“Jesus Christ, Zola! Sit down. How many times have I said I am sorry? How am I going to correct the mistakes if you don’t give me a chance?” Andile said, shouting.

I was trembling now. His mother was crying and pleading for him to stop shouting.

“Please Zola, you have to listen to us my girl. Come home. Do you see him? He is a mess, he needs you. You know he will destroy his own life without you by his side to guide him. Please.” she said, touching my shoulder. I looked down.

“Please Ma. I need everyone to understand that I don’t owe Andile anything. He walked out on me. He decided that he doesn’t want me and everyone took his side. There was never a meeting to talk some sense into Andile, I was the outcast. Only Nobuntu stayed in touch. Now…” I paused, feeling tears threatening to fall. Andile’s mom kept wiping her eyes next to me.

“Now, it’s like I am the unforgiving, bitter one. I loved Andile and he broke my heart, my trust and spit in my face. I will never forgive him for that. So just like the stranger that I had become before this meeting, please treat me as such going forward. I will never be part of this family again. You didn’t treat me like your daughter when you should have, and now that it’s suit you… Now you want me back? No. I am done with your son and with all of you.” I said and stood up angrily.

Andile walked in as I was packing and sat at the edge of the bed. I wasn’t even interested in what he had to say. I couldn’t find my car keys. I was sure I had left them on the bed.

“My keys. I left my keys here,” I said, unwrapping the head-scarf I was wearing. He looked at me and didn’t say a word at first.

“I have the keys. I don’t think you can drive while you are like this though. You are too angry and I don’t believe that you just spoke like that in front of my family. You broke my mother’s heart, Zola,” he said.

Before I could reply we heard screams. He ran out and I followed closely. Andile’s father and brother walked out carrying his mother. One of the aunts rushed out with a grass mat and a pillow.

“What’s going on? Ma? Ma?” Andile said, almost crying.

“Your mom’s had a heart attack,” Nobuntu said, touching her wrist and checking for a pulse.

“It is all your wife’s fault. Mama was fine,” Khaya said, in a hushed tone.

Babomdala was starting the car and they were still debating whether to wait for the ambulance or not. I stood there frozen.

“Masha…shandu…you have to… co… Come…home…to…Andi… le…” she said then inhaled deeply.

It felt like there was a struggle between life and death. There was a horrible noise from her chest and then there was nothing. Nobuntu knew that it was over, she saw this at the hospital every day. She closed her eyes and a loud wail from Andile father’s encored in the whole yard. It was the scariest sound I had even heard. It sent shivers down my spine and I had goose bumps all over. I could see everyone reacting around me but I just stood there.

I saw them covering her with the sheet. The aunts were wailing and the grandparents sat down on the floor, looking on in shock. I saw Andile leading his father indoors and the ambulance finally arriving and the siren deafening everyone’s ears.


Tell us: What do you think of MaMkhize’s sudden death? Will the rest of the family blame Zola too?