They say a man’s house is his castle but an empty house hardly counts as a castle now does it. When you talk there is
this unsavoury echo that reminds you that you are not whole, you are not complete! I must start but saying this without hesitation that I am not from Midrand even if my apartment right now was making me look like one of those Midrand guys. Imagine renting a flat for R8000 a month but you have to sit on camp chairs and empty beer crates because now you can’t afford anything else in the house! I don’t care how many GTI cars you park outside after that to me you are a loser! That’s how I felt right now! Londiwe was the devils spawn Shem! She knew how to test my patience and how to get under my skin! If I was another person I would have screamed. I called her again and the white lady spoke to me,
“The number you are trying to dial is not available right now! Please try again later!”
Am I the only who finds that white lady annoying? I did not know what to do and part of me even wanted to laugh because honestly who does that. Who packs up the house without telling their partner?
“Tumi you won’t believe this! Londiwe uthuthile!”
I told my friend.
“As in she left you?”
He asked me.
“Yes she did but not only that, she packed everything in the house and left! My clothes, the furniture everything the house is absolutely empty!”
I told him. He kept quiet for a moment as though he had not understood me then he spoke,
“Wait? You mean she cleaned you out?”
He asked me.
I responded foolishly.
“Dude this is bad but right now I am not going to lie, this sounds so ridiculous I feel like laughing!”
He told me and already he was laughing. I need a new calibre of friend honesty! Tumi was the one friend that found humour even in inappropriate times like right now. I felt like crying. This was just shocking.
“Dude don’t laugh this is serious!”
I told him but this was Tumi, it made him laugh even more,
“Dude you were warned if you are not from a township stop messing with these deep kasi girls. Their genetic makeup is to show you flames. They have dramatic genes within them were common sense should be! To her she has done what her friends back home would have done so she won’t even see how extreme she is whereas a suburban girl most likely would have just divorced your ass!”
He told me and he was laughing. He kind of sounded like mother but I knew he was being genuine. Tumi was a frank person but being frank does not always make you wise now does it.
“Well what do I do now? If I got the police I won’t even be able to remember what’s mine and what’s hers as we bought most of the things together. If anything I bought most of the things in her name!”
I told him.
“Don’t remind me! When you were doing all this we warned but you are the one who wants to treat a woman who chews gum with her mouth open like an equal partner! This is what you get for doing that!”
He said to me. Maybe calling him was a bad idea because he was honestly making me feel worse than I already was. I am not sure I would do things differently though given a chance. We all preach about treating women as equals yet when we do it and things backfire even women laugh at us.
“Ok mate I really needed your support right now but clearly you are a shit human being!”
I said not hiding my annoyance.
“Dude I know you don’t want to be told to lighten up at a moment like this but that’s the whole point! Londiwe loves you to death. She is expecting you to run after her that being the ‘gentleman’ you are! If I was you don’t run after her! Relax!”
He advised me.
“How is that supposed to make things better though?”
I asked him.
“It will work trust me!”
He said again. I don’t get how being aloof and acting like everything was ok would help anything.
“That’s easy for you to say since you don’t look like a Midrand guy right now!”
I said and he burst out laughing.
“Dude go home and sleep! You will worry about all these things tomorrow!”
He told me and without further sympathy he went to bed. I was not going home, not with my mother there! I went to the hotel. It made sense. I did not sleep well at all. In the morning I got a call from Londiwe,
“I saw your missed calls, what do you want?”
She said to me rudely.
“I went to the flat yesterday!”
I said trying to sound ambiguous,
She retorted. That was humbling I guess,
“You did the right thing! Enjoy the furniture!”
And with that I dropped the phone. My heart was beating fast. I did not say that with a calm heart at all. She called back,
“That was rude Vusi, why did you drop the call you were not the one who called!”
She said her tone was defiant of course but I stuck to my guns,
“I picked up not to be rude but I don’t have anything to say to you. That stunt you pulled was the last straw. Please don’t call again!”
I told her and I hung up as I went to shower! Twenty minutes later when I came out I had 17 missed calls from her. I did not call back but I was not going to switch off my phone either. I had played this game too long now I was just doing me. This marriage thing really is as overrated as wiser people say.
Next time my phone rang it was Naledi. What did she want?
“Hi, please check your email it’s urgent!”
“What am I checking for?”
I asked her.
“We are having a meeting today 2pm at my parent’s house. The documentation is done. I did it with my father so they need you to look through them before you get here! Sorry for the short notice!”
She told me in a very businesslike tone.
“I have also sent the document to Tumi so we are all on the same page!”
She told me. I wanted to ask more questions but she hung up the phone immediately. Even her tone was all business and she did not even have the normal warmth that she normally does.
“That was odd!”
