I am a dramatic person on most days. I am the first to admit that. Yes I am more reactive than proactive, that one I leave to my sister. When I am confronted with an emotional problem, I would like to believe that my first instinct is to freeze. I don’t like being confronted with something I cannot fix. I hate that. My lips moved but nothing came out! There was a stunned silence. No one moved for a moment to comfort her because it felt so surreal. She had insisted that he had not done what they accused him of but of course, no one believed her. We are so quick to believe that people in poverty are more likely to do do such things hence we don’t readily take their side in such arguments. I am not even making this up. If money gets stolen, would you suspect the rich guy in a suit over the guy in a sporty with a gold tooth? It’s an image, it’s a stereotype we perpetuate unabated.
“There must be a mistake! Come on now! He just went in yesterday and I am sure he will be out today!” I said not sure what else to say.
“Are you not hearing me! The police where here, are here! They are saying my husband is dead. They want me to go with them to identify his body.” she cried.
“But how did they know that you were here?” I asked stupidly. At this point I was praying that someone else intervene in this conversation but by the looks on their faces I doubt anyone could. They were too stunned I suppose I don’t know.
“Madam we have to go!” the police officer said rather coldly. I would have expected them to give her more time.
“For crying out give her a moment!” the social worker said. It was such a sad moment. If you have never lost someone you love, you would never understand what it means to be in her shoes right now.
“I understand but we are also on the clock!” he said pointing at his watch. Since when have police been worried about being on time. We all see them sitting under trees so it’s kind of hard to just take their side. They walked away from the door. Agnes started picked up her bag and it was then I got help.
“I think we must go with her!” my mother finally said to her. She stood up and hugged the poor woman. That is when everyone started moving to comfort her. It was actually awkward. On the one hand, these very people had accused him of being an abuser yet here they were saying how sorry they were. It disgusted me I won’t lie. If a man is say, a rapist, and he dies, do you say sorry just because he is dead? If you don’t, what else should you not be sorry for? Would you be sorry if the ex boyfriend that cheated on you died? It’s just a question.
“I want to say bye to my baby? Will he be allowed to say bye to his father? I want to know that?” she turned to ask the social worker. I don’t think they were prepared for that question but they said yes. We went to see Amo and Reuben who were both sleeping by now. It was so sad watching her hug Reuben. He was the only thing of hers that remained in this world and she could not even have that too. As we walked out I saw the social worker could not even look Agnes in the eye. She knew that in the name of doing her job, be it hastily she had played a part in his death.
“I will drive behind you!” Julius said. My mother nodded her approval. We joined the police and we convoyed. My mothers car always plays gospel and it just felt appropriate at that time.
“I think this changes everything. Agnes will never want to part with Rueben now that this has happened. It just would not be right.” my mother said quietly. I had already thought the same thing. The complications were too many and right now I was just confused.
“She needs to come stay with us Faith, there is no other way.” my mother said. I was not sure if it was because she had lost her husband or for the sake of the boys.
“I am worried that if she can’t stay in Jhb anymore because she cannot get a job she will move and now we will not see a solution to this whole mess!” my mother continued. I finally found my voice and told him that I agreed with her.
“When is the appropriate time to ask her this because we will look very opportunistic if we do it now even though we are trying to help?” I asked my mother. It would be very odd for us to just walk up to her, the very people trying to steal her baby and tell her that we wanted her to move in with us.
“I don’t know but I doubt she will be going back to that shack tonight with all that’s happening.” she said but I was already on the next question.
“Do you think she will have the money to bury him?” I asked her. I had seen how poor they were. It was not a naïve question because I know how everything is so expensive in this country. I understand village people have graves and societies but what happens to poor shack dwelling people in Jhb? Is there a fund that’s there to bury people who cannot afford to bury their own? It must be the saddest thing.
