I ran to the bathroom and said a small prayer that God should not let it be Mfundo that we are going to burry, I slowly came out trying to look all innocent when I got back in the bedroom my husband was gone, I decided to quickly shower when I was done he was back in the bedroom but busy on the phone. I could hear him making arrangements for the funeral, this man was serious, I decided that I needed to look decent if we were going to a funeral, I wore a black skirt, white shirt and a black blazer and decided to put pumps in my bag just in case I needed to run during or after the funeral, you will never know hey especially if we were burying Mfundo like I suspected who knew if my grave was also dug and ready for me, better be safe than sorry,
running in high heels is not easy. Mthobisi finally got off the phone and went to shower, he wore a black suit with a white shirt and black tie, we actually matched, I laughed when he came downstairs to join me for breakfast, I reminded him of how we used to laugh at couples that wore matching outfits, he said this was not planned.
We used the Audi to go to work on the way I got a chance to ask him who we were burying at night he laughed and said it’s not exactly a funeral, it’s called an awake, I was even more confused. I asked “is someone dead?” he replied “yes, but we not burying anyone, we doing an awake for the person, it’s a Nigerian thing, it’s a bit complex, you will see when we get there tonight.” My husband being his usual vague self, I asked him what happened to the surprise that he said he had for me he said ‘oh shit honey, I’m sorry I forgot about that, I will give it to you tomorrow since tonight we’ll come back late” I said it was fine. He dropped me off at work and said he will pick me up at 16:30 so we don’t get stuck in traffic, I agreed and kissed him goodbye. Work was busy as usual, Cindy and I were visited by Mfundo’ s boss and our boss Andile who came to inform us that Mfundo had gone missing no one knows where he is and his wife has opened a missing person file, shit all the memories of Siyabonga came back of how She Rocks went up and down trying to find him, I actually felt sorry for Mfundo’ s wife, I actually wondered if maybe I should go forward and say he was hijacked but with all the shit that was going on with the Hawks the last thing I needed was a spotlight of cops all over my ass, I quickly put the idea of coming forward out of my head. We were told it was business as usual we will just be reporting directly to Mfundo’s boss until further notice.
This is why I always wonder about people who dedicate their whole lives to work, neglecting their families and loved ones all for work, the day they die they get replaced so quickly you would swear someone was waiting at the door for them to die, and all that time you thought you were irreplaceable and that you were the only one who could do this job. I believe that family should always come first, and work second, work will not miss you when you are gone, two months down the line and everyone would have forgotten that you even existed, that’s just the harsh reality of workplace. As soon as they left Cindy asked if I was okay since Mfundo was “my lover” she told me it can’t be easy hearing that he’s missing, I told her we had broken and I would appreciate it if she didn’t call him “my lover” she apologised but kept giving me sympathetic looks throughout the day I couldn’t wait for the day to be over, I was tired of Cindy and her stupid looks.
At 16:27 my husband called to say he was outside, I was already packed and ready to go I left Cindy working she said she would leave in an hour’s time. I got inside the car and we left and unfortunately for us there was a bit of traffic, Mthobisi explained that one of his friend’s mom died, all I kept thinking was why couldn’t it have been his mother that had died, I already had an outfit in mind of what I would wear at his mom’s funeral, but bad people just don’t die that easily, “life is so unfair” I didn’t realise that my husband was still talking and I had said this out loud he asked why was I saying that I said “why did your friend’s mom have to die?” he looked at me and held my hand and said I’m too sweet and this is one of the reasons why he loves me so much, I didn’t even know the friend but I was worried about him, if he only knew I couldn’t care less all I cared about was when will my mother in law die, I didn’t hear half the things he said because I was in fantasy land of his mother’s funeral. I eventually decided to snap out of this amazing fantasy and asked him about his daughter that was in death’s bed, he said she was still ill but Katlego the mother was now refusing him access ever since he kind of mentioned doing a paternity test, he wasn’t sure if she’s stressed over the child being sick or if she was hiding something and he didn’t want to push her too hard but the truth will come out. After an hour and 30 minutes of sitting in traffic we finally arrived, when we got there I wasn’t sure if this was a funeral or a party.
The funeral / awake was in Rosetenville, if you have never been to that place, its okay trust me you are not missing out on much, the place is like cousin of Hillbrow if you know what I mean. Not only was it in Rosetenville but it was in a club, every street corner in Rosetenville at Main Street has a club and next door to a club there is a church oh and lots of saloons, internet cafes and shops that claim to fix broken phones. When we got to the club the owner was a Nigerian man who greeted my husband and hugged him I was introduced to him but the name went from in on one ear out the other immediately, there were already a couple of people there mostly young girls with very short dresses, I wondered if they got the memo that we were here for a funeral of some sorts but the Nigerian man that they were with didn’t seem to mind the short dresses in fact the shorter the dress the more booze you seemed to get, yes there was alcohol being served this was a club after all. Some of the guys came wearing t-shirts with the dead mother’s picture on them and of course my husband knew almost everyone who was there, the girls were giving me dirty looks, it was as if they were warned to stay away from our table. A lady by the name of Fatima she was black I know the name might be a bit deceiving and her husband James joined us, I chatted to Fatima who unlike the other girls there looked decent like she was going to a funeral. She told me James was her husband and she had not seen him in months he had arrived here for this funeral, I was so shocked, I asked how can she stay for months without seeing her husband she said he was running away from the police and was now living in Mozambique and even coming here was a risk. I could see she was uneasy the whole time probably worried about the police showing up.
