I think it’s a fact, every parent wants their child to end up with a successful man. I know most girls my age and possibly single mothers believe that they don’t need men so why bother wanting one but in all honesty, even them tend to look for a man who is more successful than them. That’s why I call us women hypocrites. There are very few of us who are willing to be with a man who earns less than us and at times a man with no ambition. There is a wrong misguided assumption that women only compete on fashion but in all honesty cars, bank accounts and the size of my house counts too as success. We tell each other that we are not gold diggers when honesty is, if a man cannot spoil you and give you a comfortable then he simply does not deserve you. Nowadays the clever ones talk about the economy and expense of things when they want to argue why you should look for a successful man or one with an upward trajectory. In my head, when my mother heard that her new son in law was working for Pick n Pay her immediate thought was teller and it was stuck there. Even me when I think of any of these supermarkets there is nothing else I can think of as a job.
“Are you sure she is my daughter. Everything I do for her is not good enough. She wants my support when she constantly does things that no mother can support! Ngyenzeni baba!”
She said looking to the heavens for answers because I for one did not have them for her. Her favorite daughter fucking up was nothing new to me but I felt on this one she was being a bit harsh.
“Mum are you not being a bit harsh though? Should she marry a man because of money or because of love!”
My mother looked at me funny and for a moment there I thought she was going to snap but she didn’t.
“It’s not even about money. Your sister is lazy and a slob. She can barely take care of herself now imagine her taking care of a man and house!”
She said in an open ended question. Another touchy subject, why does a man need taking care of. He is a grown ass man. Maybe I am young and don’t understand these things but for me a man is not a child. It’s when you treat him like one that he behaves like one. Yes I will cook for my husband but for him to expect me to come home after work tired and stand in the kitchen whilst he is watching the news then he has another thing coming! It’s not about equal rights but simple common sense that all these things as women we used to do for our men and what thank you did we get, abuse, cheating, neglect and no love in return! I was barely 23 and already I had experienced what this thing called a man really is what about our mothers. No thank you!
“Mum there are things that a man can do on his own without needing a woman. It’s not like she will be his servant!”
I was right too! I reminded her of how she had single handedly raised us and how well we had turned out. She was so annoyed by the last part and said we could have turn out better considerring one child was a deliquent and other had a fatherless baby. Ouch! That hurt. I stood up immediately and I left her alone. My mother I have always said has a sharp tongue. That was so unnecessary and uncalled for. How dare she? She was right though! We had failed her. I know us single mothers, here I mean the ones coming out of university or unemployed really messed up. We love our babies and our parents love our babies too but they had higher expectations of us but we thought we knew better. We can blame the guy who abandoned us without marrying us but in this case the only one to blame to us. Every single girl I know knows at least two girls who are single mothers because their boyfriends ran away when she got pregnant or gave birth. We all know of men who do not pay maintenance and we all know how hard it is to get a job. Yes we can blame everybody else but reality is, the truth hurts and it’s right in front of us. At least for now I had a job. Thank heavens. I was still angry at her though for telling the truth the way she had. Some things are not to be said.
I think she saw she had hurt me because she followed me to my room. She said nothing and picked up Amo then took him to her room doing all this baby talk. This was the woman who gave birth to me, educated me, gave me shelter and was now feeding my child. I could be angry at her all I want but I loved her regardless.
When she left my room my sister entered. She looked angry.
“You are the one who told mum about the condom because you were also angry at me that day!”
Really Judith! This girl loved dramab now she was blaming me. How deep is that?
“It was not me. I would not do that to you. We have our fights you know that but I never run to mum!”
I reminded her.
“But how could she find it so hidden? It’s like she knew where to look!”
She was right though my mother had found it too easily. Deep stuff. If it had happened to me I would not believe myself either! Talk about bad luck.
“So what are you going to do about Kagiso?”
I asked her. Without hesitation she said,
“I am marrying him!”
She loved this guy. I had never actually shown so much interest in this guy so maybe now was as good a time as any to ask about him.
“Where does he stay?”
I asked her. She looked at me blamkly and said she had never been to his place. They always went to his friends house who he was house sitting for as the friend was working on a mine in Komatieport. She had a clear story but for me that rose alarm bells.
“Judith you have only been dating this guy for a few months and already you want to marry him. Now you saying you don’t even know where he stays? Can you hear how wrong that sounds?”
I asked her. Shetold me she had thought about too but that does not mean it would stop her loving him. I asked her what if he was married that’s why he could not take her home. That question really annoyed her.
“You really are on moms side neh? You just looking for negatives.”
My sister had a problem, she was stubborn and one of those girls that believed in her own decisions no matter how bad they were! I wanted to go to bed now. I told her we will talk in the morning but she said she might not be there. She was going to move in with Kagiso because mom was not her side. I told her not to be that stupid.
My phone rang. It was Mudenda.
“What do you want?”
I asked him very coldly! When it comes to these lazy ass baby daddies never leave room for sentiment!
“Thank you for not pressing charges against me. I am not this bad person I am now looking out to be. Meladi’s father has asked Meladi to move home because he says I must first see a psychologist because now he too thinks I could be abusive. You have really ruined my life!”
He said very calmly.
“I just want you to pay maintenance for Amo that’s it. All these other stories are between your fiance and you! Shap!”
And I hung up!
The smile on the my face though, I could not help it!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Six years ago when I was 16 I was raped by my neighbour. He was 37 at the time. He was arrested and went to jail for it. Everyone on my street blamed me because at that time I was a rebellious teen and very naughty. He was the church type and I don’t know what got into him. He was married and had two kids. He was also a teacher. He was sentenced to eight years. Three days ago he was stabbed and killed in prison. I can’t help but feel responsible. People are still talking about it like I brought it on me. His wife who stayed loyal to him all these years and for a full 4 and a half years never said a single word to me, yesterday asked me if I was happy now that he is dead. I don’t blame her and that’s what scares me. In my teens I used to sleep around and at some point I tried to seduce her husband for money. I was 15 at that time. He was alone and I went to his house. I took off my clothes and asked him how much he would give me for sex. He took me to my house and my dad whooped me. The day he raped me I had gone to his house for help with my homework (he is my neighbor so all kids in the street did homework there for free). I was the last to finish. He reminded of that time I was 14. I told him I was over him. He then raped me. My mother is the one who took me to hospital and police. He denied it but they proved violent penetration as I was bleeding. The community which obviously knew what I did when I was 14 stood by him but the magistrate did not. I also don’t blame them because the kids on my street used to do well at school because of him. Now he is dead.
I don’t know how to feel because I am still numb to what happened. Sometimes I blame myself for everything and am not sure if I am right. Should I go pay my respects or go into hiding because people are angry.
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