‘I can’t believe we are fighting about this Sambesiwe’.
Yamihle said quietly almost to herself, trying not to aggravate the ache she was nursing inside her head.
‘Well we wouldn’t be if you hadn’t kept this whole damn thing from me!’
Sambesiwe shouted louder than he had intended, barely noticing his girlfriend’s attempts at keeping their spat civil.
‘Listen, he proposed the night before we left for Mozambique’.
Yamihle used this defence hoping it was all the extinguishing the fire needed. Sambesiwe had surprised her with an exciting vacation to celebrate their anniversary and she hadn’t wanted to spoil their weekend with an ‘unnecessary update’.
Sambesiwe made her tell him word by word everything that happened at their pastor’s house the night Lesego Maputa proposed. When she was done, he was still annoyed and frustrated with the whole situation. Yamihle knew that he must blame her for the proposal because throughout the years they’ve been together, men still think she’s single. She’s always insisted on keeping their relationship a secret. But how could she not? When they started dating he had already become quite a popular celebrity. The only reason they’d even met was because Yamihle had begged her boss to organize an interview with the young author after writing a review on his best selling memoir.
‘All everybody knows about your ex is that she was your girlfriend. Being in a relationship with you automatically branded her as only just that! I don’t want the same thing for myself Sambesiwe, I want to be my own person. Besides who wants to be scrutinised and stalked by your fans’.
Four years ago that argument had marked itself as their first official fight after four months of dating. He had posted a picture of them on Facebook without discussing it with her first. Three hours later it was deleted with all its likes and 1910 comments.
Now she was watching him sleep, envying this special ability he possessed of just surrendering himself to restfulness, even though she knew he was still filled with fury.
She had told Lesego that she was in love with someone else. But he seemed undeterred by the news because where they both came from, the only commitment that held any real weight was marriage. A life she’s long since divorced, where men married only to fulfil their domestic and sexual needs.
And now she really needed him to talk her restlessness away. Sambe always seemed to know how to quieten down her mind’s invincible ramblings.
She nudged him gently until he was almost half awake.
‘Hey’ he said sleepily, pulling her closer into his warmth. Sambesiwe remembered hw he had been the first man to ever make her feel that safe with her heart and with her shy nakedness.
‘I love you’ She whispered almost involuntarily.
‘I love you too Mrs. Maputa’
She chuckled knowing that meant they were okay again, she reached for his lips.
‘Why don’t we get married?’ She said almost pulling away, looking at him in the dark.
‘Yamihle!’ He scolded her in quiet whispers.
She could hear a desperate tone in his voice begging her to reaffirm what she had just said.
‘Yeah. Get married. But strictly no engagement, no engagement ring and no big announcement. And definitely no wedding either. Then maybe on the same day you pay lobola, we can invite my pastor to bless the union. We can have the biggest party ever with all our friends and families’.
‘Yummy. You do realize that you’ve just agreed to us being husband and wife FOREVER Baby’.
Suddenly the thought of only being with him for eternity long was not so scary after all. He’d been asking and she’s never really felt ready enough before tonight. Yamihle had met him at a time when all the men she knew complained that she was too independent and too opinionated. He later confessed that he’d been terrified of her and genuinely surprised to find out that she was warm and loving because she was rumoured to be a cold feminist by many men in the industry.
There was plenty more to be said and discussed but for now this was enough. She knew that by saying yes to him, she was also saying yes to herself.
This is a short story I wrote for a submission for a Kollectiv for Written Whisperz. Please download it here and read the rest. Enjoy ❤
Photo By: Sipho Biyam