I have heard of many stories were the
mother in law is so bad she destroys the marriage. My mother was not direct in her approach at unnerving or unseating Londiwe, she did this underground things which had consequences that appeared later. Londiwe did not see this on the occasions when she was happy but on the whole she knew my mother did not like her. Its not an easy place to be. Growing up we are told our mother is the most important thing in our lives. She works harder than anyone else for her child and because of this when we are grown your mother is the one person you will die for. Girls who grew up with single mothers readily tell you this about their moms and become that supermom to their kids but guess what, she will tell you her husband that you must not love your mother more than you love her. You will have a woman who will go above and beyond for her kids hate the fact that you give your mother a monthly allowance! Imagine that hypocrisy.
“Londiwe can I talk to my mom please alone. I just want to thank her for this and see how else we can make this work!”
I told Londiwe. She was too excited to care.
“Go ahead, I want to call my mom and sister so they know what’s up! Imagine, me earning a proper salary with a proper payslip! I can never thank your mom enough please thank her for me!”
She said to me as I walked out. I really felt bad that my mothers help was disingenuous and came with a catch.
I said as I went to look for my mom. I found her in the garden talking to Mapula about the garden.
“I thought I told you to tell the garden service people that I needed this flower bed to be redone but its still the same!”
She said frustrated.
“They did not come today. You need to call them mum because even when they come they hardly listen to what I have to say!”
Mapula told my mum. She walked away when she saw me approach leaving me alone with my mother.
“This people are frustrating me. I am trying to get a new service but did you know that even these people have territories that they operate in so you can’t just bring an outside one!”
She explained to me.
“What don’t you just hire a permanent guy like we used to back in the day!”
I reminded her. My mother was a difficult boss especially to these contractors and she was always someone who had a change of mind in everything. She could give them an instruction on doing something and when they started would change her mind. That’s not why I was here though.
“I don’t like that. Those people are criminals they end up coming after your things as they become too familiar with your house!”
She said dismissively. There are a lot of black people who believe that hiring other black people to work in your home will lead you to eventually be robbed. The people in the suburbs now prefer to hire white people to the gardens as they trust them more but guess what, its black people who actually do the labour. We just can’t trust our own people.
“Mum what’s going on? What’s this job you are giving Londiwe and why?”
I asked her getting straight to the point.
“I don’t understand, are you against the fact that your wife finally got a job?”
She asked me with an almost sarcastic tone. Londiwe had wanted a job for a long time and much as I asked my mother for help she had never actually responded with any real help.
“Yes I am questioning it. Why now when she is pregnant? Do you want her to have a miscarriage?”
I asked her.
“Are you serious Vusi? Why would me, your mother want my grandchild to be harmed? A job post was open and that does not happen often. Besides Maggie owed me a favour so she was not going to say no no matter how dumb your wife is!”
Ok now this time this was sarcasm.
“Mum that’s rude and unnecessary!”
I reprimanded her immediately.
“Ok maybe that was uncalled for but the reality is such chances do not come often and we had to take it. I don’t like your wife. You know exactly what I think of her. I love my grandchild though and I know having a mother who works will benefit him or her.”
She explained to me. With such an explanation and frankness it was hard to argue.
“Ok mum how do you think I can upgrade her to make her worthy of you. I don’t like this thing were you constantly belittle her. She is my wife and we have started a family which if you want to be part of it you have to show her more respect!”
I asked her and told her the same time.
“You know your worth, I don’t have to tell you that. If it makes you feel better staying with someone who does not mentally challenge you nor offers you an intrigue then go ahead?”
She said to me as she walked away leaving me in the garden alone. My mother was a difficult woman but in this moment I chose my wife. A man should stand by his wife and family.
“Dinner is ready. I made your favorite. Hope you still like it!”
Mapula said to me coming into the garden. We always ate early at home. By 1830 dinner would usually be served. Growing up my mother always said it was to make sure that the food digested before bed.
“Thank you and yes I still do!”
I responded to her with a smile. It was not true though but anyway. Dinner was frosty to say the least. The only person happy was obviously Londiwe. She was already seeing a big future ahead of her. She was super nice to my mother something she only ever did the first time they met but that’s a story for another day. I hardly slept that night as I had a lot of things on my mind.
“I have to go in the office as I have things I must sign with H.R. They sent a message saying that there are forms I must come and fill in. Let’s go together!”
