“Eh, Bratha” Zack muttered struggling away from his heavy accent. “Call me back.” The line went dead before Omari could breath a second time. He called back immediately. “Is everything ok there?” Omari asked, a little anxious that something could be wrong with his wife, yet fully aware that he couldn’t trust everything his brother said. “You tell me,” Zack responded, his voice laced with venom and spite. Omari didn’t speak for a couple of seconds. Then, “Are you out to frustrate Marlene, Zack?” Sarcastic laugh. “Ha!” You know me so well Bratha.” Sneer. “And you knew I was right too” he went on. “Marlene hasn’t survived two years in your house. You already threw her back to your village. More laughing Who would have thought to believe beauty ever knew where brains lived!” Omari clenched his fists and forced himself not to say a word. Being far from his wife didn’t stop him from protecting her, but it definitely slowed down his actions.
“Leave-my-wife-alone.” Omari made each word sound like a sentence. “She is there for a reason and I don’t have to explain anything to you.” He spoke through gritted teeth but let the last word out in full anger. Zack on the other side couldn’t help but smile. This is exactly what he prayed for. A break-up. And it was happening right before his eyes. “ It’s all good bro. We’ll take care of her.” Omari started to talk…but his brother was no longer interested. He placed the phone back on the receiver, turned and walked back home, whistling, happy that he had actually been right! Marlene had failed to keep her house in order…or maybe Omari had failed to unleash the real woman in her. Perhaps Marlene was not happy with her choice and was holding back in her marriage! She probably regrets everything! Zack’s mind was reeling now. Maybe he had a chance with her. Maybe, just maybe he could finally make her, his! His heart thumped hard in excitement. It took him a full minute to realize he was walking very fast too.
Marlene downed a second mug of porridge while young Missy sat scooping hers with her finger and licking it. “Missy, you got to stop that now!” Marlene scolded and Missy quickly shoved her finger into her mouth again. Sucking all the porridge on it she pulled her finger out, examined it and smiled in satisfaction. Marlene stared at her and looked away, pain filling her as tears welled up in her large eyes. ‘We shouldn’t have come here’. She thought ‘The poor thing will go crazy playing all by herself!’
The door suddenly burst open, startling everyone in it. A huge elderly lady stood at its entrance. She stopped and stared at Marlene, then at Missy, and back to Marlene. “Nana!” Missy sprang from her chair and ran to meet her grandmother. She was the only person in the room who made any move. Marlene then stood and waited for the hugs, kisses and saliva-spit gestures to die down before saying a word.
“Karibu” She finally offered her mother in-law in. Mama Maria was in no rush though. She walked in slowly as though cautious her weight could pull down the sad example of a house. After carefully scrutinizing Marlene, she finally smiled to herself and looked down making sure Marlene knew the smile was in no way meant for her. She had figured her out. Mothers! “You plan to live alone when you know very well you are having another baby?” She held no mercy at her scorn. Marlene fell into her seat, speechless and unprepared. She could have sworn this woman was a witch! How on earth did she know this? Or Did Omari tell her? She hang her head in shame, waiting for Mama Maria’s execution. It sure as hell did. “That baby had better be a boy.” Looking straight into her eyes Mama Maria made sure she was well understood. “If it is then you and I can remain friends. If it’s not…Well, you had better pray it is!” She took two steps back from her daughter in law and warmth and love suddenly filled her face as she turned to face Missy. “I have some soft sugar canes for you, little one. When you get tired of running around in circles, come over so we try them ok?” Missy hardly heard half of what her Nana said. The accent a major barrier, she simply smiled and nodded. Mama Maria walked out slowly, supporting her weight on her own large hips. Marlene realized she had been holding her breath all this time. She gasped, grabbing her porridge. The only word she managed in a whisper was, ‘Witch’