I said to myself out loud as I opened my laptop. I had not planned on working on anything that day but I found myself going through so many pages for the next four hours. In that time Londiwe did not call me even once. Eventually I made my way to the meeting. I was deliberately the last one to arrive because I did not want any awkwardness with Naledi.
“Thank you all for coming. They have pushed forward the date of submission because of the urgency of the need of the upgrades. Their systems keep on crashing I guess. That’s good and bad for us. Good in that most competition will fall away and bad in that our proposal is nowhere near ready!”
Her father said as he was chairing the meeting. To be honest the four hours of work I had put in reading that document had not really worked. I could hardly concentrate. I had wasted my time.
“Ok so let’s do this document again together page by page!”
Her father said. It was such a long process and by the time we were done we were exhausted. I could barely concentrate because I knew what I needed to do from here but was I ready. As soon as the meeting finished Naledi stood up and left without saying a thing to me. Why was she acting up now?
“It seems like all the women in the world hate you right now!”
Tumi said to me when I was walking to the car.
“What makes you say that?”
I asked him. As though oblivious.
“I noticed that neither your mother nor Naledi spoke to you directly today. You know how they always fuss over you!”
He said in what I think he meant to sound funny but it was not.
“Oh well its life I guess!”
I told him.
“Dude it’s your mum and she treats you like you are five! I have never not known her to ignore you so you better fix whatever is wrong!”
He advised. How was this my fault now?
“Stay out of it Tumi. If these people want to treat me like an outcast then they should but I won’t apologize for not doing anything wrong!”
I told him. He just shook his head as he went to his car. My mother was probably angry that I walked out and Naledi was angry that she had slept with her so called friend’s husband. She had been happy to sleep with a married man when she did not know who the other woman was now she was acting all touched. That’s what I call a hypocrite.
My phone was ringing and I picked up. It was Nonjabulo. I knew she would call and I wanted her to send a message.
I said by way of greeting.
“Why are you not picking up my sisters calls? She is going crazy!”
Nonjabulo asked me.
“I am done with your sister. Yesterday when I came back to the apartment I found she had packed everything and left. That was the last straw. She must stay where ever she went. I don’t want her in my life.”
I told her and by the fact that she did not act surprised I knew she knew.
“But Vusi you are being irrational! What about the baby?”
She pleaded with me. Whatever game they were playing had backfired.
“No I am not being irrational and secondly the baby I will pay maintenance if I have to! I don’t want that woman near me she is a pariah, selfish and a leech!”
I told her.
“You are the one who cheated on her though! She never cheated on you once!”
She told me.
“I don’t think so! Look we have been going around in circles! I have made my decision, I am moving on!”
I told her and I dropped the phone. I just wanted to go and lie down. When I got to the hotel, there by reception, Londiwe was sitting there!
“How the hell do you know where I am staying?”
I asked her.
“Tumi! I promised him my sister and he told me!”
She said very meekly.
“Can we please talk?”
“Londiwe go home or where ever you are staying now! Please just leave me alone I told her!”
I turned my back to walk to the lift but she held me by my hand. I pushed her away.
“Let go of me!”
I told her harshly.
“Sir is everything ok?”
The security guard asked.
“Yes everything is fine!”
I did not push her hard.
“The lifts are not working unfortunately. Please use the steps!”
He advised me. I had not noticed that there was no power!
I responded curtly to him.
I ignored Londiwe as I walked about the stairs. We had gotten to the third floor when said,
“Please walk slower I am tired!”
She asked me.
“Go away! I don’t want you here!”
I told her. I did not want her and I was not playing. That mocking Tumi had given me had done the trick.
“Please don’t say that!”
In her geniuesness she decided to run up and catch up with me. When she got to me she grabbed on to me but he grip was not tight enough, she slipped, scratching my arm as she went down.
I shouted as I tried to reach for her but I was a second too late, she fell backwards rather badly. I ran down the stairs to her. She was hurt.
This was bad.
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank you for this opportunity.
I am Zimbabwean staying in South Africa. I went to UP and came out with a Masters and currently work for one of the big banks. Last year I met a South African guy who works for the same bank as me. He is many levels my junior but we fell in love. He was always reluctant to take me home and he never said why. At the beginning I thought it was because he was ashamed of their poverty which he mentioned from the beginning. He was building them a house and the likes which I found admirable. I started helping him with his project even. Eventually I demanded that I be introduced or we break up because I do not have time to waste. When he took me to his parents they were so insulted that he brought home a ‘kwere kwere’ that they threw me out. Note these people stay in a township and have nothing. I am doing very well and I am a good person. Ironically I have South African citizenship, pay taxes and helped build their house. I love this man so much. He cried when apologized but I could not get myself to telling him to choose me or his parents. They told him never to come home if he was with me and told him they will rather starve than take money from him. They are Zulu by the way and live in Katlehong.
What do I do in this situation?