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There is saying that goes, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” but when it comes to my mother in law, was she not always going to be the enemy even after this battle was lost? I know women like her, they will stab you in the back the moment you expose it to them. So now she wanted to help me save my marriage? Had she not been the one who had tried to destroy it for years? Honestly this woman o batla eng from me? I have done everything in my power to win her over and today, on the occasion of her son’s funeral she wants to have my back? Does that even make sense to you?
“My mother in law wants me to come to Bloem because there is a woman sniffing around Sizwe!” I told Zethu when she entered.
“But what does she want you do? You can’t cuff these men once they have seen something they like!” she said in such a matter of fact manner, I was a bit taken aback about her lack of care in what was happening to my marriage. I don’t think she meant it like that but it certainly came out like it.
“Really Zethu! That’s my husband you are talking about!”
“She wants me to come there and fight another woman. Like should I even be doing that? If my husband wants her who am I to stand in his way?” I asked her. I had a point. He was a grown man yet here I was supposed to fight for him. If he did not want me anymore then why I was suffering like this. I had seen the divorce papers with my own eyes. It’s not like I did not know.
“The choice is yours but come on Nothabo. Put your pride out of the way. This is the family you have built over so many years. Surely this is worth fighting for. There is a wolf at your door and all you can do is blame your husband? Come on now. You have an opportunity to stop something before it even starts yet here you are weighing options! There is nothing to weigh, you get out there and you destroy that bitch. If he then still wants it, the bitch that is, then you will know it was not you that let go too easily. If you don’t fight on the other hand, truth be told, you will wake up one day and blame yourself for not fighting enough for him!”
That was quite the mouthful but I had heard her. I disagreed though on the idea of fighting for someone. He was a grown man so he should know wrong from right. If I fought for him now did it not mean I will be fighting for him forever? I did not want to become yet another victim – those weak, pathetic, needy women who fought for men who did not want them. No, thank you. I told Zethu I will think about it and she said there was nothing to think about I must go get my husband. That’s the meaning of for better or worse so it’s time I stood up and get my head out of my ass. Her words not mine. I even laughed at the crudeness but she did not laugh, it was not a joke, she was serious.
When she left I called my husband again. He did not pick up. Instead his phone rang and then went to voicemail. That irritated me. My mother in law was right and two hours later I found myself on the road. I had fallen for the bait and everything the other women seemed to have said was starting to hit home. That woman was a homewrecker and I had to stop her from doing the same to my home. I called my mother in law and again she picked up. The first thing she asked me was where was I. I told her I had just knocked off and was on my way.
“You are not serious Nothabo. You should have been here already. When I told you, you should have elft immediately!”
She said disappointed that I had delayed. Maybe she had a point but when you have a job you don’t just get up and leave. I pressed that accelerator. The good thing about driving big cars is that they have power and balance. Because I left a bit late there were no cops on the road which meant that I got to express myself. I was there in no time. I was not going to go home first because I had not called my mother and last time I had chased my father away. Where was Sibongile in any case? I had not checked on her in a while, not that I cared.
“I am in town now. I am on my way to the house!” I told her. She immediately said I must not come to the house but go to the mall first because that’s where my husband had gone. She really wanted me to catch him in the act and perhaps this was for the best. It won’t be a matter of he said and she said.
I felt stupid. I was going to spy on my husband. I had become the very woman I did not want to be. This was a choice I had taken and I could never turn back from where I was. As I walked into the mall my eyes widened. I was going to find the scoundrel. The mall was already getting empty as it was late meaning people would mainly be near the restaurants. It was easy to tell where to go.
I don’t know why I listened to my mother in law really because now that I was here I did not want this. I was angry yes but did I have it in me to go through with it. I stopped and I found myself laughing at myself. What really was I doing here and what was I going to do if I saw them. As I turned to walk out the way I came, a couple came out holding hands from the passage that leads to the toilet. I felt a pit in my stomach and a sharp pain in my heart. It was Sizwe and that wretched woman! They were holding hands. My husband was holding another woman’s hand. The tears just came out. I couldn’t help it.
