Anna worked hard to adjust to the new life. It was a different country. Sure she had been here before, but one cannot equate a holiday with a home. The two are different on all levels.
Anna missed her space and comfort zone and was struggling to build one.. She knew deep down that she needed to find the resources and means to create everything new. She missed all her friends – especially the people that had supported her through all the terrible parts of her life. Sure, technology means that your loved ones are never too far away from you – but it wasn’t the same.
Her sole aim in everyday was to wake up and take one further step in the adjusting process.
In six weeks, she had somewhat adjusted, when she received an email from a familiar looking address. GUY. What could he possible want? What kind of a sick joke was destiny playing on her?
Yes it was Guy and he wanted “his” Anna back. He needed her in his life as much as she needed air to survive. Anna was angry. The situation was all wrong. The circumstances were all wrong.
Anna always believed in giving someone a chance to redeem themself – and decided to give the love of her life the chance to make her happy. Regardless the circumstances, there was a reason that Guy was back in her life and she needed to give fate and destiny a chance. She had loved this man since she had laid eyes on him at the age of 19. And now, 8years later – he wanted her. They were both single and it was ideal – although they were in different countries. This wasn’t a rebound for her – this was the real thing. This was the Almighty telling her that they belonged together. They were soul mates. They were meant to be together…
That was the day that marked the move. A day that would be forever etched in Anna’s heart as the start of a brand new life, a brand new chapter in a new country. She didn’t have any plans, except live in the moment. However, things are not always as they seem…
Desite things not working out with Seth, Anna was happy that she had put Zach behind her. And with that, she put Guy behind her as well. Knowing he was married, she respected him enough to let him go. She just stopped replying to his messages and called it a day. She owed herself the respect, if she wanted to be respected. A recently divorced woman had no right to interfere in a married man’s life.
Anna concentrated on being mother and father to little ButterFly. If Zach had no wish to be part of the little girl’s life, Anna wanted to. She had already lost one baby, she wasn’t going to neglect the precious one that was alive. Within her means, Anna gave ButterFly everything – love, time, toys, endless gifts – all the things that money could buy as well as all the things that love could provide.
Haddie and Derek filled Anna’s life in the hope to close the gap in ButterFly’s life that Zach had left wide open, an act that Anna treasured with all her life. She owed Haddie and Zach her life for helping her raise this little girl.
The months passed. The heartache also passed. Anna relied on her work and studies to blank out the pain of the divorce as well as constant prayer to the Almighty. The end of the tunnel was nearing and Anna could see the light – a light that was filling her life and replacing the pain of the divorce. This light was her inner strength. Constantly Anna told herself that if the Almighty brings you through it, He will help you through it. Anna didn’t ever realise how much of strength she truly had. She had been through so much – loss of a baby, divorce, single parenthood.
Beyond this, she knew that something was going to bring her some happiness. And that’s when the Almighty decided to save the best for last. Derek decided to move to Mozambique for business and in this, he included Anna and ButterFly. This was just what Anna needed. Away from Johannesburg. A chance to start over, away from all the memories – to be close to her family – cousins, aunts, uncles. The isolation from family had taken its count in the bad occasions of her life and this is exactly what she needed.
With a smile on her face, Anna resigned and started packing for her new life..
Well.. Regardless of the outcome, Anna was happy. Disappointed but happy. She was free from this loveless farce that she had constantly tried to call a marriage. No regrets though. With Zach, she had two beautiful little girls and whatever bad patches she had went through were the Almighty’s way of adding points of interest in the map of her life.
Anna dusted herself off and decided that she needed to go on. Regardless of all the crap that she had been through with Zach and his family. Anna said to herself that with each passing day she had to slowly forgive herself for the failure that her marriage had been. She unfortunately blamed herself – however it does take two to tango. Yes, she could have tried harder. But then again, so could have Zach.
Zach’s final words to Anna were “if you don’t want to be my wife, then I want nothing to do with ButterFly either.” He had absolutely no interest in her welfare from this day forth and even denied that ButterFly was even his. He claimed that Anna had been having an affair with Guy since day one and that Guy was ButterFly’s real father – he had somehow acquired proof from Guy regarding this.
