I hate hearing bad news. That’s the one part of being grown up that I hate with a passion. A lot of people believe
that growing up means hearing the bad things and turn them into positives. We have to come up with nice things to say to someone who has suffered a loss. That’s not me. I don’t like attending funerals for one or any other gatherings that make me sit with old people. I don’t know why all these thoughts entered my mind because the doctor was standing right in front of me.
“I am afraid we lost the baby!”
He told me and by the look on his face I could see that he was not done with the bad news.
“Please tell me that’s all the bad news you have…”
I told him as my heart started beating fast now. I could not even bring myself to accept what it I was thinking, Miriam!
“As for your sister we barely got to her in time meaning …”
He explained to me and already I was crying as he said that.
“What’s wrong with Miriam? She can’t be dead come on you can’t say that!”
I told him defiantly.
“No fortunately she is not dead but I am afraid there is a very high possibility she might never conceive again! I am sorry!”
He said. I posed for a moment and I know I want to jump up in joy over the fact that she was alive but I have always known that for her, the one thing she wanted in her life was to have a family. As a woman being barren or unable to conceive is like being stranded in the middle of the ocean with no water to drink. You are surrounded by children and families but none you can call your own. It genuinely feels like he
“Are you sure doctor?”
I asked him and he shook his head in consent.
“I am really sorry!”
He said to me.
“Can I go in and see her?”
I asked him.
“She is currently sedated so no I don’t think that’s a good idea. Come back tomorrow morning rather you will see her then!”
He told me. I was not sure what to do now but he was right, now was not the time. For the second time I trudged back to my hotel, 2am in the morning. Newscafe had just closed as its last patrons were still chatting and Ubers were picking them up.
Someone said to me but I did not even bother to look up. How could I do so when my mind was so far away?
“How is she?”
Belinda asked as I walked into the lobby.
“She was sleeping when I got there and there was no one to update me!”
I lied. I lied not because she did not deserve to know the truth after how she had helped us but because I could not bring myself to tell the truth. I also did not want her to try console me because that was too much work. When I got to the room I noticed that they had already taken all the blood stained material and cleaned up the blood. They had even taken out the mattress on the bed were Miriam had been lying. If I was not so tired I would have been impressed. I passed out.
It felt like had not slept at all to be honest when the loud shrill of my phone woke me up. I was getting a call and it was my aunt. What did she want so early?
“Are you back yet?”
That was the very first thing she asked me.
“Aunty I only got here yesterday there is no way I could have been back so soon so no I am not back and I don’t think I will be back today either as something happened!”
I told her groggily. It’s weird that I had only slept two or three hours but my body was not tired.
“Ah come on Lungi you really don’t want to be that side in your state. This something that happened can’t you come do the thing in Joburg rather. I am worried about you; I hardly slept that’s why I called you so early! You are going to kill me with stress!”
“Aunty did you hear me at all! We were supposed to come back today but something bad happened. There was an emergency that forced me to stay unfortunately. Do you remember my friend Miriam?”
I asked her.
“What kind of a question is that? Of course I know Miriam!”
She told me actually sounding annoyed that I had asked her that and truthfully I don’t know why I had because I had spoken about Miriam with just yesterday.
“Oh ok I was just checking isn’t with you I can never know!”
I said rather unnecessarily.
“Lungi get to the point. What’s wrong?”
She asked me impatiently.
“She had a miscarriage last night! It was bad. I don’t think I have ever seen so much blood. I wanted to help her but I felt so helpless. It happened right in front of me!”
I explained to her. I was really distraught now. As the thoughts of what I had seen came flooding into my mind…
“That is so sad! I am so sorry for your friend. A miscarriage is so painful I had one myself when I was younger!”
She confessed to me and that is something I did not know of her. My mother too had never said anything to that end but that was my mother we talking about!
I asked her very surprised.
“Yes I did. A lot more women go through it than you know. You just pray to whomever you pray too that it does not happen to you!”
She told me.
“But aunty you are a Sangoma couldn’t you have seen it or stopped it!”
I asked her rather naively I must add. It’s like those people who say if pastors can pray for you for good fortune why then are not always blessed in return.
“I don’t know if you are saying that mockingly or genuinely but the truth is I can’t see everything? You can’t see everything! It’s just how it is. If I could see everything I would have won the lotto a long time ago!”
She said a bit sourly. I had actually not been teasing her. I was genuinely asking.
“Did you know that if you refuse the calling it has a tendency of affecting the people around you?”
She told me I think she was trying to change the subject. I also had not wanted to stay on it because I had really annoyed her. I cannot know it all unfortunately.
“Ah aunty are you saying that this was my fault?”
I asked her.
“NO I am definitely not. That is not a burden you want to carry around but I am also telling you facts. When you refuse a calling sometimes it affects the people you are close too just as much.”
Heh banna what was this woman trying to say really? Something crossed my mind though; this was not the first miscarriage I had experienced recently. Cindy my friend, she was meant to be my closest friend had lost her baby and stopped talking to me. I still for the life of me could not understand why she had done that. Could it be me?
