Author: Nonkosi Makhosi

Discovering Real Love

Seven

Ntombi I see Mrs B three days in a week Monday Wednesday and Frinday. Today is Wednesday the second time I'll be seeing her again. Instead of the fear and anxiety I felt last time I now feel at ease and excited. Bonga had an "episode" yesterday because I refused to give him the R200 he gave me Monday. He wanted to go and drink I'm sure I refused at first but I gave in soon after because I was afraid of making him too angry. He searched the bedroom like mad man it looks as if a natural disaster had visited our room. He has not been back since yesterday though he knows that he is my means for tranport to my therapy sessions. I had made peace with the fact that he won't return in time. He was abusing me even when he didn't try to deprive me of something that might help me is abuse in my eyes. I don't even have a phone to call and tell Mrs B I'm not coming. I'm sure she'll think I'm an ungrateful brat who is wasting her time. I was looking forward to seeing her. I took my "good" dress off I'll wear it Friday when we will have our next appointment. I haven't cleaned the room Bonga messed up and decided I'd do that to distract my mind I'm feeling sad. I started with all the drawers he had pulled out and thrown on the floor in his rage. Why don't I feel I deserve better than this? Why do I feel like this is a life meant for me and that I'm not worthy of a life like Sindi's and Zim's? I folded the clothes that were scattered all over the floor clothes I'd have to iron again. I picked up a small sport's bag from the floor wanting to put it on Bonga's closet. Something fell out and I picked it up. It was a bag filled with green stuff. I took a closer look only to realize its weed. We had a rasta wannabe who lived next door to us when we lived in the shack and he always had weed so I'd know it. I searched the bag and found another substance that the didn't recognize. I sat on the bed trying to figure out what Bonga was doing with illegal drugs. Was he keeping it safe for his friends? I would not put it pass him he's a friends pleaser. Perhaps he is smoking it? But he would not have money to buy so much I heard drugs are not cheap. I then thought that he might be dealing but he is so broke. Aren't drug dealers rich? It would explain why I don't know what he does to put food on the table. My boyfriend is a drug dealer! He puts poison on the streets. I expected petty theft from Bonga but never selling drugs. I live with a drug dealer. Perhaps even a user. I took one of my shirts and wiped the pack I held in my hand with it I've learnt a thing or two about fingerprints on movies. When the police come I don't want them to know that I knew about this hopefully they won't strap me to a lie detector machine because they will know that I knew and kept quiet. My mind went into over thinking mode. I hate Bonga for doing this to me. I put the bag at the back of his stuff and continued with my cleaning. "I'm going to go to jail because of this man one day" I whispered to myself out of shock and disbelief. I heard a knock on the door and then the window. I'm sure Bonga lost his key again. I went to open and Sindi was standing in front of me looking so beautiful. I invited her in but only because Bonga is not home. Sindi: Friend you need to dump that fool of yours. I thought he was nice but he is not. He had the nerve to tell me to stay away from you." she said and rolled her eyes. Me: "Hello Sindi. I'm fine thanks and you?" I said. Sindi: "Sarcasm does not look good on you. Anyway what are you doing?" she said while looking around the lounge. Me: "Cleaning. I was suppose to go to my theraphy session today because you know...uhm...the suicide attempt" I said in shame. Sindi: "Many people suffer from depression so don't be ashamed. I'm just glad that you are still here and because I want you to get better I'll pay for your taxi to go there. I'm sure you were going to go with Bonga but that won't happen because I saw him at sis Dee's tavern when I went to buy bread earlier on. He looked like he was not thinking about home and even if he was I would not want you to get into a car with a drunk person behind the wheel. Go get ready I'll go get the money." she said with a smile. Me: "Thank you friend but I don't know how to get there alone. I've never been to town alone." my words left her bottom lip hanging on the floor due to shock. Sindi: "Okay I'll go get dressed and go with you. I'll window shop while you are busy. This is important my friend needs help and I'm going to help her by taking her to the help. Wait did that make sense?" she said looking confused and I laughed. Me: "Perfect sense. Thanks again go get ready we're late already" Sindi: "Oh my goodness I won't have time to put my face on!" she said with a frown. Me: "Your don't need make up" I said and she raised her left brow. Sindi: "Says the girl who only uses vaseline for all puposes yet still looks radiant. Some mothers wombs are a beautiful spa I'm sure and they give birth to people like you" she joked and we both laughed. I don't see the beauty she sees but I was not about to debate about that. She ran out going to get herself decent. I wish she knew just how beautiful she is without the face filters. I went to put on my "good" dress again. It was the only dress that didn't sag too much. I unplaited my afro and combed in out leaving it big. We were finally ready to go. Sindi looked at the adress on Mrs B's card and knew the place. She explained to me what I should say to the driver should I have to come alone someday. I appreciated her so much. We finally got there and I was 15 minutes late for my appointment. I wanted to run up the stairs but Sindi dragged me to the lift. I held her hand tightly like I did with that guy on Monday. She laughed and said I have the "Velaphi Mjongeni" syndome. I didn't get it at