Unconditional Love – What once was, can be again

#1
The afternoon summer heat was taking its toll on the group of teenage girls, doing their best to get home in time to do their daily chores and homework. Close behind walked another group that consisted of boys, older boys. This was the norm for them, waking up at 03:30 every week day and leaving home at 04:30 to embark on the 12km walk to the nearest Missionary School and having to embark on that same journey every afternoon. One by one the group dispersed until only 3 remain Thulani his childhood best friend S’bangeni and his beautiful cousin Makhosazane. The three were enjoyed their last few kilometres together, laughing and sharing stories of their future plans. These small conversations made the remaining kilometres feel like mere meters.
Thulani always watched Makhosi closely whenever she spoke, he often found himself hypnotised by her voice not forgetting every time she would lick her. He was mesmerised by her, all of her, he liked her more than he dared to acknowledge. “Thulani?” she called out giving him a slight push, “I asked you a question?” “I’m sorry, I didn’t get it” “I asked whether your father agreed to let you go study in the city next year?” she looked at him eagerly waiting for his response “he said I can go as long as I come home to check on mum and Thembeka every now and again” “that’s great, I have to wait one more year before I can join you” sounding a bit irritated “Mzala (cousin) be patient your time will come. I can’t wait to see the city and find a decent city girl that I will marry and live…” “haibo mzala, why do you have to marry a city girl? Why can’t you marry one of the girls from here?” “mzala induku enhle igawulwa ezizweni (a beautiful woman is found in foreign places)” “Thulani please talk to your friend, I hope unlike my cousin you will not forget ‘us’ village girls when get to the city” “never Makhosi, my heart is in this place and it will remain here until I return to fetch it, I will come back for you Makhosi”.
It’s amazing how time flies yet still Thulani’s words remained echoing in Makhosi’s ears, head and heart. It had been four years since she last saw him, four years since he promised to come back for her. She remained hopeful that he would, after completing her secondary education at the missionary school she helped out at her previous school as a teacher. She loved her job even though she had hoped to go to the city as well but her father would hear nothing of it. When not at work she made it a point to visit Thulani’s mother and baby sister and they were very fond of her. Makhosi’s beautiful looks meant she could get any man that she wanted; all her pursuers always came back disappointed. She was convinced Thulani would come back for her. One afternoon she went by to visit Thulani’s mum and she received the best news of her life, Thulani was coming home to visit at the end of the month and he was going to stay a week before going back to the city. The remaining two weeks before month end seemed too far but she waited nonetheless.
Packing the last item he would need for his journey home, Thulani closed his suitcase and went to take a quick bath. S’bangeni was supposed to make the trip with him back to the village but he was too caught up in politics and his passion to serve his people at all cost was amazing. After having his bath he got dressed, took his suitcase and made his way to the train station. Things hadn’t worked out the way he had planned, due to a shortage of funds he had to put his dream of being a Lawyer on hold and opted to work as a messenger boy for a bakery owned by the wife of one of his Law School professors. He was disappointed at the little progress he had made but more ashamed of what Makhosi and his family would think of him. The train ride home finally came to an end and he had to take the bus to take him to the village, his heart began racing when he stepped off the bus.
#2
He remained standing while waiting for the dust the bust left behind to settle, this place was familiar. Even after four years it remained the same, except for the few changes here and there but he still had to walk on a manmade path to get home. From a distance he could see his parents’ home, along the way he kept greeting the friendly neighbours. That reminded him, this was one thing that set the village apart from the city. People were much friendlier and more welcoming in the village than in the city. “sawbona bhuti Thulani (hello Thulani)” one of his neighbour’s son greeted while herding his father’s cattle, “yebo mshana (hello young man)”. He continued his journey until he reached the entrance to his home. The smell of cow dung from the nearby kraal, the clucking sound of the mother hen telling her chicks to stay nearby, the goats and cows grazing nearby, all that give him the welcoming sense that he is home. He stood in the middle of the yard admiring the beauty of his home, made of mud, grass straws and cow dung as the luxurious floor. “Bhuti, bhuti you are here” thembeka ran towards her brother and gave him a tight hug, “I hope you brought me something nice from the city” “of course I have, where is mum?” “She is in the ki-” “oh Thulani mfana wami (my boy)” MaSimelane came towards her son and gave him warm embrace, with tears running down her eyes she said a quick prayer. “come inside, I’m sure you are hungry and tired” “I am mama, but first I would like to take my suitcase to my room” “ of course, thembeka come and help me dish up for your brother” she handed him the key to his rondavel, without hesitation he took the key and made his way there.
Makhosi walked slowly towards the rondavel that she usually found MaSimelane busy making reed mats and other reed and straw inspired items, like hats and bags. “knock knock” she said as she pushed the door without waiting for a response, “ngena Makhosazana (enter)” “ hello ma” she said making her way across to where MaSimelane was sitted. “ hello, ntomb’yami, I’m so glad to see you today.” “Is there anything that I can assist you with today?” “oh Makhosi, you are too good to me and my family. Thembeka will be going to the river to fetch some water you can assist her if you can” “ok ma, we will make our way there now” she got up and ran into Thembeka who had a 25 litre bucket with her. She went back to the kitchen to fetch another 25 litre and they walked to the river chatting about everything else except for what Makhosi ached to hear about more than anything, Thulani’s arrival.
A while later the ladies returned with water, placing it in the kitchen. As far as Makhosi was concerned Thulani hadn’t yet arrived since she had tried to get some information about him from Thembeka but she was mum. Thembeka quickly went out of the kitchen as soon as she placed her 25 litre bucket down, saying she needed to feed the hens. After placing the buckets in their rightful place, Makhosi made her way out to join MaSimelane for a brief chat before heading home. She had again hoped that she would hear an update on Thulani from his mother but nothing came, eventually she decided to leave. “Ma, I have to go” “Ok Makhosi, will you please take this to Thulani’s rondavel” “may I have the key ma” “don’t worry about the key, its open” she got up and took the reed mats that were carefully rolled up and tied together and she said her goodbye and went to Thulani’s hut. Without thinking much she pushed open the door and walked in, their eyes locked. Time stood still, the silence was too precious to be broken. Thulani couldn’t believe how beautiful Makhosi looked, even after so many years. “Hi, uhhm” she said looking down feeling all kinds of coyness. “Hey” “I didn’t know anyone was here, had I known I was going to knock” “its fine, I’m just happy to see you” “really?” “Yes and you look as pretty as the last time I saw you”.
#3
“Thank you” she said pressing her lips together in an effort to hide her smile. “So, how is life?” he asked clearly trying to make her feel a little bit at ease, “Life is ok and on your side?” “so so, you can sit down if you are not in a hurry” “ thanks” she smiled and looked down, “mama told me that you have been very helpful around the house and always checking up on her and Thembeka. Thank you” “it’s nothing; I enjoy spending time with them” “S’bangeni said I must pass his regards. He is a hard person to meet this days but he is doing well for himself” “that’s great” they spent the rest of the afternoon catching up and later in the evening he walked her home. The days that followed saw Thulani and Makhosi spending more time together until the day he had to return to the city. Again he promised Makhosi to come back for her for his heart was set on her.
Returning to the city he told himself he was there to work hard and generate as much money as he could to help him complete his studies and marry the girl of his dreams. He gave himself 2 years to push his goals, but so much happened within that time frame that he found himself shaken and moving towards a direction he wasn’t fully ready to embark on. He met a pretty young lady by the name of Sizakele and they immediately got along. He liked her but his heart was set on Makhosi but that didn’t stop him from having a casual fling with this Siza which resulted in her falling pregnant.  Siza wasn’t just any random girl; her family owned a couple of super markets and a fleet of taxis around the township of KwaMashu. She was the type of person who got everything that she wanted whenever she wanted it. Daddy’s little girl and when daddy’s precious Angel fell pregnant she demanded to get married. Thulani tried all the tricks in the book to avoid the marriage but Siza was set, snowing or blowing she wanted to be Mrs Buthelezi and that she became. Everything was done rapidly without the involvement of Thulani’s family. The day he got married, he had a heavy heart, he kept thinking about his promise to Makhosi and how he had time and time again continued to disappoint her. Siza knew about Makhosi’s existence but she didn’t care, why would she? She got the man in the end, right?
Thulani’s in-laws were very generous; they gave him a home and a super market to run. He poured all of his energy on ensuring the smooth operation of the super market, eight months later baby Melusi was born. Siza tried her best to be a good wife and mother but that wasn’t never enough to get the love that she so desperately desired from her husband. After Melusi turned one, Siza insisted Thulani take her to meet his parents at first he refused but as time went by and they discovered she was pregnant yet again he agreed to her request.
In the three and a half years that Thulani disappeared from home, he was doing well. He had a son that he adored and another baby on the way, a house, a car and a wife. This was according to the order of importance in his life. They got to his home and while parking the car outside the gate he got a glimpse of his mother who was busy in the veld sowing some seeds. “We are here” he said then gave off a huge sigh, “ok? So is this your parents’ home?” siza asked looking puzzled as to how one can live in a mud house. To her it made no sense at all, let alone having animals parade in the yard with no care in the world. She regretted ever whining to be brought to such a place. “Unlike you Siza I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth in fact we used our hands to eat; a spoon was a Christmas amenity. This is me; all of me so deal with it” he got out of the car and opened the back seat door taking melusi with him “aarg, let’s get this over and done with. I can never survive such a place” she said to herself while stepping out of the car and carefully making her way to her husband.
#4
MaSimelane lowered the hoe that she had in mid-air when she saw someone that looked like her son. Not sure how to react to this young man who was carry a baby boy accompanied by a young lady whose scent could be carefully placed aside from that of the wet earth mixed with cow dung as manure. The old woman’s eyes quickly filled with tears when she saw this was indeed her son, she walked towards him. “Thulani, kodwa Thulani mfana wami ngakwenzani ukhuthi ungaze ungilahle kanjena (thulani my son, what did I ever do to you to abandon me like this)” her pain was written in her eyes, her cry, her words, her despair. Tore him apart, “mama, I’m sorry” “kodwa Thulani, ngenzeni na (but what did I do)” Siza stood from a distance wiping her tears away and watched as her husband apologised repeatedly to his mother. “You didn’t even come to your father’s funeral Thulani, your own father” “mama, I didn’t know… nobody told me… mama I’m really sorry” Melusi started crying hysterically, Thulani tried to calm him down but the little boy wasn’t having it. Siza stepped in to help and walked a few steps away from mother and son to give them the space the needed to calm down and release all the emotions they had bottled up. It took them a while, much longer than Siza anticipated. Once everyone was calm and tears out of the way, MaSimelane looked at Siza then back her son. “Mama, so much has happened since I was last home. I would like you to meet my family. This is my wife Siza…” “wife?” “ yes mama, wife and our son Melusi” MaSimelane looked at the wife named Siza, then at her grandson named Melusi. Thee old lady couldn’t believe her eyes and ears “I’m very pleased to finally meet you ma” Siza said trying to ease the tension between them “mmmm” MaSimelane nodded. After that reaction Siza was really regretting insisting on this trip.
Thulani and his family stayed the whole day; Siza didn’t know what to do with herself. She eventually asked for the car keys, excusing herself and Melusi and going for a drive. It wasn’t long after they left that, there was a knock on the door “come in” “hello ma, I brought you… Thulani” “Makhosi” they stood staring at each other “hello, MaNdlela take a seat” “no ma, I brought you these. Amadumbe, ujeqe (steam bread) and boiled chicken” “thank you Makhosi, I don’t know what I would do without you especially now that I live alone. Please excuse me, I need to go, uumm ja” the old lady got up and made a quick exit. “Makhosi” “Thulani?” “Why didn’t you tell me my father past away?” “Excuse me, why didn’t you come home often like you promised when you left?” “I’m sorry” “I don’t need your sorry Thulani, Shenge needs to hear it not me” “Will you please accompany to his grave” “No” “Makhosi please” “Thulani, I said no” “Makhosi I know, I hurt you but please do this for me. Just this once” without saying anything more she got up from and Thulani followed suit. He still loved her and seeing her looking so radiant made him fall in love with her even more. “This way” he loved fascinated by the seductive moves her butt cheeks were making, the more he stared at her perfectly shaped rear the more he wondered what it would feel like to touch them. For a split second he shut his eyes trying to rid himself off this craziness.
Makhosi showed him where his father’s body lay; she walked off to give him a moment with his dad. She returned to the kitchen where MaSimelani was sitting indulging on the meal she brought her. “MaNdlela sisi, I think it’s time you left this place. I don’t understand what is keeping you here?” “I love it here ma, and plus my family and friends are here” “you are young, see the world and meet new people make new friends. The change will be good for you” “but ma, if I leave who will take care of you?” “Makhosazana Ndlela, my own children are living their lives in the big cities. Why should you put your life on hold for me? There are many more opportunities for you out there”
#5
“I hear you ma and I will think about it but for now I am happy being here” MaSimelane smiled at her not sure whether or not it’s her place to inform her that Thulani has returned with a pregnant wife and a son. As a mother nothing meant more to her than seeing her children happy, she didn’t like the way Thulani went about getting married without informing his elders and continuing to live a normal life without worrying about his family. It baffled her but for the sake of peace and moving forward she opted to reserve her inner darkest opinions.
It wasn’t long before Thulani arrived back from visiting his father’s grave. “Mama, can I steal Makhosi for a few minutes?” “It’s really not up to me, MaNdlela?” Makhosi looked at the one man she had loved for as long as she could remember, she got up and headed towards his direction and they went outside. “So have you met anyone special?” he asked the minute they were alone “I’m still waiting for the man who promised to come back for me” hearing those words took Thulani back to the day he first made that promise. That was the real plan after all but while he made his plans, the world also made theirs on his behalf. He fakes a smile and looked away staring at the mountains that lay on the horizon. Clearing his throat and carefully selecting his words “I…” words fail him, how does one go about being honest without hurting those he loves, he wondered. Without putting much thought to it, he attempts once again. “Makhosi, I have a family now. I’m married with a son and another baby on the way. I know I made a promise to you and I’m sorry for not being able to keep it. But please understand…” “Stop right there Thulani. You really don’t have to explain yourself to me. I understand, I was going to think something was wrong with you if you didn’t marry a woman from the city” she released a fake chuckle to hide the pain she was feeling. Never in her life had she ever felt so much pain, she had placed all her eggs in one basket. As much as she and Thulani had never pursued a relationship but she loved him and so did he and if the promise to come back for her was anything to go by he wanted to be with her the same she wanted to be with him. He stared at her, not sure what to make of her statement. Was she really ok or was she just putting on a brave face for him? He genuinely loved her, not even his wife compared but there was no turning back. He had to place aside his feelings for her and try to be a good husband to Siza and a better father to their kids. “Are you sure you are ok?” he asked “why wouldn’t I be?” her voice was beginning to crack but she held it together. He placed his hand on her back and she immediately shut her eyes, he knew she was hurting as much as he was hurt for letting her down. They remained silent not sure what to say to each other next.
Neither of them saw Siza walking towards them carrying Melusi, it was after Melusi started calling out to his father that they saw her. Looking up and seeing a beautiful lady, wearing a floral dress with red platform shoes which matched her dress perfectly. She had her hair styled into a Perm and had on red lipstick that matched her shoes. Makhosi died a million small deaths, over and over again. She could never compare nor would she compete with such beauty and class. Siza had spent a good few minutes looking at her husband and the woman he was talking too. At first she had thought it was a family member but there was something about their body language that screamed otherwise. Not being able to take it any longer she shook Melusi awake, after he had fallen asleep while she drove around the sleepy, dull, dusty rural roads. She had to make her presence felt, she got out of the car and walked towards them. The woman beside her husband was ‘basic’ but beautiful nonetheless. With three rows plaited Benny and Betty style, a brown skirt and white shirt and sandals. Just rural basic, she thought as she smiled at them.
#6
“Hello sisi” she managed to say even though she wanted to drag the woman across the yard, away from her husband. “Hello, how are you?” Makhosi replied “I’m well thanks and you?” “I’m ok” the tension was rife. Unsure of what to do Thulani got up but instead of moving towards his wife he stood between her and Makhosi. “Makhosi I would like you to meet my wife Siza” before Makhosi could respond Siza chirped in “yes dear I’m the wife” hurt but still standing her firm ground Makhosi dug into her Fake smile ‘closet’ and presented it the best way she knew how “I’m very pleased to meet you Mrs Buthelezi” “Likewise dear, you are S’bangeni’s sister right?” “No cousin” “right” she said gently stroking her stomach. Thulani looked at Makhosi who kept her eyes down, he wanted to touch her and tell her how sorry he was once again but with Siza here he knew if he dared tried that stunt sparks would fly. Makhosi got up from the home made wooden bench they were sitting on “I wish I could stay a bit longer to chat but there is an urgent matter that I need to attend to before the end of the day” she lied, the truth of the matter was she needed to get away from Thulani and his perfect family. “Whatever it is can’t it wait?” he asked trying to prolong their interaction “Thulani darling, the woman did say she has an urgent matter to attend to. Let her be, you are excused my dear” Makhosi couldn’t stop getting irritated by this woman, first she ‘stole her man’ and now she was dismissing as if she was her servant. Not wanting to consume the same air with her any longer, she went to say a quick goodbye to MaSimelane and she went home and cries herself better.
Having gone back home, Siza spent every waking day of her life trying to be a good wife to her husband. Seeing the natural beauty and humbleness of Makhosi stirred her but seeing the love and affection her husband had for this woman shook her to the core. She had thought that with the arrival of their second son Siyabonga things would get better but it didn’t instead Thulani spent more and more time at the super market and she saw less of him at home. His hard work and determination saw him opening up a Petrol station and another super market. Financially they were doing ok but everything else at home remained cold.
11 years down the line Siza was at peace with the fact that her husband would never love her the way that she wanted him to. Her boys were growing up well and she placed all her energy to ensuring their wellbeing and that of her entire family. Her parents had passed away a few years prior, one after the other and being the only child meant that she had only her husband and kids to rely on.
On one particular rainy evening Thulani came home early, Siza was shocked to have him home at such a time but she didn’t question him about it. She brought him his supper which they had in silence; the boys were in their room doing their homework. Thulani cleared his throat “S’bangeni passed away last night” he said without looking at her. “Oh, that’s terrible. What happened?” she said looking at him hoping that he would notice the new dress she had on but he kept his eyes fixed on his plat. “The details are a bit sketchy at the moment, but I will leave on Friday for his funeral” “Ok, I will ask my friend Gabisile to sleep over and look after the boys for us” he looked up at her “are you going somewhere on Friday?” his question came as a surprise to her, “I had the impression that I will be accompanying you to the funeral” “you have to ensure the smooth operation of the business while I’m away” “oh, I see” “I will pass your condolence to the family” with that said he got up and went for his evening bath, leaving his wife to clean up after him. He went past the boys’ room to greet them, had his bath and went straight to bed.
#7
Friday came and in the morning he went to check on the progress of the construction of his mother’s township home. It had taken him and his sister years to convince her to move to the city, eventually she agreed and the house that he was building for her was almost done, with a few minor touches here and there before handing it over to her. Pleased with the progress of the 3 bedroom, 1 lounge and dining area and bathroom home. He did his morning rounds on all their super markets and petrol station. When his father in law passed away his wife convinced him to sell the taxis they inherited and use that money to start another business. They were still yet to discover which venture to embark on. By midday he was sure all was well and he had deployed his most trusted employees to look after things while he went to bid farewell to his childhood friend. He made a quick stop home to collect his overnight back and bid farewell to his wife and kids and he left.
He arrived at his mother’s home in Ladysmith (KwaHlathi) in the early hours of the evening, he greeted his mother, dropping off his bags and the groceries Siza bought for her and he went to S’bangeni’s home. When he got there, the place was buzzing with activities. He looked around checking for familiar faces but saw none, eventually he decided to go inside the main house. Upon entering the house he was greeted by S’bangeni’s sister Hloniphile “hello bhuti Thulani, it’s so good to see you” “likewise” he responded “I just wish it was under different circumstances though” “me too, I am looking for your father” “he is busy kwaMkhulu (sacred Ancestral hut)” “in that case, I’m here to assist with anything that requires man power.” “I guess you are heaven sent, mzala(cousin) was looking for someone to help carry the 3 legged pot from to where the cooking will be taking place. Let me call, Gwegwe to help you take it to her” with that said she disappeared outside and returned with her cousin Gwegwe. The two men carried the heavy pot to the women who were busy peeling vegetables and others dicing the meat around the fire. There were already two big pots on the fire and the smell of usu (tripe) and beef chunks being cooked filled the evening air. The women spoke softly among themselves. “Good evening” Thulani greeted them “evening bhuti” they chanted back in union. “sis’Makhosazana requested for the pot to be placed beside water cans” one of the ladies said “Makhosi is here?” Thulani found himself asking and feeling slightly an idiot after asking, this was her cousin’s funeral after all. “Yes” the unidentified lady responded. Thulani’s heart started racing, she is here he thought. After so many years I will get to see her again, maybe even talk to her, he thought further. Looking around trying to spot her but dismally failing, he decided to join the rest of the men who were in the kraal.
