There are moments in life that actually happen in slow motion when you think back. I know in movies that aspect is meant to be for dramatic effect and often in works. It works in moment were you move so fast to do something but are completely powerless to stop the consequences. I moved so fast towards trying to resuscitate her but it was too late… She was dead! I screamed for help and sent Nelisa to the reception to get help. Lintle had not moved as she was covered in her step sisters blood! You know when you watch those medical series and the person trying to revive someone has to stopped and told the person is gone, that was me.
I screamed. I even forgot that we had a phone in the room. In less than two minutes help was there in the form of two people from reception. They froze at the door. I was the doctor, why had I call them? I don’t know who had called an ambulance but I was told it was on its way. I knew better, they needed a forensic truck as once you are dead they don’t put you in an ambulance. You don’t get the red lights through town but the blue ones.
“Nozipho no no no, what have you done!”
I cried out loud. My heart was so broken at this meant I mourned for this child like it was Lintle in my arms. She had come to ask me for help and she had not come back alive. How was I ever going to live with myself after this? The staff tried to pull me off her and help her in whatever way they could but I held on to that lifeless body. She was still warm but I could feel that even that warmth was starting to slip out of her.
“Why have you done this? Why Nozipho?”
I asked her choking on my tears. Everything seemed to happen so fast and yet so slow. Its hard to explain. At some point all the relevant authorities arrived. They carried out the body just as Sizwe ran in!
“No, what have you done?”
He asked me in anguish as though I am the one who had asked her to slit her wrists.
I wanted to ask but I had no words. This was so surreal. Its a selfish thought but I was asking myself ‘what if it was Lintle lying in that bath tub?’ I was quite shaken.
“Take the girls home! I am going to the mortuary with the body!”
He said looking and sounding defeated. I was numb! It felt like he was so far away when he said that. It really did feel so unreal. I did not want to go home because I wanted to go with him but he was right. When someone takes their life it really does take us by surprise no wonder why its very hard not be angry. Now I was asking myself what is it that triggered it. Was it the HIV in her or the fact that my husband had thrown her out? When people ask me what happened, what truth was I going to tell them. Now there was the mother, she was going to ask what happened to her daughter and how she ended up in a hotel dead? The drive home was silent.
As I walked into the house my body was shaking. I don’t know how I had managed to drive home like this but I had. My phone rang and I picked up quickly thinking it was Sizwe telling me there had been a mistake, I was wrong but no, there was no mistake. It was Zethu.
“I have been trying to call you. I forgot that you were using Lintle’s phone!”
She said cheerfully.
“Sorry. Something has happened!”
I said to her I don’t think she heard me because she went on to say,
“George really pulled through for us. There was no drug in your sample so you can come back to work. They tried calling you but your phone was off and then she asked me to tell you!”
She said happily. I wanted to respond but I had no word.
“Why are you not responding?”
She asked me when she realized I had actually not said anything.
“This is good news. You should be screaming and jumping up and down!”
She said to me.
“Something has happened!”
I finally said again.
“What has happened?”
I told her about Nozipho,
“Wait, that little girl who came yesterday?”
She asked me. I had even forgotten that it was her that had opened for her. To say that she was shocked was an understatement.
“I didn’t realize you were in a hotel last night and what I said must have been very insensitive about Sizwe!”
I can’t recall whether I had told her where I was when we spoke but yes she had said her honest opinion, something which I can’t hate her for.
“I said Nozipho is dead and you talk about Sizwe!”
I said choking on my tears again. I knew she had heard me but was trying to avoid the topic. I would too.
“I am coming to the house now!”
She said. I did not get a chance to respond because she dropped the call immediately. I did not want people around me. I wanted to be alone but it was impossible now. There were going to be a lot of questions and Sizwe had to tell the mother. He had to explain why he had kicked out his daughter. Even though I was home it felt like I was lost somewhere else. I looked at my life and how things had gone. I had to make a decision now about my future because this going back and forth was not good. It was really obvious now that divorce was inevitable. I could not stay with this man because much as I loved him, what had happened to Nozipho was largely because of him. Had he not thrown her out it meant I would have gotten longer to chat to her. I sat in my room.
“Mum, I don’t know what to do? I am still shaken!”
Lintle said when she entered my room. Nelisa was on the phone sitting on the stairs. She called her mother to tell her what happened. I could hear her explaining.
