I don’t think I can even remember the last time anyone ever hit me. By this mean I mean both male and female. I am not a violent person by nature hence why I never get physical with anyone. I find it a measure of disrespect for anyone to hit anyone. That slap from Londiwe left my head ringing. I know a lot of men believe that a woman hitting them bruises their ego but for me it was not about that. I had done everything in my power to show Londiwe that no one should ever make an act of violence against her yet here she was slapping me. I hit out on the steering wheel making the car swerve a bit but no harm done. I was angry, I was disappointed but could I blame her, I had another woman’s lipstick on my shirt.
I screamed on my own. That’s a very cheese boy move though hey. We through tantrums when we alone. My screaming was short lived because my phone rang and it was my friend Tumelo the one I had supposed to have met in the afternoon to do the project with.
“Dude where are you?”
He asked me. Yes he was old school like that and called his friends dude.
“I am on my way home pissed as hell. You wouldn’t believe but Londiwe slapped me!”
I told him.
He asked clearly shocked at it all.
“Why would she do that though? Did you provoke her?”
He asked me. This felt like snitching but I needed to tell someone. I did not come from that world that says man must suffer inside and hold things in.
“Yes and no. I hugged a girl at my mother’s party thing and she left lipstick on my shirt. I tried to explain this to her and she thought I was lying!”
I told him. The story suddenly felt so thin though. Why is it in my head it had felt like it was so much and the anger was immense. The pain of the clap was not so significant as to the humiliation of it.
“Uhm mate are you hearing what you are saying?”
He asked me.
“What do you mean?”
“Put yourself in her shoes for just a second and see why I am with her on this one. You gave a reason why to mistrust you and she reacted defensively I suppose. You are the one who is wrong in this!”
He told me candidly. Why is it when violence is perpetuated by women to men no one actually acknowledges it? It’s like if a woman hits you it’s supposed to tickle and not draw blood but is not the case.
“Are you serious? I did nothing wrong?”
I screamed at him in frustration and possibly with disbelief even though I kind of got what he was saying.
“I am not the one you supposed to be telling that. Go home to your wife and sit down with her. She thinks you are cheating on her and the first thing you do is drive off. Where do you think she thinks you are going?”
Ah come on now. Nothing sucks more than when your friends take her side. They were my friends hence were supposed to be on my side.
“We will talk later then!”
I said annoyed.
“Nope I am the one who called. I haven’t told you what I want!”
He said stopping me from hanging up.
“Your mother called me about 20 minutes ago. She sent me some very interesting specs about some deal which she said she briefed you on!”
Why was I not surprised as he told me this? My mother knew how to work me.
“She never gave me any specs. She told me about the thing in general though!’
My mother knew that Tumi was my business partner and when she could not get through to me she would use Tumi.
“You know my mum though Tumi. She always works an angel in her things. Maybe we should let this one pass.
I told him cautiously.
“Hell no ah Vusi what has gotten into you. Your ancestors give you something on a silver platter then you want to spit in their face? No wonder why you will never get rich. It’s a good thing you have me as a friend because we have to do this! There is a lot of money involved! In fact no, I am telling you we are doing this!”
He said. Oh I forgot to mention Tumi loved money. If Tumi was a girl or gay he would have blessers galore. Unfortunately for him he was skinny tall and lanky making him look like Lloyd the kid from outta space. This meant he had to work for every penny he ever made.
“But it seems like it’s an under the table deal though, is it worth the risk. I mean we working on our own thing already!”
I told him trying to remind him of our own projects.
“Ah come on Vusi. We can’t always be the good boys. Where has that gotten us? Think of everyone we knew who cut corners where they are now. Even that useless moron, Sebapa is driving bigger cars than us because of it. I am tired of poverty and this being holy business does not work!”
He worked his story into me and he was right in a way. We might all scream corruption when it comes to people who get tenders but guess what, they are rich and you are not! You might as well go pay your bills with your anger!
“So what are you suggesting? We become like the rest?”
“It’s just this once we get a cheque that can actually cover all the bills in one go! Don’t spoil this for us with your holy holy tendencies!”
He said to me and I laughed. I was very uncomfortable with this because I knew what this entailed.
“Your mother also said there is a girl we will be working on it. I did not get her name but think of it this, she could be hot and I can finally get a girlfriend you know!”
He said to me and laughed at his own imagination. Tumi had 2 baby mamas. Yes women nowadays only have one standard and that standard is money. The kids were blessed to look like their father meaning he could not even deny them. He was not the type of guy you would advise a woman to and you really had to wonder how he did it. He had an unorthodox way of talking and maybe because he was so tall the girl had a fetish.
“No if we do this it’s all work. The sooner we get out of that deal the better!”
I told him. Why did I feel a little pang of jealous when he said he could date the girl?
“Ok fine I was teasing anyway I don’t want drama. Please tell me you have turned to go back to your wife!”
He asked me.
“Yes I have turned!”
I told him as I got on to an onramp which allowed me to go back in the opposite direction.
“Ok good now go talk to your wife and don’t be an idiot!”
He said before he hung up. I was not sure what I was going to say to her but he had a point. I could not afford to leave her there and worse he ex boyfriend was still there. Women who were in abusive relationships for some reason tend to go back to their abusers. It’s something I have never fully understood before.
“Where is Londiwe?”
I asked Nonjabulo as soon as I got to the party. The party clearly had continued as though nothing happened.
“She is in the bedroom! She is telling the truth you know…”
Nonjabulo tried to explain but I walked away from her. When I walked into my sister in laws bedroom I found her crying her eyes out with Linda confronting her.
