Being subtle when you want information about something from someone is a very tricky art. I could not be aggressive in my questioning of his aunt because if I did not respect her she will become defensive. Another thing was that because she had just met me opening up to me was not the easiest thing to do unless I gave her a reason why to.
“Why are you not working today?”
She asked me as we sat by the pool. The kids were already splashing around meaning we were watching over them.
“I have taken my company to court.”
I told her and she shook her head.
“That’s the private sector for you! At some point you will find yourself in court defending something that should be common sense!”
She said. I could see that she related with me somehow meaning she had possibly worked in the private sector before.
“Yes that’s true. I never thought it would happen when I was so young though!”
I told her. I loved my job again I say and what was going on actually hurt. I was not going to let it to define who I was though, hell no.
“Its not about age. Don’t you realize that the intellectuals are getting younger by the day and because of that education are more likely to threaten the establishment than older people?”
She explained and she made sense. Usually when a person has a family they would not be so willing to fight the system. You simply had too much to lose and that would ultimately make you question if the sacrifice was worth it.
“So back to you and Mbuso?”
She said changing the subject back to what had left me speechless earlier.
“I was joking about the wedding but I know he likes you enough to want one! What’s going there?”
She said with a huge naught grin on her face. She was really curious.
“We have not reached that stage yet in our relationship and half the time we not on the same page!”
I explained to her.
“What do you mean?”
She had a lot of concern in her voice. You could tell she really loved Mbuso.
“Its hard to commit to someone whose back story you don’t know. He is very cagey about Kgabo and that scares me a lot. I understand he is still in love with her and that she is gone. I respect that and I know what she means to him but its hard competing with someone.”
I told her. You see women always like to be seen as though they know the most about relationships. I was playing on her emotions woman to woman.
“I am with you there I understand. Her loss really hit him hard and I have been encouraging him to open up and let someone in for a long time now. You are actually the first girl that he has allowed near Ntheti and I won’t lie for a moment there I thought it was never going to happen!”
“What happened to her?”
I asked her.
“She died in a car accident. It was bad. I remember that day so well when I got the news. Such a lovely person too she was!”
It was in the way she said it that made me realize that was not just an ordinary woman. The way Aunty Lynda had pride in her voice. At that moment Malume Rodney walked out of the house towards us.
“There you are ladies you left me in the house all by myself!”
He said casually.
“Shouldn’t you be leaving for your place now? You have been here long enough!”
Aunty Lynda responded to him a bit rudely. It’s like I had arrived in the middle of a family feud and this woman was not about to take shit from this dude.
“Why do you go all out to be mean to me? I am trying here!”
He pleaded with her.
“Mean? Are you serious? Do you want me to embarrass you in front of our guest really Rodney?”
She asked him. He just looked at her and went back into the house.
“Maybe I should just leave,”
I offered but she would hear none of it.
“No don’t. If anyone should leave it is him not you. He does not live here anymore but he insists on coming!”
She said with a very annoyed tone. Ok I had already gotten that but did it have to play out in front of me like this though. Surely there had to be boundaries in whatever their feud was.
“Anyway back to Mbuso, he is a good boy. Him and Kgabo were destined to be. They hardly ever fought and they came from two different worlds which on its own is rare. He did everything he could to upgrade himself for that girl and guess what, she did not want all that. She used to tell him she loved him the way he was!”
She explained. Ok so far the story seemed familiar. It’s what he had said earlier but it did contradict what he had told Nthabiseng and I.
“But is it wise that he moves on when he is clearly still madly in love with her. I think he still needs to heal.”
I told her.
“He has healed but he told me he told you how Ntheteng was conceived. It was not a small thing and looking at her everyday I think is not an easy thing. It’s not something people open up to easily.”
And there was the second part of truth. She indeed came out of a rape situation. Now I felt guilty for having pried on his story. I did not want to hear more.
“I have to go, I am meeting my lawyers in an hour and I don’t want to get stuck in traffic!”
I lied to her as my way out. That was my excuse because I honestly could not think of anything else. That’s what I call lack of creativity.
“So soon? Come on we were getting to know you. Please do say you will come at least, after your meeting.”
She asked me. I was not sure about that because I felt like I had just embarrassed myself. He had told me the truth but now I did not trust him because I had already planted it in my head that he could not be trusted. There is usually no coming back from that.
