The Betrayal 3/4

By Drum Digital
06 March 2014

Lerato’s world collapsed, but she refused to be beaten.

Thabo didn’t come round at the weekend as he’d promised. Two weeks passed before he came to see his kids – while his mistress waited in the car for him. By then Lerato was much stronger, and was able to face him bravely.

When he left she went into the study which he had used as his home office and started searching through his papers – something she had never done before. Neatly stashed in a drawer were his accounts and receipts.

She went through all of them – and to her horror discovered statements which showed that there were no funds in their account! She was shivering as she clutched the bank statements.

Her knees were so weak that she had to sit on the floor. She discovered tell-tale credit card slips, from hotel book­ings in Mauritius and Bazaruto Island under the names Mr and Mrs Kunene.

Other card statements revealed jewellery and clothing purchases in expensive boutiques.

Lerato sobbed. She knew that she was now in trouble. She had no one to turn to except her friends. She was an orphan and had no relatives.

Lerato had entered the job market at the age of 18 and saved enough money to start her own business. But now her capital was gone, and Lerato realised how stupid and naive she had been to trust a man with her life savings!

Weeks went by without word from Thabo. Then one Sunday morning he came to serve divorce papers on her just before she left for church with the children and Uncle Vusi. After he left, Lerato went to church and prayed like she had never prayed before.

Uncle Vusi was now concerned. He could see that Lerato was in a state of despair and he realised her husband would not be returning. After mowing the lawn for her on that Sunday afternoon, he called her to his place, and said, “Lerato my child, I have something to tell you. You have been very kind to me in the past two years, ever since you moved in next door.

“I’ve been alone since my wife died – but you made me feel like I belonged somewhere. I want to give you some money to start a new business, so you can be independent again.”

“Uncle Vusi, I can’t accept money from you! You’re a pensioner and what I need is just way too much. You have no idea how much I need. Thank you very much for your offer, but it’s just not possible to help me.

I need to get a loan but we owe the bank tens of thousands – so that is totally out of the question. I just need to get a job – very soon!”

“I can help you – and I will,” Uncle Vusi said calmly. “I’ll have R500 000 ready for you by next week.”

“What? Do you have that kind of money? Where did you get it from?”

The old man smiled and said, “Remember I told you I was a teacher until I retired and my wife died in a car accident?

“My retirement funds and my wife’s payout are all tied up in my account and I’ve had no use for them until now. I’m willing and able to help you,” he said.

Lerato reached out and hugged and kissed him. “Thank you, thank you!” she joyfully exclaimed. “I just have to finalise my divorce as soon as possible and then I can start looking for suitable premises to rent.”

-by Myriam Barendse

To be continued...

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