Featured

The Long Meet

Old man have long been preying on young girls in rural areas and small towns. Mafikeng is no exception. Although its not a rural area, neither is it a small town, the trend persists. They raise these girls and then take them to bed as soon as they are old enough. Sometimes, they are not even old enough. But no one says anything. No one is ever accused of raping a young girl. Maybe they see it as a necessary step in a young girls education. When the young men have gone to work, the old remain to educate the girls.

When Tumelo met Keneilwe, all he saw was a woman with sad eyes. He was used to sadness. He was good at recognizing it in other people because his heart was also filled with it. The sadness and loneliness accumulated through the years. There was nothing unusual about sadness in a woman. Most women lived with sadness for most of their lives. This world was not made for the happiness of a woman. This world was not made for happiness at all. But Keneilwe tried hard to hide her sadness. Yet it showed in each of her expressions. It was there when she laughed with her tongue hanging out. When she talked loudly to people standing next to her. When she made jokes and commented about how silly her jokes were, so that no ones else would point it out to her. Mostly it was there in her silent moments. In the way she looked at him when they lay in bed together. There was this pleading in her eyes. Silently asking him not to hurt her like all the men in her life had done.

The first time they slept together, Tumelo was invaded by a rush of emotion. It went through his whole body infecting every particle of his being. He had never felt something so overwhelming before. His own lifetime of accumulated sadness seemed insignificant in comparison. After Keneilwe had left, Tumelo closed the doors and went to the bedroom. He broke down on the bedroom floor, crying for what seemed like an eternity. His sobs where like painful blows to his body, they ripped through him, tearing him into pieces. He was rendered helpless by the pain of another human being. By the time the sobs subsided he was exhausted, and a bit embarrassed that he had allowed himself to cry like that, even though no one saw him, the universe was witness to his weakness. He got on the the bed and slept. A deep dream-less sleep. Thinking how strong a person has to be to live with such pain each day of their lives.

“You have been through a lot havent you?” said Tumelo when he saw her next

“What do you mean?” she says, looking at him with an inquisitive smile. The smile that hid nothing.

They were sitting on a couch in her mothers house. The mother who died when she was still a child. Leaving her to raise her siblings alone. They were grown now, the siblings. Two men who now had lives of their own, and never came to visit. It was now her house, hers and her three children, whose fathers all disappeared after the children had been born. The sound of the television was muted, and Tumelo sat some distance away from her, afraid to be too close. He didn’t want to feel her pain anymore. He knew he couldn’t handle it. He needed everything to be out in the open. If her experiences were expressed verbally, he would not have to keep feeling it each time he was intimate with her.

“I felt it, all your pain you know, yesterday after you left I broke down because of it.”

“What are you talking about?” he could see from the expression in her eyes that she knew exactly what he was talking about. She was trying to understand how exactly he could ‘feel’ any of it. “Baby?” alarm grew in her when he moved further away from her when she tried to touch him. “What’s going on?”

He moved to her now. Drawn by the fear in her eyes. Her gave her a light kiss on the mouth, a little brush on the forehead. He squeezed her body to his own, as if he wanted to merge himself to her, and form a single body. He looked her in the eyes and was struck by how beautiful she was, in this her vulnerable moment. He wondered why beauty was so often born in suffering.

“I’m scared.” she said “You scare me. We have just met and, I don’t know what is going on between us. This thing between us is crazy. And now it seems, you know things about me, and I have not told you anything.”

It comes to him, the possibility that he had to travel half way across the country to meet the woman that God had made for him. He never imagined that she would be five years older than him, with three children, and with a past that has thought her to be distrustful of men, although it was not in her nature to be distrustful. He could imagine her when she was a child. Happy in the knowledge that nothing in the world can hurt her. She woke up each morning and gave the world her innocent smile. The adults in her world posed no threat. They drank a lot and said foul things to each other all the time, but they did that out of love for each other. There was no malice in anything they did. She never once imagined that these men who gave her so much attention, would one day be the source of so much of her pain, so much of her suffering.

