A woman must always have a plan. I don’t know why most of us don’t get that. So often as women we are left looking helpless because we don’t plan ahead. It’s almost as though we wait for something to happen before we react to it and even then for a while we act dazed and confused not knowing what to do. I am of the belief that we are vulnerable often times because we allow the man to think for us or before us. I am not crazy in some of the things that I do. When people call me impulsive I take offence because they make it sound like I am a child devoid of thought and fore planning. Why must that be the way am described? Dare I ask if it’s because I am a woman? A lot of things that happen to us we could have foreseen them had we paid attention. Not doing so is why we end being the ones that are always hurt and I was not going to be one of those women. Feminists are not born but are made through the way men treat us. It’s a reaction to harsh conditions. We don’t wake up one morning and for the fun of it decide to burn our bras. No, it’s a gradual process that opens our eyes to the bullshit of men like Mudenda. I might not be physically strong like a man but those are just genetics because I am just as smart and able as he is if not more!
My neck was sore, I had provoked a situation I knew would play out like this. There is method to my madness. Mudenda had taught me that in whatever I do, I should always be two moves ahead. I guess he never thought I paid attention because now that I was using his technique against him he had no answers to it.
“Are you ok Faith?”
My sister asked me when the commotion died down.
“I am going to kill that bastard!”
She said. I had tears in my eyes from both the fact that it was painful but because I had shown his aggression in public. Now even his own lawyers knew that he was irrational and short tempered. He had no proof whatsoever that I had burned his car yet I had proof that he was physically abusive. In South Africa the law is such that if you hit a woman you are guilty even before you go to trial. Everyone judges you and you are made to look like a vicious animal. This is when she does not even have proof. Go on to Twitter as a girl and say someone hit and see how people who don’t even know will be calling for you to be fired at work. Forget due process, you are guilty from that moment. I immediately did that. I took a picture of the bruising and I posted it on twitter. The top of the picture read,
“#mudendagg I can’t believe you would throttle me in front of people. Just because you hit me at home does not mean you must disrespect me in public too. Is it my fault that we have a baby together!”
I was going to destory him. I wanted to go for his credibility. The time for being rational was over. I did not have a son because of him and because of him I was this miserable sad person. I can’t leave with this amount of anger. He needed to suffer.
“I am ok Judith. Don’t worry. He just wants us to be disorganised in the hearing that’s why.”
I said it loud enough for his lawyers to hear. They looked down I think embarassed.
“I am so sorry. We did not know he could be like this otherwise we would have had seperate meetings!”
The social worker said. I had forgotten about her but I knew now sh was on my side.
“It’s ok, I will survive. My baby comes first so let’s focus on that!”
I reassured her. Now I had her sympathy. I looked like supermom and focused something which other women appreciate. That was part 3 of my plan. Mudenda might have the money but he will not have their sympathy. That one lies with me, the mother of the baby. Eventually when it was determined that I was fine it was decided we should start the proceedings. I agreed and was happy with that. I was surprised to see Agnes there alone. She said since the stabbing her husband had not left the house that’s why she had to come alone. There were two other men I did not know plus Juju.
“The matter here is rather sensitive.”
“The hospital has also sent it’s lawyers to see how this matter will be best resolved.”
So that’s what the two men where doing there. They had not witnessed the fight because the ones that had were with Mudenda. Speaking of Mudenda, he walked in with his lawyers and sat on the far end of the table. He did not look me in the eye not that I minded. His lawyers however joined the round table discussion.
“We need to establish who we are talking to as they are different sets of lawyers. We will only talk to the right representatives!”
The hospitals lawyers said. Mudenda immediately stood up and said,
“I am the father of the child!”
It was almost laughable because everyone turned to look at him like he was mad.
“On the hospital paperwork, from admission, even prenatal visits, your name does not appear. In fact it is her name only and these records go back 6 months before the baby was born. We also managed to secure security footage of the switch as we tried to find out how the switch was made and sir you did not appear once. She was in hopsital for 3 days after she gave birth as she was still bleeding and not once did you come see her or the child. With those facts sir, we do not recognise you. Your name does on appear on the birth certificate either.”
He concluded. Mudenda stood there looking foolish. His lawyers then argued that him not appearing made little towards the fact he was still the father.
