I met a boy I fall in love with when I was in grade 11.
    FLASH BACK……
    I came home for holidays. I was working as usual cleaning outside the gate when I heard someone calling out my name. Turning back I saw Benson. Ben was our neighbour Bana Juniour’s young brother. I first met him when I moved in with aunt. We were friends back then. He was doing his final grade in high school when I started my grade 8. Now he had gone away and I had no idea where. I never bothered to ask bana junior where he had gone to. It was over three years since I lost sight of him.
    “Hey there !” He called me out. Ben came and gave me a hug.
    ” It has been long Jenala how have you been?” He asked cheerfully.
    “Great. .. you?” I reponded smilling.
    “You look great, the last time I saw you, you were just a small girl. I never thought little Jena will turn out to be this beautiful” I smilled at him.
    Honestly he looked good too. He was all grown up with a well built statue. he’s light skin looked so smooth and flawless. I gazed at his golf t shirt and noticed his strong masculine features.
    “Oh..” i snapped.
    ” you look good too. So what brings you back to Chilanga after disappearing for years ?” I asked, holding the broom tightly.
    “I came back for a visit, been away for long” he said leaning on the wall fence. “I missed you guys here, it feels good to be back.” He shrugged looking at me all the time.
    “Well you welcome Ben” I answered looking straight at him.
    We chatted for a few minutes before he left. He told me he was studying Economics in Russia and just came back for 2 months for a holiday.
    Ben and I had always been good friends.
    Until one afternoon he asked me to sneak out and go to Kafue with him. We went for boat cruising and spent the whole friday afternoon at the hills besides the river chatting and catching up.
    “So do you have a boyfriend? ” he asked me. I laughed out.
    “Oh no Ben am in school remember?” besides I don’t have time to go out you know my aunty.” Ben giggled shaking his head.
    ” You are no longer a small girl Jena, plus I like you a lot. we know each other way back so I want you to become my girlfriend.” He stated straight up his manly voice so calm and sweet.
    “whats that?” I looked at him smilling. Deep down I liked him too and I couldn’t belive a hot guy would even ask me to be his girl. I blushed a little.
    “Tell me dear what makes me so special tbat you left all the cute ladies in Russia or where ever you went? ” I asked turning to look at him that I may tell when he lied to me.
    “I like you cause you are beautiful and a very decent girl. Please be my girl” he said in a sexy voice and I fall for him like an idiot. That day we kissed and I went home humming love songs.
    One day I foolishly followed Ben when he asked me to his house. His sister was out so he was alone home. He took me to his bedroom and that same day I lost my virginty to him. He was so nice and loving to me. No one knew about us except Chisha.
    To cut the story short, We were in a great relationship and met up three more times before I went back to school. When I came back Ben had gone back to Russia. He promised to come back months Later when he was done with his degree program.
    I then noticed I hadn’t had my periods the first term of grade twelve. I started feeling funny and went to the clinic. Everyone at home thought i had malaria. I was told by a nurse attending to me that i was pregnant after the blood test .
    I crushed down, What was I going to say to aunty? I knew for sure the momoent she knew that would be the end of me. It would be a perfect opportunity to send me back to mom. But if I left it meant I wouldn’t complete my grade 12. If I quit, how was I going to raise my child without anything.
    “No way” I thought to myself, I wasn’t going to expose my child to harsh life conditions in Misis. I had no way of contacting Ben and to top it all I knew no one especially aunty and bana junior would even buy my story of Ben being the father to my child.
    From the way they spoke about him I could tell they never expected him to be with a girl like me. She one day told me to Stop eyeing him cause he was engaged to an educated woman in Lusaka. That they shall get married when he was Done studying abroad. Ben however denied the allegations when I asked him and he told me to ignore my ranting aunty. So now I was stuck.
    I made a plan not to say anything to anyone not even Chisha. I even went for anti natal clinic without anyone knowing. That’s where i leant about babies and how to take care of myself during my pregnancy. When we were told to buy things for the baby, I bought everything and hide them in the house in my room.
    I used the little moneys uncle gave me to buy the little things. I bought a dress and a showel,a pair of socks and a head sock and a Jersey. I got a cord clamp and cottom wool too.
    I thought my belly would grow big, but I intended to hide it and make sure no one noticed. Since I spent most of the time at school it was not so hard. At school i concealed it with a school Jersey. And at home i wore big T shirts. Luckily I had a small bump as compared to other people I saw around. My aunt barely looked at me. She never noticed and since I stayed in doors when ever i was home, hiding my pregnancy was so easy.
    One day I was sent to Mrs Mwape’s farm to get vegetables. It was a few meters back from my home. As we went to pluck vegetables I noticed what a good woman Mrs Mwape was, how softly she spoke and was so kind to the workers.
    Right there i had an idea, ” I would give my child once she was born to her. Instead of being thrown out I would give my baby to her until I was ready to take care of my baby.” I planned in my head.
    I spent the whole time planning my babys birth and how to take her to the Mwape’s the moment she was born.
    I Even went for a scan and they told me my due date. I prayed to give Birth on the actual day. Cause it was before schools opened for the third term and time for final exams.
    God answered my prayer and so I started feeling contractions in the morning on Sept 30. I knew that time had come.I used Chisha’s phone who was now in college to Google.i learnt the process of Labour and everything about pregnancy and child birth. So I quickly grabbed my school bag and packed the items I bought around 17 hours and left home saying i wanted to see a friend to give her a book for physics.
    I went direct to the bushes were i cleared a place to give Birth from. Since it was close to the Mwape farm. I would easily walk down drop my new born baby and rush home. No one would ever know I was ever pregnant.
    Now……
    So it went as planned and here I am now leaving my baby and heading home like nothing happened. Meanwhile, my heart was torn apart.
    I tiptoed into the house through the kitchen door. Thankfully chisha left the door and gate open. He took my my plea to leave them open for me and cover for me in case aunty asked.
    I went straight to my room changed the cotton wool and got in my bed. I cried myself to sleep feeling so exhausted.

    EPISODE 3

    I woke up early, went to take a bath and cleaned myself up. I wore a jean and a loose body top. My blood flow had reduced. I felt a little weak but wasn’t going to let anyone suspect a thing. so I started cleaning up the house, uncle Chilufya greeted me with a smile as he walked to the dinning table. I had already prepared a sandwich and cut Apple fruits and a glass of juice just like he liked it for breakfast.
    “Hey, so are you ready for exams next term?” He asked biting on his food.
    “yes uncle” I responded dusting the TV in the sitting room.
    “we are starting 3 weeks after opening.”
    “Oh great then. I know you are hard working, so please make me and your aunty proud” he said.
    “sure Uncle” I smiled at him.He surely was a good man.
    “I didn’t see you at super last night. where were you?” For a second I ignored his question and swallowed hard before answering..
    ” hm. I went to take back a book to my friend in the police camp. I found them group studying so I joined in.” I lied feeling sweat all over my body.
    ” oh yeah?, that’s good, group studies are good they help a lot” uncle responded. I made a small cross in my head thanking God he bought my story.
    “So what do you need for school?” He asked before walking out.
    “fees and money for grocery and transport” I answered
    ” ok let me come back.”
    “thank you Uncle ” I nodded handing him his car keys and briefcase.
    I went on with my work. Aunty walked out a few minutes later. Without greeting me she went direct to the table had her breakfast and headed out. I ran to her
    “aunty Nelly, what should I cook for lunch?”
    ” Who cares?” she responded.
    “just prepare roasted chicken for me and my husband for supper, your lunch is none of my concern” she said without even looking at me.
    ” ok aunty good day” I said walking back inside.
    “Hey come back here !” she called out.I froze in my steps
    “what now?” I thought to myself as I quickly went to her.
    ” you know when you have something up your sleeves you become all jittery and guilty, next time you decide to go see your friends make sure I the owner of the house is aware. This is my house and not yours you hear?” She scolded me. Well at least i had expected the worst that was Almost nothing.
    ” Sorry aunty” I murmured looking down.
    “Open the gate stupid!” she shouted as she got in her car. I ran and opened the gate and watched her drive away. Thank God that’s all I got for that morning.
    I rushed inside quickly cleaned up the plates from the dinning table and removed the chicken from the fridge. I had my breakfast as quickly as possible, I had somewhere to go. Immediately Mapalo’s(aunty Nelly’s 2nd baby) Nanny came in, I told her I had to see someone and I quickly rushed out.
    I stood some few meters away from the Mwapes farm and watched the activities around the farm house. I was there for almost 30 minutes when I saw Mrs Mwape and her husband drive in. I bent a little and gazed closely at the back seat of the Prado as they drove through the gate. I saw Mrs Mwape holding my baby, my heart skipped. I ran to the back yard and jumped over the wire fence.
    I had to hear what was going on. I sneaked close to the sitting room window.
    Mrs Mwape sat down with a sigh Grace in her hands. I noticed the husband had plastics full of baby clothes. The plastics were labelled Jets.
    ” wow!” so they even went to the city to buy the baby clothes?” I whispered in my mind comforted. Mr Mwape turned to face the window I quickly ducked, squatting below the window. I heard them talking,
    ” so it’s done, it seems God has given us a baby.”
    “mmmh, I don’t know sweety” answered Mr Mwape.
    “The police said we keep her until they try finding the mother”
    ” but Honey, if she wanted to be found she wouldn’t have left the baby in the night and leave that note. Let’s just keep her, just look how her beautiful eyes are shinning. I love her my husband. I can’t let anything bad happen to her” pleaded Mrs Mwape.
    I couldn’t help shed a tear. The urge to go in and grab back my baby was so strong I had to pinch myself to avoid doing so. I peeped again and saw a maid bring a feeding bottle hand it to her Boss who gave it to Grace lovingly.
    I smiled seeing little movements in the shawl around her and Mrs Mwape smiled as she fed Grace.
    Soon after, i heard foot steps the workers where heading my direction. I quickly stormed out and ran back as I came.
    I sighed with relief when I was outside the fence.
    “oh God, I didn’t know living without my baby was going to be this hard”
    I bit my lower lip in anguish and sat outside the fence for another 30 minutes before heading back to the main township.

    EPISODE 4

    At school I was quite down the first day. I watched the girls running around shouting and doing all sorts of things trying to catch up. Others sat in groups explaining how the holiday was. some girls sat in their gossip groups,others showing off what they came with from home. I sat quietly on my bed, my mind back home. I really missed my daughter and the burden was large cause I had no one to talk to.
    who would understand me? As they say” if you want to keep a secret never tell anybody. ” my best friend Muma tried talking to me and cheer me up but all was in vain. A big part of me was gone.
    with each passing day I wondered how I would live without my girl. I felt regret. what was life worth if you can’t sacrifice to be with the one you truly love, your own fresh and blood.
    I was called on a Wednesday by our Matron. She asked me how home was. I was surprised by her questions,
    ” everyone is ok” I said wondering what she was driving at.
    “Jenala, I called you here because am concerned about you, last term you didn’t look so well and this term too. Are you sure you are okay? nothing is wrong with you?”
    I knew where the questions were leading to, if it was the previous term I could have been very worried I thought to myself.
    “am ok Madam” I answered back.
    ” really? anyway, as per trend I will personally take you to the nurse and make sure you are alright, i mean you aren’t pregnant, you know the rules. The school doesn’t allow any pregnant pupil.” She spoke s she led me to the school clinic.
    “if that’s what it will take for me to prove to you that am not pregnant then it’s okey Madam we can see the nurse” I responded confidently.
    After seeing the nurse I was asked to give her a sample of my urine and blood and they both came out negative.
    The Matron told me she was glad. “you are an intelligent girl I could have been disappointed with you” She sighed dismissing me.
    Days passed quickly I got so busy studying for the final exams, after 3 weeks, exams started and I wrote with confidence, it was worth it that i studied so hard.
    On the day I completed my high school. Uncle passed through and picked me up, in fact , I was surprised he came he had not given me prior notice that he would come.
    “Uncle how did you know we wrote our last paper today?” I asked him after I was called by the Matron to go see him at the head teacher’s office.
    ” I was coming from Ndola” he smiled” so I decided to call the school and find out if you are done so I drive you home.”
    “That’s nice of you ” I pointed out heading to collect my bags.
    Uncle drove us to Lusaka, we passed through some eating place and had our lunch.
    “So Jena what do you intend to study?” He looked at me as he drove breaking the silence
    “Mm, I would like to do Law or Banking and Finance” i told him.
    “Well, worry about passing. you know I will help you through your education.”
    “Thank you Uncle” I answered honestly ” you have been so good to me I don’t know how to appreciate you.”
    ” it’s okey and you are welcome uncle looked at me.
    ” your father was a good man he helped lots of people including myself. The only way I can appreciate what he did for me is to see to it that you complete your education and become independent. ”
    “Ok, uncle you sound like you knew my dad.” I wondered loudly.
    “yeah” he sighed “not directly though, but through my dad. Did you know your father helped us when my father who was his work mate back then got fired from his job? life wasn’t easy for us, your father sacrificed his house he had on rent in Kabwata and lend it to my father and us all to live in for free. he practically feed us for almost two whole months. To sum it all, your father helped us through when no one else could. I helped your aunty get a job at Lafarge some few years before he died. I then fall in love with her and you know the rest..” He smiled looking at me and then right ahead.
    Wow!, that was news to me, no wonder. I now understood why he was so nice to me. The rest of the journey was great we talked about lots of things. College and university life especially.
    Uncle told me it was an interesting stage in life but one ought to be careful because some people lost it and never even made it out if they became over excited and lived carelessly. I nodded in agreement as I took in his wise words.
    The following day at home uncle called me after work and handed me an envelop. It was addressed to me.
    It read…
    ” Jenala chisonga..
    then care of Mr Chilufya kenrod.”
    I looked at it and uncle. I didn’t understand who could have written me a letter. As far as I knew, no one ever wrote to me. worse still using uncle’s address.
    I thanked uncle and went straight to my room. I turned the envelope around and it was quite heavy. Printed behind was an international address. My heart beat increased when I saw Russia.
    “what in God’s name is going on?”I whispered. I had not heard from him for almost a year and now he decides to send me a letter. I tried to open the envelope but stopped mid way. I put it down under my pillow. sighing, i left my room and went to continue cooking. I wasn’t ready to know about the man who changed my life and brought me so much pain.
    The whole afternoon i tried to find an excuse to go see my daughter but unfortunately it wasnt easy with aunty around. I gave up hope of seeing Grace that day when it was passed 18 hours.
    As though to answer my prayer. Someone was hooting at the gate. I smiled when I saw Chisha coming back in with Mrs Mwape.
    “you are welcome aunt” I greeted her..
    “thank you Jena, I didn’t know you are back already”
    ” yeah , I came back yesterday. how is baby Grace” I asked before leaving to call aunty from the bedroom.
    ” she’s ok, she’s a big girl now. You can go see her outside she remained in the car with her father ” she told me.
    ” of course” I smiled almost running to call aunty and storming out immediately she came to greet Mrs Mwape.
    Grace truly had grown. I touched her fingers and she gave me a big smile.
    “It seems my daughter knows you. ” Mr Mwape jocked. ” look at how she smiles every time you are around. ”
    “Yeah so it seems” I said bluntly. After a few minutes with her aunt came and I kissed Grace good night
    “What a blessing that i kissed her good night” I thought smiled to myself as i entered my room.
    later that night in bed I held Ben’s letter. I put it back and picked it up again.
    ” let me see what he had to say, after all I won’t have to believe him or anything like that..” i comforted myself.
    I opened it and gasped, enclosed was a beautiful card wishing me a wonderful festive season. I opened the letter inside and it read.
    “My love,
    I pray you are ok. Am fine I just miss you a lot. I wonder why you have not been responding to the letters i sent through aunty Nelly. Anyway, I just figured that maybe she never gave you my letters over the months so I decided to use your uncles name.
    I hope you read my letter this time. I miss you and I love you very much. I hope you are keeping yourself well for me. I can’t write a lot cause I am not sure you will get this. Please if you do, call me on the number below.
    Love Ben.
    I read through twice. I couldn’t believe aunty Nelly received letters and never mentioned anything to me. Anyway, I was not so surprised. She obviously read the letters and kept it to herself. No wonder when ever she mentioned Ben she made sure to repeat her story of him marrying a Lusaka woman. I was sure she wanted me to hate him or forget Ben. her plan worked cause after i realised Ben would never contact me i decided to flush him out of my head. though it was hard not to love him. I tried with all my strength to ignore the feelings. With Grace around it was even easy. All my energy was channelled to wanting to be with my daughter. Even if it meant me sneaking on the Mwape’s everyday.
    I hugged the letter and fell asleep. Promising myself to buy air time and talk to him the following morning. Thankfully uncle got me a phone on our way back from school.

