Mothers can be the most amazing people in the world but they can also be the worst. There are not many women who will say to you that they get along with their mother in laws just as they are not many men who like their mother in laws either. Here is the reality; girls who are raised by single parents come with the worst mother in laws. It’s like you are vicariously dating her mother. It’s not even daddy issues, please, that’s what they want you to believe, and it’s their mother’s abandonment issues. You pay for the fact that her daddy left her mother not because she cares as she never knew him but because the mother held on to that bitterness long enough to pass it on to her. These are the mothers who make sure that should a step daddy ever come into the picture they will make sure the whole world knows how good he is and how much better he was compared to the dead beat dead. She forgets that it was her who chose out of a world with a billion men, the one man who will plant a seed in her and leave her. I knew why my wife did not like my mother because she knew my mother pretended to like her. Well I liked my wife so my mother had to be told she was out of order and I was not going to tolerate this.
“Mum can we talk outside please its important!”
I asked her firmly and politely. Your parent knows when you are not playing and she needed to know this.
“Does it have to be now Vusi come on I am having too much fun?”
She asked trying to avoid making eye contact.
I said already walking out so that she could see that I was serious. My mother is very image conscious so she came out immediately. We all know of interfering mothers and that’s not just the guy’s mothers. My mother was like that. Every now and again someone needed to put her in her place to remind her that some of things she did were unacceptable.
“What is so urgent that you could draw me out of a party with colleagues like this? Are you trying to embarrass me?”
She opened the firing shots. Its either she was deliberately acting oblivious to what she had done or she genuinely did not know.
“Cut the crap mum! You knew there was a party here it had nothing to do with your contract! Why are you like this? You know I am married and happily so. Why are you trying to cause problems for me and Londiwe?”
I asked her very annoyed. This was uncalled for really and undermined my marriage and everything I was trying to make it stand for.
“I don’t know what you are talking about? There is a contract but obviously it can’t be discussed now as they are too many people. I honestly thought there would be less!”
She said trying to sound innocent of it all but she had blood on her hands on this one and no amount of water would wash that blood off!
“Mum I am serious! What is it that you want from me really? I do everything you want as it is already and now it’s starting to be against my wife and marriage meaning it will stop!”
I warned her. She could hear I was serious and not happy so she too got serious.
“Is it ok if I tell you a story? You want the truth right you spoilt brat, a truth you don’t want to hear?”
She asked me. I did not expect that because it was said with a soft tone. She was fighting back though but I was not intimidated.
“Yes go ahead.”
I responded because I wanted to know here thinking.
“You were born in Katlehong hospital. We didn’t have money then your father and I. He used to drive this old Peagout 504. They don’t even make it anymore. When you were in grade 1 your father said we should sell it so that you can go to a private school in your grade one and not these township schools. I obviously argued that if he sells the car how where we going to take you to school. I lost the argument and he sold the car and paid for your fees 3 years in advance. I remember how we struggled that grade one of yours because he really had miscalculated how much transport money you would need plus all the extras needed to be in a private school. We wanted to give you a good foundation because that’s important so he wanted the best he could get. Eventually things got better as you know but that financial strain also caused strain between your father and I. He had gone against my wishes but I understood his sacrifice. Even university we had our struggles I am sure you remember.”
She told her story.
“I understand and I am grateful but what does this have to do with Londiwe!”
I asked her.
“Everything. It has everything to do with her.”
She responded by snapping at me.
“I know you say you are happy but show me one mother who will have raised a son like you, with all the struggles we went through who will be happy for you to have settled were you settled?”
She asked me what looked like a trick question. She did not say it directly that Londiwe was beneath me but with that statement she made it clear that she thought it!
“Mum you can’t be serious! You love who you love ok and I love her!”
I defended my wife. I should just leave.
“Let me give you an example, if you had a daughter who was educated and had a Masters degree and good job? Would you be happy if she brought home a taxi driver? Ok you will say that’s a big leap, if she brought home a security guard? Or if that does not work how about a shop assistant? Would you be happy with that? Don’t act like I am being a bigot because you know this is true. Girls with degrees will readily tell you that they can’t be with a man with no car, house, nor prospects as it is shameful but those very same girls if they are the ones with nothing will go hunt for a man with everything!”
She asked and told me at the same time. It’s weird that before she made that example I would have jumped on her neck but reality is no one would be happy. How many girls say that they do not want to end up with men who are “less” than them? The irony is those very same girls are the ones calling my mother names right now for believing as she did!
“Well mum thank you for the concern but I am happy with who I am!”
I told her. Just around then Naledi came outside to smoke. I saw her go round the house so I decided to go and say bye to her because I was indeed leaving. I was not playing with my mum I had to go.
I said when I got there. She was crying and her hand was shaking.
“And then? What’s wrong?”
I asked her. I had left just a few moments ago and she was fine and now this.
“It’s my father. He disapproves of everything I do. I am so frustrated!”
