Chief Timbabu was a man whose mere presence could cause men of timber and caliber to tremble, men who are very well respected in the political and government scenes, men who the citizens of the entire state of Lasegeria respected and honoured; yet these men bowed to the supreme authority of his words. An authority he brandished everywhere but in his home.
Anyone who ever finds him or herself in the know of how his home scene operates would be amazed at the stark contrast when compared to what his political scene was like. The roaring and ruthless lion of politics and national government, Chief Timbabu, was reduced to a mere bleeding goat in his home, an object of disdain and disgust. Whatever authority he seemed to wield outside of his home was watered down as soon as he stepped foot into his home, one which he rarely visits.
He had met his wife Narini, dancing at a club many years back. She looked pleasant to the eyes, enough for him to consider recruiting her to warm his loins for the night as he was wont to do. It was supposed to be a single event as he had paid her handsomely after she granted him his wish, of course, he had insisted that he had no business with protection even though she wasn’t having it earlier but later gave in. This would result in a pregnancy.
When Narini found out that she was pregnant and decided to tell the chief, she simply expected him to buy her silence with money. She wasn’t expecting the chief to ask to marry her. It was the stuff of dreams for her as she had never known what comfort or luxury meant since she came from a home that had no idea of either. A testament to her deciding to leave her village to find her way to the city and finally landed in the club doing business with her body until she met the chief, got pregnant for him and now he was asking her to marry him; of course she said yes.
They would go on to have a son named Aryakshu. Aryakshu hated his father so much so that he couldn’t wait to leave him and go to college. On the day he was to leave, all he had for his father was a bland one-sided hug, and he was glad to be off and away.
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Chief, however, wasn’t having the attitude his wife was putting on. He tried to confront her, and she responded with accusations, especially after reading all she had from Kassim’s publication that the maid had earlier fetched her. All the chief could do was leave in a rage, leaving a trail of broken vases and jars in his wake.
Narini was beyond furious after reading the paper a friend of hers brought her. It was full of stories about her husband, Chief Timbabu, which she did know were not all lies. When she had married Chief Timbabu, she did have a clue he was a drug addict and was in the business of black money. How? What? Since when? She did not know all the details; neither did she try to find out. She met him in a bar where she worked as an escort. At that point, Narini was desperate to find a full-time job. She was tired of being treated like a commodity.
Growing up, Narini always found herself out of place. She had never seen her father who was a white man who came looking for an adventure in Africa and left her mother with a baby in the belly. Her mother did not like speaking of him because she might have been an adventure for him, but she had fallen in love with the strange white man. Narini was born with a dusky complexion, that made her look neither like her white father or her black mother. She was a combination of her mother’s mesmerizing night-like beauty with a touch of her father’s color. She always thought she was a misfit even in her school.
As she reached puberty, she noticed the eyes turning in her direction were full of appreciation and sometimes even lust. Her mother had always struggled to earn enough so that they did not have to sleep with an empty belly, but Narini hated her and the lifestyle they had. She always dreamed of becoming a super-model. The ones that flashed in the big cities on massive billboards. She had only visited a big city once in her life when she was a little girl, and that was when she started
believing she wasn’t born to live like her mother. She knew she deserved better. In search of her dreams she met many men who used her innocence and gave her false hopes and empty promises. After three years of running after such men, Narini gave up on her dreams and started using her body to make money instead.
Every night she would go in the most expensive bar in town and tried to catch the attention of rich men who were looking for some fun. She was meticulous though; she did not want to repeat the mistake that her mother made. In fact, Narini never wanted to have children at all. The night she met Timbabu, at once she knew he had a lot of money and he was also the best dressed amongst them, so she smiled alluringly at him from across the bar. He smiled back and bought her a drink later. A couple of drinks later, they ended up in Timbabu’s yacht. Timbabu was so drunk that he kept insisting her to let him go unprotected. Narini couldn’t believe herself when she let him have her way. The next morning, she was paid a significant amount, and she happily left only to find out two months later that she was pregnant.
Narini came straight to Timbabu, not expecting anything more than some money to keep her mouth shut but that day may be the goddess of good luck was winking at her. After hearing her out, Chief Timbabu had sat there with a blank expression, and after a few minutes he had asked Narini if she would marry him. Narini could not believe her ears, but once she knew that Chief was not joking, she had accepted his offer right away. One signature later, she had become a billionaire’s wife.
