I knew he had heard. I knew it. Why did he not just say that he was going to help me out before I had gone to expose myself like this. Now I looked like a druggie when all this could have been avoided.
“I already told the boss!”
I said and wanted to walk away as the thank you was simply not coming out. He was the last person I expected to help me out and frankly speakimg the last person I wanted help from. I actually had tears in my eyes. My husband called me. I did not feel like talking because it hurt.
“How did it go?”
Zethu asked me as soon as I entered the office. She was already sitting there waiting for me. I told her about my run with George.
“Wow that’s a brilliant thing. That little weasel came through for you at least!”
She started to celebrate but I then told her that I met him after I had left the meeting. The smile was immediately wiped off her face.
She said after that. My mind was all muddled up now. Had she said that I must take time off? Yeah I think that’s what she had said. This most likely will be unpaid leave. I won’t lie I did not mind because it would give me time to not only get the ecstacy out of my system as well as take Lintle to school with her father.
“I think I need this though.”
I told her introspectively,
“To take a time out. My life has been a mess and I need to sit down and reevaluate a lot of things. You can see for yourself that I am stumbling from disaster to disaster which does not help me in any way! I should embrace this much as I don’t want it and fix all these problems.”
I told her. She looked at me like I was crazy. To her I was giving up but really I was not. Do you know why people look forward to the weekend? It is because we get to recharge our batteries but often that time is not even enough. I had gone through more than most women go through in a short space of time so now maybe it was about time I took that time out. Maybe I will go to Cape Town and be alone for a few days just so I can recharge. That would be nice, no husband, no Lintle, no pyscho Mthobisi just me and my thoughts. I told this to Zethu and she disagreed and said I was running away. I must stay and fight this.
“With all the bad luck I have been having its starting to feel like I am getting a calling to become a sangoma!”
I said and we both laughed. Someone cleared they throat from behind us, it was my boss.
“I see you are having a good time under the circumstances!”
She said sternly. I don’t know what’s wrong with people. They want you to fall apart when ever you are in trouble like that ever solved everything.
“I meant it when I said you should take time off. I don’t want to have to suspend you because that will be bad on your record.”
She started and Zethu tried to protest but she cut her off,
“Your mind is all over the place. Your priorities are no longer the same. Besides if you really have that drug in your system then you are not fit to practice so go home! Now!”
She said. I did not want to argue with her. Zethu walked me out. At least no one else heard that because it would have felt like I was being fired. Its funny how initially I had felt like this was a bad thing but now I actually felt relieved. This was good for me. As I drove home I could feel a weight lift off my shoulders. I could live with this. Maybe I should consider those plans I had always had to open my private surgery? It wouldn’t hurt.
When I got to the gate there was this incredibly good looking young man walking in. I kid you not that this boy was hot. I had to talk to the security so I watched him walk in. The female security guard even commented to her male colleague about the boys good looks. I was too old to be noticing such but good looks are good looks. Ten minutes later, with my business sorted I drove to my house. When I drove in there was the young man from the gate at the door knocking. What the fuck? Was this a prank. He did not use the bell for some reason.
“What can I do for you?”
I asked him. He was even more good looking at a close distance than he was at the gate.
“I am looking for Mapula Shai!”
He said sounding a bit scared. As he said that Mapula opened the door.
“Ah what took you so long, I thought you got lost from the gate!”
She said. She saw me and greeted me and stepped away from the door so I could enter.
“Mama this is my sisters son Simon.”
She said proudly. I think she had mentioned her a few times I just could not recall. I remember the sister though. She too was a domestic and if I recall correctly they did not get along too well.
“Nice to meet you Simon!”
I said. He was smiling and nervous at the same time. Again I must say this, he was a very good looking young man. I left them and I went upstairs to change so I could get comfortable. My husband and Lintle were not back yet meaning I had a few hours to myself. I don’t when it happened but I fell asleep at some point. It was not a long nap though because an hour later I was up. I went downstairs and found Mapula in the kitched cooking.
“Mama can I speak to you please?”
She said. I said yes and she took out a document. It was matric results. The boy was 19 (I was not so far off)
“What is this?”
I asked her acting ignorant.
