Back to the Past

Back to the Past

It was ten years ago and for the first time since they met, Dena was in Anatole’s apartment in Harare. She had taken the bus. As far as her mother was concerned, she had gone to the Joina City shopping mall. Mrs. didn’t mind as long as Dena was home by 11pm even though it was a Saturday.

So that she wouldn’t be lying to her mother, Dena did go to the mall for about and she went into one of the stores to buy a new pair of earrings. She checked out a couple of the shoe stores and then, she went to catch the bus that would take her to where Anatole lived. She was really excited about being with him and seeing his place. They had been seeing each other regularly since their first date which was to the drive-in movie.

She was wearing a new top she had bought and a knee length denim skirt. And this would be the first time he would see her not wearing her glasses. She was wearing contacts instead. She had decided that she would continue to wear her glasses when at school but her contacts when she was with him.

When she arrived at his place, he was waiting for her. He looked so good in the tan jacket over a dark blue shirt and jeans. “You’re not wearing your glasses,” he remarked when he saw her.

“No, I’m wearing contacts.”

“Good. I can see your eyes.”

After they hugged, he gave her a tour of his place. It ended in the kitchen. “So, what do you think?” he asked, leaning against the island.

“I love it!”

He smiled. “I hoped you would because you will be coming here very often. It will be like a second home.”

“You mean because this is where you will be teaching me how to cook?”

“Yes, and it’s also where you and I can be completely alone together.”

She really liked that reason. “It’s very nice and cozy.”

“That’s why I chose it. And it has great views too.”

“Have other women been here?”

“Only two.”

“What happened to them?”

“I broke up with them.”


“They wanted what I couldn’t give them.”

“And what was that?”


“So, does that mean that you will never get married?”

“I didn’t say that I will never get married. I just wasn’t ready when they were.”

“When do you think you will be ready?”

“I don’t know. I guess when I meet the right woman.”

“Oh. Well, what about me?”

“You’re still in school.”

“I’ll be graduating soon.”

“What about university?”

She shrugged. “I don’t have to go to university. I can be your wife instead.”

“Dena, as much as I like the idea of you playing house, I think you should seriously think about going to university. Marriage can come much later.”

“Playing house is for children and I’m not a child,” she retorted. “I would be a real wife to you.”

“Do you know how to cook?”

“Yes. My mother taught me how to cook since I was ten. I also know how to keep a place clean and do the laundry. I also know how to sew and mend things. I would make you an excellent wife.”

“Look, it’s too soon to be talking about marriage. Why don’t we just sit down now and enjoy the dinner I have prepared for us. It’s a gourmet three-course dinner.”

“You can cook?”

“Yes, I can cook. Now, have a seat at the table and I will get dinner ready.”

Dinner consisted of Nhopi/ Pumpkin Soup, Beef Hifiridzi, Mbambaira, a Sweet Potato Stew. It pleased him to see how much Dena was enjoying the food. “You can cook!”

“I told you I could.”

“You’re a much better cook than my mother and she’s very good.”

“Thank you.”

“Can you teach me how to cook like you?”

“Yes. It would be a pleasure.” Teaching her how to cook would be another excuse for him to see her. “Are you ready for dessert?”

“What’s for dessert?”

“Chikenduza.” The eggless candy cake was a popular Zimbabwean dessert.

“That’s my favorite dessert. I can’t wait to see if yours is as good or better than my mother’s.” The verdict was in after she took the first bite. “This is way better than my mother’s.”

After they finished having dessert, they washed the food down with tea. They stayed in the kitchen for a while and then went into the living-room.

The music played in the background. Removing his jacket, he placed it on the island and walked over to her. “Would you like to dance?”

She nodded and he put his arm on her back while he held the other one. They began to move to the music. This was the first time she had ever slow danced. He was a terrific dancer. He smelled really good and she loved the feel of his body against hers. She closed her eyes and rested her head against him, wishing that the dance would last.

The song ended and as another one began, he drew back to glance down at her. His eyes were stormy as they met hers. Then, cupping her face between his hands, he lowered his head and kissed her. She put her arms around him and kissed him back. They kissed passionately for several minutes and then, he drew back to undress her and himself. Then, he got down on the floor and pulled her down so that she was lying on top of him. His right hand gripped her head as they again exchanged hungry kisses.

His hand released her head and it traveled down her back. He gripped her buttocks with both hands, making her gasp against his lips. Then, he rolled over so that she was lying on her back. He covered every inch of her with hungry kisses, eliciting deep moans from her. Breathing harshly, he grasped her legs, pulling them wide apart so that he could position himself between them. He entered her and while the music played in the background, they made love for the first time.

The loud clap of thunder outside jolted Dena back to the present. The rain fell hard. It beat against the window in her bedroom. She rolled onto her side in the bed and closed her eyes in despair. Her body throbbed with desire and longing. “Oh, Anie,” she whispered brokenly. “Why can’t you forgive me for lying to you about my age? How long are you going to punish me?”