One of the things you do as a single mother especially at the beginning is cry. It feels like the world has conspired against you if a man who used to love you so much turns around and starts to hate you like this. We don’t cry because we are weak, we cry because we are hurt, abandoned and the feeling of being alone feels overwhelming. We cry because to us when we look at that baby, God could simply have not done a better job at creating something so perfect so why on earth would the father not want the baby? It’s something that we cannot understand and even when he sends you money for maintenance it just feels like something is missing. He is paying you for breeding you if that makes any sense! To him you were just a cow he made pregnant so the rest is up to you! When he forgets a birthday or when the child gets sick is when this hits home the most. That is a painful thought and today everything Mudenda had said had hit home. He would rather give my baby, our baby away for adoption than to see me raise him. The disdain that he had said this with is also something quite amazing. This was a man who loved me with all he had once up on a time so how can love be turned to hatred so quick!
“Hey, wake up!”
Thulare said clicking his fingers in front of my face,
“Are you not happy? Isn’t this what you need to keep Amo? You have something that you can use in court against him.”
He asked me. He was right I should be happy but after all that was said it would be very quick of me to just claim victory and forget what was said.
“I am happy but just overwhelmed by everything that was said that’s all!”
I told him. It is quite overwhelming knowing someone hates you like this. The reason why I told him I was happy is another baby mama curse. You can’t have too many problems when you are trying to attract a new guy. No one wants a girl with too much “baggage” as they put it. It’s a turn off that drives men away. Usually when you are just dating, some of the things that hurt you, you are forced to keep to yourself. Guys like Thulare who seem to have all their lives sorted usually don’t stick around for such nonsense if truth be told. It’s a curse because you have to pretend not to have problems if you want a man to stay.
“I have your back. I saw a side to that guy that I never thought I could see in a man. I know people say men are bad blah blah blah but what he did today was evil. You can’t face him alone and win. I know a friend of mine who is a lawyer at Legal Wise so I will give her a call and see if she can take your case.”
He said to me thoughtfully. Why is it the world does not have more men like Thulare though. Tidimalo was good to me but Thulare, he was being something else. I could not help but wonder if his timing for coming into my life was all wrong though. Why could he not have come when all the dust had settled and I did not have to dodge bullets the way I was!
“You know so many people!”
I said laughing through the pain in my heart. He laughed back and took one hand off the steering wheel, open palm and gestured for me to put mine in it which I did. He closed his hand around mine and said,
“I know you have just met me but I can assure you, I am good at my word. I will try protect as best I can!”
He said turning to smile.
“And as for knowing many people, that’s debatable because no, I do not!”
He said focusing on the road now. Jhb has too many bad drivers so you always need to be vigilant.
“Thank you so much hey. I think I must go thank Tidimalo for his choice of friends but eish, I doubt Nozipho will appreciate that!”
We both laughed and I continued,
“Please drop me off at work. We finished early meaning that I have no reason why to go wallow at home!”
I told him.
“Girls that work are less maintenance! Yoh if you didn’t have a job I think I would have been scared of you!”
He said in what I think was a joke. I read somewhere that South African men do not like a woman who works because they feel it challenges their authority. It also said that with all the laws favouring women, months dedicated to women and jobs favouring women it makes men hostile towards them which perpetuates the cycle of violence as men are often left feeling vulnerable. If that was true that did not show on Thulare as he started cracking jokes about my job. I actually did not have a proper job description. If anything I was the friend of the bosses nyatsi that’s why I got it in first place. He was working hard to bring a smile to my face.
“I think you should go on that trip this weekend,”
He said when we parked. Say what? After all that had happened today that was highly unlikely now.
“Oh hell no! Do you want me to go missing? They will do something to me. Imagine, the whole family has ganged up against me and who knows what will happen there?”
I think I made a good point! Why would I want to end up in the bushes with these people? They will never find my body shem no thank you!
“Think about it, if you don’t show up Mudenda will say in court that they tried to make things right and it was you that was hostile!”
