As expected, Jade began to feel lonesome. Ten years had passed by since the death of his wife and he was never interested in any other woman. But a beautiful, well figured girl by the name of Sphiwe captured his attention. She was the new girl working in Mrs Oosthuizen’s kitchen. A bit young for him but very vibrant, she came all the way from Soweto in Gauteng Province.

He would always find her talking to his daughter. She was kind to her. She would ask her how school was that day and always offered her ice-cream or juice, while she waited for him in the kitchen.

What Jade didn’t know was that it was her way of getting in his good books, nevertheless it melted his heart to the very deep core. Without any hesitation, he confessed his love to her. She was taken aback but then admitted that she felt the same way. All that was left was to share the news with his daughter but he worried how she would take it. But to his surprise, she took it pretty well and did not mind Sphiwe moving in.

For a while they enjoyed some time together as a happy family or so it seemed, until Sphiwe announced her pregnancy. She began to complain about how Jade gave his undivided attention to Gift as if she was his girlfriend. Out of envy, she began pushing her around.

She would force her to clean whenever Jade left for work but when he was home she put on a fake motherly act. Gift, caring the way she did for her father, allowed the abuse to go on a little longer. She was scared to tear her father’s relationship apart.

She prayed about Sphiwe’s treatment every night before she slept. Sometimes she found it hard to sleep when she thought of the kind of things she said whenever she was certain no one was listening.

“Argh, it’s not anybody’s problem that you are a bloody retard. Whoever broke that hand of yours must do us all a favour and break your entire body!” she would hiss at her.

Gift would cry at her hurtful words.

“Hey there is no crying in here, do you see your mother anywhere? Your mother is dead girly and nobody cares about your stupid tears.”

She was around eight months pregnant when her abusive behaviour went from bad to worse. Each and every day Gift prepared herself for a beating and shoving around before and after she came back from school.

She would force her to wash her underwear and her feet and she had to make sure the house was squeaky clean. She always made sure to remind her that she was not the one who broke her hand so Gift must keep in mind that she didn’t care if she could not hold the broom with both her hands.

Every night when Jade arrived home, Sphiwe would act so lovingly and kind towards Gift, showering her with compliments, offering to do the dishes for her. Sometimes she would encourage Jade to save enough for Gift so she could be able to attend a private school for needy kids like her.

Finally she gave birth to a baby boy, a light in complexion, green eyed little man who looked nothing like his supposed father. When Jade first held him he didn’t need to be told that the child belonged to none other than his own boss, Mr Calvin Oosthuizen.

Out of fear of causing havoc and distress and also losing his job, Jade kept the pain he carried within. He tried his level best to do whatever it took to meet the child’s needs yet sometimes he found it so hard to even look at the child. The child grew up to resemble his real father in so many ways possible.

After giving birth, Sphiwe had decided that she was no longer going to work at the Oosthuizen farm, in fear that Mrs Oosthuizen would figure out what had been going on in her house all along. Even so she enjoyed the stares and praises people threw in her direction asking about the handsome little fella with green eyes. She remembered that before she got pregnant, she also slept with one of her previous coloured boyfriends.

Life at the house was becoming too much for her. All she dreamt of was herself in the city with a rich boyfriend who will drive her around in a car with her little Jaden. She would ask herself why on earth she allowed that fool to give her child such a stupid name whenever people asked why he did not resemble his father.

***

Tell us what you think: What would you do if you were Jade?