One afternoon as I was lazing about at home catching up on some much needed gossip on TV and sipping on a bubbly I received from my hubby as a Friday presnt, when I got a call from the security at the gate that there was a young man asking to see my husband, I allowed him to come up to the house.
The well dressed and very mannered young man was my husband’s son (Thandolethu), he had come all the way from Port Shepstone to come and speak to his father. I was shocked to see how much he resembled my husband, I had never met him before this.
I asked why he didn’t just call and he told me that since the day that he left, 4 months ago, he hadn’t called or returned any of their calls. Seeing as though their mother was also as a housewife, like me, she was receiving a monthly allowance that assisted her in maintaining her looks as well as the day to day running of the household.
Problem is Sipho hasn’t sent them anything since the terrible discovery that was made of the illness.
I offered him a snack as well as a warm bath while we waited for his father to come home from work.
As usual Sipho was home at 19:30 pm. He hadn’t even entered the house but was already ranting and raving about what a terrible day he had had and that all his clients are starting to doubt him and his credibility and didn’t understand why. He owned his own accounting firm.
I poured him a cognac, like I usually did before giving him his supper. As he walked into the living room he was shocked by what he saw: there was Thandolethu relaxed on the couch waiting patiently for him. I could feel the heat coming of his closely shaven head because of the anger he was feeling at the sight of Thando and the tension in that room was so thick, you could cut it with a chain saw.
I’m sure the first thing that came to his mind was that his wife (Precious) had passed on.
He sat down and asked the boy what he was doing there. Thando started explaining that since he hadn’t been sending them money, like he normally did, things were terrible back home. His mothers CD4 count was decreasing by the day and because there was no money in the house she couldn’t be sent to the doctor, never mind get proper food to eat before taking meds. His younger brother who attends a private crèche had been removed from the school due to non-payment of fees and was here to ask for some money so they could make ends meet.
I went up to our room and sobbed as I could feel his pain, growing up in a household where we were lucky if we got pap to eat once a day. How could he be so cruel to his sick wife and the children? Is this what he’s going to do to me as soon as I start getting ill? What can I do to help them out, was there anything that I could do? Well he kept them a secret from me and he probably didn’t want us to have a relationship any way.
While wiping my face I could hear them speaking loudly it was as though there were 10 men down there. I rushed downstairs to see what was happening; Sipho was dragging Thando out the door.
When I asked what was going on he hit me so hard across my face, I felt my jaw dislocate.
I locked myself up in the guest bedroom and cried myself to sleep. I saw a side of my husband that I never thought I would ever have to see. What had become of us? First the lies then the illness and now the abuse? What was next? Was he going to kill me and bury me in the back yard?
As the sun came up and I heard him leave for work the next day, I left the room. I took a long bath while sipping on some wine, hoping to unwind. I dozed off and while napping I heard a voice in the distance say; “madam, Thandolethu slept in the cottage last night and was now asking for your time”. I thought I was dreaming, as I opened my eyes, there was Patricia (my housekeeper).
I got dressed and went down stairs. He looked terrible, Sipho had hit him so badly. I was shocked. Did all this happen because he came to ask for money from his own father? If I didn’t know better I would say that Sipho thought that Thando was the one who infected us with the HI Virus.
After cleaning him up and giving him breakfast, I wrote him a cheque and took him to Park Station where he would take a bus back home. I gave him my number so he could call if he ever needed help with anything at all.
We spent the next three days being housemates as we didn’t speak at all; I just gave him his cognac and supper like I usually did. Finally he apologized and explained why he reacted that way. He said he was angry and that he was still trying to come to terms with what was happening. “It’s no excuse my love for my behavior and I’m sorry”.
That night I moved back to our room and after an hour of steamy love making, my phone rang. It was Thando. I didn’t answer, Sipho and I had just started talking and I didn’t want to mess things up.
A few seconds later a message came through from Thando.
“Sis Ntombi uma usandaku shona, angazi ngi yenze njani”….