One day my father had not been at the office the whole day, and no one knew where he was, not even my mother. After hours he called us all to the house, he sat us all down with some important news.
“Oratile Diamonds is on the verge of bankruptcy,” he said and my heart started racing. I started fidgeting. I wanted him to finish what he had to say.
“I was in a meeting with Sandile the whole day. He has an idea how to save the company and he wants help from me,” he paused.
“Dad what’s wrong? This sounds like it’s weighing on you?” Sicelo asked and I couldn’t even say anything. This was weighing on me too as I remembered my conversation with Nomtha.
“Sandile Zimba, a brilliant businessman, thought of an idea. A merger between the two companies.” my father said.
However, my father, a proud, conservative man, wanted the two families to be in a union beyond business. Sandile’s only daughter, Nomtha, was to marry one of his sons. I rejoiced at the sound of the news.
“So who is she going to marry?” I asked with a hint of excitement in my voice. It made sense that Nomtha married me. My brother was 12 years her senior.
No, she was going to marry Sicelo. My older brother, the one my father groomed to take over the business. The golden boy was once more getting everything. I remember that moment like it was yesterday, my blood boils just thinking about it.
“We have decided that Sicelo is to marry Nomtha. This is to strengthen our relationship and business partnership. As you all know Sicelo will take over after me as he is CEO now is going to head the company as president and Nomtha is the sole heir of Oratile Diamonds. Sandile is also grooming her for a takeover of the company. It makes sense that they wed and lead us into the future.”
My father’s words echo in my head every time I think about that day. I wanted to jump up and protest the decision, but on what grounds?
“I would be honoured, father,” Sicelo said as if he were in an episode of Game of Thrones. “Aren’t you happy for me, little bro,” he said with a wide smile on his face.
And I had to swallow all my pain and smile as if I was, “I have no reason not to be,” I said with a forced smile.
My father proceeded to explain the marriage and merger. “This will create a good image for both companies and the merger will make more sense to the respective boards if it is beyond the world of business.”
I heard all he said, but all I could think about was Nomtha. I called Nomtha to try to convince her to run away with me. We were young, educated, we could get a job anywhere. And I had enough to sustain us for a while we looked for employment.
“Come with me,” I said on the call. My voice was cracking. In the back of my mind I knew one of the things that made me love Nomtha was going to work against us this moment.
“I can’t leave my family, this is an opportunity for my family to keep the company afloat and it’s on me. I don’t have the privilege to up and leave,” she said.
I could hear she was sobbing. I loved that she was family- oriented, and here it was working against us. I wished she was selfish at this moment, I wished she just put her happiness first.
“So you’re going to leave the relationship you didn’t want ending up as a business arrangement for a business arrangement?”
“It’s not that simple Luu and you know it,”
“No, I don’t. All I know is you’re leaving me,”
“Luphelo please stop,” she said crying.
I did stop but the pain didn’t. I didn’t understand why she was doing this.
“If you let go, I’ll abide. It doesn’t feel right but you sound like you’ve made up your mind,” I said in hopes that she’d change her mind, but she didn’t so I hung up the phone.
Tell us: What do you think of the news that Nomtha and Sicelo are to be married?