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Mercy by Thabi Majabula
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Mercy by Thabi Majabula
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Having heard rumours concerning her husband and another woman, Mercy gets them in the same room to challenge them. After a troubled confrontation, she complains to the police and has her husband arrested for assault. She harbours feelings of guilt, but does not retract her complaint.

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Mercy gave Albert a kiss on the cheek as he came through the front door. He moved out of her reach. Mercy took his bag and deposited it on the floor. She closed the door and took his hand, leading him.

“How was your trip?” she asked.

“Alright. I want to bath and sleep,” he replied, trying to withdraw his hand from hers.

“You will, just come with me, this won’t take long.”

“I’m tired, Mercy,” he said irritably. Mercy ignored him, and entered the lounge. Abruptly, he withdrew his hand from hers.

“Dolores? What are you doing here?” he demanded. Dolores had stood on seeing him, and she was looking at him out of guilty eyes.

“I invited her,” said Mercy.

“Get out of my home!” Albert commanded Dolores. Dolores picked up her handbag.

“She’s not going anywhere. Sit down, Dolores,” said Mercy.

“I’m the head of the house and…” said Albert belligerently.

“That remains to be seen.”

“Are you challenging my manhood? I paid amalobolo, and…”

“Sit down, Albert,” Mercy said tiredly. Albert glared at her, and sat down. Mercy and Dolores sat down too.

“I’ve been hearing rumours, and I want to clarify things with you both, instead of relying on hearsay. Dolores, are you f**king my husband?” asked Mercy. Dolores gasped in shock.

“How can you ask me that? Don’t you trust me?” asked an outraged Albert.

“Should I trust you?” asked Mercy.

“I’m your husband!” said Albert, as if that explained everything.

“Are you f**king Dolores?”

“I won’t sit here and be interrogated like a criminal,” said Albert, getting to his feet and turning to the door.

“If you don’t answer my question, I can make things difficult.”

“Are you threatening me?”

“I’m informing you that I want honesty from you, and if I don’t get it, I’ll speak to Aaron. That promotion you’re applying for requires a stable home. If I talk to Aaron…”

“Stay away from him!”

“Are you f**king Dolores?”

“Will you stop being so crude!”

“Yes, or no.”

“What made you think…”

“You haven’t answered my question.”

“And I’m not going to,” said Albert, as he turned to leave the room. Mercy took her phone out of her skirt pocket and dialled a number.

“Hello, Miss Dean. Can I speak to Mr Croucamp? My name is Mercy Ngema, and I want to tell him about one of the candidates applying for the position of CEO,” she said into the phone. She could hear that Albert’s footsteps were no longer approaching the door. She listened to Miss Dean.

“You’re bluffing,” said Albert. Mercy did not look at him.

“I’ll hold as long as it takes, Miss Dean. This is too important to call about later,” she said.

“Put that phone down,” said Albert, approaching her.

“It’s about our marital situation,” said Mercy into the phone. She gasped as it was snatched from her. She gasped again, as Albert slapped her. She put her hand on her cheek, and looked at him in disbelief. Hearing a sob, she looked at Dolores. She was looking at Albert out of shocked, fearful eyes.

“Hasn’t he done this to you yet? It’s only a matter of time,” said Mercy.

“Shut up! Shut your ignorant mouth, Mercy!” shouted Albert.

“Dolores, are you sleeping with Albert?” asked Mercy. Albert raised his hand to slap her again.

“I’ll report you to the police, and I have a witness to make my case stronger. Hit me, and kiss your promotion goodbye,” said Mercy. Albert glared at her, then he threw her phone across the room. Mercy looked at Dolores.

“Are you sleeping with my husband?” she demanded. Dolores looked at Albert.

“We’re engaged,” she said.

“Oh!” gasped a shocked Mercy.

“You didn’t tell me we were becoming polygamous, Albert,” she said.

“Polygamous?” shouted Dolores.

“Of course, you’ll be the second wife.”

“I will not!”

“Then how will this work?”

“He’ll divorce you.”

“Really? Albert, is that what you told her? Wasn’t it presumptuous, considering that you haven’t asked me for a divorce?”

“You said you’d asked her for a divorce, Albert, and that you were waiting for your youngest child to grow a bit more, before you divorced,” said an indignant Dolores.

“I said nothing of the kind,” said Albert.

“You promised me that we’d marry in two years, when your child won’t be as traumatised by divorce as she will be if you divorce now.”

“I never said that.”

“Then how did we get engaged? I will never be a second wife!”

“I haven’t asked it of you.”

“You said…”

“You heard what you wanted to hear, Dolores. How could you come here? I told you never to come here, and never to call me here.”

“Mercy said…”

“Why would you even talk to her? She has nothing to do with us.”

“So you admit something’s going on?” asked Mercy.

“Dolores, leave,” said Albert.

“Are you f**king her?”

“Did you just learn that word?” Mercy stood and went to pick her phone up. Albert realised where she was going and tried to stop her. They scuffled, and Mercy got the phone. She was surprised that it had not fallen apart. Albert grabbed it from her.

“Do you want a divorce, Albert?” she asked.

“What?” demanded a shocked Albert.

“Do you want a divorce? Dolores says…”

“She has nothing to do with us!”

“Are you engaged to her?”

“I’m married to you!”

“Is she going to be your wife?”


“Then what’s going on?”


“We’re engaged,” said Dolores.

“I have a wife, and I’m not looking for another one,” said Albert.

“You said…”

“The best thing is for you to leave.

“I’m going nowhere!” screamed Dolores. She was panting, and tears stood in her eyes.

“Leave!” said Albert. They shared a long look, then Dolores picked up her handbag, and left. She was crying as if her heart had been broken.

“What’s going on with you?” Albert demanded of Mercy.

“I don’t like being made a fool of,” said Mercy.

“Bringing that woman here and using such course language is not the way you behave.”

“It hasn’t been, but it’s more effective than my silence,” said Mercy, as she left the room. She went to the main bedroom, gathered Albert’s clothes, and threw them outside the bedroom.

“What’s going on here?” he demanded, as he stood outside the bedroom door, his entrance hindered by his pile of clothes.

“I’m not sleeping with a sfebe,” replied Mercy.

“I’m the head of this house, and I’ll sleep where I please.”

“You were the head of the house, but not anymore.”