In 2014, after working at Langa police station for 10 years, I was transferred to Mfuleni police station. In all those years I wore my uniform with pride and never regretted my decision to become a policeman.
My father had been diagnosed with lung cancer in the previous year. The doctors said he had less than 6 months to live. My mother tried to convince my father to consult one of the best doctors for treatment but my father refused. He was at peace with his fate.
I moved back home after my transfer to Mfuleni police station. I helped my mother look after my father – he was in excruciating pain but insisted that he would rather die in his home than in a hospital. One day he became so ill that we had no choice but to take him to the hospital.
My mother and I sat by my father’s bedside. My mother held my father’s hand.
“Don’t cry, mamCirha. I have lived a happy life and now my time has come. Sonny, look after your mother. I am in pain, but I am leaving this world a happy man. I have my beautiful wife and lovely son next to me,” my father said quietly.
I stroked my mother’s back as she started sobbing.
“But, Sonny, you are not getting any younger. You need to find yourself a wife. You can’t keep on changing girlfriends like you change your underwear,” he continued.
Then he began coughing painfully and uncontrollably. When he stopped, he peacefully closed his eyes never to open them again.
My father’s death affected me a great deal because I still looked up to him for guidance: I felt he was taken away from me too soon.
He was laid to rest in Peddie in the Eastern Cape next to my grandfather and grandmother. We came back to Cape Town after the funeral but it didn’t feel the same without my father. We were missing his loud laughter, that shook the walls of the room.
Another thing was gnawing me: He and my mother had often asked me when I was planning to get married, but now he was gone before I had fulfilled his hope.
“Take care of yourself, my son,” My mother said. She hugged me.
I was leaving my mother alone in the house to rent a flat I had found in Blue Downs. I felt guilty for leaving her when she needed me the most.
“Are you going to be alright, Ma? I can stay for a few days if you would like,” I said.
“I will be fine, my son. Don’t worry about me, just go and arrest those criminals. Though if I had a grandchild playing around, this house wouldn’t feel so quiet,” she said.
“Mama, please don’t start. You know having a child before marriage is against the Bible’s teachings,”
I said, hiding behind 1 Corinthians 6: 18–20 as if I was without this sin.
“The apple truly doesn’t fall too far from the tree. You always have something to say, just like your father. Seriously though, don’t worry about me, I will be fine. Besides, Blue Downs is less than twenty minutes away, you can visit me any time,” my mother said.
“Okay Ma, take care. I will see you next weekend,” I said on my way out.
On the way to Blue Downs I stopped at Zevenwacht Mall to grab myself something to eat. I was tired and not in the mood to cook. I went to Steers and bought myself a brisket and quarter chicken meal. On my way out a woman who had all her attention on her phone bumped into me, almost causing me to drop my food.
“Hey! look where you are going, maarn,” I said.
“Sorry Bhuti!” She apologised. “Hayi, you look familiar. Do I know you from somewhere?”
I was already walking away when she asked. I turned around and there she was standing a few feet away from me.
“Thabisa?” I said. My heart was pounding so hard I could hardly breathe.
“Simphiwe? Yoh! What are the odds!” Thabisa said. She looked surprised and happy to see me.
“Those who have met will meet again,” I muttered.
I couldn’t hide how happy I was to meet Thabisa again. God knows how much I had searched for her.
Tell us: Do you believe in love at first sight? What is Simphiwe basing his feelings for Thabisa on?