Death casts a dark shadow over your
family. Its something that comes naturally because its a very bad time.No matter how much people can say that it happens to all of us its something you can never quite prepare for nor get over. Often however there is some silver line somewhere somehow. When a person has been sick for a long time for example, the silver lining is that they have rested. Death puts you at the very bottom but you get to rebuild again. I had not been close to my sister in a long time and this one thing was making us close again. It was almost a reminder of who we were once upon a time. Was this a silver lining, maybe not as it is how things were always supposed to be but it was definitely something.
“Yeah the lightening will be a good addition. Did he really bring that lizard here? That guy really thinks we are worth nothing neh.”
I said to her as I watched the lights of his car disappear down the street. He had really done that wow. Its not even about the nerve but ok, I will get my own back.
“Are you going home tonight?”
My sister asked me when we stepped into the house. My aunt was putting some dishes away and remarked,
“I had never met your husband, I mean your ex…you can do better!”
And we both laughed except my sister of course. She just rolled her eyes.
“Yeah I will sleep here. Aunty you can take moms bed!”
I told her. I wanted to lie down, I was tired as can be expected after the church thing. I slept so well I only woke up the following day after 9am. My sister had gone out and my aunt had gone to her place. I was home alone. I decided to go through my mom’s papers to see what I could find. it was only around 11am that I stood up go and bath. My phone rang as i finished dressing.
“This is a good surprise!”
I said when I recognized his voice immediately. It was Simba.
“I don’t know what I did wrong to you but I had to hear from your old company that you lost your mother. I said no that can’t be, there had to be some mistake because Lungi would have told me. I then went to your place and I met that guy that lurks around you, Mbuso and he confirmed. I asked myself could she really have seen it fit that I did not deserve to know?”
Simba said to me and it hit home. I had totally forgotten to tell him. I don’t know why in my shock he had not even crossed my mind. Imagine all my men knew about my mum Sfiso, Mbuso and yeah I have to count him in Mbilahelo except for Simba.
“I am sorry. Things got hectic quickly and the shock and trauma of it all. I am honestly sorry about this!”
I told him. He had met my mother once, at Miriams wedding but then she had also said she did not want foreigners next to me. With that in mind I don’t think she deserved his sympathy by inviting him to the funeral.
“Its ok I understand. I am sorry about your mother. I can’t even begin to imagine what it was you went through.”
He said to me.
“Is it ok if I come and take you out. You need a good meal and I really would like to see if you are ok!”
He said. I could deny him that and besides I also had not seen him in a while. I had turned down his proposal because it was so ridiculous how he had asked but not because he was a bad person.
“Yes that’s fine. I was about to head home but we can meet somewhere if you want!”
I told him. I could do with fresh air and I was not looking forward to be alone at home in any case.
“Ok Funos in Benmore Gardens, do you know it?”
I asked him.
“Yes who doesn’t, their lunch buffet lunch is legendary!”
He said and its true. At lot of people take their lunches there especially soon after payday because eish things get expensive fast as days move further away from pay day. I often wonder why shops don’t make things cheaper the further they move aways from payday to keep the volumes of people up instead of having to throw away food. I had a reason why I wanted it to be Benmore as well, it meant that I could drop in Nthabisenng to say thank you. She had done so much for me during the funeral I don’t think I would have survived without her.
“Ok then Funos in an hour it is!”
I told him. I said an hour to allow for traffic because in reality it was at most a 30 minute drive. I got there in an hour and half. There is always an accident in Jhb. I don’t know if its because we are over crowded, can’t drive or what but there is always something and today was no exception.
I found myself cursing when I found myself stuck. What’s worse is everytime I changed lanes the lane I left would move making it look like I was the bad luck in that lane. By the time I got there my spirits were down. To his credit he did not phone to ask where I was or harass me on delaying.
“I am so sorry. Traffic hit me and …”
I started to explain but he just smiled and opened his arms. When someone opens their arms its a gesture to come in for a hug so I did that. I don’t think I had hugged Simba before had I?
“Shhhhh you don’t have to explain. I live in Jhb too remember!”
He said holding me close. His breathe was fresh like he had just eaten mint sweets but it was his body that impressed me. It was hard. Very hard. He was built underneath all those clothes. I had an idea that Simba was muscular but today he just felt buff.
“Thank you for understanding.”
I told him pulling out as my thoughts had strayed further than I expected.
“There is nothing to understand. I was not mad. You did nothing wrong. Please sit. I didn’t take plates initially only a drink to keep the table as the lunch rush is upon us!”
He said looking up as if to show me that indeed it was full. It was packed with all these upcoming white collar young people with fake hair, nails, eye lashes you know the corporate type, the clever blacks. This Funos attracts those people who often think they are better than others, not even the clever blacks if I am too be honest because if you were clever you would know when food is too expensive. Anyway to each his own.