“Simon is here to look for a job!”
She said and waited for me to respond.
“Why would he look for a job? He passed well enough, I see Bs and Cs here and with the exception of his maths he did well!”
I told her. She agreed with me totally but said not everyone back home can afford school fees let alone for him to go to school and not work. If he worked he could help people at home she argued.
“That’s a bit unfair though because it means his future is ruined!”
I said in the poor boys defense. With grades like this even NSFAS would fund him. I suspected though that it was too late to apply now.
“I just need a favor for him to stay here for about two weeks so he can go door to do in the industries and drop his CV!”
She asked politely.
“He even has a license which means that he has a good chance of getting a job!”
There are a lot of black people that still believe that if you have a drivers license you can get a job. Once upon a time Africans with licenses were considered intelligent and to old people especially this is still an achievement. I was more worried about him going to school though than this plan of hers.
“Mapula that’s not a decision I can take by myself I will have to wait for Sizwe and see what he says!’
I told her but the look on her face was one of shock.
“Why do you look shocked?”
I asked her surprised. Had I said something wrong?
“Its…its nothing madam… Its just that … You take all the decisions in this house!”
She said the last part coming out like a whisper. I felt a bit embarrassed by that because it insinuated I bullied my husband.
“This is a big decision. How long did you say you want him to stay?”
I asked again something I already knew.
“Just a week or two so he can try get a job. Back home there are no opportunities whatsoever and he can’t just sit and do nothing!”
She said to me. I was not sure about this. This would mean Mapula will have to move into the house as she had a one room at the back and he stay there. I asked to speak to him.
“Your aunt tells me that you want to work but what ideally would you like to study?”
I asked him. He seemed confused because I think he thought I would ask him about jobs.
“I wanted to do social work or teaching but…”
He said then he kept quiet. I think he was not comfortable talking about the money situation and that was all fair and good.
“Ok I understand. But what’s your plan in looking for a job? Have you used this job searching sites to upload your CV?”
I asked him. It was rather a fruitless exercise as far as I was concerned because he had no diploma or degree.
“No maam! My access to the internet is limited!”
He said. He spoke really good English for a village boy. As he said that my husband and Lintle walked in. She had a McFlurry in her hands which suggests that they had made peace. As soon as she saw Simon she stopped.
“Who is this?”
Her father came over and gave me a kiss on the cheek and asked the same question.
Introductions were done but I noticed Lintle wouldn’t let her eyes of him. I told Sizwe what was going on. My husband said he will discuss with him in a bit we just had something to do for now.
“Good news, tomorrow we going to PMB? I managed to get her interview moved to tomorrow 230pm meaning we can drive there in the morning!”
He said cheerfully. He was in a rush to do this though hey.
“PMB is too far though and are you not worried she might contact those men again?”
I asked him. I could see he had thought about it already because he immediately said,
“No! That’s not going to happen. Unless Lintle knows every number in her phone by head surely that would be incredible.”
I was not sure where he was coming from.
“What do you mean? We have her phone but eventually she will get back!”
I said to him.
“Oh hell she is not getting that phone back! Are you crazy love. It will give her a chance to become her crazy self again. The phone is no more!”
“But she will be in boarding school now so she needs a phone. She can’t go without one. That one is unacceptable! How will we keep in touch with her!”
I asked him. I was not defying him but wanted hom to see logic.
“I am way ahead of you. I got her this…”
He stood up and went to the drawers. He came back with one of those r300 phones.
“Are you trying to get our daughter humiliated to death by this phone?”
I asked him. I was not even angry it was too funny. I laughed at the phone but he kept a serious face on.
“She will also have a brand new number meaning that even if her old friends tried to contact her, they will not go through!”
He explained. He really had thought this through but could we stick to it. I did not argue further.
“Let me discuss with Lintle and see what she has to say.”
Not that it mattered. I could not find her in the house.
I found her outside talking to Simon.
Why did I feel jealous?
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
I’m looking for any student in dire need of textbooks, I’m willing to buy the texts books for them. It must be a student around Pretoria. Preferably a first year student that is really in need. If any of the readers knows someone or that person is reading this…
Email me: email@example.com
Minenhle in Pretoria.