Anna was not impressed. She had long forgotten Guy and these accusations were not fair. Anna summoned the courage and tried her best to get hold of Guy. She knew that he had gotten married and she had no right to contact him, but Zach had left her with no options. She got hold of guy with just one question “has my ex husband been in touch with you for any reason whatsoever?”
Just that question alone was enough for Anna and Guy to start their friendship from where they had left off. This wasn’t fair to Anna or Guy – but somehow there was a cosmic magnetic pull. Guy was in Cape Town, Anna in Johannesburg. Guy was married, Anna was going through a bad divorce. Everything spelt out the word wrong.
Luckily in this short space of time, Anna had another distraction. She became friends with someone from her past. Seth. Recently divorced. He showered ButterFly with endless love, attention and affection. He was the perfect solution to Anna’s confused heart. Time spent with him made her forget Zach’s nastiness and how much she yearned to be with Guy – especially now that they were talking once again.
Though things with Seth did not work out, Anna was grateful for one thing, Seth had managed to help Anna forget Zach. And in forgetting Zach, she turned over a new chapter of her life. She started from scratch – Anna and ButterFly. The Dream Team.
Anna took a few days to think about her reply to her “husband”, but when she did, it said everything she had been feeling the past several weeks, and gave him an ultimatum. Her reply was,
Salaams & Hope you are well.
I’ve got a couple of things to get off my chest – as I am tired of you giving me breadcrumbs while I am actually worth a full loaf of bread.
I haven’t really demanded anything from you in the past couple of months – neither have I proceeded with any sort of maintenance application as I felt that I didnt have to go down that route at any point because we indeed have shared alot in the past. This is regardless from what my parents wanted – they wanted me to take you to court for maintenance for me, maintenance for the baby, those bills u made me make as well as for failure to return my ID book.
In order for me to even consider a private conversation from you I do need a guarantee.
You have blatantly refused to pay me any maintenance whatsoever – be it for Talaaq or for being your spouse – either way you have a responsibility over my well being – that is what adults do.
Me, being the idiot, i allowed you to blow up my cards – both my woolworths store card for groceries and my credit card for various purchases such as nappies, dischem vaccination payments & toiletries when you said you had no money & needed me to help me with household expenses as I also had a job. Being a fool and being so in love with you, i hung onto every word u said – and i accepted yr reasoning – only to have your words destroy my life.
And that is not even beginning to mention where you have failed B F in every aspect of her life for the past 4 months.
Let me not even mention the emotional & physical stress that this whole situation has caused – onto which a value cannot be placed.
Given the above mentioned conditions
This is what I have come up with.
In light of me being your spouse til today (which i gladly accept as you are the father of my child) – I am DEMANDING R 1000 maintenance (R250 a week) for every month that I have been without you. You left on June 27th, 2009. That is exactly 16 weeks which equals R 4 000.
With regards to the accounts which totalled R 11 000 – I am going on a 70/30 ratio as you earn more than 2x of what I earn. I have already paid R 4 000, the rest of the R 7 000 is totally for your account.
Maintenance for B F equals to R 3000 a month or R 750 a week. For 16 weeks you are looking at a figure of R 12 000 – I am going to deduct R 3000 from this figure for the stuff that you bought as well as for the pending deposit. So in effect, it’s R 9 000 of outstanding maintenance.
I am now going to look at your loopholes before you even start arguing with me.
1. Maintenance on me —-> I havent felt welcome in your home, hence the separation. In any reconciliation, there has to be a form of generosity from the husband to the wife in order for the wife to consider returning to her home as well it is FARDH onto him to make provision out of love & his abilities. Check in every law book, every shariah kitaab. The less u give the less i was willing to return – so in order for me to even consider any private conversations or reconciliation, I want what is due to me. This isnt even asking you for all the dr’s bills that i have encountered thanks to the amount of times that i’ve been sick thanks to this whole situation – that i had to borrow money to pay for.
2. The accounts —> Have been explained properly above.
3. Maintenance for BF —> you had no reason not to pay it, some ppl’s circumstances are ten times worse yet they will make sure that their kids have the best of everything – even if they dont see them. My child isnt an object whereby you will only pay if you are given access to her. That money for her upbringing came from somewhere – NOT from her parents and it must be returned to the people who paid it accordingly.
