“Mommy, please. I need this”
I rushed towards her.
“Honey, pregnant women are selective of places they go to, and ceremonies to attend. You cannot be going around, attending funerals of people you are not even related to”
I stood right next to her.
“Mommy, please. You have to understand. I need this. I need to attend that funeral”
“Mandy, I am not the one telling you not to go. I am just telling you about how pregnant women conduct themselves. Please don’t waste your time, trying to convince me to let you go and attend this funeral”
“Mommy, I have lost the most important person in my life, and I never even got to bid her farewell in a dignified way because I don’t even know how she was killed and where her body was buried. I spend most days, hoping and praying that she would one day return. I sometimes find myself holding my breath, waiting for her to show up and tell me where she has been. Deep down, I know that she is dead, but I still cannot imagine her dying, or even dead for that matter. I can’t imagine her lying peacefully in a coffin, facing up, with no life in her beautiful body. This funeral was going to be my way of finding some sort of closure. Seeing someone else mourn the death of a loved one, will in a way take me back to my own loss and help me deal with the emotions that I always avoid dealing with”
I desperately explained, trying to make her see it exactly the way I was seeing it.
“Mandy, I hear you. As I have said earlier, I can’t let you go there. The whole family will question my level of irresponsibility”
“Mommy, please. We won’t tell them. We will create a story for daddy”
“Mandiphumle, are you asking me to lie?”
I knew I had crossed the line.
“I’m sorry. I got a little carried away there for a sec. Uhm, can you at least promise me that you will think about it?”
“Okay, I will think about it, even though I know that my thinking won’t solve any of this”
I walked away. No man, I had to attend that funeral, I needed to. After work, we drove home. We got home, only to carry on with the routine. When I got to my room, I called Thando, just to check up on him. He tried adjusting his voice, trying to hide the pain he was going through. I didn’t want to push him to get all emotional on me, so I maintained a general conversation. In the midst of it all, I kept dropping hints that he could trust me if he needed someone to talk to, but I wasn’t sure that he got them. After the call, I hung up and got into bed. The following morning, I got up to a text from Alex’s mother, asking to see me. My heart skipped at the sight of the text. I didn’t know what to expect from the invitation. I didn’t know whether to agree to meet up with her or just ignore her and just move on with my life. I decided to get ready for work, and only give it a thought during the course of the day. When I was done preparing for work, I went to the kitchen for breakfast. For a change, Mommy wasn’t there. I made myself a bowl of cereal and sat down to eat. Daddy walked in, still in his sleepwear. He greeted and I greeted back.
“Are you happy here?”
He asked, out of the Blue. What freaked me out the most was the way he looked at me.
“Uhm, yes. I am happy here”
“Oh, I just needed to ask, just to hear it from you”
I nodded, indicating that I understood why he asked, even though I didn’t quite get it. He made himself a cup of tea.
“My wife tells me that you asked to attend a funeral of a child you are not even related to”
“Uh, yes, Sir. My friend needs me, and I also need to attend that funeral so I could get the closure that I am looking for”
”I hear you, but you cannot go and attend that funeral. Not in your condition”
Daddy, please. Please, I am begging you”
“I’m sorry, there is nothing I can do to help. Just be notified that you will be closely monitored on Saturday and you are not allow to leave the house alone”
A tear escaped my eye, there goes my only chance at finding inner peace. My day was ruined before it even began. I got up and went to put the bowl in the sink and left him in the kitchen, alone. I couldn’t believe that Mommy would sell me out that easily, just to keep herself looking innocent. I bumped into her down the passage, as I was going to my room to calm myself down.
“Hey, hey. What’s the rush?”
“I’m sorry, I just needed to run to my room and sort something out before going anywhere”
She moved and I rushed to my room. I got there, closed the door behind me and cried. I was so heartbroken, and there was nothing I can do about it. Mommy came knocking on my door, informing me that we had to leave for work. I got myself cleaned and came out of my room. Without a word, she hugged me. We broke the hug and left for work. I wanted to ask her why she sold me out when I needed her the most. That could have been our way of strengthening our relationship. I was so bitter, I couldn’t even act the opposite. I decided to meet up with Mama, with the hope that she would bring me good news, or anything that would lift my mood levels up. I saved that thought for later, because I needed to come up with a solid plan.
Later, when we got home, there was nobody around. Mommy explained that they were at church and that we also needed to change and rush to church. I was not feeling well, because of all the crying and hurting. I just needed to be alone, that’s all. Everything went well, from church, we went to a church member’s house for dinner. It felt nothing short of a bible festival. People were talking through scriptures. To me, they spoke in riddles. After dinner, we went home. Thank goodness.
Thoko walked into my room, just as I was about to get into bed.
“Hey, are you okay?”
I looked at her.
“I don’t know”
She shrugged her shoulders.
“You seem distant. Its almost like your mind isn’t here”
She explained. I replied and told her why I wasn’t myself. She saw it exactly the way I saw it. She sat on my bed, next to me and held my hand.
“Nowm, you are a member of this family. Being a member of this family comes with a lot of pressure and sacrifice. Hang in there, the pain will hurt less in time”
No, I refused to listen to her. Nothing was ever going to ease the pain. I sent out hints that I needed to rest, so she should leave me in peace. She finally got the message and left me in peace. The following morning, I woke up and prepared for work. My heart was heavy, weighing me down as I walked around my room, preparing for work. When I was done, I went to the kitchen for breakfast. When I got there, I found Daddy, reading a book over a hot cup of coffee.
“Good morning, Daddy”
I greeted. He looked up, fixing his spectacles so he could look at me properly. I uncomfortably looked away.
“Good morning, Mandy. How did you sleep?”
I could still feel his eyes piercing through my skin, so I fiddled with my fingers.
“I slept well, thanks. And you?”
I looked at him. He swallowed his coffee and slowly placed his coffee mug on the table, while still looking at me.
“I didn’t sleep well”
I walked towards the cupboard and took a cereal bowl out.
“Aren’t you going to ask me why I didn’t sleep well?”
I knew I was supposed to ask, but I wasn’t sure I was even allowed to. Faking that smile was almost as painful as drying to squeeze juice out of a dry orange.
“I didn’t sleep well because Mommy told me that you wanted to attend a funeral, in your condition”
When he said “in your condition”, he pointed at my tummy.
“I need to…”
He cut me short. I pressed my lips tightly together.
“Let me finish”
“You seem to have forgotten that you are going to attend your cleansing ceremony this weekend. I don’t know where you will find time to attend funerals”
“I don’t want to attend that ceremony. It means nothing to me, I need to go and attend that funeral and get my closure from everything that has happened in my life”
He got up and came to stand next to me. I was standing by the kitchen counter, holding a bowl in my hands.
“Watch your tongue. You are still a child. I don’t want you to become the person they have already predicted you’d become”
I apologized. I still couldn’t believe that Mommy would sell me out that easily. I thought we were friends. I thought she liked me. ReadHere: 9 Invensions You Never Knew You Needed.