Mama earth is full of mysteries. Kabudula had colossal sums of money and his wife, Nagama, was a woman to be proud of. She, as well as being a good housekeeper, was a fine companion whom he could trust and confide in and a glittering ornament to the position he held in the society. He was respected and envied in the community, but, despite all this, his family was crippled by childlessness.
This predicament had brought shame on him, a shame that was so paralysing. It had trampled his pride down and eroded the respect he commanded among the people. For 15 years, he had waited but no child came. What was more confusing was that medical reports indicated that he was okay, so was his wife.
He felt strong indignation towards his fate. In his quest to overcome the puerility, he had left no stone unturned. Casting back in his mind, he recalled the pastor of his church telling him that all he needed was the faith of Abraham.
“You must have faith and God will honour it one day,” the pastor had said assuredly, but after unfruitful years of waiting, he had resorted to witch-doctors. To his disappointment again, all of them were more of a hindrance than help. Each one had told him the same old boring story that his problem would be water under the bridge. At first, he had believed them, but as their prophecies did not come to pass, he had lost trust in them.
He was now hopeless and his life was engulfed in poignant unhappiness. He felt deeply ashamed with no one to crutch him. Rebuke came from all angles, even his wife.
“You’re the greatest disappointment, Kabudula. Why don’t you stop this madness now?” his parents would scold him and his uncle would say shamelessly: “If you’ve grown cold down there, you tell me, I can help you.”
His friends too emitted their dishonest sympathies and in the background turned him into a butt of endless jokes. Insults he earned due to the predicament haunted him and he was sick to death over them as they rankled in his mind.
He slided into drinking without remembering or knowing how, but soon realized this was the trick of obviating his calamity. To his relief, the beer gentled down the pitiless sun of reality that beat down on him. When his wife, Nagama, complained, Kabudula told her she knew better.
He became bibulous quickly and started coming home intoxicated almost daily. It seemed he found solace at the tavern and frequented his visits there. He had no regrets. Beer was the only friend that he had who consoled him in a world that was cruel to him. It was under this genial influence of beer that he got attracted to his house girl and slept with her. The house girl was a lanky overgrown lady who was thin and shapeless-a very umbrella of a woman. But on this day, she looked an exquisite work of nature to him.
Weeks later, the house girl confessed to Kabudula that she was pregnant for him and he immediately realised that he had committed a tremendous boon. A dry crumb of ambivalence bivouacked in his mind. His thoughts were the confused orders of a ratted army to rally itself before it was too late. He did not know how to handle the issue at hand that was about to expose his unfaithfulness. He began scolding himself as a morbid fool for sinking so low to sleep with a house girl. Certainly, people would laugh at him.
Then something told him to stop bickering over the matter as this act was an island in time, to be judged on its own. Of course, he had impregnated a house girl but the fact was his long nightmare was finally over. People would understand him. He had taken the roughs in life for so long. The house girl had brought joy in his bruised heart.
For 15 good years, he had been a brave man who had smiled in the face of adversity. He had had the heart to endure the calamity and kept his end up. He had pretended to be callous to the insults but his patience of Job had been exhausted. He was not a simpton who would sit down and sneeze at an opportunity God had accorded him just like that. He believed this was circuitous answer from God.
He felt bad to do this to his wife who had submitted to him in everything for the 15 years of their married life. Her awesome beauty had added further lustre to his name. But all this was immaterial now. For the fact that she could not bear him children, she was a hussy and a wasting asset whose rate of depreciation was over 90 percent.
For the house girl, she had given him what he had desired most in life. She was worth a million of his wife. She had given him hope, happiness and restored his pride and respect. This phenomenon to him held a special significance that she could not put into words. It was a key that would prove his innocence and earn him the respect he had lost from his relatives and friends alike.
He felt no qualms. All he was to do was telling his wife that he was taking the house girl as a second wife and if she did not want, she could leave.