The reason why women should not want to pay black lobola is because well…it’s wrong I guess. I cannot place my
finger on it what is wrong about but I can think of a few things that can lead to this one thing. My sister was in an abusive marriage, that man did not deserve a single cent from us. If anything we should be suing him. Actually that sounded like a good idea not this giving him back free money. Sue him for all the pain and suffering that he has put us through or rather her but certainly not pay him back. My sister had earned every cent of that lobola and was still owed in fact with all that bullshit he brought to her. I can’t believe we had to pay him. I should just refuse to give her the money but that would be cruel.
“Lungi are you ok?”
Mbuso asked me after I had stared to my phone a little longer than I realized.
“Uhm sorry… Yes everything is ok!”
I told him as I joined him on the table. I was not sure whether to tell him about this development or not because Mbuso and I didn’t really talk. I actually had this urge to call Sfiso because he could at least crack a joke and make me laugh.
“Aunty Lungi, why didn’t you come yesterday?”
Ntheteng asked me. I explained to her as briefly as I could why not and she seemed to understand. She was not in one of her chatty moods today and even her father noticed.
He asked her.
“I thought you wanted us to make her dinner now you not even talking?”
Her father asked her.
“Nothing is wrong. Can I please wash my hands and go to bed?”
She asked him.
“What about bathing?”
He asked her.
“Please daddy can I bath in the morning. Aunty Lungi please tell daddy that I want to sleep.”
She pleaded to me. I know when something is wrong. I advised Mbuso this was the right move to let her go to bed. He was very concerned and the more he tried to talk to her the more sour she got. Black parents would normally beat up a child for insolence but realistically I had never seen her like this and I think by his reaction neither had her father.
“You can go sweetie. Good night and put on you pyjamas!”
He said as she already started walking away. She did not give me her customary hug and even when I waved her goodnight she just went through me like she did not even see it.
“Did we say something she did not like? I have never seen her like that before!”
I asked him.
“No I have not and I think I need to talk to her now before she sleeps!”
He said to me.
“No that’s the wrong move. Let her sleep it off and talk to her tomorrow when she is calm! Trust me I know that!”
I advised him.
“My aunt would like you to come over for a visit. They want to make you Sunday lunch. I think I have told you before but it’s just that they keep asking me to confirm. They think I see you every day when funny enough I never see you at all!”
He said and I laughed. He was sweet in his own way and the way I think I was stringing him along was wrong.
“I don’t think I cannot because I don’t want to but because it will give the wrong impression!”
I told him. He had a look of bewilderment on his face as he asked,
“What wrong impression?”
He asked me.
“They will think we are dating when we are not. We have never discussed such things and now the timing is bad having just lost my mother and all.”
I reminded him. I could see the hurt in his eyes but I think it is crueler to let a person go on believing a lie like this.
“I am not pressuring you but I do want you so I will be patient. Please just don’t friend zone me, that’s like slow poison for any man!”
He said but I could see that he was so hurt… Now it was awkward and I wanted to leave.
“I am so sorry!”
I told him. I did not even have the dessert. When I got home I took a long bath. I wanted to pamper myself so I ran a bubble bath. It was so nice. I poured myself a glass of wine and allowed myself to just let myself go. It felt so beautiful having not to stress be it for one moment. I did not want to think of anything that could annoy me so I shut everything out. After I finished bathing I got to my room to find my phone ringing. It was my sister on the other end.
“I am thinking of going to go dig out mamas Will! You left before we could do it! I honestly thought we would run out and take it out together!”
My sister said to me. The thought was on my mind but it was not what my first move would have been after what I had heard.
“I did not want to. Did you not hear what was in that letter about our father? She hid that from us all these years so how did you expect me to be excited and run searching for the Will? What more bad news did you think I want to hear?”
I reminded her.
“Of course I heard I was sitting right there next to you!”
“Then you know why I did not run to it. Do you have any idea what other surprises mum could have had hidden? And truth be told who hides a WILL in the bushes. That’s just crazy.”
I told her and she laughed
“Yeah it is kind of off but she was our mother and we are not going to ignore her wishes because of that! Please come tomorrow so that we can go through it!”
She pleaded with me in her way. As we were talking the phone was interrupted by an incoming calling. It was international 44 numbers. I knew immediately who it was.
“Sis I have to go I have an international call coming in!”
I told her and I did not even give her a chance as I hung up on her to answer the call.
I said by way of greeting.
“Hey how did you know it was me?”
He asked but he was teasing. I did not notice that it was not the number he had called me from before and I think that’s why he was asking that question why?
“I always know who it is. You have been quiet dude what’s up with that?”
I asked him a bit angry at the fact that since he left he had not checked up on me at all. I mean my mother died and he did not even call.
