Archives for September 22, 2014

Being Average

I awaken to another chilly Sunday morning. The sun is up but the bones in my body tells me that I have woken up much earlier than what I hoped to. Sleeping in has become a luxury that even my internal alarm clock has forgotten about.
The house is still sleeping so I sneak downstairs. Heaven forbid if I share my curse with my husband and two teenagers. To my detriment, I have allowed my family to sleep in over the uneventful weekends. It is rather nice though to experience my house in utter silence. This is another luxury that has eluded me for the past fifteen years.
Downstairs, I open the drapes to let the winter sun in. The rays fall on our oversized sofa which is my favourite spot on planet earth. I intend to bask in those rays after I have fixed myself a cup of coffee and get the magazine that I have wanted to read for the past week now.
Coffee cup in hand and magazine in the other, I settle down and begin paging through the glossy pages of propaganda.
O crap. “ The average female will spend 4500 hours of her life in front of the sink”, the article says. As if I needed another confirmation about how average my life was. Average age, average looks, average height, average built, and now an average housewife.
Jenna Donaldson was sitting in her comfort spot. On her sofa in the living room which was the size of a single bed. Pillows were stacked everywhere to make the seat even more comfortable. A ruby-coloured throw was spread over her legs to keep out the cold and to soak up the winter sun. The curtains by the window above the sofa were drawn open to let in the morning sun. Now and then she would stare out into their well-groomed garden admiring all her hard work. It literally cost her blood, sweat and tears to get it that way. Now it only took seasonal maintenance and water. Fortunately enough they had no dogs that replanted her shrubs. Touch wood. Her son is hinting every now and again that he would love having a canine companion.
This was a Sunday morning routine: in her comfort spot with a good read. She alternated between romance novels or the latest fashion magazine. Not that the fashion magazines helped much. Those models on the covers have all been photo-shopped into oblivion so they were barely recognisable in real life. And the clothes in those magazines were for aristocrats and famous people. Who in their right mind would wear a flower motive shirt with an even more flowered skirt?! She felt sorry for those poor youngsters. One day, all the make-up and hair product will take its toll.
The kids were still asleep so there was peace and quiet throughout the house. Marcus was 13 years old and Carla was 15 years old. Her husband, Shane, was almost like a teenager. O gosh, he was high maintenance! Even more so than the two teenagers. Never cleaning up after him and constantly demanding to be fed.
“Mom!” The shout came from the hallway. “MOM!” The entire household will most probably be awake now.
“ I am in the living room. Do you have to shout like that this early in the morning?”
“O, there you are. Is the coffee machine on?” Carla asked. “I need to wake up.”
“Yeah, morning to you too. Maybe you can just go into the kitchen and check for yourself next time before you wake the entire neighbourhood?” Manners will have to be beat into that lady. Surely she must have picked it up at school. There is no way that she learns that at home.
Shane bellowed as he was making his way from our bedroom: “Have you made breakfast yet?” Count to one hundred and ten, she thought. This twenty-questions-routine this early on a Sunday morning will be enough to blow her top off. Thinking about it, this is where Carla picks up her manners: from her role-model-of-the-year-father.
“No dear, I have not. Good morning. What is wrong with this household that no-one can say good morning? Even a “how the hell are you” will do.” Shane was definitely not a morning person and arguing this early in the morning about the petty day-in-day-out things will ensure that the day to come will be a battlefield.
“I want pancakes.” Note that Carla issued more of a demand than asked a polite question.
“We had pancakes last weekend. I feel like omelettes.” God forbid he eats one thing two weekends in a row!
“Well I don’t feel like making breakfast, so help yourselves.”
A gasp filled the air. How could their dear and beloved mother abandon them so by not providing for a nutritious meal to start the day?
“Wash the dishes when you are done.” She was so lazy from sitting in the sun, baking in the heat, that not even their hunger and demands will get her up. She had to teach them independence and today felt like a good day to start. Jenna could just imagine the divine satisfaction of her children running around to attend to her needs. Bliss. Utter bliss.
“No fair. I don’t even know how to make pancakes!” Carla was trying to be brave.
“You know how to read, right? The recipe is in my cook book and all the ingredient are in the pantry. You know where that is too.”
“Is there cereal?”
“Go and look Carla! Do you want me to hold your hand while doing it?”
“Fine, be like that!”
“Don’t you dare take that tone with me young lady! You are millimetres away from having no breakfast at all and going straight to your room! Do teenagers come standard without manners? Damn, I should update the owner’s manual then.”
The pantry door slammed shut. Carla was obviously not going to acknowledge defeat before slamming something as she always did. It is a miracle that the doors in the house were still hanging after all the abuse suffered.
