There is a reason why poor black farm workers don’t complain when they are oppressed by white farmers. There is a reason why a woman can allow her boss to touch her ass every day at work even though at home she has her own family. Have you ever wondered why in a country so full of abuse you never hear women in the private sector complain about lecherous bosses? There is a reason why a man smiles harder at his bosses jokes even when they are not funny and so many more why women sleep with men they don’t love because they have money. I say all this because I had forgotten that I had nothing and me being here was at their pleasure. You can have a degree but without money and the connections you are just as good as worthless in the real world. Don’t worry you can still vote if that makes you feel any better. The point is when you have nothing you take your humiliations with your mouth shut! That doesn’t make it right but go cry to your mother because the world will show you that it does not really care half the time.
Zethu asked me as my face darkened. I looked at her with numb shock and if I still had any alcohol residue left within it evaporated immediately.
I said showing her the message. She read it and put my phone down. She was so shocked that she was quiet for a good two minutes before she stood up and came over and hugged me. She held me like that long enough for Nthabiseng to ask,
Neither one of us responded. She ended up standing up by her self to come and see what had caused the silence in the room She took the phone and read the message and said,
That basically summarized the situation.
“We need to fix this. We cant sit here and all cry like this because it wont help. We need a strategy. By Friday you must have changed his mind!”
She said defiantly.
“How do you suppose she does that?”
Zethu asked her which was a fair question.
“I don’t know but there is three of us and one of him. We can come up with something in fact we must come with something. I for one like sitting in VIP I am not going back to waiting in queues at the club with girls that looked like they last bathed last week!:
She said and we all laughed. Some humour in a bad situation was welcome I suppose but this was serious. I was stranded yet again.
“Mfethu she is right, you need to beg him to reconsider. You are going to act like you did not see the text. You are going to send him your own apologizing for what happened last night and you must make it seem like it will never happen again!”
She said as though I intended for it to happen again.
“Yes. Send the message now we will help you compose it. Don’t do long paragraphs because it will look desperate.”
Nthabiseng added. We started on my response and for all the effort we put in saying the right words the results were actually underwhelming.
“Hey Ada. I am sorry for what happened last night. I feel like someone drugged me because I don’t remember much about last night but the girls said I was a nuisance. If I showed you any disrespect I apologize. Cant wait to see you and you promised to make some Jolof rice. Time to deliver lol!”
The message said and I sent. I don’t even know what Jolof rice was but Zethu said it would make the text light and humorous. I did feel though that I should say more. How was I wrong that he had not taken his move? I could not even date and was starting to feel like a hostage being fattened up for slaughter. I am human I also wanted a man. My stomach made that hunger sound at that moment which reminded me that even if you want all those things if you have no many, the person who has it owns and controls your narrative.
“I cant believe I am hungry when I am so stressed!”
I told them and they both echoed my sentiments. We ended up ordering a large pizza as we strategized. The man did not respond to my text and much as I was tempted to send him another one the girls insisted that doing so would make the situation worse not better.
“Rather call Abedi!”
Nthabiseng suggested and we agreed again as a collective that it would suit me best as a collective.
I called Abedi and he picked up. I was so nervous I don’t even know what I was going to say him but him picking up meant I was still relevant enough to be taken seriously.
“I am sorry to call you like that but Ada is not talking to me. Was I really that bad yesterday because the girls have been shouting at me for what I did? I am sorry Abedi!”
I apologized to him as though he was Ada.
“It was bad but funny at the same time. I don’t think he is that mad he will come around. I will also talk to him for you when he gets his phone back.”
“What do you mean when he gets his phone back? Did he lose it?”
That was a dumb question considering he had just texted me but I had to say something to him to keep him on the line.
“No, something wrong with the battery. It keeps switching off when its not on the power cable so he is getting a new phone today or something.”
“I will come see you tonight though so we can discuss some business. Its important that we do so please have no plans! I already told Ada that I would be seeing you today so when he calls just confirm with him.”
He said casually. I did not want to see him today. I was a mess but again I could not say no. He had also said Ada would call and that gave me a bit of comfort. When I hung up the girls were waiting eagerly to hear what had been discussed. I told them everything then at the end of it Nthabiseng said something I did not expect,
“You should fuck Abedi!”
Of which both Zethu and I immediately said no but I am sure for different reasons.
“She cant become a whore because she needs things Nthabiseng. Women at some point must stand their ground even if they have something to lose!”
Zethu put on her feminist cap on.
“Yeah she can burn her bra with you but will still be homeless tomorrow!”
Nthabiseng snapped back and I only found out later that ‘burning the bra’ was the international symbol for women fighting equality as though it was men that forced them to wear a bra.
“For me it’s a win win situation. Lets do it like this, best case scenario you will have Abedi eating out of your palm and you will have the place for as long as amen. He did say he wants to discuss business so there is potential that he wants to see you further!”
“What if the business is for her to sign the termination of lease agreement?”
Zethu asked but I did not answer it because the lease was never in my name anyway so that was not it.
“What’s the worst case scenario?”
I asked her.
“Worst case scenario is that you get kicked out but you will have made love to the men we know you want so badly. You get to break your virginity with someone you actually genuinely like unlike some of us!”
She said and even Zethu whistled at that last part.
“The second part I only salute because it will be on your terms but you will have regrets!”
My life was spiralling yet again.
“Guys they are friends, I cannot do it. Ada has been nothing but good to me and you know it. Nthabiseng I appreciate your advice but we have to come up with something different!”
I told her. My phone rang at that moment and I jumped to see whom it was. It was not whom I wanted it to be. It was my father.
“What the fuck does he want?”
I asked my friends whom I had told what happened at home.
“Perhaps he wants to apologize I don’t know? Pick it up!”
Zethu advised but I refused and let it ring. I had bigger things to worry about. I actually remembered that I needed to call my mother so his call meant something at least. He called again and again I ignored. Five minutes I got a call from Katlego and I picked up,
“Hey Samke, I am with your father at res he says you are not picking up!”
Shit. I almost fell of the chair. He had no idea that I had moved out of residence but at that moment my biggest fear was the fact that Katlego ha d hung her neck out for me and sh was finding out the truth.
“May I speak to her?”
My father asked her.
“Hello, where are you we need to talk!”
He asked me and if Katlego was standing close by it meant she could hear him ask. My heart sank.
“I don’t want to talk to you. First fix what you did at home then I will speak to you otherwise you don’t know me!”
I told him defiantly. I immediately hung up the phone and switched it off. I was probably making a situation worse but at this moment I had a lot on my mind. I was feeling hyper emotional even.
“This is not going to end well!”
Zethu said to me and I agreed with her. Ada wanted me out of the apartment that was all that was on my mind. I could not go back to residence as that door was closed. I still had money but I had promised my mother something and she desperately needed it.
This was too much for one person. I switched on my phone again and finally an SMS came in but again it was not from Ada. It was from Zamo. What did see want now?
“May we please talk. Our feud is making life difficult for me. Please!”
I really did not need this. As soon as she found out I was kicked I am sure she was back to celebrating.
What to do now?