What do white people call it? There is a phrase for it, oh yes, ‘cold turkey’ that was me that night. I slept cold
turkey. I never use my fingers. I once scratched myself when I was younger so I have had a phobia for that ever since. I took my shower and I went to bed. It’s fortunate that I was super tired in any case so I passed out almost immediately. It had been a long last couple of days and tomorrow was Sunday so I could sleep in.
The dream came back! There is no rest for the weekend.
“I told you to go get the stones and you refused!”
My grandmother was saying.
“But grandma they keep moving away. Every time I get closer they move. I can’t swim so I can’t chase after them as the water is getting deeper!”
I told her. We were back at the river and it looked shallow from the outside but the more I walked in the deeper it got.
“That’s why you need to make a plan on how to get those stones!”
She told me with a frustrated voice. I was frustrated too and my legs were cold because the water was cold.
“I will try again tomorrow, today I am tired now!”
I said fighting back already walking out of the water with purpose.
“No go back right now and get them!”
She demanded but I was not hearing any of it. I had tried and I had failed. I had told her I can’t reach it and this woman was not listened.
“No, tomorrow grandma!”
I told her. When I got to the side of the river she said,
“You remind me of my mother, she was stubborn and head strong like you. You even walk like her too. I can see that you are going to have many kids!”
She said as she faded away and I woke up with a start. Dreams of this nature you remember every detail. That’s just how it goes, you remember every single detail.
I asked myself sitting up. Why was I going to have many kids now? I only wanted one; kids are bloody expensive no one wants an army anymore nowadays. Have you seen the price of crèche? R3500 a month and most of these parents are single mothers so you tell me where that money will come from. I should join the #crechefeesmustfall now then before I even have kids ah.
I said to myself looking at the time. When I went to bed I was completely exhausted so now why could I sleep. I hate it. I heard a car drive in and only because I was curious I ran to the kitchen window to check but discreetly. From my kitchen window you can see the car park. It was Esethu. There was someone else in the car with her but it was her car. The light in the car was not on. I could not see the person clearly but she hugged the person or kissed the person I am not sure. When she opens the car door, the light went on and the driver was definitely a guy also wearing doctor clothes. Who was he? Why was he driving her car and had they kissed?
“I will see you tomorrow. Thanks again for doing this!”
She said to him. I could hear it because at 330 in the morning there is no other sound at night so you can hear everything.
I told myself. To go to Mbuso’s place she has to walk past my window. I saw her drag her feet as she walked across to first reach the stairs and then walk back. I was in the dark so she could not see me but when she got to my place she looked at my window. I froze. Had she seen me? She looked exhausted though. I watched her look for the keys as she walked and reality hit me once more, she had keys and I did not.
“Lungi you are such a loser!”
I told myself. I could not sleep at all and it was only around 8 in the morning when the sun was out that I managed to dose off. Thank heavens it was Sunday. I don’t even think I dreamt but I was woken up by someone knocking on the door.
“Good morning Aunty Lungi, it’s almost afternoon but it’s still morning right!”
Ntheteng said walking straight in. What was she doing here? It was a little after 11 already and the sun was blazing. So much for all that rain.
“Good morning Ntheti.”
I said to her. She went and sat down on the couch.
“Can I switch on the TV? At my house dad is watching cricket and I can’t stand it.”
At times you would swear this child was older than they were telling us she is. She was so mature in how she spoke.
“Sure you can I guess.”
I told her. What do I say to her now? I was not in the habit of having conversations with kids.
“What time are we leaving for the party? Dad says the party starts at two?”
That’s why she was here, to remind me of the party. Ah come on! I had promised to go with her yesterday to piss off Esethu but I had not thought this through. I did not want to go for a kid’s party.
“I am so excited. I told Kgaukgau that I am coming with my mom. She thought I was lying because I never go anywhere with you so I can’t wait to see the look on her face when we show up. You must drive your car because she says her father has a car like it, this way she will remember it’s you!”
Ntheteng said so many things without even posing for breathe. This kid really knew how to blackmail you with a smile on her face. How do you say no to that?
“Yes I am going with you, I promised right didn’t I?”
I reminded her.
“Yes you did. See why you are the best!”
She stood up and came to hug me where I stood. I wanted to scream inside me. How had I gotten myself into this? My mother called me and I answered. She asked if I was coming to see her as she had church things to do. I told her I also had something but will try sleep over tonight.
