“Where are we going mum?”
Lintle asked me as soon as I got to the car. Crap! I had forgotten that my mother had said she was with them. I found them talking to a young doctor who Nelisa said she used to know. I was not in the mood for her whorish ways so I told the young man to go as we had to go.
“We are going to the police station because someone has confessed to kidnapping your father!”
I told her. There was a shocked silence before Nelisa said,
“I hope whoever it is they burn in hell! We should tell Python so they can deal with him!”
She said to Lintle who immediately agreed!
“Yes, yes I agree! Mum no matter what you say we are going to revenge for dad! We have already discussed it and even if you refuse we have already told Python and he has agreed that he will help us!”
My incredibly naïve daughter said. Python was the main suspect and so how was he going to revenge on himself.
“I told you two not to talk to Python. Why is it you never listen?”
The drive to the police station was very eventful with girls arguing their case.
“No ma, aunty, what the person did I don’t think it will be fair for the police to just throw him in jail and we keep quiet. Hell no! Sizwe is my father too and I will do whatever it takes to protect him. He has shown me nothing but love since we met and he deserves for all of us to protect him!”
Firstly she had called her father by name, ok, and now she was calling me “Ma” like what the fuck. Nelisa was not my daughter; mine was the rebel sitting next to her. I did not say anything to that end though.
“Let me worry about what revenge would be appropriate, you two worry about school!”
I told them. I was not even sure what Nelisa was doing in life but it seemed the right thing to say.
“Why did he have to go confess at the police station though? Imagine if he had come to confess to us what we would have done to him?”
Lintle said and the two little evil girls laughed. They really were bad for each other these two, I was glad of this though because I wanted the police there when I arrived otherwise I would end up in prison clearly. What was bugging me though was why he had been so quick to confess? Was this his way of trying to get leniency from the courts if he was found guilty? I know the courts are more favourable if you turn yourself in and show remorse. That’s what he wanted! I wanted him to tell them it was Python who sent him so that the real person can be arrested. There are people who actually paid to go to jail for others, I know this for a fact. Money makes people do stupid things.
“Stay in the car!”
I told them as I parked.
“I said stay in the car. Nelisa, Lintle is 16 she can’t be there. Be responsible for once! Stay in the car and I mean it!”
I told them much to their protestation. They really wanted to see who the thug was. I walked in.
“Hi I am here for detective Seepe!”
I told the office on duty when I arrived. She told me that he was at the back but called him for me. He did not take long to come.
“I am glad you came. This case of yours is getting weirder by the moment!”
He said as he led me in. I only had one thing in mind so I asked him immediately,
“Who is it? Who is the bastard that did this?”
I asked him.
“Seeing is believing I tell you. This job makes you see things that change you for life. People often think policeman are cold and cruel but we are not, the people we arrest are the ones that are and all we do is react!”
He said. He sounded sceptical about the person and that made me even more anxious but what was with that little speech he just gave me? We walked through the station to the interrogation rooms. In the room two police officers where with the man whose back was towards me. I know it’s a man because he was wearing that old style brown corduroy blazer and even a fedora, nothing modern though. This was definitely no Python so it must be the fool sent to do the job for him. If he did not confess to that end then my father will finish him off! I was ready for revenge and if you had seen Sizwe with your own eyes then I have no doubt that you too would have done that.
“Do you know that man?”
He asked me. I asked for him to be turned around but when he did I did not recognise him. He was familiar though.
“No am I supposed to?”
I asked. Was he still treating me like a suspect? Again maybe I should not have come here alone.
“Yes you should because he is the man who did this to your husband and he specifically asked for you!”
The detective said and now I was panicking. The man looked familiar but I don’t think I had ever seen him before. That was weird but I was not sure what more was expected of me.
“I don’t know why he would ask for me. I don’t know him!”
I told him, a bit of fear creeping in.
“Can I have some water please?”
The man asked very politely to one of the officers holding him captive. There was a sense of humility and dignity about him but also patheticism since he was in handcuffs. They gave him water then one of the officers said,
“Sir, the person we were waiting for has arrived. You said you would not talk until she was here and now she is here! Talk!”
The man said. They were calling him sir, police will never call you sir unless you are a white person and that’s a fact. He turned around to look at me and he said softly,
“Are you Nothabo?”
There was so much regret in his voice as he said so which made me wonder.
“Yes I am!”
I responded coldly. The man who had almost killed my husband was sitting in front of me and talking to me like he had not done those hideous things. It made my blood boil. He must have very strong ancestors because my hands were supposed to be around his feeble throat!
“That’s good then. Detectives can I start?”
There was something wrong with the tape recorder so it was another five minutes before one that worked was brought over. In the meantime the man sat there reading his bible like he had no worry in the world. Yeah he better pray because when my friends got to him, not even God would save him! This I swear on everything I have.
“Sorry about that! You can start Nthate!”
One of the officers said.
“Picture this, you walk into your yard, you find a car outside. You walk in and you call out your wife’s name but she doesn’t answer. Then you go room to room until you reach your own bedroom, and there on your bed is another man fucking the leaving daylights out of her!”
The man said as a lone tear rolled down his cheek. I had not expected that word ‘fucking’ to come out of his mouth and the pain in it as he said it was undeniable. It was a painful thing for him to be telling.
Detective Seepe said to him as he had paused a moment. Why was he pausing like this?
