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LSD: Cast Your Bread upon the Waters

sheeda

When Lerato and Khalid emerged from the office, disheveled and glowing with delight, Paul was in the parking lot waiting for her…

 

Nah… That’s not what happened! Just kidding! This is what really happened next.

*****

The world entirely too small a place for Nomsa. On a normal day Nomsa’s world consisted of six rooms: her grandmother’s kitchen, her grandmother’s living room, two bathrooms, her grandmother’s bedroom in the spare room were Nomsa had her nap. The world only got bigger when Mummy was home. Those days were few and far between though. Nomsa spent most of her time with her grandmother.

There were days when the world expanded just a little bit and those were days when grandmother let her watch the television. There were so many bright colors, pretty little girls, interesting places… Like the mall! Nomsa remembered a time when she went to a place to look like the mall. She imagined that she must be a very pretty little girl too just like the one she saw on TV. Everyone stared at her when Mummy pushed her in her stroller from store to store. Yes, she must be very pretty indeed.

But today, the world was still very small.

“Nomsa, it’s time for your nap,” said her grandmother. “Your Mummy and daddy will be here very soon.”

Nomsa giggled with delight. Grandmother had told her that into more sleeps Mummy would be back. Nomsa kicked off her shoes and obediently jumped into bed. If she went to sleep and woke up, and went to sleep and woke up again maybe Mummy would be back! She closed her eyes and dreamed of hugs, and nuzzles, and kisses and dreamed for her world to get bigger once again.

 

*****

The Accra airport was teeming with people. Little brown girls with freshly braided cornrows and their harried mothers stood forlornly in long, snaking lines waiting to be called to the counter. Whenever there was an announcement blared over the loudspeaker everyone stops their frantic movement in order to listen and see if the all-important information applied to them. For those whom it did not concern there was an immediate return to standing, shuffling, sucking of teeth, and complaining about service levels. In the midst of all this humanity stood two women locked in a tight embrace. Cecilia was hugging Lerato tightly and giving Paul the side eye from a safe distance. He was at the British Airways counter sorting out their bags.

“I just don’t understand why you have to go so quickly,” she wailed. “It seems like you just got to Ghana and now you have to leave again. It’s all his fault I know it!”

Lerato returned her friends embrace whispered for her to lower her voice.

“I know it sucks that I have to leave,” she replied, “but I have to get back to my real life and I have to get back to Nomsa. I think I accomplished everything I needed to during this trip anyway…”

“I think you accomplished making a mess,” said Cecilia. “When you to do about Khalid?”

Lerato blew out a loud breath and rolled her eyes at ceiling.

“Girl, I honestly don’t know things just got really complicated really fast.”

Not long after she had gotten back to the hotel and washed away the scent of their lovemaking Lerato received a text from Khalid. He had broken up with Ivy.

I hope this proves to you how serious I am about us, his text said.

Lera had not responded immediately. What could she say? Somehow, she had created a fantasy where everyone can get what they want. She could stay with Paul and have Khalid, and Khalid could continue on with life with his girlfriend. She was perfectly happy with that arrangement, but it seems as though Khalid wanted to force her hand and make a true choice. Cecilia only grunted when Lerato told her about her dilemma.

“You know I’m always here for you; if you ever need me I’ll be right here,” said Cecilia.

“Thank you sweetie,” Lerato smiled in gratitude. “And I’m sorry I had to tarnish your reputation with Paul. I just didn’t know what else to do.”

“I couldn’t give a fuck what Paul thinks about me. As far as I’m concerned he’s a controlling self-centered bastard, but hey, at least he gives great gifts.” Cecilia motioned to the gilded pendant hanging from Lerato’s neck.

At that moment Paul walked up and interrupted the two women’s conversation. Not bothering to hide his contempt for Cecilia, whom he was sure was a negative influence on his fiancée, he returned her stare of condescension and grabbed Lerato by the hand, telling her it was time to go.

