(MOAYW The Return)
It has been months since that horrible, horrific, unimaginable, unforgettable event took place, the day when my precious daughter was taken from me by some evil people. I still had nightmares about it and I strongly believed that I will be haunted by that day for the rest of my life. Soo much has happened since then, I have been to hell and back and needed time to heal not that time has done much healing. Please allow me to take you back to where we last ended.
I called the police man back immediately but it was of course the police station landline, it rang a million times before someone could answer then I was put through to this person then through that person and in that process of being sent from pillar to post fear had changed to frustration and annoyance. I decided to drive to the police station while holding to be transferred because I realized the phone business was not working, I needed a face to face conversation with the stupid man who told me he had bad news then hung up, who the hell does that to a person knowing very well they are going through hell with worry. I wanted to get to the police station and strangle him, the fact that he was a police officer meant nothing to me, he had just messed with the wrong woman on a wrong day, this was the day I was going to take out all my frustrations on him, now I understand why Xhosa people say “uzakunya” when they are about to panel beat the shit out of you, that was me ready for war. As I was parking someone finally gave me a straight answer over the phone, not the answer I was looking for though, I was told the officer left the building, I knew the woman was lying but I was about to burst them all on their lie, little did they know that I was two minutes away from walking through their door. I dropped the phone without even saying goodbye and I couldn’t get out of the car fast enough. I power-walked to the door and within seconds I was inside, I demanded to see the officer Ndzimandze who had called me and someone told me that he just left a few minutes ago, I had just missed him, apparently, he was on his way to see a Mrs. Jumbe, I told the lady I was Mrs Jumbe and suddenly she could no longer look at me. What the hell was going on in that place. “What is he going to see me about?” I asked, the Rambo in me fading away, she shrugged her shoulders and said she didn’t know, of course she knew. I told her to call him and tell him I was at the police station waiting for him and she tried to give me some lame excuse but I was not having any of that, eventually she gave up and called him. “That Mrs Jumbe is here to see you” it was as if they had been talking about me the way she spoke to him. I couldn’t hear what he was saying all I heard was her saying “okay I will tell her” she hung up and told me that he said I should go back home because he is following on a lead on won’t be back anytime soon. I told her he called me and there was something that he was trying to tell me earlier but his line was bad and…” before I could finish the police lady cut me off and told me she doesn’t know what he wanted to tell me but I should stay or go or do whatever I wanted but she is busy with her work and had no time to talk to me, how rude I thought. I took that as a line of being told I should leave and I walked out of there feeling more hopeless than when I fast walked in. I went to the car and honestly didn’t want to go home to that empty home, everything in that house reminded me of my baby, I didn’t want to go home, so I drove around not knowing where is was going, I found myself in Witbank and that’s when I decided to stop at a garage and get some water, I bought two bottles of water and then drove back to Joburg all the way back I was praying to God that my husband and child be back home. All the memories of losing Neo just came flooding back and I couldn’t stop crying, the tears were flowing down my eyes to a point where I couldn’t even see I decided to stop on the side of the road before I cause an accident and calmed myself down. When I felt a bit better I drove again and for some reason the distance felt longer than when I was driving not knowing where I was going, I guess at the back of my head I was wishing that my husband would be home with our child and the drive felt like it was taking me forever to get home and see my family.
When I got home I went through every room shouting “Mthobisi, honey, please tell me you are home, Mthobisi” and there was no response, the house was empty all I could hear was the echo of my voice. I spent that evening alone I didn’t want to go home to my parents house in case Mthobisi came home with our baby and I wasn’t aroundt, I didn’t want to take any chances and miss seeing my husband and our beautiful daughter. I slept on the couch, on an empty stomach, food was the last thing on my mind. I kept waking up every now and again thinking I was hearing Naledi cry and I would run to her room to find it empty, then go back to the couch because the bedroom was a reminder that my husband was not home, I could not even bear to walk inside the bedroom.
The following morning, I got a call from the Ndzimandze officer who had given me a calling and he was also the one who was in charge of this case. “We have done everything in our powers to find your child and the fact that your husband has decided to take matters into his own hands instead of letting the police do their job makes things even worse” I looked at this man wondering what he would have done if this was his child would he have sat with arms folded and not try to do something to help to bring his child back, but I was so drained, I was mentally and physically exhausted I had no strength to fight with him, I just wanted my family back. He was not done, he continued, “you need to prepare yourself for the worst because in situations like this, when a child has been missing for so long, we usually start looking for a body, because the chances of your child still being alive are very slim and we need to be honest with you and we need you to prepare yourself for the worst…..” I stood up and lifted my hand indicating for him to stop talking and I told him to stand up and follow me, he was a little confused but nonetheless he followed me, when we got to the front door I opened the door and showed him out, the man was still talking “I know this is very hard to take in but you need to consider these possibilities…” I closed the door on his face and went back to the couch. I sat there starring into the air for hours and felt paralyzed, I couldn’t move, I don’t know how long I was on that couch for because when I eventually came to my senses I was in a strange bed, a bed that I had never seen before, this was not my bed, I looked around in the room and the room was small and I did not recognise anything about this place, I had no idea where I was, how did I move from my house to this strange room I wondered. I tried standing up but my arms were somehow stuck and that’s when I realized that my hands were tied to the bed, I did the only thing that made sense in that situation, I screamed my lungs out “Heeeeelp, please help me, I’m in here.” A nurse walked in and shouted to someone who was at the passage, “she’s up again, bring the syringe.” What did she mean I was up again? Most importantly what syringe was she on about? I calmed myself and said “Sister wait, please don’t inject me, please why am I in hospital? Is my husband and daughter here too?” I asked hoping and praying that Mthobisi and Dineo were in the same hospital in the waiting room waiting for me to come out. She shook her head and said “Ma’am you ask me the same question every time you wake up and you always become violent after hearing the answer which is why he have had to restrain you and tie your arms on the bed.” I swore on the sun, ancestors and everything I could think of that I was not going to be violent, I told her to please tell me what had happened to me and how I go there and she smiled and said that is better than speaking about my husband, I was thinking of another way of approaching my husband topic but at that moment I had to make sure that I was not drugged because my body felt like I had been sleeping for a very long time. “Your mom brought you here, you are in a mental institution, you have been through a traumatic experience and you were not ready to accept it or deal with it so your parents and friends brought you here because you were in the verge of hurting yourself” I was still stuck on the mental institution part “I’m sorry but did you say mental institution? As in mental institution as in emahlanyeni (direct translation the mad house)?” I asked really concerned that a person of my calibre could end up at a mad house. How and when did this happen? I took a deep breath and said to the nurse who was looking at me like I was crazy “How long have I been here for” she smiled and said “a few weeks.”
I screamed “A few weeks? What the hell do you mean a few week, I have to go, I have to be with my husband and child they need me, I can’t stay here”
At that moment a male nurse walked in with a syringe I was screaming and moving my arms around trying to break free when I felt a needle prick me and then I was out like a light.