There are those people who are always stand to gain from other people’s misfortune, for example, people who get promoted at work by getting others fired, or being promoted from side-chick to main chick at the expense of the former main chick’s feelings. I think it’s stupid to want to gain something good from the pain of another person. I don’t even think you even enjoy yourself with something you gain unfairly because you will always be mindful of the fact that someone as cruel as you are might come and try to take your place, be it in the job or the relationship you managed to squeeze yourself in.
Some people gain from other people’s death, they gain houses, money from insurance and life cover policies and cars. I have never been a person who likes to gain from other people’s misfortune and I wasn’t going to start now. I wasn’t supposed to see my sister’s death as a way for me to worm myself into her home and want to be the new lady of the house. It doesn’t work like that in this life, in order to enjoy ourselves in this life we must work hard for ourselves and cultivate our own success and relationships. If I were to marry my brother in-law people were going to believe that I have always been eyeing him, people were obviously going to accuse me alone and not the man. That is how it is in this world, when a man and woman mess up, only the woman will be blamed and called names, which is unfair.
Sihle walking into the house and finding my brother in law asking me to marry him was going to have bad repercussions if I don’t explain the situation properly to her.
“Hlengiwe speak, what is happening here?” She asked. I told her to go to her room and I will come and explain. I left Mdu in the lounge and followed Sihle to her room.
“Aren’t you supposed to be at work?” I asked and she responded “It is the big boss’s birthday, so we were given the afternoon off. Why is Mdu proposing to you? Have you guys been dating?”
I said “No Sihle, how can you even suggest such? The family is forcing us to get married, they say I must take over my sister’s household. I didn’t agree at first but because they were persistent in their request so I told them that I would think about it.”
“So have you made your decision?” she said, “Does his proposal mean you are agreeing to their request? Hlengiwe this is madness.”
I paused for a minute before I responded “Sihle calm down, I won’t agree to this. I only told them that I would think about it to get them off my back. This isn’t an ideal situation for me and I’m trying to handle the best way I know how. Mdu arrived a few minutes before you, and I was shocked with his proposal just like you.”
“Hai Mdu mara, how can he do this? It hasn’t even been a week since we buried his wife, but here he is asking you to marry him. Men are dogs maan, but the families are also unfair women are expected to mourn their husbands for a year, but not men, they can move on as quick as they want.” Sihle said with so much irritation in his voice.
She was telling the truth though, being a woman in Africa is hard. I’m not sure about other countries, but some South African cultures expect a woman to mourn her deceased husband for a year. This mourning period includes being dressed in a certain way, you can’t be outside your yard at night, if you travel by taxi you are expected to sit at the back because it is believed that you have ‘bad luck’. There are so many rules and procedures that you need to follow as a woman mourning her husband, and even when you are done with the mourning period, society expects you to remain single until death. But it is very different to men, in my life time I have never seen a man mourn a whole year for his wife and follow all the procedures that women have to follow. It is really unfair. Who came up with all these rules and laws, and why are we supposed to follow them?
“You are right but Mdu is not at fault here. Mdu is still very weak emotionally and his family is pressuring him to do this. I know that Mdu isn’t interested in me in any way, he is confused and doesn’t know what to do. So he is doing everything he thinks will keep his family happy, and all I can do is make him realise that he isn’t ready to move on. So please stay in the room, I want to go and speak to him.” I said and she nodded and I went to him. When I arrived I found that he had left, he was probably feeling ashamed about what he did.
I went back to Sihle and told her that he left, so we just chilled. While we were chilling the twins called us and told us that there are certain wedding things we needed to finalise. I wasn’t really in the mood but I didn’t want to see like a bad friend, so we got ready and went to their house.
When we arrived there we found them with Mam’fundisi, and she called me aside and asked me how I was doing. I thought I was getting better. But when she asked that, everything came back to me and I couldn’t help but let the tears flow out of my eyes like rivers of living waters. She tried to calm me down but it took me time to calm down, I was really hurting and I didn’t know how or when the pain was going to end.