“Cecilia,” Paul said sardonically.

“Paul,” Cecilia replied disdainfully.

“I’ll call you when I get back to London, Cece,” said Lerato.

“Alright my dear. Travel safely.”

Cecilia, in her trademark move spun on her heel and walked away without looking back. This abrupt method of parting when first encountered seems rude, but it was a comfort to Lerato. She knew it was Cecilia’s defense mechanism and used to her minimize pain. It meant a great deal to Lerato to know the Cecilia was sad at her parting.

“They’ll calling our flight in a few minutes,” said Paul “Are you ready to head upstairs?”

Lerato felt her cell phone buzzing in her purse. It could be only one person calling. It was Khalid. She couldn’t risk telling him goodbye. The morning they had spent together and his office would have to suffice.

 

“Yes. I’m ready. Let’s go home.”

 

*****

The flight back to London was as pleasant as Lerato could expect. Paul had upgraded her ticket from business class to first so that they could sit together, assuming that that’s what she would want. She sat rigidly in her seat while he made small talk with the petite stewardess. What color was her hair? It was hard to tell with all the lowlights and highlights and this artificial cabin light.

She didn’t feel much like talking to Paul, so she buried herself in the in-flight entertainment. She had already seen every Hollywood movie that was being offered, so she chose a Bollywood flick – hoping that it would be a mindless, predictable tale and allow her to soak in the thoughts of the three clandestine encounters she’d had with Khalid in just under two weeks.

The phantom sound of his melodic voice calling her name compelled her body to slacken its defensive posture. A little smile played about her lips as she half-stared at the screen through her lowered lashes.

You are Asase Yaa, to me, Lerato. A goddess…

Lerato… Lerato…

“Lerato! Have you been listening to a word I’ve been saying?”

“Huh?!”

Paul frowned at her disapprovingly.

“About the proposed merger between Stein Corp. and the Hathaway Fund. I’ve been talking about it for almost five minutes!”

Lerato straightened up in her sit and took a sip of water from a fluted glass.

“I’m so sorry, my love,” she blubbered. “I was engrossed in this film…”

Paul chided her for her pretended indulgence.

“This is Punjabi crap. Watching this is only going to make you less intelligent by the minute.”

“I happen to like Bollywood films, Paul.”

“Whatever,” he said dismissively, turning off her entertainment unit and handing her a copy of Forbes. “Here. Read this. This is something we need to discuss. We should probably look into getting you on board with Hathaway if the merger goes through.”

Lerato knotted her brow and stared at Paul.

“I thought you didn’t want me to work? I thought you wanted me to stay at home with the kids?”

“Well, that was before I knew what quality of kids you’d end up producing,” he scoffed, settling into his seat. “I think your talents are much better suited for the corporate world than child bearing and rearing… at least for the moment. Read the article and tell me what you think in a few minutes.”

Lerato wordlessly flipped through the glosses pages of the financial periodical before she stopped and stared at the billowy clouds floating underneath her. She was restless.

Only five more hours until they landed.

*****

“Nomsa, just sit down!” grandmother was pleading. “You’re not being a good girl at all!”

Nomsa laid on the floor, spread her body into a pentacle and began to wail anew. Why wasn’t Mummy here? She had gone to sleep twice and woken up. Why hadn’t a new day started? Where was her Mummy? Granny had promised that when she went to sleep and woke up, Mummy would be here!

Unable to articulate her frustrations, Nomsa picked up a plastic ball and threw it at the wall. That earned her a quick swat from her grandmother.

“No. That is unacceptable!” she scolded. “Go and lay down in your room.”

When Nomsa refused to go willingly, grandmother scooped her sweating, tear soaked body into her arms and set her in the bed herself.

“You will have to stay here until I call you back out,” she said unkindly.

The world had gotten even smaller again.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Nomsa heard familiar voices in the house.

“She’s in her room.”

