I looked at her then at the picture I was so confused, what the hell was this? She’s a child for crying out loud. I knew I was not ready to be a guardian of a teenager, no wonder parents who have teenage girls are always stressed. I needed to calm myself down, I walked to the window, I needed fresh air I didn’t want to speak to her while angry. I must have stood by the window for about ten minutes with Thandie just sobbing sitting on her bed. I eventually calmed myself down and walked back to her bed I had this whirlpool of questions going through my head but I had to be gentle, she was still a child. “I need you to tell me everything, how all this started. Start from the beginning and don’t leave anything out.” I said hugging her, she was crying so hard she was even shaking. “Okay, okay I’m going to get you some sugar-water okay?” I walked out of the room as I got out Mavis was standing outside the door obviously she must have been listening to what we were talking about, I pretended as if I didn’t see her she asked if everything was okay, I said yes and asked her to make Thandie some sugar-water, she gave me a questioning look and I ignored her look and went back inside.
Thandie was still sobbing, I sat next to her and told her that if she wants me to help she needs to calm down and tell me exactly what happened. She shook her head and said she didn’t know what happened, I was trying very hard not to loose my patients with her, what the hell did she mean she didn’t know what happened. “Did you send nudes to your boyfriend?” I asked feeling very uncomfortable about this topic. She looked at me and asked what nudes are. “It’s naked pictures, like the one on your phone baby” I said trying to be gentle with her. She looked at me with shock and still crying and said “Aunt Lesedi, I would never do that, I don’t even have a boyfriend” she said this with so much hurt in her voice and I believe her she was too innocent to have done that. “So who is this person sending you messages?” I asked a bit confused, maybe I was too old to understand the things of today. Mavis walked in and handed me the water I thanked her and I could see she wanted to stay but I gave her a go away look and she immediately left. “I don’t know who this person is or how they got a naked picture of me, I swear aunty I don’t know how this happened, I have been trying to remember where or how would anyone have a picture of me naked and I can’t remember. I’m new in this town and school and if this person sends this to everyone, my life is going to be ruined, I might as well move back to Eastern Cape and just stay at home. My mom is going to kill me ohhh God, she will die, this will kill her, she warned me about Joburg and I have not even been here for a month and then this happens?”
I knew right there and then that this poor girl was a victim of some idiotic game that someone was playing on her, maybe that wasn’t even her body, maybe just her face, what photoshop can do is amazing. I told her not to worry and that I would deal with whoever was behind this, no one messes with my family and get away with it. “Please don’t tell my dad, or he will never let me stay with him” that just broke my heart, I nodded and I asked her to give me her phone, she handed it to me and I asked if she had a password and she said no. I went downstairs and I found my husband passed out on the couch with our daughter on his chest also fast asleep. I picked up my daughter and took her to her room and put her to bed then went to wake my husband up, he was too heavy for me to even consider carrying him to the bedroom so I woke him up, he was a bit disorientated, he thought he was still in hospital and kept calling me nurse, I eventually managed to get him to the guest bedroom downstairs, going upstairs was just not going to work it was too far. I put him to bed and went back to go switch off the TV, but found Mavis cleaning up the room and she gave me Mthobisi’s phone, I took it and wished her a good night sleep and went upstairs to Thandie’s room to check up on her, she was asleep or pretending to be sleeping so I went back downstairs and on my way to the room Mavis asked me what was wrong with Thandie, I honestly didn’t know how to explain it to her, it didn’t make sense to me and how do you tell an old person about nudes, so I simply told her that she was having a hard time at school and adjusting to a new town, she nodded and said “poor farm girl, I hope these hood rats don’t mess with her head” I looked at her surprised at the fact that she knew the hood rat term and I said “I honestly don’t know what to do Mavis. I hope my daughter doesn’t reach that age, she must just stay a baby.”