The evening went on and the large crowd dispersed after the evening prayer, only close friends and relatives remained. The day’s activities started to take a toll on Thulani, he could hardly keep his eyes open and the blazing fire made it worse. He excused himself from the men and made his way to his car, just as he was approaching his car. He heard it coming from close by, he stopped and listen attentively to be certain of his suspicion. “Whoa mzala I don’t think I have ever been this tired, all I need is an hour’s nap to freshen me up. I will sleep in my car, but call me should you need anything” this was definitely her, he thought. He looked around and he could see two female figures not so far from him. With a lot of doubt fully occupying his head he strolled towards them “Makhosi” he called out. For a split second she froze, could it be really Thulani that was calling her? She didn’t know what to do with herself; it had been so long since they have last seen each other. It had taken her relationship after failed relationship to realise that she was holding on to her feeling for him.
#8
Now he was here for her cousin’s funeral, she became unsure about the way she was reacting towards him. She felt sad and happy at the same time. She looked towards him “Thulani?” “mzala I have to go check on the ladies. Rest and I will see you when you wake up. Good night bhuti’Thulani” “good night Thulisile” he responded to S’bangeni’s younger sister. The two starred at each other under the moon light, “I’m sorry for your loss, how are you holding up?” he asked closing the gap between them until their feet were inches away from touching “I’m ok, I didn’t think you were going to come” “he was my brother from another mother and a very good friend” she sighed “how is your family? Are they herewith you?” “No, I came alone” “oh I see, look I’m tired I need to rest. So good night and I will see you in the morning” “where will you be sleeping?” “In my car” “you have a car now? Wow I’m impressed” she couldn’t help but find that remark quiet offensive, whoever thought she wasn’t worthy of owning a car, she wondered. “Why don’t you sleep inside one of the rondevals?” “All of them are occupied already” “if you don’t mind you can sleep over at home, I’m sure my mother won’t mind” “thanks but no thanks, my car will be fine” “I will sleep better if you sleep in a warm place not the car” “Thulani why do you care where I sleep? I’m ok sleeping in my car so you can go now” she turned and started walking towards her car but he got hold of her arm causing her to abruptly stop “what now?” “I can see that you are still angry at me for breaking my promise to you…” “You’re still there? I’m too tired to listen to this” “Makhosi please hear me out, I am sorry for what happened and if it means anything to you I still love you” “that’s the thing; it doesn’t mean anything to me. In fact I don’t care how you feel, just release my arm cause I really need to sleep. I have a very long day awaiting me within the next 4 and a half hours” “is there anyway or anything that I can do to convince you to sleep over at my mother’s house” “you of all people should know that I don’t do sleep overs, good night” seeing that he was fighting a losing battle he released her and made his way to his parent’s home.
The funeral service went well, Thulani was supposed to drive back to Durban immediately after the funeral but he decided to stay a few hours more. He wanted to speak to Makhosi one last time and find closure, saying that he hadn’t thought of her for the past 11 years would be a lie. He loved his wife in his own way but he also loved Makhosi. He had found himself stealing a few glances once too many times during the course of the day. When he was sure the demand of catering to the mourners had died down and after enquiring enough to find out whether or not Makhosi had a man in her life. He convinced himself that he needed to find a way to make things right with her at all cost. He saw her walking towards the pit toilets situated on the far end of the yard, he followed her. He waited close by for her to finish doing her business and when she came out he leaped towards her. He didn’t say anything to her; he just kissed her and waited for her reaction. She pushed him away “Don’t ever do that again” “I love you” “If you loved me, you wouldn’t have married the first woman that came along” “I had no choice” “we all have a choice Thulani, so please don’t give me that line” “I messed up and the only way I could correct that error was to marry her” “good, now live with it and leave me alone” “If only it was that simple, my life is incomplete without you” “are you hearing yourself?” “I know it may be hard to believe but I have a plan, we can make this work” “there is no we here” “Makhosi I know you still love me and don’t even try to deny it” truth be told she didn’t even try to deny.
Four months after S’bangeni’s funeral Makhosi discovered that she was expecting her first child with her first love. She justified their affair living by the words ‘the heart wants, what it wants’.
#9
The two saw each other every day since Makhosi was now residing at Umlazi working as an educator at one of the Primary schools there. While Thulani kept himself occupied by Makhosi, Siza found comfort in the bottle. Thulani would return home in the wee hours of the morning to find Siza passed out in the lounge or waiting to confront him. Their home was becoming an unpleasant place to be in; they would have quarrels fuelled by his lack of input in their marriage and her dependence on alcohol.
Thulani’s affair continued for a good year without his wife being aware of it, she knew something was wrong but she refused to believe that it included another woman. Makhosi knew her lane and she stayed on it, never even once attempted to make contact with Siza and flaunt her pregnancy. She knew what she was doing was wrong but refused to but herself under her own scrutiny. She secretly hoped that Thulani would eventually leave his wife for her, since they had a baby on the way. As per norm he arrived at her home a few minutes after 17:00, she had already prepared their evening meal, they had supper and he cleared the table and washed the dishes while Makhosi had her swollen feet up and waiting for him to join her and 10 minutes later he did. “I was thinking maybe it’s time I tell my family about us and the baby” she said looking up at him “let’s wait a while longer, maybe after the baby is born” his response didn’t surprise her, she had been requesting him to do right by her family for months now but he had an excuse every time. “We need to do this now, can you imagine how awkward it will be to arrive with a baby at home, especially since my parents think I’m still single.” “You know it’s not that simple for me to just go to your parents’ home. There are so many things to consider” “like what?” “My wife and kids for starters” “I cannot believe you just said that” “Khosi I love you and you know I do but loving you doesn’t change my marital status.” “You know what? I think its best we end this relationship. It’s clear to me that I’m holding on to false hope here.” “Don’t say that, we can work around this” “no we can’t and I think its best you leave. I’m sure your wife is worried sick about you” she got off the couch literally shaking with anger and went to open the door for him. Her actions did not only surprise Thulani but she surprised herself as well. He reluctantly got up, walking towards the door and once he reached her attempted to give her a kiss on her lips but she pulled away before he could do anything. “I will see you tomorrow” he said stepping outside and looking at her “don’t bother coming” she responded and closed the door in his face. 
Thulani spent the days that followed trying to convince her to give him another chance but she didn’t budge. She gave birth to a baby girl two weeks later and named her Buhlebemvelo. Her baby was beautiful but somehow she felt no connection towards her. I fact she found herself despising her own daughter for no apparent reason, always exhausted and riddled with a sense of hopelessness. She found herself crying more than her baby and sad all the time. 3 weeks later she was still in her pit of despair and things didn’t make sense to her at one point she left Buhle unattended to at home and went to visit her colleague who lived close by. Her actions raised a lot of concern from her neighbour and friend Landulile who advised her to seek medical help and family support because clearly she wasn’t coping. She welcomed her friend’s suggestion and the following morning she left for the hospital but on her way there changed her mind and went to MaSimelane’s township home. She knocked on the door and when the old woman answered with tears in her eyes she gave her, her baby “please take care of her, ma” and hurried off “MaNdlela?” she called out but Makhosi didn’t look back, she got into her car and left.
#10
Nobody heard anything from Makhosi after that day, MaSimelani had to heart to heart conversation with her son. She was shocked to learn that his affair with Makhosi. Thulani plugged up the courage to inform his wife about Buhle and as expected she was devastated. She refused to take Buhle into her home and Thulani had to make peace with the fact that his daughter was to remain staying with her grandmother until Siza made peace with her existence. Buhle grew up fast and before long she started with school, her father loved her with everything in him. One evening while having supper, Siza announced that she would like Buhle stay with them. Thulani couldn’t contain his happiness; he couldn’t stop thanking his wife for welcoming his child. For the first time in a very long time, he was affectionate towards his wife. It was refreshing for the Boys to see their parents getting along.
The following morning, Thulani woke up early to prepare his wife breakfast but when he called out to her she didn’t respond. He got closer and called out to her again but she remained silent, in a state of panic he called out the boys to get help a neighbour arrived within minutes and declared what Thulani already knew but refused to believe, Siza had died in her sleep. Watching her lifeless body he filled him with regret, for not treating her the way that she deserved to be treated. For not loving her the way a husband should love his wife. Many things flooded his mind but there was nothing that he could do to change things. The only thing that was left for him to do was to bury his wife with dignity and keep his family together, Melusi was a second year Law student, Siya was doing his standard 10 (Matric) and Buhle was in Sub A (Grade 1).


Not a day had gone by without Makhosi thinking about her baby girl. She had discovered that she had postnatal depression after the birth of her baby. She attended therapy sessions and was on anti-depressants to help her deal with her depression. It took her over 18 months not to rely on medication but continued her therapy sessions twice or once a month depending on her availability. She invested all of her energy in studying, travelling and doing a lot of charity work. During that time she met a gentleman by the name of Isaac Shabangu and it wasn’t long until they got married but unfortunately things didn’t quite work out between them. 10 years after getting married they divorced and went their separate ways. The two biggest reasons for their split was Makhosi’s refusal of bearing any kids and the lack of affection and respect coming from her side. Whenever Isaac brought to her attention his dissatisfaction on how she did certain things, she would tell him to look for better service elsewhere. Eventually he got tired of it all and when he suggested they separate, she jumped to the proposal and the rest became history, but they remained in constant contact nonetheless
After the end of her marriage she started getting the urge to reach out to her daughter, she called her cousin every day to enquire about Buhle’s wellbeing. She knew just about everything that was to know about her daughter, from her first crush to the beating her father gave her when he saw her with her first boyfriend, to her academic achievements and to her frustration of being in love with her older male friend. Makhosi’s smooth operation enabled her to be in the know with everything that took place in her daughter’s life. She owed all those opportunities to her second cousin from her mother’s side Rose. She was home when she heard from Zanele, S’bangeni’s widow that Siza had passed away. She knew that with Siza being late, Thulani needed a reliable person to help him around the house especially with Buhle. She begged her cousin to approach Thulani for work and she did and being desperate he hired her on the spot.
#11
It had taken her years to build up the courage to make contact with her daughter, she had spent years of therapy preparing herself for this day and now here she was face to face with her daughter and not sure what to do or say anymore.
“Mama” Buhle said softly with tears streaming down her cheeks. Makhosi longed to leap towards her daughter and hold her close but the guilt she had for abandoning her only child left her feeling numb and momentary paralysed. She wasn’t aware that she was also crying until she felt her tear drop on her hand.
“Mama” Buhle repeated softly, unable to believe her eyes. Although she had never met or seen her mother but she needed no convincing to know that this woman who was a splitting image of her was her mother. She had a lot of unanswered questions that flooded her simultaneously and she felt herself weaken with every thought, query and confusion brought by the return of the woman she thought had long died.
“Buhle my baby” Makhosi managed to say in between her sobs “this cannot be what I think it is, no I refuse to believe that you are my…” Buhle chocked on her own tears and failed to finish her statement. “Buhle, believe it or not I’m your mother” “no, my mother died when I was young” “no baby I didn’t die, your father’s wife did, the mother of your brothers not me. I am your mother” Buhle shook her head vigorously refusing to come to terms with what her heart already knew. Musa made his way towards his wife and held her tight, “let’s take a seat and I will fix both of you a nice cup of tea” he said and led his wife to the lounge before exiting and leaving the two women while he dashed to the kitchen and put the kettle on.
From the kitchen he could hear Buhle and her mother speaking softly. His phone rang just as he entered the lounge carrying a tray that had the tea he promised the ladies and red velvet cupcakes that Buhle had baked the previous evening. He placed the platter on the coffee table, excused himself and hurried out to get to his phone. When he got to the kitchen he had missed the call, before he could unlock his and return the call his phone rang once more displaying his father in-law’s number without hesitation he answered the call “baba” “hello ndodana (my son) I’ve been trying to get hold of Buhle but anyway I wanted to tell you that I’m on my way to drop by” “on your way as in now or maybe later?” Thulani let off a lazy chuckle “yes Musa as in now, in fact I’m entering your complex as we speak. Bye” the phone went dead before Musa could warn him about Buhle’s mother. He walked back to the lounge and found the ladies deep in conversation “…everything became too much for me, I had to do what I felt was the best thing for you. I wanted you to have a family with both parents present and I just couldn’t give you that alone. I knew your father loved me but he didn’t love me the way I needed and wanted him to. Please forgive me for my poor judgement I really had your best interest at heart” she smiled at her daughter and Musa used that silent to quickly inform them that Thulani would be entering the house any second now.
Makhosi felt nervous all over again, she wished the ground would open and suck her in. Her meeting with Buhle was going smoothly and now hearing that she will be coming face to face with Thulani was way more than she bargained for. Even her many intense hours of therapy could never have prepared her for meeting the two most important people in her life that she willingly let go off. Taking a deep breath to calm her nerves, she watched as Musa got up to open the door for Thulani.
#12
“From our phone conversation I could sense that you were in the middle of someth… Makhosi?” Time stood still, silence filled the room and high emotions became the order of the day. Thulani looked at around the room, first his eyes darted off to his daughter whose eyes were red and puffy from crying herself the uMngeni River, but he also managed to catch her smile. His eyes wondered off to his first love, he couldn’t believe how beautiful she still was after so many years. He found himself overcome with feelings of anger, sadness, happiness and relief all at once. She too had red puffy eyes and unlike Buhle she still had her tears flowing down her cheeks. Even through her tears she remained beautiful, he cursed under his breath for letting her slip away from him twice and as she wiped away her tears he saw her wedding band and he couldn’t help but feel a tad-bit of jealousy. It took every bit of energy he had to pull his gaze away from Makhosi to his son in-law, who just shrug apologetically and walked over to his wife.
“Hello Thulani” Makhosi managed to say in an attempt to ease the awkwardness that filled the room. She stood up and poised herself using all her years of public speaking experience as the anchor of her self-reliance and serenity and extended her hand to him. He held it and they shook hands longer than they should have “Hello Makhosi, what are you doing here?” he finally spoke back “I needed to see my daughter” “oh, now you remember you have a daughter? How very convenient of you” he barked clearly irritated and still angry at her for everything that happened between them those many years ago. “I might not have been there for her but that didn’t mean I stopped thinking about her, I love her, I always have” she retaliated “oh really? Damn woman you have a funny way of showing it. You abandoned her remember?” he stroked back “I did what I thought was best for her at the time” “No, Makhosi you did what you thought was best for you. You ran and never looked back” “but I di…” “don’t bother you chose to leave her at my mother’s house the same way you chose to leave me” “don’t make this about you Thulani, we both know our relationship was doomed from the start…” “but you could have held on” “until when? I needed security, I needed a fa-” “I was prepared to give you all that and more” “how? You had a wife and kids remem-” “I kno-” “Will you stop cutting me off, please. I can hardly complete a sentence without you chipping in. It’s very rude of yo-” “I’m sorry but-” “there you go again, when will you ever learn to listen to other people’s views. Thulani, me coming here has absolutely nothing to do with you. I’m here to correct the wrongs I did to my daughter” “our daughter” he hit back, Makhosi sighed “our daughter. So will you please afford me the opportunity to do so without you throwing accusations my way” she said a bit calmer than her earlier outbreak. “Fine, but don’t expect me to forgive you for what you put us through” he responded anger still traceable in his voice.
Makhosi took a deep breath once again to calm down and slowly counted to ten. The chemistry and tension between her and Thulani was way too strong even for her. She needed to remind herself why she came here in the first place. 
They looked around the lounge to see that they stood there alone, Buhle and Musa were nowhere in sight. Not sure what to do next they both sat down on opposite couches and pretended not to be shaken or moved by the other.
Thulani found himself thinking of how happy Makhosi must be with her husband and kids that was his assumption anyway. He watched Makhosi closely as she played with her wedding band clearly miles away not even noticing his gaze.
#13
Buhle and Musa finished off having their bath “babes are you ok?” Musa asked his wife who was way quiet then her usual exuberant self. “I’m good love, there is just too much that I need to soak in. do you think my mother expects me to forgive her?” “I think she is hoping you will” he responded helping her dry off “I don’t think I’ve ever seen my dad with so much fury in his eyes” she turned to face her husband and he gave her a feather soft peck on her lips followed by another one. “I think your parents have a lot of unresolved issues” “tell me about it, I think somewhere under that hurt and anger they still love each other” she said as she handed him the lotion. “I thought I was the only one who saw that. Anyway I think we should get back to them before they murder each other” he said gently spreading the lotion over his wife’s back. They finished off, got dressed and went back to the lounge and found the two adults sitting awkwardly across each other in silence. “Wow, I didn’t think we would reach this level of peace. Tea anyone?” said Buhle “I’d like some” her mother responded “me too, your mother takes hers the same way I take mine” Buhle raised her brow and looked at her mother who blushed and looked down. “One sugar and no crème, am I right?” she asked “yes” her parents replied in union. Buhle and Musa glanced at each other and both walked out into the kitchen and started preparing breakfast. Buhle smiled because she could hear them making meaningless small talk.
After breakfast Makhosi had to leave and as soon as she announced her departure Thulani also had to suddenly leave. Buhle and Musa saw them out and they both got into their respective cars and drove off. Makhosi had made it a point to leave all her contact details with her daughter. She drove out of her daughter’s driveway with an easy heart and sure that things will work out fine for her. A part of her was glad she got to see Thulani. She smiled thinking about how handsomely well he is aging. She looked on her rear view mirror, spotting his car behind hers and seeing what she first believed was her imagination until she looked up again to see he was flashing his lights at her. She checked for a safe spot to park ahead. She pulled over at a bus stop and Thulani followed suit. He stepped out of his car and walked over to her, she remained in her car pulling down her window and waiting to hear what he had to say. “I was wondering would you like to meet me for lunch or supper. That’s if your husband won’t mind” he said seeming a bit nervous “I can’t I …” “oh, its fine. I’m sorry I even suggested it” “Thulani, you really need to work on allowing me to finish my sentences. I have an appointment that I need to get to that will last way over lunch. So lunch is not good but we can do supper” he smiled, feeling a bit at ease “great, here is my business card please call me” she took the card and put it in her purse an pulled out her own and gave it to him “if I don’t call you by 15:30, please call me. I have a lot to do today and lately I find that I forget some things” she said apologetically “its fine, I will call you. I just hope you won’t get into trouble with the Mister” Makhosi didn’t respond she gave him a faint smile and turned the key in the ignition. He stalked to his car and pulled off after she did. Turning their separate ways when they got to the intersection ahead.
Thulani couldn’t stop smiling, the anger that he had towards Makhosi was slowly fading away, he had called her the minute they took they separate ways and have spoken until they both reached their destination. He wondered what is mum and the boys would say if they found out he was taking Makhosi out to dinner. He scowled thinking about how Makhosi will be returning to her husband at the end of the night and how silly he was being for even thinking as far as a future for them. It must have been the loneliness that was making him envision himself in a loving relationship with a married woman.
#14
He spent the whole day busying himself and hoping that time would fly by already a few minutes after 15:00 Makhosi had called him to confirm their date and now he was getting ready to leave his home for her hotel.
They had arranged to meet at the Lingela Restaurant at 19:00 Thulani arrived at 18:30 and ordered a glass of wine just to pass time and calm his nerves.  At exactly 19:00 he saw Makhosi entering the restaurant wearing white and sweet pink attire with a sweet pink head gear. She looked every part of an African Queen, she looked around the room and looking to spot him, he used that time to study her and draw her in him. As she made her way towards him after spotting him, he smiled and got up from his seat to greet and pull out the chair for her. “Hi, you look amazing” he said as he held out the chair for her “thank you” she replied “you are beautiful and your outfit suits you well” “thanks, I bought it in Nigeria and I just love it” “so you’ve been to Nigeria?” “yes, a couple of times with Isaac. I’ve done a lot of travelling over the years” “That’s nice, I haven’t had much time to travel with ensuring the smooth operation of my business and the kids and plus I’ve never really had a good reason to visit other countries” he said being totally honest with her and not really ashamed of his lack of interest in touring the world. A waiter took their order while Makhosi shared with him all her travelling experiences and her favourite destinations.
An hour later they had finished their meal and were having drinks. “How is your mother?” she asked without looking at him “she is ok but age is catching up with her.” “That’s great, and the boys?” “they are good both married. Melusi is an Atonney and Siya an IT whizz” “that’s wonderful. I’m sure you are thrilled to have a child who pursued a career in law?” she said looking up to meet his gaze “Melusi wanted to do a Degree in Agriculture but I persuaded him to do law instead” he said shamefully “so you are basically living your career dreams through him?” she asked raising her eye brow “not really, look Makhosi it might sound bad but Melusi is good at his job and he is content with his career.” “Ok if you say so. You do know that you could have always gone back to finish your studies.” Her tone seemed more serious than before “I am aware of that but unlike other people I had a lot of people depending on me to be worried about finishing my Law Degree. My children’s future was and still is the most important thing to me.” He said and took a sip from his drink.
