Let’s be honest, when a security guard does a very thorough job, by the book and is pendantic about the rules, does that not annoy you? We ask ourselves where their common sense is and say how dumb or stupid they are for not seeing that they can bend the rules here and there to make life a bit better or easier. We argue that it’s a lack of brains or intellect that makes them think in such a linear fashion. We forget all too easily that someone as intelligent as we are, if not more, made those rules for them to follow. Maybe I used an example that’s a bit too far off, let’s consider something different: we consider police to be cruel or insensitive when they follow the law to the letter. You want him to let you go when you were speeding and clearly breaking the law. Men especially curse and swear when stopped but they know they were wrong. We play the victim when they do their job and when they cut corners we call them corrupt or incompetent whether it benefits us or not. That’s what I was feeling right no. She was saying she was doing her job but I wanted to implore her as a woman or a mother. I wanted to ask her how she would feel if she was the one going through this. I wanted to die really.
“I understand Amo is the one you have raised and no one is denying that but you have to be with your own flesh and blood. The only way you can have Amo is if his mother puts him up for adoption. It’s a very delicate situation and we need to work together on this!” she said. I did not argue with her as it would have been an unnecessary argument. My mother moved from where she stood and went to lift up Ruben. My sister on the other hand just walked out.
“Did Agnes say where she will be going?” I asked the social worker. She told me that Agnes was burying her husband around Johannesburg otherwise she would be home. She was going through a lot and I felt as though calling her wanting to see Amo would be too unfair.
“Let’s go home bafana!” my mother said to Ruben as she lifted the stranger up. We walked outside in silence. All that joy we had earlier on was drained from us. No one spoke and to his credit he stayed asleep right through the journey. My sister drove and my mother held him. I was not ready. This was going to be a long night. When we got home the funeral feeling was hard to shake.
“Come on girls, get over it!” my mother shouted at us when an hour after getting home neither of us had tried to relieve her of the baby.
“I know its tough but we have him for the weekend and we have to do the right thing.” she lectured!
“But mum I don’t want him!” I told her. I didn’t see it coming at all as she stepped closer and slapped me hard on the face!
“Wake up! This is your son! I am not the one who did not teach you not to use condoms so you better start acting like a mother!” she screamed, thrusting the poor child into my hands. I was stunned. My sister was stunned. My mother had been pretty chilled lately and the violence in her had died. Had I really angered her that much?
“Judith, if I see you holding that baby you will be in trouble. We have been in such a funk for too long. It’s time we toughened up and made the best of the situation!”
At this stage it was all my mother. Neither my sister nor I spoke. My ear was still ringing from that clap and I had tears rolling down my cheeks. My mother left and went to her room. I think my sister was embarrassed for me, and also left me alone holding Ruben. He was wearing the clothes that had come from Agnes. He had started crying when my mother was shouting at me. I needed to change him as he had wet himself. With Amo I knew how to make him laugh or quiet down but with Ruben he was foreign to me.
“Hi! I know they said we mustnt call each other but how is Ruben, is he ok?” she asked me. I was so relieved.
“He is crying non stop. I think he is hungry!” Itold her.
“Don’t worry he does that every night. Take him outside. He likes the fresh air for some reason. He will be quiet in five minutes!” she told me. I lifted him immediately and went outside. She was right. Within a minute he was quiet. He seemed more fascinated by the lights outside than anything else.
“How is Amo?” I asked her.
“He is such a well behaved boy. He does not cry and you have to figure out when he is hungry! I think he is adapting really well!”
For some reason I did want her to say that because that would mean that my boy was happy. I wanted her to tell me that he missed his mother and wanted to come home.
“How are the funeral arrangements?”
I asked her quickly to avoid giving away how much that had stung me. I was being petty I guess but what else could I do.
“Everything is well. His brothers came through and we bury him tomorrow!” she said.
“So soon?” I asked her. I know many families that take a week to bury so this was very hasty for me.
“His side of the family take just three days to bury and they are the ones paying for it so I don’t have much of a choice!” she said. Money talks it’s true. Even to bury her own husband she had to succumb to the whims of others.
“How have they accepted Amo?” I asked her. I know it was a bit selfish to be focusing on him under the circumstances but apart from Amo and Ruben I had nothing to discuss with this woman.
“It’s a bit strange to everyone right now, myself included but he is the last part of my husband I have left meaning everyone wants a piece of him! she said. That line meant she would never give him back. This was not what I wanted but I did not say anything. She said she was tired and had to sleep.
“Who were you talking to?” my sister asked, joining me outside. She was holding a lighter and I think, let me see… yes, a joint.
“To Agnes! You want to smoke that with mum in the house! Are you crazy? Didn’t you see that clap?” I asked her. She has the memory of a gold fish that one.
“I will go to the corner. I never smoke here, I always do a walk around. This evening was just too much for me so I need this!” she said. This felt like history repeating itself. My mother back to her violent ways and my sister doing stupid things.
Aurelia was calling!
