I stood there for a long time to try and divulge exactly what he had said. She had
been in an accident and was it because of me? I had asked for help I know but was it pre ordained that she would have this accident or had my ancestors stepped in on my behalf. What power did they actually have?
“Are you sure?”
I asked him.
“Yes I am sure. After you called me I called the station to look for her car. It didn’t even take long for them to say she was in accident and what sucks for us though is that even if she was in an accident we can’t arrest her because she was not committing a crime!”
I wanted to laugh at his ruthlessness but I was still in too much shock. It’s also not nice to laugh at someone who was in accident like this. It’s downright cruel if you ask me.
“Oh wow I was expecting the worst hey!”
I told him sitting down.
“Please sit down you must be exhausted!”
I offered him a place to sit. I was not sure if he had actually every sat down in my house because I think the two times he had come he had stopped at the door.
“Thank you! I don’t mean to be a bother but do you have anything to drink?”
He asked me
“Yes I do. I have Coke and Oros plus water of course!”
“I will have coke please. I need the energy and the sugar. Would you believe that I haven’t eaten the whole day the way it’s been busy!”
He said to me. I think I had been too preoccupied with myself I had not actually taken a good look at him. He looked shabby and haggard!
“I can see it on you. You need a shower too that’s for sure!”
I told looking at the stain on his shirt.
“Yeah I should have gone home first before I came here. I am sorry for showing up looking like a mess like this!”
He said to me looking at him up and down.
“Nah its ok these things happen. I will make something if you don’t mind.”
I told him.
“I want something solid like pap and that would be a mission and giving you unnecessary labor in your condition!”
He told me. He knew I was pregnant but at this moment I am not sure whether he was fishing.
“Don’t be daft. I will make you pap and I can grill chicken in the meantime. You need to rest in any case before you go anywhere else!”
I advised him.
“Ok then I am not going to say no.”
He said with a smile on his face. If a man likes you the day you make him food is the day he feels as though he has made it in life. That’s like the Holy Grail on the to do list of getting a girl.
“You must burn imphepho!”
He advised me out of the blue. From food to do this how did we get here!
“I know you are reluctant to accept this gift but it could save your life someday!”
“It’s not that I am refusing it rather that I grew up in a household that taught against it. My mother did not want to hear about it and now here I am chasing after it!”
I explained it to him.
“Let me tell you a little story. In my family we have always been Sangomas starting from my great grandfather. Our family has never suffered were people had bad luck and could not go to school etc. I have cousins who are doctors even who have the calling and it just depends on how and when you embrace it.”
He explained. A doctor who is also a Sangoma? Where do I even start with that?
“Anyway never mind it s too heavy a topic for now. I can help you chop if you want but that’s all I am good at. I am afraid the cooking gene was with Azwindini and on me it skipped!”
He offered and I laughed. I had meat which was not in the deep freeze and already the kettle was boiling for the pap. I was not the best chef but I was not that bad either.
“No you are my guest please don’t insult me with such. Just sit back and relax!”
I told him. I was actually nervous doing this because it had been a while since I cooked for a man. My mother always said that if you cook the best food you will be able to keep a man in the house. I can tell you this confidently though that’s it’s a lie. A man will cheat on you whether you are chef or not so just forget about that one.
“Are you guys already done with the transport?”
I shouted from the kitchen but he didn’t answer.
I called out his name and no answer.
“Ah you can’t hear me?”
I asked him coming to the lounge to check on him. He was fast asleep already. I went back to the kitchen. There was a tune in my head and I started humming it. That was what my mother always did on the days she made Sunday lunch.
“Lungi this always makes the time fly faster!”
She would tell me,
“And make sure nothing burns!”
I could hear her voice in my head as I did this.
“Lungi you can’t be on the phone and think you can cook at the same time. You need to focus on what you are doing because if it burns the food will have that burnt taste!”
Nywe nywe nywe! My sister would look at each other annoyed and we would laugh at that. We always discussed why she never really told us about our father yet she was so bent towards us getting married. Unfortunately as people you always think you have time and I thought one day I would have time to sit down with her so she could tell us more about him but oh well. Yet another single mother raised household. I finished cooking without incident and now found myself debating whether to wake him up or not. I chose the latter. I went to take another shower because of the sweating when I was waiting for Lesedi to come. Refreshed now I changed clothes and I went to wake him up.
I said to him sarcastically on the couch there.
