Solitude: Episode 1 - 50 : TOPSTER STORIES

Solitude – Episode 24

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I have a huge lump on my throat, I really want to break down but I also know that; that is not the right thing to do right now.


I pace about the office, afraid to do any work because I might just end up messing up everything.


My phone starts to ring and I look at it intently, I let it ring for a good minute before it cuts. After it starts ringing again, I decide to pick up.


‘Hello.’ I say


‘Nella hey.’


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I immediately recognize the voice, it is the nun from the orphanage.


‘You don’t sound okay.’


‘I was in hospital and I am afraid I will not live long enough.’


‘Wait what? What happened?’


‘I need you to come to the orphanage right now.’ She says before cutting the line


I immediately leave the office and tell my secretary to call me on my personal line if anything, as I drive I can’t help but question what exactly went wrong. A few days ago she was fine and all of a sudden she is telling me that she is dying.


I get there and don’t waste any time, I am met by the nun in charge at the reception.



‘Can I help you ms?’ She asks

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‘I am here to see sister Bridget.’ I say impatiently ‘You are Ms. Mphanda?’ ‘Yes sister.’



‘She is expecting you, please come with me.’ She says leading the way


We walk to the sick bay, I notice they are a few kids on the beds and are being taken care of by the sisters.


‘You made it.’ Sister Bridget says in a whisper


I notice she looks pale, it’s like blood is draining from her skin.


‘You don’t look too well.’


‘This is me getting better.’ She says with a weak smile I sit on the chair just next to her bed


‘Sister leave us.’ She says to the nun who had led me here The nun nods her head and walks away


‘I am glad you are here.’


‘Your call got me worried.’


She smiles to that


‘As I told you on the phone, I don’t have much time.’ ‘What is that supposed to mean?’



She smiles


‘Nella your mother never wanted for this to go this way.’ ‘I don’t follow.’


‘Chileshe loved you a lot and she had to make a lot of sacrifices for you.’ ‘O….Kay.’ I respond


‘By now I am sure you know that Chanda wasn’t her child right.’ ‘I think so.’


‘You were swapped at birth.’




‘You heard me.’


I want to laugh because this sounds like a joke.


‘Your mother was in the same hospital as Mrs. Nakombe at the time of your birth, she lost her child whilst you survived.’


‘You were stolen from Chileshe by Mrs. Nakombe, because she couldn’t go home empty handed.’


‘And Chanda?’


‘None of the women wanted to go home empty handed.’ ‘So whose child is Chanda?’


‘Her mother was a young parent who died during child birth.’



‘But Chileshe, how did she find me? Did she know? And what was she told about her child?’


‘At first she didn’t know, but after the death of her husband it began to bug her. She wanted to know the truth and somehow learnt that her daughter wasn’t born still but instead was stolen.’


‘How could she have thought that I was dead?’


‘She was unconscious at your birth.’


‘This doesn’t make sense.’I say on my feet


‘Why did Mrs. Nakamba put me up for adoption if in the first place she just stole me from someone, didn’t she badly want a child?’


The nun sighs


‘Your mother would have been the best person to answer all this.’


‘Chileshe wasn’t my mother.’


‘Nella she didn’t know.’


‘Did she know that I was hers when she adopted me?’




‘Answer me.’ I say almost screaming


‘She did.’


I hear her but I want to believe that she is lying because how could she? Chileshe was the perfect mother in my eyes, there is nothing that she did that was wrong as a mother.


‘So why didn’t she tell me?’ I ask in tears



‘There was so much to lose, what would happen to Chanda?’


I laugh, tears flowing


‘Nella.’ Sister Bridget says sympathetic


‘Did she ever think of me? How bad I wanted someone to love me as a child? Did she ever think of what I was going through knowing no one wanted me?’


‘Nella please.’


I stand up


‘Thank you for being honest with me, but it was a waste of time. It changes nothing.’


‘It changes a lot, they are people that want that firm. People that will fight tooth and nail just to get it and Chanda is not in the right place to defend it, if anything the two of you need to be a bond right now.’


‘Me and Chanda?’


‘What do you think will happen to her when she learns the truth about her identity?’


‘Chanda might appear strong to the world but between the two of you she is the weak one, your mother knew this and that is why she kept the truth from you. She knew you had a good head above your shoulders and despite you learning the truth later that you would make wise and sound decisions.’


‘Why didn’t she allow me to be the judge of that? Why did she have to make such unruly decisions on my behalf? Did she think that by giving me the firm then I would easily forgive her?’


‘No my dear, she knew the truth. The truth that you will hate her with everything in you and yet she took the chance.’



‘So what now? I am supposed to pretend that all is well? I am supposed to continue living in the same lies?’


‘Nella I am not asking you to forgive her, that is not what she was asking either. All she wanted was for the firm to be in the family name.’


‘I am a Mphanda.’


‘You are a Chanda.’ She says handing me some papers


I look at then and they look like original birth certificates.


‘Where did she get these?’


‘Your mother had a way.’


I compose myself

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‘Chanda is a true Chanda, I am a Mphanda and my identity will not be changed. If Chileshe wanted me to know about my roots she would have done that whilst she was alive, she dug her grave now let her lay in it. May her soul continue resting in peace.’




‘I have been alone, I grew up isolated, in solitude; that won’t change now.’ I say then walk out

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