She did not get the message because she knocked again. She shouted from outside that she was not going to leave until we spoke. I had to let her in. When she walked in she looked as though she had seen a ghost. She literally stopped in the doorway. I think she had planned what to say all the way here but now that she was here the words seemed to escape her. The guilt must be eating her up but I don’t care. Friends that sleep with your man are not your friends. No matter what else happens. Human nature. Is a curious thing though. We always want to know what happened. It’s like when someone kills you a picture of a dead persom and you know it’s a picture of a dead person we always want to know more and want to look. Just once we tell ourselves. That curiosity. I wanted answers. I don’t know why I asked her but I wanted to know what happened and when. It’s in a girls nature to want details which in all fairness only hurt us more.
“Are you sure you really want me to tell you this because it’s no necessary. I want to apologize and fight for my friendship not isolate you even further!”
I folded my arms across my chest and nodded my head in the affirmative. She hesitated once more then she opened her mouth.
“The weekend when your grandmother died Mudenda came to my place. Remember it was my birthday weekend and I was already drunk. He came pretty late when people were starting to leave. Aurelia was with her friends and she was going to some boat party in Hartees but I did not want to go because you know I am not for that lifestyle. Those men she was running with are simply not for me. I was quite pissed off because even Meladi left saying she had to go study. Mudenda was emotional that you had said he could not come to the funeral as he wanted to be with you. Eventually he too got drunk and one thing led to the other. We did not have an affair. We did not do anything else after that and to this day I keep blaming myself for all this!”
She said. As girls we have our tears on standby. Again she started crying. When my grand mother died I had not taken it particularly well. I loved that woman probably more than my own mother. I know it’s not a nice thing to say but that was just it. She was my number one go to person whenever I had problems. That’s the problem of having super strict parents. They unwittingly push you to others. At the time Mudenda had asked to come because he knew how much she meant to me. I had refused and told him that only family was allowed. I did this more out of fear of my mother of course because if I admitted to having a boyfriend she would probably embarrass me. I remember that he had desperately tried to convince but oh well. Did this mean he had done this to punish me? I was not sure anymore. For now though I had Zama in my flat.
“Are you done with your story?”
I asked her coldly. I did not want to have tears rolling down my cheeks as I felt it was a sign of weakness but much as I tried to hold them back they kept coming.
“I know you hate me right now, possibly forever but I will not stop trying to win back your friendship!”
She said and she walked out. Zama was dramatic by nature. I know she probably meant it but I was never going to open up to her again. I found myself sitting on the bed thinking of what to do next. I felt helpless and vulnerable. I had no job, no degree and was pregnant. How on earth had I gotten myself into this situation? How do girls who are just students allow themselves to get pregnant honestly. Women, we don’t think. We really don’t! We act as though we are the first people to fall in love and that our man is a saint who will do the right thing when he has sex with me with no condom. We act as though we have not seen so many girls be left with a bun in the oven or even after birth have the baby rejected by this countless good men! If you could count first time single mothers in South Africa I think they would be more than all the people that voted for COPE in the last election! Do the maths! How then do we continue to be so thick and allow ourselves to get pregnant? This was not a class thing either, I was educated hence smart yet I was very much like a 17year old girl from a shack somewhere in that poor decision making process! I was blaming myself.
It was not thirty minutes after Zama left that there was yet another knock at my door. Was it Zama again? I did not want her here! I tried to ignore but she kept on knocking. Eventually I got up to go open. It was the two last people I expected to see in the world.
My mother and sister!
My mother barely greeted and my sister jumped in and hugged me.
“Tjo you are so fat now Faith!”
Was the first thing she said. I was pregnant you dumb girl I thought but I was so excited to see them.
“Mum thank you for coming!”
I said. She would not even look at me and that hurt even more but her being here meant so much to me. You can’t choose your parent but at the same time you can’t choose your children. She sat down and then spoke,
“I have spoken to your uncles. They say that the boy must come and pay damages before we can accept you back home fully!”
What the fuck was she on about?
Parents and their deluded expectations and what uncles, those people had not lifted a finger to raise us now they must get what?
I would rather eat from dustbins!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto