Finding my voice
My heart was screaming ‘take him back!! Take him back!!’ . Despite everything that I have been through with that man, my heart still chose him. I wanted him, and only him. Maybe I was stupid, I don’t know, but one thing I know is that I have never loved anyone the way I loved that man.Since varsity, he had been apologizing for the same thing, cheating. Every time, he would promise that he would never do it again and I would believe him. He would tell me it was a mistake and that it would never happen again, and I would believe him. Sometimes I didn’t want to believe him, but my heart was just not hearing it. My heart was in total agreement with the fact that Sivuyile and I belonged together. I was struggling to let one incident (after a very long time) erase all the good things that Siv has done. He was a good man, a very loving partner and he was my pillar of strength. In my mind, I felt like I got involved in smoking because my heart was lacking what only he could offer.
“Baby, I know I keep disappointing you and breaking your heart and I am not proud of that. We sometimes tend to take our most valuable people and things for granted until we lose them. I would hate to lose a woman like you, Siya. I can’t imagine my life without you” he tried to hold my hand again, and this time around, I didn’t stop him. My heart was melting at every word that he uttered. I loved that man. “My place is a mess now, and I have to start all over again, and I don’t mind beause it is the fruits of my actions.I have been hurting you for far too long and you have always just cried when I did something to hurt you. I now understand that your temper was a result of all the anger and pain that I have been putting you through, over the years.I understand, baby. I truly understand why you did that, and maybe I would have done the same too” he gently grabbed my hand and rubbed it. I looked down, with my mind trying to talk my heart out of it. That man took me from granted. He never saw me as enough, and he was good at making me believe that he was not going to hurt me again. My mind was protesting, fighting for my rights to be appreciated, which were clearly violeted by the man who was standing before me. My heart felt he was the one for me, but my mind thought he was bad news. “Sivuyile” I looked at him, trying so hard not to look confused. “You have been hurting me for far too long, and I refuse to allow you into my life again. I refuse to let you play with my heart again. You have hurt me at a time when I needed your love and support, and for that, I will never forgive you” I said, while my heart was in total disagreement.
“Baby, I am really sorry. I know you need me now more than ever. I know you are at your weakest moment, and I feel really bad for being one of the people who add to the stress and frustration that you are feeling right now. Believe me, I am not proud of my actions and I wish I could turn back the hands of time. Siya, I would do anything to gain your love and trust again. I would do anything to have you again. I am scared. I am scared that if I lose you, you will be played out there by these vultures who have no heart to love. I am sorry baby, I have learnt my lesson. Your anger has opened my eyes and made me realize that I was was playing with fire” he added. “I know how much you trusted me, and how much you counted on me for almost everything. I know how much you hate driving, and how you would ask me to drive you around. I know how you can’t be vocal to your siblings, but still needs someone who is willing to listen to you. Baby, I know how much you hate taking care of the legal side of things and going through those long documents, and how you trusted me to handle all that for you. I know how much you love reading over movies, and would expect me to chill with you while you read in silence as part of your therapy. I know you, like the back of my hand. I know when you hate something, and when you love it. I know when you’re angry and when you’re sad- even before you express yourself. I can’t imagine starting all over again, getting to know someone like I know you. I also can’t imagine you, getting to know someone new and taking the risk of opening your soul to someone else” he pulled me close and held me. I felt safe in his embrace, the smell of his cologne awakened something in me and I nearly found myself clinging on to him, but I didn’t. I struggled out of his embrace, until he let go of me. “Sivuyile, please leave” I looked at him in the eye.
