I can pretend and say I was surprised by the truth coming out but I always suspected. She had acted very dodgy for a long time. Most young people do not understand that their actions have consequences. I could fill in the blanks myself I did not even have to ask. When she found out she was pregnant she had used the rape to cover it up. She had made it seem as though it was the heinous act that had gotten her pregnant in the first place. Obviously we all bought it because when someone is raped the first thing we feel is sympathy. We don’t want to ask many questions let alone probe for details. The part I did not get was how had she fooled the nurses and doctors in Durban. That part baffled me. I trudged to my room and in my mind was only one thought, how could I have raised such a monster?
“Mommy, must I make you something to eat?” she asked me chirpily when she came back into the room. I was so numb as to how could she be so normal and sweet when she had done such a big thing.
“No I am fine!” I told her. I did not feel like confronting her because I knew all she would do was deny. I had to do something though. It was then I heard the door open downstairs. Lintle went to check and I heard her say,
“Daddy!” she ran down the stairs and I am sure gave the deserter a hug. So he had come back? My threats had worked but did this mean he was here only because I forced him.
“I was not expecting you back so soon? Did you fix things with mommy? Please tell me you did because I can’t have divorced parents!” she said. This child had no brakes.
“Please do me a favor, go upstairs and tell your mother that I am sorry and if she will have me back I will do whatever it takes!” he said to her. I heard all that. Lintle ran upstairs to relay the message.
“Lintle go to your room so I talk to your father in private!” I told her. I knew what he had just done. If I refused Lintle would always say I am the one who caused it. Sigh!
“Let’s take a walk outside!” I said to him. I did not want Lintle eavesdropping which I knew she would do the moment we started talking. He left his bags by the door and we walked outside. It was actually a pretty warm evening and because we were walking in our estate it was safe. Joburg is just scary when it comes to crime.
“So you are back, what do you want?” I asked him. I meant that. As a couple you must always have a five year plan of some sort. A lot of women don’t understand that which is why they find themselves dating the same man for five years yet with no direction or future.
“I want to say I am sorry and would like to come back home!” he said. Clearly he had thought about what he was going to say all along.
“But how do you suppose that will work? You have already filed for divorce. I saw the papers and my name was on it! You don’t want me anymore!” I said, tears running down my cheeks under the light from the street lamps. He had not thought of an answer to that but after a moment hesitation he said, “I know and I am sorry. I won’t lie, there are times when I feel overwhelmed by this marriage. I feel like you make me look like I am inadequate and not enough for you. That is difficult to get over!”
He stated his case and maybe he had a point.
“Sizwe you used to be a good listener. I would come to you with all my problems and you would sit me down and advise me. You never used to second guess me!” I protested.
“Yes that’s true but it’s hard to advise someone who insists on being right all the time. Most of those times it was like you were tricking me into giving you an answer so you can reject it!” he retorted. I don’t know what he was talking about now.
“But what if I don’t agree with what you say, should I just then take it? Wanting an opinion does not mean I must agree with what you will say”
I think this was starting to go south. I had to change it otherwise we were going to achieve nothing.
“I will start listening again but if you are going to treat my opinions like they are not worthy please stop asking for them!” he said.
“What happened between you and Nelisa’s mother?” I asked him.
“Nelisa’s mother and I were a long time ago. Recently I saw her yes but I never kissed her nor slept with her. That’s the truth.” he said sharply. My gut instinct was saying don’t trust him whilst my brain was saying believe him.
“She is an old flame and we share a child. I don’t want her in that manner. I am sorry if I made you feel otherwise but that is the truth.” he said. The problem with being married is that you will have shared so many things together it’s easy to fall into the same routine. Even though he had left, I had no doubt we will go back to being us in a few weeks. That I think was my biggest fear. I reported to him what I had overhead Lintle saying on the phone. He was just as shocked and disturbed as I was.
“What are we going to do about her? She is getting out of hand?” I asked him.
