Sometimes when you try to run away from something, it feels like it is chasing you more and more. Poverty is one of those things. The harder you try to fight it the more it resists. It’s like an addiction I tell you. Then there’s was Mthobisi. Good Lord, why was this man finding a way into my family more and more. Mthobisi could not come here because he might tell my husband what we had been doing. In fact, I wanted him far away from my family. Why had he called him? My husband needed to be a man. I know I come across as harsh but as a man should you be running to other men to solve your problems? How does your own wife respect you because a man protects his family and when your family sees you doing such weak things, they think wajelwa! I am not trying to disrespect him and I won’t say it to his face but this was super disappointing. A man must always make a plan. I doubt he would survive if he was ever broke.
“My love I don’t agree with that move. Lintle needs to see us protect her on our own not roping in other people!”, I said very calmly so as not to alarm him too much.
“Its already done love. I don’t think calling to cancel will be okay!” He protested,
“We are saying its okay for him to be a criminal when it suits us! These things have consequences and we will end up too involved. I would rather go to the police with this!” I said, and he responded,
“Are you crazy? Going to the police might end up with Lintle having a record. She is already on the edge as is. That will be a dumb move on our part!”
He was right and I was not that dumb. I just wanted to drive my point across.
“No, call him back and tell him we don’t need his help!” I told Sizwe. He could see I was seriously not backing down so he had to try something new.
“Love how are we supposed to get rid of these drugs and get Lintle out of this mess?” he asked me.
“Do you want us to flush them down the toilet and pretend that they were never here? What will happen if the people who gave them to her come looking for them? This is not something we can just sweep under the carpet!” he protested. He made sense but come what may I was not calling you know who! That’s like Harry Potter calling Voldemort!
“We will come up with something. We have been asking for too many favours from him already and what do you think will happen when we have to return the favour?” I asked him. He pleaded with me to take the threat of this snake character seriously but I totally refused. I did not want Mthobisi back here again. I went and took my husbands phone and handed it to him.
“Call him please!” I told him. He was surprised by my aggression on the matter and stood up.
“Nothabo what’s going on? We can’t fight drug dealers and you know it. The police will probably not help, they’ll likely get us into further trouble so we need like for like for this to work.” he explained. He was right of course but I had my reasons.
“Sit down please Sizwe please and hear me out!” I said calming my voice down as I was certain he was starting to get suspicious.
“Mthobisi kills people for a living. I am not making this up and I don’t want that man near us or to owe him anything. We have to fix this ourselves. Lintle is our daughter and we fix our own mess!” I told him. He really was uncertain about this but he called Mthobisi and cancelled. It was a tense conversation. During the conversation my husband paused a bit and I heard him say my name. What had Mthobisi said? When he hung up I asked him what happened.
“Mthobisi said he spoke to you a few days ago. He asked me to ask you what that was about?”
What the fuck? Was he trying to get me in trouble with my husband really. That was a sneaky low blow.
“Yes he called to offer his condolences. Lesedi told him about it.” I said casually.
“So why didn’t you tell me?” he asked me curiously.
“A lot of people called me Sizwe. Could I possibly have told you all of them. You and I we were not even talking!” I reminded him. Yes I was lying. Mthobisi was not an important person in my life, I reminded my husband, so it had slipped my mind. He didn’t seem convinced but I was just relieved he had called the dog off. Now this left us with a plan on how to get Linhle out of this situation.
“Do you know how to divert calls?” I asked Sizwe. He said he did. I asked him to divert all her calls to my phone. He was reluctant.
“Sizwe, this person is going to call and we need to know everything Lintle is up to! You don’t seem to see the importance of us getting to the bottom of this.” I said to him. He did not saying anything further. He diverted her calls to my phone and switched off her phone.
“So if he calls what are you going to do? Scare him off with a stethoscope?”
That was cheeky but funny. It had been such a tense day I ended up laughing.
“Lintle!” my husband shouted.
“She is taking too long. I am going to be on her case till she leaves. She came downstairs and politely said,
“Yes dad?” he pointed to the kitchen. She walked past us looking down. She was too scared to look us in the eye and who can blame her. Her father had insisted she do it so I decided that I must go with her because I did not want her to mess it up. She was sobbing quietly as she did everything but I did not say a word to her. I kept quiet.
