The last time I had seen Nelisa’s mother I had threatened to beat her up and the last time I had seen Nozipho’s mother was to explain why her daughter had died in my arms. They had three things in common, one being that they
both had children by my husband, secondly they shared the same blood and lastly both blamed me for having have had the best of our common baby daddy. Yes, you are a baby mama too even if you married the guy. I think women forget that too quickly when they are married yet when they get divorced they join those maintenance queues as well. Uncomfortable truths I tell you. Why on earth would they want to have a meeting with me then? Should we not have cleared the blood a long time ago before this tragedy had taken place? I was not comfortable with this idea at all but it also would appear as though I was the one that did not want peace. Had they invited Sizwe too because he was the reason behind all this mess? Why must we the women fix his mess? I walked into the room and found my mother speaking to Lintle.
“I have to close the window in my room otherwise the mosquitos will enter!”
My mother said. It was so late at night how could she think of mosquitos only now. Maybe age was slowly creeping up on her.
“Do you think I should go have lunch with Nelisa’s and Nozipho’s mother?”
I asked her. I think she was surprised by the question because usually I don’t consult her like this. Yes I was not strict on her but I have also never treated her like she was my friend whom I confide things in.
“No mom, that’s crazy! Do you have a death wish? We are already here for one funeral and adding another to it lacks wisdom!”
She asked me echoing my thoughts exactly. How could it work because we barely stood each other as individuals what more now that one child was dead and the other hated me? I would be outnumbered and possibly not safe in that situation. They already thought I was proud and to them I had stolen their man.
“Why are you asking?”
“Because Nozipho’s mom just called me and asked me for that. She says we need to sit down and have a chat the three of us!”
I explained to her
“Agreeing to that would mean effectively that dad has three wives which would make you the youngest of those wives!”
She said thoughtfully and chuckled,
“And I doubt you are about that life!”
I had never thought of it like that. Most suburban women find polygamy abnormal indeed as we want to be the only one married to him but it’s perfectly fine that he has an army of bastard children outside the marriage. Bastard because as long he acknowledges them from a distance its fine. If they are too close it becomes a problem. We are hypocrites I tell you.
“Sleep my dear, tomorrow will be a long day. Let me talk to your grandmother!”
I said as I left her there. It’s amazing I had grown up in this house and never once had I thought it was small. Now that I was here again it just felt clustered.
“I am so happy to see you. We have not spoken in too long!”
My mother began as soon as I sat down. She was watching something that I did not know on TV.
“I know mom but I am here now. We have a lot of things to resolve because you and I fighting does not build this family!”
I said to her and she agreed. She was very peaceful today. My mother is like a community protestor; she can be calm one moment and a stone throwing, car burning angry person the next! It’s a good thing we don’t live in those townships with service delivery issues because I can assure you that my mother will show those police drama. She will be the one the news camera follows and ends up in the back of a police van.
“I have decided to take Lintle to boarding school. She has been giving us lots of problems like I told you and almost got arrested.”
I told my mother. She was visibly worried by what I had said but she disagreed.
“You never allow someone else to raise your children. You do it yourself with a firm hand and even then you have to belt her every now and again then you should!”
I laughed at that but I know she was not joking because I had experienced that already growing up under her. I used to think my mother was so cruel and vowed to never ever end up raising my child like that. Guess I was wrong because now that I was a mother, it all made sense. Some of these teenagers become possessed by the devil the moment they have their first period! Regardless I had to explain to her,
“Nowadays you can’t hit a child ma! You don’t just take out the belt. Social workers will come to your house and say abuse. You can even get arrested for it! Remember Lintle once called the police on me when I did that!”
She stood up and sat down because I think the sheer shock of it had made her do that for it was not intentional,
“She called the police on you? What kind of child would do that to her own mother? No, not Lintle she is too sweet and too kind to do that.”
My mother said. I did not want to dwell on that though so I changed the subject from Lintle to my father by asking her where he was.
“I don’t know where he is, probably another girlfriend. With him you never know but he had said that he was not going to be late!”
Someone shoot me if I ever become this woman who does not mind whether her husband is out cheating or not. I know with age women tend to loosen their grip but I would never stand for that. What had happened to my mother though? Just a few months ago she was the one spitting fire and brimstone because of Sibongile yet here she was as calm as a baby. Something was up I just did not know what it was just yet and I intended to find out. For now though I was tired.
