Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen. Hope is seeing light in spite of being surrounded by darkness. In Zulu we say “Ithemba alibulali” which means hope is what keeps us going. Without hope we are dead but in my circumstances it’s the other way around. Hope is slowly killing me from inside. It’s like a slow poison killing me bit by bit each passing day. I hate that I still hope that he will change even after the two years of abuse. I hate that I still hope he will change after laying his hand on my daughter. Don’t look at me like that. I once said this and I’m still going to repeat it. You will never understand until you walk on my shoes.
I never thought one day I would wake up to this abusive husband. We were so happy and everything changed within a blink of an eye. Had I known that he would turn out like this I wouldn’t have married him in the first place but it is what it is and there’s no turning back. I’m into deep and I can’t walk out and take away everything that I can’t provide for my daughter. I don’t want to take away the only life that made her to warm up and embrace her disability. It was never my plan to be a house wife I have always been ambitious but when my husband said “I have all the money this world can buy no wife of mine will work” I had no say on that because when my husband say something his word goes and I was deeply in love to think of the future. Everything seemed so perfect the love he was showering us with every single day. The way he was so overprotective and caring. He treated us like we were the only girls that existed in the world and I couldn’t be more grateful when he accepted Mira as his own child. It felt great to have someone who showed that he truly cared for once. Vusi is my first through everything okay maybe not everything since Mira is not he’s child she was never created through love but that’s a story for another day.
I have to prepare myself it’s my husband’s second session with his psychologist and I’m going with him today. He has two sessions a week Monday and Friday of which I think it’s not enough if it was for me he would go everyday. I have just finished taking a shower and moisturizing my body now I’m getting dressed. The sun is up and blazing hot so I opted for a Gucci red off shoulder short sleeve bodycon dress with black Gucci suede platform sandals. I compete the look with rose gold accessories and let my curly weave lose. I apply just lip stick I don’t want to mess up my make up with tears just in case the session get intense. I turn once more staring at myself in the mirror. I look beautiful as always I love dressing up and looking good because when you look good and smell good you feel good. No one can even notice the pain you are harboring.
I twitch my wrist and check the time it reads 10:30am the session starts at 11:30 my husband will be here any moment from now to pick me up. I make my way out to check on my daughter I had woken her up but to my surprise she’s still sleeping. Over these few days since my husband beat her up she’s avoiding me we hardly spend time together. She’s always out with her rude boy and when she comes back she lock herself in her bedroom claiming to be tired and need some sleep. I feel like she’s slipping through my fingers and I feel so horrible.
“Miracle” I shake her and she blinks her beautiful hazel eyes open.
“Baby I said wake up your father is on the way now. We going to fetch you when we come back I want you to be ready”
“Ready for what?” She yawns
“I told you nje yesterday that today it’s family day just the three of us” ” she sits on her butt
“I’m sorry I have plans Mom” I sigh and sit on her bed next to her
“But baby you are always spending time with the rude boy we also need your attention”
“His name is Lwandlelwenkosi mom” I roll my eyes
“Of course look I like that you are going out living life like every teenagers but that doesn’t mean you should cut us out of your life”
“I’m trying to teach myself how to leave without you because sooner or later that will definitely happen” I shut my eyes momentarily and take a huge breath her words feels like a knife penetrating in my heart
“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to say that” she says as if she realized how hurt I am to hear her saying that.
“Look mom Lwandlelwenkosi makes me happy when I’m with him I feel like everything is okay. I forget about everything that is happening here. He is my escape you know my escape from all this turmoil. He is the happiness that I need right now the happiness that I need to hold on for a moment because darkness of sorrow is on the way sooner or later” Her face glows when she speaks about the rude boy my baby is in love but her eyes glisten with tears when she says the last sentence.
“Baby im not going to die” I say wiping her tears that had fallen
“You don’t know that mom”
“I know I won’t he will change. I swear” she chuckles and shakes her head in disbelief
“If you truly believe he will change after 2 years then you must be stu…” She stop herself and sighs“Look I don’t want us to fight because all we ever done lately is fight so the best I can do is to stay out of your business like you said”
“Staying out of my business doesn’t mean you should cut me out of your life. It’s been few days but I miss you so much Mira.”
“I'm sorry that you feel like I’m neglecting you it was never my intention at all. Tomorrow I’m all yours okay”
“I love you mommy”
“I love you too sweetheart” I pull her in my arms and comforts her inhaling her sweet scent.
“Why are you sleeping at this time didn’t you sleep at night”
“Uhm I did” she’s lying to me so I pull her away and look at her
“You are lying you wake up late these few days why ” she sighs
“I have nightmares”
“Oh baby you wanna share them?”
“I dream about dad beating me up until I couldn’t breathe” I sigh and envelop her in my arms once again
“He will never beat you up ever again. I promise you yezwa”
“Okay” I sense uncertainty in her voice and it breaks my heart that my daughter no longer feel protected and safe. Sigh!
“Why didn’t you call me to sleep with you?”
“I didn’t want to bother you”
“You can never bother me baby from today I’m sleeping with you. Let me go make something for you to eat before I go”
“Okay” I let go of her and stand up before making my way to the kitchen to fix her something to eat. Once I’m done
“Okay” I let go of her and stand up before making my way to the kitchen to fix her something to eat. Once I’m done I take her food to her bedroom.