I called him. They had not seen me as they had turned away from me and Sizwe immediately froze and removed his hand from hers.
“What… I…. what are you doing here… I thought I…” he stuttered. Now every woman knows the look on her man’s face when he has been caught cheating. It’s one of disbelief that he actually got caught. It’s never an apology even if he is to say sorry later.
“Is this why you didn’t want me to come?” I screamed at him. He was genuinely stunned and because I screamed, people who were not originally paying attention to us stopped to look at us. People love drama.
“Your brother died yesterday, you leave your wife and child at home, and you come cheat on me with this woman whose husband is sick dying in bed!”
I exaggerated a bit at the end because of crowd sympathy. Women do not forgive women who cheat especially on a sick person.
“Lower your voice you are embarrassing us!” my husband said so ashamed as a crowd had gathered.
“Embarrassed? I embarrass you? Me your wife? This whore does not embarrass! She is a fucken married woman and I embarrass you? Did she not steal her husband from another woman as well, and I embarrass you? Are you serious right now Sizwe? Her husband is lying in bed dying and you don’t find that problematic? How stupid are you?”
I screamed at the top of my lungs. Black people love a scene and already the crowd was big. She moved away and I think she was trying to run away but I had the element of surprise plus anger in me. I went for her! Women, please join the gym and if you can’t join the gym because it’s too expensive then go jogging. You need to be fit on the one hand but more importantly, you need an outlet for your built up frustrations. Men get to throw punches, gym and jog plus go out, meaning they don’t get to keep so much in. With us it’s different. For me for example I had been fighting everything lately and I had so much anger and frustration that had built up in me. It was therefore inevitable that I was so angry. I was fuming. I wanted blood! She had gone after my man and today I was going to beat her until she could tell me why a hyena can laugh but it cannot smile! She will sing a song she doesn’t know when I am done with her!
“Where are you going? Isn’t you want other people’s husbands? Let me teach you what happens when you go for other people’s husbands!”
I pulled her back angrily which made her fall on the floor but immediately stand up defensively ready to defend herself. I know I haven’t been gyming in a while but I used to. When you see girls like Sbahle Mpisane on instagram, those hectic gym girls, they might look sexy yes but they can whip your ass. There is this notion especially among township bred girls that educated girls are weak and cannot defend themselves. Funny thing is Virgin Active and all these gyms are full of us in all those taebo classes. Don’t mess with us.
“You think you are clever!” I told her and I proceeded to kick and punch her. See why I had worn the track pants. She was wearing a dress, probably knee length meaning she could not kick that high. I didn’t have that problem. By the time people got to pull us apart I had landed quite a few hefty blows. If this woman thought she could just waltz in and take what I had built she was mistaken. I had also given her a black eye meaning she now had to explain that to her husband.
“If I see you near my husband I will kill you. Even if he divorces me, I will kill you! Do you hear me? You better pray that we stay together!” I warned her and walked away. I did not ask Sizwe to come with me nor did I even look at him. He was a man of stature meaning he was easy to embarrass. I heard her sobbing but people were calling her names as she walked out probably to her car if she had one.
“Nothabo wait, please let me explain…” I heard him say behind me. He had let her go alone to wherever.
I turned and I don’t know how it came out but it did,
“Get in the car and drive behind me! If you do not do that I am going to destroy you and her! When I am done with you I swear Sizwe you will never ever get a tender or a job again!”
I said. I don’t care where he had parked. He was going to find me.
I walked out and he was right behind me!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank your for reading my letter. I am a married 45 year old woman and recently I caught my husband cheating. He was or is dating some 22 year old intern from his work place. I found through messages on his phone. We have three kids and what was until then then very happy home. I went to his work place and confronted him in front of her. What I didnt know is that employees there are not allowed to date and because he is a senior at work they have both been issued with letter of dismissal. I am angry yes about him cheating but now this affects our livelihood as well. Should I be caring more about his job or our marriage? We have kids in school plus a bond and now am stuck.