Completing The Family

Completing The Family

Status: Finished

Genre: Romance

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Romance

Summary

Linda has been living life freely, until her former husband appears, wanting her to return to him. She refuses, but he will not go away. Desperate, seh asks the father of her adopted children to pretend to be her husband, but he refuses. What will she do now, to get rid of the man from her past?

Summary

Linda has been living life freely, until her former husband appears, wanting her to return to him. She refuses, but he will not go away. Desperate, seh asks the father of her adopted children to pretend to be her husband, but he refuses. What will she do now, to get rid of the man from her past?

Chapter1 (v.1) - Completing The Family

Author Chapter Note

Linda has been living life freely, until her former husband appears, wanting her to return to him. She refuses, but he will not go away. Desperate, seh asks the father of her adopted children to pretend to be her husband, but he refuses. What will she do now, to get rid of the man from her past?

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: November 22, 2011

Reads: 684

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Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: November 22, 2011

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“You’re not an easy woman to find,” said a voice. Linda felt as if she had been thrown into the past. She stopped typing, and looked up slowly.

“Why are you looking for me?” she asked. Her heart was pounding furiously. Jake had aged, badly. She could not believe how different he looked. He was slightly stooped. When she had last seen him, he had stood straight, at six feet.

“The children need you,” he said. Linda removed her hands from her laptop, and clenched them tightly in her lap.

“What do you want, Zwane?” she asked. He sat down infront of her desk. She could smell the alcohol fumes from across the desk, and it was still early in the day.

“The girls need a mother’s advice on women’s issues, and the boys need a mother’s love. We all need you. I've come to fetch you home. You should never have left.”

Linda looked at him in disbelief. She should never have left? She had not wanted to leave, but he had said…that was not going to help. I use energy on productive endeavours, she told herself. She took several deep breaths, counting backwards from ten.

“If you’d use makeup, no one need ever know how old you are,” said Jake. Linda started counting backwards again. She had forgotten that he had enjoyed making snide remarks about her looks. She stood and walked to her office door.

“Get out,” she said, opening it wider.

“Linda…”

“Get out! she shouted.

“Anger doesn’t look good on a woman, especially one your age,” he said, as he walked past her. She closed the door, and leaned on it. Her hands were shaking. She needed to bash something, but she was not going to. Nothing would be improved by such an act of futility. She decided to focus on work. She was always productive there.

She went home several hours after close of business. She was exhausted. She soaked in a hot tub.

After her bath, she stood infront of the mirror, remembering Jake's words. He had told her many times that she was ugly, and that she had been lucky to get married at all. The naked woman in the mirror was not ugly. She would not win beauty prizes, but she would not win ugliness prizes either. She was five foot seven, curvy, with a natural afro that had some grey hairs in it. She looked like she was in her late forties, which was not bad, considering that she was fifty one years old.

Linda slipped into her nightie, then she went to sleep. She woke up sweating. She had dreamt that Jake was sending her from their home. It had been years since she had thought of that night. She sat up, and took several deep breaths. She looked at the time, it was after two in the morning. She lay down, visualising the success of her meeting first thing in the morning.

The meeting went well, then she returned to her office. She found Jake in reception.

“What do you want?” she asked.

“We need to talk.”

“Talk to my lawyer. You made that arrangement, remember? My PA will give you the details.”

“Linda…” Linda walked off. Jake followed her. She closed her office door in his face. He opened the door, and followed her into her office.

“What do you want?” she shouted.

“I won’t have you shouting at me in my home,” he said.

“Good, because I’m not coming to your home.”

“Yes, you are.”

“You sent me away.”

“Now, I’m calling you back.”

“I’m not coming.”

“You have to, you’re my wife.”

“We’re divorced.”

“I never signed any divorce papers.” Linda opened her mouth to contradict him, then she remembered that no divorce papers had been drawn up or exchanged.

“I’m still not coming back,” she said.

“The children need you.”

“They haven’t needed me in years, they certainly don’t need me now. They must be married.”

“Not all of them.”

“I have an appointment now.”

“This is important.”

“Go away, Jake. I’ll send you the divorce papers.”

“I won’t sign them.”

“Go away.” Jake gave her a long look, then he left. It took Linda over an hour to calm down after his visit.

At the end of the work day, she sat thinking about the best way to get him to sign the divorce papers. She was not going back to him, under any circumstances. She had recovered from the treatment that he and his family had meted out to her, and she was not going to subject herself to them again. Satisfied with the plan that she had come up with, she went home.

She went shopping on Saturday. On Sunday, she spent most of the day in bed. In the late afternoon, she freshened up, and cooked dinner.

