Helen gazed up into the clouds and wished they had all the answers she was looking for at that moment. Questioning her reason for existence and wondering why she had to go through this predicament, she sat with her head tilted to the side. For long she had been searching to no avail for a way to reveal her dark secret to her boyfriend.
I was young and foolish was the mantra she relied on whenever the memories threatened to disturb her peace. It had a soothing effect, but the guilt and regret stuck like a stubborn stain. She had tried at different occasions to break the silence about her secret baby. First, at the party where she got herself drunk to blame it on alcohol and 2nd, on their 1year anniversary. On both occasions she had failed dismally, fearing to lose the love of her life she had finally met, after a series of failed relationships.
Tasha would be turning 3years in a month’s time and Helen had managed to keep her hidden from everyone except her mother and close trusted relatives. Her mother had been raising her daughter from birth. Helen occasionally sent money and clothes for her daughter and always remembered to celebrate her birthday. But this year she wanted to celebrate it differently. She planned to tell Rodrick everything. “if he accepts, good, if he does not then l will have to move on,” she thought. She could not continue with such a secret weighing over her.
Days passed and just the day before Tasha’s birthday, she called her love to make an appointment so she could break the news, but he was away on a business trip. “Not again,” she murmured. Soon after she hung up that call, she received one from her mom who told her she was throwing a party for Tasha and she wanted her to come home. Immediately she started packing her bags and within an hour she was by the famous Vic falls ‘turnoff” soliciting for a lift to take her to Gweru her hometown. By 6pm she was dropping off at the bus rank and heading to the spot where she would board lifts to her mother’s house. When she got there, she met the nosy neighbour who was trying very hard to chat her up, but she was tired and not in the mood. So, she kept giving one- word answers till the rambling woman got the message.
She got home where she found in the kitchen a big pile of groceries, drinks, and wines. In her bedroom she found lying on her bed two beautiful designer dresses written hers and Tasha’s names. All this surprised her, and she wondered where her mom could have gotten the money for all these. She decided to take a bath before she could go enquiring. That evening Helen and her mother sat by the veranda, chatting, and catching up. MaMoyo explained to her daughter Helen that she had bought the designer dresses at a bargain from a friend who runs a “Khothama” Boutique. She pointed out that she had been saving for some time now, for the big party she has always wanted to throw for her beloved granddaughter. They chatted till late and finally retired to their beds late at night.
The next day was a buzz of activity with everyone getting ready for the party. Champagne and drinks where being passed around as the party got nasty and fun. Tasha, the birthday girl, was dressed in a turquoise blue, Dolce and Gabbana party dress that had a designer tail. One of those dresses that are worn by child celebrities on the red carpet during the award ceremonies or opening nights. Like a princess, she glowed with a breath-taking smile, revealing her tiny milky white teeth. She looked uniquely outstanding among her mates. But so, did Helen the mother, whose matching royal blue dress was stunningly hugging her hourglass figure. The songs played by an artistic disk jockey filled the air with sweet melodies and jam.
A sudden roar of engine & exhaust stole the attention, as a car screeched to a stop at the gate. At first Helen thought it was just another mother who brought her child to party, but her curiosity was soon infused with shock, as a tall, dark, handsome hunk stepped out of the car. Breathlessly she watched as Rodrick opened the gate and took each step briskly towards her. She felt a wave of dizziness which made her land buttocks first on a chair behind her.
Everyone froze as if in disgust of the young man’s confidence in crushing a baby’s party. They all zoomed in as he took his swanky steps towards Hellen. By now her forehead was dripping with sweat and her eyeballs looked as if about to pop out of their eyelids. She felt weak from shock. “How did he know my home?” How did he know l would be here today?” Those were questions racing in her puzzled mind. Slowly she stood from the chair and made short strides towards Rodrick, with her confusion growing even more as they got closer. To everybody else this was like the Bollywood fantasy in slow motion as grave silence characterised the atmosphere, save for the sound of the two’s footsteps.
The love birds froze in front of each other in the middle of the platform creating a moment of suspense. Soon after, the young man without a word went down on one knee. “Roddy What are you doing!!” Hellen uttered and started shacking and mimicking “this can’t be happening, this can’t be happening ” in a shacky but confident voice, Rodrick said “Hellen, I know all about Tasha, but will you today make me the happiest man in the whole world and…?” Before he could even finish the statement, Hellen was heard screaming out “Yes! Yes Roddy!”. What a wonderful scene to behold as Rodrick with an uncontrollable smile held out the signature Aurex jewellery blue box, from which he took out a sparkling 9 karat gold ring and slid onto Hellen’s finger. A roar of loud screams of joy and clapping filled up the yard as the DJ joined in with his amapiano mix. Tasha’s party was in fact, Helen’s surprise engagement party. Her friends started showing up one by one in celebratory mood. It had all been planned beforehand, and the dresses and groceries were bought by Rodrick. As to how and when he had known about Tasha and planned the party, she would have to find out later. For now, she had to focus on enjoying this day, remembering it, and thanking God for the unexpected life miracle.
Blog by: Sakhile Mthombeni
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