I was fast reaching the point where I needed an intervention. My luck with things could not be this bad but then
again a series of bad decisions had led me to this point. I knew this man was bad news and even when we had been offered to join the tender I had been reluctant. Now it’s too late to cry over spilt milk because we truly were living this nightmare.
“Do you realize that makes you a suspect?”
Tumi said to me and with the fear in his voice it only made me feel even worse.
“Why would that make me a suspect? I was with two women today both as witnesses so yah it’s got nothing to do me.”
I told him.
“So what? Remember he fired you recently and that could count to motive. There is no way the police are not going to question you and now that the General is back you know how overzealous they can get.”
He explained to me which only made me even more anxious. I was not about to embroiled in a murder case but I could not figure out how I could ahead of this.
“But I didn’t do it!”
I told him.
“Of course I know you did not do it but just because you and I know it does not mean others will see it this way!”
He told me. Tumi was just dramatic nje but I knew that I was in trouble. They were going to ask me.
“What should I do?”
I asked him.
“I don’t know hey this one is tricky. I suppose you have to wait until you hear from them!’
“No man I was not talking about that. I meant what should I do about his murder, must call his wife to offer condolences or what?”
I asked him.
“I don’t know but I would rather not. Let someone from the office tell you what has happened, act surprised etc and then go with the office team when they go to the house. Don’t show up by yourself and for now act like you don’t know anything!”
He advised. What he said made sense to me so I agreed to it. Things were really bad now and there was no doubt in my mind who had done this. When I was at lunch with Ezile he had gotten a phone call, could it be the reason why he had left so abruptly! I now had all these things running through my head.
“Just be safe out there! He won’t come after you at least because you worked for the same company your boss and you. I f he comes after you it will be clear what’s going on so in that regards you are safe!”
Tumi offered by way of comfort but I think at this stage my nerves were fried. I was too scared to even think straight. I needed to park for a moment so I can think and breathe but with all the extra traffic I decided to go to my mother’s house. When I got there she was home ad glued to the news.
“I knew you would come! This is bad business Vusi, this is very bad!”
She said. On the new there were showing that a person had been shot and what’s worse it happened in front of an SABC crew shooting another story.
“So you are suspecting your friend too?”
I asked her.
“Of course I am. He is someone who is motivated by money and I have no doubt can do something like this! What have I gotten myself into?”
She asked selfishly because clearly her goldfish memory meant she had forgotten she had involved me too.
“So what do we do now mum?”
I asked her.
“I don’t know. Pack our things and move to the village I guess!”
She responded sarcastically and someone even in this tense moment I found it annoyingly funny. I laughed.
“No mum come let’s be serious. We need a plan! We need to find out if we are safe and how to stay ahead of this!”
I told her but she was not thinking straight anymore as her fears I think were overtaking her.
“Naledi is pregnant and she thinks it’s my child!”
I told her.
“She is what? What about Londiwe?”
My mother asked completely surprised.
“Why are you acting like you did not push me to end up with Naledi? That is what happens when people end up together, they get pregnant!”
I told her.
“Don’t take that tone with me young man! You were not there when I went through 18 hours of labour to push out your big head so never ever assume we are the same age!”
She said angrily. That was my mother’s go to hell phrase and she always dropped it when she wanted me to feel guilty about something.
“I taught you better! Now you have two women pregnant one who is a psychopath and the other who is the daughter of one!”
She said angrily and more in disbelief.
“Mum no use getting angry at this situation because it’s upon us we have to think fast before things get worse!”
I told her. I had no time for fighting right as my nerves were also quite raw at this stage.
“You will have to marry his daughter now!”
She said standing up pacing as though she was thinking.
“Just two days ago you were saying I must marry Londiwe! Do you hear how weird that sounds right now?”
I told her.
“Yeah I do but better weird than dead at the hands of that guy! Are you that naïve that you don’t see that we could all be in danger? If you marry his daughter at least you know he won’t come for us!”
My mother said anxiously. I could see her point but that did not mean that I could see past that she was full of shit.
“So we do anything to save you that’s it right mum? As long as your interests are met and you are happy?”
