I know there are people who find it very easy to break up with someone. They can just switch off their emotions and drop the red card without even blinking. I am not one of those people. It’s very hard for me to let go of a person even when it’s they who wronged me. It’s not that I am soft but it’s true I lack conviction. Thulare was being dumped not because he did not love me but because as a couple we had too many obstacles in front of us. I know there are people that say they are unlucky in love and I got the impression that I was one of those people who was going to end up there. With Tidimalo leaving, my options for love were actually getting slimmer by the moment. Maybe I should do what they do in the movies and chase after the taxi and say please don’t go! That shit almost always seems to work.
“Lovers tiff?” my sister asked me when she walked into my room and saw me looking at my phone.
“No! It’s just Thulare. He is being an idiot as usual!” I said to her.
“He is a nice guy but mum says he is our cousin so why are you still there?” she asked me. It was what I was asking myself already.
“I don’t know what to do I guess!” I told her.
“I say do what you want. Rules are meant to be broken. You can’t just follow what people say and jump at it!”
That’s more like the sister I know. She was a risk taker at best and did not care what people thought of her. I was the more cautious between the two of us yet I was the one with a child out of marriage. Guess the joke was on me.
“Are you saying I should date my cousin?” I asked her incredulously. She looked at me like it was a matter of fact which really in fact it was not.
“Yup. He was not your cousin until what, two weeks ago? So now you are acting like he has always been your blood! The relation comes through your father who you also only met recently so there is no point in claiming a kinship you don’t even know how to acknowledge exists!”
She explained. She was making sense. A lot of things did not add up and were it not because he was mad too, I would have considered it.
“Ag come on. That’s bad advice Judith. It will cause too many problems and you know mum will never stand for it!” I reminded her.
“That’s your problem! You want a life were you ask for permission for everything. Because of that we can’t even do what we need to do to get Amo back. If we had done things my way Amo would be here right now!” she said. She made me feel guilty. Her way would probably have included kidnapping Amo and running away. That’s my sister for you, she is the queen of shortcuts.
“That’s a low blow don’t you think?” I asked her.
“No its not. How long are we going to run around like a headless chickens without Amo? Can’t you feel that something is missing in this house right now? Where is your son? Where is my nephew? You keep on going on everyday as though everything is normal. It’s like you have forgotten what your number one priority is!” she said angrily and she was not done!
“How can you be thinking about boyfriends at a moment like this? If I were you and I know I am not you, I would have gone all out to make sure that my child does not for one day sleep outside the walls of this house!”
She walked out leaving me fuming. I am not sure if I was angry at the fact that she had no right to say that or whether it was because deep down I knew she was right. I had not done enough. I just did not know what it was that needed to be done. I went to bed with a heavy heart yet again. This can’t be life.
Today was the day we were seeing the social workers. I decided that my sister should not come with me because I was not happy with her. I went with my mother instead. Agnes was there and I must say without her husband there she looked a shell of herself.
“Agnes are you okay?” I asked when I arrived. She was standing by a vending machine but not buying anything. It was that stance showing that she did not want to talk to anyone.
“What do you want? Have you not done enough in my life to ruin it?” she asked me. She was angry yes but I could sense she was about to cry. She had hardly slept by the looks of it.
“I had nothing to do this. I want to help you but I don’t know how! I am going to ask Julius to see if he can find out what the the police have on him and hopefully that will help!” I reassured her. She practically scoffed at me in her response as she said,
“If you wanted to help you would have made this phone call to your Julius yesterday. My husband slept in jail. Do you hear that? It’s not a nice thing. He is not a criminal and because we have no one to protect us like you do, he could be staying there for a long time!” she said. There is nothing more frustrating than a feeling of helplessness when it comes to trying to help those we love. My mother came over to where we stood and told us that it was time to go in. Imagine the joy on our faces when Agnes and I face when we saw our babies. I ran to Amo and she ran to Ruben. It was such a single minded pursuit as we did not even hesitate to go for our respective children.
“My baby…” I cried as I held Amo in my hands. He was giggling at the time but it was obvious why, he was in mommy’s hands. I did not look at Agnes but I heard her talking to her child. This was a mother’s love and thank heavens everyone left us alone with our children. After about 20 minutes they came back.
