As women we always tell ourselves that we will never be bad mothers. Often we compare ourselves to our own mothers
and say we are going to be better than them. It’s weird how the comparison is always with her yet I am sure that before she had a family she too said that she will be a great mom. Why then do we not find her so great when we are making this decision? I kept on making mistakes with Ntheteng. She was not my child yes but I can’t keep on stumbling from mishap to mishap and not worry that when one day I have one of my own I will make similar mistakes.
“BoyBoy you are grounded!”
I told my toy as I hid it away safely. Now Esethu was going to think me a pervert. I can’t blame her either I had let myself down. There was something I needed to call because it has been so long, Cindy. Since she miscarried and kind of lost it I have not been a good friend to her.
I told her when she greeted the phone.
“Hi, who’s this?”
She asked from the other aside. I checked my phone to see whether I had dialled the right number and indeed I had.
“Did you delete my number? It’s me Lungi!”
I told my stomach knotting because I was hurt by that.
“Oh hi, my phone formatted and I lost my numbers. I just had to wait for you to call me that’s all!”
She said rather coldly. Cindy often did that, she believed her true friends will reveal themselves by deleting her phone book and then wait to see who called back. Crazy but true.
“I am going to the doctor now but will call this evening!”
She said still coldly then she hung up. I stared at that phone for a moment longer and accept. I sat there wondering how I could have forgotten about that thing. I was tired so I lay down and decided to rest. I passed out only to be awakened by my phone ringing. The TV was still on cartoons. It was Mbuso.
I asked him groggily.
“Are you still coming, Ntheteng is ready and has been waiting for you?”
Mbuso asked me on the phone. I looked at the time and we were behind time indeed.
“Yes I am coming!”
I told him I was not about to let her down. When I got there I found the madam watching TV eating popcorn. This again was backfiring against me. It meant that I had taken Ntheti out of the picture giving her free reign of him in my presence. Since when did I become this petty person? I needed to get a grip of myself.
“Let’s go Aunty Lungi! Did you pack a camp chair? You will need one and don’t you have a big hat and sunglasses?”
Ntheti asked me. I had not packed all those but why is so important to her.
“Nope do I need them?”
I asked her.
“Yes you do. You also need a small cooler box with water and drinks that stays in your car just in case.”
She went on to explain. I did not have a small cooler box.
“I don’t have one.”
I told her and before I could continue she said,
“Daddy please can we have the cooler box!”
She asked for it.
“It’s in the car and a camp chair, let’s go will give it you!”
Esethu said waiving.
“Thank you we will, right Aunty Lungi!”
“Yes we will.”
I told her but I was far from convincing. Walking with Mbuso after what had happened last night was beyond awkward.
“Bring back my camp chair!”
He said by way of a joke. Like I was ever going to leave it there.
“Enjoy your lunch!”
I said sarcastically. Ok I was being nasty for no reason. I got the gps coordinates from Mbuso and we were off. Thank God she sat in the backseat all on her own because I would not have thought of that.
“So how long have you been friends with Kgaukgau?”
I asked her. They had met at school and she was her best friend in the whole world. That’s what she told me.
“Ntheti what does your father do?”
I asked her as we drove off. I had actually never asked him that question. He my neighbour yes and he had an amazing physique but I had no idea what he did.
“He is a plumber. It’s written on his other van but he doesn’t often come home with it.”
Did she say plumber? He was blue collar? Then how did he manage to stay in our estate because my unit alone rental was r8000 a month. Do plumbers even make that much amount of money?
“Is something wrong Aunty Lungi?”
She asked me.
“Nope, why do you ask?”
I asked her.
“It’s just that you went very quiet!”
This child was too observant. I am not being a snob here but picture a plumber and a doctor or a plumber and a bio chemist. Men always say they want women who will stimulate them intellectually, with Mbuso who was already a quiet person mind you
“Nah its fine. Everything is fine. What music do you like?”
I asked her changing the topic. It was not because we got there in no time. The party had already started and by the looks of things people here keep time. Why had she asked me to bring a camp chair when it was a party in a house? Ntheteng ran inside immediately as I followed with the presents. How could Mbuso afford all this? By the time I got in she was hugging some woman so naturally I went to her.
