The wordsmith that coined the phrase ‘lies have short legs’ was probably thinking of me when they came up with that phrase. It is one thing to lie, but being caught red-handed is another story. Covering is a lie is more expensive than living in affluent Cape Town suburbs. I didn’t expect my husband to pull that stunt on me, I didn’t even have a droplet of suspicion that he was taking me to a doctor. Lying to your husband about pregnancy is a divorceable transgression. There is no coming back from it. I looked at how thrilled my husband was and knew right there that my marriage was about to bite dust. “Babe, why didn’t you tell me about this? I hate it when you make decisions for me. You should have told me we are coming here so I could prepare myself? What if my baby is sleeping? I don’t want to wake her up.” I said trying my best to shroud my panic. I just said the first thing that came to my mind. I was trying to buy time to come up with a sounder lie. There was no way I was going to lose my marriage just like that. I was willing to fight to the bitter end to keep my marriage. Lesley laughed and told me I should try a career as a comedian because I had hilarious bars for days. The way he was looking forward to seeing the baby, he didn’t even notice the tributaries of sweat meandering on my face. My temperature was reaching the volcano high. I soundlessly said the shortest prayer ever to ask God to protect and forgive me. The doctor switched his machines on and asked me to lift up my top. When he applied the ultrasound gel on my belly I knew it was over. My next planned lie was to tell them my baby was busy playing hide and seek.
Just as the doctor was about to put ultrasound transducer on my gelly skin, Lesley’s phone rang. He asked the doctor to wait a bit because he didn’t want to miss a moment. I know sometimes God’s service delivery is as sluggish as that of the ANC, but at that moment he came through for me in a lightning speed. My short silent prayer yielded the results I prayed for. The only call that Lesley could never ignore was one from his father. On many occasions he got off me during lovemaking just to answer calls from his father. Mpofu senior was like God to his son. “Dad, calm down. I can’t hear a word you are saying. What happened,” said Lesley on the phone. Thirty seconds later Lesley collapsed. I quickly got off the bed and rushed to him. The doctor pulled me back to attend to him. He told me to calm down. I grabbed the phone which was still on an active call. Mr Mpofu was crying hysterically on the other side of the line. I asked him to tell me what was going on but he just continued crying. When you hear an old Xhosa man with deep African beliefs crying you must know something very terrible happened. He hung up. I started panicking. Lesley’s phone was locked, so I could not call back. I grabbed the car key and rushed to the car to fetch my phone. I called Mr Mpofu and his phone rang unanswered. I called my mother-in-law and her phone was off. It was unlike her to have her phone off. She was always accessible 24/7. I called the landline at the Mpofu mansion and the helper answered. I asked where my in-laws were and she told me she didn’t know. I asked her to give me a call as soon as they were back. My panic levels intensified.
I rushed back to the doctor’s room. Lesley was conscious when I got back there. His eyes were teeming with tears. “Please drive me to Midrand,” Lesley said trying his best to assuage his intense sobs. We got in the car and drove towards N1 via Beyers Naude Drive. We joined N1 North and headed towards Midrand. Throughout the journey, Lesley had hands on his face. I think he didn’t want me to see tears oozing from his eyes. I had even forgotten about my fake pregnancy and the near death experience I had at the doctor’s room. I was more worried about Lesley and his father. The first thing that came to mind was the authorities. Although Lesley was not directly involved in the business, I knew his hands were not clean. The family had many corrupt dealings and there was a possibility that The Hawks pounced on him and he wanted Lesley to make the problems go away. One thing the Mpofu family was good at was getting rid of problems, legally and illegally. About a kilometre from Buccleuch Interchange there was traffic that forced me to slow down. I tried to be as patient as possible under the circumstances I was in. When we curved at the interchange I noticed a high presence of emergency vehicles. “I have a feeling a terrible accident happened here. The way people drive kak in Gauteng, I wouldn’t be surprised if people died. And I know a VW is involved,” I whispered. Amongst many cars that pulled on the side of the road, I saw Lesley’s father’s car. It was at that stage that I started thinking the worst. Lesley told me to pull over on the side. As soon as the car stopped he got out and hurried to a space with a concentration of emergency personnel. I got out of the car and ran behind him. One cop tried to block him from passing the emergency boundary but he ducked and continued running. I saw Mr Mpofu Snr standing frozen with tears flowing on his face.
“Ma’am, are you related to the deceased? Please move away…..”