The grieving woman met her knight shining armour, after twenty-two years of losing her husband in a car accident. Buyi had finally decided to live again. She had spent all these years as if her late husband’s death was just a bad dream and that maybe, just maybe, one day she would wake up from this nightmare and there he would be. Sadly in real life there is no such a thing.
Buyi’s daughter, Manto, was now in varsity and was thrilled by the news of her mom finding love again after mourning her father for so long. Raising Manto alone hadn’t been easy for her. There were times where she felt like the walls of the universe were closing down on her and her own world was crumbling and the pain was just too much to bear. Against all odds she had indeed outdone herself. She raised a smart, respectful and kind young lady who loved her mom whole heartedly.
After few months of their relationship Zola popped the question and asked for her hand in marriage. After receiving the big news, Manto was a little bit worried. She couldn’t help wondering why the rush. And why was a man like Zola; successful, intelligent and well known, not yet married. He had all women who would do anything to have him in their lives chasing him but he chose a widow.
But Manto wasn’t going to dare stand in her mother’s way of being happy for a second time. It wasn’t everyday women out there were lucky enough to get to be happy or find the courage to be able to allow themselves to accept and move on. Ambitious men like Zola didn’t waste time; when they put their minds on something, they usually go for it. That’s how they manage to survive in this world and reach their potential just like that, boom!
In no time the wedding preparations started andlobola negotiations took place. Such a gentlemanly thing to do for Zola. It wasn’t every man out there who was willing to pay for the woman who was once married and had children of their own. Before the wedding day Manto took her mother out for coffee, hoping to figure out if she really was sure about all this.
“Mama, are happy with your decision?” she asked. “I mean you guys don’t even know each other that much. Maybe you should give yourself time to get to know him better. Marriage is such a big step. I don’t know Ma, for some reason I’m nervous about this.”
“Ooh my baby, I know you’re not used to sharing your dearest mom with anyone, but I promise, when it comes to you I will trade the love of my life for a bunch of flowers,” she teased and they both laughed together.
“Really mom, a bunch of flowers? But who am I to complain? I guess I should join the team and rejoice with my one and only rock, mbogodo yam ekuphela kwayo.”
With a smile, Manto hugged her mom and told her how she loved her and how wonderful it was to have had such strong women raising her. You should’ve seen them together they were so close you would swear they were the best friends.
The day came and it was such a beautiful day. The sun was out and about, the flowers had bloomed and blossomed, the birds were singing and the guests were indeed on point. Everyone looked stunning. Did I mention the bride? She was shining like a diamond in her glittering well-made dress.
Soon after the honeymoon they moved into a mansion. Buyi was a teacher and she loved her job. Manto was not always around but she visited on weekends, so these two had so much time to spend together as newlyweds. It was all well and they lived a happy life. Zola was an outgoing man; he would go out for some drinks with friends on weekends. Buyi didn’t really mind as she spent the time with her daughter.
“Mama, so you don’t mind Uncle Zola going out and coming home so late almost every weekend? I mean, I don’t think I would be the kind of wife who would keep up with such a man.”
“Manto you’re still young but I’m sure when you meet your Prince Charming, you would be patient and understand. That’s how love is, patient.”
“Manto, please I’m still your mother. So I really don’t have to explain myself to OK?”
“Sorry, I was just…”
“No baby, don’t. In fact, do me a favour and focus on your studies and stay out of your elders business.”
“Fine mama, I will stay out of it. But don’t come crying to me when you finally discover this man’s true colours,” Manto stood up and walked away unhappy and mumbling to herself. “I was only trying to help but then what do I know? I’m just an immature child who knows absolutely nothing about marriage.”
Her mother stayed at the table trying to figure out what was really going on with her child.
I taught Manto better than this, she thought to herself. Why can’t she respect my marriage? What has gotten into her? Zola is a good man. He gave me another chance to build a stable home, not just for myself but for her too. She lives in a decent home with mom and dad. How ungrateful of her! I mean she has nothing good to say about him at all. No man, I think I’m too soft on this child, now she doesn’t know her place.
Those were Buyi’s thoughts.
After a couple of years the sweet life had become an aloe juice. Manto had finished her studies and was staying at home to help her mom. Buyi had taken early retirement following Zola’s orders, she was now an unhappy housewife. Her second daughter, Lisa, had just turned 5 years old. The three of them were so happy to have each other but the problem was Lisa’s dad.
Zola was a seriously heavy drinker, abusive, loud and out of control. Manto had even spotted him with young girls when she went out with her friends to different clubs, but she never said anything to her poor mom. She feared that he might hurt her if she confronted him about this. The poor girl had to keep step daddy’s little dirty secret and she hated every moment of it. There were times when Manto wouldn’t even be in the same room as him. She would give him the devil eye and storm out of the room before she exploded. She hated this man but she had to keep her mouth shut or let the monster have her mom for supper.
Yeah! Manto was right all along; this man was no good. He hit their mother every weekend and her screams had become their weekend lullaby. It was a pity that he was Lisa’s father even though she feared the heck out of him. The poor child would sometimes hide under the table or bathroom when things got really messy. Manto would have no choice but to go and shout at him if he refused to open the door. She would call the police, but the following day he would be home free.
Buyi was a vulnerable woman and her husband knew exactly which buttons to press to make her believe how sorry he was. And very soon they would kiss and makeup. Manto was now an angry child, from a sweet young lady to a hard-core bitch. As for Lisa, at school other children thought she was just a rich weirdo who didn’t enjoy other people’s company.
After years of tolerating abuse and bad treatment, Buyi decided it was unfair to her children to live like this. She told Zola she was living. Zola had a gun and was drunk as hell, threatening to kill the witch, Buyi and her daughter Manto. Lisa was old enough to know what to do. She took Manto’s phone, went to lock herself in the bathroom and phoned one of Manto’s friends.
In no time, their home was surrounded by police.
The fuming, out of control Zola was freaked out and panicking.
Lisa heard voices and ran out of the bathroom. Before he collapsed, Zola had pulled the trigger a few times. There was blood everywhere, screams and confusion. Zola was officially charged with attempted murder and murder that day. Buyi broke down in regret but it was too late. Manto was happy this man was out of their lives for good but sadly little Lisa died of a bullet shot that was not even meant for her.
Unfortunately Zola suffered a heart attack after he realised that his actions had gone this far. Father and daughter together were buried the same day. Manto decided to a write a children’s comic book with Lisa as a fairy who guarded them whenever they felt unsafe in such traumatic situations. It was named, “Have faith in Lisa the fairy”. It also contained guidelines on what to do as a child who find themselves caught up in danger. In honour of her beautiful little sister Lisa.
Tell us: Do you know stories like this in your community? Why do you think these things happen to much?