The Sweetest Taboo Part X

Is this legal?

My love and I landed in financial trouble when we lost our jobs.

There is nothing worse than not knowing your rights and having creditors hound you until you promise to pay, even if you have to sell a kidney.

The constant calls, mail, and trace agents coming to your house unannounced and threatening to break your legs is something that works on your psyche and slowly wears you down until you sign whichever document, they place in front of you simply because you want them gone.

“I have more debt than you,” he said.

“I should declare bankruptcy,” he continued.

I knew it wasn’t as simple as that, but I went along with him anyway. My mental exhaustion could rival a toddler who falls asleep standing up.

Off we went in search of an attorney that specialized in bankruptcy. We found a friendly one, and it would cost around R10 000. (about $650.00). That was a big amount of money, but we felt we could manage it by selling some of our goods.

“The pool table has to go,” I declared.

“Oh, come on, not the pool table,” he moaned.

“Listen, if my favourite stuff has to go, then so does yours,” I insist.

Once the buyer arrived, I’ve never seen a more reluctant handover of the said pool table. His face was so sad when he saw it loaded on the truck. My poor love. “There is always time to start again” I comfort him with words trying to be strong.

Bankruptcy “dealt” with, and suddenly there is no one calling on him. It was so peaceful, and for the first time in longer than I can recall, I fell into a deep sleep. It was bliss!

About a week later, I received an urgent message from the attorney’s secretary that I was to urgently come to his office. He needed to discuss a way forward for my creditors. I was so relieved that there was also a solution to my problems! I sang at the top of my voice while driving to the attorneys.

It was going to be alright. We would bounce back from this setback.

I waltzed into the attorney’s office and flashed a bright smile at his secretary as I was told to go in because he was waiting for me.

My love and I had discussed this new development, and we were both hopeful that a solution could be found for my creditors.

“Good afternoon” I smiled my most brilliant smile. I was so happy as I was greeted.

“Good afternoon Thesna, you’re looking lovely today.”

“Please, sit down,” he said a bit formally.

“ Thank you for helping us. I’m so grateful that we can sleep more peacefully,” I gush.

“Yes, erm, well, let’s focus on your solution,” he continued as if I hadn’t spoken.

“I have a perfect solution for your problems,” he says.

“Thank you so very much,” I gratefully acknowledge.

“You need to leave James* (not my love’s real name” he calmly stated.

“What?” I utter, shocked at this turn of events.

“Why?” I ask.

“You owe X amount to your creditors, and I am willing to pay it all. You would then owe me,” he stated.

I’m not being the brightest spark here and am just grateful that every month I will now be paying him back a certain amount.

“But why do I have to leave James when you pay my debts,” I was puzzled.

“Let me put it this way, I am single, I think you’re attractive, and I am willing to settle your creditors if you lose the hanger-on and move in with me,” he boldly states.

I sat there frozen in place, the smile dropping from my face and my heart plummeting alongside the hopes I had for a solution.

“You don’t have to decide now, but I expect your answer by tomorrow,” he says, filling the silence in his office.

“But,” I stammer.

I felt like my ears didn’t process correctly, so I repeated his offer.

“Yes,” he affirmed, “I said that, and I have more money than him and can look after you better.”

“I don’t need looking after,” I interrupt.

“That’s the same as me selling my body!” I reply.

“Don’t see it that way,” he smiles. “See as a way out of your problems: a way for you, coming from where you do, to live a better life.”

I’m crushed!

I’m defeated!

I’m indignant!

I’m disgusted!

He then compounds his disgusting proposition by telling me what a great body I have. I remained seated, dumbfounded at what was unfolding.

“Anyway, thank you for coming. My next appointment is waiting. I expect to hear from you tomorrow!” He confidently states.

I wish I could end this by saying that I told him where to get off. I didn’t! I was still in shock at his audacity.

I felt dirty and devalued! He saw me as just a body and looks, but I knew my value was based on more than the physical.

I went from being an intelligent woman to a body. It was humiliating and even more so the way he leered and mentioned what he thought were my assets.

I cried on the way home and hugged my love when I saw him.

Eventually, I became angry and couldn’t wait to tell that attorney where to shove his offer.

I sent him a strongly worded letter because I couldn’t stand to be in his company again.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Life after that continued with us working hard, day and night, to pull ourselves out of the financial situation we found ourselves in!

Life returned to normal, or so I thought.

To be continued.

Part Xl

Stop objectifying women of colour…

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Thesna Aston

Thesna Aston

CRT Practitioner, (life requires brave people), Writer @ The Fair Digest, Human Rights Activist, Motivating you (There are enough mean people)Member SahariTHJ