Some secrets are too big to keep to yourself. I am sorry but if you are excited you can’t keep the good news in. Come on that would be a lie. I was bursting inside. I called the one person I could tell without alerting my wife. In the morning when I left breakfast was ready as usual. She had made me my normal lunchbox and all was well with the world. It was not like yesterday. She was back to being herself.
“Good morning my angel!”
I said to her,
“Good morning mother of my child!”
I said touching her tummy lovingly. I could not help but marvel at that moment how God is a wonderful wonderful Being. I was happy; I was ecstatic and did not know what to do with myself.
“Good morning father of the child!”
She said back to me. At that moment I smiled and I could not stop smiling. I drove out with that smug satisfaction like Brutus after he married the Queen.
“I have a secret to tell you mate!”
I told Tumi as soon as I saw him. Ok I know I had promised that I was not going to tell anyone the good news but I just did not know how to hold it in.
“Dude you look like you have just won the lotto! Please tell me you won the lotto so I can finally have the courage to ask out Michelle Mosalakae!”
He said with a very serious look on his face.
“Who is Michelle Mosalakae?”
I asked him totally lost.
“Michelle Mosalakae? You don’t know who she is? Dude what rock do you live under? It’s that Albino girl on Isibaya?”
He said and I was even more lost.
“You have always wanted to date a white person!”
I said laughing at him.
“Don’t you know an Albino is just a white person who ate pap out of greed and God decided to call them black!”
He said thoughtfully and we laughed. The pervert even had a picture of her on his phone and guess what, she is beautiful indeed!
“Sorry to burst your bubble but I did not win the lotto and even if I had trust me it would not be for you to take out celebrities!”
I told him at which he sulked but playfully.
“You are going to be an uncle achuse!”
I said to him and his eyes lit up.
“No don’t tell me that?”
He said standing up.
“I am not kidding!”
He came to me and gave me a man hug and shout,
“Yeah my boy is becoming a father!”
He screamed out loud. Some white lady said congratulations but the petrol attendants, all black males, just looked on as though they had not heard it. See what I meant when I say South African men don’t usually celebrate children.
“Relax mchana she wants to keep it on a down low so you the only one I have told. You know Zulu’s and their superstitions!”
I said teasing my wife but he understood.
“Yeah I know I know. Sometimes I think that’s why I love her hey. These Jhb girls know too much and there is nothing fresh anymore about them.”
I told him but I did not mean it in the offensive manner it came out. Girls from towns will already be asking for the fourth doctor’s appointment already but here was my angel not even saying anything.
“I am proud of you mate. You not like some of us and if there is one person who truly deserves it it’s you!”
He told me. Now I could drive to work with a smile. I had at least told one person and that made me happy. It was such big news to keep inside. When I got to the office I called Londy to ask her if she was ok and if she needed anything. She laughed at me and told me to stop fussing.
“Have you spoken to your mother yet about why she wants to go out with my mother?”
She asked me. In the midst of all that I had totally forgotten about that.
“No but I will call her later though don’t worry I will find out. I don’t think they are planning to blow up a building or something its probably just lunch since your mother is in town!”
I told her. She was very worried about this meeting and the fact that this was the second time she had asked shows that she did not want it to happen.
“Vusi my office please!”
Kudzai said when he saw me. He was coming from the big boss’s office.
I asked him.
“There is a big tender coming from where I understand your mother works. Is there any chance you can try getting us a foot in on it?”
He asked me. News travels fast hey. So the contract my mother wanted to give us was real.
“I know nothing about but I can find out!”
I told him which was a lie. There was already a massive conflict of interest and what’s worse was that if I got the contract on my own with Tumi as we were planning there would be consequences.
“Yes and I think the boss will speak to you himself. You need to get this for us man. I get the feeling if you don’t your job will be on the line!”
He said so casually like it was the most normal thing to say. I thought he was joking but the way he walked away showed that he meant it. So here was the situation, if I got the contract with Tumi then they will say it was corruption and could get us arrested but if I got the contract for them they would say it was good networking. It’s an amazingly fine line no wonder why people have palaces in Dubai.
