I don’t like talking about my patients outside of work because it’s unethical, but the case we caught was an interesting one. I met a young girl named Faith and it’s said a swap was accidentally made at birth, baby and she had raised him as her own. Now the baby is sick and the real parents are needed meaning for the first time she was getting to find out the truth. Much as I am always angry at my teenage daughter, I would never give Lintle to anyone. Hell no! If someone was to walk in and say that Lintle was not my child I don’t think I could ever survive this fully sane. That is hectic and I felt for this Faith girl. Imagine what she was going through now. Anyway because of that consult I got home really late. I think it was just before midnight when I entered. With my husband not there the house felt so empty as I crept in the dark to my room. Lintle’s door was closed as usual and I think checking up on her so late would be so unfair as she was already sleeping I am certain. I was tired so I passed out.
In the morning I woke up a bit late meaning I was not going to see Lintle. That sucked because I really wanted to see her. When I got to the kitchen I found Mapula there cleaning.
“Did Lintle leave already?” I asked and for a moment she stood and stared at me as though I had confused her.
“What’s wrong?” I asked her.
“I thought Lintle was with you. She did not come home early yesterday so naturally I assumed she was with you since you came late!”
This child really is a headache. I ran upstairs to her room and it was clear her bed had not been slept in. Where was she now. I picked up my phone to call her and her phone rang. I thought she was not going to pick up but she did.
“Lintle where are you?” I said angrily.
“I am at school, chill!”
Yho! This child. Had she just told me to chill.
“Why didn’t you come home last night?” I asked her angrily but she responded, “You’re a fine one to talk!”
Can a child ever speak to her parent like this? This was getting old. I needed to do something about this child before she killed me with stress.
“You clearly did not come home either that’s why you didn’t say anything last night. Why didn’t you tell me Malume passed away? What is wrong with you really? I loved him too you know!”
She snapped. It’s amazing really that I had actually forgotten to tell her that he had died. I don’t know how I got caught up in everything else that was going on that I totally forgot but it was no excuse to talk to me like that.
“You were going through a lot so there was no time!” I said but she was diverting me.
“Where did you sleep last night? Why are you trying to kill me with stress like this Lintle? Why?” I asked her in between I think anger and stress. She really was working hard towards getting me to collapse because I was tired of all her shenanigans.
“Mum you haven’t said anything about where you were! Dad is gone one night to go tend to his brothers funeral and already you are out at night? Where you with George? Shame on you! You’re a fine one to judge!” she said and hung up the phone. Had she just said George! Who had told her about George? I sat down immediately because it was like I had been punched in the stomach. What a fine example I was for my daughter! She knew I had cheated on her father, no wonder why this child had no respect for me. To her I was just as common as most young cheating women. She hated me and for that I hated myself because I had brought it on myself.
“Mapula can you please make me tea!” I asked her as she walked past. I rarely ever eat in the morning and as is I was very late but I just did not feel like rushing to work. There was no point to it all with the way my life was right now. Who was I kidding really? I had no family? I had no home! Broken by a 15 year old.
I got to work quite late. Fortunately Zethu had covered for me.
“Dude what’s going on? You look like you would rather be somewhere else!” she said when we finally got to talk. I told her everything that was happening and what Lintle had said about George. She was very shocked and asked me the same question I had on my mind, and that was “how did she know?”.
“Are you sure she said George?” She asked and I acknowledged.
“Wow this thing just won’t go away. So what are you going to do about it?” she asked me but I did not have answers. I was tired of everything, I really was. Seemingly I was the only one fighting to keep things together so why should I bother keeping on trying. I needed a break and I had earned it.
“She can’t get away with this though. If I did not know any better I would say you must beat her because she is getting out of hand. She cannot sleep out of the house at that age and not expect a response out of you. No shem!”
She laughed to herself and continued, “My mother would have turned me blue black for such misbehaviour!”
