When I settled in my room again, my head sank back into the rubble of a fallen edifice

By Nhamo Muchagumisa

There was another knock at my door, the second one that Saturday. I did not want anybody to disturb my thoughts, yet I did not want to be rude by ignoring the person at the door.

The new twist in my relationship with Daisy seemed to have taken its toll on my psych, yet the pain was over. The new wave of relief that was rocking my senses had robbed my mind of its functions.

I rose from my baseless mattress and walked towards the closed door, an aching grimace on my face. Opening the door, my grimace began to relax as I locked eyes with Daisy.

We had spent the freshness of early morning together, and parted as the day approached its prime.

 

 

I had definitely made up my mind that she was no consolation at all, until about two hours after her departure that day. My ghost had remained trapped in the rubble of a ruined relationship. Entertaining Daisy was like taking a sedative whose effect spanned the length of a song. The song Daisy’s company sang to my heart had always left no echoes when she was gone.

Hardly a month after being posted to a reputable high school near Watsomba, in Mutasa District, after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education, I realised that my heart was sliding on a knife’s edge. I had lost Lila at a time when I thought that our blossoming plans had reached the fruition stage.

It all started when her profile picture disappeared from her Whatsapp account and all the messages I sent her kept their pending status forever. We had been in a relationship since our last two years in high school, and at the University of Zimbabwe, we were like he-dove and she-dove. We were indeed like celestial bodies embracing with the intention to shine to eternity.

 

 

Now, none of my calls to my hot angel went through, and I did not just smell the incidence of betrayal; the reality of it seeped through the whole of me, until only a corpse remained as my soul got buried in the debris of a ruined relationship.

The worst was still on its way, yet it was not strong enough to see my remains being screwed into a coffin. Lila finally unblocked me and the first sign was seeing her photos in the embrace of her latest soulmate splashed on her status update, all the sweetness she enjoyed on one extreme, and all the bitterness I had to endure on the other extreme.

Daisy was however on the way, and the way everything happened started as a trick that was only worth one US dollar.

Daisy and I only became aware of each other when we alighted from the same bus at Watsomba Growth Point and the conductor who had run short of small denominations for US dollars handed Daisy a two dollar note.

“That’s your change, one dollar for each one of you,” the conductor had said, pointing at us.

 

 

I turned to look at the person the conductor was addressing, and a stunningly charming female face met my eye, yet her appeal lasted only a moment as the flotsam and jetsam of a dead relationship precluded any excitement that should have made my thoughts react fervently.

“So what do we do about this?” the young woman asked. “Maybe a stallholder can change this for us.”

We went to the nearest stallholder, my thoughts full of Lila’s WhatsApp status posts, but the stallholder was not willing to help. It was almost sunset.

“You can give me your number, so that I will transfer the equivalent into your ecocash account,” Daisy suggested as we walked away from the stallholder. “It’s ok 0777***162.My name is Whitman Chiendeko,” I said as she typed the details into her phone.

“Mine is Daisy Zvakauya. So you are the new Literature in English teacher at my former school?”

I allowed my head to rise from the broken bricks and stones of a buried relationship to look at my horizons again.

“Yes, I am the one, where do you stay?” I asked.

“A kilometre away from the school on the same road you are taking,” she said the charm of her smile shining like the morrow’s dawn.

 

 

We walked together for the shortest two kilometres I had ever walked. My tongue found its freedom and I asked her questions which betrayed my incipient interest in her. But when I settled in my room again, my head sank back into the rubble of a fallen edifice and Daisy’s face began to fade away from my mind.

Daisy’s boat came to anchor when she visited my residence at the high school to surrender my dollar. I said to her the word I had only said to Lila and something deep in my heart seemed to urge me to say it again and again and louder.

Daisy failed the initial test to resuscitate my wrecked spirit because even after I had said the love word to her, Lila always crept back into my orbit, now with the excess baggage of the villain in her arms.

But here we were, Daisy and I, an unspoken apology on my tongue. To make matters easier, Daisy did not know how I had wronged her in my mind, how many venomous swear words I had silently uttered against her name.

 

 

It was after her departure that I had realised that the US500 I had collected from about eighteen teachers in payment for a beast we had collectively bought from a nearby villager and slaughtered for beef, had gone missing.

I had no suspect apart from Daisy. I cursed the moment we first met and the “untutored” bus conductor for having brokered the commencement of our relationship.

I had searched every corner of my room, the chimney piece, the built in wardrobe, the section of the floor under my mattress and the windowsill. I strangled Daisy in my mind, but did not have the audacity to give her a call.

Before I could start thinking how I could raise such money, I decided to take a shower, to wash myself clean of the odium of a thieving girlfriend first. After that I would start seriously engaging my mental faculties, but the money was needed within seven days!

After the shower, I dressed up, preparing to leave the house for a brief, refreshing walk. Before leaving the house, I remembered that there was a huge mirror piece on the table in one of the corners of the room, an old table indeed, that should have been left there by the earliest occupants of the house.The mirror piece should have been part of the front of an old wardrobe. I lifted the mirror piece and scrutinised my face, then put it down again, but not exactly where it had been.

What a relief! The money was there on the table. I had put it under the mirror piece which I seldom used.

 

 

“I’m sorry Daisy, my Dear, for having suspected you of theft, of all the offences the human finger may commit,” I said in my heart.

I began to feel that I really loved Daisy and wanted her for my wife. Then a sudden fear seized me, that she had walked out for good, leaving as easily as she had walked into my life.

Then came the knock…and now I was lying on my back on my baseless mattress, and she was sitting two paces away on a wooden stool.

“Your phone was unreasonable, but I thought I had something very important to say to you.” My heart skipped a beat and a half. In my anger, I had blocked her number on WhatsApp and barred it for incoming calls.

“Go on,” I said, my chest heaving in anticipation.

“From tomorrow, I will be staying with my aunt in Manica Bridge, about twenty kilometres from here, so we may not meet very frequently.”

 

 

“I will come down there this coming Saturday,” I said, with a mind that was strong enough to clear my space of the rubble of a relationship that once was, in order to build something new and possibly stronger.

“I think, I will be free on Saturday. I will come up here instead,” Daisy said.

“I will come down. I wish to talk to your aunt about you and I. There is tomorrow to think about. I need to meet my future wife’s people.”

We said our farewells, yet as we fell into each other’s embrace, it seemed as if we had both arrived where we were going. There was no place else other than Daisy’s arms, no place else other than Whitman’s arms.

 

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 +263771271478 Email him at: muchagumisan@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

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