Makhosi could see how important his family was to him and she partially understood why he felt he needed to focus on the children and forget about his own dreams. The sound of him clearing his throat brought her back to reality. “Where is Isaac?” he asked clearly changing the subject and putting the spotlight on her “He is in Joberg” she answered taking a sip from her own drink “and your kids? How many do you have?” “Buhle is my only child” she answered placing her glass on the table and meeting his gaze yet again “by choice or circumstan-“ She cut him off before he could finish his line “choice, it’s by choice” “and Isaac is ok with it?” she became irritated by the subject because it reminded her of all those heated arguments she had with Isaac about her continuation of contraceptives. Without even realising it she lashed out at him in a calm, firm but yet fury filled tone at him “What do you think Thulani? Would you be ok if your wife refused to bear you any children? Would you be ok to know that your wife was still hanging on to her ex-lover? Would you be ok if your wife told you day in and day out that she wished she had married her ex-lover? I brought that man hell on earth and he finally decided to end our marriage and I didn’t fight him, why would i?
 
#15
I wasn’t happy and I know he wasn’t either. The least I could do was free him and allow him to find happiness elsewhere. Isaac was always good to me, he would get upset but later apologise to me for the sake of peace even when I was at fault”
Thulani gasped not believing what he was hearing. He couldn’t believe that the Makhosi he knew and loved who had so much to offer and a very respectful woman would be the same that treated her husband so badly. He shook his head a bit in an attempt to evenly distribute everything she had just said to him. Surprisingly he still thought she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen in years and he. He blamed himself for not returning for her as promised those years back and for the pain he caused when he got married to another woman and even their short lived affaire must have done some form of damage to her, one way or the other.
“I’m sorry to hear that, I had honestly thought you were happily married with kids. Had I known I wouldn’t have enquired” his apology was as sincere as it sounded “You have nothing to apologise for, Isaac and I had our good moments but I guess I loved the idea of being married not the actual marriage itself.” She said giving him a faint smile before continuing “I’ve been suffering with depression for years now. Therapy and medication helps a lot. This was part of a reason why I took Buhle to your mother. I love her Thulani, she is my only child and I had to do what I thought was right and ‘m glad I did. Even though at the time I didn’t know what was wrong with me but I’m glad I gave her the gift of growing up with a loving family” she paused wiping her tears that had made their untimely escape with her hands. “I never meant to hurt either of you and I really am sorry for all the pain I caused” she finished off. “I understand why you felt the need to do it; I am also to blame for this. My love for you caused a lot of pain to Siza, but our last evening together we spoke and managed to iron out every wrinkle in our marriage. I remember her last words before we fell asleep that evening…” he paused and a faint smile cracked from one corner of his lips to the other “…’I forgive you for everything that has happened between us over the years. All I ever wanted was your love and I promise I will love our daughter with everything in me. Tomorrow we bring her home and we live together as a family. Ulale kahle dali wami (Good night my darling)’ those were her words. I was still shocked to respond and happy that everything was going to be fine but little did I know that she would die in her sleep” his voice was shaky filled with all the emotions that he had pushed aside for years. Makhosi extended her hand until it reached his and held it tight, squeezing it even. “You kept her wish by keeping the family together” she said trying to assure him “I did hey, it was hard for me at first but I got the hang of things later. I just wished I had a chance to tell her I love her, she died not knowing that” they looked at each other pain evident in his eyes “aaahh, let’s talk about something else before I break down” he said trying to shake off all the emotions that were making him teary. “Good idea” she replied
He shared childhood stories of Buhle which she already knew most off thanks to her cousin and they laughed at some of the funny things she got up to. “When last did you see Rose?” he asked looking at her closely “Rose?” she asked taken aback “yes Rose, your cousin Rose” he answered amused at the confusion written on her face “err… it’s been, wait a minute. How do you know Rose is my cousin?” “It wasn’t hard to figure out really, whenever Buhle did something she would say, you are just like your mother and I overheard her a few times telling Buhle about you when she was younger. But I really didn’t connect the dot until the say she mentioned your mother’s funeral”
#16
Makhosi couldn’t believe her ears “my mother passed away 9 years ago, so you’ve known for so long?” “Yes, it’s no big deal really. Rose kept that household running and having her around has always been a pleasure” he said “she told me that you encouraged her to do an Office Management course and now she is helping you run your company” “that’s the least I could do and with the kids grown and living their lives, it would have been heartless of me to cut her pay cheque. After so many years of loyalty to… both of us” he said smiling.
The evening turned out to be way better than both of them had imagined it would be. The following morning she met Buhle and her husband for breakfast before meeting Thulani later for lunch. He even accompanied her to the airport when she had to fly back to Johannesburg that same evening.
The relationship between mother and daughter improved over the weeks and so did the relationship between Makhosi and Thulani. They spent hours on the phone and he even went to visit her in the City of Gold insisting on staying at a hotel instead of staying at her home in Houghton. The visit saw them getting even closer than before and the love for each other was becoming too much for them to ignore. He even managed to visit his Melusi and his family in Fourways before heading back home. He was at his happiest and so was Makhosi.
One evening after having dropped by at Buhle’s home, she made a remark about how much lighter and larger than life he was now. Thanking her mum’s return for giving him so much life, at the end of their conversation she had walked him out and she had said to him “dad, don’t you think it’s time you told her how you feel? She is just as crazy about you” and with that said his daughter walked back to the house without looking back. He got home took a bath and gathered enough courage to declare his undying love for Makhosi.
He dialled her number but she didn’t answer his call, he tried again to no avail. An hour later his phone rang, he was in the study looking over his financial reports. Not bothering to look at the caller ID he answered “hello” “hello, I’m sorry I couldn’t take your call. I was driving and I didn’t hear it ringing” “It’s fine, are you ok?” “Yes, I am. I’m actually outside your home” “now?” he asked shocked and excited on the prospect of having her around “yes, would you kindly open the gate for me” “yeah sure”
Within seconds the gate opened slowly and Makhosi drove in and the gate closed behind her. “What a surprise? When did you get to Durban?” “A few hours ago, I went to see MaSi and we spent a lot of time talking. I needed to apologise to her” Thulani chuckled “you remind me of your mother. She used to call mama MaSi” “and your MaSimelani used to call my mum MaVee as opposed to MaVilakzi as she was referred to by most. I miss that about the village” she said faintly. She got out of her car “I didn’t book myself in a hotel I hope you don’t mind having me here” she said once outside the car “not at all” he replied and helped carry her bags inside the house.
Once settled in the guest room, she freshened up and later joined him in the lounge, he had the TV on and volume mute. “Thanks for letting me stay. This trip was a last minute decision as you can see” she said sitting on the couch opposite to his. “I’m glad to have you” he said smiling fondly at her. “So how did it go with MaSi?” he asked collecting all the documents he had laid on the table. “It went well, a lot of tears but well. Thembeka was also there and it was good to see both of them”
#17
He smiled at her once again “I love how you are determined to make things right” he said “I had wronged so many people and I need to ask for their forgiveness in order for me to forgive myself” “I’m proud of you for everything that you have done for yourself over the years.” he said getting up and disappearing into his study only to return minutes later and sat beside her.
He reached for her hands and held them gently caressing them with his thumbs “Makhosazane Ndlela-Shabangu double-barrel surnames are always a mouth full” he chuckled trying to ease off the nerves, she smiled faintly wondering what Thulani was up to. “IsiZulu sithi (in isiZulu we say) ‘la amanzi ake ama khona aphinde ame futhi (what once was, can be again)’ that pretty much sums up what I want to say to you. I have carried your love for years and even when I was married my love for you remained. Even after everything I loved you still. You have brought back the spark that I thought had died years ago; you make me feel young again. I know you allowed me into your heart once and things didn’t end on a good note but I promise you that if you give me one last chance I will make it up to you. You deserve to be happy and I know I can bring you that happiness. All I ask is that you give me your heart.” He looked at her anticipating her response.
She opened her mouth but closed it almost immediately not sure what to say to him. “I…I don’t know what to say Thulani” “Just say that you will give us a chance and it will last this time, I know it will” “what about the kids?” “What about them? I Love you and I know that they will be happy for me, for us” he said “I don’t want the boys to think that I will be replacing their mother” “believe me the boys know that, they are men now remember. I spoke to both of them earlier Buhle included and they gave me the thumbs up” “what about your mother and sister?” “Makhosi this is about us, stop worrying about what other will say or think. We are adults and not kids and we both know what is best for us. So will you have me?” She pressed her lips together already aware of what she wants but terrified that if she lets him in, he will hurt her again or even worse she will hurt him the same way that she had hurt Isaac. Their gaze remained locked on each other, fear and eagerness dotting in Thulani’s eyes. “If we are going to pursue a relationship than I think you should know that I’m too old to have any more kids” he chuckled and he relaxed a bit “that’s fine with me, I’m too old to be helping you change diapers anyway” she gave out a soft laugh and he drew her into a tight embrace “thank you MaNdlela you won’t regret this” he slowly pulled away and gave her a gentle kiss that took both of them back to their youth and on the fond memories they shared of their young love that is now being ignited.
Sharing the news of their union to their family was met with great celebration. Makhosi finally told her family about Buhle, Thulani did the expected and paid damages and pulled the fast one by including paying iLobolo for his childhood sweetheart.
A few months later they got married in an intimate wedding ceremony witness by close family and friends. They were both at their happiest and they both knew that this time would last. His boys welcomed her with open arms and their daughter was more than happy to have her parents together. Gathered at home in the lounge after the wedding Musa called out for everyone’s attention. “With the aid of our doctors…” he paused and smiled at his wife “my wife and I are expecting our first brood” their family cheered and congratulated them. Makhosi got up and gave her daughter a tight embrace promising herself not to fail her grandchildren the way she had failed her daughter. She was at her happiest and she finally felt complete.

Unconditional Love – Love is Patient

#1
Musa enters library and his eyes quickly darts around the building trying to locate the girl that has been keeping his mind occupied for the past month. This mystery girl whom he is yet to know by name is the reason he has found himself keener on using the public library, even though there wasn’t much for him to do there. He had seen her when he dropped by to assist his high school friend Glen who was busy with his Master’s degree in Economics which Musa had already obtained summa cum laude 2 years prior and he was currently busy with his PhD.
The minute his eyes spot her, he remains motionless not sure what to do next as he remembers the day he accidently bumped into her causing her phone to fall on the floor and having to quickly assemble it after the battery and phone scattered about. Musa expected her to be angry at him but instead she took her phone and walked pass him without saying a single word, nor did she acknowledge his apology. He watched closely as she disappeared outside the door of the library, he closed his eyes taking in the beauty she possesses. Fair in complexion with long lashes and thick brows, her lips nice and full just the way he likes them and her eyes, the biggest, brightest things he’s ever seen. That was the beginning of his woes, he wanted to be close to her but she was a hard person to get close to.
He took a deep and walked towards her. He placed his research material on the desk beside her. “Good afternoon” this was the first time in a month that he has had the courage to speak to her after the apology. “Hi” her response was short and not much to go by but to him it was a sweet melody that he could listen to all day. “How is the studying going?” he managed to ask after struggling to come up with something more meaningful to say to kick start a conversation.  “Good I guess” that’s all she managed to say without her breaking away from her books. “What are you studying?” he asked still hoping to get more out of her, “do you mind?” she said clearly annoyed by this jerk, she thought. That was until she turned and looked him straight in the eye, she quickly turn away after realising that it was the handsome guy who almost knocked her over a few weeks back. Her heart was racing as she tried to push out any excitement she was feeling towards that guy. “I apologise, I was merely trying to. You know what never mind” he said disappointed that she wasn’t giving him any time of day.
They both went about their studying with both unable to concentrate knowing they were sitting so close to each other. She kept reading the same sentence over and over again without realising it; musa on the other hand kept staring at his notebook unable to type the research report that was due in two weeks’ time.  Unaware of the impact they have on each other they chose to let things be. He heard her phone beep and vibrate and a few seconds later she started packing her things, eager to get her attention. He packs his things quickly in a bid to walk her out, they both get up at the same time and musa stalls a bit to give her a 2 second head start before catching up with her. “Did you manage to get some work done?” he asked hoping that this time around she would be forthcoming, “yes, plenty” she said lying through her perfectly white teeth. “That’s great” he didn’t want to give a short answer but he had no other choice “I’m Musa Zulu by the way”, she took a quick glance at him “Buhle” she replied looking ahead. “I’m very pleased to meet you Buhle” her name sounded nice on his lips “likewise”, the minute they stepped outside she increased her pace so much that it was hard catching up with her. With the buzz of the afternoon traffic, his goodbye disappeared within the noise of the concrete jungle as she hopped into a black car with tinted windows and it drove off.
#2
Musa stood on the curb watching the black car disappear into the busy traffic. Still hopeful that one day he will get to spend some quality time with Buhle he walked towards the parking bays where he left his car and he went home happy with the progress he made that day by getting her name.
Buhle and her father arrived home an hour later after have been stuck in traffic for way longer than they anticipated. While stuck in traffic her father spent most of that hour on the phone speaking to his business associates, she used that opportunity to think about Musa. She liked him and deep down she knew that he also liked her. The feelings were all too exciting but she had made a solemn promise to herself not to be romantically linked to anyone after the near fatal incident when her dad almost drove over her boyfriend. If the poor boy hadn’t made a run for it, Mr Thulani Buthelezi would be in prison. Not forgetting the beating she got as soon as she got home that day, if it wasn’t her Aunt Thembeka who was visiting at the time, she might have died that day as well. Being the youngest and only girl in the family meant both her brothers and father looked out for her best interest, even though they would over step their protective measures but Buhle was glad nonetheless. Her mother had passed away when she was in Grade 1 after a short illness. Her father never liked speaking about her mother; in fact no one spoke about her, the last time she mentioned her mother whom she didn’t even know by name she received a hot slap from her father and that was the last she ever attempted enquiring about her. Sis’ Rose their live in helper had already prepared supper; they had their meal in silence. “so how was your day?” her father finally breaking the silence “ok” she replied with her eyes fixed on her plate. “Just ok?” from the tone of her father’s voice she could tell that he was irritated by her short response. “ it was the same as yesterday dad, went to school then the library afterwards” she continued eating, “oh I see, study hard and make me proud” and without even waiting for her response he got up and left. She finished eating, cleared the table, had her bath and slept.
Musa spent the entire evening thinking about Buhle, she was the true definition of her name he thought. When he got home earlier that evening he had made himself a light meal before continuing with his report but in between he would find himself lost in thought. Imagining himself having a long decent conversation with the woman he was drawn too, at one point he even imagined kissing her, touching her and doing everything that lovers do. It was after midnight when he decided to go to bed. He had had a very long day after all; he switched off the lights and went to bed eagerly looking forward to seeing his every day, every hour woman crush.
Three weeks had gone by after introducing themselves to each other and Musa was pleased by how close he and Buhle were becoming. They had a lot of things in common, from books, music, current affairs to favourite hangout spots.  Musa even went as far as assisting her with extra notes and summaries of Macbeth when he found out she was struggling a bit with it. Especially since her final matric examination were fast approaching. The first time she revealed she was in matric took him off guard; he had thought she was a first or second year student but not matric. He quickly got over her shocking bombshell but swore to himself not to pursue a relationship with her since she was 12 years his junior. That however didn’t give him reason enough to stay away from her, he enjoyed her company and by the looks of things so did she. They spent hours together in the library, with each concentrating on their books and occasionally playing voetjie-voetjie under the table. They were attracted to each other but did their best not to entertain those feelings with the age gap an issue for both.
#3
Buhle wrote her finals and spent the entire festive season stressing about her results even though she knew she would pass. Musa called her every day and they would exchange texts with each other all day every day.  Having a very strict father meant Buhle couldn’t come and go as she pleased, she was always chauffeured around by her father or brothers when they were around. This meant she couldn’t see the one man that she so desperately longed to see. She sometime fantasised about being his girlfriend but often laughed at how ridiculous she was being for thinking such of her friend.
She finally managed to see him on the day the matric results were issued, he had called her early in the morning to congratulate her on obtaining 3 A’s. They had spent a good 30 minutes taking about her future plans and making arrangements to meet since it had been well over a month since they last saw each other.  Her family was very happy, especially her grandmother who ended up crying after expressing how proud she was of her. As expected her father chauffeured her to school and while on their way there his PA called to remind him of an appointment with a possible client, her father ran a security company and he was working on adding another division to his company. The way he was cursing under his breath after that call gave Buhle the impression that he had forgotten about it since he had promised to take her shopping to celebrate. As the car came to a halt at her school, he turned to face her “baby girl, I have a meeting to rush too. Will you manage to find your way home?” she looked up at her father “yes dad” she responded then looked down again “good, we will go shopping as soon as I’m free. Otherwise I think this will be enough to get you home” he handed her a few bank notes which were actually more than the taxi fare to her home. “Thanks dad, see you later” she said while opening the door and jumping out. “Buhle, make sure you go home immediately after receiving your statement. Am I clear?” his dictator tone was back “yes dad” Buhle nervously said. “I’m proud of you baby girl, bye” he gave her a faint smile; she closed the car door and went to join her friends who were standing a few meters away eagerly waiting for her.
An hour later they were walking out of the school that was a second home for them for the past 4 years, when she stepped out of the gate her eyes immediately fell on the dark handsome friend of hers. His car was parked on the side of the road, he had stepped out of the car the minute he saw her approach with her classmates. He had watched closely as she hugged three of her male classmate, he couldn’t help feeling a tad bit jealous when she shared the longest hug with the last guy. He had to suppress the urge to leap forwards and pull him away from her, but why was he jealous. Could it be because he loved her? Of cause he did, he thought to himself but he just couldn’t bring himself to declare it to her at least not now. He still had a few things to take care off but most importantly he needed to be sure of his feelings for her. He continued watching while she said goodbye to the last lot of her classmate and he watched closely as she walked towards him. He was mesmerised by every step she took, it was hypnotic but his eyes wouldn’t look away. She looked more beautiful than the last time he saw her, she looked sexier, matured even or was it the thirst building up and taking control of his mind? Either way she had his attention, all of it.
Ever since her eyes fell on Musa, she had tried very hard not to run to him and throw her arms around him but that wouldn’t have been an appropriate thing to do. She had tried to break away from her friends as quickly as possible, the hug she shared with Zamani took way longer than she expected. She knew that Zamani had feelings for her, he had declared it so many times but she just wasn’t feeling him. She hoped that Musa hadn’t seen how long it took for her to break away from that hug.
#4
But even if he had noticed, he wouldn’t have a problem with it since they were friends. That is what she was trying desperately to convince herself when she was having a mental conversation with herself. She smiled as drew closer towards him and she was pleased to see him smile back, Musa couldn’t wait for her to reach him much longer so he decided to help close the gap between them by meeting her half way and gave her a very tight hug that left her breathless. “Hey you” he whispered as he tightened his arms around her “hey yourself” she replied out of breath.  They stood in that position for what seemed like hours before walking to Musa’s car driving off. “So?” he said taking a quick glance at her before looking on the road straight ahead. “So, what?”  Clearly not sure what it is that he wants to say. “Are you excited or scared at the prospect of leaving home soon?”  He asked pulling over at a dead end road a few streets away from her home. “Honestly, both. I’m just hoping my family will give me enough space to grow and be my own person without them chipping in every now and then” she said turning to face him. He reached out for a gift bag from the back seat and gave it to her without uttering a single word. “And this?” he couldn’t help being amused by the visible confused look on her face. “Look inside and ask questions Later” he replied as he watched her closely while she looked inside the gift bag. She took out the first item, which was Lemar’s Truth about love album. The second item was a box of Ferrero Roche chocolate and lastly was a white envelop which contained a gift card from one of the leading retail stores to the value of R2500 and a congratulation note, written:
WISHING YOU EVERYTHING OF THE BEST AS YOU VENTURE OFF INTO THE WORLD. I’M VERY PROUD OF YOU. LOVE ALWAYS, MUSA
Buhle couldn’t stop smiling, not sure what to say to extend her gratitude she turned to Musa who was watching her closely, unable to stop himself from smiling back at her. She reached for him and held him close; he returned the embrace by pulling her closer. “Thank you very much, you are the best” her words were said while she held on to him as if her life depended on it. “It’s my pleasure” he held her even tighter. Buhle slowly pulled away, the plan was to seat comfortably on her seat and continue having a conversation with her friend. Maybe even share the chocolate with him, or anything to stop herself from wishing that Musa would consider her girlfriend material. He on the other hand was desperately fighting the urge to not think of her in a romantic way but as a friend. Lord knows how hard it has been for him not to act on his feelings for her. Like moth to a flame he was drawn to her, he didn’t want the hug to end and felt a bit disappointed when he felt her pull back.