When I grew up my mother had never spared the rod. She beat me up for everything and I hated her for it. Now that I was an adult with own kids I could not bring myself to beat up my daughter. I don’t doubt that she needed a hiding but with all that was going on was it really the way forward? She had called the cops on me once meaning I already looked like an abusive parent.
“I have gone down this road before and it didn’t end well!” I told her but she would hear nothing of it.
“I come from a Zulu home and trust me on this, we know who the parents are and who not to mess with!” she said laughing, again this time with a slight whistle. Zethu had always had something naughty about her so I was not surprised that she was the kind of girl who got beat downs from her parents.
“Let me take you for lunch.” she said suddenly. I guess I was that depressed. I refused the offer and said I was taking the rest of day off instead.
“I saw you talking to your brother yesterday? Did you support us?” she asked me. I had even forgotten about that. Lately I seemed so forgetful. It was probably because everyday there is something new to make my life worse.
“Yes we spoke and yes I supported you!” I said but that was obviously not the full truth. My brother had said rather painful things which I could not repeat but I told her what she wanted to hear.
“Thank heavens. Would you believe I actually prayed for this. It’s true after all hey. When Jesus says yes, nobody can say no!” she said and hugged me. I think this was meant to be a compliment but it came out as something else to me. I was the NO element in this equation.
“I think you have given me options. I think we should go to church! I haven’t been in a church in years!” I said to her. She looked at me like I was crazy. The reason for this was because I was forever laughing at people who go to church and seemingly kept on being fleeced. See there I go again. It’s like being educated makes you look down on everyone else who is not from the same circles as you or higher. Church was one of them for me. I just needed something to ground me because so much had happened. In a short space of time. Life I tell you.
My husband had not called me the whole day. I had been busy and caught up myself so I had not done called him either. I decided to call him. He did not pick up. Eish, it only hit me at this moment that in all my begging him to go there I had made one mistake – I had not offered my condolences directly to his mother. This was bad actually, two days later. I knew she would probably humiliate me for it but oh well, it had to be done. I dialled and unlike my husband she did not hesitate to pick up.
“Dumelang!” she said to me very formally. I greeted her back and asked after her health. She said she was fine regardless of what was happening all around her. I offered her my condolences of which she accepted and asked me when I would be coming there. I told her that my husband had insisted I come on end of the week so that Lintle must not skip school as it was exams.
“Eish I think you should come sooner! I don’t like the way he is running around with that woman, Nelisa’s mother! She is a homewrecker and I don’t want here near my son! She must go back to her old man and leave my son alone!” she told me in what I am not sure was necessarily a friendly gesture or a taunt.
“Mama I don’t understand!” I said pretending not to know what she was talking about.
“I said come get your husband. This woman has muti and she will steal him from you. She has done it before. He was supposed to leave yesterday but he refused and insisted on staying an extra day for no reason. If it was because of the funeral then yes I would understand but I haven’t seen him all day. Only now he got here and he said he was busy doing things with her, helping fix things for their daughter! Their daughter! That witch now says that sfebe of a daughter of hers is my husbands! Imagine! Please come get him I don’t want him here!”
She said angrily. Wonders never cease, this woman had hated me all this time now she was saying she was on my side. I scratched my head.
“Thank you mama! I am coming!” I said to her. I didn’t trust her. What if she wanted me to pick a fight that was not there?
“You must hurry because I heard she filed for divorce from her husband already meaning she is after your husband!”
Say what? I saw red!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto
Thank you for reading.
I am a 27 year old male and have a good job were I am permanent. I have been dating my girlfriend for about 2 years now and two weeks ago she told me she was pregnant. I love my girlfriend and am ready to marry her but she said she does not want to keep the baby, she wants to focus on school and get a career. In fact not only does she want an abortion but also she asked us to take a break so that she can “think things through”. From that day she has not picked up my calls and now I am scared that she will go do an abortion behind my back. I am so scared I don’t know what to do. I don’t want her to kill our baby, I am not a bad man and will marry her immediately if I must but she won’t even pick up my calls. I have tried to go see her but she is never there.
What should I do?