“This is a complex matter. With the abuse charge being laid there is a lot of reluctance that Agnes should take home either child. You can’t blame us for this our protection is for the child!” she explained but I immediately interjected much to Julius’ and my mother’s surprise,
“But what makes you think that her husband is the one who abused the child?” I asked them. Agnes was startled too that I had asked.
“We all saw how much he fought for this baby so it’s incredibly hard to believe that he is the one who abused him?” I asked.
“Normally in cases like this we look at the father first. He is the one who is…” she was about to say but Agnes jumped in,
“How come no one came to question me over the facts? I would have told you and I believe I have witnesses. He would not have had to go to jail for nothing!” she said angrily. I was scared she will increase her grip on Ruben as he was still in her hands. Anger often means you tighten your grip instinctively but even then she was gentle.
“I think this needs to be discussed before we can continue. You are creating an impossible situation where even if either child gets swapped, both women are screwed over!”
Julius started speaking. There was debate and an argument that would last the good part of two hours until it was decided that we take a break. The babies were tired and needed their late morning nap. We were told there will be in the next room with someone watching them so we should not worry. As my phone had been off during this session I switched it on to check my messages. I had messages from Thulare apologising I think but I did not read them.
“I think you should not say anything in support of that woman. You are just delaying the process!” my mother said to me not hiding her annoyance.
“Mum but what if the husband is innocent? What happens then?” I asked her. She pulled me to the side further away from the door than where I had initially stood.
“Listen, we came here for Amo, we stick to Amo, anything else we don’t know!” she said. This was the first time I think she had made her feelings known.
“But Ruben is my son mom! What should I do then? Must he grow up in a shanty town when I live just a few kilometres away?” I asked her.
“No Faith that’s all on you. I offered you a solution where they move in the back room so that everyone will be here together but it was you that refused! It was not me! Had you agreed on that all this would not have been happening!” she said accusing me. She was right though. At the time I had been very reluctant on that plan.
“I am going to suggest it inside the meeting when the time comes!” I said feeling defeated. We were hungry so we went to cafeteria to buy some refreshments. With all that arguing that happened in that room everyone was everywhere. I saw Agnes outside.
She was talking to two police officers I don’t know what about. My mother pointed her out to me as well. She seemed agitated from this distance but I was not sure. It was none of my business.
“Mum let’s go. Now we are staring!” I told her as she had even stopped to stare. No chill whatsoever, my mother.
“Maybe she needs help!” my mother said. I did not see what she has seen as I was already entering and she followed behind me.
There was commotion outside similar to those from a Nollywood movie. It startled all of us as we were already seated. The noise was coming towards.
It was Agnes! she was crying hysterically.
“They stabbed him…” she cried as she fell onto the floor.
“They stabbed him!”
“Stabbed who?” I asked her but somehow I knew!
“They stabbed my husband! He is dead Faith! They have killed my husband! He is dead!” she cried.
We were stunned!
I was stunned!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto
Thank you for taking time out to hear all our problems. It takes a very strong person to do so, thank you.
I am 33 and I have two kids with two different fathers. Needless to say its not an ideal situation as each of these two men are difficult when it comes to maintenance. I have taken both to court and both have been asked to pay. I was very promiscuous in my youth. I was at every party and chased guys with fast cars. I guess one day I realized that to them I was just a piece of meat because after they had their fill I would be moved on. I had lots of attitude and no one could advise me on what to do as I knew best and to me, was the most beautiful desirable woman. I changed all that.
I have a job now, it does not pay much as it is in retail. I work hard I believe for my kids but its not a good life. A 28 year old man became interested in me. He has no kids himself and is doing well for himself. I told him about my kids from day one but unfortunately because of shame I lied. I told him that the kids are from one father and we are alone because we divorced. His response was,
“As long as its from one father it can’t be your fault!”
That stung but I kept up the lie. He is getting more and more serious about us and has asked if he can meet my brothers. We have been together for eleven months. I am now scared they will expose this to him.
What should I do? Please advise.