Take a moment and picture this. You are sitting at home or on your work desk and someone calls you to say that someone your love so much is dead? What’s your first reaction? Do you scream? Cry? Faint? What? Now picture what it was going through when my battery died. Was expecting to hear the worst news and now the phone had left me in limbo. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want my husband to be dead but when you have that nagging feeling that something terrible has happened it’s what comes to mind. At times life is just unfair and seems to want to punish for no necessary reason. Did my phone really have to have gone off at that moment when it did? Come on now? It now seemed to further emphasize that the bad luck I had been having all along surely was unnatural. I needed some sort of divine intervention and this pride that I had as a family was killing us. I was not a church person and neither did I believe in ancestors but when I thought of it now, something was very wrong in my life. Luck simply seemed to have deserted me. I had a decision to make, watch my family fall apart by doing nothing or swallow my pride and do something I did not believe in. Welcome to being a doctor! We see so much death we become sceptical about even God Himself! I was still holding my phone, and for a moment there I could not think. What exactly had that guy said? I was starting to confuse myself because now I was trying to fill in the blanks.
“Someone called me saying they have found Sizwe but my phone hung up before I could even ask anything?’
I told my brother who had come to see what was wrong.
“I need a charger so we can call them back. The number was not on private I think so it won’t be difficult.”
Fortunately I had my charger in the car and in five minutes I was dialled back.
“Bloemfontein Police Station hello?”
The person said on the other end. I told them that I had received a phone call from them about my missing husband. The lady asked me who had called but I could not remember the name!
“Ma’am without the name of the detective in charge I won’t be able to help. We have over 50 officers here and I need a person!”
She said. This was so frustrating to be honest. I wanted the information and I wanted it now. I tried to rake through my brain. So many things had happened which is why it was so difficult to just pin point who it was. Just before she was about to hang up is when the name came to me.
“I think he said Seepe!”
I told her.
“Oh Detective Seepe.”
I was relieved when she recognized the name. There was hope at last.
“I saw him just two minutes ago, he left the building. I think he is going for lunch!”
“Can’t you give me his cell number is urgent!”
I pleaded with in desperation.
“I am sorry ma’am we are not allowed to give their personal phone numbers unless with special permission!”
The woman said. How can she be so cold and heartless though? My husband who had been missing had just been found and now she was saying his lunch was more important than my well-being.
“Ma’am please I need to know if he is ok!”
I asked her but she would hear none of it.
“I am sorry ma’am. The job has rules, I follow them. Call back in an hour. Bye!”
She said hanging up. Wow this woman. I was speechless. At least she told me which police station it was so I was going there. I was going to wait for detective Seepe to come back from lunch and I pray he was one those government employees who take two hour lunch breaks.
“What did they say? How is Sizwe?”
My brother asked me. My heart was beating so hard in my chest I felt it would pop out. I was so scared at this stage.
“We have to go to the station! I don’t know what’s going on. The detective in charge went for lunch!”
I told him.
“Let me get Zethu and Lintle and I will drive!”
He said. He quickly went to pick them up as I stayed in the car wondering what possibly they had to tell me. My brother was back in five minutes but felt like hours.
“Could you have possibly taken any longer?”
I asked him.
“I can’t find Lintle. Someone said they saw her go down the road with Nelisa. Must I go after them or must we leave them here?”
He asked me. Like hell I was going to leave my daughter here. I had almost lost one member of the family so leaving her here would be a definite no.
“Please go find her. She needs to be there whatever they say about her father!”
I told him.
“They found Sizwe?”
Zethu asked me. My brother hadn’t told her and he ran off to look for Lintle before he could answer.
“Yes some policeman called and my battery died on me before he could say anything further.”
I told her. She had that confused blank look I had as well when the phone went flat.
“That does not help much but let’s hope for the best!”
She said. It’s the only thing she could have said really. We waited by the car what seemed like an eternity. Surprise surprise when he came back with not only Lintle but Nelisa as well.
“I am coming too. He is my father!”
She said before I could even say anything. She went straight in the car and sat at the back besides Lintle. I did not have time to argue with them so whatever they wanted. We just had to go. My brother drove.
When we got there we waited a further 30 minutes before the detective came back. I introduced myself and he immediately recognised who I was after that.
“Ma’am I am sorry about earlier. I tried to call you back but your phone would not go through.”
He started to explain to me and much as I appreciated that he was being polite and all, I did not care about that. I was not here for this but for other things so please go on with your story I told him.
“We found your husband! Yes he is alive and at the hospital. He is in a bad state. He was beaten up but in a manner I have never seen before. It was almost as though they were trying to send a message I don’t know!”
