If you thought breaking up with someone was hard, try divorcing them and see why it’s even harder. There is so much to consider such as what you want out of the divorce and how much your partner will fight. I had helped build my home and furnish it so walking away from it would be like a second divorce. A home is like a second partner that’s why you don’t just walk out and think you can’t look back. I wanted to cry even as I thought that.
“Mum can you pray for us?”
Lintle said all of a sudden. Why was she not sleeping? I had given her a sleeping pill and now she was asking me for this.
“You want me to pray?”
I asked her. I was very surprised because she had never ever asked me for that before.
“Yes that would be nice and comforting!”
Nelisa chirped in. Was this a trick question? They both got of bed and knelt down. I had not prayed in a long time so I was not sure what to say.
In the morning we woke up very early to hit the road. We were going to decide what was to happen on the way there. Nelisa and Lintle sat together at the back.
“You have not been talking to me!”
My husband said as soon as we left Johannesburg.
“What do you want to hear?”
I asked him. He wanted me to cuddle him and tell him something I was not in a position to do.
“We are fighting again and I feel each time we do, we are slipping a little further apart than before!”
He explained. If only he knew. I just wanted us to get this funeral over and done with. Now was not the time to be crying divorce because it would only mean I was shifting the attention to myself at a time like this.
“Sizwe we have a long trip and week ahead. Please don’t make this anymore awkward than it already is!”
I told him. I just wanted to sleep. I did not want to talk about this.
“Can’t we talk about it now?”
He asked me.
“You want to talk? Fine, tell me why you kicked Nozipho out like a dog that day? What did she do that was so bad?”
I asked him. Yeah, he thought I had forgotten that bad behaviour of his.
“It had nothing to do with her. During the day her Mother had called me saying that Nozipho had stopped calling home and it was because of me. I told her I was on my way to Pietermaritzburg with Nelisa and Lintle so I would call her back when I had stopped as I could not have the conversation with her on the car phone and she just went crazy.”
“And you don’t know why she went crazy!”
I asked him.
“Of course I do! Her petty jealousy. She thinks I do more with Nelisa than I do with Nozipho. How often is Nelisa in our house?”
He asked me. That was a rhetorical question because I did not answer him so he continued,
“She went on to insult you saying that you are a witch we gave me something just so I can turn my back on her child and that I was so smitten with Nelisa’s mother. I tried to hang up but that damn phone wouldn’t allow me. She said a lot of things in front of the girls even after I told her she was on the car phone. When I got home and found her at the house it just felt as though it was too choreographed and almost convenient.”
He argued. I could see his point but I still thought he was full of shit which is why I could not entertain him.
“She is dead now so you can be happy that you don’t have to choose anymore which daughter you prefer!”
I said coldly. I could see the pain in his face when I said this but like I said, I won’t be cuddling him.
“I know you are blaming me for what happened and I accept all the blame.”
He said and he drove in silence. I fell asleep but only briefly as I had nightmares of what happened yet again.
“I am going to sleep at my mother’s house today!”
I told him when the girls were outside. He looked at me perplexed and said,
“But you and your mother don’t even talk?”
He was right about that and I had thought about it too.
“I know we don’t but it’s time we fixed things. She is my mother and I can’t keep on behaving like a child.”
I told him. I knew he would be hard pressed to argue against that.
“I will get a taxi so I can be dropped off there later!”
I told him, of which he asked worried now,
“Why must you get a taxi Nothabo? I will take you there myself and pick you up anytime you want!”
I agreed simply because I did not want to seem uncivil right now but my heart was not in it. There were already people here. She lived in an RDP kind of neighbourhood. I could see why Nozipho’s mother had said she was resented by him. When I compared her to me as well as Nelisa’s mother she is the one who got the short end of the stick. I really hoped she was not renting it and at least owned it because that would have made me feel even bad. No wonder why Nelisa and Nozipho were so different. Nozipho a bit rougher compared to Nelisa who was so soft and polished. How you grow up really influences a lot?
As soon as we got into the yard people started whispering. I hated this. They obviously knew my husband by the reaction that they gave. Some old man even refused to greet him and spat towards us. He was a hated man. It was going to be another of those long weekends. Eventually we entered the house and as soon Nozipho’s mother saw us she started crying,
“You killed my child… You killed my child… If you didn’t want her why didn’t you just send her home to me… would have taken care of my baby?”
