Short Stories, Tale Africa

Gangster Love (2)

By Ayanda Xaba, South Africa:

After the miscarriage Mondli doubted me. He was always suspicious of me despite my best efforts to prove to him that there was no need for it. It seemed as though the baby left with all the trust in the relationship. I didn’t want a baby; I was too young and happy. I feel that God decided to save me from being a mother at that age. Sometimes I wish to fall pregnant again just so our relationship could go back to normal but my better judgment wouldn’t allow me. I started using contraceptives. Even though we had put the baby issue aside, I couldn’t do anything, even going out with my friends, because he was always here. I was unhappy and wanted to leave him. I tried and got a beating, not the one I had today, it was lighter. That was the first of many…

My family saw the bruise I had and questioned me about it. Naturally they told me to report him to the police but I couldn’t. I was scared but also cared about him a lot. I didn’t leave him and after every beating I would get an expensive gift to make up for it. I had the latest phone, the latest fashion. Heck I was up to date with all the latest trends. It felt good to be an ‘it’ girl amongst my peers but I also felt as if I was selling my soul for it. The guy would insult me, even to my family. Now that I am telling the story it sounds worse than it was while it happened.

I finally went to university; it felt as if I had run away from the biggest burden in my life. I am studying in Pietermaritzburg, it's not too far from home but it's far enough for me. I became wild. I started clubbing and did all sort of things from being picked up by guys, kissing girls and everything in between. My wild life resulted in me meeting an old schoolmate who was a class ahead of me.

Wandile has always been a cute, quiet guy who did hip hop. We met in a club and he bought booze for me; later we went to his place. I expected the evening to end there so that the next day we can continue with our lives but that wasn’t his intention. He told me that he liked me and thought I deserved better than Mondli. I fell for Wandile; we started to have a public relationship. I had it all figured out. Wandile would be my varsity lover and back home I would be with Mondli. But then, Mondli decided to come and study at Pietermaritzburg as well. A few weeks before that, I found out that he was cheating with a Xhosa chick. This shook our relationship a bit and I thought it would be my way out. He called the girl and broke up with her in front of me. I continued my thing with Wandile, only this time we were trying to hide it. Mondli found out…today.

He started by throwing my phone at me, the expensive phone he bought me. That was followed by insults about how he tried to modernize me but I insist on going back to the mud. Even for Wandile, being broke and young was an insult to him. Wandile wasn’t broke, he came from a rich family but I didn’t dare correct him. I tried getting him to call Wandile so I can dump him, like he did with the Xhosa chick, he refused. That’s actually where I got the beating. I thought it would end like the rest of them but he carried on and on and I could feel my body die even though I was still breathing.

I collapsed.

As I came to, and regained my memory, my body began to fail me. I really wished I was dead because I couldn't run away.

Mondli realises I am awake; I honestly thought he would show remorse and apologize. He didn’t; he swore and gave me another slap. The only part of my body that is working is my heart; it keeps changing its pace of beating but other than that I’m as a good as dead. I’m numb.

Mondli then throws himself down, on the floor, and begins to cry; “I don’t like seeing you like this. I hate this. Look what you’re doing to me. Can you see? I’m monster because of you, you always make me do this. Why do you always do this?”

He then rocks himself down like he’s in a swing and holds his head. He keeps mumbling something. He looks like he’s possessed. I look around the room and see the key is still in the door. I look at him again; he is still focused on himself so I see a chance of escaping. I slowly stand, trying not to make a sound and tiptoe to the door. I’m well aware that I won’t be able to outrun him should he see me but I’m walking out anyway. As soon as I walk out the door I try to keep up my pace. Drag myself to the next flat and knock, nobody answers. I do not knock for the second time; the noise might wake Mondli from his trance. I get to the next door and I find it open and throw myself in.

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