Empathy… Now there is word many of us have heard of but actually don’t show. The problem with women is that we
actually don’t care to look into the problems of other women unless it directly affects us. Has anyone ever read the statistics of women who give birth behind bars? Imagine having to raise your child in prison. It’s bad and it’s probably the worst thing imaginable for a mother. The little voices in my head telling me to leave Miriam there where was their empathy. How could they even wish that on another woman? I had to do something. I could not leave Miriam there no matter how much I wanted to save my own ass. How would she even explain back home to her husband that she had been arrested at Eyadini when she was with her gangster boyfriend? I doubt very much that Bongani would be so forgiving and even if he would, he will never trust me next to my best friend again. I stood there frozen and I simply did not know how I was going to play this.
“Miriam please kapa me to the bathroom!”
I asked her when I got back to the table.
“Really mokgotsi does it have to be now because they are playing my song!”
She protested playfully.
“Yes now come on I am pressed!”
“I don’t even know where it is!”
She complained not stopping her dancing. I am sure from where ever he was sitting Mbilahelo must have been pissed.
“Oh come on you know going alone in a place like this is neither cool nor safe!”
I said to her and fortunately she obliged.
“Ok cool then!”
She started walking towards me but I immediately went and took my bad and I took hers to give her. She laughed.
“This is a shisanyama we don’t have to be ladies and carry our bags everywhere we go you know!”
She said and I pretended to laugh,
“Jerry please tell Miriam that a lady is always a lady it does not need an occasion!”
I said directly to him because he had been looking at our exchange.
“Yes she is right you can’t leave me guarding your bags like this is not cool. Ngiyidoda!”
He said sounding annoyed actually. When a Zulu man reminds you that he is a man often things are not ok. They take this very seriously this being a man business yet half of them are broke, abusive drunkards who don’t even take care of their children. There is more to men than having a dick gentlemen please get with the programme. Ok so plan one had been achieved now I had to worry about plan two which was putting someone on that table.
“Don’t you miss alcohol?”
I asked Miriam as we walked away, I wanted to keep her away long enough from that table so I needed to make conversation. There was a long line by the toilet, thank heavens. Truth be told one of the reasons I hate going out as a woman is because of toilets! I don’t know how some women are raised but when you out toilets can be incredibly filth. Don’t be fooled by these so called slay queens, when you are in the clubs those shits are filthy.
“Let’s walk around I haven’t even gone around this place. I saw people upstairs I want to see the setup!”
She said. My planning was working I think because at least that meant we would stay out here longer.
“Ok cool let’s but there are too many people here so we will have to walk slowly so that no one bumps you!”
I told her. She laughed,
“I am not fragile. You sound like Jerry. He is so worried about how I carry myself now that I am pregnant but he used to say that he loved that free spirit. I can’t wait to give birth and get back to my life you know!”
She said as we walked out up the stairs. All the while I was thinking of a plan. My last move was to say I am going to the toilet again because I was running out of option.
“Let’s go pee dude we have already been gone for too long!”
Miriam said when she realized there was not much to see up here. As we turned around, my heart beating fast someone touched me on my shoulder from behind.
“Ah sister you are still here! I thought you guys left!”
I turned around and I have never been so happy to see a person I did not even remember the name.
“Yes we are still here. Jerry is sitting alone there looking bored. Please go sit with him for a few minutes so he can have male company!”
I told him. It was one of the men we had met up with earlier on. Look, I get it Mbilahelo might be disappointed in me for not leaving Miriam there but I am also certain this was one of the guys he had come here for!
“Ah you girls are mean! He does not like coming here and leaving him alone there most certainly means that he will never come back here again!”
The guy said laughing. He was already drunk. I would not have foreseen that Jerry was not an outgoing person. Everything about him reeked of that type of older man in the clubs,
“Eish I feel bad but you know when you have a pregnant woman she needs to stretch and walk around so it can’t be helped!”
I said pointing out to Miriam.
“Its ok I understand let me go to him now!”
The man said and he left. Miriam had not said a thing at all in that exchange and I soon found out why.
“Where does that guy know you from?”
She asked me.
“Oh we met here!”
“How did you meet because ever since we came here you left once and walked towards the gate? I saw you and you spoke to no one!”
She asked me.
“Ah Miriam I also know people come on!”
I said trying to brush her off but she would not be brushed off! Not this time.
“And you mentioned Jerry meaning he had seen you with Jerry before!”
She asked very confused by what had happened but also very sure that she was on to something.
“He must have seen us walk in I guess…”
I lied but she snapped.
“You know what; you don’t want to tell me what’s going on so I am going to sit down! You are acting weird all of a sudden and if I did not know any better I would have thought you were up to something”
She said immediately turning on her heel.
“Miriam wait, I will tell you!”
I finally said.
I could either tell her about us coming here earlier on or about Mbilahelo. I chose the former.
“We came here earlier on. When Jerry came to pick me up he was coming to meet this guy. That’s why he did not want us to come back because well, we had already eaten!”
