She looked at herself on the mirror just to be sure that she didn’t over or under dress, she wasn’t even sure about how the meeting would go but this was the only way out.
She wiped Xavier’s mouth which was covered with porridge but lucky enough his clothes were still clean.
‘Going somewhere?’ Sau asked with a mouth full of food ‘Yes we are.’ She responded putting Xavier on her back ‘Oh okay, do you need me to drive you?’
‘No we will get a cab from the taxi rank.’ She responded bidding him goodbye She smiled when Xavier excitedly made small movements on her back – the joys of motherhood. She walked to the taxi rank and got on the first cab she saw, she had called Bwana Howard the previous day and asked that she sees him; he was surprisingly willing to see her and had suggested that she goes to the farm.
When they reached Chawama compound, she felt a sting of pain in her heart. This place only held memories that she was trying so hard to forget; nobody had told her the anguish and pain and endless questions that one remains with after a bereavement. The grave holds so much they say, and only when you have greatly lost will you believe this statement. She looked away from her old place as she felt suffocated.
‘Thank.’ She said to the cab driver when he had parked just in front of the farm. She took a deep breath and fixed her dress before putting Xavier back on her back, he made the little movements again making her relax a bit.
She walked in and was met by workers who were busy harvesting the fields, she smiled; she had once wanted to have so much money at her disposal and now that she did she knew that life was more important than anything material.
‘Misozi.’ Khan’s mother said
Miso walked up to her, she didn’t look any better from the last time she had seen her. She had lost more weight and her skin could be mistaken for a light plastic. ‘It has been forever.’ She said embracing her
‘I have been busy.’ Miso responded in a sweet voice ‘Busy hiding my grandchild right?’ the old lady teased Miso smiled weakly
‘Please hand him to me.’ She said getting behind so that Miso could untie him from her back
The old lady got Xavier and the boy immediately started laughing and making happy baby sounds.
‘Ah look at you, you are so handsome. You probably have your mother’s genes.’ She said kissing his cheek causing him to laugh
‘It seems you two have already hit it off.’ Bwana Howard said from behind The two ladies turned to face him, he was in an overall with gumboots.
‘Please go to the house, let me just change.’ He said wiping the sweat from his face The two ladies walked slowly to the house and talked about random stuff, it was so relaxing for Miso because she had not been sure about the visit. The old lady led her to the back of the house where a mini garden was, it looked different from the rest of the house and if one didn’t know better; they would think it was a different place.
‘This place is beautiful.’ Miso complimented
‘It is her doing, she and Khan. Whilst I took up farming, they did this.’ Bwana
Howard said looking around
The ladies settled in the chairs
‘You know at first he hated this place, in fact he hated the idea when I presented it to him but look at him now.’
‘Well I guess I thought she and her son were just wasting time, imagine whilst I was out there in the sun farming so that we could have food on the table; she was here God knows doing what. But then I got tired of talking and two years later I couldn’t believe what the place had turned into.’ He confessed as he picked up Xavier
‘Can you believe he only stepped foot in here after two years?’ ‘Woman my pride couldn’t allow me.’ He said patting her back lightly
A maid came through and put a jar of cold munkoyo on the table with three glasses and sugar.
Khan’s mother stood up and poured the munkoyo in the cups and served Miso and her husband.
‘Thank you.’ Miso responded taking it graciously
They drunk in silence as the bwana continued to give little sips to Xavier who seemed to be enjoying the local drink.
‘He is a beautiful baby.’ His grandfather said ‘I said the same thing too.’ His wife responded Miso smiled genuinely
‘You wanted to see us.’ The bwana began
Miso cleared her throat, she dreaded this moment.
‘Yes I did.’ She responded putting the glass down
The two now looked at her, their concentration on her.
‘As you are both aware Xavier wasn’t born in the best of conditions.’ She paused when the old lady held her hand
‘A child is still a blessing.’
‘I was getting to that.’
The two nodded
‘I love Xavier, I genuinely do and I would never trade him for anything in the world.’
She paused again
‘But?’ the bwana asked
‘I don’t want Josphat to be a part of his life, at least not until he can be able to make his own decisions.’ She said looking at them
‘So you are saying that, you don’t want this child to know about his father? But if he does it should be when he is old enough to make his own decisions?’ the lady asked
‘Can I ask why though?’
Miso sighed, calculating her next words carefully.
‘Josphat doesn’t want anything to do with my child, he has made it his personal
mission to use the fact that he is his father to make my life miserable. My child
will not be used as a pawn in all this, if anything I would rather he hurts me
directly than using Xavier.’
There was silence.
‘Is this about Khan though?’ his mother asked Miso laughed lightly
‘Of course it isn’t about Khan or anyone else, it is about my child. About Xavier, I don’t want to raise him in an environment that doesn’t appreciate him. I want my child to grow up.’ She paused before completing her sentence
‘We support you.’ The two said at the same time ‘What?’
‘Yes we do, Josphat is my son and yes I did talk to him but it seems he won’t listen to anyone else apart from himself, but all we ask is that you don’t deny us a part in your son’s life.’ His father said
‘Of course I wouldn’t.’ Miso responded with a smile
There was certainly light at the end of the tunnel for her and she was happy that the first step had been completed, now she had to move to the second one.
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