Firstly we really do take things for granted and festive season is the one time when you should not let your guard
down. Criminals get excited because we get complacent! I think being hijacked is a violation of your personal self just as much as a physical assault. Did you know that hijackers get longer jail terms than rapists? How is that even possible? Yet another 16 Days of Activism against violence against women and children but still the same old problems! Who is failing who here, the men that harm us, the people that educate, the government that rules or parents with what they teach their kids as they grow up? The hijackers were three men in total and as a woman I even shudder to think what else they would have done to me had I gotten outside the car. I already have tears in my eyes at that thought. This is what it means to be South African. I was no longer even scared for my car I was scared for my physical safety and what’s worse, was scared even if I had survived it. I got out of my car as Sfiso came to me. I flagged down the police car. They stopped.
“Officer, I was almost hijacked!”
I told the police man what happened and immediately he radioed in. It’s weird that with police either they are very bad at their job or their very good and this one was dare I say, good!
“That fake police car is back again and it’s on the road right now. We can catch them this time. Send everyone!”
It turns out the police car I had stopped had someone senior inside because things seemed to happen. I always laugh at the provinces for some reason but they actually impressed me. A helicopter was deployed and they asked me to come into the police station. Sfiso was standing by me and I felt bad because at this point he was supposed to go prepare for his wife. It was the last day. I was so scared of being alone I did not want him to go.
“Maam we need to go to the police station so you can make a statement!”
The police officer told me.
“We need to do everything by the book so that they don’t get away with it!”
I heard him say on his radio again. We all drove in a convoy to the police station, the police car in front, me in the middle and Sfiso at that back. I guess it was meant for my protection. I was still shaking when I got to the station. Sfiso saw this and came to me.
“Don’t worry, everything will be fine!”
He said hugging me. He held me in his arms for a few moments then let go when the warrant officer stepped in.
“Please fill in your statement for anything you can remember!”
The warrant officer told me and I did just that. It did not take long and I think I overheard them saying that the car had overturned, the car with the fake cops that is. I did not want to ask what else had happened as I noted that Sfiso was getting restless. He kept on looking at his watch!
“Do we have to go now?”
I asked him.
“Yes, I am behind time as is!”
He responded. When we left the station the police said they will call me if they needed anything. I hoped they didn’t call me though. I had done my civic duty already.
We walked outside into the parking lot.
“I can’t stay anymore, I was going to take you to your place but I have to go. My wife’s body is being picked up tonight and its sleeping at the house from the funeral parlour!”
His pain as he said that was quite palpable. I felt so bad.
“I am sorry I led you around town with all this police drama. I should have let you go!”
I told him.
“No its ok. I needed something to move my mind from that point as I was suffocating in any case. I honestly can’t believe she is gone!”
He said. I could see the tears in his eyes and when he squinted they came down. I am one those girls who goes around saying that men who cry are emotionally mature and in touch with their feelings but I think that’s because it has never happened in my face. Seeing him cry rendered me useless. With girls half the time when she cries, its reason enough for you to cry too so its balanced. When a man cries you can’t be crying too because who is going to console who. Isn’t that his job?
“It will be fine! She is with God now!”
I reassured him. I hope that’s true. It’s something we are taught to say and I pray it’s true.
“I don’t understand why did she leave? I keep trying to think what we could have done wrong to lead to this. She all her pre natal care and all was fine. Last minute this happens, why Lungi? Why?”
He asked me. I did not have answers to what he was asking.
“God had plans for her that’s all. It’s something we will never understand but he did, you will see her and your baby again!”
I told him. He was inconsolable.
“Maybe I should drive you there. I can leave my car here and will pick it up later!”
I told him. I was not comfortable with this idea of mine considering what had just happened but there was no way he could drive himself. He cried like a baby. He truly loved her.
“Thank you but let’s take your car. It’s safer that way! We are actually going to the funeral parlour. We are meeting everyone else there!’
Crap, that is not what we had agreed upon but it was too late to back out now. I did not argue therefore. I got into the car as he gave directions. He was quiet now but his tears were endless. I wonder if this is what girls look like when we cry, if so it so sad. As with everything in Nelspruit nothing is too far. We got there in about 15 minutes and his brothers and family were there already.
“Thank you very much. I am going to drive with my family now. It will be very odd if we convoy in your car!”
He said when I parked. I totally agree. Who brings a nyatsi to escort the body of his wife from a parlour really? I was so relieved as I drove out. I found myself crying too. I felt so dirty and now it fully hit me that I should not be here! Coming here was a bad mistake, what had I been thinking really? I had cheated on the very same person we burying with him. This was not about me! I shouldn’t be here!
“Miriam where are you?”
I asked her as soon as she picked up the phone. Ii had almost forgotten about her indeed.
“I am at the BnB, I am getting ready to go to the house, where are you?”
Her voice was a bit hoarse from all the fighting and screaming. I must say I was a bit surprised that she was already back but it had been over two hours already so it was justified I suppose.
“I am on my way there, give me about 20minutes!”
I told her. I drove like the wind. I did not want any incidents and fortunately I had none. When I got to the BnB I found her already dressed up and ready to leave.
“Where were you?”
She asked me.
“Its such a long story and I swear I want to leave this town!”
I told her.
“How were things with Sfiso?”
She asked me. I did not know how to explain it but I emphasized the fact that he was hurting and in a bad space. She sympathized with him and said that at least we were here for him which I agreed with.
I asked her.
“And then what?”
She responded. She seemed oblivious of the hectic day we had heard so for her to ask me this was totally unexpected.
“What happened with you and Bongani? You were gone for a long time I even thought of calling the police!”
I teased. I wanted her to tell me what the conclusion had been because they had left me behind.
“Nothing happened and there is nothing to discuss!”
She was not going to do this. Obviously I wanted to hear what had happened with Bongani but she did not budge.
“I need a favour!”
She asked me. I wanted to know what was going on but here she was busy asking for favours!
“Please don’t tell my mom what happened! I will tell her in my own time!”
She said. I looked her and tried to understand what was going on. I would never have told her mum anyway because that woman had too much drama but I was more worried about something else,
Had she forgiven him?
After all that!
********The End **********
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
I have always wondered if when you are sitting with people you tell stories because dude you are amazing. I love your stories.
I am 18, in Matric and all that jazz. The exams are fine and I have no doubt I will qualify for university. My problem is that I have been dating the same guy since I was 15 and he wants us to go to the same university. He says that the moment we separate schools we will drift apart and date other people. I have never cheated on him and as far as I know he has never cheated on me. What I don’t get is why he does not trust me? Part of me wanting to go to a different university is so that I can grow as a person. With him everything is fun and I love him but I want to learn new things. I trust him to go to a different institution and our relationship will survive but he does not see it that way. He is insecure when I have never given him a reason why to be. I feel betrayed by this and I can’t seem to get over it. What should I do about it?