I remember how our teachers in high school always said matric exams prepare you for varsity exams they were lying I haven’t been this stressed and tired in my life. I am emotionally mentally and physically exhausted test weeks were not so rough exams have been showing me flames but I have to soldier on I have one more paper left in 4 days I don’t know why they gave us such a long break.
Today I am sleeping I will carry on studying tomorrow my friends have been rubbing it in my face that they are done with their exams especially Yesintu because we go to the same campus. Let me take a nap my phone is ringing my mother is calling
*Mpendulo I am at Durban station *
*Mah what are you doing at Durban station*
*Your Father wants you home Mpendulo just meet me at the station we have to go home * why now I think to myself I’ve been gone for 6 months and how did he know that my Mother knows where I am. I am now crying hysterically
*Mah No *
*Mpendulo please baby come we have to go *
*Mpendulo I can’t go back home without you *
I think of switching my phone off if I don’t go to her she won’t know where I am anyway but I can’t do that to my mother I have already put her though so much.
*I’m coming *
I call Londi but her phone goes straight to voice mail she must be still with the Counselor let me call Sintu so she can take me to the station I don’t know where it is anyway
*Please come to res*
*Why are you crying I’m coming now neh *
I call my mother and tell her I will be there in 15 minutes I pack a few clothes because I know that I will come back if it means having my Father disown me at this point I really don’t care. Yesintu is here the car she is driving is not hers and she is with a baby girl I don’t even have the energy to ask or explain anything to her so I just tell her to please take me Durban station I will call and explain.
My mother looks horrible she looks like she hasn’t slept in days her eyes are swollen I run and hug her tightly.
‘’what happened?’’ I ask
‘’Nothing happened it’s been a long 6 months without you come lets go I heard that the last taxi leaves at 3.30pm’’ she says I hug Yesintu goodbye I didn’t even introduce her to my Mother I will call and explain to her later. We rush to the taxi rank we get there just in time the taxi is now short of one person. I am dreading this trip I had prepared myself emotionally and mentally that I would get my degree then go back home but no I am going back home with no degree and this time I know Gatsheni won’t let me out of his sight.
My Mother calls him to come and fetch us in Greytown since Taxis going to Msinga are finished looks like he was around judging by how quickly he got here I am standing behind my Mother I am using her as a shield I know it is about to go down.
‘’Mpendulo’’ he says Gatsheni calling me Mpendulo I am in shit I can tell you that much
‘’Gatsheni’’ I say I am still standing behind my Mother there is awkward silence for a while then he continues
‘’Let’s go home ‘’ he says even my mother is shocked at his response she turns around to look at me I shrug my shoulders then we walk to the car.
The drive home is quiet there is some programme on the radio talking about arranged marriages the pros and cons of it Gatsheni changes the station as soon as he makes out what the topic is my phone is vibrating I am so scared to answer it so I ignore it but it keeps ringing
‘’Answer your phone ‘’
‘’I don’t know this number Gatsheni’’
‘’Well its making a noise ‘’ my phone is vibrating I don’t understand how it is making noise .The person who is calling is persistent I decide to answer it
*Hello Future wife*
*Yes you’re speaking to Mnotho*
*What do you want Mnotho*
*I just wanted to make sure that my bride is back home*
I drop the call this idiot is out for my blood I can see how did even he get my number I know my mother could never give it to him it must be Nosipho. As soon as the car parks Nosipho comes screaming and jumping to open the door
“Durbanite’’ she says hugging me
“Nosipho I can’t breathe man ‘’ I say
‘’Xolile go call your father ‘’ Gatsheni says to Nosipho Xolile is her second name
‘’Yebo Gatsheni ‘’ she says and runs off you wouldn’t say Nosi is someone’s wife and mother the way she acts.