Regarding the private conversation that you seek with our so called “private” affairs – here’s a newsflash for you. You had the audacity to record our PRIVATE arguments and put it all on show for your whole entire family to listen. Nothing between us remained private from that point. Therefore, in order to be some form of reconciliation, I WILL NOT GO ANYWHERE TO DISCUSS ANY PRIVATE MATTERS BETWEEN US.
This will be done in the presence of my mahram where i feel safest, where i will no be subjected to further humiliation & where i will not be manipulated and brainwashed into believing what you say is right.
So here are the guarantees that I need from you before any discussions take place:
Half the maintenance owed to me – as a down payment towards reconciliation – either as an EFT or cash – given to me. If you eft i want a proof of payment emailed to me. R 2 000
Half the amount owed to the accounts paid – here you have 3 choices. a.I give u the details you pay them directly via eft & u you give me the proof of payments. b. send the eft to the my bank account where i will pay the accounts & email me the proof of payment. c. give me the money in cash. The amount here is R 3 500 – Then you will pay the instalments of a total of R 600 every month til the bills are fully paid up yeah?
BF’s maintenance payments that you havent provided for – Here is a payment plan yeah. R 9 000 divided by 6 months gives u R 1 500 we are actually being generous to you here, considering that you have said that u will provide for her from now onwards. You can eft that to me or pay it cash when you come n see her.
You will pick the phone up ASAP & call my parents. they are the most affected by this whole story thanks to you. You stopped talking to them, stopped making salaam to them, you lived in their yard and used & abused their property, you humiliated their daughter on countless occasions in front of them, they were humiliated thanks to you when your mother swore my father – You will call my father on 08xxxxxx and explain to him all your intentions for both me and BF, as well as apologise for all your actions – the worse of it would be the cops incident. Here you are totally to blame as no one brought the cops to u & humiliated you at odd hours of the night – so whatever my father & brother said to you that night, they were in reason.
You will also explain all your lies & stupid actions to both me & my parents in person. They want what is best for me – and if you cant be the best in their presence, it means that all you have planned for the future is – me working my ass off & giving you all my money, as well as me making more children and having absolutely no say, as well as you giving me a life filled with misery, torture and absolutely nothing that is deemed a necessity in MY eyes.
An explanation regarding my ID book & the fines.
Like you love & live for yr parents – as well as worship every word that they say – I love & respect mine.
If you love me as you say you do – all the above is a drop of water in the ocean of reconciliation.
From then onwards I will feel free to talk to you. And look for a way forward.
I didnt fall out from the sky – and if it wasnt for my parents, right now I would be out on the streets – I am alive n well thanks to them, therefore i will not allow you to waltz back into my life, take me away from them and i KNOW you will force me to do things the way yr parents want – and in effect you will force me to cut all ties with my parents and become subjected to being the maid of you & your parents as long as I am alive. That will not happen.
If your love for us really has no limits, you will prove it to us.i am really not asking for alot. There are situations worse than ours.Our situation is aggravated by yr immaturity to accept responsibility for your family as well as witholding maintenance in the hope that we will come back running to you to take us back – Shukar to Allah we have not yet reached that point – we are not beggars. I am refusing to accept breadcrumbs when I am worth a
whole loaf of bread.
If we are worth all your love & respect – this is the least that you can do for me & B F. I have already told you that if its a no I will walk away completely & this time I am going to hand my situation to a court of law. So if you want to be miserly with your money, and in effect show me that money has a bigger value than a wife and child – I will gladly accept that. I am not asking for alot of money. You can go take a loan if needs be – its only R 7 000 – what is R 7 000 compared to an entire marriage? Think about it. R 7000 and a phone call or a complete divorce. Your choice here. Show me what is more important to you. I am actually giving you the upperhand and telling you what i want from you. This is really generous from me – another woman would cut u out completely from her life.
It’s not alot and 5 months is alot of patience from me. So this is in effect your last chance.And failing which, I will then apply to the maintenance court for all the above amounts – and yes I have a new lawyer and you will hear from her in due time. Also, from then onwards you will then see BF on MY terms which is 2 hours supervised visits once in two weeks – as allowed by the law.
Another thing, i KNOW for a fact that everything you do & say to me, is under your mother’s supervision – so if thats the case, I am really not interested.
