Unscripted love Chapter 85 - Mzansi Stories

Tuesday, August 16

Wizzy

Unscripted love Chapter 85

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#85
It takes a broken heart to know how to break a heart.

MR KHOZA’S POV

Life can be cruel at times. Just when you think you’ve figured everything out, your entire world changes. The wind blows in a completely different direction and you’re instantly lost; buried in stress, sadness and heartbreak.


I thought of myself as lost. No feelings, just an undefined mess of a man. I couldn’t fix my problems because the one thing I truly needed was my daughter to rise up from the dead. I couldn’t reconcile myself with the fact that I would never hear her laugh again, or listen to her leading worship. I would never see her wide eyes full of wonder, as they shone with overwhelming curiousness about everything, or see her face light up whenever the Miss South Africa pageant was broadcast on television. I couldn’t even bring myself to lecturing her about watching women bashunquza ngamaphenti [parading in panties].

My eyes fluttered open and Maria was the first thing I saw laying laxly on the two seater couch.
“Thank you,” I mumbled. “For the blanket, I mean.” I must have dozed off while watching Digital Video Discs of conferences and revivals where Thando led praise and worship.
Maria smiled gently and didn’t respond. I was glad that she hadn’t said a thing about divorce or selling the house since Thando’s passing. I worried somewhat that she would only be there until the dark cloud lifted. I drowsily pulled the blanket tighter against my body and listened to the soothing sounds of the birds chirping on the bright Saturday morning.

“We were going to be grandparents.” Maria’s voice was subdued, patient. “I sat on the porch yesterday waiting for Thando to come home. Even after everything that’s happened and everything that’s about to happen.” Maria started to rock on the chair back and forth as if to soothe herself, squeezing her eyes shut to force away the tears.

The silence that followed between us made me think. The realisation of what was to come slammed me harshly. “It’s today isn’t it?”
She didn’t say anything again, just gulped down the lump in her throat and tried to make her painful expression fade.
“The lobola negotiations.” I choked out. This whole thing seems senseless to me. Why is Levi coming to pay lobola for a dead person?
I moved closer to Maria when a single tear streaked down her cheek. “How am I supposed to do this?” She panicked.
I sighed before saying, “Your brothers pushed for this and you didn’t say anything when they brought it up.”
“Are you saying that was is all my idea and you had no choice but to go along with it?”
“No. I am saying that you didn’t do anything to stop it from happening. Your silence was taken as you agreeing to it.”
“Why are you so against it? Do you think it is wrong of them to follow the due process that Thando and Levi should have followed before they went and got married?” She stopped rocking and asked. “I didn’t say anything because I don’t oppose the idea. Levi hasn’t even said anything about her will or giving us the money he inherited from her estate. It’s not fair that he gets to inherit her things when our ancestors know nothing of this union.”
“Ancestors?” I questioned. “Since when do we believe in ancestors?”
“I always have. I’ve just stopped going along with all your views and beliefs like a dead fish.”
“So you have always believed in ancestors?” I questioned.
“My mother is a sangoma, Mayihlome!” Maria snapped. “I don’t even know why you assumed I didn’t.”

I sighed before saying, “well, it’s not like I can say anything because I have a permanent room in the dog house. Everyone will be here soon so all of you can go ahead and negotiate lobola for our deceased daughter. Madlimpi will be representing me, I won’t be part of it.”
“Would you rather spend the day with your whore, Forgiveness?” She sneered.
“This whole Forgiveness thing is getting old now, Maria. If you want a divorce then serve papers. I cannot sit in limbo indefinitely.”
“I served papers but you haven’t signed them.”
“Do you want me to sign them?”
“Why don’t you want to take part in your daughter’s lobola negotiations?” Maria answered a question with an unrelated question.
“Because I would have objected to their union if she were alive. Maria, this boy went to London, played so well during his first match only to find that he was high on cocaine. Need I remind you that Levi has been banned from playing soccer for two years? How could I gleefully allow my child to marry a person who is clearly struggling with drug addiction?”
“He went to rehab.” Maria pointed out.
“He got out of a very short stint in rehab three days ago.”
“So?”
“So he’s been to rehab before and he will most likely fall back to his old ways. Have you forgotten what Solomon told us?”

