Unscripted love Chapter 76 - Mzansi Stories

Friday, July 22


Unscripted love Chapter 76


Learn From My Beautiful Mistake
Mrs Khoza’s POV
Have you ever been given an idea which seemed so idiotic that you had to reconsider why you even asked for advice in the first place?
Nothing felt right about Futhi’s date suggestion but I went through with it anyway and went along to the date. I traced circles on the wooden table, completely lost in my thoughts, as I sat across from Mayihlome. I’d finally agreed to sit down and have a civil conversation about Forgiveness and what the whole ordeal meant for Mayihlome and I. I was willing to talk about it for my daughters’ sake, yet my stomach still squirmed with discomfort.
I was civil and I guessed that I was doing a fine job at keeping my inner turmoil strictly internal, as Mayihlome hadn’t noticed a single thing. He wore an easy going smile as he chatted with our waiter, and even as his eyes occasionally flickered to mine, he couldn’t see the storm that brewed behind the surface. Or maybe he knew about it and brought me to Spur to try and calm the storm. I didn’t know.
Things were still fairly tense between us. As the evening progressed and he continued to remind me of the man I fell in love with, he was slowly, but surely, breaking down the walls I’d put up to protect myself from him. And I let him. I eventually smiled at his jokes, and forced myself to meet his vulnerable, pleading gazes, and it wasn’t artificial. However, that didn’t mean the waters were calm.
I still had yet to receive an explanation from him, and his time was running out. I was only living with him under the same roof because I didn’t want to destabilise my child a few months from her final Matric exams. I wanted to give her the benefit of having both parents under the same roof and not have to deal with the grief that comes with divorce when she had so much to deal with. But it was hard. Seeing Mayihlome everyday was hard.
I swallowed the thought, and wearingly lifted my eyes to study Mayihlome. The waiter had delivered out food and he was gone. Mayihlome’s eyes were locked on his phone, his lips moving as his lips scraped against them. He looked guileless, not like the man who was capable of destroying my heart like he had.
At that moment, he decided to look up to meet my eyes, and -startled- I shifted my gaze back to the table. I could feel his eyes burning into my head, but I ignored them.
“Maria?” I felt a warm hand slightly shake my bare arm, “Are you feeling alright?”
No, I wasn’t. “Yeah, I’m fine.” I murmured.
“You haven’t said anything,” his tone was filled with worry.
“I know,” I reluctantly met his wide eyes. “But I’m okay, really. Just tired.”
“Oh, that’s understandable.” He smiled sympathetically. “It’s been a hard couple of days.”
“More like a hard couple of weeks seeing as some people want to take second wives.” I muttered. He frowned slightly at my response, and kept his curious eyes on me as he went to sip his drink. I, however kept my face blank in return, giving nothing away.
Love and marriage shouldn’t be this hard.
I looked at the other people who were dining in, wishing I could exchange lives with them, at least for the time being. I’d have loved to be the girl with the chocolate curls and a big wool sweater, who was reading a leather bound novel as she stirred something in a large mug. Or that man in the corner with the smug look on his face, he wore confidence I desperately wished I had. My eyes drifted over the couples who were enjoying their meals, especially the happy looking ones who were young and clearly in the blissful stages of their relationships, just like we’d been two decades ago.
Amazing how things change over time, we hadn’t been on a date in forever but he took Forgiveness on dates.
“What are you thinking about?” Mayihlome asked, drawing my attention back to him.
“Stuff.” I said simply.
“Well that certainly answers my question.” He chuckled softly.
“I was thinking about a lot of things.” I said with a small smile.
“Like what?” He leaned forward with a mischievous look on his face. “Specifically.”
“Us. When we used to be in love, many years ago.” I admitted. He immediately sobered up, visibly tensing, and his eyes wide with caution.
“What about us?” His voice was merely a breath. “We are still in love.” He declared.
I glanced around the restaurant and flicked my Peruvian weave over my shoulder. For the most part, everyone looked engrossed in themselves in their little atmospheres, but that didn’t mean that I potentially wanted to open my can of worms under the public eye.
“Nothing really important.” I assured him with a tight smile. “Don’t worry about it.”