first but did and I laughed so much. The lift opened and the guy who helped me up the lift stood in front of it. He and Sindi locked eyes and it was if though I didn't even exist. He cleared his throat and greeted. Sindi the big mouth could not even let out a simple "Hi". She finally told me that she'll be back within an hour or so. I thanked her again and stepped out of the lift. The guy walked in and I swear I saw a wet spot under her arms. He was making her sweat literally. I waved goodbye until the lift shut. I suddenly wished I could be a fly on the wall in that life. I ran to Mrs B's office and she was waiting for me at reception. She came to hug me as soon as I walked in and let out a sigh of relief. It's almost as though she thought something bad had happened to me. I apologized and we went inside. She had all kinds of yummy goods on platters on the table it was sweet and savory goods. I asked what the occasion was and she said she bought it for a party they had earlier on but some was left over and that I should help myself and also take some home if I want. I looked at the platter and it has not even been touched. Had it been leftovers the platter would not look so full and still well arranged. I didn't ask I just thanked her and helped myself we both did. She told me that she booked me for two hours instead of one. I was shocked but grateful. I love being with her. We made ourselves comfortable and talked about some stuff. I asked her to tell me about my mom I just could not pretend like I was here for anything else. She laughed and nodded. She took pictures from her little table beside her and gave them to me. I looked at it and saw two little girls on a black and white picture their smiles were so beautiful and filled with happiness. In the othe picture was my mom clearly in her early teens on this one she looked so beautiful. The third one was clearly her and Mrs B and I'm guessing in their mid or late teens such beauties. I smiled and held them close to my chest. Mrs B: "We were so close. Where I was Nobandla was too and vice versa" she laughed. "When you described her on Monday and I realized it was her I laughed because that was Bandla for you. I was a bit of a tomboy but she drilled lady behaviour in me and I haven't forgotten her lessons. I've spent the entire Monday just crying for her loss. I know it has been years since her passing but to me it's still so raw. Still so unbelievable even had to cancel my other appointments. I always thought I'd go back and see her and her family again thinking that I'd find her since I didn't the first time I went to check on her. To see if she finally became the nurse she dreamt of being" she said softly. Me: "She was a part time domestic worker. My step mother used to say that she ran away with my father. I don't know her family nor where her home is. If what Nomvula said about her running away with my dad is true it means that she was really not from Queenstown. My father got upset when I'd ask about her and her family." Mrs B: "Your step mother was right in that she might have left home. Nobandla and I were both from Peddie. She has a little brother meaning you have an uncle on her side of the family. Her father had his own farm with sheep and cattle and back then it meant that your family is rich when they have livestock. That's what our fathers had in common farming. We were considered what is now known as "privilaged kids" in our village. We didn't have everything but we never starved. Our mothers were typical Xhosa housewives who respected their husbands and our culture so much. Me: "So my mother leave Peddie after you had left?" I asked and she nodded her head. Mrs B: "I think she might have left not long after I did for reasons only known to her and your father and her family. I left home when I heard about nursing and social work opportunities for black women in Joburg. I told Bandla about it too and we were both excited to go see the city of gold. My parents let me go and pursue the opportunity but your mom came with bad news your grandparents did not want their child going to Gauteng. A young woman right next door to your grandparents house worked in Jozi and came home sick and thin one day. It came out that she had aids. This was back in old rural Eastern Cape when having HIV was considered a death setence well in most cases it was because the treatment was not as good as it is now. To your grandparents Jozi meant getting the decease everyone dreaded. My parents had their concerns too but I managed to convince them not to. Our hearts were heartbroken when we heard we would be apart. Your mom and I were always together but growing up meant going our seperate ways. The day that I left was the saddest but we took comfort in knowing that I'd visit little..litt...little did I know that would be the last time that I saw her." she struggled to speak through the tears. I wrapped my arm around her in comfort. "If only I had visited sooner as I promised her I would. I would have had a chance to say goodbye before she moved away" she said in utter regret. Me: "You didn't know what life had in store we never do" I said trying to comfort her. Mrs B: "But still she was my best friend the twin I never had. I should have visited the next month but things were hectic in Joburg. When I got to Jozi I just got too busy to visit home and it got worse when I met Zim's dad and moved to Cape Town with him. I hardly visited because he somehow convinsed me that he needs me more. When Zim's father was ready to lobola I finally got a chance to go home but Bandla was already gone. My father forgot about me not coming to see them after years and would say "at least you wrote to us meaning you didn't forget about us". I think he was just happy that I married a Xhosa man who was a doctor of all things. My grandmother said that I won't have a good marriage though