POCKERFACE

by K Cheryl Mwanza | Episode #12

Nyasha Mtandwa nodded his head as the last of the board members exited his office. As if he didn’t already have a headache over the shaky nature of his marriage and how that could bring down his entire empire, Debra had turned up dead. Murdered even. He felt tears burning holes in his eyes, when he thought about her death. Her mother had called her crying her eyes out, and had it not been for Jaylee, he would have immediately rushed to be with them.

Nyasha Mtandwa owned an IT company that had been an overnight sensation and had catapulted him to dizzy heights.

He was the son of a bank security guard and a maid, who worked in the mansions in Rosemary that is how he met his wife, former model and socialite Jaylee. Jaylee’s father was very wealthy, nobody knew why, and he was the reason why Nyasha had become the man he was today, successful and rich.

To the outside world, Nyasha Mtandwa had it all. A revolutionary company, a beautiful wife and a life of fine dining and expensive cars, but three years in, and he was ready to kill himself than face Jaylee again. The only problem, he was a greedy coward. Even when he had met the woman, or girl depending on how one chose to see it, of his dreams who had given him the one thing Jaylee could not, an heir, he still clung to Jaylee and allowed himself to be controlled by her father’s money. His one true love was dead, and all of a sudden Jaylee and her father’s money stopped being all that. At this moment, he would have given anything, absolutely anything to have Debra back with him now.

The anniversary of their first date had been a few days ago. It was their fifth anniversary, and it was an even bigger deal to Debra. A few days before she had turned 19, and in Rosemary she was considered an adult, which meant the both of them could enjoy their favorite restaurant without anyone bothering them about the age difference, or calling Nyasha a rapist. Debra had been looking forward to the date all year round, and when it had finally come, Nyasha was unable to attend.

Jaylee had discovered Nyasha’s infidelity a month and a half ago, and what had made her even more furious was the fact that the affair had resulted in a child. Jaylee had confronted Debra, and had her collarbone and jaw broken in the process. Debra was arrested, Jaylee was hospitalized and Nyasha’s reputation hung in the balance. He had to make a choice, he had chosen Jaylee, and Debra had turned up dead.

He punched his desk as he got up. Just then the door was opened and his good friend and lawyer, Matthew Zvinavashe walked in. Nyasha managed a smile as he extended his hand to shake Matthew.

“Come on, this is no time to be formal.” Zvinavashe said as he went on to hug his friend. “How are you holding up?”

“Mr. Nyoni is on his way from Hong Kong and my relationship with Jaylee has been far from perfect.”

“I wasn’t talking about that. I meant about Debra dying. Your father called me, and soon as I was done with my meetings I came here.”

“I still can’t believe it, man.” He said turning away from Matthew. “I have to think about my son now.”

“That’s kinda why I am here. With the state your relationship with your wife is, and the way things are generally going, I would suggest you leave your son with his grandmother. Be involved in his life as best as you can, and when he is old enough, and you are stable enough, you can bring him to live with you.”

“I am stable now. I mean everyone goes through grief!”

“I meant financial stability.” Zvinavashe said calmly. “You are still very much owned by Nyoni and his family. If you bring our son into the spotlight now, you are most likely going to lose everything.” He paused then added, “I don’t want you wearing your emotions on your sleeve. You need to work on your marriage and prioritize Jaylee, and show her father that she is the most important thing in your life. Do we have that clear?”

“The mother of my child just died. How can you ask me to do that?”

“She is dead and that is sad. But you are alive, and are about to be become a very poor man with a much damaged reputation. The choice is yours.”

He looked back at Matthew now deep in thought. He had come too far to watch everything just slip away from him like that. But at the same time the woman he loved, and the mother of his child had just died. He looked away from Matthew and back out of the window then swallowed hard.

A deep silence fell over the room, and amplified his confused thoughts to the point where he felt his head was about to explode and make a mess of his office. The silence was disrupted by his secretary, Yolanda, who burst into the room with horror written all over her face.

“What is it?” Matthew asked.

“Mrs. Mtandwa was just picked up by Harare CID police.”

“What?” Nyasha screamed. “They can’t honestly think Jaylee would be capable of killing Debra. I mean she can’t. She is not!”

“Thank you Yolanda.” Matthew said as he released the secretary. He then turned to his friend, and in a low stern voice he said, “I know you must be in a very bad state right now, but need I remind you of what’s at stake here? This is Rosemary, the grapevine in more effective in ways that will destroy you. Watch what you say, alright.”

“What do I do now?”

“The only thing you can do. You have to follow your wife.”

 

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