“It seems important. It’s bothering you, I can tell.” He shook his head, a hint of sadness on his face, “you don’t have to keep it secret from me. Maria.”
I could only blink at him. Here sat a man who’d kept his affair a secret for so long, preaching about me keeping secrets. “You really want to know?” I asked lowly, “I’ll tell you – I was wondering why you cheated. Why did you cheat? I can’t figure out what you got from Forgiveness that you couldn’t get from me. I can’t even figure out why you made me and the girls dawn natural hair, no makeup, no pants and then you turn around and date a doll with big bushy fake hair and thick make up that she has to scoop off with a shovel at night.” I snapped.
“Maria,” his eyes flickered around nervously, “people are watching.”
“Story of our life. We have altered so much of ourselves because people are watching and they expect to see their script acted out. I wonder how they would have enjoyed seeing you go off script, bending Forgiveness over and fucking her like a dog time and time again while your wife waited up for you. People are watching yamasimba!” My throat began to close up, and I blinked angrily. I didn’t understand the sudden need to slump to the floor and bawl my eyes out, but it made me want to scream. When I spoke again, my voice was hoarse, “Do you ever plan on telling me why? Why did you do it? Umbhebheleni?”
“I-I can tell you what happened.” He said sharply, “I just don’t think we should do this right now in front of all these people. I think we should be home where we can truly express our feelings and emotions.”
He had a point; I nodded. He couldn’t suddenly not care about what people thought but I no longer gave a damn. A wave of disappointment surged through my veins and the feeling that he didn’t care. It felt like he was so sure that I wouldn’t actually leave him. I pushed my chair back and stood up, picking up my bag in the process. My food, untouched.
“Where are you going?” He began to stand up as well. I didn’t answer, and instead turned around and began striding towards the door. I just wanted to go to the hospital and see my princess.
“Maria,” I heard his footsteps following me. “Where are you going?”
I didn’t respond, and I instead quickened my pace. I didn’t get very far, for his fingers suddenly wrapped around my upper arm and dragged me back, just as I reached the double doors. I didn’t resist his pull, but I refused to look at him.
“You said you wanted us to talk and now you don’t want to talk in front of everyone so what do you want from me?” I asked, looking down at the floor to hide the tears that brimmed my eyes.
“Don’t leave. I’ll talk about whatever you want me to talk about so that we can fix this. I don’t want to lose you. Do you think we can fix this?” His voice was full of anguish.
Once again, I failed to respond. He must have taken my silence as consent, for he pulled me into his chest and wrapped his arms around me. His chin settled on my head, and I’m sure to other people it looked like a very tender embrace from an old couple that were deeply in love. Little did they know how little it did for the hollowness of my heart.
“I am willing to do whatever it takes for you to come back to me. I haven’t spoken to Forgiveness. I beg Thando to forgive me every single day and I am committed to being the glue that will put this family back together again. I want my family back together again.” He whispered close to my ear, a quake in his voice which indicated that he was crying. I’d never seen this man break down and cry.
“I need time. Please don’t follow me.” I whispered and pulled away from him. I started down the walkway and headed to the hospital. My phone buzzed in my pocket and it was Thando video calling me again. I quickly wiped my tears.
“Hello.” I beamed.
“Mom, have you been crying?” So much for trying.
“It’s nothing, really. Is that your hotel room?” I distracted her.
“Looks pretty, let me see.” I said and she turned the camera which gave me a little more time to compose myself. I wasn’t really paying attention when she spoke about how soft the bed was or the view of the ocean but a man’s jacket hanging off a chair pulled my attention.
“I didn’t know Levi was there!” It came out as more of a scold.
Thando turned the camera to face her. “Levi is not here.” She lied.
Me: No need to lie, I saw his jacket on the chair!
Thando: That’s not Levi’s jacket.
“Why the hell do you have another man’s jacket in your room!?” I scolded. “Are you cheating on him?” I whisper yelled.
“NO.” She answered defensively. “This guy gave me his jacket when I was cold and he forgot to take it.” She claimed.
Me: That is such a lame excuse. If you are going to be a cheater like your father then you need to ask him to give him lessons on how to lie.
