Short Stories, Tale Africa

The Maiden and The Bear (13)

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By Ayanda Xaba, South Africa:

Dear Dad;

Firstly, I want to thank you for everything you’ve done for me. I had things most girls my age didn’t. You provided me and my mother with the best of everything. You truly treated us like royalty. Thank you.

I’m sorry for not being grateful and for not showing my appreciation. I let life fool me and love get to my head. I’m stupid, I’m a child – your child. Please forgive me. I keep having flashbacks of our last conversation. I behaved like a brat and didn’t consider the sacrifices you’ve made for me. When you said; “I’m a chief I have eyes everywhere” my head suddenly spun. My response wasn’t well thought out, it just came out – saying those words… “Did those spies tell you I’m pregnant as well?” completely took me by surprise too.

I remember the disappointment and hurt in your eyes. I had brought you shame in the worst way possible, Baba I’m sorry. I could’ve waited for the right moment to tell you or at least considered your feelings. You were right; I’m a spoilt brat that doesn’t care about other people. I went to Mbongeni’s house to do umqomelo just so I don’t have to marry into royalty. I knew that was my destiny, but I couldn’t allow it to happen. The pregnancy wasn’t planned though. It was even more foolishness from my side. Nothing I say will justify this.

When I found out mom wasn’t my real mother my whole world turned upside down. I overheard a conversation between the two of you before Ntombi’s lobola. I found refuge in my relationship with Mbongeni because it’s the only thing that felt true. This is when the baby was conceived. I promise, Dad, it wasn’t intentional. And then you told me we had to move because you are taking over the chieftancy, and that was the final blow. I had to leave everything I know; school, my friends, my community, and the love of my life for the unknown. I was scared. But I felt like I owed you that sacrifice because of everything you’ve done for us.

Arriving at that place was the worst thing that has ever happened to me. Firstly, those people address my mother as a ‘commoner’, is that what being royalty means? Disregarding other people because you were born privileged? Secondly, they wanted to just throw my mother out to the streets because she used to be the helper. Isn’t a helper also human? Dad, I couldn’t understand how you could let them do all that. I still don’t want to know the princess that gave birth to me, she never even looked for me after you and mom took me away. I then found out I was pregnant, in the midst of everything that was going on, I just lost my mind.

I chose to return to Mgabaye with mom because I didn’t want you to find out about the pregnancy. I didn’t want you to go through what you did because of my carelessness. I’d do anything to erase our last conversation and all the stupidity that came before it. I could’ve been matured about all this and didn’t run off to Mbongeni.

I love you Hadebe, from here to the moon and back. You’re my superman, my mother’s rock and sweetheart. Life isn’t the same without you. I fully understand why you disowned me, I deserve the anger because of the pain I put you through. I’ve thought of suicide but I realize it is selfish. I couldn’t add more pain to you or make mom lose us both. Yes, we’ve lost you but we have each other and I’m keeping the baby. Mom says it will bring us joy and peace, I truly hope it does.

I miss you.

Yours truly,

Makhosazane

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