I was hungry so I made myself some food. That dinner had bombed spectacularly so I put it at the back of my mind. After I ate I just wanted to sleep but I had one call to make.
“Hey Thulare, did I wake you?”
I asked him as soon as he picked up the phone. He said he had been working and was not done. I asked him about this weekend away he had mentioned and he explained again what was going on. I don’t know how but one thing got to the other I ended up telling him about the dinner and how badly it went. I did not tell him all the dynamics just that Refiloe and her husband had fought.
“I really think you should stay away from all these people for a while. You are bringing Amo into unnecessary drama every time you put yourself in a situation. Your baby must always come first now that you are an adult and have responsibilities.”
He said with a bit of concern in his voice. It’s something I already knew but in all honesty things just seemed to be going against me. I had not planned most of the things that happened to me yet they were happening thick and fast.
“I know what you mean. Aurelia is my friend and is the only friend that stood by me when I was pregnant. It will be very mean of me if left her behind in her hour of need.”
I explained to him. He told me that he was not saying I should cut off my friendship with her but at some point I needed to decide what came first, the friendship or my baby. I have always said this, every time you have a new boyfriend, you lose a close friends so if I only had one, that meant I would lose her? It’s true, your partner will not always like some of your friends and for the sake of your relationship, and you sacrifice your day one friends. That’s the level of our disloyalty as girls yet the man never ever loses his friends. If you had guy friends just be rest assured that they are thing of the past. When you break up with the person you find yourself alone and miserable because you isolated yourself from the people who used to care for you in the first place. No wonder why girls end up going back or staying in abusive relationships because they have nowhere to turn when shit gets tight. They have no one to advise because they got rid of those people a long time ago in the name of love. Was I being asked to do that?
“Tomorrow it’s going to be a long day love, let me sleep and we will talk then!”
I told him. I tried not to hide my annoyance with him and am not sure if he felt it but oh well, he will deal with it. I know with us girls when we think we have found a good man we demolish everything else to please that man. I was not about to do that. I was certainly not looking forward to tomorrow though.
I dreamt that my sister had told me that my mother wanted me to go away for a weekend with Mudenda just the two of us. I say it was dream because no sane person can ever say that to her child knowing what that man did to her daughter. I have always wondered if single mothers want their children to get married unlike them. I have always wondered because how can she want you to get married knowing that she failed at it and knows how shit men are? I think if this was not a dream I should go and ask my mother what her true thoughts were. I have always believed in the strength of a woman and that it is in single mothers that we see it mostly so I would expect her to say I should not see marriage as the ultimate thing. Why then did it seem like she wanted to set me up with Mudenda again? In the morning I had to go to work but not before I spoke to my sister as my mother was not there.
“Last night I did not hear you carefully, please say what you told me again?”
I told her. She did not understand at first then she said,
“Oh, that thing about mom? Oh yes, she said something about Meladi being sick and that they could not cancel the trip so you and Mudenda should go alone!”
She said warming up Amos bottle. He was still sleeping but I am certain if he was mature enough to hear this he too would think these people had lost their minds! They really had. Judith did not seem to see anything wrong with it because she did not comment but I tried not to push her on it. She was going through too much right now.
“Oh she says now you can take Amo with you and frankly speaking I need a break and some time alone.”
Ok that was a hammer blow. I love my child but me going with him on a trip, alone, that was another story. I have always had my mother or sister with me to help me. I am not running away from responsibility but it’s the truth. Besides with what Mudenda had said about Amo I was too scared for him near that evil man.
“What time are you coming back from work to leave so I can have things packed and ready for you?”
She asked me. I was not ready for this but told her by five I will be home. I still had to talk to Aurelia because I was no longer sure if she was coming. She too had a lot to deal with but if she was not coming this would mean that Mudenda and I had to drive in one car just the two of us with the baby? How was that supposed to work though? We looked like kids playing house and I was not about to do that again with this man.
“Morning Faith you seem so far away?”
Orapeleng said when she saw me in the morning. I did not even hear her at first and she had to say it twice. My mind was far away and justifiably so. I was dreading tonight.
“I am good, just a lot on my mind!”
I told her. She was doing her power walk so early in the morning. Some people are amazing. No wonder why she was team leader. My mind was on Mudenda. A mistake repeated more than once, is a decision… it stops being a mistake. Me going with him alone would honestly be beyond the mistake phase. I was in enough trouble as is. Aurelia had to come with me. I called her and when she did not pick up the phone the first time I really got worried. Fortunately she called me back within the hour.
“Are we leaving already? I haven’t even finished packing!”
