I really need someone to talk to. If I have another conversation with Jayden about rips and curls and swells, I’m going to scream. Surfing is literally all he can think about. He’s become completely obsessed with it. It’s like his Joburg life isn’t real anymore. When I told him I’d had a huge fight with Amanda, all he could say was that he was sure we’d sort it out.
I wish I could talk to my mom, but she’s having a really busy week at work. After she got retrenched a couple of months ago and broke up with her horrible boyfriend Kabelo, she finally found a job in telesales. They keep asking her to do overtime and she always says yes because she wants to get promoted to an admin position like she had before.
That leaves my dad. Amanda’s and my dad. I usually see him on a Sunday when I spend time with him, Amanda, and our little brother Nick. But today Nick has a party and Amanda has gone off with Connor in a huff, so it’s just me and my father. I wasn’t really planning on telling him the whole story, but no sooner does he ask me how I am than the whole story comes pouring out.
“It’s like Jayden doesn’t even care about me anymore,” I wail as he listens sympathetically. “And now I’ve had this silly fight with Amanda, and the only one who really gets me is Tendai. I just don’t know what to do.”
After I’ve finished speaking, my dad is quiet for a while. This is one of the things I like about him. If you ask him a serious question, he never answers you immediately. He always thinks about his words before he says them.
“You know, Latoya,” he says at last. “Sixteen is way too young to get married.”
I stare at him in astonishment. “What do you mean?”
“I mean you don’t have to make a permanent commitment to someone right now. If you and Jayden are growing apart or you’ve met someone you like better, you’re allowed to break it off with him. It’s normal to have a number of relationships while you’re growing up.”
“But,” he carries on sternly, “you have to be honest about it. You can’t keep Jayden hanging on a string while you’re making up your mind about Tendai. If you want to explore your feelings for Tendai you have to break it off with Jayden first.”
At the thought of breaking up with Jayden, the tears come to my eyes again. And I speak without thinking.
“But, hang on,” I say to my dad. “That’s exactly what you did. You had an affair with my mom while you were still married to Amanda’s mom!”
He looks up at me in shock…
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Does Latoya’s dad have the right to preach about honesty when he had an affair himself, or does that make him a hypocrite?