Thando: Mama! I’m not lying. Just imagine me sleeping with someone else whilst pregnant with Levi’s baby, that’s like another level of whoring around. I wouldn’t cheat on Levi.
Me: Wearing another man’s jacket and keeping it in your room is cheating.
Thando chuckled. “Ma, come on. That isn’t cheating.”
Me: Would you wear another man’s jacket and display it in your room if Levi was there?
She hesitated. “No.”
Me: Anything you wouldn’t do or say in front of Levi is cheating. I’m sure this man left it on purpose because he wants you to take it to his room, next thing you will find yourself on your back, nidlana [chowing each other] and you won’t even know how things got to that point.
Thando: Oh my God! You did not just say that.
“Abantu bayadlana langaphandle [people are chowing each other out there] then they cry foul when they get caught and people leave them. I’m sure ukuthi uForgiveness unequza emanzi nte, bekukhala ubudlwamdlwam nje.
Did you know that South Africa has one of the highest rates of HIV and AIDS infections? And that’s just determined by the number of people that have tested and know their status. Then there are those that haven’t tested or those that tested negative during the window period. Knowing all of this women are just supposed to accept that men cheat because it is a weakness. We are expected to forgive and risk infection while we are at it.
There should be a law against cheating. All cheaters should be castrated like dogs! You know what actually, I do not buy that whole ‘men cheat because they are weak’ argument because that would mean that God set us up for failure. It would mean that there was a manufacture’s fault on the man’s design. Now I know why they say men are dogs. They are dogs because they go around babhebhana nezifebe [fucking bitches]. You know what actually, I am going to have a chat with that disrespectful bitch. Lomdidi uzongazi nahlange!” I sneered.
“Mom, please calm down. You are very angry at the moment and nothing good comes from decisions made when you aren’t thinking straight. Leave Forgiveness alone, she isn’t worth it. Take time off and go stay with your sister. Clearly living with dad is making you very angry and bitter.”
“I can’t go. Futhi needs me. I can’t leave my child.” I sniffled. “I am so angry. So so angry, why do people do this? I gave that man everything, Thando. I followed all his rules, I hid all his secrets. I didn’t even tell you that we’ve been struggling to make ends meet because your dad has a gambling problem. He gambles all the money you give us every month to help out, that’s where all the tithes and offerings go. He has maxed out all the credit cards, we has personal loans, we owe loan sharks, we are up to our eyeballs in debt. I didn’t tell anyone about that and so many other things like paying pastors for ‘prophesises’ to attract more members because I wanted to preserve his honour. For what? Where did all my loyalty get me?”
“Mom.” My child called out, at a loss for words.
“I am leaving your father. I am going to walk away from Mayihlome’s abusive, selfish, disrespectful and ultimately abusive behaviour. I deserve better. I am worth being committed to.”
I walked through the doors of the hospital. “I have to go and see your sister. Get rid of that stupid jacket and stop with foolish behaviour that could cost you your relationship.”
Thando stood and grabbed the jacket. “I’m gonna give it to his to his cousin.”
“Okay. Vele you shouldn’t go to boys rooms, that’s also cheating. We will talk later.”
“Okay mom. I love you, a lot.”
“I love you too my baby. Greet Levi for me.”
“I will.”
“Lerumo is back in the picture?” Sbahle’s appalled voice echoed through the tiny speakers of my phone. I nodded glumly, forgetting for a moment that she couldn’t see me.
“Yep. I saw him just now when I took his jacket to his cousin’s room.”
“That’s so-” she paused, seemingly letting her brain catch up. “His jacket? Why did you have Lerumo’s jacket and who is his cousin?”
“Thato is his cousin, didn’t I tell you?” I asked, sure I’d told her.
“Girl, I was drooling over Thato’s pictures. I didn’t hear a word you said. Lerumo is his cousin, that’s just too much hotness in one family. If you think of it they kind of look alike.”
“Ummmm I think it’s just the skin tone. But they are both hot, no doubt.”
“So what were you doing with the hunk’s jacket? Don’t tell me that you are cheating with him again!? Sandiso deserved it but Levi is a snuggle bug.”
