The lady’s name was Yeukai Dzapasi, the only daughter of the long deceased great hunter of Mazambuko village. What was wrong with her though? Why did she intend to take her life to an abrupt halt? These were the million dollar questions Hove and the other people around him also wanted to hear answered.
Hove opened up to the Dr. Chimutashu that Yeukai wasn’t his wife, and he had just found her by the riverside. It was out of a kind heart and the oath he took to save lives after his doctoral studies that compelled him to see her regain her life. They were by no means related, he added, but he was ready to take care of her from there onwards.
“Can you take care of her,” enquired Dr Chimutashu.
“I’m sure I can do so,” said Hove with his usual sarcastic smile. He took Yeukai by her hand, “shall we go now.”
To the rest of the hospital Yeukai was still Hove’s wife. So they held hands, walked out peacefully and went their way. They walked back to the same spot he found her. The bible, cloth and rope were still there on the ground.
They sat down and Yeukai opened her bible. Then Hove was puzzled; be it she is religious, then what compelled her to attempt suicide? He scanned her through as she flipped pages in her holy book. Then she took out a piece of paper folded into two halves. She handed it over to Hove who took the liberty to read it to himself;
Dear Lord, I have had enough of this. What I have done wrong is what I do not understand. My father died when I was very young and my mother was left in debt. She decided to use me to pay off the debt. I have been abused, introduced to all sorts of men. I was turned into a sex machine, satisfying every man’s conjugal rights. I have prayed endlessly for breakthrough but you seem not to hear me. It’s high time I end this suffering. Today I’ll be killing myself for I am better off dead than this daily suffering. As for my mother; she destroyed my life and my future was revoked. I will never forgive her.
Only the flowing Sembene river and the croaking frogs made audible sounds. The two strangers sat next to each other. Confused. No one knew what to say and who would talk first. It wasn’t that easy to break such a deafening silence.
“So how old are you?” asked Hove
“I’m twenty one years old,” answered Yeukai with her soft voice.
Then another long unbroken silence pursued. Hove stood to his feet and stretched his right hand to Yeukai. He pulled her up and they walked softly back to civilization. Yeukai held her bible close to her heart whilst Hove led the way.
“Where are we going?” asked Yeukai.
“To my house, don’t worry you will be safe,” he said assuring her.
At Hove’s Home
“Wow, you own such a mansion?” asked Yeukai as they walked past the gate. She had never been to such an intriguing place. She looked around and saw a neatly planted flower bed. In it was a combination of red and white roses. On the other far end she saw collected blue water that reflected the clear sky; “Eh-h! You even have a personal dam.” She was really taken aback by this glamorous view.
“No Yeu, this is not my own place. I rent an apartment within the building. And that one is not a dam, it is a swimming pool,” he explained to her the structure of the whole site and everything within. “Now come, let me show you something.” They took a short walk around the yard and came to another reserved portion of water; “this one is a fish pond where they keep small fish just for decoration.”
“Huh, are you people crazy! How can you use food for decoration,” she felt intimidated by these people’s level of ignorance. “Of all the things you chose fish for decoration purposes,” she shrugged her shoulders and shook her head in resignation. Hove continued to lead the way pointing at structures like gazebos and she followed slowly behind him.
“Oh my God, so places like this are real,” she remarked as they entered the main entrance into the building. “I thought they were fantasies that there are houses that look like heaven on earth,” said Yeukai. Hove concluded that Yeukai had been kept in the rural areas all her life. She had never been anywhere close to this kind of structures, hence the surprise at the first glance of the building.
His apartment was on the second floor and decided to take the elevator. He pressed a button pointing up and Yeukai didn’t know what he was up to.
“What is that for?” she asked.
“It’s for the lift that will take us up,” he said ignorantly.
“Up, where?” she asked once more. “Why do we have to take a lift a lift inside a building?”
Hove just smiled and held her hand as the elevator door opened up. They walked in past the door and Yeukai was fascinated by her reflection and that of Hove on the sides. ”What kind of a box is this?” she asked.
Hove pressed “2” on the series of buttons in front of him inside the box, as described by Yeukai. He then explained to her that this was the lift they were waiting for. Then it beeped and the door shut down. Next she had this awkward feeling like she was being taken off her feet and suspended in the atmosphere. Oh yes! The elevator was raising them from the ground floor to second floor. So practically, they were being taken off the ground skywards.