To her utter surprise, Timbabu had been an okay husband but an incredibly loving father. When Aryakshu had arrived, the chief had been around a lot more than he had been before. Also, showering her with gifts and money so that she would take care of his son more was his favorite thing to do. Narini never wanted him either, as long as he was supporting them financially but as Aryakshu grew up, he wanted his father, not new toys or clothes or fun parties. Time passed, and Aryakshu graduated from school, and he grew more and quieter as he matured. He despised his father for all the stories he kept hearing from his mates about chief Timbabu’s illegal practices.
Even though it had been years, Narini still was an insecure woman. She never had any issues with Timbabu’s mistress or past flames, she could lose him, but she could not afford to lose the luxuries and wealth that had come with her marriage with the chief. To be in the place she now was, she had given up so much, even the comfort of having a loving husband around. She knew she would be even lonelier when Aryakshu has left for college tomorrow, but she knew what she was signing up when she had him.
Nothing bothered the greedy insecure woman inside Narini more than the fear that her luxurious life might be snatched someday. That was why she was going insane since she had read the piece of news about her husband. She had known all along that he was so addicted to drugs that he had to take the amount that could kill a dinosaur rather than making it high, and still did not feel much. Some even wondered how chief Timbabu could even stand after consuming so much of the drugs. She also had an idea about how he made his money and why he was so power high, but she simply did not care. But now when she read the entire thing, she understood that his business did not only involve blackmailing people, he had blood on his hands too. Blood of the innocents and deep inside she was kind of happy that Aryakshu was going far away from all this. He had nothing to do with his father’s dark reality.
Aryakshu was all set to leave in the evening, and Timbabu had come to bid him goodbye. He even looked teary-eyed at one moment which Aryakshu completely ignored. While they ate their lunch, the chief tried to initiate a conversation many times, but Aryakshu’s one-word replies were enough to kill his attempts. Narini was on the edge of her seat all this time ready to explode, but she wanted Aryakshu to leave first. As Aryakshu hugged her before getting into the car, she felt despondent for the first time. Aryakshu had never gone away for so long, and this was now making her feel nervous. After Narini, Aryakshu gave his father an awkward one-arm hug and sat in the car. The house became quieter with Aryakshu gone. Narini sighed and dragged her feet towards inside of the house.
Timbabu followed her looking all gloomy when she stormed off into her room. She knew she did not want to speak to him right now or it could get ugly. To her utter disbelief, he followed her to her room also. It’s been a long time since he had last come into their bedroom. She turned to him and asked him bluntly.
“WHAT? WHY ARE YOU FOLLOWING ME AROUND LIKE A PUPPY?” Her voice cracked at the edges.
It took Timbabu by surprise, and he felt his temper rising, too.
“What the fuck did you say to me, woman?” He pointed his index finger in her direction.
“Keep this tone reserved for the whores you spend your nights with. I am not buying any of it.” Her voice became quieter but cold as ice with razor-sharp edges.
“Shut the fuck up. Who lit a fire under your butt today?” Timbabu was ready to pounce.
“You don’t know anything. Do you?” Narini spat back.
“No, I do not. If you are in a bad mood because you are missing your son already, go find some other activity. Go buy some expensive stuff with my money Isn’t it something you love doing?”
“The money you make by putting people to a sleep that they would never wake from?” The venom in Narini’s voice was something Timbabu was unfamiliar with.
“Are you crazy? What are you talking about?” Chief Timbabu clearly looked annoyed now. “Are you also buying the lies that batshit crazy paper feeding you all?”
“If they were really lying then why are you sweating bullets even when you are talking about them in front of me only?” Narini looked at him straight in the eyes.
“Because they are lies. Will you believe that paper more than you believe your husband?” Timbabu shouted.
“I think they are not lies.” She retorted in a calmer voice.
“Then go fuck yourself.” Timbabu pushed her on the bed and left the room fuming. He was ready to shove everything that came in his way. He was not going to give in easy. He had made numerous sacrifices to become the king of the jungle, and anyone who would want to challenge him would have to go past his dead body to get there.
It was a war from which he was not coming out alive, that was for sure so he would make sure that he fights ugly to protect what was his.
On his way to the exit, he kicked and pushed the furniture and vases shattering them to shards. Chief Timbabu was furious, and he would destroy anything that blocked his way.