Mathabo’s world was about to crumble at her feet … but she couldn’t let it happen. Her boyfriend – the first and last boyfriend she ever had – was about to leave her … for a girl whose mother stole her own father!
Mathabo couldn’t lose him. He was her rock; her pillar of strength. Peter was the one who filled the void that was left by her father some months ago, when things were bitter between her parents.
I might have let my father go, but I am prepared to fight for Peter until hell freezes, Mathabo swore silently. She was at her desk, head in hands, not realising that the teacher’s eyes were on her.
“Mathabo! Tell us the answer,” the teacher commanded, and all eyes turned on her, silently. “Mathabo!” he shouted again, banging the front desk.
The class erupted with laughter as Mathabo trembled with fear, her eyes bulging, as she returned from dreamland.
“What’s wrong with you, ngwanyana? Where is your mind? Do you have family problems? Did you forget to buy food for your children?”
Cruel laughter erupted in the classroom again.
“Or maybe your husband didn’t sleep at home last night?” the teacher continued, standing in front of Mathabo’s desk with a wrinkled forehead.
He must have known that his last words stirred a well of pain in her heart. He knew about her family matters because it was what everybody was gossiping about. He was purposely trying to embarrass her.
Hatred painted her heart black and she wanted nothing but revenge, her chest burning with anger. She glared at the teacher with glowing eyes. Why was he humiliating her in front of the whole class, she wondered, remembering how her own father had done the same to her and her mother.
Perhaps it was a men’s thing? They all were the same: trying to hurt women, she thought, not hearing another word from the man’s mouth. All she could see were his fat lips, moving between his bushy, grey beard and moustache.
“Why!? Why are you staring at me like that?” Mr Lebone leaned forward, his hands pressed on the desk, covering Mathabo’s face with his heavy breath.
“No, Sir. You can’t talk to me like that.”
The whole class went quiet, staring at her with disbelief.
“Mmm!? What did you say?” Mr Lebone was also shocked.
“You can’t speak to me like that, Sir. You are trying to make fun of me in front of the whole class, mos,” she fumed, standing up.
Mr Lebone frowned as he straightened up, taking off his black jacket. “Oh! Now you want to fight me? Mmm? You want to fight, girl?” he fumed, folding his arms.
The class was still; some had already forgotten that they had their phones in hand, ready to film.
“Okay, bring it on. You’re a woman now, right? Go on, hit me!” he said, spraying saliva over her face.
Mathabo breathed deeply, her fists clenched, fuming. Yes, she wanted to punch him. Hard. On his dark face.
Just like she should have done that day when her father said he was leaving them. The pain was still fresh in her heart. In fact, it was as if it was mounted there with screws and nails and there was nothing she could do to get rid of it. The man she had seen as her hero had abandoned her and her mother for another woman. A cheap drunkard woman, and the teacher was making fun of it.
Hot tears stung Mathabo’s eyes when she remembered that day. She started sobbing, grabbed her school bag, rushed towards the door. The teacher called after her but she didn’t stop. Instead she started running; running away from him, for her own sake. She knew she would do something terrible if she stayed in that class. Not that she wasn’t tempted to give the teacher a warm clap; she was, but didn’t want to be recorded fighting with teachers.
Not before she had fought for her man. Not before she had taught the girl who was trying to steal him a lesson. Kedibone had to pay!
Mathabo’s tall and slender body shivered with rage as she tiptoed behind the security guard’s hut, ensuring that she wasn’t seen. He wouldn’t open the gate without a pass, no matter what lie she came up with. But it didn’t take long before a white van arrived and hooted, the guard came running, and slid open the gate. As he went back into his office to get a register, Mathabo sneaked out.
The driver called after her but she paid no notice. She knew the security had no power over her outside the yard. She wanted nothing more to do with that hated school.
Tell us: At this point what do you think of Mathabo? Do you admire her or not? Could she lay a complaint about the teacher’s remarks?