CHAPTER 18 (PHUMI)
PG 18 SL
"......and as I look around and see each one of you here this afternoon, tears fill my eyes. The love and support you have offered us is just out of this world. Your being here today means everything to me and my family. And Xolani, my son, my best friend, my advisor,my confidant you have taken a big step today. I know I am not the best person to offer marriage advice right now but all I can say is marriage is like fire. It can either keep you warm on cold days or burn you. It all lies with you. The choices you will make in your marriage will determine its destiny. It is a hard road to travel but can be the most beautiful thing you will have experience in your life. Love,commitment and being faithful to your vows will keep you going every single day. Be true to yourself and your wife at all times. Never allow a third party into your marriage. That never works. You may end up losing everything you have worked for. Thats all I can say for now Mshengu. The rest we will talk about "Esangweni" as men. sexy wedding dresses 2019
Again thank you all for coming. God bless you and Cheers."
He lifts his glass and turns and clinks it with Mabutho's.
I can't help it. I cannot hold these tears anymore so I let them flow.
I have been emotional since they said their vows earlier on in church.
This day reminds me so much of my own wedding day years ago.
The day Mbusi and I stood in front of the Pastor and vowed to love each other forever.
The speech he has just made touches the depth of my soul.
I am glad he is telling his son the truth. That marriage is a beautiful thing.
You can either build it or destroy it yourself with your own actions.
That is just so wonderful.
I take a tissue from my clutch back and wipe my tears again.
Khetsiwe puts her hand at the back of my neck and starts rubbing it.
She is crying too.
"Its ok Koni." she says in between sniffles.
I lift my eyes to meet Mbusi's.
He has been staring at me like I am some flower pot eversince the wedding started.
I don't think he sees anything or anyone else in this Marquee except me.
He is immaculately dressed in a navy blue suit and a powdered blue shirt. No tie or bow.
He is freshly shaved and has a new sexy haircut that looks so good with his grey hair.
He is wearing his wedding band and one of his Rolex watches.
The glasses he is wearing today have a navy blue frame.
He is handsome and sexy and looks quite happy today.
"You still love him Koni"-Khetsiwe.
I shift uncomfortably on my seat.
She has just stated the obvious.
"And I miss him terribly."
Eish...I didn't mean to say that out loud.
"Then talk to him Koni. You know he loves you. You know he misses you."-Khetsiwe.
"I can't Koni. Decisions have been made. He lives with someone else. The divorce proceedings have already started."
I say this with a heavy heart and a lump in my throat.
"Koni, some decisions are made in the heat of the moment. They can be reversed.."
I wish she would stop talking because what she is saying is hitting home.
"Listen Koni, I know you might think I am taking sides here because he is my brother. But truly speaking the only side I am taking is of love and family. You two are by far the most loving couple I have ever seen. You are an inspiration to many people, myself included. Can't you find a way of working past your differences and enjoy the life you have both worked so hard to build...."
"He is a liar Khets. An abuser a manipulator. He has hurt me so many times I have lost count. I am done crying. I am ok the way I am. I am also done talking about this. Can we please enjoy my son's wedding. Lets not spoil the day talking about that monster you call a brother!" I am angry. Very angry and I am not sure why exactly.
"No Koni,you are not done crying. You have just finished crying right now. And I know that sometimes you cry yourself to sleep. And you will cry till you die as you watch your family crumbling around you. I think there is still a chance to make it work. Where there is love there is hope and there is always a way. You can...."
She is really pissing me off right now.
"Khetsiwe, you are starting to annoy me!" I say raising my voice.
"Koni, all I am saying is...."
I look directly into her eyes,
"Look,I may appear to you like some spoilt brat who ran away from her marriage because I want attention. To you I may seem like I enjoy living alone. But listen very carefully. That brother of yours sitting over there looking all handsome and important has left me alone with his children to live with some 25 year old girl because he felt he needed someone sexier and thinner than me. Where were you when he left me and his children and grand children in that big house. Where were you when he cane home just once a week to bath and change his shirt. Where were you Khetsiwe when Mbusi would shout at me and say all the hurtful words you can think of then demand sex that lasted for 10 seconds. Where were you when I had to lie to my kids because he forgot their birthdays.
Where were you when he refused to eat my food. Do you even know how much that hurts. Where were you when he beat me up and almost killed me for celebrating a personal achievement with my friends. Where were you when he told me over and over again that I was nagging and ungrateful. Where were you.....?" my chest is wet from all the tears.
