Jabali's Redemption - Episode 23
‘No, no Neema, how could you?’ mama wailed, her hands on top of her head, crying and cursing after finding out Neema had gone ahead and married Jabali earlier that day.
‘Mama it was the only way,’ she swallowed back her tears, she needed to explain to her mama that if she didn’t do what she did, Jabali was going to render them destitute.
‘The only way for what? Why do you think you can shoulder the burdens of this family alone? Why did you Neema?’
‘I couldn’t let Jabali get to Ngao, not the way he did Naiti.’ Neema lost the fight with tears, they streamed down her cheeks, why didn’t mama understand?
‘I practically sent Naiti to his death and am afraid mama, am afraid history will repeat itself if I don’t do anything,’
‘Neema, when will you learn, you had nothing to do with Naiti’s death? You have been beating up yourself for this for a long time, when will you stop? This hatred and anger inside you has led you to make this decision to marry Jabali. You have to stop,’ mama pleaded with her, her voice soft and her eyes glistening with tears.
‘Am sorry mama, I was only trying to help,’ Neema wondered if her mama’s words were true, was hate and anger blinding her?
‘No, dear you don’t have to be sorry for anything,’ . mama sat down beside her in the sofa and took Neema’s hand, ‘the sacrifices you make for this family is commendable but you have to think about yourself too
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. Marriage is a lifelong commitment and you have bound yourself to Jabali, how will you cope Neema?’
Neema never thought that far. A lifelong commitment. Dear lord what had she sign herself up to?
‘As long as you and Naiti are safe, I will be okay mama,’ she tried to console herself, ‘here, this is our new title deed, it is legit and no one will ever come and send us away,’ Neema wiped her tears and reached for the white envelop inside her handbag, she gave it to her mama.
After scrutinizing the tittle deed, mama released a sad smile, ‘it is all my fault, is should have told you that your father never owned this piece of land. I wanted to protect you from all the ugliness Neema.’
‘Its okay, now we have land and Jabali swore to keep off Ngao. He will not come anywhere near you two again…’
‘At the expense of your happiness,’ mama whispered, ‘how did we get to this? You don’t deserve any of this, you deserve a big wedding, with your family surrounding you but instead you got married on a chilly Monday morning. My poor daughter, you should have called me and I would have put an end to this matter.’
Neema shook her head, ‘Jabali was very persuasive,’ I didn’t stand a chance, Neema thought.
‘He also gave me something else, my bride price,’ she fetched another envelop, Jabali had handed her a blank signed check, to write the amount of bride price she wanted. Neema had instantly refused the cheque but in a true Jabali fashion, he ignored her and forced her to have it. After a lot of thought, Neema thought it would be wise to give the cheque to her mama.
‘Neema, keep it.’ Mama refused to take the cheque,
‘Why? This will come in handy in rainy days. take it. Ngao is bound to join college nextyear and we need the funds,’
‘Do you have any savings?’ mama asked her, Neema shook her head. Her bank balance was embarrassing.
‘Then you keep it. All you need is blessings from me,’
Neema remembered earlier in the day when Jabali had drove her back home from the county commissioner’s office. he had wanted to meet her mama so that they can ask for her blessings but Neema adamantly refused to let him.
‘No Jabali, you have done enough for today, you should have thought about that before you extorted and blackmailed me,’
‘Would you have agreed if I came and proposed straight outward?’ he asked,
‘No, not in a million years,’ she vehemently answered back,
‘Then you get why I did this,’ that was how that conversation ended.
Neema’s phone vibrated from her handbag and she was drawn from her depressing thoughts. She pulled it out and Lulu’s name flashed back at her,
‘Take the call, we will continue this conversation later,’ her mama encouraged leaving the room, the black cheque in the envelop sitting on her bed.
‘Lulu,’ she put her friend on,
‘Neema, are you okay? I heard what happened earlier today,’ Lulu asked in a worried voice,
Neema was surprised of that, the whole thing was hush hush, Jabali had been so secretive about the whole issue, how did Lulu find out?
