Life is Just Not Kind

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It was Biko’s words that faithful Sunday that made me realise that I shouldn’t make the same mistakes my mother made. Sometimes the devil you know is better than the one you don’t. These past weeks I’ve been focused on work and my son and my family. I haven’t seen Khaya since that morning and I haven’t tried to contact him either. Things between Bandile and I haven’t been the same since that night, he fetches his son and that’s as far as it goes. He only calls me about Jay and I do the same. I think we better off co-parenting for now while I pick up my life and decide what it is I truly want.

We in December and Jay spends most of his time at my parents house or his grandmother’s house every now and then, I never fetch him when he’s at Mrs Tshawe’s house to avoid an unnecessary argument and for the sake of my sanity. It’s Tuesday the first week of December when I get a call at work from Bandile, I have a meeting I am rushing too but I answer anyway

“I have like 2 minutes before my meeting” I say before he speaks

“Mom’s rushing Jay to hospital”

He says

“Why? What happened?”

I ask packing my things

“I don’t know Mihlali, she just told me to meet her at the hospital”

He says, I cut the call on him as my P.A walks in “Miss Mba…”

“Cancel all my meetings. I have to rush to the hospital my son has been admitted”

I say rushing out quickly with my things. I get into my car and drive straight to the hospital Bandile sent me the name of. I get there and park my car then rush inside. I find Bandile and his mother together with their house keeper in the reception. Bandile meets me half way

“Where’s my son? What happened to him?”

I ask, he holds me at arms length on my upper arms

“He’s going to be fine”

He says

“Bandile what happened to my baby?”

I ask calmly but firm enough

“Yonela is attending to him and she promised he will be fine”

He says, I take a deep breath in and let it out


I yell

“He slipped and he fell”

He says, I shake my head

“Wha… what do you mean he slipped and fell? How?”

I know Jay likes to run but he’s careful. I ask trying to break out of his grip but he doesn’t let me, I try to see behind him but he blocks my view

“Mihlali please just calm down” He says, I shake my head no “Bandile let me go or I will scream!”

I warn him, it sucks to not know what’s going on with your child and someone keeps telling you to calm down busy trying to manage you. That only angers you because chances are the situation is worse than they letting on.


His mother says, I look over at her and she is stained with blood and her face stained with tears

“It was my fault, I should have been keeping an eye on him. Everything just happened so fast. I’m sorry”

She says with tears rolling down her cheek. I take a deep breath and let it out

“What happened to my son?”

I ask looking right at her, Bandile tries to turn me to look at him but I move back so hard he lets go of me. I move in closer to his mother

“What did you do to my son?” I ask her, she’s a crying mess

“I swear I didn’t do anything to him. He was running outside when he slipped on the pool tiles and hit his head”

She says, I gasp and hold my mouth unable to process what she just told me. I don’t understand how he could have been playing by the pool when I have told them time and time not to let him play near the pool. I am a very cautious mother. When Jay plays outside he doesn’t go anywhere near the pool and he knows better, I have asked them multiple times not to let him anywhere near the pool because I was afraid of such accidents. Ever since Jay Bandile made his house baby proof to avoid such incidents, I had asked him to make his mother’s house baby proof for the sake of my son spending time there and he told me he would.




I was in a meeting when I got a call from my mother panicking and crying saying that she was rushing Jay to the hospital. All she said to me was that it was bad so I rushed out of the meeting and called Mihlali to rush to the hospital. Walking into my those doors to find my mother’s clothes stained with so much blood scared the hell out of me. I immediately thought of the worst possible scenario.

“What happened?”