“Thank you sir for your kindness, wow this is beautiful.”
“Please call me Hove OK,” said Hove as he unlocked the door into his apartment. “Come in dear,” he welcomed Yeukai inside.
“I will try sir… Sorry I mean Hove. I am just used to being respectful. My father taught me that a good woman pays respect to all men,” she said with a mood swing.
“Even those who do not treat you well,” he asked handing her a glass of orange juice.
“Oh yes! I grew to understand that the woman is the man’s subject and should always be respectful.”
“Did you believe that?” Hove asked looking straight into her eyes.
“Did I have a choice, even my mother was also a victim,” she said.
“I don’t know but…”
“But what?” she raised her face to understand what he wanted to say from his expressions rather.
“I don’t know. Truly speaking, it just doesn’t sound right. Come to think of it; your father said you should respect all men but did not tell you what kind of man deserves your respect. If they don’t deserve then they should not get it.”
“Tell me something; who gave birth to your father and took care of him as he grew up?” asked Hove.
“His mother of course,” she was confident as she answered to his question.
“You see, a woman is important and she should be respected also. Without her all men would never have been in existence.” His lecture went on and on whilst Yeukai nodded her head along with him. After some moments he showed her the bathroom and it was evening already. Unfortunately for a bachelor he was, he had no lady’s clothes to offer Yeukai. He just gave her his tracksuit for the immediate convenience.
Whilst she took a bath he prepared supper for two. She came out and was greeted with some delicacies. She was amused that men can also cook and make food look so interesting. She had been missing a lot in the rural areas.
They took their seats by the table and Yeukai prayed for the food. They enjoyed their supper, especially Yeukai who even licked her fingers. Hove just smiled from across the table, satisfied he had made a great meal for his guest.
“Did you enjoy your meal,” he asked eager to hear her response.
“You bet hey, it was one of a kind.”
They both smiled and drank down their juice. Surely they had had such a long day. They both withdrew to bed and Hove showed Yeukai the guest bedroom where she would lay her head and rest. He then took his leave and went his way.
Yeukai took off her tracksuit top and threw it beside the bed. She climbed on to the bed and looked up to the ceiling. In a short moment she heard a familiar voice calling out her name. However, it didn’t disturb her because she was even struggling to catch some sleep. Then she jumped out of bed and reached for her tracksuit top; “wait a moment please,” she shouted. Quickly she covered her torso under the top and called; “you may enter now”
“OK,” said Hove as he slowly opened the door. He walked slowly holding something in his hands. “What does he want,” she thought to herself. “Well if he tries something he will see me, I’ll repeat what I did three days ago.” She pulled the blankets and crossed her feet looking at Hove in the darkness as he approached.
Hove bent down and switched on the light by her bedside. By now her heart was racing like chariots. “Here’s your bible, I covered it. I realized the covers were torn and no longer intact,” he said stretching his right arm to her.
“Oh! Thank you sir,” she said ignorantly forgetting his disapproval on the term “Sir”.
“Ha-ha-ha,” laughed Hove. “I see it will take you a span to call me hove. Anyways, have a pleasant night and sleep well. The bible might help you sleep,” he said as he left the room.
“Good night Hove, thank you,” she said biting off her nails. She really was a shy girl. She observed Hove’s figure exit the room. With the light still on, she flipped pages in her bible and read;
Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth.
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will carry you.
Next she went down on her knees and said grace. Thanked the Almighty for yet another life allowed to her and a life saver. In her thoughts there was a possibility that there could be a purpose for her survival. However, she was not certain what it was.
How difficult it was then for her to retire to bed; thoughts ransacked her mind all night.
How could I have thought of killing myself? Will God forgive me for my foolish and unholy decision?
Come to think of it; be it that Hove had not rescued me I would have been history by now. I
would have never been in such a magnificent place. I would have died with the belief that places like this were just fantasies of fairytales which never exist;
She thought to herself. Her mind was focused on the question of how she could have missed all this good stuff. But she was tired of constant rapes she fell victim to under the authority of Mazhambe