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I stepped into the house not to chase her but to make sure she was not running away. There was this sweet smell that hit my nostrils almost immediately. It’s amazing, I could not avoid it. As a doctor you are not that well-trained to detect smells but with experience some things you can smell better than most people. I don’t know why I zoomed in on that but I could not avoid it. The old man turned to look at me then looked at her before asking, “Mama ka Neli what is going on?” when he saw her reaction. Poor guy didn’t even know what was going on even now. How could anyone have seen that black eye and not put two and two together. He was not that old, let me clarify that part but because he was sick, he looked older. He was frail and started to walk towards us at the door but she jumped in front of me and blocked his way. She ushered him in the opposite direction.
“Nothing is wrong papa. Please go lie down so I can deal with these people.” she said and walked him back. She had moved so fast from behind that couch to stop I actually had not noticed. I was impressed by her speed but I guess the fact that I chased her down in the mall and caught her means I was faster.
“Can we please talk outside Dr. Makgofa? My husband is not well and I dont want him stressed by our conversation. Please ke ya gopela!”
She begged me without actually begging. I am not sure how to explain it. It was like she was putting up a show for him not to see but more out of a need to protect him as opposed to being deceitful. Okay I am just tripping over my own words now.
“I think it’s a good idea too!” Thabang said.
We were both looking at this man! Nah something was wrong and what the hell was that sweet smell in the air. It was bugging me because I know it. I am not an evil person and maybe this might be a moment of weakness on my part which I will regret later, I could not do this in front of him. I don’t mean to be offensive but because she was so young how could she sleep with such an old man in the same bed? I just cannot fathom it. This really was a matter of like mother like daughter. I pitied them. I mumbled my response, “Yes that’s true!”
It sucked to be her at this moment. Going outside with us right now meant that she knew she was going to get the beat down of her life. Remember when you were kids and before your mother or even father gave you a hiding, he or she would ask you to go get the belt. That anticipation before the first lash. Imagine carrying the belt all the way back to her knowing what was about to come next. Now imagine a grown woman being put in that situation and knowing that this was going to happen to her. How deep is that? I can’t even use the word disrespectful to match the feeling she would have gotten now, at her own house nogal!
“I know you have come for more, please don’t hit me where my husband can see…” she said as soon as we were in the yard. It was the most pathetic thing to say but probably the cleverest because I literally lost all energy. How do you hit someone who was not even going to fight back. Maybe she had heard my thoughts on wanting to mess up her face.
“Ah Aunty, you can’t hit a person like this. She is suicidal. Must be part of her plan all along!” Thabang said sounding a bit scared. I don’t blame him. I had expected a bit of fight in her but she was not about that life.
“I am not going to hit you. Stay away from my husband. This is the last time I warn you. Your husband is dying in there and you are busy cheating? Where is your conscience?” I asked her. I did not even shout. This woman was so heartless I did not even have the energy for her.
“I know I am wrong. When he asked me for dinner I should have said no. I have not eaten out in over a year not because we have no money but because my husband has been sick!” she said but I didn’t care. She was not done.
“You know what’s worse, my husband lost his job because my daughter, Sizwe’s daughter slept with a politician’s husband! It’s been hell ever since. I just wanted dinner. We did not even kiss. Yes he held my hand but that was it. I needed a moment to remember I was alive and for that I am truly sorry.” she said and she did something I did not expect. She went on her knees and begged me,
“Please do not destroy what’s left of my family. You can do it at any second, at will but please.” she said. Instinct said lift her up to her feet because this was embarassing now. I could not even shout at her. I just turned my heels and walked away. Thabang was right behind me.
“I will tell gogo that you beat her up again. It’s what she wants to hear!” se said not that I cared. I would not have done it if even he had told her. He had seen her too and agreed that this was the right move.
“I am going to avoid having to explain so I am going to drive home immediately.” I explained myself to the young man. I did not want to waste any more time so I got into the car and made for the exit. I used my car phone to dial Lintle and she picked up. That on its own was a surprise because hardly ever picks up.
