It’s something as women we are not allowed to say outright because somehow it’s wrong and secondly with most of us being single mothers lately, it’s expected of us to be understanding. Single mothers will readily tell you, there are very few guys in this world willing to raise someone else’s child especially when they don’t have a child of their own. That one is fact and I have no doubt on it whatsoever. Single men with kids on the other hand see you as a consolation prize as you can step in and raise their child for them. Don’t think this guarantees them being loyal to you after this. Not in a million years. You are just a solution to his problem. Just because I have a child does not automatically mean I am willing to raise another woman’s child. I did not have a child out of recklessness hence why I should be punished and expected to be understanding when a man with a child comes along. It’s my heart and life I have to share and truth be told, men don’t raise children, they let you raise them for you. I am not a hypocrite, initially I had thought the mother of his child had run off or was just incapable of raising their child. That’s something I can live with because I can put a face to that useless person. When a person is dead however you approach the child with a sympathetic view as it seems unfair. It would get me attached and worse, if we should then break up it would be like I am losing my own child. I was protecting my heart and child if that makes any sense.
“You have gone quiet!”
He said to me as I was so far away now in my thoughts. If only he could read my thoughts. I had so much to work out now that I knew. He was a nice guy yes and him showing up to my rescue like this I have no doubt I will eternally be grateful.
“I have yes. It’s a very deep thing you just said and I need to process. My heart is so sore over what you lost I am honestly speechless!”
Awkward moment. I had not lied to the man nor pretended that I was happy about it. It was deep what he had said and that I cannot take back. He seemed not to mind though as he drove on. When we got to the court I only realized when he said,
“We are here!”
I was not ready for this. I know I had told myself that I was going to come all guns blazing for Mudenda but being here at this moment it felt different.
“We need to find out which court room you are in unless you know already?”
Thulare asked me. I did not know. We decided to go find out and after being directed we got to the room were we could enquire. Must have been pay day because the lady who helped us was so cheerful something you can’t always say about government facilities!
Why was I not surprised though when she told us that we were late? Mudenda had lied. My hearing was now and not an hour later as he had said. She gave us directions and I ran so fast. How could he do this today of all days really. Luck was on my side as the magistrate was ten minutes late meaning we basically entered at the same time. I should have known that Mudenda would try to sabotage this too.
“I am sorry about that. I am Acting Magistrate Bopape we can proceed!”
Mudenda acted as though he was calm but I bet you anything that he was annoyed that we had made it on time. He had a lawyer and I did not. It seemed odd because maintenance court is not usually about that. The magistrate even stated that it was overkill until Mudenda’s lawyer stated that they were here to contest custody of Amo and could prove that I was unstable, unsafe and reckless as a mother hence why the child should be raised by Mudenda. This was not just about maintenance. I laughed out loud and clapped once out of instinct which made it seem like it was true.
“It would take extraordinary circumstances for the court to remove a child from its mother so I should warn that normally such cases end in favour of the mother with costs!”
The magistrate said. The lawyer stood up and stated he knew that and that they had overwhelming proof and evidence that this was the right course to take. Mudenda just sat there and grinned smugly. The judge asked him if he thought he was funny that a mother was about to be separated from her child and stopped the grin. He was serious though and I could see the satisfaction on his face. He had me. I was in shock. I was stunned. I wanted to cry. I definitely cannot afford a lawyer. The judge gave a new date as this matter could not be heard now.
We had some papers to sign and it was even suggested that I get a lawyer to even the odd. Those people are expensive and only work for money and that was something I desperately did not have. I could feel myself get into panic mode and much as I tried to calm down it just would not happen.
“Why are you doing this to me though Mudenda?”
I asked him as soon as we stepped out. He was standing alone trying to make a phone call but I am certain it was because he was waiting for me. He could simply had left but he did not and he knew for a fact that I would talk to him.
“Faith let him be. He does not care and you could cause more damage than good!”
Thulare said coming to stand in between us. He took out his phone and started doing something which gave me a chance to sneak behind him and face Mudenda face to face. There was nothing he could do to me hear that’s certain.
“You know you don’t want Amo and you are expecting another child? Please. You cannot be that cruel. I meant something to you once please don’t do this!”
