The Betrayal 2/4

By Drum Digital
05 March 2014

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

THABO drove into town, glad to be away from his nagging wife. Candice was different. She was waiting for him in her flat – for which he had the keys – controlling her insatiable need until he got there.

He quickly parked his car in her garage and let himself in. They fell into each other’s arms and after a passionate few hours went to sleep, their limbs entwined.

At dawn, Thabo was woken by the sound of birds chirping outside and realised he had overslept. He wriggled out of her grasp and dressed as quickly as possible.

“Why are you leaving so early?” she moaned in her husky voice.

“It’s almost six in the morning; Lerato is going to throw a fit,” he said. He was now head over heels in love with Candice and soon he would have to choose between her and Lerato. He was fully aware that what he was doing was wrong. But he just couldn’t bring himself to stop. Candice was a forbidden pleasure he couldn’t resist.

He rushed home to find Lerato and the boys around the breakfast table. He was guilty as sin and couldn’t hide it anymore.

She greeted him coolly and then got the boys ready for school. After their lift had arrived, Thabo said, “Lerato, I’m afraid we need to talk”.

Her heart skipped a beat as she followed him on unsteady legs to the lounge, where they both sat on opposite sides of the room.

“I need some space,” Thabo began. “Things are not working between us and I think we both need some time alone to figure things out.”

“I’m your wife and I don’t need any space. I want to be with you every day. I love you, Thabo,” Lerato replied tearfully.

“Please don’t start with that nonsense. You know we have problems and have not been intimate for months,” he snapped.

Lerato started crying. “You were always tired! I tried, but you always pushed me away. What am I going to do with you gone? I’ve got no one to turn to,” she pleaded in a shaky voice that seemed to irritate him all the more.

“Please get a grip on yourself. I will take care of you. I know my responsibilities.”

He hastily packed a suitcase and left, after promising to return at the weekend to see the children. At age five and seven, they were still young and didn’t really understand what was going on. They just knew that Daddy was always at work.

When she told them later that Daddy had gone away for a while, Lerato put on a brave face for their sake. But she was shattered. Her life was falling apart. In the kitchen, she prepared lunch and dished out a plate for Uncle Vusi, who lived next door.

She’d given him a meal every day for the past year, ever since they had moved in.

Vusi was a widower in his sixties who lived alone and never allowed anyone into his personal space. But he’d taken a liking to Lerato and helped her maintain the garden and fix things around the house during Thabo’s absence – not that Thabo was ever good at fixing anything.

Vusi was a wise old man and they could chat for hours on end. For Lerato, he was like the father she’d never had. The children adored him and he often bought them presents.

“Have you been crying, child?” Uncle Vusi asked, looking at her bloodshot eyes.

“No, I’m fine, I think I’m coming down with the flu,” she responded faintly.

-by Myriam Barendse

To be continued...

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