‘Mrs. Kunda, can you once again tell us your relationship to the deceased before judgment is passed’, her Lordship asked me.
I looked at her with my blood shot eyes. I didn’t know what to say to her. I had exhausted all my energy and I didn’t have anything else to say. Either to the jury, the court or the Judge herself.
‘Mrs. Kunda, this is your last chance…any last words’, she asked again.
I stood up from my seat, I could feel all the eyes crawling on me. I could feel the hate and hurt, the pain, the hunger to kill me was intense. Justin’s mum was also in the court room, she came to bid farewell to her son’s surviving widow and coming here today was the only way to avenge her son.
‘You can start by telling us your relationship to Mr. Kunda and Ms. Hamonga, both in question are deceased.’
‘uhmmmmmmmmmmmm’, Was the response from the court room.
‘Quite!! Quite now’. The Judge ordered the court
I wiped a tear from my cheeks before I spoke up.
‘My names are Felicia Mwamba Kunda, widow to Justin Kunda who was found dead with…’ I kept quite before continuing, tears streaming down my face.
‘Murderer, you Murderer. You were not woman enough to bear my son a child, to make matters worse you killed him and the only hope he had of having an heir.’ My mother in law, Justine’s mother bitterly cried.
‘I said order in the court, Madam Kunda if you do not keep quite at once I will be forced to throw you out of my courtroom.’ The judge barked
‘I dare you to do so Ma’am, if you were in my shoes you would have sentenced her to hanging already.’
‘Mayo ikaleni naimwe (Mum sit down)’, Justin’s half-sister Priscilla cried out to her mother who was now up facing the Judge.
‘Are you threatening me or the accused’, the judge asked.
They was silence in the room…
‘I thought so, Mrs. Kunda you can continue.’
‘My names are Felicia Mwamba Kunda, I and the deceased; Justin Kunda met five years ago and were married for three years. The lady he was found in bed with Chimuka Hamonga; at the time of his death, was a maid I had fired two months ago.’
‘Thank you Mrs. Kunda, court adjoined to Friday.’ The Judge announced.
The guards led me to my cell and locked me up. In the three months I had been here, I had cried, prayed, talked to lawyers but all seemed in vain. Two days from now my fate would be decided, I loved Justin so much I would never hurt him and I know he would never cheat on me. What was killing me was how he got in that bed with Chimuka, I had so many questions and it seemed to me that he had died with all the answers.
Justin’s parents had refused to bury his body until they saw to it that I was behind bars; two months of my husband’s body being in the morgue. Now here I am, alone in this cell and at this point am starting to believe that maybe I did kill him.
When the world is totally against you, even your inner voice sounds like a liar. Maybe I did murder him, or maybe am just going insane.
‘Felicia it’s high time you leave my son’s house because between you and him, I don’t see who the woman is,’ my mother in law spoke up.
This is something that had been going on for the past three years and trust me I was actually breaking. Every morning I questioned God as to why I had been put in such a situation. At first I could go for hours whilst praying and Justin could also join me in prayer but that had slowly decreased in the last two months. As if that wasn’t enough, my mother in law had come here three weeks ago with intentions of moving me out.
‘Mum, I have faith in God. Honestly do you think that am doing this on purpose; not having a child? I know how much my husband wants a child and I do too but we just have to wait on the Lord.’ I responded making sure not to face her.
‘Felicia listen to me, I don’t hate you. I have known you and Justin to be a happy couple but a child will increase the joy in this house. I asked you to see a witch doctor but all these charismatic prayers of yours keep getting in your way. Tell me how long are we going to wait? Seven more years? Am not getting any younger, neither is my son. Who will take over once his gone, do you want our family name to die with him.’ She asked whilst sobbing.
‘Mum please we have talked about this over and over again. Am not dying anytime soon and Felicia will give me a child when God sees it right.’ Justin responded
‘Justin shut up. I said shut up. How long will you defend her, I know you don’t have a problem. Both you and I know that.’ She said this time with fury
‘Mum I would suggest you leave my house, you have over stayed your welcome.’ he said pointing to the door.
‘And where do you expect me to go this time of the night Justin? Have you seen what you have done, you can’t give me a grandchild now you have turned my son against me. Felicia you will not see peace as long as I am alive, that’s a promise.’
With that she left
‘Do you care to tell me what that was about,’ I asked my husband.
‘Felicia what you don’t know won’t kill you, let it go.’ My husband responded with no remorse
‘Justin your mother says that you and she know that you don’t have a problem, you expect me to just let that go. Has it come to this, what happened to us? To not keeping secrets between us. Are you also seeing me as a barren woman like the rest of the world?’ I asked with a strong face.
‘I have a long day tomorrow, don’t switch on the lights when you come to bed.’ With that he walked away leaving me standing.
I was getting really worried, this is not the man I got married to, and I sat in the living room and started reminiscing on how we met.
My best friend back in the day was dating his best friend, I and him being single; we were hooked up and that is how we got together. Our best friends are no longer together but I and him were so in love and got married.
I didn’t know what the problem was, we did all the medical tests together and they showed that we were both fine but our marriage was slowly hanging on a thread because I couldn’t give my husband an heir. Justin comes from a well to do family and having an heir is a must and being the only male child he has always been the sacrificial lamb.
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I walked to the bedroom slowly and went straight to the bathroom, I showered up and went to sleep. I made sure not to switch on the lights because my husband had told me not to. Every night was becoming hard to sleep and the lump on my throat was getting bigger by the day, I would pray and cry myself to sleep. My tears were finally giving up and now the only thing I could feel was an emptiness.
‘Feli, Feli, kindly wake up. We need to talk,’ my husband said whilst shaking me hysterically.
‘Baby don’t you have work in the morning? What time is it? Can’t whatever it is wait till morning?’ I asked him in a sleepy voice.
‘Feli, if you want to save this marriage you better wake up.’ He told me.
I finally managed to sit upright, I looked at the time and it was 03:20am. From his eyes one could tell that he had been up for some time now.
‘I am up, what is it? What is that which can’t wait till morning? I asked him.
‘Feli before I met you I got a girl pregnant.’ He told me
‘Justine it is too early for jokes, can I go back to sleep now?’ I told him
‘And why would I lie about that? To blame you for our childlessness?’ he asked
‘Well you are the one saying that not me, is that the reason why your mother said the things she said to me earlier on?’ I asked
‘Feli this is something I told myself that I would never tell anyone, not even the woman I would marry. Whilst I was in school I got a girl pregnant. I was in grade twelve she was doing her ninth grade, I swear I didn’t know she was a minor.’ He told me.
I kept quite waiting for him to finish whatever he had started.
‘She told me and I was scared, my mother had my life laid out since day one. I decided to tell my mother because I was young and the burden was too much; she invited the girl over and gave her some food, what we didn’t know is that the food was poisoned. After she left for her place, we got a phone call in the night that she had been admitted at the hospital. Upon reaching we were told that she tried to abort and it was successful, my mother denied knowing anything about the pregnancy and that I wasn’t aware as well. After she was discharged, her parents took her out of Lusaka and that was the last I saw of her.’ He narrated
‘Well, why didn’t you try to look for her? When did you know that she was making everything up?’ I asked
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To be continued