I’ll give you til friday to reply – failing which you will then hear from my lawyer. And no, dont think that my parents have brainwashed me. I have in effect come to my senses regarding you and this whole situation – I have been extremely generous & forgiving. Someone else in my shoes would have walked away the minute she heard of the recordings.
Salaams – ill be waiting
Have a great day”
Fortunately for Anna, Zach decided to walk away…
The ultimate breaking point for what was left of their “marriage” came when Zach decided to use ButterFly as an ace card in this whole “game”. His threat to Anna was, “Give the baby to my parents and we can be husband and wife.” This was the ultimate point to Anna. He had made the wrong threat. This little girl was Anna’s heart and soul, and Zach wanted her to give her baby away. The threat didn’t stop there. If that was not enough, Zach’s parents went to Anna’s parents’ house while Anna was at work to demand the baby.
Anna had to protect her little girl at all costs. She told Zach that it was over on all levels. It was one thing for him to play with her and her feelings. However, Anna is a grown up and can defend herself. ButterFly was not even two years old. Why toy with a defenceless infant? Zach threatened to take Anna to court, however Anna armed herself with legal research and Zach had no leg to stand on.
Zach didn’t pay any child or spousal support nor attempted to pay any of the debt that Anna had made due to him. Yes legally it was hers, but morally they were shared. They were husband and wife; the vows made on their wedding day were to stick together through thick and thin, for better or for worse. This was not the case. Zach had packed up and left and had left the situation in Anna’s hand – knowing that she was incapable of paying off the debt and supporting the baby. However, Anna was lucky. The Almighty did not walk out on her. Her parents took on the full responsibility of support Baby ButterFly while Anna worked day & night to pay the debt off. Zach constantly emailed & called Anna up with threats & such. But Anna was done.
One of the last email conversations that Anna had with Zach was this email from Zach:
Hope you are well.
I have bought stuff for B F and have done a transfer for some other things that she probably needs.
Also, I would like to come over on the weekend for 2 reasons ? one, to see B F and two, to discuss with you your personal financial status. However, if you do want the discussion to take place, I require a neutral venue as this is between us. Likewise the upbringing of our child.
I would also like to know, and in effect buy for B F any items of clothes that she may need.
As that we have had two children together, I don?t foresee this being a problem for whatever differences we may have had. Kindly get back to me at your soonest so that arrangements can be made ? please, I do not want to cause any problems ? I just want to see my daughter. If it is a problem let me know.
Please do not hesitate to contact me for further..
To this Anna waited a few days to reply but dropped a bombshell on him…
The days following Zach’s departure were the hardest in Anna’s life. ButterFly cried for her dad to the point that she got sick. He neither called, texted or emailed his wife or daughter. Yet, everything began unraveling. All Zach’s plans were in the open.
Zach had been planning to leave his wife a couple of months’ earlier. His parents had convinced him that his wife and child were nothing but expenses and were weights on his shoulder. He wasn’t progressing in life because of them. Zach had also began an affair a while back with an anonymous girl.
The affair was the least of Anna’s worries. What killed her was that she had made vows of eternity with this man, had been through moments of extreme happiness as well as moments of heart wrenching sadness. Anna was broken. In more ways than one. This man was the father of her babies. She loved him deeply. They had shared so much. How could all of this be true? And it was.
And the humiliation did not stop there. Zach had been recording conversations and arguments between Anna and himself over the past couple of months. Anna had no knowledge about this. She came to know of this when she threatened Zach to go to court for sole custody and child support. How much further could he break her spirit? Were discussions between husband and wife just that – between husband and wife? And it did not end there. Zach had played those recordings to his friends and family to try and discredit Anna, as well as remove ButterFly from her care permanently. Who was Anna really married to?
Things got uglier and uglier. Zach’s parents demanded wedding gifts to Anna back – claiming that it was family tradition to only LOAN the daughter in law heirlooms like jewellery. At divorce, these gifts were to be returned as the belonged to the husband and not to her. Anna point blank refused and an argument ensued between hers and Zach’s parents, that got really ugly.
Anna constantly tried to make things work with Zach, by begging him. She loved him a lot. She would have done anything to not let her family break. If anything, Anna wanted for her baby more than Anna herself had. Anna had her parents together and that’s what she wanted ButterFly to have. This wasn’t to be though. Zach’s arrogance was above it all. And he wanted Anna to bow down to his parents and seek their forgiveness.
