When you marry a man you want someone you know you can rely on and also can respect and protect your secrets. What’s the point of having a man who can’t keep his mouth shut? It does not make sense now does it?
“I am sorry I know it was supposed to be hush hush but I contain my joy. I am so happy for you and him. Now they will see I am a grandma, you have just made me feel old!”
She said I think trying to lighten the mood. She could hear from my voice that I was so annoyed at her son. Ok he took me by surprise there. This lie was getting bigger and telling his nosy mother who already did not like me was only going to make this worse. She more than him would want to know what the doctor said and what not.
“No ma, it’s still new! I haven’t even confirmed with the doctor but I am on my way there!”
I told her. Vusi’s mother was an in your face kind of person so I knew this was not going to end here. She was those people who were pandetic and one plus one should always equal two.
“You on your way to the doctor?”
She asked me as though she had not heard me. It’s what I had just said so why say it back.
“Yes I am. I am waiting for sister to come then we are going?”
I told her. This was not a lie mind you because Nonjabulo was indeed coming to take me to her Indian doctor, the one who could make all this go away.
“How are you getting there? If I recall Nonjabulo does not have a car!”
She reminded me. My mother in law had never approved of my sister from day one. Well I did not blame her because even I did not approve of her at times.
“Yes she does not but don’t worry we will manage! We have been using taxis for as long as time!”
I said trying to reassure her and making it sound funny at the same time.
“I will come and take you! I mean I am not busy and this is very important. If you don’t want me to come then go with him at least. You can’t do this alone you not having a baby alone!”
She offered but I would not hear of it. Now she wanted to be my friend when on every other day she made me feel not welcome.
“No its ok thank you. I have this covered. I don’t want him to be there either because I feel it’s a personal thing.”
I told her. She spoke some more about baby things but I was not paying attention. I was rolling my eyes half the time and all I wanted was for her to hang up and leave me alone.
As soon as she hung up the phone I called Vusi. I was beyond mad. Why had he done that though?
“Baby I am sorry I know what you going to say…”
He started off with an apology because he already knew that I was going to tell him nonsense. We had had this discussion a million times before about him running off to tell his mother our business. He needed to learn that it was not ok and I was not going to stop teaching him this lesson.
“Now your mom wants to go with me to the doctor. I told you this moment is important to me but no, you just have to have told her!”
I shouted at him on the phone.
“Eish she is a handful that one but she is only trying to help. Please give her a chance.”
He pleaded with me.
I said as I hung up. My plan was very simple, I was going to go to the doctor and then say it was a false positive. I had thought this through. I actually did not even have to go with my sister but with the way things had conspired I was going to go with her.
“Londy I am here!”
My sister shouted outside the door as she knocked. It’s how she knocked. It’s a township thing. When you knock at the door you immediately say who you are for security reasons.
“I am not yet ready but almost done.”
I told her as I opened the door for her. My sister came in and did what she always does, look for food and start eating.
“Honestly sis I think mum is trying to get closer to your mother in law. She was asking me all sorts of questions about her last night!”
My sister was explaining with chicken in her mouth. She was rude in a way but that’s how she was.
“Speaking of that. She called me asking me if she could go to the doctor with me. Imagine, that woman wanting to hold my hand through it ah!”
I shouted out from the other side. I had changed topics because this one was a bit more pressing for now.
“You have issues wena!”
She told me.
“You should be close to her then maybe you will learn a few things from her!”
My sister said and I asked her,
“Like how to look down on poor people you know! The things that most rich black people do! It’s like they never came from a township or a village!”
She said concluding and we laughed. She was right, every black family could trace its history to a township or village especially our mothers age group. Acting as though they did not come from there is why they get robbed all the time because they think they are better than everyone else.
“You can say that again!”
I said as I walked out of the bedroom.
“How do I look?”
I asked her.
“You look like you are underfed and need to come stay with me!”
She said teasing me. That’s how she always said I looked good. She complimented my body in her own weird way but I guess it is what it is.
“Oh yah by the way, I already spoke to the doctor for you so it should be a quick in and out!”
She told me. See my sister was reliable like that when it comes to all the things that depend on crookery. She was the most honest crook I know.
“That’s great but I am thinking of just going to my normal doctor because the doctor will just have to say it was a false positive! I will come present that to Vusi, he will be sad for a moment but we move on!”
I told her. She agreed with me that maybe it was a good idea because her Indian doctor was asking for r1500 which to her was way too much.
“How do you make such lies though? You are crazy you know that! It’s a good idea though but didn’t you tell Vusi that you were certain?”
She asked me.
“I did but mistakes happen. I read the pregnancy test wrong!”
I told her and we both laughed as I locked up.
