Thanks heavens my very good friend Zikomo Matope is back on his feet after being bedridden for over a week. Only God knows what could have become of his family had fate decided otherwise. My friend doesn’t believe in saving, nor does he like the idea of investing.
“Why invest?” he queried in one of our countless drinking sermons. “Is it not said that life is too short to mind abouttomorrow? Doesn’t the Bible put it clearly that earthly riches are all vanity?”
The barman and I couldn’t help shaking our heads at Zikomo’s wayward thinking.
“What verse in the Bible is that, if I may ask?”
He didn’t answer me. Instead he asked the barman to dress the table with more beers.
“Life is too short to wait for tomorrow to enjoy it.” He said as he paid the bill.
That was a month ago, before he was taken ill.
Last Saturday, we met up in town. He was cheerful as usual and hadn’t lost much of his weight although he looked weak. As we chatted, I suggested to him to remember going to church the following day.
“Why?” he asked, looking surprised.
“To thank God you’re healed in His name.”
For a while he thought about my suggestion.
“Sounds brilliant.” He said, adding as an afterthought. “But on one condition.”
“On condition that you escort me to Ivy’s place. I miss her so much and I can’t go another day without seeing her. Of course we’ll need to tap the Dutch courage from Pa MuChina on our way to her place.”
“But you are still a convalescent.” I reasoned with him.
We went to Pa MuChina but to our surprise, the building was repainted and changed name. It is now a selling point for liquor sachets.
“Where do we go?” I asked.
“Sports Cafe.” Zikomo suggested and who was I to overrule his wish?
So to Sports Cafe we went. The place was hot and noisy as usual. The room was perfumed with sweat and smoke. The whole counter was invaded by Saturday night imbibers.
“Zikomo and Diva!” I saw Zikomo’s face lightening up with excitement. I guessed he had recognized the voice of the woman calling us from behind. It was Ivy.
We sat at the back of the bar close to the DJ’s cubicle. Ivy joined us there a minute later.
“Where’ve you been, the midnight two?”
I exchanged glances with my good friend Zikomo. “Who are the ‘Midnight Two?’?” Zikomo asked.
“That’s what they call you here, you mean you don’t know?”
Zikomo and I exchanged glances again.
“Why are we the Midnight Two?” I interrogated.
“They say you’re always the last two customers to leave this place, every time you come.”
We didn’t want to hear more. We drank in silence. We felt sorry for ourselves. We felt sorry for our drinking habits. We felt sorry for our reputation. We vowed to change our drinking habits starting from tonight but it was never to be.
We found ourselves drinking like fish again that night to the point that I could not recall how I got home, let alone how my good friend Zikomo and I parted.
So I had to give him a call Sunday afternoon. He sounded as sober as a judge. He told me he had just arrived from church.
“But I wish I never went there.” He said, sounding dull.
“How do you mean?”
“You see, that bastard of a barman gave me a bill instead of just telling me what I was supposed to pay him.”
I lowered the volume of the music I was listening to.
“So it found its way into the offering plate. I must have fished it out from my pocket together with the banknotes.”
Curiosity welled up in me.
“At the end of the service the elders summoned me to the vestry for explanation.”
“How did they know the bill had come from your pocket?”
“The bastard had scribbled my name on it. And as if that was not enough to punish me, he even included that Chishango [condom] on the bill!”
I couldn’t believe my ears. How could the barman be so stupid?
“So how did it go at the vestry?” I asked, sitting close to the edge of my sofa.
“What do you expect? I disowned the bill before the man of the collar and his troop of elders!”
He coughed and I let him gather himself first.
“This is sheer work of my enemies.” I told them, holding up the Bible they had given me to swear on.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :