Divorce court procedures are stressful, especially when the person that makes them necessary shows no remorse at all

 

By Nhamo Muchagumisa

 

As he rounded a bend, Cheryl’s figure materialised out of the blue. He stood on the brakes of his speeding car, and the smell of hot rubber shot into his lungs, but his reflexes were too slow.

The bumper of his car met Cheryl’s waist with the force that should have broken her into two pieces, but her body flew into the sky in one solid piece, then came down like a meteorite, only to evaporate right in front of his shocked eyes before it could hit the bonnet of his car.

Never had any dream of his felt so real but it was just a dream. He had driven around Zimbabwe day and night, and had not encountered any such incident.

He had even taught himself to exercise extreme caution on the wheel.

The problem with his victim was that Cheryl was his estranged wife, and he had allowed peace to prevail between them after going separate ways. Her return to him as a possible victim tortured him because when their relationship came to grief, he thought he was the victim.

Vincent had allowed every wound within him to heal, but nothing could erase the scars he had amassed in the aftermath of divorce.

“You are being dragged to court by your workmate’s wife, can you tell me what is going on?” Vincent had asked his wife after receiving news to that effect on social media. “I do not know what you are talking about. Why would she be dragging me to court?” Mrs Chitambikwa had asked.

Vincent read her the story about her relationship with a younger workmate. “You know Vincent darling. That is the doing of some of my rival workmates who are jealous of my promotion.”

 

 

Vincent felt abused, but what evidence of infidelity did he have apart from a social media story? He had read a countless like stories in which husbands were louder in their denials of the charges levelled against their wives, while their fairer partners reacted with silent groans and a display of wet faces .

“If this story turns out to be true, how do you expect us to continue as husband and wife?” Vincent asked his wife.

“How could you be so cruel to me? Why do you seek truth in a falsehood?” Mrs Chitambikwa began to sob convulsively.

Vincent lifted her from the sofa and led her to the bedroom. Yes she might have cheated on him, but she was still his wife. The pain in his heart worsened at that thought. If she was in a relationship, it meant she needed him less. All she was possibly doing was to feign depression.

The thought of his wife having found a warmer nest began to take its toll on Vincent, but he decided to bear his predicament stoically. The children needed a mother, and he valued their welfare above his.

As he slowly began to settle for the thought that the dirty story about his wife’s shenanigans with a workmate was the work of someone’s malicious behaviour, a rude reminder that every rumor carries some element of truth in it slapped him in the face.

Photos of Cheryl and his workmate poured into his inbox from an anonymous source, that quickly threw away anonymity once Vincent’s blue ticks found her inbox. It was Mrs Kadambiri, whose husband was allegedly spending the wealthier resources of his heart on Mrs Chitambikwa.

Selfies of the lovebirds inundated his inbox. Most of them were taken in a car Vincent supposed belonged to Kadambiri. His wife featured in some costumes Vincent had never seen her wearing. The young father wondered for how long he had been loving her in vain.

 

 

Divorce court procedures are stressful, especially when the person that makes them necessary shows no remorse at all. Then, when divorce is granted, it does not come on a plain sheet. It comes with conditions that complicate the life of the person who applies for it.

The couple had to share their property equitably. Since Cheryl had taken custody of the children, Tawana who was eight, Lisa who was six and Alvin who was three, she, by right of the law, would take their Morningside Mansion, while Vincent would take the Danganvura House which was by all standards in a contemptible state. Vincent had been contemplating demolishing it and constructing a better structure, but that was to be his home for now.

The loss of a spacious house in an upmarket suburb is little pain compared to hearing that your woman, after initially denying that he was having a relationship with a certain man, has moved in with the very man. The grief-stricken Vincent applied for the custody of the children. He could not bear to have his children seeing a father figure in a man who had wrecked his marriage. He would teach the children to love his Danganvura residence.

Vincent had never known that his children could be such a delight, and how his widowed aunt was enjoying a new lease of life when he roped her in to assist with the children.

Slowly, Vincent began to outgrow his problems. Travelling became his pastime. He would drive to Musina in South Africa just to buy a month’s groceries.

It was when he had started his excursions to Musina that he started encountering his estranged wife in his dreams. She would suddenly loom ahead of him as he drove back home from Musina and in every such dream he had hit her and she had flown into the air with a loud cursing scream.

One night as he approached Mutare on his return from a trip down south, he thought he saw someone like Cheryl crossing the road at Chakohwa Shopping Centre.

As he began to dismiss the whole thing as a figment of his imagination, he encountered an injured person by the roadside. He was lucky that on that occasion, he was not travelling alone.

“Could this person be alive? We may need to call the police hotline, ” he said to Mr Zivo, his neighbour.

“Sure,” Mr Zivo affirmed.

A cough from the accident victim rebuked them. The person was alive and needed their help.

The two men lit their torches and inspected the person. She was a woman around forty, judging from facial looks. Her faint breath told the two men how death was hovering just above her head. The two friends loaded the woman into their car and drove towards Mutare, about 60 kilometres away.

On arrival at Mutare Provincial Hospital, the woman was taken to the intensive care unit without delay.

Vincent and his friend made a police report soon after surrendering the hapless woman into the hands of health professionals.

 

 

Two days down the line, Vincent received a phone call from the hospital police post as they needed more information about his experience with the unfortunate woman.

Vincent learnt that the woman had not been involved in a road accident. She had been pushed out of a car by her husband after a long misunderstanding as they drove back home from Masvingo.

Asking to see the victim, Vincent was led by a young beautiful nurse to the female ward. What he saw sent waves oscillating up and down his body, his loins included. The victim was his estranged wife!

She only tod him briefly how her marriage had collapsed before lapsing into a deep slumber as the sedatives she had swallowed began to take effect.

For two weeks Vincent visited her, in the company of his aunt and other family members, and sometimes his children.

As that happened, an incipient friendship with the young nurse mentioned earlier was developing. Each time he went to bed, he would exchange texts with both Cheryl and the nurse.

No sense of remorse would stop him. He had fallen in love when Cheryl need him most, but Cindy was the woman who had eluded him throughout his four years of estrangement! He would not let her slip through his heart like a transient cloud.

On his twelfth visit to the hospital Alvin had asked, “Daddy, are we taking mum home tonight?”

And he had responded, “It all depends on her condition.”

 

 

The night after this difficult question, Vincent thought it was time to treat Cindy as just part of a hospital experience, but on waking up the following day Cindy was all over him like a breath of fresh air in a deep airless hole.

It was a very important day and Cheryl was to be discharged from hospital in anticipation of a court case against her husband who was still at large.

Yes, she was the mother of his children, and by mere circumstance they had reunited. Father, children and relatives had congregated at the hospital at least one visiting hour everyday. But now that she was well again, they had to go separate ways, only that mother would have to start all over again.

Vincent knew what her parting tears meant, and how through the flood of tears she had read into the entire anatomy of his heart, how he wished the past could be undone, yet he had a future awaiting him, with Cindy Munyara.

 

Nhamo Muchagumisa is an English Language and Literature teacher, and he writes from Odzi. He writes in his own capacity and can be contacted on +263777460162. Email him at: muchagumisan@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

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