Unscripted love Chapter 78 - Mzansi Stories

Thursday, July 28


Unscripted love Chapter 78


[On the dark side. Dedicated to Kulani who made this request.]
Pain changes people and sometimes people who’ve changed cause pain. Unknown.
“It seems as though you are going to be in jail for a very long time, boet.” The Detective said smugly as he flung my diary on the table. My heart sank to the pit of my stomach. It was a sacred book I kept, documenting moments of intimacy with women I’d met through the years.
During my bail hearing, the prosecutor read excerpts from the secret 800 page diary, which I had kept for over ten years. Before he was even done I could see the prison bars slamming in my face as the judge looked at me with revulsion. I turned to look at my customary wife and two sons as the police men dragged me out of court after my bail was denied. I half expected them to run to me, give me hugs and wish me well but they just sat, their faces blank. It was like they didn’t know this person they said I was.
I was that person but I was also the person everyone knew. I was a typical teenager that doubled up as a youth pastor. In my twenties, I emerged from my shell, paid lobola, and had two sons. My parents were proud of me, of the family I’d established, of the values I taught my children. When I turned thirty I branched out of my church and started my own ministry. This resulted in more money, more responsibility, more travel, more stress and the perfect excuse to leave my wife and children in another province.
The sound of a chair being dragged on the floor pulled me out of my thoughts. “You know, when we called your wife to tell her that you’d been arrested for rape, possession of child pornography, statutory rape and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm she laughed and told us we had the wrong man. When we tried to convince her that it was really you she spelled out your name, your middle name and your surname because she was sure that we weren’t talking about the same person.
Once persuaded that her husband was the Solomon in custody, her next emotion was fury. She was mad that the police had arrested the wrong man, she even cited the black lives matter movement in the United States, convinced that you were targeted because of the colour of your skin. After fourteen years of marriage does Doreen really know her husband? Does anyone know that you prey on little girls and write all about it in your little book?”
I pondered the question in my mind, not sure if I was expected to respond. “You got that book when you searched my house without a warrant. It will be inadmissible during trial.” I said.
The man sitting on the other side of the table considered me with calm eyes. “I didn’t know you moonlight as a defence attorney.” He said smugly. “You don’t know shit about the law. You are nothing more than a spineless swain that masqueraded around as a preacher to lure vulnerable little girls into your hell.” He pointed out.
I flinched at his tone. My arms folded in front of my chest as I studied the spec of dirt on the wall behind him. Everything else seemed to be more meaningful than continuing this interrogation. “I guess you have it all figured out, so what’s the point of this discussion.” I said.
He clicked his tongue and kept staring at me. “I want to know why. I want to get into your mind and understand how you feel, Solomon.”
I groaned and rocked back and forth in my metal chair. “As I told you before, I’m really not good at communicating my feelings to a stranger.”
He sipped from the glass of water and continued to stare at me. I couldn’t hold his gaze, I returned to the dirt spec on the wall.
“Don’t be fooled into thinking that the diary is the smoking gun. We have the chilling testimony of the ten year old who so happens to be the daughter of a man who has been your best friend since high school. The little girl is pregnant and she says that you are the father. The child will be born soon and we will do a DNA test.”
I wiggled around in my chair under his glare. The orange jumpsuit they stuck me in was too large. I’d rolled my sleeves all the way to my elbows, but the ends kept slipping down. When I pushed them back up, my fingernails left a white scratch behind. My skin was dry.
I focused on the Detective. “Do you believe everything that people tell you?”
He took a deep breath and let the air slowly escape through his lips. “This is about you, this has nothing to do with my beliefs.”
Of course he would say that. Sharing for him was a one way street.
“Well,” I gave him my award winning smile “Maybe it would help me open up to you if I knew more about you and your belief system.” This was a lie. If he opened up to him I would get a gateway into his mind. That is, after all how I gained the trust of those around me.
He sighed. “That’s not how it works.” There was an irritable frown on his face.