“I never thought that I would ever love another man in my life ever again.” she said.

She once bought a man into her house, and allowed him to live with her her and her children. Tall and handsome he was. Strong hands that promised to protect her. And he wanted her to carry his blood in her womb.

“I can’t have children anymore.” she told the man “I removed my womb after the last child was born.”

His attitude changed after that, not explicitly, but implicitly. Yet she could still see. She saw when his eyes lingered on her sixteen year old daughter. But eyes have a way of doing that, unbidden. She refused to believe that this man she loved and trusted enough to give a key to her house, and a key to her heart, would one day act on his unnatural lust. Guilt comes from things foresaw and ignored.  

A fragile hope, that the world, and the people in it, are not as bad as we imagine. The people in her life, she hoped, would protect her from the evil out there. But they didn’t. She knew though, when she found her boyfriend on top of her daughter, that evil was already within her own four walls.

It had been going on for weeks. And that final realization of the truth tore her apart.

When Tumelo saw Keneilwe for the first time he felt an uneasiness. Like the feeling you get when you know you have forgotten something but you don’t know what. There was nothing about Keneilwe that should have made him notice her, except the very ordinariness of her. Her lack of makeup, the ashy face that made her look as if she had not had a bath for some time, the clothes with dirt stains all over, like she was a child who had just come from playing in the dirt with her friends. Perhaps that is where the uneasiness came from. There are women who seem like they have given up on life, and the only thing that keeps them alive is their lack of courage in taking their own lives. They walk around as if they have nothing to lose, they spend their days at the tavern, looking for a man to buy them alcohol, they neglect their children. They are ostentatiously loud. But their eyes reveal a struggle that would bring down most men. She had an easy smile and made others laugh. But there was an echo to her own laugh, going deeper into cold and dark caves.

In recalling this Impression, at a later time, he would also recall the impression that her vagina made on him, not the sensation of it but the look of it, the perfection of it, the beauty that lay in the barely perceptible folds of her womanhood.

They had just taken a bath together, lying naked on his bed, and he was rubbing lotion on her legs. And invariably, his hands went between her legs.

“You said you wanted to see it, now is your chance.” she said, opening her legs for his explorations.

Earlier on, he had traced the scar that ran across the base of her belly, and she had to explain that all three of her children were delivered through caesarian

“The operation is very painful” she had said, making him imagine that they had cut through her without any anaesthetic at all “afterwards, when the injection wears off.” like a woman who had avoided the pain of childbirth. He would come to understand too, that childbirth, being a temporary pain, would have been much easier to endure than the pain that carries on constantly, present when you wake up in the morning, present when you go to sleep at night. The pain of her being went beyond the physical.

But at that time, when he saw her for that first time, he knew nothing about her pussy, her body, her scars, her pain, except the fact that seeing her felt like seeing a dear old friend whose existence he had completely forgotten about. Perhaps it was the shame of that which drew him to her, the need to make it up to her, a kind of apology for forgetting her, for not coming to her sooner, for the fact that she had to live so much of her life without him.

“All your children should have been mine.” he would later tell her. But none of her children would ever be his. After the last one was born she removed her womb.

Tebogo was a dangerous looking man, and it was easy to guess what he did for a living. Especially since Mafikeng had a reputation for criminality and gangsterism. He had passed by the house a few times, and was generous enough to greet Tumelo as he passed. But Tumelo knew that he would not want to be friends with a guy like that. It was all in the eyes. The cold stare, perhaps. The eyes that have seen too much. All the things he had done reflected in them. It was not in the way he acted, he spoke softly and mostly with a smile. He did not go around stabbing people in the streets, he did not pick fights in taverns, but everyone feared him, respected him, the old and the young deferred to him. He was in his late twenties but his smooth skin made him look much younger.