She said to me. I had been either in bed or stuck indoors so I graciously accepted. Every person needs to know where their partner works and I was no exception. We bathed together because my wife insisted that alone I could not do it but oh well its romantic I guess.
“I will rather use uber. This driving business I am still unnerved by what happened!”
I told her. She was a bit annoyed because she likes it when I chauffer her around. The truth is when you go through a trauma its not easy to just let go of that fear which comes with it. We called an Uber and we went. The job was indeed legit and the lady that was helping my mum out I did not see. I had no idea who se was. She signed a lot of things and because of her many menial jobs Londiwe already had a tax number and so hence we managed to avoid that part.
“Can I take you out to lunch?”
She asked me when we were done. I told her that I wanted to go to the office to pick up some things but she refused saying that she had already asked Tumi to pick up anything I needed from there.
‘Just send him a text on what to bring!”
She advised me.
“Since when do you talk to Tumi?”
I asked her.
“What do you mean?”
She asked me.
“I never knew that you had his numbers that’s why I am asking.”
I was not jealous but why would she have my friends numbers without me knowing about it.
“Relax Mr. Jealous. Don’t be like Jerry Maake now and be jealous over nothing. When the accident happened I took his number from your phone!”
She explained to me.
“Ok then delete it!”
I said coldly. I am not a paranoid man but I also believe that your wife should not have your friends numbers. What for? Its not like I went drinking with them often so she would need to check on me.
“Are you serious right now? Its just his numbers and I need them actually for emergencies!”
“If there is an emergency you call the police! Now delete them!”
I said coldly again.
“Ok then but this is not like you to have a jealous thing!”
She explained as she took out her phone.
“I am not jealous. I don’t have any of your friends numbers and how would you feel if you knew that I was contacting them behind your back. You could have sent him a message via my phone to say I am hurt so I don’t see why it had to be on your phone!”
I warned her. I was not dumb. How many people do you know who were replaced by their partners with people they called friends! I was not going to play it cool therefore and one day find myself in a situation I could have avoided long ago.
“Being possessive really does not suit you and it scares me.”
She said to me but where normally I would feel bad I did not. The police man had said she was talking to her ex and they had call records to prove it. This means that because I was so relaxed about things she had taken that for granted. She thought me allowing her to do whatever she wanted was weakness.
“The aim is not to scare you. I just don’t want my friends on your phone. Its wrong. That’s the end of it!”
I told her as we drove on the M1 towards Greystone. Tumi was my player friend and I was not going to entertain him talking to my wife. When he came over I was going to tell him as much. You don’t spoil baboons because if you do they will destroy your field.
“I don’t think I am hungry anymore can we please just go home!”
She said totally annoyed at me. I was not going to entertain her.
“If having his number on your phone means that much to you then turn this Uber around!”
I told calmly but with a menacing tone. It was a calculated warning.
Tears rolled down her cheeks. I wanted to reach down and calm her down but fuck it, she was still talking to her ex boyfriend, the one who used to beat her up and I should respect her?
****** The End********
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my letter. I hope you are well now and will keep you in my prayers.
I am 28 years old and have been dating the same guy for four years. The problem is he has no ambition. He has a good degree and has been working for almost seven years now. When promotions come at work he does not apply or try be part of that crowd that’s moving upward. He is content with his mediocrity and what pains me is that he is very smart just lazy. He still has the same car he had when we met and were it not for me would be in the same bachelor apartment I found him renting until I forced him to buy a house. Even our relationship is stuck in that same lazy cycle where nothing ever happens. He does not buy clothes for himself unless I do it and even if his socks are torn he will still wear them proudly I won’t even mention underwear, cologne, etc. We do not go out unless I throw a tantrum, buy new things for our place unless I take his cards and do it myself nor does he initiate dates or sex between us. Recently his mother sat him down and told him that he has to pay lobola for me as we have been together for too long with no movement. He came and made a joke out of it telling me how crazy his mother is to suggest such things to me. I was so hurt I packed my things and went back home. It felt so refreshing as though I had lifted a weight off my shoulder. Two days after I got home his uncle came to my house with a letter from his family to say they want to open negotiations. I was not even excited. I love this guy but I already see how bad things will be for us as he does not seem to think of the bigger picture. I work too and in the years we have dated I have had two promotions and changed jobs once just to make sure I keep up my ambition. He has none of that. What do I do guys? How do I slap him to wake up and step up? I am so tired of trying to motivate this stone and my love for him is fading I think.