Maidei could not understand her mother’s psychotic demeanor. After her mother left her room she remained awake, in the eerie darkness she could not decipher what had just occurred. She sat there in utter bamboozlement, Zarah? What did she mean by that? She thought. Was I dreaming? She finally slipped into a light slumber towards dawn confused and puzzled. Zarah was the first word that mocked Maidei’s mind when she woke up in the morning. She could not stop thinking about it. After a hurried shower she found her father lounging in the living room with a cup off coffee. “Dad what is Zarah?” she asked. Rambai dropped the coffee mug on the floor in shock reflex. He felt his chest tighten in momentarily astonishment with a failed attempt to gain composure. Maidei was amused by his father’s reaction, which in turn fueled her curiosity. It was a dead giveaway, “what is it dad?” she insisted. He finally found his voice, trying to sound non perplexed, he leisurely picked up a newspaper from a side stool “I don’t know Maidei” then like an afterthought “Are you not late for school? Run along dear” the dismissive response from her father and the prior shock reaction left Maidei in bewilderment.
Dzidzai smiled while she eavesdropped on the conversation between her daughter and Rugare. I am ready she thought to herself, the time is now. Maidei would understand: she was her kindred spirit. The moment they shared together the previous night had an impact on Dzidzai; it was the first human interaction after years of self-quarantine. She chuckled to herself. Finally everything was falling into place. There was one more thing that she needed to do, one more human interaction. She picked up the phone and from an old torn piece of paper she dialed a number that was scribbled on it. The phone rang for a minute before Rugare’s groggy voice said, “Maidei are you not supposed to be in school, are you okay?” Silence “hello…are you there…Maidei?” Dzidzai listened to her son’s voice “C’mon, it’s not funny! I can hear you breathing?!” The only person who ever called him with the home phone was Maidei, although in contrary she never called him in the morning but instead called in the afternoon after school. This morning call was strange, strange enough to be his mother. He knew it was her, breathing at the other end of the phone. “Mum, is that you…if its you just know that I love you, okay? Everything is going to be fine.” Long silence. Dzidzai’s old raspy voice spoke, just one word “Zarah” then she hung up.
Rugare, called back desperately hoping his mother’s vow of silence had finally broke. The phone rang and rang until he realized it was not going to be picked. Sigh, mum just called me he thought to himself. This was a major breakthrough; he knew the first thing he had to do was to get hold of his father before the family psychiatrist. Rambai did not give a chance for the phone to ring when his son called. He adored him; he was the younger version of him. Dashing, charming and ambitious. Rugare was at the Rhodes University in South Africa, studying Economics. “Sheesh dad at least let the phone ring three times before you answer it!” he said. They were like best friends with his dad.
Father and son shared a bond as lasting as the ties of this earth will ever be. Guffawing father responded “What do you want, make it fast I am running late for a meeting” without hesitation Rugare responded “mum called me dad, it was so weird she just said one word. Zarah.” Rambai once again in one morning was caught off-guard, hiding his shock with a nervous laughter he said “The medication must be breaking through her barriers, that is good news, talk later.” Rugare was perturbed by his father’s response. Maybe he was indeed in hurry, which made sense at that moment. Zarah? A visit home this weekend was in order, his mother had finally reached out and he was not taking any chances of losing her again.