Without either of them realising it until a few seconds, maybe minutes even. Their lips were touching, caressing and teasing each other. Buhle held his head firmly cupping it, taking the one thing that she had been fantasising about. His kiss, that’s all she ever wanted. Musa couldn’t believe that he was finally touching her the way that he has been longing for, his hands were on her back beneath the t-shirt she had on. Her skin felt soft against the palm of his hands. The more the kiss intensified the more he wanted more of her. He groaned when he felt her hand move from his cheek down to his chest, stomach then waist. This was the first kiss that Buhle had ever felt that left her longing for more of the unknown, she tried moving closer towards him but the awkward situation of making out in the car was refusing both of them greatness and prosperity. It was however clear that they have both lost the fight to resist each other and this was proven with every stroke that accompanied the passionate tongue wrestling session. They were both consumed by each other not even realising the police vehicle that pulled behind.
#5
Without much hesitation Constable Mthembu approached the stationary vehicle with extreme caution. As he got close to the car, he breathed a sigh of relief when he realised that there was a couple making out inside. He chuckled as memories of his almost similar situation flashed back. At least these guys were kissing; he caught with his pants down. He gently tapped on the driver’s window. The couple broke the kiss and immediately turned to his direction. The lady quickly looked away clearly embarrassed for being caught in an awkward situation. The Guy on the other hand seemed more relaxed and in control of the situation at hand.  
His crew member Constable Ndlovu remained in the police vehicle waiting for the guys at the control room to give her the circulation information on the owner of the silver grey Merc C- class. She listened carefully as Musa’s information was being given to her and all the while she kept her eyes fixed on her partner. She got out of the police vehicle and approached Constable Mthembu who was now speaking to the occupants of the car.
While his mind drifted off to a faraway land, Musa heard a tap on the window. Buhle immediately pulled back, a wave of irritation and anger rushed through his entire body as he turned to see who the rude disturber was. His anger quickly subsided when he saw a police officer and checking the rear view mirror he saw another police officer getting off the police vehicle. He rolled down the window with his focus on the officer before him who to him seemed amused by the whole thing. “Good day officer” he asked then turned to see how Buhle was holding up, he was hoping to catch a glimpse of her eyes but was slightly disappointed to see her staring outside the window. “Good day, what are the two of you doing here?” Constable Mthembu asked looking at his partner who was approaching. “We were about to leave” Musa answered irritated by the man who was asking the obvious. “I see, next time take your lady to a decent place not the car” stated Const. Mthembu, “name and surname” chipped in Const. Ndlovu who came to a halt beside her partner. “Musa Zulu” “Mr Zulu you can go and remember what we spoke about” interjected Const. Mthembu in a bid not to let things go any much further than it already was. Knowing his partner, she was going to seek a reason, any reason to have him fined. Plus there were more important things to do like catching the thugs that have been terrorising the community near the Park. “Let’s go” he said to his partner, she looked at him irritated by him. He walked pasted her and it wasn’t long before she followed him back to their vehicle.
“Buhle!” Musa called out as he reached for her hand, she slowly turned to face him. Her lips were still sore from the sweet torture they were subjected to. She recalled how scared she became when she heard the tap on the window, she was convinced it was her father. She had relieved a sigh of relief when she realise it wasn’t him, but she was still taken aback by the passionate kiss that she shared with Musa. Her greatest fear was how they kiss will change things; she didn’t want to complicate things with him. A part of her was glad they got interrupted; lord knows how far they would have gone, but another part, a greater part even wished the kiss would go on for eternity. “Buhle!” she heard Musa call out, then felt his warm hand gently stroking hers. She smiled at him and he squeezed her hand in an attempt to assure her that all is well. “Shall we go?” he asked hoping to get a negative response “yes” she replied and looked away. He didn’t like the sudden awkwardness between them, so he decided to do what he thought would be best to break the ice. He kissed her with more intensity then the last; he hoped she would feel his undying love for her.
#6
Buhle needed that kiss more than anything, it took her fears away. She wanted this to happen and she wanted him to tell her that he wants to be with her or was that perhaps wishful thinking. Either way she wanted to make him as happy as he made her. If it wasn’t for his ringing cell phone, they would have gone on for hours. He reluctantly pulled back, answered his phone. The call ended quickly “I’m needed at the office” he said sounding defeated, “ok, please take me home” he looked at her but she turned away and looked outside the window.  It took everything in him to release her hand and concentrate on getting her home and getting back to work. There was so much that he wanted to say to her, but so little time. He made a mental note, to call her in the afternoon to discuss the way forward regarding their relationship. For now he needed to allow her the necessary time to digest what had happened.
He dropped her off 2 houses away from her home but waited for her to enter yard before driving back to work.
Buhle entered the house and Sis’ Rose was in the kitchen marinating some stake. “Hi sisi” she greeted and tried her best to slip away without sis’ Rose seeing the gift bag she was carrying. “Hello Buhle, your brothers are coming home and your father requested I get the meat ready for the braai this evening” “ok, I will be in my room if you need me” with that said she wasted no time and hurried out of the kitchen.
The task that Musa was called for took way longer than he anticipated, when he was finally able to breathe he checked the time and to his surprise it was already after 19:00. He packed his things and left the office, now more at ease his mind wondered off to what had transpired earlier between him and Buhle. With a smile on his face and a warm feeling inside he dialled her number and patiently waited to hear her melodious voice.
Suddenly the Buthelezi household was alive with the arrival of her brothers, with Melusi being the oldest working at one of the big five law firms in the country. He brought along his girlfriend of 5 years along. Lihle was practically family and she was the closest thing to a sister that Buhle had, she was also an Attorney and she and Melusi met at Law School. Siyabonga also known as Siya to his family and friends worked as an IT Network Specialist for yet another one of the leading companies in the country. Unlike Melusi who always played it safe, he was a ladies man. Who took pride in dating and bedding as many women as he could, but he didn’t want any man to come near his sister. To him she was the only woman that he loved dearly, the rest were there just to feed his sexual appetite. Buhle was happy to have her brothers and Lihle home but her mind was filled with thoughts of Musa. She had butterflies in her stomach every time she thought of their kiss; she spent the entire afternoon fighting the urge to call him. As soon as their father arrived home just before 18:00 the braai kicked off.
There was so much teasing and laughter going around that for a split second she forgot about Musa that was until her phone rang startling her causing her to literally jump off her seat. She had waited so long to hear from him without drawing much attention to herself she discreetly went back inside the house leaving the rest of the family outside. With her heart racing, palms sweating and excitement building up. ‘Finally’ she said to herself as she answered her phone more enthusiastic then she had ever been before “Hey” she said before closing her bedroom door.
#7
“Hi, you sound breathless. Are you alright?” Musa asked “I’m good, i was outside when you called” she said sinking to the floor. “I’m sorry I didn’t call you earlier, I got tied up at work and I’m only going home now. Can you imagine” “I thought as much, otherwise you are doing what you signed up for right?” “Of course, I love my job. But it gets to me when I’m unable to find time to be with the people close to my heart” “wow, I hope I’m also part of the people who are close to your heart” she said and prayed his response would be what she longed to hear. “You are closer then you can ever envisage” they continued speaking without either one of them raising the issue at hand. Buhle feared coming off as demanding and waited for him to make a move. Musa feared that she might push him away, especially because he hasn’t been totally honest with her. She has been very forthcoming with him and this gave him the impression that he knew almost everything about her while he on the other hand carefully chose what he could or couldn’t share. She was still naïve, ‘wet behind the ear’ as his High School accounting teacher use to say when upset by a back chatting learner “…look at this chap, still wet behind the ear. The bloody thing can’t even pee straight…” Mr Paul Roux had it all a very strong work ethic and a wicked sense of humour. Musa looked up to him, he was the only positive male figure he had in his life and it was through Mr Roux’s assistance that he was able to further his studies after matric. Buhle ended their call just when he was about to share with her, the many things that he had omitted to tell her over the last few months they had known each other. He was convinced that this was the ultimate deal breaker; he had seen it happen so many times before. The minute he opened up to women always marked the end of their relationship. He convinced himself that he needed time; time to get to know Buhle better in order for him to be ready to open up.
Buhle got irritated when her Melusi called out for her while she was still enjoying her conversation with Musa. She had to cut her call short and join her family in the patio, after having their meal her father made a small speech “baby girl I can never tell you enough how much you have made me proud. As you go off to university in a few weeks’ time, I want you to continue doing us proud. Remain as humble as you are, you will meet different kind of people from different backgrounds. Respect them; never judge them for who they are or where they came from. But most importantly chose your friends wisely. I love you” Buhle had tears in her eyes and walked over to her father to hug him. Even though they did see eye to eye sometimes but she loved him wholeheartedly and it was such moments where she would wish her mother was around to share her happiness with her. “I love you too dad” “family may I be excused I need to go somewhere for a while” Buhle and her father broke their embrace and turned to face Siya who was already on his feet. “One last thing, don’t wait up” with that said he made his exit. “Melusi, you need to talk to your brother. This lifestyle that he is living doesn’t go well with me. He is 30 years old for goodness sake, he should be finding a decent girlfriend not chasing skirts all over the country” “dad with all due respect I think its best you speak to him. I have tried numerous times to talk to him but it falls on deaf ears, now I think it’s time you have that man to man talk you had with me a few months ago” after saying that Melusi got up and dug in his pocket then sat down again “Lihle” he called out to her softly, she turned to face him “I wanted to do this the right way and I believe that I have. I took the liberty to call you parents and informed them of what I had planned for the future, our future” he paused, Lihle smiled at her man affectionately. “Thembelihle Hadebe, will you please make me the happiest man in the world by being my wife” Lihle gasped and tears rolled down her eyes as she nodded her head so much one could swear she had a spring for a neck.
#8
Melusi took her hand and slipped the ring he had bought for her, the happy couple hugged and kissed. Buhle couldn’t help crying as she watched her brother being smitten by the woman who had been through it all and she stood by him. Never complaining and always lending a helping hand. “Congratulations you two, now I will get to have an older daughter. That’s a very bold step you have taken son and I’m very proud of you” Thulani looked at his son and future daughter in law with the greatest pride that any parent could have. He held his little girl’s hand and wished he had someone to share his children’s achievement with. He looked at Buhle who was a striking resemblance of her mother. He loved his daughter very much but her mere existence caused so many people a lot of pain that he ended up losing the women in his life. Yes women. Thankful for having his children, he squeezed Buhle’s hand and walked back inside the house.
A 3 month later Buhle had settled nicely at varsity, her father had reluctantly agreed to let her stay on campus instead of travelling from home every day. She liked her roommate Nondumiso and they got along like a house on fire. They went everywhere together including shopping and signing up for volleyball team. It is here where Buhle met Thabang an Honours student in Geology who was commonly known as ‘Freelander’ a nickname he got from his Basketball team mates. He was an eye candy, most girls drooled over him. He loved the attention but never gave the ladies the attention they wanted from him, nobody knew his girlfriend except for the few ladies who made claims of being his girlfriend but that was always proven not to be true, just meaningless flings instead. Ever since the first day he saw at the volleyball court which is close to their court he immediately took an interest in her. He liked the innocence that he saw in her and she had the cutest laughter, he knew then that if he were to have a girlfriend it would be her because unlike most girls she took no notice of him and he liked that. After a few days of enquiring he made a move on her but she took no notice, the harder he tried the more she resisted him. In a final bid to make her notice him he an uncalculated move by approaching Nondumiso who without hesitation agreed to go out on a date with him and that is how he blew his chance with her. Nondu on the other hand was heels over head in love with him, that is how twisted and crazy she was about him and as time went on he also got smitten with her. It wasn’t long before everybody on campus knew about the couple; girls envied Nondu and she made it a point to flaunt their relationship. A few months later Nondu discovered that she was pregnant, uncertain on how MaFree (that’s what his ladies fan base called him) would take the news. She thought of terminating the pregnancy without telling anyone including Buhle. Her emotional instability caused her to confess to Buhle the very evening; they spent the entire evening speaking exploring every scenario regarding her pregnancy. Buhle could see how scared her friend was; she sent MaFree a text requesting to see him at noon the following day. It wasn’t long until they both fell asleep.
The following day just before noon, Buhle had to find a way to excuse herself from Nondu and two of their other classmates. When she finally succeeded she made her way to the indoor sport facility where she met MaFree. Receiving a text from Buhle had puzzled MaFree so much that he could hardly think of anything else but their meeting. He was secretly hoping she might want them to hook up, but he immediately dismissed that thought because she was in love with that much older guy friend of hers who came to watch all their matches. Always cheering her on, he had often wondered what it was that that guy had that he didn’t to have Buhle wrapped around his finger the way that she was. Seeing her walking towards him reminded him of the love that he shared with Nondu and that alone was enough to make him snap out of any day dreaming concerning him and Buhle.
#9
For Buhle every guy that approached her needed to have certain traits, no man was good enough for her. Her ideal man was someone like Musa and she was not willing to settle for anything less. Her hopes of ever being Musa’s girlfriend were slowly dying down as time went on. Even though they both started their day by talking to each other, texts and sometimes call during the day and calls or visits in the afternoon or evening. She loved him with everything in her; she even tried telling him by tracing ‘I Love You’ with her finger on his thigh one evening. Hoping to have him declares it to her as well but he just smiled at her and kissed her forehead. Buhle was hurt but also understood that she could never force him to love her. She longed for the love that Nondu and MaFree shared but she was content with it and knew in good time things will fall into place. seeing Mafree looking a tad bit nervous, she started doubting if telling him about Nondu’s pregnancy was her place or not.
“Hey B” he said walking towards her “hi” she smiled trying to take away the edge that she was feeling. She had to remind herself why she was doing this; she felt this was the only way to help her friend. “So what is this about” “wow, you don’t even ask me how I’m doing?” she teased trying to put him a bit at ease. “I’m sorry about that, it’s just that I’ve spent the whole morning trying to crack my head on what this could be about” he kept rubbing his hands together, trying to hold it down and not let his nerves take over him. “I see, let me put you at ease. I’m not sure how to say this but here goes. You need to speak to Nondu and you need to do it now. She is going through some stuff and I think you are the only person who can get through to her the way that she requires” she paused trying not to give off anything. While speaking she realised that it would be much better for Nondu to share the news herself. “What is wrong with her? I mean I spoke to her this morning and she sounded fine. So unless you tell me exactly what is wrong with her, I will have a tough time getting it out of her. You know how stubborn she is” the helpless look on his face made Buhle’s task even more challenging “Just make sure you have a heart to heart talk with her today. Listen I have to be somewhere else now. See you later, oh by the way you can use our room to me I’m going home” she said and walked off before MaFree had the opportunity to ask any more questions. Whatever it is that was wrong with Nondu was important to have Buhle speaking in riddles instead of calling it, like it is. Mafree sent Nondu a text telling her he wanted to see her.
Buhle left feeling slightly edgy for orchestrating the meeting between her friends. She had grown to like MaFree over the past few months and considered him a friend as well. She reached the campus parking bays for visitors and she smiled as she walked towards Musa who stood outside his car talking to his cellphone with his eyes fixed on her.
He had had to deal with a lot of insecurities knowing Buhle is surrounded by hot blooded men her age all day every day. No amount of words could express the joy he felt when she had told him she loved him, she said it in not so many words. In fact with no words at all, but having her finger trace those words drove him crazy, the thirst kicked in faster than any energy stimulant. He had to supress the urge to take the leap of faith and take her there in his car but he knew better than that. He strongly believed that she was the one for him and all he had to do was be patient with her. She was still young, she still needed to grow and be her own woman. Lord knows how much he loved her and seeing her beautiful smile warmed his heart, he ended his call and waited for her to reach him. “Hello my Beauty” he whispered as they shared a heartfelt embraces “don’t call me Beauty” she retaliated playfully pinching him on his back; he jerked back, kissed her cheek and held her close again.
#10
He loved having her in his arms, he reluctantly released her and they got into his car. “I took the afternoon off so I can make up for not being able to see you the past 3 days. So where would you like us to go?” he asked “I promised my dad I was going to spend the evening at home. so we can go anywhere as long as you promise to have me home by 17:00” “please make it 18:00” he said pushing his luck “no later than 17:30” she replied “so we have roughly 4 hours at our disposal, how about we catch a movie?” he said turning the key in the ignition “let’s go to your place rather” without wasting any more time they drove off to his place, sharing how their week and day was. They spent the afternoon talking about everything under the sun and in between the chats they managed to prepare supper before having to take her home. She arrived home to find her father sitting in front of the TV reading a newspaper instead of paying attention to the programme that was on. She stood on the lounge entrance watching him without saying a single word. “Buhlebemvelo” “Hey dad, how are you” she walked towards him “I’m good my girl, how is school?” he got up and they shared a warm embrace. “It’s ok, nothing to by the postage stamp for” she said before kissing her dad on his cheek and sat down beside him. Sis’ Rose walked him moments later to announce that dinner was ready; all three of them enjoyed their meal while engaging on small chats. Later that evening before going falling asleep she called Nondu to find out how she was doing but she didn’t answer her phone, she tried a few more times again before finally giving up and falling asleep.
When Buhle returned on campus the following day Nondu told her about the previous evening she had with MaFree and the most important thing transpiring from their evening together was that they were keeping their baby. Weeks went by and everybody was buried in their books because the finals had already begun. The evening before they wrote their last paper, while walking back from a 5 hour learning session a young lady stood on their way. Immediately causing them to come to a halt, taken aback by the sudden appearance of this young lady who looked a 1 year or two older than them but worst of all frightened by the battered state she was in. She seemed to be in a calmer state than them, assessing both girls up and down before finding her voice and feeding on their curiosity. “Rumour has it you are carrying MaFree’s child. If I were you, I would run away from him, far away. It’s only a matter of time before he does what he did to me and many other girls before me” she paused shaking her head and crossing her arms over her chest. “I don’t know what you are on about and I’m not sure whether or not I’m keen to know but all I can request is for you to leave me alone” said Nondu who went from feeling sorry for the girl to being annoyed in a matter of minutes. “Ok, when you are black and blue all over your body don’t say I didn’t warn you” she flicked her box braids and walked off. Buhle could see how hurt her friend was by the whole thing but instead of talking about it they opted to walk to the room in total silence and that was the end of it.
The girls passed their final exam and fast forwarding a few weeks after receiving their results they were on their second year. MaFree started the year with a permanent job at one of the leading platinum mines in the country. This enabled him to not only pay for the damages for impregnating Nondu he decided to pay include the lobola negotiations. Everything was done at a very short space of time, in between studying and preparing for her wedding Nondu gave birth to a healthy baby boy who was name Vuyolwethu (Our happiness) by MaFree’s mother. With the support of both families Nondu returned to school while her mother took care of her son for her. Three months later she and MaFree got married in a very small and intimate family affair but Buhle was there for her friend and Musa tagged along to accompany his lady friend.
#11
Four years later Buhle was working at a public hospital after completing her Bachelor of Dental Therapy Degree. Musa was still the biggest male role player in her life apart from her dad and brothers. With Melusi and Lihle married and expecting their first child, the whole family was excited for them. Lihle had experienced 3 miscarriages over the past 2 years, with their last son being still born at 7 months. Life was hard for the young couple but they refused to let their misfortune damper their faith in God and faith in having a crazy brood fill up their home. After much consideration Thulani finally had the courage to speak to his son Siya about finding someone to love. It took Siya two and a half years to find someone and without wasting much time they got married and go just about everywhere together, Siya and Ayanda were a match made in heaven. Musa was still drawing strength to be honest to Buhle about himself, every time he got the courage something always came up and the opportunity would be lost.
On a windy July Saturday afternoon, Musa asked Buhle to visit him at his home. She agreed after cancelling on her father who wanted to be accompanied to a fundraising gala dinner hosted by one of his business acquaintances. She arrived at his home at 16:30 and as per norm they greeted one another with a ‘holy’ kiss and a hug. Musa had prepared them a light snack, which they enjoyed while watching the second leg of a soccer match curled up on one couch. “Musa, can I ask you something?” Musa hesitated at first to respond “sure” Buhle sat up straight and turned to face him “what did I ever do to you?” she placed the glass of orange juice she held in her hand on the coffee table “I don’t follow” he replied clearly confused by what could be the root to her question. “I don’t think it’s far for you to treat me like this. I’ve told you and shown you time and time again that I love you but you reject me. Musa I’m tired of waiting for you to love me, but I can’t seem to move on because I’m in love with you and what irks me the most is you seems too relaxed and comfortable to say anything. So here is the thing Mr Zulu I will not hang around any longer until you…” he kissed her, silencing her and doing what he had tried so hard not to do until being honest with her. While kissing she sat on his lap facing him with her legs on either side of his hips. Musa’s hands ran up and down her back, the way his desire for her were so intense he could have eaten her with one gulp if she was a meal. But she wasn’t a meal, she was the woman he loved but feared openly loving her for obvious reasons known to him. They were both lost in the moment and that became evident when clothing items were being taken off until they were both in their underwear. Buhle was still pure and she had saved herself all these years for Musa, to her the only thing that made sense was to give Musa the only sacred gift that she had.