Jenna heard Shane and Carla moaning and groaning in the adjacent kitchen as they were left to fend for themselves. They were seemingly not happy with their predicament but Jenna could care less. She was physically and emotionally not capable of being house slave today. Her 41 year old body resisted doing anything but sit on her behind.
“You have been up since dawn. I don’t understand why you couldn’t have made breakfast.” Shane clearly couldn’t understand his wife’s demeanour. He was baffled.
“Drop it Shane. This is one day that I would like to myself. One day! Tomorrow I will be at your beck and call again, promise.” Jenna was fed up. She got up and headed for their room to get into the shower. Hopefully she could get some peace and quiet in there.
Their en-suite bathroom was as good as a safe-house. Where she could strip naked and nobody could judge her. Even the bathroom mirror would be too steamed up to be able to shed a judgemental light on her ever-ageing body. The wrinkles on her face: invisible.
She turned on the faucet and got under the steaming water, turning her back to the falling water. The pressure of the water was massaging her back and neck. This would probably be the closest she would ever be to getting a full body massage so she savoured every moment. She bent her head down to let the water catch the full length of her neck.
She must have been in there for a good twenty minutes before she got out and towelled herself dry. She brushed her teeth and didn’t dare wipe the steam off the mirror to get a look at the damage. It would spoil her day even further.
She got out of the bathroom and went to her walk-in cupboard to pick out her dress code for today. She pulled out her favourite pair of jeans and a pale pink fleece top. The underwear she picked out was just as unglamorous. Who would see anyway, she thought. It’s not like Shane is going to change his ways and rip her clothes off in the near future. He is no Christian Grey.
As her feet hit the cold tiles in the hallway she turned back for her slippers. There was no need for any other kind of footwear because she was adamant not to set a foot out of her front door for the remainder of the weekend.
She was starting to get peckish herself. She had an early morning coffee and biscuits but that was nearly 3 hours ago and it was not the healthiest choice either. And the heavens knew that she needed something with sustenance to give her energy for the day.
She walked past Marcus’s room. The kid was still asleep! It was past nine already and he was still sound asleep bordering on unconscious. She wished that her life could be as uncomplicated as his. Then again, the poor kid still had to go through puberty and from what she’s heard and read, that is no walk in the park for any young man. She left him sleeping and walked back to the kitchen to get something to eat.
The kitchen was filled with the aromas of freshly brewed coffee and toast. She was surprised to see her whole family with grins on their faces with a beautifully set dining room table. Even Marcus was standing beside his father. His hair was still a mess after just waking up. How did he get past?
“Happy mother’s day!” They shouted in a chorus.
“Mother’s day?” It was an absolute surprise to her and shame crept up in her stomach. How did this one get past her?
“I am so sorry for shouting at you this morning and thank you for this. It looks wonderful! This is… Wow.” She was at a loss of words and was very close to shedding a tear or two. She could feel the lump in her throat, the tremble in her voice, and decided not to make a complete fool of herself.
“No need to apologise dear. You deserve this. We need to thank you for all the hard work you do and keeping this family glued together.” Shane plonked a soppy kiss on her mouth and gave her a bear hug with his huge arms. They swallowed her entire average body. “Time for presents! Who wants to go first?”
“No, let’s eat! I’m hungry!” Marcus said as he pulled out his chair to sit down.
“You are always hungry!” Carla always has the last word but Jenna let that one slide. She knew this was her idea and her appreciation made her grin at the comment rather than lashing out at her daughter.
Breakfast was charming. They were a happy family once more with laughter and chatter filling the kitchen while they ate. Jenna completely forgot that today was Mother’s Day and felt so ashamed at demanding her off day when it was given to her (by surprise) on a neatly set dining room table. She couldn’t help but laugh at herself.
As they were eating, Jenna sheepishly shared her morning thoughts and doings with her family. They giggled as she told them the story of her mediocre existence and assured her that she was their super mom.
She instantly remembered that she had a mother herself and a mother-in-law who needed to be congratulated as well for being superb mothers. She loved both very much. Her mother had been a pillar of strength to her and her mother-in-law was such a sweet-hearted human being. She always welcomed any person into her home. Shane’s father passed away three years ago so Philippa was always appreciating any company she could get.
Jenna phoned both women and all members of the family had turns talking to both grandmothers. Each conversation lasted a good half an hour and she could not brag enough about how endearing her family was. She was so proud of their initiative.
The Donaldsons spent the remainder of the day chatting and laughing and being an average family. No fights and no frills. Just as Jenna hoped her day would be. She didn’t lift a finger doing dishes or cleaning rooms or running errands. She didn’t open the magazine she read that morning again. She knew now that her supposed average life, was indeed all that she could ever have asked for.
It was just an average Mother’s Day…

