A Family Hustle: The Second Generation (EPISODE 6)

EPISODE 6 (JULY) 

6 YEARS LATER… 
PETER

“And the award for best student goes to…”

Peter’s heart was racing as Mr Mwape the Head Teacher was announcing the top student. He had worked so hard the last three years of high school and was really looking forward to getting the prize. Not that he wasn’t confident, it was just so he knew he faced stiff competition from Rachael.

Him and Rachael had grown so fond of each other since their eleventh grade. Peter had helped her realise her potential, before which she was more interested in boys and parties than school and her future. She was moved by Peter’s wisdom, intelligence and especially his family background. Today they were going to graduate from high school as Head boy and girl with one of them getting the award for Best Student of the class.

“Peter ” announced Mr Mwape. “The award goes to Peter Hamooya”

Peter let out a sigh of relief while the audience went boisterous. As he stood up, Rachael embraced him. 

“Congratulations Peter you deserve it” she said with a smile

As he walked to the platform, he wished his Father and Mother could see this moment. He wanted to break down, but he was thankful Claire, his Aunt, uncles and cousins had attended.

He was so keen on prayer, he was so religious. His Aunt had introduced him to her church in riverside and ever since he had had a talk with the pastor, he had seen life differently. He was glad to find something that neutralised his painful past. He always felt more comfortable in the house of God than any other place. He was full of wisdom at a young age.

The Guest of honour gave a speech about how the students were now the new adults. He spoke of independence and careers and bills. Peter was just thankful God had brought him this far. When his turn to give a speech arrived, he was already ready for the moment that when he was done no one had not raised to their feet. This was one of the special days of his life. After all his family had been through, he surely deserved to smile today.

After the ceremony Rachael called him by the side. 

“What are we” She asked him seriously

“I don’t follow” he replied

“Peter don’t act like you have no idea what i am talking about” she shot

“I am serious, I don’t know” he defended himself

His innocence was so overwhelming. 

“Oh, I now get it” he realised. “I am sorry Rachael, now is not a good time for me. I do not feel I am ready”

He was not ready to date the most beautiful, hardworking and intelligent girl in school and he felt no regret at the moment because that is what he really thought was the right thing to do. His pastor had always said “follow your heart”. He was not just sure if he had really followed it this time. Had he followed his mind? Time would tell.

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A Family Hustle: The Second Generation (EPISODE 5)

EPISODE FIVE (MAY)

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6 YEARS LATER…

GARY

“Let us all toast to umupondo wesu, 1 Gee” said Bazzah

Every one immediately responded to their boss’s request (command) not because they were just scared of him, but also because their mate Gary really was a man to adore. They had just come from one of the hardest missions they had had to undergo along Ndola-Kapiri Road. Someone had tipped off the police and the gun fight was almost lost until Gary had appeared from almost nowhere and single handedly shot dead all ten policemen.

Some among the group said he had simply mastered the art of shooting, but some had confessed how they saw him shot, but never to drop a pint of blood. None of that mattered now, they had successfully gotten away with millions worth of copper. They were in money again, all they had to do was lay low for a few weeks.

Gary recalled the first time he had gone on a robbery and realized how far he had come. He was only 15 then. He was indifferent, he had no remorse, he hated life, but most of all, he hated his father. He had left his Aunt’s house eventually to join Bazzah and his crew. Bazzah was as rough as a Jerah leader came, but always treated Gary like his son. He had taught him to denounce his fear.

Gary excused himself from the party and went to his room. Local music filled his room from the radio. DJ Nano even played his favorite song by Macky 2, but deep inside, he felt something was missing. His mind was boiling with fear while his heart raced. He had taken a life before, but today had felt different. For the first time as a robber, he felt remorseful. He looked at his phone and looked at his little sister on his wallpaper. At least he could sleep.

In his sleep, he dreamed of little children asking him why he had stolen their fathers from him.A while later, he woke up to the sound of the news. The Inspector general of Zambia police was speaking.