I chuckled. “No, I am not cheating on Levi. We spoke, that’s all.”
“Same old story. His heart is broken, he wants us to try again, blab la bla, fish paste. Lerumo wants me back.”
“Oh my word! You said no and told him to go to hell, right?”
“I wouldn’t date Lerumo, even if I was single. I just pray for the day when I’ll be able to see Lerumo and feel nothing.” I muttered.
“What does that mean? So you still have feelings for him?”
“Does love ever go away? Does anyone get to a point where they unlove someone?” I questioned.
“I think Lerumo is to you what Kwame is to me. You know this person isn’t good for you and they could never give you what you need but each time they come back, everything you’ve ever felt comes rushing back into your bloodstream again. Whenever Kwame comes back with a vengeance I breathe in his name like an old memory and I drop anything and anyone and run back to him. With the same hope that things will turn out differently each time.
When he first comes back you forget that he chose someone else over you, at first you don’t remember the way things ended and why they ended. Do you remember you telling me how distant your limbs felt when you were sleeping in Lerumo’s arms, how you felt crushed beneath the weight of his empty love that you weren’t even sure that it was really love.
I don’t know what you are thinking or what’s going through your mind right now, but when you see him I want you to remember the person you walked away from. Do not turn a blind eye to the past, to the scars that Levi has spent so much time trying to patch. I know it’s hard to see clearly when a red herring is planted to cloud your judgment. I know you love Levi with all you have left but Lerumo left with a bigger chunk.
I don’t even want you to think of him. It might look like Lerumo has changed and you’ll finally get the man you always wanted in him, like he has laid to rest everything your heart opposed. After all, he was once your best friend. He was everything to you once upon a time. He was your future, your safety. But do not forget that he was also your hurt.
Now that he is there, knocking on the door, wanting you to evict Levi and let him move in do not forget why he was cast out in the first place. That he made choices. That he gave up on the possibility of the two of you because it was never just the two of you. Do not forget the weeks you spent simply trying to get to the point of hoping again, the point of rescinding your heart from the mess he created within your ribcage.
Promise that when he comes back acting like your answered prayer you will remember the frost, the weltered will within you, the dark winters that made your teeth chatter and tremble with missing him. Please remember every slaughtered night, every ache, every chill, because you are worth so much more than that.
You are worth looking back five years from now and smiling because you made the right choices for the right person. You are worthy of a person who knows the rarity of your love and devotion, who stands in front of you and declares with a ruthless passion that they choose you and will continue to choose you. You are worthy of a love that is sure of you, that believes in you and what it can create with you. You are worthy of a love that shows up, that fights for you, that protects the soft creature that you are. You are worthy – do not forget that. I made the mistake of forgetting and I let go of Alu as soon as Kwame came promising the things I’d always wanted from him, things he never intended to deliver. He sold me a dream and I bought it, forgetting that nightmares are also dreams. Learn from my mistakes.”
I sighed. It was a struggle to keep my heavy heart beating at the sound of her hurt. It was clear that Sbahle felt more for Alu than she initially let on or maybe she realised the value of the river when it ran dry. I could only hope that now that Kwame had slipped back to his old habits and pulled a disappearing act, that she’d heed her own advice and not let him back in her life when he reappeared.

When I heard someone knocking on my door I assumed it was one of the two cousins, when I opened it I was shocked to see my husband. Secretly, I was glad my mother asked me to get rid of the coat and I’d thrown out the note and broken heart of my own accord. I wouldn’t have been able to assure Levi that I saw no future in the past. That he was my future and not just an after effect of Lerumo. That everything was still the same. That nothing changed.

Levi walked into the room and closed the door behind him. In all smiles and lust after five whole days without sex. We barely made it to the bed. He still had his shirt and tie on, and his socks, and I only managed to pull my pants all the way off at the very last minute, just before he lifted me up and threw me onto the mattress. Once he was inside me, he popped my shirt open, sending buttons flying, because he loved my breasts. He liked seeing them wobbling all about my chest as he rocked and rolled me to orgasm.
