Day 13, and today is frequently asked questions. I did not have any, to be honest, but after my post from yesterday about my father being a feminist, I have been asked frequently to further explain how I hid my then-boyfriend in the wardrobe and how he bought me pampers instead of pads. Here we go..
Question: How did you hide your boyfriend in the wardrobe?
A: Well, to be honest, it was not once but it happened at least 5 times. This is going to put a dent in my “clean” reputation but oh well. So, you remember the ex I thanked a few days ago? He is the same guy who went through all this trouble of being hidden in the wardrobe.
My father had eyes everywhere, and by eyes I mean he had spies in our street who used to tell him all my moves. When he came from work, he would narrate to me what I had done and I always wondered how he knew. I know it was never my brother because we are very loyal to each other. I remember this other day my dad threatened to beat my brother with a sjambok ( he has had it since Chimurenga) because he wanted to know where I had been. My brother told him I had gone to get airtime (I clearly was not) and told him to beat him if he wanted because that was the truth. It was my so-called neighbours who would narrate to my dad, for what, I do not know.
There is a day I vividly remember him sneaking into our house (Man Tawa style, if you watch Wadiwa Wepamoyo) and it so happens my father came back. I usually had my schedule, my dad finished work at 5 but he would come home at 6 then go out again and come back at 10. My then-boyfriend was ill (had a cough) but he came anyway, around 4 as usual. Unbeknown to me, my father had been notified and 10 minutes later, I heard the gate open. My brother ran and told informed us and he went to stall my dad telling him about what he wanted for school and making conversation.
Knowing how my father is, we knew if we did not act fast, one was going to end up dead and the other in jail, so we decided for him to hide in the wardrobe whilst I went out. Poor guy must have seen his life flash before his eyes because he was sweating bullets in there. If you remember from yesterday’s post, my dad and I did not see eye to eye at times and also, puberty. I am not going to lie, to save my boyfriend’s life, I talked to my dad like I have never done before. I asked him about work and trailed him as he got in the house.
Usually, my dad never stayed long when he came around that time, he would change and head to the bottle store, but in that day, this man sat in the lounge and began to watch TV. If I am being honest, I think he knew but he wanted to see how I would play it out. This is also evident that I am his favourite because he would have searched the house and called my aunt and my mom.
So, I followed him to the lounge and watched with him. Now my brother and I are gawking at each other and signalling each other so one of us can go and check on the hostage. My brother went but before he could reach the room when we had hid my then-boyfriend, we heard coughing. My heart dropped to my stomach but I kept staring at the TV like I did not hear anything. My brother came back faking a cough to try and delude my father. My father did not say anything, he kept watching TV with a cigarette in his hand. After about 20 minutes, my dad finally made a beeline to his car and left for the bar.
When we were sure the coast was clear, we went to check on him. He was about to pass out from holding his breathe. We quickly sneaked him out of the house and we swore never to do it again. As if we had not learnt our lesson, the following week we were back at it again, with a new and updated schedule, of course.
Question: How did your father end up buying you pampers instead of sanitary pads?
A: Just like every African child, I had my one hustle which always got me money from my parents. I will tell you this, getting money from an African parent is an extreme sport, so you have to be creative. Do not get me wrong, he always gave me pocket money, but there was a time I needed more and the only man I knew to get it from was my father.
I had always asked him for money for my sanitary wear but I think he was getting suspicious of me asking for $10 every month. Obviously, I never bought $10 worth of pads because that was insane, but what did he know? It is not like he would go and ask or check in the shops how much they cost? Remember, he is a typical war vet so things to do with lady parts were/are none of his concern. Although even if he were to check and confront me, I would tell him, those are not the ones I use and I knew he would not ask any more questions.
Unfortunately, this other month, I miscalculated and asked for the money twice in one month. Rookie move, I know but I do not know how I slipped. Realising this, my father decided to take matters into his own hands and told me he was going to buy them for me. Firstly, I was had to think of another way of acquiring money from him (my backup was extra lessons but my mom was paying for them directly) and secondly, why was he being like this? We had a good thing going and there he was ruining it.
That evening, like clockwork, he came back around 6 with 2 pack of baby pampers. So, our helper and I are looking at each other think, who are they from? Who is having a baby? (Oh there is a time when one of his informants told him I was pregnant, but that is for another day). So I ask my dear father, “Ko daddy, who are the pampers for?”. The man confidently says, ” Ah, did you not ask me for money for pads this morning. There you are.”, he says pointing at them but looking away. Now I am perplexed but at the same time happy my hustle still has a chance of survival.
I calmed myself because it was funny but I did not want to upset and have me tell him the kind I used. So I kindly explained to him that I could not use those because they were for babies. He comes at me with, ” Ah, ko can you not cut them and use them.” I am here thinking, oh wow, this man is really standing his ground. I am shocked by this response, but I knew how to play my game. I tell him, ” No, daddy, I can not do that how am I going to cut pampers. Why are you having me practise poverty at a young age?”. When I tell you the man grabbed the $10 from his wallet and thrust it at me. I hollered (not out loud, of course), he left the house soon after and I trailed behind him, going to the shops to buy my $2 sanitary wear. The next month, I upgraded from $10 to $12, and my hustle was booming. And that was our little game until I moved to England in 2014.
P.S: If after this story you feel like I was crooking my father, that might be true to an extent, but if not him, who else was going to take care of me financially?
Sadly, I am grown so I HAVE to work for my own money now but I miss my hustle. Who knows, I might hit him up again and come up with a “hustle”.