( continued from Public, Secret Lives -1 https://tshiditseke.com/2018/02/05/public-secret-lives-1/ )
“Travel well dear, call me when you arrive!” She waved and shut the door. That was the last of the relatives who had stayed behind after the funeral to help clean the house and keep her company. The reality was starting to kick in. She was going to live alone in what now seemed like a big house. She walked into her only daughter’s room to catch a breather – still wondering if the events of the past few days were a nightmare or reality – a reality which would still be a nightmare. She stood up and paced around the room, browsing through her clothes, drawers, bookshelf… bookshelf -Diary 2007. That caught her eye. She quickly pulled it out from the stack of books that were neatly packed on the shelf, paging through to that month to see if Thato had written something that could bring illumination to the tragic event.
“Today is a rather dark day for me. I am home alone, mother is at church. My body is probably surprised why I am not at church today. I just did not have enough energy to pull up the façade I have had on for the past months. No one seems to notice that deep down I do not see a hope in this world. It seems to me that all that people care about is that I made it to church and that I participate in all activities. Anything beyond that is beyond the “caring” syllabus. That has kind’a made me do all of that to keep up with their love and attention, to the point where I do not know how I could live any other life besides church life. I have seen how they treat people who aren’t as committed to “church”, based on attendance and not so loud Amens. Sometimes I wonder if those people don’t have an even deeper genuine relationship with God. I don’t think I have one. All my life I have relied on mother’s prayers. I do not recall ever needing to have a relationship with God nor committing to one , but the funny thing is, the unspoken awards for the best Christian in church often came to me. I see all that, but my soul is as empty as people’s bank accounts in January.
And now I have to deal with this whole HIV positive thing alone. Argh, why did they force us to do an HIV test at res during last month’s health drive – maybe I wouldn’t be feeling this dark cloud over me. Perhaps if I hadn’t found out I am HIV positive I wouldn’t be here. How will I tell my mother that I am HIV positive? What would people say? How would I have contracted it since I am the best Christian? I don’t even hug the brothers at church. Theo really messed up my life , I hate him, and this time I cannot fix it, unlike the last time when I terminated to hide the baby. Life could still go on, I could still be the sister everyone expected me to be. But now? How do I hide this from my family, church, future husband? My life is officially ruined… I might as well end it…”
She could not continue reading any further, her heart was heavy. At this point, tears were streaming down Mrs Bapela’s face. As far as her eyes could see, her daughter was on the straight road. She assumed, she assumed that she was doing well because she has had always been in the church from a young age. Perhaps she should have encouraged her to have more of her own personal walk with God instead of being content with the fact that she is a good church goer. How did she miss it? How did they all miss it?