Mavis smiled and said that was her wish too with her kids. I wished Mavis again a good night and told her this time I was really going to sleep, when I got to the bedroom Mthobisi was fast asleep, I tried waking him up but it was not working. I got into bed and tried sleeping but all I could see was Thandie’s naked picture, there was a phone ringing, I wasn’t sure if it was mine, Thandie or Mthobisi’s, luckily they were all on top of the dressing table it was Mthobisi’s phone that was ringing, it was a number that was mot saved on his phone, I answer and I could hear the person hesitating, then she said “hi, sorry I am looking for uhhmm MT” I could recognise the voice, it was the same woman who had called a few days before when I thought her number was Mali’s and I accidentally called, since my husband was asleep and I couldn’t sleep and had a lot on my plate why not add more stress to myself, no I did not want to add more stress it just came out “what is your business with my husband, you call him day and night. What is this?” I said feeling myself getting irate. I could hear she was trying very hard to think of a political correct answer. “Don’t you dare tell me to ask my husband because I am asking you.” She was silent foe a bit then said “Please tell him I called” and with that she hung up, “bitch” I said looking at the phone irritated.
I was walking up and down in the room not knowing what to do, my husband was fast asleep even snoring, there was a point where I wanted to wake him up, I had so much on my mind to be honest I was not bothered by this woman’s calls I trusted my husband and knew he wouldn’t cheat on me, what was killing me was Thandie’s naked pictures that were going to be distributed amongst students who will share them with other friends and those friend’s will share with other people and before we know it the whole world will see my niece naked, I wanted to save her from the humiliation if that picture went viral, it was going to scar her for life. I called She Rocks, as I was calling her number a message came through one of the phones, I decided to check the message after the call as She Rocks had already answered the phone. “Friend, why are you not in bed with your man whose just come out of hospital cuddling? Do you know what time is it?” She Rocks said as soon as she answered the phone, I didn’t answer any of her questions “I need your help” I said explaining the whole Thandie situation to her, she listened attentively and when I was done she said “what if this rural girl is playing you? What if both she and her mother are in on this trying to scam cash out of you.” I had never thought of it that way but this child was young, she was too innocent to be trying such shenanigans.
“You didn’t see the look on her face when she showed me those pictures besides what kind of a mother would come up with something so evil and twisted, no Thandie is innocent in all of this, I know it and I can feel it” I said assuring She Rocks that she was wrong. “Okay, I know of a lawyer who can help us lets go to her offices first thing tomorrow.” She said and I agreed. After speaking to She Rocks I felt a little bit better, she was the only person I had shared this story with, I had not even told my husband about it. I checked the phones to see which phone had received a message between my nice and my husband it was Mthobisi’s phone, bank notification about some debit order. I decided to get some shut eye I needed to be fresh and well prepared for the lawyer. I joined my husband in bed and within minutes I was in dream land.
The following day I was the first one up Mthobisi was still fast asleep, the medication he was on was very strong the previous night I had a full-on conversation in front of he didn’t hear a word didn’t even flinch whatever drugs he was on, I wanted some for myself. When I got to the kitchen Thandie and Mavis were already seated and having breakfast, Thandie was playing with her food poor child was probably so stressed she couldn’t even eat. She was already dressed up in school uniform ad ready for me to take her to school even though I knew deep down she probably jsut wanted the earth to open up ad swallow her, I have had the same feeling a few times in my life so I knew what she was going through. Mavis had made her lunch of peanut butter sandwich and Thandie was so grateful for it, this child was not your normal rude, disrespectful child she was sweet, kind, full of respect and just a loving person. We went to the car and I told her we were not going to school, I could hear a sigh of relief. “We are going to see a lawyer who is going to get us out of this mess.” I said feeling very proud of myself and of course acting like this was all my intelligent plan. “A lawyer Aunt Lesedi? A lawyer? Why don’t you just pay him the money that he wants please pay him so we can forget about this and put it behind us” Thandie said shocking me.