She Had to Die

As far as they were concerned there was no doubt he had done it. Emeka, her loaded boyfriend. Now that I think of it, we should have called him Mr. Make It Go Away. Whatever your problem was, he’d make it go away. If someone owed you money and they didn’t want to pay you back, he’d “talk” to them and you’d get your money back. If your boyfriend broke your heart, he’d “talk” to him and if he didn’t come back to you he’d at least have felt the same pain you felt, albeit physically. A colleague bullying you at work, Emeka would make it go away.

Lying in a bath tub full of water diluted with blood, her left wrist that bled the life out of her lay on her left thigh. “She knew what she was doing,” someone whispered. ‘’…for she cut the vein vertically, as opposed to horizontally.” Maximum impact! The first to see her lifeless body was her mother who then called the deceased’s sister, who then called her friend. Lastly, the boyfriend arrived unannounced and uninvited. Her mother, her sister, her best friend and her boyfriend gather around her body. Four people that were in her life for their own convenience, four people that kept her close to leech off her. One of them killed her, one of them is me.

If is boiled down to motive we are all guilty; Sindi and her mother never really got along. She left her with Granny while she remarried. They’d had a turbulent relationship ever since, but that’s not why she’d kill her own daughter. She grew jealous of the success Sindi attained despite being raised by Granny with little resources. Sindi went on to become head of Public Relations at a top firm, drove fancy cars and bought a flat in an upmarket area, while she and her favourite daughter, conceived in a new marriage, never amounted to nothing more than being defendant on their husband and father.

Nomsa’s motive would be tied to that of her mother. When Sindi would take a lot of time without visiting they’d accuse her of thinking she was too good for them, when she visited regularly they’d say she was there to flaunt her material gains. A Ping-Pong battle of ‘’I don’t ever want to see you here again’’ and ‘’now that you’ve made it in life you think you are too good for us.’’

Since the death of her granny, work has been Sindi’s family. Other than that, and when he was available, she was glued to her boyfriend of three years. Prior to that, she was best friends with a bottle of Pinotage. During Easter and Christmas holidays she’d either fly overseas or tag along to a family gathering of one of her online friends, colleague or neighbour. Never one to play it safe, she made friends easily, but never really had friends. Nor family.

Besides living a parallel and fiercely competitive life to Sindi’s, Tshidi owed her money. Tons of money. Tshidi did everything in her power to make everyone believe she and Sindi were still best friends, but things had long fallen apart and Sindi was even way past the pretending stage; she was ready to set Emeka on Tshidi.

Just an inquest opened, the death was considered suicide until further evidence that suggested otherwise came forward. Nothing concrete, apparently, could be found to suggest ‘’foul play’’, but I looked at the murder weapon, the razor blade sandwiched between her right thumb and index finger, and it appeared unused. I don’t think they checked it for prints or even traces of DNA that didn’t match hers. I wasn’t the only one that thought something was amiss.

You don’t need a motive to make Emeka look guilty. He is a foreigner without a recognised job, tons of cash and reputation of a violent character. If he isn’t guilty, he is definitely a perfect fall-on guy. Someone we could all hide behind.

The scapegoat trick was never late down someone’s sleeve. “You killed my daughter, you bastard,” barked the “inconsolable” mother. You’d never know if she meant he did it physically, drove her into doing it or attempted to divert attention away from herself. She is jealous of Sindi, but no mother would kill her own daughter; except she has tried before.

Very early in the marriage, her family tried to bring Sindi to stay with her mother and the new husband, as they were financially secure. Tragic because she had not told him Sindi was her daughter. He didn’t know she had a child, and she was already seven. He had seen Sindi before but there were a lot of kids living at Granny’s house, he wouldn’t know who was who, nor would he really care.

On one of her visits to Granny’s house she cooked and laced rat poison into one of the plates and handed it to Sindi who was too preoccupied with playing with her cousins to notice. Sputnik, the family pet died a slow, painful death; curiosity landed the cat at the wrong place at the wrong time. A human life spared; almost everyone knew instantly what had happened, though no one would dare breathe a word. The plan to take Sindi to live with her mother was immediately aborted.

Later on in life, Sindi would hear the story from an uncle who had had a bit too much to drink. This worsened relations with her own mother. The uncle lost his mind, and was never seen sober again.

Inconceivable that lightning would strike twice at the same place, Sindi’s sister, Nomsa, could have a motive of her own, or one similar to that of her mother twenty years ago. She grew up privileged, had all luxuries Sindi dreamt of. It was only natural that a rivalry would ensue. Jealousy could have driven Sindi to kill Nomsa long before Nomsa even knew they were sisters. Granny never hid anything from Sindi; she told her who her mom is. Nomsa only knew the truth in her early teens. By then Sindi already had a Bachelor’s degree while she had just had a baby girl and struggling to finish high school. Sindi had three cars and a not so modest flat in town. Nomsa felt Sindi was flaunting her newly found opulence the same way Nomsa was doing with her father’s money

The truth about Sindi landed on her mother’s husband’s ears, she was already a child any parent would be proud of; academic success and financial fruits, she was everything he wished Nomsa was. He warmly opened his house to her, gave her a room in the house no one else was allowed to use in her absence. Not only was Sindi’s mother nauseated by the insincere gesture, it incensed Nomsa; the torture of being constantly compared to a “low life” like Sindi was unbearable for both of them. That and the fact the Sindi had taken their places in their father’s and husband’s heart. It became clear his love for Nomsa was as conditional as it was for her mother.

