A UBA’s Valentine Part 5: I Should Have Known

By Tendai Kelvin Saungweme

As much as we are separate as the fingers, we all belong to one hand. The hand, our society, is responsible for our psychological upbringing that governs our everyday activities. This hand tells us what is acceptable and what is just. As much as we want to hide under the constructs of bodily autonomy, guilt always has its way through the tiny fibers of our hearts and the countless neurons of our brains. Vindication against one`s mistakes that society regards as grave becomes an abstract reality. One who commits a wrongdoing with full knowledge of its consequences has nowhere but the pit of fire to call home for his or her soul. And this is how the hand speaks. At the same time, the hand is patriarchal and dictates that an unfaithful woman deserves no further consideration. If she has left for another home and finds no rest in her quest, she cannot be taken back. The ideologies of the hand was grappling in the minds of these two former lovebirds. Or should we say that the fire was still burning?

Taku wiped the pool of tears he felt collecting in his eyes. He had a lump in his throat from not wanting to see this woman in his hands suffer. Seeing the emptiness of her facial expression, he felt the need to be the pillar of strength in these times of bereavement. She had once left him for another man and he had done his part as a noble human being and would have to leave the rest to fate.

She has no one else to turn to for support but me. She could be suffering from early postpartum depression. Her hormone levels are down and anything could happen in this state. Or could it just be a feeling of bereavement? He thought to himself whilst he helped Rumbi get off the bed. He looked aside while she dressed up. He was exposed to women’s bodies at school without giving much of a fuss but this was not an ordinary patient.

“Thank you, doc! We will be able to cover your fee on a payment plan basis if that’s okay with you?” Taku said as he looked in the direction of the doctor.

“No worries, Takudzwa, just sort me out when you are able. We know each other very well,” said the doctor shortly before he went back to counting what seemed to be some theatre instruments in a tray.

“Thank you.” Rumbi said in a soft husky voice. The doctor then just raised his thumb.

The drive to Rumbi’s place was like a walk in the graveyard. What is her mind battling with? Taku asked himself with no one to give him an answer. He had thought getting rid of the baby was going to bring relief to the situation. However, a new dimension was knocking at their doorstep. He tried very much to suppress his Christian conscience which was starting to condemn what they had done. Or what she has done. This was not my baby after all. He thought to himself, trying to feel better. Nevertheless, he was the architect of this.

“Can I buy you something to eat before we get home?” Taku asked, looking in Rumbi’s direction. Rumbi shook her head that was leaning on the window of the 1992 Peugeot 504 that was taking them home. The two got back to Rumbi’s place and he helped her to the rattling metal gate where she gave him a goodbye hug and left him behind. For one moment, Taku expected a big thank you gesture. He had gone out of his way to help out with Rumbi’s situation and had used his own resources, right! Before thinking too deeply about it, he turned and started walking home as he could not afford an extra taxi trip.

After what seemed like a week, Taku thought about giving Rumbi a surprise visit. He had been busy with exams at school and had not found time to check on her in person. Over the phone, their inbox was filled with a chain of “hey” messages as they were never available at the same time. Each day he wondered how she was coping with the whole situation. Was she eating properly? Had she told someone about it? At times he would get frightened when someone knocked on his door thinking it would be the police there to fetch him for being an accomplice in an illegal act. Or would Rumbi try to kill herself due to the depression? This, he didn’t want to think about. With the ten dollars he had saved from school lunch money, he passed by the cheapest flower store to secure a decent bouquet of white roses to consummate his surprise visit.

Upon reaching Rumbi’s door, one in the middle of a passage with a red cement floor and a dim, fly-stained bulb, he wore a nice warm smile and took a deep breath before knocking. He thought he heard a female voice from within telling him to enter. What lay before his eyes quickly drained the power in his hand, and the white roses fell to the ground. His heart started beating, the hairs on his hands stood up and he started sweating.

“What are you doing here man! Didn’t I tell you to stay away from my girl? You want me to physically show you how to stay away from her ?” Greg lay cuddled with Rumbi in bed. To Taku, it was the most sexual cuddle he had ever seen. The two lay tightly close to each other with a box of grapes on Greg’s chest. Taku was disgusted but managed to keep calm.

“It’s not what you think,” Taku replied. “I had just come to check on her to see how she is feeling.”

“Feeling from what?” Shouted Greg, evidently getting angry. “Can’t you find someone else to visit? And why the flowers?”

Taku could not answer so Greg turned to look at Rumbi, who had now detached from him and looked taken aback by the visitor’s presence.

“Why is he here?” Greg asked.

“Ummmm, it’s not what you think,” came Rumbi’s reply as her eyes started to fill with tears.

“I’m not looking for your crocodile tears but answers,” shouted Greg, now fuming at what was happening.

So this girl used me and still went back to Greg. I should have known better and never offered her any help. Now I feel stupid without a word of defense from her as to why I am here. Taku crushed the flowers with his foot, turned around and slammed the door behind him. As he stomped down the stairs, he heard the door open where he had just left. Rumbi`s voice shouted “Taku!” But this time he was not going back.


26 June, 2023