    EPISODE 6

    I quickly finished cleaning the car..
    I was feeling so mad at aunty, so much that when she called me to give her a glass of juice I for a sec thought of putting hot chilli in the juice. But then my conscious reminded me that i was a Christian and vengeance belonged to God.
    After kneeling and handing her the Glass I quickly slid into my slippers and headed out to go see my daughter without even saying bye.
    At the farm I found Mrs Mwape seated outside on a rid mat Grace was besides her in a baby basket. They looked so cute together. I deeply wished I was the one besides my daughter instead of a woman who never even knew how she came into the world. Who had no idea what I had to go through in 9 months to bring her to the world.
    “anyway.. stop it ” I warned myself.
    “Remember you gave her away” my inner voice told me
    “Yeah sure thanks for the reminder !” I shouted at my conscience.
    “Good morning aunty !” I called out heading to where Mrs Mwape sat.
    “morning Jena you are welcome”
    “thank you” I said joining her.
    ” how is your girl doing?” I asked playing with Grace’s fingers. she was fast asleep.
    “She’s ok thank God.”
    “Well, I came to see you people I missed you so much..” I smiled my eyes still set on my baby.
    “You are a good person Jena.. and I like the big heart you have especially towards kids, look at how you practically raised your aunt’s kids. it’s amazing how those girls love you. That’s evident you do a good job with them. And now you adore my baby with pure love. who does that? I know one day God will give you your own kids and am sure you will love them more than life its self.”
    I looked at Mrs Mwape say all those nice things, tears fell freely from my eyes..
    ” thank you” i said at last.
    “Have I said anything wrong my dear?” Mrs Mwape asked sounding concerned.
    ” No am fine sorry aunty, it’s just that no one has ever told me am that kind of a person. I appreciate it honestly” I said wiping away the tears..
    “You can always come and see the baby.” she added..
    “wow!, thank you aunty I would love that” i smiled .
    “you know I love babies and for some reason I like your cute little one more ” I told her,
    “i noticed” she nodded her head and we both giggled.
    ” mind if I hold her?”
    “Go ahead girl. she’s all yours.” She beamed at me.
    ” thank you aunty” I said lifting Grace who was now waking up. I put her on my laps and played with her whilst Mrs Mwape went inside to prepare lunch. I walked round the back yard and down to the fields.
    I stopped down the fields watching the workers plant maize.
    My mind started imagining what was beyond reality. I imagined Ben came behind me kiss my neck and grabbed Grace. He swings her around in the air whilst she chuckled. I couldn’t help but smile at how the two of them looked great together.
    I was busy day dreaming when Grace touched my face with her little smooth hands, bringing me back to the present.
    “Your dad will love you” I whispered to her
    ” you will see, one day God will bring the 3 of us together as it should be.”i played with her face. Grace giggled as though to say she would love that.
    Her smile was priceless. If i had to die right that minute. I would surely die a happy person.
    I walked back to the house when I noticed the clouds getting darker. It was going to rain any minute. I helped Mrs Mwape put the mat and Grace’s basket in the house. she gave me to feed her and I did it with pleasure.
    It started pouring outside. That meant I was to stay until the rains passed and deep down I was glad, that gave me more time with Grace.
    I was invited for lunch which I declined but Being the woman she was Mrs Mwape wouldn’t take no for an answer. I painfully put Grace in her basket as I joined them at the dinning table for lunch.
    “So what now that you have completed your secondary school.?” Asked Mr Mwape.
    ” um I wish to go to college uncle, hopefully I pass well.”
    “you will dear provided you put in your best.” He spoke his mouth full
    ” I did”
    ” that’s good then, it’s hard nowadays to have a better life without education ” he added and I nodded in agreement.
    Grace started crying and I almost got up to go pick her up.
    ” no, dear sit and finish your food let Maria take care of Grace for now.” Mrs Mwape stopped me.
    but.. I..”
    ” well young lady she will be fine.. Maria !” Mrs Mwape called out.
    “ma! ” The maid answered from the other room.
    “check on the baby.”
    “yes ma” she said running to lift Grace.
    It pained that some one got her.I felt a bit of jealousy but I had to play cool. After we were done eating, I offered to help bath and change Graces nappy of which I was gladly allowed to. Taking care of babies wasn’t a problem for me like Mrs Mwape said, I practically raised auntys kids. I put her on my back and she fell asleep almost instantly,
    “put her in her cot will you? ”
    “Yes aunty” I replied and went on putting Grace in her room.
    Later, I said my good byes and left, but before I walked out.
    I told Mrs Mwape how grateful I was
    “you are a great person too” I added leaving her smiling.
    As i walked home I looked at the number I had saved in my phone
    “Ben..” I thought to myself
    “I must call you tonight.” I passed through a side shop and bought some air time, refilled my phone and headed back home. It was passed 16 hours and i was sure aunty had already left for the kitchen party.
    At home I was welcomed by the girls running around the yard playing in the water. I took them in, changed their clothes and fed them cornflakes. I barely watched TV, i guess it was because I had little free time or never wanted to sit with aunty who from the beginning never allowed me to sit freely in the living room. I put cartoons for the kids.
    As they watched shima and shine, I couldn’t help wish i had my own genie to grant me my wishes.
    Chisha came in from his room, he was studying engineering at the university and since they were on vacation he came home days before I did. we chatted a bit and I retired to prepare dinner.
    In my bedroom I shivered a bit before dialing Ben’s line. it rang for some time without response. I redialled the line, it went unanswered again. I decided to text,
    “hey it’s Jena.” Putting down my phone I fell asleep, Thinking about my girl and praying for her safe night.

    EPISODE 7

    I was fast asleep dreaming that the results were out and that we were travelling to Chipembi to go collect them. we were blocked by a big truck which had overturned on the road. I panicked and told aunty Nelly to just drive around the truck so that we made it to school on time. she was busy on her phone and seemed not to mind that we were late.
    I was awakened by the vibration from my phone. I patted the blanket felt my phone, lifted it to my ears without looking at the caller name .
    “Helo! ” I asnwered in a sleepy voice my eyes closed.
    “hey!” the person on the other end answered.
    ” hey who is this ?” I answered carelessly.
    “Jena is that you? Jena it’s Ben” I heard him say.
    ” what?” I was completely awake in an instant. I looked at the number, it was him..
    ” Ben is it really you..? ”
    “It’s me love. What took you so long? I miss you Jena, why haven’t you contacted me?” He asked sounding excited
    “Hey take it easy ” I told him,
    ” let me explain.. ”
    I told him how I never got all the letters he sent using auntie’s address.
    ” I figured that out..” he sighed
    “though it took time for me to think of that possibility, that aside.. how have you been? How is life in Zambia..? ”
    “it’s ok and am fine now that i have heard from you.” I responsed.
    “are you sure you are ok?” He inquired again. I almost told him everything but then decided not to. it was neither the time nor place I thought to myself.
    “Am sure Ben. I wrote my final exams and am back home now. so tell me how is Russia..? ” i quickly changed the subject.
    “Oh …” he chuckled.
    “Russia is ok though i would rather be there with you right now. I bet you are in bed.”
    ” yes ” I laughed out.
    “oh I miss you Jena… so much.. just that it’s hard here. I just Have to complete my studies before I could come back. I will be done in a few months.”
    “I miss you too Ben, you have no idea what life has thrown at me the past year.” I toned down my voice.
    ” oh love you sound sad , is everything alright.? tell me what happened. ” He read my mood.
    “I can assure you one day you will know everything, for now I can only say our lives are in God’s hands and he’s the controller and holder of our destiny.”
    “Jena stop speaking in parables and tell me what’s up there?”
    I smilled, I liked the concern in his voice that comforted me knowing he still cared for me..
    We chatted for over an hour. Ben explained that he would come in a few months. I dared not tell him about Grace. for that moment it was my problem and I wasn’t going to tell him on phone. Besides, maybe he would even hate me for giving away our baby. He wouldn’t understand, I thought to myself.
    “Do you love me Jena?” he asked before hanging up, for some reason unknown to even myself I had never told Ben directly that i loved him and I couldn’t say it on phone either. I just said yes I do.
    I heard him flown, “well it seemed you won’t say it to me aloud.” he giggled and I could imagine his face.
    ” well, I will wait for the day you will decide to say the words loud. But know that i still love you and am definetely coming back for you. You are my woman you hear.? ” I smiled, I couldn’t help love the command in his voice.
    ” yes sir” I teased.
    “Hey i feel like talking to you forever but I have to go to class.”
    “eeh this time?” I asked checking the time.
    ” yes silly” he laughed it’s broad daylight here.
    “oh I forgot” I laughed..
    “good to hear from you ” I sighed
    “well am glad you called me love will talk to you later in the day am sure you are tired now, you need to rest.”
    I hang up and felt so great. just hearing his voice gave me tickles. I had missed him so badily. I went back to sleep with a big smile. I had time with my girl and now I talked to my love.
    ” thank you Jesus ” I said aloud before pulling the blanket up to my shoulders and went back to sleep.
    I woke up late, I guess it was because my sleep was disturbed during the night. I woke up with a staguessrt and rushed outside. thank God it was sunday otherwise people could have been late for work. Everyone was still asleep the time i started working.
    I was always the first to wake up, though I thought today I would find people awake. It was passed 7 but the house was still quite.
    I did everything and prepared the kids and myself for church. we walked outside and waited for everyone to come out before we headed for church.
    luckily sunday was the only day we moved as a family to mass and back. everyone at church had the picture that we were the perfect family. I knew that made aunty proud. She would do anything to paint a good picture of herself.
    I sat idly in the bench my mind wondering away. All I could think of was Ben and my girl. instead of singing along to the songs, I prayed that God would forgive me and helped me out of my situation. There was nothing I wished for more than having and living a normal honesty life.
    The priest stood and spoke about us preparing our heart’s to receive Christ in the Christmas season approaching. I wondered away again. I thought of how i have swayed away from the correct path. In fact, I barely sang in the praise team.
    “bring me back home oh Lord” I prayed again. Mass was over and we walked out. I saw aunt Chatting and catching up with her friends. Uncle too went to the parish office, since he was part of the church council. we had to wait for them with the kids. Walking to the girls from the praise team and they all flashed me with smiles.
    ” why haven’t you been coming for praise?” one of the girls asked.
    “I was busy with school but I will resume I promise” I responded bluntly.
    Another praise member Jim joined in in chat.” come back dear” he said winking at me. He really had a dirty mind all he did was flirt with all the girls in the praise team and those who were idiots fell for his tricks. his effort to get to me failled tremendously. I always told him off but he was like a bug, he still insisted. claiming I was the only one who got to his heart to that i told him to keep dreaming.
    Though everyone thought Jim was the hottest guy amongst the youths, for me he was just like any other guy. I was glad uncle called us to the car. I couldn’t wait to walk away. I waved the girls and entered the car lifting Mapalo and Tina inside.
    I checked my phone and found a text from Ben.
    “My love i know you are at church by now. Text me when you out. am off to bed.. I love you. ”
    I quickly wrote back
    “we are out now.. bet you are asleep.. miss your voice.. ” I smiled as I pressed the send button.

    EPISODE 8

    In Russia…
    “Ben! Ben!.. wait up man what’s the rush? ”
    Oliver called me out. My phone had rang twice as the lecturer concluded his lesson. I ignored it and thought I would call later. I figured it could have been my sister since the number was from Zambia.
    I put back my iPhone in the pockets and it vibrated indicating I received a text. I took out my phone, drew the pattern
    “hey it’s Jena.” It read.
    my heart stopped for a second. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had been writing to Jena for months now and she had never bothered to answer back. In fact, Oliver would always tell me to forget her and move on.
    “man forget that your girl from your country, if she still cared about you she would have said something by now. Maybe she’s hooked up with some other guy.. ”
    “no man…” I told him.
    ” I know this girl.. I have known her since she was just a kid. she can’t do that to me, no way man.”
    Oliver shrugged And patted my back.
    “it’s your loss” he shook his head” going to see my chick.” he said with a grin and walked out of our room.
    He was my friend, we met on the first day at the university during registration. we bonded perfectly especially that we were doing the Same course. He was from Tanzania and very wild with women too.
    unlike me, Oliver had had a chain of girls since we started studying. He dumped his girlfriend from his home country barely 6 months in Russia.
    for me on the other hand, my heart and body belonged to Jena. She was the love of my life. I fall in love with her the day I saw her first, but then she was just in grade 8 and I was doing grade 12. I had to wait until she was old enough. however, managed to befriend her, she was my neighbour and her aunty was friends with my sister. So I had the opportunity to see her every day.
    The time I went visiting Zambia I finally saw her, she really had grown into a beautiful woman. I realised Jena had changed so much in 3 years. I couldn’t help admire her beautiful figure, the first time I saw her she wore a chitenge and was busy cleaning the yard. I gazed at her behind and I felt my manhood flinch.
    ” damn this girl” I cursed.
    “She will drive me crazy” when I called her name. I almost melted, the smile on her mouth was enough to knock me down. I fought hard not to rush out to kiss her.
    I immediately knew she was the one, though I dated Chipo from high school. I never fell in love with her. she was all over me but I couldn’t just love her. In fact, I ended our relationship a year after high school.
    she however had been calling my .. sister and pleading for my number. I heard she was working as a nurse in Lusaka. I cared less anyway, even after my sister insisted she was the right person for me to marry. I never heed to her advice. My heart longed for my simple Jenala. I never told my sister that, knowing she would tell Jena’s aunty. I didn’t want to get her in any trouble not until I was ready to face her.
    I remember the first time I made love to her, she was so shy, that day I got so hard I couldn’t let her go. I could see some dilemma in her eyes but I went for her still, the animal in me was so strong it needed calming down. I made love to her and God it was the best sex I ever had. I noticed some stains of blood on my sheets, somehow I felt guilty I broke her innocence. But I couldn’t hold my desire that afternoon. I promised myself I would stay away fropm her.
    The next time I took her out to Kafue again, we sat and watched the river flow. I held her waist as we talked. I couldn’t control it when she leaned on my chest, her hair touching my face. I asked her to look at me. gosh, her face made things worse. I got so hard I felt pain.
    ” I love you so much” I whispered to her, like always she just smilled. I wondered why she never told me the words i love you straight up, but it mattered less. Her actions said it all. surprisingly she kissed me and I was so gone. How on earth was I suppose to control myself with her soft lips touching mine.
    I stood up and asked her to follow me. we went back to the car parked behind us, thank heavens my sister allowed me to use her car after i lied I was going to meet up friends.
    I pulled her in the back seat, left one front window a bit open and closed the tinted back Windows.
    “can I make love to you here? ” I asked her kissing her again. she nodded between kisses. I held her tight….
    later,
    “thank you,” I said in her ears.
    “for what? ” she had asked shly.
    for making me a happy man” I said honestly.
    The 3 rd time was a good bye. I saw her off to school the following day and promised to get in touch, of which I did, but without her responding.
    After serious arguments about her with Oliver I realised she might not have received my letters.
    “you know man” I told Oliver one day,
    “Her aunty is something else. I am now beginning to doubt if she ever gave her the letters. Damn! why did I forget to get her school address? I have been so stupid” i hit myself.
    That’s when I decided a week after to use her uncles address. since the company manager’s addresses were listed online, on the company website. I easily got hold of his postal address and sent the later to Jena.
    I looked at the text again
    ” to hell with the lecture” I rushed out heading to my room so I speak to her. I couldn’t wait to hear her voice.I knew she was obviously sleeping cause it was aroud 12 hours in Russia, meaning it was aroud 23 hours in Zambia.
    Here I was stopping and waiting for Oliver running towards my direction.
    “hey Ben whats the rush?” He painted holding his file close.
    ” Oh man, you wont believe this” I opened the text and showed him.
    ” well it looks like your girfriend has resurrected, talk to her then my man. maybe you can become normal again ” he teased.
    “see you later then, let me see some books over the library.” He smiled
    “great” I answered walking away.
    I sat down to call her, the line was almost cutting before I heard her sleepy voice answering. It was worth the trouble, I thought to myself as I hung up after an hour of talking with her.
    Later in the evening I text her I knew they had gone to church. I only wished that jerk Jim stayed away. I recalled him approaching me after seeing me with Jena..
    “you stay away from her Russia boy” he scolded me.
    I almost hit him in his stupid face but I decided he wasn’t worthy it .I held his muscle T shirt and shook him hard.
    listen to me you jerk, Jena is my girl and should I hear any funny stories of you messing with her. you will have to deal with me.” I roughly pushed him and he staggered.
    He spat and giggled like an idiot he was..
    “we will see about that.” he said proudly.
    I watched him walk away in anger. he was lucky I had grown. If it were back when I was 18. I could have broke his stupid face.
    I sighed pushing away the thoughts of Him. Then i decided to watch the photos on my phone. I had watched them a thousand times. But I never got tired of seeing her face.
    ” I hope she’s truly ok,” I thought to myself. I hated the part when she sounded sad, like something big was up. Even when she insisted she was ok, i knew she had something going on and I promised to go find out first thing i land in Zambia.
    I smilled at her text, she was out of mass. It was almost 22 but I knew I could just talk to her before sleeping. I missed her voice too..
    “Hey Ben !” I heard her answer on the other side. I loved the way she called my name.
    “my love how is your day? ” I asked.
    “great, i went to church, We just reached home. how have u been?”
    “Not good” i told her . “I miss being With you.”
    I could feel her smile on the other end..
    “well come get me.” she teased me.
    “don’t tempt me Jena, if i had a way, you could be besides me right now.”
    She chuckled…
    “so tell me something new ” i asked her.
    “oh I have something to tell you Ben but not on the Phone.” She responded.
    I couldn’t help wonder what made her talk that way. That sad tone again for some reason I felt her pain.
    “whats up love, at least give me a hint . ” I pleaded.
    “Take heart” she answered “all in due time.. ”
    I didn’t want to push it.
    “ok then ” I shrugged. “Talk to me then” I changed the subject.
    “um, I have to go” I heard her say
    “but…” I couldn’t finish my sentence, she hang up.
    “damn!” i cursed. I looked at the photos we took together at the river cliff again, smilled at the sight of her smile and decided to leave her a text
    “am off to bed now.. take care.. love you….”
    I connected my phone to the charger, before getting on my bed.
    “its gonna be a long night” I said loudly. I looked at Olivers empty bed. he probably was sleeping out again,
    I clossed my eyes and imagined being with my Jenala.