I was certain he was tired of the long hours of trying to get me to open up and spill my guts. I was sure he wanted to go home, yet neither of us had a choice. We had to sit and talk. As the lead investigator in my case, he was required to gather evidence and build a solid case if he wanted to get paid. I planned on making him work hard for his money – maybe even push him far enough to call it quits. That wouldn’t score me any points in my trial but it would at least reduce the charges and get him off my back.
I already knew that the DNA test would say. The child was mine, my best friend’s daughter and I had a mutual attraction and we acted on those feelings. When I first gave her a kiss on the cheek she didn’t flinch, that’s when I knew I could manipulate her, that’s how I always knew. The trained ones would say something at that point and I’d cease and desist.
Innocence and purity were the most attractive traits in a woman. These were traits I hardly found in women over fifteen because we live in a world where there is little difference between shaking hands and having sex. Women have become more liberal in their thinking, ready to open their vaginas to anyone who so much as tells them that they like them. Most had been brainwashed into thinking they could work out a man’s true intentions after 90 days. What do you really know about a person after just 3 months? The envelope had been pushed to the limit, immorality ruled and it was sickening.
The quest for sexually pure mates attracted me to prime meat like my two nieces, one the daughter of my wife's sister and, the other the daughter of my own sister. They both stayed with me during school holidays because I’d clawed my way out of poverty and made more money in a month than their parents would see in a year so the kids came to stay in a bigger house, with better food and I spoiled them rotten. The Detective and his goons couldn’t prove this without the diary. They couldn’t even prove that the things documented therein actually happened. My two steady girlfriends hadn’t said a word to the rest of the family, why would they now? Besides, it would be my word against them. Traces of their DNA on my bed sheets was long gone.
I glanced at the one-way mirror on the wall. “They are watching us, aren’t they?”
“You know they are.” He squinted at me. “Does that bother you?”
I grinned, tilting my head to the side. “Not at all. I have nothing to hide.”
They’d been spying on me 24/7. Hoping I would say something to someone over the phone, in my cell or the dining hall. They even observed me in my sleep, when I had nightmares and fought with my blanket. They invaded my privacy in the toilet by placing a guard in front of the open door when I took a piss. I was locked up for twenty-three hours a day, only allowed in the exercise yard for exactly six minutes. I bounced a basketball around, that’s all I ever did.
Living under the microscope bothered me. A lot. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? I felt like I’d been convicted already. The notion of being ‘innocent until proven guilty’ was a nice concept in theory but sitting in that jail, day in and day out, put these words in a whole new perspective. They treated me like a criminal, which irritated me. I didn’t wire myself this way. The same way some people prefer fully figured women, others prefer the smaller size, I also liked what I liked – the pure and innocent.
The detective continued to nag but I sat back and watched him flip through my book page by page. When he grew tired he threw the video footage from the CCTV cameras planted all over my house and palaroids of my girlfriends in sexual positions at me. When I saw their pictures all of the old feelings came crashing down. I looked away and crossed my shackled legs to hide my erection.
The Detective tapped out and a colleague tried intimidating me into a confession. This wasn’t an episode of Law and Order or Criminal Minds, I wasn’t suddenly going to tell all and dissolve into tears. All they had were pictures, videos and a book all collected without a search warrant. The fruit of a poisonous tree. I sat back and watched them exhaust themselves. Proving my guilt beyond a shadow of doubt wasn’t my job, it was theirs.
I was ready to blow a gasket. My last book was finished and I’d taken a nap, but when I woke up, there was an inner unrest that forced me to trace back and forth in the room. Boredom was holding my body hostage. I cussed at the walls which seemed to be closing in. The wooden blinds were cracked open and the shrilling of song of a bird singing filled the room. I longed for loud, harsh music to numb my mind, or better yet, something strong to burn my throat and take the edge off.
My eyes fell on the window and an idea took over. They would probably put me in a stray jacket if I failed, but at the very least I would have had another stab at freedom. My feet slid over the linoleum until I reached the window. My elbow slammed hard against the glass, but instead of the expected cracking sound, my funny bone resonated in my arm. A dull pain radiated up into my shoulder. After a minute of recuperating while relishing the throbbing pain, another attempt yielded the same result. I realised the window was shatterproof. This time the “f” word rolled easily off my lips.
