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“Jess, you better not be messing with me right now” I shouted. “I swear to God Lee, shit, what should…” before she could even finish her sentence I head my husband’s voice on the background “Hey Jessica” she replied “Hi Mtho, I’m soo sorry to hear about your mom and son, how they doing?” she asked, I could hear her voice was shaky, she was panicking, Mthobisi explain that Neo was okay, and that we were just waiting for his mom she’s in theatre “Are you okay Jess, you face is so red” white people and their give-away faces, they can never hide anything you just see it in their faces, Jess said she’d been running and she’d been too worried about us. Mthobisi said he would bring her to me, at that moment Koketso came in my son’s ward with Mfundo “look who I found Lee? Mthobisi’s friend” I chocked I couldn’t breathe, Koketso remembered Mfundo from when he had come to my place and she was visiting, shit, all my lies were catching up with me and this was the worst time to get my shit exposed, I didn’t know what to do, the nurse who was still in the room asked if she should get me water, I nodded my head, I couldn’t even speak.
I still had my phone to my ear, and could hear my husband telling Jessica how happy I would be to see her, I wanted to scream to Jessica “stall him” but everyone in the room was now looking at me, I felt like such an idiot. My sister said I was overwhelmed by all that was happening and should try to calm down. Everyone was talking and their voices were fading sounding like they were far even though they were right next to me, I was feeling hot and dizzy, my sister could see I was not okay; she grabbed me before I could fall and put me on a chair. I needed to take charge; I couldn’t afford to be this weak and pathetic, what the hell is wrong with me. My sister was hovering over me trying to make sure I was okay while Koketso and Mfundo stood there helpless not knowing what to do, I whispered to my sister “get this man out of here please, I will explain everything later but Mthobisi should not see him, please Naledi I’m begging you, please” I have never pleaded with my sister that much, so she knew whatever it was it must be serious she told Koketso and Mfundo that I should be given privacy with my son and they should all leave as they were about to walk out in walked my husband with Jessica, I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me, this could not be happening. My husband said “Honey Jess…” then my worst nightmare happened he saw Mfundo, looked at him, then Koketso then me, my sister all of us one by one, the room was all silence it was like we all just froze, what have I done? Koketso broke the silence, she said to my husband “shame your friend came to support you, you guys are so lucky to have such amazing people” my husband forced a smile and said “yes, we very lucky aren’t we love?” he said with his eyes locked on mine, I didn’t want to look away that would make me look guilty, I was mum, no response. Mthobisi asked Mfundo how he knew about this, my heart was beating so fast hoping that Mfundo doesn’t say he’s been smsing and calling me, he said he was with Cindy when I called work, thank God he mentioned Cindy. Jessica came to me gave me a hug and whispered “I’m so scared right now” I whispered back “me too”. Mfundo said to Mthobisi “can we talk?” oh Lord nooo, nooo, nooo, what is this fool doing, my husband said this was not the time nor the place, they can grab a beer sometime and talk then, Mthobisi was trying real hard to compose himself even the veins in his head were popping out that’s how I knew my husband was pissed off. Mfundo replied “why would I want to meet with you. So you can try kill me again?” oh shit, everyone’s jaws dropped to the floor. Koketso the witch was jumping up and down, “I knew it, I knew it, these two are dangerous” she said pointing at my husband and I the ran out to the waiting room to call Tshepang to witness this, you know how some people love the fall of others they even need witnesses to come and see the shame and embarrassment, they need a partner to celebrate your downfall that’s Koketso, she was enjoying every second of this, I was expecting her to come back with popcorns to sit and watch and enjoy this horror movie that was going down in my son’s hospital ward. Mfundo was not finished he went on “Tell me something Mthobisi, did you shoot your son just like you tried to shoot me? I know how trigger happy you get”. That was it for my husband you don’t mention his son’s name in vain, he threw a punch at Mfundo’ s face everybody in the room went “ouch” Jessica was even holding her face, that must have hurt, his nose was bleeding, I stood up and try to intervene and tell this fool Mfondo to shut up when suddenly the room started spinning and I feel to the floor.