I take my bags to my room it is exactly the way I left it doesn’t look like anyone has used it since I left
‘’I missed you MaNdlovu’’ my mother says behind me
‘’I missed you to my Lady ‘’ I say hugging her
‘’I’m sorry ‘’ she whispers I don’t respond instead I hug her tightly
‘’Come lets go there is a ‘’family meeting’’ she says I looks at her with raised eyebrows she shrugs her shoulders then we follow each other to the lounge.
‘’As we all know Mpendulo and MaNgubane decided to go against my command of Mpendulo not going to Durban I will put that behind me for the sake of peace and for the sake of unity with the Mkhonza’s since they have come before us to ask for Mpendulos hand in marriage ‘’ he says the room is dead quiet my uncle doesn’t talk much so I am not surprised that he hasn’t said a word my mother looks at me and signals that I keep quiet.
‘’Have I made myself clear?’’he says
‘’Yes ‘’ we all say we are then dismissed I decide to take a bath and head to bed I walk to the kitchen to boil water for bathing then I walk to my room I find Nosipho sitting comfortably on my bed
‘’So Miss Durban how is Durban?’’ she says giggling
‘’The last I checked my name was Usizwile ‘’ I say
‘’Mxm how is Durban ?’’ she says again
‘’Nosi I don’t mean to be rude but I am emotionally mentally and physically exhausted I want to take a bath and sleep
‘’well you are being rude tomorrow I will be in town the whole day sorting out stuff you will babysit Sithelo’’ she says I don’t think she heard me when I said I am exhausted
‘’Okay Nosi goodnight ‘’ I say
After taking a bath I get into to bed and attempt to fall asleep. Seems like I am failing at sleeping so I decide to chat to my friends on whatsapp we have a whatsapp group for the 4 of us. I pretend to be sleeping when my aunt walks into my room I don’t know why she is here because she lives in muden with her family let me attempt one last time to sleep. My phone is vibrating I look at the screen and it's Mnotho
*Mnotho what do you want *
*Come outside *
*Come out where *
*I'm by the kraal come quick before your Father sees me *
*Usizwile flip just flippen come out*
Argh let me just go out I mean what could he possibly do to me I look at the time it's almost 5am I'm actually surprised that mom is not up yet. I'm wearing a short night dress so I put on a dress over it and walk outside. As soon as he sees me he grabs my hand and we run out of the gate until we get to his car which is parked a few houses from home.
"Get in " he says I look at him and think to myself is this guy crazy
"Are you stupid ? "I snap
"Listen I'm a victim to this as much as you are I feel the same about this as you do I've got a girlfriend whom I love a lot of which I'm sure you also have a boyfriend or something. Usizwile I know this is harder on you than it is on me that's why I'm trying to help you we don't have much time to get to Durban Its already 5:30 and I believe that your last paper starts at 9 " he says
Wow I'm totally speechless I'm also embarrassed I've just acted like a complete spoilt brat while he is here trying to help me. He looks at me with a raised eyebrow I look at him then I reluctantly get in.
"We'll go past my place in Pietermaritzburg so you can freshen up then we'll carry on to Durban. I will come up with a Story I'll call Mkhonza and tell him to tell your Father something " he says
"Mnotho Thank you " I say that's all I managed to say right now I'm not even thinking about my Father I quickly send my Mother an sms
*Mnotho took me to Durban to right my final exam I'll be back this Afternoon I'm sorry Mah I had to do this *- sent
His phone is ringing but he is ignoring it I look at him then he reluctantly answers it
*I'm at home something came up *
*Noxolo flip No I don't*
*Listen I'll talk to you when you are more calm* He says and drops the call
We drive for about an hour then we drive into a driveway with a block of flats in the middle beautiful and fancy if you ask me I've heard that Mkhonza is wealthy but I didn't know it was extreme Mnotho is a final year medical student so he couldn't afford living here which means his Father pays for him. The flat has 2 bedrooms which are upstairs on the ground floor there's a big lounge and a kitchen the flat is very clean and beautifully decorated.
