The problem with acting strong is that no one really knows when you need a shoulder to cry on. Dad’s failing health has been a huge blow on my face, I might have two loving fathers but Michael is the man that raised me and I could never replace him with another. The two father figures have both played a great role in my life but learning about dad’s illness has been huge.
He was diagnosed with a brain tumour and the worst part is that it is in its last stage and there is nothing much the doctors can do to save him; all we have to do is prepare ourselves for his death and maybe, just maybe enjoy the last days of his life here on earth with him.
I pushed the tears that had been threatening to fall and drove to Dad’s (George) farm in Lilayi, I loved the peace and serenity that came with the place. I got out of the vehicle and went straight to the garden, my dad had become a lover of taking care of flowers and he spent most of his time caring for them in his backyard garden.
‘Hai.’ I heard a voice behind me say
‘Hey Uncle.’ I greeted when I turned around ‘You don’t look fine.’
‘I am okay, is dad around?’ I asked
‘He had an urgent meeting to tend to in Kafue but he will be back before sun set.’ Uncle Kaluba said
‘Oh okay, let me get going then.’ I said avoiding his eyes
‘Hey,’ he called out
‘I was just preparing lunch and I wouldn’t mind having some company around.’ ‘No thanks, maybe another day.’ I said hurriedly
‘Your father will never forgive me if he hears you missed your favourite meal.’ ‘Lasagne?’ I asked with a raised eyebrow ‘Yes.’ He said with a smile
I followed him to the farm house, the place was awkwardly quiet.
He went to the kitchen and brought me some lemonade.
‘Thank you.’ I said
‘You are welcome.’
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‘This place is quiet.’ I said as I settled into one of the couches
‘Oh, we asked them to go away for the weekend. It’s just me and you.’ I choked on my juice.
‘Are you okay?’ he asked worriedly
‘I am fine Uncle.’ Making sure to stress the Uncle
‘Lunch is almost ready, now tell me what has been happening to you.’ He said as he sat just opposite me
‘Well since I am done with School, just looking for a job now.’
‘You should tell your dad to help you out, you know he has a lot of connections or I could help you out.’ He told me
‘I didn’t go to school to continue depending on my father, I might have as well stayed home.’ I said with a chuckle
There was a silence between us, he kept staring at me and it made me a little shy. ‘You have been looking at me.’ I said with a smile
‘You are so much like your mother you know, I never got to know so much about
her but from the stories your father tells me; it seems you are the younger version
of her.’ He told me
‘I hear that a lot.’
‘Uncle can I ask you something?’
‘Sure go ahead.’ He responded
‘Why haven’t you married yet?’
I could tell that the question caught him off guard, he did not see it coming.
‘Well I wasted most of my youth on things that were not even beneficial, so here I am paying for all that.’
‘Plus I am too old to go through all that process.’ He added ‘Not too old.’ I said without thinking it through ‘I am old child.’ He said winking at me
There was something about the way he spoke that left me in awe.
‘Come with me to the kitchen.’ He said
I stood up to follow but he was standing
‘Ladies first.’ He said with a huge smile
‘He does recognize that I am a lady.’
‘Excuse me?’ I heard him ask just above my neck ‘Nothing.’ I responded quickly
We got into the kitchen and it did smell like my favourite meal.
He walked to the grill and removed the baking tray with the lasagne.
‘Were you baking for a lot of people?’ I asked ‘Actually no, just three.’ ‘Three?’ I asked
‘I have a friend coming over and I know you and I are close so I might need your
approval.’ He said shyly
Just then we heard car wheels
‘I guess that is her.’ He said nervously
‘I am coming.’ He said again as he walked to the front door I walked behind him.
‘Hey baby.’ He greeted the lady that had just walked to the door
The glass that was in my hands slipped off my fingers causing the two to turn in my direction.
‘Sorry let me quickly clean it up.’ I said
‘Let me do it while the two of you get acquainted.’ He said leaving me alone with her
‘Hai.’ I said faking a smile
‘I guess you are the much talked about Wane.’
‘And you are the less talked about baby.’ I muttered under my breath ‘Yes I am Wane.’ I said loudly
‘Good to finally meet you, I am Annie.’ She said extending her hand I pulled out mine and we greeted
‘Ladies, lunch is ready.’ Uncle Kaluba announced
At that moment I was feeling really betrayed, for some reason I thought he would look at me way passed a young girl but I guess I would continue to be his niece. ‘Wane.’ The lady called
I realized I had been absent minded.
‘Sorry.’ I said
We all sat around the dining table and Uncle served us lunch, we said grace and all ate in silence.
‘So you two are a couple or something?’ I asked breaking the ice cold silence ‘No.’
‘Yes.’ The lady and Uncle Kaluba responded at once ‘Is it a yes or no?’ I asked
‘Well we are taking things slow.’ He responded
‘Come on baby, we have talked about this. We are both adults.’ The lady said ‘How old are you?’ I asked her
‘Thirty two and he is like a few years older than me which is okay.’ She responded with food in her mouth
‘Thirty two and you are single?’ I asked wiping my mouth
‘Wane.’ Uncle Kaluba called
‘Sorry.’ I responded sarcastically
‘It’s okay baby.’ She said holding his hand
‘You see Wane, when you are in your twenties you think you have it all figured out. A tall muscular man, great accent and dark chocolate skin with a good job but as you grow older you realize that those things just compliment what you truly want in a man.’ She said smiling
‘Well I am almost twenty and I know I want Uncle Kaluba here.’ I said ‘Sorry, a man like him.’ I corrected when he choked on his food.
I WILL WAIT