When I woke up I was lying in a hospital bed with drips on my arm, my mouth was soo dry I couldn’t even speak, my husband was sitting on a chair next to me his head on my bed sleeping, I tried remembering what the hell had happened, the last thing I remembered was the words Mfundo had with my husband, Oh Lord what had happened? I woke my husband and asked what was going on? He woke up and came to me and hugged me and started crying, “oh God, no please tell me that it’s not our son, please tell me he’s okay” he let go and told me that our son was okay, it’s me he’s worried about, I had given him such a fright, he was scared that he was going to lose me. I asked him what happened he said I fainted and doctors had to sedate me because I kept having panic attacks and each time drugs wore off I would start having these attacks, he said I had been like that for 2 days and I’ve been sedated all this time, they would wake me up to give me food then let me sleep. “Oh my goodness what is wrong with me Mthobisi?” I said crying he told me to calm down and not to worry I was going to be okay, doctors say it’s stress and trauma due to everything I have been through the hospital has arranged for me to speak to a professional. Oh my goodness 2 days? I have missed 2 days how was that even possible? I could not remember anything that had happened in those 2 days these attacks that Mthobisi was talking about didn’t make any sense to me. I asked him what time it was he said it was around 2am, I wanted to get out of this hospital bed and go home. I am not this person, since when do I get panic attacks and get hospitalised for stress, that shit is not for black people, we don’t lie in hospital for stress we speak to the pastor at church that’s if you go to church if not speak to your buddies at the shebeen you don’t pay people to speak to them dammit. I wanted to ask what happened the day Mfundo was there but I couldn’t find the right words I didn’t even know where to start; instead I asked for water, my throat was extremely dry. I sat there trying to piece everything together, then I remembered the nurse who said our son was adopted, I had not had time to tell my husband that crazy story, I wanted to tell him I knew he was going to laugh about it but these drugs were making me drowsy and I couldn’t keep my eyes open, I fell asleep again.
When I eventually got up it was the next morning, there were voices around me, I tried opening my eyes but they were too heavy, I could hear my husband’s voice, I could only hear bits and pieces of the conversation he was having and he was saying “No, my wife can’t be told, it would kill her” and the other person he was talking to was saying “sooner or later the truth will come out” what truth? What’s going on here? Then my husband’s voice “she’s my wife, my responsibility, I decide what’s good and right for her, I say keep this shit to yourselves or I will sue this hospital for every cent it has”. “Mthobisi, what have you done?” I screamed, I was now trying to get up, what the hell was my husband hiding from me? Were they talking about my baby? What else could make him want to sue the hospital? I wanted to know, as I tried to get up I had somehow tangled the drip pipes all over me and when I got up the needle of the drip stuck to my vein snapped out, next thing I know I had blood everywhere. Can one person be so unlucky, next thing I know I’m on the floor shaking and struggling to breath, fuck these are the panic attacks my husband was talking about, I don’t know how or who got me back to my bad all I know is I was hearing someone saying they need to calm me down and gone again was I to sleep.
