“Don’t be so desperate for someone to be your friend or to love you. If that person is not putting the same effort you are then they don’t deserve you in the first place!” Mike Maphoto
What is the first thing that goes through your mind when you hear that somebody has died? Its panic, its fear, its uncertaintly. I have ofetn thought of my own death, its only natural. Ideally I want to die in my sleep, but so does everyone else so chances are I won’t. When you live in Jhb the ways of dying are just too many to choose from but most include either violence or illness. Its a bad place out there. What Miriam had just said had left me stunned with a sharp pain in the chest. I didn’t even know them but that message broke my heart. To lose someone is the most painful thing. Sfiso never even got to meet his child.
“I don’t think I got you correctly? What do you mean she is dead? Come on. I spoke to Sfiso just yesterday and his wife was perfectly fine! Are you sure?”
I asked holding on to some false semblance of hope which I am not sure where it was coming from.
“I would never make up such a story even if I tried. He lost them both! I don’t even know what to think nor to say to him!”
This was the third death in the space of a month concerning people I knew. Yeah I did not know his wife but I knew enough of him to say I did. Cindy too had lost her baby. Was this just a coincidence or was I bad luck all of a sudden?
“Are you ok Lungi?”
She asked me but no I was not ok. This was wrong. My aunt had warned me that this could affect people I know but did she mean like this. Was it my fault?
“I am not ok. This is too sad. What is he going to do being soo far away? How did you find out?”
“Honestly I don’t know. If it was me I would not know what to do but I am sure the embassy will help. He is coming home to bury her hear.”
“And you want to know what the worst part is, my husband tells me that her parents never wanted her to go there in the first place. She predicted that her daughter won’t come back alibe and now look what has happened.”
I am sure it was just a coincidence but there are something you do not wish come true no matter what. This was one of them.
“I am sore for him. Imagine a widower so young. How can life be so cruel though?”
I asked her. She told me that we will all have to be strong for him and she was right. I don’t think I was ever ready for this.
“Life neh, one minutes everything is perfect and the next everything falls apart. Just like that!”
I had to ask my aunt because she was the only one who knew. I was shaking as I looked for her number on my phone because deep down I felt I had something to do with this. I could not even tell Miriam the warning I had received so it was best to keep my mouth shut.
“I am sorry to call so late but I have a problem!”
I told her as soon as she picked. She was still up as the sound of the TV suggested. I did not therefore have to feel too guilty about calling so late.
“Its ok, I was bored in any case and was about to force myself to sleep so am glad you called. What’s wrong?”
She asked me. She really sounded like a jovial person. I hope that will rub off on me at some point. I could do with a sense of humor. I lacked that.
“I am not even sure how I am going to say this without sounding crazy but here goes. I know a guy named Sfiso. We slept together but he was married and his wife was expecting. Yesterday he called me saying that he dreamt of me and him. In his dream my grandmother, the same one I told you about was in the river. I just got word that his wife died today giving birth to their child. The child died too! Could this have anything to do with me?”
I asked her. She went very quiet and I had to say ‘hello’ to make sure that she was still online.
“I am not going to lie to you, I don’t know.”
“What do you mean you don’t know? I am sitting here scared out of my skull and all you say you don’t know!”
I asked her incredulously. I was not trying to be disrespectful but at this moment I needed answers.
“I mean exactly that. I will have to ask the ancestors before I can answer this!”
“Ok fine can you just answer me this, is it possible that this had something to do with me?”
I asked her.
“Honestly if it did, this would be the first time I would have ever had of such. I don’t know!”
There was the I don’t know again. I thanked her for her time but before I could hang up she said,
“You really have to come and consult. Its very important that you do. This is not a game. Its very serious and worse can happen!”
With that warning she hung up. Worse had already happened. What more could possible go wrong? I stood up and found myself pacing in my own flat. Should I call Sfiso? Call him and say what? Imagine I said sorry about your wife who died whilst on the side I was busy fucking you. That was the truth. I felt so dirty. I found myself sitting in the corner on the floor and the tears just started flowing. I cried as though someone had died, oh wait, someone had indeed died! Could I have been the cause? This was now witchcraft!
I fell asleep and walk up with a heavy heart. Every thing felt dull and grey. It was as though all the joy had been sucked out of the day.
“Good morning Lungi!”
Nicolene said as I walked into my office. I greeted her without even looking at her. Today I really did not care what happened. I just stared into space.
Imagine my relief when my phone was ringing and the caller I’d said Cindy. Ever since she lost her chold she had not spoken to me.
I said cautiously. I was not sure which Cindy to expect! She was still in mourning so I had to be careful.
“Hey Lungi, I just wanted to tell you that I am back and I wanted us to hang”
She said cheerfully. I must say I was not sure what to feel because on the one hand I should be angry for how she had pushed me away but people mourn differently I guess. This was a good feeling however because at least some form of normalcy was coming back into my life.