“Hello… Wait did you just say good morning?”
He said jumping up in panic.
“Yes good morning.”
I told him again teasing.
“No no it can’t be!”
He checked his watch confused.
“Yes it is. See I even changed clothes!”
I showed him.
“This is bad. There is so much that needs to be done. Why did you not wake me up?”
He asked me and only then I laughed.
“I am teasing you fell asleep. I cooked and I bathed during that time so relax! Its only a few hours after you slept!”
I told him. He still looked confused but he saw the smile on my face and he calmed down.
“Goodness my mother would have killed me hey!”
He told me.
“Your mother won’t kill you like I said I was joking. You scared of your mother I see!”
“Of course every boy should be scared of his mother. That’s a show of respect and every man should be scared of his wife that way you respect her and don’t play games with her!”
He told me.
“My mother taught me that!”
He said looking around. Meanwhile my mother taught me how to not put too much salt in the food and often I got that wrong.
“I need to wash my face. I have a change of clothes in the car if you allow me to take a quick shower this way I save time by not going to go home first!”
“I am sorry if its an imposition on you and I would understand if you said no.”
He said. How could anyone say no after being asked so nicely? I could see his exhaustion and that he was tired anyway so why force him to go home first.
“No problem. Let me just put fresh towels and soap for you!”
I told him as he stood up and went to do this. Why did he have a spare change of clothes though because most men don’t carry that? I ran to the bathroom to add towels and eish, I had to put away my panties on the line in the bathroom that look like shriveled biltong. I swear things are only nice when they are laid out in the shop and when you wear them. When you wash them they shrink up and look like another story and I did not want him to see that on the line like this. I found myself blushing at this.
“I am back!”
He said. It was only when I saw that his clothes were coming back from dry clean that I realized why he had the extra clothes.
“Ok cool. I will wait for you so we can eat together as I am now also hungry!”
O told him as he went in. I switched on the TV and there was uMama Winnie Mandela. She reminded me so much of my mother the many sacrifices she had had to make raising two kids on her own. Single mothers honestly need a public holiday to be celebrated because more and more they raise the future leaders of tomorrow under immense pressures. The weird thing though was that only now in her death had this hit me otherwise I actually never thought of that role she had played. 20 minutes later he was done and he looked all fresh and clean.
“Let me take this to the car!”
He said carrying his clothes out. When he came back I had already started dishing out for the two of us. He went and sat down on the couch to watch the same news I was watching. There was a knock on my door,
“Sis its me open up!”
It was my sister. When we arrived that time she had gone to Mbuso’s, what for I don’t know for a woman who had gone back to her husband.
I shouted (not too loudly I did not want my guest to think I was ghetto of course).
She opened the door.
“Look who I found at the gate Lungi, flowers and all!”
My sister and strays,
In walked Mthobisi behind her with a bunch of flowers.
He said with a big grin on his face.
Surprise se voet!
Honestly at that moment it felt like I had been caught cheating even though well…
What the fuck?
Michaek Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank you for reading my letter. I have tried to write you before but somehow I always chicken out. It iss not easy letting the world know how much of a messed up person you are. I got pregnant when I was I grade 11 and had a secret abortion. The father of my child was 28 and an engineer in the mines. I loved him so much at the time and I did everything he said I should do. In my eyes he was this God like person the way I worshipped him. I was convinced he would dump if I refused the abortion but he did not. We dated for another year but things were different. He kept on saying he was busy at work and that they moved him and so on. Eventually he just blocked me from everywhere his phonebook to social media. This man literally just disappeared into thin air. He changed numbers and because I was still young I could not go to his company to ask for him. In Secunda most men don’t come from here so he did not have family here. I cried for him like he had died. I then went to university where I was also doing engineering. I got a job and this year I started my internship. He is my supervisor! I don’t know what to do. Every day I go to work I want to cry. He has not spoken to me and I catch him looking at me. I am so hurt I am not even coping. This man tried to destroy me and almost did and now am forced to look at him every day as he gives us instruction. He won’t even say sorry and it is been 3 months working together.
What do I do? He opened up old wounds just by being alive! I honestly thought I had moved on from that horrible period but him here is like a slap in the face. Oh I almost forgot, he is married to the woman he used to say was his cousin and they have a child. He never left Secunda he just chose to ghost me. The mine we now both work in is in Mpumalanga so imagine how fate works.
Any advice please.