Its no secret, in this country when you have money, people without automatically assume that whatever you do you bribe to get ahead. If a child is born into a rich family, no matter how much work they put into their studies, no matter how many degrees they get through working hard, there will always be someone to say that it was because of corruption or favoritism. You can never be creditted for the hardwork you put in as there will always be someone to remind you that you did not suffer as much as they did so it was easier. Even when that person does better than you, they will remind of how much harder they had to work to get there than you did. Its like your parents money can write exams for you or the fact that you have flushing toilets wrote that maths paper for you in matric. Its no wonder that if a celebrity gets arrested people demand he be punished more than a so called ordinary person as though being a celebrity means he does not fart. Its true, we are shallow like that. If I grew up poor then win the lotto, when you see me drive my big car what will the story be then? It won’t be good that’s for sure. I was not surprised therefore that she thought I had something to do with it even though I was not even rich. I called her back.
“What do you want? How could you make them arrest my husband? What am I supposed to do now?”
She asked me crying as though someone had died. I wanted to shout at her and remind her that he had abused our child but this woman had not only lost her son but now her husband. This was big.
“I had nothing to do with it. How could I have seen sign of abuse when you know I was not even with the babies?”
I asked the hysterical woman but I doubt right now was the time for her to have her reasoning cap on her. She was totally devasted.
I asked her. I wanted to know the full story because maybe in telling she would then realize why he went to jail.
“What happened with what?”
She asked me.
“The social workers called saying they were signs of abuse on one of the babies. They did not say which baby and now that you are telling me I know. Are you saying that its not true?”
I asked her. I was not sure if she heard everything I said through all that crying but oh well.
“I will tell you what happened. Two months ago there really was no food at home. I took Ruben back to my mothers in the village. When we were there, my sisters 9 year old was holding him and he dropped Ruben. There was no one in the house and the boy did not confess. For two days the baby cried. Eventually I took Ruben to the clinic were they then so that his wrist was broken. They fixed it. We did not know what had happened? That was on his left hand!”
She explained. I was not sure whether to believe this story because I don’t know what the signs were.
“I stayed there longer not knowing what had happened until I saw my nephew playing with him about two weeks later and realized how rough he was! I decided to come home!”
She explained. I kept quiet becayse somehow it felt as though the story had holes in it.
“I knew you wouldn’t believe me because you have never had to go hungry and watch a child cry in front of you because there is no food. I have!”
She was right I had never but that’s what breast milk is there for. I was not sure what to believe.
“So why did they arrest your husband then because you would have told them its not true?”
I asked her.
“I don’t have a lawyer like you. I can’t afford one. Don’t you get it. Prison is full of poor people because guess what, we can’t afford to be defended even when we are not guilty. Rich people get bail and get to go home. My husband never stood a chance! I told them it was not him and they said that they were doing this to save my life and my childs life! Imagine! Poor people always need saving according to them. We can’t think for ourselves even when we need help!”
She was very bitter in her tears. I could not identify with her at that moment but I could feel her pain. Her story seemed a bit far fetched but I was not the judge. I was not going to interfere with the plans God had for him.
“Agnes I had nothing to do with this. I am sorry its happening to you especially now with everything else happening. I hope tomorrow you get all the answers but this had nothing to do with me!”
I told her. She sobbed on a bit further before I hung up. She had ruined my evening because now I was feeling bad over something I did not even do.
When I got into bed I got a call from the last person I expected, Tidimallo. That’s how long it felt that he had not called me and I even felt my heart leap.
“How are you stranger?”
Is how I started the conversation. We spoke for about an hour. At some point I cried telling him how all this has been the most trying time of my life. He told me that he would come and see me. He was thinking of moving to Cape Town as he got a job there but his mother was refusing.
“She says there is too much racism there and she did not fight through apartheid for her child to move back voluntarily into it! My mother is so dramatic. Cape Town is not that bad. It just has a bunch of white people who think they are better than black people that’s all!”
