I have always wondered what the right punishment for rape should be. Now that he had no dick did this mean that the courts must not give him the full sentence? I knew who had done it but I was not going to call and say thank you lest it be tracked back to me. It was obvious and with the way they attracted trouble it meant I should rather go see them in person when I got to Jhb. I had most certainly not expected that justice would have been so swift. It’s not what most people in this country. Shit takes long here. Unfortunately in spite of that good news I could not sleep that night. I kept hearing what my daughter said she had gone through. When I eventually slept I had a nightmare in which those words played out to me. I was far away and could not help her. She cried for me and I could not get to her. Something was holding me back from getting close enough to her. I hate nightmares because you are so help but waking up tomorrow morning would be an extension of it. I had to wake up and tell my daughter that everything would be fine. I had to remind her that it was not her fault. I needed Sizwe right now. I needed us to be a family. I had tried calling him but his phone had been off. Today had just been such an emotional day and for the first time in a long time I did not want to be far away from my daughter. I wanted her to be in my arms every second of every minute.
In the morning we woke up early and got ready. She barely said good morning to me. I tried to make small talk conversation with her but she was not interested. That spark she had had in was totally gone. She just seemed like she was an empty she’ll of her old self. She was not the same person anymore. We took the bags to the car then I came back up to check out. Belinda was there. She gave me her number and said that if ever I needed anything I should call her. This lady had helped us so much. From Gateway to the airport it’s not far but in that time my daughter was already crying. Her tears were rolling down her face long before I even returned the rental.
“Baby everything will be fine. Let’s focus on moving forward…”
I whispered to my baby as we walked into the terminal after dropping the car. She had not packed any long clothes but I noticed she had gone at long pains to try and cover as much of her body as possible. Did she feel ashamed of herself? It certainly felt like so but how could I tell her that this was not her fault and convince her.
“Mum promise me that you will not tell daddy!”
She asked me again. She was trying to push away the one male figure that was in her life. I felt guilty but it’s her father, he deserves to know. I was scared though that he might never look at her the same. I know I was guilty of it already so we could not both do that. She was still my daughter, that’s true, but it will take a long time for me to see her innocence again. She fell asleep on the 45 minute flight. We took the Gautrain to Sandton then took an Uber home.
“Welcome back madam!”
Mapula said when I got into the house. I hated it when she called me that but she had insisted on that ever since she started working for us. Her first employer had been white so she never took that out of her. She often said it was meant to keep boundaries but when we had guests it felt so embarrassing. It was almost as though we were abusing her.
“Thank you Mapula! Where is Sizwe?”
I asked her. She said he was in his study. I thought Lintle was going to go straight upstairs but she ran to her father cheerfully.
“Hi daddy! I am so sorry about yesterday!”
She said giving him a hug. I know she was faking it but it was because she did not want me to tell him.
“I am very disappointed in you young lady. Anything could have happened to you when you were out there!”
He said hugging her. It’s so hard having a rebel daughter.
“I am sorry. I will make it up to you and mum in whatever way you want. You can even ground me for life and I will listen.”
She said. Sizwe looked at me funny as she walked away going away to her room.
“What did you do to her? Did you hit her again because I can see she has been crying?”
He asked me. I wanted to tell him so badly but the words wouldn’t come out.
“She still has to be punished though because we can’t let this one slide!”
He said sternly and I agreed.
“What happened at the police station?”
I asked him.
“Eish I didn’t call you because I did not want to worry. Tomorrow I am sleeping in jail as they have to do a formal bail hearing. I got lucky in that the police station commander was impressed by the fact that I came in when I said I would. It will be one night only!”
He said. I could see the fear in his eyes even though he was smiling. I loved this man no matter how much I fucked up.
“You will be fine. We will be fine. Today we must make your favourite meal ok!”
I said of which he laughed. He had no favourite meal so he knew I was joking.
“I need to make some calls. Give me about thirty minutes!”
He asked me which gave me a chance to leave the study. I had calls of my own to make. I called one of my friends who is a psychologist and told her what had happened to Lintle. She told me that I should not push my daughter into anything and make sure she is surrounded by friends and family all the time. The worst thing we could do for her was make her be alone. That was not right. She also said that the smaller the circle of people who knew the better. I asked her what I should do considering that she did not want me to tell her father and she agreed with her. Her father represented men and how he looked at her afterwards was important. This therefore meant I should keep my word to my daughter and not tell Sizwe such important news. She also warned me that I should take her in to see someone as this had to be done for her to start talking to someone. That was the hardest part, getting her to talk.