"Come I'll show you the bathroom you have 30 minutes to get ready " he says handing me a bath towel together with a face cloth
Honestly I don't know why I'm doing this what's the point of going through all of this because now I know that first year is as far as I can go. After I get married of to Mnotho I will be a village wife who's forced to bear children while he carries on with his life. I decide to ignore that thought I quickly shower then wrap myself in the bath towel and walk to the bedroom. On the bed there is nivea body cream and roll on I lotion then get dressed in the dress I was wearing. I hear footsteps then he stops and knocks
"Are you done we have to go" he says
"Yes I'm done " I say opening the door
The drive to Durban was shorter than I know it to be we park at the Campus parking at exactly 8:50 the exam venue is approximately 15 minutes away from where I am luckily we are given 30 minutes Grace period.
"Good luck I'll be waiting for you here " he says
‘’Thank you ‘’ i say then i run until i get to the hall i am shown my seat i take a deep breathe then i start writing.
I find him exactly where i had let him he is by his car standing with 2 other guys who look so much alike it’s like looking at the same person
‘’how was the paper ‘’ he says
‘’It wasn’t bad ‘’ i say
‘’You will do good Gents this is Usizwile Zwile this is Thato and Thabo ‘’ he says since when am i “Zwile” to him
‘’You have a beautiful name ‘’ one says
‘’Thank you i haven’t met anyone with the same name ‘’ i say i have to brag now my name is unique
‘’Its really beautiful just like the owner ‘’ the other one says
‘’Thato man stop it ‘’ Mnotho says what? guys can’t give me compliments now .
‘’Okay Gents i’ll see you guys around’’ he says they shake hands then we get into the car and he drives off
‘’I’m hungry ‘’ he says he is random i don’t answer him i’m looking out the window
‘’Zwile ‘’ he says
‘’Mnotho i rather you call me Usizwile ‘’ I snap
‘’No actually I have to call you My wife traditionally we are married ‘’ she says with a smirk on his face
‘’Mxm ‘’ say
‘’So you might as well practise your wifely duties by making lunch ‘’ he says
‘’Buy yourself something to eat i’m full anyway ‘’ i say
‘’No you will cook us Lunch when we get to Pietermaritzburg then we will drive home to face the music’’ he says. I decide to ignore him he is now singing along to the radio moving to the beat while at it Mnotho is the human version of a headache rich arrogant and spoilt kid. We get to his place and he insists that I cook for him so I am busy in the kitchen making food while he is in the lounge watching rugby and gulping down mango juice.
‘’I’m finished ‘’ I say walking to sit on the couch opposite him
‘’Where’s the food ‘’ he say looking at me with his eyes wide open
‘’In the kitchen ‘’ I say
‘’No I need to tell Mbhona that he failed at finding me a wife I mean its not like I couldn’t find myself one anyway ‘’ he says walking to the kitchen he comes back after a while with a plate full food and the 10th glass of Mango juice
‘’Wait did you make this ‘’ he asks its mac and cheese with grilled chicken Yesintu taught me how to make it
‘’No Mpendulo made it ‘’ I say
‘’Who is Mpendulo and what was he doing in my kitchen ‘’ he says still stuffing his face with food
‘’Mpendulo is me its my second name i need to tell Gatsheni that he failed at finding me a husband ‘’ i say he bursts out in laughter
‘’Come Mpendulo lets go i am sure everyone back home is going crazy ‘’ he says he grabs his car keys phone and wallet then we walk out
‘’Thanks for the food ‘’ he says out of the blue
‘’Atleast you have some manners ‘’ I say he starts laughing again
‘’21st century wives insult their husbands ‘’he says
‘’Please stop using that word ‘’ i say
‘’Oh sorry i was just fooling around ‘’ he says with a serious face
We are now parked outside the gate at home we are both shit scared to
go out i don’t know what his plan was when he came here in the
morning to ambush me even though it worked in my favour and my first
semester is officially completed. We keep looking at each other I am
biting my nails while he keeps brushing his hair.
‘’What should we do ‘’ he asks this idiot is asking me he is the one who said we should leave