“We shall not let those scumbags get away with this, we can never let our men’s blood drip in vain. My men are doing everything they can and a reward of K100000 will be given for any information leading to the apprehension of these villains”

For the first time, Gary missed his old man. He had a feeling they might not get away with this robbery this time around.He heard boots approaching his door and quickly he turned off the radio. It was the commander.

“boss”, Gary shot up

“mwaiche, the heat is too much so we are going to Kibaki in Congo, only you will come with me, the rest will go back to kitwe, we don’t need to arouse suspicion” Bazzah said in his deep voice. “The Cargo will be here for a while”

Bazzah looked closely at Gary.

“Mwaiche, what’s wrong? you look low”

“Nothing boss, just tired”

“Keep it together young man, imagine everything we will do when we sell the cargo. Don’t you want to buy that BMW?”

Gary was getting tired of this talk. It was utter bullshit to him now. He knew they could keep doing this over and over again. He wanted to be free of Bazzah, but Bazzah had a grip on his life.He continued to think about the policemen.

TBC…

 

 

A Family Hustle: The Second Generation (EPISODE 4)

EPISODE FOUR (APRIL)

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6 YEARS LATER…

CLAIRE

Mathematically, it could be precise to say that the innocence with which we are born is a decreasing function with time. Experiences we encounter allow us to change in ways diverse. The rapidness with which our innocence disappears may depend greatly on how vulnerable we may get. With GrandMa Mary’s lost battle to cancer, Claire Hamooya had grown to be vulnerable.

She was now under the care of her uncle. He had taken good care of her all this while until after she was 15 when he had started acting weird towards her. She clearly remembered his betrayal of her last year, everyday.She remembered how when she had come back from school had only found her uncle home. Normally he was always at work at 2pm during week days, but that Wednesday was an exception.

He had called her to his bedroom asking her to bring him water, but that was a trick. No sooner had she entered his room than he had shut the door and pounced on her like a lion on an unsuspecting gazelle.

Her cheeks burned with the hot ocean that poured  from her eyes every time her mind fed her with the memory. At her age, she was so unprepared for such a predicament, not that she had to be. She was forced to contemplate suicide, she was looking for a way to escape the evil world.

The hardest thing of it all was she knew the truth would set her free, but how would she open up to a world that would become even more complicated after. Her uncle’s wife would never shut up about how much she thought her husband loved her. How would the woman react if Claire told her about the cold blooded defiler, the full time devil?  She knew her Aunt would never believe her and probably kick her out. Claire was forced to analyse all these things. At her age, girls normally have to worry about less petty issues,but at her age she was forced to be a woman. She remembered her uncle’s threats.

“If you tell anyone, I will kill you” he had told her.

She could tell her father, but her beloved dad was too sick and weak to be handling such  cases and she never thought her brothers would be the best avengers.

She forgot to pray, not that she couldn’t. She had questioned her beliefs. Where was the God her grandmother always told her would always be there? Why had he allowed her to suffer? Was she too cursed that her birth caused her mother’s death?

Her teachers were worried as her grades were poor of late. They had called her guardians for a meeting due to the rising concerns. Her uncle was the first to give a reason as to why it was this way.

“I think she may be missing her grandmother”. the devil had said. “She will be okay, won’t you Claire?” he added with a smile.

The hypocrisy of her Uncle tore her heart apart. She could never get used to his disgusting behavior. She had been thinking about poisoning his food, but her plans were just limited to her thoughts. She knew sooner or later, she had to do something about it, but the question still remained, “how”?

A Family Hustle: The Second Generation (EPISODE 3)

EPISODE THREE (MARCH)

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It is often said that God hears the cry and sees the tears of a woman.  Mostly, this is never apparent to a man at the peak of his ‘cheating game’. There however, comes a point when life ceases to be a crystal stair for the man and when he finally tries to connect the dots realizes he cooked his own problems. This is the point Michael Hamooya had reached. He had the slightest idea that two weeks after his daughter’s birthday, he would be standing before a judge slapped with another corruption Charge. He now strongly believed everything would be different now had he only stuck by Claire.

