by Thabi Di Moeketsi
It’s been six months since we moved to the house in Rushey Mead.
Samu is waiting for me.
Six months ago, I was the one who went around, looking for a mortgage, phoning brokers, and bankers, reading papers and journals, just to be sure. After that, I paid the phone bill as well.
Actually, it started in Zimbabwe, when we met on the bus stop.Samu was coming from his rural home in Bocha.I was waiting for my aunt. He said he was a rural boy but that did not matter. With my teachers pay, I took him on dates. He waited for me to ask if we could meet, waited for me to give him bus fare. That was because he was either sending all his money to Bocha to look after his mother and siblings or had something more important to do with it. Thoughtful guy, I thought.Samu was exactly what I was looking for-a kind and gentle man, considerate, generous and quiet-someone who allowed me to be me. I wanted to be me-to be in control of my life.
I soon introduced Samu to movies and dinners, discos and long walks by Lake Chivero.On each date, Samu waited for me to start everything. I decided what we wanted to do. I paid for everything as well. It didn’t matter, I wanted to be with my new found love and was prepared to pay anything to have him.
When I found out that I was pregnant, Samu waited for me to tell him, as if he didn’t know that the protection had failed. He waited for me to ask him to marry me. I was almost due and yet Samu had not said a word about the bride price. In the end , I gave him the money to pay the bride price. I became his wife.
I paid my hospital bills, bought our baby’s clothes and even after being disascharged from hospital, I hired the taxi that took me home where Samu was waiting for me to clean and tidy the house-to feed all the relatives who had converged to see the new baby.
That same year, the dollar lost its value. I thought about moving to Britain. Good idea, he said. But he waited for me to make the first move. I searched around for money for my fare. I bought and sold food, clothes and whatever I could get. This time, he was busy with his GCEs.Had failed them four times already.
In England, I held three jobs. I knew Samu was waiting for me to send him his ticket. He said he couldn’t find a job-his GCSE’s were giving him hell. He needed a domestic worker even though our child was with my mother-to wash and iron his clothes-to cook for him.
In England, I cleaned toilets, kitchens and worked in Care homes. I slept while working, while walking, while talking. I worked until Samu came from Zimbabwe. On that day, I had to rush to Gatwick because Samu was waiting for me. He said he couldn’t get into a train even though Leicester was an hour away.
When we got home, I gave him warm clothes, helped him to find a job. He told me he wanted to go to college. It was better than doing odd jobs, he said. And so, he went to college all day, slept all night and ate all the food that was in the house. I had to work, to pay for his college fees. I took another job. But if I didn’t cook, he said he regretted moving to England ,he said I had ruined his life, that the future looked bleak as long as I was around. I was a mistake.
I am yet to apologise for infidelity-Samu is waiting He says I was never at work on those days. I am yet to apologise for being unfriendly to his relations, for not being up to scratch, for wearing tight trousers to church, for not getting pregnant again. He is waiting for me to apologise –I took him from his girlfriend, he says. I have loose morals and the reason he is with me is because I lured him with money. He was happier with her and regrets the day he met me. He is waiting.
But I have the council tax to pay, the lawyers to pay for the appeal we made regarding our daughter’s visa. On top of all that, I have rent, gas and electricity, money to send to Zimbabwe, to his parents then mine, to his sisters and cousins back in Bocha.The car broke down and I have to take it for repairs because Samu is waiting for it. He can’t go to college, he says-too much snow, too much rain.
I get home and find Samu sitting on the stairs, waiting. The new house has no fridge, no microwave and furniture. The cupboards are devoid of food and the only sound is the television from next door.
It’s been six months now, and while Samu waits, I am on my way out.
Thabi Di Moeketsi resides in Pretoria ,South Africa. Apart from working and studying at the University of South Africa, Moeketsi co-owns and runs an IT distribution firm together with her husband Elishah Chatindo. Her writing has appeared in Frostwriting and Eclectica, and she is working on her first novel.