Anna was willing to do it all just for her baby. Even though her parents were against it all. They knew what their daughter was up against. This man had left their daughter destitute and sky high bills, plus a mouth to feed. Zach point blank refused to shoulder any of the expenses unless Anna and ButterFly were living in his home. He constantly threated Anna with taking her to court and fighting for their baby – even though he had no leg to stand on.
The fights did not stop. However, Anna reached the breaking point one afternoon after Zach and his parents pulled a major stunt…
Zach told his parents that he was completely broke and alleged that Anna “wasted” all his money on groceries, clothes and toys for ButterFly. Everything was an expense. He made it sound like his wife and child were two huge expenses. What his parents proposed was that they move in with his parents and that Anna and Zach were to work Sunday to Sunday, ButterFly was to be brought up by his parents and his parents would determine their financial needs and would even determine in time if and when they were to extend their family further as – according to Zach’s parents – Zach and Anna were doing a poor job of handling their own finances and bringing up their child. In their eyes, Anna and Zach were two kids who had brought a baby into the world without any proper planning or experience.
This whole story insulted Anna on every level. She was 25, not 15. The Almighty had already taken her first baby from her. Anna was not going to allow Zach’s parents to remove her baby and run her life. She had a promising career ahead of her with an opportunity to study further. She was not going to throw her life, her future and her daughter away because of these judgemental people, in return for a Sunday to Sunday dead end job behind a shop counter.
When Anna and Zach returned home, things constantly got worse. Anna point black refused to listen to anything Zach had to say about her resigning. She had dealt with enough interference from both sets of parents and this was just the pits. Now Zach’s parents were demanding her to leave her job. Anna was not going to be someone’s maid for all of eternity. Anna was worth so much more.
Family meetings took place to try and resolve all the issues. Zach constantly humiliated Anna. He even brought out their lack of intimacy and proclaimed that he neither loved nor trusted Anna, and hadn’t in a very long time. Anna just beared it all with a smile for the sake of her child, and regardless of these humiliations, she agreed to try.
To Zach, trying was Anna becoming 100% submissive to him. Worshipping him, not questioning anything he said. Anna was not going to change her entire personality in order to make Zach happy. He had walked over her time and time again. Anna realised that all Zach wanted was his UK visa extended when he was living in London. That was the sad truth. It hurt a lot but atleast it was the truth.
Zach was persistant in not paying any bills, including the rent to Haddie and Derek. So Haddie decided that Zach was to leave. He walked out, without even saying so much as a goodbye to his child. And that’s when the war started…
When Butterfly was 9 months old, Anna decided that she’d like to look for a job. She began applying and was accepted for a learnership position – where she would earn very little but be trained and certified after a year. It was going to be a long and difficult year from a financial point of view but she was going to try really hard to better her family’s life.
Anna began working just before ButterFly turned a year. She cried on her first day at work because she missed her little girl terribly. It was habit to wake up and look after her child. She was not used to working while her baby was at work.
Anna and Zach worked different hours – so they divided the work and the caring for their baby in such a way that ButterFly would benefit from both her parents’ available time. Anna prayed that it would work out. She had a fantastic domestic worked, who helped her immensely with the housework as well as with ButterFly.
Anna’s little world was shown a new horizon with this new job. Anna began to learn new things, have opinions, have new interests and became a social butterfly. Anna was becoming intellectually stimulated and became a new person. She stopped sweating the small stuff and all that mattered was her need to provide for her family.
However, as the days went by, Zach and Anna had less time for each other. When Anna left for work, he was asleep. When Zach returned from work, she was asleep. If it wasn’t for email, Anna and Zach would not speak for the whole working week. Anna was feeling a huge loss of communication as well as a break down in companionship. Once again, her marriage was failing.
During this time, Anna heard from mutual friends that Guy had gotten married. She was happy for him. All she wanted was for Guy to be happy, she always wished him well. Anna loved Guy too much to ever wish anything bad onto him.
Slowly, the problems became cropping up. Zach seemed to make every available excuse to avoid spending time with Anna and the baby. Every weekend he had a new excuse. He even suggested that on weekends, they start hanging out with their friends – Zach with his, and Anna with hers. Anna found this fishy but didn’t say anything.