    EPISODE 9

    I hang up quickly, aunty Nelly was heading to my bedroom calling my name.
    “yes aunty!” I answered rushing out to see her.
    ” we are going for small Christian Community Meeting, make sure you prepare dinner on time. We are coming with uncle George and his wife this evening.”
    “yes aunty” I responded.
    “Come open the gate for us” she added getting her bible heading out. I watched them as they drove out joining the road then I saw Jim flirting with some girl outside.
    shaking my head, “I pity you girlfriend” I thought to myself. Before I could lock the gate Jim came trotting to me.
    ” hey what’s up?”
    “Hey you” I answered back.
    ” so what’s for me?” he asked with a wide smile.
    ” when are you going to leave me alone Jim..” I snapped..
    “well, whenever you would accept me as your boyfriend.” He grinned
    “oh too bad you will wait for eternity..” I said closing the gate.
    He pushed it open.
    “wait wait.. I know the deal you have. so you think that Ben is special and better than me uh? let’s see what happens when he dumps you for some white chick or someone better.”
    I laughed out..” you know what? get out of here” I said pushing the gate in his face.
    I went back Inside and checked my phone. I read a text Ben sent.
    “He’s sleeping” i thought.
    “how I wish i could talk some more with him.. anyway.. ” I sighed going to prepare dinner as ordered.
    …. 2 months later….
    I went to the Mwapes one afternoon, reaching the door. I heard Grace crying. I knocked and rushed in immediately someone answered. Mrs Mwape was busy sushing the baby but her efforts yield no results.
    ” what’s wrong with her? ” I asked concerned
    ” she has a fever and she has been crying since morning.”
    ” let me see if I can help.” I touched her neck
    “oh my ! she’s burning up ” I removed her clothes quickly and asked Maria for warm water.
    I got Grace’s small towel, diping it in the water and massaged her whole body. I repeated that 5 more times, by the time i was done her temperature had dropped.
    “Do you have any panadol syrup ?” I inquired. Mrs Mwape handed it to me. I gave her a dose.
    After about 5 minutes the baby’s fever had come down. I held her close, her head leaning on my shoulders. she instantly fell asleep.
    ” wow ! how did you know all that?” the puzzled Mrs Mwape asked.
    ” I learnt it whilst taking care of auntys girls. she probably is teething” I told her and to confirm my suspicions I opened her upper lip. for sure her gums were swollen. I waited for about 30 minutes and Graces fever had completely come down, then stood to go.
    “I should be going now aunty just buy her teething powder it helps sooth her.” I advised
    “hey Jena! whats that on your back” she stopped me, i turned but couldnt see a thing.
    “what’s there ?” I inquired.
    “oh it must be baby powder” she chuckled coming to dust my back. I stood as she wiped my back in the process she pulled my hair.
    “oh sorry ” she apologised.
    ” it’s ok,” I smiled at her before heading out.
    I received an admission letter to study law at UNZA that same week, I was so excited. Thank God everything was going ok so far. uncle gave me some money for buying myself new clothings.
    ” You are going to a big institution, go get yourself suitable clothes.” He spoke as he handed me the money.
    I was so grateful, luckily aunty showed some support too. she in fact drove me to Lusaka to pick up new clothes. I can admit she had her good tastes. we went to expensive boutiques and got shoes and clothes. Basically, I had changed my wardrobe.
    Before I left for registration I passed through the Mwapes and told them I was going to school. I promised to go back as soon as I could.
    I couldn’t help but Notice those two were acting weird for some reason I had a bad feeling. But I quickly blushed it off.
    That day before I walked out of the yard, Mr Mwape called and asked why I loved their baby so much..
    I wasn’t expecting the question. I mean, i had been going there for months and none of them bothered to ask me such. Especially in a very serious tone.
    “Anyway” I said to myself.
    “as long as my baby was ok I was good..” I simply explained that i liked kids and nothing more.
    Walking back home. I wondered, surely something was off. I planned on telling them the whole truth as soon as I settled in school. I just had to do it before Ben comes. He had the right to know the truth.
    “I will not mind what people will say ” i whispered to myself,
    “as long as I have my baby it’s all gonna be okay.”
    Later in the night I talked to Ben. He was supper excited I was finally going to the University.
    “You deserve it my love” he told me..
    ” just ensure to take good care of your self.”
    “of course I will” I assured him.
    “just come back here already” I laughed
    ” I miss you..” I heard him crack too
    “sooner than you think love” he said calmly.

    EPISODE 10

    6 weeks had passed since i settled in the university. luckily i met up with Muma my friend from Chipembi. we were accommodated  after a struggle for a room.
    I came back from lectures one afternoon and i had just finished having lunch when i received a call from Ben.
    “hey love whats up ?” he asked the moment i answered
    “hey Ben, am just from having my lunch and since am free the rest of the day I intend to take a nap. ” I responded
    “oh great” he said.. ” I wanted to let you know that I will be coming in a month`s time.”
    ” well that`s great news love. am so glad you are finally coming back.”
    ” yeah i can`t wait to see you too my love you know i miss you.” I heard him sigh.
    we chatted for another hour and after hanging up. I decided to call home and find out how everyone was doing. aunty told me they would be traveling to Ndola, my other aunty the elder sister to dad was ill.
    “I will go with your mother ” she added.
    “Oh sad, whats wrong with her” i inquired.
    “am not sure we going to find out tommorow.”
    ” thats right, regards to the girls” i added before hanging up.
    “So Ben is coming back i told myself, i now have to make sure i talk to the Mwape`s before he comes.” i decided i would go the coming weekend so i pay them a special visit. I couldn`t wait to be finally free from the burden of keeping such a big secret. I cared less what people would say. I decided to do whatever it would take to be with my daughter and make my man happy. I knew he will love Grace.
    ……THE MWAPE`S………………………..
    Honey how can you say that that girl just has love for babies” Mrs Mwape told the husband.
    ” well dont you think its awkward how much attached that Jena seems to our baby? In fact i suspected something fishy the day i found her sneaking around the living room window the first time i met her and besides just come to think of it, she’s always visiting Grace.”
    Mrs Mwape thought for a minute,” i think you have a point. Her appearance immediately we found Grace is too much to just be a coincidence.”
    ” yeah it was too much to be” answered the husband.
    “I think of two possibilities, either she’s the biological mother to Grace or she knows the mother.” Mr Mwape added.
    ” but i don`t understand honey ,why don`t anyone know about it? No one even saw her pregnant.”
    ” well i think there`s a possibility she concealed it since she was in boarding school and you yourself you told me she ain’t outgoing, its surely possible to hide a pregnancy”
    ” and who can possibily be the father?” Mrs Mwape asked.
    ” who knows mama.” Shrugged her husband.
    “I can`t lose Grace my husband please we have to do something. if we continue allowing her here she might do something crazy and steal her of even claim back her child” she cried.
    ” no way dear” responded Mr Mwape
    “there`s no way am letting that happen, she dumped her baby and now she`s ours. how can we raise a child just to let someone take her away? it wont happen.”
    From that day they planned to make sure their suspicions were correct. The plan was to get Jena`s hair so that they can have a DNA test done, they succeeded.
    Mrs Mwape managed to pull out some strands of hair from Jena and they took the samples for both Jena and Grace to the hosipital. Weeks Later, the Doctor called them and they went to collect the results. Mrs Mwape gasped when she opened the results and the match was 100% positive.
    “so what now?” she asked her husband.
    ” oh well now we move on to plan B.. we are going to move to the farm in far away, where no one will ever think of finding us.” he explained to his wife.
    Weeks later, they shifted without even telling the workers where they shifted to. Mr Mwape sold the farm.
    Before going, Mrs Mwape gave a folded envelope to one of the workers who remained guarding the farm before the new owner moved in,
    “give it to that girl Jena who usually visits us when she shows up looking for us.”
    “i will mom ” he answered.
    ……………………………………………
    I went home on the weekend, I couldnt wait to see my daughter. I wanted to get her some cute shoes i saw in Ackermans. So i passed through the one in cairo road, got the shoes and headed home. I reached and found home was quite, remembered aunty mentioning going to Ndola.
    She went with the kids. I knocked at the door and pushed it open when no one answered. I figured uncle was sleeping cause the main bedroom windows were open..
    After dropping my back pack, i got the shoes i got for Grace and headed out..
    “hey you are back?” uncle called me just before i closed the door.
    “oh hey uncle! sorry I woke you up. ” i walked back to greet him.
    “No, don’t worry I was just watching soccer. so how is school? ” he smiled
    “its great ” i answered “interesting i would say”
    ” that`s good Jena you will surely make a good lawyer”
    ” Thanks uncle” i smiled.
    ” so um, you heading somewhere?” he asked.
    “oh yeah I wanted to give these shoes I bought for the Mwape`s daughter” I told him truthfully.
    “thats nice of you. alright then will see you later ”
    ” yes. so when is aunty and the kids coming back?” I asked before leaving.
    ” maybe today, she said your aunty might be discharged today.”
    “thats good ” I said heading out.
    Minutes later, I knocked at the gate to the Mwape’s farm, more than 5 times but no response.
    “where could they be?” I wondered as I leaned on the gate to wait up a bit thinking maybe they had gone to town.