She said in absolute delirium. She had tears and now her nose was even running. I am not sure whether the words were directed at my husband or us both but it was so heart-breaking.
This was the second home I would be entering where another of my husband’s children grew up. How can this be normal? Two sisters, two daughters, one man! These are things they should make laws about its wrong. Now I saw why he had hidden Nelisa from me all this time. He knew I was high and mighty and I was going to judge him harshly for it! I had lost all respect for my husband at this stage. It can’t be right and he could not get away with something like this no matter what.
Eventually she calmed down. Sizwe just stood there lost. I asked if I could sit with her and talk to her as I was the one who had felt her warmth as she drew her last breath. I said this as Nelisa’s mother walked in. As soon as she saw me she stood back. I guess she knew better than talk to me.
When I sat I just got stumped. I now did not know what to say to her without being insensitive. To tell someone your child killed herself really is not easy.
“You were there when my daughter died? Please tell me what happened?”
She asked me. I was not sure what words she was expecting to hear from me as she knew fully well I was in the room.
“Nozipho came to the house to see me. She told me she had a secret to discuss with me and that secret was that she was HIV positive!”
“Was that something so big that she could have killed herself over though?”
The mum asked me. I obviously told it was not and maybe there was something more to it but on my side that was all I had to offer for now.
“I loved my daughter. I did everything I could to make the best life for her under the circumstances!”
She said clearly hinting towards the situation that we all found ourselves in. It’s interesting that as women we would rather blame each other than blame the one thing we share together that’s constant, the man.
“I am very curious to know, how is it that you and your sister have a child with the same man?”
I asked her. I had never been told the whole story about that. In fact I was clueless.
“Sizwe was not always this sophisticated man than you know now as your husband. No, back then he was more of a pantsula type. He dated me and when I broke up with him he slept with my sister to punish me!”
I did not understand. You don’t just sleep with another person unless they are willing but I was not about to ask that.
“For years my sister and I did not talk. I refused to have an abortion and my sister was very pretty. She got a sugar daddy to marry her as soon as she was pregnant and that was that!”
I could sense the resentment she had for her sister in her voice but surely you can’t blame her with what happened to her. Imagine your sister sleeping with your ex and having his child as well.
“Now she is dead!”
She said. I stood up and hugged. It’s not easy.
“Stay away from my sister! You have no business being around her! Her daughter died because of you!”
She hissed at me.
I wanted to fight with her but my ancestors deep down told me to stay calm, this was not my fight.
“Is your husband still alive?”
I asked her calmly.
She seemed very confused by that question and I think was about to ask me why I had asked that when Sizwe walked towards us.
He said coldly to her. She walked away like a black persons dog after you have said ‘voetsek’
“I am going with Lintle!”
I said to him.
“There is a problem. Lintle wants to go with Nelisa to her house! They have left already in fact. I couldn’t stop you as you were in there!”
I beg your pardon!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank you for the amazing stories.
I married the wrong man. When I was being courted I had two boyfriends. One was an engineer, fast car, rich and going places but with a drinking problem. The other was a student nurse and not very outgoing. The student nurse was my first boyfriend and broke my virginity but because of school he was not always there. I then met the engineer who taught me how fun life was and that money is not something to be feared. I grew up not well off so this intrigued me a lot. He proposed three years ago and we have one child. I dumped the nurse and he cried so much but I had made my decision. I wedded the engineer about 6months after he proposed. Problems started soon after. The drinking got worse and the abuse started. Firstly it was over us still staying in the same bachelor flat he had when I met him. With a child on the way I was against it but we fought to the point he slapped me for being ungrateful. I stopped asking and we are still in this dingy flat. He did not stop his party lifestyle and says it’s because in Secunda everyone is stressed. When he cheats he comes home and confesses just so he can hurt me. So far it’s with four women. I am back at school and he is paying but even then he fights me on it. A month ago I bumped into the nurse at a friend’s wedding. He was not the same man. He spoke to me like we were old friends and was genuinely happy to see me. He is still not married and said that he will wait for me until “you come home!”
I am so unhappy where I am but I will also be so selfish to go back to the nurse.
What should I do?