She opened the front door when she heard a car stopping outside her home. She smiled as Bongi and Themba climbed out of Kgomotso’s car. She went to hug them, then they went into the house. She greeted Kgomotso and invited him in for dinner. Her heart was pounding, she needed him to come into her home.

At six foot, he towered over her slightly. She noticed that he had some grey hairs, and looked broader than usual. She supposed that was a result of the gymning that the children had told her about.

He was surprised by her invitation, she had not invited him into her home in ages. He locked the car, and followed her into her home. After dinner, the children bade Linda and Kgomotso goodnight, and went to their bedrooms.

“I need your help,” said Linda.

“With what?” asked Kgomotso.

“The man I was married to wants a reconciliation.”

“What?” asked a shocked Kgomotso.

“He’s been to see me twice, and says, correctly, that we’re not divorced.”

“You’re not divorced?”

“No, we didn’t get round to it. I’m sending him the divorce papers next week. He swears he won’t sign them.”

“Where do I come into all this?”

“Pretend we’re involved.”

“Linda…”

“Are you involved with anyone?”

“No, but…”

“Please help me with this. I think it’s the only way to convince Jake to sign the divorce papers. He won’t want me if he thinks another man’s touched me. He’s very puritanical in that respect.”

“Are you sure you don’t want him back?”

“Absolutely.”

They shared a long look, then Kgomotso shook his head.

“I can’t help you,” he said.

“Why not?” Linda demanded in disbelief. He did not respond.

“You have to help me! This is the only plan that’ll work,” she said.

“Find another man,” he said.

“I want you! I know you, I trust you, we like each other, we can pull it off.”

“I won’t do it.”

“Kgomotso…”

“No!”

“Why not? Why won’t you help me?”

“Because I don’t want to pretend.”

“It won’t be for long.”

“No,” said Kgomotso, then he left.

Linda stared after him in disbelief. She had been certain that they would laugh together, as they planned outings to convince Jake that they were an item. She was still in shock when she went to bed. She tossed and turned most of the night, wondering what she would do.

“Are you alright, Mama?” asked Bongi at breakfast.

“I’m fine, Bongi. How was your outing with Papa?” asked Linda.

“It was fine, it’d have been better if you’d come too. Why didn’t you come?” asked Themba. Linda made an apologetic face.

Kgomotso had stopped inviting her to join him and the children several years before, and he had refused all her invitations since then. She had stopped inviting him two years before, because he always said no to her invitations. He had been surprised by her invitation the night before, and she had been surprised by his acceptance. She had been prepared to go and discuss her plan with him in his office if necessary.

In her office, Linda phoned her lawyer, and instructed him to draw up divorce papers, and send them to Jake.

The following Saturday, Linda and the children went grocery shopping.

“Linda? Linda. Linda, I’m talking to you,” said Jake. Linda tried to ignore him by walking away from his voice, but he walked faster. He pushed his trolley infront of her, blocking her. He was with someone. Linda looked at the young man briefly, then she decided not to crack her head trying to identify him.

“Thabiso, this is your mother. Linda, I’m sure you remember our son,” said Jake. Linda heard Bongi and Themba gasping in shock.

“Who the hell are you?” demanded Jake, looking from one to the other.

“These are my children,” said Linda.

“The only children you have, you left with me!” he shouted.

“Let’s go,” Linda said to her children. She made to side step Jake, and he blocked her way.

“Get out of my way,” she said.

“You’re coming home with me. Thabiso, take your mother’s trolley,” said Jake.

“Leave me alone!” shouted Linda.

“You’re my wife, you belong in my home.”

“You sent me away.”

“I want you back.”

“I don’t want you.”

“The children need you.”

“These two are my only children.”

“Who gave birth to Thabiso?”

“I’m through with you, Jake, get out of my way.”

“You can never be done with me. We were joined in marriage before God.”

“Did you forget that when you sent me away? I got over you, and I’m with someone else.”

“I’ll kill you before I let you go off with another man.”

“No one kills my Mama!” shouted Bongi. She was standing before Jake in a karate pose.

“Bongi? What’s wrong?” asked Kgomotso.

“Papa! Papa, this man wants to kill Mama,” said Themba, running to Kgomotso. He took him by the hand and led him to stand beside Bongi.

“Who the hell are you? This is a domestic discussion, between me and my wife. Get out of here,” said Jake.

“I am not your wife!” said Linda.

“You have no right to upset the mother of my children. Do I need to phone the police to get you away from her?” asked Kgomotso. He looked and sounded menacing. Jake looked from him to Linda.

“The only children you have are with me,” he said. Linda suddenly felt very tired.

“Let’s go,” she said to her children. She turned the trolley round to avoid Jake, and walked off. Bongi and Themba were on either side of her.

