When a woman cries it’s not something to celebrate. It’s not something to beat your chest on and say you have done
well. When a woman cries often it’s because you have failed her and she is hurting. Watching Londiwe cry broke my heart. It broke my heart because I vowed that I should never bring her pain. My job I always told myself was to make sure that above all else she was happy. That was the vow that I had and right now as the uber driver drove, passing judgmental glances at me through the rear view mirror I really felt bad. The problem was I could not exactly take it back and say no, she can keep Tumi’s numbers. We drove in silence all the way back to my mother’s house. My wife did not say anything. When we got inside she went to the guest room where I thought she would lock herself in but she did not. I decided that I was going to give her some time alone so she could cool down before I came in and had a talk with her. I sat in the TV room but 15 minutes later I heard her open and walk out of the room. You know the sound that wheels make when you pull luggage, a suitcase, I heard that. I jumped up to find her already at the door.
“What are you doing?”
I asked her very surprised.
“I am going home Vusi. I am going home. I support you in everything that you do but right now you are not even happy for me. Instead you tell me that you suspect that I could be cheating on your with your friend? Are you for real?”
She asked me.
“Wait, I never accused you of cheating! All I said was…”
I did not finish that before she cut me off.
“You did not have to say it, you implied it. How could you even think that little of me! After all we have been through together you actually think I would cheat on you? With your friend?”
She asked me incredulously. She lifted her hands in air in desperation to emphasize her disbelief.
“It’s not what I wanted to say. I am sorry if the implication was that but it’s not!”
I tried to explain but she was not hearing me. She walked to a waiting Uber as I followed her.
“I am going home. You can stay here with your mother and when you are ready to be a man and a husband you know where the house is!”
She remonstrated. She got into the car and left. I tried calling her but her phone was off. You know in the movies the guy chases after the car to demonstrate his love her, in South Africa we don’t because you might be seen as weak and desperate by whoever is watching. I had no car here so like her I had to hail an Uber. Goodness what a waste of money. Today alone on transport it meant we were going to use over r700. I know women like to say if you love someone money should not matter but the reality is that it matters, it always does.
“Is everything ok?”
Mapula asked me from behind me. I had not seen her come up so she startled me a bit.
“Yes its fine don’t worry. Where does mum keep the keep the keys for the other car?”
I asked her.
“I don’t know. She hides them like I can drive!”
She said sarcastically and walked away. Crap this means I had to call her for them but I thought twice. If I used that car it would mean that my mother would have to come to the house or I would have to come back to drop it off. I decided to leave the car. 30 minutes later I was home too. We had only slept at my mother’s for a night when the plan was that we would be there for longer.
“Love come on I am sorry ok. It was not supposed to come out like that. I was not saying I don’t trust you.”
I found myself explaining to her. She was sitting on the couch when I arrived with the bag still next to her and she was still crying.
“It’s just that you and your mother have a way of making me feel really small. I have said this several times before but somehow you always seem to fall on your mother’s side!”
She explained to me and she was not lying either.
“I am sorry. We are back home now. I am not going back! You should not have walked out like that without us discussing first!”
I advised her but she rolled her eyes even with all those tears clouding them.
“And what? I should have stayed and let you tell me how bad I am or how ungrateful I am to your mother and you for all that you are doing for me? Is that it?”
She asked me.
“I am sorry love. I am on your side always I don’t know why you don’t see that!”
I told her but she just looked at me in disbelief and said,
“You say that now, wait till your mother calls!”
It was meant to be a rude retort and it worked in send a sharp pang into my heart. She was right I could see why in her eyes it would seem like that.
“I am not going back. I am going to start making supper!”
I told her standing up to go to the kitchen.
“Are you trying to make me feel guilty? You have just come out of hospital so you have no business doing the cooking!”
She told me standing up after me. She still had tears in her eyes and soon as she got behind me I grabbed her in my arms and I hugged her. She did not want the hug at first if the way she tried to wiggle out can be seen as evidence of that but I held on and she melted in.
“I am sorry love. I should not talk to you like that!”
I told her. She did not say anything as she sobbed into my chest. We stood there for five minutes before she finally managed to pull out.
“I need to wash my face!”