“Ntheteng come say bye!’
She called out her. She came running.
“Are you leaving already? Why? Do you have to go work? Will you come pick me up later? I would like that!”
She asked so many questions in that one moment her aunt and I laughed.
“Relax Ntheteng I will see you later.”
I told her. She could hug me because she was wet. I said bye to her ex husband and I drove out of that place. The guilt had not escaped me.
As soon as I got to the highway Nthabiseng called me. My hands free was not connected because my blue tooth on the phone was off. I had to pick up the phone direct which I hated. You never know when one of those Metro bike officers will stop you.
“Your company does not want to go to court, they want this to go away quickly and want a meeting. They want to settle and have asked for a meeting!”
Nthabiseng said. Imagine my timing for leave Aunty Lynda’s house and this phone call.
“Ok I am on my way!”
I told her. I don’t think I wanted a protracted fight either. Them wanting to settle was clearly as good as an admission of guilt. When I got to her office she was already preparing for our meeting.
“This is good right?”
I asked and she agreed with me.
“Cases can take months if not years sometimes so settling usually prevents all that. It allows you to move on quickly.”
She told me. I was so relieved. I wondered what I would do next with my life. I wanted to travel. I have always wanted to travel. This could be my chance. I had a few business ideas as well. Ten minutes after I got there their lawyers arrived. We were already sitting in the boardroom. It was three elderly white guys but you could see years of experience in them. Nthabiseng’s boss came and sat in with us. After the introductions one of them spoke up,
“There is no reason why to waste time. We have been instructed by our client that they are offering you r150 000, that’s three months pay!”
The lawyer said smugly. I could see the blood drain out of Nthabiseng’s face. Even her bosses jaw dropped.
“We also request that your client does not work in a job with the same specs for a period of not less than 3 months as her contract states!”
Nthabiseng could not hold it in.
“I would rather rot in hell before we ever accept such an insult. See you in court!”
She said angrily. Her boss did not stop her either and I think it was obvious that offer was beyond insulting.
“Its a fair offer Mrs Mbatha, think about it!”
He said directly to me.
“Its Miss and I am with my lawyer on this, are you mad? Like honestly did you smoke something before you came here?”
I asked him also shocked by the audacity of these people. Wow! White people yah neh. I give up on them shem!
******The End *******
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank you for the great work.
I was raised by both my parents and being the only girl child, my mom and I are very close and we share everything. My parents have been married for 33 years and that has exposed me to how difficult marriage could be and my parents love each other but it was never perfect. I am in a relationship with this 31 year old guy and I am 26 years. I have a 3 year old son that I had in my previous relationship and my boyfriend has a son from a previous relationship as well. This guy really loves and adores both me and my son and maybe my son more than me. He is type of guy who would give you massages after a stressful day, take my son out for the whole day just so that I can rest, buys almost everything that I ask for, would cook for me and made sure that he came to the hospital everyday when I was sick even though he doesn’t have a car and had to walk more than 1km to get to the hospital from where the taxis’s are. But my problem is he is not educated and yes he works a stable job and does things for both me and my son(financially), I earn more than him and I have Post Grad Degree. I have pushed him to go back to school and he eventually agreed to do that this year from July but he lacks ambition and that worries me. He does not communicate, if I do or say something he will never talk about it, he sulks or he will do exactly what I did to him or said to him, I spoke to him about this and he says this is who he is. He has never cheated on me in the 3 years that we have been together(as far as I know), but I feel like he is so immature in how he handles things in the relationship and another problem that I have is that he loves his friends too much and booze(spoke to him about this and he is trying and has changed a bit). He wants to get married but I am just not ready for marriage and I don’t think I want to get married to him. He is also a type of guy that says a woman shouldn’t do this and I am raised by a woman who is independent who would even paint the house all by herself so I don’t believe in that crap of a woman should do this and not do what. I am afraid of ending things because I think I might get worse than what I have but at the same time I want an ambitious, successful and matured man who will treat me like my boyfriend. Am I being selfish or should I just settle and be grateful that I have a man who respects me and loves all of me(me and my son)? Am I looking for a perfect man that doesn’t exist? All I want is advise and not criticism.