Mbuso is nice and all but there is something dodgy about him. Why did he run away when I told him that Ezile was her doctor? Why was he avoiding seeing her? Was it because he was with me?
“R150? Who puts r150 fuel?”
I found myself talking to myself as I walked into the hospital. I was actually annoyed that he had dumped me off like that. Ok part of me wanted Ezile to see me walk in with him, just to see her expression. I am selfish I know because I am not even sure if Mbuso is the one for me. How important are finances to a relationship? I know there are people who will tell you that love is more important than anything else but I beg to differ. You can’t realistically get married to someone whom you know will not better your situation five years down the line. Imagine knowing that the person you love in entirety won’t be able to put adequate food on the table and having kids would probably end you on the social welfare grant queue! It’s not a nice feeling and yes it sounds selfish that I think money is almost as important as the love itself but how could I take care of Mbuso and Ntheteng in future when his late wife’s life insurance finished. I am not being arrogant but the reality is everything nowadays is expensive. By the time Ntheteng gets to university I bet you anything that even if EFF was in power, school fees will still be expensive. That’s the reality of the world, nothing free is ever sustainable.
I found my sister in the waiting room. She was not in the ward. She did not stand up to greet me when I got to her. She was angry at me.
“I am sorry I am late, how is she?”
I asked my sister as soon as I got to the ward. There is a huge difference between private and government hospital I must say. Again these are things we should never take for granted. Somewhere somehow who ever runs government must look into these hospitals to improve them to match this standard.
“Oh you decided to show up!”
My sister said sarcastically.
“You really don’t believe anything I tell you do you?”
I asked her in response immediately getting into defensive mode.
“Oh no I do but your mother gets sick and you decide to get arrested? Really? How selfish is that? Do you want her to die of stress?”
She asked me very annoyed.
“Do you honestly think I got arrested on purpose?”
I asked her. She was alone her husband was not there.
“You know what, if there is something you want to say to me say it! We have been stuck on this fighting thing for way too long now! It’s tearing us apart!”
I warned her before she could even respond. This tension between us was not healthy.
“It’s tearing us apart because you started this. I won’t even deny that! How do you think its right to beat up your own sister’s husband? The more I think about it the worse it feels and seems!”
She started. He we go again.
“I never thought it was right in the first place but let me ask you this, has he cheated again since?”
I asked her defiantly.
“Why? So you can beat him again? Come on Lungi!”
She responded cheekily.
“I was protecting you ok and I am sorry you don’t see that but that’s the truth!”
How true is it that often abused people will side with the abuser? My sister was trying to defend that loser.
“The two of you are you not even ashamed of fighting in public like this! Where is your self respect and respect for your mother?”
A voice said from behind us. I swear for a moment there I thought it was my mother’s voice for they were almost identical. I turned around immediate to see who it was and what a surprise it was see my aunt, my mother’s sister standing there.
I said out loud a bit unnecessarily but I think it was the shock of seeing her there that made the word come out.
“How are you?”
My sister stepped up in front of me and went to give her a hug. My aunt was dress in a business suit. I kid you not. When you think Sangoma you think beads bones and all that but she was wearing a formal business suit. You would think she was coming from an office or something.
“I am good thank you. Thank you for calling me!”
She said to my sister. I had not thought of calling her ah!
I scolded myself for it. It felt like I was competing with my sister and she was winning in every department so far.
“What are the doctors saying?”
She asked my sister.
“She is doing a bit better and she was up earlier on. She is a bit scared though because you know mum and being sick. It’s an occasion!”
My sister said sarcastically but we all laughed.
“Yes she has always been like that. In high school she used to fake that she was have period pains every two weeks just to get out of school. When your grandmother found out she beat her up so badly when she had period pains she would rather go to school and sit in class than be at home. Come to think of it, it was not the best experience!”
Our aunt told us probably the first story we had heard together from her about our mother. I was not surprised that we did not know much of our mothers growing up because there was no one to tell us. My aunt wanted to say something else, I could see by the expression on her face.
“Aunty what’s on your mind?”
I asked her. She seemed afraid to speak. My sister also saw it and encouraged her to speak,
“We all family here…”
Those were her words.