“Remember my mum Kgau’s mom?”
She asked her before I could even open my mouth. This child had an agenda neh.
“Oh yes we met when you guys were buying ice cream!”
She said pleasantly.
“I must say you have a good memory and a beautiful home. Sorry we late, got delayed at home!”
I told her as I handed the present.
“This is for Kgaukgau!”
I said as she received it.
“Thank you for this. She is going to love it I am sure. I am Lulama by the way!”
Shit I had not introduced myself.
“Oh sorry, I am Lungile!”
I told her.
“Pleasure to meet you once more. You have such a beautiful daughter and she so polite. Every time I see her she passes a compliment! You taught her well”
The lady said and my first instinct was to try and explain that she was not my daughter I was babysitting but I felt bad. Ntheteng had introduced me as such.
“Thank you very much. I don’t attend much of these functions because of work but when I am around I try my best!”
I explained to her.
“Well let me introduce you to the other moms!”
She said pleasantly. It was a group of diverse women actually, four moms in all. I think even in the mom crowd there were cliques.
“This is Thembi, Tshepi, Nomonde and Fifi!”
She said. I learned as the day went on that two were teachers, Nomonde housewife and Fifi had an online store. I think that’s what she said.
“We also have a whatsapp group were we update each other on what’s happening at school and so on. You should join. Mbuso is already on but he never contributes to the discussion!”
She said and we all laughed. The excuses were because he was like a single dad and men don’t talk. I never actually realized how being a single mom is actually a lot of work. All in all we had a pleasant afternoon. By 630pm we were home and Ntheteng was so tired she slept in the car. I carried her to their door and Esethu opened.
“Oh you guys are back, come in how was it!”
She asked me.
“Being a mum is hard work. I hung out with a bunch of moms and they just made me feel like I have a lot to learn for when I become a mom one day. I need to make a baby soon you know!”
I told her and she laughed.
“I don’t think I want kids just yet. My career could be affected but I love kids!”
She said. I felt like asking what she was doing here then if that’s how she felt but I humbled myself.
“Say hi to Mbuso for me!”
I told her and I left. Very mature of me. My phone rang as I entered my house.
“Are you home, can I take you out for a drink?”
Simba asked me.
“Sure that’s fine. I am bored anyway!”
I told him. I forgot to mention the exhausted part but having spent the day with mums I needed fresh air.
“Let me send you an Uber. I don’t feel like driving and besides I said I want to have a sip.”
He said. I didn’t mind that either. Drinking and driving is a bad idea in any case and you put unnecessary pressure on yourself when you go out just trying to balance out how many drinks you should have to be allowed to drive.
“Ok then. I can’t wait!”
I told him
This day was not going to be disastrous after all.
Some peace and quiet!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
I have wanted to write this for a long time. I am aged 35. I met a beautiful woman five years ago she is 30. I don’t have kids of my own but she has a 9 year old child. We started dating and she made it clear that she was getting old and wanted to get married. I grew up in a family where no one married anyone so marriage for us has never been a priority. I then took her daughter under my wing and raised her as a daughter, took her to an expensive private school, loved her provided for her as a real present father would. I made sure that my girlfriend (the mom) had everything she needed and I would even send her on holidays abroad and so on. A month ago she came and said that this is not enough for her, love is not enough. I love this woman and she knows this, I love her daughter even more. She said she wants us to break up. She says she is too scared to wait another year. I then told her she was right and let me gather my people around to start the negotiations. She says no, it’s too late. I have never cheated on her, I have never betrayed her, I have never let her down, I have done what no other man would do and raised her daughter, I have never allowed her to be broke etc. In our relationship we have never had a fight and in fact this “fight” we are having is the longest period we have fought “two weeks” but she is willing to break us up. I know I took us 5 years to this point when she has wanted to get married from year 3 so I don’t entirely blame her for wanting to leave as she has been asking for this. I have already started talking to my uncles who have already agreed on the date but now my girlfriend won’t accept to deliver the news because she is saying it’s too late.
I love this girl. Help me get her back. Help me build a family for us.