The midday sun is out and blazing hot. A car banging loud house music stops at the gate of Wandile’s house. Wandile kisses Mzi and staggers out. As he drives off she sees the yard is full of people.
“What are all these people doing here, Nonku?”
“You have no shame, Wandile. Just look at yourself.”
“Leave me alone. I asked you a question. What are all these people doing here?”
Nonku pulls Wandile to the side. “They are here to pass their condolences. Your mother passed away around seven in the morning,” Wandile sniffles. “Aunty is gone, Wandile. She is no more.”
“Ma! Ma! Ma!” Wandile sobs as she runs into the house but no-one comforts her.
“Stop pretending like you are sad. All of your dreams have come true. Your mother is gone, you can do as you wish,” whispers Bab’ Gumede who lives three houses away.
“What kind of child leaves her sickly parent to die alone while she goes out drinking?”
The only person getting all the comfort and condolences is Nonku.
Wandile gains strength when she sees Nonhle enter through the gate later in the day. She is glad that her friend is here to comfort her. But Nonhle’s face glows red with rage.
“You are a snake Wandile! I thought you were my friend but you threw me into the lion’s den! How could you leave me just like that?” Nonhle wants to slap Wandile but restrains herself.
Wandile pulls her to the side, away from the curious crowd. “But Max did give you money. Didn’t he?”
“I nearly got raped because of you and all you take out of my ordeal is to ask me about money?”
“I’m sorry, my friend. You wanted the money… you looked like… ”
“I hate you, Wandile! I hope you burn in hell! You have no soul!”
“You don’t understand Nonhle. They forced me.. they..”
“I have only come to pay my condolences. Then I will leave and we will never speak again.”
Wandile is a lonely figure as days go by and her mom is buried. MaMhlongo was a former nurse at a government hospital and Wandile knows she had a life policy. Losing her mom makes her remember losing her dad and how that started her on the path that she can’t escape now.
Wandile can’t believe her ears on the day of reading her mom’s will. Everyone from her mom’s side is present at the lawyer’s office, even relatives who had not seen MaMhlongo for years. They all listen expectantly as the lawyer reads the will.
My Dear Family
If you are listening to my lawyer reading this letter it means I am gone. I have lived a long life and in my long life I have realised that there is nothing more important than family. To you, my family, I state categorically that none of you ever visited me in my hour of need. Not even my sisters who I put through university.
The only person who looked after me is Nonku. May God bless your caring heart, Nonku. I hope you get married to a wonderful man and have a wonderful blessed family.
To you Wandile, I forgive you for everything you did to me. To the rest of my family I want you to know I hold no grudge against anyone.
I’m leaving my house to Nonku as well and my life policy is for her too. Use this money to further your studies, Nonku. The rest of my money goes to the Peacevale Home for the Aged. The bible says blessed is the hand that gives than the one that receives.
Farewell to all of you as I take my final journey.
Rose ‘MaMhlongo’ Dlamini.
Wandile cries. She stands still, waiting for the lawyer to say it is all a joke. But she soon realises it’s not. She doesn’t believe that her mother has left her nothing.
“How can mom do this to me? How can she leave me with nothing? I didn’t know mom hated me this much!” Wandile sobs.
“Don’t cry, Wandile. Maybe Aunty wrote the will while she was angry,” says Nonku. “Don’t worry, I’ll share everything with you. We are like sisters anyway.”
Tell us: What do you think of Nonku and how she treats Wandile?