I was surprised by the feel of his Italian silk tie as it slid about on my chest. I liked the way it was slippery yet firm. After we'd both come, him first, and then me when he went down and finished the job with his tongue. We parachuted down from that high plateau and then got up on our feet and put the place back into order, like air-crash survivors picking through the wreckage. He put his clothes back on and jetted us off to dinner.
Levi was a gentleman through and through, helping me with my coat and opening doors for me. The male colleagues I’d spent the week with were boisterously clueless about how to treat women. They watched Jean and I carry heavy boxes while they looked at their pedicured Partner nails and they always got in and out of the elevators first, the notion of ladies first long forgotten. Maybe they remembered but in their minds it was rank before manners.
We went to a quaint restaurant that he’d been dying to try out, or rather scout for ideas. The tables were small with an authentic starched table cloth and exquisite china, crystal glasses and a candle in the middle. It was real classy and totally romantic. Levi always made me feel like a princess in a fairy tale, being courted by her ever so dazzling prince charming.
We followed the hostess through the restaurant to our table and Levi even pulled out the chair for me. Studying the short menu, I had a small heart attack – everything was so expensive. I had to make a passing comment on a measly six prawns for four hundred rand.
“You know, money isn’t an issue. You can order whatever you like.”
“Seems like they worked in our contribution towards rent and chairs in the food prices. I think I’m having grilled artichoke as a starter.”
“I’ll have the same.” The smile he shot me in response was amazing and the butterflies in my stomach were zooming around, creating a new cheerleading routine for Levi. I hadn’t seen him in so long and I missed him. His gaze was intense with eyes that reminded me of a deep ocean and swallowed me up in one go. As little shockwaves tingled down my spine, I couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear.
The appetizer was as incredible as his smile. The artichoke was grilled in a creamy sauce which was perfectly blended with just a hint of garlic. After I devoured every bite, I conceded I was halfway full and he offered to share linguini primavera with me, though he’d originally planned on ordering the 42 day aged rib eye.
“Are you sure you don’t mind?”
He chuckled. “Not at all, baby.” He pulled my hand on to his lips, his grazed kiss set off an explosion around the butterflies. “I am just so happy to see you again. I am having such a great time.”
I blushed, astonished that he was enjoying my company so much. I began to chatter away to fill him in on my week, telling him about the random guy with the random green suit. Nomthi, who was married to a guy who was thirteen years older than her. I was informed that they were swimming in money, so much so that our hotel wasn’t good enough for her and her blesser. I also told him about her friend Portia, who was so damn loud and every second word from her mouth was fuck and shit. I’d never met a woman with such a foul mouth but my mom had her days.
He listened to all the gossip, a small smile frozen on his lips while his eyes never faltered once on my face. After I rattled down the whole list of people I thought to mention, he seemed intrigued.
“Sounds like you’ve spent your week with an interesting bunch of people. How was work? Did you learn something?”
I realised I was focused on giving feedback on people I’d watched from a distance I never mentioned the actual work that I did. “I was a glorified skivvy. So, no, I did not learn anything. I think Jean is upset about the resignation so she was punishing me by making me run around like a headless chicken.”
“So you’ve resigned?”
“Yeah. I’m gonna be your dependant soon.”
We both chuckled. “By the way, I noticed that one of your paintings has your name on them. I didn’t know that you paint.”
“I do. I love drawing and painting with water colours.”
A fond glow in his eyes made my heart beat twice as fast.
“And who is your favourite artist?” he asked.
That was a no brainer. “Mabulu.”
“The guy who draws all those naked pictures of our president?”
“Yeah. He is making a statement.” I took a sip from my water, mindful that I was being controversial.
“He is not making a statement, he is being disrespectful.” Levi countered.
“I’m only joking, I don’t have a favourite artist. How about you. Do you like art?”
Levi shrugged. “When I was little, my mom used to take me to museums and that’s how I got used to art exhibitions but honestly, I don’t know much about art. Mom also views them as investment pieces not really artworks.”