I wanted him to think that I meant it. I wanted him to hurt me one last time by walking away from me, because I knew that allowing him back into my life meant that I was going to find myself in that similar position again. “Baby..” I raised my hand in the air, signaling that he should shut up.”I don’ want to hear it. Please, leave” I pointed at the door. He silently stood there, looking at me and probably waiting for me to change my mind, but I didn’t. After a few minutes of trying to beg and convince me to change my mind, he finally walked out. Tears streamed down my cheeks and I felt weak in the deepest pit of my existence . My heart was struggling to take the decisions that my mind was clearly forcefully taking. I didn’t understand why I chased him away while I loved him with all his flaws and faults. I didn’t understand why I told him to leave, while my heart was ready to love him again and try making it work with him. I went to sit on the couch and covered my face with both hands, while my elbows were resting on my knees. I was crying my heart out, trying to understand why I just chased him away. I felt a gentle touch on my shoulder, as I cied my heart out. I looked up, with the messiest of faces and I was confronted by Litha. He sat next to me and held me, to rest my head on his shoulder. I don’t know why, but I cried some more. I cried like I was just starting out. My heart was dripping elements of pain in diferent shapes and sizes. I was broken beyond description. Litha silently sat there, gently running his hand up and down my back.
After crying so hard, I ran out of tears and just sat there, feeling like my heart has been ripped out and thrown away. We sat in silence for a while, with me trying to gather myself to carry on with my life.”Guess what I have…. What is going on here?” bhut’Sizwe walked in. I couldn’t hear his foot steps slowing down. I removed my head from Litha’s shoulder and looked at him. “Baby, what is wrong?” he rushed up to me. Litha moved from the couch so that bhut’Sizwe could sit down. “What is it? Why are you crying?” he asked.I told him everything. “Siyaxolisa, I know it hurts now because you feel like you have made the worst decision of your life, but I can assure you that this is the best decision you have ever taken. Sometimes it hurts to choose yourself over something you think makes you happy, but in the long run, you will understand that this was the best decision. Sivuyile has been taking you for granted for far too long and you deserve someone who will love you even when you are not there to see what they are doing. You deserve someone who will treat you like the princess that you are” he wiped my tears with both his hands. “Don’t let him steal your happiness. I love the light hearted Siyaxolisa that I saw this morning, and I would love to see more of her because she brings hope that things could still get better, that life isn’t at all that bad” he continued wiping my streaming tears.I started all over again and cried my soul out.
“You have us, and we love you. If this man cannot treat you the way you deserve to be treated, then he doesn’t love you the way he says he loves you. Love doesn’t hurt, Siya. Love is beautiful” Litha softly added, as I was trying to pick the pieces of my heart up, to continue with the day. It was actually the first time that I cried that hard ever since the incident. It was my first time allowing myself to hurt that much and I don’t know whether I felt good after crying or worse. I was numb. I felt like I was crying for all the years that I have been taken for granted. I felt like I was crying for all those years of being taken for a fool. I cried so hard that day that tears couldn’t come out anymore. When I was done, I got up and went over to my desk. Both my brother and Litha had their eyes glued on me. “Thank you guys for being there. I guess I needed to cry that hard. I feel much better, but I won’t lie and say I don’t love him anymore, because I do. I love him so much and I would forgive him any minute if my mind was just not too stubborn” I said. They both maintained that my heart was just playing tricks on me and that I was going to get over him and move on with my life. They tried to make me believe that one day, I would find a man who would love me and treat me well, and I won’t lie and say I believed that because I didn’t. We spoke about it for a while, until my brother told me why he came to see me.
“Anyway, I came to show you something” he got up from the couch and came to stand next to me by the desk. “What?” I asked, cracking a smile. Just by the looks of things, I could sense that he was bringing me good news. “Here!” he handed me a copy of a scan. “Oh, what??” I excitedly grabbed it. “Is this my niece?” I stared at it. I honestly didn’t know what I was looking at, but I was happy because my brother’s baby was healthy and my brother was happy. “Oh no! This, right here, is a boy. You, my sister, are expecting a nephew. Okay? A nephew!” he excitedly grabbed the copy and looked at it. “Why though? I want to take her to manicure and peducure dates” I laughed as I grabbed the copy again. “But what about me? I want to take him to rugby matches. He is going to be a rugby player” he laughed too. We shared the excitement while arguing over which gender the baby was going to be.”So, since we are leaving today, I figured I should pick you up so we can go home and pack for our trip” he announced. “Oh? You could have just called and tell me to be home early. You didn’t have to physically come here” I smiled. “Well, here I am” he laughed to. “But Litha is here, we could have just gone home and met you guys there” I insisted, but he wasn’t prepared to hear it. “It’s okay, Siya. You can go with him and I will follow right behind you guys” Litha said. He was quiet the whole time, so much that I even forgot that he was in the room until I had to mention hm. “Okay, great then. Thanks Litha. Are you leaving right away too?” I looked at him and he silently nodded.We locked up and left. When we got home, both my sisters were ready, with their bags packed up. We greeted and they greeted back. I quickly went to pack for the weekend.I was excited for the trip and my mood was lifted to the max.When I was done, I rushed back to my siblings, who were equally excited. “I’m done” I announced as I walked into room.