“What did he want?”
Rethabile came to my desk to ask. I actually had not seen her all morning and she more dressed up than usual.
“He wants me to join some contract thing but look at you what’s the occasion?”
I asked her.
She looked around first then said,
“I had an interview at 8an somewhere”
She whispered so that she could not be heard. We all do that I guess when we look for a new job.
“Did it go well?”
I asked her.
“I think it did but we shall see. Don’t tell Kudzai please!”
She told me as she sat down. I was very surprised that she wants to leave the company considering how much she seemed to enjoy it. Maybe they had offered her loads. I wanted to leave too but for now I was comfortable.
“What’s your mum doing here?”
She said to me looking directly behind.
I asked her as I turned. There she was striding towards me with purpose.
“Mum what are you doing here?”
I asked her when she was already standing at my desk hands folded across her chest to emphasize her mood.
“Good afternoon Mrs. Zungu?”
Rethabile said and my mother greeted her back curtly before the latter walked away.
“Why didn’t you tell me that your wife is pregnant?”
She said and I just went numb. Crap, I should have known,
“Tumi told you?”
I asked her and her face just got angrier. I could see it turn red even.
“Damn straight he did! Why didn’t you tell me? I am your mother I should be the first to know before anyone else! I am so disappointed in you I really am!”
She said shouting at me in front of my colleagues. I could actually feel her voice cracking as she had indeed been hurt and wanted to cry.
“No mum it’s not that. We had thought that you deserved to be told in person and we were going to come tell you ourselves. We did not want to do it over the phone!”
I lied trying to get out of the jam I was in now. I did not need my mother on the phone biting my ear off when I should actually be biting Tumi’s ear off. I should have known he would not keep his mouth shut.
“Is that so? So why is it when I called her to congratulate her she said that her culture nonsense! Since when do you lie to me?”
She asked me and the angrily walked out. I know she wanted me to follow her out but I was not going to. My colleagues just looked at me I think embarrassed. Here I was a grown man being shouted at as though I was a child.
“Get back to work!”
I said weakly as I slumped into my chair. It was not my fault; I was just respecting my wife’s wishes.
My phone was ringing and it was the last person I wanted. I knew exactly what was going to happen.
I said when I picked up Londiwe’s call. I held my breath for what I knew would say.
“Last night I asked you love, I told you reasons why and then you go tell your mother?”
She started, I tried to intervene but that just pissed her off more.
“You couldn’t wait to tell your mum neh! I begged you not to tell!”
She shouted on the phone.
“I didn’t tell her baby I promise! It was Tumi and I am sorry!”
I told her but it only made it worse.
“Wait? You told Tumi too? I begged you not to talk how could you?”
She cried to me. I know when she is angry but this time it was not anger, it was more like panic.
She really did take her superstitions seriously I must reassure her by taking her to a doctor.
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Dumela abuti Mike n team
Thank u for the good stories you give us. You are such an inspiration and I love you.
Here goes my story.
I am 30 years old with 3 beautiful babies’ bathong and life happened which led to me and baby daddy to separate. I have got a decent job basically, I afford life. So I met this guy last year and I made the run around until February this year. So the guy is a labor somewhere in lydenburg mine and he earns +-4000 a month. Ok when we met he told me gore he has kids with someone else. Well I did not have a problem with that simply because I have mine also and I still wanted to know him better. He is a good guy and all but I can’t shake the feeling that he is with me because he sees a poverty escape. Am even option for a taxi when visiting him because my car will go to every cousin n cousin of cousin. Now he is talking magadi n I know he can’t even afford to pay 600 yago tseba ka lapeng. Mind u this guy is 43 but his priorities r just messed up nje.1day he left me alone and I activated my detective skills, guess what I have found? He owes everyone and worse his 3 baby mamas r suing him for maintenance wit 1500 per child for 5kids. Now Mike am confused because I thought he was the guy for me but after wt I have found out about him I don’t know if I will b unfair to him if I call it quits. I just need genuine advice