Mimi knew what a broken heart needed; she’d had enough of her own to be an expert. And that was at least two bottles of wine, a tub of ice cream, and brownies from the French bakery down the road. She and Dineo sat on the sofa drinking wine and passing the ice cream back and forth between them.
“You know I thought this time I got lucky, he was perfect,” Dineo said.
“Yes, they all seem perfect at the beginning. That’s how this type operates. I suspect his wife is there in Joburg, waiting patiently for him to come home on the odd weekend. What an asshole!” Mimi said.
“And he’s made me into a person I swore I’d never be. I swore I would never mess around with other women’s men; I respect women too much for that. But here I am.”
“Forget about all that, it’s his problem. You need to think about your big world tour. You’re going to come back all famous. You’ll probably meet some amazing man from overseas and you’ll forget all about stupid Lame.”
Dineo nodded her head and tried to convince herself Mimi was right, but she knew in her heart she was lying. Lame was perfect, nearly. Why did he have to be married? Why?
Just then there was a knock at the door. “Who could that be?” Dineo said.
Mimi got up to answer the door and there was Angelica and … Lame! Dineo started to complain but Angelica held up her hand to stop her.
“No. Wait. I think you want to listen to this man.” She looked at Lame. “Go on then.”
“Dineo, I’m sorry you found those photos,” Lame started.
Mimi was on her feet. “Sorry she found the photos? Sorry she found the photos!? Is that what you came here to say? You might as well turn around and get out and go straight back to your wife!”
“No, Mimi. Sit and keep your large mouth closed. We must listen first, then we talk,” Angelica said. She looked at Lame to continue.
“There was a wedding, that’s what those photos are about. I got married. But I’m not married anymore. That was five years ago, the marriage only lasted two years. I didn’t tell you … I can’t even say why. I kept wanting to but I guess I was embarrassed, or maybe still hurt. I’ve tried so hard to forget about the whole ugly thing.
“Melinda messed me about for a long time. Actually I’m still messed up or I would have told you. She had an affair, or maybe it’s better to say she was having an affair, even when we got married. She thought getting married would help her to end it, but it only made things worse. I found out. It was awful. And we divorced.”
“You see?” Angelica said. “You need the whole story, though.” She looked at Lame. “Finish.”
Lame hesitated. “I know you’ve been asking me lots of questions about my family and I’ve been dodging them. It’s painful and I don’t like talking about it. But, here’s the thing. Melinda was having an affair with … with my brother, and both of my parents knew about it. But they never stopped the wedding. They hoped, like Melinda, that somehow the wedding would solve everything. My brother has problems: he’s unemployed, drinks too much, does drugs. My parents thought Melinda would see this and do the right thing. But she was in love. The only problem was she was not in love with the man she was marrying … well she is now though.”
“Are you saying your wife then married your brother?” Mimi asked.
“Yes, that’s what I’m saying. And my parents were at the wedding. I can’t seem to get past all of that. That’s why I just block it out. I try never to think about it or talk about it. And now it looks like it’s all going to mess up what we have too. ”
Dineo could see the pain on Lame’s face and she felt horrible for having jumped to conclusions. She stood up and went to him and put her arms around him.
“No. I’m sorry for not trusting you. It’s horrible what you went through! I can see why you didn’t want to tell me, why you didn’t want to say all of it, repeat all of it again, bring it all out into the light of day again. It’s OK. I do understand.”
Lame kissed her. “You’re the most amazing woman. Thank you for understanding. It’s such a relief that you finally know all of it.”
“See? I knew there was something not right,” Angelica said. “You Mimi, you always think the worst of people. I know a good man when I see one. This is a good man.”
“I think you’re right,” Mimi said. “Maybe you could find a good man for me too, what do you think?”
Angelica looked her up and down. “First we must do a bit of re-working, but yes, I have a few options. Let’s talk.”
Tell us: Do you like this twist in the plot? What would you have done if you were Lame and your family treated you like that?