I did what any self respecting educated black man would do in this situation. I apologized to Zimasa and I walked downstairs. I got into my car and I drove myself to Rondebosch Police Station. It’s close Pick n Pay so from my house it literally 5 minutes away. I was lucky in that it was a male police officer who was working because had it been a female then things would have been different. The officer knew me by name and I am not sure how or where from but he greeted me as Adv. Sibani. It was so weird. When I told him that I had come to turn myself in for punching my wife he thought one of his friends was pulling a prank on me. When I asked him why he said two reasons really,
“One, no one turns themselves in. It’s that thing you see on TV but it never really happens. Secondly, for one punch? It hardly counts as domestic violence because they deal with case were men beat up their wives to a pulp on a weekly places and this hardly counts as it!”
“Our cells are full with real cases and adding you in them is frankly wrong and wastes space in the cells.”
Even as he spoke some drunk students were dragged into the station.
“Why did you bring them hear? I have no space take them to Mowbray!”
He shouted at the officer who had brought them in.
“If that fails go to Wynberg!”
I never thought this would ever happen to me. The police officer turned me away and told me to go home and apologise to my wife. He said he will pretend that this never happened and he never came here. He said we all make mistakes and running away does not help. I was not sure whether to celebrate that I had not gotten that record or to be saddened at how the value of women was quite cheap even in police stations. Maybe turning myself in was a bit of a dramatic move seeing these weird people in here. Criminals are scary that one is certain!
I decided that going home was my only option. What if I had made my wife miscarry her bastard child! That would not be good. I should confront her with my evidence that I knew she was pregnant not with me. However, if she took me to talk that could mean that they could prove that I had motive and that punch was premeditated. That small detail could be the difference between her leaving with zero or half! She was always a step ahead of me so I had to tread carefully. When I got in I found both my wife and Zimasa sitting by the kitchen counter. My wife had a packet of frozen peas on her eye where I had punched her. So she was alive! Ok then at least one less worry.
“Go to your room!”
She said to Zimasa as soon as I entered. She did not even look up to look at me. Zimasa who still looked terrified was now dressed in her pyjamas did not even hesitate. She ran up.
“I crossed the line there when I said what I said. It was wrong and I should never in a million years have said that. I am sorry and I was wrong.”
She said. I chose not to respond and good thing too because she was not done.
“However, I just want to make this point very clear, if you ever lay your hands on me again, I swear to God I will wait for you to sleep and in the wee hours of the morning when you have your morning glory, I will take a razor and I will cut off your penis! Do you understand me?”
She said calmly. Maybe too calmly. You see Xhosa women are different from other women in that they are crazy enough to actually do it. They are not the type to poison you and all fancy things like that, nah its too complicated, they are blunt and to the point. Consequences for what?
I asked if Zimasa was okay. I guess it was not exactly the best question to ask at that moment but I figured going up to her room would be worse. My wife looked at me funny and for a moment I thought she would not answer but she did.
“She will live! She deserved that one too! For a long time she has been dressing up provocatively in this house and I warned about this. You are my husband, this is our house so she must know how to dress appropriately! I am going to bed!”
She stood up and left me standing there. When the things that happened tonight happen to you for a moment you allow yourself to get a bit confused. I was not sure what to do next. Whether to go up and speak to her again, go to my study and work which I doubt I could or just relax and pretend all this had not happened. I was now one of those statistics which I never wanted to be, a domestic abuser.
I decided that tonight for the upteenth time I should sleep in the guest room. Yes, I was fast becoming a guest in my own house with the number of times I was finding myself in here. I made sure I closed the doors and locked myself in because I was not sure what my wife will come with overnight. I had not meant to hit her and I know it sounds so cliché but really she had that one coming. I am very anti violence against women. It was her who had insisted I go to Zimasa’s room and yes she had not said I must stand there when Zimasa was naked but the only reason why I had not knocked was because she specifically instructed me not to. Then there was that line about other men sleeping with her. That hurt. A lot. As I was thinking through all this I got an sms. It was frrom Khanyi.
