“So the nightmares have not stopped?” –
“No I keep seeing her pointing a gun at me. And when she shoots I wake up. It happened twice last night.” –
“Do you think maybe your conscience is getting the better of you? As in you are feeling guilty?” –
“I am feeling guilty. Instead of just loving her and being the husband I vowed to be I … I just went back to the old me.” –
“Are you saying that you made her yours so that you could change?” –
“Regrettably yes! The first time I saw her… I knew that she… she had that sense of pride and authority. Yes she was the same woman my driver spoke about all the time but when I finally saw her I saw her for me. She was written and painted ‘innocence’ and it is that same innocence I wanted. I had hoped it would rub off on me and maybe I would find the strength to fight my demons” –
“Elaborate more on your ‘demons’” –
“Doc I failed to love all the women I met before her mostly because they loved me for the power the money the glitz and the glam…” –
“The mother of your eldest son did she also love you for that?” –
“Generally Yes. Her father wanted a piece of Royalty and so did she” –
“I see…you may continue” –
“As I said these women wanted money power the glamorous life and I I provided that in return they would boost my ego by letting me dominate them…” –
“Amongst many other ways. I felt like their God! You know… knowing that I had no competition out there. That they were mine and that the only way I could keep them around was a trip to Dubai for shopping a Lamborghini townhouses spa’s and of course sexual pleasure” –
“But that all changed right?” –
“Yes it all changed when my driver Zamani. He and my brother Zwelonke they both told me about this beautiful woman they had seen. Zamani being a huge art fan he had seen her on the net. My brother he saw her in town this one time. They both told me about her differently explaining and painting her to be a perfect goddess. As if she had no sin. Zamani showed me a picture and… and… Let’s just say I spent weeks trying to find her and when I did I spent 16 hours on the road to Tsitsikama for an art exhibition” –
“That’s when it all began… the obsession to make her yours even though you knew that your driver and brother already had eyes on her?” –
A sigh escapes my mouth. I close my eyes as I feel a tear creeping up.
I cannot do this.
This is my second time here and it all comes down to me struggling to talk about her. I miss her so much and talking about her makes me miss her more.
“Mr Malinga shall we continue?” – She asks. I guess she can see that I am close to being a wreck. Lately it is all I do; crying and breaking things. I still have not found the courage to accept that my family thinks I’m dead. I was there when they buried me. Well they buried somebody else somebody’s son somebody’s husband and father with my name engraved on the stone on top of his grave. I didn’t die that afternoon but knowing the vile things I had done I couldn’t face her. I couldn’t face my wife after killing Zamani and Zwelonke because of her. And so I faked my own death and I attended my own funeral.
You should have seen her crying of top of that casket trying to get on top of it with people pulling her and trying to calm her down. If only she knew that she was crying for a stranger. But how could she have known when he was burnt beyond recognition?
If only she had noticed if only they had all noticed the stranger in a wheelchair that day the one who refused food or anything the one who had an entourage of six bodyguards preventing anyone to come closer to him if only they had noticed me they would have known that they were burying a stranger with my name.
“Okay I say we take a break from talking and try some physio how about that?” – She asks. I nod as I come back to reality.
Getting off this wheelchair is the hardest thing to do. As if my life needed any more complication I knew that karma was a bitch when the doctor told me that I was paralysed from the waist down. It’s been a full month two weeks 4 days and a few odd hours since the doctor walked in pushing it telling me that I needed to familiarise myself with “my new friend”. Oh add another week since I died then subtract two since I was ‘Buried”.
I’m sure you are wondering how I managed to fake my own death. Well let me take you back to a few hours before the accident.
• JUNE 23
It is the middle of the night after my coronation gosh I still cringe to the thought of having lost my throne because of the obsession I had over Cataleya my wife. She’s still my wife even though right now she believes that I am dead and buried.
As I was I saying before I was rudely interrupted by my thoughts it is the middle of the night after my coronation. I hear the faint knock on the window and my phone beeping next to me at the same time. I look on my chest and she lies peacefully upon it as if she has no sin. But she does because I am about to clean yet another one them. Another death she committed with her bare hands. She doesn’t know I know but here I am slowly removing her away from me careful not to wake her and dressing up heading out to meet my brother.
We had agreed to meet after hours; we couldn’t earlier because I had to carry out my duties as the new king of Ebukhosini.
“So what happened?” – I ask as I finish putting on my leather jacket. She bought it for me at some thrift shop. She said “as soon as I walked in there it screamed Malinga”. I was quite sceptical about wearing second hand clothing but hey when a wife says do something you do it before you end up with a knife against your neck.
