Short Stories, Tale Africa

Super Ex (1)

By Ayanda Xaba, South Africa:

“It’s you, it’s always been you and nobody else”.

I read the texts and suddenly got emotional. The way I loved this guy wasn’t normal and he knew it. He knew he could do anything wrong or hurtful and I would forgive him. He knew hearing him say he loves me was my weakness. Those words broke me down every single time. A huge part of me wanted it to be true because that same part of me knew it wasn’t. I felt like he used these words to get away with everything. He even used compliments to soften me. I admit – I was once a fool for love.

When we met we were both crazy kids; wild and out of control. That’s what attracted us to each other. We would talk about anything and everything, bedroom life was off the hook – even outside the bedroom. Somewhere in all that craziness I fell in love. I’ve always been a faithful person maybe that’s why I committed so easily. Love brought in a lot of challenges. There came expectations, promises and disappointments – mainly on my side. Heck, I loved that guy! I would leave everything, even work, just to be with him. It became hard.

He suddenly became very insecure. He kept accusing me of messing around with my colleagues. He would want a picture of me in the morning and one after work. He would then pick up things and start shouting and throwing accusations. Things like my hair doesn’t look the same as it did in the morning, my jersey isn’t as neat as it was or even how my belt was tied – I must’ve slept with a colleague, that’s why I was a mess in the afternoon. His jealousy got out of hand. I had to travel to see him almost every week just to keep the peace. This was expensive on my side; mind you I was paying for everything. He was still a student when I started working and this became another problem. I had to take care of him, literally. I became an emotional mess, I would cry almost every night but I couldn’t leave him – that wasn’t an option.

On the flip side of all the tears, were sincere smiles. He was a kind young man. He cleaned and cooked, well that’s a great quality in a Zulu guy. I would only do the washing and allow him to pamper me. When we were together it was amazing, truly. There was never an argument or fight. This is why I had to travel more often. But one morning he changed, I still don’t understand what happened. The night before we had a great time, as usual, and went to bed happy. Morning came; we woke up, cleaned, did laundry and cooked – as usual. We had breakfast infront of the Tv while he was watching a series. Somewhere there he switched off, he completely turned cold. Nothing out of the ordinary happened, I was hurt once again. You know in the Zulu Kingdom people believe in witchcraft and all those things. When I spoke to my sister about this odd behaviour she told me the other woman was using muti to break us up. Yes the other woman – he had that. He hid it for some time but naturally I found out about it. He lied a number of times but he eventually confessed that he loved us both and wasn’t willing to leave her. He even told me he wants a polygamous marriage and asked me to accept it. I did. I’m a Zulu girl; this happens in our culture. It was painful, I wont lie but I was willing to share him rather than losing him. I did mention that leaving wasn’t an option.

You would think things got easier since we all understood the terms of the relationship – sharing and all. They didn’t. Social media kicked in. Umnakwethu (the sister wife) started posting their intimate pictures and declaring her love – so did he. I was crushed – naturally- how can that not hurt? I didn’t leave him. I took the back seat. Why? I loved him and he told me he loved me too. He deactivated his social media accounts to prove it was the girl who did all the posting even on his accounts. I didn’t buy it but I stayed.

But you know, the mind is a strange organ. My heart was exhausted, along with every other part of my body, I couldn’t feel anything. My mind miraculously came back to me and it switched everything off. I remember the last day I went to him. Nothing in me moved, I couldn’t feel anything. The only thing I knew was I didn’t want to be in the relationship anymore. I did not understand how I had stayed for so long. How could I take all that abuse in the name of love? I had fantasized many times about killing him because he had said death was the only thing that could tear us apart. But I realized it wasn’t worth it, I wouldn’t become a murderer for him. I decided he would kill me if he wanted, all I knew was I was leaving him – and I did. I walked away and didn’t even look back, until now. But look at how happy and free I am now… I almost wasted my youth with that dysfunctional love.

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