Surviving on Old Prayer (04)
By Vimbai Lole, Zimbabwe:
1 John 4:11-12. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No man has ever seen God, if we love one another Go abides in us and His love is made perfect in us.
It is only when I stop the car in front of Tazzy's family house that I realize that I don't really have a plan; the idea to come here might not have been a wise one at all but going back home now is not an option.
I make my way to the door, aware of the complete silence around me, so much that I can hear crickets in my head. I knock at the front door to announce my arrival. Tazzy's wife, Mai Tino, opens the door. It has been long since I last saw her and I had forgotten just how much her face is disagreeable to the eye, and the fact that she is clearly not aging well does not help matters. On recognizing me, she breaks into a smile, making her eyes disappear into folds of flesh.
“Natsai! Is everything okay? You have never visited and at this hour, do come in”, I manage a smile that I am sure does not reach my eyes as she ushers me in, calling out to whoever is inside that they have an unexpected guest, me. As I am walking further into the house, I am creating a mental map of how to get back outside, just in case things heat up. The rooms first produce Tino, Tazzy eldest daughter. I frown, I wasn't expecting a large audience especially if that audience is a feisty and frustrated single mother with the temper of a lioness. There is no telling what that woman does with her father's concubines or bush babies…what am I? She looks at me almost with disgust, we never got along.
“Hey”, she says, and I hey back with the same iciness in my voice. Awkward! Luckily before the witch can kill me with black magic in her eyes or something, Tazzy himself appears, clearly nervous, like a sinner in church.
“Ah Natsai, my child”, shut up sleaze ball! “Has your mum sent you for the money?” he continues.
A curt no is my answer. “I have come on personal business,” I say coolly, enjoying being cruella de ville, toast in your own fat uncle BAE, I muse.
Tino looks at me and gives me an insultingly toothy smile, “You must be lost then, this is not a brothel.” The temperature drops 20 degrees, her mother gasps behind me and before I can remove my Michael Kors ceramic wrist watch so I don't get any blood on it, Mai Tino is the wiser, “Go check on my soup in the kitchen Tino, now!” but I however do not miss the fact that none of her parents disagree with what their offspring just blurted out. Okay. I have obviously been a topic of discussion in these parts.
Mai Tino places her hand on the small of my back and leads me into the sitting room, Tazzy close behind.
“What is it mwanangu?” she asks, and before I can think of how to respond, Tazzy is quick. “Hoooo I know why she is here, I had promised to help get a car for her, I haven't forgotten Natsai, in fact I have some pictures on my laptop in the car, if you will follow me, Mai Tino you can continue with the cooking, I'm starving.” His words run and tumble into each other as he desperately tries to get rid of his wife.
I hold back a laugh, silly old man, I was not going to say anything in front of anyone but this was fun nonetheless: To frighten Tazzy so much with just suspense but not actually giving Tino the chance to add my head to her chest of skull trophies by letting anything out. Bliss! Once we are outside and out of earshot, I jab an accusing finger at the mountain of flesh in front of me.
“You are a shameless stupid excuse for a human being, Tazzy. You seduced me to sleep with you when you knew full well that I am your daughter. You are damaged in the head and I can't even fully grasp what you did now because it makes me sick to my stomach. I just want to puke all over you and gouge your eyes out and pull out your teeth with pliers and just make you the most miserable man on earth, do you have any idea what you have done to me?”
I pause, only to catch my breath and look away and hold back the tears that are almost trickling down my face. And then someone sharply curses in the dark somewhere very close behind.
Crap…how much did they hear!?