He said. I looked back to where Lintle was sitting with Zethu and immediately I just worried for my family. Who could have done this?
“Where did you find him?”
I asked him.
“He was dumped outside a police station in Qwaqwa! The police there said that a car drove up and literally dropped him off at their entrance!”
They already had a picture of him so they identified him immediately.
“So why didn’t you tell me immediately?”
I asked him.
“Not without confirming first! I had to go and see him for myself first and confirm it was him. At times you give people false hope and send the wrong message and that ma’am I could not have done. Your father had us all on alert and we could not afford to make such a mistake!”
He explained. He made it sound like he worked for my father.
“We should go to the hospital!”
“It’s not far!”
I stood up to leave. As soon as I got to Lintle I just hugged them all and said,
“He is alive but at the hospital! We need to go there now!”
I told them and again we lined up for the car as we went. I had so many thoughts at this stage. Who had kidnapped him? Why had they beaten him up? They had not taken his car or money so this was personal!
“I will drive!”
My brother said rather unnecessarily because he had been driving along in any case. We drove there in silence, each person like me I am sure wondering what the hell was going on. We were all relieved that he was alive but I am sure we had many questions. Detective Seepe drove in front of us and even had his blue lights on.
“He is in ICU bed 7!”
He said when we got there.
“They only allow two people at a time and I suggest you live the girls in the waiting room!”
He said. I was never going to let Lintle and Nelisa walk in first without me first assessing how bad it was.
“We have to wear these plastic aprons and wash our hands before we enter!”
The detective said. I was going in with him I guess. My brother said he would come in after the detective had left and we will rotate like that. I was glad when we got to the bed and the doctor was there.
“Hi, are you the wife?”
He asked me as soon as I arrived.
“Yes Doctor I am!”
I responded. He was with a young lady nurse with a name tag written Sebasi Mokoleti and two other nurses.
“He is still unconscious. I am glad to say he has no broken bones but whoever did this was a professional. Let me show you his feet…”
He told me as he lifted the blanket. The detective immediately took a step back and winced as though he could fill the pain my husband had gone through when they did this to him. His feet were practically blue, twice their size and bruised. He had lost both his toenails. I stood there numb. Even the nurse was struggling to look.
“They did a job on him. It’s like they knew exactly what they were doing like I said. He was punched a lot of times in the stomach so his insides are swollen. It’s pretty bad yes but can be fixed. He is going to be in pain for a very long time and I worry that some of his organs may never function properly!”
I noticed then that the detective was looking at me closely.
“You don’t seem shocked by all this, when even the nurses are not even looking?”
He asked me right there and then. I knew what he was insinuating. When you suspect that a person has committed a crime, you look at their reaction to make your conclusion. That’s why the detective had insisted on coming in with me. He wanted to see my reaction.
He was already holding his handcuffs and I expected him to say,
“You are under arrest!”
In front of all these people! Guilty or not it was so embarrassing! They were all staring at me and now I did not know what to say!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
I have been an avid reader of your blogs from day one back on Tumblr. Job well done.
I have a problem. I am 34 and have been married to my husband for 7 years now. We have tried everything to conceive but it’s clear now that we can’t give birth. The problem is with me and the doctors we have gone to see have all concluded that. My husband grew up an only child and even when we were just dating always wanted kids. I grew up in a large family; I have three sisters and one brother. I love my husband and he loves me. He worships me but I can see how badly this is affecting us. He is often moody and sulking around the house and when I ask him what’s going on he will smile it off and say it’s nothing. He doesn’t want to go to more doctors and to be fair it has exhausted our budget. I was talking to my sisters about this on what my options. Adoption is an option but he needs his own children considering how he grew up. My youngest sister (24) volunteered to have a baby for us and the other two agreed with her. Needless to say I was stunned because black people don’t do such things and it’s downright creepy. I suggested that we can do artificial insemination after much debate with my sisters as I was not too sure about the idea. They all said them having sex was a better option and even at the doctors they suggested it. I am not saying I am ungrateful for having sisters who would do anything for me but come on, how will I feel if my husband sleeps with my sister even with my permission? They don’t seem to see anything wrong with that and I am so confused now. I have not told my husband this because if he says yes to it I will feel like he has always wanted to sleep with my sisters. I know am now being selfish after having worked so hard to find solutions but on the one hand they might be our only option whilst on the other this is creepy. Who will the child call mom? How will my sister react every time she sees the baby? What if the sex is so good my husband and my sister start doing it behind my back?
Please help me find sanity. What should I do?