I was just about to ask him if he invested in art when the main dish arrived. We dug in and somehow, he managed to keep the conversation focused on me. I turned the tables and asked about the family members we were going on holiday with over the long weekend. We were going to be staying in his uncle’s holiday home. Uncle George was a Criminal Profiler and his aunt, Ruth, was a DNA Analyst at the State Forensic Science Laboratory which forms part of the South African Police Service.
“So they both work in the criminal justice system?” I asked in between bites.
“Yep. And they are old school so we will be required to sleep in separate rooms. But I will sneak into your room and leave before they wake up. I’m just so used to sleeping next to you and listening to you snoring.”
I laughed and swatted his arm. “I thought all white people allow their kids to share a bed with boyfriends and girlfriends.”
“There is no such thing as ‘all’ white people do this and ‘all’ black people do that.” Levi clarified, it was a fair point.
“Do you know anything about Joel’s family?” I asked.
He distracted me when he pulled my hand back to his lips. “Hurry up and eat, I want to get back to the hotel and rip that dress off. I can’t wait any longer.” I howled at his declaration.
“Did I tell you yet that you look absolutely beautiful tonight?”
I lowered my gaze as warmth spread across my face. “You did.”
His thumb drew little circles on my palm. “Well, I’m really lucky to have you….. both of you.”
I felt the same - convinced I’d hit the jackpot. Levi was everything I had ever wanted in a guy and more.
For the rest of the meal he listened, gazing at me from time to time with those intense eyes that turned every part of me into a wobbly mess.
For dessert, he ordered a decadent mozart cake with two forks. I snickered when he said he wanted to get some practice on being a dad and started feeding me little bites. By now the butterflies had formed a band and were giving a rock concert. When I was stuffed to the rim, he ate the rest in-between kisses.
By the time we were finished, I noticed to my horror that I had a text from Lerumo. Thato must have handed over my number. I made a mental note to ring Thato’s neck when I saw him again.
“Who is that?” Levi asked as he sat back down after a short bathroom break.
“Nobody important.” I replied… truthfully. Lerumo wasn’t important and he was such a sore point in our relationship.
He stoked my hand which took the edge off. “Ready to go?” I nodded my response.
He paid the small fortune and we left.
I was surprised to see Nomthi in the hotel lobby when we strolled in. She waved me down and stopped me in my tracks.
“Hey, Thando. Sorry to bother you so late.” She said, almost out of breath.
“My husband was supposed to call that brownish muscular guy and confirm the time for their dinner tonight. We both cannot remember his name but I remember seeing you with him the other night.”
“Which guy?” I was almost too afraid to ask.
“The guy you were playing table tennis with.”
“Thato?” I offered, knowing that she wouldn’t forget Thato’s name.
“No, the other guy. Muscular. Not too tall. Hot with the short hair?” her head shot up. “There he is.” She pointed at Lerumo who walked into the lobby who’d just stepped out of the elevator. “Thanks man. Again, sorry for disturbing you, my husband is leaving the country tomorrow morning and he really needed to see him.”
“His name is Lerumo by the way.” Levi chimed in. “Funny how I didn’t know he was in town.” He added, an edge to his tone.
“Lerumo. I must say it ten times so that it sticks. Thanks guys.” With that Nomthi was gone, leaving a calamity behind.
“Did you fuck him?” Levi’s question bounced off the walls of the elevator we were in.
I gazed at him with pleading eyes, my stomach in knots. It was almost like dejavu as he was on my side of the table not so long ago. “No. I would never do that to you.”
“Did you kiss him?” Levi fired another question.
I latched on to his hand. “No. I ju-”
“Then I don’t want to know.” He stated simply.
“But I can expl-”
“There is nothing to explain. All I know is that if the tables were turned you’d be running off with suitcases by now. I want to be angry. I want to scream and shout at the top of my lungs but why would I? I knew walking into this relationship that you were in love with someone else. When you eventually told me you loved me you never said that you loved only me so why would I be angry? On what basis?
You know, I sat there and listened to Futhi telling me that she agreed to be Solomon’s consolation price and I wondered why a human being would do that to themselves. I forgot that I too, am a consolation price.…”

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22 July 2016 at 11:55 delete

Hi, where did Money, Sex and Love end up? I see the characters have showed up in this book so I was wondering where the other book was left?