because she didn't trust Mike that he was too good to be true almost asif he is rehearsed all the answers to the questions my father asked to not say the wrong thing. It turned out she was right." Me: "Do you regret it not listening to your grandma seeing how your marriage to Mr Bam ended?" I asked and she slowly shook her head. Mrs B: "Things were bad during the last few years leading to his death but the struggles taught me things I'd never have leant had I been home. I'm much stronger now. I regret that I took Mike's life but it was either me or him. So now that you know where your mother's family is will you go see them?" her question was so unexpected trying to get us to talk about me again. Me: "No they are strangers to me and I'm sure they will let me pay for my mother's sins whatever they may be but something tells me that they did not part on good terms. I'll be a reminder of how my mother was when I tell them about my life. Like my mother I too took off with a man leaving family behind." Mrs B: "Your grandparents aren't like that and they are old now. I know they will welcome you home well. Your uncle has children which means cousins you never had." she said with enthusiasm. "You said the last time you felt like you belonged was when your mother was alive her family might be your safe haven. I can tell you exactly where they live. To see my best friend's baby suffer and almost having killed herself pains me. You also have a mother in me now. Nobandla and I always dreamed of raising kids who would be best friends maybe even get married so we would share grandkids" she laughed. "Such good times. You know Zim and me now. If you feel like you've got no where else to turn to come to our home. You're my baby Ntombi. I'm sure had your mother and I not parted you'd have known how much I love you. Nobandla loved my children even before she knew I'd have any and I hers the thought of you children existing made our hearts full. I might be grieving her because her death is new to me but she left me a gift to remember her by. Surely God was not misken when he chose Zim to treat you. Do you believe in God?" she asked. Me: "Thank you for trying to help me I appreciate you saying such kind words. No I don't believe in God" I said thinking she'd judge me like all the Christians who have come at my house. Mrs B: "Relax I won't force my beliefs on you. Is there a reason why you don't believe in God?" Me: "Because it seems He has favourites. Some of us are living suffering and never ending sorrow while others don't." Mrs B: "Let us leave it at that before I start preaching. Praying also helps a lot. Your mother and I were both Methodists so I'm sure she taught you prayer because her faith couldn't be shaken by anything. Something tells me you stopped believing in the power of prayer after she died more so when your father married a woman who used to beat you and even more so now that you are unhappy." Me: "That's true" I said in a whisper. Mrs B: "I suggest that you go back to your mother's teachings and let's see what happens. I don't think you suffer from depression Ntombi. You live in a depressing environment know the difference." Me: "I thought you said you weren't going to force your religion on me now you're telling me to pray" Mrs B: "I'm telling you to remember what your mom taught you. If she taught you prayer it means that she believed it would help you. I know prayer helps. I've personally seen God's love grace mercy and forgiveness in my life. Let me stop there." Me: "She always did encourage me to pray I remember that about her too. She died a Methodist by the way she wore her church attire with such pride. Her red jacket white shoulder things white hat and b... " Mrs B: "Black skirt!" she finished my sentence and we both laughed. "I'm also still a Methodist and wear that same attire. Oh Bandla" she said with a smile as though she was deep in thought. Me: "My father is a traditional man never believed in church always just ancestors. The last time I went to church was on the day of her funeral. I was there you know...when she took her last breath. That's a memory that will forever be in my mind. I was a child but I remember that particular day so much. She had been so thin already. My father was at work our neighbor would come wash and feed her. On the last day I remember she asked that I get her red church jacket and her shoulder cloth out. She didn't have much strength but on that day she sat up and I helped her put the jacket on and put the shoulder attire on too. She laid back down and started to sing her favourite hymn... " Mrs B: "Bulelani ku Yehova?" she said and we both wept. Me: "Her coughing would disturb her but she kept on. I put my head on her lap and I sang with her. I knew each word because she had sung it so much before. We laid down on our sides I clung to her jacket so much I was so afraid. She sang until I fell asleep. My father had come home while I slept but woke me up saying that I need to get up. That the ancestors have taken her. The church people said God had taken her. I was so confused because I didn't know who to hate between God and the ancestors. Who between them too my mother? I chose to turn my anger to God because my father said that ancestors are family who had gone. So in my little mind back then I thought no family dead or alive would bring me such pain. On the day of her funeral they laid her church attire on top of her coffin. Knowing she would never use it again was painful. Even today I can't stand the sight of a woman in her Methodist Church attire. I mi... Mi.. Miss her so much Ma Bam. A part of me died with her it died and left a black hole there." I said not realizing that I had started to shake. She held me so tightly like she feared my shaking would lead to me breaking literally. I finally calmed down and I felt a bit better. I've never shared that with