The economy continued to sink even further. John could no longer trust his salary to sustain his family anymore. They needed to treat desperate situations with desperate measures.
It would either be seeing each other daily, or he joins the others in Wenera. With their two boys growing fast, they had to sacrifice intimacy. Their children’s future was at stake.
“Baba vaTino,” said Sheila, John’s wife. She had spent almost all night sitting on the bed. She tried to catch a little sleep, but the daredevils kept her awake. She worried more for their children.
“Yes,” answered the sleepy John. He came back home late the previous night. He was tired and did not want to open his eyes so soon.
“Wake up please,” said Sheila. “We need to talk,” she added.
“Can’t it wait for the morning?”
Sheila persisted until John gave up. He woke up and sat upright, with a sleepy face.
“I think you should go.” Sheila wasn’t sure if it was the right time, but she just had to say it. They had discussed it before, but her sudden change of mind was surprising.
At first, insecurity guided her thoughts and she disapproved John’s suggestion. His white baas had moved down South across Limpopo and had offered him a job on his farm. Sheila was afraid that John might be seduced by the popular women with curvy hips.
“What if he doesn’t come back,” she said at one point telling her mother-in-law.
Everyone had tried to help her look at the brighter side, but she was adamant. Alas, it took an empty sugar basin to convince her.
Earlier in the day Sheila had wanted to serve her aunt coffee. She scrounged all around the kitchen, but there was no sugar. The basin was sitting peacefully in the cupboard, empty. She sat there weeping, explaining to her aunt how everything is running out. Yet, there was no money to buy more.
The aunt reminded her that John could be earning more money in Wenera. “So why are you stopping him, will you starve your children too? ”
Somehow, she took time to rethink. She realized that she was the only barrier between them and their better days.
“How will you manage the kids alone?” asked John. He knew the situation in the house was really bad and Sheila would be overwhelmed.
“You don’t have to worry daddy, I will manage.”
About two months later John took the bus down South. He joined Mr. Stewart in his grape farm and he was appointed as manager in one part of the farm. Back home John had diligently managed Mr. Stewart’s grocery store. However, with instability came hard times and Mr. Stewart chose to reinvest elsewhere before it was too late.
John started earning better and dedicated himself to sending enough money back home. Sheila was very happy and they always had enough change every month to spoil the boys.
Been in a better financial state, Sheila proposed hiring a nanny for the kids. She had also opened a salon and spent more time away from home. Someone had to be around to mind the boys. If not, they would come to disturb her at the shop.
At the end they concluded. They both agreed to bring Agnes from the rural area to mind the kids.
Agnes was Sheila’s cousin from her aunt’s womb. She had failed to finish her studies and was stuck at home leading a meaningless life. They all agreed she would receive a salary every month for her own upkeep. At least they could trust a relative more than a stranger.
To be continued, watch for part 2 next Wednesday!