I was up a few hours later, I found She Rock and Cleo sitting next to my bed, I was soo happy to see them. Cleo said “nice of you to finally join us. Damn girl you can sleep.” I looked at her and asked what time it was, she said it was after 15:00, I wanted water She Rocks got me some, I tried lifting the glass up and realised my hand was now bandaged and drip was gone, thank goodness I hate those things, they asked how I was feeling , I told them I felt pathetic and useless and I want to go home, I told them they need to stay with me and make sure I don’t get any of those stupid drugs they’ve been feeding me, I need to be awake, I want to know and see everything that is happening. She Rocks said I was not missing out on much, it’s the same old nonsense. I asked what day was it she said Saturday, good Lord, time was flying by and I was stuck in hospital. I looked around and there were just too many flowers around me Cleo looked at me and said “we couldn’t resist getting you flowers, we thought you might never wake up” I laughed and said “I’m not the dying type, now get this shit out of here before it kills me” we all laughed, Cleo told me she had drawn up a will and all I need to do is just sign, she will get all my clothes, She Rocks and Cleo will share my debts, they work they can afford it. I love these girls they just have a way of turning a serious situation into a joke. We were joking around and talking nonsense for over an hour, I even forgot I was in hospital that’s how crazy my friends are, I was so lucky to have these girls in my life and I thank God for them not everyone has such amazing, loyal friends in their lives, these days with friends there is no unconditional love, they only love you when conditions are right for them. My husband came and was very happy to see me awake; he said my friends had been there every single day, they would sit with me while I slept and would also go play with Neo, he thanked them for the flowers they had put in his mom’s room and asked when would they be bringing back Neo’s birth certificate, I looked at them and asked what the hell were they doing with Neo’s certificate Cleo responded “we wanted to frame it for him” this was strange , I asked “what the hell for?”, She Rocks responded “we just thought it would be nice” I replied “no, it’s stupid, what do I do when I have to send a copy of his birth certificate for medical aid or when I’m applying for crèche”, She Rocks said they are sorry they didn’t think that far they just thought it would be nice to have it framed, I knew these girls were up to something, just didn’t know what. Mthobisi told me to stop stressing he had made lots of copies and certified them. I told him I was feeling much better and was ready to go home, he said he will speak to the doctor and see if it’s okay for me to leave. I wanted my son so badly, I was now concerned about him, I didn’t want to think about that nonsense the nurse had said but at the back of my head it was eating me up. How the hell did she come to a conclusion that our son was adopted? Mthobisi went to go find a doctor and said he will also go and get us some food at the mall the mall is not far from the hospital. I told the girls we should go see my son, Cleo said she didn’t want me falling on her so she got me a wheelchair, they put me in it and pushed me, but my friends being so crazy would push me hard and then let go of the chair and there I was going on fast speed not even knowing how to brake the wheelchair and hit the wall and these two clowns found that so hilarious they would laugh so hard, other patients were looking at us like we crazy, eventually I decided to walk on my own cause the wheelchair situation was just not going to work not with my friends around. We got to Neo’s ward and my brave baby boy was all bandaged up in his arms but he was playing and looked so cute, I ran to him and held him in my arms, this was my baby, a mother knows her child I don’t care what that stupid nurse said. He was happy to see me, me and the girls played with him for a while. I decided to share what the nurse had said about Neo with the girls, they both looked at each other then did the uncomfortable, awkward laughed and said she was probably drunk or got me confused with someone else, I decided they were right and I should dwell too much on it, it will drive me crazy. I told them we should go see Mthobi’s mom I hadn’t been to see her ever since we got to the hospital and the last thing I remember was she was being operated, Cleo she said she’s in a coma and they had gone to see her a few times. We went to her ward, she was in Intensive Care Unit (ICU), she had drips and pipes and machines connected to her, she looked so weak and helpless, she didn’t look like the annoying mother in law that I was fighting with just a few days I go. I felt so sorry for her. We didn’t go in, we watched through a glass window as there was a doctor inside with her so we didn’t want to interrupt. She Rocks said maybe I should go in and ask the doctor if there is any new developments on her, I went in, as I got in the doctor was on the phone, he was wearing those doctors masks and , I didn’t want to eavesdrop on his conversation so I turned back to walk out, then I heard him say “I’m with the boss lady now, she’s not looking good, don’t kill them until we get a go ahead from her, continue smacking them around like you’ve been doing” he was white I didn’t recognize the voice but I knew it was one of my husband’s people, but wait, did he just say “boss lady?” oh my gosh.
Michael Nkuleko Maphoto (fb page)