It was on a public holiday, it does not really matter which because none of them meant anything to Tumelo. He was alone, and drinking a bottle of four cousins wine. When the wine was finished, he felt like a beer, so he went out to get some. A decision he would not have made if he was still sober. When he got there he found only two people at the tavern. A strange thing for a public holiday but he did not want to question it. One of those people was Tebogo, and the other happened to be Keneilwe. They were sitting together, huddled conspiratorially over the table, a single beer between them. So he bought two beers and put it between them. Again, a decision he would not have made if he was not drinking earlier. Keneilwe was surprised, a bit unsure of what to do. Tebogo accepted the beers, and invited him to sit down, smiling knowingly, as if he already knew the destiny of the two people now sitting with him. Perhaps he already knew. It was he who informed Keneilwe that Tumelo was in love with her, even before Tumelo knew it himself. He would have said it was lust. The alcohol playing a disproportionately large part in the whole affair. It was a strange night. Where he found himself making a friend with someone he never thought he ever would, and falling in love with a woman he never intended falling in love with. At the end of the night they found themselves at his house, the three of them, after the tavern had closed.

“I’m cold.” Keneilwe had said.

“I don’t have a heater where I stay, and we will probably find the gate locked anyway.” said Tebogo.

“I have one.” said Tumelo.

And that is how they ended up in his bedroom, the heater taken out but not plugged in because the bedroom was warm. They were drunk and there was more alcohol to be had, since they had bought some before the tavern closed. Occasionally they would dance, Keneilwe doing most of the dancing, while protesting all the time that she could not dance at all. But she danced quite well, provocatively in fact, and Tumelo watched her intently, anxious that no one should see the raging erection which tortured him.

“You know I have never drank with guys like you.” Keneilwe said “I mean I feel safe with you guys.I feel that I can be free without worrying that afterwards you will want something from me.”

“You know you don’t have to worry about anything when I’m around.” said Tebogo. And Tumelo agreed, although the erection in his pants seemed to say otherwise.

Later on, when Tebogo had left; Tumelo offered to accompany her home. And that was when he proposed his love to her. She was surprised by it. Surprised that someone should say such words to her.

“Your friend told me how you felt about me, but I didn’t believe it, I mean…”

“How did he even know, I mean I didn’t tell him anything.”

“Are you sure, how did he know then?” she said, stopping to smile at him and look him in the eyes, perhaps to see if he was lying.

“One of those people who are extremely intuitive I suppose.” he said.

“What does that mean?”

“What does what mean?”

“Intuitive?”

“Oh.”

They would discuss that word often. Intuition and empathy. The ability to see and to feel what others see and feel. To get inside the skin of other people,especially those closest to you. It freaked her out that he too was intuitive, he too had the empathy to get under her skin and see what she had seen, feel what she had felt, so much so that he would break down over it. At the time it didn’t worry him that she knew nothing of the word. But over time it would grow on him, her simple lack of intellect. At time it seemed she had nothing more to offer than her body. But he knew that was not true. She was opening up parts of himself that had lain dormant for a long time, she was reflecting him back to himself, and he didn’t know how she did it. There were unexplored parts of her soul which fascinated him, and he felt that he could probably spend the rest of his life exploring them.

Her soul, whatever that meant. He thought often about the story of the little soul from the book Conversations with God, about how the little soul wanted to experience forgiveness.

“There is nothing to forgive.” God says “All is love, therefore there is nothing that anyone can do that you would need to forgive them for.”

But the little soul was insistant, he wanted to know what it meant to forgive experientially. So an older soul comes along and offers to help.

“In your next life,” the old soul says “I will come into your life and do terrible things to you. I only ask one thing from you, that while I am doing these things, that you will remember who I am.”

