By Tashinga Wazara, Zimbabwe:
Audrey, Yolanda’s mother was a lecturer at the University in the Law Department. Her husband, John, was a policeman. He worked as a special crimes detective and he was never home. He would leave home at 5am before Audrey even woke up and he would be back home around midnight everyday. He was married to his job. When they first got married, Audrey would complain to him and say, “Baby, we never spend time together. Come home early tonight and we can have dinner.” In the beginning he would do it. He would come home around 7pm and have dinner with his wife. But during dinner he would be on his phone talking to his partner about a case they were working on or going through case work. Audrey didn’t get it.
In the beginning she would cry herself to sleep every night and spent days upon days depressed. And then eventually she became numb, and then she just stopped caring. In the end they would hardly ever talk. She thought about leaving but her husband looked after her well and they were comfortable. Being in a miserable marriage with John was worth the luxury he afforded her. They barely had sex, but on one of the rare occasions that they did have sex, she fell pregnant and had Yolanda.
When Yolanda was born, Audrey saw a sudden change in her husband John. John was now all of a sudden more available. He would get home at 6pm and just spend time with the baby and for the first time in a long time, he looked happy. Audrey didn’t understand it. The same man who would tell her he didn’t have time to simply have dinner with her now came home and spent hours with their daughter without touching his laptop once.
As Yolanda grew up she was the apple of her father’s eye. She got everything and she could never do any wrong. Audrey’s relationship with her husband got worse and she started resenting her daughter because of the relationship that she had with him.
Eventually Audrey started looking for love elsewhere. From the time Yolanda was about five years old, Audrey had affairs with other men. Some of her men she would even bring to the house and tell Yolanda, “Baby, go play outside while I talk to Uncle.” She would then lock Yolanda out in the garden while she “talked to Uncle”. At first Yolanda was too young to understand what was happening. But as she got older, she started to understand.
One day when she was in high school, she came home early and found a car she didn’t know parked in the driveway. She got into the house and said, “Mom I’m home!” but nobody answered. She then went upstairs and opened her Mom’s bedroom door and found her in bed with another man. “Mom what’s going on?” she screamed when she saw them. “Yolanda get out now!” she screamed as her and her lover scrambled to put their clothes on. Yolanda ran to her room and put her head in the pillow and started crying. How could her mother betray her father like this? How?
About ten minutes later her mother walked in and said, “Darling, I’m sorry about what you saw. It was a big mistake and I’m sorry. But please don’t tell your father okay? We don’t want him to be sad and kick me out. Do you want him to kick me out and break up our family?” she asked Yolanda. Yolanda shook her head, tears rolling down her cheeks. She never forgot that day, and she hated her mother for making her keep such a secret from her father whom she loved dearly. That resentment went on even when Yolanda was now an adult.
And now, in this room, standing next to her father, with her mother tied to the chair, blood slowly oozing from her thighs from where she had stabbed her she felt as if baby Yolanda, who had been so angry at her mother for making her play outside while she “talked to Uncle” and teenage Yolanda who she had put through the torture of keeping the secret of her affair, were willing her on to hurt her mother.
They had just called George. Yolanda’s father had said that he needed help picking up stuff from a warehouse he was at and gave him the address. George was now on his way.
Yolanda’s father walked over to the back of the room and picked up a metal pole.
“Okay so when George gets here I’m gonna hit him over the head with this pole and then we’ll tie him up next to your mother and they can explain themselves. All I want is an explanation. After that, they’ll be all yours, but we are not going to kill anyone.” Her Dad said.
“But Dad!” protested Yolanda. “Sleeping with George isn’t the only thing that Mom did. When I was in high school she used to bring men over to the house. I even caught her once,” she said, looking at her mother in disgust.
“Wait, what?” Yolanda’s Dad barked.
“Yes Dad. Mom was cheating on you all those years ago,” Yolanda said
“And you just kept quiet? Why didn’t you say anything? How could you do that to me Yolanda? And you want me to help you…” He stopped mid sentence. There was a knock on the door. John went to the door and said, “Who’s there?”
“It’s George.” Came the reply.
Yolanda and her father looked at each other. For a few minutes they were both on the same side, but after Yolanda’s new revelation, she wasn’t sure where her Dad stood.
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