“Stay away from her,” Kgomotso said. Linda left the trolley, full as it was, at the end of the aisle, and led her children out of the shop. People were staring. Linda was more concerned about the effect of that terrible scene on her children.

Outside the shop, Bongi started crying. Linda made to put her arms round her, and Bongi pushed her off. Kgomotso put his arms round Bongi, and she clung to him, crying in earnest. Linda watched as Themba went to stand beside Bongi and Kgomotso. He was looking at her malevolently. Linda felt as if the children were ganging up on her. She took several deep breaths to calm herself. Bongi stopped crying, and drew away from Kgomotso.

“Who’s that man?” she asked.

“I was married to him,” said Linda.

“You didn’t tell us,” said Themba. Linda looked at him helplessly.

“Let’s go home,” said Kgomotso.

“I want to go with Papa,” said Bongi.

“Me too,” said Themba. They all walked to Kgomotso’s car. Linda watched the children climb into it. Her heart felt heavy. This cannot be happening again, she kept saying to herself. She was having trouble breathing. She knew that she would not survive another round of losing her children.

Kgomotso looked at Linda. She was devastated. She was more shaken than the children. She approached the car, and opened a door. The children turned away from her, then Themba closed the door on her. The look of despair on her face broke Kgomotso's heart. He put an arm round her waist.

“Not again, please, not again,” she whispered, as tears ran down her cheeks.

“I’ll take you home,” said Kgomotso. Linda came out of her reverie, and looked at him. She straightened, gave the children a last look, and walked back to the shop. Once she was out of sight, Kgomotso looked at the children. They had been watching her, they turned to look at him. He climbed into the car, and drove off.

“Who was that man, Papa?” asked Themba. Kgomotso looked at him in the rear view mirror.

“He used to be married to Mama,” he said.

“Are they divorced?” asked Bongi.

“I don’t know.”

“Have you ever met him?”

“No.” They were all quiet the rest of the way home.

The house was a mess. Kgomotso had been spring cleaning, then he had run out of cleaning liquids. He had gone to buy them. He had just entered the shop, when he had heard Linda’s raised voice. He had reached her just as Bongi had stood infront of the man threatening Linda. He had been furious with the man for speaking to Linda that way, and forcing Bongi to put herself in danger, to protect her mother.

He had almost punched that man, but the young man beside him, who looked just like Linda, had led the man away. Kgomotso had followed Linda and the children thoughtfully. He was worried about Linda, but the children needed him more now. He sighed, realising that he had not bought the fluids that he needed.

He gave the children instructions about cleaning, and everyone set to work. Usually, Bongi would complain about cleaning, she did not even want to clean up after herself, but today, she cleaned up quietly. Kgomotso ordered a pizza delivery and joined in the cleaning.

When they were done several hours later, they sat down to eat.

“I want to see Mama,” said Themba. Kgomotso looked from him to Bongi. At fourteen years of age, she was harsher on her mother. Themba, who was nine years old, had a very soft spot for Linda.

“Papa, can you take us home now, please? Mama must be lonely. She looked so sad,” said Themba.

“She had not right to keep a secret,” said Bongi.

“I want to see Mama.”

“I’m not going anywhere.”

“I’m not leaving you alone here, we’re all going,” said Kgomotso.

“But…” said Bongi.

“Let’s go.”

Bongi sulked all the way to Linda’s home. Themba kept telling Kgomotso to drive faster. At Linda’s home, all the lights were on.

“Something’s wrong,” said Themba, running towards the house.

“Wait!” said Kgomotso, but Themba did not seem to hear him. Kgomotso hurried after him. He managed to get to the front door first. He opened it, then he went in, with Themba on his heels.

There was loud music coming from the lounge. Linda was in there, on her hands and knees, washing the carpet. Kgomotso could not understand why she would do it manually, when she had two hoovers. He turned off the music. Linda raised her head in his direction. She had tears running down her cheeks, and she was making sobbing sounds. Kgomotso was hurt by her pain.

He watched as Themba knelt beside her and put his arms round her. Linda held him tight. He made a pained sound, and she released him. She stood quickly, and hurried out of the room, sobbing. Themba watched her with concern, then he stood, and looked at Kgomotso. Kgomotso noticed then, that Bongi was following Linda.

“Why’s Mama crying?” asked Themba. Kgomotso did not know what to say. Themba followed Bongi out of the room. Kgomotso followed him. He found the children standing outside a bathroom door, listening to Linda sobbing. Occasionally, the sobs stopped, and Linda could be heard giving herself a pep talk, but then the sobs would start again.

The sobs were hurting Kgomotso, and the pep talks were so valiant, and yet so ineffective, that he had to do something. He opened the door, and entered the bathroom. He closed the door, and approached Linda. She was seated in the empty bath tub, telling herself that she was fine, then the sobs started again.