My make up ia ruined.
Khetsiwe's mouth is wide open. There are tears flowing down her cheeks.
"So before you judge my dear sister in law. Know all your facts. I love your brother with everything that I am. And no,I do not sometimes cry. I cry every single day. Every single chance I get. Not because of everything he has done to me. But because I have loved him from the very first day I met him,and now that he has hurt me so much and tried to break me so many times,I just can't make all this love go away. I miss him every single day and....."
Khetsiwe is no longer listening but her focus has shifted to something behind me..
Oh my God! When did he come here?
I stand up quickly.
I almost fall as I try to walk.
"Phumi" he is looking directly into my eyes.
"Move" he gets hold of both my arms.
"Mbusi move,I want to go or I will scream." I say with a trembling voice. My whole body is shaking!
People are starting to stare so he lets go of me.
I walk off to the car park.
It is already dark.
Wait! I can't leave.
This is my son's wedding.
If I leave without saying goodbye he will be heartbroken.
I find myself going to the bathroom.
When I finish crying I wipe my face and re apply my make up.
I feel much better as I walk back to the Marquee.
I look around. Khetsiwe and Mbusi are slow dancing. They have always been close.
There is soft music playing and the bride and groom are on the dance floor.
I find a table at a corner and just sit and watch everyone enjoying themselves.
I walk to their table as soon as the bride and groom sit down.
Xolani sees me coming.
He gestures that I should come and sit next to them.
I oblige. Just as I am about to start a conversation he gets hold of the mic and gestures to the DJ to stop the music.
"May I have your attention please." he says.
It becomes quiet.
"Ehhh...This wouldn't be my wedding without me making a speech. Dad, wheres dad?" He says stretching his neck.
"Oh there you are Mshengu. May you please join us. Come sit next to your wife!"
Oh my God! This boy is drunk at his wedding!
Mbusi walks to where we are sitting shaking his head. He sits right next to me.
"For those of you who don't know them, these are my parents Mbusi and Phumelele Mabuza." he clears his throat then looks directly at us.
"Mum, dad,thank you. First of all for all of this. This day woukdn't have been a success without you. Today I want to pay tribute to both of you.
You are to me the definition of true love.
Everything about you is genuine." he stops for a while whilst the guests cheer.
"Ma,you are not my biological mother and we have and age difference of less than 10 years. But you are my Mummy. You are everything. I am sure half of the people in this marquee,their lives you have touched in one way or the other. You are the pillar of our family. We wouldn't be where we are today without your love and sacrifice. We have seen you fight to keep our family together and I genuinly hope you will never stop fighting. Do not let storms and hurricanes stop your happiness. That is advice you gave to me 3 months ago and I am giving it back to you now. After a storm,the sun will definately shine. I love you Ma. I am not sure what else to say. God bless you Thank you."
He puts the mic on the table. I stand up and give him a long hug whilst the guests cheer.
I turn around to look at Mbusi.
His glasses are on the table and he is wiping tears with his handkerchief.
I sit down and squeeze his hand. Then I whisper in his ear.
"I have to go to Siphocosini. We have to prepare for tomorrow. The catering team is already there."
He looks up at me.
He is still very emotional.
It is two hours later when Xolani and Mbusi finally come.
It is 3 am and the cooking has started.
I have given all instruction to the catering team so now I can rest even if it is for two hours. I wish I could just shower and change.
But I am a stranger here now.
So I find my way to the living room in the main house.
I am about to doze off on the couch when Mbusi comes in.
"Mamakhe" he says softly.
He touches my shoulder.
"You look tired. Don't you want to take a shower and sleep on our bad?" he offers.
I look at him like he has gone insane.
"Ok. Please at least sleep in Khetsiwe's bed.
She can sleep anywhere else. I will get you something for bathing." he pleads.
I am too tired to argue.
30 minutes later I am in Khetsiwe's bed.
A warm feeling comes over me and I close my eyes and try to sleep in the midst of all the commotion and noise outside.
The umhlambiso goes well.
The gifts are just so beautiful. I got the most beautiful blanket, a lazy boy and many other gifts from LaKhumalo.
I am woken by a knock on the door.
I am alone in the house.
So I drag myself out of bed and walk to the door.
Lenhle said she would come in the morning but I didn' t think it would be this early.
