Today was going to be a make or break day. The lack of sleep meant that I started
off with a headache when I woke up. You know on the nights that you have a sleepless one you dose off a few times. Time seems to stand still and move fast at the same time. It sounds odd I know but when you are up in the wee hours of the morning it feels like forever but at the same time when morning comes it also seems to come so fast. I have always wondered the morning before you die is there a sign? Does something different happen to signal that you won’t come home tonight? I know they say nobody knows when their time is coming until it’s done but who asked those dead people if they did not know? It’s just a thought that makes me boring and far from being a millennial.
“Did you manage to get some sleep?”
Londiwe said from behind me which made me sit up. My body was sore, every part was sore.
“Ah love why are you up? I wanted to make you breakfast and run you a bath even because of what happened yesterday. I am so ashamed of myself and even now you standing there makes me want to hide in shame!”
I told her.
“Well you better and breakfast in bed alone won’t help. I want you to take me out and take me shopping as well because I need clothes for work next week!”
I was about to object to the shopping but I stopped myself because she needed an apology. My objection came from the fact that black people will do a whole new wardrobe just because they got a new job. It’s bad because that often means EDCON and you know the amount of problems that comes with it. If you don’t call them and miss a payment once then you will learn. The do say you know you are grown up when you start Googling numbers before you pick up the phone and EDCON is the welcoming committee.
“Its ok we were always going to go shop for clothes for you because I know you want to look brand new when you walk into the office the first time!”
I teased her.
“Yes I do!”
She said and she walked towards me,
“And thank you for everything. I know I am a problem at times with my temper and stubbornness but I do love you with all my heart!”
She said to me. I was not expecting that and if she was saying to increase my levels of guilt it was working.
“I love you too Londiwe!”
I told her as I hugged her back.
“Let’s shower together please! I want you to wash my back and other things!”
She said teasingly. I can’t remember the last time we had done that and I am not even a fan of it to be honest. It’s a waste of water this sex in the shower business. An hour later, we came out of the shower and Londiwe was busy singing as she applied lotion on her body. Its true what Trevor Noah said and I will add this too, when a black woman applies lotion on her body it’s like she is de-rusting metal with sandpaper. It’s a wonder how they don’t bruise really. She was in a good mood and I think that put me at peace for whatever was going to happen with Naledi’s father.
“I want to go to Eastgate Mall. They tend to have more things there than East Rand Mall!”
“Why would you want to go all the way there? We are closest to Mall of Africa?”
I reminded her.
“Yeah I know but I want to go see my mother later so it will be easier for you to drop me off as it becomes much closer!”
She told me. She was right that it was closer but I had contemplated driving all the way there. I was a good boy today though so no fighting. It was only two hours later that we got there between her getting ready and driving through traffic.
“Baby I am starving we should eat first before we shop!”
I told her but she would hear none of it.
“No people eat after they shop! You can’t walk around the mall on a full stomach! Imagine how much extra weight you will be carrying around!”
She said teasingly. When it comes to shopping women can even forgo water on the hottest of days. It’s like an addiction that has to be quenched now regardless of whatever else is there. Londiwe did not shop often but on the days she did I swear it was a whole day business.
“Ok then let me at least get a muffin or something!”
I told her begrudgingly.
*Ok baby but please be more cheerful for my sake. We have an outing and let’s make the best of it. These moments between us are rare and I just want to enjoy my man’s company!”
She said to me kissing me on the lips. I am not one for PDA and she knows that but here she was planting a full kiss on my lips in public.
“Ok someone is a bit excited!”
I told her when she finally got off me.
“Nope this is me every day. I am trying to evolve in a modern confident woman and not always do things in private!”
I was not sure where this was coming from until at the end of the shopping I realized something; she was trying to be like Naledi. The clothes she chose and even the way she had carried herself was very similar to Naledi. She even insisted on shopping at Zara whereas she had always complained that such ships are too expensive. Eventually we sat down to eat what was now lunch.
“Londiwe what’s going on?”
I asked her.
“What do you mean?”
She asked innocently.
“This is not the way you always shop and even the clothes we were buying are so not the Londiwe I know!”
I told her.
“Nothing is going on I was just having fun that’s all!”
She told me. I was not going to push her.
“You know that whenever you have something on your mind you can always talk to me about it right?”
I told her.
“Yes I do!”
She said. I stared at her as a way to encourage her to continue and it worked because she went on to say,
“I am trying to be corporate and the only person I know who is corporate is Naledi.”
She said looking down clearly embarrassed with herself.
“But even in the corporate space you know you are allowed to be yourself and have an identity right?”
I asked her.
“It’s easy for you to say Vusi. You are not the one who sat and watched a sophisticated rich educated woman walk right through your front door, take your husband and knew that the only thing you could compete with her was how well she rode your man!”
