It’s been three years since Sibusiso and Ntombi got married. Their marriage had a short honeymoon phase; cracks are starting to show. In these three years they have been blessed with twins, Aphiwe and Simphiwe.

Sbusiso has progressed at work and been promoted to national manager at Beta Lift Maintenance. He is chilling in the lounge with his friend, Muzi. 

“Hey, Sbu. Where is Ntombi? I haven’t seen her in a while. Even when I arrived yesterday afternoon she wasn’t here. Has she found a job?” says Muzi.

Sbusiso exhales long and slow. “Ntombi went out on a girl’s trip with her friends. I’m getting worried because I can’t reach her on her cell phone.” He grabs the remote control and changes the channel.

“But how can you allow something like that to happen? Worst of all, it is midweek. Children have to go to creche and you have to go to work!”

“I know that! Why are we even talking about this when we should be watching this football match?”

“Don’t get me wrong, Sbu. I’m just worried that you are taking too many days off from work. All because Ntombi went away to enjoy herself with her friends? When did she leave?” Muzi looks straight into Sbu’s eyes.

“It’s been eight days,” says Sbu. He grabs a glass of cold water and drinks.

“So when was the last time you spoke to her?”

“Women have rights, Muzi. I love Ntombi very much, her happiness comes first.”

“It’s good that you have no problem looking after your children. You enjoy taking care of them very much. Be that as it may, it is not right for Ntombi to leave her family for so long. She is a married woman.”

“You are right but I’m also right when I say her happiness comes first.” 

“I hear you, Sbu. And I can’t argue with that.”

Thoughts play out in Sbu’s mind. He may not say it but Ntombi going away on a girl’s trip and not answering her cell phone for so long has him worried. He wonders what Ntombi is thinking by disappearing when she knows that their children need her. He needs his wife to carry on her duties because he is the only one working in this household. He can’t go to work and take care of the children and the household on his own.

Could it be that Ntombi was lying when she said she was going on a girl’s trip? No, I better not think that because she knows how much I love her. These are the thoughts playing in Sbu’s head as he watches TV.

“Why are you so quiet, Sbu?” Muzi inquires.

“It’s that I am thinking—”

“You are thinking what, my love?” Ntombi asks, as she enters through the open lounge door. She walks over to Sbu, kisses him and says, “Oh how I missed you, my love!”

“I missed you too, Ntombi,” says Sbu. 

“How can you miss me when you have Muzi keeping you company?” She turns and looks at Muzi coldly. “How are you, Muzi?”

“I’m well, Ntombi. I was just a bit worried that you left my friend all alone to look after the children and deal with the heavy workload we are experiencing at—”

“Don’t you dare go there, Muzi. Stay out of our business.”

“Hawu Ntombi, my love!?”

“No, Sbu! Muzi must know he has no right to comment on what goes on in our household. Anyway, I’m back now so he can go,” says Ntombi.

“Don’t do this, Ntombi. Muzi is my friend and you must respe—”

“Relax, Sbu. I was on my way out anyway. I’ll see you at the office in the morning.” Muzi takes his laptop bag and leaves.

“Nx! Muzi likes putting his nose in other people’s business,” says Ntombi.

“Please stop being like this, Ntombi.”

“Like what, Sbu? Where are my children?”

“In creche. Have you forgotten that today is Wednesday?”

“No, I haven’t forgotten.”

Sbu is having doubts about Ntombi as he is driving to pick up his children. He is thinking of a way to find out if she is telling the truth when she says she was on a girl’s trip.

“I’ll just ask to see photos of the girls’ trip. But I know Ntombi. She will shout at the top of her voice asking if I don’t trust her. I’m in no mood for her tantrums,” Sbu whispers in his car.

Tell us: Why do you think Ntombi wasn’t answering her phone while she was away?