We were sitting in the bedroom waiting to be called out as the Uncles were busy with the negotiations in the living room. My family decided on that old but yet still relevant tradition of identifying the bride. Thati myself and our other cousin Fezeka we supposed to cover ourselves with blankets and go out to stand in front of the Uncles so that her husband's family can identify her. Should they identify the wrong person they will have to pay extra ontop of what they were initially charged....
Mawe: Sandy you should be grateful that Thati gave you an opportunity to be part of the negotiations.. Phela ukuphuma kwakho ngengubo uyoma phambi kwabo Malume is the closest thing you will ever have to a wedding or lobola (You going out there and standing in front of the Uncles will be the closest thing you'll ever have to a wedding or lobola)
Thati laughed her lungs out..
Thati: Kodwa Mawe uWrong
Mawe: Angimenzi inhlekisa ngikhuluma amaqiniso (I am not making a mockery out of her I'm just stating the truth)
Thati: Mara vele uqinisile (She is right)
That remark clearly proves that my family doesn't think that one day I'll ever get married or let alone find someone who will want to marry me..
The door opened and my Aunt walked in..
Aunty: Thati zimbeseni bayanibiza (Thati cover yourselves up they calling for you guys)
We covered ourselves with the blankets Thati was helped by my Aunt and My Grandmother..
Thati: You won't believe what Mawe said
Aunty: Uthini? (what did she say)
Thati: Bathi this process is the only closest thing that Sandy is going to have to a wedding or lobola
My Aunt laughed too..
Mawe: You guys are laughing ende Mina I'm serious
Aunty: Kodwa Mawe.. Aii cha (Ma that's wrong)
Mawe: Kuyakanjani Mara? (how are the negotiations coming along)
Aunty: Angizwanga nex bavale umnyango (I didn't hear anything they closed the door)
Mawe: hai phuthumani phela!! (You guys should hurry up)
Aunty: Ya hambani.. Before they end up changing their minds
We had to hold the blankets tight so that they don't fall and reveal our identities. We were ushered to the living room by my Grandmother and My Aunt We walked in and stood before the Uncles while my Grandmother started to Ululate. It was unnecessary she's supposed to do that after the negotiations not when they still negotiating. What if they change their minds? What then??
One of my Uncles started talking..
Him: Ingabe niyamazi uMakoti wenu? (Do you know your bride)
The other Uncles replied with a yes and the yes was very faint.. My Uncle spoke again..
Uncle: Mkhetheni ke.. Kodwa nazi ukuthi uma nikhetha oWrong nizohlawula (You can choose your bride.. Though keep in mind that if you choose the wrong one you will pay extra)
The was a long pause and after that I heard a lot of whispering. My Grandmother and my Aunt were standing behind us..
Uncle of the groom: Errr
He cleared his throat..
Uncle of the groom: Sikhetha lo ome phakathi (We choose the one that's in the middle)
I heard a deep sigh coming from whoever was standing behind me I think it was my Grandmother..
Our Uncle: Lo ome phakathi? (The one in the middle)
Uncle of the groom: Yebo Baba (Yes Sir)
I felt someone poking me from behind so that I could reveal myself I didn't even know that I was standing in the middle since we were ushered in and looking down the whole time. I lowered the blanket to reveal my face.
Uncle: Wuye lo uMakoti wenu? (Is this your bride)
Uncle of the groom: Sibona njalo.. Cha muhle udade wethu (She's beautiful)
Uncle of the groom 2: Muhle kakhulu asithembe ke ukuthi ukhulelwe ngoba kuthiwe owethu ukhulelwe (She's very beautiful. Let's hope that she's pregnant we heard that ours is pregnant)
Our Uncle: Susa yonke ingubo (remove the whole blanket)
My Grandmother roughly snatched it from me..
Uncle of the groom: Ehhh
Our Uncle: Animazi uMakoti wenu (you don't know your bride)
Uncle of the groom 2: Besesithembile ukuthi nguye lo (we were hoping that it's her)phela we have never met her before
Our Uncle: Thati susa ingubo (Thati remove the blanket)
Thati removed her blanket with the help of her Mother..