He had now realized there was no more hope for his release. He realized he had been played. A deal gone wrong had landed him in this mess and his former organization was not letting him get away that easily. This case needed not be adjourned, the judge proved him guilty again.

This moment sung with so much sorrow that for once Gary put aside his hatred for his father as his eyes watered. Grandma Mary was in tears too as she held Claire tightly. Peter remembered the days that followed his mother’s passing, he could never get used to losing parents. For a moment, the court room felt much like a grave yard to them all. They felt like they were saying good bye to Michael forever.

                               BACK AT GRANDMA MARY’S HOUSE

Devoid of the appetite to eat, the grandmother and her grand children sat in the living room. They talked about their favorite moments with Mike while Gary was quiet for the most part of it.

“I know you have heard so many stories about your Father from other people, but there is a lot of things you do not know about my son”, Grandma Mary suddenly Said

She told them how Mike was actually her favorite child. She told them how he was the only one who proved responsible in supporting the extended family and how much he loved their mother.

“I don’t think he loved mum, if he really did, he couldn’t be away when she needed him the most”, Gary quickly shot in indignation.

“Gary, your father can never rewrite his wrongs, but you know he has learned enough lessons, you also have learned something from this and it should make you a better man in future, by not making your father’s mistakes” Mary said patiently.

“I think we should pray for dad, Grandma” Peter said after listening to Grandma and Gary for a while.

“Indeed Peter”, she smiled at him.

Grandma Mary always smiled to make her grand children feel better, but deep down she knew she that she was cracking down. She wondered if her grand children would be well taken care of once she died. She worried and she really did about little Claire. They had grown so fond of each other over the years. She had no answers to her worries so she simply put them in prayers.

“Dear Lord, we come to you”, she began to pray.

TBC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A FAMILY HUSTLE: THE SECOND GENERATION (E2)

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EPISODE TWO (FEBRUARY)
On her ninth birthday, Claire had wished her dad could be present on her tenth. She had grown so fond of him. A father daughter relationship that grew stronger during the prison visits. She saw him past the court’s conviction. She saw her father and She loved him.

It was as though her grandma had been in her mind, eavesdropping, because she had been working in line with Claire’s wish. She had been arranging for Mike to attend his little girl’s party.

The funny thing of it all was it seemed Mike was the first rich man justice had happened to. Initially, his lawyers thought they could pull it off, but when more than three quarters of his property had been seized by the state, they knew a politically motivated case was far from being won.

Peter and Gary, the oldest of the three had come through from Chingola and Kitwe respectively. Every one little Claire loved was here except her dad and of course her beloved mother her eyes had never set on.

“Now put on that smile birthday girl. Who frowns on their day? ”, her grandma Mary said, knowing the little girl just wanted to see her father.
Mike should have been here at 2pm, but it was now a quarter past 3. She cursed them so hard in her heart, but then instantly remembered Pastor Ben’s Patience is holy sermon.

It was almost 4 when Mike showed up at the gate with two casually dressed cops beside him. The cops had insisted to attend the party as part of the arrangement-a party of a little girl they barely knew. Anything for the love of food could be anyone’s guess. However, Mary could care less, her son was home.
“Daddy”, little Claire screamed while running with open arms to her father.

“Hello Princess, nice party you have going on here, come here, I got you something”, Mike smiled.

“Missed you dad”, Peter embraced his dad.

“Wow, you grow bigger every time I see you, I wonder what kind of food your aunt is feeding you on the copper belt”  Mike said with a chuckle then suddenly with a worried face added , “Where is your older brother?”

As though programmed, they turned to look at Gary in unison who in turn looked back at his father with a furious face and walked away.

“Come here princess, let me show you something” he smiled at Claire

He gave her his wife’s silver necklace.
“This is for you princess, your mother would be so proud of you, Happy birthday, Daddy loves you”

As she ran to her friends to show off her new gift, Mike wished his wife was here, he wished everything was normal. His heart burned, but he wasn’t going to let melancholy prevail, today was his little girl’s day.

