“When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid” – Audre Lorde
I was wearing nice heels and could feel the seat on top of the world suited me very well. The last thing I wanted was some unknown gogo looking for me. She didn’t even look familiar. I told the security guard that I didn’t have time to entertain strangers. I asked about parking and he told me he would make a plan. When you have money you can get anything you want in Gauteng. The R200 note I gave to the security guard did all the work. Before I could head to the elevator the Nigerian-looking woman walked towards me. I couldn’t help it but think of how Nigerian women beat up girls in those Nigerian movies. She greeted me humbly and asked if I was Palesa. I asked why she was interested in knowing me and she asked if we could sit down and talk. I told her I was in a hurry but she insisted that we sit down and talk.
“Your husband was found dead in Joburg South last night. The police think he was killed somewhere and dumped in the South. I am his aunt and ……” I interrupted before she could finish. “Wait right there, old woman. First of all, I am not married. I do not have a husband and do not plan to have one anytime soon. Either you are talking to a wrong person or something is wrong in your head. With all due respect, I am tired from driving and all I want is my bed. Good luck with finding the so-called wife.” Before I could leave she gave me what looked like a marriage certificate. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw my name on the marriage certificate. According to it, I was married to Ifechi. I didn’t know how it happened because I never went to Home Affairs with Ifechi. I developed stomach cramps on the spot.
I know corruption is rife in South Africa, especially Home Affairs department, but I never imagined getting married without my knowledge. I have heard of people complaining of being married without their consent after losing their IDs, but I never imagined it would happen to me. Ifechi was terrorising me even after his death. I thought by reporting that my ID was missing would protect me from identity fraud and corruption. I told the woman I was not married to anyone and didn’t care about her nephew’s death. Before I could leave she said, “We really need you. We can’t repatriate him without your permission as his wife. We cannot do anything without you. We can’t even access his millions. Please be a good person and disappoint satan.” I felt my ear getting a hard on when she mentioned millions.
I thought for few minutes and then left her standing there. I didn’t want anything to do with Ifechi. Una called as soon as I got to my flat. He told me he was coming back to South Africa in about two day. I told him about Ifechi’s aunt and my marriage. He told me he knew Ifechi paid someone at Home Affairs to get married to me. He assured me that he would sort it out for me. I asked why he didn’t burn Ifechi’s body to hide evidence. He said, “I wanted his family to give him a dignified funeral. Don’t have any worries, they will never find out that we killed him. They trust me. I will be helping with getting the body to Nigeria, they won’t suspect a thing. Relax and enjoy your car. I will see you soon. I love you.” The last sentence caught me off guard. We weren’t even dating, lol.
I had a big mirror in my apartment. I stood in front of it and looked at myself. I don’t mean to blow my own horn but I looked beautiful. I looked like what most people categorise as a slay queen. I asked myself, “Is this the life you want to live Palesa? You are driving a beautiful car, yet you have never worked and ran any business. Is Una expecting anything in return? Be careful or you gonna find yourself in big trouble.” I had a habit of talking to myself in front of that mirror. I was my own shrink. I called Marcia to tell her I was back in town. She told me she was walking from Wits to her place. I asked if she wanted to have drinks and she rejected my offer. It was at that stage that I knew something was wrong. Marcia was not the type to reject an offer for drinks. I decided to let it go.
Days passed and I continued with my normal life. Three days later Una called to tell me he was back in South Africa. I didn’t feel anything. To be honest, I didn’t have any feelings for him. I was after his money and material things. Anyways, feelings are overrated. Show me a feeling that can buy a Beemer convertible? Dololo. He told me he was coming to fetch me. I asked where we were going and he told me it was a surprise. When a rich man says surprise you know he’s gonna blow you away. When a loser says ‘surprise’ you must be ready to meet his crazy baby mama. These surprises have levels. He picked me up around 7 P.M. We drove to some house in Yeoville. It looked creepy. The whole yard was in total darkness. Una told me to follow him. I told him I was not going to a dark house. He held my hand and said “babe, you have to trust me. I will never hurt you. We just need to perform a small ritual for cleansing. You know what we did to Ifechi, you don’t want it to haunt us forever.” I didn’t trust him but had no choice. I followed him to the house.
He opened the door and ………