“Where are you mum I really needed to talk to you?” she asked me. I told I will only be home in a few hours. She said she heard a noise and asked me to hold. I heard her say say,
“O hello daddy!” and Sizwe respond grumpily.
“It’s just dad he has just arrived. Let me talk to him about his trip. We’ll talk!” she said and before I could even respond she had hung up. All of a sudden looking at the long dark road I did not want to be alone. Now that I was on my way home, for the first time in hours I got to breathe. I screamed out loud in frustration. Wish I had some Dolly Parton right about now.
“What am I going to do now?” I asked myself out loud! A lot of us when we fall in love we fall head first and are willing to do anything to keep the relationship going. We expose ourselves to getting hurt and getting taken advantage of because when we are in love we are blinded to all other realities. One thing that people don’t realise, girls especially, is that we can never have the same amount of love for each other. There will always be one party that loves the other party more. That is reality. At the back of our heads is always the fear of the inevitable break up for most as well as the prospect of him or her cheating. No matter what people tell you, when a person that you truly love cheats on you, hurt as it might more often than not at some point you are willing to forgive them and give them another chance. A lot of people are quick to deny it but this is a weakness we all have no matter how tough we want to make ourselves out to be. The problem however with forgiving a cheating partner is that when you do forgive them and they are back in your life you will never fully trust them. In fact you will always be forced to watch your back, something which is not nice and even when they touch you you cannot help but wonder where those hands have been. You are forced to forget their indiscretion as this is the only way to move on from the incident but he/she, your so-called lover, is a constant reminder of their infidelity. Note how you will never refer to the actual deed by name but rather work around that. Eventually you are disgusted by your own weakness and failure to walk away that you start to resent them from within the relationship. You find yourself trapped in a relationship in which truthfully you wish you were out of yet, simply leaving seems more difficult than staying.
I don’t know how I did those hours but eventually I got home. Sizwe was still up and I bet you anything he was waiting to explain to me what had happened. He’d had many hours to come up with a lie so I am sure it was going to be good. I am sure all through that drive that’s all he had thought about. The lying cheating bastard. I hated him already.
“Nothabo can we talk…” he said when he saw that I had walked past him to go upstairs without saying a word. I did not want to talk. He followed me upstairs. I went straight to the shower as I had been sweating all day
“Well if you don’t want to talk that fine but you must listen. I did not cheat on you. I intended to yes but I did not cheat on you. Your friend George, the one you denied came to see me.” he said, was he trying to change the subject to blame me. George!
“He told me that you slept together he mentioned when, where and how this happened. He was not lying either because everything matched. He also mentioned how you and Zethu then set him up.” he said as the shower ran. I was crying now but he could not see it because I had my back to him.
“I know you are going to deny it but the reason why he came out with was because he got born again and the new church asked him to go and ask for an apology for everyone he has hurt. If it makes you any better he slept with several other nurses there too!” he said and my heart just died. He was not shouting.
“I almost cheated on you because I wanted revenge but you know what, you know what you are doing! I waited for you because I packed my bags, they are in the car and I am leaving, I am done!”
I turned around to protest and I saw the last thing I expected. He was taking off his wedding ring.
He placed it on the table, looked at me one last time and walked away!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto
Thank you for the platform you give us to seek advice. May God Bless you.
I am 24 and work on a mine. I studied Engineering on a scholarship so I never had to look for a job etc. At home I come from a poor family. I do my part as in I am now paying school fees for my two younger siblings as well settling some of my parents debts. I can’t afford all that I am doing but I do not know how to bring it up because I will seem as though I am ungrateful for how much sacrifice my parents went through especially with me. In my first year I had no scholarship and they sold everything to get me through it. In my second year I got sick and still they went all out to get me treatment. They suffered for me. I am trying to do the same but when you are left with r729 when your salary comes it’s hard to stay smiling.
Please help me find solutions.