This is not how I expected my life to turn out! I had never thought for one moment I would find myself fielding calls
from the police for whatever reason. The police are bad luck because once you speak to them once you should know that it will never stop. It’s like that with them and now that I even had detectives talking to me I had to get rid of them.
“I don’t get why do you want me to come in?”
I asked him even though I knew exactly why he wanted me there. I was a suspect and the fact that he knew my name means someone had told him as much.
“We are doing an investigation on a murder so it’s in your best interest to come as requested unless you want me to send a squad car to pick you up and put you in the back of a van!”
He said. He was not in a playing mood that’s for sure but neither was I? It was late in the day so he would obviously be cranky but so was I.
“Can I bring a lawyer at least?”
I asked him.
“Is this you confessing to a crime because why else would you need a lawyer!”
He asked me as though I had peeked his interest.
“I am not a fan of police so I will rather not enter this argument at all. I will bring my lawyer!”
I told him and I hung up the phone before I realized he had not told me which police station. This would have been a problem had he not sent me a sms with address. At the end he wrote,
Like it was not scary and serious enough already.
“You look like you have seen a ghost!”
A voice said from behind me. It was Naledi coming down the stairs.
“What is it?”
I asked her without thinking.
She asked me right back.
“Sorry love I was far away for a moment there I am sorry! Wow you clean up well!”
I told her. She looked really nice in red trousers and a navy blue blazer (ok it’s not really navy blue but it’s some kind of blue) but yeah she looked amazing.
“Thank you! You will see me of my dress sense as time goes because I dress to kill when I go out. It’s only polite to be fashionable you know!”
She said as we got into the car.
“I am not into fashion and besides it’s expensive to try and keep abreast with style!”
I confessed to her.
“I never asked you to be fashionable for me. Don’t worry I will dress you if you want and you will look like a million bucks!”
She said. She spoke all the way to the restaurant but my mind was far away. How had I ended up in this situation? In the first place I had never ever wanted to be part of this tender in the first place now my life revolved around it. I had lost my job because of it, I had almost lost my wife because of it and a person had died because of it. I don’t know why I keep calling Londiwe my wife when we are not even married yet. It needs to stop.
“Vusi you have not said anything the whole way! Did you hear anything I just said?”
She asked me as we walked out of the car.
“I just have a lot on my mind!”
I told her.
“It’s my dad isn’t it? He scares you shitless I know but I don’t get it because he is so nice! He is so sweet but you will get to know him soon!”
She said. It’s amazing how girls think that their fathers are saints. I am talking of girls who were lucky enough to grow with fathers in their lives. It’s not everyone one who has that privilege and Naledi was no exception. She adored her father to no end.
As we got into the restaurant there was the man who was ruining my life. Keep your friend close and your enemies even closer as the saying goes but nowhere in the manual does it say marry their daughter.
“Guys you are here and on time!”
Her father said loudly standing up to wave us over to his table. We were 15 minutes early and this dude was already there.
She said which was rather annoying because this was not the type of guy you call daddy!
“So finally you decide to introduce him to me officially. You know young man when I first met you I never ever thought you would end up here being introduced as my future son in law! Bring it here!”
He said extending his hand. I stretched mine too and shook his. He had a killer grip and when he was done shaking it I could feel my hand vibrate.
“Thank you sir!”
I told him.
“He even calls me sir! I like him Naledi, I like this young man!”
He said. I almost said to him that he was acting weird because he knew me and we were working together but I guess he needed his moment.
“I understand your mum will be joining us?”
He asked me.
“Yes she is but my mother always runs late!”
I told him.
“Don’t worry women everywhere! It’s like if they are early it will make the evening bad!”
He said which made his daughter roll his eyes.
“Dad stop being sexist!”
“I am not and you know that. You know how you women can never keep time!”
He said which made things even worse. At work they had taught us gender sensitivity and clearly this guy as a boss had skipped those classes. He was totally offside.
“I am going to the bathroom!”
She said standing up annoyed.
“Naledi come on!”
Her father said but she walked away nonetheless.
“Good, I wanted you to myself before your mother arrives!”
He said and even his tone had changed,
I said in response,
“I heard that your former boss was shot and killed. I also heard that you lost your job recently meaning that well, you are going to be the first person they suspect!”
