People fight, we all know that. Some are loud and vocal whilst others prefer to do it quietly on the sidelines. I however think that only the lowest form of scum would come fight a person at their place of work. I am sorry I don’t care whether your man was cheating or not but to come fight another woman at their work place is just low. Getting a person fired at work, which is what most likely will happen means that you have destroyed them and so many more who depend on them. In a time like now where jobs are so scarce that for me is beyond. Its hard enough to get employment as is. Seeing Mudenda and Meladi walk in just brought a sinking feeling in me. I was not jealous of them being together, nope, snakes deserve each other. I just did not want them together here at my work place. Had Mudenda forgiven her? There are some men who forgive everything so maybe he was one of those. What were these two doing here now and worse, together? Refiloe was still here and this was going to go south very quickly. Had she not been burnt enough? She was was wearing loose-fitting pants so I couldn’t see her legs. She looked at me and she stopped. Mudenda had not seen me and when he saw where I was he also stopped. I was a bit confused, they were not coming towards me. They were not here for me. My boss walked out of his office and he ushered them to his office. What the fuck was happening? I walked out and close enough to see that Refiloe was in the office. They were having a meeting. This is why I hate educated people. They can’t even fight right. Picture this nonsense happening elsewhere and you will see that there will be no sitting down as sober minds.
I went to my desk and asked Lunga what was going on. He too had no idea of this meeting but he said he did not want to go there unless they called for him. Eish curiosity killed the cat. I really wanted to know but no one called me. These people had been part of my life and ruined it for a long time so they were like a part of me and my anger. Its kind of hard to let such go.
“Are you not tired of all this fighting though?” Lunga asked me pulling me out of my thoughts. If he had asked me thirty minutes ago I would have said yes but now that I was seeing my enemy in my office that was not going to work. I wanted to know. Two hours later I saw them leave. They did not even look around as they walked out. Ten minutes after they left the secretary finally came and called me.
“The boss wants you in his office!” I almost smiled. I felt like a mistress who had heard that the man she has been cheating with has just lost his wife! I am sure even a makhwapeni does not want to be that forever.
“I am sure you saw Meladi was here!” Refiloe said after I had sat down. Yes dwee, I am not blind. Why was she so calm though?
“I felt it was only fair I tell you that I am not playing nice with her. She says the only way she will not press charges against me is if my husband fires you!”
What a bitch? Refiloe must finish talking because after this I was going to finish what Refiloe started.
“… And what did you say to this?” I asked her with a lump in my throat! It was not a joke hey. This girl really had decided that I was public enemy number one. She had no sympathy what I was going through with Amo which I am certain she knew. She had none of that. How was she ever my friend all those years ago? I could not picture it having actually ever happened.
“I told him,” she said pointing to her husband, “in front of her that if you ever lose your job here then I will bury them both alive! I will not be bullied by two cheats and take it lying down. That’s why they left with their tails between their legs!” she said proudly. I breathed a sigh of relief and immediately jumped up to go and hug her. I had not expected her to give me that much support especially with all that was going on. I did not care what her husband thought, I am not the one who had told him to cheat. He could not fire me. My heart felt so settled. I was not dumb though, this was the same woman who had befriended Aurelia only to crush her at the end. I am sure she knew everything about Aurelia from identity number to what size shoe she wore! That’s how much she had lured her in. I should not rest on my laurels. I really needed a new job.
“Go to your desk! We will talk later!” my boss said for the first time since I entered the office. I was being played here. Refiloe had made it clear to her husband that I was her person meaning her spy at the office. What would happen if they then ended up divorcing? I would be the first on the chopping block. When I got to my desk it was Lunga who was waiting for me not the other way round.
“What’s going on?” he asked me. I told him that I was not sure either because it felt like it was a trap. I explained everything that had happened and he agreed with me. He said I should never underestimate his mother like he had learned recently. I wanted to laugh at him because he seemed to have been surprised by his own mother meaning he had not known her either. We forget that these people were young once. That’s our problem.
