Officially, 23 people commit suicide in South Africa every day. That’s not a number I made up, it’s real and usually it’s people who suffer from depression and some of these mental illnesses. I say this because when a guy like Thulare says that they don’t want to live without you it’s something you take seriously. I know a lot of people say that they don’t sympathise with someone who takes their own life but have you ever wondered if you would say that, if that person was your sister, brother, mother, father or simply someone you love. Yes, with someone you don’t know that well you can say that bullshit, but if you cared about a person then I strongly doubt you would be that reckless with your words.
I am not the most beautiful girl in the world, I know that and I am fine with it. It’s just how God made me. I have my qualities of course which funny enough only come out only after a man tries to get to know me. The problem I have always had is that when a man tries to get to know me, often they fall in love quickly. This is a problem I have had ever since I can remember and I know I am not the only one who has this issue. I attract men who put me on a pedestal from which I almost always eventually fall, very hard and very fast! The irony of my life.
“You want us to get married?” I asked him cautiously. I was not about to agitate him whilst he was driving. Hell no. I was going to get to my house alive and make sure that we never ever find ourselves in a situation like this.
“Yes I think so. I love you and you love me I believe!” he said, speculating.
“But Thulare we are first cousins, isn’t that illegal!” I said without raising my voice so as not to alarm him. I had to let him down gracefully without encouraging him but now was not the time.
“Eish I know hey. Its been bugging me and I think my relapse was caused by that!” he said, focusing on the road at least. Hold up, his relapse was caused by the fact that we were cousins?
“How so?” I asked him.
“I don’t date often, I think I told you that when we first met, but when I like someone I go all out to show them that I do. I like you, I think from day one I have worked hard to show that. I am a decent, hardworking and loving father to my child. I have a job and we get along very well as a couple. I am not saying I’m the perfect guy but I really try to be!”
He forgot the part that he had murdered his baby mama because he loved her so much and no girl in their right mind would say to him. I was not mad!
“I like your idea but there is a lot that goes into that decision considering how closely we are related. I will have to speak to my mother and hear what she says about it!” I told him sweetly then put my hand on his. I was almost home so I could play this game for as long as was necessary.
“I am glad you said that. I don’t know how I will have taken it had you rejected me. I think I would have killed myself!”
This was the second time he had said that already, like what the fuck!
“Come on, don’t say such things! You are scaring me!” I told him.
“No don’t worry, I won’t do something so stupid, I am just saying that’s how much I like you. Imagine being married at 24, you would have achieved something most 30-year-olds only ever dream of!” he said with a reassuring smile, as if that made sense. When he mentioned my age it only served the opposite purpose. I was too young to get married. Was he mad? I am a strong believer that couples who marry young often end up with the problems of cheating and divorce. Imagine, at 24 in ten years I will already be tired of my husband. I will be telling myself that I am still young enough to have fun so this relationship is tying me down. He will be telling himself that he is young and because of the kids I don’t have time to do young things with him hence why he must be out with his buddies. That often means cheating and drinking. Yes I am a cynic and I don’t believe in getting married young because look at our divorce statistics and you will see I’m not mad.
“But Thulare you being unfair right now. Why can’t we date for a year at least so we get to know each other better? You can’t expect that the moment you say it I will jump at it. Marriage is not a business opportunity which you jump at just because it has been offered, its a commitment!” I said cautiously. He was sweating a bit and so was I, I am not sure if it was because of the heat outside, my paranoia or whether he was getting angry. He did not respond for a minute or two before he said,
“I get you love. I’m not forcing you. I was just putting out there on the table that this is were my thoughts are!” he said. Maybe it’s I who was just frightened but for now all seemed well. We got home and he said that he was not staying as he had to some things. He looked a bit sad but I am sure he will survive. I was just relieved to be home safe and sound.
My sister was sitting in the TV room when I entered. As soon as she saw me she came to me and gave me her phone to read an sms. It was a bank sms which showed that she had received R50,000.
“Congratulations!” I said to her. I was not sure what else to say.
“I am not comfortable with it though. I feel like something else is going to happen, something bad!” she said. It was my turn to tell someone else not to be paranoid.
“Enjoy the money or just save it. That’s a good thing. Have you told mom?” I asked her. She said no and that she was not going to tell her. I wondered what that was about but I was tired and needed to bath. It had been too long a day not to want to wash away all this bad luck. I realized that my problems all come out when I pick up the phone so I switched it off and put it on the charger.
“I want to put it in a fixed account. I don’t think I want to use it for now. It will be for a rainy day.” my sister walked into my room and said. I told her that was a good idea. It will give her time to figure out what she wanted to do with it. I went and ran my bath. I lay in that water for a good two hours. The water even got cold on me but I just did not have the energy to come out.
I wanted things to do so that my mind won’t be focused on Amo. I decided to cook which my sister really appreciated because she too did not want to do it. My mother came and again she was with my father. When I greeted them they asked me to sit down.
“We thought we told you not to see Thulare again!” my father said sounding very angry.
“I don’t understand, I am not seeing him!” I told him. What was he on about now?
“Did he not drive you home?” he asked me. I told him he did and I was not going to refuse a lift because at the end of the day I have no car.
“Well he called and asked to see me. He told me that you two have agreed to get married in a years time!” I wanted to laugh. I did not know what to say. Men have a tendency of hearing what they wanted to hear.
“That’s not true. Yes he spoke about marriage but I did not agree. I told him we were related.” I told them.
“That’s good because I would have forbidden it!” my father said.
I hated this. Look I understand that it was because of circumstances that he left us but growing up my mother always taught us never to listen to a man and to be independent. In this conversation she had not said anything, instead she let this man tell me what to do. Is this what love meant for her, caving in like this?
I went to my room and I called him. He picked up cheerfully and said,
“Hello wife to be how are you?” he sounded so happy.
“Why did you go tell my father about our discussion? Now he confronted me in front of my mother.” I accused him.
“When was I supposed to tell him though my love? I am showing you I am serious about us and you are complaining. Did you not say we needed to consult first?” he asked and by the sound of it, he sounded genuinely confused.
“Yes, I said I will consult, not you. I am the girl with more to lose so it was my responsibility. Now you got me blindsided by them!” I said angrily.
“I am sorry I did not realize that, I was just seizing the moment. I found him at my mom’s place and the conversation came up.” he explained. He told me he had gone to see his child and deliver things he had bought.
“I am sorry I jumped the gun. I guess I was excited by how things had gone…” his phone hung up mid conversation. I tried calling him back but I think his phone was off. As my phone had been off messages started coming in. I saw that Agnes had tried to call me and she left a voice note!
I listened to it.
“I don’t know what you did with all your money but to get my husband arrested for abuse was below the belt. I thought we could work together on our situation but now really there is no way. I can’t believe you did this to another woman! That was cruel!”
That’s what the message said. She thought I had paid the social workers to frame her husband.
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
How are you and fellow readers?
My mother died when I was young and I grew up under my stepmother and the children she had with my father. It was all good until six month ago when my father passed away. My step mother and I had never been close but we were civil. My father had many life policies and the problem came when we discovered that one of these policies was made specifically for me. She did not like that he had not included the other children. It created a me vs them situation as now my step mother says I must move out. I offered to share the money and she said no because I am obviously superior to my siblings. I am only 17 and doing grade 11. I have an aunt who has 7 children and she can’t take me in because as you can see they have too many mouths to feed. On my fathers side, one brother is a drunk and in and out of jail whilst his sister they were never close.
Please advise me on what I should do?