The Red Car 2/4

By Drum Digital
20 August 2014

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

A loud snore brought Palesa back to her sad reality. She darted back into the bedroom and swiftly locked the door. She waited. From behind the door she could hear grumbling sounds, water running and the slamming of the front door. She heard the car start outside and knew that Buti was leaving. Palesa took a bath.

At the dressing table she looked at her reflection. The blue bruise beneath her right eye spoilt what was a naturally beautiful face. Its oval shape was complemented by high cheekbones, close set eyes and a narrow nose. Palesa opened her foundation and began covering up the blue eye. She looked at herself in the mirror, and thought: I look like a mask!

A sudden banging on the back door made her jump. She nervously peeked out of the kitchen window and saw a plump woman in a short black and white dress. It was her friend Tumza. Palesa opened up, pulled Tumza in and bolted the door. ‘‘Hi chommie,’’ said Tumza. ‘‘I saw the light on in your room and I said to myself ‘girlfriend hasn’t gone to work yet’.

‘‘Are you wearing make-up? You never wear make-up. What’s with the dark clothes? What’s the secret? Out with it, come on, come on,’’ Tumza urged. ‘‘Okay, okay, I’ll give you some idea,’’ Palesa said. She led Tumza to her bedroom and quickly closed the door. ‘‘Swear you won’t tell anybody what I’m about to tell you,’’ hissed Palesa.

‘‘Okay, okay – but you’re hurting my arm!’’ Tumza said. ‘‘Buti is abusing me and I am going to get this marriage cancelled,’’ Palesa blurted. ‘‘Oh chommie, I’m so sorry,’’ Tumza said, hugging her friend. Palesa broke off the embrace, sniffed a few times and patted down her hair. ‘‘It’s okay. I’m all right. I have to go.’’ ‘‘Chommie you must leave Buti!

You’re too good for him. I keep telling you that.‘’ ‘‘I hope Papa agrees with you,’’ Palesa said. ‘‘Not a word to anybody. Okay?’’ Tumza nodded. The day-long taxi ride home was uneventful but Papa’s reaction wasn’t. ‘‘You’ve only been married three months and you want a divorce? Are you mad? I won’t have you disgracing my name!’’

Papa fumed.

To be continued...

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