“that man is a monster!”
It was Monday. I was getting ready to leave my house to campus for my first exam at 8.am in the morning. My phone was quite silent the previous day that I thought I was finally getting a break from the media. But of course I was not getting any break.
I was leaving in such a hurry so not to be late for my exam that I did not pick up the calls that kept coming in that day. When I was about to enter my car; my mom stood at the front door.
“Pontso!” she called. I stared back at her. “What?” I said. She kept quiet as if not knowing how to say whatever she wanted to say.
“Ma, I’m getting ate. What is it?”
She just stood there blank and frozen.
“They are out. Your father, he-” she stammered.
“Mama ke eng? What is it?”
The phone annoyingly rang again. I picked it up. “What do you want?” I spoke. I didn’t even look at the screen to see who was calling.
“Hello Pontso. We would like to get a comment on the pictures.” Said the lady on the phone.
My mom came closer to me. The lady on the phone continued- “The SACP pictures of your injuries. How long has Brian been abusing you?”
I dropped the phone on the floor.
“Pontso.” Said mama now standing in front of me. I closed the car door slowly and walked back to the house quietly.
“That man is a monster! Is he behind this?!” I shouted throwing my handbag on the living room floor.
“Baby your father did it for the case. He is a good lawyer. You will win. People will feel sorry for you.”
I couldn’t believe it.,-“I don’t care! I told them that I don’t want those pictures out! And you are talking about winning?!” I screamed
Mabel stood at the kitchen counter pretending to be cleaning; listening to me shouting at my mother.
“Pontso calm down. He knows what he’s doing.”
“Mma, people cannot see me looking like that!”
I picked up my handbag from the floor and quickly walked out the front door.
“Where are you going Pontso? Don’t do anything foolish!” she shouted. I did not respond.
“Pontso!” she yelled. I opened the car door again.
“I will be back.” I mumbled.
I speedily drove to the police station. And just like that, I withdrew the charges.
I wanted all of it to end. The media, my father, Brian and Thabiso will finally just let me be. Everyone off my back.
I glanced at the time, and I was an hour late for the exam. I sat in my car thinking about everything that has happened to me
I just let the tears run down my cheeks. Did I allow all this to happen? Is it all my fault? Should I quit everything else? Was it all worth it? Am I ever going to catch a break?
Dingaan gazed at me next to him in his car. It was parked right in front of the complex gate. We have been sitting there for a while. I was not particularly feeling like going out with him on his stupid Monday dates.
“You look gorgeous.” He said.
“Yes, you mentioned that already.” I said looking the other side
“Audrey. What is it? How many times am I going to ask before you answer me?” I kept quiet for a moment and finally said- “Can we leave for the dinner? Are you taking me to your special wife’s restaurant or not?” He gaped at me.
“Yes I know. How dare you? Does she know about us?”
He then had the audacity to ask- “Why do you care?” I shook my head and undid my seatbelt.
“What are you doing?” He said.
“I’m not going out with you.”
“You are really unbelievable. Don’t act like this is not what you wanted.” He said
I looked back at him- “Excuse me?”
He responded – “Do you really know who I am? You think a wealthy married man like me will just take a girl like you anywhere public just because he wanted to?” what?
He added –“you think I bought you that ridiculously expensive car because I wanted to? Because I’m so in love with you?”
He then barked- “put your sit belt on, act like an adult, and let’s go eat dinner as planned.”
I swiftly closed the door and strapped the seat belt on. “Let’s go eat Mr Dlanga.” I mumbled.
To lift up the mood in the car; on the way to his wife’s restaurant; Dingaan handed me a jewellery box.
I opened it. A gold sparkling necklace lay comfortably inside it. “It’s beautiful.” I said.
“Put it on.”
I did as I was told.
“It suits you Audrey. Or should I say Barbie?” I looked at him surprised. “How do you know that name?”
He giggled, -“I know everything about you Audrey. Even when you told me lies; I knew.”
His eyes were now on the road. He added- “But I’m not judging. I haven’t been completely honest with you either anyway.”
I placed the empty jewellery box next to me on the sit and said- “So you just let me lie to you?”
He cackled,-“You, having a boutique? Your car crashing? I just let you think your plan was working. I love your company Audrey, and I like the kind of person you are. I also enjoy spoiling you rotten.”
I felt like a fool sitting there. I uttered- “So your wife-”
“Don’t worry about my wife.” He simply said. Not adding anything else… not even a letter.
We arrived at the infamous restaurant. For the first time; arriving there with him was scary. I was not so confident on his arm anymore, because, according to what the waitress told me; it seemed like everyone who worked there knew about us. I was probably the topic in the kitchens while they are frying and cooking.
“Stop fidgeting.” Dingaan whispered as we walked inside. He then dragged out a chair for me and we sat down.
A waiter came to our table to take our order.
“How is your friend doing? The one who is in hospital?” said Dingaan. “She still hasn’t woken up. However, her doctor says she will soon.” I responded
“What happened to her? She seemed like a well functional person the day I came looking for you.”
“No one knows really. I think she had a lot stressing her out. I feel so guilty; everyone feels that way. We could have helped her.”
“We can’t control everything. Sometimes we are dealing with our own problems and agendas that we forget about the next person.” He said.
I couldn’t understand why Dingaan insisted on coming to his wife’s restaurant with his mistress. I was really discomfited about it. Somehow I became more curious about their marriage. Was he there with me to prove some kind of a point that I do not know about? Is she really aware of us? Does she even care?
I stopped eating and looked at everyone around us. I leaned forward to him, – “Can we please get out of here? I really don’t feel comfortable. Plus I just can’t wait to make love to you.”
He laughed. He then wiped his mouth and touched my thigh under the table. “If you put it that way then; let’s go.”