He carried her to his bedroom and gently laid her down, the kissing and caressing was just overwhelming for both of them. Not sure what should happen next but eager to get there Buhle whispered “I want you to want me” while he left trails of kisses from her neck to her chest “oh Buhle I do” “then make love to me, make me call out your name when I drowning in our sea of pleasure” her voice was soft, seductive and just what he needed to drive in the final nail. Faster than the speed of light he reached for a condom on his side drawer while Buhle took off the last of her clothing items and laying butt naked and waiting for him. He took of his briefs slid on the condom lowering his well-toned body above her. This was it, she wanted it and he did too. Buhle lifted her butt up not able to wait any longer to have him deflower her. His mind went crazy when his manhood touched the heavenly entrance to her treasure. He wanted her so badly but not like this, not while he carried a secret that could shake the very core of the foundation of their relationship. His excuse of waiting for a perfect time had proven time and time again that there is never a perfect time for such things.
#12
With the little voice of reason he had whispering more truth to himself then he would ever admit, he rolled over to her side and looked down on her. Searching for a better way to tell her “what’s wrong?” she asked seeing the sadness in his eyes “please sit up I need to tell you something” irritated by being aroused and getting an ‘I need to tell you something’ instead of having something done on her to relief the sexual tension. She was naked for crying out loud, which man in their right mind leaves a woman high and wet? “tjo Musa I’m done with you” she got off the bed and tried putting on her underwear as quickly as she could “Buhle please calm down” “don’t tell me to calm down, you led me on instead of telling me that you don’t have feelings for me” she cried out while making her way out of his bedroom “but I do have feeling for you, if you will let me explain…” “Do you think I’m an idiot? I won’t allow you to make me your puppet any longer. What you’ve just done now is just cruel and evil.” She was now in the lounge collecting her clothes that were scattered on the floor. “Buhle please understand that I…” “Save it for somebody who cares” she was trying her best to getting dressed with no further delays. “Will you please hear me out before you make any hasty decision” Musa felt helpless watching her wearing her shoes and just seconds away from walking out of his life “phuma kimi tu (please leave me alone)” she responded then picked up her purse and headed to the door “Buhle!, Buhle please” seeing her reach for the door knob his heart sank and he cried out in a faint saddened voice, looking down too ashamed to face her “I’m HIV positive” he didn’t think she heard him, he heard the door slam. He hoped she stayed with him; he wanted to share with her how he got infected, he wanted her to tell him that unlike the ladies in his past she will stay. Looking up at the closed door he felt shattered, he felt as if his Persian carpet has been swept from his feet resulting in a major fall. He had lost the one person that meant everything to him.
After closing the door Buhle marched to her car, she couldn’t believe what an idiot she has been, loving the wrong person so right. She drove home with tears in her eyes, pulling up at her driveway she rushed inside the house and found her father in the kitchen about to leave for the gala dinner. “Buhle!” he called out, but she ignored him and rushed to her room. Her father followed her worried what could be wrong with his precious baby girl. “Buhle can I come in?” she didn’t respond, normally he would leave her to calm down first before talking to her but not today. Today he wanted to make sure if she was ok before leaving, so he opened her bedroom door and went across the room to sit on the couch there. “Talk to me Buhle, why are you so upset?” “It’s nothing serious dad I’m just being silly” she said in between soft sobs. “It’s a boy isn’t it? What did he do to you?” “I wish it was that easy to tell you but it just isn’t” she said continuing sobbing “do you love him?” “Yes” “does he love you?” “I don’t know but I doubt he does” “you are my little girl and I want to see you crying tears of joy never of pain. For closure hear him out before writing him off. I have to go, think about what I said” he got up and left. Trying very hard to replay their one sided argument, she remembered his last words to her, oh how could she have missed it. It all made sense to her now, there was this one when she was at Musa’s place and he accidently cut himself with a knife while preparing supper. He pushed her away when she came to her aid, and then there was the time he spoke about his CD4 count and testing. The whole discussions on the many ways of how one can get infected or be in a relationship with an negative partner. She felt a hard blow on her gut when she recalled how vocal she was about not ever dating anyone who is HIV positive her ignorance reason being “there is just no future there, whatsoever” she remembered how hurt Musa seemed to be by her clear unedited declaration. She cried hurt by how much she had hurt him so much unintentionally.
#13
Unsure what to do next she got off the bed, picked up her purse that lay on her bedroom floor and car keys and left. She needed to talk to him and apologise, she owed him that much. Surprisingly knowing his HIV status didn’t change the way that she felt about him, she still wanted no other man but him.
Musa lay on his bed trying to think of ways to deal with losing his friend. If only he had been honest with her from the very beginning, things wouldn’t have gone this sour he thought. He thought back to the fateful day he got infected 16 years back, he arrived home from school and found his mother bleeding after slitting her wrist in a desperate bid to take her own life. His mother had returned home a month earlier after years working in another city and hardly coming home to check on him and his grandmother. However she always made sure they were well catered, she even made sure he received a good education. In a bid to save her he tried to stop her bleeding while calling out for help, his grandmother wasn’t home that day unaware that he had small open wound cuts sustained when he was helping a neighbour put up a new fence. Musa shut his eyes trying hard to push the memory of having his mother die in his arms and later finding out that she had committed suicide after finding out that she was HIV positive, his grandmother insisted he goes for testing too since he had handled her without any gloves. There biggest fear was confirmed when the results came back, his grandmother cried for days but Musa made it his mission to understand as much as he could about HIV. He was at peace with things and just hoped that he would be loved with his HIV.
Deep in thought he heard the doorbell from a distance, too sad to move he ignored it hoping his unexpected visitor will go away. But the bell went on and on until he couldn’t ignore it any longer, filled with anger and irritation he stormed towards his front door and opened the door more force than it required and secretly hoping that it would be Buhle. “Sho ntwana (hey mate), I was in the neighbourhood and decided to pop by. I hope you don’t mind though” Glen said looking at his friend who seemed in dire need to be cheered up. “Not at all do come in” Musa stepped aside enabling his friend to come inside. As much as he was in no mood to entertain anyone having Glen there with him was just what he needed. He told him everything that had earlier between him and Buhle, hoping his friend will help him find a way to deal with what happened. When Glen left later in the evening Musa was already feeling better and glad to have had shared his pain with his close buddy.
With the intention to go to Musa’s house Buhle ended turning the car around and going back home. She couldn’t find the right words to say to him and she was still partially upset with him for not trusting her enough to tell her sooner. She assured herself that she needed time to think about everything but most importantly she wanted to be mentally prepared for him. They had so much to talk about, how he got infected being top of the list. Mentally exhausted she got home, had a long bath to help her relax and think of her next step then she went to bed immediately afterwards. Prayed for her family, her friends and herself but most importantly she prayed for Musa.  Wishing that she had her mother around to guide her on life’s many challenges. She tossed and turned trying to fall asleep but unable to because of her unresolved issues with Musa.
She reached for her phone and started reading the text messages that they have constantly sent each other. A warm fuzzy feeling filled her heart when she read one of his many long texts he’d often send her, with her phone in her hand, his words in her mind and his love in her heart she fell into a peaceful sleep and had pleasant dreams of him.
#14
Musa spent the entire week fighting the compulsion to call her, he knew she needed time to digest things but he needed her, he missed her very much. He had hoped she would call him instead but as days went by he realised that he was holding on to false hope. Without putting much thought into it he dialled her number and patiently waited for her to answer his call but it rang and led him to voicemail. Disappointed by her not being answering his call, he packed his things and made his way to the gym to blow off some steam.
After a very long day at the hospital Buhle took her purse and made her way home. With all the demands of insuring the success of the Oral Health Campaign she and her colleagues were busy on. She had missed lunch and it only downed on her when she reached her car that she was starving. She got home had a quick bath before sitting down to one of sis’Rose’s wholesome meals. Her father walked in when she was having her last spoonful of samp, beans and mince. “Rose” he said in greeting, “yebo bhuti” she replied and got up taking with her Buhle’s empty plate and disappeared into the kitchen. “I’ve been calling you the whole day to no avail, did you lose your phone?” her father asked clearly concerned because it was unlike his daughter not to answer her phone. Only realising it at that moment that she had left her phone in her purse the whole day, she excused herself explaining what had happened to her father and went to check her phone hopping to get something from Musa, gosh she missed him more than she thought she ever will. She got to her bedroom reached for her purse and searched for her phone inside. Her heart started doing back flips the minute she saw that among the numerous missed calls she had, Musa was one of them. Not sure what to do, she decided to follow her heart. Her heart was set and Musa and nothing was ever going to change that. She took her car keys and told her father she was going to a friend’s house. Over the years Buhle had manage persuade her father to allow her to make her own mistakes and be a herself without having him interfere or intimidate the friends she chose to keep. It took a lot for her father to agree to her requests on the bases that she was honest with him regarding everything.  
On her way to his house she played the conversation in her head, hoping it will go as she planned. She reached his home and rang the bell but got no response, she felt foolish for driving all the way to his house and having to turn back without having had the chance to see him. Disappointment filled her heart, and then anger took over totally consuming her emotions. She wanted to scream or break something anything to take what she was feeling away. Things were not happing the way she had them planned out in her head. She had hoped to find him home, have a heart to heart talk with him and finding the necessary closure for them to move forward. She rang the doorbell one last time, with an already painful lump on her throat the size of a prickly pear; she turned on her heels and walked to her car not even noticing the oncoming vehicle that parked behind her car.
Musa couldn’t believe his eyes as he got closer to his home and saw Buhle’s car parked on his driveway. The security at the main gate had told him he had a beautiful visitor but he dismissed it thinking that she was referring to Glen. It’s not often that he had heard a woman complementing another. He saw her walking towards her car with her face down eager to stop her from leaving; he parked his car behind hers and quickly got out of his car and sprinted to her. 
With his heart beating way faster than normal, sweat beads forming faster than you can say go. He wondered if he was dressed ok for her, in his sweat pants and t-shirt that he wore after having the mother of all work outs to get rid of the tension he had and to take his mind off things for a while.
#15
With tears in her eyes she sank to the floor the minute she saw him. Words escaping her mind but desperately wanting to apologise for all the cruel things she had said. “Buhle!” he called out softly but she remained on the ground, happy to see her he sat beside her “I’m sorry for not being honest with you from the beginning. I love you, I always have but your strong views about being in a relationship with an HIV positive person made me a bit reluctant to tell you” she covered her face with her hands ashamed of herself for being so narrow minded sometimes. “Don’t cry Buhle” he didn’t like seeing her so broken and it was all his doing. Every tear she shed for him stung and caused him more pain then he had ever felt before. “I’m sorry for everything I ever said to you, if I could erase it I would but since I can’t I can only ask for your forgiveness” she managed to say in between her sobs. “Come let’s go inside” he got up and pulled her along with him. Quickly went to his car to get his gym bag and other things and they went inside the house.
In the comfort of his home she threw her arms around him, holding him tight. He returned the embrace, it was all he longed for the entire week and now finally she was here in his home, in his arms. Lord please don’t let this end, he said to himself. After what seemed like hours in each other’s arms, they spoke about everything over a cup of hot chocolate and cheese and ham toast sandwich. Not aware of what time it was until she received a call from her father, Buhle assured him she was safe and would be spending the night since it was Friday. Although they hadn’t spoken about her sleeping over, Musa was glad she was willing to spend the night. It was late for her to drive home anyway, he thought. “I’m glad we have everything ironed out, I don’t want to come off as pushy but I need to know. Where does this leave us? Are we going to continue being friends…” he didn’t manage to finish his concern because Buhle had other things in mind. With her lips against his, he was silenced; his mouth welcomed hers his tongue finding temporary refuge in her mouth. She took him off guard but he wasn’t complaining, after all he’s been longing to kiss her since he saw her weeping for him in the drive way.  He tried getting up without releasing her and went to his bedroom. “Make love to me Musa” Buhle whispered “are you sure?” “Yes” “but what about my status? Aren’t you worried” he asked his voice filled with concern “I trust you; I know you will keep me safe”.
A year had gone by after they first made love, Musa looked at his wife of 6 months who had fallen asleep after a steamy session of love making and he made a promise to himself to protect her at all cost and love her the best way he knew how. Being with her made him whole and everything made sense to him knowing that she was there holding his hand. He knew when he first met her that she was special  a keeper and she has given him love without any restrictions, terms and conditions and any governing law or rule.  Buhle turned in her sleep and held her husband even closer; even in her sleep she acknowledges his presence, in her heart, in her life and in her bed. “I love you my darling” he said kissing her forehead and pulling her close to him. Musa got out of bed after hearing their door bell ringing; he put on a robe and made his way to the front door. He peeped on the door hole trying to get a view of their visitor, who decided to pay them a visit so early in the morning. It was a woman but he couldn’t see her face because she had her back to the door. He reluctantly opened the door and the woman turned. “Good morning, I don’t know whether I’m at the right address. I’m looking for Buhebemvelo Buthelezi, does she live here?” asked the lady “Baby why did you leave me in bed alo…” Buhle’s question to her husband died in her lips before she could finish it. Her mouth went dry and life drained out of her, the two women stared at each other, the resemblance too strong to be denied. “Mama” Buhle whispered softly with tears streaming down her cheeks…
​​​​​~~*~

Short Story: Live, Love, Laugh…

#1
Today is just another one of those ‘feel good’ days, welcoming the beginning of yet another new, exciting but yet scary chapter of my life. I still can’t believe the 360 degree my life has turned after meeting Scelo Kunene. The one man who has been able to tame my wild and crazy antics down, I’m still not sure how he managed to do it but he did and when I look back I realise that he saved me from myself. I’m a middle child born to a middle class family, my parents made sure that they gave us everything that we needed, whenever we needed it. Even after my parents separated they managed to continue giving us the love and support we needed to make it in life. I’ve always been more attached to my father than my mother, when he moved out of our home I was devastated but I learnt to live without having him around in the house. What I appreciated most about my parents separation was that they sat us down and told us that things were just not working out between them and they were better off apart. I really could quite understand what they meant by that I mean I was only 12 years old at the time. My older brother (Mpho) who was 15 at the time took it really badly but a few months down the line he got used to not seeing our parents together in one home. My younger sister (Owethu) was 10 and just like me I think she didn’t really get to grasp the full extent of what was unfolding in our household. It took a while to get use to the new setup of living with a single parent but hey, its life and we managed. The 2 year period that my parents were separated I kept hoping that they would reconcile, but my hopes were crashed when my mother told us that the divorce has been finalised. Academically my siblings and I did well; before we knew it my brother matriculated and studied medicine (MBCHB). I didn’t have much of a social life; throughout my years as a scholar I had two friends. We met in kindergarten and we stuck together attending the same primary and high school. We stood out from the rest of the kids at school, not in a good popular way but more on the ‘nerd’ side of things. When most of them were playing during break time we were in the school library either reading books or studying. We knew just about anything and everything pertaining the subjects we were doing and that made us skip 2 grades and at 16 we matriculated with flying colours. All three of us had applied at the same tertiary institutions and we were given academic exemption due to our matric results and throughout our tertiary days our parents never spent a cent on our education. Amahle pursued her Bsc in Civil Engineering, Jessica did a Bsc. Urban and Regional  Planning and I did Bsc in Electrical Engineering. During the last year of our tertiary life we decided to let loose and try to have some fun and live a little. We were all still virgins, never had a boyfriend. The only kisses we knew were those given to us by our parents. At the beginning of the year the institution held a ‘Fresher’s ball’ we had never attended any of these balls and parties held on campus but this time around we went, no matter the weather we were so there. We went shopping for new clothes just for the ball, did our hair and make-up and just like that we transformed from being your average girl to being part of the ‘IT GIRLS’ culture. The night paved the way for us; the attention we got from the opposite sex was flattering. By the end of the ball we had scored ourselves an invite to an after party that was held at some provincial radio personality’s home in La Mercy and that is where it all began. Even our motto  simply became, ‘STUDY HARD AND PARTY EVEN HARDER’, one only has one life and we were living it up the best way we knew how and we left no stone unturned.