The party had been going well so far, except of course the funny questions and stares some of his relatives tossed him and a growing fear that his son may have been turned against him by his wife’s sister. He had also noticed another thing wrong with Gary; he had a scar on his lower lip as though it was sliced by a knife. He knew his son had been fighting and possibly drinking. He never thought Lusaka would look this different.

“Okay, everyone gather around”, shouted Grandma Mary

This time Claire wished her dad would be released as she blew over her cake.

“She keeps transforming into her mother by the years”, grandma Mary said as she and Max watched her

“It’s magical”, he said with a smile. “Listen mum, I am very grateful for what you have been doing for my daughter, I..”

“Son, they told me they may be releasing you in a year and a half depending on the Judge’s decision and I want you to come and be there for your children. I am dying, Michael. This cancer doesn’t seem to leave. I am good for a year plus according to the doctor, but I may go. I want you to inherit my house and build a home again with your children|”

“But,.. but,, why did you not tell me all this time mum? Why?”, he said with watery eyes.

“You have enough problems as it is, Michael so I want you to be strong. Gary has been a problem. Esther told me he has joined the Jerahbos. He’s barely 16 and it will be you to shape him when you get released. You have more problems than to worry about me.”

Michael had never felt this vulnerable. His mother was dying, his son was a mess, and he was still in prison. Maybe melancholy would prevail after all. He wished his day would not have to end this way as the cops drove him back to the prison.
TBC

A Family Hustle: The Second Generation

EPISODE ONE (JANUARY)
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The vast room glowed red as though the air had been vaporised by the color. The air was fragrant with a sweet smelling French scent. There was no sense lacking stimulation as the music was a perfect match for the environment and once you saw the host, there was no escaping this lovely prison. As she made her last pole move, Michael knew from where he sat on the bed, like a little child hooked to telly, that he was about to go on a mind blowing trip. He always loved this part of his South African Business trips, she always knew how to take care of him.

Like a beautiful snake she slowly began to make advances towards him. His heart beat excitedly as he expected her. She always managed to make it seem like a new experience. As she was about to strike him with her skill, his phone blew into a ringtone. There was no avoiding this call and not even this naked buxom could stop him from doing so.

“How is she doing, doctor?” He asked the doctor in panic.

“Mr Hamooya, you need to relax. I cannot tell now for sure, but I am doing the best I can”, Doctor Phiri responded calmly.

Everything happened so quickly after the call. He was lucky Mashaba’s private Jet was available to get him into the country on time. His wife was in labor for their third child and it was unusually a complication. She had called him in the morning telling him she wasn’t feeling too well, but he just had plans for Lydia that afternoon after the meeting. For the second time since his cheating episodes, he felt sorry for his wife. The first was when he had done it the first time, he wished he had just apologized then and maybe he wouldn’t have gone far in this way. The guilt was burning his soul, but he was just happy to have made it on time.

After what seemed like two hours, Dr Phiri reappeared in the room and Michael immediately shot up.

“Mike, I’m sorry” He said.

Michael felt a huge pain in his heart like somebody was firing electric shots to his heart. He looked at his two sons and a sudden realization hit him that he had failed both as a husband and a father. Depression was slowly creeping in. The surviving baby had her mother’s eyes and nose. He looked the innocent baby in her eyes and called her Claire.

Never had he pictured Claire’s name on a grave stone. His wife was gone and he blamed no one else but himself for this. He had questions whose answers bred excruciating pain in his heart. Who was going to take care of his kids like she did? What was he to say to Peter who now was on a daily routine of questions about his mother’s whereabouts?

“Dad where is mum? Little peter asked inquisitively.

“Peter, mum is in heaven” he answered softly.

“Dad, can you please take me to heaven, I want to see mum” Peter shot again.

Usually people ask what they had done to deserve a predicament, but that was going to lack in Michael. His wife’s relatives had insisted on taking custody of the children and he saw himself in no position to disagree.

