By Tafadzwa Razemba, Zimbabwe:
Panic filled his senses. The sharp searing pain that was spreading throughout his body only seemed to intensify. He tried to endure the pain as his mind started to lose grip of reality. He just couldn't grasp the horror of what was happening to him again and prayed that it would all end soon. He cried out, begged and pleaded for them to stop. The three older boys were just too big and too strong. His body ached from the blows they gave him to keep him submissive. His usually neat boy's school uniform was torn and now blood soaked. It was all too much but all he could do was wait until it was over.
Gift woke up with a start. With his heart pounding in his chest, he glanced at the clock on the bedside table. He had only been asleep for two hours. Two hours filled with a recurring nightmare of a past that fragmented his mind and which he could never get away from. He was scarred for life, with a strange sexually ravenous persona that was thrust upon him without his consent. Having to live with cravings that he was ashamed of but had to keep hidden at all costs. He decided that he might as well get out of bed since there were only about two more hours before he was supposed to get up for work. He looked across to where Marilyn would have been lying, but it seemed she had already gotten up. All the better for him, just in case he had been crying out in his sleep.
Marilyn busied herself in their custom chef's kitchen, preparing for the day before her family got up. She was the proud wife and mother of three young children, happy to have her husband home from his business trip. She loved Gift deeply, a “ride or die” woman, she would have done anything for him. Although their marriage had its ups and downs, she trusted him implicitly, truly believing that he loved her and would always fight for the sanctity of their marriage. He worked so hard and she tried her best to be the supportive wife to him and their children.
“Hi my love,” Gift happily said as he sauntered into the kitchen, giving his wife a hug.
“Ah, Baba vaShami, it's so good to have you back,” Marilyn hugged her just showered and clean shaven husband. “We all missed you so much, how was the trip?”
“Oh, the usual, work, work, work and more work,” Gift lied. He had done no work that weekend, just a pleasure and rest filled time spent partly in a city hotel.
“Well, I missed you and the children did too. Are you already going to work, don't you get a day off from all that work?” Marilyn asked.
“No, Mai Shami. I'll take off days later on in the month. How are the children, were they good?”
“They were their usual hyperactive, loud selves. You'll see them soon enough. Let's enjoy the few minutes of quiet we have.”
As Marilyn quickly made his breakfast and handed it to him, Gift reflected on the family life he was so lucky to have. Marilyn was a beautiful woman with a gentle, quiet spirit who no matter what weaknesses she had as an imperfect person, she made up for them with her warm character. He was lucky to have a woman like her and she deserved all the goodness in the world. Feeling a slight pang of guilt, he hoped she would never find out about his double life. He wouldn't want to destroy her pure love for him. His children, Shami, Joy and Peter were the best children any father could want. He loved his children very much. Shami, the apple of his eye was a precocious girl who had a very similar disposition to his. The boys, Joy and Peter were both boisterous and full of energy all day, every day. His family could never know about his extracurricular activities, that way he would never hurt them.
Gift finished off his breakfast, got changed into his tailored suit and prepared to go to work. He went to give a loud, joyful greeting to his children as they ate breakfast and went off to work in his silver Mercedes. His plan for the day would be to consult with his assistant over his appointments for the day, attend two morning meetings and another afternoon one. Lunch time, was to be the height of his day. Michelle had been awesome the previous day and he wanted another session with her.
Lunch time couldn't come quickly enough for Gift and as he parked his car in the car park, he saw Michelle sitting outside. The ladies liked to sit outside the building and gossip during the day, most didn't have clients until night time. Michelle quickly noticed him, sashayed towards him and with a seductive low voice, said, “Hi Gift, do you want more of the usual?”
Gift nodded and proceeded to follow her into the apartment building.
Michelle walked into the apartment, and headed straight for her room, giving a quick wave to Taku, another young man who lived there Robbie and teenager, Elizabeth. Taku looked at Gift apologetically and that's when Gift was able to put the face to the memory.
Gift stopped in his tracks and within three seconds was across the living room grabbing Taku by his golf shirt collar.
“Voetsek! I remember you, you bastard! I should beat the crap out of you right now!” Gift shouted in seething anger. Gift's tall bulkier body was no match for Taku's small boyish frame; his feet were barely touching the floor. Gift was shaking with rage as the memories of being so helpless at the expense of the young man he was planning to teach a lesson flooded his mind.
“I'm sorry! I'm so sorry, I had no choice,” Taku pleaded.
“What do you mean, you had no choice? You are not armed today, you are defenseless now the way I was then. I'll deal with you now.” With that, Gift slapped him on the face with an open palm. Then he proceeded to closed fist punch him, as Taku raised his hands trying to protect himself. The other three in the room, started to scream and shout, telling them to stop. With the young Elizabeth, making the most noise as the drama unfolding excited her.
“Stop, stop, please stop,” Taku cried out.
“I'm going to teach you!” Gift was not close to being through with his assault on Taku.
He pushed Taku to the floor and proceeded to kick him.
“Oh, oh, oh, please not his face!” Robbie was jumping up and down shouting.
Gift suddenly stopped, ran into the kitchen, with Michelle following him.
“I need a knife! Get me a knife; I need to do exactly if not worse than what that kid did to me. A knife!” He shouted to Michelle.
“No, please stop,” Michelle pleaded, worried about the ruckus her client was causing.
“What is all this?” Mabel bellowed to a suddenly quiet room. “Chi? What is going on?
“Heh? Why are you in my kitchen? And what is the matter with you Taku? Heh, Michelle?”
“Robbie, stop giggling! All of you stop, and sit down!” Mabel commanded.
“This man stabbed me, robbed me and left me for dead! I'm not sitting down; I'm taking him to the police!” Gift yelled.
“And you will tell the police that you found him in a whorehouse?” Mabel replied.
Gift's rage slowly dissipated to be replaced by realization. He couldn't let anyone know he had been soliciting a prostitute.
“What would you have me do? This boy is a low life scum, what is he doing here anyway?”
“I work here. I'm so sorry, I was desperate then,” Taku quietly said, wiping the blood from his nose.
“You must pay me back! Give me back all that money that was in my wallet and compensation for my injuries. I should have you killed,” Gift said as his anger continued to linger.
“You can't expect that from him. He's a boy, who was homeless then. Even now, I know he wouldn't be able to pay you back,” Mabel reasoned, defending her employee and tenant. “Why don't we give you a few sessions from the house from Michelle or any other girl as compensation?”
“I could give you a free session too.” Taku softly suggested, head bowed.
Mabel looked on uncomfortably as she saw a flicker in Gift's eyes showing that he was considering Taku's suggestion.
“Fine. I'll come back and let you know, you are not off the hook, man.” He said, as he turned around and walked out of the apartment.
As the days passed and Gift thought of the wasted lunch time hour on Monday, he also couldn't help thinking about that boy Taku in a different light. He was curious about him and felt himself being attracted to him. Gift had previously only met with other men through chat rooms on the internet and other platforms, Facebook being one. He would only hook up with men, when he was certain they would be discreet. He had never gone to a male prostitute before, just female ones. He wanted to act upon his compulsion; the boy owed him that and more. It needed to be discreet though, without even Taku's madam, Mabel knowing about it.
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