To be honest this was the last thing we expected. She had been scared of us lately or was it just a ruse. I was so disappointed. I woke Sizwe up. My husband and I were in shock that’s for sure,
“What do we do now?” I asked him. He could not believe that after all that, she had still gone on to sneak out. Neither could I. It was amazing really.
“We wait for her!” he said.
“Don’t you want to go and look for her?” I asked him.
“Where?” he asked me which was good question also. It was pointless trying to run after her but still, sitting around doing nothing was not right.
“I can’t go to work like this!” I declared. I picked up my phone and called Zethu. Even she was surprised by this latest move. She said I should hang in there and be strong otherwise I would lose my mind and she was right. I had reached that stage.
“I spoke to my cousin. Her child goes to a boarding school in Pietermaritzburg. It’s a bit on the expensive side but it’s a good school.” she told me. I asked her for the name of the school. She told me. I gave the name to my husband and we went on the internet to research it. Epworth Girls.
My mind was not in it so I left my husband to it as I went upstairs to try take a nap. All the joys of last night were completely forgotten by now. I wanted to close my eyes forever and forget all my troubles, but isn’t life such that when you have problems you can’t sleep? My father called me asking how I was. How random is that? I did not want to talk to him but because I was so depressed I did. I still had Lintle’s phone and with all her numbers diverted to my phone the calls were coming in. I could not help but wonder how she focused at school. Whenever I tried to call her during school hours her phone was always off. This meant when she eventually switched it on she got lots of messages. Two of the callers were girls whom I am certain from the background on the phone were bunking school.
Sizwe came to the room.
“I can’t sleep!” I told him.
“Are you sure we should not go back to Benmore and look for her?” I asked him.
“Look for her where exactly?” he asked me. Again I was blank. It just felt as though I was grasping at straws but sitting her doing nothing depressed me even more. It made me more anxious. I wanted to hit her again but I controlled myself. I had become that violent abusive parent were words were no longer enough to raise my child. I really did not want to be like that but this child pushes you to a point where you react. I am told there are some daughters whom no matter how much you hit or punish they do not change. Had my little baby become that. It’s embarrassing.
“Are you panicking now?” I asked Sizwe as I paced back and forth. He said he was not panicking because she was doing the right thing.
“What if they harm her?” I asked him. He did not lift his eyes from his paper and said,
“Then she will have earned it!”
Goodness he should have seen the horror on my face! How can he say that about our baby. That was unheard of.
“I can’t believe you just said that!” I said to him in more of a snap. It was already after three so I was getting nervous. She had been gone all day and I wanted my baby back.
“We can pace back and forth all we want but it it’s not going to help us.” he said. I know he cared but was just trying to be tough about it. That was not helping. As I sat down my phone rang. It was a landline number I did not know.
“Mum its me.”
It was Lintle. It was her.
“Lintle where are you? Are you ok?” I asked her immediately.
“I am by the shops. I am using a public phone. I am coming home.” she said.
“Please mum don’t hit me please. I was only trying to help and now I am even scared of coming back!” she said pitifully. I just wanted home to see that she was okay. I will worry about responses later.
“Just come home love. We are worried sick!” I reassured her. She hung up the phone. I told the father and he said,
“Told you she will be back!” he was so nonchalant about it. Please don’t tell me he was going back to the old “never touch anything” Sizwe. I wanted the man of the last couple of days.
“She will be but what’s our response!” I asked. He said we should hear her out before we decided. I think it was about thirty minutes later that she walked in. She really had been by the shops. I saw her walk up the driveway as I was by the window. When she got to the door she knocked? Imagine, she actually knocked! Wow.
I opened for her and she stepped back. She did not try to come in.
“Why are you standing there?” I asked her.
The fear in her eyes was palpable.
“I am not going to hit you Lintle!”
I told her but I could see she did not believe me. Regardless of that she walked in but tried to stay as far away as possible. Her father did not stand up once. He continued reading his paper as though he did not see her.