    EPISODE 11

    I waited another hour no one came to open the gate. ” where could they be?” I wondered and my feet started getting cold.
    ” what if?, Oh, no way I stopped my thought, they must be out somewhere. But then how possible is it that they went with all the workers?” I felt panick building up.
    I turned to leave making a note to come back later in the afternoon. A few meters down the road a man stopped me.
    “hey are you Jenala?” He asked.
    ” Yes” I said turning to see who was talking. I noticed I had seen the man at the farm before.
    ” I have something for you, Mrs Mwape told me to give you.” He handed me a note.
    “what do you mean? Where is she?” I asked my heart beginning to race.
    “mmmn I think it’s best you read this for yourself dear” he said handing me the note.
    Before I could open it the man went back and disappeared in the small bushes he had emerged from. I opened the note,
    “Dear Jena.
    By the time you read this am sure we would be gone. sorry that you won’t be able to see your daughter again. we took a DNA test and so we know the truth. unfortunately my husband and I are not willing to let Grace go. you decided to give her as a gift to us. Anyway, we wish you all the best in life. We hope God will give you more children in future. Don’t even bother looking for us, you won’t find us. forget about our baby and move on.
    Mr and Mrs Mwape.”
    “No no no..” I shouted aloud my whole body shaking.
    ” this can’t be. my God what’s this? How did they know.” I crampled down on the road not minding the dirt. I felt my stomach pain like the time i was giving birth.
    ” no it can’t be… what have I done? my God please don’t do this to me, please don’t punish me please.” I cried out..
    I had been sitting on the road for 30 minutes my face covered in tears. A woman came by.
    ” are you okey my child? ” she asked.
    “am not fine mama” I told her ” my life is over.”
    “why ? happened here?” She asked kneeling close to me.
    “You won’t understand mama.you wont” I said lifting myself from the ground.
    She looked at me with pity and concern.
    ” I can’t understand your pain my child but am sure someone out there does.”
    I looked at her.. “mama no one will ever undrstand my pain right now no one.” I shook my head my eyes running.
    “oh yes !” she insisted.
    ” someone does, he’s name is Jesus. He knows your pain, take it to him my child.” She smiled. I looked at her not even believing her words.
    At the moment it wasn’t time for preaching, of course I knew Jesus. but if I had betrayed him how on earth would he even understand me.
    “thank you mama” I said aloud just to push her away. I walked away without minding the tears in my face . I was almost home when I met Jim.
    “hey Jena !where are you coming from.? hey what’s wrong ” he asked when he saw my red eyes.
    “nothing Jim, just leave me alone already its not the time for your silly jokes.” I snapped.
    He tried to grab my hands and i turned and slapped him on his face.
    “Leave me alone already !” I screamed.
    ” well, well!” he raised his hands in surrender.
    “take it easy girl ” he smiked “am just a concerned person trying to help you.”
    I walked away a few steps towards my house i felt light headed. Before I could take another step everything went dark.
    2 hours latter I woke up. looked around me, I was in the hospital. I was confused.
    “where am I?” I asked , turning, I saw uncle and Jim in the room.
    “easy Jena ” uncle came close to me.
    “you collapse 2 hours ago, luckily Jim saw you and rushed to inform me. You are now in the hospital.” He spoke softly.
    ” but what’s wrong with me?” I looked at a drip of water connected to my hands.
    ” the Doctor said you were in shock . That’s what I want to know as well Jena what’s wrong with you.?” He asked.
    “Oh God ! ” I whispered after remembering what had happened, my girl was gone. how could I even explain that to uncle?. Instead of answering his question tears rolled from my eyes. I could feel the pain on my throat. Like there was something stuck up there.
    Uncle got even more concerned “please tell me what’s wrong?” He pleaded.
    ” I can’t uncle, I can’t it’s hard for me. I can’t even understand it myself. ” I cried even more.
    ” it’s okey dear” uncle tried to comfort me.
    “no uncle, it will never be ok” I shook my head and a few minutes later I went dark again.
    By the time I woke up the room was quite I was alone. I tried to sit up but I couldnt my whole body was heavy. my mouth felt dry. I tried to speak up but I couldnt
    ” God help me !” my inner voice prayed. Tears rolled down my face uncontrollably. I heard the door open and I saw mom, aunty Nelly and Uncle walk in. My mom ran to me
    “what is it my Jena what happened to you? ” she asked worried.
    I could see her crying,
    “you won’t understand ” my inner voice responded, I couldn’t speak. Everyone’s faces were so sad i even felt more pain. even aunty Nelly was shedding tears, her husband held her close as they watched me.
    The doctor came in and examined me.
    “she’s still in shock and I think she’s depressed something must have happened ” he sighed
    “but untill she responds we won’t know how to help her. if she continues this way she might have stroke, am afraid” he added.
    “stroke!” aunty shouted.
    “no. what can we do Doctor? Please help us.”
    ” it’s up to her to ease up so that she’s out of depression.” the Doctor shrugged before moving out.
    Mom came close..
    ” I beg you my daughter, please don’t do this to me, please. have pity for me your poor mother. You are our hope in this family. please what ever happened to you, let me help you I beg you in the name of God.”
    I could only respond with tears nothing else came out of me.
    I so badily wanted to tell her I lost part of me, that i was so foolish and clouded with the desire to become a better person and forgot to look at what was so important in my life. my selfishness lead me to the moment. I was such a looser, now I was useless. Even Ben wouldnt love me any more I was evil.” I kept thinking to myself.
    My phone tone rang and Uncle looked at the phone in his hands and went out.
    “who could it be?” I asked myself .M y mind wondered away.
    I tried to think of where my baby could be. By then, she was obviously walking. since the last time i saw her she was taking her first steps.
    oh no.. I won’t be able to hear her speak or call me mom. I won’t be there when she plays around running up and down and play with her toys.
    I won’t see my baby start pre school. ” I kept thinking.
    It was my punishment for being so naive and stupid. I wished I could die right that moment. what was life worthy anyway? without my little Angel, my life lost all meaning.
    .. In Russia
    Ben….
    I have been trying to call her for hours,
    “why won’t she answer my calls?” I wondered. I didn’t understand the other day she told me she was going to visit home on the weekend. but now she wasn’t picking my calls or even respond to my text.
    Oliver came in with his new girlfriend a coloured girl as I struggled with myself. I remember him bragging that she was the one this time around.
    “you always say that man ” I teased him and it had been almost two months.
    “maybe he truly had found her I thought to myself. The girl was so beautiful, an American. I just hoped she was really the one for my friend.
    ” hey Trina” I greeted as they entered the room.
    “hey Ben !” she asnswered.
    I decided to give them some privacy So I stood to walk away.
    “See u later guys.” I waved at them
    I decided to try call Jena again after i was outside
    “pick up! pick up!” I whispered as the phone continued ringing. Then I heard a man’s voice respond.
    “who is this he asked?” What the hell, i felt jealousy mounting up.
    ” who are you answering Jena’s phone? ” I snapped sounding upset.
    ” this is her uncle ” the man on the other side answered.
    “Oh sorry, ” I quickly responded ” and Where is Jena ?” i inquired.
    ” Jena is in the hospital and she cannot talk right now ” he said.
    ” what? what happened ?” I asked getting worried.
    “we don’t know young man” her uncle told me. “But I saw lots of Missed calls from you so I thought I should tell you, who are you young man?” he asked. ” and what’s your deal with my niece?” he added. “don’t get me wrong, Jena is depressed and in shock right now so am just trying to figure out what happened to her” I heard him breath out.
    “Oh my God shock? um.. uncle am Ben” I finally told him. “Ben from bana Junior your neighbour, am studying in Russia and Jena is my friend” I explained.
    “Well I remember you Ben, so do you have any idea what happened to her? ”
    “No uncle ” I said honestly. “I am blank too”
    “ok then, good day” he responded before cutting the line.
    I sat down, wondering,
    “what happened to you my love? why won’t you let me know?”
    I felt some sharp pain in my chest. I wished she had told me something. ” but why my love? Is it me or what.” I couldn’t help wonder even more.
    I had two weeks before my graduation but I was doubting if I was ever going to manage to wait that long. I felt a strong urge that she needed me.
    “Damn! the university with its policies. I wont be able to get my papers without attending graduation. Damn !” I cursed loudly. some ladies passing by the pavements near where I sat looked at me and smiled widely.
    ” oh no way..” I shook my head, they thought I was talking about their buts.
    How crazy the girls in the University could be. I waved at them just to make sure they wouldn’t think I was a weirdo. One of them even shouted,
    ” hey handsome.. ! ”
    I had to move before I got myself so much attention. I headed to the fountain, i needed to pray for my Jena, my Christian instincts told me to.

    EPISODE 12

    7 days later, I started feeling better I could actually feel my body again. The Charismatic members from my church came over and prayed for me. The priest also came and talked to me at length.
    “There’s hope for every living being my child” he had told me.
    “we error as human beings because we are not perfect, however, in our weakness God shows himself mighty. You have to get better not only for yourself but for the sake of those who love you and wants you alive and well. Think of your mother dear child, a poor widow, don’t be selfish Jena, do it for others if you won’t do it for yourself. Whatever it is that hurt you so much take it to the Lord in prayer and he himself will heal your brokenness.”
    I listened to him speak, though it didn’t fill the gap in my heart, it eased up things.
    The next day uncle came in and told me someone had been calling the past week and he wanted to talk to me. I nodded indicating him to put the phone close to my ear. Uncle held the phone to my ear.
    ” hi my love, I know you can’t speak but I want you to know am here and will always be here for you, the last days have been so hard for me my love. please be well, am coming in a few days and whatever it is bothering you we will come work it through together. I love you and I want you to be well again.” He spoke with so much pain in his voice.
    I felt his pain and I really wanted to reach out to him.
    “Ben ” I finally answered.
    It was the first word I had said in a week.
    “yes my love, thank God you are speaking again, talk to me love please.”
    “Ben she’s gone.. I lost her.” I said
    ” who is gone? Jena I heard him ask. “please talk to me..”
    ” I…I….I..I ” stammered tears forming in my eyes. uncle withdrew the phone, answering it instead.
    “well young man let’s not stress her any more that’s enough for the day.” he hang up and came to me.
    “well, either that man is really special to you or he said something great to open you up. So what can I get you? ” he asked
    “Water ” I said in a low tone. My throat felt so dry.. He opened the side drawer and got a bottle of water. Helping me up, he gave me the water and i drunk almost half the bottle.
    Later in the day aunty Nelly, mom and bana Junior came visiting me and relief was on their faces.
    The following day mom came to see me alone.
    ” am happy you are able to speak my dear. we were worried about you. please Jena I beg you tell me what is bothering you. Am your mother you can trust me.” She pleaded holding my hands.
    Before I could start telling mom. uncle came in and excused himself seeing we were talking. I called him back to the room
    ” you have to hear this too uncle” I looked at him. I then narrated the whole story to both of them. They listened in silence and mom shed tears.
    “you didn’t have to go through all that my poor child, baby is something sacred it’s a gift from God. I wish you had said something.” She cried.
    “we are partly to blame” uncle added. “how is it possible that all these months we had no idea what was happening and I hate the fact that your aunty hid the letters from your boyfriend . Maybe if you were in touch the two of you could have found a better solution, anyway what’s done is done. The only thing is that we have to find your child. So you have any idea where the Mwapes could have gone or maybe any relations around here? ” Uncle asked
    ” no uncle, I was only interested in my daughter and besides we never talked about their family. ”
    “Well? I hope we find something to help us locate them and you have to tell Ben everything you have told us. I hope he understands.” He sighed.
    “Oh well he has to understand, it’s his fault my daughter had to go through all this. He took advantage of her and left her pregnant, he will answer to me I swear on my husband’s grave.” mom snapped.
    ” how could he? he left all the girls in this town just to come and destroy my daughter’s life. oh! No, he will find me. ”
    “hey take it easy ” uncle told her.
    “It’s too late to play blame games now, let’s just be calm and find a solution to this mess, the damage has already been done.” He spoke calmly.
    Surprisingly my family was so supportive, even aunty Nelly apologised for treating me badly and hiding Bens letters. I was now home and felt much better. Though Was still feeling weak.
    Ben called that he was coming in a couple of days.
    ” I just hope he will understand and still love me.” I really wished he understood.
    Jim came in one afternoon and gave me a note.
    “I found it were you had fallen” he said.
    “you read it?” I asked afraid of how much the news will blow all over the town and at church too.
    “Yeah ” he grinned. “but I didn’t understand. Jena you have a baby?” He asked, before I could answer him aunty entered the sitting room.
    ” no she doesn’t. I mean have you ever seen her pregnant..?” She looked at him seriously.
    ” No aunty ” he answered..
    ” well, there you have it, no one can give Birth without being pregnant first.” She shrugged
    I smiled at aunty she really saved me that time. I wished my daughter was ok, I kept thinking and crying before falling asleep. My pillow was always wet in those days.

    EPISODE 13

    I was still weak to travel to Lusaka to receive Ben from the airport, so I decided to stay and wait for him. He had called hours before he board the plane. I felt a bit nervous I hadn’t seen him in a long time. Though I missed him I felt sad i had to blow the bad news to him. Given that I was still hurting, what more him who will have to experience the pain of loosing a child.
    I went bathing and put on a short pencil dress. It was sleeveless so I threw a small jacket on top since the weather was a bit chilly. I received a call from a strange number an hour later.
    ” helo.” I answered preparing the kid’s food at 16 hours.
    “hey love its me, am heading home now my sister just picked me up.”
    ” well that’s good” i responded.
    ” I can’t wait to see you” he said..
    “same here” I felt happy but sad at the same time.
    “anyway” I told myself
    “whatever happens God is in control.”
    I heard a knock an hour later.
    “I will get it!” Tina shouted.
    ” okay then” I told her with a smile. I heard her scream
    “it’s uncle Ben Jena, He’s asking for you!” She was excited
    “am coming baby!” I responded putting down Mapalo who was dozing on my laps.
    There he was standing before me looking hotter than ever.
    “Ben!” i shouted, he ran and hugged me so tight
    ” I missed you love” he said in my ears.
    “Am happy to see you Ben. welcome back” i smiled still holding him.
    “Thanks love I dreamt of this moment? holding you in my arms like this” I smiled at him.
    We were interrupted by Tina who stood behind me and tapped my back. We both looked at her and giggled.
    “come on little one!” Ben called her “you are a big girl now, how old are you? ” he held her hand.
    “6 years old !” she said excited. I motioned him to get inside and he gave me a..’what’ Look.
    ” it’s okey” I assured him, “everyone knows” I said holding his hands.
    “hey hold on love” he pulled me back. “what do you mean they know?” He asked
    “Its okey really” i said again, “i will explain everytbing.”
    We went in and I showed him a seat. Aunty and uncle came in from work a few minutes later. Ben stood up and greeted them both.
    “Ben?” Uncle asked him with a smile.
    ” yes uncle” he said extending his hand.
    “you are welcome young man”
    “Thank you” Ben answered
    ” how was your journey back home?” aunty asked him.
    “It was okay mam, thank you.” I could see he wasn’t so free.. So I joined in.
    “Ben just came to say hi” I told them.
    “no problem” they answered in unison.
    “well I must be going now” he spoke standing up.
    “I will see him out” I said moving close to Ben.
    “Well see you then” uncle smiled looking at Ben.
    ” remember to come by tomorrow, am sure Jena will be able to explain.” I looked at uncle and knew what he meant.
    Outside, Ben told me to get in the car opening the door for me. he came driving his sister’s Rav 4. I sat in the passenger’s seat and watched him go round to the driver’s seat. He sat there and looked into my eyes.
    ” love what’s wrong with you?” he asked. “I can see sadness in your eyes, am here now okey?” he whispered touching my chick.
    Tears rolled down my face touching his hands.
    ” no no please Jena don’t cry. please love tell me what’s wrong with you” he begged. I felt the pain in my heart pilling up. I broke down before the man I loved, hopelessly like a child. He moved closer and held me
    ” don’t do this Jena pIease, cnt bare seeing you cry”
    I nodded but still couldnt stop crying. Ben shook his head before putting the key in the ignition and drove off.
    I didn’t even have time to ask where we were going. I looked at his face but he didn’t look at me. His eyes were fixed on the road as he speed off heading to kafue. We moved in silence.
    After about 25 minutes, he packed near the river bank. we had gone to that place several times before.
    Ben held my hand as he led me out of the car. He walked me to the river,
    ” sit here” he instructed. I sat and he knelt before me, lifting my chin. He looked straight into my eyes.
    “I love you Jena, do you believe that?” I nodded without saying a word.
    “I want you to know that am here for you now and am not planning on leaving anytime soon okey?”
    ” Yeah” I responded,
    “I love you too Ben” I finally said. He smiled widely,
    ” those are the best words I have heard in a long time, thank you for loving me Jena.”
    “but I… ”
    “shshsh” he touched my mouth, kissed me gently. I felt so much at home being so close to him. we kissed passionately for the next 5 minutes.
    I withdrew feeling emotional. I couldnt forget my daughter with every second of the kiss her image popped up my head. I quickly stood up and faced away from him.
    “what is it love?” Ben asked concerned.
    ” I have something to tell you Ben and I don’t know how you will take it.” he came and looked at my face.
    “tell me Jena am all ears, what is it?”
    we have a child Ben” I finally said. ” I was pregnant and discovered it after you were gone.” Ben let go of my hands looking at me
    “what? ” He asked “a baby? Are you sure..?” He asked
    “Yes Ben” I nodded. “I gave birth to our baby girl some 9 months ago.”
    ” well, my love that’s good news. I mean I didn’t expect that but, love, our baby? that’s incredible. wow!” he kissed me.
    “my love you gave me a baby? That’s great.. well am a father.. thank you my love.” He kept kissing me happily.
    ” so where is she ? I can’t wait to see her.” He added excited.
    “Ben I have not finished, am not with her, someone else took her. I mean I gave her away.” I murmured looking down my hands.
    “Jena i don’t get it” he stated shocked.
    “what do you mean you gave her away? Who did you give our girl love? please tell me.” I sat down and Ben came closer to me.
    The next 30 minutes I went on explaining everything to him, by the time i was done…..