She snapped back and ouch.
I was about to say but she cut me off,
“No don’t please! You will deny it; I will confirm it and it will end up in a fight. I accepted all those things because you knew I had nowhere else to go! This after you accused me of trying to pass off another man’s baby!”
She told me.
“I haven’t forgotten.”
She added. I wanted to respond and the words would not come out. She was doing all this to punish me by the looks of things and it was working.
“Hey guys! I thought it was you!”
A voice said from behind me. I turned around because the voice sounded familiar and there was Nonjabulo!
“I did not know you guys venture as far as Eastgate and all these shopping bags did someone get bonused?”
She asked as she pulled a chair.
“I was on my way to see you didn’t mum tell you?”
“Mum doesn’t tell me anything these days but I had something to do. I have a date here!
She said and she looked down.
She asked me with an embarrassed look on her face.
“Normally by now you will have said something inappropriate by now?”
I reminded her.
“Nah, I am a changed person now so you won’t be hearing things like that coming from my lips anymore!”
She said which made it even tenser. Not minutes later,
Londiwe was the first to see him. I turned and there was my so called best friend.
“Dude I thought you said your mall is Small Street!”
I said laughing. I was so relieved that he was here because these two were making the mood tense as is.
“I have evolved hey…”
He said and I laughed out loud,
“What’s with everyone evolving on me today? I feel like someone is going to jump out of the bushes and scream surprise!”
I told him and he laughed.
“Sister Londy are you well?”
He asked her. He liked calling her that because he said she was like his big sister.
“I am good hey. Why do I feel like the two of you being here is a set up?”
Londiwe responded to him with a smile that said,
“I don’t trust you!”
Even if the words did not leave her lips.
“Wait, I don’t understand did you guys come together or you just bumped into each other?”
I asked him as he walked in.
“Dude remember that conversation last night?”
Tumi suddenly said. It took me a moment before my mind made it click then I went like,
“Dude no! You are kidding right?”
I asked him.
“What do you mean no?”
He asked me.
“What’s going on? I am feeling left out?”
Londiwe asked us.
“You told him? I thought I told you to not tell him specifically!”
Nonjabulo asked him but playfully angry.
“I couldn’t help it and besides now the two people we love the most are sitting with us and we can tell them! I don’t want it to stay a secret!”
Tumi said out loud.
“Nonjabs what’s going on?”
Her sister asked.
“It was meant to be at some kind of coming out party but oh well; Tumi and I are getting married! He proposed and I said yes!”
She said and both Londiwe and I instinctively reacted,
But I swear our two responses meant totally different things.
“What do you mean no?”
Nonjabulo asked folding her arms,
“It’s not your decision to make!”
She said to us.
“No you got me wrong, I said no because it’s the last thing I expected. I know we have hung out a few times but I didn’t even think you guys got along!”
I told them but Londiwe was not thinking on the same page,
“I am saying no because this is bullshit! You hardly know him and already you are marrying him? Are you crazy? He is a player and I know you know this because I told you! What are you doing?”
Londiwe asked her sister.
“I am not going to argue with you. I am not going to be studied like a degree by a man, move in with him and play house with him before he puts a ring on my finger! I want better otherwise I will end up like…”
Tumi immediately cut her off.
“I am going to the car!”
Londiwe said standing up immediately. I had the car keys but she walked off so fast I could not stop her,
I asked her as I called the waiter so I could pay the bill.
“She must not act like she is better than me. You put her in the position and at least Tumi didn’t jerk me around!”
She said as I paid.
“Nonjabulo stop it!”
Tumi again cut in being the voice of reason. I picked up all the shopping bags and it was rather embarrassing walking to the car carrying them.
“Is this what you wanted?”
She asked me as soon as I got to the car.
“What do you mean?”
I asked her.
“Your friend proposed to my sister in a short space of time and I am still on lobola! I was so humiliated there you know!”
She said and I could see she was crying.
“Please don’t cry!”
I told her as I put things in the car. I know women compete with each other and this is something that really hurt her. As I drove out the car phone rang. It was my mother. I was not going to answer it but Londiwe had other ideas,
“Answer your mother since she is the only person you will do things for!”
She said. That was kind of a low blow and she answered for me,
“Hi Ma you on car speaker!”
She said picking up.
“Hello my dear is Vusi with you?”
“Yes he is right here!”
She told her.
“Hi mum what’s up?”
She asked me.
“Please come to the house the both of you. Naledi’s father is on his way here with Naledi and I told them that you are both going to be here! The secret is out and we are all going to discuss it together!”
She said and with that she hung up the phone.
“You don’t have to go if you don’t want to. I can take you home first!”
I told her.