With bubbling rage, I turned to the window on the opposite end of the room and gazed outside, my eyes scanning the garden. A group of mentally ill patients were gathered under a tree, probably for a group therapy session. Others were scattered throughout, either sitting in the shade on plastic chairs or on the grass with a book on their lap. All of them seemed to be outdoors with something to do except for me. I was forbidden from going outside after I was caught trying to climb over the fence. I bit my lip. There was an urge in my legs to leave my room, go to the communal area, but that would mean that I had to start acting like a lunatic again. I slumped on the hard bed and forced myself to sleep.
When a nurse woke me up hours later, my response was a pillow thrown randomly into his direction. “You stink! Go and bath.” He honked. It had been three days since I’d ventured out of my room. I blew off four appointments with the psychologist, I refused to bath or eat in the dining hall. We weren’t allowed to eat in our rooms which meant I had to do without food for days.
I swung my legs out of the bed and grazed the floor with my toes. The beige linoleum was still cool from the nippy weather and it took me a while before I was motivated enough to peel myself out of my blanket. I toddled to the window and peeked outside, the sky was dim with the fading sun peeking through the treetops. Another day had come and gone. Time was moving on while I was at a standstill.
I couldn’t help but let out a small growl when my eyes fell onto the wall that separated me from my freedom. I was a damn prisoner, allegedly for my own good and for society as a whole, which was damn annoying.
With scorching eyes, I scanned my so called realm which couldn’t be much bigger than a jail cell. The bed was hard and the mattress was covered in plastic, likely to protect the precious fabric from vomit and pee. The pillow was flat and it hurt my neck. The only good thing about the set up was a fluffy blanket with the big label ‘fireproof’ in the middle, undoubtedly to blight any idea of setting myself on fire with imaginary matches.
There was no television and anything with cables was confiscated including my phone and iPod. I even had to turn in the belt for my night robe. The hospital administrator promised I would get my stuff back once I earned privileges and could be trusted again, so I wasn’t very hopeful.
I rattled the chair that was bolted to the floor together with the table. They probably imagined I could use them as weapons given the opportunity. It was absolutely ridiculous, my teachers trusted me more in preschool. I wasn’t a monster.
My fingers ran along the cream-coloured walls and I wanted to claw them to mess up the smooth pattern. Unfortunately there was a nurse that manicured me down to the skin since I could hurt others with my nails. In some ways they thought of everything to ruin any idea of escape I could come up with, which enraged me. I was stuck for God knows how long. The thought alone clenched my chest.
Nature called and I made my way to the corner of the room and dropped my pants, all as part of an act that something was amiss in my mental faculties.
“Go relieve yourself in the bathroom Sandiso!” The nurse reprimanded. “If you shit in your room again I will not call the cleaners and you will be forced to smell your shit all week.”
Grudgingly, I pulled my pants up and passed to the bathroom which was the only part of the establishment that I remotely liked. It was small and cosy and my only refuge when I tried to get away from nurses and doctors who stopped by my room at random times during the day. I refused to speak to them, often claiming I wasn’t feeling well. I wasn’t sure how much longer they were going to be fooled into thinking I was mentally ill but so far, I was in the clear.
I relieved myself before I turned on the shower and stepped under the stream without checking if the water was the right temperature – just like I’d always done. Thando would scold me and tell me I would burn myself. This time the water was so cold, it hurt. My teeth were clattering while I desperately tried to adjust the levers until finally, some warmth surrounded me. I turned my face upwards to allow the water to pelt down on me like a gush of rain on a sticky summer’s day, letting the liquid into my mouth and down my dry throat. It felt good, my thirst slowly fading.
Soft foam lathered my body just moments later and I scrubbed with a sponge until my skin threatened to be torn off my bones. The ultimate feeling of cleanliness was still not there, there was no use. I still felt dirty. I’d been defiled and no amount of cleanliness could deceive me into believing that I was clean again. It reminded me that I was filthy. Soap and water couldn’t cleanse me of the sweat that would drop on my back while my father butt fucked me.
With a gasp, my mind returned to reality, shoving the memories that threatened to resurface. The water in the shower had turned chilling cold again. With a sign I turned off the water. My hair was still matted as I hadn’t cut it in months, but my appearance was of no importance to me.
