My parents and sisters tried to make life comfy for me. Neighbours would point fingers and I knew they said things behind my back. At church things were not any different, people would just gape, which I found to be really annoying. It did freak my mother because she had some position at church. So I never looked forward to Sundays. My mom got irritable and difficult to be around. Yet, she held her head up and carried on with her duties gracefully. It tore me but I really couldn’t do anything about it. I didn’t have any cravings, just coconut and some ice cream. That was not much of a problem since I got a reasonable allowance from my internship.
This other day we were all seated watching a movie. I had a dull backache and was lying on the sofa. My mom asked Thalia to make me a cup of tea.
‘She may as well get it herself. She is not an invalid.’ She replied.
‘ Thalia!’ my mother was shocked by her response. So was i.
‘It’s so true. She messed up and now we are supposed to wait on her like she is some queen. I won’t,’ she fumed, ‘she is just pregnant for heaven’s sake.’
‘You can’t talk around me, as if I am not there.’ I said ‘ if you have something to say, then say it to my face.’
‘You heard me, you aren’t a queen.’ That was enough to make me sit up.
‘I never asked you to wait on me,’
‘ you’ re right! And I also never asked you to open your legs. What did you think was going to happen?’
‘ Thalia, that’s enough!’ mom said.
‘I may have messed up but I won’t take this sassy attitude from you. ‘
I got up and got out of the house. I needed some air and of course some ice cream. I could bite my tongue, I could also fake a smile, force a laugh but then I was only human. I could just hang on but one couldn’t hang on forever. I had a laid out plan, every girl has one, but I was trying to let go of it. I was also trying hard to accept the one that fate had handed me.
I went to our food court in town, it was getting dark and the place was just how I had expected it. Few customers. We were just getting into winter. I took my order and sat down.
‘Hello,’ I was surprised, I wasn’t expecting company and didn’t want it. I looked up and changed my mind. So fine a gentleman was standing by my side.
‘hi,’ I replied. I hope he had not seen how awed I was.
‘ am so glad I am not the only one craving ice cream on such a chilly night. May I?’ he asked pointing at the chair.
‘oh, please do.’ What was I doing?
‘ sorry, I can be so nosy. My name is Charles.’ The stranger said.
‘ pleased to meet you and I am Thessaly but my friends call me Tess.’
‘the pleasure is all mine. Now I get to eventually make your acquaintance’
‘meaning?’ I gave him a puzzled look
‘I have seen you at the bakery store around the corner a couple of times.’
‘are you from around?’
‘no, we are here on an expansion project for our corporation and its almost complete.’ He added.
‘ well that’s okay. I am an intern at The Telegraph.’ I smiled. ‘ but not for long. This coming week is my last one then I am back to college.’
‘which college are you studying with?’
‘ Harare Polytechnic.’
‘good. I stay in Harare. Do you think we could do lunch sometime next week?’
‘sure, no problem.’ I couldn’t believe I had actually said that. What in the world was I thinking accepting a lunch date? But then it wasn’t exactly a date, it was just lunch.
‘I guess I should be heading home.’ I said.
‘that’s okay. Can I drive you or…?’ he left that hanging.
‘ no need, I don’t stay far and besides the walk could do me good.’
‘ okay. Then I will walk you. I have nothing to run to. Just some cold lousy motel room.’
We both laughed.
As we walked home, we talked about his line of work. He had a good sense of humor and we laughed. When we were nearly at my place we said our goodbyes.
As I opened the gate everything just came flooding back. For a while there I had been lost in the moment and flowed with the tide. Now I was back to my reality.
Mom was in the kitchen finishing preparing supper.
‘ I was about to make a report on missing persons.’ Mom said smiling.
‘ I wanted some air,’ I replied.
‘are you okay?’
‘ I guess so,’
‘ your sister meant no harm. She is young and is also probably going through stuff of her own. She is a teen remember.’
‘ its okay. You di warn me that is was not going to be easy.’
You girls just need to talk it out’
I headed for our bedroom and found Thalia doing Theo’s hair.
‘hey Tess.’ Theo answered.
Thalia just kept on with what she was doing. What bullshit. Such arrogance I thought. If someone was supposed to apologize it was not going to be. I took my laptop and lay on my bed.
‘tess?’ thalia said.
‘I am sorry about what I said today.’
‘its okay.’ I really didn’t want to get into it.’
‘ you surely know us , we were born with fir on our tongues and mouth’s we really can’t control,’thalia said.
‘too bad you can’t blame it on the hormones. I am the one who is pregnant.’ I said sarcastically.
‘maybe, but then maybe it’s just early menopause.’
We all laughed. We often joked about wishing for early menopause whenever we had our periods.
‘this calls for a cup of tea’ Theo said.
‘don’t even go there. It’s started this racket.’ I said laughing.
‘am at your service, your highness’ Theo said making a small curtsey.
We all laughed. That’s the thing with sisters there were times you just couldn’t stay angry forever. I thought about Charles and smiled. Probably because he did not know me he could not think I was pregnant. Oh perhaps he was just pretty dull. I could tell my siters but there was nothing to tell them yet. We had barely exchanged numbers so perhaps there was nothing to it….