When I put down my phone the phone rang. It was that cop lady again. She asked me if I had arrived well and how my daughter was. I told that she was not coping. She said she had more good news in that Lloyd’s accomplices had been caught and now they had all suspects in custody. She asked me to prepare for myself for the fact that Lintle will have to come back to identify and testify them at some point. I did not like that part at all because it means she will be forced to face her abusers once more. Why would they do that to her? I was not going to call Lesedi again though because if something happened to them then clearly the police would know I was behind it. I had served my revenge, the other two it was now in God’s hands.
“Who were you talking to?”
My husband asked when he entered the room. I had not heard him enter. I told him it was the lady who had helped me find Lintle. He did not ask many questions. Instead he told me that we had a lot of things to discuss in case worst case scenario happened. He was right but I warned him not to talk about worst case scenario because things will be sorted as they always are.
“What happened in the phone calls you made, you don’t sound so convincing anymore?”
I asked him. He refused to tell me and said I should not worry. I hate it when men do that to women. They act as though we can’t make up our own minds and judge a situation objectively. That’s wrong. I am not a child. I was not about to push though as I wanted to go check on Lintle.
She was on her bed and from her face I could see she had been crying again. I held her and somehow we both fell asleep. By the time I woke up, Lintle was up and was bathing. It was late. My husband was downstairs. I had no appetite and neither had Lintle. She asked me for a sleeping pill which I readily obliged her. Note to self, hide the pills, I told myself as I gave her.
“Baby let’s go to bed!”
My husband said. I was not expecting that, he never calls me baby unless he wants something.
“I thought you wanted us to talk, sleeping only brings tomorrow faster and I don’t want that!”
I said to him. He agreed with me but he seemed to have more to say so I let him.
“There is a very strong possibility that I could end up in jail and I think for that reason, if you want of course we should have another child. We have been putting this off for too long!”
Talk about timing.
“Yes I do want another child but can we not do it today?”
I asked him and he looked at me with those sheepish eyes. The ones a child gives you when he sees you holding a sweet.
“I am not refusing and after that trip, I am just tired.”
In marriage, before people judge, sex at some point stops being romantic. When you are younger, a man will or rather should move mountains to try get in your pants. Nowadays I know sex is easier, with a bottle of wine for r50 a woman will open her legs. That’s just a simple reality we live in.
“Love, tomorrow am sleeping in jail. I will have a bail hearing. What if they make an impossible condition where I can’t come out? What if I sleep in jail and someone kills me? I think I would really like to have sex just once before I go!”
He said sweetly. I don’t think this was the right time. My daughter was going through
“Sizwe, I have something to tell you!”
I said when he was kissing me on the neck.
“Does it have to be now?”
He asked me.
“Yes! Lintle was raped last night!”
I said in a whisper but choking from my own tears.
“No! Don’t say that!”
He said to me,
“No, come on! That’s not funny!”
Had I betrayed my daughter by telling him?
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto
Thank you for the daily dose, I love your blog and I do not go a day without it.
I have been very scared of writing to you and your readers simply because I have so much going on in life and my life is just a mess.
I am a 25 year old woman. I completed Grade 12 in 2007, and then had a baby in 2008. You know the story, we broke up with the baby daddy as soon as he found out I was pregnant. I then found a job and worked to feed my baby but 3 years later I went back to Varsity and finished my Diploma with the help of NSFAS since my mother was also not working. I worked through Varsity and was lucky enough to get an in-service training right after I finished my Diploma. It was not paying enough for me to get a place of my own and live with my son. I am struggling financially, I finished the training last year and I have been struggling to get a permanent job ever since. My son lives with my mother and with the R4000 that I get at my current “job” I have to buy food for my mother and son back home, and help with groceries where I live with relatives, transport money for the whole month. I feel like where I stay I am not wanted and I hate to be a burden to anyone. I have managed to raise my son all by myself and he is 7 years old now but he doesn’t get anything he wants just like all kids out there.
I have dated guys but they all leave, they never call they just disappear. It hurts a lot. I believe in God but sometimes I feel like He has forgotten about me. If any of you know of anyone looking for HR personnel please let Mike know so that he can email me. I can relocate anytime, I want to live with my son and be able to provide for him and my mother.
Apologies for the long essay.