Did you know that in the original church there was no divorce? The Catholic Church is where every single church you
know today was born out of and on that one rule it was adamant. Divorce was not allowed and when laws eventually caught up a woman could not divorce a man in most countries up till the early 1900s. That’s how far people have come and not without its troubles. Then the Holy Grail came, the day women could divorce men and that was the day everything changed. I am very certain that every woman on that day wondered if it could be done and should be done. I am pro divorce when you are unhappy but to be honest what Miriam was about to do was like committing suicide after you have won the lotto. Bongani was far from being a saint but I know there was worse waiting for her out there. She was the only one who had actually seemed to get a decent man but make no mistake about it if Bongani was the kind of man we call decent then as women we have little to choose from in terms of calibre.
“Miriam no come on you can’t be serious! What more do you want in life?”
I asked her without hiding the shock in my voice. People should never ever be impulsive when it comes t such decisions. They affect too many people and it should be handled maturely.
“I want more Lungi. I might not have been smart as you but when I was good at something I was really good at. I dated the richest men and had even more fighting for me. Yes for someone like you it might seem like a weak ambition but for me in that moment I was a queen. I could make men do whatever I wanted and look at Bongani even; he married me in a heartbeat! I am tired of playing house now!”
She said and I am sure to herself she felt she sounded smart but to me to be honest that was selfish and dumb.
“What is more?”
I asked her again.
“I don’t know yet but one thing I am certain of is that no one wants to be a housewife nowadays.”
She said to me without batting an eyelid.
“Any woman who is happy to get married and sit at home is a fool! I know you will say that I can have a job and run a family at the same time but do I really want that?”
I was short for words right because my job as her best friend was to give her advice. It’s what best friends do and a true friend no matter how much we stand behind each other yes but we also tell each other truth.
“Miriam doesn’t do anything hasty! Think about this a while longer before you do this!”
I told her.
“Think about what?”
A voice said from behind us. It was Bongani. What the hell? Neither of us had heard him come in and he was standing right behind us. How long had he been standing there?
“Bongani I told you before that this thing of yours is not right!”
She said to him and I was lost and so was he.
“This thing of creeping up when two people are talking! It’s quite unnerving really and feels like eavesdropping! What are you hoping to hear really?”
She asked him and I have known my friend long enough to know when she was about to lose her temper.
“I am sorry but it’s not my fault that you did not hear me enter! You must have been in really deep conversation because I even parked the car in the garage meaning you heard nothing!”
He said and he was right. I had not heard the garage open or the car park.
I said trying to diffuse the situation right now because it was actually quite tense.
“Hey! Thank you for coming by the way. I forgot to say that to you on the phone earlier but am making it right now!”
He said with a weak smile. I could see he was not happy without how she had spoken to him but which person would though. When you are married surely when you are with your partner you should never speak to him like that when people are around.
“It’s ok. Miriam and I are not done though. Do you mind if me and her take a bit of a walk. She needs the fresh air regardless.”
I told him.
“Its fine go ahead, I need to bath anyway!”
“Miriam let’s go!”
I told her in a tone that warned not to even think of saying no. I was not playing with her and much as we had our differences sometimes we each knew when not to push the other.
“I was not going to leave the house for another weak!”
She said as we walked out of the house.
“Well it’s a good thing I am here then!”
I responded cheekily to her. She saw I was annoyed at her.
“I don’t get why you are defending Bongani because you never like him from the first place. You did not like the fact that I married him so fast and I know you also don’t like the fact that it was not his baby. This is what you wanted is it not!”
She asked me. She had me there.
“Everything you have said there is true because it all happened too fast but you are here now. You are a married woman who has just suffered a loss and the man you went through this with is standing with you and by you. I have learned to respect him!”
I told her which was true.
“Bongani hit me when we first got married remember? We also found out her had another wife remember? If it was you would you have forgiven such?”
She asked me and again I was stuck. I almost said these things happened but I remembered I was a woman and zero tolerance to violence.
“I know and I am sorry about that!”
I told her.
“You did not answer my question, would you have forgiven such!”
She knew my answer would obviously had been no and on this point I had no leg to stand on.