I open the door and almost fall from shock.
"Phumi Hi. Do you mind if I come in?" He is already inside and looking around at the house.
He frowns when he sees that there is no cieling here.
"Why is there no...?"
"Mbusi please. What can I do for you?" - Me.
"I was driving around and thought I could check up on you. How are you?"-Him..He is looking directly into my eyes.
"I am fine as you can see."-Me
"Phumi please don't be like this."-Him.
"When are you bringing back my kids?" I ask with my arms folded on my chest.
My phone rings! Shit it is Tsakane and it is on the kitchen counter.
His number is no longer saved.
Mbusi looks at the phone then at me.
"Aren't you going to answer it.?" he asks.
I just look at him.
My heart is pounding.
He quickly grabs it then puts it on loud speaker.
Mbusi looks at me.
"Just give me my phone."-Me.
"Babes are you there?"
Mbusi looks at me all eyes out.
Tsakane cuts the call.
We glare at each other.
My phone is still in his hand.
Then his phone vibrates in his pocket.
"Aren't you going to answer that?"I ask.
He puts his phone on loud speaker.
"Hello Hun. Where are you."- Her
"I am at Sidwashini with my wife. Can I help you?"-Him.
"What are you doing there Mbusi?"-Her.
I can hear the hurt in her voice.
"I am with my wife. It is none of your business what I am doing with her. And..."
"So she has bewitched you again."
"Yewena! Call my wife a witch one more time! I dare you!"
"I know she has..."
"Lalela la wena! I was married when you got yourself pregnant just to trap me. I am still married even now. So please just be a lady and leave me and my family in peace!"
She cuts the call.
Mbusi looks at me again.
My phone is still in his hand. He puts his in his pocket.
"Who was calling you?" he asks calmly.
I keep quiet.
He leans on the kitchen and folds his arms.
"Mbusi why did you come here. Please bring my phone." I say trying to grab it from him.
"So you have moved on?"-Him.
"You moved on first!"-Me.
"Who is he?" I can hear the pain in his voice.
I swallow hard.
He walks towards me.
I take two steps back.
"Who is he?????" he is raising his voice.
He grabs me by both my arms.
"I have never slept with him. I swear Mabuza. He just calls everyday to check on me. He read about our pending divorce on the paper.
He calls ocassionally just to check if I am ok." I say quickly.
He lets go of me.
I see a mixture of hurt and disappointment on his face.
"So it is him again?"
I nod my head.
"You love him."
I am not sure if this is a statement or a question.
"No Mbusi I dont. I love you! I have never given myself to anyone but you. I swear."
He moves to the window and opens the blinds.
"And here I was thinking we could not hurt each other anymore. That if I become a better man, you could learn to love me again. I came here so we could talk. You know, try to rebuild what I broke. I came here to ask you to let me fix what I broke. I thought you would just give me a chance to reform. That I couldn't do it on my own. That we would be together every step of the way till we reach the point where we used to be. I just...."
"Mbusi, I am not doing anything with him. We are just friends. You were not there and he was just like the last time."-Me.
"Why him again?"-Him
"He is the only one I trust not to take advantage of my pain and vulnerability."-Me.
He turns around.
"I have to go. Sorry for waking you. Call him back. Tell him I was here to hit you again."-Him.
"Mbusi you are being unfair now. Don't go. Please."-Me.
"It is best for the both of us if I go. I walks towards the door.
I run in front of him and block the door.
"What do you want from me Phumi. I am the monster here. I am the abuser, the serial cheat. You gave me so many chances and I managed to mess up each one of them...."
I throw my arms around his neck and stand on my toes and kiss him.
He doesn't respond. I pull him closer and kiss him deeper.
He grabs my waist and holds me tight.
He lifts me up and places me on the couch.
His hands are on my breasts.
I help him unfastens the buttons of my nighty.
He touches my breasts as he starts kissing and sucking my nipples.
He moves his one hand to my thighs.
I let out a deep moan.
I grab his belt as quickly as I can.
Then he stops.
"I can't." - Him.
He lifts his body up from me.
I am confused.
He takes his glasses from the coffee table and puts them back on.
"I am sorry Phumi. I just can't."
He is walking towards the door.
I am still on the couch totally naked.
"I will ask the driver to bring back the kids."
He turns and leaves.
My mouth is still open when I hear the engine running and the car leaves.
What just happened?