He said to me. He had a point but I really wished we could cancel. Imagine having to sit across the table from Mudenda and Meladi as well watching my back every second… not the nicest thought.
“Can’t you come with me?”
I asked him but he declined and said he was going to one of his colleagues mothers funerals. That one most definitely he could not miss. Funny enough I am glad he said no because I did not want to over rely on him. This is what got me in trouble with. Mudenda in the first place, this inability to be by myself. It’s a girl thing, when we fall in love we give ourselves over to the guy and even lose our identity to him and into him. I should not do that or rather it was too soon any way. Once beaten twice shy right!
“I can’t stay long I also have to go. If you need anything you should call!”
He said and that was it. He was off. I watched him drive off and I could feel a heavy weight lift off my shoulders. I was at peace even in a time of turmoil like this. My phone rang and it was Meladi.
“Dude where are you?”
She asked me and as I entered I found her sitting by reception there. Was my boss here! She stood up and hugged me.
“What are you doing here?”
I asked her surprised. I doubt she would randomly come visit me at work like this. She had come with Refiloe who was dropping off some paperwork for her husband who was sick but ended up having to make some calls. I greeted Aurelia and she asked me how the court went. I had forgotten that I had told her that today was the day because of all the fighting lately. I told her everything from how my mother wanted me to go out with them this weekend as well as all that Mudenda had said outside the courtroom. She genuinely could not believe me because the Mudenda she knew was so different.
I called Thulare and asked him to send me the recording which he did and I played it for her. She was shocked as can be expected.
“I am going with you this weekend and am not taking no for an answer. Will book my own room even. You can’t be alone with these animals and I won’t allow it. You my best friend so we do this together!”
She said without hesitation or doubt in her voice. I was not expecting that and the guilt that came with it.
“But don’t you have important things to do! I can’t ask that of you Aurelia come on!”
She ignored me as she picked up her phone and dialled someone. When the person picked up she said,
“Hey my darling! I can’t do the shoot this weekend. I have a family emergency and my sister needs me!”
She said and hung up.
“See, it’s sorted. There is nothing more important than you and Amo for me and I mean that. Send me all the details of where we will be going ok! She is coming back so I have to go!”
She said pointing at Refiloe who was walking towards us but still on the phone. She waved over Aurelia that they had to go and gave me a quick greeting then they walked out together.
I looked at them walk away together and it hurt.
“You came to work! Nice! I have so much for you to do!”
Orapeleng said to me when she saw me looking at the two of them walk away.
“One day I want to have that woman’s life. She is rich, beautiful and look what she drives and wears! Why is God cruel though?”
She said and we both laughed and stepped in. She is like that because of all the money I tell you. I am a devil I tell you. Only those with money will tell you that it is not important at all. Look at me, I was waiting for charity from Thulare to hook me up with Legalwise to save something as important as my baby. That is what poverty does for you. Here I was having an opportunity to make sure my child will never ever go hungry again but to do this I had sacrifice my friend. As I sat down on my desk next to Lunga who was buried in work an sms came in,
“Please, woman to woman, can you give Tidimalo and I a bit of space. I mean this with all due respect because we are trying to build something together but he is constantly worried about you which makes me nervous. He talks about you a lot and I really like him. Please stay away from him!”
It was from Nozipho!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thanks for the great read Mike. My name is Jessica from Nelspruit.this story is not about me but I’m hoping you guys can assist.I met an 18 year old girl at the park the other day,she said she was there to think and we spoke,she had just quit her job at a cafe because her old boss keeps being sexual with her (touches her and forces to kiss her)she also said she doesn’t even know how much she earns because sometimes he gives her R250 sometimes even R150.She lives with some lady who took her after she had to leave an orphanage cos she was too old,she says her parents were from Swaziland but died and she has no information on relatives,she had to quit matric because she doesn’t have an I.D as they require her mothers details and she doesn’t have them even social workers tried but did not succeed. can anyone who is willing to help please contact me, at least with an I.D so she can do her matric.My numbers are 0791141718.I would really appreciate any kind of help.