Thank you for your patience and all the well wishes. I had a bit of a relapse there but I think am good to go now. I hope it won’t happen again it’s quite exhausting. This is turning out to be a shitty year for me but am still here. My apologies yet again (3times this year already) but please keep the faith.
Back to writing…
I wanted to laugh at how absurd this sounded but I would have looked foolish indeed had I done so. What the hell was going on here vele? Was this guy in some way implying that it was on an ancestral level this bullshit was coming my way? Even my aunt, a conditioned sangoma looked confused by the bewildered look on my face.
“Ah Mbilahelo you tried to arrest my daughter?”
My aunt asked him bemused.
“I did not try hard enough. It was a misunderstanding actually and I came to apologize to her soon after I found out that we had made a mistake!”
He explained to her sheepishly!
“Do police apologize to every criminal they wrongly accuse?”
I snapped back at him.
“Tell her you came to ask me out on a date! The nerve Aunty, this man tried to arrest me then next thing he tried to get in my pants!”
I told on him of which he immediately looked down embarrassed. I think at this point he wanted the ground to open and swallow him and it’s a pity the ground never obliges us.
“I am sorry. I did not know where I was coming. I have been having these dreams aunty that’s why I wanted to see you. I see my timing was way off.”
He went back to his original story. This guy was a cop and if he did not know that she was my aunt then he was a bad cop indeed. Don’t the police investigate before they come to arrest you because if he could make such an oversight how many more mistakes has he been making in his job. People wonder why our police are so bad and criminals seem to walk away from being convicted, it’s because of the laziness of police not to thoroughly investigate a case before taking the next step.
“Lungi shut up, I will deal with you later for having been almost arrested!”
My aunt cut me down as I was snapping my mouth off!
“You have been having some dreams that led you here? Are the dreams that bad Mbilahelo because I thought you don’t believe in such things?”
My aunt asked him. I could see she was confused by the moment and as yet she could not put a finger on to why.
“Yes, well no! I thought mum could help but she insisted I come to you. Even today before her guest arrived she wanted us to come to you.”
He explained. He really did not know where he was going and neither did my aunt know that he knew me it was just me being mean to him. It was not some kind of setup therefore.
“I am sorry about your mother. I really am. I feel like I have just trespassed and that was not my intention. I don’t even know what to say! I would not even know where to start if I lost my mother!”
He said to me. I put myself in his shoes and I could totally understand why he felt he was trespassing. It made sense now didn’t it? Imagine showing up unbeknown to the house of the girl you are pursuing. It comes across as creepy and stalking.
“Its ok thank you. I know you did not come for me but thank you for coming nonetheless! It means a lot funny enough and shouting at you just now made me feel a lot better!”
I told him adding that bit of cheekiness at the end hopefully for humour’s sake. He being here was turning out to be an even bigger moment the longer we stood here.
“I think my timing is wrong Aunty can I make another appointment to come see you. Here is not the place for such things.”
He said to my aunt putting off his consultancy.
“No this is the right time. When else would you see her in any case?”
I jumped in. I am going to make this clear; I did not jump in because I wanted him to get help or whatever but rather because I was curious on whether or not the dreams had anything to do. I sincerely hope Sangoma’s don’t have doctor patient confidentiality otherwise I would be up for disappointment.
“Are you sure Lungi? He can always come to the house next week!”
My aunt asked me. I am sure she too was wondering why on the one hand I was shaming him and on the other I was coming to his rescue.
“I am sure. I know how bad dreams can make your life hell. Go for it!”
I reassured her. He looked at me rather confused I think because seeing me here truly had thrown him off his game.
“Is that ok with you?”
My aunt asked him and he just nodded. There was more going on than I had acknowledged about everything.
“It’s sorted then. Lungi can I use the room you were sleeping in? We need the privacy but we won’t take long!”
My aunt said to him. Mbilahelo walked away with what I can only assume was optimism on his face. He was not here for me after all but he was getting the help he needed. He was delusional if he thought his ancestors can hook up and ancestors if you are listening, you too are delusional if you think I will ever marry a policeman! Hawema!
