Have you ever seen a dead person? If you have not then you would never understand the emotions and fear that goes through you if the body is in your proximity. Have you ever seen a lifeless body in front of you, let alone in your sitting room. Now imagine if that dead body was there because of you. Shock is immediate, it’s not something that happens after some time. Your body grows cold and hot at the same time. Black people respect the dead but not as much as we fear them. It’s funny actually. We fear a dead person more than we possibly would if he was alive. We both froze for a second, my mother and I that is. He really was down! He was not moving. I don’t think it even touched him though! He had hit his head on something but I could not see any blood. I was so scared. It was my entire fault I felts as we would not be in this position had he not tried to run from my water. Men can make women do crazy things which are out of character because of how they are so cold and insensitive to situations. He should have called first and not sprung up on us like this. He was here for my lobola not to ask how my life had been since he abandoned. He had not come to ask what it is I had been eating all these years nor whom had given me a roof over my head. A lot of girls will tell you how such a man is just a sperm donor to your mother and nothing more and now I understand why. There is no love in them. Maybe burning him with water was a bit extreme considering this situation we are in now but I would have done it all over again in a heartbeat.
“Why did you bring the hot water you stupid child? Are you trying to bring the police to my house?”
My mother asked me furiously and ran to him. Oh so now it was my entire fault? I wish I could ask her why she had the tjambok but looking at him now, if he was dead indeed then I would have caused more harm than her. Why is it for black people when a person falls the first thing we assume is that he is dead? I know it’s a stupid question because it’s in the extreme but it’s true nonetheless. We tend to fear the worst. We don’t have a 50\50 in us. It’s either good or bad but no grey area. Weird I know.
“He is alive! Stop screaming wena!”
She said to my sister. She touched him on his forehead, checked his pulse and then his body. He had just been temporarily knocked out by the hard fall.
“He is going to be fine!”
My mother declared after checking him out. I was so relieved. I could see she was too. My sister and all her screeching came to a halt. She is the one that had planted the dead idea in me.
“Give me a hand and let’s put him on the couch!”
She said with concern in her voice. My sister and I both rushed to her aid and helped him up. I could not help but imagine what damage I would have caused had I made contact with the water. What was I thinking? A moment of anger could have killed someone! He was groggy when he came around but he was fine. My mother gave him water. It was forgotten that she had beaten him with that thing.
“Why are you trying to kill me?”
He asked my mother but turned to look at me. Was it not obvious? I have always wondered if men actually care when they leave their kids behind. How can he ask it was so obvious why she was angry? Most of them do not give a single fuck to the damage their absence caused and think they can just walk back in and everything is sorted. That was our dear Robert here, absent father.
“I am sorry I should not have come here!”
He said and tried to stand up but he was still a bit whoozy so he fell back into the couch. It was not like my mother was going to let him go in any case. She held him down by the hand and said,
“Where do you think you are going? You have a lot of things to answer to so do not even think it!”
My sister being her came and sat in front of him so that she could hear for herself what was going on.
“Where have you been all these years?”
My mother asked him angrily.
“Where have I been?”
He asked her incredulously! What was he acting surprised for? He is the one who left us!
“That day when I left I was in an accident. I lost my memory and I was at Sterkfontein for three years! No one came for me and I did not know anyone! You did not look for me and you said you loved me!”
He was crying now. Real tears coming out of him but I was not sure what he was on about. Where was Sterkfontein? What is Sterkfontein. My mother seemed to recognize the name! Was he in prison? What did he mean he lost his memory? Black people do not lose their memory! Who did he think he was, Ridge? What kind of a bullshit story was that? It’s like sinus, have you ever met a white person with sinus, just one? No! It ain’t a white thing and I accept that, that ticky ticky noise we make on sinus is for us just like losing your mind is a white thing. If I heard this man correctly he was claiming amnesia! I know I am young but clearly I had heard it all.
“Where do you think I was all this time? You know I loved you even when you were still hung over on your late husband!”
I was not sure what was happening but fortunately I was not the only one shocked and in disbelief as my sister’s mouth was wide open. The nerve of this man.
He was not done,
“When I met your brother, he is the one who gave me all these details. I did not even know him and he punched me. Imagine a stranger hitting you in public because you ran away from his sister. I told him my story and. He did not believe me. I took him to Sterkfontein and they showed him all the records and only then did he agree to give me your numbers and told me about Faith.”
Thank God my mother still had her senses.
“Get out of my house and don’t come back!”
“Do you think I am a child? Get out before I kill you!”
He stood up and walked towards the door. He turned once and said,
“I am so sorry!”
To me and left!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
I’m stressed hoping to die, I have being with this guy for two years. We had been fighting for months now. He is dating someone else on the side. Each time when I try to break up with him he doesn’t want he will call, come to my place seek forgiveness after we sort things out he runs back to that girl again, In June last year I got a miscarriage he blames me that I killed his child. I’m doing matric also I’m writing finals, he told me when I’m done writing we r going to move together to Pretoria I think he is fooling me or he is running away # I have tried to break up with him so many times what should I do.