Thabo is convinced his fiancée has cheated on him and he’s ready to leave her on their wedding day
LOOK here, Lindiwe! I’m not leaving this room without the whole truth. Tell me, who is the father of this child?” That was Thabo – a young man from KwaZulu-Natal. He was smart and handsome, and a loving father to Nkanyezi. His fiancée was sobbing as he confronted her about their son.
“Thabo, how could you accuse me of such a thing? I thought you knew me better than that.”
“Me too, but right now I’m not sure. So tell me the truth, Lindiwe!”
Lindiwe’s friend, Pam, came to the rescue to calm Thabo down.
“Haibo, Thabo! Come on, Nkanyezi is your son. Can’t you see the shape of his head is like yours, not to mention his nose? And look at those feet, this one is definitely Thabo junior.”
“Thabo junior, my foot!” Thabo shrieked.
“Yes, exactly, your foot,” Pam said.
Thabo had had enough. “I’m leaving. When I get back, you must give me the name of the man who fathered this child, otherwise our wedding is off!”
“What? You can’t do that! Our wedding day is tomorrow,” Lindiwe begged.
But her fuming fiancé had already got into his car and was driving off leaving her with a headache and a heartache. Pam was not finished with her friend. “So why didn’t you tell me?” she demanded. “For 14 years we’ve been friends and you’ve hidden such a secret from me. I’m the only person you turn to when things are sweet and when things are sour, so tell me – who is the real father? You know I won’t tell Thabo or anyone else.”
“Haw, mngani! You know who the father is. You said it yourself. His foot – remember?” Lindiwe sighed. “Really? It’s Thabo?” “Of course. Who else could it be?” “Okay, if you say so. I’ll see you tomorrow at your wedding – if there still is one,” Pam said on her way out. “And by the way, you need to take a close look at Nkanyezi’s feet because they don’t even vaguely resemble Thabo’s.”
THABO usually played jazz when he was driving his car, but now he was driving in silent fury. His thundering heartbeat was the only rhythm he could hear. He pulled over at a café and ordered a very strong cup of coffee with no sugar. The bitter taste resembled the feeling in his heart at that moment. Each sip reminded him of how he’d been raising an illegitimate son for three years, how he’d been living a lie without picking up any signs of his fiancée’s treachery. How could he have allowed her to fool him – so much so that he was ready to put a ring on her finger?
“I’m not marrying that woman,” he muttered. “I swear on my father’s legacy, I will not marry her!”
He hit the table, hard, three times with his fist, and then got up to leave when he realised that everyone was staring at him. He needed to talk to someone who would understand him. He had to find his older sister, Mamsy.
“She did what?” Mamsy shrieked when Thabo told her his story. “I told you from the first day I laid eyes on that girl that she was bad weather – thunder. And lightning striking. That’s her, my brother. Stop the wedding, right now. You are young and very good looking, just like me. Get away from that thunderstorm – there are many rays of sunshine that would love to be with you.”
“I hear you, Mamsy, but the wedding is tomorrow,” Thabo reminded her. “How am I going to tell all the people we’ve invited that the wedding is off?”
“Don’t worry, Thabo. Get a good sleep tonight and just don’t turn up at the church tomorrow,” the loudmouthed Mamsy advised. “That’ll teach Lindiwe a lesson to never mess with the Khumalos.”
LINDIWE, feeling miserable, waited for her husband-to-be to come back home. By 7pm he’d still not returned, so she called his phone, which went to voicemail. She left him a message. “Thabo, please don’t do this to me, come back home. We need to talk about this. Please come home.”
She eventually fell asleep on the couch that night, hoping she’d hear Thabo returning in the middle of the night. When her alarm rang at 5am, Lindiwe immediately checked the bedroom. She found Nkanyezi sleeping all by himself on the bed, with his little thumb stuck between his tiny lips.
Before she could decide what to do next, there was a knock on the door.
“Surprise!” her bridesmaids shrieked as they pushed through the door into the house.
“Haibo! A bride must not look this stressed on her wedding day. Lindi, you will ruin the pictures girl! Come, let’s get you ready. Where is your dress?”
They sang wedding songs as they did Lindiwe’s hair and make- up. She looked like a princess in her white dress with her beautiful bouquet of white flowers in her hands. But her appearance on the outside didn’t match her feelings inside – her spirit was sinking lower and lower as her desperate calls kept going through to Thabo’s voicemail.
Then the cars arrived, decorated like birthday cakes. The hooting, the singing, the joy. People had turned out in numbers to accompany the bride to church.
But would the groom be there? Only Mamsy knew the answer to that. Hour’s earlier, she’d knocked on Thabo’s bedroom door.
“Wake up, little brother. Maybe I should ululate – today is your wedding day after all.” “Don’t you dare. I’m not going.” “Oh yes you are,” Mamsy insisted. “I’ve changed my mind. You need to go to the church and rub the dirt into the face of this thunder- girl in front of everyone. That revenge will be sweeter than not showing up, don’t you think? Now get ready, quickly”
THE priest was ready at the altar, with the groomsmen dressed to perfection posing next to the man of the moment, Thabo. Lindiwe had never been so happy to see him. “I knew you wouldn’t let me down, my love,” she whispered to her man as she reached his side.
Silence descended on the church and Lindiwe made her vows. Then it was Thabo’s turn.
“Excuse me everyone, before I can continue with my vows I believe that my wife-to-be has something to tell me and all of you. Now, Lindiwe, tell us who Nkanyezi’s father is.”
The whole church erupted. “Silence! This is a holy place,” the priest bellowed, trying to restore order.
“It’s you, Thabo, of course it’s you,” Lindiwe pleaded.
“Liar! Stop lying to us all,” an angry Mamsy shouted. “Tell her, my brother, tell her what you saw.”
Lindiwe was confused and looked at Thabo for an explanation.
“Yes, I saw you, Lindiwe. I saw you showing Nkanyezi a picture and you said, ‘ You will see your father soon. You will see him for the first time, my child.’ This is how I know I’m raising another man’s child and that you were planning to introduce Nkanyezi to his real father after you’d married me. I want to know who that man is, right now.”
Just then, a tall, dark and handsome man walked into the church and made his way to the altar.
“Who is he?” wedding guests muttered. “This must be the father.”
But Thabo recognised him immediately. “Dr Mnisi? Our doctor? You’ve got to be kidding me, Lindiwe!”
“Thabo, I’m sorry to barge in on your wedding like this but your fiancée asked me to do an urgent DNA. I apologise for going ahead without your consent, but your phone was off and Lindiwe made me understand how important it was. This is the result – I assure you that you’re the first person to see it.”
Thabo opened the envelope and read the result – he was indeed Nkanyezi’s father. But how? It didn’t make any sense. What father was she talking about? And what was that picture?
“Thabo, I had just been given a scan of our new baby,” Lindiwe started to explain. “That was the picture, and this will be the child who will see his father for the first time – in about seven months.” “Pregnant?” Thabo was stunned. Overcome by the emotional scene, the guests wept as Thabo completed his vows and the couple fell into each other’s arms.
Only one person failed to be charmed by the beautiful scene that played out before them – Mamsy, who stole away from the church like a dark cloud before the storm. Clearly, she was no match for thunder-girl Lindiwe.
‘I told you from the first day I laid eyes on that girl that she was bad weather – thunder’