At times it feels like you are being punished for something because things simply refuse to go right for you. That was me right now. Why could I not catch a break. They say you make your own luck and I was trying but failing. Even with this imagine the misfortune I had to have had. When she walked in she literally stumbled. I was the last person she was expecting to see here just as much as she was the last person I expected her. This was awkward but she kept a straight face.
“Are you ok?”
Her boss asked her.
“Yes sir I am. Lost my footing there for a second but am fine.”
“Mxolisi, I am sure you know how it works. She will ask all the relevant questions and we will take it from there. Don’t worry you are in good hands. She is our rising superstar so I have all the faith that she will be sufficient for now!”
I just nodded and thanked him then he walked out leaving me alone with Yolanda. I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me because it felt as though I was a failure. Make no mistake about it, you divorce a person or get divorced because you have failed. Good or bad, wrong or right you have failed in this thing called marriage. I was married in a church because I believe in God and defend my religion but the art of forgiveness when betrayed is not something that ever sank into me at church. I am not Jesus!
“This is awkward!”
She said trying to break the silence. It was indeed.
“I don’t think I can do this with you, can’t they give me another person to work with…”
I asked her. I could not even greet her or look her in the eye! Of all the law firms why had I picked hers. If I believed in fate honestly this would be it.
“Please don’t request for another one. I need this. You know with us interns we have to scrap for every little thing we do otherwise we are stuck doing research. Please I need this to remind why I became a lawyer in the first place!”
She was right. I remember when I was intern I lived in the law libraries researching for other people. It is a painful tedious affair but I did it wholeheartedly because one day I will be the one bossing them around.
“It’s ok you can stay but I just did not expect you that’s all and this is hard!”
I said, the last past just kind of slipping out.
“It explains the ring line the other day. I thought you were just some loser that takes off their ring when their wife is not there!”
She said chuckling a bit which also made me laugh.
“I wish. I am the loser that has a wife cheating with God knows how men, hires another woman to seduce me so she can divorce for me for the peanuts I make as a lawyer. I have had it!”
She looked at me straight in the face and exclaimed,
“You are joking right… about the her hiring of other women!”
That was a bit unprofessional of her but I don’t blame her because when I think about it too, the story sounds kind of ridiculous. There is one thing my wife had greatly miscalculated, with Lindiwe dead, she could not accuse me of cheating and win because she could not prove it. This means that the provision in prenuptial agreement was now void. She was going to get nothing!
“It is true.”
I said curtly. She saw that she had crossed a line and apologised. She asked me the relevant questions and we wrapped up in about two hours. There was lot to write. Her boss came back at some point and we discussed assets and money’s that will have to be divided. I took out my prenup again and it clearly stated in the section under Desolution of Marriage:
4.1.b In the event of one spouse cheating and proved, only 10% of the estate shall be allocated to them and household goods shall be forfeit.
That was the key to the whole agreement. They were going to evaluate all our assets in financial terms then divide the estate 90% to me and 10% to her. Obviously she was going to fight this tooth and nail. No way she wanted to go back to Mdantsane with nothing. Some people forget where they come from when they get comfortable. Yolanda wrapped up and left the office. We concluded our business and I went back to the office. It was almost empty when I got there as almost everyone had taken the half day offer given for Lindiwe. People and work! I had nowhere to go. I had to look for a place to stay that was fully furnished. I was grateful that when Asthandile cleaned out my accounts when she came back she had returned it. I checked that account and transfered half to my account. I was not going to be that cruel.
This is Cape Town. So many houses are owned by white people who left in 1994 because the baboons were taking power and when they left, they rented them out. With Zille in power though Cape Town has become more racial hence finding a house was not easy. I found a lot of fully furnished places but the moment you mentioned your surname they would either hand up or tell you it was not available. One lady so sweetly told me that “we don’t rent out darkies! Good day!” it was an eye opener. After about thirty or so calls I had three places to view, two in Newlands and one in Pinelands. At least there was progress. Only problem is all three were only available in a week meaning I will have to stay with Khanyi longer. That was not a nice thought. I went to our HR lady to ask for Lindiwe’s family details as I had to pay my respects. She gave them out to me and told me the firm was planning something.
I called the next of kin number which I was given and I caught her brother. He sounded very distraught and he said that he was in Cape Town and was lost half the time. He needed help. I offered to take him around which he declined by saying one of his cousins had just arrived. She was going to be buried in Johannesburg he said. I told him I will see him there. He cleared his throat then said,
“What did you say your surname was again?”
“You are the man that made her pregnant right?”
I did not know what to say but yes.
“In my culture we cannot bury a child that does not belong to us and that baby was yours. Come prepared to pay us damages?”
He said and he hung up.
Did I hear him right?
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto
Thank you for reading my letter. Never thought I will have the courage to do this. When I was 19 my friends raped a girl. I was the lookout and did nothing to help her. We were all arrested and for the last 14years I have been in hell. I have no excuse whatsoever for what we did. The girl lived a few streets away from me and committed suicide three years ago. I feel guilty and like a fraud because I am still alive. In prison a lot of things happened. I was raped myself twice and I am not saying this for sympathy. I stood and watched her be raped and I was laughing as it happened. I am now trying to rebuild my life but she haunts me. She was only sixteen and to this day I don’t know what got into me.
I am a bad person, I have accepted but every day of my life I want to make up for what I have done. Mike Maphoto your books have potential to do more than entertain, they can teach. Fight abuse of women and children were other men like myself have failed.