“Your silence says it all. I was in this thing so that my baby can have a good home and even if he divorced me he would pay maintenance. Right now if we divorce I will still get a piece I am sure so I won’t be stranded!”
She told me. It’s so painful when women talk like this. She was confessing that she was going to use him as her meal ticket and that she never loved him anyway.
“As your friend I can only advise you when you are making a mistake and right now you are making a mistake!”
I told her defeated. She did not respond and we took the rest of the walk in silence with Miriam’s hands folded across her chest the whole time. She reminded me of her mother actually but oh well.
“You are back!”
Bongani said when we walked in. He was already standing by the stove wearing an apron.
“Yes we are! Are you about to make dinner?”
I asked him which was really just stating the obvious because I could see it.
“Yes I am. Would you like to help me with it?”
He asked me. Before I could say no because I really wanted to go Miriam said,
“Yes please help him. I need to go bath!”
She said and walked out immediately. I did not want this because things were awkward enough as is standing next to this man knowing what was about to happen next in his relationship.
“I am a terrible cook by the way!”
I warned him as I stepped into his kitchen. I went and washed my hands.
“I was too but when her pregnancy became bigger I decided that I should learn how to cook so that she spends less time on her feet. I think now I am pretty good at it but long way to go still!”
He said. Why did that sound so sweet though? This man had learned how to cook so that his pregnant wife did not have to stand.
“Miriam is lucky to have you.”
I told him with a very guilty smile. I could not even look him in the eye. We made small talk the whole time as we cooked. It was grilled mutton, veges and mashed potatoes so it did not take that long. By the time Miriam came back from bathing we were dishing out.
“I am not going to eat guys I am not hungry!”
She said which annoyed the hell out of me and on Bongani’s face it said it all. He wanted to burst out with anger no doubt but this man must have superhuman tolerance for bullshit ah because he went on to say,
“It’s ok my love I will put it aside for you!”
He said really fighting to maintain his cool. I was not him though.
“There is none of that Miriam! You know I hate the kitchen and I slaved away for you! You are going to sit down and you are going to eat and if you think I am joking I will tie you down and force feed you myself!”
I said angrily. For a moment there the room got tense but Miriam walked to the kitchen, took out plates and went and set for the table…for three!
“Please say grace!”
Bongani said to me. I am not a praying person I know but in my prayer I mentioned that God must look after Miriam and her marriage, my mother and her mother. I prayed so deeply when I finished Bongani said,
“Goodness you had a lot on your chest there Lungi!”
Of which we all laughed including Miriam. We ate and Miriam even had seconds so there was none of that I am not hungry nonsense. Kids in other countries don’t have the privilege of always getting to eat and she was talking such nonsense. I only left there around 10 and headed home. After the drama at Nthabiseng office I just wanted to go home now and rest. I passed out as soon as I got home and I am ashamed to say I did not even shower. I was woken up first thing in the morning by knocking at my door.
“Please don’t let it be my sister or Miriam!”
I told myself as I wrapped myself in my morning gown.
“I am coming hold your horses!”
I shouted as I walked to the door. I opened it wearily and a woman my age I had never seen before stood there. She was well dressed and important looking.
“Yes how may I help you?”
I asked her cautiously.
“My name is Lesedi Jumbe and I would like to have a meeting with you right now!”
She said with this air of arrogance and power dare i say!
“Is that name supposed to mean something?”
I asked her.
“Yes it does. Mthobisi is my husband!”
She said and before I could even say anything she walked right past me into my house.
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank you for reading this.
I am a 35 year old married man. My wife and I have two children both in primary school. About a month ago I discovered that I had cancer which needed treatment. Before I could tell my wife I discovered that she has been having an affair which has lasted for almost two years. The doctors told me that I am going to go through chemo and all these treatments of which I am going to need all the support I can get. I am an only child meaning I don’t have a lot in the way of family. I am going to need my wife through this and if I confront her on her affair I will go through this tough time of my life tense and alone. What if she leaves? What if she runs away with my kids whilst I am in hospital? I am hurting so much at her betrayal but is it ok that in the short term I swallow my pride and pretend not to know? When I am healthy I will let her go.
Please help me survive this.