‘Aluvisa called me to check on you,’
‘Oh,’ so it was Aluvisa who told her, ‘yes Lulu am fine. Am a married woman now.’
‘You don’t sound so happy about that,’ Lulu commented in a small voice, ‘brides are always happy on their wedding days,’
‘Not this bride,’ Neema tried to make her voice upbeat but she failed miserably,
‘Oh Neema, I am sorry. I didn’t Jabali would go that far. Aluvisa has swore to break his nose for you and I will have a few words with him when he comes back.’ Lulu tried to console her friend,’ what is wrong with Jabali dropping such a bomb at you and leaving or the city? For business? Is he serious?’
‘Yap, that is Jabali for you,’ Neema lay back on her bed, exhausted, exhaustion catching up with her.
‘Not even a honeymoon?’
That had Neema sitting up straight, ‘a…a honeymoon? That is not the nature of our relationship,’
Neema sighed then proceeded to tell Lulu of the whole charade from the beginning to the end where ordered her to pack up and she had a week to put her affairs in order because when he came back. He would pick her up and they would proceed to go to the Kasri mansion up the mountain to begin the married life.
‘Buda what was all that about,’ Jabali touched his sore jaw where Aluvisa had landed him a punch, he had stumbled back a step from the force of it. He could taste the tangy taste of blood on his mouth.
‘For Neema you fool,’ Aluvisa huffed, ‘how could you do that to her? The moment I think you are reforming, you end up doing something like this,’
‘The marriage between me and Neema was inevitable, you knew that,’ Jabali flexed his jaw trying to ease the pain. They stood on the rooftop of an upscale
‘I thought you were going to court her, woo her, win her over. Not force her to sign a wedding certificate with you. What was possibly going through your mind Jabali?’ Aluvisa threw his hands up in frustration.
‘I could not let Akila get her first,’ Jabali removed a cigarette from the inner pocket of his coat and lighted it, taking a big puff and inhaling the cancerous smoke, completely ignoring the do not smoke sign. It had been long since he had smoked, he loosened his tie and leaned against the rail overlooking the paranormal view of Nairobi city.
They were attending an investors meeting at Nairobi city for a few days.
‘What?’ Aluvisa looked at him incredulously, ‘you did this because of Akila?”
‘He was getting comfy with her, sending her flowers, gifts and turning my office reception into a miniature garden. I couldn’t let him have her,’
‘You married Neema because you were jealous because Akila was making Neema happy?’ Aluvisa asked disbelievingly, he couldn’t believe Jabali would go that far because he was jealous.
‘I am not jealous,’ he hotly replied back taking deep puff of the cigarette, he let out the smoke his eyes dark with emotions that Aluvisa couldn’t begin to interpret.
‘Neema can’t be happy while am not. She has to pay for leaving me behind and running to the city. She can’t be happy while am wallowing in anguish,’
Aluvisa shook his head, ‘Jabali whatever grudge you have against Neema is misplaced, whatever happened with Naiti all those years ago both of you had no control over it. Stop obsessing over the past,’
‘She convicted me to death and left. She didn’t give me a chance to explain myself and now she wants to go ahead and be in a relationship with Akila, my rival? a man hell bent to taking over my birthright? the company? I have worked so much hard for this company to lose the reigns now. Do you know she smiles at him but frowns whenever I come near her? She’s smiling at him, the same way she used to smile at me! she’s my wife now, she can’t go smiling at him,’ his voice had risen an octave higher, he removed the finished cigarette from his mouth and stamped on it under his black polished shoes.
‘What kind of bushman mentality is that?!’ Aluvisa couldn’t believe what he was hearing, Jabali had been so jealous seeing Neema and Akila that he decided to marry her. He didn’t know whether to laugh or sympathize with Jabali.
‘Kasri, fancy seeing you here,’ Akila’s voice had both Jabali and Aluvisa turning to face him. It seemed he had also left the meeting behind to join them on the roof, they were standing on a Heli pad of the hotel.
