I stood there and I cried. I cried because I had lost a part of me and more. I cried because I had worked so hard to make this marriage work but I had failed. I cried because I wanted my husband to walk back through that door and say he had made a mistake. I cried because no matter which woman you are or how bad a man could have hurt you that sense of failure just overwhelms you. I cried because the Lord really had abandoned me. I found myself sitting down in that shower as the water washed down my tears. It was not what I wanted, it was not weakness, it was not me being a pathetic woman, no, I cried because I was a woman who loved her husband and was powerless to stop him from leaving. That was me, I had just become yet another statistic but that was not even the point. I was alone. At some point I had to tell my daughter that her father had left me. Do you have any idea what that does to a mother? What’s worse is that he was not an abusive, lying, cheating scumbag like the rest of them are. He was a good man, my man! The water turned cold whilst I sitting in the shower and I did not even feel it. I think what troubled me more was why I didn’t run after him?
If I could punch the wall to vent my anger and frustration I would. I know I might appear weak or proud but at this moment I was far from that. I never thought I would one day find myself sitting in this position with my husband. Call me naïve for thinking such things because as a woman you must know that your marriage is not for life. That’s the reality of the modern world. Marriage is no longer for life. Priests must just change how they say the vow at your wedding because I now believe that it’s blasphemous. This is really where the chapter ends and I don’t know where the next will take me but I won’t lie I don’t have the energy anymore. I loved him with all my heart but I needed to breathe, or did I? After being married for so many years the conclusion sure should have been only one, but clearly not. The hardest part is not only letting go but coming to the realisation that all the years we spent together were a total waste if we are both to end up in the arms of others. That’s the reality of moving on and that I was scared of. To say we grew up under one another would be an understatement of note and worse to just walk away would be an even greater travesty. We had both admitted we were tired of fighting, lying, the mistrust and anger really was bringing us down now that we have to walk away it seems so surreal. It seemed as though we were admitting to failure but staying together seems an even worse fate. I can’t recall where we went wrong for I swear if I could I would go back in time to fix it, I would go back and make sure that it never happened. I cannot imagine me telling another man that I love him but worse I could not imagine another woman making him her own, touching him the way I used to, kissing him the way I did and worse making love to him in the manner we did. For so many years I did so many things to protect my marriage but at the moment we are today I was asking myself, what was it all for if this is how our story ends? I didn’t know what to do and fuck it hurt so bad. An hour later I found myself sitting on the bed. My eyes were sore from crying. In entered Lintle. She immediately recognised that something was wrong and that’s the beauty of having children. They are actually there when you need them.
“Mum what is wrong?” she asked me. I just looked at her and again the tears started. She came to me and hugged me the way a mother would hug her child. I had become the child.
“Whatever it is mum it’s going to be alright” she soothed me but they were just words for now. “Must I call dad?” she asked me very worried. I immediately told her no and said he had other things to worry about.
“When do we leave for the funeral because if it’s Friday I might have to leave school early!” she said a matter of fact.
I wanted to respond but I could not. I told her to go to bed but she refused and insisted on sleeping with me. Her excuse was that I was not okay and she could not in her good conscience leave me to my own devices. Imagine! The wisdom in this child when she was not being stupid.
I did not sleep. I tossed and turned the whole night. I don’t think I can be blamed. I told myself that maybe he needed to cool off a bit before I went after him. Some people are like that though. They prefer to go out and vent before you can speak to them. It’s hard to say but Sizwe was not one of them. He never actually got that angry. He was almost always calm and he never fought back (until recently that is). What I didn’t get was why both of them had insisted that they had not cheated? It did not make sense to me at all. I had seen him holding her hand but she had made it clear that he had not. Even himself, at a time where he could have said something that could really hurt me he had said the same thing. Eish, at least if they had admitted to cheating I would have something to hold on to but I didn’t.
I went downstairs. I needed to walk outside. I think I was losing myself. I wanted fresh air. I could not even take off my morning gown. Why would I want to look beautiful at a time like this? When I walked in I found Mapula about to cook.
“Must I make food for the husband as well?” Mapula asked in Sotho. She had actually not ever settled on what to call him, something which I only realized now.
“No. He won’t be coming back!” I snapped her and it was so unintentional. It just came out. I had this anger in me and I don’t know why or where it had jumped out of. I stood up and went to my room. I wanted to apologize to her but not yet. Will do that later.
It was about three hours later that Zethu called me. I had even forgotten about her.
“We are leaving for the funeral in an hour or two. I am just waiting for your brother! The man does not understand the concept of time!” she complained when I answered the phone.
“Yes he is like that! He always has something else that must be done first before he does anything!” I explained rather unnecessarily.
“I was told you took a week off though! Isn’t that a long time?” she asked me. I normally never left work for longer than is necessary. I really did not want to tell her that Sizwe had left me but it felt as though the longer she spoke the more likely it would happen.
“Yeah I know but I also need a few days off because I need to send some time with Lintle!” I explained. She bought it obviously because she had no choice in the matter.
“You should include sending time with Sizwe in that because hubby bae needs love too!” she said, cracking a joke. Had we always spoken about Sizwe this much, me and her? I can’t remember but now that this had happened it certainly felt like it popped out more. I was more aware of it.
“Zethu, there is a sweet smell that’s been in my nose the whole day. I can’t figure out what it is but I am sure it’s something from work!” I asked her.
“That’s very little to work with. Could be someone’s perfume you never know!” she said and we laughed. I was not that stupid. Of course it was not someone’s perfume. I explained the circumstances of how I had gotten it in my nose in the first place.
“Why didn’t you tell me you had so much drama?” she said shocked at the story I had just told her.
“Wow you think you know a man. I never for once thought Sizwe would be the type to cheat!” she said. I had not included the divorce part. That one was a personal matter.
“Yes but still that’s not the…” I said trying to change the topic but it was then it hit me.
“Oh shit! That smell, it’s arsenic!”
I said even standing up. I was hundred percent sure of this!
“What about arsenic?” she asked me.
“Why would you think of it? Are you trying to kill Sizwe because I would think twice if I were you?” she asked and laughed at her own joke.
“No Zethu, that woman is using it to poison her husband!” I said.
That was her response.
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank you for the amazing work.
I am a 22 year old and until recently was a student completing the final year of my LLB degree. I’ve been in a relationship for 6 years with my current boyfriend; and 3 months ago I had a miscarriage; a placenta abruption they say.. I was in my 33rd week of pregnancy and losing my son has left a deep void in my heart. The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do is to live every day since that moment; I miss my son terribly. During the pregnancy and after my sons passing; my boyfriend’s family( most of whom I never had a close relationship with prior to the pregnancy) were extremely supportive of me and along with my family; helped me see that I could possibly be happy again. I guess its safe to say that I felt that I had become a part of their family too. Shortly after the funeral; I found out that my boyfriends older brother and his girlfriend were expecting a baby too. Now all the attention and all the support has shifted to them; everyone seems to have forgotten about me and they treat me like I don’t exist anymore or at least that’s what it feels like to me. My family is absolutely amazing and they’ve been with me through and through. Am I unreasonably and selfishly expecting too much from his family?