If you have ever been caught red handed cheating you will understand this moment. Your heart beats so fast as you
debate whether to fight or to flee. I knew I was in trouble at this moment because there was no way that Londiwe would not put two and two together. My mum’s arrival was definitely the last thing I had expected. It might be her house but some people must come with a bell around their neck to warn others.
“And then? What’s going on here?”
My mother asked standing behind everyone. This was not going to happen now. My mother is someone who can be super dramatic but she was very polite in how she said.
“I came for brunch like you asked but there was no one here. Only Vusi here and he refused to sit with me!”
Naledi reported me to my mum. She hugged my mother, who in turn responded,
“I am so sorry! I was called to replace a panel member at a Woman Empowerment Breakfast. I could not say no because I was so grateful they even thought of me to give the talk!”
She said sounding very pleased with herself.
“Congratulations. We need more women like you to stand up for other women!”
Naledi said to her clearly kicking ass. My mother had been so hurried to tell us her good news she totally said nothing to Londiwe until the latter spoke.
Londiwe said to my mother and for a moment there I thought that my mother was going to ignore her. I would not have been surprised like that because my mum is cruel like that. It would not have been called for though because it was mean.
“Londiwe, unjani? Ufunani la?”
She asked her immediately. It was rude enough the question but my mother had asked what I suppose was the only question she could have asked.
“I came to take Vusi back ma but we have not even spoken yet because she was here!”
Londiwe explained to my mother as politely as she could. As much as Londiwe knew my mother did not like she was always polite to her. She did not like my mother either but she was always polite.
“Naledi why don’t you give these two their space!”
My mother said without hesitation. She made as if to walk out of the room but I saw the way that Londiwe’s eyes widened things were starting to function in her brain.
Londiwe asked looking at me.
“Yes Londiwe this is Naledi!”
I said after her. She looked at me as though confused.
“What am I doing here?”
She said out loud to no one in particular.
“I am busy crying at home hoping you come back and you are here at your mother’s house with the person that you are cheating with?”
She asked me and with that tears rolled down her eyes.
“I did not know that you were his wife. Vusi I don’t understand why didn’t you tell me that Londiwe is your wife?”
Naledi asked. I think to Naledi the fact that she knew Londiwe changed something. It’s easier to sleep with the husband of someone you don’t know clearly because she seemed unsure now.
“You don’t even deny it anymore!”
Londiwe said clutching her bag close to her hand. She sighed hard and I could see she was shaking. She did not know what to do and neither did I.
“I thought you guys are just friends and working together, what does she mean when she says you guys are seeing each other?”
My mother asked rather unnecessarily. I was not sure if she was expressing genuine shock or she wanted it to sink in to Londiwe that we were seeing each other. Either way it got the desired effect.
“Londiwe I really didn’t know!”
Naledi said. She had been caught up in my mother’s web that’s for sure,
“Which part didn’t you know? That he was married or that the wife was me?”
She asked her. Either way she was guilty. She opened her mouth and immediately realized that it was a trick question and kept quiet.
“What kind of a woman are you? You are the same type that run around saying how trash men are but truth be told you are the women that help them be trash. I don’t have your money and your English Naledi but I have a heart just like you.”
Londiwe cried. She did not shout at Naledi and if anything her composure in all this was so dignified. It was not what I had expected at all.
“I think all of you guys need to sit down and discuss this like adults before things are said in which there is no turning back!”
My mother said I think seeing an opportunity to put a nail into my relationship with the daughter in law she did not like.
“Why mama? You have been trying to make your son break up with me from the day he chose me. Why should we talk now? About what?”
She asked her.
“Are you not tired of pretending? Do you sleep better at night now knowing that you have taken the one thing away from your son that he loves the most, me?”
She asked my mother who was shocked by Londiwe’s boldness in directly confronting her.
“I don’t appreciate being spoken like that in my own house. You can leave right now please!”
My mother said pointing to the door.
“Its ok I will leave. Vusi I came to give you this, I went to the gynaecologist alone so that tomorrow when I go with you to you gynaecologist it will be a triple verification since you don’t trust me. I am pregnant and tomorrow I will still be pregnant no matter what your witch of a mother feeds you!”
She said and she shoved the results into my face.
“And you say you were honoured to speak on Women Empowerment? You the one person that judges women by how much they have or where they grew up? Shem, I shudder to think of what kind of role model that is but your day will come!”
