good evening everyone pause my name is lebogang matenge and this is my story pause “good evening lebogang” ring out from all over the the room innocent and me grew up together in the outskirt of maitengwe he was originally from zimbabwe through my entire life i knew only this one man … we played together went to the same school and did everything together we were best friends as we grew older our friendship changed we become more than friends finally we got married lebogang holds the remnants of her beautiful face in the palms of both hands and sighs she is staring at the cracked floor of the room there is a strong smell of astringent in the room we loved each other dearly … we decided to move to gaborone to better our lives but eish life in the city was different from that in maitengwe everything was moving so fast one could hardly move with the pace … but innocent and me was a team any trouble that came our way was conquered by love for it was so strong and we put everything in the hands of christ we were strong believers and nothing could touch us … awkward chuckle we rented a one roomed house in old naledi that is what we could afford at the moment and it was suitable for us we managed to put all our belongs in it … innocent was a waiter at nandos and i was a house wife lebogang takes her hands from her face and watch them tremble then she uses her right thumb to stroke the center of her left palm as omphile puts a hand on her shoulder and squeezes it as time passed by innocent got ill and we struggled to live a city life … but he did everything in his power to provide for the family but it wasn’t enough i mean there was rent to pay bills food and other expenses … we needed quick cash we were drowning so i took matters into my own hands i searched for a job pause my search went from days to weeks weeks to months i nearly gave up … one day on my way home i met a very smart young man who offered me a ride home he lived in kgale view he told me i was beautiful we had a little chat about my neighborhood how unsafe it was and out of the blue he said he is looking for a maid i knew it was god working it had to be i prayed hard in the morning and i said yes looking at the situation we were in at home i had to accept the offer without blinking twice pause he told me that he  has not been able to manage his life since the death of his wife and i wanted to ask what happened to her but it looked like he did not want to talk about it marilyn is staring at her from across the room and wondering if she is really blind in one eye that night my husband and i went out to celebrate my job and to say goodbye to poverty “thank you so much sugar i knew i can trust you to do something” he said he was slightly drunk but he was happy very happy “that is why i married you to help no matter what” i told him i took him home and made him happy lebogang smiles ruefully with recollection and the light in the room catches her damaged eye i started the following day did i say the man i worked for was a widower he was he lived in a big house full of everything anyone can ever dream of but still he was lonely … i pitied him lesego is sobbing quietly three chairs away from lebogang my day went well i went back the following day and the day after pause gomolemo carter that is his name and i were getting along very well we would laugh he would tell me about his childhood in goodhope … wherever that is and i would tell him about mine he didn’t know where that is … he would ask me about my marriage if i love my husband and how does it feel to be married to a foreigner he refused to see innocent as a motswana he would tease me about where innocent was from we would talk about just about anything and we were comfortable with each other in fact i think we became way too comfortable pause i liked him he was a good man a dreamer … for my entire life i have only admired one man and this was something new interesting and i liked every minute of it lesego sits staring fixedly ahead of her into space twirling her handkerchief in her hands the corners of her mouth quivering one day after doing all the house chores i went over his stuff and found an album his entire pictures he took were all half naked … i closed the album quickly and ask for forgiveness from god the way i was raised women were not allowed to see or touch what were not theirs it was a sin in the eyes of the lord pause i had to respect that i was christian … every time i cleaned the house i would glance at the album but would not dare try to touch it i did not want to be sinful it seemed to be everywhere and it was taking all the space in the house i could not breathe because of this album i had to look just one last time maybe the urge would go away …  the next day i decided to look at it just one last time i took all my sweet time and was not even ashamed i had done it it was haunting me “dear lord” masego let out a sigh through clenched teeth she closes her eyes and tosses her head back to keep the tears in her eyes she feels a lightness in her stomach and then spasms my pity for gomolemo carter started to be feelings that i could not understand … so confusing and exciting at the same time when he was not around i would miss the little chat that we have and when i see him my heart pumped a million miles away i could not hide it anymore he noticed and kept quiet pause i began to shave and look for nice underwears and worry about how i smelled silence one night he came home late i usually wait for him to knock off that is when i will  go home he found me in the kitchen doing dishes he did not say a word i can see through my sixth sense that something is wrong his eyes were red  … i went straight to him and hugged him something i have been longing to do for a very long time and this was my chance to give him a shoulder to lean on he whispered “i miss her” his voice was soft like the melody from birds i felt his chest and saw his six pack through my imaginary eye i wanted him all of him my inside wanted to kiss him and with all those feelings that came unannounced i could feel my christianity fading away slowly pause my mouth reached for his his lips were warm and soft i felt the sound of his breath on my neck i smelled alcohol my neck tingled the touch of his fingers on my skin it felt like my second first kiss … he then took me home no one said a word to each other lebogang looks at her hands looks up at clarice who shifts in her chair and looks away that night i laid in my bed turning and tossing thinking about that kiss and just how great it was i sent him a goodnight sms with innocent lying there beside me he responded we chatted … i went to work the following day and we did it again he took a day off and gave me a day to remember … this went on for a couple of weeks i spent most of my time with him even when i get home i will still be texting him while innocent was lying beside me pause innocent complained about me shaving and wearing sexy underwears and bothering about my looks and dresses but i did not care i was in love and no one could come between gomolemo carter and i pause i was becoming someone else someone i could not understand but i have to admit it was not a bad feeling at all i loved this new me and started to find the presence of innocent annoying for nothing pause i checked our horoscopes gomolemo carter and mine fitted like gloves … i am pisces by the way lebogang smiles awkwardly he started to say things about innocent silence after three months gomolemo carter asked me to choose between him and my husband … i could not hurt innocent like that he is a good man always there for me you see but innocent was now sick plus i was not feeling him anymore and my dreams have changed now that i have met someone else i was looking for something more something that will sweep my feet away … and there it was so fresh like a fruit from golden tree … gomolemo carter a rich man so firm … a passionate dreamer like me second in command in his office the one man that my blood got along with so well silence i had to do it and i did not think twice i waited for innocent to come home one day and gave him the papers i told him i did not want to be with any man anymore i told him i wanted to discover myself that i wanted some time to myself he begged me to not leave him but i did not listen i talked about deal breaker this and deal breaker that i fished for all the things he had done wrong and how i did not want to discuss them  he did not fight me back his illness had made him weak i used as an excuse the fact that he had too many commitments and he could not provide for the family i told him that i was tired of struggling that i wanted to live my dream and could not let happiness slip me by pinkie has lost all interest in the story and keeps fighting the urge to get up and leave the room i was madly in love with gomolemo carter now awkward chuckle i was living the life pause one day i came home late gomolemo carter hit me with the butt of a gun he threatened to shoot me he said i was from innocent and that i was cheating on him i saw another side of him that i did not like but even though the two of us could not go anywhere in public he gave me everything i needed i had to stay he did this every day one little mistake i committed came with a slap he would call me nasty names and tell me that i like flirting with men married men telling him they are family friends that that is why he has not married me yet that just like i started sleeping with him while i was still married to innocent i could be sleeping around now sighs when men call me it was trouble hisses innocent was working with a cousin of gomolemo carter and he told him that his wife did not really die but that they were now living apart because of me silence he came running to our house one day he found me bleeding by the gate he took me into his arms and told me we were going home pause after a week of innocent nursing me i was better i felt better i was back where i belong and when he came back home that night he found his favorite dish mala and paleche on the table he smiled at me pause he asked me to sit down sigh he took out a paper with his signature on it and gave it to me – it was the divorce papers.

F-K 2016