Coming from a family of two, my late sister was the first. I was born in Lusaka, Mum and dad divorced when I was in Preschool at International School of Lusaka. That was once the best time of my life because we had it all easy until my parents divorced.
Mum left us with Dad in Villa Elizabeth and went to live in Maripodi somewhere in Mandevu Compound, up to now I don't understand why but she fought for our custody until we moved in with her.
She was a secretary at Lusaka City Council and even though her income wasn't much, she always fought to see me and my sister have all we needed. Later she met a man who married her and as if luck wasn't ours, he came with five of his own children plus some relatives to come and live with us. His kids plus my sister and I was like a number they both didn't bargain for but it was already done and there was nothing they could do about it. Each day with my step father taught me how I never wanted my kids to grow up like me. I wanted stability for my kids someday. I didn't want them to grow up in a tiny three-bedroom house like the one I was living in with all the people around.
Years later things went sideways between Mum and my second father, finances were not always available and so my sister and I took the easy way out, we started abusing alcohol and could hide it in front of Mum. I became an alcoholic at a very young age and after meeting Vashawn I put that habit off but now that things are totally ruined, I can feel myself going back to my old ways.
Coming from a broken home, the one thing I told myself was that I was going to do everything in my powers to keep my home together and honestly there was a point when I felt that maybe I was the problem because how come my husband went out there to look for younger girls when I was at home for a long time. I blamed it on my weight too, I was a 75kg when we got married but somehow I have gone to a 105kg and then though my curves are still intact I feel fat looking at the women my husband has been cheating on me with.
I look at the wall clock again, it's 3am and I know I should be sleeping because I have work in the morning but I just can't find my sleep. I am not even surprised that Vashawn hasn’t shown up home yet because this is not a new behavior.
Since I am not going to sit here and do nothing, I decided to get some reports done which I need to submit on Monday. I am so engrossed in my work that I don't even realize it's 5 in the morning and I need to start preparing for work.
I take a cold bath to chase the sleep away then settle for blue jeans, a pink top, sweater and matching pumps. I carry my things to the kitchen then make myself some strong coffee to keep myself awake.
The door opens and I don't bother to see who has come in because I know it's Vashawn, evidence of where he has been in the stench from his body.
‘Where are you going dressed like that?’ He asks but I don't bother to respond.
'I am talking to you.’ He yells and this time I turn around to face him.
'Good morning to you too.’ I respond.
He clicks his tongue
'If you're going to wear tight clothes, at least work on your stomach.' He says then walks away.
I take a deep breath as the words hit me really hard, I don't know why I am not used to this because this has been my life for a while now.
I spill the contents of my cup in the sink and give Nancy some orders before driving out.
I get to work by 7:30 and my secretary is already in putting things in order.
'Good morning Mrs. Acker.' she greets
'Good morning Bertha.' I respond
I walk past her and go straight to my office, I don't have the time or strength to socialize with anyone in this building because my problems won't allow me.
'Mr. Musondah Jr would like to see you in his office.' Bertha says.
I look at the time, I can only start working after twenty minutes but I don't see why this man wants to see me.
'Sir you wanted to see me?' I ask when Coldy lets me in
He looks at me from head to toe before going back to his PC
'We have a meeting with a very important client, he is looking to buy a house and I would suggest you change your clothes.'
'Today is a Friday sir.' I protest fully aware that one of the company policies is employees to be casually dressed on Fridays.
'I know, but I just told you that this is a very important client.' he repeats
'I can't go back home to change, but I do have a pair of different shoes in my locker.' I say trying to avoid his gaze
He doesn't say a word but the look he gives me says it all, he thinks I am competent.
At exactly 8hrs we leave the office in his car, he is the one that is driving us. I have already talked to some of our partners on the houses that are on the market and I am hoping this important client will be impressed with the ones that I will tell him about.
'Does this particular client have anything they might be interested in? An idea? A design maybe?’
'He is buying it for his new wife and is hoping to start a family with her in there.' Mr. Coldy responds without looking at me
We get to Acacia park where we are meeting the client. Mr. Coldy makes a few phone calls then leads me to an office. It is really beautiful and I pray inwardly to have such a space to myself someday.
The door opens and I feel the wave of disappointment hitting me in the face.
'Good morning Mr. Acker.' Coldy says shaking hands with the client
'Please call me Vashawn.'
'And this is Michel, the best realtor that our company has, she will be the one to help you select a dream house for you and your wife.'
I look at Vashawn expecting some remorse, just anything to show me that this is a lie but there is none.
A lady of about twenty years younger than me walks in too, Cassie is her name - she is the one from the photos I saw yesterday.
She looks at me then at Vashawn, but my concentration is on her baby bump and diamond ring on her finger. Vashawn has finally hit the last straw, he has managed to ruin us completely. To burn the bridge.
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