To be warned is to be foretold but to a woman you can never ever say I told you so! We will disown you so fast because you think you know better. There is nothing to celebrate when you words of warning become prophesy and are proved true. That’s just something you are supposed to swallow with quite satisfaction that you were right. Men denying their children now that’s something very common but denying your child in front of people must be a first for me. I was speechless. What the hell had just happened? Zethu was more stunned than me because she did not even move. She stared at the ghost of his shadow and looked at the door he had gone out of. I was not sure what to say because wow, I need a moment.
“He just denied his child just like that?”
Zethu finally said standing up and holding her hand. She was not crying more like confused.
“How can he deny his child like that? Is that even normal!?”
She asked me. People often ask if marriage is an achievement and I used to be one of those that laugh at women that think it is. Looking at Zethu at this moment I believe I was wrong. Marriage is an achievement not because its the destiny of a woman but because to get these bastards to commit takes a miracle. Fewer and fewer women are achieving it nowadays not because we are weak or less desirable but because the quality of man out there really is below standard. That’s just how I see it. Feminists will vilify you for calling this an achievement but reality shows that once upon a time all men wanted to marry one way or the other, nowadays marriage is a liability for way too many.
“I don’t mean to pry but what did he mean you never not used a condom?”
I asked her. Ok I was prying but we are all taught to say that we do not mean to do something bad before we do it.
“He is right we never did but you know better than most that condoms are not the safest or most full proof thing out there!”
She said. I know what she meant but spare a thought for my brother. In his unevolved mind I am sure that would never make sense. Could I trust Zethu though? I did say from the beginning she was an independent woman with liberal tastes before she met my brother. I needed to change my tune.
I stood up and ran outside after my brother. He was standing in the road, hands on his knees as though someone had punched him. When he saw me coming he raised his finger as though to stop me from moving further towards him or talking,
He said warning me not to advise him or say a word.
I asked him.
“Don’t lecture me! I am not being another deadbeat but your warning has always been that with all these girls I end up with I must use a condom. You have drummed that in me for so long I never make that mistake. Zethu was or is like you, from when we started, we have never not used a condom. In fact she carries her own condoms just in case and even has female condoms for fuck sake! Who does that?”
He asked me. Female condoms… Even I have never used that. Its actually amazing how many women don’t even know what they look like. We are brainwashed yet again and insist that it is the man that must wear protection when we too can do that yet we call ourselves modern and informed.
“So what’s your point?”
I asked him.
“How can she be pregnant then? I am not be doctor smart like you but I am not stupid! That is not my baby. If it is then Jesus has come back because it will be a miracle!”
He said. I am not sure if I can say he was angry as he said this or defeated.
“What if the condom broke or leaked?”
I asked him.
“Sis I would I know, come on now. How can I not tell whether a condom broke or not?”
He asked me. Again I had no answer. What was going on? My brother sounded convinced that this had not happened through him and Zethu I strongly doubt would have cheated the way she has been so in love lately.
“Ok think of it this way and listen to me carefully, do you think you will ever get a woman as accomplished as Zethu? Think! You always say you are the realist and here is some reality for you!”
I started to explain this time walking him down the road so that we could prevent anyone from hearing.
“Zethu is a fucken doctor. Your last three girlfriends you told me about two worked at Shoprite and the other one was a teller at the Post Office! You often asked for money just to add to their transport money to get to work. Now you have a woman who can afford to buy all of them and you coming up with this bullshit! What the fuck is wrong with you boy? You need to grow up and man up! You are going nowhere fast and you keep whining like a little girl!”
I shouted at him. Yes I had gone there. The majority of us women look for love in a man with a future, a job and the security that it provides. Again I go back to how girls mostly prefer a man with a car. Its not that the car is important but that the car shows the man works hard enough to earn one. Nowadays people are missing that point in the name of doing it for themselves. Ask those very same people if they would date a man without that or has a bicycle only and they will say no!
“Are you saying I should become a gold digger?”
My brother asked me incredulously! I had not quite thought of it like that but if he had to be one then yes. Poverty is a two way stream. Its not reserved for women only and desperation affects us all. In all fairness how long will it be before my brother is doing more of the wrong things he used to do and lends up in jail or dead.
“Go find out what happened before acting like a fool. That’s all I am saying. The baby is probably yours and you know Zethu loves you. Stop pretending that you don’t love her either because you came all the way here in a taxi carrying flowers!”
I reminded him.
“I didn’t buy them. I cut them outside your estate!”
He said dryly which was a lie because there were no flowers there.
“Just come do the right thing. She is in the house panicking at this moment because of your reaction!”
I warned him.
“If I apologize I won’t mean because this baby is not mine and I won’t raise another mans child! Its not in my DNA! Hell I don’t even want children!”
He said starting to protest again.
“She will raise her own child, she is not asking for your money, you have none!”
I reminded him which kinda stung him but he needed to hear that. We walked back to the house debating on the merits of what we had just discussed.
“I do love her though!”
He was telling me.
“If you ever hit her again I will take you to the police station myself and make sure that they never let you out! What is wrong with you really? Don’t you ever do that again!”
I warned him. He apologized. We met her outside the house and she was angry and about to leave.
“Zethu wait, I am sorry!”
He said to her!
“What are you sorry for? Making me sound like a slut! You think I have been sleeping around don’t you! How could you?”
She asked him angrily. Had my advice come too late.
“Yeah but do you blame me! Name once that we had sex without a condom Zethu? Just once!”
He asked her. She was stuck for an answer and said nothing. My brother might have had a point after all but now was not the time to claim righteous victory. I pinched him in the back and he stepped forward,
“It doesn’t matter, you are my woman and we need to go sort this out!”
“First say that the baby is yours otherwise there is no sorting anything out! You are making me sound like a slut and resent that completely!”
She saidd defiantly. These people must go fight at their house not here, come on now. Zethu got out of the car and walked back into the house. I stood there for a moment and threw my hands in the air in resignation. Come on now!
“Kgosi what did we just discuss?”
I asked him. He just looked at me, threw his hands in the air and went into the house after her. This left me outside with my hands on my waist. What now? I needed some air and they needed some space to fight it out without me being there. I decided to take an unplanned slow walk around the complex to give them this. I had done my part. It was not the biggest of estates so in 30 minutes I was back.
When I walked back in, there was a girl sitting with Zethu and for a moment I had thought it was Nelisa because of her gait but it was not. Only when she turned did I recognise whom it was. O crap, I had forgotten she existed!
I said very bemused but with a smile on my face! Nelisa was also here meaning two of my husbands bastards were in my house at the same time. God Help me!
“How are you mma?”
She said. Because she had come often to see us, my husband had insisted she called me mum. I minded yes but she could not exactly call me by name or aunty.
“I am ok. Your father is not here my dear he went to Pietermaritzburg!”
I told her!
“Its fine. I am actually here to see you!”
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Today I will post a letter that I found online. I found it fascinating as most of our letters are like this and at time I wish I could respond like this.
Please read attached picture and comment.