By Mari Geering


At the hill top of no map, we stood with our eyes gazed upon each other,
As the moon stood witness to the beautiful presence of affection
Glistened in the light of passion, the two became one
Their heart exchanged magnetic eminence as their palms touched.
As he slid his hand from her palm up her arms, she became a prisoner of his passion. She clenched her fist and closed her eyes…as he held her wrist ,that moment in time was theirs.
The perfection of a moment was created when two strangers became one .
A soul mate…Oh no, A lover …no never……But a masterpiece they created
A masterpiece of a moment perfected because of love


The bakkie came to a screeching halt, they had no choice but to flee on foot, the baby behind the back seat was happy as if nothing wrong was happening, she was full of joy if only she knew in what kind of trouble she was,
They got off the bakkie and the thief” as Miles knew the guy as, had no worry, no sympathy for the baby behind the bakkie; he searched the car and took all the valuables items. Miles tried to talk to the thief to think about the baby, but he did not care he took all the valuables in the car and fled, it was a cool summer day
As Miles was standing looking at the baby not knowing what to do, he heard a faint voice saying to him remember, remember , when he looked behind him he saw a young man he must have been eighteen years or so, he was dirty and his clothes were torn, Miles jumped in fear of the stranger, all he said was remember, remember, he nearly fainted as He fell down, the stranger came to him and held him on his shoulder as in like comforting him, he repeated what he said previously and said remember, remember
The hand on his shoulder did not felt as if the young man was a stranger, Miles felt a deep and powerful connection with this young man, Miles told the young man about the baby in the back of the seat and how sorry he felt for her and how worried her parents might be with regard to the baby, he told him how desperate he was to have a job and how it let him to commit this crime so that he could feed his daughter who was only four months old and that is was his first crime he ever committed in his entire life… the stranger seem to know all of this which was surprising to Miles, how did he knew?
The stranger said to him that, he need not worry anymore, that the baby was safe and he should go because the cops have tracked the bakkie and were on their way, Miles could not just leave the baby alone it felt wrong knowing also that he had a daughter himself made even harder, but it took a while until the stranger convinced Miles to go, the stranger kept on saying those words remember, remember, Miles heard the cops coming and he went away as the stranger had asked him to
As Miles fled the scene looking for the thief to get a share of the valuables that the thief took from the bakkie , so that he can buy food to feed his own daughter…. there was a police helicopter hovering about looking for two men who hijacked a bakkie and a baby inside. It was dark and it was becoming cold and one can see lighting striking from a distance, Miles knew that what he has done would haunt him for the rest of his life, he was not the type of guy to hurt anyone, but desperation has pushed him to do something that he said himself would kill someone if it happened to his own daughter.
The thief as greedy as his name meant was waiting for Miles at a place where they said they would meet, Miles was tired, scared and his thoughts were on his own daughter

The thief wanted to take all of the valuables and give Miles only a little, but Miles wanted to go fifty, fifty with the thief, the thief would have none of it……….. And suddenly Miles heard the faint voice remember, remember. With this voice Miles decided to let go of the share and let the thief have the entire share.
The police helicopter saw the two men on the ground and used the loud speaker to tell them to stand were they are, Miles lift his hands up in surrender , but the thief started to run, he did not take even five steps when gun shots were heard and the thief fell on the ground in a hail of bullets….Miles woke up and he was sweating, it was a terrible dream he just had, her wife next to him with their four months year old baby sleeping in harmony as he stared at them and those faint words came back and say remember, remember and it all made sense to him now, that his wife and daughter was more important to him and needed him……….
He went out his bed to wash his face……. After a minute the phone rang and it was the thief telling him about the plans they have made to go and hijack a bakkie, remembering the faint voice Miles told him no, that his daughter and wife needed him more than he could have realised, even if he did not have a proper job…….. the thief was angry and told him he was a coward and dropped the phone, it hurt him to be called a coward, but the voice kept on saying remember, remember and that give him a little bit of hope

After a couple of minutes when he was playing with his daughter, his wife came running to him, screaming with delight that he finally got the job as a chef at an international restaurant ……even today he never forgets those words……………….. Remember, remember, but this time only as your best friend. Today Miles owns he’s own chain of restaurants and is a very successful business man and not a common thief.

By Flanegan Thabo Ntshotsho