Resentment: The Silent Killer (Part II) by Vee Nkambule
Today’s post is part two of a three-part fictional series. It is a continuation of the story about Nosi, a young married black African woman, who lost her unborn baby as well as the love in her marriage. She’s also lost her faith and has a lot of resentment that has built up over time.
She’s trying to find her way back to God and to deal with the negative emotions she feels. In part 1 we learnt that Nosi had a shot-gun wedding to a man she loved at the time at the insistence of their parents. What she believed would be a happily ever after is slowly turning into a nightmare. Today, we continue with her on her journey.
Nosi swiftly got off the couch, grabbing the blanket cover to take to her room. Undressing in a hurry while trying to keep track of the time, she knows the Sunday Church Service begins at 9:30 and she only had 15 minutes left. Fortunately, the Church wasn’t a long distance away, yet she hadn’t been to a service in months. She lost her faith along with her unborn baby, and in the same instance, lost sight of her marriage too.
She takes a quick ten second shower and pulls out one of her semi-formal dresses. Maroon has always been her favourite colour. She fixes her hair and straps her wedge heels on while trying to collect her handbag needs and car keys all at once.
She scurries out the door and makes her way to her car. ‘5 minutes left, I can make it,’ she says to herself, slightly out of breath. She drives off hoping she will hear the words she has been needing for the past year.
Finally, making it to the church on time, she joins the service seconds before the choir stops singing their first hymn. Walking in sheepishly, she spots a familiar face she has not seen in years. ‘Samke?’ she mouths to herself, and the familiar stranger turns her head, and smiles at Nosi. She invites her over to an empty seat next to her. The two ladies sit to listen to the service, and Nosi feels somewhat at peace.
Once the service was over, the pair walked out to a nearby tree and stood under the shade. “Samke? I haven’t seen you in ages!” Samke Magali was a wealthy housewife who went to university with Nosi but dropped out after a year once she met her now husband, Mike.
He is the owner of several night clubs and bars across the country, and Samke just reaps the benefits of the glamorous life. They used to speak casually back in their first year, and they never saw one another since. Now, a mother of two young kids, she is the socialite of the town, and is also very much involved in charity work in the Church.
“You look great!” Samke responds, her smile beaming and genuine. “Thank you, you as well…” Nosi says sheepishly. Samke turns her head slightly, sensing Nosi’s heavy heart. “Come, let’s go to my place for a bit, and we can catch up.” Nosi smiles at the invite. She hasn’t had friendly conversation outside of work in a while.
They take a long and slow drive to the main house. The driveway is long and sheltered with trees on both sides. Nosi is in awe of its beauty. When they step out of their cars, Samke politely calls Nosi over to the outside pool area where there is a set bar and small braai area. They sit under the shade of her corner gazebo, on woven tan pool chairs.
“I know we haven’t seen each other in years, but I know there’s something bothering you. You don’t have the same spark in your eyes… The same spark I loved about you. Talk to me…” Nosi’s eyes well up with the tears that she tries to hold back on the daily. “Uhm… It’s…” she pauses, and looks down at her slightly chipped red toe nail polish that she has neglected to fix for weeks on end.
“…Your marriage?” Samke asks. “I know that look from anywhere. What happened? Or, what’s not happening?” “We hardly talk lately. We haven’t been intimate in weeks, he doesn’t even try to touch me. It’s just been very difficult…” Nosi somewhat whispers, still faced down. She looks up and takes a breath trying to clear her throat from the lump it has from being near tears.
“Look babe, I don’t know in detail what’s going on. But, I do know, that there is a way to fix it. When last did you make him his favourite meal? Or ask about his day?…” “When he doesn’t do those things for me??” Samke lifts her finger with her index extended to stop her in her tracks. “This is not a competition, it is a marriage. Go make him feel like a King, and he will make you his Queen again. Hush your mouth, try it and let him come back to you slowly.”
Nosi cringes at the thought of having to butter him up when he hasn’t been through what she has. She hates even the concept of it. How can she care for a man who made her lose everything? But then, she straightens herself up, nods and accepts Samke’s advice.
The two continue chatting for hours on end, catching up and reminiscing, and finally after 4pm, she readies herself to leave. Samke walks her to her car, and hugs her tightly. “You know where I live now. You’re welcome anytime.” Nosi thanks her, steps into her car, and drives off.
Shortly after arriving home from a quick trip to the grocery store, Nosi musters the energy to call her husband. The phone rings for ages, and she rolls her eyes thinking it was a mistake. Just as she is about to hang up, he answers.
“Hello?” “Uh, hi… I was just, finding out what time…” “Yes?” “What time you’ll be back, here I mean…” There’s dead silence on his end for a few seconds. She paces slowly feeling quite uncomfortable. “Uh, give me two hours.” Her heart is pounding, she regrets even trying to reach out at all. “Ok, uhm… I think we can do something… together, maybe…” She hears Bryce exhaling on the other end. “That would be nice. I have to go.” “Alright, I’ll – …”
The call cuts. She walks over to the couch and slumps herself right in the centre of it, wondering how this will all pan out.
Eventually she gathers up her strength to start making his favourite meal. She prepares her baby potatoes and puts them in a roasting pan, and puts the medium sized piece of rump steak on the same pan and spices it with the other roasting veggies; carrots and halved red and green bell peppers.
‘He better appreciate my efforts’ she thinks to herself. Next up was a peppermint crisp pie, with all the trimmings including whipped cream. He never had a chance to have it with whipped cream at their favourite restaurants when they used to go out in their younger, more carefree years, because he always forgot to order it as an extra topping until he received his dessert.