Jabali raised his eyebrow at him for a second before taking out a new cigarette and lighting it up, turning back to the view ahead of him, giving Akila his back, ignoring him. Aluvisa sighed and smiled at Akila. Jabali was behaving like a caveman. First practically forcing Neema to marry him and now this.
‘Out to enjoy the evening air?’ Aluvisa asked trying to create conversation and diffuse the obvious tension between the two. Ever since Akila had declared that he was going to run for the leadership of the company, Jabali has been giving him cold shoulder.
‘That was a bold move Kasri,’ Akila ignored Aluvisa’s small talk,’ I have to hand it over to you,’
‘I have no idea what you are talking about,’ Jabali didn’t turn around to face him,
‘Marrying Neema just when I was so close to convince her to be my girlfriend and propose to her.’ At Neema’s name, Jabali turned around and raised his cut eyebrow at Akila. He leisurely puffed his cigarette,
‘Watch it now, you are talking about Mrs. Kasri now,’
Akila chuckled, ‘this is not over, you might have decided to get married for the sake of votes in to secure your seat but…’
‘But what?’ Jabali threw the cigarette blunt down and fully faced Akila, ‘don’t pretend you didn’t plan on using the same plan to win over votes in the company. I just beat you to it,’
‘At least I was honestly interested in Neema though I didn’t think she would cast me aside this quickly,’
Jabali screwed his face and took another step close to Akila, standing face to face with him, ‘I said she is now Mrs.
Read " The Dancing Bride And Her Spirit Warrior " by the same author ( Razia Iminza )
. Kasri to you, remember that Mr. Okumu, and show my wife some respect,’
‘Jealousy is an ugly color on you Kasri, you might win this round but you have not won. I will be the director general of Tembo Tea Company,’ Akila answered back just as fiercely, he didn’t seem intimidated by Jabali’s roguish behavior. He then turned around and left,
‘That is why you married her in a hurried fashion,’ Aluvisa nodded his head in understanding, ‘you wanted to win votes against Akila in the next election.’ He tapped his jaw in thought, ‘you and Akila are practically equals. The board would have been torn apart in choosing one of you so what do you? You chose to get married to a local girl. A local girl will boost your reputation with the inhabitants of this town. A very smart move Jabali, shrewd and it makes me wonder what other discerning moves you have created in your head,’ Aluvisa shook his head in disappointment, Jabali ignored his friend and gave him his back.
‘For a moment I though you were genuinely interested in Neema but no. it is all about the company. You have dragged herinto a war she doesn’t have nothing to do with, I wonder how you managed to convince her to marry you,’
‘That is none of your business Aluvisa,’ Jabali sighed and put his fists deep inside his pocket,’
‘It is my business because both of us promised to protect her that night her brother was bleeding to death in the muddy trench where we were trapped,’ Aluvisa shouted out loud not caring if anyone was hearing, Jabali closed his eyes and gritted his teeth, ‘Neema is dealing with a lot, Majid is hell bent on getting back on her, she doesn’t deserve you to come and mess her life,’
‘Majid will never come anywhere near Neema again,’ Jabali said through clenched teeth, ‘I have already dealt with him,’
‘Dealt with him?’ Aluvisa scoffed, ‘by beating him up and threatening him? Do you think that will make him stop? It didn’t stop him when we were younger and you think it will now?’
‘I can only do as much, Neema refused to report the bastard, she is reluctant and I can’t force her to do it. It’s not that simple,’
‘So, what now? After you manage to secure your position in the company then what will happen to Neema? Will you cast her aside because her business is done? Have you thought that far out?’
‘Neema is my wife now and I will protect her, nothing will happen to her,’ Jabali vowed,
‘I hope for the love of God you are saying the truth Jabali or else you will have to deal with me,’ Aluvisa warned and started walking away but paused on the staircase, he looked at his friend, ‘Take care Jabali, don’t let the company become a downfall for you, your father has been dead for a longtime don’t let him control you from the grave,’
Hey everyone, sorry for the late update. Kindly be patient with me.
So how far will this sham of marriage between Jabali and Neema go? Tell me your thoughts.
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