She heaved a sigh. “Solomon was rushed to the hospital yesterday. Someone chopped off his penis.”
My eyes widened. “What!? Did they stitch it back on? Who would do such a thing?” I gasped.
Maria smiled. “The person who cut it off left with the damn thing. Serves him right.”
“I can’t believe you are sitting there, smiling while someone is dying. I want him to go to jail, but this?”
“That’s your problem! Your priorities are all screwed up. That man destroyed our child, who the hell cares if he dies?” Maria screamed.
I squinted my eyes and whispered my question, “did you do this?”
“I was on duty when it happened! I would have if I thought of it.”
“I don’t even know who you are anymore. The Maria I know wouldn’t celebrate something this savage.”
“Then you never really knew me.” She scorned.
“You think you are entitled to swear and scream all the time because you are angry. When Jesus was dying on the cross he chose to pray for his oppressors. If you want to be Christ like you need to get a grip and -”
“Fuck forgiveness. Fuck you for preaching to me when you are the so far from anything close to being like Christ. Make yourself useful, go and bath and get dressed. The Cohans and Mmolas are on their way with your cows that will help put food on the table seeing as the scraps you earn hardly cover our monthly expenses.

You know, at first I thought your brother was out of his mind but R200 000 sounds just about right. I will also bring up the inheritance issue, surely Thando left something behind and she would have wanted us to have the money, not Levi.” Maria dared to say and I wanted to explode. I didn’t even know if I wanted to be married to this heartless version of Maria.

I stormed to my bedroom where I stayed for the duration of the lobola negotiations, not wanting to be part of something I did not believe in. The idea of paying lobola for a person that had passed on and swiftly moving on to fighting over who is the rightful beneficiary of their estate was something I didn’t want to be associated with.

I signed the divorce papers and packed my bags while Maria was screaming something about Levi hiding Thando’s will so that he could pocket 2 million rand, there were also murmurs about Levi being a dead beat that would use the money to shoot junk up his nose. When the commotion died down and I heard tyres screeching off I walked out the room with my bags in hand.

In a panic, Maria told me that my brother, Mdalimpi, wanted to keep a portion of the lobola for himself and Levi didn’t want to hand over the 2 million rand that was paid out when our daughter passed on. As Maria filled me in on their squabbles over who deserved to benefit from my child’s death, she didn’t even realise that I’d packed my life into a suitcase.
“I signed the papers.” I said to start the inevitable conversation. Maria looked at me in horror but I couldn’t understand why. It had been months since the separation and in that time I’d changed into a weak, snivelling creature, anxious for the tiny scraps of her love, lapping up at the leftovers of her attention that that she tossed towards me as if I was a stray dog, while I still remained unsatisfied and hungry.

I’d swallowed the humiliation she enacted on me without remorse time and time again. She would scream and shout wherever and whenever she felt the need to unleash her wrath and remind me that I was the scum of the earth. Maria stood behind the pulpit and asked the congregation to fast and pray for me because I was caught in Jezebel’s web. It crushed my pride, my ego, and my presumption to believe that I ever existed outside of being a vessel for her validation. Even then I bit my tongue and let her strip my dignity, thinking it was just one more thing I had to endure to get my wife back. However, it was time to realise that we were in a maze with one way out. No matter how much time we took going around in circles the end was inevitable.

I don’t recall the words said in-between while we stood next to the Christmas three, gifts still laying unopened under it. I just recall the manner in which Maria howled in agony as I told her that I didn’t want to be married to her anymore. Where there was love, light and laughter is an aching hollowness.

