“The people we love don’t always put our best interests at heart. If we learn to love ourselves first then we will know how we need to be treated, how we should be treated and when that person steps out of line we can immediately put him back in line. Never take putting yourself first for granted otherwise everyone else will always put you last!”
I know I sound like a hypocrite right now and the tears sound like crocodile tears but I just feel as though I had let myself down immensely. When you are a young professional going places young lady you set yourself standards. Some of these standards admittedly are hard to achieve especially if you do not have a proper degree and at times even with that degree, you can’t even get the job. However getting the job is something that is not in your power but depends on other people. That’s where the pain comes in; relationships are in our reach and in our power so you have to wonder why it we fuck it up so spectacularly! So many people are in them and doing well too but why could I not be one of those people. I have never failed at anything but this, I was hopeless.
“Lungile listen to me…”
He whispered, consoling me.
“Lungi, this was not supposed to have happened but it did. If you cry like this it feels as though I took you against your will and it scares me!”
He said. I got his point. Most men if a woman cries after sex they panic. It’s like they have done something wrong and the first fear they have is jail.
“I am sorry! It’s not that. I let myself down so badly!”
I told him.
“Was I that bad?”
He said in what I think was a joke on his part. He knew it was not about that.
“You were terrible!”
“It must be that last angle I used neh?”
He said and we both laughed. Me between my tears and him in a desperate attempt to get me back to normal. As humans we constantly keep on shifting the bar on what’s right and what’s wrong. Think fifty years ago, a skirt was knee length or showed your knees was considered scandalously short in some cultures but today that length is actually a tad bit too long in those very cultures. When it comes to relationships and who we sleep with, a few days ago a married man was a complete Taboo to me yet looking at it now, he was fine just that his wife was pregnant. I had shifted the bar in my head hence why I was now so confused because that bar literally shifted under my feet. If one was to consider that was he not excepting a baby, and it was just a woman he had cheated on then it would not be that bad. What we forget is this, cheating is cheating regardless of who you do it with when and how!
“It’s my fault! I don’t know why I am so emotional!”
I said embarrassed of myself and how I had handled all this. He had warned me that he was married but oh no, I just had to wear that dress! This stupid dress seemed to have magical powers over men!
“What do we do about this?”
He asked me.
“What do you mean?”
I asked him.
“I think you should well, I don’t know, I think you should go back to England and write this down as one of your many memories or conquests!”
I told him weakly. What else could it be? There were no other words for it!
“No! I don’t believe in cheapening women to this extent! You are not a conquest! I did not pursue you! We did not to do this out of impulse!”
“I think we should just sleep otherwise we could end fighting again.”
He was right. Not talking to him now unfortunately meant that this could be the last time me and him had a conversation. With a heavy heart I turned around to face the other way. Even with my heartache I managed to sleep. I did not even dream. That’s how much of a fall it was emotionally!
In the morning he woke up before me. I woke up to the smell of breakfast. After all that had happened had this guy really just ordered me breakfast in bed.
“I took the liberty of asking for a lamb sausage over pork bangers because I know people here are very finicky about food!”
“Could be for religious reasons though!”
I said meekly. I am not sure what exactly I could say.
“Act 10 vs 10, nothing I have made is unclean so which religion is this?”
He asked me. He was back to his cheerful tone as though nothing had happened.
“Let’s not argue about this. I eat everything for the record got no time for starving!”
I told him. I stood up to go the bathroom so I could rinse my mouth.
“I bought you a toothbrush at the gift store so you can do more than rinse!”
He said. How had he thought that far though? This man was a God send and his wife was lucky. Why do all the good men get taken by others?
“Come let’s eat whilst it’s still hot!”
He shouted from that side. I did not have a change of clothes so this could be a problem.
“I also have good news. Found your car keys.”
He said as I walked in. They were on the headboard under the TV. I swear I had looked there. How did they get there?
“Where did you find them?”
I asked him sceptically.
“On the floor by the bottom of the bed! You are the one that looked that side of the bed so how did you miss them?”
He asked me. He had no hint of malice in his voice. Was I that hysterical last night that I had totally missed it?
“I am not sure how I did! I swear I looked there but its fine, I need to eat and go home and dress! It’s a good thing am not going to the office today but straight to the conference!”
I said. It’s true I was much disorientated last night.
“Let me take a shower first. I can’t eat when I feel dirty!”
I told him. He seemed a bit disappointed.
