I don’t know if anyone has ever been bullied in school because I was bullied. Not badly though. Her name was Reneiloe but that’s a story for another day. Everytime I would see her I would go in the other direction just to avoid her. This was that moment. Instinct almost always says run when you see something or someone you fear. It was clearly pretty much too late now. I was not running.
“Lintle sit down!” I said and she sat down almost in slow motion.
“Mr. Python…” I said to him.
“That’s not my name but it will do for now.”
“Sit down too!” I said as though I was not scared.
“I believe that would be right!” he said making himself welcome. I did not want him to speak to me first as he would lay the terms.
“So you are the big bad wolf in these parts? Can you not see that this is a child?” I asked him. I think he did not expect that because he was expecting me to cower before him. I am very far from being xenophobic but criminals of all nature to me are animals and yes that includes Mthobisi.
“You speak to me like you don’t know what I am capable of!” he asked me with a smile on his face. You know when you watch on TV, South African Tv especially, they make thugs to be the ugliest people alive but this snake character was far from that. He was wearing a slim-fit suit, complete with a tie. He had these snake skin shoes and if I did not know better I’d think he worked in corporate Sandton. He was good looking too, his muscles bulging out from underneath his jacket. He was tall, South African men are midgets shem but that was about it. He did not attract me.
“Oh sir I know what you are capable of. Sending 15 year old girls to sell drugs while you sit there and call yourself a businessman. I don’t mind what your business is but I mind when you involve my child!”
I told him looking him straight in the eye. The waitress came back and I casually said,
“Would you like something to drink?” I asked him perhaps a bit cheekily. I was polite yes but in the meeting we were having and what was at stake, I was trembling in my shoes.
“No thank you.” he said sternly but with a very cold smile on his face.
“Would you give us another ten minutes for the order please unless you already know what you want, Lintle?” I asked her. We were not going to be chased out by this guy.
“Can I have a burger please?” she asked almost choking on her words. That’s what fear does to you I guess.
“Do you have steak?” I asked the waitress. She said yes and showed me the options. I am not sure what Mr. Python was thinking at this moment but I am certain deep in his evil heart he had to respect my nerve somehow.
“Give me medium rare please! Saves time on chewing!” I said at the end, rather unnecessarily. I guess nerves were getting to me. I was correct though. If you want to eat steak for five hours get it well done. You will learn.
“I got my product from the police station. We could have avoided all this show boating had your daughter not lied that she was 17.” he explained. Like that mattered. Nowadays 15 year olds act like they are 18 but it’s no excuse. If he or she in high school they’re still a child and not capable of making the right decisions. That’s what Lintle had taught me so this guy’s excuse was not comforting.
“Well sir, now you know. Please leave her alone!” I told him. He chuckled, looked at me, then stood up and walked away. I did not see where he went. Lintle was looking down because she knew the storm that was about to come but I held it in.
“Mom you are pretty scary!” she whispered nervously. I was not scary. I was protecting her from her bad decisions. These kids do not get that their decisions and action have consequences that can last a lifetime.
“I am telling you this for the last time, You need to stop making these bad decisions Lintle. You are killing not just your future but us as a family!” I warned her yet again. I was starting to sound like a broken record. The food did not go down really well after that. I think I had created tension by talking to Python but had we run what would have happened next?
“How did you meet him in any case?” I asked her on the drive back. Oh by the way, the shopping was cancelled by her. She said she was no longer feeling it and frankly speaking neither was I.
“I told you the other day. Someone else made the hook up.”
“Who was that someone?” I pressed her. She said I did not know her and besides, I had gotten things my way so let’s drop it. I could not help but wonder if in fact I knew the person because she really did not want to be asked. I dropped it.
“Back already?” My husband asked when I walked in.
“I didn’t get any messages from the bank did you bribe someone or something?” he asked me. He was sitting with Simon. See I told you my husband is desperate for someone to hang out with.
“Nope. I will explain later but Lintle is the one who suggested we come back. I am not to blame!” I said.
Lintle came in and sat next to her father.