I was the one dealing the blows but it felt like a shot in my own gut. I didn’t realise the devastating effects my own decision would have on me. I couldn’t have anticipated the lasting impression the memory of Maria and Futhi begging me to stay would have on me. I was just the person who pointed out that we’d reached the end of our story. I fought the tears because they hurt much more than they helped. Instead, I focused on the new landscape. Perhaps the new landscape would be something beautiful, perhaps it'll be what we would make it. Maybe things would turn out better this way.

THANDOLWETHUS’S POV

I left a trail of footprints through the hallway as I walked to the kitchen. My hair was wet and dripping down the back of my robe. No matter how often I washed the hair the colour wouldn’t fade. Sandiso watched me from the living room as I grabbed a glass and filled it with water. I saw a newspaper neatly folded on the corner of the coffee table, which he probably decided to read while I was taking a bath.

“I’m sorry I took so long.” I said, walking into the living room with my glass of water and a plate of food he’d left on the kitchen counter. I set the food on the coffee table and sat on the edge of the couch, a few cushions away from him. “It’s the one place where I just lose track of time.”
“I don’t mind.” His eyes were soft and understanding. “I mind you leaving wet footprints everywhere though.”
I knew he would mind but I purposefully did things to annoy him as my way of retaliating. I had to play nice to dig for information so I had to resort to childish antics to piss him off.

I was horrified to see a stack of crispy bacon suffocating a slice of bread on his plate.
“Wow,” I said softly. “You really like bacon.”
“Something I picked up in the loony bin,” he said, picking up the slice and shoving it into his mouth.

I glanced at the corner of the couch where the wired teddy bear was placed strategically. I was nicer to Sandiso in a bid to get him to open up to me but my attempts at fishing for information were futile. It was evidently clear that he would only open up to me if I gave into his advances and agreed to give our relationship another shot. The idea of having his hands on me was repulsive but I would have to suck it up if I didn’t want to spend a decade behind bars.

I looked up at him, his mouth churning slow like a cement mixer. He picked up the newspaper and told me to page to an article on page three. “Thought you should know that the IEB matric results are out and Futhi got eight distinctions.” He radiated.
I flicked through the paper and found what I was looking for. Futhi’s photo in her uniform was so professional. I smiled at it, mystified by her strength and resilience. The newspaper slipped in my hands, I picked it up and looked for the page I was on. I stilled when I saw a collage of Levi’s photos with the title ‘doping golden boy pays lobola for his dead wife.’ It made my body slow down as I read bits and pieces about lobola negotiations that took place in my absence, the words ‘sources confirm’ started every sentence of endless speculation. I stopped myself from touching Levi’s jaw line when my finger flinched.
“I knew Futhi was smart but I didn’t know she was that smart.” Sandiso commented and I quickly closed the newspaper and tossed it before he saw the page I was on. I kicked my legs over the armrest and rested my head on his thigh.

“I am so happy for her.” I grinned. “Such a pity that she is dead set on studying theology.”
Sandiso’s brow furrowed as he looked down on me. “She’s going to study law. Didn’t you read that part?”
“I was focused on her picture to be honest.” I lied. “I wish I was there to celebrate with her. She would have liked dinner and a movie or something.”
“She wants to be a prosecutor so she is going to study law.” He said. “I think she wants to make sure that people like Solomon end up behind bars but I have my own way of dealing with people like him.”
“What do you mean?”
“Let’s just say he has been taken care of.”
“Why do you do that?” I asked.
“Do what?”
“Speak in codes. It’s almost like you don’t trust me anymore.” I alleged.
I lifted my hand and rubbed his cheek with my index finger. He placed his hand on my tummy and kissed my cheek, stings rippled through me as his facial hair prickled my skin.

His hand moved from my stomach to my face, he traced a finger over my lips softly and we were both silenced. We were both aware of what was happening. The thickness of the tension was unbearable. I could feel it undulate through my bones, like electricity, racing through my veins, shaking my nerves. I shook my head and began to feebly silence my inner voice’s advisory end to whatever was about to happen.

