The Veil Chapter 24 - Mzansi Stories

Tuesday, August 2


The Veil Chapter 24


Chapter 24
In this life we either meet for a reason or for a lesson- unknown.
When daylight came, Joseph was already gone from the bed. Nelly realized painfully that she couldn't remember hearing him saying goodbye if at all he did.
Her head was throbbing. Looking by the sun when she opened the curtain on the window, she could tell that it was already morning. She must have slept heavily. The children were already awake, she could tell from the excited chattering outside.
She managed to drag herself out of bed to prepare breakfast. They would eat leafovers from last night's meal she just had to make tea.
She noted that Joseph had not been taking his meals oftenly when she looked in the basket of maize flour. The bag of maize she had left before she had gone away remained untouched at the corner of the spare room in the house which sometimes acted as a store room.
Last night when she arrived from the village, she had gone through the house looking for any traces of another woman's presence. There were none.
Maybe she was just overreacting.
She had a lot of work to do. The children's clothes and beddings needed thorough washing. The plates as well as the house needed mopping too. Memories of bed bugs from the village still made her body cringe.
She went to the kitchen outside to light the fire. Her neighbor was sorting her firewood, preparing to make a fire too.
They exchanged pleasantries. She knew her arrival would set tongues wagging across the village as well as the scandal she had left behind would resurface. If at all the other woman was coming to the house, she would hear it all in due course for this neighborhood was too small for secrets. They were bound to come out at some focal point.She prayed that nobody would be brave enough as to ask her about it because they would be on the receiving end of her wrath.Her marriage was her business. Period.
Soon the fire was blazing and she put a pot of water to boil.
After breakfast, she helped the chil dren take their bath. As she was
rubbing oil on her youngest son's
body, she was distracted by a car
that pulled over in the compound.
She peeped through the window, her
heart hammering inside thinking
that it was her dear husband. It was
a police vehicle. The famous land
cruiser dubbed 110 for reasons yet
to be known had come to her own
door. Four police officers in civilian
clothes carrying guns jumped out of
the vehicle before it finally stopped.
Two of them run behind the house
as one came to knock on the door
while the other one looked to and
fro as if in expectation of a sudden
unknown ambush.
She felt the children coming closer
to her. The youngest held on to her
skirt tightly.
What were the police doing at her
house as if they had heard that
there were hiding hardcore
She went to open the door shivering
even though the sun was too hot
already in the mid morning.
"We are looking for Joseph."
One of the policemen who looked
like he had an extra head growing at
the end of another one said while
looking over Nelly's shoulders. He
actually didn't see the need for
introductions since the vehicle spoke
volumes. Nelly didn't think the need
to ask their names let alone if they
had a search warrant.
"He...he is not at home." She
stammered. The officer looked at her
hard in the eye before looking again
over her shoulders suspiciously. He
was acting like he could see Joseph
spring outside at any moment.
"Where did he go?"
"I don't know.I was still asleep when
he left."
"And you are?..."
"His wife."
He smiled mockingly at her
"You are his supposedly wife yet you
have no idea where he has gone to?"
She only nodded her head in
"We need you to step outside and
let us search the house."
As he was talking the two policemen
who had gone behind the house,
"Nothing yet." One of them said to
'extra head'.
Nelly stepped aside and watched
the policemen enter and turn her
house upside down. She stood with
her hand holding on to her cheek wo cheek wondering what Joseph had
gotten himself into in her absence.
Soon a crowd started gathering.
They pointed and whispered among
themselves. She was sure they were
making stories that would circulate
around, without any hint of the
Soon they were finished.
"When last did you see your
husband?" Asked 'extra head.'
He didn't think she was telling the
"When you see him again tell him
we came to say hie."
Nelly nodded her head in response.
She felt like she was her youngest
son's age. The way he looked at her
was demeaning.
They went to the vehicle and drove
off with the same frenzy they had
came with.
Nelly could hear herself sigh deeply
with relief.
Joseph owed him an explanation as
to why the police were at their door.
Embarrassing them before their
neighbors. Once the police visited, it
was like a bad odour had been
planted, people would simply start
avoiding you.
Knowing her husband, it wouldn't be
easy for him to tell her the truth.
She was even lucky if he would tell
her the gravity of his crime.
She took out a wooden stool and
placed it on the verandah. Tapping
her foot in anticipation of his return
home even if he could take forever to do so.

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