When you have a father like mine who does not understand what no is and when to back down you have a problem. Growing up its different because when you are younger he is a parent but as you get older he is not. He is a bully. Ask any girl whose father is a taxi boss or a policeman with high rank and she will tell you that your father never backs off. He is part of your marriage whether you like it or not. I had asked him, I had pleaded with him and yes I had even tried to be polite but he was not listening. What had they done with the journalist? I really hoped they had not killed him because I know I sound so casual when i say it but my father is very capable of that. He is cold and heartless. I know I blamed my husband for being weak just recently but there are people out there who can weaken you because they are so strong. I was tired already. I was not cut out of this rough world.
I called my mother. She had to intervene now! It was time she spoke sense to her husband. I could not challenge him nor could she but I know she was not afraid of him. She picked up. I told her the whole story and what my father was doing. When I was done she said,
“You know your father thinks you are a failure. You are the one he wanted so much to take over his business and when you got pregnant he has never forgiven you!”
What was she talking about? How did we get here?
“So I am being punished for not wanting to run taxis?”
I asked her. In some families, correct me if I am wrong, of you produce a doctor the family has done well. In mine it was being said that I had failed the family. How is that so? It’s like when you come from a family of Sangomas then you decide to do something else! I am sure they would bewitch you themselves.
“But it was him who insisted I get married. What more did he want?”
I protested to her. My father was a very complicated man. You never knew when he was happy or when he was sad for that matter. That’s why we all feared him. The whole community feared him. Police were polite to him because they feared him. They all called him Bra out of fear but I am certain they much prefered him dead.
“We need to do something? I don’t want him making things worse for me as they are already so bad. Please please talk to him”
I begged. I sensed reluctance in my mom every time I spoke to her about my father. There was something she was not telling me. I started pushing her to tell me the truth of what’s going on. You know how mothers always try shielding you from the truth even when you are older. They do that because they believe that it is not necessary for the child not to be put in between adult things. Oh well, the world had changed, I needed to know. After nagging she finally broke,
“Your father is sleeping with some child from the university!”
She said coldly but I could sense the hurt in her. I am not sure if I was shocked or not but as a woman, as you get older, you can expect your husband to stray. Young women do not believe in working hard for a man anymore, to grow with him and succeed with him. No, they want to jump the line and go find an already made man to spoil them. My father was a prime candidate, he had money and power meaning he probably has been doing this for years. Why then was my mother so affected by this one?
“Mum I amm not being insensitive but I am sure you know he has being doing this for years!”
I said to her trying to be as polite as possible without hurting her even further than she was already.
“I know he has and I have fought off all of them but right now am tired. This one I feel she is different. He never ever spoken to me about a girl before. This time he did not sneak arouund as he always does, no, he actually came and told me about her. I would never have found out about her meaning he wanted me to know. He say he wants to bring her to the house so I can meet her?”
She said in resignation. What the hell? I was scared of my father but for this I was going home to fix. He cannot disrespect her like that! What is wrong with men really? I would kill Sizwe if he ever brought a woman home!
“He wants to bring her home?”
I asked her shocked. Women get very angry when they find out for themselves that you have been cheating. When you as a man come and open up about it to us that’s another story. It most certainly means you want to divorce us!
“Does he want a divorce?”
I asked her. She was now sobbing quietly. Please appreciate the sombreness of this moment, a child consoling her mother because her father is about to leave her for a very young girl, not even woman at that.
“He says he does not want one. He says he just wants me to meet her because he really likes her but he loves me. He says I am the mother of his children, his queen and his everything but he wants to feel young again. He said all this to my face. We were not even fighting Nothabo. He sat me down and he spoke to me normally very unlike your father which is why I took him seriously!”
I was hurting. I was angry. How can he be so selfish? How can he just come out and be honest to her like that?
“This is what he asked me; would you rather I cheat and keep sleeping in motels and in the car, bringing the risk home or just be honest with you and bring her home? I am too old for these sleeping in these funny places because people talk and they then laugh at you on the streets. I don’t want that. I still respect you that much, in that funny voice of his when he is trying to be sweet. How could he even try to be sweet at a time like this?”
She asked me. I knew the voice my father made when he wanted something. He can be the nicest man ever but this was not a moment to be nice. This was more a moment of silence. I heard a knock on the door on my mothers side and she went to check who it was. It was female voices and she said to me,
“I will talk to you later!”
As she hung up immediately. My poor mother. I wanted to scream at my father but I will save that for home. I went and told Sizwe what had happened. He sympathised with my mother but I could have sworn he had that,
“I could have told you so”
look on his face which was in honesty true! He could have told me. You can never know a man. I started crying. I was hurt. I looked at Sizwe and all I saw was this big dog! A turd! Now I see why women reflect their heartbreak on other men! We blame you for what another did! We can’t help it.
“We still have the matter of Mthobisi! At some point he is going to harm us and Lintle! Sizwe we have to do something?”
I told my husband after I had briefed him on the situation. We had two options, go to Mthobisi and watch him to watch his back but I knew what the consequences would be. That guy was a hard nut. He did not seem to understand anything even friendship. I was not going there.
“We are just going to keep quiet! Whatever happens happens!”
My husband said. I was not sure if he was trying to act tough or what. This why at times I feel God wasted a dick on this man! Sies! I did not say that to him. I had a plan.
I took my phone and sent my father a message,
“Mum told me about your new girl. I will help you get mom to meet her if you call off your dog’s on Mthobisi.”
Within a minute he was calling back?
This after having ignored my calls.
The power of women!
“I am listening!”
He said as soon as I picked up!
Lord help me, I was about to throw my mother under the bus to save my family!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Please can you put this on an appropriate chapter like you did with the other letter?
Thank you for reading and greetings to your readers. I am 45 and having been married for 23 years. My husband is a powerful somebody and is 50 this October. We have three children of which two are still in university. We are a suburban family and a respected one. I work as well. I love my husband with everything that I have. For all these years he has been the most thoughtful and caring man. He not only took care of me but also upgraded my own family to the point where my siblings went to school and university and they in turn upgraded our family. They love him and respect him.
The problem is he has been having an unfair with a 21 year old girl. When it started he came to me and told me about it and said that he is trying so hard to stop but every time he sees the girl he can’t resist her. He changed numbers even to try and avoid her. They don’t work for the same company but they work closely together. He can’t quit obviously otherwise we will starve. I blamed him and threatened to divorce him if he does not stop seeing her. He told me that he cannot stop and does not know want to do things behind my back sighting if he did people will find out.
I need your advice! I have had the happiest marriage imaginable but now this has happened. I do not think he has ever cheated before unless I was too naïve to see it. Should I divorce this man who even now in a very bad situation is trying to be honest about it?
HEY LADIES AND GENTS
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