“Things have changed now Charlie. I’m sorry for doing this to you, but I cannot be with you anymore, I love someone else.”

“What are you really saying to me, Cindy? Are you breaking up with me, are you forgetting that we made a promise to each other that we would always stick with one another in hard times and good?”

Cindy takes off Charlie’s marriage ring and puts it on the table and tells him that she’s done with trying to put up with him: she’s tired of waiting.

Charlie is not working and Cindy has been the only one putting food on the table and she feels that this is not what she signed up for when she married him (Charlie was working then, but now he has turned into an alcoholic because of his distress of having difficulties in finding a job) and the only reason Cindy stood there for him was not that she was supportive to her husband, it was for their daughter’s sake. She didn’t want Amanda to grow without her real father. She still had some love for him, but without enough money for the family, Cindy feels there is no future for her and Charlie, and especially now that he’s become an alcoholic. Things are worse, Charlie comes home and talks a lot, and this is not taking them anywhere, because Charlie talks more and does less about the situation he’s in.

“Cindy, how could you break up with me? You think you are better now?” he asks discourteously.

“You know what Charlie? it’s over. I want a divorce and I’m leaving today, I’m tired of you, and you have no right to question me, look at you, what happened to the man I married? You are drunk even now. These days I barely even talk with you because of the alcoholic smell, it’s disgusting.”

Charlie listens carefully to those harsh insulting words from his wife. He looks at himself and turns his eyesight to look at Cindy. His anger is growing with the harsh words that have made him feel less of a man, demoralized.

“You know what Cindy…I don’t have time for this, I’m going to bed, we’ll talk tomorrow, I don’t want to hit you because I can see you’ve lost your respect for me.”

Cindy has never been threatened with a beating before, she had now really confirmed that Charlie had changed, in her minds it was better for her daughter, Amanda to grow up without her biological father, but rather the new boyfriend she’s thinking of moving to when she leaves Charlie.

“Well sorry Charlie, we won’t have time tomorrow, I’m leaving now, to take a break, maybe in few weeks’ time, expect to receive some divorce papers. I have had it with you, after everything we’ve been through together, you’re promising me with a beating?”

“Cindy, are you leaving me because I’m not working or have you found a new man in your life?” Charlie enquires.

With guilt she says, “I’ll come back once you have gotten a job, I think the fact that I’m the only one working here is making you not take your job hunt seriously.”

Charlie then loses his temper and slaps Cindy, she tries to resist it by ducking, but she was too late, it had reached her cheeks and she fall down instantly. Charlie then kicks her at her stomach while she’s down and he turns back and looks at the window, trying to calm his anger, his voice roaring.

Cindy is still lying on the floor, with blood on her mouth and tears coming out so heavily on her face that she’s drenched her whole face with them.

“Charlie! Help please…I’m pregnant.” She says.

“What Cindy?! I’m sorry baby, I’m really sorry, why are you telling me this now?” Charlie begins to cry. Oh my God, baby, you concealed this from me!” He says angrily and he rushes and takes her to the nearest hospital.

When Charlie reaches the hospital, it’s too late, Cindy is gone, she is dead, both her and unborn baby which she had kept as a secret to surprise Charlie on her birthday. Her birthday was going to be in two days’ time.

She had planned that even though they were going through a rough patch, she was going to tell Charlie about the baby and then divorce him if he did not take his responsibilities of taking care of the family, if he still failed to change.

At the hospital Charlie is crying, he is confused at what he’s going to tell Amanda, their daughter and when he is arrested for violence who is going to take care of her. His mind is abstracted

After a long day, he finally arrives home and calls Amanda. “My girl, I’m really sorry…but….your mother is dead.” He says, his mouth shivering.

“No! How, daddy?” A tear glitters on her face.

Charlie decides that telling her the truth is too much to handle, and she would hate him her whole life, she would reject him as a father when she’s grown. He then deceives her.

“Your mother died to have a miscarriage, baby.” He says.

“Mommy was having a baby, daddy?” Amanda asks.

“Yes my girl, but I also didn’t know, baby. I only found out at the hospital that mommy was carrying a baby,” he says with tears on his face.

Then, as he was explaining, he hears a knock on his door. He then tells Amanda that she must go to Aunt Phumzile, he then gives her money.

Because of the delay in opening the door, someone breaks it, when Charlie takes a look, it’s the police, ready and armed. They quickly go to him and in a manhandling, rough they handcuff him and arrest him.

“Sir, you are under arrest for breaking the law and abusing the rights of the victimized, and anything you say right now will be used against you in the court of law. If you cannot afford a lawyer, the state will provide you but right now you have a right to remain silent.”

“Wait, wait! What about my daughter? Charlie enquired.

The policeman. “Don’t worry, she’ll be taken good care of with a much more deserving family and foster father.”

“No! You cannot do this, please!” Charlie cries out.

The police shove him in the van and the car leaves.

Tell us what you think: Can you relate to this story?