Our Uncle: Nangu uMakoti wenu (This is your bride)
Uncle of the groom: Naye muhle ak'fani (She's beautiful)
Uncle of the groom 2: Cha lo uzosilethela izinkinga bheka inzipho zakhe ukuthi zingakanani (This one is going to bring us problems look at how long her nails are)
Uncle of the groom 1: Angakhethanga yini lo ophakathi.. Bheka nje ukuthi muhle kanjani she would've been a perfect bride(Why didn't he go for the one in the middle look at how beautiful she is)
Even though they were speaking amongst themselves but we could hear them my Uncle cleared his throat. They looked at us..
Uncle of the groom: Wena sisi usuthathiwe? (My sister are you taken)
I kept quiet...
Uncle of the groom: Phela angamfanela uBongane Wam' (She will be good for my Son)
I looked down I couldn't hold back my smile..
Uncle of the groom 2: Ngisho muhle esencuma (She's more beautiful even when she's smiling)
Out of nowhere Thati turned back and walked away..
Aunty: Thati yima!! (Thati wait)
Our Uncle: Cha ngathi seniza ngokusidelela (Now it looks like you disrespecting us)
Mawe: Awuhambe kanti usameleni (Move.. What are you waiting for)
My cousin and I walked out to the bedroom while the Uncles continued to argue Thati was crying..
Aunty: Phephisa sisi (take heart)
Thati: kodwa benimufakelani uSandy? (Why did you include Sandy in this)
My Grandmother pushed me out of the way and made her way into the bedroom..
Mawe: Bese wena ubusinekelani? (Why were you smiling)
Aunty: Angisho vele ukhohlakele (She's evil)
Mawe: Uthandaze nje ukuthi lama lobolo enzeke noma uphume uphele la kwami (Just pray for the negotiations to go well or else leave my house)
Aunty: Futhi nje she must leave this room before I kill her
I was so confused because I didn't know what I did wrong..
Mawe: Phuma!!! (leave)
My cousin Fezeka took our phones and then we walked out. Fezeka is one of my favourite cousins her and her Mother are not given much attention because they not financially stable. Her Mother is also a drunk Fezeka dropped out of high school now she has 3 kids and she's only 26. The baby daddies are not taking care of the kids she's surviving off her kids Sassa cash. Despite her lifestyle she still remains a humble soul... When we out of the gate she started laughing..
Me: Don't laugh yazi
Her: Aii suka balayekile (It serves them well)
Me: Ya but at the expense of me being homeless
Her: Askies Cuz.. If we didn't live with my Mother's boyfriend you would come live with us. So manje that guy is not good. Uzokugangela ngoba nawe uyabona moss ukuthi umuhle kakhulu (He will sexualy harass you I mean you know how beautiful you are)
Me: Me? Beautiful? I hardly think so
She stopped and looked at me..
Her: Haibo ngoba Nangu ukhalise no my friend ngalena(You made our cousin shed tears)
I have doubts when it comes to my beauty. Being dark skinned had it's disadvantages when I was growing up. I grew up thinking that I was ugly make that I was made to think that I was ugly..
Me: Manje sizoyaphi? (where can we go)
Her: Asiye lapha ekhoneni get something to eat and drink (Let's go to the eatery)
Me: With what money Mara?
Her: Hai wena thula!!
She put her hand deep in her bra and came back with a R200 note..
Her: Ngikhuthuzile (I stole it)
Me: From who?
Her: My Mother's boyfriend when he is drunk and passed out.. Ngiyamkhuthuza (I search his pockets)
I shook my head..
Me: Kodwa Fezeka
One thing that I've struggled with for a long time now was to erase the picture of my Daughter being tortured from my mind. Everytime when it's silent that video keeps on playing in my head. I never knew that human beings can be capable of such she was a sweet innocent girl who was violated in the most cruel way ever. I will never forgive myself and I will never forget what my family went through because of the life I chose for myself. It's the same as if like I was the one who personally sent them to their early graves..
Before they shot her in the head repeatedly she was crying she was crying out to me so that I could come and save her. I failed I failed her..
I looked at him..
Him: I'll get the first aid kit
I looked at my hand and it was bleeding. All I remember was walking into the kitchen and getting myself a glass of water everything must've shut down when I was at the sink because I had squeezed the glass that I was holding for dear life that it broke and cut me.