When we got there she went inside. It did not take a long time. She confirmed what she feared the most. It was him alright and now the shock of it all sunk in deeper. She had called one of her relatives to come so they were together. They left together whilst we headed home. Julius had said he will drive behind us but somewhere somehow he had disappeared on us.
When we got home I had forgotten that I was angry at my sister. I told her everything that had happened.
“Serves him right!” she said.
“I am glad he is dead. If I was president I would make sure every man who abuses a child should have something cut off their body!” she said rolling her eyes,
“How do you manage to conjure up such brutality though?” I asked her and we laughed. It’s crazy. How can she even think of people having limps chopped off? It was barbaric.
“I am just saying I would not be so weak on crime!” my sister, a criminal herself once upon a time seemed to have so many opinions when it came to this topic. She was not normal.
“Your boyfriend was here earlier on!” she said casually.
“Who is my boyfriend?” I asked her.
“How many do you have? Thulare was here. You guys just missed him. If you call him now I doubt he will be that far!” she told me. I did not want him here. What did he want?
“No am fine! I will call him later and he is not my boyfriend!” I told her defiantly. I had no intention of calling him. I checked my phone and he had not called meaning that he had just showed up. It’s funny how just a few weeks ago I would have done anything just to get a call from him but now I wanted nothing to do with him. I guess that’s how relationships go.
I went to my room and called Julius. What had happened to him? He explained that he had to go to the office as he saw no need for him to be there. He reassured me that Amo was coming home with me eventually.
“What about this new development though?” I asked him.
“Look, its not your fault and had nothing to do with you. I feel sorry for the lady because she has been dealt a cruel hand but that’s life. Your mother and I had a long chat and I agree with her solution to a certain extent.” he explained.
“What extent is that?” I asked him.
“Well it’s a temporary fix isn’t it? What happens when you want to move in on your own? Are you going to move with Agnes too or you are intending on staying with your mother forever?” he asked me. I had not thought of it that far and he made sense.
“This is just a temporary fix I guess but its better than nothing.” I said, I think defending my mothers idea, not sure.
“I don’t dispute it at all I am just saying you need a long term solution that’s all.”
There was noise in the background plus voices and I immediately said,
“I have to go, I don’t want your girlfriend getting you into trouble!” I said in what was meant as a joke.
“Nah I don’t have a girlfriend. I don’t trust women. It’s my cousin Tebogo and his girlfriend. They go to UJ and are just visiting!” he said. I felt a bit awkward because I had not intended for him to tell me all that. It was personal information and we should keep us professional.
I have to go he said. He had only come home to open for Tebogo he said. That was the first conversation I had had with Julius since he started on my case. If I stopped dating Thulare was he still going to see this through. I should be careful how I handled this. That’s what happens when people do you favours.
I called the only person that understood me… Aurelia. Some how it felt like she was so far away and i was drowning without her here.
“I miss you. When can I come visit you?” I said to her. I could do with a break. I was obviously joking.
“Have you ever slept in a township Faith?” she said laughing at me. I can’t remember the last time I had but of course I had.
“I am pregnant again and this time I am keeping it!” she said calmly.
“Are you sure you want to do this? It’s not so wise!” I warned her.
“You do such a good job with Amo I am sure I can handle it too. It can’t be that hard!” she said cheerfully.
Therein lies the myth!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
I am a 17 year old girl from Alberton North. I am not even sure how to address this. I have anger issues and serious ones. I have been in so many fights at school with both girls and boys. I never start a fight but I always finish it. I can’t control my anger and if you cross me I will moer you. Last year another girl tried to stab me after I had beaten her and her friends up for spreading rumours about me sleeping around which was not true. I am still a virgin. I have no more friends because everyone fears me. I don’t want this life because as I get older I realize I will one day get into more trouble than its worth. I have both parents at home and my dad suggested therapy when I spoke to him but my mother said that I have demons. I was so irritated at her. She said I needed to be prayed for. We have been going to church since I was born so why haven’t the demons left me.
Please help me with solutions.