How do you tell your parents that you are going for an expensive trip far away without them trying to kill your first? Black parents are suspicious of everything unfortunately but they can’t be blamed because their daughters
often earn the level of scrutiny. We like things and there is no simpler way I can put that. South Africa is one country where the girl child has more independence than any other females in Africa. Our laws are liberal and in all honesty, by law, your parents can’t stop you from going where ever you want after the age of eighteen. In spite of this it’s very hard to argue with your parents using the line ‘I know my rights’ because truth be told that will be the end of you having rights in that family. I can just picture my mother’s face if i said that to her face ah! I am not suicidal. I could not help but smile as I walked out of my father’s car. I felt victorious and triumphant. I had been so worried about how I was going to tell my parents that I am going to Dubai. I mean which parent can you just wake up to and say,
“Hey guys, I am off to Dubai the destination of choice for blessers and blessees!”
It’s unheard of. My mother I think would scrutinize this more than my dad which is why going through the weak link was the best move I could have made. My father was going to fight my mother for me that no secret. The fact that I was going with Khanyi, whom my mother thought was a saint by virtue of having a pastor for a father meant that this might just work. Now to for the agency that I supposedly did promotions for, the one my father said he would call, I knew just who to call.
I said when she picked up the phone. Sam’s secretary had been with me through this whole journey with her boss. In fact she was the go between, voice of reason between us. She was in a way her bosses pimp. A lot of married women might not know this but your husband’s secretary often knows more about your husband’s secrets than you do. She is the person you want to befriend as opposed to fighting but because we are so blind we attack her. Think of it this way, when it comes to making appointments and keeping them, men are just a disaster. Someone manages all that and if it’s not you then clearly its his work wife aka his secretary.
“Palesa hi, I am about to knock off, what’s up?”
She said cheerfully. I don’t know if she liked me or she faked to like me because she was paid to do it but one thing is certain, she always sounded happy to hear from me. It’s weird I know but I don’t care.
“I need a huge favor from you!”
I told her.
She said. I went on to explain the situation and the conversation I had had with my father. At the end she laughed and said,
“The only problem will come if he wants to visit the office but don’t worry, I got your back! I will have something ready if he calls. My own sister does promos so I know exactly what to say!”
She said. She gave me permission to give my dad her numbers and that was that. The wheels were in motion and I can’t say I was not enjoying my ingeniousness. I called Khanyi who was in her room.
“Let’s go have dinner!”
I told her but she was not in the mood. I had actually hurt her with all that I had said.
“Come to my room please!”
She said, I was always going to her room but ok if she asked. What was this all about though? I wanted food and I wanted something nice. Maybe they will deliver to her room. When I walked in she was sitting on her desk pretending to study. I say pretending because the books that there were there were all closed.
“You wouldn’t believe who was here, it was my dad!”
I told her as soon as I sat down on her bed.
“O that’s nice. What did he want?”
She asked but I know when Khanyi is disinterested in a topic. Her voice kind of drags.
“What’s wrong? You doing that thing again where if I am saying something you don’t like you talk through me!”
I told her. Its something we had discussed before so she knew exactly what she was doing.
“Can I ask you a question?”
She asked me.
“Since when do you need permission to ask me anything?”
I asked a bit surprised by the fact that now she was asking.
“When last did you ask me if I was ok?”
She asked me.
“I beg your pardon?”
I asked her.
Its simple enough a question I think.
“When last did you ask me if I was ok?”
She said repeating the question but simple as the question was I found it so confusing.
“I don’t get you, I mean I get the question but I don’t get why you asking!”
I told her.
“That’s just the point isn’t it. Ever since came Sam came into your life you changed. You stopped caring about me and it became a situation where I am constantly chasing after you. To you right now you might think I am saying this because I am jealous of your relationship but it could not be further from the truth!”
She said and damn straight it sounded like it. I was not sure where she was coming from but maybe she had a point. It was always about me. Its like in the friendship I was the alpha and she followed me around. I never asked her about her or what was going on in her life but that was not my fault. She never brought things up whereas I did.
“I am sorry I did not realize that I had become that person that talks only about me and my needs. I did not realize that this was happening!”
I told her. I chose not to fight her because I wanted to tell her the good news of how I had cornered my father but all of a sudden this did not seem like a good time to do it.
“Its fine but it actually hurts knowing that much as I care about you, you don’t check after me like I do to you. Have you noticed that I am always in your room, its never the other way round. I visit your parents, its not the other way round, I cover for you always, its not the other way round!”
She pointed out and I felt a bit guilty at that comment because again it was true. I had been so blinded by my own self worth and covering my ass that I had not realized I was doing at the expense of her. She was the foil to every bad thing I did be it Neo or Sam and much as I wanted to reminded her that she hated her parents, I never offered to help. I never asked if we could spend a weekend on her side. Yes she would have said no but I never tried.
“Goodness you have a point. I am so sorry friend! I honestly…wow… I don’t even know what to say! I am really sorry!”
I told her and genuinely meant it. Its no secret that when I am angry with her I threaten to end the friendship but with what she had just said I was actually the bad friend not her. She had been there for me through and through and I had done nothing to reciprocate that yet I constantly complained about her.
“Its ok, these things happen I guess. I was thinking hey, maybe I should not go to Dubai with you. What you said really hit home about me wanting your man and your life and maybe you had a point in that I have become too comfortable with your people and so on!”
She said. Boom! What? Wait, I get that she was angry at me, I get it, she was right that I was selfish and so on but what’s Dubai got to do with this?
“You can’t say that, come on Khanyi? Dubai was our dream; I haven’t been fucking that old dude for nothing! It was for you and I to prosper and now that we so close to the prize you want to pull back?”
I asked her jumping up in shock it even startled her. I was not pretending, I was serious and I know how that sounded considering that she more than me had pushed for this Dubai thing but reality was, I stood to lose more than she did because I had made more sacrifices than her.
“I know that you had to date him but look what this has done to our friendship. I have become a liar because I have to cover for you with Neo, Sam and your parents yet to you I am trying to outshine, outdo and even takeover from you! How is that so? We always supported one another but today I look like I am the snake?”
She responded coldly. I could see that she was serious and she was not testing me. Had I messed up so badly with my best friend that I had been blinded by my own needs forgetting to take care of her. This was not part of the plan.
“Our friendship is more important than Dubai. We were friends before Sam and you know it!”
I reminded her! That should count for something.
“Yes we were but you not the same person you were then and you know it!”
“Next thing we will go to Dubai and you will be unhappy with me being there! I can’t be treated like I am a pariah! I have made up my mind!”
She said defiantly.
“Ufuna ngiku ncenge, sies!”
I said to her in a language she understood and I stood up and left!
In English I had just told her that she wanted me to beg her and I was not about to do that!
********* The End***********
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Hi Mike, I’m hoping you and the family can help me.
I’m a 21 year old female, I’ve been struggling for the past three
years to get funding to go further my studies, I’ve applied for
government bursaries, bursaries in the private sector, NSFAS with no
luck. I’ve tried student loans too but it is quite difficult to get
one because my parents are unemployed.
My matric results are good and I never have trouble getting accepted
into university, my only problem is funding.
If anyone can help me, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks in advance.
I have run out of letters for our QnA section, please send some our way so we can post.