SK: Let me have a look
He opened the bag..
Me: Sanya was supposed to turn 15 this month
Sk: I thought you forgot about her birthday
Me: How could I?
Sk: It was last week and you didn't say anything
Me: I'll never forget Sk No matter how much I force myself
It drives me crazy knowing that I'll never avenge her death at times it feels like I'm losing my mind.. The day she died was the day I died too. Since from then I have never smiled nor laughed. Anger and hate is what I live by now. There is no room in my heart for love kindness humanity caring and all those warm human feelings. I have become dark
He wrapped a banged around my hand after cleaning the cut..
Him: At least the cut is not deep Señor
Me: Where is Modrid?
Him: Modrid is still sleeping
Me: Barbados is not giving in
Him: So I've heard Señor
Me: We need to send a word to the DL
Him: What would that be?
Me: They must load all the girls who are the same age as Sanya when she died.. They must be tortured day and night until their leader gives in
Him: I will send the word Señor
Me: Thank you Sk.. What would I do without you?
Him: Don't forget the cheque Señor for the silencers
Me: I'll give it to you later on
Him: Very well Señor
I looked at my hand..
Me: Gracias tío (thank you Uncle)
Him: would you like some whiskey Señor?
Me: Yes please.. Then tell Rebecca to bring it to my study
Him: Err Rebecca is not feeling well
Me: Even today?
Him: Yes Señor..
Me: Is she still sick or she's trying to skip work?
Him: She's still sick Señor
Him: Should I call the Dr Señor?
Me: No I'll go and check up on her
Him: Yes Señor
He took the med bag and walked away. Rebecca is one of my maids I fool around with her at times. Sometimes our sexual encounters tend to be brutal but she takes the pain very well she has a high tolerance for pain. To hear that she is still not feeling well it's a call for corncen. Not that I care about her well being but her cunt is the sweetest I've tasted she was a virgin when we started our sexual relationship from thereon she hasn't been with anyone else other than me..
Me: Kodwa Fezi.. You shouldn't have bought anything you could've used that money to buy your kids something
Her: Nonsense.. Phela after today I might see you again next year or so
Fezeka was a bright student at school maybe it is true that your environment can have an effect on how you turn out in the future...
Me: Thank you
Her: Akunankinga skeem (It's alright)
As we were eating I felt hands covering my eyes they were a bit cold..
Me: Fezi ubani? (Fezi who is it)
A man's cologne made it to my nose before I felt a warm kiss on my cheek. I immediately got goosebumps..
I lowered his hands there's only one person who can do that.. It was Menzi..
He whispered next to my ear with his hands hanging over my shoulders..
I got took his hands off me and he moved from behind me. Today he was wearing different from how he usually wears. Don't get me wrong he really wears nice but I'm used to him in casual wear rather than formal. His outfit wasn't entirely all formal though. It was a black Polo T with black formal pants and shoes. He got another chair and sat with us.
He looked at Fezeka..
Fezi just nodded then he focused on me..
Him: Kanti ekini abaloboli? (Aren't you supposed to be having negotiations at your house)
He wiped my lower lip with his thumb.. I took the napkin and wiped my lips..
Me: Ya we do
Him: Ukudla kwakini akukho mnandi? (The food is not nice)
Him: I hope bazopheka kamnandi masekuza abasekhaya (I hope they will cook better when my Uncles come)
He looked at our food..
Him: Senibhadalile? (have you paid)
He took out his wallet..
Him: How much?
He took out R300 and put it on the table..
Him: It's on the house
He winked at me and then go up and walked away.. Fezeka looked at me..
Me: It's not what you think
I took R100 and gave her the R200..
Her: Why are you wasting time?
Me: Look at him and then look at me
Her: You very beautiful I don't know why you doubt yourself this much
Me: It's not the looks.. Menzi is.. He looks like he is into those girls you know abaphaphayo (girls who are forward) what if I bore him along the way?
Her: Usually guys like him settle for girls like you who give them less stress phela wena you are a wife material
Me: Besides that nje.. There's a lot of external factors that won't be supportive of our relationship
She extended her hand to mine..