“How was everything?”

“As well as it could be, I guess. I don’t know.”

“Did she misbehave?”

“She was fine until I told her you were coming home and then she went berserk today for no reason! I didn’t think she knew what that meant… I was just making idle chat with a toddler.”

“I’ll go get her…”

The sound of tiny feet – not big feet like Daddy’s – came down the wood floors. One-two… one-two.. Nomsa sat straight up in her bed and waited to hear the door to creek open.

“Hello? Is my baby in here?”

Nomsa let out a squeal of delight and dropped onto the floor.

“Maa! Maa!” she trilled at the shadowy figure that was her mother.

Lerato bent down to scoop up her child, kissing her tenderly.

“Come on. Let’s go say hi to Daddy.”

Nomsa buried her nose into her Mummy’s neck and took deep gulps of air. She loved the way Mummy smelled. It was like something sweet and yummy. A bigger figure stood by the door, jingling its keys. Daddy. He did not reach out to hug her and she did not reach for him.

“Her cataracts getting worse,” he said. “You’ll have to take her in to the specialist this week.”

“Yes… I know.”

Mummy sounded sad. Why? Grandmother spoke next.

“We will have to keep up our prayers that she doesn’t lose her sight completely… that she doesn’t go blind.”

Nomsa didn’t know what ‘blind’ meant, but it didn’t matter. Mummy was home, and the world was going to get bigger again.

About the Author

Published on: 29 July 2013 by in Fiction, LSD, Series

has written 174 stories on this site.

27 Comments
  1. Baaba says:

    Hahaha,Malaka u got my right there with your first sentence,I nearly stopped reading.
    Today’s story is kinda short and for the umpteenth time I ask: what is Lerato doing with Paul?…I thought you didn’t want me to work? I thought you wanted me to stay at home with the kids?”

    “Well, that was before I knew what quality of kids you’d end up producing,” he scoffed, settling into his seat. “I think your talents are much better suited for the corporate world than child bearing and rearing… at least for the moment. Read the article and tell me what you think in a few minutes.”

    How insultive(is there a word like that)? can a man be to a woman?

  2. Malaka says:

    Here’s the thing about Lerato, or at least what I believe to be true. Although I’m writing the series, I’m getting introduced to the characters and their antics the same time the reader is. For example, I didn’t know Nomsa would be going blind. This explains why Lera wanted to spend time reading with orphan kids so desperately…so it wouldn’t be such a struggle to enjoy a task as simple as reading a book.

    I think that Lerato knows, and not even deep down, that Paul is a douche bag. However, she must see some great benefit to a life with him. He’s hot, he’s successful, he’s decisive. Now, how long she’s willing to endure dismissive insults like “you’re better suited for work than child bearing” remains to be seen. I think she forgives him when he makes sweet gestures like his proposal and the locket he gave her when he arrived in Accra. Inside that beast is a really nice guy. My two cents.

    • AM says:

      So, Lerato is so taken by Paul that she cannot remove herself from the situation for the sake of her child. He barely recognizes Nomsa as his. That is enough of a red light to FLEE. She’s just making up excuses to suit her situation. Whatevs.

      • Malaka says:

        LOL! AM I can see you are annoyed paa!

        I don’t think it’s so much that she’s taken with him. I think she sees potential in him. Maybe she’s waiting for him to change into what she wants him to be. How many women keep themselves in silly/harmful situations like this because they are waiting on change?

  3. Joanna says:

    Oh this point of view from Nomsa… this makes me sad 🙁 Poor hun in a way too small world.

  4. AM says:

    Wait a minute…Paul, insults her stating she is not good for either bearing or rearing children, and he is still ALIVE. Ok.

    What kind of a grandmother is this one? Is it Paul’s mother? Seems like a witch. Nomsa requires special attention and patience. Why is it that she seems to spend more time in her room than being engaged with? Urrrgh. Reminds me of that article you wrote on MOM.

