Carol and Zodwa didn’t know what to say, as the man sat there with teary eyes. After what seemed like an eternity, Carol finally spoke.

“It’s not about learning from your mistakes sometimes, but learning from the mistakes of others,” she said as she stood up to give the man a hug.

Jacob felt a huge weight lifting off his shoulders. He thanked Carol and gave Zodwa a hug too. He then took out a letter from his pocket and handed it to Carol.

“Please take this to the address that’s on the envelope,” Jacob said looking hopeful.

“But why can’t you take it, Jacob?” asked Carol, once again confused.

“I’m going straight to the police office to hand myself over. So I need you to deliver this letter for me. I’d greatly appreciate it.” He looked sincere and hopeful. He was a different from the one that had walked through Carol’s door. She agreed to take the letter for him and Jacob went to hand himself over.

The following day Carol and Zodwa went to the address to deliver the letter. It was a very big house, compared to the little shack they called home. Carol knocked and a woman opened. She announced that she was sent by Jacob Mogale to deliver a letter and the woman invited them in. They all sat down and the woman read the letter silently. Tears were falling down her face as she read the letter.

When she was done she thanked Carol and Zodwa for bringing the letter and she got up and hugged them. She then introduced herself as Pearl, Jacob’s wife. She told Carol how her husband was a slave to alcohol and because of that he had become abusive. Carol asked why she never left him and Pearl simply answered, “A woman plays a vital role in a man’s life. Understanding why people do the things they do makes it a bit easier to deal with them. Jacob was hiding his pain and as the closest person to him, I got the hardest knocks.”

She went on to explain how after the accident that killed Jacob’s parents, Jacob had to live with his aunt and abusive uncle who beat him up every day. Even though that was no excuse, as a wife she chose to see the good in her husband. Pearl also told Carol that the guy who killed his parents killed himself after Jacob refused to forgive him. So even though he didn’t talk about it, but it was eating him inside. Then she got up and went to make some tea.


Tell us what you think: How important is forgiveness? Why do you think some other women chose to stay in abusive relationships?