She said when she picked up the phone. I breathed a sigh of relief at that. She was not cancelling. I told her I was ready for her to pick me us as I had already packed. I also told her of the new development and she seemed to like the idea of babysitting.
“I have some bad news of my own!”
She said to me. What now?
“Lunga asked if he could come. He wants to give his parents space so that they can fix their issues!”
Just last night I had told her that she needed to stay away from both these men and clearly she had missed something. I was in the office and I could not lecture her hear and now but she was making a mistake. What’s worse, now that he was coming with us there I could not lecture her there either. People who don’t listen. My friend duties were done! The warning had been delivered and the rest was up to her.
“Do you know if those two are coming in today?”
Orapeleng asked me about Lunga and my boss. Why was she asking me? They were not my responsibility but I politely told her that I had no idea.
“Something strange is happening hey. I feel like he is not focused on the ball anymore and we need him on his game otherwise we could lose his contract!”
She said. I get the impression that Orapeleng was trying to send a message to my boss through me. I did not like that at all because it would start to look as though I was getting special treatment from the boss. On the day you don’t want things to happen fast they just do, I had such a busy day and when I looked up it was already time to go home. When I got home it was a little after five. I found Judith had already packed for Amo. I was tempted to invite her to come with but it wasn’t on my ticket so I could not. My mother arrived and said she wanted to talk to me in private.
“Did Judith tell you that Meladi is not coming?”
She asked me. I nodded yes.
“This is a good thing. Now you can make Amo build a relationship with his father.”
She said excited. What was going on with my mother? She used to be this anti man kind of woman now she was pushing me towards him.
“A boy needs his father and with her not there you can at least try to establish a relationship between them!”
I was not listening anymore. She said many more things but I just ignored this delusional woman. She was out of touch with my reality. My phone rang from my room and that was my escape. I ran to pick it up and it was Mudenda. Anti-climax I tell you. He said he was already on his way there.
“How am I supposed to get there?”
I asked him cheekily. I knew I had transport I just wanted to hear what his logic was.
“If you don’t come it will show up on your record with the social workers that you don’t make an effort to try fix things for the sake of the child!”
“Are you serious right now?”
I asked him. I know I had baited him but now he had already made me so mad. Why was I doing this in the first place? I swear I would have changed my mind had Aurelia and Lunga not arrived at that moment. I took the baby car seat from our car and Lunga helped me latch it in his car. We were not using Aurelia’s car. This would be interesting.
“Sorry to gate crash your trip like this but I could not stay in my house any longer without killing someone!”
He said as he did that for me. It was too late to protest and to be fair Aurelia had told me,
“It’s ok; I might need some muscle when I am there!”
I said and we all laughed. Aurelia asked me if I had packed a bikini for the pool and I said no. After you give birth you have stretch marks and they don’t just go away. I was not going to take those out for the world to see. Hell no. I took out my old high school swimming costume, a one piece. I pray it still fits. I packed it and we were off. We played a bit of music in silence until at some moment it was lowered and someone spoke to me,
“I am just going to say what everyone is thinking, Faith what the fuck do you think you are doing going to hang out with this doosh of a nigger? And for a full weekend at that?”
I think it’s safe to say no one was sure what was going to happen when we got there.
I was already angry at him.
This weekend was going to explosive!
Sleeves rolled up!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Dear Mike and readers
Firstly I would like to thank you for the effort you put in all the chapters we get to read. You truly are a great writer. Please forgive me for the long letter, I tried to summarize it.
I am one of those girls who grew up with the impression that you go to school, get a job, get married and live happily ever after. Of late I have grown to realise that this life thing does not work out this way. I graduated in 2013 and since then I have not been able to get a job. Relationship wise things have not been going my way. With all the time I spend at home doing nothing I have also gained a lot of weight and I do not like that about myself. Actually I do not like anything about myself. I am depressed and I feel stuck. With my mother being a sickly person, I cannot tell her any of my frustrations in life as I do not want to trouble her. I cannot bring myself to talk to anyone about my problem as I feel that I have to put up a front and convince everyone that I am okay with where my life is right now and everything will fall into place eventually. Part of me believes that but sometimes my siblings advise me to go back to school and choose a whole different career path. That on its own adds to my lists of frustrations and discourages me even more.
I have a BSc degree in geology and with this letter I am hoping that I can find anyone who has managed to break out in that field or someone who has made it in the environmental sciences filed. Anyone who would be willing to give me some career advice or a way forward from where I am as I do not have anyone to help me figure this out. I need someone to model my career after or a mentor because right now I am on my own. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org , please feel free to contact me if you are willing to help.
Please Please help