I watched them walk away. Crap, I had allowed them to go use my room. It was a mess! A girl never takes a guy to her room for the first time if it’s messy. I blushed embarrassed at the thought. At least I was not those girls that hung their panties everywhere! Nasty girls!
I sighed as I turned to my phone and went through it. I had so many messages of condolences.
“I need to run to the shops they have run out of sugar!”
Miriam asked me when she bumped into me walking into the yard. I had said earlier on I was going to talk to her.
“Come with me please I don’t want to go alone. Remember when we were kids and used to sneak out to go buy Ice at night and your mother would beat us up because firstly we had stolen the money and secondly we did not have permission to go that far anyway!”
She asked me reminding me of our childhood. I smiled as I responded,
“Point of correction, you always made me steal it! It was never my idea but the ICE was worth it Shem! I would do it all over again if I could. I wonder what the look on mama’s face would be like! She would probably beat us all over again even though we are grown now!”
I said and we both laughed. That mention of my mum made us both keep quiet. I got into her husband’s car and we drove off. We were silent at first and it was only when we got to the shops that she opened her mouth and said,
“I have been meaning to talk to you about something. Firstly I would like to apologize about what happened in Nelspruit. I should not have let you go home by yourself and the whole gun thing… I was a bad friend and I am sorry!”
She said to me. Funny enough I had totally forgotten about that and it came as a surprise that she was apologizing now.
“It’s ok! It was an adventure I guess. How did you handle the situation though?”
I asked her. Last time she had found out that she was wife number two and we had not really spoken about it since.
“How did I handle it? I am pregnant and the kid is not his. He will raise it though because my child needs a father and the man who is the real father is not really ready for responsibility as he has a young child of his own.”
She said so casually I swear my jaw dropped all the way to the floor.
“Wait, what do you mean he is not the father of the child Miriam come on?”
I asked such an obviously redundant question but I needed more answers. She was not making sense at all. She was married so why was she not pregnant by her husband.
“Oh please, to every trash man there is a woman who facilitates, defends or supports it. Men don’t cheat on their own, they cheat with women and often their woman has an idea that her partner is cheating but lacks the will to investigate. All men give off signs when they are cheating it’s us women who just choose not to recognize them because we act like we the first people that discovered love!”
She said and somehow that stung me hard. I did not have a man yes but I felt sorry for those that do, innocent people like my sister. She was wrong but was she? My sister had always known that her husband was a cheat, I knew about it too but as long as he was home we were happy. That means if Miriam was right we had played that “facilitate” role she mentioned.
“That still does not justify the fact that you are about to make his raise another man’s child. Come on Miriam, that’s extreme!”
I pleaded with her but talking to Miriam is like trying to convince Mmusi Maimane that he is not white and his white friends view him very much as black like the rest, shocker! They are not your friends boo boo, you just a means to an end!
“Lungi get off that high horse. How many men have abandoned kids who are being raised by single mothers and their grannies? I don’t here you going there and asking them why they did it. Those very deadbeats then go on and marry another woman and make it seem like they are angels white wedding and all. That’s what my husband did and you know it. He left that poor woman in the village to go have his big white wedding in the burbs right? Played us all right? Well, I need a man to raise my child and he will do it! Women have to be clever and stop living in a fantasy no wonder why they are always crying! I won’t lie I would have dumped him that day at the funeral but I thought otherwise!”
She was telling as we left the shops. We took three packets of sugar and few other provisions that were needed.
“I am not on a high horse. You know it’s wrong!”
I said defensively.
Miriam had always been a mogwanti growing up and here I was hoping that marriage would have quenched that thirst but alas, who’s fooling who… I read a letter on an advice column once where a girl like Miriam was getting married and people who gave advice were telling each other how much people change? Really? People don’t change, if I slept with a 100 people before I met you what makes you think that your one dick can now satisfy me for life? Usile uyazi! You can’t be that delusional come on. Usuperman kante wa sex? This is something I questioned at her wedding even. These so called bad bitches make for unfaithful housewives. Let them enjoy their independence and sleep around and don’t expect them to anchor your families!