“I trust you,” his whisper was so enticing.
“Kiss me.’ My stomach jumped at my own words, but I was barely hesitant. I kissed him gently and he let me. Patiently, he waited to fully reciprocate. He pushed his lips against mine, fiercely and I felt his tongue push into my mouth. He was firm, making sure I knew he was in control. His passion was so intense it was deadly. I couldn’t control the lurches in my stomach anymore.
I broke apart from him, but his eyes remained locked on mine. “Wow, okay?”
“Wow yourself.” I returned.
“Where did that come from?” He questioned.
“It came from me realising that I have been stubborn for no good reason. So much has happened between us and I was consumed by my anger. I failed to realise that there are so many things that I have done that hurt you but you were able to put that aside and fight for us. I want to give us another try but I want us to do things differently this time. No more lies, deceit and withholding things from each other. No more cheating. Let’s start on a clean slate and do it right this time.”
He beamed. “You don’t know how happy I am to hear you say that.”
“I don’t say it enough, I love you Sandiso.”
“Ngikuthanda ngenhliziyo yami yonke. Nangom’phefumulo imbala. [I love you with all my heart and soul.]”

His phone vibrated and I lifted my head so he could claw it out of his pocket. He gave it his full attention, his thumbs flying quickly over the screen of his phone. “I have to go, unfortunately.”
“Where to?”
“I have to take care of this and that.” He said evasively.
“What’s this and that?”
“Long story. We’ll talk about it later.”
“Hurry back….. I miss you already.”
He smiled that big beautiful smile of his that used to melt me every time. “I will be back before you know it.”
“Aren’t you gonna change to black from head to toe?”
“No.”
“So you aren’t doing heists anymore?”
He brushed his nose against mine and placed a lingering kiss on my lips. “You ask a lot of questions. See you later.”

When Sandiso walked out the front door I grabbed the teddy bear and told whoever was listening on the other side that Smangaliso needed to hurry up and get me a phone so that they could tell me what I needed to ask Sandiso. However, that wasn’t the real reason why I was desperate to get my hands on a phone. I needed to talk to Levi.  I had to find out how he was dealing with the two year ban from soccer which was basically his whole life. It couldn’t have been easy to deal with losing an opportunity he spent a lifetime dreaming of and hoping he would achieve.

It had been over six hours since Sandiso left when I finally decided to roll off the couch and clean before he got home. I started in the living room and wiped invincible dust particles that were only visible to Sandiso’s eye. When I reached the kitchen I organised the dirty dishes to the left of the sink and began filling the basin with water. I spun around and headed to the refrigerator while the sink filled up.

I grabbed tomatoes, onions and vegetables I could grate seeing as we didn’t have knives in the house. Sandiso must have thought I’d stab him in his sleep but I wasn’t capable of hacking someone to death. Even if I were in a kill or be killed situation, I would rather die than have a person’s blood on my hands.

I washed the dishes and got dinner started. I hadn’t felt so at peace in that house in the months that I’d lived there. I didn’t know how much time had passed, I didn’t even know which month we were in as I could only watch movies and series on Netflix and Hulu. Despite keeping me there against my will Sandiso was on his absolute best behaviour. He reminded me of the days when the good Sandiso was around. The times when I never saw our relationship coming to an abrupt end.

As soon as memories of the Sandiso I fell in love with flooded my mind, I felt his arms go around me from behind and he began swaying to the music that was playing faintly in the background. I swallowed the urge to push him and wrapped my hands in his, then leaned back against his chest.  He kissed my ear, then laced his fingers with mine and spun me around to face him.

When I opened my eyes he was smiling down at me with a genuinely sweet expression. I hadn’t seen that look in his eyes in so long, it actually made my heart ache. He was really trying. He did everything I asked him to do when we were still together and he went out of his way to soothe the aches of pregnancy even though I wasn’t carrying his child. Maybe the short time he spent in custody changed him. Maybe he was a changed man.

He took my face in his hands and kissed me; a long, passionate kiss that I forgot he was even capable of. Towards the end of our relationship, the only time I got kissed was when he wanted to have sex. I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed him back. It was a desperate kiss that sought to communicate feelings that weren’t there.

