Marriage! There is that word again. As a woman you grow up knowing that one day your feet should lead you to it.
Think of your first toys, it was dolls and teddy bears to teach you how to care for real babies when one day you are all grown up. We take it for granted how we condition our girl children but they grow up knowing that one, God willing they will be the wife to some amazing man. Even women who consider themselves feminists but their children dolls and this include single mothers who say they hate men. The reality is they don’t hate men enough to tell their daughters that marriage is not the Holy Grail. Why is it so flawed though? Is it the men that have ruined the experience for us women or the women who have been so naïve over the centuries that have led us here were getting married just seems like a totally bad idea? Miriam’s words meant something when she warned me not to get married because she had experienced what many women had experienced, betrayal!
“Where am I going exactly? Are you taking me to a place where you going ask for a divorce?”
Miriam asked. I thought she was going to drive with me but guess what; she was not going to lose sight of Bongani in case he tried to run away. She went to his car and waited by the door.
“Do you think I am stupid? I am driving with you! I am not losing sight of you!”
She said defiantly. Miriam ke bosso shem! The first wife did not argue but she too came to the car and stood because like Miriam she was going with her man. As soon as he opened the door, Miriam sat in the front seat. A lot of people don’t realize how symbolic the front seat is in a woman’s psyche! The front seat of your man’s car is yours and it doesn’t matter who else can be in the car with you even God, the front seat belongs to you! This is not a democracy. The front seat represents so much more than people give credit for.
“Really, you are fighting for the front seat like it means something!”
The first wife said bemused by how fast Miriam ran to it so fast.
“Bitch don’t make me come out and beat you up ok! I haven’t touched you because you did nothing wrong to me but just don’t!”
Miriam threatened her. That’s my Miriam; she will fight to the end.
“Mum the mean lady just said a bad word!”
Sfiso Jnr said and immediately Bongani intervened.
“Don’t use that language in front of the kids! No matter what’s wrong between us you don’t have that right! Apologize right now or get out of this car and never come back!”
He said. For someone who was in so much trouble he sounded very authoritative and I could hear from that tone that he was serious. She recognized this too because immediately without hesitation she turned around and said,
“I am sorry, that was out of line!”
What was going on here? The way she turned from this lioness to a mouse was quite astonishing. Bongani once beat up Miriam so was this an example of the tone he used when he abused her.
“Let’s go Lungile you can’t stand here all day, we need to go fix this!”
Sfiso said from behind me. I had gotten so lost in my thoughts I had forgotten that I was practically staring at the car. I think I was fascinated by their lives, goodness I need a husband to make my own drama. All of a sudden Bongani came out of the car and walked to us and said,
“You know what; let me try talking to them both on my own! I will call when I need you!”
“You are not leaving with Miriam on her own! She does not know anyone here and frankly speaking I don’t trust you!”
I told him.
“It’s not about you right now! It’s about us and her marriage! I know I fucked up with her but can you give us space for now please!”
He said and turned to Sfiso.
“Mate please take her to her BnB or whatever. We will be fine I promise!”
“I told you to fix this before Bongani now look what’s happening! This is your last chance otherwise you will lose them both no matter what you think!”
Sfiso told his friend. So this was not a new discussion for them. Did this mean that he had tried to get this relationship to stop in the first place? My man, I mean Sfiso is a hero then. Standing up to your friends is harder than it looks so well done to him.
“Yes I know. Go take care of other things my friend don’t worry about us please. Sesi Lungi I really am sorry about what happened today!”
He said and he drove away. It suddenly felt awkward that I was standing here in the parking lot alone with Sfiso.
“Where are you staying again?”
He asked me. I told me where I was staying and he said it was not too far from where the funeral was. This would mean this was a suburban funeral then. You know how most black funerals are either in the township or the rural areas, it’s like people in the suburbs don’t die I tell you.
“Where are you parked so I can drive behind you?”
I pointed out my car and then he said I should walk him to his car as he was on the other side. The plan was then to drive me back to my own car which I did not mind. We walked in silence. I did not know what to say to him. I wanted to hug him and tell him how sorry I truly was for his loss but somehow it was not coming out. I had this huge lump in my throat and at some point I felt guilty for not being able to comfort him.
“This is me!”
He said when we got to a black bakkie. He drove me to my car.
“I won’t drive too fast!”
I told him. It was not meant to be a joke but he laughed.
