“If you don’t see the unconditional beauty in the person you are dating then you will always lust for those you are not!” Mike Maphoto
Eish, a consequence of education is that as girls we play the ‘I know my rights argument’ all the time especially with the police. The problem with this is that you expect the police by virtue of being implementers of that law to be well versed in it and ah…dololo! The moment you mention that you know your rights it’s like you have told them they are not qualified for their jobs and must be fired. They get angry and there are consequences! It’s really an irony of life indeed. The more educated you are the better you know what needs to be done to protect yourself but because not everyone else is as educated as you it means that you have to dumb yourself down so that you don’t appear to be threatening the other person who is not as fortunate as you! In fact you are usually hated at first instance if you try and be an I know it all because it’s impolite to show other people that they need to read more and care about the world more. I bet you anything if you ask half of the working men in blue what Brexit is they will tell you they don’t know and they don’t care! Sigh!
“What’s the commotion here?”
The station manager asked when he walked in and heard snippets of the argument. She explained to him what had happened. I think she thought he would back her up but he said,
“If you arrest her then this will get bad press and we can’t afford to be investigated! Come on! What do I always teach you guys, avoid drama and we all keep our jobs! You want Hlaudi to come and put us on the news?”
I think by Hlaudi he was referring to the SABC which was ironic because SABC doesn’t show the bad side of governance.
“Maam can we please address this amicably!”
He said turning to me. I guess I was getting my Get Out Of Jail Free Card today.
“I won’t use it don’t worry but we are here because this man, big as he is, did this to my friend. We report it to you and she says domestic abuse is a nuisance? How really? How?”
I asked him angrily. I turned to look point at Miriam’s husband who maybe thought I had forgotten he was there. The nerve of this man though.
“Is this true?”
He asked her. She seemed stumped.
“It didn’t happen like that!”
She started to explain how things had gone down! She pointed out Jeff and immediately the cop said,
Jeff was now the one who was surprised. They had refused to arrest him and I don’t think he had thought this through. Doing the right thing and turning yourself is one thing but actually experiencing the thing is another.
“I am sorry for what I did Miriam!”
He said turning to his wife but she looked the other way. I was proud of her. Most women forgive immediately and want to create or maintain the peace. They feel like calling the cops is escalating things and I think they are wrong.
“He must sleep here please because I don’t want to go home with him!”
She said to the station commander!
“Ah love come on. I apologized, I turned myself in even so that you know I am sorry, it was a mistake never meant to have happened in the first place! I fucked up badly!”
He pleaded with her. In my view, Don’t be fooled, men know when they are abusing you they just choose not to acknowledge it as they know you will come back running. There is no mistake when someone raises their hands at you? You telling me he slipped and fell and his hands ended up on your body. Through thick and thin in your wedding vows does not mean through black eyes, cracked ribs and swollen lips so get that straight? If you ever come to me and say,
“He really didn’t mean it. Maybe I provoked it and pushed him to it because he is such a sweet man!”
I will probably kill you myself. Say what? Bitch please I will smack you for saying that. Maybe that’s why I won’t get married anytime soon no matter how badly I want it and to settle down. When you were investing that much as you put it what was he doing, watching you do it? Satan will go to heaven first before I use that excuse to allow myself to watch a man lay his hands on me! shem, Somizi ukuphi!
“Let’s go guys!”
Miriam said coldly. Her husband was now pleading with her but she walked out with us like a boss. Only when we were outside did she cry. I don’t blame her; I don’t think any woman ever wants to do that walk of shame!
“Come sleep at my place today!”
I offered her but she said no. She said she wanted to go to her own house because just because he had failed her did not mean she would abandon her marriage. I did not argue with that logic because I don’t know how she feels about being hit by someone else’s child.
“It’s ok then but you must call us if you need someone!”
I told her. In the back of my head I was telling myself that she will probably go and drop the charges the moment we turn the corner! I was powerless against that so I drove home with my sister. She full of praise though for Miriam!
“Marriage has changed her neh! She is no longer the bad girl everyone knew she was!”
She said and I agreed. I don’t think constructive criticism is gossiping so we merely spoke about her! I doubted my sister’s words though. Miriam whenever she fought with a boyfriend would often run off to another boyfriend. It’s not the first time a guy hat hit her either, nope! Girls like Miriam live life by the sword but I think what had shocked her in the case is that this damage done to her was by her husband.
“Why is there always drama in your life though?”
My sister said I think changing subjects and also taking me by surprise.
I asked her,
“Well every time I come to your house there is something happening.”
She explained. I laughed at her and reminded her that the last drama to happen had come from her so she should ask herself that question very strongly.
“It’s not funny, what you did to my husband was not cool!”
She warned me.
*Nor was he cheating at you in your own home so yah, let’s drop it!”