There was a knock on the door. It was my brother and Zethu. They had come to check on me again. Zethu was laughing her lungs off at what had happened. To her it was some big joke but to me this was serious. Her making it seem funny was just telling Lintle that this was funny. I didn’t realize that Lintle’s face was a bit swollen where her father had slapped her. How hard had he her kante?
“Lintle what’s wrong?” my brother asked her. She mumbled that everything was fine. She was obviously not fine because him asking brought more tears tears to her eyes.
“Her father gave a beating that’s what’s wrong. She has been misbehaving for a long time and this was the last straw.” I explained to them. I could see they wanted to sympathise with her but when you do a bad thing everyone understands being punished.
“Can I talk to her though?” Zethu asked. I agreed and she took her upstairs to talk. That left my brother, husband and I in the room. My brother then asked to speak to my husband outside. That was new. They stood up and went outside. That meant I now had to check on my daughters pots. Everything was fine but the curiosity was killing me. I decided to go eavesdrop by the door to listen to my husband and brother.
“…no sbali listen to me, you can’t just leave your wife when you feel like it. She is a woman and every time you do that you crash her spirit!” my brother was saying. I don’t think I have ever heard him stand up for me like this.
“It won’t happen again but your sister is work. You know I love but between her temper, bullying and bad attitude its hard not to want some time out!” Sizwe responded.
I don’t think I was like that. Why do men see what they want in us only when they want? I know I stood my ground but that was not bullying. If it was a man doing this they will say he was headstrong and has a steady hand to control his family. In fact that is admired very much in a man. When it’s a woman it’s called bullying.
“I know what you mean but she is my sister and I love her. You can’t hurt her like that ever again because much as I respect you I will kill you. Its not even a joke.” my brother said. Okay that was deep. I did not want to hear anymore of this so went to eavesdrop on my daughter and Zethu. The door was slightly open and they were not whispering either.
“… I am not refusing to go to boarding school because I know everything is fucked up but I never expected my dad to hit me. Mom yes, she is evil like that but dad I did not expect. She has managed to turn him against me too!”
She was complaining. I honestly don’t get it, why do mothers and teen daughters not get along? Whatever I did to her it was like I was directly challenging her. Much as I was angry at her and wanted to give her a piece of my mind for saying that, I walked downstairs instead. Let her blame me. One day she will thank me.
Her pots were starting to burn so I had to deal with that. I was not sure if Zethu and my brother were staying for supper so that was my next mission, so that I knew whether to start cooking for them or not. As I was doing so my phone rang. It was a number that I did not know.
“Hello?” I said when I picked up.
“Lintle where are you been trying to call you for a long time now?”
A man’s voice said angrily. The accent was definitely Nigerian. I automatically knew who it was and did not have to be told.
“Why are you calling my daughter?”
I said very calmly. He was surprised for a second and then said,
“Sorry mama I will call later!”
Before he hung up I said, “Come and take your shit before I flush it down the toilet. She is a minor you fucken cunt and if you ever come near my daughter again I will make sure they deport you to wherever you come from!” I told him angrily.
There was silence on the other side then he laughed before he said,
“I would like to see you try!”
Maybe we needed Mthobisi after all!
****** The End*******
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank you for reading this and posting it up. Hope I find you and the readers well.
I am a student and have been dating my boyfriend for three years now. Over the December holidays he never called me unless I called and when I stopped calling him he never followed up. It was a frustrating festive season because of this and to compound to this I cheated on New Years Eve. I know its cliche but I slept with some guy I had met over the festive. He too had a girlfriend so I managed to downgrade myself from someones girlfriend to a scuftin. My boyfriend is back now and is acting as though we spoke everyday. I asked him why he ignored me and he said it was because at home he does not get as much airtime as he does at school. It was not good enough an excuse I felt and told him as much. I do however feel guilty about what I did and wanted to ask whether confessing is a good idea? Does he deserve to know the truth seeing how he treated me? I do love him and I don’t know if I can say it was a moment of weakness because I did enjoy the other guy.
Thank you for your time.