    • Saffron says:

      AM — I read that insult and then re-read it and thought ‘Woah! I’m sure Lerato is going to rip him a good one for saying something that asinine’ and then she flipped the pages and looked out of the window. O_o
      The more I read Lerato’s interactions with Paul, the more I am reminded of victims of domestic violence at least the emotional abuse and psychological torture phase, which is how it sometimes begins.

  5. Malaka says:

    @Joanna I know right! I was so sad for her… being cooped up all day because no one wants to bother with the stares.

    @AM Exactly like that MOM post. Did you watch the vid? It’s sickening. :/

  6. Kalya says:

    Poor Ivy 🙁 Seems she is no match for Lerato.

  7. Saffron says:

    Malaka — I found myself reading LSD at 2 AM while suffering through a bout of insomnia and nursing a headache.

    Firstly, I prefer to admire men like Paul (physique) from a distance and then he’s (well men like him) good for casual sex – once maybe twice or three times for good measure. I do not have Lerato’s patience – I know a thing or two about waiting on someone to change.

    Secondly, Lerato confounds me but on some level I understand her.

    Paul just fell from grace with that callous glib quip at Lerato about being unfit for breeding. It’s going to take a ‘miracle’ to redeem him. If I was not sold on or rooting for Khalid – I am now. I’m all for freedom of expression and free speech but man if you’re fifty percent liable for the genetic pool, don’t talk smack!

    Lastly, Nomsa. That’s a fresh perspective – it is sad but heartening to know she’s got a mother who adores her. The world through people can be coldly indifferent if they perceive you as – different and therefore less. I look forward to more from her point of view. She’s a smart one where her father is concerned perhaps Lerato can learn something from watching her daughter.

    • Malaka says:

      Heh. Saffron. You were suffering from insomnia and you came HERE? You should have gone for meditation! 🙂 Just kidding.

      Paul is a complex character. You can love him or love to hate him, but you certainly can’t ignore him. I’m glad I was able to portray Nomsa in a sympathetic light, and not just as an object of pity. In my mind, she really is a sweet little girl and I’m hoping to do her character justice in the end.

  8. Ebenezer Mr Scrooge says:

    Malaka, for the 2,356,981st time I ask, were LDS adopted for the Big Screen, who’d you have play. Paul??? A certain Mr. Idris or you don’t want to taint him for thy fantasies?? :p

    Paul must have a very scarred and bitter back story… He’s scared of displaying emotions that are considered weak, I’d bet he stayed up many nights, weeping at Nomsa’s condition and his supposed lack of affection for her results from his feeling of helplessness at remedying the situation – yours truly isn’t in control here.

    He loves, and deeply too but he’s scared of showing it, of appearing weak, of potentially getting hurt. I know a guy like that.

    Whatcha looking at??? No be me oooo

  9. Malaka says:

    Oh Mr. Scrooge! I didn’t hear you ask the first time oooo. Abeg. Apologies.

    First of all, I want to say if ATS was adapted for the big screen, John Dumelo would play Tony. He just does it for me, with those his cheeks.

    As for Paul, if Henry Cele had lived and could have his age reversed for the movies, he’d be my Paul. Tall, dark, ripped, smart, wicked and flawed.

    Don’t worry about revealing your soft side. Your secret is safe with we your friends… all 100,000 of us 🙂

  10. Kofi Ametewee says:

    I think, Malaka, that Paul’s in danger of becoming a caricature… You can always expect the off-the-wall comment from him…. I might be wrong, but in this day and age, would any sane guy make that remark about breeding?

    • Nnenna says:

      Hmmm…I see your point Kofi because I certainly felt like his statements were stretching the boundaries of my suspension of disbelief, but I suppose we can’t live people’s experiences and it sounds like Malaka has first-hand knowledge of this kind of man (has met or interacted with at least).

