As soon as he drove out I started looking back to check if we were being followed. I was nervous because I know exactly what it feels like to be stalked.
“Relax Lungi I was just teasing you. There was no one following us!”
Mbilahelo said when he could see that I was obviously nervous.
“I think I saw one of the men who was with Jerry yesterday when we went to Eyadini.”
I told Mbilahelo.
“I was just kidding earlier; I was just trying to get a kiss out of you!”
He said to me but I don’t think he realized that I was actually serious.
“Are you listening to me? When I got into the car the man was there and he was looking right at me!”
I told him.
“Ok calm down!”
He said looking at me funny but I had not stopped looking backward.
“You can’t ask me that. When we turned to the car he was looking straight at me! I told you that yesterday when we first went to the shisanyama we had lunch with Jerry and some people. That man I saw was one of them and I think he was trying to figure out if it was me!”
I told him. When you are scared you make your own conclusions obviously and that was me making mine. The way he had looked at me it was as though he wanted me to acknowledge that I knew him but I think I had acted naturally enough for him to be uncertain it was me. I am not sure.
“Ok I believe you. You are even shaking. Look, there are no cars behind us meaning that we are not being followed or anything but I won’t go to the hospital or to the hotel straight! I will drive around a bit to make sure we don’t have a tail!”
He said and he proceeded to do just that. No car followed us and even though this was certain we drove around for like an hour before we went back to the hospital.
“Please drop me at the hotel. I need to lotion my legs I cannot go to the hotel this sandy!”
I told him.
“Ok will do that. You have not said anything about the kiss!”
He said optimistically.
“I know I have not and I am not either. It never happened!”
I responded to him without betraying any emotion on my face. I was not going to give him the satisfaction of knowing that with that kiss he had literally knocked me off my feet.
“Can I ask you a question?”
I know how dumb that question is and I actually hate it when it’s done to me,
“Yes sure you can ask,”
“Would you raise another man’s child?”
I asked him.
“If you did not want me to ask then you should have said because answering me with a why in this situation is in fact rather rude!”
I told him. I was not snapping at him but just asking.
“I am sorry I did not mean to ask it like that. Would I? Yes I would. How may single mothers are out there? It’s like if you meet a woman without a child at our age or your age it will be a miracle!”
He responded to me.
“Are you saying I am too old not to have a child?”
I asked him.
“To be honest with you yes you are! I know the excuses that people give about career first, build money etc but they are wrong. If you have your child at the 30 it means that you are 48 when your child is leaving for university! That’s your first child mind you. Chances are by then you are divorced and alone. When will you get to enjoy your life because kids much as we love them, you can’t be raising a teenager in your 50’s! That child will lie to you every day and can never before your friend because that generation gap is simply too wide.”
He explained and I was intrigued by the points he had raised,
“So you are saying that you prefer a 22 year old unemployed woman to have a child?”
I asked him.
“I am not saying it like that but I look at single moms in the 20s right now raising their kids. Everyone assumes she won’t survive because she has no money but it’s not true. They are surviving and if anything work twice as hard because it means more. The opposite is the 22 year old who is directionless because there is nothing to ground her or to guide her for that matter. These are the girls you call slay what what nowadays because all of a sudden they now start looking for married men to pay their bills because they have nothing to lose!”
He explained. Much as I was intrigued by the conversation and indeed debate which was being raised here we were at the hotel already and I had to go. We were most definitely going to finish this conversation later.
“Thanks for the ice cream! I will call you later!”
I told him.
“Yes you should. I am flying out this evening around 6pm and I will be free all afternoon!”
He told me.
“You are chancing it!”
I said laughing as I walked out. I went upstairs rather fast because I really needed the bathroom. My body tends to reject things after I have not eaten them in a long time and in this case it was the ice cream. My phone rang and it was Nthabiseng.
“I was just checking in on you how is Durban?”
She asked me. Friends like these keep the world moving.
“Not the best I tell you but will tell you when I get back. I am actually checking flights now but only tomorrow have openings as everything is fully booked!”
I told her sitting on my bed. I was actually tired and I could feel heaviness in my legs. Must be walking on the sand I guess. I was alone meaning I could catch her up but I did not feel like telling her about Miriam.
“Why would you go there without booking a return though?”
She asked me.
“Because we thought we were clever I guess I don’t know. You making me sound dumb right now!”
I told her. We both laughed and indeed she was just checking in.
“I have to go, my boss just called me to come to his office! Goodness I wish I was you!”
She said as she hung up. Funny thing is I am the one who wished I was her. I already missed working and all this sitting around made me feel useless and even bloated. There is something about the office that makes my life better. I had to go to the hospital though as I could not sit alone here and wallow. When I got there Miriam was sleeping but her husband was sitting next to her also passed out.
