Thursday morning I got a sms from an unknown number:
Madam I dnt wanna coz any trouble 4 u bt please i need ur help, i am realy sorry for what i said in the past please 4give me i was being childish i am really sorry
uhm…. I was sitting outside oncology when I got this. Not in the mood to play the “who is this” game. My first thought was that it must be my previous housekeeper. She was very childish when she worked for me and more so when she left. So I smséd back – “who is this?” Got a ‘Please call me’ from Tshepo.
Sjoe, that brought back some memories. Not good ones, that’s for sure. Tshepiso is the son of my housekeeper who passed away. I loved her. She raised my boys as her own. Often Quintus would fall asleep on her back as she worked. I still miss her.
Anyway, about 5 years ago, I was home alone at night when I got a sms. It was horrible. Explaining what this person wants to do to me and ugly s*xual language. Horrible. I got my friend to phone that number and Tshepiso answered. I was so upset. Partly because he used to come to my house. I used to help him with his maths. I went to his athletics. More upset because of the terrible things that were said in the sms. Upset that he would hurt his mother by what he sent me.
We did try to make a case against him but in our country nothing happens, fast. His Uncle (who works for my mom) did discipline him. I was upset but left it there. Nothing I could do about it. I basically wrote him off.
Then this sms. At first I didn’t want to phone him back. I assumed he wanted money or something and I wasn’t willing to help. So I didn’t phone back. That was until I went to pick up Jason from school and ended up being a whole 30 minutes early (don’t ask). So I phoned him.
He thanked me for phoning back….
yeah, when are you asking for money? He said that he is extremely sorry for what he did…. yeah, when are you asking for money? That he was childish …. yeah, when are you asking for money? and that he doesn’t know why he did that…. yeah, when are you asking for money? Again apologising…. yeah, when are you asking for money? Saying that it’s been bothering him for years and that he felt it won’t help him feeling horrible but never apologising to me …. yeah, when are you asking for money? and then he wanted to say good-bye…
What!? No, I need your help for this or that? Just I’m sorry and then goodbye? Wow. Wow. Wow. I accepted his apology. I told him that I was hurt and upset but that when you are young, you make mistakes. That saying sorry takes a big man. That his mother would be so proud of him for apologising. That we will now put this behind us.
I thanked him for apologising. We made some small talk and I thought…maybe now he is going to ask for something? But not. He again said sorry and we said our goodbyes.
Do you know what that meant to me? Do you know how important the words “I am sorry” are. Say it when you have to. Goes right there with: yes, please, thank you….. and sorry.