“I ask her what’s going on but it’s kind of a dumb because he really was inside her, on my bed, on a duvet that I bought for our anniversary. We don’t even use it because my wife says it’s special to her! The man panics, seeing me and tries to get off her but she holds him down and tells me that she is doing this to save our marriage as I am too old to satisfy her now! Imagine, to my face, on my bed, in my house, in my yard!”
He explains further.
“I ask the man if it was him how would he feel if it was his wife under another man and he says, ‘my wife has already been with another man. I pretended I did not know and I moved on so just be strong!’ I am an old man I appreciate and there is not much I could have done to him alone. He walks out and says he needed to relieve his stress and he was sorry it had to be my wife who had offered him this relief! He tells me she had told him I had gone out of town which was true as I only came back because I left my bank card in the drawer!”
The man carries on but I was touched. People are so cruel out there. How do you do that to another person let alone an elderly man like this? Who was he though and why did it feel like I had met him before?
“I know where the man stays so I ask my friends to follow him. I am not a criminal. I have never committed a crime in my entire life but at that moment I had snapped. I am willing to throw everything away with no regrets. I have been pushed this far!”
He goes on.
“They find him driving out of his father in laws house and we kidnap him. He does not seem to see what he did wrong and tells us that my wife told him we have an open marriage. I don’t even know what that means. I beat this man. I beat him again and again so he can tell me the truth but his story does not change. I ask my friends what an open relationship is and they tell me that it’s when a couple are married to each other but can sleep with other people! Do you know what that does to a person? You work so hard to put food on the table for your wife but she tells other people that she is available for them to fuck her anytime.”
I had tears in my eyes. Realization was slowly creeping in. How could Sizwe have done this though? He was often a soft man but how could he humiliate another man like this, an old man like this!
“At this stage I want to kill him and her. With her it’s not just about the betrayal but also because clearly she lured this man into a false delusion that our marriage was free for all and I was worthy of such disrespect. But wait, I don’t abuse women; I don’t hit women, hell I don’t think anyone should even old as I am. I can’t even beat up my daughter who is just as cold and vindictive as her mother. Most importantly though, I can’t kill this man, it’s not who I am. I know by now they are looking for him so I take him to the police station. I know he is going to tell the police it’s me and I don’t mind because I am now a broken man and I have broken the law so I must face my justice!”
I sat there and I digested the story. How could it have come to this? The night I thought Sizwe had gone to sleep at his parents, remember I never asked him the following day since I was at my own parents house and did not want to see him. It was when I had planned on divorcing him. Before I could even conclude in my head I hear from behind me,
A girls voice says from behind me. I know that voice. Dear Lord no, not like this!
“What are you doing here?”
Nelisa says in shock as she runs past me to try get to her father! The police jump up and stop her!
“That is my father! That is my father let him go! Nothabo, what are they doing with my father! You framed my father!”
She screams I am not sure if it’s me who did the framing or the police in her accusation but she is incensed. Lintle just stood there, mouth agape, hands on mouth and crying. This was the last thing we expected. This old man I knew him because he was Nelisa’s ‘other father’. I knew his face because I had been in his house and saw him. It was the day I had smelled arsenic poisoning.
“Who allowed these kids to come to the back here?”
Detective Seepe shouts at his colleagues angrily at this stage but in all the chaos no one had seen an old man, Nelisa’s father, take one of the officers’ guns, put it in his mouth, and pull the trigger!
There is a loud boom and everyone falls to the ground, guns out!
“No No No No!”
I hear Nelisa scream!
“What have you done?”
She cries and runs to the body of the old man. He is obviously dead and there is blood and brain matter everywhere.
“What have you done?”
She cries holding his lifeless body. I know he had called her cold but she cried so much that it took moments before anyone could move.
“What have you done? Nothabo do something you are a doctor, please, save my dad, please Nothabo, please! I am begging you!”
She cries but I know he is dead. When I finally get over the shock, a sms comes into my phone. It could be the hospital. I look at my phone and it’s a number I don’t know.
“It is done. I did it myself! The cockroach was even wearing snake skin shoes imagine. He didn’t see it coming!”
I know who that message is from and what has happened. We got the wrong person!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Herein ends the book Realities. A lot of girls grow up with that happily-ever-after mentality when they view marriage. They wish that one day a prince charming with money will come sweep them off their feet and make babies with them. It’s a beautiful dream which indeed some achieve but not all. Marriage is not an easy thing. It demands hard work from partners as well as a big heart, a forgiving one as well as an understanding and sober mind. So much happens when you live with a man or woman meaning you have to constantly readjust your views and expectations on love life and everything else. Nothabo thought because she was a doctor she had answers to everything. Sizwe thought because he never fought back and did that, ‘my wife is always right’, approach which some guys (like me) do to avoid fights then everything will be fine. What they did not count on was that resentment builds up when you do not discuss things with your partner! The past came back to haunt them and when you throw a rebellious, spoilt, misguided teenager into the mix, that fight turns to parents accusing each other of failure. This was a story of betrayal, mistrust, lust but above all, two people who got married to one another when they were not ready. You don’t marry a person simply because they are pregnant because down the line you will not have enough love to survive the cracks. You do not allow your parents or family to ever undermine your partner and call him or her weak, broke or not worthy of you. It is not their choice that you married him nor is it with them you share a bed, future and children with. Marriage can be beautiful if done right!
Hope you enjoyed