“There is this saying that I know which says whenever a black person dies, the family will always find a witch to blame. I did not come here to fight. Your mother is not sick; these are bad spirits that’s all. Even when we were young we were advised on this. She always complains of pains and illnesses which are not there right? It’s not because she is lying to you but rather these things are happening to her but it’s not for the medical doctors. We need to do a cleansing ceremony and you will see all these things will go away!”
My aunt said to us. I could see my sisters face turn green! I know when she is annoyed.
“Aunty you promised we won’t do that here. You know ma is not going to like it and it is only going to stress her more!”
My sister reprimanded my aunt for going all Sangoma on us like that.
“I know you did but I can’t help what I see. She is my sister too and no matter what I still love her to death. I won’t talk about it again but then again seeing her suffer from things which can be fixed and keep quiet is not right.”
She explained. I could not help but wonder what it must feel to be her because to a lot of these modern people, people like her are as good devils. She must appear to be a whack job and this was supposed to be my fate. She was right, mum was always convinced that she was sick and always we never found anything with doctors. That’s why I called her a hypochondriac. How then had she missed this cancer?
“I think aunty is right though, it’s something to consider!”
I told my sister with a soft voice. I did not want us to start a fight here and I was not sure how she would take it.
“Eish, not you too. I respect both your opinion but at the end of the day ma will rather die than go through with it. You both know she does not believe in this.”
My sister said taking the diplomatic route. She was right as well because my mother would never. It was awkward for a second as neither my aunt nor me dared say something else. Fortunately my sister broke the silence after
“Eh let’s go, the doctor is here now!”
She said looking at the watch in the visiting area.
“He will tell us what’s going on?”
She said. We followed her almost in single file. After that little exchange I think neither my aunt nor I wanted to do this. Whenever black families have a sick family member the stress of it almost always brings out family feuds. We are programmed like that. We did not know where her ward was so my sister was the lead in this. When we got to the second floor we found Ezile there.
She said and she came and hugged me.
“We seem to bump into each other a lot here hey its weird!”
She said cracking a joke. I can never fully understand her. I mean this girl likes me, or acts like she likes me but where there is a man involved you can never trust someone like this.
“So I have good news and bad news.”
She said being dramatic for nothing pshhh,
“The good news is I don’t think your mother has cancer at all. I have examined her and its still early stages of the exam of course but I am not convinced as you said when you got here!”
She said telling my sister or rather all of us at once.
“But the other doctor said she does?”
My sister asked her very surprised. I was surprised too to a certain extent.
“I know he did and it’s in the chart you came with but we also did our tests. Look the results will be back from Lancet conclusively this evening but I honestly don’t think it’s there and that’s a good thing!”
She said put her hand on my sister’s shoulder as reassurance. I had tears of joy in my eyes because this was the best news ever. It was at that moment that my mother decided that now was the time to wake up. She took one look at us then saw her sister and all hell broke loose.
“Get out! Get out! You witch! Don’t bring witches here you hear me!”
She said screaming at the top of her voice pointing to my aunt, her sister!
“Mama calm down!”
I went to her to comfort her.
“It was you, you brought her here! I told you don’t open this door, now you too will be a Sangoma. St. Peter won’t allow you in heaven. You, you have made my daughter be rejected in heaven!”
She said shouting at my aunt who was backing out of the room extremely humiliated by that outburst.
Ezile just looked at me like I was some weirdo. Nothing more humbling than being embarrassed in front of your rival.
Was my aunt right though about my mum’s nonexistent sicknesses and if so, what next?
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
I’m such a huge fan of yours, been here since Doazg, back in my varsity days.
Please keep me anonymous.
I’m a 27yr old girl dating a 34yr old guy. I wasn’t really ready as I was still recovering from my previous relationship, after about 4 months I have in to he’s requests and started dating him.
The problem is at this moment it feels like I jumped the gun as I don’t love him the way he loves me. He’s pressuring me to meet my family as he’s planning on paying Lobola later this year and I don’t want to cause he’s not my ideal partner we recently broke up and I finally felt free however we met up to talk and somehow I got roped back into the relationship. I felt lonely without him cause he’s quite a fun guy to be around and he takes care of me.
My question is it fair on both of us to stay together?