Take My Dreams Home
by Temba Magorimbo
As I turned the AWD Bedford truck out of Bulawayo Road into Lundi Road, Mona was looking out of the window, seat belts on her mind revolving in a whirr around and around. She held her smooth hands within the proximity of her lap. I could not say she was crying because I could not see her face. I braked in order to give way to traffic before making a right turn into South Downs. My heart too was burning because I knew she was in pain too.
Actually, like most loving couples, the more severe the problems, the tighter we held on. Being young meant that we were hot blooded. It started raining suddenly. I switched the wipers on as I engaged the lorry into fifth drive before going into sixth which was travelling gear.
We had left home early the past evening when Mona had been complaining of pains. I remember we were in the paddock when my general hand had come running.
“Sir, madam is calling.”
“In a moment.”
“She said you were to hurry,” was the response.
“Women, “ I complained washing my hands leaving my workers to the task of feeding the little piglets. Like summers all over the country, this time was full of rains, cold and mud. The farm had a dairy herd of about eighty cattle, a beef herd of about forty to be sold in April and replaced promptly by weaners while another herd of about forty-eight would be sold in August and replace promptly too. Those bought in August were sold the following year in December or April. I found her by the fireplace looking forlorn. “I was busy. Why did you call me?”
“I will go to the maternity hospital alone if you are busy,” she had replied.
“Is it time?”
“Yes,” she had replied.
I patted her on the shoulder as I went into the bath like a buccaneer wind. Soon I was presentable looking for the car keys. I swore, as I could not locate them. I took the keys for our AWD Bedford instead.
I touched and caressed her tummy before helping her get on board. I had returned four hours later. It rained heavily that evening. Our small bridges were flooded by early morning such that I had to tale the AWD Bedford, which could ford through the water without stalling for the maternity hospital.
When I arrived, they took me to her ward. She was fast asleep. Peace was on her face. I knew she had been grave. I sat by her side close on thirty minutes.
“Mona dear,” I replied. “I should have been here earlier but the bridges were flooded so I had to take the AWD Bedford truck.”
“No sweat,” she had replied before bursting into tears. I gave her my shoulders and for ten minutes, she cried before being quite again. “I lost the baby.”
I thought for a minute or two.
“I am sorry Mona,” I touched her hair. “I will be with you everyday.”
I stood by when they torched the baby that had like its other predecessor a year ago refused to be part of my family. Mona could not stand it. My maternal aunt came to shower Mona with motherly affection. I dropped my aunt in Riverside suburb before cutting through Kopje Road and here we were driving towards our farm where everything else had worked for us except the chance to be parents.
I made coffee. She took the mug and sipped carefully compressing her lips her eyes seeing through the burning embers of the fire.
“What if I have fail to have a baby?” she had asked.
“I asked a gynaecologist about your problem,” I replied. “He suggested that we save a lot of money.”
“You have a weak heart Mona, you will never carry a pregnancy beyond six months. We will need have you interned at a hospital in South Africa after the fifth month of pregnancy. Then it will be a risk however. I want to tell you something Mona, two years ago I asked you to be my wife and you agreed. I did not marry you because you are a financial controller and me a commercial farmer who does dairy, beef, cereals and pigs.”
“I know the end of the 10,000-word lecture. You love me,” she replied.
“Correct and even if we never ever have a baby, I have still got you,” I replied. She smiled. Nothing made me as happy as seeing her smile like that again after all the pain.
On The morrow when I came back from plodding through the fields looking at my maize, soya, sunflower, ground nut, monkey nut, monkey bean and sugar bean crop, I found her in the house having made an early supper. A suitcase sat in the lounge when I had washed and changed.
“I am leaving.”
“You want to be with your mom?” I asked and she nodded. We had supper together sharing jokes before I took the AWD Bedford which I trusted to ford all flooded rivers on our twenty-three kilometre ride to town. I drove further a full one hundred and twenty seven kilometres to my mother-in-law‘s place. We were welcomed. She refused me permission to start back. I slept over coming back the following day.
Three weeks later I swung the AWD Bedford loaded with stock feeds covered by a green tent cloth against the summer rain squalls that were being exchanged by sunny days. I broke the rules parking the lorry where the coaches were parked. I guess I was five minutes late because Mona was sitting on her two suitcases waiting for me with a woollen blanket draped over her dress.
A farm hand loaded her luggage before he hoisted himself in the tail section sitting inside the tent cloth. Mona climbed into the truck. “Mart, I missed you darling.”
“So did I,” I hugged her.
“I missed you darling. Who cares if we do not ever have a child? As long as we still have our piglets,” she replied. “I guess they are all the family we have between the two of us.”
I was still laughing as I engaged gears when there was a rap on my window. I lowered the window and looked into the eyes of a traffic police officer.
“Would you mind moving on or do I issue you with a ticket sir?”