“I am glad you came back she has been crying like this since you left!”
Linda said and stood up immediately.
I told her sternly. She looked up and had to rub her eyes to be able to see through all those tears. I walked away and she came trotting after me. This time she took her bag. We walked all the way to the car in silence, her behind me. I really had become the African man I never wanted to be.
“I am so sorry I don’t know what … Oh my God what have I done!”
She said in tears when we got to the cars.
I told her coldly. She got in the car but I could sense she was scared. I was not in the mood to try make her feel better about herself.
“I am so sorry! I will do whatever you want baby I am sorry!”
She said. I kept quiet as I started the care and drove off towards home.
“Baby please say something, please don’t just keep quiet!”
She pleaded with me but it’s not that I did not have anything to say but had I said it would have come out wrong. I was angry at her and the same time I had to explain the lipstick. I really did not think this was the time to say things with emotions running wild.
“Go to bath you look filthy!”
I told her when we got into the house. I don’t know why I said that, it was rather stern and bullying but I did. She did not argue because firstly she did look filthy and secondly she was in trouble. She went to the bathroom. I heaved a huge sigh more out of defeat than relief. I switched on my computer to do some work when there was a knock on the door. It was my Nigerian neighbour.
“Can you come help with that thing?”
He asked me in more of a telling me manner. My wife was in the shower and to be fair I did not want to be here I agreed and I went with him.
“Sorry to be so pushy my brother it’s just that I need to get it up and running.”
He said and when we entered his apartment and hello! His dramatic wife was there but with her she was with this beautiful young lady. She was wearing those short shorts which girls wear nowadays. They were both tipsy by the looks of it and there were wine bottles on the floor.
I said by way of greeting and they both giggled.
“He just called us ladies, cheese boy!”
The friend said to the wife said to him in Tswana.
“I told you he was hot though but he does not have that thing!”
The wife responded also in vernacular. I turned to look at her husband who I am certain the language was a barrier. If this man could hear this I had no doubt in my head that he could crush me with his finger.
“The things we would do to him though? I will take the front and you will take the back!”
The friend said and they laughed. They could see I was right there and I could hear them. I was even sweating a little to be honest.
“I have wanted to fuck him for a long time but he is wife has him by the balls. The poor man can’t do anything without her permission! I just want to do him once to put that pesky woman in her place!”
She added to the friend and they laughed. The huge Nigerian man in front of me turned to them and asked,
“What are you laughing about? You know I don’t like it when you speak that language.”
He was totally oblivious.
“Ah daddy come on, we are girls and we should get to gossip. Your friend looks like he needs water. Maybe he should tell you what we were talking about.”
The big Nigerian turned to me I think thinking I would translate but I was so stunned by the forwardness and rudeness of these women I said,
“I did not hear them!”
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto
Dear Brother Mike
I first would like to commend you on a job well done, your work is my daily fix.
I’ve been longing to write to you in a long time but i’ve rather been procrastinating.My letter will be long.So here goes my story.
I am a 22 year old varsity student in a long standing relationship of 6 years with a 32 year old guy. I met my boyfriend when he moved back to my hometown after got retrenched from his previous company. We are from the same hometown, our relationship and sex life has always been awesome. Through his retrenchment time, he would still try to take me out on dates nd i would also save up my pocket money to try nd spoil him with the little i have nd we were happy. A year later when i was doing my matric he got his breakthrough and found a job nd had to move to another town nd you know how the likes works that i would work hard in my matric nd follow him to the other town.
So in a year of being employed he moved to another department of the company cause of better pay nd that came with him having to travel through powerstations a lot, nd in this time our problems started. Whenever he visits nd we had to have sex, it would only turn into a oneway street whe he’s the one who gets the foreplay nd when i make him aware of it his response would be ‘i work hard to provide for us so i need to rest’ so i must understand he is tired, so i accepted what i got, but he improved with time as he saw i got reluctant to have sex with him everytime we meet.
Through this,his phone would always be with me so i never had any doubts that he’s cheating. So with him getting a better pay, i had adviced him to get a house as he’s old to be still living in someone’s backroom. I took the liberty to search for houses nd we got two houses, as he was working abnormal hours at work i would be the one who deals with estate agents nd lawyers. So as he was moving around a lot cause of work and they provided him with accomodation at guesthouses, we decide that it would be a good idea to build outside rooms nd turn them into a business as my father also adviced us as he’s also into this property leasing business.
Fastfoward to last year december, my boyfriend arranged a vacation for us but i couldnt go cause i had other family commitments. When he got back in his pictures i saw he was with a girl nd i confronted him, he became angry and lost his temper to a point where he slapped me after this happened we separeted but he talked to my sister asking for forgiveness through her. To say the least i forgave him and took him back. Last year again i used to stay with a friend from high school, she invited her school friends over to our place while i was at home nd her friends stole some -shirts nd mobey from my ward, which i forgave her for that but again she later went through my phone to steal my boyfriends numbers in an attempt to find a new girlfriend for my boyfriend of which my guy had no clue of this. So i confronted this girl nd i bet her up for this cause i considered her my friend as in high school we were in one circle of friends nd i did everything for her. So last night after my boyfriend found out about this he came to confront me about it as this girl also stays in our hometown nd same street as him, in this confrontation again he lost his tempter again nd says i always dont think nd i act on impulse.
I can say i am writing this letter with tears streaming down my cheeks with a sore nd bruised neck. I know i was wrong to beat this snake of a friend nd violence doesnt solve the betrayal she caused. But was i wrong for fighting and believing in this love?
Betrayed Friend and Lover…