“Madam would you like him to be part of these proceedings.”
They turned to me. Karma is a bitch ain’t it. Mudenda had mistreated us for so long but now he thought he could get away with it. He is like those fathers who only appear come lobola time not having raised the daughter.
“I don’t want him here. He is not part of the child’s life and was just a sperm donor. His part stopped at the sperm giving and we haven’t been together since. He has never lifted the child once nor has he paid a cent towards its upbringing. He is here for money and not the welfare of the child!”
I said when I responded. I looked him straight in the eye as I said this.
“Sir would you please leave. This is a closed meeting!”
One of the hospital lawyers said. Mudenda looked at his lawyers but they stood up and packed their bags.
“Are we just walking out?”
He asked them.
“We will have to file an injunction but for now yes! Try being a father next time if you want to avoid such complications!”
His lawyer told him. I had not seen that one coming. They all left. Now I had the hard task of focusing on these people.
“Where is my baby?”
I asked immediately,
Agnes asked too. She had been quiet all along as she watched the drama unfold. I am sure she thought we were mad people during all this time.
“Your babies are safe and your lawyers have been briefed!”
The social worker said.
“But I don’t have a lawyer and I can’t afford one!”
Agnes said. Eish some of these things you take for granted. She was right, there was no one to represent her interests because she had no money for it.
“Must we adjourn so you can find yourself representation?”
The hospital lawyers immediately said. It’s like they were waiting for that but Julius immediately said no. Agnes was confused and she asked if we could go speak outside the three of us. When we were outside she said,
“Why are you saying no? I need a lawyer I am sure I can find one of those legal aid ones!”
She said. Julius then said,
“They are trying to divide us. They know you don’t have the money so they will come on the side and offer you say a r100 000. To you that’s a lot of money so immediately you will say yes. This then forces our side to take the same amount as it will be something you agreed upon!”
He explaied but at this stage Agnes eyes had lit up,
“A r100 000! That’s a lot of money! I have never even seen what r10000 looks like!”
She said in dreamland already. Julius looked at me and edged me to talk to her. I did not know what to say and I just blurted,
“We are suing them for r5 million. If they can’t afford it they will have to settle out of court!”
Julius smiled and patted me on the back. He then explained to Agnes this plan and what it meant. She was very agreeable but said she will have to ask her husband first what he thinks. That’s another disater right there! That husband of hers was irrational and he like Mudenda could go try and cut a deal for himself. We went back in.
“My clients have advised me to file a lawsuit against your hospital. It’s quite substantial as you can imagine under the circumstances. Both ladies are my clients and I am going to get a court order denying you access to either of them. Any such approach there will be a fine over and above our lawsuit!” Julius said sternly and with a lot of authority. Immediately the lawyers from the other side stood up and left. They had thought they would bully two mothers but we had come prepared. Now for our babies.
“There is no easy way to say this but you are each going to go home with your biological child at some point. However, it will be a slow re-integration process where the toddlers will remain in the care of social services and visitation rights will be granted until a time we deem fit that you can each take your respective child home permanently. We try to be fair in such a way that the kids will be placed together, this way you get to see both kids but each mother will be forced to spend time with her biological cihld. I am really sorry but this is what we found best for all parties going forward!”
You could hear a pin drop in that room. Was that it? Was I now forced to take Ruben?
I put my head in my hands.
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Greetings all and compliments.
I am 27 and are engaged to be married. The wedding is planned for later this year. The problem is I don’t think I love my fiance. We dated for three years before he proposed. At that point I was cheating with a colleague at work but as soon as my fiance proposed I dumped the guy at work. I later found out that my fiance was cheating too and we had a big fight about it. He broke it off with the other girl. I confessed to him about my infedelity but he did not even get angry. Instead he said that because we had both done it we must forgive each other and move on. To me it came across as he didn’t care that our eyes should only be on one another. All his friends are married and I feel like on me he settled. He did not want to get left behind. He is a politician with ambitions for higher office and I am told that to be respectable they have to have wives. I can’t get it out of my mind. His married friends ALL cheat and have much younger girlfriends some in high school even. Am I crazy therefore not to want to marry this guy and break this engagement?
Thank you for your time