      • Malaka says:

        Okay. I know this is a silly question, but do you guys watch Love & Hip Hop Atlanta? Of course you don’t. It’s the lowest form of television.

        Anyway, last season Rasheeda got pregnant and Kirk – her husband mind you – says to her “You know, this isn’t really good timing for us.”
        She asks what she means it’s not good timing. What is he saying? A fight ensues. In the end, he finger points to her and says “I’m not the one pregnant, am I? Am I the one who stopped taking my pills?”

        This a man who’s in his FORTIES, crying like a bitch because HE didn’t take proper precautions if he didn’t want to have other kids. An hour and a quick snip would handle that.

        Now if I’m honest, I’m drawing a lot of Paul’s insanity from my own douche bag baby daddy and the reported conversations of other douche bags my friends have dealt with previously or currently. Some members of the male species are de-evolving.

        So yeah… men who say crazy things.

  11. Malaka says:

    Yes, Kofi, you would be wrong. You might be surprised to hear the crazy things men say on a daily basis. I mean CRAZY.

  12. abby says:

    I recently discovered this blog n i am so engrossed. I just finished reading all the posts from the very beginning n i keep on thinking abt Malaka’s hurriedly ended series:ATS Afosua the series. What ever happened to the german half siblings and Afosua’s pregnant friend?Would Afosua’s inability to have kids be a threat to her new relatnship? Would she ever seek revenge on her ex?? I think the lady lawyer would have quite an interesting private life. Plsssss do continue it.

    • Malaka says:

      Oh. “Hurriedly ended?” Haha! Yes, there was quite a bit of angst when ATS ended. AM specifically said she was not pleased, if I recall correctly. I’m going to continue the tale some time this year when I’m finished with the LSD series. I’m not good with deadlines, so you’ll have to keep checking back on Adventures for when that will be.

      Welcome to our little circus, by the way! 🙂

  13. Johanna Ilse says:

    Yay Malaka! I hope you won’t forget what you just wrote! 😉

  14. Ebenezer Mr Scrooge says:

    Malaka, b3rt why??? Shaka himself??? How am I supposed to go to bed now??? Mr. had me more terrified than Freddy Krueger… Now, I’m genuinely worried for Lerato… You, I go go beg Peter Mensah for the role.

    Kofi, I’d have sided with you on this one but for the shocking things I’ve heard some supposedly educated men say, makes one wonder if getting an education highlight’s anything other than “finding X”.

    • Malaka says:

      Thank you for backing me up on this one. I know that Paul seems over the top at times, but as I said before, you’d be surprised (you’re not, obviously) by the things that come out of “educated” men’s mouths. Men who have traveled, lived abroad, had exposure, etc. None of that matters if at your core you carry certain less than progressive sentiments. Women just got the right to vote not too long ago, you know!

  15. Ine says:

    I. HATE. PAUL.
    I’m sorry, there is no redemption for him in my book. For someone as educated as he is to completely absolve himself of any responsibility in the “imperfection” that is their daughter….

    Lerato is only saved by her love for Nomsa.

    I also wondered if the grandmother was Paul’s mother? Or Lerato’s mother who just doesn’t know how to deal with a child with her needs.

    That view from Nomsa’s eyes is heartbreaking. I hope she doesn’t lose her sight. She has a big enough challenge as it is.

    I think there may besomething to the angle about Paul being aloof because this is something he cannot fix…

    This is one site where I find the comments as entertaining as the articles written. and Yay for the return of ATS!!!!!

  16. kalya says:

    @Nana: 🙂 Underdog Ivy. She must be wallowing in self-condemnation yet there’s nothing she could do to keep Khalid.
    About Paul: I take he’s the kind of guy who went through the traditional rite of passage where young men are educated (indoctrinated?)on manhood, macho stuff. That must have contributed to his sometimes heartless nature.

  17. AM says:

    Soooo, the next installation is when Jesus makes a comeback? Heiii. This is torture.

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