Eish, we were about to fight. There was an awkward silence before she said,
“I doubt he will ever look at you the same way again!”
She said and laughed. I was not sure if I was meant to share or see the joke so I kept a serious face. Violence is not the answer to find peace so it was not funny to me now. The fact that we had resorted to that just shows how much we had a messed up society.
“So love what’s happening at work?”
My sister asked me. Where was that wine now? I needed it. Fortunately we were not that far from my place. I told her the whole story and she listened attentively. She did not interject once.
“I am done!”
I had to say at the end because even then she kept quiet.
“Do you want me to organize a hit squad for Rudzani? I know some people who are friends with very dangerous people!”
She said in a stern voice so she could sound menacing but this was my sister we were talking about. The most dangerous person she knew was probably herself and that’s saying something. She was sweet and scared of everything this one.
“No thanks they will probably ending up making you disappear after you fumble the whole thing!”
I told and we both laughed.
“They probably would hey but in your eyes what went wrong in this situation because Rudzani if I remember her probably always seems to follow you around!”
She asked me. It was a good question.
“Maybe she was just a snake waiting for the right time to strike!”
I said and we both went quiet then burst out laughing!
“A snake is a good response indeed but try again, apply that brain of yours to it!”
She asked me. I didn’t get what she meant by that but at this stage we were at my place. I really did not want any more surprises for the night. When I got in I went straight for the wine. Forget the Pizza which was cold now. My sister went to warm it up and by the time she came back to sit next to me my bottle was down half way!
“You are becoming an alcoholic wena ah, stop drinking so fast!”
She said. I am not an alcoholic, am a single working lady and often wine is our friend. We drink it when we are hurting to comfort us, when we are bored to entertain us, when we are out to show how classy we are and when we are alone to mask how lonely we are.
“Couldn’t help it hey and this wine is so divine!”
I told her. It was very nice indeed. I loved it.
“Jesus first miracle was giving us alcohol so we could party some more!”
I reminded her and we both laughed. So what we were not celebrating but we could at the very least having something enjoyable.
“Maybe I should leave my job and work for myself!”
I declared to her!
“No! That’s a bad idea! In this economy you can’t trust whatever you do to succeed alone. You need a job in a stable company so that you stay employed!”
“Come on though, how long must I work for someone else?”
I asked her but she was not convinced!
“Everyone thinks they can start a business but most people fail at it. Where will you get the funding from? Where will you open the company? Have you researched the market? You can’t just one second decide to start a business if you have not seen an opportunity!”
She started lecturing me. My sister had tried businesses before and failed. For me she had failed because she was working at the same time. You can’t build your business if you don’t concentrate on it. It needs more than your hundred percent and no, selling hair, herbal life and Avon products is not business, it’s a hobby! What’s worse you are actually working for someone else and it’s like MMM as you have to work twice as hard for that money than the original owner! I wanted to do proper business where I was a boss, had people working for me and wanting to grow with me!
“I know what am doing I promise you. You will like the business and it will succeed!”
At this moment I was no longer talking to her but more to myself. I could do this you know but was I brave enough. My phone started ringing. As it was closest to my sister she started to hand it over when she stopped and said,
“Oh wow it’s your yellow bone lover all the way from London!”
She said showing me the +44 international code!
The way I jumped for that phone! I grabbed it and said,
Then in true Sfiso style he responded in song,
“Hello, is it me you are looking for? Cause I wonder where you are, and I wonder what you do! Are you somewhere feeling lonely!”
And he burst out laughing and stupid as it might be, perhaps a bit embarrassing too considering my sister was sitting right there staring at me, I started laughing and crying at the same time!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank you for this amazing platform. I love your work.
I am 43 and have been married for 17 years. We never had problems in my marriage until recently. We have 3 kids my husband and me and unfortunately the first child is not his. I know they say only the woman knows the truth but in this case I honestly didn’t. I was raped the month I started sleeping with my husband. It’s not a lie and he knows about this. However as we had only started having sex (unprotected we had been tested and were married plus trying to conceive) we trusted that the child was ours. As bad luck would have it I was raped by two men, one of which was my husband’s brother who was a gangster and was killed a few months later in jail. My husband hated his brother and his brother’s family from that day. He had 2 kids but my husband ever since the rape never spoke to them again. Recently our son, the first born got sick. He needs a kidney transplant so the whole family did tests and it came out that my husband was not the biological father. He just went cold and has not been to visit OUR son in hospital since. I don’t know what to do. He raised that boy with love but now I see the hatred in him. My husband is actually a kidney match but the fact that he knows how our son was fathered by his rapist brother is killing him. I don’t know what to do. I get his anger and mine too but I can’t let our son die.
Does anyone have advice from us? We are from Umtata but if he is willing will go so any therapist to calm him down.