Who am I you wonder? I’m just an average young lady who enjoys the finer things in life, a shadow of my former self and a really nice person once you look beneath the many layers of make-up that cover the emotional scars I bear from my troubled past. The funny thing is I didn’t realise I had them until Scelo came along, but that’s a story for another day. I am born Andiswa Belinda Nzuza my friends and family call me Andy…
#2
The after party at the DJ’s home lasted well into the wee hours of the morning. I was the first person to wake up around noon, I was fully clothed (thank goodness) and so was amahle who lay beside me, there were 3 other girls with us on that bed. How we all managed to squeeze up together like a tin of Pilchards it beats me, I looked for jess but she was nowhere in sight at least not among us in the room. I got out of bed and almost tripped over another girl who lay on the floor half naked, the plan was to get to the toilet my bladder needed to be relieved. The challenge that lay ahead was finding the toilet quickly before my brakes stop working. After what seemed like forever I found the bathroom with toilet it was the last room down the passage. When I was done, I washed my face and used some tissue to dry it. I opened the cosmetic cabinet and took a sip of the mouth wash I found rinsing my mouth thoroughly. I went out of the bathroom and went to wake amahle up, me:”mahle” amahle:”mmmmm” me:” wake up, we need to go” I was shaking her vigorously, amahle:”go away” she turned to the other side facing the other 3 girls. I was determined to get her to wake up, so I continued shaking her. Amahle:”what does a girl have to do to get some sleep around here?” me:”she will have to get to her bed that is waiting for her at res that how” she sat up rubbing her eyes, me:”do you have any idea what happened to jess?” amahle:”the last I saw her she was talking to some guy. No scrape that, she was lip servicing some guy. I need the loo” me:” come I’ll show you” we got up and made our way down the passage and into the bathroom. I sat on the bath tub, while she did her business Amahle:” you know your way around this house” me:” I had to, it’s the only room I was desperately looking for a few minutes ago” amahle:” so what do we make of jess’s disappearance?” me:” we can’t leave without her, I’m sure she is somewhere around this house” she flushed the toilet and rinsed her face, amahle:” I need to brush my teeth” me:” mouth wash is in the cosmetic box” amahle:” you really know your way around this house” me:” shut up” she rinsed her moth and when she was done we made our way out. We went snooping around the house; there wasn’t much out of the ordinary in that house. There were quite a few portraits of the radio DJ and his colleagues and some other well know entertainment personalities hanging on the walls around the house. We got to the lounge and there were more people lay around on the couch and on the floor but still no sign of jess. Amahle:” I’m hungry” me:” me too hey, but food can wait we need to find jess first” amahle:” jess can wait shame, I check for something to snack on from the fridge” we went to the kitchen, which was a total mess. There were beer and ciders cans and bottles everywhere not forgetting the boxes of pizza’s that were on the kitchen counter. Amahle opened the fridge and found some apples, amahle:” catch” she threw an apple my way, I caught it and started munching away. I took out my phone and dialled Jessica’s number, her phone rang unanswered. Amahle:” are you calling a cab?” me:” I’m calling jess but she’s not answering” i called her again, this time she answered, jess:” hello”   me:” where are you?” jess:” in bed” me:” don’t act smart with me” jess:” I’m in one of the rooms in the house so chill” “baby keep it down I need my sleep” I heard a male voice say from the background, me:” we are in the kitchen” jess:” ok I will be there shortly” amahle:” Andy, do you think we should clean up this mess?” me:” I have no idea” amahle:” maybe we should. Even if we don’t throw them away but place everything nicely on the side” she started picking up the tins an bottles that were on the floor and I had no choice but to help her. Jess walked in a while later, jess:” who died and made you two the caretaker of this house?” amahle:” nice of you to finally join us, now grab those empty can will you” jess did as told, when we were done clearing the kitchen some tall guy walked in, “good morning ladies” he said opening the fridge and taking out a bottled water. “Morning” we chanted back, “baby who are your friends?” he asked…
#3
Jess:” my bad, baby these are my friends Amahle and Andy. Ladies Mbuso, my boo” wow, so last night we were all single and now Jess has a man. Is it really that easy to start dating? I always thought that a girl needs to play hard to get before letting her guards down. Oh hell who am I kidding I’m not an expert in this field. In fact I’ve never had a guy interested at me; I should just shut up and be happy for my friend. Me:” nice to meet you mbuso” amahle:” yeah me too” he gave us a nod. Me:” do you know where we could find taxi’s to town?” mbuso:” are you guys thinking of leaving now?” amahle:” yes” jess:” no” me:” yes” he looked at us, mbuso:” ladies make up your minds, which is it?” me:” we would like to go, but jess can stay if she wants” mbuso:” ok, I hear you. im about to leave anyway so I will give you guys a lift” amahle:” thank you” he walked out leaving us in the kitchen alone, amahle:” you gave it up didn’t you?” she was looking at jess in the eye and jess’s shyness gave it away. Jess:” yes” me:” and how was it?” I got so excited; it felt as if by her losing her virginity she did it for all three of us. It was an achievement for all. Jess:” I don’t know how to explain it; I honestly don’t remember much of it because I was wasted. But my vee feels funny” amahle:” wow, it’s like you are now on the other side of the river waving at us while we await a boat to take us to the other side” jess:” your boats are coming” mbuso walked in mbuso:”are you ready?” we nodded, mbuso:”ok, let’s go” we made our way out of the house into the driveway, there were quite a number of cars parked outside, we didn’t know which was mbuso’s car he unlocked his car, we heard a clicking sound and flashing hazard lights coming from a silver grey BMW 3 series. We got to the car and amahle and myself made ourselves comfortable at the back seat, while Jess seat in front. In a matter of minutes we were on the road heading to town, there wasn’t much talking happening in the car. In the end mbuso decided to play some music and he was singing along to the tunes. We got to town, mbuso:” so where do you want me to drop you off” jess:” on campus will be fine” mbuso:” ok” we drove off and when we reached campus, amahle and I got off the car and thanked mbuso for the ride, jess remained with him in the car. We went to our respective rooms; I went for a bath, came back and went to do my laundry before making myself an afternoon snack. Around 16:00 I heard a knock on my door; I got up from my study desk and went to open the door. There stood Eneil one of my study mates, me:”hey” eneil:”hi, can I come in?” me:” yeah sure” as soon as he stepped in, I closed the door. He sat on the table, Eneil:” I see you are studying” me:” not really, I’m revising” eneil:” ok, I saw you last night with your friends” me:”ok” eneil:”you were so beautiful, not that you aren’t but last night it was as if I was seeing you for the very first time” me:” I see” eneil:” anyway I came to ask for the Power electronics notes” I got up and looked for the notes that he wanted and gave them to him. he got up to leave but stopped when he reached the door, eneil:”I was wondering would you like to go out for a movie some time?” me:” are you asking me out on a date?” eneil:”well yes, I’ve been meaning to ask you ever since our first year” me:” what has been stopping you?” eneil:” you seemed too focused on school work and after seeing you last night I realised that I had it all wrong about you” me:” ok, I’d like that very much” eneil:” ok, will next Friday be ok with you?” me:” yes, it will be perfect” eneil:”ok, bye I will bring your notebook later in the evening” me:” ok, bye” he walked out, I couldn’t get over the feeling of being asked out on a date. In actual fact this was the first time a man ever gave me a complement, maybe a make-over and a change of attitude was what I needed after all. I carried on studying, jess and amahle came to visit me in the early hours of the evening. They were all dressed up looking totally breath taking, jess:” Andy get dressed we are going out” me:” again? Im still trying to catch my breath” jess:” the guys will be here in a few minutes, so get dressed” I got dressed and a few minutes later we were gone…
#4
Mbuso came with his friends all using their respective cars, four cars to be exact including that of mbuso’s, mbuso:”evening ladies” me:” hi” amahle:” hey” jess:” where are we going to babes?” mbuso:” where would you like to go?” jess:” anywhere will be fine with us” mbuso:” I have a few friends who are chilling at the beach with refreshments and all, let me introduce you girls to my friends” amahle and I stood there like lost sheep in dire need of the direction. Mbuso signalled his friends and they came to join us because we were standing outside mbuso’s car. We were outnumbered by the guys, there were 6 guys. Mbuso:”gents, meet the ladies…” he had a blank look on his face more along the line of not remembering our names, amahle:” amahle and andy” mbuso:” oh yes, amhle and andy. These are my friends, sabelo, given, mlu, clive and sbo” the guys waved when their names were being called out, it felt like this was roll call. Mbuso:”ladies feel free to mingle with the guys, you can even catch a ride with any of them” amahle and I looked at each other. I was really feeling like we were being pimped out here, as much as I wanted to have a good time but I wasn’t comfortable being in a car with men I don’t even know. Worse thing about such arrangements is that we know nothing about them, so it’s a real gamble with one’s life. Sabelo:” amahle if you like you can get a ride from me” he licked his lips, amahle:” mlu:” now can we go, I’m hungry” mbuso:”so which is it amahle are you going with sabelo” amahle:” no, I ride whichever car my friends are in” mbuso:”ok, get in the car then” we all got into the respective cars and we drove off, mbuso:” jess babe your friends are too stuck up, please tell them to loosen up a bit” jess looked at us jess:” guys please try to have some fun” we gave her faint smiles. Amahle:” I don’t like this one bit” me:” tell me about it” we got to the beach front, the beach was alive one could swear that it was during the day. we got out of the car and the guys took out their cooler box and we went to join another group of their friends who were already seated there. All the guys were cute in their own way, with some looking way hotter than the others. At least with the group that we found there, there were more ladies, some of them already tipsy. Sabelo gave us a bottle of cider; I wasn’t sure about drinking with guys I didn’t know, and the fact that I had two ciders for the first time at the ball. I took the bottle and held on to it for the whole evening, jess disappeared with mbuso some hours later, amahle and sabelo were hitting it off and I got the attention of the not so good looking, very rude and very drunk guy out of the lot. I was regretting why I agreed to go along, by 01:30 I wanted to leave. Sabelo and amahle were making out like no one’s business, mlu had some girl giving him a lap dance clive was not much of a talker, no did I see him drink anything. He kept stealing glances at me, he was an eye candy of note too. Around 01:45 the guys started leaving, amhle:” andy lets go to sabelo’s place in Glenwood” me:” I want to go to res” amahle:”andy don’t be like that please” sabelo:”are we leaving or what” me:” please drop me off at res” sabelo:” unfortunately the route to my place does not go that way and besides I’m not the one who brought you here so find your way back” just like that, I couldn’t believe my ears, amahle:” you see we have no other choice we have to go with him” me:” I’m sorry I can’t, you can go with him though” amahle:” what about you?” me:” I will find my way back to res” I took out my phone and dialled eneil’s number, eneil:”hello” me:” hey I’m sorry to wake you up so late, but I need your help” eneil:” where are you it’s so noisy there” me:” I’m at north beach and I need a ride back” he sighed eneil:”ok, I will be there within the next 30 or so minutes” me:” ok, thank you” amahle:” who was that?” me:” eneil” sabelo:” can we go now please, I’m horny as fuck and I hope you are not one of those crazy chicks who don’t give it up on the first day” amahle looked at me, me:” are you still going to go with him?” amahle:” yes, andy I’m not going to be a virgin forever I might as well lose it now” she walked off and got into his car…
#5
Clive, mlu and some other guys remained and I sat with them waiting for eneil to come and in a matter of minutes he called to say that he was approaching the beach. I got up and bid the guys farewell, Clive:” you are leaving now?” me:” yes” Clive:” can I walk you to your ride?” me:” yes” he got up and we worked towards the parking area, Clive:” so this person who is fetching you is?” me:” a classmate” Clive:” ok I see, may I have your number?” me:” I don’t give out my number sorry” Clive:” ok” I saw eneil’s car me:” my friend id here” Clive:” I hope to see you around” me:” ok, bye” I ran off to eneil’s car. me:” hey thank you for coming, you are a life saviour” eneil:” sure, so who is this guy you were with?” me:” he’s friends with jess’s boyfriend” eneil:” wow, jess has a boyfriend” me:” what does that supposed to mean?” eneil:” nothing much, my friend has a crush on her” me:” wow, which friend?” eneil:” I don’t think you know him” me:” ok” we got to res, he parked the car and walked me to my block, me:” thank you for coming to my rescue tonight” eneil:” this morning you mean?” me:” yes, thanks a lot” eneil:” anytime” me:” good night, good morning” he raised his eye brow me:” you know what I mean” eneil:” yeah, I’m just teasing you. Take care, andy” I opened my room door, changed into my pj’s and fell asleep instantly. I woke up around noon, took a bath and had brunch before preparing my school work for the week ahead. I called jess and amahle but both their phones led me straight to voicemail. A few hours later in the early hours of the evening amahle came back, she looked like a train had run her down and while she tried to get up a rock landed on her head, squashing her down. She was in tears; her hair was all over the place. With a blue swollen eye and a torn bleeding lip, I could not imagine the pain she was in. she wasn’t talking either just shaking and crying and the sight of my friend in that state made me weep as well. A few minutes after she got to my room jess arrived carrying some groceries and in a very jolly mood. Jess:” and now, what happened? Who did this to you?” amahle was still not talking, jess looked at me, jess:” what happened andy, I left her with you” me:” she left with sabelo and I came back to res” jess took out her phone and dialled mbuso’s number jess:” what the hell did your donkey hole friend do to amahle?” I could only hear the one side of the conversation, jess:” don’t tell me to calm down, come and have a look at her and then we can talk about being calm, nx” she hung up and tossed her phone on my bed. Amahle was still crying, I didn’t know what to do or say to her, a while later jessica’s phone rang “yes” she answered clearly angry, jess:” I’ll be there shortly” she hung up, jess:” I’m coming back now” she ran out and within a few minutes she was back with mbuso, when they waked in mbuso couldn’t contain his shock at the sight of her, mbuso:”what the fcuk” he walked to amahle and kneeled in front of her lifting her head up and tilting it side ways to get a clearer view of her. Mbuso:” what happened?” jess:” you tell us” mbuso:” jess you are being unfair, how would I know because I was with you the whole time” amahle:” he… they” she couldn’t continue talking and just cried some more, jess:” she needs to see a doctor and as for your friend” mbuso:” live him to me I will deal with him, what kind of a beast does this to a woman” he got up and taking out his phone from his track pants and stepped outside the door. Jess:” amahle I’m so sorry. It’s my entire fault I shouldn’t have left you guys there. Will you please tell us what happened?” here’s the thing; I’m not good at comforting people. After the break down of my parents’ marriage I built a high wall with bob wire and electric components around my heart and mind to block away any form of pain. Life was easier that way, I felt being in touch with one’s emotions meant you were weak and could easily break and that why I preferred concentrating on my academics rather than worry about things that I had no control over. She finally managed to calm down, Amahle:” they forced themselves onto me, they all took turns. I feel so filthy, I need to bath. I need to remove their grimy smell from me”…
#6
Jess:” mahle you need to see a doctor first” amahle:” no doctor is going to see me like this” me:” mahle don’t be so hard headed” amahle:” don’t tell me what to do, just leave me alone” mbuso walked in, mbuso:” I can’t get hold of any of the guys except for clive who knows nothing of the situation. Amahle what happened?” we all turned to look at her in the hope that she will fill us in with more details but instead she got up and left. Mbuso:” did she at least say something while I was out?” jess:” all she said was they took turns forcing themselves onto her” mbuso:” who exactly are the ‘THEY’ that she was referring to?” me:” i think sabelo is one of them as for the others I have no idea” mbuso:” where to from here?” jess:” honestly I don’t know because she is shutting us out but I would have liked it for her to report this” mbuso stayed a while longer before finally deciding to leave, jess stayed a bit longer hoping that amahle would come back but she didn’t. we went looking for her in her room but she wasn’t there, eventually jess went to her room leaving me in mine and I went on with my studying. The days that followed I still saw less of amahle and what happened to her scared me a lot. This was the first weekend we were living it up and having it end in such a tragic way was just uncalled for.
Weeks went by and amahle refused to tell what happened eventually we stopped pestering her about it. We figured she will share when she is ready too. Eneil and I went out for our movie date but it ended there, there was just no chemistry none whatsoever between us, so we agreed to just be friends. Jess and mbuso were still going strong; mbuso was a professional football player. Playing for a team based in Durban, I’m not much of a soccer fan so I didn’t know him until he started seeing jess. Whenever they went out on dates jess would insist amahle and I tag along with them. There were times when I would be in no mood to go out but jess is the type of girl who never takes no for an answer. We went clubbing and attended after parties the club held to celebrate after every match won. Amahle slowly came out of her shell even though she was still mum about the whole rape incident. So on this particular Friday evening as usual mbuso called jess to tell her to get ready because he was taking her out and as usual jess called us and told us to get ready, of which we did and all three waited for mbuso to arrive. He called to say he was at the parking area and off we went to him in the parking. When we got there we greeted and he greeted us back but there was something different about him this particular evening. He seemed somewhat annoyed, at what we weren’t sure of. Jess opened the front door for herself and got in the car, amahle and I opened the back but the doors just didn’t open. In fact the back doors were locked, amahle:” jess a little help here” the front car windows were rolled down, so they could hear us and verse versa, jess:” babes will you please open up for my friends” mbuso:” jess baby I love you and all but this here I can’t take,  I didn’t bargain for this. Every time I want to spend time with you, you bring your friends along. I honestly cannot take this anymore, you should have told me that this was a case of buy one get two free” amahle and I couldn’t believe our ears, tjo the liver [isibindi(audacity] of that man though. But somehow I kind of knew where he was coming from, whenever we went out he paid for everything and it was only a matter of time before he got fed up any way. Jess was just too shocked for words, me:” bye you guys enjoy yourselves” I pulled amahle away and we walked back to res as fast as we could, imagine the embarrassment we had. As soon as we disappeared from their view we slowed down, amahle:” I was so looking forward to tonight” me:” we can still go if you like” amahle:” thanks Ands, the way I want to have fun tonight” we went to our rooms to get money to spend for the evening, called a cab and off we went, we weren’t really sure where we wanted to go but we ended up deciding on Florida Road, at least by going there we knew we would never go wrong…
#7
We went to one of the restaurants there; it was quiet a busy night because finding a table was another mission on its own. Eventually we were sorted we ordered our meal and drinks and enjoyed our company while soft music played on the background, not forgetting the couple that was giving us a free view of their making out session. Half way through our meal one of the waiters came to us, waiter:” good evening ladies, this is for you” he handed me a note me:” for me?” waiter:” yes ma’am, it’s from the gentleman sitting on that table” he pointed at the table and I looked at the direction of his finger, the table he was referring to had 3 gentlemen all in suits. One of them made a hand gesture with his index and middle finger in what appeared to be a salute or something, I wasn’t quite sure what it was but either way I assumed he was the one who sent the not. Waiter:” he said I must wait for your response” me:” did he now?” waiter:” yes and he promised me a big tip depending on your response. So whatever it is, please think about my tip” amahle:” open the damn note will you” I opened the note and it read “you are the most beautiful woman I’ve seen in ages, may I please have your number” after reading it I looked at their table again, the same guy who made the hand gesture got up and came our way. I got to have a full view of him and assess him anyway I wanted to. He was tall, no let me rephrase, and he was a giant with broad shoulders, bouncer/wrestler material. He had a perfectly trimmed beard, dark in complexion but handsome nonetheless, he was oozing of confidence and that made him look extreme peri-peri HOTNESS. Every step he took gave me a dizzy spell and I was mesmerised by him. He got to our table “good evening ladies” he said giving us a glimpse of his teeth; he had the perfect toothpaste smile. Amahle:” hi” I just smiled at him, he took out R300 from his wallet and gave it to the waiter, giant:” this is for you” waiter:” thank you sir, ladies enjoy your evening” he went off with so much excitement after getting his tip. Giant:” may I” he pulled out a chair that was empty, me:” sure” he sat down, giant:” can I get you anything?” amahle and I looked at each other, me:” no we are good thanks” giant:” I believe ww owe each other an introduction” me:” you go first” giant:” that is so kind of you, I normally allow a woman the chance to go first but since you have beat me to it, I will go ahead. I’m Scelo Kunene” he extended his hand, me:” I’m Andiswa Nzuza” scelo:”Mshazi nozishada kamaqhoboza” I blushed a bit, amahle:” Amahle Ntuli” scelo:” Mphemba, nice to meet you ladies” me:” likewise” scelo:” what do you do for a living?” me:” full time students” scelo:” I see, I’m a full time explorer” amahle:” meaning?” scelo:” I explore different business ventures” me:” you’re an investor?” scelo:” something like that. So where are you going to after your meal?” me:” we are not sure yet” scelo:” what are you studying? Wait let me guess. HRM?” me:” you are not even close” scelo:” how about you tell me” me:” we are doing our last year in elec. and civil eng respectively” scelo:” I never would have thought, but shouldn’t you be drowning in your books instead of wining and dining here?” me:” the hard work we put in everyday, I’d say we deserve a break once in a while” the two acquaintances he was with walked up to our table, these men are just too fine for words and matured too. When I look at them they give me the impression that they could be in their late 20’s early or mid 30’s but HANDSOME in CAPS. Guy 1:” ladies” we smiled and gave them a friendly nod, scelo:” andiswa and amahle, my friends and business partners Brandon and Manqoba” manqoba who happened to be guy 1 was the first to speak out, manqoba:” its really nice to meet you ladies and since this is not a formal gathering you can call me Man Q” amahle:” Man Q I like” manqoba:” really?” amahle:” oh yes” I couldn’t believe how amahle was flirting with the guy and he was clearly enjoying the attention as well. We spent the entire evening with the guys, talking and laughing we really had a good time even though we ended up not going to dance our sexy butts off…
#8
At the end of the evening manqoba and amahle exchanged numbers, I was still to up tight to give scelo mine. Eventually he gave me his business card that had his number. They offered to take us to res but we refused and took a cab instead. The weeks that followed amahle was getting close to her Man Q, jess and mbuso were inseparable in the sense that we hardly saw her because she spent 6 days a week at his place. Mid-year exams were coming up and we studied every day except on Fridays we’d go out and I still hadn’t called scelo. In fact I had misplaced his business card and I felt if he was really interested in me, I’m sure he could have gone the extra mile to get my contact details. After our mid-year exams, eneil hosted ‘Pens down party’ at his parents’ home in Kloof, they were away for the weekend so he had the house to himself. I never really understood why he chose to stay at res when his home was so close by, but I’m sure he had his reasons. My girls had agreed to attend the party with me and we were all very excited, we got ready and at around 17:30 eneil came to fetch us and off to Kloof we went. When we got to his parents’ house the place was full of students, some were in the pool, other sitting on the lawn drinking and many were hanging around in the house. Eneil:” ladies welcome and do make yourselves at home, there is plenty of booze in the kitchen and snacks too.” Me:” thanks” eneil:” sure see” “hey baby” a pretty fine young lady came from our side and squeezed eneil’s butt and playfully tugged on his ear. That was my cue to give them some space and in an attempt to walk off eneil grabbed my arm, eneil:” Andy meet Bianca my ex, Bee this is Andy and her friends” Bianca:” so I’m your ex now?” me:” nice to meet you, ladies lets go” eneil was a friend and study buddy, I liked him and he liked me but seeing him with a girl was giving me hot flashes.  Amahle, jess and I went to the kitchen, leaving eneil and Bee in the passage arguing. The fridge was pack, we took a cider each and went outside to chill. I loved the atmosphere we were in, loud music and chaos. Half way through our ciders jess’s got up to answer her phone, me:” so how are things with Man Q?” amahle:” good, no I’m lying. They are unbelievable” me:” wow, I’m so jealous” amahle:” you shouldn’t be, you are the one who let Scelo go” me:” whatever” amahle:” you know what andy, you should learn to loosen up a bit and have fun” me:” I am having fun” amahle:” its not a crime to allow yourself to be loved, not all man will leave you like your daddy” me:” amahle don’t” amahle:” it’s the truth and the sooner you hear of it the better” me:” my father has nothing to do with my relationship status and besides who died and made you and expert in the matter?” amahle:” I’m no expert, just your friend and I’m merely stating the obvious” me:” whatever” jess came back panting, jess:” girls I have to go mbuso is at the gate” me:” what? Now?” jess:” yeah, bye see you tomorrow” she ran off. amahle and I finished our cider and went to fetch another, when we got to the kitchen there were snacks placed on the kitchen counter. We took some muffins and went to our spot on the patio, I don’t think I ever enjoyed myself the way that I did after those muffins and booze. I found humour in everything and everybody seemed to be speaking too slow and in some crazy animation voice. Half way through the even, drunk and all we were dancing and singing. Not forgetting running around the house, and the crazy games that were being played my parents would be ashamed of me if they were ever to hear of this. amahle and I went on to yet another round of ciders, none of us knew how much we had already consumed but we were both not keen of stopping. Amahle:” I have an idea” me:” shoot” amahle:” lets call manqoba” me:” now?” amahle:” yeah why not?” she took out her phone and dialled his number, the minute we heard it ringing we started giggling like the naughty school girls we were. Manqoba:” amahle, I’m in a meeting right now. I will get back to you later” we giggled some more, amahle:” ok, but you won’t find me later because I will be riding some random stranger like mad”…