I said waking him up. I did not want to wake up Miriam since she was the patient.
“Hey, you are back!”
He said when he opened his eyes.
“Yes I am. I see you catching a snooze there why don’t you go sleep at the hotel. I can take over from here!”
I told him.
“Yeah that will be a good idea but I was actually waiting for you on something else!”
He said to me.
“Oh ok what’s up, what’s on your mind?”
I asked him.
He took out his phone and then he took out Miriam’s phone.
“Miriam’s phone has been blowing up and every time I pick up the phone the person hangs up. When I call the number back it says Durban Police Station on caller I.D and I am at a loss. Do you have any idea who that is because they have called about 6 times already?”
He explained. Of course I knew who that was, it was Jerry!
“I have no idea, must be a wrong number!”
I told him.
“No its not. The first time when I picked up a man’s voice immediately said ‘Miriam’ but when I spoke they hung up!”
He told me. Jerry would not have not known. That Miriam was in hospital so he would have called her unknowingly. Why however would a side dish call back especially after the partner of the girl picked up the first call? When something like this happens you must know your place and stay in your lane not cause more problems.
“I don’t know. Did you try calling the number back with your phone?”
I asked dumbly. I did not want to be involved. There was Miriam passed out and I was here about to ruin her life. No thanks.
“I already told you I did!”
“I can also try with mine!”
I volunteered taking out my phone immediately.
“And how will that help? I told you the number is going through to a police station!”
He told me.
“Lungi what’s going on? I have really been trying to piece this together, firstly you come to Durban last minute then you go partying yet you have no clothes at the hotel to change into so explain that?”
He asked me. This is why I had made a hasty retreat earlier on.
“There is nothing going on and I think you asked me this earlier on. Why didn’t you ask Miriam when she was up? If you are hoping I will say something negative about her then you are mistaken because nothing sinister happened!”
I told him feeling really uncomfortable now. He was putting me on the spot and I wanted to leave.
“Its fine you don’t have to tell me but I will get to the bottom of this. A man builds himself a family only for that to be thrown in his face by a woman who is neither grateful nor unapologetic for her life choices! I might look the fool but I am not!”
He said and that sounded like a warning if ever there was any.
“Dude relax, you are taking your mind to all the wrong places! See why I say you need to sleep it off!”
I told him feeling extra guilty.
“Stop patronizing me Lungi! This is not adding up!”
He told me. I could tell her was angry. He was holding Miriam’s phone in his hand as he stood up and walked towards the window with his back to me.
“It’s the grief speaking so I won’t take offense that you are raising your voice at me. I don’t know who called and if I did I would have told you. The guy who came earlier is a cop and is the only cop I know in fact and he was with me so don’t ask me questions that have no answers!”
I said trying to sound annoyed but level headed at the same time.
“Your wife loves you and here you are tripping over your feet trying to find some kind of fault in her. What kind of a man does that especially a few hours after she has had a miscarriage? I am so…”
Next thing I heard,
“Lungi thank God, finally a familiar voice I have been trying to call Miriam what’s going on…”
Bongani turned around holding the phone and it was on speaker. I had not heard the phone ringing meaning it was probably on silent or vibrate when he called.
It was Jerry on the line!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank you for reading my letter.
I am 27 years old and I am in love with two men. They are both very different from each other and I like different things about then. Boyfriend number one and I were high school sweethearts then we broke up in university. I was doing Medicine at university and it takes a long time so when he started working we drifted. Boyfriend number two I met in my final year of university. He was a doctor already so I met him when I was doing my practicals. We hit it off and soon started dating. Boyfriend number two had serious baby mama drama because he was fighting to see his son from the other woman but she wanted him to pay damages first. It was a mess really because her family wanted a lot of money for that. Anyway the drama got too much for me and I gave him space to deal with his issues. In that time boyfriend number one came to fix things and I loved this boy for a long time I allowed it. I fell for him all over again. Boyfriend number two was afraid of losing me went and paid double the damages so that he could get the mess out of the way and we could continue our relationship. He told me he did it for us and I believed him because he kept on calling even after I gave him space. Now I find myself here, genuinely in love with two men. I swear if I was a man I would marry them both if they were willing (polygamy). I don’t know what to do because both are serious and boyfriend number two is talking marriage. I have met both their parents and both families love me. On both sides I have helped their sides somewhere somehow so I am loved. What do I do now? Sometimes I am so overwhelmed with this I find myself crying. They both go to great lengths to keep me happy. I make work excuses to see both. The lying and sneaking around is getting to me now and I can’t maintain any longer.
Please advise me on what to do.