“Good afternoon dad!” she said from the base of the stairs. He greeted her back without looking up.
“Sit down!” he said to her. She moved slowly to sit in front of him but far enough to have an escape route. I went and sat next to him.
“Where were you?” he asked her very calmly. It sounded like a trick question because she stumbled in her answer.
“I … I went to see that man…” she said.
“Did we not explicitly tell you not to go to him? It’s the last we said last night I am sure of it!” he said.
“Yes dad it was but I know I had done wrong and you always taught me to fix my problems when I make them!”
That was a lie. We fix our childrens problems, that’s what rich parents do but I could see why she said that. She was nursing his ego because him refusing that would be like saying we did not teach her responsibility. I doubt he wanted that at all.
“So how did it go?” he asked her. He had been shut out by her response so now he was moving on from it.
“I went to his place…” she said and paused! She had made a mistake. Remember she had said she had no idea where he stayed just yesterday but I was not going to call her out on it. She already had the fear of God in her and that would have been petty.
“Go on…” I encouraged.
“He was not there. I did not have my phone to call him and I don’t know his number. I waited all day until he came back. He was not happy to see me and I was so scared.” she told us but we did not intervene because we wanted to hear the verdict.
“I was lucky because he was with his friends and they felt sorry for me and scolded him for terrifying me.” she continued.
“Yes but what did he say!” I asked her impatiently. It felt as though we were going round and round in circles.
“He said that I must find someone else to replace me then I can go!” she told me. I was not sure whether to rejoice or not because as a mother could I allow for another woman’s child to go through what I had gone through? Well, I am not ashamed to say this, yes I could and will.
“So who is dumb enough to agree?” I asked her trying to sound concerned but deep down inside I was smiling. I had resisted calling Mthobisi for help which made me smile so much inside.
“That’s what took more time. I had to to school there is a girl who has been asking me questions. Some girl in grade ten. There is no shortage of takers. It’s the coolest thing being the person that can get things done.” she said to me. I don’t think she could see I was happy and it would not have been appropriate in any case.
“We spoke to your new school today, well potentially new school and you have an interview there next week!” my husband told her.
“Where is the school?” she asked with a hint of annoyance in her voice.
“That doesn’t matter. You will see at the interview.” her father said.
“Tomorrow I will have to do all your transcripts since you were not here!” he said. We sent her upstairs to her room and she was relieved that there was no hiding this time.
“So you decided that it is her new school?” I asked him as I too had not been consulted.
“I am sorry but I don’t want to waste time nor for her to lose any more valuable school time.” he said. I would have liked to be consulted a bit more but to be fair he was doing the right thing.
“Boarding school is not an answer though. Lintle needs to learn more responsibility he said disapprovingly!”
We had tried teaching her that and failed so I was not buying that argument. Someone else had to help us before we lost our child.
At least the day was ending well. After what I had gone through there was light once more at the end of the tunnel. Mapula made supper and we ate. Lintle didn’t want to but her father insisted. I think for now he owned her.
Just after supper I got the call. It was from Zethu and it was sombre.
“There are some drugs missing at work and one of the doctors was caught taking pills. Tomorrow all doctors and nurses are having a drug test. All of us have to be here including you!”she said. I could here the worry in her voice because it was also there in my heart.
The hospital policy was this,
“If any banned substance is found in your system you will be immediately suspended with the likelihood of termination of employment!”
Ecstasy takes two weeks to leave your system.
I was royally fucked!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Greetings to all the readers. I am 25 and newly engaged. I have three older sister who all got engaged young and all are divorced now. This means that no one supports me at home even my parents. Its like they are saying “here we go again”. I love my man and he is very stable. He has a good job and is someone I grew up with. They know him too because we dated since high school even when my father didn’t want us to date. At the back of my head my sisters failures haunt me. The first born was cheated on and left for his PA. The second sister was also cheated on and she divorced him. The third sister I think she cheated. She was disillussioned like me but I believe she lost a good man. Now its my turn.
Can anyone advise me on how not to suffer the same fate.