“No! Stop treating me like a kid! I am going with! It’s my life you have ruined too! I don’t think you even realize that!”
She said to me and stared outside. I wanted so badly to remind her that I had not wanted to go through with this polygamy nonsense because at some point I had wanted nothing to do with her after we broke up. The two of them had insisted that it was going to work out even against my advice but it was best to keep quiet. We drove there in silence and actually got there before Naledi and her father arrived. My mother is the one who opened the gate for us and actually stood in the drive way for us to park. She wanted to talk clearly.
“Mum what’s going on?”
I asked as we stepped out of the car!
“Why is this meeting here and not say in a restaurant where the presence of other people will calm the situation down should it get heated?”
Londiwe took probably 10 seconds longer to come out as her bag was on the floor.
“Oh hell no, you want us to fight in public then have someone end up taking videos of us that end up on the internet!”
She asked me with a dismissive look on her face.
“No mum it’s not that it’s…”
Before I finished she responded to me,
“Don’t worry I have made a contingency plan. They advised me to have the meeting here to avoid collate…”
She too didn’t finish her sentence because Naledi and her father drove in. Was she about to say collateral? I was not sure who she was talking about?
“Mum what do you mean?”
I asked her with a hissing whisper but she ignored me and walked towards their car.
“I think my mum is up to something,”
I said turning to Londiwe who had her arms folded across her chest.
“Why are you telling me? You have always been a mama’s boy so here she is yet again trying to wipe your nose for you!”
She said as she went into the house. I stood outside because walking into the house at this moment was going to seem like running away. They parked behind my car and her father came out first.
“Boy you better have a good explanation for this or I swear I am going to beat you to death with my bare hands!”
The old man said angrily storming towards me. He had murder in his eyes and had my mother not stood in front of me I am very certain he was about to brawl right there and then. Naledi jumped out at that moment and said,
“Daddy come on you promised!”
She screamed running after him to hold him back. This was bad. The mood for the meeting had already been set in this one moment.
“Are you just going to look me you fucken cunt? You have humiliated my daughter and I am sure the other girl and you just stand there!”
He bellowed so loudly I am sure the neighbors heard.
“Vusi go in the house now!”
My mother said as she held the angry Mr. Gumbi back with the help of his daughter. I went into the house as instructed and waited,
“I see you ran away and let two women fight for you!”
Londiwe said as soon as I walked in. I really must have looked pathetic at this moment. I just looked at her. It took about five minutes before the calmed him down enough to walk into the house with us. They walked in and he took one look at Londiwe and he recognized,
“I should have known!”
He said with a very defeated look on his face. I knew why he was saying that. He had met her at the restaurant and she had been introduced as someone else.
“You people have been playing games with me like I am a child neh!”
He said but this time he did not scream. He sat down. Naledi went and sat next to Londiwe, I sat by myself whilst Mr. Gumbi sat next to my mother.
“I need some air before I kill someone!”
He suddenly said and stood up. Naledi ran outside after him.
“Daddy come on!”
These possessive fathers. I had made his daughter pregnant yes but I also wanted to marry, love and protect her. South African men today kill and burn women and here I was wanting to love and protect his daughter. I had not forced her.
“Londy my dear please go ask Mmapula to bring in drinks!”
My mother said to Londiwe who stood up immediately. As soon as she was out of earshot my mother said to me,
“I found out that he killed your former boss. Remember he was drunk out of his mind when he came yesterday so I recorded him as he said it.”
She told me.
“Goodness mum that’s dangerous information to have around!”
I told her.
“Does he remember telling you this?”
I asked her.
“I don’t know but don’t worry I already called the police. He is going to be arrested today and this way he won’t try killing you for this mess!”
She told me.
“Mum are you crazy? If he finds out you are the one who sat him up he will pay people from prison to harm us?”
I asked her incredulously.
“The police assured me that we will be safe!”
I know this woman is my mother but how stupid can one get. Being in prison does not mean that one cannot reach you,
“Wow you people are really snakes!”
Londiwe said suddenly from the door. I turned around and there she was standing. She had heard what my mother had said,
“Watch your tongue; I am doing this to protect you!”
My mother told her.
“No you are doing this to protect yourself. You are selfish, arrogant, rude and you think you know what’s best for everyone. That’s why you never wanted me in your son’s life because you never thought I was good enough for you. Did you even think for one moment what this will do to Naledi and her child? She is already mentally unstable so who is going to clean up that mess when shit hits the fan?”
Londiwe asked my mother angrily.
“We will worry about that bridge when we get to it right now we are fixing this mess!”
My mother said defensively.
“You know you hide behind your fancy clothes and beautiful house. You hide behind your fake smile and all this but truth is the real witch in all this is you!”
I said intervening.
“No let her speak!”
My mother dared her.
