I sat there for a good thirty minutes stunned to the point of being frozen. My brain was not functioning. I could not think. It was as though the air in the room had been sucked out because of the shock of what I had just seen. I should have passed out there. What I could not understand was that we were doing so well, Sizwe and I so why would he go behind my back to get a lawyer and then a divorce. Just the other day he had said we must get a new house. He had not said anything about us getting it as a second home. The house we lived in was already fully paid for. Had this been a trick then so that we have two houses and once the house is there we would divide them between the two of us? Instinct told me that I should go and confront him immediately and ask him why he was doing this but that would most certainly only end up in a fight, proving him right as to why he had wanted to divorce me in the first place. I looked at the date again thinking maybe these papers were from long ago when indeed we had problems but no they were not. When we had problems it would have made a bit of sense and could be excused as we both were angry at each other at the time but no, this was happening at a time when life was perfect between us. Now that’s what hurt the most. We had worked so hard to get us back to this point and now he not only wanted a divorce but had gone as far as seeing his lawyers to make it happen. I love my husband okay, meaning this one I had to do whatever it takes to fix things. The question was what? My husband wanted to leave me!
Eventually I mastered the energy to stand up from where I was sitting in the car. I did not want to read any more because that was not going to change anything. As I walked into the bedroom I bumped into my husband.
“You look like you have seen a ghost!”, he said, with a smile on his face when I walked into the room. He was not even showing signs of conflict on his face. I did not respond at first. Did he know what he was doing to me? How could he be so calm?
“What’s wrong? Where were you actually?”, he asked me a bit of concern showing in his voice.
“I took a walk, wanted to clear my head that’s all. Got a lot on my mind!”, I told him. He stood up and came to me then he hugged me and whispered, “I hope you found solutions in that head of yours”, and then went downstairs. Was this some kind of joke? I was so confused. Such things make you doubt your own sanity. I know what I had seen and now he was making me doubt my own eyes and rationale. Confronting him and making a fight out of it at this moment would not help at all. I needed a plan that not only bought me time to try fixing things between us but also meant that we could fix things going forward. There was a knock at the door and it was Lintle.
“Yes what is it?”, I responded. She walked in and had a paper in her hand.
“Mum I… why are you crying?”, she asked me. I had not even felt the tears come out but like I said I was numb to what was happening around me. I did not know what to think or do.
“You shouldn’t have seen that!”, I said wiping my tears but she instead came towards me and hugged me.
“What is it you needed?” I asked her. She said no it could wait. She could see I was not okay so I guess it would have to wait for later. I did not have the energy and I just lay down on my bed. I heard Lintle go downstairs and I heard her ask her father why I was crying. He said he did not know and then I heard him coming up the stairs. I immediately ran to the shower so that he would not see me crying or confront me like that. I did not want him to know. I wanted to try and fix things between us without him thinking I was motivated by the divorce papers.
As soon as he walked into the shower I said, “Love can we have lunch tomorrow like we used to back in the day?”
When we didn’t have money he used to come take me to one of those kitchen ladies on the street. It was fun and I never liked the street life. Once we bought pap and malana (chicken intestines). We both got very sick and that was the last time we ever ate on the street. That was many years ago and I was to blame because at the time I had called him cheap for allowing us to even go there. It had been a joke which at the time, in pain, we had both laughed at but in future in one of our arguments he had brought it up meaning I had actually hurt him. I was very disappointed because I hate it when people hold on to something for so long then drop it like that on you.
“Lunch? I am not sure hey. Going to a restaurant at lunch will definitely make you late for work…”, He said.
“No love I don’t mean a restaurant. Let’s go buy on the street like we used to!”, I said and he laughed. He said I was too classy for that now and would never do that. He was right in a sense but now was not the time for the so-called pride I have.
“Oh come love I’m craving it!”, I shouted above the shower. I had my back turned to him as the water ran so he could not see whether I was crying or not. Moreover with the sound of the water splashing I doubt he could hear my voice cracking.
