I think when you have children you cannot take reckless decisions. I don’t have any but that’s part of the reason why
it is like so. A child is a full time responsibility where you sacrifice everything for them. The reason why we praise single mothers is because of this one thing where they have to give everything for their child. No one speaks of single fathers. It must be just as hard for a man to raise a child alone let alone a daughter. It’s a no brainer because if you don’t take care of yourself first your children will suffer. Mbuso if he went to jail would have royally messed up and I don’t think this was an option. This bribe thing was not necessary, I had my own lawyer and she would come. She had never let me down before so why start now.
“Ah uncle you are taking this too far, all I asked was if we can talk on the side!”
He said again. I think he too was panicking a little. This was not the mean cop remember but the good one but the way he had said that reminded me of the bad cop.
“Come with me!”
The officer said to him angrily. His tone was harsh and mean.
“Leave him alone!”
I protested but Mbuso motioned me with his hand to calm down. I was not calm at all I was scared and when I am scared words come out.
“Let him go, he knows what he is doing!”
Simba said also stepping in front of me. I was scared. Simba comforted me by giving me a hug just as Mbuso turned to look at me. I felt so bad I kind of pulled away from Simba. It was just a hug though.
“I don’t want to be forward but are you seeing Mbuso? I am not the type to interfere in people’s relationship so please tell me so that I can leave!”
Simba said when he was out of the hug. I was not ready for that to be honest. It happened so fast.
“No it’s not like that. He is my neighbour. I can’t even say we are close but we hang out a lot.”
That was honest though. I was not married to the guy and we were not dating. I was not even sure of my feelings for him.
“I saw something beautiful in his daughter and I am close with her. That’s where the relationship comes from. She is so adorable that’s why I don’t want her father to end up in jail because of me!”
I told him what my immediate fear was but somehow I felt guilty of hiding behind Ntheteng. I was not sure whether I liked Mbuso or not and it’s not even because I was being difficult. Fifteen minutes later Mbuso walked back towards us and simply said,
He turned and walked. He did not need to tell twice nor tell us where we were going but we followed him right up to the parking lot. No one asked us anything, we simply just walked out.
“Thank you thank thank you!”
I whispered loudly to him. I was not flanked by the two of them as we walked out. As fate would have it, they parked next to each other. Simba had a black Range Rover, not top of the range but Range Rover nonetheless. Mbuso had his old beat up Toyota bakkie. I could even see the grease on it. I had to decide which car to go in. Goodness! What was happening here?
“Thank you for what you did for her!”
Simba said when we got to the cars. Simba spoke as though I was his and he spoke for me.
“Anytime, it’s what family does for one another!”
Mbuso responded. That was creepy. Why was he calling me family?
“So who you driving with?”
Mbuso asked. Mbuso was toying with him because that question was loaded. He knew that whoever I chose the other had to back off. Simba had run to my rescue first and I knew I was going to have more battles with that company so I might need him for his intellect. Mbuso on the other hand had been my hero; he had saved the damsel in distress so he gets to kiss the princess no matter how old his bakkie was.
“I am going with you. It makes sense; Simba stays in the opposite direction in any case!”
I responded without looking at either of them. From the corner of my eyes I saw both men’s reaction, Mbuso smiled and Simba frowned. I really wanted to walk up and hug Mbuso as a way of saying thank you, believe me I did but I did not want to do it in front of Simba. This was getting awkward as was but he really had saved me.
“Yeah she is right. I will call you in a couple of hours!”
Simba said. This time it was Mbuso who offered his hand for a handshake of which Simba accepted. We all got into cars and then drove off. I felt bad for Simba because what had just happened was obviously a statement. I had made the right decision right?
“Are the two of you dating?”
Mbuso asked me. If that was his way of breaking the silence then this guy did not know what subtlety is, wow!
“If you should know the answer is no. He was on a contract I was working on at work and we became friends.”
I told him.
“Well he likes you. He likes you a lot and I think you like him too, I mean you called him first!”