“I am sorry I have been quiet but I really could do with a night out. I just need drinks and my friend!’
“Its not your fault I understand completely.”
I reassured her.
“Please let’s go out tonight. I just need a happy person in front of me so we can laugh and drink. I don’t want you to tell me you have work, I am your work tonight!”
She said and we both laughed. I felt as though this was loong overdue. We had not partied together in so long nor just shared a laugh. I needed this but was the timing right? How could life just go on like this? I had Sfiso in my mind.
“I will see what work is like and I will get back at you ok?”
I told her in what was more like a question.
“If you don’t you will find me waiting outside your place!”
She said and we laughed and hung up. I now had a decision to make. I did not really want to go out tonight but part of being a good friend is being there for your friend and she needed me right now. This is what happens when you don’t have a lot of work on the day. I tried to keep myself busy but I was so distracted. I kept expecting Sfiso to call me but he did not. I was now debating with myself whether to call him or not but I resisted. There is thiing that there is no true love in the world, where you find that someone has just lost a husband or wife and even before the body is in the ground, the sidedish is already hovering around to comfort. I did not want that. Maybe switching off my phone would be a good idea but then again what if Simba called.
Mr. Gold called me to his office and said that I was supposed to go to the Cape Town office and make some presentation the following week.
“You should be happy you will see Rudzani again!”
He said. Crap, I needed to call her and check in on her. I had even forgotten about her. I left his office and my mother called. This woman was a nightmare.
“You don’t listen to me. I know you think I am the worst mother but you should learn to listen to me!”
My mother said on the verge of tears.
“Mum what are you talking about?”
I asked her.
“With these things, once you open the door its three times harder to shut it! Why did you think I was trying to get it prayed for so quickly? It was not because I am a busy body! I was doing it for you because I loved you!”
She explained and now she was crying.
“But what was I supposed to have done mom. I wanted answers you could not have given me. Its all I wanted. She is your sister and imagine me ignoring my sister, your daughter for so many years. How does that work? You left me with no choice!”
I defended myself even thought I felt bad for her tears.
“You think you have all the answers neh? I wish I could wash my hands on this but I won’t. I know it destroys lives. The moment you went to your aunt it showed that you were interested. That’s what happened to your aunt. She did not want at first but the moment she consulted everything happened so fast! Take this seriously my child, this is not a game I can’t emphasize this more!”
She explained and I think her airtime finished because it cut. I contemplated calling her back but I did not want her to lecture me again. I will send her airtime later. Everyone kept on telling me that it was not a joke but I was not a child either! I know!
I decided that going out was in my best interest. An hour or two would be nice. I would show Cindy I had her back and would also loosen up after such an emotionally tense day. She even called.
“So where are we going? Newscafe or Cubana?”
She asked cheerfully.
I told her.
“Thank you so much for doing this. I will never forget your friendship. I really need this. I know you don’t normally go out on a work night!”
She said to me.
“O come on, now you making me emotional. We are going to enjoy!”
I reassured her. When I got into my driveway I noticed Mbuso’s car was there and something compelled me to go say hi. When I knocked Mbuso opened and immediately said,
It was awkward because he actually sounded relieved to see me. I thought he had kicked me out the other day.
“Thank God you are here, you were almost late!”
Late, for what? From behind him ran little Ntheteng and she gave me a big hug.
“Hi Aunty Lungi. I am so glad you came. I thought you had forgotten than you are coming to my school play tonight. Everyone can’t wait to meet you. I told them all about you!”
She said. She was already dressed up. I had totally forgotten. When we bought ice cream on Sunday she had told that other friend.
What about Cindy?
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank you for reading this.
Guys I am in trouble. I dated the same guy right through highschool, since I was grade 10 and we broke up in January. I am 25. We broke up because whilst I was faithful I found out he had slept with three other girls during our relationship. Everyone even my friends sympathized with me but told me that it was bound to happen, I had to live a little. It was not easy. I had only ever slept with one person and only ever know one guy. As a boyfriend he was strict but fair and never actually disrespected me to my face. He did most things right but with the sleeping around I felt betrayed so I dumped him. I don’t know how to say this because I am ashamed of myself. I started sleeping around. I don’t know if it was revenge on him or myself telling myself how stupid I had been to trust one man. Since February I have slept with seven men and that’s not even the worst of it. I am pregnant and I don’t know who the father is. Bhut’ Mike you once said ‘only a bicycle will not know who rode it’ and I am that bicycle. My two main suspects are married respected men in our neighborhood. The other was the guy my ex boyfriend hated. That’s how far I fell off the right path. I don’t want abortion its evil but I also don’t want a child whose father I don’t know. My ex has not moved on from what I heard. In fact he is doing much better for himself, got a new job and still comes to my house to see us. He has triied to apologize several times and I said no.
What do I do about my baby situation and how do I stop sleeping aroung?