“All this would have not have happened had you just allowed Vusi to marry me when he wanted. You stopped him at every turn whispering into his ears how not ready he was. You poisoned him against me for no reason!”
Londiwe finally had a chance to say her peace!
“Vele I did that. My son is educated and modern and there he was about to throw it away for a rural uneducated girl who can’t even tell the difference between a fork and knife! What kind of mother would I be if I wanted my son to settle for less than his worth?”
My mother responded angrily. She stood up to confront Londiwe and I stood up immediately to prevent that.
“Stop it both of you!”
I shouted angrily. This was a mess.
‘”Vusi are you not going to defend me?”
Londiwe asked. I had barely been up a second and already I had failed.
“Mum I love Londiwe and that’s it. Whether you approve of…”
For the umpteenth time today I was cut off as Naledi and her father walked in. If they could see by the way we were standing that we had been fighting they did not say anything.
“Please sit down let’s talk!”
Mr. Gumbi said. He sounded calmer than before. I guess their pep talk had started.
“No I don’t what to sit down you can’t trust these snakes!”
Londiwe burst out.
“Londiwe shut up!”
I said to her immediately.
“Sir I don’t even know you and I doubt you will know me much longer either! You should know…”
I moved to her and forcibly put my hand on her mouth to shut her up but she bit me so hard blood came out and I yelped,
“The police are coming for you. This witch set you up last night and recorded you saying that you killed his boss! She took it to the police!”
Londiwe screamed everything out.
“Is this true Vusi?”
Naledi stood up to ask,
“Did you do this?”
She asked me.
“I just found out now myself!”
I confessed. At first he did not move which was good, then he did, which was bad.
“You sat me up!”
He said slowly. He too now stood up and out of nowhere he had a gun in his hand pointing at my mother.
“Whooooooaaaa sir slow down!”
I told him as I jumped in front of my mother.
“You don’t have to do this. You made a drunken confession so you can always say you were just drunk please sir put the gun down!”
I pleaded with him.
“Daddy don’t these people are not worth it please daddy!”
Naledi pleaded with her father as well.
“It’s too late!”
He said and before he could pull the trigger I jumped at him and started to wrestle the gun off him. There was a loud bang which made everyone stop. I did not feel any pain, had I shot him?
Naledi said and I turned to look at her she was standing awkward and her father was still alive.
It was only then I noticed the blood. It was coming out next to her chest, then blood…lots of it. She sat back onto the chair, she did not fall.
I screamed as I ran to her.
She said with a smile on her face and that was it.
“Naledi wake up, call an ambulance!”
“Call an ambulance!”
I shook her but she did not blink. She was staring at me but she was not seeing and what’s worse, the ghost of that last smile she had given me was still imprinted on her face.
“You killed her! You killed her!”
I screamed at the father.
“You have taken everything from me! You will feel my pain too one day!”
He said calmly. He did not come to his daughter.
“Naledi baby wake up, Naledi!”
I said focusing on her lifeless body. Maybe she would hear me, maybe she would wake up!
“God please I beg you. Kill me too! Take me instead; let her live please Lord please!”
I whispered repeatedly. The air exploded once more then again, I turned around and to my horror the gun had gone off again, I was not in pain but when I turned to see where the gun was pointed,
I screamed as I jumped up but it was too late. The world had come to an end and not even the third explosion that came afterwards would ever give me peace!
Herein comes the end of Majuba.
I must say I was a bit disappointed by how the story went like most of you. I had a vision were I would be able to tell the same story from two different point of views on the same facts. That did not go quite well unfortunately. I strongly believe that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. When it comes to relationships and emotions we don’t think alike and instead of understanding those difference we allow them to cause conflict. Communication is what makes any relationship work especially now when the role of a man and indeed that of a woman is changing rapidly. There is a lot of anger bottled in both the sexes that stem from how we communicate with one another. Vusi’s story arc represents a man who starts off as sweet but when faced with pressure he does not know himself anymore. Londiwe was a woman who settled for the first person that rescued her from a bad situation and tried to fit into his world so much so that she lost herself. She becomes a victim of a love that frankly is misunderstood. We are told in society that we must fight for each other if love is going to work but is it the right thing to do in a world full of temptation and easy fixes? Londiwe found herself about to be a second wife to a man who she met first. Vusi thought he was modern and did not see why marriage was so important to Londiwe whereas Londiwe thought getting officially married was an achievement! Who was right? In the end they both lost out. We constantly try to mix culture and tradition with modernity but in all honest there are just too many grey areas left behind. It’s a disaster which has made the institution of marriage a farce.
This story was supposed to have represented the modern pressures of a young marriage, mistrust and what lack of communication does in marriage. If you don’t understand the person you are with and they in turn don’t understand you then you are wasting each other’s time.