“If someone loves you they will be patient. They will never pressure you for sex but if they do be very comfortable in the knowledge that after the sex there is a huge possibility your relationship won’t last.” Mike Maphoto
I am a person of my word. That’s the one thing I pride myself for. I had promised Ntheteng I would go with her and I had to keep my word. The problem is that it had totally slipped my mind and even if it had not happened like that, the fact that her father had kicked me out his house the other day meant I had failed to keep up that momentum with her. I was shifting the blame to him because this means this might not even have happened. He was angry at me about Azwindini of which I was angry at him too. Just because a man came looking for me did not give him the right to think otherwise of me. He should have asked first. Now I looked like some cheap girl simply because he did not ask. Irony was he did not hesitate allowing me to take his daughter to school. That showed some twisted loyalties and judgment right there.
“She has been talking about it all day. I didn’t want to call you because I thought you would be… Busy!”
He said in an offish kind of way. I knew what he was hinting at. He meant Azwindini. I could have snapped back but Ntheteng was staring at me with those big brown eyes. How could I be busy with that idiot really?
“I am never too busy for Ntheteng. I just need to go freshen up!”
I told her patting her on the head.
“Please don’t take long because daddy says we are already behind time!”
She reminded me. I should never have come here. Kids have a way of going straight to your heart and she had just played me silly. Not only was I going to a school play I was also going there as her mother. How did I become this person?
“Don’t worry am good with time!”
I told her. I went to my place and took a quick shower. I needed to feel fresh but the shower was faster than I hoped but it was better than nothing.
I said when she picked up.
“Crap I am running late but am almost done. I have this new makeup I am trying out you are going to love it I promise you!”
She said. She sounded so excited. I didn’t know what to make of this? She was supposed to be in mourning and people who mourn do not react like this. What was going on here? Something was seriously wrong.
“I am sure I am but unfortunately Cindy we have to postpone our date…”
I said to her ultra cautiously. I knew it was not going to go well.
She asked me.
“We can postpone for about two hours, not cancel, or move it tomorrow!”
I told her. She went quiet for a moment then she asked,
“What could be so important that you can’t spend just an hour of your precious time with me after I lost my baby?”
She went straight for the jugular there, damn!
“No it’s not that. I had prior plans. Remember I told you about my neighbor Mbuso, I am taking his daughter to the school concert. I signed up last week and its tonight!”
I explained to her.
“Wait a minute, you hardly know this kid, I have been your best friend for years and you choose her over me! I just lost my child and you choose her?”
She asked incredulously. She sounded very disappointed which made me feel even guiltier.
“It’s not like that. I can’t break my promise Cindy it won’t be right.”
I told her.
“Why don’t you come with us?”
I asked in what I thought would be a fair compromise. I had to at least try to be seen to be doing something. Instead she laughed, no, wrong word, she scoffed at me.
“Are you for real right now? I lost my baby and now you want to go surround me with children?”
She asked me and immediately I regretted asking that. Its my fault really though because I should have foreseen it.
“I am sorry I didn’t mean to be insensitive!”
I told her.
“What did you mean to be then? Of all the places I wanted to be today was with you. You are my friend. I should come first. You know if the roles were reversed I would never ever have you as second!”
Much as she was guilt tripping me the truth is she was telling the truth. I have been in sticky situations and Cindy had dropped everything for me.
“Ok then I will cancel with Ntheteng and her father but Cindy it really puts me in a bad position. The play is only for an hour and a half and I will be with you I promise.”
I reassured her.
“Its fine go for your thing!”
She said and she hung up. She did not even give me a chance to respond this time. The guilt I felt was immense. Cindy had always been a true friend and never let me down. She put me first always and I appreciated that immensely. This not just any other day when she was requesting me, her baby had died and I was yet to see her.
“Can we leave now its getting late?”
Mbuso said standing by the door. He was wearing an evening jacket which made him look so good.
“Yes we can leave! Sorry for the delay!”
I told him.
“Its ok, I understand that you had to bath.”
“You look good by the way and thank you for doing this!”
I told him.
“Are we using two cars or one?”
I asked him.
“Let’s use the one. It makes more sense in any case. Why would her parents come in two cars?”
He asked me and we laughed. She was already waiting in her father’s car meaning it was obvious which car we would be using.
“Are you ready?”
I asked her as I sat down. I noted that her father opened and closed the door for me.
“Yes I am ready. This will be fun. My school has so many people and I have so many friends. I am going to introduce to everybody!”
She said super excited. She really had been looking forward to this. I was going to be her mom but was what I doing wise. What if her father and I did not work? It would mean I am faking it for her to only set herself up for heartbreak.
“So how far is your school?”
I asked her.
“Its not that far but I can’t tell you in kilomeners I still don’t know!”