Londiwe said as she walked out. She was crying openly now but she did not wipe her tears. I ran outside after.
I called after her but she kept on walking.
“Londiwe come on please let’s talk about this!”
She said but still she ignored. She went all the way to the gate totally ignoring me and the first taxi that came she took it and I watched it drive away.
I found myself screaming to myself again. This was not supposed to have gone down like this. I watched that taxi drive away. I think I was doing things wrong though. I walked slowly back to the house debating with whether or not I should chase after her but I settled on not. There was too much going down and with her coming with the pregnancy test saying she was pregnant it changed nothing until I went myself with her. I had to apologize for the cheating though but I did not even know where to start. People often say when you cheat don’t confess but realistically at some point you might have to come out with the truth. I had just been outed and I had no more secrets from her, I think.
“Vusi are you coming back in?”
My mother shouted from the door.
“Yes I am!”
I entered the house only to be met by Naledi who was looking frantic.
“I don’t think I should be here right now, I am leaving!”
Naledi said as soon as I entered. I was the bad guy now and she was right. She should never have been here in the first place.
“No don’t go I wanted to share with you what was shared at the empowerment session!”
My mother protested to Naledi trying to encourage her to stay.
“I am not feeling empowered right now I am sorry!”
She said and she walked out of the house so fast I felt that she was going to break her legs. She simply could not get out of there fast enough.
“Mum you told me that she was not pregnant! What’s this?”
I asked my mother reading the medical report Londiwe had come with.
“I know what I said and I stand by it. Even if she is pregnant what if the child is not yours?”
She asked me.
“I thought you said that you stand by your word that she is not pregnant, which is it?”
I asked her.
“You can’t be that dumb, even if she is pregnant the child might not be yours! Don’t you get it? She probably slept with someone else to get pregnant so even if the result says pregnant it does not necessarily mean it’s yours!”
She said getting annoyed with me.
“Can you hear yourself mum? You really don’t like her neh? You are willing to make it seem like she is not pregnant just so you can get rid of her? And for what? Do you think I will go for Naledi? Is that it?”
I asked her. I saw her eyes light up a bit but she did not respond,
“That girl is unstable and psychotic. She is not my type at all. I would never date, let alone marry her. She is good for sex and that’s it!”
I told my mother. Goodness it should have been awkward saying such things to my mother but the way I was so mad at her the words just came out of my mouth.
“Watch your mouth young man; you can’t disrespect women like that…”
“Are you going to give me the empowerment speech? You are such a hypocrite you know that right! You destroyed another woman so that you can put another woman into her place but why am I surprised. Most of you empowerment women are only empowering when you get on a stage or a podium but as soon as you are off it you go all out to bring other women down!”
I told her and that cut her deep. She moved towards me and she slapped me. I did not block her because mad as I was at her, a black child will truly have forgotten his ancestors the day he blocks his mother from hitting him. Ah ah ah she will tell all the relatives that you tried to beat her up for blocking her.
“Get out of my house!”
She said to me as I walked away from her. There was no satisfaction in this. I went upstairs and took my bag. I had taken out a shirt so I stuffed it back in angrily. This family was messed up. As I walked downstairs the doorbell rang.
My mother was sitting on the couch now hands in head angry at herself and crying.
“I did not mean it I am sorry, don’t go!”
She pleaded. The doorbell rang again.
“I have nothing to say to you!”
I told her. I opened the door as I was on my way out and guess who was standing there,
I said out loud.
He cursed and took a step back!
What the hell was going on?”
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank you for reading my letter.
I am a married man with two kids. I have been married to my wife for 7 years but we have never seen eye to eye because of her parents. I was not the man that they hoped their daughter would marry. She was the pretty girl in the village and we started dating when I was 19 and she was 16. Her father is the chief in our area and he always hoped she would marry some rich guy. We kept our relationship secret for many years and only when we decided to get married did we reveal to them. It was a huge scandal where the chief\her father outright refused to accept my lobola until she got pregnant and had no choice. I am a nurse by the way and this does not help my cause at all. I am good at my job and much as I am trying to advance myself to be better for my family it’s easier said than done. Her father has stopped talking to her and even my parents are starting to feel ostracized back home. They say that it’s hostile for them back home because her family has poisoned everyone against them and out of fear people have started to avoid them. I really don’t know what to do because I am now scared for them. So I have two problems, how do I save my marriage from them and how do I save my family back home as things can go very bad.