Joy, from age six is constantly taunted by nightmares of her mother’s terrible murder. This forces her to find out the cause of her mother’s death and she swore even at the ten to make sure her mother’s wicked murderer pay.
At age fourteen, Joy launches a plan to get justice for her mother’s death. The young girl is bold and confident, but she’s too young for what she’s embarked on. Will she be able to fulfill her mission? Or would the experienced hands of the evil murderer of her mother make her a victim too?
Find out in this wonderful story by Tisa Phiri
Two men held her hands as a strange woman slapped her across her face so hard she staggered before falling down. My mother spit in her face.
“You are a devil!” she shouted, before she could say anymore, the violent woman stabbed her hard in the stomach. She could not scream because her mouth was covered by the man holding her on the left.
I screamed telling them to stop.
“Please! Please ! Stop stop stop…. !! ”
I woke up screaming as my grand mother shook me.
” Mwazi !Mwazi! wake upMwandi!” she said. “Nichani…what is it?” Grandma asked with fear in her eyes.
” It’s that dream again granny,” I responded trembling with fear. I had been having the same dream since I was 6 years old.
Now I was 10 and the same night mare still haunted me. My name is Mwaziona Daka. my grand mother named me when I was still 3 years old. She told me my mother who was now late had named me Joy but for some reason my grandmother called me ‘Mwaziona’ to mean someone who has been through a lot. Say, terrible things or something really disheartening. I’ve lived with her, grand ma, since I can remeber. She took me in when I was only 3 years old. Instead of grand ma I mostly called her “amama”. She raised me until now.
My mother I am told died when I was 3 in a terrible accident. I barely remember her, her image is faint in my heard. I only know from what I see on the photos grand ma keeps in her secret bag. But all this time i still feel my mother’s love and scent, even in my nightmares my mother’s face isnt clear.
I swear though if I was to meet her again. I would know she’s the one.
My grand mother is a hard working woman. She bought a farm house after retiring from her job as a Secretary in the government. She worked in Lusaka and relocated to Chipata after retirement where she had bought that farm. The land was quite fertile and we always cultivated lots of maize and my grand ma would cultivate vegetables and tomatoes too.
Grand ma had three children,my mother was first and the second born I was told died too. The only surviving child is my uncle the last born, unfortunately for grand mother, uncle was always getting into touble. He dropped out of school when he was in grade 11 and started smoking Dagga.
Since then, it was one trouble after the other. You can imagine my grand ma’s sorrow, loosing two children and having the only child alive give her so much head ache. Her only consolation was myself, her most beautiful and cheerful grand daughter as she would say. I was very clever and intelligent too. My grand ma always said I was just like my parents.
According to her, they were very educated, successful and lived well, but for some reason she never said much about my parents and I cared less anyway. I never lacked anything, only sometimes when I would wish i had seen and got to know my parents somehow I missed them.
When it was morning, granny called me where she was preparing sweet potatoes in the round kitchen she had built outside the main house. Instead of using the kitchen in the house my granny liked cooking in the small thatched kitchen outside.
I went in and sat next to her, she looked at me and asked.
“So tell me, do you recognise your mother from the dreams you usually have?”
“No ” I said without hesitation. “Amama, I only see her figure and her face isn’t so clear,” I added.
“What about the woman stabbing her?” She asked the more.
“I see her, I see her amama and I can even recognise her if I saw her somewhere. Why are you asking granny?” I asked my grand ma who looked pale when I told her I know the murderer in my dreams.
“Listen my child let’s take a walk to the garden after eating breakfast I have something to tell you.” My granny seemed so sad and serious, what ever it was I knew was huge.
We walked to the gardens. It was April so the weather was cool. We walked in a small path slowly, I could feel the tension between us. I couldn’t take the silence anymore, so I stopped in front of granny.
“Please Amama just tell me already… What is it? Do you know why I have night mares?” I inquired impatiently.
“Patience my daughter, Patience” grand ma said with a small laugh.
We walked a bit further and turned to enter our garden. Grandma removed the grass gate that covered the entrance to the garden. She had someone build a fence with grass around to prevent goats and cows from eating the vegetables.
We sat near the stream that flowed through the garden. For a moment I could not help admire the green vegetables and red tomatoes in the garden. Surely grand ma was good with what she did.
Granny cleared her throat, she held my hand and squeezed me a bit before letting go.
“So?” I inquired..
“Oh Mwazi you are so impatient just like your mother,” she said smiling. “You have her face my dear. She was so beautiful with a light skin, she smiled a lot and had a big heart. She was an angel, ” granny outlined almost shedding tears. It seemed like my mom was perfect after all.
“Amama so tell me what happened to her? ”
Granny narrated the ordeal…
“Your mother was a good child. She was so hard working and cared so much for people that I and your grand father, may his soul rest in peace, always wondered why she hard such a big heart. Her only problem is that she trusted people too much. She easily trusted people and that led to her death. One day she came back home excited that she had met a handsome guy, she was so excited about that man that I had to force her to eat dinner. She told me she had met him at the meeting they had for a new project at her company. By the way, your mom was the chief accountant for ZESCO at head quarters in Lusaka. She explained that they had met with your father who was one of the investors to discuss the company projects. They had lunch and your mom loved him from the first time she saw him. Months after that your mom and dad got married. I remember she was so nervous I had to calm her down before she walked to the altar. It was a beautiful wedding and a lot of important people attended.
Your mother was happy Mwazi. They were so inseparable. Your parents were so much in love… Imagine that they would kiss in front of us.” granny giggled, “but as usual your mom trusted a wrong friend. Her very best friend asked her one day to help with her young sister. She asked your mother to help her find a job at your father’s company. Even after your father refused so many times your mom begged that he employed her.
“Please she’s my friend’s sister,” your mother had begged on her behalf.
“Your father agreed at last.. Oh God, that girl brought them trouble my dear. She started seducing your dad at the company until one day he fired her. After which, she became worse and even followed him home to your parent’s house. She managed to seduce him and he fell for it. Just then your mom came in and found them red handed. She was devastated and ran off to my place. By then she was 8 months pregnant with you.
That girl never stopped there. She went after your father until the time you were born.
One day your mom packed out of your parent’s home and moved in with us. Of course your father always came crying and pleading for her to go back,” she paused looking at me
“ Mwazi… I know your father loved your mother but whatever that woman did really messed him up. Your mother decided to rent a flat and moved out with you. That’s when I retired after your grand father died and moved here to this farm. Your mother called me one day when you were 3 years old. She had decided to get back with your father. After that, the next time she called me she sounded so worried. She said someone was stalking and threatening her but she didn’t know who. I told her to report to the police, but she refused.”
“I will deal with it,“ she told me.
“That was the last time I heard from her, “
“So Amama what happened to her? “ I asked..
“Oh dear, what happened is so painful to even remember but I will tell you….”
To be continued.
© Tisa Phiri
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