Marriage on the ROX
When you love someone you can’t just wake up and decide to leave them. I loved Lesley because I believed he was my first true love. He was the first boyfriend to take me all over South Africa on baecations. He introduced me to best things in life. When you have such a guy in your life it is not easy to let go. I always hear girls say it’s not about his money but I believe that is rubbish. No girl wants to walk into poverty with their eyes open. I was not from a poor family but being with Lesley upgraded my life to some level. He turned around and looked at me like he was expecting my lips to says something different. I repeated it “I am not happy in this relationship Lesley. I don’t know you anymore. Since we got married things are getting worse. If I stay in this relationship you will end up killing me. Look at me now. I have stitches all over my body. When you met me I only had one childhood scar. How do you feel when you look at me and see these stitches? Do you smile and call yourself a real man? You know my mom is sick and she is very critical. Instead of being there for me you do something that will kill my mom if she finds out. If this is your idea of marriage then I want out”. He went down on his knees and suspended his arms on the bed. He said “I admit that I have been a cow Tshwarelo. I don’t think I am myself. My father might be right. I think someone is bewitching me or my ancestors have turned against me. You know very well that this is not me. Sometimes I think Ayanda did something to me. I am a successful man with a beautiful wife. Not everyone is happy about that. Please don’t leave me my love. I will go stay with my parents for a while just to give you some space, just don’t leave me. I beg you”. My eyes got wet when I saw tear in his eyes. My husband was crying for me. I looked at him and saw someone I made a vow to be with in sickness and in health. He was different from the monster that made me bled. His tears touched my soul.
I cried as Lesley cried. Obviously I lied about wanting to divorce him. I loved him very much to do that. I just wanted to see if he loved me and he proved it. He wouldn’t have cried if he didn’t love me. Maybe Lesley and his father were right about him having a problem. I cannot lie that I was not disappointed and angry at him. I was very angry at him but the love I felt for him diluted my anger. Seeing him cry made me cry. I went “I love you very much Lesley. All I want is for us to be happy. I want us to be there for each other and raise our one day kids. Why are we here? What got us here? Is it love? You promised you will never hit me again. How many times will you call your contacts to come fetch the bloodied me in ambulances?”. I was in the driving seat and I used it to my advantage very well. Lesley was at his weakest point and I used the opportunity to let all out. His father came back. I think he heard his son sobbing. He helped him to stand up. He went “mfondini, I think you need to leave. Wipe those things from your cheeks and go home. I will find you there”. Like a kid, he wiped his tears and kissed my hand. He told me was sorry and that he loved me. I almost whispered I loved him too but remembered I was angry. His dad told me he spoke to his family members in the Eastern Cape and they were expecting Lesley the following day. Rooibos was Mr Action. He was not the type to talk without action. I could see he was very concerned about his son. I told him I wanted a divorce from his son. His comradely face went darker for few seconds. He told me he was not going to let me divorce Lesley because I was the perfect wife for him. He went “jonga apha mntanam, my son loves you and his parents love you. All I am asking is for you to give us a chance to sort this issue as a family. We cannot afford another scandal that will be in the papers for the next few weeks. Lesley is going up the corporate ladder for you and your kids. A divorce and abuse scandal will ruin him”.
The Mpofus were full of love but they always put themselves first. Evertything was about them then other people. It was something I was used to. I asked my father-in-law to give me chance to think about everything. He thanked me and reminded me not to be like girls from Rustenburg. I smiled and thanked him for his support. I spent that night in hospital. Lesley came to fetch me in the morning and dropped me at the house before flying to Eastern Cape with his father and aunt. I was left in the care of my cousin from Mokopane, Glenda. I asked Lesley to call her because she didn’t have a big mouth. I didn’t want someone who was gonna share my private life issues with other people. I didn’t want my mom to know Lesley was beat me up. My mother-in-law had gone back to Polokwane to take care of my mom and to lie about my whereabouts. The Mpofus didn’t want her to know what their son put me thru. Like I said, they tried their best to keep their negatives out of the public space. Glenda was one of those straightforward cousins hated by everyone in the family. She was three years older me but was not as successful as me in life. She was married to some guy who sold atchar and vegetables for a living. She asked me why I was still with a man who was abusing me. I said “because I don’t want to be like you Glenda. I don’t want to eat pap and cabbage. Look at me, I buy imported hair and make up. Look at you, I can smell atchar on your clothes from distance. I love you Mzala but you chose a wrong man. I still don’t understand why you chose him over that rich guy from Mahwelereng”. She shook her head and said “my husband might not be rich but he takes care of me. I don’t go to bed hungry. And for your information, he gave me money for transport to come take care of you. Finally, he respects me. You see, if I take off these cheap clothes from Indian shops, you won’t find any scars. Let’s take off your expensive clothes and check how many scars we gonna see”. Her words went deeper. I told her to live her life and let me live mine the way I wanted. I regretted asking her to come.
She took out something from her pocket and handed it to me. She went “take this Mzala. It will sort your problems”