Michael felt his guilt outweighed the lessons life was handling him and when he was summoned by the Anti- Corruption commission presenting him office fund embezzlement charges, he had no time to feel sorry for himself. He knew he was going away for a very long time, he knew he had no time to seek redemption because he knew he didn’t deserve it. He knew this was his end, but deep down he knew it wasn’t because his children were still out there.
TBC

THE FACEBOOK LOVE STORY: NEW BEGININGS

In retrospect, not only did that catastrophe leave her devastated, it had also produced a strong woman in Jennifer. She was only 22, but her résumé left her over qualified for a sufferer. Five years ago is as fresh as a wound inflicted by the canine of a lion. Maxwell may have died, but she sees him each time she looks at her little boy. She can then afford a smile.

So many things have happened ever since the unfortunate incident. Oceans had poured out of her eyes. It was never healthy for an expectant woman. The worst months of her life she may have called them. She could talk to herself. The strange part was she had seen no one from Max’s family show up. Not even his parents.

“Maxwell, Oh my dear Maxwell. Why did you have to leave me? You promised me of a future together. You swore never to leave me. I wish our son could take a look at you. Who will ever teach him to be a real man like you were?” She could lament endlessly.

Her hallucinations were her refuge. If only RIP meant return if possible.

As soon as she had conceived, she had embarked on a mission to complete school. Her friends were talking university now, some could mock her. She never imagined completing school a year later. She imagined how different things would have been if she had never signed up for Facebook. Yet again, she could not have met Max; in that way it was worth it. However, complete school she did and now in university pursuing Public Administration. She is really a tough cookie. Most people never get up to their feet.

Her therapist had suggested that the best way to heal was to share her story, specifically through writing. She knew this could be easy as her journal could easily be her first draft.

She had decided to tell her story and plan to her philosophy lecturer who had seemed both touched and supportive. His name was Mr Zulu, but insisted Jenifer call him Paul. Paul was a young man in his early thirties. He was nice, understanding and kind ever since she moved into campus. She was confident he would help her out. He had agreed to help her publish her book and also for her to ask him if she needed anything just during her stay in campus.

Paul and Jennifer grew so close at times it was impossible to hide this during lectures. Her mates could tease her about how she liked Paul. Paul was not married at all. Jennifer could see Paul was so attracted to her. She thought she was blessed for always meeting good men. Actually, her little boy’s 5th birthday party was actually all on him. She did like Paul, but not enough to be with him. She always thought she would betray Max had she gone out with another dude. Even after 5 years, she was not over her first love.

Fast forward: Two years later

Now in their final year, Mary her friend had noticed this relationship had never progressed. Jenny was clearly lucky to have a guy like Paul around her. Why would she not give him a chance? Mary always wondered.

“So I know it’s none of my beeswax, but I can’t help but notice you kinda are avoiding Paul in some way. Listen Jenny, you should consider yourself a very lucky girl. After all that has occurred in your life, you are still blessed enough to have a good guy pursuing you. Why not give him a chance?” Mary asked.

Jennifer remained silent for a while.
“I appreciate your concerns Mary, but you don’t understand it is not that easy” Jenny said

“I know you still think about Max, but you have to move on. Max will never come back. Remember you are growing older. Before you know it, no more men will pursue you. I’m sure Max would be happy to know you found true love” Mary said softly

She stormed off to the bathroom.

“Max will never come back”. Those words from Mary’s speech hurt her so much. She still thought he would come back. In the bathroom, she shed rivers. “Max would be happy to know you found true love”. She kept thinking about Mary’s words. She eventually realised her friend was right, but she wasn’t totally convinced.

The next day, Paul informed her that the book was being printed in the US by his friend who had agreed to market her book globally because it was a huge story. She felt so elated. She couldn’t conceal her excitement. She hugged Max tightly and thanked him for everything he had done for her.

“Anytime” was all Paul said to her.
Paul had convinced her to re-activate her Facebook account as these were NEW BEGINNINGS. Everyone was glad to comment welcome back when she made her first post. She felt so happy after a long time. She knew she owe her happiness to Paul, he had been through it all with her. Maybe it was time to give him a chance.