He told me. I had so many questions in my mind right now? This guy had no chill, he was not even ashamed that he had done it and was throwing his soon to be new son in law under the bus.
“But I didn’t kill him!”
I told him.
“Then who did?”
He asked me.
“It was …”
I kept quiet immediately knowing that the dumbest thing I could ever do was accuse him directly.
“Well if you know who it is then go tell the police don’t tell me!”
He said when my mouth was left hanging.
“Look, my point is this thing could hurt us. We need you for the tender and I can’t afford for you to be in jail. You know all the specs and my daughter loves you so I will never get a moments rest if you are in jail. She will haunt me so fix this!”
He said banging the table which made the other tenants in the restaurant.
“Fix it how? I did not do it!”
I told him.
“You better not! I don’t want my daughter married to a murderer!”
He said with so much bravado I was almost convinced myself that he was not guilty the way he was talking.
“I am not a murderer. If anything I am being set up if they really think I could have killed him. I don’t go around shooting people who do not agree with me!”
I told him angrily for calling me that. The politeness was gone now as I felt I had to stand my ground to show this animal that I was not a pushover.
“All I am saying is that we don’t need blowback from this because we put everyone on the line including my daughter and your mother. We all have something to lose. I have already spoken to my lawyers and they are really good so tomorrow morning call them!”
He said sliding a business card towards me on the table.
“I don’t need your help!”
I told him even though deep down inside I knew my Scorpion legal wise would never cover such a case!
“Well if your pride won’t let you take it for yourself then allow it to take it for my daughter because I don’t want her to spend the next fifteen years visiting a man wearing an orange correctional services jump suit!”
He said sternly. I was about to retort when Naledi came back.
“Dad I can’t believe you said all those things!”
She said engaging him. I took the card and put it in my pocket because pride or not I knew I needed it.
“You are back. I am sorry baby I did not mean to be insensitive. Vusi here put me on the right path already standing up to me on the first date! He is a keeper this one!”
He said to her rather condescendingly to me if I can be honest. This man was in it for himself and himself alone nobody else.
“Thank you for seeing reason. If you had refused I would not have named our son after you!”
She said putting her hand on her belly.
“Oh no don’t go there! From now onwards I will be a perfect gentleman. When you told me you were pregnant it literally changed my life. I am going to be grandfather young enough to be able to play with my grandchildren!”
He said actually beaming with pride.
He said offering his hand again. This man and shaking hands what was up with him? I had to hold that thought though because when I looked up, there was my mum but she was not alone, she had a date of her own.
“What the fuck?”
I said out loud.
Her father said to me disapprovingly.
I exclaimed out loud. Naledi turned around as she had her back to them. When she saw them she turned around and downed her glass of wine.
“Ah you have arrived?”
Her father said cheerfully.
“Looking loved as usual I see and who is this lovely young lady you are with?”
He said to my mother as he hugged her.
“Oh this, she is my other daughter, Londiwe!”
“Well then we better get an extra chair then!”
He said as he greeted her.
This was a disaster! What was my mother thinking and even worse, what was Londiwe thinking?
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Please post this on Majuba. Greetings everyone. Thank you for the great stories. I have read two of your books sir and they are bautiful.
Brother Mike I find myself in a situation similar to Vusi. I have been married to my wife for 8 years and we have failed to have kids. We went to doctors and fertility clinics and the problem was with her and not me. I love my wife so I never made her feel guilty or anything and I offered her adoption options. She refused saying that she could not bring a stranger in the house. We had a family meeting and next thing I knew her family and my wife first advised that I should impregnate her younger sister then later it became I should marry her. The sister and I have always had a decent relationship. She was however very promiscuous at certain stage in her life of which we all got involved to get her straight. I saved her from many sticky situations without reporting to my wife and I think this is when she might have fallen for me. I say this because when offered the chance to marry me she said yes immediately. My family is catholic and when I told them this all hell broke loose. My parents who are both still alive will hear none of it. They even want me to divorce my wife for even entertaining it. I love my wife. I don’t want to lose my wife. I will do anything for that woman but marrying or even sleeping with her sister is taking it a step too far.
How do I fix this mess and keep my family intact?