Sindi abhorred poverty and everything the represented it, she steered clear off everything that reminded her of her childhood days at Granny’s house. Her choice of friends bore testament. Tshidi was a Human Resources manager at a blue chip firm; she belonged in the same tax bracket as Sindi, and should be enjoying the same lifestyle as her friend; except she didn’t have an Emeka in her life. Nonetheless, she not only aspired to, but lived the social media lifestyle that came effortlessly to the Sindis of this world. The Caribbean cruises and Dubai shopping sprees; she did those on formal and debt, while Sindi had Emeka to pay for it. Tshidi’s last trip to the Seychelles was funded by a R35 000 cash loan from Sindi. She hasn’t paid a cent back in over a year and she knew Sindi was about to set Emeka on her.

Although it didn’t start off that way, Emeka was more of a sponsor than a boyfriend. He spent less time with Sindi, but showered her with cash at every opportunity. A woman in her sexual peak, Sindi opted to outsource what was missing in her relationship. She’d often go to pubs to pick up random guys to sleep with, just to satisfy the urge. She eventually picked up the wrong guy, and Emeka found out. He confronted her about it and she denied it, but she knew Emeka was a street justice type of man. Though he never said much about it nor cut her allowance, she knew he would seek “justice”; it was just a matter of when.

A man she gave up her dreams and ambitions for now placed first a child she was willing to kill to keep him. He had her quit her nursing studies at second year level because he would not have a wife that works. Now he is Sindi’s number one fan because she is independent and doesn’t wait for any man to do things for her. Everything he didn’t her to be, he now admired in Sindi. Her anger was more directed at her husband who betrayed her loyalty. She’d kill him if she didn’t depend on him for livelihood.

Grew up his princess; had all the toys, all the clothes she wanted. Even attended multi-racial schools. He’d always brag about her white friends sleeping over at his township, but lavish house. The apple of his eye that did not live up to his expectations; if only she had completed matric, went on to study medicine so there would finally be a Dr. Ndlovu in the family. He had always wanted to be a medical doctor, but was prevented by the political atmosphere of the 70’s.

Though Sindi wasn’t a medical or a Ph.D doctor, he loved that she was childless, aggressively pursued a career and did not live off a man. Nomsa hated her father’s admiration of Sindi for it reminded her of how he loved a young Nomsa. The sparkle in his eye when he speaks to Sindi was the same one when she had when he would hoist little Nomsa up and told her she was the most beautiful girl in the world. He no longer said those words; no longer praised her for anything except remind her she turned out just like her mother, who was a teen mom and went on to quit school so she could be taken care of by a man. “Why can’t you be like Sindi?” were haunting words that came out of her father’s lips lately. Sindi had stolen her father’s love from her, Sindi had to die.

More so because she is a lying and cheating whore. Emeka is not the kind of a guy you want to cheat on; he makes problems go away for a living. A missing person’s file has been open for two weeks for the guy Sindi slept with; still she knew Emeka wasn’t finished and soon he would come for her. All the money she spends on her made her the envy of her friends and she repaid him by making him the laughing stock of his friends.

Street credibility is key in Emeka’s line of business; he is an underworld debt collector. When criminals want to branch into organised crime, such as an internet scams, hijacking and/or cash-in-transit heist qangs, but don’t have the financial resources they borrow money from the drug underworld money lenders at 100% interest. The debt doubles exponentially every month. Debt collectors like Emeka collect from problematic clients on 30% commission.

It takes specialised intimidating tactics to threaten even the most hardened of criminals to honour their debts. Emeka is that guy, feared by even the most feared of criminals yet he could not keep his woman’s legs crossed. Sindi’s actions were bad for Emeka’s ego, street credibility and business. He had to kill her to send the message to the underworld.

Tshidi has seen Emeka at work. The thought of him coming after her frightened her. She had to stop Sindi from setting Emeka on her because he would take away her German Luxury Sedan and, with it, her social status. She was already deep in debt and could not afford a replacement car nor would she be seen dead driving a cheap car. The carpet was about to be pulled from underneath her. She wouldn’t allow that. What would people say when she is a pedestrian? She had to kill Sindi to avoid that humiliation.

Despite all the bickering throughout their lives, Sindi longed for a family and was willing to make peace with her sister and mother. That is why her mother went to Sindi’s house and “found her dead” in her bathtub and she was so “distraught” she called her daughter and Sindi’s sister, Nomsa, who then called Sindi’s friend Tshidi. Emeka was there to see his girlfriend and found the women consoling one other around her blood-bathed body. He called the police who declared it suicide in the absence of evidence to suggest otherwise.

Her mom was not genuine in her efforts to make peace with Sindi; she was looking for a way to get her in her husband’s bad books. And thus reclaim her position in his books as a good wife. Maybe if he saw she wasn’t perfect he’d realise his wife is not what is wrong with his family. What kind of a perfect daughter commits suicide?

Nomsa also wanted her position back in her father’s heart. Sindi had stolen her joy and it was payback time; her chance to go one better on what her mother failed to do twenty years earlier. She’d do it so clean no one would suspect her; it would all be seen as Sindi’s own doing.

Tshidi was never gonna allow her lifestyle to downgrade. She lived it in front of 20 000 followers and she could never risk them learning she was no longer the globetrotter they knew her as. She made sure she stopped Sindi before her friend sent Emeka to turn her world upside down.

Emeka had seen way too many of these scenes. If he couldn’t collect a debt he’d have to bring the debtor’s skull back to the creditors; everything done so clean the police don’t come after anyone. He’d staged a few suicides, people jumping off buildings, shooting themselves in their cars parked at shopping malls and hanging themselves in their children’s bedrooms. Sindi cheating on him was more than just an invite to make her disappear without a trace, but he had to sign his work with excellence and display it for all his future clients to admire it.

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