“Let’s get our food!”
He said. We went through the motions got our food, got it weighed and eventually sat down. He did the whole Catholic cross thing over his chest before he ate making me feel guilty as I already had meat in mouth. Ah this guy, why was he showing me up like this.
“Firstly I am sorry about your mum. I am sure it was quite unexpected.”
He said very politely to me. He touched my shoulder as he did that. Nah dude come on stop it I was telling myself, I did not want to cry in front of all these fancy pretentious people. They will probably take a video and put it on instagram thinking it was guy breaking up with me.
“It was. Remember last time she was sick and they found nothing. They said that the problem was in her blood of which sometimes it clotted. When they gave her meds she dropped one of them and guess what, it was the blood thinner. We did not even know it!”
I told him before he could ask what happened. I had started to feel that when people asked me its when I broke down. I did not want people asking me how my mother died and if anything rather ask me how she lived and how she was as a person. I wanted to celebrate her life not its demise.
“I understand it must have been tough!”
“It was. This is the worst thing I have ever experienced in my life. Part of me still thinks its just a nightmare this too will pass but that’s just a part of me. I hope at some point I will wake up and someone will say it was all a joke but with each passing moment I realize how real this is.”
I explained to him and he touched my shoulder to comfort me. I thought I was moving forward but talking about it was making me realize this was going to be hard. He saw this.
“Has your company paid out yet? They have cancelled the contract with us and I figured it had something to do with you guys!”
He said calmly changing the conversation. I thought he would have been angry about them cancelling the contract but he seemed pretty calm to me.
“I am sorry I cost you a big contract.”
I said feeling guilty. It was obviously because of me that this had happened.
“A big contract? There will be other bidders for what we have and besides the relationship I doubt was going to work! I also understand they are letting some of the lower ranking staff go, black staff! I don’t think I could have worked with such a company!”
He went on to explain I could sense a bit of disappointment in his voice meaning it had meant something to him but that last part meant something to me. I was getting people retrenched. That one was on me.
I told him humbly. I did not know what else to say because now it felt like blood money. I had sacrificed people’s family to satisfy my own needs. In the private sector they will do anything to protect the bottom line and often the first people to get retrenched its you and me not the people who are already rich because of generational exploitative wealth.
“Have you decided what you going to do with the money?”
He asked me and that took me off guard because I actually had not sat down to think of what my future would be like. I had said I would travel but eh what happens after the traveling part?
“No not really I have not! Business I suppose!”
I confessed to him and he looked at me rather disappointment.
“Here is my advice, if you are still unclear about this when your money comes when it comes don’t touch it until you have a plan. If you don’t do that it will give you a solid reason to come up with a good plan.”
He advised me. I often don’t like talking about my finances with people but somewhere somehow talking to him made me feel so much better.
“Ok I will take that under advisement!”
I said jokingly.
“In the meantime I have a job for you. We need someone to join our research section. It does not pay as well as your old company but it will pay the bills whilst you decide what to do with your money! The day I came to your place that’s what I had come to discuss with you and the timing was obviously wrong.”
He explained to me. My first thought was why had he not called then I remembered I like blocking people.
“Thank you I will consider it but how do we work together if you want to marry me. That will be a conflict of interest!”
I reminded him be it sarcastically.
“I do want to marry you. You all I think about. I am a principled person and that did not appeal to you and I get it. Sex is so important to you meaning I will have to change if I want you to be mine!”
He said looking me straight in the eye. Can a person really be this bad at wooing a girl though?
“We can start today and see if you are serious!”
I said looking right back at him.
He spilt his drink.
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto
Thank you for reading my letter and hope you post it soon as I really need urgent advice.
I am in matric and on Monday I was caught having sex with my boyfriend by his parents. He is also in matric. He had told me that his mother was out for the afternoon but she came back because she had forgotten something. I was naked and on top of him when she walked in. We were on the sofa in the sitting room even which just made it worse. She stood there without saying anything I think before she went and took a jug of called water and threw it on us. We did not even see her coming imagine. All she said was clean this is up. The reason for my urgency is that my mother and his attend the same church. She has not called my mother to tell her and they will be together on Sunday. They are not friends but are cordial. His father is my principal meaning I am going to see him at school lord! I am so ashamed and scared. My mother is a psychopath and I have no doubt I am going to get a hiding for this. She also has a tendency of reminding you of your mistakes until Jesus comes back. She and her husband (my dad) are like evil twins. My father is police man and not your friendly ones either. What have I done? I even feel like running away the way I am scared. My boyfriend has not been answering his calls since that day meaning he is in trouble too.
Has anyone ever been caught by parents? How did they survive? What should I do guys I don’t know what to do?