I busied myself but it was hard to concentrate. I missed my baby. Meladi was on my mind. Where was Thulare? I left my phone on my desk to go to the bathroom and when I came back it was ringing.
“That’s the third time it has rung since you left!” Lunga said. He must stop being nice to me. I just grinned at him and took my phone. It was my sister.
“Where are you?” she asked me.
“I thought we said we going to Kagiso’s place!”
Crap! I had forgotten. I told her that I had not forgotten but work was hectic and unfortunately I could not leave whenever I pleased. She was very annoyed and told me how if it was me she would have dropped everything to do the right thing. She was right. She had been on my side lately and she had not let me down. I just could not leave though and I explained this to her. I decided to call my mother because she had said that she was working on something. I had almost forgotten even with all that was happening. I missed Amo. My mother did not answer. I then called the social worker, she answered.
“I just wanted to find out, how is my baby?” I asked her. She was forthcoming and told me everything was fine. She told me not to be worried because tomorrow will be the first meeting but they had concerns. She did not want to say what these concerns were which worried me greatly.
“Tomorrow when we meet we are going to discuss this but it could be a police matter!” she continued. Why was this woman trying to traumatise me. This was not right. They should just tell me what is going on and stop acting as though its business as usual. She hung up before I could even say a thing.
Eventually I got home. My sister was not in a talkative mood because she was still angry with me. We hit the road to go to her late ex’s place. It was one of those bad traffic days unfortunately so we were stuck for quite a while. When we got there I am not even sure if they were happy to see us. Fortunately after the pleasantries and a bit of small talk his mother got to the point.
“He left you R60 000 in his will!” the mother said.
“What am I supposed to do with it?” my sister asked blankly. Its funny that I was the one who was acting more surprised than she was. She so calm about it.
“Its your money my child. He loved you that much so we can’t withhold it from you!” the mother said. Some people are lucky. If Mudenda dies I am very certain there will be nothing for Amo let alone me. She had dated this guy for a few months yet here we were.
“Thank you I suppose. I just wish he was still here. It feels unreal that he is dead! It really does!” she said and she started crying. I really had underestimated her love for him. We stayed there for about an hour before we left.
As she was driving home I received a call. It was from Julius.
“Hi, do you have any news?” I asked him as soon as I picked up.
“Yes I do but its not good news at all!” he said. He sounded very down.
“What is it?” I asked him.
“I spoke to the social worker and the other lawyers. There are signs that Ruben is being physically abused!” he said.
What kind of animal abuses a baby?
“Are you sure?” I asked him.
“Yes! And this is bad!”
Of course it was bad, I did not need to be told that!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
My brother thank you for reading my story. I am a Nigerian living in South Africa. I have read a lot of your work and I must say you are aa good writer. In the beginning I used to think that you were not Nigerian friendly by how you portrayed us but much as I denied it, I see it for myself. I live in the Germiston area and some of the things we do I really am not proud of. I am a God fearing man and am not ashamed to speak out on this. The drugs we are providing in these communities really gives people to mistrust us. I was invited to two parties and I will describe what happened. One was by my South African friend and colleague. When I was there I was the only Nigerian and when people were looking for dagga (weed) they came to ask me. I was very offended. My friend then told me that it was because in any community we can go, the likelihood of it being a Nigerian selling was almost always extremely high. I swallowed my pride and decided to investigate. I was humbled to discover that the reputation was well earned. Party number two one of my country man was getting married to a beautiful South African lady. I have never seen so much expensive alcohol and young women throw themselves at men like that day. What troubled me was the man getting married I know for a fact is not working but drives a C63 and a Range Rover. Like your stories brother Mike he owns a hair salon. Its obviously questions I cannot ask as to how he attained his wealth but it hurt me to see that we are causing harm to this country.
Brother Mike I am going to try as much as I can to teach my country men that this is not right. I pray that you and your readers teach your fellow South Africans especially the young girls that money might be important but don’t lose yourself for it.
God Bless You