The battle between mothers and their daughters has gone on for as long as time itself. Often it’s the daughters who
are angrier at the other and not vice versa. Daughters feel like they are not listened to and disrespected whilst mothers still see the little girls they raised who did not know any better trying to play grown up and challenging them. Often the result is a mess and fighting starts. With that said what Miriam was totally wrong! How do you throw a glass at your own mother for telling you the truth? I grew up with Miriam and we can say women should be independent and free with their bodies but Miriam was a proper problem child. She was the Nelson Mandela Bridge day and night because anyone could enter. I love her, she is my best friend and like a sister to me but the truth is the truth. Her mother never condoned it and here she was blaming her for turning out like that? On the night before her wedding did she not get laid by another man yet today we must pretend she is a saint? No that can’t be right.
“What is wrong with you?”
Bongani asked his wife angrily.
“Mama are you ok?”
He asked the bleeding woman which sounded like a rhetorical question at this moment.
“He is right Miriam that was out of order! Are you crazy? You could have killed her!”
I shouted at her as well. I was angry. I loved this woman as I loved my mother. I have said before she raised me and Miriam the same. We got in trouble together and on some occasions when she caught us misbehaving she would take out a belt and whip the both of us with my mother’s blessings of course. Those two were so close a lot of people thought they were sisters even.
“I didn’t mean to I promise!”
“Miriam I am your mother! No one can ever love you the way I love you!”
Mam’Dolly cried as she lay on the floor bleeding.
“Please get me a towel!”
I asked Bongani panicked. Miriam did not move from where she stood. She still had her hands on her mouth.
“Mama I am so sorry oh my God what have I done?”
She was saying out loud. She was even crying. Bongani came back with a towel and a bowel. We helped his mother in law up and I started to clean her up. It was not a deep cut fortunately but the sight of blood often makes things look worse than they are.
“I am very sorry for this mama! She was out of line and I will sit her down.”
Bongani said consoling her. There are son in laws who are worth loving and when I look at Bongani I could get why Mam’Dolly did not want them to break up.
“It’s ok. She has her father’s temper it’s not her fault. Can you please go buy me Grandpa or Panado?”
Mam’Dolly asked him.
“Oh no we have some in the house I can…”
I immediately touched him on the shoulder. This was her way of asking him to leave we were about to have an intervention.
“Go buy it please!”
I told him. Fortunately he was not thick as he got it and left immediately.
If I was him I would have been relieved just to be leaving this toxic situation.
“I need to pee!”
I said and immediately ran to the bathroom as I was pressed. When I came back I found them talking.
“Why didn’t you tell me that that’s what the doctor said was the cause of your miscarriage?”
Mam’Dolly asked her when we were alone.
“Mama I am sorry. I did not mean to throw that glass let alone hurt you. I got so angry and I lost it! Oh my God what have I done?”
Miriam started to apologize and this time she came to us.
“That’s not what I asked!”
Her mother asked her coldly but winced in pain as I tried to clean her up.
“It was not supposed to come out like that. I am so scared now that Bongani knows that I have a problem he might want to divorce me. Why does he need me after all this he already has another woman with kids?”
She said opening up. Miriam was either a very good actress or really a woman in pain. The way she had asked that question made me realize that even though she was married, her position here could be very precarious.
“If you continue disrespecting your husband like that you will lose him. I know in your head you tell yourself you will find another man but not many are as good to a woman as this one.”
Her mother advised her and looked at me to confirm. I was being cornered but truth is truth,
“Bongani is one of the good ones. Your mother is right and I think all those things you were talking about in regards to sleeping around were really uncalled for! It’s your past; you grew up so move on!”
I advised my friend. Bongani does not know when to take a hint hey because we heard the garage open and he was back.
“I am sorry I was worried I could not stay out for so long. Is everything ok?”
He asked. He had run home to come check on his wife.
“Yes everything is fine! I am going home now!”
Mam’Dolly announced of which he jumped up and said,
“No you don’t have to leave!”
“Its ok, you need to spend time with your wife and I believe you have a lot to talk about in any case. Lungi let’s go!”
“Wait I just need to use the bathroom again!”
I told her. We had to help her walk as she was a bit dizzy. She totally refused to go to the doctor. I now found myself driving her home and even though it was raining there was no traffic. We drove in silence all the way and she closed her eyes pretending to sleep.
“Thank you again for taking me home. One day you will be a mother and you need to make sure that you always communicate with your child properly. It’s not as easy as they might let you believe on TV but you work on it!”
She told me.
“When they are just kids, you love them to death but in the teenage years it’s when you lose them. Miriam is right to a certain extent, I did put my foot off her but I did not want to beat my child to death!”
She explained to me which was actually very awkward. My mother was not the type to confide in me and so Mam’Dolly confiding in me was above my pay grade. We simply never had that relationship.
“She regrets what she said and what she did. You know Miriam loves you and she is going through a hard time!”
I reminded her. She started crying.
“What was I supposed to do though? I don’t want to go to the grave with my own child feeling I let her down!”