    EPISODE 14

    The next 30 minutes I explained everything to Ben and by the time i was done Ben was looking at with a display of unknown expressions on his face. I couldn’t tell what he was thinking but I could see he was not happy.
    ” okay tell me this Jena ” he finally spoke ” so of all options you had, the only one which was best for you was to throw away our baby? ”
    “Ben” I said
    Trying by all means to make him understand.
    ” I had limited choices, i was alone and desperate. I was confused please understand” I cried
    “What do I understand Jena that you gave away our child without even considering other possible solutions..? Who gives away a baby like that? ” he snapped
    I was hoping he would understand but his response just hurt me even more
    “seriously Ben” I sighed looking straight at him.
    “of all people you stand here and judge me? After everything I went through and still going through?”
    He made things worse when he said
    at least you should have sacrificed more for our child, telling my sister for example. Am sure she could have called me to let me know, by this time our baby could have been around. now she’s gone and I won’t even get to know my own flesh and blood, you had her and threw her away.” I looked at him, getting upset.
    “Ben you are unbelievable, you stand here to judge me today when you decided to get me in your bed you never thought of the consequences. I was only 17 for crying out loud .I was being kept by my cruel aunty who treated me badly, my mother lives in a two roomed house in Missis. I was all alone Ben, your sister never even considered me anything. You think she could have accepted it? Oh Ben am so disappointed in you” I cried out
    “do you know what I went through for nine months? Living in shadows like a ghost, looking at my friends walk around proudly of which I couldn’t do cause I had to hid my pregnancy. oh no, you have no idea my friend, what it is to go through hours of excruciating pain alone in the Bush. I endured the pain of giving birth with no one to help me or even comfort me, do you have any idea how painful it was? how torn apart I was when I gave away my my baby to the people I thought where good?
    You have no idea how it felt like watching my own child being raised by someone else, seeing her close but never have her. I suffered Ben, I suffered and I still am, there’s no day that goes by without me crying and wishing I had done otherwise.
    You have no right to judge me, you hear? You have no right!” I told him pushing him away when he drew close to me.
    I saw him cry too, but I was so upset and hurt I felt sharp pains in my chests..
    “Am sorry Jena, am sorry I didn’t mean to put more pain on you. please stop it now” he said trying to hold me.
    “Leave me alone you hypocrite!” I cried loudly.
    “I was here suffering while you stayed in Russia probably fu*king other girls and you tell me am unreasonable? You know what?” I cried sniffing and wiping my tears with my palm.
    “take me home”
    ” what?” He marvelled his face dropping.
    “no Jena we are not done here. you can’t go home like this please let’s talk” he moved close
    “oh well Mr am done here, I cannot stand being here.” I snapped
    “Please love let’s talk about this I beg you.” He tried to hold my hand.
    ” okay then” I walked away.
    “I know my way back ” Ben grabbed me from behind. I tried shaking him away but his grip was so tight. I wailed in tears like a child.
    ” stop it! now Jena please” I heard him whisper. There was so much pain in his voice I knew he was hurting badly. But I was done, all I wanted was being on my bed and cry myself to sleep.
    ” no,” I said trying to be calm “take me home Ben”
    He turned me around and he knew i was dead serious.
    “okey ” he said wiping his tears too.
    We drove in silence, at my gate he stopped and I opened the door to leave. He came to block my way.
    ” don’t do this to me please.” I just stared at him and walked inside, without turning back, I went straight inside. Everyone was seated having supper and I just passed without a word.
    ” Jena are you okey ?” uncle asked. I tried to say something but tears rolled down my eyes. So I just said sorry and ran to my room. I locked the door inside. Slid in my blankets with clothes on.
    I cried the more, I knew I was so wrong but for him to throw it in my face like that was unbearable, God, when is this punishment going to end I prayed.. please forgive me already.. I cant live through this pain it’s too much.. don’t punish me anymore please …I lost all the will to live.. in my heart I doubted if tomorrow will ever come for me.. I was so hopeless.. the tears had dried out but the pain was so deep..I even wished I could just die…

    EPISODE 15

    …Ben….
    I stood by the gate motionless.
    ” what have I done? damn you Ben” I cursed myself. I knew I should have been more supportive, I mean, I didn’t expect a child but knowing she existed gave me joy. The only painful part was I wasn’t going to see my baby. I only wished things were different. I was caught up in my own desires that i didn’t consider how much I was hurting Jena.
    The pain I saw in her beautiful eyes was too much to bear. The look she gave me when I dropped her home was unbearable.
    “I failed her” I thought to myself.
    ” how could I? I promise to be here for her and now I turned out to be the one to hurt her, now what am I suppose to do? ” i kept scolding myself.
    I recalled the minutes i saw her the time i arrived from the airport. I asked my sister how Jena was after the illness.
    “she’s better now ” my sister said before changing the subject.
    I just sat and wondered what was going on, there seemed to be more to that but for some reason my sister didn’t want to say anything.
    “So how was it out there? she asked.
    ” great” I responded“just missed home and your delicious meals” she smiled at me.
    “mmmn you and food, awe sure” she teased me.
    “well sister, we need food to grow” we both laughed at that.
    Immediately we got home we just put my bags inside, I said hi to the kids and headed out.
    “sis can i have your car keys?” I asked her
    ” won’t you rest first my dear brother?” She shook her head.
    “well am not tired, I slept the whole flight here.” she shook her head and handed me the keys.
    I knocked at Jenas gate and Tina came to open,
    “hi Tina!” I greeted her ” is Jena home?”
    she ran inside without answering me. I heard her shout something and a few minutes later Jena came out. She stood before me and wow! I was stunned. she looked so pretty in her short pencil dress. Her shape was so perfect. I looked at her face and ran to hug her, she smiled at me.
    ” I missed you so much” I whispered as i took in her great scent. I felt like holding her forever, till we were interrupted by Tina.
    I looked at her when we got in the car and the sadness was evident. I really wanted to help her, reach out to her and easy her pains. I noticed she had even lost weight.
    “what is it love? ” I had asked her and she broke down.
    well that hurt, I tried comforting her but she couldn’t stop crying. I then decided to drive to the river in kafue. I wanted to know exactly what was going on and I was determined to get that information, that afternoon. It was past 17 and I cared less. If i was to be with her then nothing else mattered.
    I knelt before her. I told her how much I loved her and my God when she said the words ‘ I love you Ben’ I felt so great. They were the sweetest words I had ever heard in a long time . I couldn’t help myself. I reached out and kissed her intensely. I was deep into the kiss and I felt bad when she withdrew. She turned away from me and I knew it was time I get the truth.
    So now here I was, she poured out her heart to me and I was so stubborn to understand her. I kicked the car tires in anger. I had never felt so much hurt before. I wished I could go in and cuddle her in bed and tell her I was sorry and how much I loved her . But it was too late..
    I decided to head home thinking of coming back the next day when she was a bit calm.
    Just before I started the vehicle her uncle knocked on the car window. I stopped and went out .
    “uncle ” I sighed watching his face, which had this stern look.
    “well young man I know you now know the truth and from the look of things you didn’t do a good job accepting the situation or even trying to comfort your girlfriend. She looks worse than ever” he added.
    “But uncle…” I started my sentence..
    ” am still talking Ben” he interrupted.
    ” listen to me now, young man, Jena is my niece and my responsibility. we might have wronged her in a way but that doesn’t mean we will allow her to suffer more than she already has . You were much older than her the time you got her pregnant. She was young, inexperienced and naive. But you knew more than she did, so don’t push it so hard on her. Go home and think about what you have done and when you man up, come back here so that we can find a solution to this mess that both of you has caused.”
    With that he went back inside and locked the gate, I stood there speechless, he was right, it was my fault Jena had to go through hell . She was a virgin when I first made love to her and I could have been more careful with her, now I even had the audacity to judge her . Oh God I was so dump.
    The following day I woke up early, had a quick breakfast. my sister asked me how it went with Jena and I told her how I messed up.
    “go and make things right Ben” she told me. “that girl needs rest from all this drama, bring some light into her life again. I can tell you, I have watched her fade away the past months and I can tell she isn’t doing well. stop blaming each other already and settle down the issue” she advised me.
    She was right, I was the one to help Jena and make her smile again.
    I went out to go and see her, at the gate the maid told me she just went out.
    “where has she gone to this morning ?” I asked worried she might do something crazy.
    “She told me she’s going to church.” She responded.
    ” what church ? ” I almost asked more but decided to drive there and find her myself. I parked outside the church and went in. I didn’t see anyone around the church then I noticed the church door was slightly open. I quietly pushed it and I saw her kneeling at the altar. She was crying as she uttered some words. I went closer.
    “Am here my God before your house, please I beg you hear me out. People have told me to take it to you and here I am, take away my pain Lord. I am tired of crying I can’t go on like this . Please help take away my shame. If you will, take care of my baby and help me get her back. she’s all I have, my life is pointless without the people I love with me.I feel so alone Jesus fill my heart with your peace, heal my pains and make me whole again. I feel so much alone Lord.” She cried deeply broken.
    I stood there tears falling my face. I couldn’t bear it..
    “you are not alone my love” I spoke up.
    “please let me help you.”
    She startled as she turned to look at me, her face covered in tears. I went close to her, please forgive me for saying such stupid things last evening am sorry Jena I want to be here for you. I want to share in your pain cause that’s what love is, allow me” I begged hugging her. She held me and cried on my shoulders.
    ” let it out my love” I whispered to her Trying so hard to push back my own tears. I had to be strong for her.
    After some minutes she ceased crying and we sat in the front bench facing the statue for Jesus hanging on the cross.
    “He will help us ” I said, rubbing her back. She was so quite and just tightened her hold on me.I stroke her hair.. and stayed with her for almost 2 hours.
    We weren’t speaking but with each passing minute I felt relief. I needed her and I know she needed me too. Together we would conquer, I thought to myself. I kissed her forehead and she moved a little, looking at me
    “thank you for being here.” She smiled sadly.
    “anytime my love, I love you.” I responded honestly.

    EPISODE 18

    Two weeks had passed since I discovered my child was taken away, everything was discussed. it was suggested I go back to school and catch up on my school work. I insisted I stay on and helped find Grace but there’s was no beating Ben about it. He told me i had to stay out of the search to lessen on the stress.
    “let me and uncle handle this” he told me.
    So a day before I went back, Ben came home to give us an update on how his trip to the Mwape farm to look for the New owner of the farm went.
    “So how did it go?” uncle finally asked after greetings.
    ” I managed to see the worker there, I took advantage of the fact that am not so much known. so I had to pretend I was interested in buying the farm when the worker told me it wasn’t sold yet, that the negotiations they had with the first potential buyer failed.
    I was told to talk to an agent, it seems those people don’t want to deal with the farm directly,” he sighed.
    ” of course” I cut in. ” they know I might show up there any time”
    “dont worry love ” he told me. “we will beat them to their own game. I just want to continue with the agent in the name of buying the farm.” He explained.
    ” but Ben where do we get the money to buy a farm?” I asked worried.
    ” We don’t need to buy, all i want are the account details. If i succeed in negotiations then of course the agent will have to give me the account details of the owner, a few friends at the Bank can help track their location.”
    “Well that’s good progress in days sonny” uncle spoke up.
    ” now we need to ensure you know about other potential buyers so that you can bid the highest.”
    “yeah sure” he smiled
    “by the way, how did it go at the Airforce?” Ben asked him.
    ” i managed to have a meeting with one of the colonels, a friend, he’s at headquarters so he promised to look into the name. he said he will ask Human resource dept so they can help tell the base she’s working from, then from there we will see what happens. I will by all means leave the baby issue out to avoid alerting the Mwapes.”
    “that is right ” we all agreed.
    We concluded our meeting and I went to see Ben out.
    “Take me home will you?” He asked me.
    “I want to stay with you a little longer. Before you go for school.” we walked to his house which was two houses from our house.
    Entering, we found his nephew and nieces watching TV. we said hai to them and Ben led me to his room.
    ” the last time i was here I got pregnant, so am scared of this room” I said laughing
    ” hmmm, no need to be” Ben answered ” your were 17 then and now you are what? 19?” He teased.
    ” Yeah and what’s the difference?” I giggled.
    ” well the difference is that soon you are going to be my wife and I will sleep with you for the rest of my life.”
    “that’s sounds like a long time” I teased sitting down on the side couch.
    So what are you leaving for me before you go tomorrow?” asked standing behind me.
    “What do you want Mr?”
    ” Mmmmm lets see, a good memory can do.” he pulled me to the bed and we lay on our backs, facing the ceiling.
    “so what’s up” I looked at him.
    ” what’s up is that everytime those eyes of yours look at me the animal in me arises.” He smiled moving to look at me too.
    “oh am now officially scared ” I teased.
    “there’s even an animal somewhere.”
    He let out a laugh, “yeah you should ran for your life love.” He laughed
    I stood to ran and he chased me around the room, catching me by the window, he held me close. Before he could do anything I kissed him and within a couple of minutes his breath was racing. I felt him getting hard on me, before withdrawing.
    “my love you know am crazy about you, you make me loose control, but let’s not do this here atleast not today.” He engulfed my face in his palms.
    ” yeah ” I smilled at him.
    “Grace is still young ” i added.
    ” mmmn does that mean we need to abstain till she’s like what, 5 years ?” He asked holding my neck.
    “That could be better” I joked.
    “well forget it then, I just want our next time to be special and in my home”
    ” Your home?” I asked surprised.
    “Yes I forgot to tell you I have two jobs awaiting my acceptance, but am still debating on which one to take on.”
    We discussed the jobs and he finally settled for one of the big company with better conditions, he told me he was to take up the job the next Monday. That was in days.
    “don’t worry though ” he assured me
    “I will not abandon the search for Grace.”
    “Sounds good” I nodded wrapping myself around him.
    After hours of being with Ben I went back home to pack up my things. The following morning he came over and drove me to school.
    The rest of the week was cool, atleast I had comfort someone was looking into finding my daughter. I had the support of my family and Ben and that was more than enough for me.
    3 Months went by and still nothing about the Mwapes where abouts.
    Ben picked me up from school one weekend, he was now settled at his new job and the company got him an apartment.
    ” my love please tell me there’s good news about our baby.”
    “am sorry love I wish i could, but it seems those people had someone spying on you. So they know everything that’s going on” he announced sadly.
    “I was shocked when the agent just withdrew our deal a day before he was to give me the details about the owners account”
    “what ? ” i asked shocked.
    ” yeah it’s true my love ” he said sadly
    “and to make the matters worse that captain sister has refused having any relations with Mrs Mwape. She denied that she had never even met anyone of that description, imagine, even after uncle confirmed she resembled Mrs Mwape.”
    I was devastated, my hope was slowly fading away.
    ” who could be spying on me ?” I asked Ben.
    “I wish i knew my love, I really do.” We drove to his apartment in silence.
    “My love he spoke up, can we pass through Manda hill you help me pick up groceries ?” He asked turning to look at me.
    ” Of course” i said absent minded
    “dont worry ” he held my hand with his other hand on the steering.
    ” Yeah ” I faked a smile
    “Sure my love.. ”
    After going round the shops picking what we needed. I decided we had our dinner before hand.
    “am in no mood to cook ” I told Ben.
    “but love I want to eat your cooked meals, it’s been long.” He made a dad face at me.
    ” will do that tomorrow love I promise, I cnt just do it today am sorry.”
    “it’s okey love tomorrow it is, as long as I have you today I can pass the food.” He smiled.
    We had just finished having our dinner at Galitos when Jim showed up with a girl. she was beautiful but looked dumb as well.
    “no wonder” I thought to myself before they approached us.
    “hey love birds!” he called out.
    Ben gave him a fake smile.
    “love let’s get out of here.” He stood
    “well, meet my girlfriend Elisha” he said holding her waist.
    As though that would get me jealousy.
    “well nice to meet you Elisha ” I said standing up.
    “we where just leaving enjoy your evening guys” I added.
    “Sure thing ” Jim responded grinning like a lunatic.
    “unlike other people we intend to keep our baby and not sell a baby.”
    “what did you say ? ” Ben moved closer to him.
    ” what now man ? Are you going to cause a scene here as well..? Oh you are so Bush mannered, He retorted
    ” Jim what was that you said about our baby? who told you all that? ” Ben asked anger written on his face.
    ” Well someone is guilt” Jim mocked us the more. I saw Ben boiling up and sensed what might follow won’t be good. So i pulled his hands.
    “Let’s go already my love leave this jerk, hes not worthy it.” he calmed down a bit as we walked to the parking lot.
    “I swear I will kill that idiot! How dare he talks about our baby and who the hell told him anyway” Ben snarled.
    ” dont u realise? If Mrs Mwape had someone spy on me it means we are not the only ones who knows about Grace” i spoke
    “you are right” he agreed
    “and that Jim is my first suspect.
    “Lets go we talk about this home shall we.? ” i pulled his hand to the car.
    “Sure love” he said Putting the keys in the ignition.