Knowing this, and chuckling to herself while the memories came flowing, she shook her head thinking of the effort she had put into this, following Samke’s advice. ‘Make him feel like a King’ she recalls Samke saying, and decides to take out their old massage chair that they bought second hand at the flea market. It was a bit beat up, but it was still in very good condition.
They placed it in the garage once they had furnished and decorated their house with brand new couches and beautiful ferns and jasmine plants on each corner of their butlers’ charcoal tray design side tables. She dragged it for a distance, huffing and puffing but finally managed to get it into the house shortly after, pushing some furniture out of the way to make just enough space for it.
She goes to the bedroom to look for some massage oil that she hasn’t used in months. ‘Where in the world did I put it??’ she asks herself. She slumps herself on the bed trying to recall, and searches in one of the suitcases they used for their honeymoon. She peeps in each small compartment and comes across a picture they took during their holiday.
Her heart skips a beat and she begins to tear up. “What happened to us?” she whispers, tracing the outside of his face softly on the photo. Just as she puts it away she sees the massage oil cap from the corner of the inner compartment just by the zip. She slides the image back into its small pocket, grabs the massage oil and heads back to the lounge.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32
The roast is finally done and the pie is slowly setting in the fridge. She waits nervously looking at the time. She called him two and a half hours ago. She gets discouraged and turns on the TV to watch whatever she can find. His keys jingle at the door at that moment, and her heart skips a beat. She stands up and tugs on her dress to fix herself up, and he walks in and is taken aback.
He stands at the door leaving it ajar, his hand on the handle and his keys clutched tightly in his left hand. “What’s going on?” He is visibly suspicious. “Relax, I’m not gonna kill you.” She rolls her eyes at his stance and lifts her empty hands to signal her being unarmed, but he hasn’t budged.
“And that old thing?” focusing his eyes on the massage chair that he had long forgotten about. “Bryce, please. I made lunch… And I wanted to do something nice for us… For you…” She’s clutching on her fingers tightly with her right hand, her anxiety is painted all over her. Bryce notices her discomfort, and decides to ease up.
He closes the door quietly and walks in, puts his keys on the kitchen counter and reaches his hands out to her. Nosi walks to him slowly, and extends her hands in exchange, then he pulls her in slowly to hug her. “Thank you.” He whispers, kissing her gently on her forehead. She is stiff and very uneasy, but she manages to smile at him after pulling away.
She fetches the roasted meal and places it in the centre of the laid out dining table, with a chilled bottle of wine in an ice bucket on the side. She can see Bryce’s expression change, he looked rather impressed. She fetches the carving knife and fork and places them before him. “Please do the honours” she says, smiling as she takes her seat. ‘Just feed the ego’ she thinks to herself. This should work, it has to change things. She’s determined to turn this mess around right now. He stands up looking much chuffed with himself, and begins to carve the meat into paper thin slices.
Soon after their meal, dessert devoured and wine bottle empty, she takes his hand and walks him over to the massage chair. “I can’t believe this” he says, laughing through his somewhat amazement. She pats the chair on the seat, signalling that he should sit down and take his position.
“Please unbutton your shirt” she says to him, trying her hardest to keep her smile. She takes her position behind him and massages his shoulders manually, as the chair massages his back and legs. He is visibly relaxed and she smiles at his enjoyment, and thinks; maybe this will work.
After the long and relaxing massage, she says softly while holding his hands; “Let’s go… to the bedroom…” His face lights up, and she leads him by the hand. He slows down, and eventually stops. “Bryce?” “I don’t understand. Last week you couldn’t stand me, and today, this?”
She turns to face him and holds both of his hands. “I know, I’m just trying to make this right… to fix things.” He exhales slowly, then nods his head and they proceed to the room.
Unfortunately, the time they were supposed to spend, intimate and close, became the opposite of what she had mainly intended. She wished it would be over from the moment they began. Her soul wasn’t in it, and she yearned to feel the love of her husband the way she used to a year ago. She found herself extremely detached and she was hurting, deep down.
“Oh wow, that was amazing!” He exhales, and he kisses her again on her forehead. She smiles at him and turns her body completely to face the wall. He strokes her back softly. “Are you alright?” She stays silent for a short while. “Yeah, I’m just a little tired. I think we should sleep now…” she says, still with her head turned and speaking in a very soft tone. “Yeah, I’m off to watch the soccer highlights then I’ll be back.” Bryce walks over to her side of the bed and gives her a quick kiss her on the lips. “Love you” he says while he walks out.
Nosi lays still in the bed cover up to her ears, still turned on her side. “But why do I still feel so empty?” she whispers through her pain. She blinks and tears pour out of her long lashed eyes, and soak into the pillow.
Vee has always had a natural energy which drew her to the creative side of life. She grew up with a love for sketch art, and later on realised her painting talent. She began writing a while back as a hobby to keep her creative juices flowing as a then stay-at-home Mom. Since then, her love and interest has bloomed tremendously and she enjoys writing relatable fiction.
You can find her on social media as Vee Nkambule on Facebook, and vee_nkambule on Instagram.
Well, today we’ve seen Nosi try in her own power to make things right in her marriage. To gain the peace of mind she desperately needs through actions that she believes will work. She’s still frustrated and empty. I wonder how the story will end for Nosi.
Part 3 continues in our next blog post so be sure to keep an eye out for that or subscribe to get the notification.
Thank you for reading and know that we’re praying for you always.