Her: There's nothing wrong with who you are and there's nothing wrong with going against what you believe in to get your happiness and peace. I know ukuthi you are determined to be one of those women who make it out on their own but..
She looked at Menzi and then looked at me..
Her: You can use him to get out of that woman's house. Let's say you guys date and somehow he really pays Lobola. You'll be out of Mawe's house to a better environment and then you can work on going back to school. Even if you can go back to school now while you living in that house you going to fail. The abuse has affected you so much you won't concentrate remember matric? How depressed you were? You barely made it through. This is even taking a toll on your health
Me: I don't think Menzi and I we going to work
Her: Kanti yini? (What's wrong)
Me: You know my upbringing.. I was raped when I was young and Thati also hinted that no one will ever love me.. She said if a guy falls for me it'll only be out of pity
Her: That witch!!! What's the guy's name again?
She turned and called him..
Me: What are you doing?
Her: Thula uzobona (wait and you'll see)
Menzi looked at her..
Fezi: Kancane nje bhuti...sorry (Please come here)
Menzi made his way to us..
Him: Yini ukudla Ku right? (Is the food alright)
Fezi: The food is nice thank you.. I just wanna ask you something
He buried his hands in his pockets..
My heart was already on my knees..
Fezi: My cousin here something tragic happened to her when she was young which is not her fault
Menzi looked at me..
Fezi: She was raped
Menzi's eyes widened..
Fezi: Since from she doesn't think that there's a guy out there who can fall her because of what she went through..
Fezeka had no right to do that I stood up..
Me: I'm leaving
Me: You had no right to do that
I walked away..
Menzi: Sandy yima (wait a minute)
I don't know why I'm surrounded by people like this if it's not Fezeka it's Nomusa. I know that their personalities overshadow mine but they shouldn't do this to me..
I knocked at cottage she opened..
She moved away and I made my way in.. She closed the door..
Me: I heard you not feeling well
Her: sí señor (Yes sir)
She bowed while saying that...
Me: You standing on your two feet so it cannot be what we did the other day.. I believe your bruises have healed
Her: They are healing
Me: So what seems to be the matter?
She looked down..
Me: I will not ask again
Her: I'm pregnant Señor
Me: You what?
She kept quiet...
Me: When my Brother found you he said that you and your siblings were living in conditions that were inhumane. You were the oldest therefore you had to care for the little ones since your Parents are both late. Modrid brought you here we gave you a job. You earn twice what an average maid earns we built your siblings a house they getting proper education because of us. We treat you well and this is how you repay me by falling pregnant? Did the Dr not give you pills to prevent that from happening?
She wiped her tears..
Her: They ran out
Me: Why did you not say anything?
She continued crying..
Me: Why did you not say anything!!?
I raised my voice a little and it freaked her out..
Her: I'm sorry Señor
Me: How is your sorry going to help us in this situation?
I don't know what happened but at that moment all I saw was red. I started hitting her with my walking stick. The more I hit her the more I thought of my Daughter. I thought about Sanya and how they were beating her up in that video she cried she begged but the bastard didn't stop. He kept on whooping her all over while she was naked with an electric cable. Every whip left a red mark on her body and every whip was accompanied by a painful cry and plea..
I didn't realize how far I had went until I felt someone pulling me back it was my Brother Modrid. I glanced down at Becca she was crying and it even looked like she had pissed on herself. I was breathing heavy and my hand was shaking. I turned and looked at Modrid..
Me: She's pregnant
Modrid: You have a visitor
Me: Did you hear what I said?
Modrid: And did you hear what I said?
I raised my walking stick at him and he held it before it landed on any part of his body..
Him: I'm not your kid brother anymore I'm a grown man
He let it go and I walked away. I stopped at the door and looked at him picking up Bebecca from the floor. He held her in his arms..
Him: It's okay.. You okay
I thought Modrid and I were cut from the same cloth I don't know what he is doing falling in love. We the Martinez Brothers we do not fall in love!
To be continued
Thank u Fezeka
YOU ARE THE BEST, Please Wright more
You never disappoint.
Can you please not keep us in suspense its a sad story I can relate to some parts of Sandy's life.