I ask

“I was on the phone when I heard a loud noise outside. I rushed out and to find him crying on the floor. I’ve never seen that much blood before Bandile. I’m sorry, I wasn’t even on the phone for a minute”

She says, I sigh

“It’s ok, he’s going to be ok”

I say

“They said they would operate on him. I am so sorry Bandile, I didn’t even know the back door was open. He was running outside when he slipped on the pool tiles and hit his head”

She says crying, I pull her to me “It’s ok mom. He’s going to be fine”

I says comforting her, with mom and her heart problem I can’t even yell or act however. I’m surprised her heart has held on for so long. At this point I’m scared of how Mihlali will react, how this is my fault for not having the house fixed. There’s just been so much work lately that I haven’t had the time to even look into that. Lukho’s children went to their grandparents in the Eastern Cape and they will be back before Christmas. I hear her heels before I even see her, when we both look up Mihlali is walking towards us

“Let me handle Mihlali”

I tell my mom and get up to meet her halfway. Things between them haven’t been great since Jay’s birthday so I’m afraid if Mom tells Mihlali then Mihlali might get the wrong impression. Mother loves Jay and she would never hurt him on purpose but with the way things are between her and Mihlali I’m worried Mihlali won’t take so kindly to the news.

“You left the backdoor open? H…” She starts off but I cut her off

“She didn’t know the door was even open Mihlali, it’s not her fault”

I say

“Of cause you would say that, she’s your mother. The very same woman that hates my guts!”

She spits out

“She loves Junior Mihlali. It was an accident” I say calmly

“Mihlali I love that little boy, I would never hurt him intentionally”

Mom says pleading

“Mom please let me handle this”

I say and she moves back to take a seat, I turn to Mihlali

“Mihlali please, it was an accident. It could have happened anywhere with anyone”

I say

“My son is in a fucking hospital Bandile! Your mother is drenched with his blood, what the fuck am I supposed to think huh?”

I sigh

“Look, lets all sit down and calm down. The doctor will inform us when they done with him ok?”

I say pulling her to sit down, she’s hesitant but she eventually sits down. She takes out her phone and calls her mother. After some time her mother comes and Mihlali tells her what’s happened. After what I am assuming to be 2 hours Yonela walks out and comes to us

“How is my son?”

Mihlali asks meeting Yonela halfway

“He’s stable, we’ve stopped the bleeding but I’m afraid he’s slipped into a coma”

She says and Mihlali turns to bury herself in her mother’s arms

“What do you mean he slipped into a coma? How?” I ask and she shrugs

“We had to stop the bleeding and check for any internal injuries in his brain and luckily there wasn’t anything fatal. We’ll have to keep him for a while to monitor him, he’s going to wake up but we just don’t know when yet”

She says

“Can we see him please?”

I say, she takes a deep breath and then lets it out.

“Just you and Mihlali for now”

She says, I turn and touch Mihlali’s shoulder. She turns and we follow Yonela

“Jay is going to wake up, he’s a strong little boy”

Yonela assures but I doubt Mihlali is convinced

“How long?”

Mihlali asks

“We can’t really tell, maybe a week or a couple of weeks. We don’t know yet”

Yonela says and we both nod. The minute we walk in we see him on the bed with a bandage around his head and machines connected to him. We walk over to his bed and Mihlali takes his hand

“You can talk to him, he’ll hear you but he won’t be able to respond. Usually we encourage people to talk to them when they in a coma that way the patient knows that you are here and to have something to fight for”

She says

“How bad was he?”

Mihlali asks, Yonela looks at me

“Miss Mbana i…”

Mihlali cuts her off

“I want to know the truth Yonela please”

She sighs

“he cracked his skull but it will heal, he might have the scar forever though but his hair will grow to cover it up”

She assures

“And you sure he’s going to be fine?”

Mihlali asks

“Yes I am certain. He’s lucky to still be alive” She says and Mihlali looks up at Yonela “Any chances of Amnesia?” She asks

“It doesn’t look like it but we’ll keep a close eye on him, I promise”

She says, I nod

“Thank you doc”

I say and she nods and excuses herself after reminding us we can’t stay for long. I take his hand into mine

“He’s so peaceful”

I say, she looks at me and then back to Jay

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