“Here you go”
“Thank you...lets eat together”
“No I’m fine baby eat” I watch her as she eat call me biased but my baby is beautiful bakwethu with her chocolate complexion that complements her hazel brown eyes. I’ve realized that the more she grows the more she looks like my father even her beautiful hazel eyes. Out of all people did she have to look like my father but the man was an eye candy so I’m not complaining. Mira is tall and petite like her father but she got a big butt and hips obvious of which she got from me *winks*. Minutes late my husband arrives. I give my daughter a goodbye kiss and make my way out after taking my handbag and phone. He’s waiting for me outside his car. He looks gorgeous in a grey pants and a yellow v neck long sleeve t-shirt that complements his dark chocolate complexion. He flashes a wild smile and his whites beautiful teeth sparkles oh my he knows what that smile does to me. I finally make it to him with my wobbling knees
“Mntungwa” He captures my lips into his in a sultry kiss as his hands snake around my body and squeezes my buttock.
“How are you today”
“I’m fine what about you”
“I’m also fine...Will Mira be fine alone?”
“Yes she will be okay”
“Okay come lets get going” He opens the door for me then he walks to his side. The drive is filled with light conversation and a bit of laughter. We arrive and we greet and my husband introduces me to her. Honestly I never expected someone so young to be the one who to help us. You can see that’s she’s fresh from school. I bet this is her first year working after graduation. She must be in her early twenties which makes me wonder how did Khumalo find this one. No offense I’m not saying young psychologist doesn’t know their work but experience counts.
“It’s nice to meet you Mrs Khumalo” she shakes my hand and I keep my eyes straight into hers.
“Nice to me you too Miss Gama”
“You may sit down please” she points at her black leather couches me and my husband make ourselves comfortable. Her office is beautiful and spacious.
“it’s a good thing that you asked your wife to join us today maybe you will talk unlike last time” she says as she sits down on her chair.
“Yes can we get started please” I sense annoyance in his voice
“Mr Khumalo why are you here?”
“What do you mean?” My husband asks
“I mean what’s the reason behind all this sessions that we are going to have”
“Talk isn’t that what you are doing here?” Miss Gama nods her head and scribble something down on her note pad
“What are you expecting to gain after you talked”
“I don’t know stop asking stupid questions!” I nudge him and shoot him a “calm down” look. He sighs
“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to shout. I expect some changes on the way I behave”
“Enlighten me about your behavior”
“I… uhm...I beat up my wife” he stutters. Miss Gama looks at me and I look down.
“I don’t know” he says
“Does she provoke you?”
“This is stupid!”
“Baby come on” I say looking at him with pleading eyes
“Mr Khumalo what you made to come here? What encouraged you to come here?”
“My wife and daughter. I’m doing this for them. I want to change for them”
“It’s a good thing that you realize you need to change. The first step is to acknowledge that you need help but the problem is you want to do this for your wife and daughter not for yourself. It has to start with you first Mr Khumalo”
“No no I'm sorry Bonga this chit chat is not working for me!!” He gets up and walk out. I sigh this is harder than I thought
“I’m sorry about that” I say
“It’s okay I understand. I’m sorry for what you are going through and I’m willing to help you and your husband but you have to know that if your husband doesn’t see the need for himself to change there’s nothing you and I can do.”
“He wants to change I know he does” she sighs
“Here’s my contacts details whenever you need to talk. I’m here or you should just book an appointment for yourself only. You also going to need my service” I look at her card and take it
“Thanks” I then walk out with a heavy heart. I get in car and he drives off without a word. He’s clenching his jaw and the grip on the steering is too tight that I can see his huge hands pulsing. I try my best to keep my mouth quiet because I don’t want to antagonize him more but his driving is very reckless.
“Hayi Khumalo you want to kill us!” He says nothing and slacken his speed until we arrive home.
“When is your next appointment?”I say as we make our way inside the house
“I’m not going there anymore”
“You heard me!”
“You said you will get help Vusimuzi!”
“Don’t you dare raise your voice at me!!”
“Or what huh? You going to kill me like you killed our baby?”
“I said I’m sorry about that Bonga”
“No you are not sorry enough because you are refusing to get yourself help Vusimuzi Khumalo. I’m sick and tired of your shit!! I can’t take it anymore. For two fucking two years I have been patient with you! Making excuses for your behavior but now I’m done doing that!!” He slaps me hard my vision studded with stars
“You are mine do you hear me! You are not leaving me Bonga! You and I belong together not even death would separate us because if you dare try to run way from me I will find you and kill you Mira and myself”
“Why don’t you do it now huh!!” I make my way to the drawer and take out a big knife
“Here take it kill us now!!”
“Mommy no she’s sorry daddy!” I don’t know when did she make her way in.
“Take it Khumalo! take this knife and stap the shit of us! If that's what will make you a man do it now!!”
He looks at me with so much anger and he's shaking uncontrollably. Mira is crying.
“Here is the knife!! Angithi your are your father’s son! You are a woman beater and a child abuser like him!!! Niyafana nseeee!” He punches me and I reel back but I didn’t even scream. I’m used to this now. All it does now is numbs the body
“Go ahead! Daddy’s boy kill us!!” He snatches the knife from me and walks to Mira. I don’t know what I’m doing the rage burning within me is controlling me and the time I realize it’s already late. I close my eyes shut as he grabs Mira to himself and all I remember is her loud last piercing scream.