Accused of witchcraft
Their eyes are trained on me. My love is nowhere to be seen. Why is he taking so long to drop bags in a bedroom that doesn’t seem that far away?
“Everyone this is Thesna” his mom introduces me with a flourish and a smile that doesn’t quite reach her eyes.
My head is spinning from all the names I just know I’m going to forget.
I am notoriously bad at remembering names. I tentatively sit down on the armchair someone has hastily vacated.
I am ready for the interrogation that I feel sure is about to happen.
“So where in Cape Town are you from?” Friend No. 1 asks.
“The Cape Flats” I answer with a sardonic grin.
“Oh!” says Friend No.3 glancing at her with an “I told you so” look on her face.
At any moment I expected to see money pop out of bags or bras based on the bets I felt sure they made before I got there.
“Yes, funny thing about Apartheid was that people who look like me couldn’t live in suburbs” I reply.
“Yes, of course we know that. We didn’t mean anything by that. It’s just that its violent there with all the gangs” Friend No.2 stating the obvious.
I want to give these women a history lesson they won’t forget but my words are swallowed when I hear a voice behind me, “I see you’ve met everyone my darling, aren’t they lovely? I grew up in front of these women!” My love says proudly.
Lovely? (Insert eye roll here) I think not, but let me not voice that thought aloud.
“You do realize we have never seen him so in love” says his mom.
“Yes” the friends all chorus, “It’s strange to see him like this because women love him and he loves them!”
I look over my shoulder and give him a lift of my eyebrow and because he knows me he knows that I’m probably about to blurt out some sarcastic comment.
“That was then” he answers as he rubs my shoulders, “this is now and I am going to grow old with her!”
You could hear the dog across the street barking. Even the soft music playing in the background seems to have ground to a halt.
I pat his hand in a comforting gesture while laughing softly” He’s kidding. Tell them you’re joking!” I insist.
“No, I’m not. I said I would grow old with you from the moment we first started dating.” He counters.
Why does he have to say these things in front of them?
Why not wait until he is alone with his mom or better yet, don’t say anything.
Wait, I saw that look that just passed between Friend No.1 and Friend No.3.
What’s going on?
While music is playing and people have broken off into different conversations I still have those two women staring at me and talking to each other with their eyes.
Do they think I can’t see them? They’re not very subtle.
I am tired now and all I want to do is have a nap before we see his dad tonight. I’ve had enough of being looked at, questioned and am so exhausted from these not so subtle gestures and messages those 2 friends of his mom have been doing since I got there.
“Please excuse me everyone I would like to nap. Lovely meeting you” the polite me says as I move with my love to the room allocated for us.
He leaves me and says he is popping out to see a friend down the road.
Yeah! Yeah! Whatever, I’m tired. My brain answers.
He leaves and I drift off to sleep.
I am woken up by an eerily quiet place and a faint whisper of voices.
Now everyone knows that there’s a reason people whisper and if you are the topic, it’s never good stuff being said.
Oh what the heck, let me get up and creep a bit closer so I can hear because the voices have become a bit louder.
“She’s Catholic Ma, I’ve been to church with her!” He sounds impatient.
“Well don’t say she didn’t warn you because she told me what they do” his mom insists.
“There’s no black magic she used Ma, I fell in love with her” his voice rises as he is answering.
“How do you know? Apparently it’s a potion they use from the “witchdoctor” they then put it on
their vagina and once you make love to them, that’s it you are hooked for life. She says you don’t even know when it happens” his mom insists.
Okay! I heard enough. I need to breathe because it feels like fire coming out of my nostrils and if I was a dinosaur I would breathe fire on all these idiotic beliefs.
I march down the passage and demand to know what this witchcraft is all about and who told the mom such nonsense. She confesses that her friend who grew up near my type of people knows for a fact that all poc women consult witch doctors (their word) obtain some muti that they use on their vagina so the man they love or want will never leave them.
I am speechless! For a moment I don’t know what to say to a woman that seems convinced that its true. Anything is better and easier for her to believe than the idea of her son having fallen madly in love with a brown-skinned woman.
I saunter towards the love of my life in what I hope is a seductive way, place a kiss on his cheek, put my arms around his neck and turn to face his mom and I sweetly say “I love your son and he knows that but here’s the thing, if I could get my hands on this muti your friend is referring to, I would be in Hollywood trying to seduce Richard Gere instead of someone that works with me, earning what I do. Think about it, the possibilities are endless and I would not need to stop there, I could have a different man every day of the week. Men who are rich and famous”
I remove myself from the conversation and smile inwardly thinking,” Yes chew on that tidbit!”
If my first few hours were this dramatic what could I expect from his dad later that evening?
To be continued……Part VI
Pop goes the weasel.