“Linda. Linda,” said Kgomotso. Linda started, and looked at him in surprise. Quickly, she wiped away the tears on her cheeks and chin.

“Stand up,” said Kgomotso, and she complied. He held a hand out to her. She looked at it, then she put her hand in it. Kgomotso helped her out of the tub.

“Wash your face,” he said. She washed her face. He handed her a towel when she was done. She dried her face. He took the towel and returned it to the towel rack. He put his hands on her shoulders.

“Look at me,” he said. She looked at him.

“You’re a strong person, and a fabulous mother. Our children need answers, and you’re going to give them what they need. You’ll talk to them calmly, and make them understand,” he said. She nodded.

“I’ll be by your side. You’re not alone,” he said. She nodded. She took several deep breaths, then she opened the bathroom door.

The children drew back, it was clear that they had had their ears on the door.

“Hi,” said Linda. The children did not respond. Themba put his hand in Linda’s. She squeezed it gratefully.

“I’ll make tea,” she said, then she and Themba led the way to the kitchen. She released Themba’s hand, and put water in the kettle.

“I’ll do it. Sit down,” said Kgomotso. Linda looked at him malevolently. She needed the minutes it took to make tea, to compose herself. She joined the children, who were seated at the kitchen table. Themba was looking at her, Bongi was texting on her phone. Linda looked at Themba.

“I got married a long time ago, and had six children,” she said. Themba gasped.

“Six?” said Themba.He was very shocked.

“The man I was married to, tired of being married to me, so he told me to go away. I said I’d take the children, and he said they weren’t mine to take. I refused to leave without them. He brought his mother, sister, and other relatives to send me away,” she said.

“Oh, come on! You expect us to believe you meekly agreed to be sent away?” asked Bongi. Linda looked at her, wondering how to explain to her that she had fought with everything at her disposal, and lost. She looked at Themba.

“I was lonely a long time, then Baba and I …” she said.

“You decided to adopt me, then Themba. We all know that. Why didn’t you tell us you’d been married?” asked Bongi.

“It all happened a long time ago,” said Linda.

“When did the marriage end?” asked Kgomotso.

“Twenty-one years ago.”

“Are you divorced?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“At first, I hoped we’d get back together again. Later, other things became more important.”

“He wants you back,” said Bongi.

“I don’t want him.” Bongi gave Linda a long look, then she looked at Kgomotso.

“What are you going to do about this?” she asked. Linda was as shocked as Kgomotso looked.

“What do you mean?” he returned.

“That man wants to take Mama away, are you going to let him?”

“No!” said Themba. Kgomotso looked from the children to Linda.

“I’ll be getting divorced soon. I’m not going anywhere,” she said, looking from Themba to Bongi. Themba gave her a long look.

“You need a bodyguard,” he said.

“Whatever for?” asked a surprised Linda.

“That man said he’d kill you.”

“He won’t!”

“You need a bodyguard! You can’t die, Mama, you can’t! Andrew’s Mama died, and he got a nasty new Mama. Luis’ Mama died, and he lives on the street with no food or clothes. Peter’s Mama died, and he has to look after himself, and three other children. You can’t die, Mama, you can’t die!” shouted Themba as he banged a fist on the table. Linda started in surprise. She could not believe how upset he was.

“No one is dying! Mama’s safe now, and she’ll always be safe,” said Kgomotso. Linda was glad that he was capable of speech, because her throat seemed to have dried. Themba left the room in tears. Bongi ran after him, calling his name.

Linda watched Kgomotso as he sat beside her.

“I didn’t think my former marriage would ever come up,” she said. Kgomotso watched her in silence.

“Thank you for bringing the children back, I didn’t think they’d ever speak to me again,” contined Linda.

“Would he kill you?” asked Kgomotso.

“No!”

“How do you know?”

“He doesn’t have it in him. He’s mean, but he wouldn’t kill.”

“I’m hiring you a bodyguard.”

“No!”

“This isn’t a discussion. I don’t want my children worrying that something will happen to you. What have you done about the divorce?”

“Jake will be served with the papers on Monday.”

“Good. If you have problems, tell me, I know someone who knows great divorce lawyers.”

“I can manage.”

“This isn’t just about you. There are the children and…and I don’t want them worrying.” Linda gave Kgomotso a long look, wondering what he had meant to say. He hired a bodyguard by phone.

“It’s an unnecessary expense,” said Linda.

“Is taking care of your family an unnecessary expense?” Linda could not reply. Kgomotso spent that night, and the next two nights, in the bedroom that he had not used in years.


© Copyright 2018 thabi majabula. All rights reserved.

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