He said not even attempting to hide the annoyance in his voice. Instinct told me to shout at him to stay out of my business but this was the guy who had just saved my ass.
“Please let’s not talk about that. Tell me what happened with the police and how come you know so much about dealing with them?”
I asked him. I had a lot to deal with but right now that’s what I wanted. This was the conversation I wanted to have for now.
“Money changed hands if that’s what you are asking. There was a docket being opened on you but that disappeared. I asked him what would happen to the people who laid the charge against you and he said that will be taken care of as well!”
He said changing radio stations.
“How come you did not ask me what I am guilty of? What if I killed someone?”
I asked him because I realized he did not know what was going on. He laughed after I said that and I laughed too. I was so relieved I was not in jail anymore. I guess it was all the emotions in me because embarrassingly I burst into reason for no apparent reason. I cried.
“Why are you crying now? You are going home! Nothing has happened! Please stop crying please!”
He begged me.
“No I don’t want to go home. I have to go to the hospital!”
“Oh yes how is your mum? I forgot to ask this morning but I had a crisis at work so I rushed there!”
He said taking his eye off the wheel. I tried to call my sister but her phone just rang. Had they moved my mother already?
“I can’t get hold of my sister; the plan was to move her to private.”
I told Mbuso.
“Let’s go check at Bara first, it’s no big deal!”
He said. It was then that Nthabiseng called me back.
“I am so sorry was out and I forgot my phone. Are you ok? Where are you? What police station I am coming to get you now!”
She declared as soon as I picked up.
“Its ok, my friends came rescued me. They said that it was my old company that laid a charge of theft against me which is not true. I have no access to anything worth stealing so it’s all made up!”
I told her.
“We need to meet and discuss because tomorrow we must respond. Where are you?”
She asked me. I told her what was happening with my mom and that I was on my way there. She sympathized, wished her well and said I should call her as soon as I came back.
“You have friends to bail you out I see. I like that. I used to keep a small circle of friends but with Ntheteng here it got kind of hard.”
“Please tell me if I am being forward but I am a bit curious, do you make a lot of money as a mechanic? Do you own the company?”
I asked him.
He laughed fortunately.
“Why do you ask?”
I asked him.
“Well Ntheteng goes to a private school and that’s pricey, our apartments are pricey and you just paid a bribe of I don’t know how much for me! It’s a lot of money!”
I explained what had been bugging me about this guy. I was not ready for his answer.
“When Kgabo died, that’s her mother’s name, we had life insurance. With that life insurance I bought the apartment so I am not paying anything and I also put Ntheti into school. I paid up for two years in advance and should I ever wish to take her out they will give back the advance. I am a mechanic yes, don’t have enough education to be honest but I am good at it. I wanted to open my own store but I couldn’t as I could risk too much and then lose the remaining money for Ntheti’s education!”
He said but I could see a tear roll down his eyes. Eish, me and my big mouth, I should never have asked.
“I am sorry about your wife!”
I told him.
He cleared his throat to respond then kept quiet.
He still loved her.
I can’t compete with that.
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
I would like to remain anonymous
I met a guy in 2011 and we started dating everything was great between us n we even discussed marriage. In 2014 I fell pregnant n to my surprised he completely changed n mistreated me, he even told me to take a taxi when I was in Labour. You can imagine my shock when I found out he is married with 3 kids 2 days after giving birth through a phone call from his wife, he was even denying the baby claiming I was a one night stand. I was crushed n almost lost it but eventually I accepted n tried to move on with my life which has been hard since every guy I meet has a problem with me having a baby, so I ended up with my baby daddy, we not really dating but we are sleeping together n we talk every day. I am starting to fall for him again n it troubles me but I can’t seem to stop, how do I let go? How do I detach myself from this person he is the father of my baby n his doing his bit as a father, I want my son to grow up knowing his father which makes it hard for me to cut ties with him. Please advice I feel like this guy has control over me.