    EPISODE 16

    We walked out of the church holding hands. we were approaching the car Ben had parked outside when we saw 5 guys heading our direction, one of them was Jim. It seemed they were coming to the church. I noticed Ben get closer to me and looked at him smiling
    ” what now ?” I asked him.
    ” well am just marking my territory love.” he said putting his hands around my waist.
    “Hey guys!” one of the boys greeted us.
    “hey !” Ben answered shaking hands with the boys.
    “Long time Man ” one of them smiled.
    “when did you come back? ”
    “Was in yesterday, he told them.
    “what’s up Jena!” they all greeted me and when it was Jim’s turn, he held my hand longer than usual. I tried pulling away but he held on. I saw jealousy building up on Ben’s face .
    “Hey Jim be careful with my woman” he snapped grabbing back my hand. Jim gave him a stupid smile and said..
    “well it’s not my fault she’s damn hot man. I can use a girl like her.” Before I knew it Ben was heading for his face.
    ” hey! hey easy people ” the other boys interrupted holding Ben.
    ” don’t try my patience Jim” he snapped.
    “or what ?” he challenged raising his head.
    “You know what Jim?” I spoke up.
    ” just leave me alone, I don’t even care what you think of yourself but find other girls to amuse and leave me alone already.” holding Ben’s waist I added..
    ” you will never be him, never you hear? ”
    The other boys burst out laughing and i saw Jim flinch and gazed at Ben with so much hatred. To add salt to the wounds. Ben turned me to look at him and kissed me lightly, before saying aloud
    “thanx my love, you couldn’t have said it any better.” The guys walked away laughing with Jim cursing.
    “Shall we?” Ben smiled opening the car door for me. we drove around for some minutes and we went in Munda Wanga to watch some animals. we walked around with his hands around me.
    “hey Ben!” I teased him. “Jim isn’t here you can let go now.”
    ” hmmhn, no way love there are lots of Jims in this world” he laughed.
    ” I don’t want ending up in prison leaving you out here alone, plus we need to find our baby.” He frowned serious.
    “Oh yeah that” i said sadly.
    “Yeah Jena, no matter what we have to find her.” He responded
    “That reminds me we need to talk about this with your uncle I almost forgot, he told me the whole family will sit together so we find a better solution to get our baby back.
    ” Grace” I told him.. “her name is Grace, I named her.”
    ” oh it’s a sweet name.” He looked at me smelling.
    “so tell me about her” he added, as we sat on a swing.
    “Well, she’s the sweetest thing I have ever seen. she has your looks Ben. A round face and a big smile and she has a scar on the back of her neck like the one I have under my breast” I explained
    “Sure?” he asked trying to open my body top. “Can i see the scar again?” He teased.
    “You are crazy” i laughed pushing his hand away.
    “I cant wait to see her, am sure she’s a cute little thing.”
    ” yeah” I nodded.
    We stayed away the whole morning, we even had our lunch and decided to go back home later on after aunty called that everyone was home waiting for us.
    “we better head home” I told Ben..
    “oh no.. not before this” he smiled leaning and kissing me without minding the people meters away.
    “Ben ” I leaned back, “People are watching.”
    ” let them watch” he responded kissing me again.
    “come on” I said pulling him up ” this is not Russia”
    he laughed out loudly and hugged me.
    “Hmmn, then Zambia must be boring ” he teased.
    We drove home and when we got inside Ben let go of my hand which he was holding up until we faced the people in the living room. I saw mom give us both a sharp look. I couldn’t help myself.
    my inner voice was like, “well mom I love him, get used to it.”
    Ben was motioned to sit next to his sister and his dad who had been invited to the meeting. I sat down on the carpet with mom and aunty Nelly. uncle sat on the single couch alone.
    I quickly glanced around and I noticed how serious the matter was. I looked at Ben who flashed me smile.
    “how can he be smiling I wondered, when everyone else seemed so serious.
    “Well,” uncle cleared his throat,
    ” since the people who gathered us here have come. we shall now begin, mummy give us a prayer before we start” he told his wife.

    EPISODE 17

    After we all said Amen, uncle brought everyone up to date on the current situation.
    “So like I said in the beginning people, it’s not time to judge anyone or even finger pointing. our agenda is for us, that is, this young man’s family and Jena’s family here to put our heads together and find our child.”
    Ben’s step dad spoke up.
    “eehe let me just ask something before we proceed. I don’t understand why our daughter here would just give away the baby without first sorting matters with the father Ben, how can we even be sure it was Ben’s child, with the fact that he was away.” He sighed
    “Hey ! hold on there” mom spoke up. All of us looked at Ben’s dad surprised.
    “oh so ba tata, you think my daughter would just point at your son of all people in the world? Okay let’s assume that’s even the case, why would she go through the trouble of accusing your son who was away, after she already gave away the child? You are not being reasonable sir. If you doubt so much why are you even here anyway? it’s not like we are demanding anything from you.” Her speech clearly displaying her disappointment.
    “please let’s all calm down ” uncle interrupted.
    “oh no, my dear ” mom went on
    ” look at Jena right now, is this how she was before? She had a decent life. Ask this your daughter if am lying” mom looked at Ben’s sister.
    “she was ok until the time your son here, deceived her. He’s older than her. He could have known better, mmmh no.. am not going to sit here and allow you people hurt my daughter anymore, don’t you think she’s had enough”
    “Um, please let me say something” Ben’s sister spoke up.
    “we really don’t know what led Jena to give away a child after giving birth, but things already happened. Since Ben is here, let him tell us his mind on this. Is the child in question his..? And if yes, what is his take on the current situation”
    “that’s ok” uncle agreed
    ” lets hear what Ben has to says
    I couldn’t look up, I bow my head down in silence, the whole time. trying so hard not to cry.
    “Yes ” Ben spoke up.
    ” I know I was away, for many years and later on months after i met up with Jena. I want you people to know that I don’t for a second doubt that, that child is mine, am 100% positive.”
    ” mmmn” the dad murmured
    “how can you be so sure? ”
    “Dad please” Ben stopped him.
    “Not now, am sure because I was the first to be with her and the dates match, am sure because I love her and I trust her. so please everyone instead of going round talking about whether am responsible or not let’s discuss the way of finding my daughter and if anyone isn’t ready to take up that responsibility please stay out of it. My take on the matter is that we have to forget ahead and find the Mwapes wherever they may be and claim what’s ours. If we will have to pay money to compensate them for the trouble then I will see to it that the money is paid.” He paused.
    “well spoken young man” uncle responded.
    “So now, if anyone is not happy with things here you may speak your mind out and leave us alone.” he looked around and everyone was quite.
    “Well then ” Jena tell us everything you know about that family.” He looked at me.
    I went on explaining how I never had any information, but I remembered Mrs Mwape mentioning something about her sister in Lusaka.
    “where exactly ?” Ben’s sister asked.
    “mmmn, Avondale I think, she said she’s a captain in the air force or something like that, that’s all I know.”
    “Well, then we have to find that sister maybe she might lead us to where the baby is. But we need a name for us to find her, going to the air force will not be a problem” uncle said.
    “I have a few friends in high ranks am sure they would help.”
    Aunty Nelly spoke for the first time.
    “I think Mrs Mwape s maiden name is Ngoma, mmmn, yes Beatrice Ngoma. I remember it from her NRC, she had asked me to make copys for her some years back, we needed the copys for the woman foundation files”
    “That’s even better” then Uncle nodded
    “we start from there, meanwhile Ben try to find the new owner of that farm. Find out what you can and let me know. anything else?” he asked the room.
    “I have something” Ben spoke up.
    “I would love to ask Jena ‘s hand in marriage, that is if she will have me.” he added looking at me.
    I was steered from my silence. I didn’t expect Ben to do that especially in front of everyone.
    “will you marry me Jenala?” he asked kneeling down.
    I looked at mom ,aunty Nelly then uncle, who nodded. I looked back at Ben who held a shinning Silver ring in his hands. I couldn’t help but love him. I wanted so bad to be with him. I pictured him, Grace and myself together.
    “say something my love” Ben whispered after minutes of silence.
    ” yes! Yes Ben I will marry you” I finally answered and everyone giggled as Ben put the engagement ring on my finger.
    The meeting was closed after it was resorted that the marriage issues would be discussed after Grace was found.

    EPISODE 19

    …..Ben….
    I opened the door and signalled her to get in. It was the first time she was coming into my apartment, well second. The first time was when I came to show her the place before I moved in 2 months back.
    I made sure I cleaned the house which I hadn’t done almost the whole month, it never got dirt anyway. I was just making sure I changed my beddings.
    She looked sad from the time i told her news about some spy. I only wish I had not told her anything but I couldnt just lie to her. she was going to find out anyway,
    “what do I get you my love..?” I asked her when she was done inspecting all the rooms.
    “Am okey” She smiled.
    “what do you think ” I asked her after she sat down at the couch.
    “well it’s ok..” She shrugged.
    “mmm just okey ?” I asked.
    “Just needs a few colour blending, we are going to change the curtains tomorrow, she added.
    “yeah whatever you say Boss” chuckled sitting next to her.
    “We need to find Grace Ben, I still feel the gap in my heart. Don’t get me wrong love she went on. I love you and am happy with you but I need our baby with us here. I regret what I did. how I wish i sacrificed my education or even went to live in miss am sure it could have been better if I had her. life isn’t the same since the day she was born. Am sorry my love i wasn’t strong enough.” She shed tears
    I felt bad seeing her crying again.
    “It’s okey my love” i held her “you are not alone. I don’t want you to suffer alone that’s why am here. forget the past let’s focus on finding our baby, thats what is important now okey ?” I comforted her.
    We sat in silence as my mind willed back to the scene at Manda Hill. I could bet that Jim guy had something up his sleeves and I vowed to find out what it was. It seemed his obsession with Jena was getting out of hand.
    ” it’s high time I faced that jerk.” I gnarled inside.
    “Hey love” I shook Jena
    “are you sleeping? let’s go to bed already”
    She moved to face me with a smile this time.
    ” I need to bath first” she spoke up.
    ” great then let’s go.” I moved to stand.
    ” oh no Mr, you aren’t bathing with me.”
    ” why not love.? ” I asked with a Grinn.
    “because we won’t ” she said heading to the bedroom looking back at me as I extended my hands watching her.
    I waited for her to finish bathing, while I lay down in the bed going through some group chats. I sighed seeing chats from the guys from school. Everyone talking about how it was in their countries. I also wrote down.
    ” having quality time with the woman I love.”
    I decided to check my FB page then, saw Jena’s aunty, aunty Nelly on people you may know. Quickly I went to check out her profile.
    Surprisingly I found amongst her friends was Mrs Mwape, though she used her maiden names, my heart skipped a bit as I looked through her pictures. it showed her pictures with Grace when she was still little, 2 or 3 months utmost. I zoomed one on which Grace was alone
    ” wow! ” I said aloud, She looked so beautiful. her little smile was so breath taking. I downloaded the pic and looked at her again and again. Jena was right, she was so cute. she had my face too though her mother’s eyes. One would tell she was mine no doubt. I kissed her pic,
    “where are you my little one?” I whispered to myself. I went through Mrs Mwape s profile once again, then I saw she had commented 5 hours ago on someone’s photos.
    Right then, it clicked
    “oh yes! why didn’t I think of this before.?” I sighed.
    Quickly I wrote down Mrs Mwapes Facebook address.
    I went through my contacts and dialled Oliver’s contact.
    “hey man whats up ?” he answered after the third ring.
    “hey. . How are you Oliver? “
    “Good man, i just saw the chat on whatsapp. how is your woman? ” he asked.
    “She’s okay, hey man listen up, do you have the contact number for that cyber guy from the university ? “
    ” Which one Ben?” he asked
    “That guy who was hacking people’s accounts man.”
    “Whao oh! hold on, why would you need that lunatics contact? “
    “Believe me man if it wasn’t a matter of life and death I wouldn’t ask” i told him seriously.
    “well then let me ask the guy I know from his class. He surely can get me something.
    “Thanks a lot man” I told him before hanging up.
    I glanced up when Jena cleared her throat
    “and who was that?” she asked.
    ” well that was, uh hmm” I was speechless I swallowed hard, seeing Jena in a tower made me figit. I hadn’t seen that wonderful body in over a year and now she was standing there her skin calling out to me. I moved my eyes from the toes to her face. she saw me drooling over and and she let out a laugh.
    ” what is it Ben you acting as though you have seen a ghost.”
    “Oh Jena, you are killing me” I confessed
    ” really?” she teased turning her back.
    Oh gosh, her legs where perfect.
    “if not for that short towel” I thought to my self
    “I could be looking at her behind.” Before, I could think any more. I moved to her turning her to me. she gave me a sexy smile and I was so gone.
    “Wow beautiful, dont you think you have punished me enough?” I shivered
    “Really …? Well love it seems your starvation ends today” she smiled removing my T shirt.
    “I love you Jena” i told her between kisses.
    “you are the best thing that’s ever happened to me ” I whispered in her ears. I felt her frown and relax, taking her on the bed I explored every part of her beautiful body as she drove me to worlds I never imagined.
    Our first time was great, but what she gave me that night was beyond description. We connected so naturally, we were perfect together.
    The only thing missing was our girl and we would have a complete life when we find her I kept thinking.
    I looked at her lay on the pillow her Indian weave partly covering her face. I couldn’t help smile to myself.
    “hey love come up here ” I told her as I lifted her to my laps. I sat leaning on the head board stroking her hair.
    ” I hope you feel better my love. I will do all I can to get our daughter back.” I whispered
    “How can I not be happy after all that scene you put up here” she cracked.
    ” well prepare yourself love there is surely more drama this night” I said getting on top of her again,
    I didn’t want to tell her about the plan I had of using a hacker to help me track the location of Mrs Mwape, until I got a positive response. I didn’t want to give her false hope.
    That night I focused on making her feel special and show her how much she meant to me.