I did say this got awkward really fast didn’t I.
“Please don’t think like come on. You did the best with what she gave you to work with!”
I consoled her.
“You don’t understand! As a mother you should do more!”
She reminded me.
“I know you are pregnant Lungi!”
She suddenly said.
“What? What do you mean?”
I asked her.
“Lungi I know you. Your skin is clearer, you are glowing, you can’t stop peeing and even your breasts are bigger!”
She said. What the fuck?
“Don’t be embarrassed. I promised your mother I will look out for you and I meant it. When you are ready to open up about your situation you must come over and we will talk. Now I want to rest!”
She said. That was her way of saying I could leave and I was so glad for it because I had to get out of here before she said anything more.
“How did she even know I am pregnant? She is going to tell everyone and I am going to be embarrassed for having a kid without marriage!”
I told myself as I drove away from her. I was the one who was supposed to get married first because I had always been disciplined and no I don’t mind single motherhood it’s just not how my 16 year old self would have pictured me today.
“I feel like ice cream!”
I told myself as I drove home. I was not really hungry so ice cream felt like a good alternative. The more I thought about it the more the craving. Goodness I did not want to end up like Tshabalala in that Chicken Licken advert! That guy can never be trusted again. I stopped and bought the ice cream and avocados. I am not usually a fan of them but it felt right.
“Binge eating tonight!”
I told myself as I drove into my complex. I was home at last. My day started bad and guess what, it ended badly too but what’s new with me lately. What I wanted now was a long bath and to sleep.
“I have been waiting for you for so many hours Lungi where have you been we need to talk!”
My sister said angrily as I stepped out of the car. I didn’t even see her coming and I had put her at the back of my mind even.
“Oh that’s easy for you remember, you stay next door now!”
I told her. She was trying to make it sound like she had been sitting under a tree for me when she was probably watching TV the whole day.
“What the fuck is wrong with you? Why are you not being happy for me?”
She asked me following me into my house. She was my sister I was not going to throw her out.
“Have you been drinking?”
I asked her.
“What if I have? Answer me what have I don’t so wrong?”
She screamed at me. Her voice was raised and I was going to get a noise complaint. White people in estates are snitches! They don’t play around like that if they can put a black tenant in trouble.
“Lower your voice!”
I warmed her.
“No I won’t lower my voice to please your ego when all you do is crush mine!”
She screamed and shouted.
“What the hell come on stop it?”
I said raising my voice too.
“Yes you are selfish and rude towards me! Why are you jealous that I am marrying Mbuso? What is wrong with you?”
She asked me aggressively.
“I am pregnant ok! I am pregnant!”
I screamed back at her angrily.
“So what’s that’s have to do with me?”
She asked me without relenting. If anything she was even more aggressive.
“Mbuso is… I mean…”
I stuttered and got stuck because at that moment Mbuso walked into my flat with Ntheteng in tow.
“You are pregnant with my child?”
He asked whilst Ntheteng made a fist pump and the cheeky little child said out loud,
“Thank you Jesus!”
And ran to hug me!
At least one persons prayers had been answered but the look on the adults faces!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank you sir for your time.
I used to be a big fan of your works until Young Employed and Single. The reason why I stopped was because I am a white South African and this blog in particular has undertones of racism in it. I stopped reading your blogs entirely even though I truly loved them. About two months ago an incident at work changed this. I started dating a black guy; let’s call him Mike after you. I have known Mike for years; we grew up as neighbours and were always friends. We got closer at a time when I was going through a hard break up and he was there for me. He is funny charming and caring plus loves kids to death. I am the one who pursued him because well he was not doing anything about it. He told me that we dating could be a bad idea especially for me as people might not accept. I was naïve indeed. At work I was in line for promotion. I have a Masters in my field and current doing a second degree in which I am at Honours level. I have so much experience in the field that other companies have been courting me. Anyway there was a work function and I took Mike with me. My colleagues (the white ones) tried to be polite but to be honest could not hide their disgust behind their fake smiles. From that day things changed so much at work I have been completely shut out. I overhead one of the colleagues tell someone that, ‘if she dates a baboon then we treat her like one’! I confronted that colleague and he told me to my face that I sold out and deserved it. The companies courting me suddenly disappeared. I didn’t even know that I could be blacklisted. Where I work they have not tried to fire me at all, it’s like I am being punished so much so they want me to resign!
This brings me to my next problem. Mike warned me that I should not date him and I did not listen. I am now in love with him but because he is worried about my safety he is pulling away. He keeps telling me that one day we will go out and some “crazy white guys’ will attack us. I believe I have already sacrificed so much in the name of love and I won’t go back. I love this guy and because we grew up together that bond is very strong. Oh I forgot to mention, my parents stopped talking to me because of this relationship but that would be another letter. I would like to know how I can fix this and not let him run away.
What do I do guys?
P.S I am sorry I stopped reading YES because I thought it was too much. I actually did not realize how race plays a huge role in the work space until it affected me. Please expose more of it!