She stayed in hospital on life support for four weeks. And then the doctors woke her up. She was still in critical condition but at least she could see who I was and where she was.
Eventually she was discharged after two months. I had already told her about her aunt’s death and she was devastated. We buried her shortly after Zandile was released from hospital. Her little brother had to move in with us as he had nobody else to stay with.
She was in a wheelchair so there was little she could do around the house. I called my mother to come help. She came and took care of the household while I was in work. Someone had to keep the cash flowing in.
Zandile recovered. It was not a complete recovery but she was better. Even though she was she was the same person physically, emotionally she was different. She was short tempered and she hardly said anything to me.
One day at work I encountered another problem. It turned out that the China project my boss had gotten was through fraud and corruption. Everyone who was involved in it was going to be reprimanded. I was suspended from work while investigations were done. I and the seven other people that had led the project were asked to return a portion of the money we had received from the project. If you didn’t have it, jail was the next option.
I had already spent the money on the house, kids and Zandile’s hospital fees. I couldn’t go to jail. My parents were already living on their pension money. I had to sell the house and the cars. As the process of the sale of the house was being done, Zandile served me divorce papers.
She had been paying for everything for the duration of the investigation and she was tired of it.
“I can’t do this anymore! I do everything for this family. A lot has happened and I don’t need to support a criminal as well.”
She called me a criminal!
“But I’m not a criminal. How can you even call me that?” I said shocked. I was hurt more than anything. But I wasn’t shocked enough, because her next statement shocked me even more.
“You killed my sister,” she screamed.
“What! What are you talking about?”
“My sister! Sphesihle, the one who committed suicide because of you! I am talking about my sister who killed herself after you dumped her. After you played her like you did with all the other girls,”
Zandile was really angry. I had never seen her like this. I stood there with my eyes closed trying to breakdown what she was saying to me. How could this be possible? Was there any truth in this? As I tried to think, my mind kept telling me that there must be a mistake.
Tell us what you think: Should a person be held responsible when someone commits suicide because of them?