He broke his mouth away from mine. “Somebody missed me, huh?”
I kissed him again and smiled, nodding my head. He placed his hands on my shoulders and laughed. “Not in front of company, my garlic juice,” he teased.
Company? I squeezed my eyes shut, scared to turn around, unaware that we were being observed the entire time.
“There’s someone who’s been dying to see you again,” he said. He spun me around and I opened one eye then the other, hoping the shock I felt in my stomach wasn’t clearly sprawled across my face. Leaning up against the doorframe with her arms on Hlelo’s shoulder and a hard look in her eyes was Sandiso’s mother.

I gasped when I saw Smanga walking in with bags behind her, mostly because he was the last person I expected to see. Standing in front of him now was suddenly more intimidating than speaking to him in hushed voices in Sambulo’s house many moons ago. He was a lot taller than I thought; taller than Sandiso even. He looked at me with dark eyes that I couldn’t read which made me panic. It had been days since we last spoke and Sandiso was still speaking in codes so I had nothing concrete to offer. I couldn’t exactly ask for immunity in exchange for saying Sandiso ‘took care of Solomon’ when I didn’t even know what that meant. I still didn’t know where or when the drop was happening. I needed to get my act together and find out before it happened.

“Hi,” Sandiso’s mother said, easing her bewildered expression with a smile. “Nice to see that you look good. Healthy. Pregnancy seems to be going well.” She sounded relieved.
“Hi, ma? I had no idea that you’d be joining us with your grandchild. Good to see you.” I plastered the fakest smile I could muster.
“Hey,” Smanga jumped in, extending his hand to me without a trace of recognition on his face. I noted his hand extended so I placed my palm in his hand.
“Bandile, right?” I asked.
“No, that’s Smangaliso. Bandile is the chubby one.” Sandiso jumped in. He walked out with his son and his mother, leaving Smanga and I in the kitchen momentarily. When Smanga reached into his pocket I quickly grabbed a box of jungle oats. He dropped the phone and charger in there.

“So, how do you and Smanga know each other?” I asked when Sandiso walked back in the kitchen. I gave Smanga a glass of water, to act as though that was the reason why he was lingering around. Sandiso placed his arm around my waist and spun me in the direction where his son and mother were standing.
“He is my business partner, and right now we’ve got business to discuss. Go make our visitors comfortable,” he said, patting me on the ass and walking off with Smanga.

“I want my mommy.” Hlelo sniffled when I greeted him.
“Your mommy is right there my boy.” Sandiso’s mother said, tossing her hand in my direction. Now I knew where Sandiso got his mental illness.
“That’s not my mommy.” The boy wailed.
“She’s your new mommy.” Sandiso’s mother said pleadingly.
“New mommy?” I was afraid to ask.
Sandiso’s mother took a step towards me. She leaned her mouth towards my ear. “His mom passed away a few months ago. It’s so hard to get him to understand that his mom is gone. I’ve tried to fill the void but his father thought it would be best for him to move in with the two of you,” she whispered quietly so that only I could hear her.

I glanced at the little boy, the teddy bear which was still on the corner of the couch and then to her. “What happened to his mother?”
“She died in a fire.”
I gasped, “That’s so tragic. How did that happen? Did the house burn down or something?”
Sandiso’s mother looked at the front door that creaked open signalling Sandiso’s return. She gently placed her hands on my arms and rubbed them up and down. “We’ll have plenty of time to speak, makoti [daughter in-law]. Please show us to our room.”

I unclenched my fists and attempted to hide my distain. “Right this way,” I replied. I grabbed one of the bags and walked over to one of the rooms in the house. Hlelo followed grudgingly, begging for his mother.
“Hlelo do you want some ice cream?” I asked, remembering he had quite a sweet tooth.
He nodded his answer.
“Okay, lets bath and change to jammies, have dinner then we’ll have some ice cream, okay?” Sandiso’s mother chimed in with a bright smile.
I excused myself and trotted to the kitchen to round up dinner. We ate casually whilst watching cartoons, conversation was easy enough and a few laughs could be heard here and there over ice cream with the boy who seemed to have temporarily forgotten about his missing mother. The pictures Sandiso’s mother took made it look like Sandiso and I were the proud parents of a three year old boy expecting a little girl to complete the Brady Bunch.

