A loud awakening 2/5

By Drum Digital
24 June 2014

Sipho believed in waiting for the right time to have children, and this was most certainly not it . . . was it?

“It’s those people next door,” Wame said at last, still tearful. “You know those new people who just moved in? The woman with the little son?”

“Yes,” Sipho nodded.

Two days ago he and Wame had peeked through their window as the new neighbours brought in their furniture: a doubledoor fridge, an enormous king-sized bed, two sofas in bright orange. And a cot. The couple had a little boy who was about one year old. It had been lovely watching him; he was so lively, constantly trying to free himself from his mother so he could explore his new surroundings.

“Aha!” said Sipho. Was this the problem?

Was Wame crying because she was longing for a baby of her own?

Sipho and Wame had decided together that they would wait a few years before they tried to have children. It was the right, sensible and responsible thing to do. They would wait until Sipho was well established at his job and didn’t have to worry about being made redundant.

They would wait until Wame completed her degree through Unisa and until they had enough savings for a deposit on a house with a proper garden. Children would need lots of space and open air where they could play safely.

“No babies until we’re sure we’re ready and prepared,” Sipho had said. “Everything must be right before any pregnancy.”

And Wame had agreed. “No good jumping the gun,” she had said.

Was Wame having second thoughts now, Sipho wondered? Did the family next door make her long for a child of her own, so much so that it made her sob in the dark?

Sipho was afraid to ask. They were nowhere near ready for a baby.

He listened carefully while Wame went on explaining.

“It’s been terrible for me all afternoon, Sipho. That woman next door has been shouting at her son. Screaming at him! The poor little thing! I couldn’t concentrate on studying. What kind of woman screams at her little boy? What is the point of having a baby, when all you do is get angry with him? It was horrible, listening to that.” Sipho went to the kitchen window and opened it wide. Outside he could hear only the sounds of birds settling in for the night in their tiny garden. In the distance, the last of the rush hour traffic growled softly.

Wame clicked her tongue. “Well, of course she’s stopped shouting now. The little boy is probably asleep.”

Sipho decided he didn’t want to start any discussions about babies of their own. Not tonight. After all, he was still a long way from getting the promotion at work that would make his job secure. And anyway, Wame was only in the second year of her Unisa course.

So instead he asked her what she’d like to do on the weekend.

“I don’t care,” Wame answered. She was busy dishing up his supper now. “Whatever you like, Sipho. It’s all the same to me.”

THE following evening Sipho came home to find Wame humming happily as she prepared supper. He wrapped his arms around her and held her tight. “You sound happy, my angel.

Have you had a good day?”

Wame beamed at him. “Sipho, it’s the best thing ever! I met the woman next door. You know, our new neighbour? And she is such a lovely person. Very friendly. We talked and talked. And guess what, Sipho?”

“What?”

To be continued……

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