“Okay then. I will pick you up and we can do that!”, He said laughing.
“Awesome! Can’t wait!”
I was lying. That food was a health hazard. I have treated enough patients with food poisoning after having eaten at some of these corners. However, my husband used to love this so I will do it to remind him of us. When I got out of the shower he had gone downstairs again. What the hell was he doing there? I went to check only to find he was watching Champions League football. Ag, I hate soccer. I asked him who was playing and he immediately got annoyed. He knows I ask a lot of questions during matches and he hates that. Well, in my defence the reason why I ask questions is to try and show interest otherwise what sane person can sit through 90 minutes and watch grown men chase a ball around, yawn!
“Must I get you a beer before I go back upstairs?”, I asked him but he was concentrating on his team Arsenal losing… again! Some men are a sucker for punishment honestly. How many times do you want to lose before you realize that you will never win anything significant, honestly? I hardly slept that night. In the morning I made my appointment with the gynae. It’s easy if you work together so within two hours I was on her table.
“I can’t believe you’re removing your loop; do you want to have another baby or something?”, she asked me cheerfully. I told her I was getting old so it was now or never. My husband didn’t know I had the loop. I had avoided having a second child because I wanted my career to flourish. I know I was a bit too old to be carrying babies now but now I wanted one. This was not meant to trap my husband but if he did go through with the divorce then I will always have a family around me to take care of and take care of me. That was the whole point. Lunch came soon after and my husband was outside.
“So where are we going?”, he asked me. He was laughing at me saying he could not believe that I had invited him for such a lunch. I told him I did not know because well, I don’t usually eat at such places.
“I know a place but don’t judge neh!”, he said. He told me how sometimes he goes there with his friends. I did not even know this but I did not make a big deal about this. It’s clear that I had forced him to change things in him that he loved be it unwittingly so.
When we parked I felt so out of place. It’s a good thing he was driving the Ranger and nothing fancier otherwise I would have felt more exposed. We were eating with the factory workers and there was a stench in the air which I shall not try to figure out. The food, tripe and pap, was pretty decent though. I made as much conversation as possible. I made sure I focused on what got us here in the first place. I think he was a bit surprised by me to be honest.
“I think I am ready for another baby!”, I told him. He choked on his meat and asked,
“Because I am getting old and one baby won’t do it for me! You can already see that Lintle is a problem of note but I love her. I want more!”, I said. He had begged me for so long and I had said no. Now I was sitting here wanting it, I felt as though he felt it was too late. I wonder why though. I was offering myself to have more kids as he always wanted.
“There is something I want to tell you. Maybe we should wait till we get home for that though!”, He said.
I could feel the fear in his voice. Was he about to tell me that he wanted the divorce? No, it was too soon. I still needed time.
“No tell me now! We are here now!”, I said sternly bracing myself!
“I had a vasectomy!”, he said in what was barely a whisper but my response was not;
“You what?”, I shouted angrily!
***** The End******
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
I have been avoiding writing this letter for such a long time. I am married to an abusive man. He hits me and my kids and twice I have run away back to my family. Instead of standing with me they sent us back to him after he paid a fine. It feels as though all they want is the fine. He is a police m meaning that he is feared in my community. What’s worse is that me being married to him makes me the success story of my family hence why they want the marriage to work. My sisters have kids with no husbands.
Please advise me on how I can break free.
I have a friend who is doing her PHD and needs to interview sugardaddies or people who have been sugardaddies. She does not have to interview anyone directly and can forward you the questionnaire to give your “friends”on her behalf so they remain completely anonymous. Please ladies this is important and it is not easy for her to get men to open up to her on such a request hence why she feels if she goes through you HE might be more willing to talk. He does not have to be YOUR man per se it ca even be your brother, friend, colleague etc who you know is or was once a sugardaddy to someone else.