She said as she walked to the bathroom. I needed to change my shirt as well because she had messed it up with her makeup. I did not walk far before the phone rang, it was my mother.
“Where are you? I am bringing the guys in procurement for dinner so you can hear what they need from you to qualify for the tender.”
She said before I could even say anything.
“I am at my apartment!”
I told her.
“Why are you there? No, I don’t want to hear it! Get to the house. Don’t mess this up!”
She said and hung up. O crap! I could already see how this was going to go down with Londiwe. She had just complained about my mother now I was about to say I am going to see her.
“Baby I have something to tell you!”
I told when she came back in.
“Something you have to tell me? Like what?”
She asked me sceptical. She was wearing her gown and flops meaning she was ready to tuck in.
“I thought you said you were going to start chopping for me. I don’t want you cooking though. Today you deserve a warm meal cooked with love by me!”
She said. I could see she was trying to cheer up. She had that fake smile on her face which she put up whenever she was trying to play nice.
“I know I do but can I just go out for about two hours.”
I asked her as sweetly as I could.
“Where do you want to go? You have just arrived and do you think I will be comfortable going out with you going out at night after what happened?”
She asked me hands on waist and a look of disbelief on her face.
“I know baby but this is important and this is for us. I promise you that you will not regret it!”
I pleaded with her.
“Where are you going?”
She asked me. If I told her that I was going to meet my mother she was going to freak oat. I needed to lie.
“I am going to meet Tumi. Remember the files you mentioned. He also says he has new information on the project we are doing.”
I explained to her.
“You think I am a fool don’t you. Just say you want to go to your mothers and I will understand. You don’t have to be a mama’s boy and treat me like I am stupid in the same breathe! Respect me please!”
She said as she walked towards the kitchen. Was I that bad a liar though?
“It’s not what you thinking but this meeting is important. I would not be leaving the house but we need this, our baby needs this and if we are going to get that big house, this is a good start!”
I explained to her but she was not interested really. I took my keys and walked out because I was not going to win this one. I had to go then make it up to her when I got back. As I drove out there was a car that was at the gate in the visitor’s side of the boom gate… I noticed it because I had seen it somewhere before and an odd colour is a colour. I think all the way to my mother’s house it bugged me where I had seen that car before. As to be expected I was late and now I had to explain to everyone why I was late.
“I am sorry guys I am late. The wife is not doing too well!”
I said when I walked into the house. Everyone was already there.
“This is my son Vusi!”
My mother said smiling. She was clearly happy that I had arrived but I also know when my mother is annoyed. She knew I was lying.
One of the men said. I was ushered in a guess who was there, Tumi and Naledi plus her father. This was a serious meeting. The other two men I did not know but I guess they were in procurement.
“Thanks gents. Again my apologies for being late!”
I said sitting down.
Then it hit me.
That car at my gate.
That was Simon’s car!
At my house!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank you for reading my letter.
I am in pain. I lost my virginity last year to the guy I loved. We dated since I was in grade 12 and for 3 years he told me he was patient there was no rush. He would come pick me up from school, take me out on dates every weekend and was a gentleman. When I got to university he got a bit jealous when I made new friends but nothing out of the ordinary. He never brought up sex even though we fooled around quite a bit. I was very adamant about no sex until I was ready and he respected that. Guess what, I am a 22 year old girl and I recently found out I was HIV positive. I have only ever slept with one guy and have been loyal and faithful to him. He is 26 by the way. This means that he was sleeping around all along and could have known he was sick. How can a person who says they love you do this to you? After I found out I started asking people about my boyfriend something which I never did before because people always say that people have no business being in your relationship. It turns out he was sleeping with everyone some people my friends one even my cousin. I am so angry and I don’t know at whom because now I have this big burden on my shoulder. I am so hurt and have been crying everyday for the last two months. I want to ask why me because I did everything right and we only had sex twice without a condom. The first time was because the condom tore and the second time we ran out of condoms. There was no other time. I am not a reckless person but look at me now. I feel so betrayed and if I could kill him I would. I am too scared to tell anyone because I was that girl that taught everyone else about clean leaving and being safe. How could I have been so naïve?
I don’t know what to do.