Men. I do not even know where to start with this gender. Just when you think you have them figured out then can humble you with their sheer cruelty, insensitivity, and opportunism. Abedi had known that Ada and I were fine yet he had chosen to keep quiet about it the whole day even as I confided in him. He must also have known about Cape Town hence why he insisted on the meeting and getting to see me first. Then there was that food, that had been seduction 101 and I fallen hook line and sinker. What I did not know was this, who had told him I was a virgin. I am not sure that I had told Katlego this meaning that Zamo would not have known. It could not be her then. Now there was this Cape Town trip pending. I had almost lost Ada and my apartment so surely I could not say no. I had to call him back as I am sure he knew that there was no way I would be sleeping.
I said when he picked up the phone. I was not even excited anymore to hear from him even though I had been looking for him the whole day.
“I can hear that you are not happy with me nwa lewa…”
He started and my head I was just telling myself if only he knew. I felt so bad and so guilty that here was the man who I knew was in love with me and I had just done him dirty.
“What happened to you today? You got me so worried!”
I told him and I was. Now I was hyper emotional and I just broke down crying. I am sure it took him by surprise because it took me by surprise too.
“I am sorry. It was just my phone that was not working. I know how it sounded; I was not kicking you out when I said you must pack. I am so sorry.”
He explained himself on the phone now.
“I am so sorry I did something stupid!”
I cried and am sure at this stage even snort was coming out. Maybe I just wanted someone else to blame for losing my virginity I don’t know but it was all his fault.
“What are you talking about? Yesterday you were drunk, you did not do anything stupid. I am sorry for all that mess. I too would have responded that way had I seen you with a guy I suppose!”
He said. I think he thought I was crying because of yesterday and it made sense to leave it at that.
“I don’t know what got into me.”
I told him and proceeded to ask him about his phone instead.
“Its fixed don’t worry it won’t happen again.”
He told me.
“Thank you for opening up to me last night. I actually had no idea that you were a virgin so thank you for sharing that with me or rather with us last night!”
“What do you mean us?”
I asked him.
“Well you were kind of shouting as opposed to talking so everyone heard you say this. Abedi and I had to force you back in the car even. It was a scene!”
He said and he chuckled meaning that he was actually not mad at me for it. The disturbing part was that he had mentioned that Abedi could have heard that I was a virgin and now I felt like he had targeted me. I just did not know what to think. Why would anyone do that though?
“I am sorry for all that but I must go to bed now I have a long day tomorrow and I have to unpack still!”
I told him. He seemed a but disappointed by it but I did not relent because I needed to think. As soon as I put the phone down the tears came out. I had given it up to the man of my dreams but he had turned out to be a pig. It hurt. I know I had no business being with him in the first place as he was dating someone I knew as well as the fact that he was best friends with the man who loved me yet it felt so personal as though I was the one who had been wronged. I feel asleep with the tears still flowing. In the morning I had to go to campus and my phone was ringing the whole time. Zethu and Nthabiseng had called a million times literally but I did not feel like talking to anyone. They too were partially to blame for all this meaning I was angry at the world. Ada also tried to call and I ignored it even though I was looking at the phone ring.
“Leave me alone!”
I told the phone as though it could hear me. This was one day I really wanted to just bury my head in the sand and cry. The thought brought tears to my eyes and again the tears started coming out. As I stood up from the food court to leave campus for home someone said to me,
I literally froze. There are some voices you will never expect in some spaces and this one was last number.
I said as my father stood there in the flesh. How the hell did he find me?
“Can I sit down please so sikhulume?”
He asked me not that I could say no. I wanted to say I had a class but that excuse would have been so weak it was crazy. I was not about to be embarrassed of campus in front of my peers so I sat down.
“You should have told me you were coming!”
I told him and he responded,
“I don’t think you would have picked me up. I had to look for you myself.”
He said and I could already hear that he was angry at me.
“Are you here to cause a scene?”
I asked him a bit panicked as people were walking around us doing their own business. This was the one place I did not want anything to happen because University children take videos with their phones and you will trend in no time.
“No I am not but I am angry yes. What possessed you to do what you did at home? Now you have caused more problems for the family by your move!”
He said removing his hat. His face looked aged as the swagger of the drunk man that he was at kwaDlamini was gone. He looked like he had not slept in days.
“What do you mean? Everything happened because you could not put us as a family first. Baba do you know how embarrassing it is to hear that ubaba wakho isoka lamanyala!”
I told him. The phrase itself is quite offensive because it means a man who chases skirts and no one wants to be called that especially by their child.
“Do not speak to me like that!”
He said snapping and I am sure if we had been at home I would have gotten a warm clap for that.
“Its not me who talks about you like that! It is everyone who meets you on the street back home and if you think that hurts what do you think that it is doing umama all alone there. Everyone is laughing at her and because you get to hide in Johannesburg for work you don’t see what she goes through everyday because of it!”
I told him bringing his ego down to heel.
“I know and I have apologized to your mother and just when I thought she was forgiving me something else just happened!”
He told me.
“What is it? Is uMa ok?”
I asked him. It had not crossed my mind that the reason he was here could have been to deliver bad news. What if something had happened to my mother? I had not called her since yesterday to check up on her even though I said I would. My life had overtaken my responsibilities to her.
“I don’t think she is. Nokwanda’s parents dropped her off at the house and said that unless I pay damages for her they will take me to the police because she is young!”
He said sheepishly,
“I did not even know she was that young. She is twice as big as you and she is always at the tavern. Where were those parents when their child was behaving like an adult? Now they want to show up and act like they cared all along? All they want is money!”
He said angrily but I was not even paying attention. They wanted him to pay damages for the baby she had lost and knowing them they would probably demand lobola. They were that family that were opportunists and I know the brothers were going to cause problems for us back home.
“This is all your fault. You did all this and now you are putting us all in problems Baba and for what? For that dirty straatmate and you can get angry all you want but you know she is!”
I told him defiantly. I was so angry at the irresponsibility of this man.
“I don’t know what to do!”
He told me.
“So why are you here? What do you want me to do about it?”
I asked him annoyed.
“You know if you were a boy you would be able to give me advice but now you are speaking like a woman and not seeing that we need solutions and not fights!”
He said and at that I just wanted to smash his head in. Where is written that a woman cannot give advice? Men genuinely think we have the reasoning capacity of a child when ironically they behave like children almost always when it comes to relationships.
“I am in school.”
I reminded him.
“I know you are and that’s why I am here. I know your mother has some money stashed somewhere for you and school and I need you to convince her to give me I mean borrow me some of it so I can pay these people off! I have already tried taking a loan but they refused me for no necessary reason..”
He explained taking out some papers from his pocket to show me. I was not interested in them because I could not for the life od me believe that my father had just tried to make me jeopardise my future for the village bicycle.
“Your mother listens to you and she will listen to you in this case. Please do it for me I need this! If we don’t you know her brothers will always be after us no matter what!”
He said trying to make me understand the urgency of it. At what age did you realize that your parents were flawed human beings, weak and not the superheroes that we thought they were as children. With me I think I was 5 years old so that means that my whole life he disappointed me.
“I will talk to mum, now I have class!”
I told him and stood up.
“Ngiyabonga uMhayise! Ngiyabonga!”
He said gleefully. I walked away without even saying bye to him. As soon as I was out of earshot I called my mother. She picked up immediately.
“uBaba was here and whatever he asks you for the answer is no. Do not even think of feeling sorry for him unless you want Nokwanda to be my mamncane!”
I told her and hung up. He was crazy if he thought I would help him for such nonsense.