As we walked out my sister and I saw a very familiar car parked in my parking. I cannot believe this woman. It was my mother in law. She came out as soon as she saw me.
“What are you doing here? I thought I said I would be fine!”
I asked her rather annoyed to be honest. I had specifically asked her to stay away.
“After I saw Vusi I felt a bit guilty. I have not always shown you support and for this I wanted to do so. This is my way of apologizing.”
She explained. Were it any other occasion I would have agreed with her and readily accepted that offer but the timing was bad.
“Thank you very much but…”
I was about to say when my sister came into the conversation.
“Thank you, I was lazy to go by taxi anyway. We going to Park Town, Londiwe let’s go!”
She said literally killing my momentum. She jumped into the front seat and waited for my mother in law and me to come in.
“See listen to reason from your sister!”
My mother in law said showing so much excitement. This was not happening. I got into the car wearily and figured if I protested any further from this point she would suspect I was lying.
“We are going to the Indian doctor. If we go to yours what if she says otherwise!”
My sister sent me a whatsapp text.
I was not thinking straight. I should have refused but the results would be the same in any case.
“Dr. Padayachee, welcome ladies. Who is coming in?”
The Indian doctor asked.
“I am coming too. I am her mother in law. Nonjabulo you can stay outside!”
She said and immediately walked in the office. I guess it was not bad when I think about it now because when the doctor said I was not pregnant I could be distraught in front of her in order to sell it that it was a false alarm.
“Ok that’s fine.”
The doctor asked a few questions.
“What makes you think that you are pregnant?”
She asked me.
“I did a pregnancy test; well three and all were saying pregnant. This is my first visit to the doctor so I just need confirmation!”
I told her. She smiled and said,
“I like your closeness. My mother in law would never even dream of doing such a thing!”
She said. See am not the only one with issues with my mother in law. After a few tests of which I was ready to be all dramatic and be hysterical the doctor came back with the results.
“Congratulations, you are three weeks pregnant!”
My mother in law jumped up with joy. I sat there and I just stared in disbelief. Was I really pregnant? What the fuck I don’t want to be pregnant! Not now anyway!
“Please go to the front desk to settle the bill, I will meet you there. I will also give you a few meds!”
She said as we stood up to go out. My mother in law stayed back for a moment.
“Did it go well?”
“She said I am pregnant!”
I told her blankly.
“O shit I forgot to tell her that you had a change of heart. I did not get a chance to do so because we ended up being rushed so she thinks we still in that plan we had! I am sorry!”
She said and my heart just sank! Now I did not even know if I was pregnant or not because aaargh!
This was bad and getting worse.
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank you for reading my letter.
I know my story will be judged but I had to share with someone as its weighing down heavy on me. I have always been one of those pretty girls but grew up decent without breaking any moral rules. Three years ago my father got sick and it drained the family emotionally and financially. He died early last year. It was the most painful thing to ever go through seeing him wither away. What made it worse is that we are not wealthy at home we had to go to public hospital and wait in lines for everything. We would hire a car to take him and all that. We really suffered for him and still he died. I was in Matric when he got sick. No relatives stepped up to come help us and even the neighbours after a while also stopped. I found a job I work at Clicks now but it does not pay much. Now my mother is sick too. In November they found that she had the very same thing my father had. I don’t have the resources to help her nor the fighting power. I met some rich guy and I will not lie when I say I approached him. I said I have always been pretty. He is married with 3 kids and very wealthy. I started sleeping with him for money so I could pay for my mother to go to private doctors. I said she had the same thing my father had right and guess what, she is almost healed. I don’t even know what to think because my father got worse going to public hospitals. At the beginning I felt guilty about this man’s wife but I was not about to lose my mother. I have a younger sibling who is in matric now and she is very smart. I am expecting at least 4 distinctions from her and I pray she gets a bursary. Now that my mother is getting healed I have to continue selling my body to this man so I can put my sister through school and also have savings. I know I am disgusting and I feel disgusting because the man of it is not that clean and is far from good looking. I have sold my youth for money. I want to say I am ashamed bhuti Mike but I don’t know how as I believe that I am rescuing my family. I go to church on the Sundays that I can, work always then prostitute myself to him on my free days. I cry most nights but I have realized that if I stop I will not afford to take care of my family. People will tell me I have no excuse or justification for what I am doing but I watched my father come from being overweight to looking like a piece of paper when he died. It was a horrific experience. At least if it was HIV he would have gotten free medication but no, it had to be something complicated. If it was not because of my sibling and mom I would kill myself because imagine having to sleep with someone you loathe and disgusts you but have to smile through it. Imagine having to encourage him to do more because making him feel like the greatest man ever means more money.
I am 21.