“That’s what you always say!”
She said before she hung up. She was too much work this woman. I was going to go. Ntheteng was flipping through the cartoon channels at this stage. I don’t think she could find what she wanted.
“Can I use the bathroom please?”
She asked me sweetly.
“Sure go ahead!”
I said sitting down on the couch. She was the sweetest child, polite and well raised. At that moment there was another knock, it was Mbuso! I had not seen him since last night and after what I had done to him I am sure he wouldn’t be able to look me in the face anyway.
“Is Ntheteng here?”
He asked me literally looking at his laces.
“Yes she is she is in the bathroom, come in!”
I told him. Only after he walked in did I notice that he was with Esethu behind him. Why was she here? Was she here to make sure that I stay away from him? Too late honey.
“Good morning neighbour!”
She said cheerfully. Somebody shoot me right now please, anybody! I must join Boko Haram just for her mxim!
“Good morning. You guys look up and ready, where are you off to?”
I asked trying to sound as cheerful and make polite conversation at the same time.
“I wanted to go for breakfast but I found breakfast already made pity I could not eat it in bed, I came back late!”
She said sitting down next to me. Did she have to? She was rubbing it in that he had made her breakfast in bed. I had not even eaten. Mbuso just stood there like a zombie!
“Oh that’s nice. You must have been TIRED my dear. Is it always like this?”
I asked her. Like any profession, they want people to believe that they work harder than anyone else. Even a teacher will tell you how hard they work even though they only work 6 hours usually if they manage their time well but oh well.
“Yes it is. I am always on call especially now that we are short staffed! I can’t remember the last time I had a full free weekend!”
She said making herself sound very important. She had fallen for it. I had emphasized the TIRED to remind Mbuso of the half assed sex he will be signing up for the rest of his life. Poor dude. Again he could not hide his annoyment as he remembered the conversation as well I am sure.
“I think it takes superhuman strength to do what you do. I always picture blood and vomit in hospitals!”
I went further.
“I know but that’s usually the nurse’s job. The worst thing that ever happened to me was someone puking on me! That was horrible but it’s rare!”
She said. See, I had made an effort to know more about her, yay!
“Aunty Lungi, look what I found in the bathroom, what is this?”
Ntheteng walked into the lounge from the bathroom making us all turn to look at her! God help me, she was holding BoyBoy! I stood up so fast but everyone had already seen it and grabbed it out of her hand and said,
“It’s a massager for my back!”
I said but Esethu could not help it, I can’t blame her, she burst out laughing. I had totally forgotten it was there, my house was not child proof! And there is no word like massager by the way but it’s the first thing that came to mind.
“What’s so funny? What is a massa… that word you said?”
The poor child asked confused and Mbuso responded,
“Ntheteng that’s enough. We are leaving!”
He said sternly. I could not tell whether or not he was angry but I know for a fact I had given Esethu something to gossip about with her patients.
“What about the party?”
I asked as they walked out but Mbuso did not answer Ntheteng did,
She said skipping out innocently not understanding why everyone had left so fast.
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
I’ve been following your work since the beginning of DOAZG and I must say, your talents are out of this world… more of a reason I buy data… May the good Lord abundantly bless you?
I’ve been procrastinating if I should write or not for a year now and I finally decided it’s worth a try
Over a year ago, my little girl (aged 4 now) was shot several times while she was with my nephew whom she adores as her big brother. She suffered an injury to the spine and we were told that chances of her walking again were slim but God was merciful enough to let me see my little girl walk again. Although it’s still not “perfect” she’s still undergoing physiotherapy…. to cut the long story short, the guys responsible for her shooting where 5 friends and 4 of them were arrested at the hospital and one was said to have fled, we still going to court with the other 4 whom are out on bail… the one who apparently fled is actually the owner of one of the guns involved in my daughter’s shooting and he’s been said to have been living his life normally. Meaning he never fled but that’s what the officer who handled their case said to me… I’ve beaten myself up over and over blaming myself for my baby’s injury until I realized it’s pointless to beat myself up and do nothing about it.
Mike and readers with the justice system of South Africa how do I make sure my daughter gets justice, I mean I don’t want my baby growing up to resent me, I want her to know that I did everything I could to make sure she gets justice
Where do I begin….?
Hurt and confused mother
Ps I would love to remain anonymous
Thank you all in advance