He exhales before he speaks with his hand on his waist. He is anxious or nervous
“For Christ’s sake Zwelonke say something” – I snap as I feel my patience rapidly wearing off.
“Well she pushed her out the window. It was no accident. The camera across the street shows her standing there watching Brenda’s lifeless body for a good 4 minutes and 38 seconds” – He exhales once again.
“Did you get the tape?” – I ask and he nods handing over the disk tape and a cell phone in an evidence bag.
“Brother she needs help” – He says looking at me with worried eyes.
“Let me as her husband be the judge of that” – I stare at him. He looks away and exhales once more. “Why… why did she call you Instead of me?” – I ask. The question hits him right through the chest his eyes give it away. He stutters.
“Save it” – I walk away before the devil in me convinces me to pounce on him. Listen I know he saw her first but she married me and besides he never said a word 4 years ago when I told the family I had found a wife. So he better back off.
I am watching the tape and the woman I see is not my wife. She is not the same wreck she was when she killed that bastard who raped her in front of our daughter. The sight of blood still haunts me when I think of all that she has been through since she met me.
Now the only question I have is why she killed that woman! I may have coughed up huge amounts of money to have all tapes destroyed and all finger prints cleaned up but I still want to know. I want to know what they were fighting about. I want to know what my wife is hiding from me that she had to withdraw an enormous amount of money so she could pay off someone. I just… I just want to know!
The glass of Remy meets its end against the wall before it even reaches the floor. I am trying by all means to control my anger and not strangle her in her sleep. I would spotlessly get away with it if I wanted to. But I can’t. She’s carrying an heir to my throne and I love her.
“What’s going on?” – Her tiny sleepy voice brings me back to reality. I turn and look at her smiling. The glow of the moon coming from outside lights her up and I can see through her night dress. Her belly is quite big.
Sigh. She’s carrying an heir to my empire.
A smile escapes my lips exposing my thoughts as she still stands there with a frown. Her eyes travel to the bottle of whiskey in front of me.
“I had just one glass I swear” – I say with a naughty smile as I approach her.
“Let’s go to bed” – she says and smiles. I see our daughter through her eyes another motivation why I shouldn’t kill her even if she has been lying and hiding things from me. I quickly brush away those dirty thoughts as we cuddle in bed. “I LOVE YOU” –she whispers with a kiss and immediately dozes off. I am left awake with thoughts consuming my head.
Second day of being King I am on my way to a council’s meeting in town. I have always hated those even when I was just shadowing my father. He’s old now; hence I have taken over the kingdom.
“I heard about your fiancé well I didn’t even know you had a fiancé. I’m sorry”- I say. He looks at me through the rear view mirror for a second and then looks back at the road.
“Thanks. I’m glad the queen was not implicated in the murder.” – He says calmly.
“Well I still have un-answered questions. Like how Leya knew Brenda and what Brenda had against Leya that they had to meet far away from people and ending up killing each other. Well in this case Leya killing her.” – I look at the mirror our eyes meet and he swallows.
“Don’t worry I’ll find out like I always do and trust me Our Leya will be safe. I am sure Zwelonke will appreciate it like you and I would. Right?” – He swallows hard and looks away. The rest of the drive back home is quiet with just classical jazz playing in the background.
“HI ITS BRENDA”
“I WANTS THE MONEY OR I AM TELLING YOUR HUSBAND”
“WHY AREN’T YOU REPLYING? I HAVE YOUR HUSBAND ON SPEED DIAL YOU KNOW?”
These texts Checking the time they were sent I am hereby confirming that it is the same day Brenda died. It is also the same day that I broke Leya’s phone because it wouldn’t stop beeping.
A text again to another of Leya’s numbers. I figure she was really determined on blackmailing my wife. “I AM IN TOWN MEET IN AN HOUR OR ELSE I WILL ING LIKE A CANARY”. The time corresponds perfectly with when I was told she had driven out of the homestead alone.
I exhale taking a leap of faith as I page through this phone.
Here it is; a recording!
I listen and the more I do the more I am confused. Leya is offering 70k and the bitch wants the half a million she had offered Zamani.
Again! Why the freaking hell would my wife offer my driver half a million in fucking Rands???
I am on my phone calling the car company. I need to track their movements. Especially hers because I know that what ever happened never happened in my house. Whatever they did whatever they are hiding it occurred outside my house. They had better pray it happened outside my house because all hell would fucking break loose and somebody’s head would be popcorns if it didn’t.
I cock the gun as I wait for the email to come through.
Beep. The email comes through.
The dates! The times!
Leya in a red dress! Oh fucking hell no!! The mother fucker had his dirty fingers in my pie.