“Hi Simon!” she said. He greeted her back but eish, I felt that pang in my chest. I did not greet him. I went upstairs for absolutely no reason. I was behaving like a child and I had no reason to do that. He was a child and like Lintle, was there to be protected. Why was he so yummy though?
“Honey what’s going on?” my husband asked me. He had followed me upstairs when he noticed I was watching TV there as opposed to downstairs like I always do. I could not tell him that the little boy sitting next to him was making me feel moist between my legs. Did I say that out loud?
“Nothing. I have a lot to think about unfortunately. Now that I am under administrative leave I can consider what to do next with my life!” I said.
“What do you mean with your life? This will blow over soon!” he said confidently. He sat on the bed next to me.
“I got a consultancy job at the Department of Energy. It’s an 8-month contract.”
I was not expecting that.
“What? Are you serious? Why didn’t you tell me? Oh wow congratulations!”
I got up and hugged him and gave him a big kiss on the lips. Yes, my husband is educated. A lot of tenderpreneurs are but sadly with all those brains and opportunities they fail to create sustainable businesses or jobs without the aid of government. I often said this to my husband, that he should not live for the next tender but must create a viable business with all the money he had made but this fell on deaf ears.
“When do you start?” I asked. He told me in two weeks. It had something to do with the nuclear deal everyone is debating lately but I didn’t care. I was just happy that he did not spend his entire day watching TV.
“Besides, its going to be harder getting a tender nowadays with all these new rules! Might as well get back into the game!” he said. I was just glad we were finally doing something.
“What happened with Lintle and shopping?” he asked me. I told him about our run in with Python with as much detail as I could remember. He was worried that this was not over, I told him he was probably right. I could see that there was something he wanted to say but was failing to bring it out.
“Sizwe I am not going to have a heart attack, what’s on your mind?” I asked him. I know my husband too well.
“Nelisa wanted to come over today. She says she is having problems with something and just needed a timeout. I told her I would talk to you first!” he said. I knew what that meant, he was telling me that he had already said she could come. Sizwe could not say no to save his life.
“It’s fine. Is she already on her way?” I asked him. His answer was first hesitation then a curt, “Yes!”
He stood up immediately to go downstairs just so he could avoid me shouting. I did not have the energy in any case. It was weird though that Nelisa was all of a sudden on her way here. What was I missing here? This had something to do with her mother I am certain of it!
I went to Lintle’s room I wanted to talk to her but she was not there. She was downstairs watching the news with her father and Simon. Lintle never watches the news. In all the years I have known her, the news to her was anything according to Twitter! She had even insisted I get an account even though I had no idea what was going on there.
“Lintle can you come into the study we need to talk!” I said to her. I could feel her roll her eyes behind my back, okay fine I exaggerate but by the way she dragged her feet after me it was obvious she did not want to come.
“Yes mom!” she said, fighting hard to hide her annoyance.
“Nelisa is coming over. Your father told me just now. Do you know anything about that?” I asked her.
“Mum how would I know though. I have no phone remember.” she said to me. I was being played. I had thought about it! Lintle’s rebellion had started right around the time we were first introduced her to Nelisa. I can actually trace her fall from golden child right to this moment where she was changing schools just to stay alive. Even Sizwe and I, we had never been a fighting couple but ever since her coming here I can truly say that had changed. What was I missing?
Forty five minutes later Nelisa walked into the house. Lintle ran up to hug her.
“Hello guys!” she said cheerfully.
She hugged her father and came over and hugged me.
Awkward is the word.
“Thank you for having me over with all that’s going on!” she said perhaps a bit too sarcastically for my liking.
“Come upstairs!” Lintle said. They went upstairs.
I had to eavesdrop!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
How is everyone? Thank you for reading my letter. Its short.
I was married to a cheating husband for four years. I divorced him three years ago and moved on with my life. Since then I have dated two men and both were good men but I can’t help it but compare them to my ex husband. They fall short for some reason. I miss him and he has not stopped contacting me even after the divorce. We share a child and everytime he comes to see him I just want to go hug him and kiss him. He never makes a move on me and I desperately want him to. I don’t know his love life and don’t want to know, I just want him.
What should I do?