Mudenda looked at me as though I has shit on my face and responded,
“I intend to take everything from you for what you did to my father! I will make up lies if I have to but when I am done you will have nothing! I might have been an idiot in how we broke up, I accept and I apologized to you for it at Monte that day before you stole my keys and left me there naked to be humiliated. However you are relentless! At every turn you are there! I know you don’t accept the thesis thing but deep down I know it was and I failed to submit so have to re- register thanks to you. It’s fine. I forgave that too, I had it coming but for what you did to my father, that I can’t forgive!”
He said his voice becoming more menacing at the end. Thulare stepped in,
“That’s a little harsh mate; this is a child you are talking about! Don’t do this please!”
“Meladi will not want my baby in her house and you know it! You don’t even think he is yours!”
I could see a cruelty I had not seen yet in him. He was not listening. This country is for those with money. There is no simpler way to put it. He knew I could never afford to fight him.
“You are the one who put this beyond personal. Everywhere my father goes people think he is a rapist and you say I am the cruel one really? No my dear, I have not even started with you! When I am done you will know to let sleeping dogs lie!”
He was not listening to me and the way he was talking made me realise this was as serious as it gets. I had taken him to this court to get money owed to my baby and he had turned. It around to him taking me to court to take my baby. I started crying. I could not help it. I broke down. I had no energy and I felt my knees give way under the weight of my trouble.
“What a stellar man you are?”
Thulare said to him as he held me up and took me to his car. Mudenda was not done yet and. He ran after us to continue his rant,
“You should have aborted when you had the chance! Now you have a bastard and no one wants it or you. My baby is the one I have with Meladi not this ugly thing you produced. Wait till I win custody and you will see how fast I give that baby up for adoption!”
He said to drive it in. I know he was just saying it to hurt me. Why was Thulare not punching him though? I know Tidimalo would have done it no doubt. This man was too much. Of. A peace maker. I was in pain and I did not know what to do. I wanted to call my mum. He closed the door behind but I heard him when he said (Thulare that is)
“Mudenda, have you ever considered that my cousin’s baby is not yours?”
Thulare said calmly when he had put me in the car,
“Stay out of this out of all due respect?”
He said to Thulare angrily.
“I will stay out of it but don’t say I didn’t tell you. When you find out whom the real father of this baby you are claiming is I promise you all the pride will turn to disgust! I am her cousin; I know family secrets which you can’t even dream up in your twisted mind. I guarantee it!”
He got back into the car and we drove away quietly. I did not ask him what he meant though by the warning he had gave because I had too much to worry about.
“You should have kept him talking!”
Thulare said softly. Could he not see I was crying though? How could I have kept him talking when he was hurting me the way he was. That was so insensitive for him to say at a moment like this really.
I asked him weakly?
“I might not be a judge but with all that he said I swear to you no judge will give such cold heartless person custody?”
He said to me smiling. He was right on two fronts, yes no human being would say something so cruel and yes he was no judge because I doubt a doubt a judge would believe us if we told him what he said. What do lawyers call it, “hear say”! Nah that won’t work. It will be his word against ours and it’s hard to prove! I sighed and closed my eyes to pray. We were already driving so imagine my shock when I heard Mudenda’s voice in the car! I opened my eyes and looked around.
Thulare had a huge smile on his face!
“I taped it!”
He said holding up his phone to me!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Good day Team
Mike I would like to that your team for the great work you guys do. First I must say your work keeps me from doing mine lol
Would like to send a special shout out to the following peeps for their influential comments: Jackzorro, Bhejane, Tshidilicious and buttercup.
I am a 22 year old lady. In February my family and I were involved in a car accident driving back from a wedding. Unfortunately I lost my mother and two sisters. I was the sole survivor. Fortunately I was done with my exams and was just awaiting my graduation. I did not attend because after the incident I feel into deep depression.
So what I am trying to say here is that I’ve lost all my immediate family. I did not dwell on that though because my grandmother (mother’s side) embraced me with open arms and filtered most of the pain away. I quickly discovered that the fastest way to heal my depression was to heal my thoughts so I am a whole lot better now. Four months down the line I am still weak but living. Qualified for an internship I applied for a few months back and I started working last month.
Just when all was looking up my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer last week. The paranoia I live under on a daily basis is indescribable. I fear loss so bad after all that’s happened and its lurking again. The thought of losing my grandmother on its own paralyses me. I soak my pillows in tears every night because of the worry that I carry with me all day. Sometimes I get people at work making jokes about me being hungover.
Mike I have lived pain and it deepens the wound thinking that I might have to go through it all over again so much so that I have been contemplating to quit my job. I have no idea what to do. I am deeply wounded; it’s just that not all scars show.