Why do men do some of the things that they do though? He had rammed the gate so hard and was not wearing a sit belt meaning his head hit the steering wheel and knocked him out. The car was damaged too so when you do the maths on this one he had clearly miscalculated. We all ran to the car, my mother included to check on him!
“You stupid man! What the hell were you thinking?”
My mother shouted but she was crying too. We were all in shock. He was bleeding from the head something which I had to address immediately. For all my flaws if there was one thing I was good at its my job. Maybe that’s why I had become so cold to the world after a while because I was so absorbed with it. I had put family and husband behind me to save other people’s lives. To some people I am a hero but to my own family I was now a stranger.
“Mum can I have bandages please!”
I asked her. She always kept a first aid kit in the house that’s how I knew we would have one. She went and took one whilst I asked my husband to bring me warm water. He did not argue with me this time. They all stood around me and watched me attend to my father. My mother was right, he was a stupid man and had he been any other patient I would have told him so. He was passed out for like thirty minutes but in that time it gave me a chance to check on whether anything was broken. He was fine as far as I could tell but wait till he wakes up and that massive headache hits him! That will be a lesson he will never forget. The phone rang and it was the insurance. They said that they had received a distressed signal from the car and wanted to check if he had been in an accident. I told them yes and explained how he had hit the gate. I lied and said the gate had closed on him as he was entering when it was supposed to be opening. They saidd they will send a tow truck to pick up the car but they needed us to do an accident report. Imagine telling them that my father had rammed the gate? Nope, I dont think so!
“When he is up please take him to where ever he was last night!”
My mother said coldly. It was shock that had made her cry but now that she was back to her senses she did not want him anymore. Even Sizwe spoke up,
“Please ma, let him stay here just for now so that he can recover. He can’t be alone at a time like this!”
He pleaded but she retorted,
“I thought he replaced me with a younger model. What’s her name, Sibongile? She can take care of him. I am done with him. Who in their right mind hits a gate just because he wants to prove what a man he is? No Sizwe, it doesn’t work like that. I am too old to play games with men who want to play like children!”
I won’t lie hearing her talk like that scared me. I know I am too old myself to worry about my parents divorcing but they were all I have and had. They have been through it all together and breaking up clearly was not an option. My mother could not be alone at her age. Older black women don’t get to date again usually and my mother was reaching that age of needing a companion. They had come this far to their together forever and now at the finish line they were quitting. No I could not allow that most definitely.
“Mum I think papa and you need to work this out otherwise you are setting a wrong example!”
She looked at me like I had lost my mind and maybe I had.
“A bad example? For who? For what? Are you happy to see me being humiliated like this Nothabo? Is this what you want for your mother to be the laughing stock of Bloemfontein?”
She threw back questions to me with no answers. How could I answer her when things were like this. Her husband lay injured in the next room and here I was begging my mom to go take care of him. Maybe if she saw him liking down like that the compassion will come back and she will forgive him. I didn’t know what to do.
“I think your brother had better come. It’s time this family hears the truth about everything. I can’t live like this anymore. I am a strong woman and what I have done to myself I am even ashamed to admit. You used to ask why I quit teaching and it was because your father wanted me home to take care of the family. What did he give me in return? Continuos cheating, late nights and all this tension of being a taxi lords wife. Now you see bo Khanyi Mbau on TV and you think it was easy? No, it was not! I suffered every day of my marriage to raise you. Imagine having to worry on which direction the bullets will come from? That was my reality. What was my reward? A son who is a delinquent, addict, thief, scared of education and a daughter who is prod to the point of not recognising that her family is falling apart whilst she is busy playing doctor! Ngyenzeni Baba!”
She said in Zulu looking to the heavens as though the skies would open to give her answers. I felt so bad. She had described our family in a nutshell, living in pretence behind high walls. It was then my father decided to wake up.
He asked when he got up groggy. I heard my husband tell him that he had come in a little bit too fast and hit the gate by accident. I don’t know why he lied. He asked my husband what he was doing there and when he had arrived. Normally when you hit your head as hard as he had you tend to forget briefly what had taken place in detail.
“See he is up! Can he leave now?”
My mother told me. She did not go check on him and instead sat in her bedroom. My father was too weak to move. He had not lost a lot of blood though which was a good thing. I told my mother that for at least two more hours he had to stay where he was for fearing of making him worse. She said that she was leaving then. He can stay in the house she will go sleep at her friends place.
“Aowa mama why are you being so dramatic. He will leave when he can stand. Let him rest!”
It’s true when people say that when you love someone, hating them is the next closest emotion. I could see the hatred in my mothers eyes. She had been insulted and she did not want this man. It makes you wonder though, if there are so many divorced couples out there, how many people truly hate each other.
“Mama I am here now! It’s time we fixed this. That girl must come here so that you tell her and him that it’s over they can have each other! We are fighting in the streets like re de straatmate and that’s embarrassing. If you don’t want papa anymore then it’s fine, it’s your decision but we will not be fighting in the streets like we are common people. That one I refuse! You have always been a proudd woman and everyone wants to see you fail! Remember Mam’ Khumalo! She will celebrate at this if we do this in the streets like you are trying!”
I told my mum reminding her of her long rival. They had been friends before but somewhere somehow that had turned into enemy ship. My mother never wanted to look bad in front of that woman and that argument almost always worked.
“It’s not about her, it’s about me and your father!”
She snapped and for a moment there I thought she was going to stand her ground but thank heavens she saw reason.
“Ok fine, I will meet the girl and tell her everything you said. I don’t want her and your father, they can have each other!”
I took my father’s phone and called her. She said my father had left her at the office and she was still there. I told her Sizwe was coming to pick her up. I then went to my husband to ask him if he could and he said yes. I had forgotten to consult him so I pretended as though I was calling her to tell her. I need to learn asking before making decisions.
He was not gone for more than 15minutes. I heard the car come back in and knew that round two of the drama was about to start. It had to be had. This was now or never. She was so scared. I thought she would turn and run at any moment as she walked behind my husband. I swear if this girl was a man hers were balls made of titanium or she was just plain stupid and naive.
My father sat up slowly and looked at her walk in.
“Look at her mama ka Nothabo! She looks exactly like you when you were younger!”
My father said pointing at her. I had not considered that when I first met Sibongile but recalling my mothers pictures when she was younger the resemblance was hard to miss.
This was either super sweet or super creepy!
They were identical!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank u for all your beautiful books.
im so sorry for the essay bt i really need advise.
im a 24 young lady hu is stl inlv wth her ex, lets call him Ayanda.
ok so Ayanda n i met in 2007 while i ws still at skul n we dated for 3years. I got pregnant after my matric by him n we jst started fighting, it evn got up to a point whr he denied his child n tht resulted to us breaking up. We later lost our son in 2011 n he was very supportive. We evn tried fixing thngs bt they were jst not working. We then became friends n he would tel me about hs gfs n staff, he would fetch me at work, call evrtym. i then met a new guy, (lets call him sipho). uSipho ws also a gud guy, we dated for a year n also broke up naye whn i got preg. i found out he was traditionally married back home in swaziland n he has 3 other kids. i told ayanda tht i ws preg n he also told me he made 2girls pregnant who will be due before october this year. Uayanda would still call n visit while i was preg n would still fetch me at work. i gave birth in june Usipho has been quiet for Months n stl has not seen the bby bt Ayanda has n he calls n reminds me of the times we were dating,he checks up on the bby everytime. Ayanda then told me he is planning to pay lobola for 1 of the girls he impregnated n said he wants to do things the ryt way.
is he stl into me or just being a caring friend?
should i tel him i stl love him or just move on wth my life?