At some point I was pulled out the shower and a towel was forced around me. “You are going to catch a cold, honeybun.”
My head rose and I gazed at my mother through blurry eyes. “What are you doing here? Who let you in?” My voice grew louder.
Her eyes were fixed on me and she stoked my hand. “They called me in to stage some sort of intervention. Apparently you aren’t taking your medication, you refuse to talk to the doctors and you are on a hunger strike.” My mother informed me. “I’m here now. You can talk to me.” A small smile tugged on the corner of her lips.
I ran my hands over the towel that was soft and thick, covering me all the way to my knees. I indulged in the scent of lavender which must have been the by-product of the softener. I tucked the edges firmly over my pelvic bone that was sticking out, as a result of drastic weight loss, before glaring at myself in the mirror.
My eyes were bruised from the lack of nourishment and I was pale. The glow of love that I used to have all year round had totally vanished, left along with my carefree existence. My mother used to complain that I was too engrossed in my relationship with Thando to a point whereby I was obsessive, now she only hoped I would make it to the next day.
I pulled the towel closer around me to shield myself from the cold while I trotted to my room. The floor was chilling under my bare feet. As we passed the guard’s station, a waft of beef stew teased my nostrils and my stomach growled in response. I hadn’t eaten in three days and was absolutely famished.
For a moment, my room began to swim and I held on to the table before I fell. My mother’s hands span around my waist when she came to my aid. Her frame barely strong enough to hold me up. She grabbed my cheek and forced me to look at her. “I cannot lose you, my son. Please eat and take your meds.”
My palm smacked her hard in the face. A yelp escaped her lips, her eyebrows knotted together in shock. “Let go of me.” I hissed. “It’s too late to act like you care.”
She held her burning cheek and swallowed her tears. “I care. That’s why I brought you food and bribed the security guards to let me bring it to your room so that you don’t have to go to the dining area with those crazy people.”
My anger flared. If I didn’t have to stand up straight and fix my towel I would have smacked some sense into her. “Do you think that changes anything? Wipes your slate clean? Did you care enough to leave when you found out that your precious husband was molesting your so called son?” I hooted.
She wasn’t fazed by my sudden request and stood her ground. “Sandiso… please. Tell me what I can do to make it up to you. I will do anything.” My mother begged.
Me: Don’t you get it? It’s too late. You should have done something when I first told you that he climbed on top of me on the bus ride to the mall. I thought now that when you learned the truth, you’d make my father leave but you didn’t do anything. You were too concerned about living the rest of your life without a husband in this society that tells to you hold on to a man, any man just so you can say you have one.
Why didn’t you relinquish your parental rights? Why did you soldier on with the adoption parents when you knew he wasn’t a fit father? A life weaving through foster care would have been much better than the hell I lived through.
“I-he-I didn’t.” She didn’t go further than that failed attempt at stringing a sentence together.
“Answer me! Dammit.” I grabbed her roughly by her wrist but quickly dropped her arm when the guard bolted into my room.
“Is everything okay in here?” the guard asked. I sent daggers my mother’s way.
“Everything is fine.” My mother was quick to say.
“Are you sure?” the guard interrogated.
“Yes. Please give us time to speak.” My mother insisted.
“There is nothing to talk about.” I informed my mother when the guard left. “You could have said something when I cried out for help.”
“Please eat the food I made you, it’s your favourite.” She diverted and opened the container on my table.
I wanted to bash her face in the heap of pap but I was too weak. The aroma had me salivating, I caved and wolfed down the food she’d prepared.
“Honeybun…” my mother started wearingly. “Did anyone tell you about Thandolwethu’s TV interview?”
My head shot up. “What interview? Someone asked me for my comment on the alleged rape but I told them there was no rape. No judge has ruled that I am guilty of rape.”
Mom: She told the whole world that you raped her. Yum yum, did you… did you rape her?
“How could you ask me that?” I bellowed.
“It’s just that… why would Thando lie?” she asked.
“Oh, so believe Thando but you didn’t believe me. Why did you let him molest me? Why didn’t you do anything about it when you were supposed to be the one to love and protect me? You made me what I am today.”