“I know you have never agreed before but boarding school is the answer. We need to cut her access to everything so that she can learn discipline. We have clearly failed and at times its good to accept that!” he said. He is right, I have always said that shipping your child off to boarding school is a sign of weakness but now I had to question whether keeping Lintle here was doing her more harm than good. To some extent even though we were her parents we were actually scared of this.
“I wonder how she is going to take this though?” he said with a low whistle to follow. See, we were thinking the same thing. We were being held to ransom by a child.
“I think it should come from you. If I say it I think she will resist more because she will say it was my idea. We need to make this happen ASAP.” I told him. He agreed and said tomorrow we will have the conversation. It will be Sunday in any case and everyone will be home.
“I want us to go to church tomorrow!” I said to him!
“Say what? Why?” he asked. In my house even though we grew up in the church when we were younger, going to one now just felt heavy. I am ashamed to say that Lintle had not grown in the church and I don’t think ever been baptised.
“I don’t think I am ready for that hey. I would rather rest it’s been a long last couple of days!” he said.
“Sizwe if you and I are going to fix things, tomorrow morning you are waking up early and we are going to church!” I said sternly and he kept quiet.
“Sizwe I was serious about you getting a job or at least opening a company that will function 9 to 5. We can’t do this waiting for tenders business anymore. I want stability and that is not stable!” I told him. The last time I had brought up the job thing it had not gone down well with him. He was still uncomfortable with the idea but he at least offered something,
“I will look into opening a franchise. We have the money and I guess it makes sense that we invest it. If I do this though you should consider opening a private practice!” he said. Wow I had not seen that one coming. A private practice makes money yes but is expensive. You also assume all responsibility on your own which doubles your stress.
“That’s unfair, we never discussed that!” I protested but he was adamant that we both enhance our lives together. We were already by the door at this stage so we walked in. Lintle came downstairs and asked where we had gone.
“We just took a walk. Your father needed to stretch his legs after his long drive!” I explained to her. I don’t know why I always lie to my daughter. At times its not necessary really.
“You sleeping on the floor tonight Mr!” I told him as I put his bedding on the floor next to me.
“You can’t be serious!” he protested,
“Do I look like I am bluffing? So you think you can just leave and come jump straight into bed with me? Come on now Sizwe you know me better! You’ve got to earn that right!” I said to him. He thought I was kidding at first but when he saw that I was not shifting my position he grumpily said he was going to watch TV. I told him not to even think of sleeping on the couch or the guest room. It was a bit funny and sad at the same time but I stood my ground and insisted. His phone rang on the bed and it was a Bloemfontein number 051. He was in the bathroom so I shouted to him and asked,
“Must I answer it for you?” I asked him. He said yes but a bit reluctant,
“Sizwe it’s me. Why have you blocked all my numbers. I have been trying to call you all day. They say I have to sleep in jail because I poisoned my husband which is not true! I need your help!” a ladies voice said on the other side.
“This is Nothabo speaking. I think you got the wrong number!”
I said and hung up the phone immediately. I deleted the number from the call log.
“Who was it?” he asked me when he got back in,
“Were you expecting a call?” I asked him. He said no he was not.
“It’s a good thing then because that was a wrong number! Switch of the lights please and enjoy the floor!”
I told him. He walked over to the switch and the lights were off.
“Goodnight!” I said and with a smile I closed my eyes to sleep!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank you for reading this, I really appreciate it.
I have a problem, I am jealous of my best friend. She is prettier than me, much smarter, wealthier and and a much better dresser. Everywhere w go guys hit on her first which makes me feel like her ugly duckling friend. What’s worse is that recently I got achne and even though am now on treatment it’s really bad. Ther was was a guy I like in my neighborhood and I never told anyone including my bestfriend. This morning she came to my house to show me me picture of her new boyfriend and guess what, it him! I don’t know what to do. She has never been mean to me and infact ha been the truest friend from day one.
What do I do? Please help me before I lose my friend.