She said. I could relate with her because that was my mother and me right now. Before I knew it she came and she hugged me to console her.
“Everything will be fine. Just show him that in whatever field you choose you are going to kick it out the park.’
I advised her. I am not a lover boy kind of person meaning I don’t hug a lot of people. I know how many guys rush in for hugs just so they can feel a girls boobs on their chest but that’s not me. I am saying this because having Naledi in my arms felt different. I had not hugged another woman other than my wife in a long time. Women are soft and warm and because she was crying her tears were making my shirt soft.
“Goodness I am sorry about that, I don’t know what got into me. You really are a nice guy hey!”
She said. I watched her walk away then I went to my car. My mother had gone in so I did not need to say bye.
I called my wife but her phone did not go through. After what had just happened I want to show her that appreciated her even more. I bought her flowers and a box of chocolates. I knew she was unhappy with me in any case because I really had left her cold turkey. I know when am wrong and I was wrong.
In the parking lot I bumped into my neighbour the big Nigerian guy. He was walking to his car but seemingly to pick up something.
“Neighbour! How are you?”
The Nigerian guy said. I had forgotten his name. I think he introduced himself before though I was a bit embarrassed to ask again.
“I am ok how are you?”
He said to me casually.
“I hear you do I.T.please when you have time I would like you to come help me set up this computer I got from my brother in England. I have been trying and it’s so complicated!”
I was inclined to believe him because truth be told I know that foreign systems can be tricky.
“No problem. I just need to check on my wife and then maybe I will revert back just now!”
I told him.
“Your wife left earlier on in one of those Uber things.”
He said as he walked away. Crap! She went to the party meaning that now I had to go to the party too. This time I had no excuse. Why would she go without telling me though? I checked my phone and there was no message from her which was unlike her. The thought was the best thing to do was surprise her. I had made her angry enough for one day. I might have to buy her sister those drinks after all, sigh!
When I got to the party there were so many people. I parked far because there was simply no navigating through and guess who I found waiting there, Linda!
I asked her. She had not seen me and she looked startled by the way she jumped up. I had surprised her.
“I didn’t see you there. You are back!”
She said declaring the obvious.
“Yes I am back!”
I told her.
“You just missed your mother in law I put her on a taxi just now that’s why am here!”
She told me as we started walking back up the street together.
I responded. I had no problem with my mother in law but it would be one big lie if I said the woman did not make me feel uneasy. She was too eager to do business.
“Where is Londiwe?”
I asked her.
“She was in the house when I walked her mum. I am sure she is still there!”
She told me. Linda and I got on because she never tried to be more than she was.
“I think she is mad at me for leaving earlier eish now I have to kiss ass all night just to make things right between us!”
I told her and we both laughed as we turned round the house. There was crowd gathered and I think I could hear my wife’s voice but with all the noise I was not sure.
“And then what’s going on there?”
Linda asked. We walked towards the crowd right through. Linda was in front blocking my view and she stopped suddenly and said,
“We have to go the other way you can’t be here!”
“What are you talking about?”
I asked and pushed her out of my way. I remember Mr. Biggs line when he saw R. Kelly with his wife,
“What I saw was enough to drive a preacher wild!”
That was me.
There was my wife, whose beauty, integrity, honour and class I had just fought with my mum for lying on top of her ex boyfriend Simon, her skirt hiked high enough almost enough to expose her ass! People were laughing and some kid was taking pictures.
“Londiwe what are you doing?”
I asked angry. The way she turned to look at me not only gave away her guilt but she quickly jumped up and said,
“Its not what it looks like?”
I just walked off!
What would you do?
******** The End *********
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank you for this pleasure of allowing us into your mind. You are so creative and I honestly would love to sit with you and hear you tell stories. You have a talent sir and I am so sorry that no one in media is trying to produce your work. I have tried so many times to ask people I know in this industry to recognize you and they all say you are brilliant, they all know you but the people who run show get paid bribes by the people with money. I really am sorry but sir please keep your head up.
My story: My sister is an abusive relationship. She is 37 and I am 26. Her husband is 40 and not only does he beat her he also sleeps with high school kids. It’s not a secret and the whole family knows. They have three kids one of which is a Special Needs child and she says it is because of him she stays. His medical aid is the important part for her. I have fought this man for her to the point of bringing some thugs I know to his doorstep to tell him that if he touches her again they will burn him with a tyre. Fuck I hate this Pedi man I really do! How do you hit your wife when she is pregnant? I love my sister but now I find myself drifting from her because I can’t stand to see her suffer. All my parents do is pray about it! What the fuck is that? The police won’t arrest him because she refuses to pray charges. I am trying to provoke him so that he hits me and I will take him to jail! I swear I will. The one time he hit her with a pipe and she was unconscious for two days! He is going to kill her one day. People say it’s none of my business and blame my sister for staying. She is my sister so must I be happy to see her be killed.
I am at my wits end! I need to get this guy away from my sister please anyone if you can advise me on how to do this I will be eternally grateful.