“Sandiso… please.” She cried.
“If you want to help then you must get me out of here.”
“Get me a phone!”
“I have my phone with me.”
“Leave it with me. Do you still have Danger’s number?”
“No. I told you to stop hanging out with that crowd.”
“Save the lecture. I have a spare phone in the house, it should be in one of my backpacks. Get the numbers from that phone and send them to this one.”
“Don’t you have a password?”
“The password for the lock screen is Zenkosi. I don’t have a pin code for the device.”
“How is Danger going to get you out of here?”
“The same way we got him out of jail. Eat or drink shit that makes you sick, they move you to hospital where they have one or two guards posted outside your door. A couple of guys take care of them, easy peasy.”
“Take care of them?.... as in kill them?” She gasped.
“Let’s just say it’s in their best interests to look the other direction and let it be. Send me those numbers. Don’t forget, the password is Zenkosi.”
“Zenkosi, I won’t forget it.” My mother rummaged her bag and held out her credit card.
“And then?” I asked, glaring at the card.
“You are going to need money when you get out of here. The police might look into your bank records to work out where you are, they won’t think of checking my accounts. I have R90 000 limit, that should be enough to get you a place to stay and get some food for a while.”
I took it. “Thanks, mom.”
“Just so you know, Thando is engaged. I hope you aren’t leaving for her.”
“How do you know?”
“It’s all over the show. She got engaged to some Bafana Bafana player yesterday. Oh, and they are having a baby. I can only imagine how that makes you feel seeing as she aborted yours.”
“Who told you about the abortion?”
“She spoke about it on the show.”
I was livid. “Go!” I thundered.
She hesitated. “I SAID GO.” I roared. My voice was three octaves higher when I spit out the last sentence.
She took the empty containers and raised her free hand in defeat. “I’m going.”
She strolled right past me and my tapping foot, close enough for me to take in a mixture of smoke and peppermint. In the door frame, she gave me another glance. “You know, at first I thought that this was all just an act and you didn’t belong in a loony bin. But you are crazy and unstable.”

I growled, looking around for something to throw in her direction but the pillow was out of reach. “Take that back.” I commanded.
She sniffled. “Promise me you won’t go to Thando when you get out of here. She has moved on, you should, too. Use your freedom to get help and start afresh.”
She left me standing there, feverishly thinking about Levi’s spawn growing in my woman. There mere thought caused a brain freeze. My mother’s words stung more than I wanted to admit – deep down I knew that she was right. I didn’t like the person I was. Ultimately, I was poisonous for everyone who cared for me.
It was best for me to let go and start a new life but how was I supposed to let go of my best friend? The one who knew every little thing about me; my flaws, my fucked up family situations, my passions and my dreams? What do you do when your rock suddenly isn’t the only constant thing in your life? My heartache wasn’t the kind you see in the movies or hear about in the bitter or weepy songs. It was so much more haunting because it’s not the kind where you’re angry or hysterically sad. It’s a numbness that I felt all too well.
Driven by an undeniable urge, I grabbed the empty soda can my mother left behind and shredded it with brute force. I held the sharp edge against my throat. I pictured how the blood would pulse out of me like rain, how the pain would surge through my body and overpower my pitiful existence. The physical agony would make everything around me numb and end my miserable life. But I knew deep down that I would never have the guts to end my life.
An idea struck me. I had to cut just enough to end up in hospital but not deep enough to call it quits for good. I got dressed and shoved the phone and card in my underwear. I squeezed my eyes shut and held my breath when I finally slashed into my arm. The pain spread up to my shoulder and below into my fingertips. My hand shook when I moved further down to repeat the exercise. After my third gash, I moved to my other arm. My hand was trembling so hard that I almost dropped the makeshift blade, but I still managed three more cuts before my legs buckled.
I slid to the ground as I shrieked in pain. The blood pulsed from my veins and I was stunned that it seemed more than what I’d expected. Nevertheless, I indulged in the pain as hot and cold flashes ran through my body, balling my fists to stop from shaking. Darkness closed in to pull me down into the depth of a bottomless ravine. I was finally free.

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