That you will remember who I am. He thought, so much of the people he had met in his life, he had forgotten who they were. He had forgotten who Keneilwe was. And he suspected that this was the woman he had made a pact with before he was born. He hoped that it was a pact of love, a pact of healing after all that had happened. But, increasingly, he feared that it was a pact of pain, to add onto the pain that she had already experienced. If it was the latter, he hoped that she would remember who he was, even if he had forgotten himself. Perhaps she would help him to remember, and also remember who she is, and bring them to a full understanding of why the two of them had to meet, and will probably keep on meeting, for a very long time to come.

Oratile

Oratile spent her days with the freedom of a child; she was a child after all, smiling at friends and strangers alike. For her, people seemed likeable and friendly, grown-ups smiled at her and sometimes gave her money. She especially liked it when they called her names like sweetheart or love, it made her feel special. Sometimes men would look at her strangely, but she didn’t know what it meant. Even though she knew that men and women liked each, she was only nine years old, and men did not like her in that way. Even boys her age did not like her in that way. If they did, her brother Kgotso would not like it, and she did not like to upset Kgotso, he was good to her, and always made sure to share his things with her, like sweets and snacks, and even his toys. They did not have enough toys though, only three small cars that Kgotso stole from his friend Ofithlile. They made sure to play with them whenever Ofithlile was not around. Ofithile’s parents had a lot of money, and they bought him anything that he wanted.

When the man opposite their house arrived Oratile was fascinated by him. He seemed friendly but aloof, and besides the obligatory greeting, he never spoke to anyone unless spoken to. He was tall and dark, like he had been born very close to the sun. She liked his dark skin. Most of the people she knew had very light skin, even though Mafikeng was very hot most of the year, even in winter.

Weeks went by without her talking to the strange man, or the strange man talking to her. He went to work and came back, never troubling anyone. On weekends he came to her house to buy beer, but he never stayed, instead he took his beer and went to drink it at his house, or the house he was staying at. Which was unusual, the people of Mafikeng, at least in Imperial reserve, drank together, got drunk together, fought together the next morning and nursed their hangovers together. But the man never wanted to trouble anyone, and fight with drunk people, and nurse hangovers in the morning, that is why perhaps he drank alone.

One day, on a weekend, Oratile saw Ofithlile going toward his house, and she accompanied him.

“Where are you going?” she asked

“Malume Tebogo invited me, we are going to watch some cartoons.” he said.

They never allowed them to watch cartoons at her house. They never watched television in her house. At night they only watched soapies, then they were told to go to sleep. Therefore she was envious of Ofithlile, and wanted to go with him. She was also curious to see what the house looked like inside, she had never been, the people who lived there before Malume Tebogo came did not allow them to go inside.

“Where is your brother,” said Ofithlile, “Don’t you want to play with him today? You guys are always together.”

“I also play with you too though. Please Ofithlile, I want to come with”

“You are so annoying sometimes. don’t come with dirt inside the house, its always clean.”

“I am not dirty Ofithlile.”

Oratile had just taken a bath. And her brother Kgotso always took a bath after him, that is why she was not with her on that day.

Malume Tebogo’s house was indeed very clean. The floors were shiny and smelt of freshly applied polish. In the dining room, there was a big flat screen television which almost covered the whole wall. She had never seen a television that large, and had her mouth open at the sight of it. Malume Tebogo was sitting on a dark green couch opposite the television. There were four couches. Two small ones and two large ones arranged in a semi circle. Oratile and Ofithlile sat on a large one that looked just like the one Malume Tebogo was sitting on. When they sat all the way back their legs dangled at the edge of the couch, and they could not sit with their legs down like Malume Tebogo did. He smiled at them a lot, and when he spoke he did so not with the measured tone and soft voice that he always employed, but rapidly as if he was in a hurry to leave, tripping over his own words. It was clear that he was drunk, his eyes shone with the dark twinkle of the intoxicated, and there where four beer bottles next to him on the sofa, three of them were empty. Ofithlile did not seem to mind him, he was too concentrated on the television, so she decided not to mind him as well, to watch television and just smile at the things he said, even though most of it did not make sense.