I eventually calmed down, then we continued with what we were there for there. We made the necessary decision and the wedding was close now and we were extremely excited, at least this wedding was going to give me something positive to think about. When we were done, Thandiwe pulled me aside and said
“Hlengiwe your man Philani called me and asked me to convince you to move in with him, I was against it at 1st but I think now living with him would do you so much good. You need your man on your side right now, so I would advise you to move in with him.” With that said she walked away from me.
I had completely forgotten about Philani and his silly cohabiting idea, I was bored that he would involve my friends in this. They are my friends and I’m the only one who is supposed to involve them and not the other way around. I would never run to his friends when I need to convince him to do something for me. This was really irritating.
When we were done at the twin’s house, we went back home. I then received a text from Mdu saying ‘Let’s meet in town? I want to discuss our issues.’ I called him and we agreed to meet at a restaurant. I was glad that we were going to get a chance to talk and I would make him see that the family’s request is ridiculous and we shouldn’t allow them to bully us into taking stupid decisions.
We met at the restaurant, and we sat in a quiet corner and ordered our food.
“Hlengiwe you didn’t give me an answer when I proposed to you.” He asked
I responded “Mdu, you aren’t ready to get married again, and we don’t love eachother.”
“We will never know unless we try.” He said.
“Mdu I know that you don’t love me, and you are too heartbroken to make big decision like that right now. Do not allow your family to pressure you into something you don’t want. You know we would never survive being married, we would be both unhappy.” I said.
He kept quiet for a while, then he said “Hlengiwe It’s true that we don’t love eachother, but maybe we can make it work. Eish honestly I’m afraid of how my life is going to be now that she is gone. Atleast if we come together, there will be a bit of stability for me. You resemble your sister a lot, so maybe waking up next to you every morning and starting a new life with you will help me heal because I will know that I have a bit of my wife with me every day. I know it sounds unfair to you but I will try to make things easy for you. I promise I will make sure that you are always happy and that you have all your needs and wants met.”
Mdu wanted to use me to forget about my sister and I wasn’t going to allow myself to be used. I told him that it was unfair of him to want to use me for his healing. I also lost a loved one and I was supposed to be allowed to heal in my own time and own way. I was not going to use anyway in my healing process, so I encouraged him to do the same and then one day he will find the perfect woman for him and I was going to support him when he is ready to move on.
“But Hlengiwe, what if it takes me a year to heal? I’m a man with sexual needs, now who is going to make sure my needs are met?” he asked, I chuckled and told him that he must sort himself out because he is a man and I wasn’t going to be his with him because he wants to be sexually satisfied. We continued to talk about our situation and then we decided that no matter how much pressure we get form the family, we will not get married. The restaurant we were in had a club upstairs, so Mdu said we should go there just to chill and have a good time, it was getting late but I agreed to go.
The only and last time I was in a club was when I was in matric, we went to a club for our matric dance after party. I was not a club girl and I felt out of place as soon as we went in. The place was a bit dark but it seemed like a nice place. It wasn’t as full as I thought, but probably because it was a week day. We bought drinks, I bought a virgin cocktail. When an hour passed and I started to loosen up, and I ordered wine as a start then when I was getting a bit tipsy, Mdu ordered some tequila shots. I promised myself that I would only drink 2 shots because I was avoiding getting drunk, I can’t remember the last time I had alcohol and from past experiences I knew that I couldn’t handle alcohol and because I was a Christian.
The last thing I remember was drinking the shots and high fiving Mdu with every shot.
Next thing I woke up with a heavy headache, I wasn’t familiar with the room I was in. I became worried because I thought I was kidnapped. I calmed down when I realised that Mdu lying next to me……but my calmness didn’t last long because I realised that
I was naked
Mdu was naked
And there were some used condoms at the floor.
What in the hell happened last night??