#9
There was absolutely nothing funny in that but we laughed some more, manqoba:” are you still at the party you spoke of earlier?” amahle:” yeah” manqoba:” go home amahle and take andy with you” amahle:” don’t order us around, you are not the boss of us” me:” yeah, you are not the boss of us” manqoba:” you are both clearly drunk, go home” me:” I’m going for another round” amahle:” bring me some” manqoba:” stop…” amahle:” oops, I just pressed the end button” our laughter continued as we stumbled inside the house to get more drinks, eneil was in the kitchen speaking to some guy. Eneil:” are you ladies good?” I stumbled over towards him and grabbed his face and we kissed. “You go Ands and never come back” that was amahle and her equally drunk self, cheering me on. That was my first real kiss and I thoroughly enjoyed it, his tongue and lips were cold and his hands held me tight. I loved the feeling I was getting but I noticed that my breathing pattern was changing with every second we spent kissing. I was floating until someone pulled me away from him, “ so much for her being just your study mate” poor Bee she was really angry shame, amahle grabbed my arm and we ran outside. We joined a group of guys who were smoking in the front lawn, it was a puff and pass situation and guess what? We didn’t break the cycle; we joined the puffing and passing too. Amahle was occasionally texting the whole time and before long, she gave her phone to some guy who was giving whoever that was on the line directions to eneil’s place. We sent the same guy to fetch us some booze, I was hiding from Bee, she seemed like she was ready to spit fire when mahle reached for me. The house became a no go area for me. The guy returned with our drinks and before we even managed to finish them amahle’s phone rang, amahle:” Q man, where?… oh hold on…” she looked at me then started laughing hysterically before pressing the end call button. “Wow look at those two guys coming our way” this was said by one of the guys and we all looked at the direction he was gazing at. Amahle:” shit” that was a double shit moment for me, this was the second time I was seeing scelo but why did it have to be when I’m this hammered. Manqoba:” gents” they guys didn’t respond they just stared at them, manqoba:” amahle, andiswa lets go” his tone was firm and enough to get us moving. Me:” bye guys” “sho” replied the one who got us drinks earlier. Amahle was suddenly behaving herself, we got to the car after many stumbles and falls and manqoba helped amahle enter the car and scelo did the same to me. He didn’t speak to me, not even a single word. Once we were buckled, I at the back with scelo and mahle in front with manqoba we left kloof. I must have fallen asleep because when I woke up I was in bed and an unfamiliar place dressed in my t-shirt and underwear. I looked around I was alone, and when I checked the time it was already morning. My denim pants were neatly hanging on a chair near the window. I got out of bed and went to the bathroom (en suite), my head was heavy and my stomach was turning like crazy. I washed my face when I was done I went back to the room and got dressed. I took my phone which was lying on the side table and called amahle but her phone went unanswered. I made the bed and went out of the bedroom into a long passage, I entered all the rooms but there was no one,the house was spacious with what seemed like expensive furniture but had no sign of always being occupied. It seemed so shallow and cold, a house and not a home. I reached the kitchen and there was a note on the fridge door for me:
GOOD MORNING, I HOPE YOU SLEPT WELL; I’m SORRY I CANT BE THERE WHEN YOU WAKE UP. MAKE YOURSELF SOMETHING TO EAT. I LEFT SOME MONEY IN THE CUPBOARD ABOVE YOU. THERE IS ALSO MY NUMBER PLEASE CALL ME WHEN YOU GET THIS. REGARDS, SK
I checked for the money there were many R100 notes, I took one for transport leaving behind his number and I left…
#10
The house was in some gated community that I was not familiar with. I walked to the main gate and asked the security personnel there for directions to where I can get transport to town. They showed me a bus stop and I went there, some 45 minutes later a bus arrived. That time I was hungry and dehydrated, I asked the lady sitting beside me to wake me up when we got to the CBD. Some minutes later she did, I got out went to the bus stop for transport to res. I bought some water while I waited. I got to res, took some painkillers, had a bath and made some cereal before sleeping.  I woke up in the late hours of the afternoon after hearing my phone ring, me:” yeah” “where are you?” me:” at res” “thank God, do you know how worried scelo has been after not finding you at his place” me:” I’m sure he was, anyway I need to sleep speak later and thank manqoba for the ride for me”  amahle:” sho, later then” I hung up on her and slept some more. By the end of the weekend my hangover was goon and we were all preparing to go home for the holidays. Jess’s parents came to fetch us on Tuesday and we looked cute in our dresses but most importantly our ‘innocence’ persona game was on. We first dropped amahle off at her home then me. my mum was there to greet us and thanked jess parents then we went inside the house. Mum:” so how was school?” me:” good” she helped carry my bags to my room. Mum:” I’m so happy to see that you are still in one peace” me:” why wouldn’t I be mum?” mum:” people change andiswa, look at Pearl she came back pregnant. She’s a real embarrassment to her parents” me:” did her parents tell you that they are embarrassed?” mum:” well know, but I would” me:” just because you would doesn’t mean they would too. Anyway I’m thinking of visiting dad tomorrow” mum:” how long are you planning to stay there?” me:” a week or two” mum:” andiswa you just got here and I don’t think your father’s girlfriend will be happy with you overstaying your welcome, especially since your sister is already there” me:” I’m sure she won’t mind, I will call him and ask” my mum stared at me and I could see she was hurt. I decided not to call my dad and spend the first week with her. my mum is a very religious person, when home we speak and read the bible and spiritual/ religious book. I loved it but since I got introduced to a life of parties, I loved that too and when the thirst kicked in I couldn’t even quench it. The first Sunday after my arrival mum and I went to church, owethu was still at my dad’s and Mpho was an intern at some hospital in Bloem, so he couldn’t come home. How I missed him and I knew if he was around we would be somewhere drinking the boredom away. After church we spent a good 30 minutes greeting and making small talks to the ladies from church and most expressed how lucky my mum was all her kids were in the straight and narrow. Good kids they said, who have no time for parties, drugs and everything else that students get up to at varsity. The whole time I was thinking, if only you knew. We got home and I finally managed to start packing and went to visit my dad. There was so much alcohol lying around in that house, I finally had my moment of FREEDOM. We had gone shopping with Nelly dad’s girlfriend; I managed to sneak off and bought 2 50ml Amarula cream and when I joined Nelly and Owethu I made sure we bought rum and raisins ice cream. We got home Nelly prepared supper while I had my amarula and ice cream, I felt myself getting tipsy and I decided to have an early night before I get caught. The holidays went by fast after that and before I knew it my dad and nelly took me and the girls back to school. The minute my dad left, jess called mbuso and off she went, amahle and I went out for a good drinking session. Manqoba was out of town and that gave us time to party without any interruptions. When we returned I was more determined than ever to open the cookie jar and I was still single and mingling,  so I was still looking for the brave man to take me to a place I’ve heard of but have never been and I had it all figured out, strawberries and cream, wine, good music… damn Hollywood for selling us a dream…
#11
Our evening turned out to be just a fun filled night with lots of booze, some huffing and puffing, laughter but overall good company, just the two of us. It was after 22:00 when we decided to call a cab to take us to res and the fact that manqoba was calling amahle every millisecond barking orders to get our behinds at res was becoming old and tiring.  We continued with our drinks while waiting for the cab to arrive, amahle was on her phone yet again and I decided to go to the rest room. So minutes later I came out to join amahle who was to my surprise with scelo. I could just die that time; I walked slowly towards them while trying my best to compose myself. I wasn’t drunk but more on a very tipsy side; I reached them and took a seat while scelo kept his gaze on me. me:” good evening” I dished out a killer smile, scelo:” evening” his response was colder than the North Pole (not that I have ever been there or anything) amahle:” Ands, scelo is here for us” me:” but we have already called a cab nje” scelo:” I’ve already settled that” me:” so I guess we are stuck with you?”I said it with a little chuckle in the hope to lighten the tension that was between me and scelo.  Scelo:” something like that” I failed once again to crack it. amahle:” shall we go?” scelo:” please, I can’t stand this place” amahle and I looked at each other before walking off one after the other until we reached scelo’s car. amahle quickly got in the back seat and I followed suit. Scelo:” I’m not going to be your chauffeur” amahle:” Ands go sit in the front” me:” no, you go” scelo:” I don’t have all eveving” amahle:” ands just go” I reluctantly sat in the front and off the car went. We travelled in total silence and when we got to res I was the first to jump out of the car and stood outside. amahle:” scelo thanks for the ride” scelo:” yeah sure, andiswa can I have a minute of your time” me:” it’s pretty late I need to get ready for tomorrow” amahle came closer towards me “just hear him out ands, see you in the morning. Drive safely scelo and bye” scelo:” thanks, bye” she ran off and I remained behind standing like an idiot on the parking lot. Scelo:” please get in, it’s a bit chilly outside” I got in the car and kept quiet after all he was the one that wanted to talk. Scelo:” what happened to you the other day?” me:” which other day?” scelo:” when I left you at my place?” me:” oh, I left in the morning” scelo:” know you did, I just want to know, why you left or better yet why didn’t you call me” me:” I don’t know, I guess I didn’t see a reason too” scelo:” oh I see” a very awkward silence followed me:” I have to get to my room” scelo:” ok, can I ask you one last thing before we part ways” me:” sure” scelo:” are you seeing anyone?” me:” no, why do you ask?” scelo:” I was beginning to wonder what type of a guy allows his woman to go out drinking every other night” me:” and that is why I am single, good night scelo” I got out of his car before he could say anything else. I found myself irritated by him and the more I thought of what he said the more fired up I became. I liked the more relaxed funny scelo I met a while back not this uptight uncle that I have been subjected to see for the past two occasions he had rescued amahle and I. Not that we needed to be rescued or anything. I got to my room and slept without taking a shower.
 
A month went by after that not much had changed; I was still single and mingling. Amahle was slowly becoming scarce like Jess, we would make arrangements to go out just the three of us and boom their boyfriends come to fetch them. They were happy and I was happy for them. I just wished they would at least let me know they had other plans instead of always leaving me behind and I had to take a cab back to res. It was Friday evening after we had written our test, eneil and the guys had organised a party at his room and I too was invited but I declined his invitation and went to my room instead. I got there took a bath and went under the covers I wanted to sleep my loneliness away…
#12
I woke up a while later by an irritating banging on my door, “Ands open up” I got out of bed and went to open up for amahle, she is the only person who calls me Ands. I opened the door and she was dressed in a black knee length lace dress with black heels and clutch. Her hair and make-up was nicely done. me:” hey, you look good” amahle:” thanks my friend, now It’s time for you to get ready” me:” get ready for what?” amahle:” manqoba has invited both of us to attend a young business what what gala dinner” me:” you mean he invited you” amahle:” well yes, but I can go alone I need you by my side” me:” I wish I could help you out my friend but I can’t” amahle:” and why not?” me:” look at yourself and look at me” amahle:” that will be fixed in no time. Go and freshen up while I choose an outfit for you” me:” I can’t go amahle, I really don’t want tag along. Do you remember the last time that happened with mbuso. I can’t put myself through that again” amahle:” manqoba won’t mind, please Ands please” me:” mahle plea…” amahle:” Ands let me call him and confirm it with him, will that be fine with you?” me:” maybe” she dialled manqoba’s number, amahle:” hey babes can Ands come along?… ok, thanks you, see you shortly, love you… bye” she turned to me, amahle:” now let’s get you ready” I sighed and got up, amahle:” bear in mind he will be here within the next 30 or so minutes” I went to the bathroom to freshen up and when I returned amahle had already chosen my outfit. She had out a body hugging knee length blue dress that I had bought a few weeks back but have never worn. With black heels and clutch, I got dressed and tied my box braids into a neat bun. I didn’t use any make-up just lip-gloss because we were out of time and manqoba was already waiting for us at the parking lot. We got to him at the parking; he was standing outside of his car speaking on the phone. When he saw us approaching him he smiled and ended his call, manqoba:” good evening ladies, you look breath taking” amahle:” thanks babes” manqoba:” can we go?” amahle looked at me, I nodded. Amahle:” sure” we got in the car and left.
Arriving at the gala dinner venue just after 20:00, judging by the cars parked there the event was for high achievers not the likes of me who were still stressing about the final exams that were a few weeks away. manqoba:” this is it” amahle:” go ahead baby, we need to freshen up first” manqoba:” but you both look fine to me” amahle:” you are too sweet, you can go in so long. I will call you when we are done” manqoba:” ok” he got out of the car” amahle:” now about that make-up that you still needed to do” me:” I’m fine like this” amahle:” Ands you need to look your best, I’m hoping you find the man of your dreams tonight” me:” you do know that I’m happy being single right?” amahle:” I know but I want you to experience what it feels like to love and be loved. Now sit still and let me do this” I did as told and she did my make-up, when we were done she called manqoba and as promised he came for us. manqoba:” wow, andiswa I’m speechless. If scelo were to see you right now, I swear he will go crazy” me:” what does scelo have to do with anything” manqoba:” don’t act coy with me, you know he likes you” me:” I don’t believe I know” amahle:” if he likes her the way that he claim he does than why hasn’t he done anything to win her heart?” manqoba:” you will never understand. Anyway enough about him lets go inside” we walked on either side of him, entering the hotel building where the dinner was being held. As we walked along the foyer towards the dining hall, there were stares and whispers not sure what that was about and I honestly didn’t care. When we reached the door there were ushers there who opened the door for us and lead us to our table. There were still stares from around the room, whatever it was our outfits or looks had nothing to do with it because in my eyes we were appropriately dressed for the evening…
#13
We got to our table, greeted and sat down, not much was happening at the time. Amahle:” had they started already?” manqoba:” not yet” the more time I spent there, the more I was feeling out of place and I so badly wanted to leave. Before long, the lights went off and there was a display presentation from the overhead projector, highlighting what the evening was about. Cocktails were already making their rounds and I was tempted to have a glass or two to put me at ease, but I decided to settle for juice instead. After the introductory presentation a gentleman who introduced himself as Sol Philips made a small welcoming speech and a few remarks before taking his seat and allowing other speakers to the podium. I felt myself literally falling asleep and the fact that I had an hour of sleep the previous evening due to studying was making matters worse for me. I lightly tapped amahle’s shoulder, she turned to face me. “I need to go out for some air” “do you want me to come along?” she asked “no, I’ll be fine” I got up and walked out. When I reached the foyer again I felt a sudden rush of relief and I slowly made my way to the rest room before going outside.  The whole time I was thinking why I allowed amahle to subject me to such torture. I went in the rest room, entering one of the cubicles there and I just sat there, still feeling sleepy.  I woke up after hearing a knock on the door. “is there anyone here?” a voice from the other side asked. I got up flushed the toilet and made my way out, as soon as I stepped out a lady stood there smiling at me. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone this beautiful ever in my life, she looked like a model straight from the rampage into the rest room. Tall, petite, well dressed, lady:” I’m sorry to have disturbed whatever it is that you were busy with in there” and well spoken. I just smiled at her and she went in. two other lades came out of the other two cubicles, while I stood there fixing my hair and make-up. they greeted washed their hands and walked out, a few seconds later I too walked out and went outside for some much needed fresh air.
The warm even breeze that was blowing was everything and more that I needed, “so we keep bumping into each other” I turn and see the bathroom lady walking towards me, pulling out something out of her purse. I nervously keep my eyes on her, while giving her a smile. Lady:” hi. I’m Tracy and you are?”  me:” Andy” tracy:” nice to meet you, are you also here for the gala dinner?” me:” yes” tracy:” I’m here with my ex-boyfriend” me:” wow” tracy:” yeah, we have a love-hate relationship but we get along better when we are apart than when we are together. anyway who are you with?” me:” my friend’s boyfriend” tracy:” say what? With friends like you who needs an enemy?” me:” no, it not like that. What I meant to say is. I’m here with my friend and her man” tracy:” oh I see, wait a minute. Are you here with manqoba and his girlfriend? Cause I heard the guys going on about manqoba having two babes” me:” that’s us” tracy:” you know I was dating his friend, I don’t know whether you know him. The guy is great but he just can’t commit. Me and him have been on and off for the past 3 years but he doesn’t love me the way that I want him to love me. he called me a month ago and we rekindled our romance after a 6 months break and guess what?” me:” what?” tracy:” we broke up two weeks later” me:” why do you break up only to make up some time later?” tracy:” I keep going back to him hoping he will finally make an honest woman out of me. but I’ve realised that we both want different things. Two weeks ago he told me that he met someone that he likes” me:” and you are ok with that?” tracy:” why wouldn’t I be? At least now I know we will never be more than friends” me:” you are my hero, I tell you” she let off a lazy chuckle, tracy:” like I said we are better off as friends, we were friend before we started dating I guess that is why its easy to let go. I want to see him happy and I know he also thinks about my happiness, hence him being honest about meeting someone that he likes”…
#14
We kept quiet after that, gazing at the clear sky showcasing the trillion stars visible to my eyes. Tracy:” so, what does your boyfriend say about you going to such events?” me:” boyfriend?” tracy:” yes your boyfriend” me:” I don’t have to worry about him” tracy:” why not?” me:” why worry about something you don’t have?” tracy:” no” me:” yes” tracy:” when did you break up and what happened?” I found so much humour in her questions that I started laughing. Tracy:” why are you laughing, poor thing you must have developed a laughing mechanism to push away the hurt. I have a friend who also does that. Come here let me give you a hug” I laughed even harder at the concern of her tone and the harder I tried to explain the more she kept talking about letting go of the anger and hurt and finding peace with the situation. After I had finally caught my breath, tracy released me from her embrace. Me:” tracy , listen I have never had a boyfriend” tracy:” what? As in like ever?” I nodded, tracy:” you poor child, now you really need a hug” she pulled me into a tight embrace before releasing me. tracy:” so when you say, you have never had a boyfriend. Do you mean not even the meaningless primary school relationships?” me:” not even that” tracy:” wow, so that means you are a v… oh my word, I never would have thought. Now you are my role model. Take a bow nana take a bow” me:” thank you” we continued talking about other things until being interrupted by my phone ringing; I answered without even checking the caller ID. Me:” hello” “ands where are you? And why aren’t you coming back?” me:” I’m outside, I must have lost track of time” amahle:” ok wait there I’m on my way” I hung up and tracy and I continued talking until amahle got to us. amahle:” hi” tracy:” hi, Man Q’s girlfriend right” amahle:” yes, amahle” tracy:” tracy, nice to meet you” amahle:” likewise, when are you two planning to head back inside?” tracy:” after the speeches” amahle:” in that case, you may come in. I went out when the last speaker was on the podium” Tracy:” in that case, let me go to my date before he starts wondering where I am. Ladies it’s been a pleasure meeting you and Andy I hope you find a man soon” she winked and walked off. amahle:” your new friend is beautiful, I’m still at awe at how flawless she is” me:” tell me about it” amahle:” how do you know her?” me:” we met at the rest room. She said she is one of manqoba’s friends ex” amahle:” really?” me:” yep” amahle:” interesting, anyway lets go inside” we went back inside, manqoba:” where have you been?” me:” I needed some air” amahle:” she was with tracy” manqoba:” tracy?” amahle looked at me then back at manqoba, amahle:” yes Tracy, do you know her?” he cleared his throat, manqoba:” well yes” amahle:” how do you know her?” me:” amahle” amahle:” I need to know, next thing you hear is she is his ex” manqoba looked really uncomfortable and if it wasn’t for the waiters bringing us our meal, I don’t even want to think how far amahle was prepared to go with her questions. We had our chicken fillet, brown rice with black pepper sauce and vegetables. When dessert came I was too full to indulge in the ice cream trifle treat, I opted to just seat and watch other kids enjoying their dessert and not to mention my thoughts which ventured off a few times wondering where scelo could be. I was secretly hoping to see him; I didn’t care much about talking to him. “ands, is it ok if we leave now?” me:” yes its fine” amahle:” ok, babes we can go now” we got up and were about to leave when my eye caught Tracy from across the room, she had her arm around a very dark handsome guy that I was so longing to see. I felt hurt seeing them like that, I don’t know why. Amahle must have seen what I saw, because she held my hand “Ands lets go” it was only then that I realised that I had come to a complete halt. Scelo and Tracy were speaking to a other guests and they looked really good together. The one eyed green monster was out playing on the mary-go-round, it was the first time I ever felt that way and it’s a feeling I didn’t like going through. After recovering from the minor shock, we walked out…
#15
When we got to the foyer, I so badly wanted to run to manqoba’s car. I needed to get away from that place but fate had another thing up its sleeve. “manqoba” that was no doubt scelo calling out to his friend. He stopped causing amahle and I to stop as well. Him and Tracy walked towards us, I wanted to disappear, I couldn’t look at them in the eye, but most importantly I needed a strong drink. Scelo:” I didn’t know you had two dates? You dawg you” manqoba:” yeah that’s how I roll” scelo:” andiswa good to see you sober” me:” good to see you with your ego” scelo:” amahle” amahle:” hi” scelo:” where are my manners, ladies this is…” tracy:” we’ve already met” scelo raised his eyebrow looking at us, scelo:” really?” tracy:” yes, you seem worried about this” scelo:” no, I’m not” truth be told he seemed really nervous about the revelation or maybe we were reading too much into an innocent situation. Scelo:” where are you off to now?” manqoba:” my place” scelo:” are you first going to drop andiswa at res?” manqoba:” no, we are all going to my place” scelo:” what? You can’t” scelo uttered those words without thinking straight and he realised that when he saw all 4 of us staring at him. tracy:” why not?” scelo:” there are so many reasons” tracy:” name one” scelo:” where will andiswa sleep?” manqoba:” in the spare bedroom? Listen scelo not that its anything that should concern you. andy and mahle will spend the weekend at my place, the sleeping arrangements will depend entirely on our mood” scelo:” I hear you, have a great evening. I will call you tomorrow” manqoba:” it was great to see you Tracy” tracy:” same here” we all walked out into the parking bays and respective cars. Manqoba pulled out of the parking and we left, manqoba:” are you still doubting scelo’s feelings for you?” me:” yes” manqoba:” if my calculations are correct, he will come by my place later.” amahle:” he really does look like he likes you my friend” manqoba:” otherwise, what do you need for the evening?” amahle:” Ands, do you need anything?” me:” no” amahle:” we are good babes” manqoba:” ok”. It wasn’t long before we reached manqoba’s home.