    EPISODE 20

    I was awakened by the ringing of my phone. I moved to grab it, Ben’s hands still wrapped around me. I checked the caller it was Muma.
    “Hey girlfriend.”
    ” Hey Jena morning girl”
    ” morning ” I said back. “talk to me why are you calling this early? ” i asked
    “Oh just because you are in Ben’s arms you think it’s still early” she teased.
    I checked the time it was past 9 hours.
    ” yeah say that again” I responded chuckling.
    ” well girlfriend I wanted to let you know that someone came looking for you this morning. ”
    “whose that Muma?”
    “mmmn have never seen him before girlfriend.”
    “what? him? ” i asked surprised.
    “Yeah a tall handsome guy with a slaggy walk.”
    ” Jim ” I whispered
    “What’s that Jena?” Muma asked…
    ” do you know the guy?”
    ” Um it’s a long story girlfriend I will update you later.”
    “Okay then enjoy being with your dude” she said hanging up.
    Ben shook from his sleep holding me tighter.
    “what the hell is that Jerk up to ” i thought
    “how did he even know my room at campus? well, Jim” my inner voice spoke.
    “it’s time you told me what the hell is going on and if you have anything to do with my daughter, I swear to God you will pay”
    I then text Muma
    “hey girlfriend! what else did he say?”
    Seconds later she replied.
    “Oh forgot to tell you he left a number that you call him and he said it’s important”
    “Send it over will you? ” I wrote back.
    “Sure… ”
    I looked at the number and quickly saved it. If i was to do something especially to do with Jim it’s better I keep Ben out of it I motioned to myself. I knew him and if he knew Jim went looking for me, he will skin him alive.
    Quietly I moved out of the blankets slowly removing Ben’s hands from my waist. I headed to the kitchen and called Jim’s line.
    “helo ” he answered..
    “helo Jim it’s Jena” i said without wasting time.
    “well, well, look whose calling me, babe how glad i am you decided to follow up my visit . I thougt you will never call. what a pleasure.”
    “Jim” said sounding so proud of himself.
    I almost cut the line, but decided to play it cool.
    “what do you want Jim ? why were you looking for me at campus? ”
    ” Ease babe, I want you, you know that. I started wanting you years before that stupid boyfriend of yours showed his stupid face around.” He remarked.
    “You know what Jim? on second thoughts, I think I made a mistake calling you. I actually thought you had something better to tell me. bye!”
    ” wait ! wait ! Jena ” he interrupted,
    ” don’t you want to know where your daughter is? ”
    With that my heart skipped
    “what? Jim tell me what you know about my daughter right now ” I said almost yelling but being careful not to awake Ben.
    “Well babe, it seems I have what you want after all and you have what I want.” I could hear him smile.
    “What do you want you jerk? ” i snapped.
    “Well find time after you are done with that stupid face and give me a call this afternoon, then i will tell you were to meet Me.”
    “No way, Jim” I told him.
    it’s not possible today, am busy ”
    “Oh so you busy sleeping with that Stupid face and don’t care about your daughter Uhhh? ”
    “Please Jim make it tomorrow I begged, hating the fact that i was desperate and had to plead with that jerk.
    “Well since I love you, I feel your pressure babe, give me a call tomorrow
    I cut the call, my whole body was sweating. I hated hiding it from Ben, but i feared I could loose the chance of finding my daughter. I made a mental note to tell him later.
    But I first had to find out what that Jim had or knew about my daughter.
    I decided to make breakfast. I was busy making some sandwich, didn’t hear Ben coming.
    He held me from behind and I startled.
    “oh , you scared me Ben” I let a scream.
    “and why is that love? ” he asked kissing my ears.
    “I didnt see you coming… ”
    “Mmmm those look yummy” Ben pointed at the tray I was setting. And i felt glad he didnt read my fear.
    ” why don’t we just get married already ” he winced.
    “I can not wait to have you in my bed everyday and here in the kitchen”
    ” oh well love you need to wait a bit longer, no need to rush” I said making us both some cofffee.
    “So who was that? ” he asked biting in the sandwich .
    “who?” I asked nervously.
    “I though I heard you talking to someone on phone.”
    “Oh that one, that was Muma” I lied. “She called to say good morning.”
    ” oh, she might as well forget seeing you untill tomorrow evening” he spoke his mouth full.
    “Mmh, my love evening…? I uh,I am supposed to go in the morning and finish up an assignment I have to submit on monday morning” I hated lying to him. But at the moment I had no option.
    “But love we agreed we will spend the whole weekend together till Sunday evening.” He complained placing down the coffee cup.
    “I know love” i said holding his hands.“I just forgot to finish up the assignment I was rushing to be with you yesterday. I promise I will make it up to you.”
    Hm. am not happy Jena, I miss you lots, atleast we could have used another full day tomorrow, ” he looked away.
    “come on love, please” I begged kissing him lightly.
    “Don’t do that to buy me off” he said acting upset yet he held me close. I knew I got him.
    He grabbed me before I could move and kissed me the more.
    “I love you ” I smiled
    “show me that” he demanded, lifting me to the top of the kitchen cabinet.
    “breakfast first” I pointed withdrawing from the kiss.
    “It can wait” he answered tightening his grip on me, “after all, we have to make up for tomorrow
    We spent the whole morning inside watching movies in bed. Later in the afternoon we took a stroll outside and then decided to stay indoors the rest of the day. It was an amazing Saturday.
    But my mind wouldn’t stop thinking about Jim’s words. “call me if you want to find your daughter”
    “how dare he.” I thought to myself.
    I even wondered how on earth he found out about my baby. I remember aunty clearly telling him off last time he was asking about me having a baby.
    “But how ?” I asked myself without being able to guess the answers.
    Ben giggled, and I looked at him, realising i wasn’t even watching the movie. I smiled at him as I walked out to prepare dinner.
    The following morning I woke up early and cleaned the house before Ben could wake up. Preparing breakfast and later took a shower all I had in mind was going to see that jerk Jim and find out about our baby.
    Ben woke up when I was finally dressing up.
    “Love where are you going to?” He asked his eyes half closed.
    “My love i thought we discussed this yesterday, come on wake up and eat your breakfast so you take me to school.” I looked at him.
    “uh! I hate you !” He screamed Standing up in his boxer.
    ” I know my love” i teased him throwing a towel at him.
    He let it fall and kissed my forehead before heading to the bath room.
    “Hand me that towel again will you?” He shouted popping his head out.
    ” What? ” I laughed
    “you are such a baby Ben.”
    “Yes am your baby he answered smiling with a tooth brush in his mouth.
    An hour later we headed to the campus, it was almost 10 hours the time we drove to my hostel. I kissed Ben good bye.
    “take care for me!” he said as he drove away.
    “I headed straight to my room and called Jim who answered at the first ring.
    “yes babe? ready for me?”
    “tell me already where to meet you, you jerk” i snapped. He let out a laugh.
    ” calm down girly will you? ” I could tell he was enjoying my desperation.
    “am in campus as well, meet me by the library”
    I Threw my hand bag and headed out. Thankfully Muma had left for church. I found a note where she mentioned going to Avondale after church to see her aunty.
    “good ” I thought to myself.
    “Now no one will question my where abouts.” locked tbe door and went straight to the library.

    EPISODE 21

    …..Ben…….
    I woke up and found she was not in bed. I heard water rusnning in the kitchen, guessed she decided to go early after all. I didnt understand why she was acting rather weird the previous day.
    She was absent minded almost the time we watched movies even the time we watched three idiots the movie she liked so much. she barely cracked as she always did. I remember she made me watch the movie at her room and she was laughing almost the whole time. I didnt pay much attention but with the way she was so into the movie i too got carried away and enjoyed the movie. But this time it was different, she barely smiled.
    “what could it be? ” i wondered. i tried blushing it off but something just didn`t seem right with her. For some reason i didn`t buy the story of the assignment. I knew she would never leave unfinished work..
    I played low and let it pass, seeing her hurry and rush me to take her to campus made me suspect something wasnt right. I mean its not like she was cheating on me, that i knew for sure but it was serious.
    she kissed me bye and i looked at her as she walked to her hostel. I decided to let it be, whatever it was i was sure she would end up telling me. I was almost going out of the campus when i saw Jim walking towards the library.
    My instincts told me to stalk him for a while, i had to find out what he was doing in campus since he wasn`t a student there . It was too much of a coincidence that he was in campus .
    ” what if hes the one spying on Jena for sure” i thought to myself. I couldnt see him clearly from the car so i decided to pack the car and watch him closely.
    My heart skipped when I saw Jena heading in the same direction that Jerk was standing.
    “whats this?” i asked myself. I couldn`t believe my eyes. My first sense told me to ran to her and find out what the hell was going on but the other sense told me to hold it and get to understand clearly what was going on.
    I moved closer but making sure they didn`t see me. I stood behind the wall a few meters were they stood, at least i could hear them talk.
    “so what now? am here you idiot and you better tell me something sensible, you spoiled my weekend you jerk. So am here now tell me what i need to know.” Jena spoke up.
    Well, at least i was comforted she wasnt enjoying being around that jerk.
    “hey babe” Jim answered “you look extra beautiful today.” He chuckled.
    I felt my fist clench, I had to hold myself down.
    “please stop it already ” Jena shouted. ” just tell me about my daughter, come on now what do you know about my daughter and where is she?
    I couldnt believe my ears, so thats what this was all about, Grace. I knew if Jim had anything to do with our daughter then he will do whatever he well pleased especially taking advantage of Jena`s desparation.
    “Not here Jena ” Jim told her smiling.
    ‘what are you up to?” Jena snapped “is it money you want uh? we can give you that just tell me about my daughter please”
    “well babe if you dont want to come with me then you can forget about ever seeing your daughter” he shook his head.
    I saw Jena frown
    “Okey lets go” she told him.
    “oh Jena!” i screamed in my head “why are you falling in that idiots trap so easily?”
    They started heading to Mulungushi hostel, i quietly followed them as they entered the hostel. My heart racing,
    i quickened up when they disappeared on the stairs, bumping into some guy coming down the stairs. I quickly apologized and i heard him curse.
    “damn man watch it!” I saw them enter some room as soon as i emerged from the stairs. I walked there and stood by the door.
    Two guys walked my direction, i had to pretend i was waiting for someone. After they passed me i put my ear to the door.
    “Well sit down” I heard him order Jena.
    “What the hell Jim, just tell me already” she shouted.
    “well i told you i need something from you first, there`s nothing for free my dear”
    “oh I see ” she responded ” so you fooled me? I should have told Ben you jerk.”
    ” just admit it Jena you like me” Jim giggled loudly.
    ” just leave me alone already !” she screamed.
    “I will show you that am better than that stupid face !” i heard him shout as well.
    I couldnt hear anymore. I pushed the door to open but it was locked. I started panicking,
    “Oh God what do i now?” I walked around a minute holding my head. then I saw the janita leaving the ablution block. I ran to him panting.
    ” help me sir!” i begged ” there’s a guy raping my girfriend and i need to rescue her quickily before its too late.”
    “what can i do for you my dear ?” he asked in a slow and calm voice.
    “I need a spare key for that room” i said pointing at the room Jim and Jena were in. he hesistated a bit, “please sir ” i begged again. “help me here” he got a bunch of keys from his pockets. With shaking hands he searched through the keys.
    I snatched the keys from his hands.
    ” please sir tell me which one is the key.” I asked panicking.
    ” the one with a green tag ” he answered ” its the master key.”
    I ran back and opened the door. Jim was on top of the kicking and crying Jena trying to kiss her. her dress moved upwards exposing her thighs.
    I fumed and in an instance before he could realise i was there. I pulled him up knocking him blows in his face continously with all the rage in me. He fell to the floor and i went on him punching him hard. I could see blood oozing from his nose but i had no intention of stopping.
    “i warned you to stay away from my fiance you idiot” i cursed as i punched him. He tried to push me back but his efforts failled.
    “where is my daughter you idiot ?” i asked stopping for a while and holding his shirt up. I raise my hand to punch again and he confessed,
    ” leave me alone man I know nothing about your daughter” he cried.
    “why dont you ask your aunty Nelly. I had nothing to do with what happened to your child man.” he said blood coming out of his mouth.
    “you liar!” I snapped “don’t you dare lie to me or i will kill you right now. Am telling you the truth Ben” he begged. “I only found out from aunty Nelly as well. she spread the news that Jena sold her baby to the Mwapes. Everyone knows man” he added. “please stop hitting me already.”
    “If thats the case,” i asked him. ” why did you tell Jena you knew about the babys whereabouts you jerk.?”
    “i only wanted to get to her man i know nothing. I only know what i have told you, thats it” he covered his face with his hands.
    ” well this is for taking advantage of my fiance !” i hit him again
    “and this is for…” i couldnt finish the sentence then i felt Jena touch my shoulders.
    “Thats enough Ben! you will kill him.” Before i could come out of my rage i pushed her away and she hit the wall falling to the floor motionless.
    I let go of Jim who quickly ran out of the room and I ran to Jena.
    “My love!” i called her, she was quite and i started panicking.
    ” Jena please ! am so sorry love please dont do this to me. I didnt mean to push you. someome help me !” i cried out desperately.
    ” oh no what have I done?, my God” I cried holding her tightly,
    “please love”

    EPISODE 22

    ……. Ben……….
    I cried, some of the guys started walking away.
    How typical, instead of helping me. People can easily abandon someone desperately in need.
    I glanced at her again and she moved her head.
    ” love?” i called her.
    “Am sorry I didnt mean to push you.” she winced in pain,
    “my head” she whispered
    “i know my love stay put for a while” I held her sighing in relief.
    The owner of the hotel came.
    “what happened here?” he inquired surprise
    “well the guy who paid you to use your room tried to rape this poor girl was caught” one of the guys told him.
    I cared less about what they were saying, all i wanted was to help Jena.
    ” can you stand up love?” i asked her after some few minutes.
    “i think so” she answered.
    I held her as i helped her up.
    we slowly walked to the car and i decided to drive her to the hospital.
    ” where are we going?” she asked me.
    “You need to see a doctor love”
    “no am fine Ben ” she objected. ” Please lets just go to my room i will be fine.” She looked at me.
    “well, I will take you home instead.”
    “okey ” she lay her head on the seat.
    we drove home in silence..
    ” Am so sorry Jena I didnt mean to hurt you, I let my anger control me. forgive me my love.”
    “It’s fine my love, its not your fault, its my fault i didnt tell you about Jim, i thought i could get something about my daughter, am desperate Ben, I have lost hope of finding her and knowing my own aunty is contributing to my suffering is unbearable.” she was still shaking from fear of what happened.
    I held her after putting ice on the part she hit the wall. I gave her some pain killers and took her to lay down on the bed.
    “please my love dont do that again, dont ever expose yourself to such danger, I dont know what could have happened if i didnt follow you.”
    “forgive me” she held my face for me to look at her.
    “I will never hide anything again. l just want my baby with us, I cannot go on like this love” she cried and I comforted her.
    “You are right about your aunty. I thought she has changed, how unfortunate it is that she’s in touch with the Mwape`s and even helping them hide. To make matters worse, she blows the story out to everyone even lying that you sold the baby. how dare she? I frowned. “she is so heartless, am sorry to say this Love.”
    I told her about how I discovered aunty Nelly was friends with Mrs Mwape on FB.
    ” love, listen ” I explained to her, I found out about her friendship on facebook and I asked a certain guy from Russia to help me track her location using her Facebook address, God willing he will be able to give me the location in a couple of days.”
    “It’s alright the most important thing is to find our baby” she responded.
    Jena told me that we had to tell her uncle, according to her he wasnt involved in her aunty’s evil deeds. we both agreed to call her uncle and asked him to come over my place.
    ” why is that?” he inquired.
    “Well uncle ” i explained,
    “because the issue is serious and we cannot risk anyone finding out what we know by coming to chilanga.”
    I also told him about a spy, he sounded concerned and he promised he would start coming right that moment.
    “I hope this night mare comes to an end soon my love” I whispered to her.
    “I want us to be together, happy and live a normal life, free of all this drama.”
    **********
    Jena..
    I had fallen asleep after talking at length with Ben about aunty Nellys betrayal. I knew aunty Nelly was not so caring about me, but the past months I had the impression she had changed.
    How possible is it that my blood relative would have so much hatred for me I couldn’t just understand.
    I stayed in bed, my head still aching. I thanked God Ben rescued me from that jerk Jim, he almost succeed raping me, just the thought of his body on me made me shiver..
    “God” I prayed, “may you let this pass away, I promise to live a better life, will always strive to live a righteous life, please send your holy spirit to help me. Thank you for the gift of life, thank you that even when I don’t deserve it you gave me a good man. Bless him all Lord I pray and prolong his days that he may reap in abundance of blessings all the days of his life, bless and protect our daughter, I pray from my heart hear me lord”
    “Amen. !” I heard Ben answer as I completed my prayer.
    “Thank you my love for praying for me” he smiled.
    “love, uncle is 5 minutes away let’s prepare to Welcome him.” He leaned forward planting a kiss on my forehead.
    ” sure” i said standing up. I felt a bit dizzy and held my head. Ben quickly rushed and held me.
    “are you ok? ”
    ” Am fine love, I just felt a bit dizzy.. am sorry he said again…
    “stop apologising already will you…
    Uncle came a few minutes later and we sat in the sitting room. I served us juice.
    ” so guys” uncle started. “what’s going on..? What’s this issue of someone spying on you.”
    “It’s true uncle” i explained,
    “no wonder all the efforts we have put in have failed. Someone is informing the Mwapes of what we are doing”
    “so do u people have an idea who it is then? ” he looked at both of us.
    We looked at each other and we both nodded.
    “we might have something uncle..
    , though we are not so sure” Ben responded
    “Tell me who it is already ” he rushed us.
    “we are suspecting aunty Nelly ” Ben told him.
    ” what? Are you serious? ” Uncle asked looking at me.
    ” now I see this search is blinding you both, now you start accusing the person who raised you. how dare you Jena?” uncle snapped looking at me seriously.
    “But uncle please hear us out” I cried.
    “I know you people raised me and I will forever be grateful. just think of it uncle, what will I gain in accusing aunty Nelly. she’s dad’s own sister and has kept me all this while.” I sniffed.
    ” it doesnt even make sense to me as well” he answered..
    Ben opened Facebook and showed uncle that aunty were friends with Mrs Mwape. He explained about Jim and everything that happened some hours before he came. All the time uncle sat in silence as Ben concluded his explanation.
    ” that’s why we called you here instead of us coming to Chilanga. The fear was that if what Jim said, which is infact making sense, is true. Then we would have risked failing everything again.”
    “Am so ashamed right now. Jena am so sorry you have suffered at the hands of your aunty, believe me I had no idea what was going on. No wonder she was always asking what was happening but did nothing at all to help solve the situation. Don’t worry ” uncle assured us…
    ” I won’t tell her a thing from now onwards we only deal with this the three of us.” he then left
    But not before Ben explained his plan of using his friend to track Mrs Mwapes location.
    Two days later Ben came to campus.
    ” Love I have good news for you ” he smiled excited.
    ” what is it ? What happened ?” I asked curiously.
    “well that guy just text me that He located Mrs Mwape. He told me she must be located in some Northen parts of the country Serenge or Mpika somewhere there, according to him. He couldn’t say the exact location because of poor demarcations in our country but it should be some commercial farm area.”
    “Well my love” I hugged him excited.
    “that’s something for sure”
    ” yeah Jena soon we are going to find her.” He chuckled with a smile.
    I was so excited I cried.
    “oh my baby, soon I will be able to hold you again, Thank you God!” I shouted tears falling on my chicks.
    “Thank you Ben” I said hugging him again.
    “she’s my daughter too remember, am not only doing this for you but for us all.” He smiled.
    “yeah sure” I sighed sitting down on my bed.
    We later that afternoon called uncle and we met up at east park for lunch as we discussed the progress.
    “This is good guys” uncle said excited after we narrated the development.
    “now all we need is to take a trip to Serenge. ” He pointed out.
    “am going with you” I spoke up
    “No leaving me behind this time around.”
    “but Jena..” Ben almost spoke up.
    ” stop already Ben, forget it am not remaining here. I need to be there when we finally find her.”
    “It’s okey” uncle supported.
    “she can come too, besides we need her to talk and reason with the Mwapes she’s the one with scores to settle with them”
    “Won’t they sue me uncle?” I asked worried of what the Mwapes reaction when I surfaced to claim my child.
    “They don’t have a strong legal case” uncle explained.
    ” I talked to my Lawyer friend, he told me that unless they had reported you to the police the time they found out it was you who left the baby. but instead they ran away, which could be viewed as kidnapping.”
    ” what if they signed adoption papers already” I asked.
    “no way, they needed the mother’s signature to authorise that or the signature of some authorised legal personnel. I doubt they did all that, cause if that was the case they couldn’t have gone through such trouble of hiding.”
    “Well let’s hope that’s the case” said Ben.
    “otherwise whatever it takes we will still end up with our child”
    “don’t worry ” Ben looked at me,
    ” God has given us a second chance, we will be a complete family soon.”
    We concluded our meeting and before we could start off. Uncle received a call from aunty Nelly, he ignored it and told us he’s failing to cope with her any more. every time I look at her I can’t believe I Married such a person. how possible is it that a woman who even has children would not understand what you are going through? anyway? ” he added.
    ” don’t worry immediately this is over. she’s going to hear from me. I hope she has a better of explanation for this.” He remarked.

