“Why Papa? Why did Mma die in that accident? I’m now living like a slave in my own parents’ house. Why?”

“Shhh! Don’t cry. I know I shouldn’t have allowed your Auntie to come and stay here with us. I regret that. But you know how sick I was. I needed someone to take care of us and I thought she was the best person because she was your mother’s sister. I didn’t think that she could do this to her own sister’s child. Please forgive me son,” he said.

“Tell her to leave, Papa. Tell her to leave!”

“I wish I could, son. But she has all my bank cards. Anyway, if she leaves, who will take care of me when you’re at school? Just look at me. I’m stuck in this wheelchair. I’m always locked in the house like a tamed animal. Just listen to her and stop playing soccer, my child. Focus on your studies so that you can pass your Matric and go to university.”

“But it’s not soccer that makes me fail, Papa. It’s the life that I’m living in this house that disturbs me. All the hard work that I’m doing,” Ace sighed.

“Oh my poor child. I’m really sorry. If only I could walk.”

Ace felt his heart sink deep inside him when he saw his father’s distress. He stood up and pushed Ramello to his bedroom. In the kitchen, Ace could hear his aunt and cousin chatting, laughing as if nothing had happened. He helped his father into bed and went back to his room. Tearfully, he plunged his body onto the bed, wincing from his sore back.

He started thinking over his problems, once again. He knew he had to leave this house if he wanted to live his life better. But where could he go? He had no other relative left; only Aunt Mampe. Perhaps God was trying to tell him that he should take Bra Themba’s offer, he thought, but then remembered his father. How could he leave his father alone with a witch like Mampe?

Well, his father would have to forgive him. He resolved that he wasn’t staying in this house any more. With that thought, Ace shoved his clothes in a bag, sneaked out of the house and headed to Thabo’s place.


Tell us: Is Ace right to leave his father at the mercy of Mampe?