The Red Car 3/4

By Drum Digital
21 August 2014

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

From her kneeling position on the floor Palesa noticed Papa was wearing a pair of shiny black shoes and his clothes looked brand-new as well! Papa retired from work six years ago,

she thought. And he can’t afford such clothes. Unless . . . he used the lobola money! Palesa felt numb. Her Papa had sold her off to a man she didn’t know, who was beating her up.

And there was no way out of it. Papa’s voice droned on. ‘‘Do you think all couples like each other before they marry? Your mother and I are a good example, we’ve been together for over 30 years.’’ ‘‘Yebo, Papa,’’ was all Palesa could say. She went to look for her mother.

Mama was in the kitchen baking cakes. ‘‘My daughter,’’ she said in a mournful voice, ‘‘a woman’s cleverness does not depend on the books she reads but in the way she is able to make her man think he is king.’’ Palesa hugged and kissed her mother and went to her old bedroom. Feeling tired, she flopped onto the bed and turned on the TV news.

It was the same old stories: ‘‘Police are looking for a group of armed men who escaped with an undisclosed amount of money in a red car. Police say the men are extremely dangerous and should not be approached . . .’’ Palesa turned off the set and went to sleep.

On her way down her street the next day, Palesa passed two women selling roasted mealies on the corner. ‘‘That’s the one who gets beaten by her husband,’’ sneered the skinny woman.

News travels fast in ekasi, Palesa thought. ‘‘Do you know that if my husband dared lay a hand on me I’d knock sense into him?’’ said the fat woman.

To be continued...

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