“Is he back? How is he?” she asked me very excited. Telling her what had happened just put salt on the fresh wound. She was shocked to say the least. She was supportive rather and said I can survive this. She had nothing to say to me after that as it got awkward very fast. After he ate I put him to bed. It was very odd because much as I was a mother I did not know what to do with him.
“Tomorrow I am going to the funeral with Judith.” my mother said to me. It made sense that someone should attend.
“Must I not come too?” I asked her. She argued that if I came I would have to bring Ruben which would be awkward for everyone so rather I not.
That was our goodnight. She did not apologise for slapping me. Tough love?
In the morning I was woken up by Ruben crying. He was hungry. I bathed him and fed him. I could see what my mother was doing. She was trying to leave me with Ruben as much as possible. I caught up on some of the local soapies on TV with Ruben in my arms. I had not even bathed nor had I done any chores when there was a knock at my door. When I went to check there was Mudenda carrying plastic bags.
“What do you want Mudenda? You can’t just show up without telling me!” I said as he stood in the door way. This guy acted as though this was my house and had an incredibly short memory if he forgot that just yesterday we had been fighting.
“Yes I know but I am here to see my son!” he said. He had bags of food and even clothes. I wanted to laugh. Have you ever seen maintenance men on pay day, when they meet their baby mamas in town and have to go buy food and things for the child. That’s how he looked right now.
“Well I can’t allow you in. It’s my mothers house and you need her permission to enter. She is not here at the moment!” I told him which was true.
“But I am hear now, surely you can make an exception to that.” he protested.
“I can’t turn back at the door that’s just crazy!” he continued. Well that’s what he thought!
“Look, you are welcome to wait. She went to a funeral but when she is back you can ask her!”
I told him coldly with my arms folded across my chest.
“Where do you suppose I should wait?” he asked me.
“You came in your car right! So go sit in the car and wait. If it gets too hot there are four malls ten minutes away in every direction you can go wait and come check if she’a back!” I told him without batting an eyelid.
“You can’t be serious Faith come on now, you are being petty and mean now!” he said getting angry.
“If you say so!” I said then I closed the door and locked it. I made sure I toggle the key so that he could hear that it was being locked. I did not even bother looking outside the curtain to see whether he was gone or not as I went inside to shower.
It was only two hours later when I went to the door and opened it that I saw him.
Mudenda was sleeping in his car I guess waiting for my mother!
What a fool!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank you for sharing your amazing work with us everyday and keeping us updated with daily matters and giving us food for thought.
And the platform is truly amazing J.
I’m gonna try and keep this short.
I have been dating my boyfriend for 2 and half years now ( He’s 32 and I am 29). In 2014 January he lost his job. I was the breadwinner, we were unofficially staying together ( I was renting a place of my own and he was staying at his sister’s place which is 5 min away form my place). I did everything for him, I supported him emotionally and financially. I fell pregnant in 2014 Feb, and I had to do everything on my own for the baby when I gave birth. 2015 January he got job ( Not paying much but it was something ) I expected him to atleast help me here and there but that was not the case because “ I earn more than him” so he claimed. We moved in together last year October and we have been fighting like cat and dog. I expected him to help me around the house considering that we have a baby, but he expects me to do EVERYTHING for him aaand I still need to look after my daughter. I don’t feel like he loves me anymore because all he does is criticize me, he has absolutely nothing positive to say about me, to me, he doesn’t compliment me, nothing.When we go out together ( most of the time we hang out with his cousins) he treats me like I’m not there, the only time he will talk to me is when we have to go home, that’s it. I have asked him about this and his excuse was its because I am soo comfortable with his cousins he knows I’m okay. Its gotten soo bad now that he doesn’t even curdle me anymore L . Our relationship is soo cold, he doesn’t touch me ( unless he wants the brenyakos, he doesn’t hug me , even when he wants the brenyakos he goes “ Baby Masizumane?” no four play no kissing he takes off his clothes and puts his mrengerenge inside me and humps and puffs till hes good then gets off me, gets dressed and watch TV, whether I am satisfied is not his problem. It makes me feel soo cheap and yhooo. He doesn’t buy me gifts ( not on my birthday, not on mother’s day not on Valentines day not Christmas day either) and I love all that mooshie ooshie stuff. I was recently robbed at gun point and my phone was taken I was soo shaken about it…all he asked me was “ Did you see their faces”? and that was the end of it.I had to walk the same road the next morning ALONE…I talked to him about this and he says he does love me and does care blah blah blah.I am honestly not seeing any of it and our relationship is not growing at all…to a point where I am happier at work than at home. I am probably the only person who doesn’t look forward to weekends ( besides me spending more time with my daughter ). And before ya’ll ask why I am still with this douchgbag. He wasn’t always like this. He was the best person ever when I was pregnant, even before, he went to each and every appointment with me and he never complained once…..plus the brenyakos is good..very good except the lack of fourplay #sigh. I don’t know what do to or what to say to him anymore to make him understand how he’s making me feel. He says sometimes I am over thinking and seeing things but I’m not.Please help L