The timber door was roughly opened. It was in the late evening, Thembi Luthuli had just finished bathing her ten year old son, dressed him in his favourite spider-man pyjamas.
The boy’s father had walked out on them before he was born. That memory always reminded, Thembi she’d never had a man that loved her. They’d all came for her appealing attractive face and her nubile body.
The last one was married, one before him was engaged. Both had promised to leave their partners, because of a reason apparently she was the acceptance of imperfections. It had been a lie, the commitment was far away from her. She’d been nothing but a fantasy.
The forced entry into her two-room home startled ,Thembi and her boy. It had to be no one else but her lover that she’d been dating for the past six months. When he was intoxicated he always comes in like this, sometimes in a late night too. Thembi would drag herself out from bed to prevent him from breaking anything, unable to walk but to stumble and stumble, falling everywhere in the house.
On this night, he seemed upset when he asked about a man he’d seen her walking cosy with in the afternoon.
“Aybo, uBaba Mondli?”
Thembi was inbetween baffled and astonished, for him to presume she would have an affair with a man who was old enough to be her father, and a man who had three wives and nine children. It was insulting.
“Is my forehead written am an idiot?”
Of course he was jealous. Thembi knew that. His jealousy had to be trouble, the voice was strong sonorous like he becomes when his upset, and she knew what kind of trouble was going to follow.
Although, Thembi believed he was the first man that had deep intense feelings for her, a reality and was committed, his love came with consequences, to become abusive in times of his jealousy.
“I was coming from the shop. He met me on the way going to his house.”
“I know how much that old man loves women.”
“Yes. Older women at his age.”
“What the hell were you two talking because you couldn’t stop smiling!” he shouted.
“Oh my, God” she said, burying her face with her hands. ” Your ridiculous jealousy will be the death of me.”
Thembi had went to the shop to buy a loaf of bread and tomatoes. She had meet Baba Mondli on the way and had an honest conversation with him, about the illegal electricity they used in KwaDayeni section at kaDumisa Village.
They’d complained about the transformer that kept having power failure, and how the boys who fix it comes door to door for money of their work. Her innocent smile had been about the man’s comment of how at times he’d wish to struck the boys with his knob-kerrie when they came for money.
Thembi’s son, who sat next to her mother felt afraid. As young as he was, he knew when his mother and her love start an argument it would end in violence.
“You’re cheating on me huh?”
“You’re the one who’s always cheating on me with those lousy cheap sluts you always get drunk with at the shebeen.”
Thembi had smelled the cheap perfume on his shirt a couple of times when he came home late. Also, she’d once seen a puny stain of lipstick on his shirt, but never confronted him.
Her lover grunted. He was becoming annoyed of, Thembi’s tone. He hated it when she spoke back, the biggest reason he’d found himself laying his hand on her a few times.
But this time, he went to the bedroom and came back holding a machete.
“Aybo, what the hell do you think you’re going to do with that machete? she said, standing up and dragging her son to hide behind her.
Thembi knew him when he was distraughted. She had to deal with slaps and fists, not like this with a weapon that could butcher her like an animal.
“How many times do I have to tell you never speak back ? Disrespecting me with that old man wasn’t enough?”
“I’m sorry my love. I didn’t mean to disrespect you” she said, in a fearful voice.
His mind was telling him something else, to teach her a lesson. The words troubled him, echoing on his skull. He lifted the machete and bashed it on her head.
The boy ran towards the corner and curled up. He watched his mother screamed, again and again when her lover bashed the machete into her flash, until her screams faded away.
She lay there on the floor silently, in a puddle of her blood.
Her lover dropped down the machete and ran out of the door.
She was right. His jealousy had really became the death of her.