there comes a time in every relationship when, like a cat sliding down the algaed wall of a well, leaving talon trails, you know you’ve lost all traction – but you try to hang on as you slide into abyss. then you start to hear the voices … she walks out of the ensuite bathroom in a stunning red dress to find him sitting on the couch in the bedroom – the remote control to the sound system in his hand. she thought he was in the living room watching orlando pirates get slaughtered again. as she opens her jewelry box to take out a pair of stud earrings, she is thinking, ‘why does he keep watching that team with players that cannot even pass urine. isn’t it frustrating watching your beloved team fall in love with losing?’ she is gyrating to the song that has just started playing, unawares he is trying to shut moneoa up as she sings, “… my poor pride she feel so hurt and so betrayed/it’s alright you’ll never feel my love again/silly me, silly me,/how could i, how could i,/fall in love, fall in love,/silly girl, heh, ey, heh!/silly me, silly me,/how could i, how could i,/fall in love, fall in love,/silly girl, heh, ey, heh!”[1]

silence.

          “are you going out again?” she says nothing. she opens the wardrobe again and brings out a bottle of chanel’s chance. she sprays it on her neck, down her cleavage, and then she lifts her dress and sprays it between her legs. his heart is thumping hard against his throat.

           “are you going with mary-anne?” she looks at him, snorts. she walks to the mirror in the passage and pirouettes in front of it. satisfied, she comes back into the bedroom, picks up her red clutch-bag and the car keys from the bed. he gets up.

          “you didn’t answer me.” she looks at her watch, looks at him, then sits on the bed. she picks up the remote control, puts the sound system on and skips to track three. moments later vanessa williams is speaking her mind. he knows the song, he has heard it all evening as she prepared to go out. in fact, there are only three songs on the cd. he almost switched off the sound system when he came into the room and heard gladys knight singing, “neither one of us.”[2] he grabs the remote control and switches off the system as vanessa williams sings: “tonight i give you my surprise/i hope that you won’t mind/i’m giving you an eye for an eye/baby, i’ve found another/and he is my lover/and i’m going out for the rest of your life.”[3]

              “if you’re not going to answer me, then you’re going nowhere.” she looks at him, picks up the clutch bag and car keys and gets up. he pushes her back on the bed – knocking her windless. she knows what would follow. so, she says nothing. she grabs the car keys from the floor next to the clutch-bag. as she gathers the spilled content of the clutch-bag, he storms out of the room. as he settles into the sofa in the living room his phone vibrates. it’s a message from her. his first instinct is not to read it, but the first words displayed on the lock-screen catch his attention. he opens the message:

          “men who think a woman’s place is in the kitchen, should know that’s where the knives are kept.”

[1] Moneoa. (2013). Is’xbhanxa. Mokoya Mix Vol. 2, Superbly Mixed by DJ Sabza.

[2] Knight, Gladys. (1972). Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye). Neither One of Us. Soul.

[3] Williams, Vanessa. (1995). Betcha Never. The Sweetest Days. Wing . Mercury.