I explained to her. I thought she would freak out but she surprised me instead when she went like,
“Oh wow he is so sweet! He ordered more food just to make me feel better! See maybe that’s the guy I should be hooking you up with!”
She said playfully and we both laughed.
“Hell no. I am happy with my drama I don’t need more of it!”
I told her. I still made sure we went to the toilet just to make sure that nothing will happen in front of us. I don’t know who wears make up to shisanyama, must be a very ugly person with something to be ashamed of on their face because there were two girls fixing their makeup who held up the lone. It took us a good twenty minutes before we came back and when we got to the table where we were sitting something had changed,
“Is that not our table?”
Miriam asked me,
“Yes it is!”
I told her!
“We were sitting next to that girl in the red shorts! I danced with her before so who are these new people?”
She asked me quite perplexed.
“Do you think I am losing? If he left us here I am going to kill him!”
She said marching up to the lady she had danced with.
She said to her,
“The guy we were sitting with did you see where he went?”
She asked the lady in English.
“He was arrested! The police came and took him away, him and another guy. Is he your husband?”
The lady asked her but she ignored the question and said,
“The police took him away? I don’t understand what you mean!”
She said. People were starting to look at us funny, whispering and pointing. They had seen everything that went down so it was clear we only added to the spectacle.
“Yes he was arrested!”
The lady said to us.
“Miriam we have to go now!”
I told her immediately.
“Arrested? Arrested for what?”
She asked me as we walked away. I could see the confusion in her eyes. She did not know what to do. As we walked out of the place guess who rocks up,
“Isn’t that your friend the cop?”
Miriam asked me as Mbilahelo walked briskly towards us.
“You did well Lungi, thanks for bringing all the scumbags together. For a moment there I thought you were going to mess it up for us!”
He said to me hands on waist with a big smile on his face.
“Wait a minute? Lungi you knew about this? You knew he was about to get arrested and you did not say anything to warn him?”
She asked me in shock. If there is one thing people can’t mask in their voices its betrayal and her words were literally dripping of it.
“No Miriam it’s not like that…”
I started to explain but she already had tears in her eyes when she said,
“No nothing. That man opened his house to you and welcomed you to his home like family. Earlier when you got stranded he made a u-turn to come rescue you and yes he told me that you almost fell into the water and he saved you from that! The first chance you got to throw him under the bus you did that without hesitation!”
She accused me throwing daggers at me. She was right of course but,
“Miriam I did it for you. They would have arrested you too!”
I told her and she sneered at me dismissively,
“No Lungi you did it for yourself like you always do things for yourself. You are selfish and you think everything you do is better than everyone else. I get it, I do! I always try ignore it when you look down on me but if something happens to him there I will never forgive you!”
She said and she walked away.
“Miriam where are you going? Let’s catch a ride to town!”
I said to her since now our ride was gone. I am certain Jerry had the keys with him or the cops had taken his car as evidence or something I don’t know.
“No please leave me alone. I will make my own plan! I don’t want to talk to you!”
She said disappearing into the dark Umlazi night.
Why was always wrong though?
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
I am proud to say I have read every work you have ever written. Thank you for sharing your talent with us.
I used to say I was on the cheating type to people but today here I am writing this. I have been married 17 years now. I am 39 meaning I got married at 22. He was the love of my life at the time and probably still is but at some point things just went south. The first problem was the monotony. It felt like we did the same things all the time and no matter how much we tried. To add spice to our routine we always wound about doing the same things again. Then there was the sex, when you get used to a certain person you know everything about them and what their limits or fetishes are during sex. We had books where were tried new things and before long even that too became routine. We still have sex twice a week but if we are both honest it has become a chore. Then came finances. When you have two kids both in high school it’s not the cheapest thing. At this age we have a bond and cars to maintain. We also both still have our parents so they need to be part of the budget. It makes the finances stretch and does not really leave much in the way of savings. We also have an educational fund for the girls for university in which a quarter of our savings go to every month. This means as parents we are responsible but are stretched. Enter the cheating. I met this guy; let’s call him Mthobisi at a friend’s office. He was there for a meeting. We swapped numbers because he scratched my car door and it had to be fixed. He dealt mostly with my husband but when he called to apologize for the last time after it was fixed, we got talking. It was just refreshing hearing new thoughts and before long I was sleeping with him. Even if it was some of the things that I had done with my husband the fact that it was someone new just made me feel young and alive again. I am not even in love with this guy but when I think of him I get wet even. My husband has noticed a change in me as I dress better now just to impress and now the sex for him is almost five times a week. I feel so guilty as I am always on my back, if it’s not my hubby it’s my side dude. My husband cannot stop praising me enough for having found my kink again as he says I am glowing. I can’t maintain this pace I am going because sometimes I have sex twice a day. I am setting a bad example for my daughters if they ever found out but I am happy now for the first time in a long time. All the sneaking around is so much fun but I always ask myself if it’s worth it. I am scared of dumping the side dude because I feel alive again and never want to go back to that monotony I have felt for the last ten years probably.
Please advise me on what to do because I will eventually hurt too many people by just wanting to find happiness.