“No, we did not go out. When we got to the hotel we were too tired to do anything. We went to bed almost immediately. She was on the phone with someone. I found her when I woke up to go to the bathroom. I then went to wake up Aunty Thabo…”
She paused as though her mother had said something on the other side,
“Yes aunty Thabo was there. I told you she took us all, including herself to the hotel because she was fighting with papa! She did not throw us out, she went with us, Lintle, Nozipho and myself so no its not her fault and don’t make it about her!”
I heard Nelisa defend me. I don’t know what the mother said but she responded again saying,
“Are you going to go see aunty! She can’t be alone right now and I know you are fighting but this is important. I was there when her daughter died, my sister and she needs us! I will be coming home tomorrow depending on what the arrangements are!”
She said. I had never actually ever thought of Nelisa as an adult because well, I disliked her. At that moment however I admired her maturity in what she was saying and how she was addressing things. I knew that I was going to be blamed for this somehow so I already had to brace myself. My husband had already said it was my fault in his own way. I went to the drawer where I had put my phone since I switched off and switched it on again for the first time in days. The battery was flat funny enough so I left it on the charger.
“Good morning mama!”
Mapula said when she came upstairs.
“Why is everyone crying? Is everything ok?”
She asked. Sometimes I forget this women is in the house I tell you. She had met Nozipho on several occassions and even yesterday she had been there when Nozipho came.
“Nozipho is dead!”
I said. I was not trying to be dramatic but there was no other way to say that. She looked at me shocked and in disbelief.
“But how, you left with her last night. What happened?”
I had no energy for this right now but Lintle who I don’t know when had walked out to her room walked in again from behind her and said,
“She killed herself. She cut herself. There was so much blood!”
She said in a raw numb voice. Mapula put her hands on her mouth and started praying. It came out like a mumble but I could tell she was praying.
“You need to cleanse yourself. Too much has been happening in this house lately and I know its not my place to say. All this bad luck, drama and misshaps are a warning!”
She warned me and she walked to hug Lintle. This was the first time in all our years with Mapula that she had said something of this nature. Normally she listened, asked and kept quiet about the affairs of the house but never anything personal. She kept boundaries so to speak.
“I agree with you!”
I responded. Its not like I did not see it that I needed intervention of some sort as things kept going badly for my family. As a doctor, I am trained not to be superstitious but as a human being I can’t avoid some of the questions that were building up in my head.
“Lintle you need to bath. We are waiting to hear from your father what should happen next so we must be ready. Where is Nelisa now?”
I asked her as her voice had disappeared. I did not want another dead child in my house.
“She went outside. She is by the pool I think!”
I went outside to join her. Of everyone she was the closest to Nozipho hence I definitely did not want another accident to take place.
“I am sorry about your sister!”
I told her when I sat on the pool chair next to her.
“What are you sorry about?”
She asked me without looking up. I was not sure how to respond.
“What she did was selfish and cruel! When you take your own life why should we mourn for you? What kind of problems could you possibly have that you could not have been solved by asking others for help?”
She asked me. Where was she getting this maturity from though? All of a sudden she was speaking like an adult.
“I don’t have answers to that because the only person who can answer that is not here!”
“Tell me then, why did my sister come to see you? She had never ever come see you so why now? What did you tell her that made her do this?”
“It was her secret which I can only tell to her mother!”
I responded. She had confided in me and now I could not tell Nelisa.
Mapula’s words were haunting me.
I needed a sangoma!
Dear Mike, your team, Jackzozo and your readers. Thank you for your work, I’ve been a fan since the first one Thandeka ?
I don’t have a problem but I’d like to say you have been a blessing in my life. Through your blog I’ve learnt so much, to love, forgive and let go, to laugh and a whole lot of other things. I read the letters and advices from the readers but Jackzozo is the best, I’d like to meet you some time ??. Remember the charity work you used to do, do you still do that? I’m in Durban and I’m trying to do the same thing. I recently learnt that I am HIV positive but through your blog I accepted it and decided to live each day like a queen. I remember we had a support group here, how do I join?
You’ve changed lives through your writing. I laughed a lot on Thandeka and Nelisa, cried on Memoirs, I laugh and cry every weekend on Missteps, I hAve thAt love and hate relationship with Nothabo, and I think I relate to Young Employed and Single.
Thank you and God bless you Mike Sir
Thank you very much for the vote of confidence. I hope we continue to entertain and be relevant in our stories. Young Employed and Single will shape up well I hope and we would like to hear from you when it starts.
Mike, Thozama and Khanyi