“Ok then. You know I have your back regardless even when I don’t approve. It’s not that I am jealous of you like your mother likes to point out to me…”
I started to explain and she burst out laughing!
“Don’t listen to my mum. That woman is twisted. She has invited the village woman to come visit. She said it’s because that way we can make peace and move on!”
Miriam told me. By village woman she was referring to the second wife that we had met at the funeral, sorry not second wife, and first wife!
“Are you going through with it?”
I asked her.
“Of course I am. Maybe we will end up on Isthembu what what!”
We both laughed as she was referring to some show on Mzansi. It’s funny how we were laughing now yet were discussing serious matters. Miriam was one of those perfect distractions when you were going through a hard time. She had stories for days and that was what made her such a disarming friend to have around.
“I am sorry about your mum hey. She was my mother too. I don’t have a child hood memory that does not involve her. When mum was sick she would cook and clean our house. When I was sick she would take me to the clinic with mum always. When I needed advice it was always her to volunteer it first. She would discipline me too, I remember when I was in grade 9 she met me standing with Pakistani who used to own the tuck-shop on the next street, do you remember him?”
She asked me.
“Yeah of course! He liked kids that pervert. He once touched my ass when I was walking and I was in grade 8 even. No wonder why they arrested him eventually!”
I told her my memory of that paedophile!
“Yes that’s the one. Your mother was in a taxi going to town nogal. She got off the taxi, gave me a hard klaap got back on her taxi and left!”
She said and we both laughed. She was crying now.
“I am really going to miss her.”
She concluded. I found myself having to hug her comfort her. Miriam and my mother had their differences but they were close. I knew what she was going through because I was going through it too.
“The last time I saw your mum she had something for me to tell your sister and you but she said I can only tell you after she is buried. I did not think she was sick. I should have insisted but I did not. I am so sorry!”
She cried! I felt exactly the same way. I felt guilty.
“Is it a bad thing?”
I asked her.
“It’s not bad but it’s not good. I promised I will do it after she is buried and I will.”
What the fuck was it?
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb
Best writer ever! South Africa needs to recognize you as such. You work is amazing and I love it. At my house my mother (55), my sister (33) and me (26) all read your work plus the lady that works at home. Imagine, we all read and discuss it. Well done Mike and I really hope one day you will make money out of this.
My story, my 30 year old sister is married but recently moved back home. She came and said that her husband was abusive but is scared of him divorcing her. We all supported her because I don’t think any woman should defend abuse but the truth is no one believed her as the man of it is the softest guy. He is very kind and goes above and beyond to please my sister. A family meeting was called with his side and our side. When he was told to say his side of the story he told us that the problem was on pay day he gives my sister his entire pay cheque to run the house but she does not buy food or pay the bills. Instead she buys clothes and goes out with her friends. He also reported that at 30 and married my sister still goes clubbing (ok well to shisanyama’s) with her friends almost every weekend and when he tries to intervene she tells him that it’s her right to party. He also complained that she has many male friends who keep calling her. My sister has always been on that independent woman tip. I know for a fact that she is not having an affair she is just too much involved into this strong woman thing. He also complained that they had agreed to have kids but now my sister is always angry when the discussion comes up. In her defence in the family meeting she said she loved her husband but he is too controlling. She argued that she is free to party and go out. Mind you my sister does not even drink but she wants to be out. She said she wants kids too but right now its bad timing. She used the fact that they are fighting as an excuse. Her husband is actually the second guy she dated all the way from high school. At home we have known him forever so much so that everyone loves him. My sister says he is abusive because he shouts at her for her bad ways, I would have beaten her up and she is my sister! He has been patient with her and asked me whether he should divorce her! He asked all of us at the meeting what should happen. I love my brother in law and I know he is good for her. She loves him as well but I can’t grow up for her.
Please help me advise them both because at the end of the day his is just as much family as she is my sister.