“Either you are one incredibly patient guy or you just plain stupid but today at least you finally showed you still have some man in you. Asthandile told me what happened and I am totally with you. She deserved it and next time take a belt!”
I was not sure what to say to this. I thought Khanyi would advise her so called friend to leave me but she was in my corner. This woman could not be trusted so I decided not to reply. At some point I fell asleep. I am not sure I even dreamed that night.
In the morning I woke up and I bathed in the guest room. I then went upstairs so I could change for work. When I got there the door was closed. I knocked first. She did not answer. There was silence. She was still ignoring me. This was going to be a long day. I needed to dress though so I can get ready for work so I opened. The scene was the last thing I expected.
The bed was neatly made up. Had my wife gone to the gym this early. It’s been a long time though since she did a morning session. I went to the wardrobe and that’s when I noticed it. The luggage was gone. I opened my wife’s wardrobe and there was nothing left just hangers. Her lingerie drawer, fine with black people it’s a panty drawer but still that too was empty. I don’t know what I was expecting to find when I went to check her cosmetics in the bathroom by they too were gone.
Asthandile had left!
I was not sure whether to ululate or to panic but love is a very stupid thing! I panicked and tried to call her. Her phone was off. Ok its what I needed for now just breathe I told myself. I went to Zimasa’s room and guess what, same thing, bed made and things gone! This had really happened! She probably went to Khanyi’s place and was trying to scare me! I was not going to bite. There was no note or anything like that, that’s for white people, black people don’t have time to write! Even when committing suicide it’s not often I come across a case were a black person actually left a suicide note!
I got ready for work regardless and even found time to whistle a happy tune whilst I did it. I got a call from my boss and he sounded exasperated but excited. He said that no matter what I had to be in the office at 0800am because we had a very very important client, once who would take our firm to astronomical heights. I cannot remember the last time I heard him this happy. It was 0649am on the clock so decided to leave immediately.
My car keys stay in my pocket. I walked outside and opened the garage. My car was not there! My evil wife had taken my car meaning I had to go find her keys. I ran back to the house to look for them. I tried calling her again and zero. I searched for a good 20 minutes and eventually I found them. Now I was getting late. I ran back to the car and reversed out of the garage! The car drove funny. I closed the garage and went to open the gate. On the way back from the gate I realized why it drove funny, the left front tyre of the car had a punched and by the gash in the tyre I had no doubt in my mind how it got there! Xhosa women! Asthandile had done this! She had deliberately slashed one tyre because it forces u to fix it on your own!
I needed to get to work! The train was my best bet but in in Cape Town this early the trains are so packed you will be standing outside literally!
When I got to the gate a car pulled up. It was a police car with blue lights flashing.
She had called the police!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto
I’ve been reading the blog for a very long time and I must thank you for all your effort.
I fell pregnant in varsity. Decided to keep my child and the father and I were still together and doing ok. Then we broke up at a time where my life was falling apart completely. My family lost all our money and I couldn’t even afford to go to school anymore. Because of all the time I missed after having a baby my marks weren’t good enough for a bursary. I didn’t complain I stayed home and raised my child while looking for a job. My issue though is the father never payed damages and left me having to face my family who seems ashamed of me. He works now has a very good job but just can’t prioritize. Over December he doesn’t send money cause I know he’s probably on holiday with his friends, when his girlfriend has a birthday he doesn’t send money and when I’m short for something I can’t even ask him cause he thinks what he sends is enough. He doesn’t realize that I now have to ask my family who also have their issues, that he shamed me with. I think I’m a good baby mama I never ask for any extras I make sure our child is well looked after and I ensure he has a relationship with the child I never ever give him any trouble but he just can’t meet me half way. I never want to nag or raise the issue cause I also have my pride and he doesn’t realize that it’s difficult for me to have to ask him for something as small as R100. I’m busy looking for a job but it isn’t easy finding one. I’m not the type to ask for money for my hair and all but how do I get him to understand that he needs to help a little more. I never thought I’d be this girl.
I really don’t want to be the nagging baby mama.