“Trust me I can keep up!”
He said. I don’t know what was funny about that but ok; at least I had cracked our first joke then. I was so relieved when I got into my car, I really was. I let out a deep breath because it was as though I was holding it in. As I drove out I had a phone call, it was Mam’ Dolly, Miriam’s mom!
“Did you guys arrive safely?”
She asked me after the greetings. What had happened was not my story to tell so I told her all was well. She asked me where her daughter was and I told her that she left with her husband when we got here.
“Oh that’s nice. He is such a wonderful man Bongani. You need a husband Lungi so you too can start building a family!”
She said. This woman loved me I know but she always had to rub it in.
“I am with your mother by the way and she wants to say hi!”
She said to me. Its funny how I just knew at that moment I was in trouble and what’s embarrassing I don’t know what I was in trouble for.
Is how she began the conversation?
“Hello mum how are you?”
I said to her after she called my name.
“O so you know who I am? When last did you call me or talk to me? Do I really have to come next door to hear from other that my child is in Nelspruit? Are you not even ashamed?”
She asked me a barrage of question before I could even answer. The truth is, I was old enough not to answer to my mother but to her, even with my sister were had to tell her every time we went somewhere!
“I am sorry mum it’s not supposed to be like that!”
“Don’t mum because clearly you don’t see me like your mother! Here I am trying to fix your problem but you are not even bothered to call and check up on me. Even if you were selfish and wanted to check up on the progress of your things that would be better than this treatment you are giving me!”
She complained. Goodness what had I done? When my mother starts complaining it becomes a big deal and the woman knew how to drag back old faults into a current conversation. At this stage she was talking about the whole Sangoma nonsense which I really was trying to put at the back of my mind. I had tried not to think about it or talk about it with the hope that it would just go away.
“I am sorry mum. Can I call you back; I have just been stopped by the police!”
I told her.
“Now you even lie to me about the police! You really do hate your own mother!”
She said to me but the thing is I was not lying! I was telling the truth. As I turned off the last major road to the Bed and Breakfast I was stopped.
“Good evening ma’am!”
He asked me.
“Good evening sir!”
I automatically reached out for my license which was in the bag on the floor! I showed him as he walked around the car to inspect it.
“Would you step out of the vehicle please we would like to check something inside?”
He asked me.
“Do you have a warrant for that because last I checked it is illegal to search people without it?”
I asked him. As I said that Bongani’s car stopped behind us.
“Sir you can move on!”
The police man said!
“We driving together actually and she is leading the way, I don’t know where we are going!”
He explained to the guy.
“But you can’t park there!”
The officer complained. Something was wrong. The officer looked nervous. I don’t know if it was my Jhb instincts but something was wrong.
“Let’s us go to a garage officer because I am not stepping out of my car in a dark corner!”
In the distance another police car was approaching!
“Ma’am you are being stubborn!”
“Listen, it’s what your minister told us to do. You should know this. Are you going to follow me or not because I am a woman driving alone and there is no way in hell I am stopping!”
He looked at the police car approaching and suddenly he just ran to his car. Two other guys appeared out of nowhere and jumped into his cop car because that’s what he was driving and they drove off.
I had almost been hijacked!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
First and foremost: Thank you so much for the wonderful work you do, thank you for sharing what God has blessed you with!!! #SALUTE
Here’s my story! I’m 33 years old married to a wonderful man of the same age for two months now. We met and two weeks after we were already planning to spend our lives together. He has a kid and I have 2 from different fathers…the father of the youngest ran away, so basically he doesn’t have a father…the older one has an absent father (meaning he is there…he is known to the child but he decided to be absent…He blocked me on all social networks…calls are also blocked…all because he is so bitter that I found happiness). We had been staying with the little one whom he adores and treats as his own but recently the older one had to come stay with me because we lost my mother who was the primary caregiver to my older child.
Now here is my problem: My husband has a problem with us staying with the older one(I think it’s because he sees the child as another man’s child). It has put a tremendous strain on our relationship. I feel like I am caught between a rock and a hard place because there is really nowhere I can take my child except to my mother who is now no longer with us. How does one solve such a problem? I love my husband and I WILL NOT choose between him and my child!! He won’t see reason!! Do I just leave my husband or is there anything else I can do cause I will not neglect my child for any man, not even the one I vowed to be with forever!! Please help!!!
Troubled Heartbroken wife