“Mum can I please go to bed, I am tired and it’s been a long and emotional day!”
I told her.
“You can’t sleep; you haven’t told me why really you are in Bloem!”
I had even forgotten that part. Was I that exhausted? I gave her in detail what had happened. She kept on making funny expressions of shock as I detailed it out.
“That poor child. That’s the worst way to go and there is no excuse for it, none whatsoever!”
She said. She did not know Nozipho but she was genuine in her condolence. Suicide really is not an answer. Finally I made my way to bed. I was sleeping with Lintle in what was now the spare bedroom but once upon a time when I was young this used to be my room. I was so tired I passed out as soon as my bed hit the pillow.
“Good morning. I made breakfast! What are your plans for the day?”
My mother said when I walked into the lounge. This was embarrassing because normally when I was home I was the one who woke up to serve her. It was not even that late, just a bit after eight.
“I am going to meet Nelisa and Nozipho’s mothers for lunch?”
“Who is that?”
She asked me. When I explained she was beyond shocked.
“Are you crazy? Why would you want to do a stupid thing like that?”
She asked me.
I explained to her why it was important I be there because for too long we had allowed things to fall apart. We were grown women and we needed a way of coexisting.
“Nozipho’s mother does not really qualify though?”
She said and she was right but for now she was someone we had to take care of. It could have been anyone of us and with Lintle especially suicide was not something I would put past her drama.
“Did dad come home last night?”
I asked her.
“Yes he did, he is still sleeping. Please wake him up at around 0930.”
She said with a smile.
“Why can’t you wake him up?”
I asked her.
“Oh I am going to church. Some of the women and I are going to help the new pastor clean and we must cook for him!”
“Mum! Were you not the one that always laughed at women who cook for the pastors when they have husbands at home?”
I asked her. She brushed it off by saying,
“Was I not the one who also thought I would never allow my husband to cheat on me?”
#Clapback! That silenced me. She smelt good too. I know the difference between cheap and expensive perfume so this definitely was not your run of mill perfume.
“Morning everyone! Something smells good?”
Lintle said walking in and still stretching then went to hug her gran.
“Are you not going to hug your mum too dear?”
My mother asked clearly the echoes of our conversation last night still reverberating in her. Lintle to her credit didn’t argue but rather came and hugged me,
“Good morning mom!”
I don’t think she had any inkling of what had just transpired.
“You must eat! You are a bit skinny, Nothabo has this child been eating? Why are you starving my granddaughter like this?”
My mother asked. We laughed about it but ten minutes later my mother said,
“I have to go. I will talk to you when I get back around two!”
She said. It was not even 9am yet meaning they will be at the pastor’s house for about five hours?
Must be nice being him.
“I have decided to go see them meaning you will spend the day with Nelisa. Is that fine with you?”
I asked her.
“Of course! I like spending time with her. That’s why I wanted to sleep over!”
She said that annoyance in her voice clearly there.
Someone said from behind us. It was my father!
Lintle said running to him and hugging him. She even reminded me of herself when she was a child.
“What time did you guys get here?”
He asked me.
“I think just before 11”
I told him.
“Ah why didn’t you wake me up? I would have wanted to welcome you!”
He said smiling.
“Wake you up?”
I asked him.
“Yes. I slept around ten. Lately I have been tired so been sleeping early!”
“Are you sick?”
I asked him.
“No, I am hundred percent healthy. I even went for check-up three days ago and am perfect. I have been working too hard that’s all!”
But my mother had said….
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
I have ready many online blogs but when it comes to consistency, entertainment and quality of work I believe you are the best. Well done for that and thank you.
I am 26 years old and my wedding is on the 30th of April. My fiancé is 29 and we have dated for 8 years. I love him and he loves me. Two years ago he cheated with a girl that used to be a friend of mine. I found out about because he confessed without me catching him. When we got back together I was seeing a rebound. He knew he was a rebound so when I got back with my boyfriend there was never a struggle. The problem is I continued that affair with him to this day. I have tried getting rid of him but he makes me happy yet I know I don’t love him. My fiancé obviously doesn’t know about it and the guilt is killing me. A few of my friends know about my side dish meaning that it’s only a matter of time before it comes out. I don’t want to lose my fiancé and I am failing to get rid of my side. What do I do? We work in the same department at work and we are usually in the same meetings.
You can criticise me because I deserve it but please give me advice as well. I am getting married in three weeks.