I asked her.
“It suits all of us dumb child! Are you ready to die wena right now? Stop acting like this does not benefit us both. That is a man you don’t want as your enemy and I guarantee it somewhere somehow he will come after you if you don’t marry that girl!”
When it comes to turning a negative into a positive my mum was an absolute star.
“How about if we just talk to Naledi and tell her what’s going do you think she will help us without us having me marry her?”
I asked my mother but it was a rhetorical question which I suppose was met with the disdain it deserved. We were just two dumb people sitting in the house at this stage because we had shot ourselves in the foot. My phone rang and it was Londiwe,
“She is up now what should I do?”
She asked me.
“Don’t be daft just be there for her. There is nothing wrong with she suffers from depression that’s it!”
I told her.
“That’s witchcraft you know that right?”
“I am not going to listen you right now! I don’t need negativity. I will be there as soon as possible. Offer her food and something to drink. Go sit with her. She will not do anything to you!”
I told Londiwe.
“I am scared Vusi please come quickly.”
She pleaded with me. I was not a lucky man but a curse one and that much I accepted month. This was simply too much for one person to handle.
On the drive home I thought about what my mother had said. I thought about my dead boss and I thought about the man who I had no doubt in my mind had done it. I am not a thug and going to the police would also mean I would implicate myself in the initial fraud. I could even be seen as an accessory to the murder so I had to be very careful how I played. There was so much at stake and I was smack bang in the centre of it.
I said when I entered Naledi’s apartment. She was happy to see me and said,
“I am so sorry about what happened earlier!”
She gave me a hug and sat down.
“It’s ok. I am glad you are both sitting actually because ladies we need to talk.”
I said to them. Londiwe rolled her eyes but did not talk. I didn’t mind I had to get this off my chest.
“I have thought about this and I am going to marry you both! One at a time though but I will marry you!”
I told them.
Naledi screamed up and down with joy.
“Yes! Yes! Thank you! Yes!”
She screamed so excitedly she even jumped on top of me and kissed me on the lips. It was the first kiss we had shared in front of Londiwe whose silence was deafening at this stage.
“Londiwe he agreed like you said he would!”
Naledi said jumping from me to hug Londiwe who could hardly hide her bemusement.
She said coldly.
“This can’t be right! I change my mind!”
She said angrily.
“I don’t understand, you are the one who talked me into it and now you are saying no?”
Naledi told her.
“I am and I am allowed to change my mind. Vusi I don’t want this anymore. I don’t think I can share and yes I love Naledi but I am scared of what will happen if we ever fight!”
She explained her side.
“Londiwe come on, I promise to take my meds everyday in front of you if I have to. Please Londiwe this is what we both wanted right can you please not change your mind!”
She pleaded with her.
Reality is a much crueller truth than dreams and now that Londiwe saw what it looked like her fears were justified.
“I am sorry I can’t!”
She said and she picked up her bag and walked out.
“Ok now what?”
Naledi asked me.
“We go through with our marriage dot worry she will come around!”
I told her and she responded.
“No, nothing happens without her blessing. I will not even announce to anyone as yet unless you fix this. I am marrying you with her that is what I wanted and what I want!”
She told me getting serious. If I could laugh I would at this moment because the tide had turned!
It was me that ad to convince Londiwe now!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto
Hi guys and greetings to the writer. Thank you for this opportunity to share my story.
I work for one of the government departments in Pretoria. One of the senior managers sleeps with all the interns when they join us. He is young looking but 47 years old and these girls are often trying to make sure that when their contract expires he recommends they become permanent. They are all adults I know but I feel like it’s wrong. Two of the girls from last year got hired permanent and I don’t even know if it’s because they are good at their jobs or not. My worry is that my niece, my sister’s daughter also got an internship with us. I warned her about this man but that just seemed to spur her on. They have become close and I am worried she will become another victim of this pariah. It’s wrong for bosses to use their influence to sleep with young girls. Its abuse of power but I don’t know what to do. He is popular in the department with everyone so if I report him I risk my job at some point.
Can someone advise me?