Shit, was that how things were going to be between my husband and I? A few minutes later the guy whose mom died arrived his name was Boggy I kid you not, it was even on the pamphlets saying condolences to Boggy for the loss of his mother, he didn’t look like anyone who had just lost his mother he was jolly and went around to all the tables greeting and asking people if they had enough drinks. A few minutes later the ceremony started there was a live band playing music then a pastor who preached about death while people were sitting there with their drinks and then did this long prayer. The pastor explained that they are doing an awake here in South Africa and it’s their way of saying goodbye to the mother because they are unable to go to Nigeria for the funeral and the proper funeral will be held in Nigeria the following day, this whole awake thing suddenly made sense. I had had enough I wanted to go home, I told my husband and by 21:45 we drove home on the way home I asked my husband if is there any kind or sorts of people that he didn’t deal with? He asked what did Imean; I let it go because I knew no straight answer would come. When we got home I took a quick shower I smelled of cigarettes and as soon as I hit the bed I passed out. The next morning we were both so tired that we over-slept by the time I got up it was 07:30, I woke Mthobisi up who grumbled and when I told him the time he said “shit, I’m supposed to be at the airport by 10:00” he jumped up “where the hell are you going?” I demanded to know, he said he forgot to tell me but he was doing a branch visit to their Durban branch to sort out a few things and would be back tomorrow he said all this while running to the shower and asked me to quickly pack a bag of clothes to change the next day, I did as requested then sms’d Cindy to tell her to cover for me I was running late she immediately replied and said “no stress”. My husband got out of the shower and asked if I will be dropping him at the airport I said no I was already late he pretended to be hurt, I jumped in the shower when I got out my husband was leaving we said our goodbyes and he told me to eat breakfast and will call me when he lands in Durban. I quickly got dressed grabbed an apple and yoghurt on my way out. I got to work after 9 Cindy was not there I checked my phone no messages from her oh well, I figured she might be gone to get breakfast and I started working.
When I checked my mails I had an email from Jessica she said there was some comedy show at Monte Casino that evening and she had tickets for me, Andiswa, Cleo and She Rocks, the girls had already responded to the mail saying they would be attending so I said I would too. I called Cleo and asked if we could drive together I didn’t feel like sitting in traffic all by myself she agreed and said she will pick me up and we can leave my car at work and pick it up after the show since my work is on her way home, I agreed to this plan. A few minutes later Cindy arrived with muffins and coffee, she said she brought them for me if I believed in witchcraft I would not have eaten them my grandmother used to tell us to never accept food from colleagues because they will put muthi that would make white people hate you and you will end up getting fired, this used to crack my sister and I up. Around 12 my husband called to say he had landed safely in Durban and was now at their Durban offices, he told me to go straight home after work as he didn’t feel comfortable with leaving me on my own, I said I will and didn’t mention the Monte Casino comedy show besides I was not going there with our car so I had nothing to worry about. At 17:11 Cleo arrived and we drove together as soon as we drove past the Rivonia Off-ramp traffic was hectic, we called Cleo and She Rocks who were already there and told them traffic was holding us back they said the show only starts at 7 so we can relax, I was just glad that She Rocks will be getting out a bit and a comedy show would do her some good, she needed a good laugh after what she’d been through. As we got to the William Nicol off-ramp that off-ramp is always a mess, taxi drivers driving like they own the road especially if there is no traffic cops around, there weren’t any cops on sight on that day just our luck, there are 2 lanes that turn to the right and we were on the far right lane in front of us there was one of those moving trucks, that transport people’s furniture when they move, the William Nicol off-ramp is a bit of an uphill and it’s not unusual for a car to roll back a little bit while trying to go forward especially after you had stopped. So we waiting for the robot to turn green and the truck in front of us starts rolling backwards, I was busy on my phone chatting to Jessica telling her how far we were, Cleo hit the hooter on her car to signal for the guy in the truck that your car is rolling backwards but the truck kept coming at us, Cleo calmly says “Lee, those guys from the truck just jumped out of the truck” I looked away from my phone and saw 2 guys running out of the truck the next thing I heard was a cracking sound and I realise that’s Cleo’s car windscreen cracking, I was still trying to figure out what the hell was going on when Cleo said “Lee, we have to get the hell out of the car before the truck squashes us….” we both opened our doors and jumped got out as I got out on the passenger’s side a taxi came out of nowhere and hit me so hard I landed under the truck.