By Lawrence Kadzitche
Delifa rolled her eyes coquettishly. “If its Aids you are afraid of, I have got gloves,” she paused and opened her handbag to reveal a pack of condoms. “I play it safe: no condoms, no love.”
Singileti glanced at Delifa over the rim of his glass of beer. She was a strikingly attractive young woman with a body like something out of an erotic painting. But prostitutes, beautiful or otherwise, weren’t for him. He had a loving wife and two children to cherish.
Finishing his beer at one gulp, Singileti got to his feet. “I’ve got to go, Deli.” He blew her a kiss. “I’ll see you Friday evening.”
She followed him with her eyes until he left the nightclub. In her life, no man had made her feel the way she felt about Singileti. He was young, handsome and very rich.
She couldn’t tell whether it was the money or looks or a combination of both that pulled her to him like a magnet. But of one thing she was sure. She wanted Singileti. And not just for fun but for keeps.
“I’m going to any length to get him!” she hissed.
“Disappointed again?” a voice asked at her shoulder.
She looked up, surprised. It was Agnes, a co-worker at the nightclub. Although she had no claim to beauty and was turning fifty, she was always getting the best men in the club.
“I want that man badly. I would do anything to get him,” Delifa said hotly. “But he’s beyond my reach.”
Agnes smiled to show big uneven teeth. “No man is out of reach if a woman is serious about getting him. See me tomorrow in my room and you’ll have that handsome guy chasing after you like a dog on heat.”
The next morning Delifa went to see Agnes. She was convinced the middle-aged woman had not been talking idly.
“To get a man of your choice, you cannot just rely on your looks,” Agnes said looking at her unprepossessing figure.
“Look at me, I don’t cheat myself that I’m pretty but men fall for me like ripe mangoes.”
“What do you do?” Delifa inquired eagerly.
“Mitsitsi, Deli. I use love potions- magic charms,” she whispered.
Delifa regarded Agnes. She was a short woman, coal black in complexion and fat like a maggot. If the charms made men get attracted to such an ugly middle aged woman what would they do to a beautiful girl like her?
Agnes reached under her bed and fished out a bundle wrapped in a dirty, stinking cloth.
“You said Singileti is coming Friday,” she said opening the bundle. “When you meet him, chew this; it will make your voice sound sweet. This powder, which you must rub in your hands, will be for establishing sexual rapport. And this small ball of herbs which you must drop in his drink is to make sure he will stay under your spell.”
On Friday, Singileti was sipping his beer at the counter of the nightclub when the sweetest voice he had ever heard greeted him.
He turned around, surprised. “Oh it’s you Deli; I didn’t recognise your voice!”
“How can you forget the voice of your darling, honey?” she purred, offering him her hand.
The moment Singileti took her hand; he felt his whole body tingle with delight. Delifa suddenly become a vision of amazing beauty and he found himself blinking in the glare of her dazzling beauty. The shimmering red satin dress she was in looked as if it had been melted on her.
Jesus! How could he have been blind all this time? This incredibly beautiful woman was his idea of a woman!
“Darling, let’s go and sit outside. I’ll carry the drinks,” Delifa’s voice jolted him out of his trance.
As she was picking the drinks, she slipped a small ball of herbs into Singileti’s glass. The herbs instantly dissolved in the beer.
They went outside and sat at a sheltered and secluded spot. She threw herself on Singileti’s lap, facing him. She was surprised when he offered no protest.
Good Lord! It was working. She was going to have the man of his dreams! She chewed at the gum-like substance Agnes had given her with renewed vigour.
“You know what, Deli?” Singileti said, cupping her face. “You’re the most beautiful girl I have even seen.”
Delifa giggled and threw her arms around his neck. “What about your wife?”
“My wife?” Singileti asked as if he had forgotten that he had a wife. “She’s nothing!”
And that came from deep down his heart. He hadn’t planned to sleep at Delifa’s house but somehow he slept there. And likewise he found himself spending the following night at the house. He would have spent the third day there hadn’t Delifa reminded him that it was a Monday and he had to go to work.
He rushed home to change into a suit. When he arrived, he found his wife distraught with worry. “Where were you, dear?” she asked with relief.
Singileti looked at her as if she was a piece of trash. He couldn’t find any feature he could call attractive. And her voice irritated him. How on earth had he married her and put up five years with her?
“Well, since you want to know where I was, I’ll tell you,” he replied with marked insolence. “I have just found the woman of my dreams. I was with her.”
Joanna was shocked. This could not be true. It must be a very bad dream. Singileti was a devoted and loving husband. There was no way he could just charge suddenly.
But it was not a dream. Singileti had changed completely. The loving husband had disappeared to be replaced by an abusive one.
The following months became a living hell for her. Singileti rarely slept at home and even stopped providing for her.
When he sent her away and indicated that he wanted to marry Delifa, his parents and friends objected strongly. They said he was making a terrible mistake, the marriage would not last. “You are like water and oil mixed together. How can a marriage between an educated and successful manager and an uneducated, empty –headed prostitute work out?”
But Singileti’s love for Delifa had reached the stage where one does not pay heed to orthodox advice but rely on the heart. He declared that he was going to marry Delifa whether they liked it or not.
A month later, an ecstatic Delifa burst into Agnes’ room. “Today, Singi is going to take me to his house as his wife!”
“What did I tell you?” enthused Agnes “No man is outside a woman’s reach if the woman uses love potions.”
Delifa nodded smugly like a cat that has caught a mouse.