Anna began to feel fed up of this “marriage” when Zach started claiming that he had no money. Anna had to purchase groceries and the baby’s things on credit through store and credit cards. Zach only really spoke to her on pay day. He even made her pay the rent as well as the domestic’s wages and Anna’s extremely small salary became even tinier. Nothing was left for her. Anna thought that she was saving her marriage, in effect she was being used by Zach for him to hide his money.
Things were getting miserable, and interference from both sets of parents did not help anyone. The problems really reached the surface when at Easter, Zach and Anna went on a trip to visit Zach’s parents. Anna was already miserable, and Zach’s decisions without Anna made her see red and the end of the line for this “marriage”.
Anna began to love this little girl dearly. At first, she was afraid that she was going to let her go, just like she had let Xena go. But she realised that the Almighty would never give her more than she could handle. She handled the death of her little girl well, but she wouldn’t ever handle if something happened to little ButterFly.
Life needed alot of adjustment around the new baby – getting into a routine, learning about this new little person’s personality, her likes and dislikes. ButterFly was a happy little girl. Like Xena, she never cried or complained. She went with the flow and enjoyed being around people. Especially her grandparents. Her eyes lighted up specially around Derek and he made ButterFly his world.
ButterFly also relished all of Zach’s attention, even though he spent very few hours around her, due to the long hours that he worked in order to be able to sustain his family. She was a calm, quiet little girl with a bubbly personality. ButterFly loved her mother. Everytime she was fed or in her mother’s arms, she stared at Anna, with the exact same expression that Xena had, filled with awe and love.
When ButterFly was 10 weeks old, Anna had a job offer and took it. It meant working long hours but it also meant enjoying a bit more financial freedom and being able to buy things that she only wistfully desired, especially for little ButterFly. Anna was heartbroken to leave her little baby alone, but was relieved that Haddie had taken full responsibility in looking after ButterFly.
Everything was going well, Anna loved her job, ButterFly was growing up nicely and Zach & Anna were trying to iron out their issues. It was not easy as Anna loved honesty, conversation & communication but Zach hid from Anna behind a brick wall. For their daughter, Anna tried as hard as she could to overcome the hurdles in the situation. She occasionally taught of Guy, but had no contact and had accepted that it was for the best there.
Three months after Anna began working, she felt really ill. Fever, coughs and bad chills, all this in the middle of winter. It was broncho-pneumonia and unfortunately, Anna had to leave her job with immediate effect as well as wean little ButterFly off the breastmilk as well, in order for the baby not to get ill. Anna gladly left her job and in this time, Zach secured a position in a better paying job and things seemed to look up for everyone. Zach worked different hours, but because Anna was home, it didn’t make much of a difference. Also, he was there on weekends which is what everyone wanted – to spend time as a family.
Anna spent alot of time with Haddie and Derek, and because Zach worked on public holidays as well, she went with them on their outings so as not to become insane within the four walls of their home. One outing in particular stood out. It was a public holiday, Zach was working so Anna and ButterFly went with Haddie & Derek to a neighbouring town to a mall that opened up when Anna was living in the UK. She was strolling casually in the mall and who does she see.. None other than Guy! It couldn’t be. But it was. Looking as handsome as she had remembered him. Anna was speechless, she couldnt bring herself to go upto him and talk to him. It was not fair. She had chosen her path and she was walking on it. She could not deviate her path for one minute of madness. All the feelings that she had for Guy, locked away in the deepest crevice of her heart immediately popped out and she realised that she still loved him. She just needed to look at him to realise that she was not over him, he was still the love of her life. Nothing in her heart had changed even though years had passed and that life had changed her as a person. She let it go and walked away, hoping that when she got home, Zach would not read the pain of her heart in her eyes.
Anna had to let Guy go. She had no choice. She couldn’t even send him a text to tell him that she had seen him. It wasn’t fair on him, and it wasn’t fair on Zach & ButterFly. She wanted everything to remain in that way – regardless that she was unhappy. All she wanted was Guy back in her life. Somehow she felt that they belonged together, but that feeling was wrong on so many levels.She accepted the situation and let him go. She once again closed Guy’s box of memories inside her heart and threw away the key, never to find it again. Or so she hoped..