Her aunt laughed softly, “You forget how paper-thin these walls are. That is how I always knew when the girls were planning something mischievous. Besides, what married woman just takes off in the morning to go home and leaves her husband behind?”

“I forgot how it is impossible to get some privacy in this house,” she said to her aunt bluntly.

Her aunt raised one eyebrow and gave her a reprimanding look. It was the same look she gave her daughter when she was getting out of her hand.

“I am sorry. I guess, there is nothing more to tell than you already know. He wants a divorce because he is no longer happy with me,” she said.

“A divorce is not a decision that is just made overnight, my child. There were no indications that you were having problems. Just last Christmas you had us at your home and could not keep your hands off each other,” her aunt said still giving her a stern gaze.

“Well, I guess one of his New Year’s resolutions was to leave behind everything that has been holding him back. Evidently I am one of those hindrances,” Portia said to her aunt and looked away.

“I do not know about these resolution things you youngsters do. If there is one thing I am very sure of, is that you are refusing to tell me the complete truth. Nonhlakanipho, I know you like to keep to yourself but I have never given you a reason not to trust me,” her aunt said now rubbing her hand.

Portia looked at her aunt and she was right. She had a solid bond with her aunt, more so than with her sisters. She could feel her body get tense. She took a deep breath and carried on speaking with her aunt.

“He never loved me and neither did I. Our relationship was like a business transaction and I remained committed to this venture. Through time he sought others that satisfied his other needs and wants. Now we are getting divorced and he gets to a huge chunk of my money,” she spoke with a glacial expression.

“Nonhlakanipho, if love was never a part of the relationship, why marry the man?” She asked.

She sat there looking at her aunt without speaking for a few minutes. She felt a surge of emotions overtaking her body. Her heart beat rapidly and she could no longer stop the tears from running down her face. Her lips were quivering, her voice trembling and she carried on talking to her aunt.

“I put on an unnecessary show far too long but I had no other choice. You and dad asked me frequently how I could live in such a huge house with no husband or children. So I decided to marry the first man whom I could dominate – just to fulfil these expectations,” she said crying.

Her words echoed in the lounge. Her aunt sat there feeling incredibly guilty as she listened to her niece pour her heart out. Even though they were so close, Portia had never let anyone see her being vulnerable.

“I will admit I treated that man very poorly and I should not be surprised that he is leaving me. But I do not deserve this – sitting here being a failure and soon to be a mockery. Only after 5 years of marriage the world will know me as umabuya emendweni, a divorcee,” she said to her aunt sobbing.

“People will always talk – let them shout if they like. You have achieved so many things in your life that you should not see yourself as a failure. You must not let such trivial things get to you; you never have before,” her aunt said stroking her hand.

Portia did not say anything and just continued to snuffle.


Tell us what you think: Do you think people get judged when they divorce?