The cartoons that were on television, which Malume Tebogo called anime, were different to the ones she was used to. They were full of violence and blood, and made her want to close her eyes. But she did not want Ofithlile to laugh at her for being squeamish, so instead she stopped watching television, and focused on the smooth and shining dark face of Malume Tebogo, who spoke an English that was totally incomprehensible to her.

An episode of one of the anime ended and Ofithlile remembered that he had something to do at home.

“Can you please pause it.” he said “I don’t want to miss anything.”

He looked like he would not have minded if he missed all of it.

As soon as he was gone Malume Tebogo came and sat in front of her, where Ofithlile had been.

“You have such a beautiful smile you know that?” he said

He took out his camera and took a photo of her. Several photos of her. He could not get enough of her image, of the smile that he seemed to love so much. Oratile smiled some more to oblige him, even though she didn’t feel much like smiling anymore. She found herself giggling strangely and she didn’t know why. Malume Tebogo’s fingers were running through her neck. His rough stubble was like sand paper on her skin, fumes of alcohol assailed her nostrils.

“You have such soft skin.” he said, breathing heavy on her.

His presence felt heavy on her, and she found it hard to maintain the smile that was slowly changing into an expression of petrified horror. Her shirt was hiked up, cold hard fingers ran down her back, followed by prickly kisses and the increasingly heavy breathing that went with them.

Suddenly Malume Tebogo looked at her face, he removed his hands from her, and for a second her feeling of horror was expressed on his face. Ofithlile knocked once and let himself in. When he got to the sitting room he paused a bit when he found them sitting together.

“Come my boy,” said Malume Tebogo “I think you will like this one.”

He removed himself from her and returned to his seat, talking incomprehensibly as he had done before. The doubt in Ofithlile’s face was gone by the time he perched himself back on the couch, his legs dangling, he did not even look at her to see if she was okay.
This time Oratile did not make any effort to understand what Tebogo was saying. She looked straight at the hazy images on the television screen, and tried hard to efface the persistant drunken voice of Tebogo, and the cold fingers, the alcohol breath, the feeling of the scrapping and stabbing kisses that still lingered in her body.

The next day was a Sunday, and as usual, men with hangovers from the previous days drinking congregated at her house. And as usual, her mother sat with them. She had not told her mother anything when she got to the house yesterday. When she was asked how come she was taking a bath without being told, or why she went to bed so early that day, when she always insisted on staying up late on a Saturday, she said nothing. Only to her brother, when he came to check up on her, did she say something, but not the truth of what really happened.

“I am scared of Tebogo.” she said.

“Who is Tebogo.”

“Malume Tebogo. The one who stays at that house.” she said, pointing. “You know him”

“Yes I know him, what did he do.”

“Its just, you know, he is scary when he drinks alcohol. He seems nice but he is really not. I don’t think he should drink alcohol at all.”

“Lots of people drink beer Oratile, some of them are nice afterwards, but some of them not so much, but; what did he do?”

She could not find the words to explain what had happened. How could she explain something she did not quite understand. She did not know if it was wrong or right. She only knew how it felt. And she did not have the words to explain how it felt. And she wondered to herself if all men were like this. If she was left alone with any of them, would they do to her what Tebogo did. If this is what they all did, did that mean that it was a normal thing? After all a normal thing is the thing that everyone else does, and if everyone does it then there must be nothing wrong with it. But she did not know if anyone else did it. She did not know if anyone would call her stupid for feeling the way she did. But her brother would not judge her. She did not need to tell him what happened for him to understand, for him to protect her from the things that men did to little girls when no one was around.