“Finally”sis Zama dramatically rolled her eyes and I laughed. Bhut’Sizwe and Sharon were sitting there, locked into each other’s arms. I knew Sharon wasn’t going anywhere. Tamkhulu wasn’t that type of man who would welcome a boyfriend or girlfriend into his house.’Where is Athi?” I asked. “He’s in his room” sis Gugu replied.”Isn’t he coming with us?” I asked again. “He said he wasn’t coming along” she replied again. I gave her a stare, like how could she be that comfortable with the fact that her son was going to spend the whole weekend alone? “And you’re okay with that?” I asked. “Well, what can I say? Athi is still angry” she carelessly replied. “And you’re expecting h to automatically stop being angry?” I asked again. Yes, I didn’t care whether she would hate me after that but I was tired of her ignorance towards herchild’s feelings. She looked at me. “I mean, your son is supposed to be joining us on this family trip, but he is not and you are clearly not bothered” I said. Everyone looked at me, like I was starting an unnecessary fight. “No, guys. Think about it. Athi needs this as much as we all do. He has been through a lot too, like all of us. Why would we be comfortable with him not being part of this experience? Doesn’t he deserve to be there and experience a new scenario just once in his life? Why are we not bothered by the fact that we are leaving him behind?” I honestly couldn’t get why everyone was okay with Athi not leaving. “He doesn’t want to go, that’s what he said. We can’t force him to go if he doesn’t want to go” sis Gugu said. “It even hurts more that you as, his mother, are the first person to give up on him. You know what you did to that child is unforgivable, why are you expecting him to get over it without you even trying to change the way he is feeling? Why aren’t you trying hard?” I looked at sis Gugu again. “Uhm, Siya.. Now is not the time for that. It’s getting late and we still have a long drive home” sis Zama said.
“Oh? I am so sorry for wasting your time guys. I really didn’t mean to. In fact, you know what? You guys can go without me too. I am not going” I looked at all of them. “What? Siya please man. Tamkhulu is expecting you too” bhut’Sizwe said. “You will tell him you left me” I looked at him. “Siya come on. What are we supposed to tell him?” he asked again, getting up, leaving Sharon on the couch. “You guys will just tell him that Athi wasn’t feeling like going and I decided to keep him company because we couldn’t all go and leave him alone in this big house” I replied. “Sharon is here” he said. “Sharon? Sharon is not Athi’s mother, aunt or uncle. Besides, Sharon is pregnant. How is she supposed to deal with a depressed teenager?” I couldn’t believe my ears. So they were leaving Sharon to deal with a child they couldn’t even handle. Wow. “I get that, but Athi is hardly ever anywhere else around the house than his room.Siya come on man, stop being difficult” bhut’Sizwe sounded really annoyed, and I knew they all were. “I am not being difficult, bhuti. I am just looking out for the child. Can’t you guys see that we are failing this child?”
“Okay tell us, what do you want us to do? Huh? You want us to go to his room and start begging him to come with us, even after he has made it clear that he doesn’t want to join us?” bhut’Sizwe asked. “Okay guys, I have said it. I am not leaving with you if Athi is also not coming along. He needs us, we can’t keep doing this to him” I folded my arms and looked away. “So what are we supposed to tell Tamkhulu?” sis Zama asked again. “Tell him the truth and hear what he will say about it. Go ahead and tell him the truth” I looked at her.”I am sorry guys, but I will not be part of this. If you guys don’t see how important Athi’s wellbeing is, then maybe we are not even supposed to be taking this trip together” I walked away…
Written by: Cinga Dyala
Photo credit: Koena1130