She was to graduate in two months and the pressure from her peers coercing her to date Paul was increasing by the day.

“You know what, just give Paul to me if you do not want him. There is no way you can overlook such a handsome, educated and wealthy man after you”, another of her friends joked around.

All her friends laughed, including Jennifer.

Maybe it was time. Maybe she could ask him out herself because the only reason she thought he never did (officially) was because he was shy. Anyway, lucky for him, his actions had spoken myriads for him.

So she invited him for dinner the next week. Good thing her roommate had gone home for the weekend and so she had the room to herself. They talked for a long time and later watched a movie. It was so romantic; she had never imagined any of this to happen to her after losing Max. She hoped she hadn’t betrayed him, she hoped he could understand.

Later on, he thanked her for the nicely cooked dinner and the time well spent and was about to leave. They embraced, but never to both let go. She kissed him on his lips and he responded quite well. Her chest against his, this thing was leading to another. She started to help him shed off his jacket. She had only done it once her whole life, but she was in such control. She realised this part of her being had been left unattended to for a long time and all her feelings and cravings came rushing back at her. They began to overpower her.

Like a flash of lightening or maybe suddenly, Paul pulled away quickly and held back his jacket to restore it to its previous position.

“I’m so sorry, I can’t do this. I have to leave. Please have a goodnight” He said awkwardly with no eye contact.

Jennifer was left in shock. How and why could he resist her? Had she began getting old like Mary once said? No she was still perfect. She had a banging body. No one could have ever guessed she was a mother. Why did Paul act that way? Was he gay? She was in complete perturbation.

The next day when she saw him, never had she imagined having an awkward moment with Paul. He said “hi” frantically and walked away. She wanted to apologise for instigating that act the previous night. Their relationship took a very crazy shift until two months later on her graduation day. She could never have guessed this even if she had hope.

She was glad to have graduated with a merit, and was asked to give a speech to inspire everyone that whatever they went through, they could still stand on their feet and be stable again. Her speech was so touching and everyone wanted to shake her hand after.

She couldn’t believe what she saw next. She beheld a familiar face. She had imagined this, but she had never really believed it. Was this day playing tricks on her mind? Her mother held her firmly and told her to be strong.
She saw a man she had known a while back and who in his hands held her son. Was her hallucination back? She saw Paul standing next to him. He smiled at her. She stood frozen like a statue.

“Maxwell Hernandez is that you? She asked in a soft voice.

She had a very huge expression of shock on her face.

“In the flesh”, he smiled her.

She was so overcome by shock, she passed out. When she awakened, she was in Maxwell’s arms.

“I know you think I died, but I have a lot to tell you” he said.

So Maxwell on the day of the car crush had dropped into a comma. His mother was quickly alerted of the situation and had found a way to instruct the doctor that her son had died in the eyes of the girl and her family. The following week, Max was moved to the UK were he could receive treatment. Max’s mum was a snob. She never wanted Max to marry low and when she had heard (from her spies) that her son was seeing a girl of not quite her ideal class, she was in such indignation.

The car crush was a plus to her. She had to ‘save’ her son from what she thought was a curse of bonding with people that lacked a social status. Apparently, she had suggested he marry the governor’s daughter, but clearly he went against her plans.
Paul was smart enough to solve this puzzle. After Maxwell had helped him complete his education, he had always believed to have owe Max one. When he realised Jennifer fitted the description of Max’s girl he had vowed to take care of her until such a time he could help the two reunite. The time was finally here. He had told Max about this and they both agreed the best day for the reunion was her graduation day.

Jennifer was so overwhelmed she couldn’t believe this, but was overjoyed to look Max in his eyes again. Her son’s father was back.It was like the demised love of her life had heard her cries and decided to resurrect. She now understood why Paul had always acted the way he did. He definitely was their son’s god father and the best man on their wedding the following month. Her book was a best seller. Could things be any better?

Let’s just say they lived happily ever after.