Tebogo was there on that Sunday. It felt odd for Oratile, seeing him there, drinking and talking with other people as if this was a normal occurrence, like nothing at all out of the ordinary had happened. Her mother sat next to him, laughing at his jokes, nodding at the things he said as if she understood any of it. He was buying everyone beers, and they all looked at him with an open trust, as if he could never do anything wrong. It was only she and Kgotso who looked at him distrustfully. But after he called Kgotso and gave him twenty rand so he could buy himself and Oratile a cold drink, she could see the distrust in her brother’s eyes slowly dissipating, as if he was starting to doubt what she had told him, starting to doubt what he had intuited to be true. That is when she knew, that even her brother was capable of betraying her.

The siblings

The sounds of passion made their way through the wall, the incredibly thin wall that allowed even the most subdued moan to pass through. Or was it that he was listening too closely. Feeling the twitch and rising of his manhood with every acoustically voyeured thrust, every smack of the softly vibrating bottom, the panicked squicking of the bed, the sharply piercing cries of pleasure. He did not know who the guy was, but he knew that he hated him with all his heart. Seipati too, not that he hated her as such, but he did not understand why she would leave him at home just to fetch some random strangers to fuck. And then rub it in his face by making sure that he heard everything that went on. It was cruel of her. Then again, she had always been cruel.

He thought of his own girlfriend, who was not really his girlfriend at the moment, but would hopefully his girlfriend again in the near future. What could she be doing at that moment, what she also in the throes of passion with another man, or most probably, several man? Knowing Mahloli, that was exactly what she was doing.

Jeff once went out with Seipati’s cousin. Seipati said she was also his cousin but of course that was not true. Seipati was not really his sister. Their parents were married once, then they chose to die two months apart from each other. People said his father died from a broken heart, he loved his wife so. He didn’t want to believe it, but how do you explain when a freakishly healthy man like his father suddenly collapsing from a heart attack. He didn’t drink, he didn’t smoke, he ran every morning, he had even run the comrades marathon, twice, under eight hours, in his fifties. A man like that doesn’t just die from a heart attack. Perhaps love is the most dangerous invention in the world. Losing it could cause the death of a man. They were married in community of property, their parents. They never had a child together, each bringing a child into the marriage. Children who never really felt like siblings, but were forced to pretend for the sake of their parents. And now that their parents were both gone, the house kept them together. Although Jeff did not want to pretend anymore. He was always painfully aware of the sexual energy between them, as they walked around the house, around each other, trying unsuccessfully to ignore that anything at all was happening between them. That also was a kind of pain, although, fortunately, it was not enough to kill a man. It felt like he was dying most days, from all the erections he was forced to hide, as he watched his sister walk around with barely any clothes at all. Pretending to make food in the kitchen and eating none of it. Bending over while scrubbing the floor. Walking out of the bathroom with her short towel, water dripping from her smooth body.

Sleep was impossible. So he went outside for a smoke. Hoping that when he came back they would be finished. But when he came back they were still at it, at each other, the bloody bastards.

He had heard it being said that Sotho women love sex. He knew personally, with his Sister who was not his sister, and of course with her cousin, Mahloli. Mahloli who drank every day and did not mind the fact that he was so much younger than her.

“I will take care of you.” she once said, “just as long as you take care of me” hiking up her skirt carelessly at the tavern, while tongues involuntarily licked lips. At least he imagined that was what was happening. He could not take her eyes off of her. She had the attitude of an anarchist, this woman who was in her forties who still danced like a sixteen year old.

“Me and you, I know, we are not going to last. I see how you look at these young girls. But no matter. For as long as we are together. We are going to have some fun.”

And fun they did have. He did not want it to end. How could he. He was getting money, food, shelter, and of course, sex. But alas, end it did, very publicly too. At the tavern where else. He was caught with his eye wandering behind the big bottom of a younger girl. Then he found himself packing his clothes that night, going back home to his sister who was not his sister.

“You are disgusting you know that.” she said as a way of greeting “My own cousin, sis. What’s worse, her child is almost the same age as you. What is wrong with you.”

She was wearing those pink hello kitty pyjama pants which held so very tightly to her. And that under sized t-shirt which revealed thin hair creeping towards her navel, held up by breasts with incredibly long nipples.