“I know you don’t believe me but please find other people who know of these things and ask them! You are young and you believe in second opinions right so go get a second and a third opinion just to ask this question.”
She told me. I don’t think she had been accusing me but she was just telling me how the things work. I was fine with that. The hotel phone rang ad it was reception.
“Aunty I have to go. I will update you how things go and definitely I won’t be going near water.”
I told her before she could give me a lecture. I did not want to tell her what had happened last night when Jerry had stopped me from falling because she would just start with her lectures. I hung up on her and answered the hotel phone.
I said picking up.
“There is a Bongani to see you maam can we send him up!”
It was a male voice this time and indeed I allowed for him to be sent up. It was not even 0700 in the morning I marvelled at how he had taken the early flight. When did he even get to book considered how late I had called him? I had slept naked so I wrapped myself in first a towel then the hotel gown.
He said when I opened the door.
“Morning! I am glad you are here! I don’t know how I was going to handle this day!”
I told him. He hugged me. I think that was the first time we had shared a hug which made it awkward in its own.
“I could not find a flight so I drove through the night!”
He said to me.
“You are joking right? What time did you leave?”
I asked him.
“I left immediately after I spoke to you. I slept early yesterday. I passed out around 8pm on the couch so I was ok to drive.”
He explained but he was taking away some of the gloss right there because now there was a man worth mentioning. No matter who tells you what, Durban is far and that road has a lot of accidents so for him to have driven all this way I was impressed.
“I am happy to hear that.”
It was still too early to go buy something as most of the shops in the mall opened around.
“What happened Lungi?”
He asked me.
“We went out for supper last night after the meeting. It was a good meeting so we were excited. We decided to go to Eyadini or rather you know Miriam is bossy she decided the baby need shisanyama meat! Everything was fine, she ate and we came back hear. I was in my room when she called me saying something is wrong and when I got there she was already in distress!”
I explained to him. It was a simple enough story. I obviously left out all the drama with the arrest and the fact that we were with another man.
“She just had to go out! She has wanted to go out lately and I have been refusing. She gets a rush of blood every time we go and she wants to dance and so on! The doctor says it’s fine because it relieves her of stress but I am old school. To me if you are pregnant you put your feet up!”
He said standing up turning the other way so that I could not see that he was crying. He his rears were flowing down his cheeks and I could do not anything about it because even now I was crying. Ah come on.
“Did nothing stressful happen?”
He asked me.
“What do you mean?”
I asked him.
“I am just trying to figure this out. She was healthy last time we went to check. The doctor said that she must be stress free as extreme stress is not good but I don’t know I am just babbling now! I was just asking because this is so confusing. We lost the baby? How? I don’t understand!”
He said as he sat down and put his head into his hands. His big heart was broken but this got me thinking? She had been so angry at me and Mbilahelo for the arrest. Could that have caused it?
Could I have caused this?
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank you sir for reading my letter and posting it up for me. Greetings to all the readers.
I live in an informal settlement in the East Rand and attend school here. I am in grade 11 but went to school early so am 16 turning 17 in January. I am doing well enough at school but I am not impressed with myself as I feel like I can do better. At the school I attend I am always number one because truth be told the people I study with will rather be drunk, fighting or pregnant to worry about books. It is so discouraging knowing I work hard so I can compete with myself. At home my situation is not that better either. My father is a security guard and when he is not at work he is drunk being beaten up by my mother at home. A security guard getting beaten up by his wife imagine? It’s common here. We can’t call the police on her because I have two other siblings and if she gets arrested I will have to stay at home to look after them. I am not dumb to think that I can run away because I need to pass my matric so I can a job. My mother sometimes works as a domestic worker and every time she does I ask her to bring me books from these people if they have kids my age. Needless to say I have a stack of books, most of which I am sure she stole as she always says people who employ her will not even give you anything for free. That is my background and now here is my dilemma. I was at East Rand Mall with two of my friends when some white man tried to flirt with me. I am the stereotype for them, tall dark and skinny. He offered me r15000 if I have a threesome with him and one of my friends who was there. We accepted and I got the money. I gave my friend r1000 because she was not the one approached. That money I intend to apply to every university I can find and every bursary out there. I also used it to but a phone and a lap top. I have to go to the shops or friends houses to charge it as we have no electricity. The guy has asked for a second one for the same amount and all of a sudden I am feeling guilty and scared. The first time it was impulsive but now that I am thinking this through it’s scaring me. Where I come from r15000 is like a million and we don’t get opportunities like this. Even to open a bank account I struggled because I did not even have a proof of residence. What should I do? What happens if I fail to get a bursary because like I said, I don’t even know how good in school I really am considering the calibre of people I study with? I want more for myself and I have no one sensible to advise me. Mr. Maphoto you are a lawyer can you be my mentor or can you find me one? I know it’s too much to ask but right now I am left with only bad decisions to better myself.
Please give me advice on my situation.