anyone and I guess letting it out was what was needed. Mrs B: "We tend to remember childhood memories vividly when it either made us happy or caused us trauma. Your mother's passing came with trauma that no one helped you deal with but I'm here now I'm here and I'm not going anywhere. God is not to blame baby. He loves you and is with you all the time. Please just open up the door of that weary heart and let Him in. Oh Ntombi there is power in the word of God. Your mother knew it that's why she went singing the gospel because she had no fear of what was next. I'm sure she didn't want to leave you but she knew better than to question God. Let me stop there before I scare you off with my beliefs." Me: "I'm feeling a bit better after speaking about that day. Thank you" Mrs B: "That's why I'm here. You can call or come over whenever. I'll write my address down for you. I haven't told Zim that I knew your mom because I can't tell her what we discuss here but can I tell her that you are Nobandla's. I've spoken about your mother so much. I want to tell her that I found a second daughter" I laughed a bit. Me: "You can tell her. Do you visit home?" Mrs B: "I do. My father is late though and my mother lives with my eldest sister in King Williams Town. We have a good enough relationship. I also still go and see your grandparents when I'm there. They miss your mother. They don't even know she's dead or they would have told me or they heard a rumour but refuse to believe it. You can be the closure they need Ntombi." I asked that we change the subject on prayer and me meeting my mother's family by telling me the fun stories about her and my mom's upbringing. I laughed so much one would swear I didn't just cry earlier on. I've cried a lot today. I would never have guessed Mama to be so naughty. We went beyond the two hours she booked me for when her next appointment cancelled. It was great. We laughed and cried more. I got more emotional when she said that I'm healing her in a way. I've been told I'm annoying ugly a bad person unlovable but never has someone said that my presence brings them peace. I opened up a bit about my situation with Bonga. Unlike Zim she didn't go on about leaving and getting help. She understood that it was not easy to do for various reasons but she advised me to choose myself before I lose myself in Bonga's toxins completely. Deep down I knew she was right and it coming from her a domestic violence survivor made me think a lot. Our three hours came to an end. I felt a sadness wash over me when I had to leave and go back to my reality. She had her PA put the leftover food in containers for me and also wanted to me money but I declined. I took her cellphone number and address also. She hugged me and I went out I heard her hum "Bulelani ku Yehova" she almost did it like my mom used to. I stood outside the building waiting for Sindi she finally came wearing a big smile on her face saying she's met her husband. I was so happy to see her happy. I offered her some food but she said "Bae" took her out. I couldn't believe she's in a relationship with a man she just met. We both laughed at how silly it sounded but she was happy and I was not about to burst her bubble. I told her a few details about my session today. We got into the taxi and went home. Sindi went home and I went inside the yard. Bonga's old car was parked on the grass and my mood just dropped. I went inside and closed the door behind me. I felt a hard slap on my cheek the minute I turned around. It was such a power slap that my other cheek went against the door causing me to lose my balance falling to the floor. Bonga went on about how he warned me about seeing Sindi again and about when he can't take me to Mrs B it meant I'm not allowed to go alone or with anyone else. He went to the kitchen and I feared its to get a knife but I heard the door open and close. His loud engine indicated that he's leaving. I tried to stand up but I was too light headed to. I sat back down and started crying. The food I came with decorated the floor. I closed my eyes hoping that it would bring my balance back. I thought of praying I remember going on my knees and putting my hands together while my mother prayed but she never taught me any other prayer except Our Father. I tried to remember what she said when she prayed but couldn't so I decided to recite the prayer that she instilled in me since I was very young. "Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven..." I stuttered through tears until I said Amen. I sat hoping that I would feel better but I'm didn't feel any different. I was certain my prayer got to the roof and fell back down again never reach God. I stood and started to clean the mess and went to lay down afterwards. I know he went back on his promise to not hit me again but at least it was just a slap. I thought to myself trying once again to justify Bonga's actions even though I'm the one in pain physically emotionally spiritually and mentally. I was exhausted and worn out. I didn't feel a difference after praying either so clearly it's not meant for me.

Write your opinion

Sandisiwe 2019-03-17 00:54:38

Bulelani ku Yehova was my late great grandmothers hymn too! We sang it almost in every evening prayer before bed. She was a Methodist too. Wow. I shared a young tear there.

Nelly 2019-02-02 08:22:08

Ntombi u need 2 live dat man b4 he kill u

Dk 2019-02-02 01:49:05

Love the story, very emotional please complete it

Phumza 2019-01-30 05:42:22

This is so sad. I hope she will finally have the courage to put herself first and stop thinking that she could be Bonga's savior.

Phumza 2019-01-30 05:41:39

This is so sad. I hope she will finally have the courage to put herself first and stop thinking that she could be Bonga's savior.

ntoer 2019-01-30 00:12:15

ntomb u should visit ur grandparents of a change myb they will love you