“Kilometres baby not kilomeners!”
He corrected her. I did not laugh even though it was funny. The school was not that far actually, she was right. When we got there was no where to park. Don’t all these parents have lives!
“We have to take her to her class!”
“That’s where they are gathering. From there we have to go find our seats.”
He explained. It was fun walking through all these kids. They were so young but you could see that they felt they were bigger and knew it all. Ntheteng was pointing out all the places from tuck-shop to pool just for me to get acquainted with her school. Eventually we got to the classroom.
“Miss Marizel come meet my mum!”
She said as soon as we got to the class. Crap this was wrong. It was one thing lying to kids who would not ask too many questions but to adults it was another thing all together.
“Mrs. Gama, finally we get to meet you. She has been talking about you all day. I am so glad you made it!”
The teacher said to me and gave me a hug. Yup, a hug, very happy teacher this one.
“I hope I will be around more often now so I can see her!”
I told her.
“Yes I hope so too. I can’t imagine life in the army. She says you are in the navy. I have a cousin who used to be in it and he said the six months at sea where tough. Are you in the submarines or boats!”
She asked me.
I lied. Why did I lie? Why didn’t I just tell her that I was not her father? I had just lied to Ntheteng’s teacher imagine. I was rather ashamed with myself. There would be many more awkward moments that night but I handled them like a pro. This kid knew everyone and she introduced me to everyone. By the time we were done I was exhausted and had lost track of time. It was already 930pm.
“Goodness, I have to call Cindy!”
I told Mbuso on the way back. He was driving. I called her and she did not pick up the phone. I sent her a message apologizing and she still did not reply. I was tired but this meant when I got home I had to go and see her.
“I can’t find her. She is angry at me. I had promised to do drinks with her earlier and it clashed with this. I am going to have to drive there now after this.
I told Mbuso. He had not met Cindy yet.
“I am sorry for that. I can drive you there if you want!”
“No thanks. Its something I have to do on my own. She had a still birth so she is going through something right now.”
I explained to him.
“That’s a tough one. I really am sorry to hear that.
He said to me.
“Tonight was great though and sorry for all those introductions. She can be hectic when she is happy!”
What a choice of words! By saying she was happy he was implying I caused that happiness so I must not go away.
“I am glad I could be of assistance!”
Like I said the school was not far. We were already back at our place.
“I think I must carry this little one in!”
“I am awake daddy. I can walk in by myself. Please Lungi come tuck me in. Daddy please can I bath in the morning I am very tired!”
She said all at one go.
“Of course I will tuck you in. Run ahead and put on your pjs!”
I said. Her father gave her the keys. He had to take out some things in the boot which I helped him with. When we got into the house she was already in her pjs and brushing her teeth.
“That was fast!”
I told her. She rinsed her mouth and ran into her bedroom. I just followed her.
“Do you want me to read you a bedtime story?”
I asked her looking around.
“Not today. I just wanted you to come in and say goodnight. I also wanted to say thank you. You make my daddy smile!”
Heh banna, this kid! She was busy playing matchmaker at my expense!
“Ok then. Goodnight Ntheti!”
I told her and I kissed her on the forehead. I walked out and met the dad at the door. He had gone down again to bring yet another box.
“Let me walk you to your place!”
We walked in silence. I had left my car keys inside so needed to get them so I could go. As I was fiddling inside my bag for the house keys I felt him move closer behind me. He turned me around as I had my back towards him facing the door. He pushed me against the door and he kissed me.
It was deliciously soft yet firm and decisive!
My knees felt like butter.
He said and he walked away to his place leaving me standing there motionless, too stunned to move.
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Hi Mike and fellow readers,
Thank you for your good work it really open our eyes.
I am 31 and my fiance/boyfriend is 37. We have been together for 9years now. He paid lobola two years into our relationship when we were expecting our first born. Today its 9 years later we still not legally married. He is been dragging this for all these years using all lame excuses you can ever find in the book. Now this year I said to him we must finalise this next year and he agreed but @ that time seemed like he just agreed for me to get off his back. Few months down the line he said he forgot what we discussed.
Nevertheless I reminded him and he said from now on he will be hands-on with savings and planning, since then he hasn’t said anything else.
I feel like we are running out of time and there so much has not been discussed like marriage contracts which I highlighted to him that I prefer ANC with accrual and he didn’t get back to me, who is going to provide which service as this is planned for April 2017 and it’s just around the corner. (Ante Nuptial Contract (ANC) with accrual means: Each partner states the value of their respective assets at the beginning of marriage. Thereafter any assets are shared 50/50. One can state that specific assets be excluded from the accrual, such an inheritances, donations etc.)
I want to ask him but I feel like I am pushing.
Has anyone been in this situation and how did you handle it ?