The Red Car 1/4

By Drum Digital
19 August 2014

What's a girl to do when her marriage goes sour?

Palesa ran into the bedroom and slammed the door. She locked it and leaned back in a fit of sobs. The pounding of a fist on the door made her cover her mouth in a feeble attempt to compose herself.

Buti, her husband of three months, thundered from behind the door, ‘‘Come back here. I haven’t finished with you. Miss High-and-mighty, you think you’re clever running away? I know you’re in there. Open up!’’ Buti began to thump the door with a fist. Palesa braced herself as the door bounced against her back with each thud.

Then he stopped and she lay down on the bed. Hours later she woke up. Palesa noticed daylight creeping in from behind the curtains. Slowly she got off the bed. All she could hear was the pounding of her heart. She turned the key and nearly fainted as it rattled in the lock. Walking on tiptoe, she headed in the direction of the living room where she could hear snoring. Then she hit the floor as Buti muttered, ‘‘Don’t worry, the operation will go well. That red car is so fast nobody will catch us.’’ And then the snoring resumed.

He’s talking in his sleep again, Palesa thought. She tiptoed towards the living room. Buti was on the couch, wearing oil-stained blue overalls unbuttoned to the waist. His fat belly moved up and down as he snored. Fumes of alcohol hit Palesa’s nostrils. Why did I ever agree to marry this dog? she asked herself. Because she had no alternative, that’s why.

Six months before, she had just finished her second year at varsity when her father announced, ‘‘You will be getting married in three months’ time!’’ ‘‘Papa, who is this man?’’ she stammered. ‘‘I, I don’t want to get married now. I haven’t completed my studies.’’ ‘‘As far as I know, I’m still the head of this household and what I say goes,’’ was all her father had said. ‘‘Your smart mouth has driven many a good man away.’’ ‘‘But I can’t help if they’re not what I’m looking for . . .’’ ‘

‘There you go with that mouth of yours! I am telling you what you’re going to do!’’

To be continued...

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