“Come on Jo, we are not even related.” he said as he watched her bouncing ass while she walked away.

You would think she would be happy that he had been out of the house for a full month. But she seemed pissed about it. That night she brought a guy home. Just to show that she could also be cruel. The guy came regularly for a full month. And there was nothing he could say about it. They had both agreed that they would stay out of each others way, do their own things and never question what the other did. If she had decided to hold a house party which last for a week, and her friends took a shit on the table, he would say nothing about it, just as long as no one came into his room, and she cleaned up the mess afterwards.

Two weeks after being thrown out of Mahloli’s shack, when he had almost forgotten that he once lived with her, she came knocking at the door at three in the morning. It was an impetuous and insolent knock, full of anger and unexpressed passions. He buried his head inside his blankets, resolving not to open the door. Whoever was at the door would eventually tire themselves out, he thought. But Seipati did not make the same resolution. He heard her uneven shuffle in the passage. He heard her curse not so softly.

“Who’s the slutty daughter of a witching whore knocking at my door this time of night?”

After she opened the door the anger in her voice dissipated. Replaced by a concerned, almost soothing voice.

The Nigerian club in the Mafikeng CBD does not close. Those with nowhere to go and some money to spend are free to spend the night, drink themselves into oblivion, have sex with strangers in the toilet. Then emerge in the morning like nocturnal creatures afraid of the light, dishevelled, some shoeless, walking with jelly legs. It is a place filled with people running away from their lives, if only for a temporary visit into a fantasy world. Some people lose themselves in the fantasy, lose their entire lives in a few nights of debauchery, lose their minds and their sense of self. Something similar must have happened to Mahloli, Seipati’s cousin, with whom Jeff had spent a month of passion. Part of the reason he was thrown out was that he was taking Mahloli away from her business. The business of pleasing men. He only had time to please him, and he wasn’t paying any money for it. There where other men who were willing to pay for this pleasure. And Jeff, with his moneyless ways, was preventing her from giving such pleasures. But all people need love. Her work often left her empty. And her time with Jeff was the only time she ever felt fulfilled in the company of a man. So it was not surprising that after a night spend at the Nigerian club, drinking and pleasing men who drained her of her sense of self, she should be here at three in the morning, looking for the man who showed her love, or at least some semblance of it. Not that she knew what love was, having never experienced it. But she knew what men were, and not many of them would be willing to move in with her, cook for her, concern themselves with her pleasure, with the full knowledge of what she did for a living. In her eyes Jeff was one of a kind, and she was not willing to let him go, even though she had let him go, she was now prepared to turn herself into a crazy woman to get him back. She had always been crazy though, just not crazy for a man, as she was now.

Jeff was flattered. Something to do with the male ego. The first light of day found him with his bag already packed. And he and Mahloli returned to their love nest. Two days later, when Mahloli regained her sober state of mind, if indeed she ever possessed it in the first place, Jeff was once again thrown out, and send home.

“You will think that it is only men who abuse women, your cousin is seriously abusing me with her crazy ways.” said Jeff, to a laughing Seipati.

“You mean your cousin.” said Seipati.

“Don’t even start okay, I am not in the mood.”

He didn’t want to see her again, but he knew that if Mahloli were to once again knock on that door demanding to have him back he would not hesitate to pack his bags and follow her into the pits of hell. It could be love, it could be a crazy obsession, it could be an unconscious desire to self destruct. Ultimately it did not matter, much. She lived a dis-functional life and he lived a dis-functional life, and in their world dis-function is the normality of everyday life. And this dis-functional normality is something that they, in their dis-functional normal perspective of the world, have come to take pride in. So Mahloli may have closed the door on him for the moment, but he would continue to wait for the door to open to him once again, and he would enter it without hesitation, even as he continues to lust after his own sister, and waiting for her to open the door for him as well.