HomeStandard StyleWith Mai Maidei, the storm was over

With Mai Maidei, the storm was over

Just as I finished buying my groceries, I bumped into Rasta or Rasta conveniently bumped into me. Don’t know which but sure as heaven, I did not want anyone at this moment.

I don’t know why everyone still called him Rasta as his dreadlocks had long been shaved off.

The story that went around was that his father had some connections from the northern end of the city, that other side of Samora Machel Avenue who had promised to give him some clerical position at some logistics company. Rasta had apparently showed up at the interview with his dreadlocks and donning a collarless t- shirt, the front clearly emblazoned Rastas Never Die!

The interview was over even before it had begun. After getting word of this, the father went ballistic and actually shaved off the dreadlocks himself.

And Rasta had spent days in hibernation, afraid to venture into the streets as he was too ashamed to be seen without his famed dreadlocks.

When he saw me at the shops, he gave me his usual clownish smile, which rippled from one ear to the other.  With that kind of smug smile, it was difficult to hide his rotting upper front teeth, a clear sign that he contributed significantly to the profits of the big tobacco companies.

Ah mudhara, uri chibaba, nhasi wapefoma but huh you are not the only one,” he said.

He was kind of laughing and trying to reassure me at the same time. He should not have wasted his effort because I knew that his inner self had enjoyed the free drama and would do anything for a repeat kkkkk.

I also noticed that there were many hangers-on, the usual crowd which was a common sight at any shopping centre in the ghetto.

I knew they had been amused by the whole drama but they did not have the courage to make any comments. It was well they should.

Many a time before I had poked the noses of some before in street brawls. Even Muhammad Ali the great boxer who could sting like a bee  could have envied the way I threw my punches.

They feared my wrath. But some of my fellow imbibers just waved as  I passed. by. One shouted, “inotambika wangu!”

Rasta was free to act like this as we had a long history as I sometimes send him on some not too innocent errands of which I gave him liberal tips which sponsored his mutoriro addiction or anything that made him get drunk and sick simultaneously. But this was not the day.

Nhasi imbondisiya shamwari, handiti wangoona drama randaita padheni,” I said.

I was not sure how my wife, Mai Maidei would receive me. Home was just a matter of five hundred metres away from the shops, but on this day it was the longest walk. I was not sure if Nelson Mandela’s long walk to freedom felt or was like this.

Mai Maidei was a no nonsense woman. One moment she could be nice and cosy and the next moment she would eat marasha.

Literal translation she could eat coal when she was pissed off. Kkkk, this Shona language could be the death of me! Imagine oneself getting angry to the point of eating coal, hopefully not hot coal! But get my drift. That’s how she is.

She could also be as gentle as mice, but come to think of it,  these moments came far apart.

I remember a couple of years back. I arrived in the “witching  hours” and tried to sneak in the house unnoticed.

The majestic plan was to sneak into the bed unnoticed, but unknown to me, she was fully awake and gave the pretense of being asleep. I had just taken one shoe off and was onto the next when all hell, fire and brimstone broke loose.

There was a whoosh as a cooking stick barely missed me, but I was not so luck with the small pot that caught me on the forehead. Kkkkk, one would wonder where the pots would come from.

In case you missed the introduction, the bedroom was also part dining room, part kitchen and of course the bedroom.

I had not even found it necessary to take a cloth to demarcate these compartments I have mentioned.

It meant the utensils were near at hand and became deadly weapons in the house combat.

To say that I dashed out of the house would be an understatement. A rocket being launched would be more like it.

Why am I saying all this? It is to give my reader an idea of what actually awaited me at home. Sure enough, there is no journey without an end.

And home was the destination. The little grocery I carried felt too light to atone for my sins.

Maybe, just maybe this time I could get away with it.

There were people already gathering in our street but house number 1443 was calm from the outside.

There was not even a sign of a storm gathering. I also felt the pin pricks of eyes behind some curtains of our neighbors.

In the ghetto there were these kind of neighbors who did not want to bear witness. What if there was a murder?

There would be endless days at Rotten Row courts as a witness. And so they preferred watching the drama behind closed doors.

I could not postpone my entrance any further and so I boldly entered my house. My two kids were playing on the floor.

The moment they saw me, they all rushed to give me a hug.

Out of one corner of my left eye, I even saw Mai Maidei putting on a smile. This must be my luck day.” Dad is back! Dad is back! Dad is back!” That was Maidei.

And then Mai Maidei did the unthinkable. She actually came and hugged me, at the same time relieving me of the groceries.

“If you do this again, I will leave you for good but not before I chop off your manhood,” she said.

Whew!  The storm was over. I was short of words. But I was happy there was no more danger.

I promised myself that this time, I would be a true man of integrity.

“I will prepare for you a delicious recipe, you will never look at another woman again,” said my wife.

“I promise you, I will be the best husband around, I said, finally finding my words.

I took the hands of my children and went outside at the gate, trying to prove to all that mine was one happy family.

A small crowd that had gathered started to disperse, disappointed that there was no more drama.

And then I saw Rasta, he must have followed me.

Uri safe here chibaba?” He asked as if he would be the knight in shining armor who would come to the rescue of a friend in distress

“Very safe, “ I replied. Indeed I was safe.

  • Onie Ndoro is a writer, educanist and IELTS teacher. For feedback email or call 0773007173 and Twitter @onie90396982

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