“We need to talk,” I said as soon as Sandiso crossed the threshold of the bedroom we shared.
He didn’t seem too affected by my tone – clearly he was expecting me to blow a fuse about the unexpected visitors. “Did mom tell you Hlelo is moving in with us?”
“Don’t you think you should have sat me down and spoke to me about it? This is the type of shit we always argued about.”
“Watch your tone when you address me. Thandolwethu uma ukhuluma nami kumele ukhombise inhlonipho nokuzithoba, siyezwana!? [Thandolwethu, when you talk to me you have to show respect and humility, do you understand!?] I am not that Leva of yours, I do not tolerate disrespect and women that do not know their place. Kukwami la! Kukhala esami iscathulo. As the head of the house I made a decision which you have to respect.” He shrugged and looked at me dead in the eye.

Every time he opened his mouth I got angrier. In the past I would swallow my retort and just go along with what he wanted, smile and move on.
“You are not going to threaten me into submission. I have the right to know and be consulted about decisions that affect me. I’m the one that has to play mommy while you are out there doing whatever the hell you do. Where is Hlelo’s mother?” I sneered.

A chuckled came from him as he walked closer. “You’ve turned into a feisty one, haven’t you?” my back hit the wall as he traced kisses down my neck. “That’s enough talking. It’s done so you just have to accept it.”
I shoved him off. His face held a shocked expression, but quickly turned into a glare. “Thandolwethu.”
“I asked you a question. Where is Hlelo’s mother?” I held.
“She’s around.” He said evasively.
“Around where?” I pushed.
“She wanted to focus on her studies so she asked my mom to take care of him.” He lied. “I’ve accepted your child, you’ve always been fine with mine so we are going to be a normal blended family.” The smug look on his face made me want to smack it off him, but I stayed my hand.

I ran my hands through my hair and folded my arms across my chest before I asked, “How many more lies are going to come spewing out of your fat lips?”
Sandiso’s expression darkened. “What the fuck did you just say?” He asked, grabbing my arm to bring me to him.
“I know she died in a fire. Did you burn her alive?” I hissed.
The room fell completely still as my wide eyes looked into his challenging ones. Anger burned within them as they ogled into me, I covered my face in anticipation of the blow that would surely follow. His heavy breaths were all I could hear, and I was holding mine.

“There are casualties in every war.” He said unemotionally.
“So she is the one they found in the car that you torched when you faked my death?” I spat and suddenly realised that he didn’t know that I knew. “There was an article about it in the newspaper we were reading today.” I added.
A dangerous spark lit in his eyes as he glowered at me, making it even harder to keep my emotions in check. It was unbelievable how one look sent a raging fire cursing through my veins. A mix of bravery, anger and fear pulled me in different directions, threatening to pull me apart.
“Thando…” He warned, clearly trying his best to keep a lid on whatever mania drove him.
Against my better judgement, I spoke again. “You killed her.”
My back roughly hit the wall. A tight grip enclosed on my neck, making a dark spot cloud my vision. When no air reached my lungs, my fingers clawed at Sandiso’s, but he didn’t loosen his grip, only tightening it. Trying to speak was impossible; my words were nothing but a strangled gurgle.

“You should be thanking me for all that we have done for you, you ungrateful little bitch!” With every word he spat, another jolt pierced my lungs, which were now gasping for air. “Look at me when I am talking to you.”
Shifting my gaze back to him earned a looser hold on my neck, but I was still yearning for breath. My body started feeling like it was drifting away and just before I thought I’d collapse, he dropped his hold.