    EPISODE 23

    A week later, we had finally decided to travel to Serenge.
    ” girlfriend what about school ?” Muma asked me as I packed up.
    “you know what girl? I think I will just drop out this year. I will ask to resume my studies next year, there’s no way am going to give school 100% concentration with what’s going on.” I told her.
    “Jena you remind me of our last school days.” Muma said,
    “I noticed something was wrong with you and you denied every thing. how could you hide your pregnancy even from me your best friend..?”
    ” it was complicated girlfriend, forgive me.”
    ” yeah sure girl, I just wish you all the best.” She smiled
    “Thanx dear, I really needed that ” i said picking up my bag. Ben and uncle were outside waiting for me. I had called mom to explain the situation, warning her not to say a thing to aunty Nelly.
    Uncle offered we use his hilux. He said we needed a high vehicle if we were to go round the farms,
    ” your Benz is low ” he told Ben.
    “Hey love ” I greeted and kissed Ben on the chick.
    ” hey my love.. ready? ”
    “Yeah sure let’s hit the road!” I said getting in the back seat with Ben.
    ” morning uncle !” I greeted.
    “morning Jena how is your head? ” he asked turning to look in the back.
    ” never been better!” I giggled.
    Ben and uncle laughed, “we knew you will say that, you wont say a thing even if it was aching just to make sure you come along. ”
    ” mmmn forget it guys am not planning on backing out” I shrugged
    Uncle brought along some man who sat in the passenger’s seat with him.
    “who is he uncle?” I asked.
    ” oh sorry I forgot to introduce him, this is Mwale. He’s a man my friend told me can help us search for the Mwapes in Serenge. He worked at the farms there for many years and he knows most of the land owners that side.”
    “that’s great ” I said and greeted him.
    We bought some food and water before leaving Lusaka, then uncle shouted looking at us.
    “hey are you ready to embark on the journey, what do we call it ?” he paused.. ” to find Grace” he said making gestures with his hands. we all burst out laughing.
    “yeah!” We screamed together as he joined Kabwe road.
    Our journey was wonderful, that was the thing with uncle he found ways of making every thing seem so simple. He told stories about his childhood and told many jokes all the way. Let me say we all stayed awake for the rest of the 7 hours journey from Lusaka to serenge, at some point I got tired of sitting and lay on my back on Ben’s hands. we glanced at each other and he smiled looking down at my face.
    “I love you” he spoke inaudible,
    just moving his lips .
    “I love you more” I motioned in the same way and we giggled.
    “Well, love birds, i was once in love like you. ” he looked back.
    “tell us more!” I said laughing.
    “was that with aunty?”
    “No, ” he responded bluntly
    “I never married my first love unfortunately ” he said frowning .
    “Hmm sorry ” I sighed.
    “well you should say thank God, otherwise I wouldn’t have met you and even driving to Serenge for “to find Grace”” he teased with his new title of our trip. We all laughed again.
    We reached serenge town at 19 hours, asked for a good lodge around town and the people helped us find what was according to them the most executive lodge.
    Ben booked two rooms with two beds. we had our dinner orders as well before heading to our rooms.
    ” make sure you use different beds you two” uncle laughed.
    “Sure thing uncle ” Ben answered
    ” rest well people” he added when we were standing by his room before we proceeded to our room next door. “we have a long day ahead of us tomorrow.”
    In our room I went to shower. I was enjoying the warm water falling on my body, it really felt relaxing after a long journey.
    “may I come in?” heard Ben join in , before I could say anything he was already inside .
    “what are you doing here love,” I giggled looking at him all naked.
    “Dont tell me you dont like what you see” he teased putting his head under the running water.
    “Hmm.. not at all” I laughed
    “Are you sure love?” he whispered getting close and pushing me towards the wall. I swallowed hard, there was something about him that drove me wild. With him that close to me I became less in control of myself. I held his waist closer to my body and felt him moan with pleasure. We were carried away and tangled in love pleasures for 30 minutes. After we were done wiggling and turning each other around , we finished showering and retired to bed.
    I prayed a little prayer of protection and luck to find Grace. Putting my head on Ben’s chest I dozed off and fall asleep.
    Early the following morning we were all set to go by 7 hours.
    “how did you sleep guys,” uncle asked us as we joined the main tarmac.
    “great !” Ben answered smiling and winking at me. I smiled back knowing too well what that meant.
    Mr Mwale directed us to the area where he knew had lots of big farms, after driving for about a mile we approached the first farm and inquired about the Mwape’s. The old man in the track pointed in the east direction.
    “I heard the next farm that side was sold recently to some new owners. am not so sure of the name of the new farmer there, you can start from there”
    “thank you ” Ben responded, he was the one driving and uncle sat with me in the back. Mwale was in front directing Ben, upon getting to the farm we were directed to, we found out the owner was a woman who never even stayed there, they were only workers.
    We moved around to about 15 or so farms but nothing. It was even getting dark so we decided to head back to the lodge.
    “we continue tomorrow uncle suggested.
    “Is there any other area with commercial farms here? ” I asked Mr Mwale.
    “mmmmmm, maybe those near Mpika he said, otherwise here the rest of the farms are small”
    “are you sure it’s a commercial farm,” uncle asked Ben.
    “am sure of what that guy told me uncle, he specifically mentioned a commercial farm only that he couldn’t pin point the exact location.”
    “Well then” he sighed
    “let’s head to where Mr Mwale has mentioned then, we pray something comes up tomorrow
    EPISODE 24 (Final)

    5 years later….
    “Grace! Grace!” I called out.
    “Grace! Hurry up baby we will be late…”
    ” take it easy my love we still have 20 more minutes before mass.” Ben walked in fastening his buttons.
    ” ok, so you want us to go on the dot right.?.” he smiled kissing my forehead.
    ” don’t always stress out love, take it easy at life.” He shook his head.
    She came out with her pink dress and sandals
    “wow ! my princess you look wonderful.” Her father complimented her. She turned around her dress flowing making an umbrella shape.
    ” yeah I know dad” she smiled
    “mom bought it for me to wear for Christmas mass.” She announced
    “wow..isn’t she a wonderful mom?” Ben giggled. .
    ” Yes !” she screamed hugging me. I couldnt help myself. I smiled kissing her forehead.
    “ok ladies ” Ben interrupted
    “shall we?” we got in the car, mom and sila who had come for the holiday joined us as we drove to the cathedral of the child Jesus for mass.
    “thank you Lord ” I thought to myself.
    ” God is really faithful, he has turned my tears into joy, my shame into glory” my mind wondered away to how I got here.
    …Flash back….
    We woke up at 05 hours.
    “my love I really hope we find her today” I told Ben.
    “we will love I have a great feeling about today.” He smiled.
    “I hope so, otherwise i don’t think I will survive leaving this place without our daughter ”
    We drove to the farms Mwale directing us, he identified a lot of farms there so we never wasted time on those farms he was able to completely identify the owners.
    We went round to the farms which were new or which had been sold to New owners. Around 14 hours I was almost giving up, then Mr Mwale went to talk to a certain man. we sat in the car everyone looking exhausted.
    He came back smiling,
    ” I think we found them” he announced.
    I threw out the bottle of water I was drinking.
    “what was that,” I asked getting out of the car.
    “That man is my old friend, we worked together at some white farms years back. He told me he’s working at a Mr Mwape who recently bought the farm about 6 months ago.”
    “Let’s go then” Ben shouted. The other man got in as well and we drove for about 20 miles before the man pointed us turn on the next road to the left.
    “you should be able to see a tank, just after the stretch, that’s the farm.” He directed.
    We drove right through the entrance when the man we found opened the gate with small steel bars. Ben parked in front of the big white farm house.
    We all walked to the door and a maid come to talk to us.
    “good afternoon ” we all greeted her.
    “we are here to see Mr and Mrs Mwape” uncle spoke first.
    “please come in let me call them they went back to the fields 30 minutes ago.” She responded.
    we were ushered into the living room. I looked around and saw a baby walker in the corner, next to where I sat was two toys. I took them my heart pounding fast. I looked at Ben who sat next to me.
    “She’s here love” i whispered to him
    “I can feel it, our girl is here.”
    Ben held my hand as we sat in silence waiting for the maid who had gone to fetch them. The other maid passed and went straight to some room. I couldn’t settle down I kept looking around in the hope of having a glimpse of my child.
    10 minutes later the Mwapes walked in..
    ” what are you doing here?” Mrs Mwape shouted when she saw me.
    ” how did you even find us ?” she added furious.
    “well you people leave our house right this minute ” Mr Mwape cut in panicking. I saw Mrs Mwape looking the direction the maid went to as she spoke, then i knew definitely thats where Grace was.
    “Well take it easy” uncle told them “we came in peace and We all can settle down and talk.”
    “well Mr Chilufya we are not ready to talk to you people, later on this girl who dumped a baby. If that’s the reason you people are here you might as well leave the way you came” he snapped
    “you see honey ” the wife interrupted
    “I told you we stay in Mansa but you insisted this farm was good, this could not have happened if we stayed that side” she cried
    Ben who sat quietly all this time stood up.
    ” please mam and sir hear us out please I beg you”
    They sat on The chairs shooting eyes on me. If only looks could kill, am sure I could have died that moment
    “so what do you want ?” they asked calmly this time,
    Uncle led the talk . “We know what Jena did she told us every thing including how you discovered The baby was hers and moved from Chilanga. we are here to beg for forgiveness.”
    They were quite for a while then I knelt down
    “please aunty I know I made a mistake.”
    “what do you mean a mistake?” Mr Mwape answered.
    “A mistake is not someone dumping away a new born baby. that’s not a mistake” he scoffed.
    “I know better now uncle” I pleaded tears running down my face.I really messed up I was desperate and young. I could not reason properly. I wanted to complete my education so badly. I couldn’t tell anyone because I was afraid, my boyfriend was away in Russia and I never got in touch with him.” I explained all the details crying through the explanation.
    ” please forgive us” Ben helped me.
    “we know you love that baby but we need her back. There’s nothing else we can do but to plead for your understanding and Mercy. we really appreciate the fact that you kept her and loved her all this time only God will reward you ” he added.
    “Well , we have heard you ” answered Mrs Mwape. “but I think it’s too late now, the only thing we can do is allow you to be coming to see her here. Otherwise forget about taking her with you.” She shook her head.
    “No way we are leaving our daughter here” Ben answered seriously.
    “we came to reason with you and ask in the most polite way possible to give us back our baby . so please just let her go already.”
    “oh so you think you can come here young man and order us around aii” retorted Mr Mwape.
    uncle stepped in
    “please people let’s do this without any fights. we understand your position here” he said looking at the Mwapes…
    ” but these two are the parents to this baby and they need her back please if you will accept our apology and give them back what’s their’s already. we don’t want to end up in the court’s over the issue. you didn’t obtain this baby legally so you don’t have a good chance of winning in court.”
    After hours of talking and arguing Mr and Mrs Mwape finally gave in,
    ” let them have her honey ” Mr Mwape told the wife
    “Only God will vindicate us. let’s not push this anymore.”
    “I hope you raise her well ” she answered looking at me and Ben.
    ” she’s a sweet little Angel” she said tears in her eyes
    “I loved her since the day she came in our lives and I love her still, please just promise you will be bringing her for me to see her grow.”
    “we will I promise” I told her. ” thank you so much for having her and loving her. God will surely reward you in ways only him knows best.”
    She had gone to the rooms and brought Baby Grace.. I exclaimed with joy seeing her again, I ran and got her hugging and kissing her
    “I missed you my baby” I said crying with joy. Ben came and hugged us both we stood tears running on our faces. Everyone else in the room shed a tear, it was a moment of overwhelming joy and happiness. we said our good byes. I broke down as I hugged Mrs Mwape who also cried. I understood her pain and I prayed God would give her kids one day.
    The following day we drove back to Lusaka and then Chilanga, aunty Nelly looked puzzled to see us enter the house with Grace.
    “you finally succeeded ” she grinned, instead of smiling.
    “well my dear,” the husband told her.
    “God is faithful we managed to win despite your great efforts to make this mission impossible. so do you care to explain what the hell it was that led you to obstruct us and prevent Jena from getting back her child? ” he asked her as she figited around.
    Aunty Nelly started crying apparently she had no reason at all,
    “well then uncle concluded may God reward you for having such a bad heart. You are not worthy to be a mother. You disappointed me” he added before leaving the house.
    A year later I went back to school after making a memorable wedding with Ben. mom came to live with us and helped me with Grace as I went to school everyday. my husband suggested I don’t go back in the boarding.
    I graduated 4 years later and am now working at the supreme court here in Lusaka. So here I am happy with my complete family.
    Indeed he’s a God of many chances. I looked at my smiling Husband.
    “where is my wife at?” he giggled.
    am back now ” I smiled back.
    we held our baby Grace’s hands as we entered church.
    Later in the evening my husband was browsing through some company files on his laptop.
    ” hey love, you have a minute? ” I asked sitting next to him.
    “of course my love” he answered
    ” I will always have time for you two. what’s up.?”
    “well, I wanted to let know that you are going to be a father once again, am 2 months pregnant”
    ” seriously?”
    “Hmhm” I nodded with a smile.
    “oh thats great news my love !” he jumped kissing me
    ” thank you for making me a proud father once again.” he kissed me again before running out.
    “Let me tell Grace the good news before she sleeps.” He ran out. I shook my heard laughing as I watched him disappear to Grace’s room.
    ……… The end…….

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