He said in what was supposed to be a joke and I laughed too but it was not funny. I completely understood her mothers concerns. Yesterday on the news I saw a bunch of white guys drag a black man out of his car and beat him up in Cape Town. I therefore feared for him.
“I don’t think its a good idea though. You can’t live in a place where you are too scared to do anything!”
I told him but he said I was being irrational. His argument was that this was still South Africa and Mandela fought for freedom. He also argued that it was not all white people who did this. I was not buying it because for me its the silent ones that matter because they do not try and stop their brothers and sisters from this.
“I will be fine. Stop being dramatic. I will also go build my shack at UCT if push comes to shove!”
He said and laughed at his own joke. I don’t think race was the reason why I did not want him to go. It was more of a need to want him to be here and close. When he hooked me up to Thulare it was out of him caring for me but at the time it was him I had wanted. Its no secret.
“When can we have lunch?”
He asked. I was not sure but I told him it will have to be dinner on Friday night as it can’t be lunch. I don’t have enough time at work to just step out. We concluded on that and I went to bed with a smile. I think I even dreamt of standing on the alter next to him eish.
In the morning it was back to work. Orapeleng lost her aunt and was not in the office. We were now deciding who was going to Limpopo for the funeral. My boss said he would hire the transport for us as he would not be going. Lunga was going and would represent him. I could see Lunga’s face sink as he did not want to go. What’s worse was that the father said he could not drive his own car as everyone will go in one transport. I sent Orapeleng a message. The aunt in question was like her mother and had raised her. It was someone very close hence why all the support and concern.
“Would you believe him? I had plans and now he is making me attend something I don’t want to!”
Lunga said when we finally back on our desks. I did not reply him. I was still not talking to him.
“Come on how long are you going to ignore me for?”
He asked me. I really did not want to talk to this selfish boy. He was like a little child at times. Here was an occassion where we had to be there for one of our colleagues and he was busy being an idiot and selfish.
“Please just do the work on your desk and I will do mine. Keep it professional!”
I told him coldly. Who was I kidding? He heard nothing I had said. He yapped the whole day. Around two I got a call from Thulare. He called the office phone.
“I am sorry about how are conversation ended yesterday!”
Is how he began. I had even forgotten about that otherwise I would not have picked up.
“Its cool what’s up?”
“Friday night let’s go watch a movie! Its been a while since I saw one!”
“I can’t make it. I am having dinner with Tidimalo. He is leaving for Cape Town so I might not get to see him again for a while!”
“You are blowing me off for my friend? Are you for real right now?”
He said and I could hear he was very annoyed by what I had said.
“Tidimallo is my friend and has been for a long time! He is the same person that hooked us up and now you are jealous of him?”
I retorted. I don’t think he saw that coming.
“Its just inappropriate! You can’t be going out with other men when you are seeing another!”
He said in his defense!
“I don’t see a ring on my finger and even if I did, I was not born with you. I have my own friends and you have your own. My job is not to stop them from being your friends!”
I told him but he was hearing none of it!
“Then we must not get married then! If you are going to be that woman who gallavants and disrespects me then I don’t want you!”
He said angrily and I think it came out too soon when he had quite thought it through.
“Fine then! Go find a wife who wants to be kept in a cage and treated like she does not have a brain for herself!”
I said and I hung up the phone immediately.
Could this be my way out?
I switched off my phone!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
I don’t know how you do it, come up with stories like this but I must say you are very creative. Thank you for sharing your talent.
I have what is now an embarrassing problem. I am turning 28 in June and I am still a virgin. I am female by the way. I haven’t dated in a long time and not because I don’t want to. I have a good job a car and a house (bond) but men do not seem to want me. I have not been asked out by a man in so long. My friends have tried hooking me up but the guys don’t seem to agree. I am not pretty, I now believe that because what kind of a woman does not get attention. I dress well and some clothes don’t suit me because of my body type so I stay away from that. I am a size 36 and I gym now. I don’t feel like waking up in the morning anymore because its so lonely. My friends all have men and kids and now I find myself jealous of them.
Please help! What must I do to better my chances?