“I will wait for you. Would be very rude of me to start eating without you!”
He said. I wanted to punch the air to say I had hit the jackpot the way this guy was so nice, too nice! A man who is trained like this is so rare! Maybe that’s the appeal in dating married men, the fact that some other woman has already trained him on what was the right way to treat her hence treat women meaning by that courtesy he extends it to you. I did not take long to bath and soon we were eating.
“When are you coming to England?”
He asked me. I told him that I was not much of a traveller even though the whole thing intrigued me. I had done a few Shot Lefts but that was about it!
“You should hey. Will show you around!”
He said. I wanted to tell him that no, he had a wife but this was going to be goodbye so why be rude.
“I want to see Big Ben and all those things! I also want to go up the Eiffel Tower in Paris!”
I told him. We seemed to be nsync again as we spoke whilst we ate. It was getting late and we both had to go. As we walked out of the hotel it hit me that this was probably the last time I would ever see him again. Felt sad about that but it was good. He walked me to my car.
“So this is goodbye!”
I told him when I got there.
“Nah goodbyes are too final. I will see you again even though knowing you, I think you think otherwise!”
I extended my hand to shake his hand so I could leave!
“What’s that? You want to shake my hand like I am some stranger you meet at a business trip! Hug me properly!”
He told me. I was trying to avoid the emotional things in this goodbye but he had cornered me. When we hugged he held me tightly and a bit long. I could feel his warmth all over again. I don’t know who moved first but next thing we were kissing, right there in the hotel parking lot with people walking past us. I am not usually one for PDA (public display of affection) but all those so called morals were thrown out of the window! As I drove away and he got smaller behind me, it was final. Now had to join Jhb traffic! Needless to say I was not lucky. Took me an hour to get home. I had to change quickly and go join my team at the conference. Needless to say, I was an hour late!
“Where have you been?”
Rudzani asked me as I sat down next to her!
“I got delayed! What did I miss?”
“Susanna is here and she is angry and justifiably so! I spoke to your white guy last night and he arranged a meeting for us with his board. I could not get hold of you and it needed to be signed off on so had to call Susanna to sanction the meeting!”
This was bad and I already knew it. As team leader it had to be me to have made that call. The problem with wanting to have a career is that it often messes up with work. Men get to sleep around that’s why the most successful men take longer to get married as well as have kids. In fact they can have kids everywhere. As a young career woman whom I consider myself I was often told that I should not think of a family and husband too early if I intended to be successful! This moment just reminded me of it.
“She said when you come I must tell you that you must go back to the office! She will deal with you there!”
I grimaced when she said that and her response,
“Her words not mine!”
I was in trouble but she would be crazy if she thought I was leaving. I had to come out with a plan because she wanted to credit for whatever deal we signed. I know this because she had done this before!
“There she is!”
She showed me. Susanna was talking to Gary with Nicolene!
“Why are you here by yourself when you are the one who got us the meeting?”
I asked her.
“Susanna said she wanted to iron out the details in private for the dinner!”
She explained! Iron out what deals?
“With Nicolene and not you?”
I asked annoyed at her ignorance!
“Come, let’s go!”
I told her!
“To join that conversation! She is not the one who spoke to him, it was you. It’s your deal! Not hers!”
I told her. She looked at me like I was crazy and she said,
“I love my job and I don’t want to lose. You play the politics and I won’t do that!”
And my response!
“Nicolene is here for your job Rudzani! Stop being this naïve now get the fuck up and let’s go!”
I hissed at her and she jumped up. I had never sworn at her so she knew I was not playing.
The war at work was just starting!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank you for keeping us entertained every day; I enjoy reading your work. I wrote to you a few months ago requesting help in relation to a job. Thanks to everyone who took their time to assist me especially Makhosi and Phumzile. Thanks to everyone who wished me well and kept me in their prayers during that tough period. I have found a job (Internship programme). Thank you everyone.
I’m hoping I can get some good advice on a little problem. I’m 23 and I got out of a long term relationship a few months ago. I’ve recently met a phenomenal man who is 15 years my senior. I fell for him after just 2 dates, He has so much depth and soul and the most beautiful mind, He is such a gentleman too, forever opening doors and fussing over me But he was once married and got divorced quite quick and because of this doesn’t really want an official relationship. Should this worry me? Should I take a chance and see how far it gets or should I believe my gut which tells me to run towards the nearest exit?