“I know hey. I am sorry for that I just did not know what to do! I wanted to call lots of time but every time I dropped the phone nervous for some reason!”
“Nervous of me dude? Come on I don’t bite!”
I told him. He had let me down at a time when I needed his shoulder most but its ok; people are designed to let you down. It’s in their nature, it’s what they do.
“Yeah I know you don’t bite Lungi but I had a lot to say and it just would not come out right.”
He said to me.
“Ok then I am here now so you can say whatever is on your mind!”
I told him started to get curious as to what it was that had made him bite his tongue like this. It was unlike him.
“Yes I know I am here now.”
“Dude get out with it!”
I encouraged him already losing my patience and besides he was wasting time with all this.
“I have been thinking about you and me a lot!”
He started, I did not disturb
“And I realized that I like you more than I thought. I think about you all the time and if I could I would much rather be there next to you than here day dreaming of you like I do always!”
I found myself smiling from ear to ass. Finally something was coming right in my messy love life. I could already picture kids running down the green hills of England. Its cold I know but I am sure they will adapt. It’s not my first choice as I would rather be home here in South Africa but if I had a daughter then definitely without hesitation I will move with him. I will miss South Africa of course but at least there will be no one outside my door to beat rob hijack and rape me every time I walk out that door. That’s the fear of being a South African woman every morning and in England they don’t have that. Its Woman’s Month and already its scary here.
“I think about you a lot all the time. I always wish that you are close to me just so I can smell your cologne and just so I can have you make me laugh the way you always do!”
I said cutting him off. He tried to continue but I was not done, I wanted him to know how I felt about him.
“You a man unlike no other hey Sfiso and that it something I would like to share with you forever!”
I told pretty excited. I had not expected this conversation at all especially after the last couple of days I had there were things I needed to say.
“I always told myself I would never marry and yet with you I find myself slapping myself everyday for having wasted so much time. I would like to have babies with you and if they are half as smart, funny and good looking as you then we will have done a service to this world!”
I told him and we both laughed or rather he chuckled and I laughed.
“Can I speak now?”
He asked me.
“Yes sorry you can I speak. I just got overwhelmed by what you were saying and I wanted to say my peace first before you got in your own!”
I told a bit embarrassed by myself. Look at me already talking about marriage and babies the poor guy had not even proposed yet. If I was as light skinned as him I am sure I would be read by now.
“Thank you very much. You kind of hijacked me there but it’s ok. I am glad to hear what you said…”
He said and I let out a fist pump and screamed,
In my head with that. I was not going to cut him short again.
“But that is not why I called. Lungi you are a remarkable woman but …”
Why was there a but?
“…you and I cannot be together. I am going to be honest with you. I grew up a Catholic and yes I am not devout but I am a Catholic nonetheless. That Sangoma thing of yours I grew up knowing it as witchcraft and I can’t handle it. It’s probably nonsense but the fact that a woman of your intellect can believe in it makes me even question you even further. I don’t want small backward minds next to me and yes I might be wrong but this is not for me no matter how much I love you and believe me I do. I have therefore decided to cut all ties with you and this will be our last conversation. Goodbye Lungile Mbatha and I hope one day you find your way back to God!”
I sat there holding the phone on my ear for 5 minutes absolutely stunned!
********The End **********
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto
Thank you for the wonderful reads. I know you are told this every day. People don’t know how hard writing is and maintaining a story but you have done this so well for us.
My letter: I am a cheating wife and I have no excuse. I have been married to my husband for 15 years and I have probably been cheating on him since the 5th year of our marriage. Three different guys all married. One died, the other moved and the current one is a colleague. We are a decent enough couple my husband and I but soon after we got married we realized that we ran out of things to do together. I had dated him for five years prior to that am 43 now meaning I started dating him when I was 23. We got married when I was 28. We have three kids. We went for marital therapy when the fighting started but that spark was missing. I always thought I would divorce him but it never happened. He cheated too once or twice and we fought about it as I would get jealous but the eventually it stopped. I thought I was the only me cheating until I joined a group at work through a friend. There about 30 women in it, all of them working and married for many years and all of them have cheated. It was no justification to what I had done but it made me look normal. I have never been caught though, not once and I have never been late home or not picked up a call when I was supposed to. He has.
The thing is my husband on Monday came and asked me for a divorce! I know I always cheated but why did I feel so hurt and betrayed. I can’t even function and I have been crying every day. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat and I have been begging him to stay. I have this sharp pain in my heart and the kids are also crying with me. He asked for a divorce when we were having dinner imagine! He then stood up and he went to bed like it was normal.
What do I do? I have confessed my sins to you so you know I am not a saint and was not trying to come across as one.
Please give me advice.