I did not understand. What did he mean she had killed her father? Do people understand the full meaning of the word kill? There had to be a mistake. My father had told me how her father was abusive and I appreciate that but to kill someone is not the same as to slap them! That is something you don’t do lightly because it changes you forever. As a doctor I have lost patients. I did not kill them, nature had run its course but every single patient that had died in my care had taken a part of me. These were people I don’t even know but it hurts like no man’s business. To take a man’s life, your father’s life at that will haunt you forever. You can never be normal again no matter how many support structures you have. I did not want her near my father. Yes she had rescued herself from an abusive situation but the way that experience changes you and shows what you are capable of… That’s another story. I am a woman, yes, but killing is killing. Better her than me. I hope my father saw that! Why didn’t she go to the police? Why could she not get the man arrested? Now she was a murderer when so many institutions were there to protect, defend and indeed avenge her! That’s something I don’t understand with women in abusive relationships, the law is designed to protect us! We have an entire month dedicated to us, to teach us of all these things meant for us but so many ignore and say they have nowhere to turn. I simply do not understand really!
“She killed her father? I don’t understand. He is obviously bigger and stronger than her! Are you sure about this?”
I asked Sizwe again and he said yes.
I asked him because he seemed to know more.
“She shot him!”
How on earth does a kid that young have access to a gun. Something did not add up.
“Where did she get the gun?”
I asked him since clearly he wanted me to ask him play by play.
“Where do you think?”
And finally everything fell into place! It was my father who had either given her if he was so stupid or whom she had stolen it from if she was so clever!
“This is bad, the gun is illegal and she told the police where she got it. It implicates both your mother and father. This is serious Nothabo! I am at the house now but the police have already picked up your dad. I am not sure about your mother. Are you with her?”
No I was not with her. I hung up immediately. I called my aunt. She picked up.
“Take mama out of the house right now and drive to Jhb. Right now. Don’t ask me questions just do as I say. Do it now not later!”
She tried to ask what was happening and I screamed in the phone. She handed the phone to my mum.
“Listen, get in the car right now, right now mum and drive to jhb! I will explain later. Do it now!”
“Ok then but you are scaring us!”
She said and I told her she should be scared because something had happened. My father crook as he was would never implicate my father but my mother scorned and angry as she was definitely would throw him under the bus. That one I guarantee. I did not want the police to question her for fear of what she would say. I transferred money to her immediately. I drove to my husband.
When I got to the house the police where there but there was no one searching it. I asked one of them what they wanted and he actually said no one was going to dare make the first move and enter my father’s house. See, even criminals command respect. My father as a taxi boss had also helped so many community members. I remember a few years ago there was a kid who passed very well but no one had money to take her to school. My father, funny enough much to the dismay of my mother and I, had paid for the boys tuition out of his own pocket. He helped with the local children homes as well as many other things. He was loved. I was actually surprised that he had been taken to the police station. He must have volunteered because it would never have been in cuffs. I asked my husband what had happened,
“The police came and one of them explained the situation. Your father said he did not want your mother finding them here so he suggested they take this to the station. Your father is boss Nothabo, he sat in the front seat!”
He said and he laughed shaking his head. I was not surprised there. I knew he would get away with it as long as my mother was not there.
“Madam we are leaving!”
The policeman I had originally spoken suddenly came up and said. I asked him why and he said there had been some mistake. I immediately called my mother to find out where she was.
“Nothabo what’s going on? You are being to mysterious and I don’t like that!”
She said as soon as she picked up. My mother has a thing of wanting you to explain things ten times that is why I had chosen not to say. She will make you say the same thing over and over again as though she wants clarity.
“Mum I am taking care of it. Will explain to you wwhen I get to Jhb tonight. I am right behind you!”
I know I was being vague but I did not want a situation where she would turn back.
“Ok then but it better be a good explanation!”
She said and hung up the phone. Yes it will be I said to myself. My next move was to go to the police station. I had to go make sure that my father was ok. The insurance people had already towed my father’s car. I went next door to get the boy who lived there to watch the house as now the gate was agape. The family had lived there for as long as I could remember so it was people we trusted. Sizwe and I then when to the station. When we got there my father was sitting laughing with the head of the station. I knew him. He was an old friend of my father’s. All would be fine. Sibongile was also there sitting with my father, uhm ok. Had she not ratted him out.
“Do you remember my daughter Nothabo?”
He asked as soon as I walked in,
“Yes, the doctor! I know her. How are you doctor?”
He said emphasizing that fact. In most black communities being a doctor is a super prestigious title. He told me I had come for no reason because there had been a misunderstanding in the original statement.
“The girl will probably also walk as it was self defense. All the neighbors are rallying in support of her because apparently this really was a bad man!”