I erupted into a fit of coughs and fought the burn in my throat to keep up with my first intake of air. When I finally stopped wheezing, I realised I was on my hands and knees while Sandiso was squatting next to me, brushing my back. He gazed deeply into my eyes.
“Look what you made me do.” He murmured. “I am trying so hard not to be this person but you just push me to my breaking point, Thando. You just push and push and push!”
“I am sorry.” I spluttered. “I just feel like you are shutting me out but you can trust me, baby. I was just frustrated because I feel like I am losing you…. I don’t want to lose you.”
“You are not losing me.”
“Then let me in. Good or bad, you know I can handle it. We are Bonnie and Clyde, remember?”
“I didn’t kill her. I’ve never killed anyone.” He said.
“I believe you.” I told him.
Sandiso lifted me to my feet, needing to use both arms since my dead weight was making me heavier than I really was.

An amused smirk tainted his lips when he crawled into bed after me. “I honestly think that this is all an act. One day you were angry, demanding to go home. Next thing you were all nice and you kissed me out of nowhere today. I can’t pin point what game you are playing.”

I gently placed my palm on his cheek, glad that we were even closer to the teddy bear nestled in-between the pillows. “I’m not playing games, sthandwa sami. What could I possibly gain from playing games disguised as love? I was so angry, frustrated and hurt by the past. I didn’t think I would ever get over it or see you as the man I once loved.

But this whole thing happened and we were forced to live together. Each day you made the possibility of us look so easy, you made it feel right and you made it look effortless. I know you share the same views with my dad as far as making food for a woman is concerned but you suck it up and you wake me up with the smell of breakfast made with love because you care more about me than your preconceived ideas of what it means to be a man and because you know those little things matter to me.

My mind tells me that me and you are a thing of the past. That too much has happened and we could never rise up from the rubble. But I’ve never known how to separate my mind from my heart. I think, it beats. It’s hard to distinguish between the two.

When you are gone I’m always wondering how you’re doing. I wake up, and I hate how stupid this sounds, but my heart smiles when I see you. I rejoice when you make it through the night without waking up in a sweat. I think of asking if you’re okay, if you’re happy, if you’re doing all the things you want to be doing. You are so good and I want to kiss the kindness inside you. I want you to be loved in the exact way you love. I want to trace your insecurities back their roots and kiss all your bruised spots but I put up a fight because there is no logic in falling for your rapist.

I also put up a fight for so long because I am scared of having my heart broken again. You are still hurting and I’m bleeding too. Maybe we aren’t healed enough for something real. Maybe we will put up walls or someone will run, or the undeniable chemistry between us is all in my head to begin with. I don’t know if I could survive losing you and having to learn how to live without you again.

Phangwa, ndengezi kamayebuka, phampatha, I can never love the way that I love you. You called it, Levi was the rebound guy. He was just there trying to fill a void. You are my Cinderella, it is only your foot that is the perfect fit.

You think this is all a game because deep down you are scared, I am scared too. I do not know how I will react when you are on top of me again. I don’t even know if I will be able to look past what happened and give myself wholly to you like I did before the incident but I am trying. I know that I am not ready for any of this but you make me want to be ready. You’re the only reason I needed to be.

Here you are, laying next to me, looking like everything I’ve dreamed of — looking like everything I’ve asked for. My answered prayer. I’m done making excuses and I’m done telling myself that this can’t be right. All that has happened is in the past. My heart is open and ready to be all yours again.”

He smiled. “I am sorry for doing what I did to you, know that the apology comes from deep within. I did what I did because I wanted you to hurt as much as I was hurting. I hated myself so much for it I even found ways to convince myself that it wasn’t as bad as it was, that perhaps it wasn’t rape but it was. It was cowardly of me to pretend that I was mentally ill so that I wouldn’t be punished for it….We don’t have to rush into intimacy. Remember I used to tell you that I would wait until you were ready to have sex because we have a lifetime together?”
I nodded my response.
“Good. I will wait for you,” he leaned forward to gather me up in his arms and kissed me.
A whole new level of discomfort consumed me in coming to terms with the fact that this was only the beginning.

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