A date with Destiny...¤
I hear them again, they are fighting. I turn and come face to to face with Tanaka's innocent face, his light snores a sign that he is enjoying his sleep total contradiction to the chaos about to occur in the next room. I feel disappointed. A vacation to Nyanga was supposed to fix all this wasn't it? But why are they fighting again? I lay aside the white linen sheets and silently get off the bed, sure not to disturb sleeping Tana, i do not want him hearing any of this he is just a little boy. I carefully pace over to the wall curious to hear what the fight is about this time. I am sure their noise is loud enough to disturb the other guests in this motel but hey, i know they don't care.
"I told you she is nothing to me we are just friends!" Thats dad defending himself. I have heard that statement for over five times now, it seems they are fighting over the same woman again. I am sick of it, who is she anyway?
"Your friend who sends you naked pictures?! I am not stupid wena Thabiso! I am sick and tired of your lying games infact what are we even doing here i thought you wanted to fix things!"
"I want to fix things with the family just give me a chance." he pleads back, again.
"How can you be so selfish and inconsiderate? You have a family for crying out loud your kids are the next room how will they take it if we ever separate? I am tired of this i am tired of you! You are a lying, manipulative and cheating..." She doesn't finish her statement. I heard it, the slap. That hot slap from father silenced her. There is silence in the room for over a minute i am unable to hear anything but i know they are about to fight. It has happened before, the scar on father's left cheek was proof of it. I remember coming from school to find him nursing the wound and mother was quick to hide the blood stained knife. They were not expecting us that early but i saw it all, and pretended i didnt. I then pulled little Tana with me to change him out of his pre-school uniform and cheer him up, he was not supposed to see or hear any of it and i was determined to keep it that way. A thirteen year old already playing mother to her little brother you may think but that doesn't bother me one bit, its always the circumstances that force us to grow. I stayed in our room with Tana silently anticipating the police to knock on the door at any moment, but they never came.
"I was stabbed by my wife." i pictured father saying it but that was it, a mental picture that will stay like that. His ego would never allow him to utter such words and besides, he started it and i am sure mother got tired and defended herself. It had taken her over ten years to stand up to herself like that but why not just take us and leave? I am tired of witnessing these brutal fights or is it because she does not want us to grow up without a father? We can cope! The fights are killing me inside and my grades are constantly falling. I do not want my mother to do something she would regret one day what if she kills him or gets killed by him what will happen to me and Tana? This is not my fight at all i have to get out of here i need space. I grab my jacket and and gently shake Tana awake.
"I am coming just now wear something warm okay?" he nods and i walk out straight into the next room. They have started arguing again and its getting louder by the minute. I slowly turn the knob, striving not to make a sound. I succeed and walk in. Mother is crying and father looks drunk. It smells like liquor in here but that was not the issue. Gazing around i find what i am looking for, the car keys thrown recklessly onto the leather couch which i am quick to grab and turn to leave. Did you see that? Non of them noticed my presence. It happens almost all the time and i was expecting it anyway. As i close the door on my way out my gaze involuntarily falls on mother, her cheek looks swollen and her eyes are puffy. She doesn't have the strength to fight this time and it is written all over her face. She looks calm, painfully calm and that takes me down memory lane. I still remember what happened that night like it happened yesterday. I was eight, yes eight years old and i very much remember everything. It looks like a repeat of events only this time i am older and outside the room. He had come home very drunk and beaten her to a pulp just because she had cooked plain sadza and veggies. She was a housewife, where was she supposed to get the money to buy meat from and besides, was that not his duty to buy it? I am so confused. The beer bottle in his hand right now, i remember it almost hitting me in the head. I probably wouldn't be here right now but i am. All thanks to the woman i am looking at right now, it hit her instead but she survived. The scar on her forehead is proof of it. I feel like running to her right now i feel like taking her away but i cant, its what she told me years after the beer bottle incident
"Never get in your father's way Kudzi, and if anything ever happens to me take care of Tana uyangizwa(do you hear me?). I remember the that statement word by word and i am abiding by it. I close the door and head back to our room to get Tana. We then walk out of the motel his hand holding onto mine for dear life. Maybe a drive will do us good. By the time we come back all will be well and the fight will be over. We get into the car and drive off to where that i do not know. I just want us out of here even if it is for a single hour. I am thirteen remember? I am underage for a car licence and probably one of the very few thirteen year olds who can drive in Zimbabwe. As i speed down the lonely Nyanga road i pray we do not get caught, my mother will be angry if she found out i went driving, one of the very few skills my father taught me.
"Where are we going Kudzi?" asks Tana the car belt stamping him tightly to the car seat. I look at the time it is eight o'clock and i am very hungry. We had dozzed off as soon as we checked into the motel lunch being the last meal gracing our stomachs. They had hit it off on the first day of our vacation, who would be thinking about food at such a gruesome moment.
"Just a drive. Relax okay?" he nods then looks out the window. The thunderous raindrops start bouncing on the car ceiling following by bolts of lightning. I feel scared, i have always been scared of lightning what do i do now? The rains increase so does the thunder and lightning. Tana looks scared but so am i. I regret ever stepping out of that motel moreso ever agreeing to this stupid vacation! I attempt stopping the car but i cant, my mind is all over and i am panicking. I mistakenly switch off the flash lights and Tana instantly holds on to me tight. My hands are all over and my brain goes blank, I cannot remember anything past that.
I wake up to the blinding light of the ambulance i am being driven into. There are about four other cars whose owners i do not know. My head hurts and i cannot feel my feet. I look around for my parents but see nobody. I notice a man scrolling on what looks like my phone and i conclude he is trying to call my parents. Wait, where is Tana? I struggle to lift my hand and tap one of the the men pushing the stretcher bed i am lying on and he looks at me relief written all over his face
"She made it! Atleast one made it!" he says to the other man as they finally push me towards the back of the wide open doors of the ambulance
"Where is Tana?" i manage to whisper my gaze filling the whole place but can't settle on my brother, i cannot find him
"Tana!" i hear a familiar scream but i cannot sit up straight to trace the owner, it hurts
"Tana! Tana wake up! Vuka!" she screams. I take it its my mother and a tear slides down, atleast the fight is over now. I continue to hear her pitiful wailings from within the ambulance and the man next to me pats my shoulder confirming my predictions. I want to cry but i cannot. I am full of indescribable emotions and i do not want to believe it
"Where is Tana?" i ask. I want to hear it from him
"He...the little boy could not make it." I felt like an arrow had been pierced through my chest straight into my heart . The tears flock out, i cannot control them. My heart races, i am angry. But who am i angry at? I drove the car! I took Tana with so its my fault, right? I cannot control the thoughts flooding in and out of my head and eventually i scream. I want to get out of the bed i want to go get Tana but i cannot. I can't move my legs. The man is trying to calm me down but nothing is changing its all fruitless. From a distance, i feel the sting of a needle being pierced into my flesh then moments later i feel drowsy. I am slowly slipping out of consciousness. I pray i do not wake up because i have to go get Tana. He cannot live without me. I am determined not to wake up just like Tana, maybe, just maybe, mother will finally leave father, and go live a happy life. Incase i find Tana, please remember that a girl like me once walked the soils of this earth and her name was Kudzai Kachena. A simple young black girl, whom on the outskates of Nyanga Zimbabwe, had quite a memorable date, with destiny.
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