Fuck the neighbors! Where were they when this girl and her mother now I understood were abused all these years? They just stood there and watched and now that something had happened they now had a voice. What is wrong with us people though? We see all these things happening around us and we can’t find voice! It’s so shameful yet we go around singing Ubuntu!
“Where is your mother?”
I asked her and she said she did not know. I asked her where she was sleeping tonight because she could not go home.
“At the house of course!”
My father said gleefully and I told him in front of the officer that over my dead body. I will book her a bnb for a couple of days. She could not stay at the house otherwise there would be two more murders added to that list. Men don’t think at times honestly ah! The officer said he knew a good one owned by his sister and she could do with some business. It was settled then. We made the call and I booked her for the week and paid. On the way home my father asked me where my mother was and I explained. He agreed that I had done the right thing because he too had been worried. As my father and Sibongile had no car we had to drive them to the Bnb. She had been so quiet all this time but I could tell she was not ok. She was none of my business though so I was not going to stay and hold her hand. I told her to call her mother because they should be together today especially. They had just excaped and abusive man and if they chose to mop around because of it that was their business. On the way to drop my father at the office so he could take the other car he thanked me.
“I don’t know what I would have done had you not been around. You did well today! I am very proud of you!”
This man. I wanted to tell him that I did not do it for him but for my mother but I was not raised like that. I just smiled. We dropped him off and said our goodbyes. I was exhausted when I got into the car and headed back to Jhb. As soon as we hit the N1 I passed out. Sizwe was quiet. I told him I was expecting a call from my mother so he should wake me up if my phone rang and I didn’t hear it.
Two hours later I woke up. We had not arrived yet.
“Did my mother call?”
I asked him.
“No she did not but George called three times!”
He said without moving his eyes from the road.
“Did you pick up?”
I said trying to sound as casual as possible. He did not reply. I picked up my phone and when I opened it, there was an open sms which read,
“I don’t know why you chose to do it with me but that was amazing. Sex with you is something I had always dreamt of! Thank You. George!”
I looked back at my husband and from the side of his face I could see he had tears in his eyes.
We still had 100km to go!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto
TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY AND YOU GUYS HAVE SHARED ANOTHER GREAT WRITING YEAR WITH ME. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE SUPPORT AND LETS HOPE I CAN ONLY GET BETTER WITH AGE.
Good day Mike,
Hope you are doing well. Thanx for the great work by you and your team.
I’m the eldest of 3 girls. I’m looking for my baby sister. I’ve only met her twice. Once when she was a baby and than when she was about 3 years old.
My mom than sent her off to stay with her fathers family in Rustenburg. Her father used to call on a regular basis so that we could speak to her. Than in 2010 my mom passed away and I never got the address from her to go look for my sister. We called my sisters dad to tell him that my mom has passed on and he promised to bring my sis for moms funeral but never did. I think he got scared when my family started making threats to keep her after the funeral, I however assured him that wouldn’t happen because I know that she’s his only child but he made excuses about not having money to bring her. I then told him I would pay for the both of them and I would meet them at Carlton Centre, all was good and well but they never showed up.
He called me before the funeral to say he’s sorry but something came up and he made us speak to her. After my moms funeral we still kept in touch and we made arrangements to meet but than I lost my phone and lost contact with him. Me and my other sis tried finding contact details amongst moms belongings and my sis recently came across a number and gave it to me but when we called the number belonged to some one else.
I don’t want to take my baby sis away from her dad. I’m not that unreasonable, I mean him and his family is the only family she knows. All I want is to get to know her better. Get her to know her moms family. I’m sure she’s thinking that we don’t care about her but that’s not true. I think about her every single day, even went on facebook with the names I got from my granny to search for her family hoping that one of them might have a facebook account but with no luck.
My granny cries over her every time I call home and I feel as her eldest sister its my duty to try and find her. I owe it to my mom, granny and to both my sisters. My granny asked me to write to Khumbule’khaya but I don’t like all the attention that goes with that. It took all the guts that I have within me just to write this letter but desperate times calls for desperate measures.
Her name is Nonhlanhla Izelene Middleton. Her fathers surname is Sithebe so I don’t know if he changed her surname to Sithebe. She’s 14 years old. Her fathers name is Ezekiel but my mom used to call him Ziggy. My granny said Ziggy’s got siblings named Charlie, Handie and Seun, Seun works in the Army and is married to a teacher. I don’t have her name. Apparently all of them lives in Rustenburg but I have no idea where in Rustenburg. I’m reaching out hoping that some of the readers might be able to help with the little info that I have. Some one that know them might read this so it’s worth a shot.
Warm Regards to all,