I give Juan a lift to his (ex)girlfriend. We ride on one of Cape Town’s highways to reach her workplace, a pub. They haven’t seen each other since she simulated a pregnancy. When we arrive Marika smiles. Both disappear. I sit at the bar and think of reasons why she could have simulated the pregnancy. ‘Men are bitches,’ she once said when I told her that I write a book about men. I am getting bored. Juan comes back and offers me another drink. Then he disappears again, this time in the backstage of the pub. When they come back Marika’s brother approaches Juan. ‘You’re a naai!’ he yells and smiles. The Afrikaans word ‘naai’ can be translated literally into ‘stitching’ and refers to sexual intercourse.
On our way back from the pub Juan confides that Marika’s brother caught them when they were having sex in the toilet. They didn’t close the door. Juan laughs and approaches his nose with his hands. ‘Shit, I still smell like sex.’ I agree.
Then he changes the subject, ‘I feel much better now after she told me.’ Marika just revealed that she is actually married. So far, she was afraid to tell Juan. It seems the young woman wanted to make him believe she was pregnant because she did not want to loose him. On the weekend she simulated the pregnancy test, she suspected her brother to reveal the secret. In case Juan finds out about the marriage, she thought, he would leave her. A child, she hoped, would have strengthened their bond.
Now Juan sits next to me on the front seat and shrugs, ‘I don’t care. Next week she’s going to Joburg to get the divorce.’ Two weeks ago, Juan told me that he wouldn’t love Marika. He said he would only use her to have access to free drinks and sex. Now, he points out that during the whole drama he actually fell in love with her. ‘I love this woman to bits and pieces,’ he pooints out firmly. Then he concludes with a skirmish smile, ‘This time I used a condom.’