Mbali finishes cooking and dishes up for her two boyfriends. She sits on the sofa and looks at them. Sanele is silent, only Mbali and Sihlangu speak.
“Do you remember what happened the last time you spied on me? Do you remember the trouble we got into because of your jealousy? You killed an innocent man, yet here we are again in the same situation,” says Mbali.
“But the good thing this time is that this man is not innocent at all. You are both guilty, so whatever happens in this room will not happen by mistake,” says Sihlangu.
“So you want to carry on from where you left off?” says Mbali.
The situation has become tense, even a blind person could enter and feel the tension. Mbali doesn’t raise her voice, neither does Sihlangu. But there is a thick menace in their calm voices and a heavy darkness in their eyes. They maintain eye contact.
“Sihlangu, you seem to have forgotten that my family can no longer face the neighbours because you killed my childhood friend thinking he was my boyfriend,” says Mbali.
“So is that what gives you the right to frolic with any man you want in front of me? Do you call this thing a man?” He points at Sanele. “You are bringing my name down by cheating on me with this thing. So you are saying I should be happy about what you are doing, Mbali?”
Sihlangu is getting angry as he shoots off these questions to Mbali. Sanele can see sweat on Sihlangu’s forehead. Hearing about an innocent person who Sihlangu killed sends his insides churning. He can see that this situation is getting out of hand. He wishes he could just tell both of them to calm down, but he is afraid to speak. He curses the day he met Mbali. He thinks of his family, of Thembelihle, who has stuck with him despite his many faults. He thinks of his young son, Owethu, and admits he has not set a good example for him.
He realises he will die in this embarrassing situation. He thinks of the shame all of this will bring to his wife and their extended families. He wonders what Thembelihle will feel when she is woken up with the news of his death. It is only now that he remembers he is behind on his burial policy payments. He imagines his undignified funeral.
“We are in this situation because you wanted this weakling of a man who just stares into nothingness,” says Sihlangu.
Sanele’s eyes meet Mbali’s. Mbali shakes her head and Sanele can see that she is disgusted by him. Sanele no longer cares what Mbali thinks of him. His thoughts are on Thembelihle. His conscience is torn to pieces when he thinks of his wife. He realises she has been the only good honest thing in his life. She has been there through thick and thin. She has loved him in spite of his many humiliating faults. He realises that, of the many girlfriends he has, it is only his wife who truly loves him.
Sanele lets out a deep sigh as tears fill his eyes.
Tell us: Do you think imagining our deaths can help us live better lives? Why or why not?