Pinky got out of the taxi and slowly walked to her mother’s house. The neighbourhood was still the same and she was greeted by familiar faces. The closer she got to her mother’ house, she was shocked by the less than desirable condition it was in. What was once a place she called home now stood a cold, dilapidated hollowed nest right in front of her eyes. She reluctantly opened the gate and made her way to the kitchen door.
She had some fear in her heart since the last time she was here, she was being thrown out for everyone to see. Nevertheless, she kept the image of her children in mind so as not lose focus. She stood outside of the kitchen door and saw her mother. As per usual, she was asleep and slouching at the kitchen table after her afternoon tea. Pinky took a deep breath and knocked on the door loudly. Her mother was awoken by the startling brash knocks.
“I have come for my children,” she said looking inside the kitchen.
Her mother raised her head, she squinted, trying to make out the blurry image that stood in front of the door. Her eyes widened to see her estranged daughter again after such a long time.
“You know very well that standing in front of the door like that is a bad omen. You are blocking the way for our ancestors. I already have enough misfortune in my life, and I do not need anymore. Come in,” she said pointing at the chair in front of her.
She opened the door and was confronted by an overwhelming stench of paraffin. She took a few more glances and saw the trail of breadcrumbs around the cracked-open bread tin. Onion peels were scattered across the floor, which looked like it had not been scrubbed in a long time. Seeing all of this fuelled her fire and she did not intend to leave this house without her children.
She sat down across the table from her mother. “Where are they?”
Her mother sat up straight, twiddled her thumbs and looked at her disappointedly. She starred at her daughter as if she was speaking a foreign language.
“Mam’Ndlovu, I did not come here to argue with you again. I just want my children,” she said repeatedly.
“Ish dade mame! That is very lovely! You have come for your children and where have you been in past three months? Listen here girly, I was able to raise my own children. I am certainly not raising yours while you are out there gallivanting,” she said now banging her hand hard on the table.
“Perhaps Mama has forgotten that it was grandmother that raised us for the most part. It is also not my wish to have you raise my children. Where are they? It is Saturday, they do not have school today,” she said looking around.
“Mameshane, my goodness! That mouth of yours is the reason why I told you to leave in the first place! You thought because you finally had a job, I will dance to the beat of your drum! I would never tolerate such disrespect under my roof,” she said looking at her.
“I respect your decision and I have my own house now. The only thing that is missing is my children.
Her mother’s eyes opened more widely. She clapped once, just like how she did with the other mamas in the taxi. Pinky was not taken aback by all of this. She was not planning on backing down either. The two women faced each other as if they were preparing for a war.
“Who do you think you are, speaking to me like I am a hired nanny? I used the very little money I earn to take care of my grandchildren and this is how you thank me? I do not know what I did wrong in life to have you and your brother as children,” she said, beginning to cry.
“Honestly, we ask ourselves the very same question. What kind of mother throws out her children as if they were rubbish? You have not seen your own child in two years, he could be dead in prison for all you know. You still punish me for falling pregnant and tarnishing your good church reputation!” Pinky said with so much hurt in her voice.
Truth be told, her mother was not delighted by the news of her pregnancy. Her high school sweetheart; Sizwe, took her virginity and then blessed her with twins. Her mother demanded that they go to his family to ask them to pay for inhlawulo, damages. Sizwe denied being the father, let alone being in a relationship with her. From that day onwards, her mother brought this up whenever they had a spat.
“Sibusiso knew very well what he was getting himself into when he committed that crime. I do not breed thieves, and he can rot in jail as far as I am concerned. You, are just another disappointment. You could have had such a bright future, but no. You decided to open your legs at such a young age. Sies,” she said hissing at her and now crying hysterically.
Pinky just sat there expressionless. She watched her mother belt the tears out but she felt nothing. She kept her cool until her mother stopped and began to wipe her tears with the tip of her blouse.
“Are you finally going to tell me where my children are? Would you rather I ask the neighbours instead, the same people who watched you toss me out of the house? Is that what you prefer, since we are clearly not getting anywhere here?” She asked stone-cold.
“We have no electricity and I sent them to get some candles at the tuckshop up the road. They should be on their way back now. But if you think I am just going to sit here and allow you to take them, then you must be daydreaming,” said her mother pointing at her with her index finger.
“If you think, I am going to leave this house alone, then I guess we are both daydreaming,” said Pinky folding her arms.
The two women sat across each other from the table without another word spoken. They waited for the twins to come back. By the end of the afternoon, it was going to be clear as day, who was the one daydreaming.
Tell us what you think: Do you think Pinky will get her kids?