We got inside the house and amahle knew her way around she gave me a tour around the house, including the room that I was to occupy and her night gown for me to wear. We went to the kitchen to get some water manqoba joined us, manqoba:” well I’m off to bed, I’m sure mahle showed you around. Make yourself at home” me:” thanks” amahle:” good night ands, see you in the morning” me:” night you guys and thanks for the evening” they disappeared into the room at the end of the hall. I went to his bar area and made myself a concoction of lime and vodka, the minute I took a sip I felt myself relaxing. I took my concoction to my temporary room, taking small sips until I finished it while undressing and I wore a towel before going to the bathroom to wash my face. I was feeling slightly tipsy already; I made myself another concoction and returned to my temporary room. I finished my drink, now I was really tipsy and I tried falling asleep but I kept tossing and turning for the longest time ever. This lasted well until there was a light knock on my door, I ignored it. “ ands its me, are you still awake?” me:” come in” amahle walked in, amahle:” you have a visitor, is it of for him to come in?” me:” if its scelo, I don’t want to see him” scelo:” thanks amahle, I will take it from here” I tried to sit up, amahle:” good night” me:” amahle please don’t leave me alone with him” amahle:” I’m in the next room, if he does anything that you don’t like just call out for me” she walked out closing the door behind her. scelo walked closer towards the bed, scelo:” I don’t like it when you drink” me:” shame” scelo:” I’m serious andiswa, don’t let alcohol become the centre of your life” me:” whatever, what are you doing here anyway? You should be with tracy” scelo:” I don’t know what she might have told you, but tracy and I are just friends” me:” what are you doing here?” scelo:” I’m here to see you” his voice was softer, sexier even. He took off his shoes and climbed on the bed facing me. scelo:” why do you do this to yourself? Please stop drinking”…
#16
Me:” don’t try to change me, I’m not even in your life” scelo:” I want you in my life that’s why I need you to stop” me:” I will stop when I want too and plus its not like I drink everyday” scelo:” the problem is the few times that I have seen you, you were drunk. A few hours ago you were sober and now” me:” I’m not drunk, anyway I need to sleep” the more he spoke, the more irritated I became. Me:” scelo please leave I need to sleep” scelo:” andiswa” me:” please leave” scelo:” andiswa i need to tell you something” me:” if its anything along the line on my drinking habit, please save your breath” he sighed. Scelo:” I like you” me:” good for you” he sighed, scelo:” I would like to take you out tomorrow?” me:’ I have plans for tomorrow” scelo:” what about Sunday at noon?” me:” I will be at church” scelo:” Sunday evening?” me:” I have to prepare for Monday” scelo:” you are kidding me” me:” ha ha ha, I’m glad you find humour in it.” our eyes were locked on each other, scelo:” I want to kiss you” me:” why don’t you” scelo:” I don’t want to ruin a possibly good thing and I don’t trust myself with you” me:” kiss me” scelo:” what if I want more than a kiss, what then?” me:” we will cross that bridge when we get there, kiss me” scelo:” andiswa don’t” I reached out for him, he closed his eyes when our lips met briefly for a feather soft kiss. I took my previous sitting position a few inches away from him, his eyes still closed then finally he opened them. Looking at me blazing with desire to have more, more of something that I wasn’t entirely experienced in. he moved closer towards me, had his hands cup my face and our lips met. This time longer than before, I felt like I was walking on cloud nine. That kiss was everything and more than I ever hoped for in a kiss. I was starting to feel excited the more the intense the kiss became, I wanted more of everything. His tongue, his lips, and his touch in fact every single bit of him.  I leaned backwards and he followed laying me down gently, he kissed my neck and boy oh boy what a feeling. I felt I was ready for him to make love to me; he got off the bed and stripped down to his briefs. Before joining me in bed and we continued kissing and caressing, scelo:” I want you” me:” take me” scelo:” no, not here” me:” but I want you to” scelo:” I know but I want to have you in my home, not at my friend’s house” I don’t think I have ever felt so frustrated in my life. Scelo:” let’s take things easy” to a certain extent I understood what he meant. We kissed some more before cuddling until we both fell asleep.
In the morning I woke up in his arms, I got out of bed and went to freshen up before going to the kitchen for some water. Amahle joined me a while later, amahle:” good morning” me:” morning” amahle:” hope you slept well, where is scelo? I didn’t hear him leave” me:” he is asleep” amahle:” does that mean you did the…” me:” no, we just kissed” amahle:” I’m so happy, finally you let go. it’s the first step” me:” I think I like him” amahle:” I know you do, I’ve always known” “good morning ladies” we turned to see scelo standing on the entrance of the kitchen. I started blushing, amahle:” morning, let me leave you two alone” she walked out and scelo moved closer towards me, scelo:” why did you leave me alone in bed?” me:” I needed some water” scelo:” ok” he came even closer giving me a tight hug that left me breathless. Scelo:” please give us a chance” me:” we are two totally opposite individuals and plus I’m not sure if I’m ready to replace my concoction with you” scelo:” don’t replace it, rather have a controlled small amount of both and see which one will come out victorious at the end of the day” before I could answer him his phone rang and he answered it while I walked out and went back to the guest room that we occupied. I made the bed and took a bath, I found scelo sitting on the bed when I returned. Scelo:” I have to go, please think about what I said” me:” ok” he got up and gave me an earth  shattering kiss before walking out and leaving me wanting more and more of him. I got dressed; I didn’t even stay for breakfast. amahle and her man were locked in their room, so I left without disturbing them and went to res…
#17
Weeks went by after that day and Scelo was nowhere to be seen and before I knew it we were writing our final exams. The drinking had taken a back seat until I was done with my exams; jess was back at res. Scelo’s disappearance hurt me to the core, at least if he told me what was keeping him so busy I wouldn’t have developed the hatred that I had for him. My girls were still happy with their men, everything was working out for them but when it came to me, nothing made much sense except my vodka concoction. The morning of my last exam paper, I had only had an hour of sleep, spent the entire evening with the guys studying. I was nervous and excited at the same time thinking about the endless possibilities that lay ahead. As soon as my alarm clock went off at 06:00 I woke up and had a long shower before having some cereal while going over my work one last time. At 07:00 I made my way to the exam venue, I felt my phone vibrate from my back pocket. I took it out; it was a text from an unknown number, which read:
‘HEY, HOPE YOU ARE READY FOR YOUR LAST PAPER. REMEMBER THAT YOU HAVE ALL THE RIGHT ANSWERS, BUT THE QUESTIONS COULD BE WRONG. ALL THE BEST MSHAZI AND I HOPE TO SEE YOU THIS EVENING, REGARDS, SK’
I tried to think very hard who this SK person could be, but I wasn’t winning. At the end I decided to call him/her. I listened while the phone rang unanswered until I threw in the towel and let the matter rest. I got to the venue and Eneil and the guys were already there, we made small talks while waiting for the invigilators to give us permission to enter and that he did. Eneil:” this is it” Lesley:” yeah good luck guys” sphe:” I don’t need luck, I did my part now watch and learn as the master goes in as a student and comes out as an engineer” eneil:” that’s the spirit boi” they bumped fists and we went to our respective seats.  30 minutes later we started writing and 3 hours later we were done, I felt good about that paper as I left the venue and went to my room for some sleep.  I switched on my phone the minute I stepped into my room, I had a voice message. I dialled the retrieval number and listened closely to it. “Hey andiswa it’s me…” the minute I heard his voice my heart started beating fast “… I need to see you. In fact we need to talk. Please call me when you get this” I replayed that message over and over again before finally calling him. I was still angry at scelo but somehow I found myself drawn to him. “andiswa” me:” hi” scelo:” hello, how are you?” me:” I’m well thanks and you?” scelo:” I’m good thanks” silence followed, he cleared his throat. Scelo:” um, how was your exem?” me:” it was ok” scelo:” ok, I hope you don’t mind. I got your number from amahle” me:” not at all” scelo:” when are you going home?” me:” within the next three or so weeks” scelo:” ok, when can I see you?” me:” I don’t know” scelo:” what are you doing now?” me:” nothing” scelo:” can I come to see you now?” me:” I don’t see why not” scelo:” ok, I will call you when I get there” me:” ok” scelo:” see you than” me:” bye” we hung up and I sat on my bed not sure how I was feeling about finally seeing him after so long. I freshened up and changed from the jeans and sweater I had on to a maxi dress and sandals since it was a typical hot summer day. 30 minutes later he called to say he was at the parking and I left to meet him. There were a couple of cars parked and I didn’t see his, I decided to call him and enquire but he beat me to it. me:” where…” scelo: “come to the white merc with tinted windows” I walked to his car, he got out as I got closer and came to meet me. All the anger that I had towards him disappeared, the minute our eyes met. scelo:” hey” me:” hi” scelo:” you look lovely” me:” thanks” scelo:” can i?” he was making a gesture to hug me and I didn’t hold back, I wanted it so badly too. As he held me tight and I clung onto him, hoping that he never let’s me go.  He released me, scelo:” let’s get in the car” he opened the door for me and I stepped inside…
#18
He also got in and we stared at each other, scelo:” I owe you an apology, for disappearing on you. I had a lot on my plate and every time I wanted to call you something came up. my feelings for you haven’t changed, I still want to be with you. that’s if you will let me” me:” but what if you disappear again, what then?” scelo:” I will make it a point that I let you know well in advance. I will find a way to make time for us no matter how hectic things might get” me:” promise?” scelo:” I promise, now what do you say?” I didn’t answer him, I had watched too many movies and I have seen how to initiate the first move when it comes to a kiss and I that I did. He was more than welcoming, the way that I had missed theses lips it was unbelievable. I had my hand at the back of his head holding him firmly, things were starting to get hot and heavy. His hand was on my back and the other caressing my boob. The space in the car was not allowing some greatness, if I were to have my cookie jar open it would be lovely but not in the car. I felt the urge of letting my hand explore his body, my hand went down to his chest and further down to his stomach then… I stopped. I had reached his manhood; it was rock hard and felt so beautiful. I wanted to see it; this would be the first time I ever got to see such live. Scelo was doing things to me, he was the first man I ever shared a bed with, first man I ever saw half naked and the first man who allowed me to touch him. That to me was an achievement and a half. “let’s stop” he whispered through the kisses he was planting on my neck, me:” I want more” scelo:” not here and definitely not now. later I promise” me:” that’s what you said last time” scelo:” I know, but this time we will and besides I need to get back to the office” me:” ok” scelo:” tonight I’m taking you out to dinner” me:” that would be great” scelo:” I will pick you up at 18:30” me:” great” we kissed one last time before we said our goodbyes and I got out of his car and he drove off.
 
After seeing scelo I couldn’t think of anything besides spending some time with him. By 18:00 I was already dressed and patiently waiting for his call, 18:30 came and went, 19:30 came and went and by that time I was really beginning to lose my cool. At 20:15 I called him, his phone rang unanswered and I tried again and again but nothing. I got really angry, right then my phone rang. I answered it without checking who it was and I was so sure it was scelo calling me back. Me: “hello” “hey, we are having drinks at Lesley room. Do you want to join us?” me:” I’ll pass eneil, I’m really tired” eneil:” ok, can I come over to see you?” me:” no, I’m tired” eneil:” ok fine, have a good night” I hung up before he spoke any further, I tossed my phone on my bed and I undressed and wore my PJ’s. 15 minutes later I was in bed, laying there not knowing what to do with myself. “Ands” I heard amahle call out followed by a knock on my door. I got up and opened the door for her, she stood there with tub of rum and raisins ice cream, jess was also there carrying a cooler bag and a pizza. They were also in their sleep wear, jess:” this is my way of making up for all the time I neglected both of you” she pushed amahle inside and my study desk turned into a bar counter with all the ciders that jess brought. We had our pizza with ciders before having some ice cream, by midnight we were lekker drunk. Me:” scelo stood me up” jess:” again? That man has no chill” me:” guess what? I still like him even after yet another disappointing appointment” amahle:” I’m sure he has a valid reason” jess:” you guys mbuso has a baby mama who is giving me minor migraines” amahle:” no, you’re kidding right” jess:” I kid you not. That woman calls, texts and has recently started stalking us” me:” shame man” jess:” the last time she called me, I told her I will call the cops on her. so for now she is behaving” me:” you like mbuso hey?” jess:” girl I love that man, baby mama or not. I’m not letting him go”…
#19
Amahle:” good for you jess, manqoba and I are doing well and I plan to keep it that way. there is no drama there but most importantly he always makes time for me no matter how busy he gets” that right there made me so sad, how I wished I had a man who loved me the way mbuso loved jess and made time for me like manqoba did for amahle. I was really happy for my friends but I also wanted a small piece of the pie, even if it was just crumbs they would be better than washing the dishes without having had the opportunity to taste the meal. I falling silent was enough for my friends to realise how sad I was and having them look at me with the ‘arg shame’ expression on their face made me even sadder and I silently started crying. Amahle:” don’t worry Ands you will find a good man soon” jess:” but I thought she likes that scelo guy” me:” I do, a lot but I guess he doesn’t feel the same way about me” amahle:” if what he tells manqoba is anything to go by, he likes you too. Whenever manqoba shares what he had told him, it leaves me thinking that he does not only like you but loves you whole heartedly” me:” but that is just too hard to believe especially since he does these disappearing acts” jess:” I’ve never met the guy and I’m already hating on him” amahle:” he is really a great guy, I just think he is going through some stuff” me:” stuff or not, a call or text would be welcomed” I cried until I felt better, I’m not sure whether it was me or the alcohol in my system crying but it felt good nonetheless.
It had been a while since we had some time with each other and I thoroughly enjoyed it. After hours of chatting, we fell asleep only to wake up in the morning when jess’s phone was ringing none stop. I used that opportunity to go to the bathroom to relieve my full bladder. When I got back to my room jess was still on her phone, amahle was fast asleep. I checked my phone for anything from scelo but there was nothing. I decided there and then to delete his number and to get over our 5 seconds relationship, when jess was done with her call she sighed before getting off the bed and stretching herself. Jess:” morning” me:” morning” jess:” I have to go, mbuso will be here for me in an hours’ time” me:” it’s cool, thank you for last night” jess:” that’s what friend are for. If you need anything call me ok” me:” ok” she wore her shoes and left leaving behind her cooler bag.
I went back to sleep and amahle and I woke up 2 hours later. She also left for her room and I went to shower. When I got back I had a missed call from amahle and I called her back. Amahle:” what are your plans for the evening?” me:” nothing, why?” amahle:” manqoba is having a few friends over and he has invited us. who knows maybe you will see scelo there” me:” I’m done with him, whether he is there or not. I don’t care” amahle:” so what do you say” me:” I’m down with it” amahle:” good, he will be here for us at 16:30” me:” cool” amahle:” later then” me:” bye” we hung up. Time flew after that and before long it was time to leave. 16:30 on the dot he was at the parking.
We first went for some shopping before going to his home, there were already a few of his friends there, handsome guys if I may add. It wasn’t long before the house was packed; scelo was nowhere in sight and that made me happy. Most of the guys were there with their girlfriends, lone wolves like I found comfort in the booze and good company. After some time in the lounge watching soundless images on the telly, I decided to go outside. There were couples every corner I turned; I ended up sitting at the edge of the pool thinking about how bored I was. “Hey you seem far away” I look up, one of manqoba’s handsome buddies stood beside where I was seated. Me:” that’s because I am” “can I join you” me:” sure” “I’m Given, by the way” me:” andiswa” given:” nice to meet you” me:” likewise” given:” you look familiar, it’s like I’ve seen you somewhere before” me:” I’ve never seen you before”…
#20
Given:” if you say so, otherwise how is your evening so far?” me:” its ok I guess” given:” are things ok with the boyfriend?” me:” what?” given:” you look like you’ve been disappointed by your boyfriend” me:” you look like you’ve been disappointed by your girlfriend” given:” you are avoiding my question?” me:” I don’t see a reason why I should answer you” given:” so who is he” me:” that’s none…” given:” of my business, I know. I’m just trying to make a conversation” me:” well don’t” he kept quiet and sat down beside me with no further words shared amongst us. given:” you are beautiful” me:” thanks” silence followed again. I was really proud of myself because for one I was not drinking my evening away, I still had in my hand the cider that I got when we arrived at Man Q’s place 2 and a half hours earlier. Given:” can I get you another drink?” me:” yeah sure” he got up and disappeared into the house and returned a while later with a refreshing glass of a concoction. The drink was so good that I gulped it down within minutes. That is pretty much as far as my memory served me. Until I felt someone shaking me vigorously and I could hear voices from afar “ands wake up” “manqoba lets take her to the hospital” “amahle stop panicking she will wake up” “what if she doesn’t? what will I tell her parents and plus she needs to be examined after what happened” “fine lets go” I drifted off again waking up some time later but my eye lids felt too heavy to open. This time it was quiet, the only noise I heard was that of a beeping sound. I fell asleep again, while I was asleep I relived the events of the party from our arrival to the time Given joined me at the pool, but nothing after that.
I finally managed to open my eyes when I felt someone touching my arm, a nice elderly lady wearing a white and navy outfit looked at me and smiled. “welcome back to reality Ms Nzuza” me:” where am i?” “you are at the hospital, you friends brought you in yesterday” me:” can I get some water please” this time I was much more aware of my surroundings, I was in hospital for what reason I was yet to find out. The nurse poured me a glass of water and helped me to drink it. nurse:” do you know what happened to you?” me:” no” nurse:” poor child, the doctor will be here to see you soon” me:” thank you, do you perhaps know where my phone is?” nurse:” I don’t know dear” she smiled and walked out.
I lay on my hospital bed, dehydrated, hungry and exhausted to the max. it wasn’t long until a doctor came to see me. “ Hello Ms Nzuza, I’m Dr Hunter and this is my colleague Dr Mnguni ” me:” hi” Dr Hunter:” how are you feeling?” me:” I’m tired” Dr hunter:” that’s understandable, do you know how you got here?” me:” no” Dr Hunter:” ok, what is the last thing you remember” me:” I was at my friends boyfriends place for a house party and one of his friends offered me a drink” Dr Hunter:” do you know what was in that drink” me:” not really” Dr Hunter:” ok, do you remember anything else?” me: “no” Dr Mnguni:” after being brought in yesterday and having heard your friend’s suspicion of you being sexually violated, we examined you and indeed there was penetration and some traces of semen found on you” I felt my chest closing in, I couldn’t breathe properly and at the same time tears were threatening to come out. Dr Mnguni:” we suspect that your drink was spiked and that will only be confirmed once we have your blood test results back from the lab. In the meantime, you will need to start your PEP treatment as soon as possible” I just cried I couldn’t hold the tears any longer. Dr Hunter:” we have organised some counselling sessions for you to help you come to terms with what happened. Do you have any questions?” I shook my head no, Dr Mnguni:” I cannot stress the importance of going for counselling enough, please attend those sessions” I nodded and they left.  I cried some more when I was alone and I felt cheap, like damaged goods, worthless and really filthy…
#21
When I left home after the mid-year break I was determined to be deflowered but never like this. This person has robbed me the opportunity to decide on the mood, setting and person who I wanted to be my first. He robbed me an opportunity that I will never have again and no amount of counselling can bring that back. When it was visiting hour amahle and jess came to visit with their men on their side, they brought along some of my things and phone. amahle:” hey Ands how are you feeling?” me:” ok I guess” amahle:” I know exactly what you are going through. I’ve been there remember” oh yeah, I had almost forgotten how she was repeatedly raped and beaten by sabelo and looking at her all happy and living her life to the fullest one could never have imagined that she once went through this. jess:” do you know who did this to you?” I shook my head, manqoba:” andy think carefully” me:” I don’t remember anything except for the drink your friend Given gave me” manqoba:” given?” me:” yes” manqoba:” I don’t have a friend named given, this includes acquaintances” amahle:” what exactly are you trying to say?”  manqoba:” I will ask all my friends who were there if they know anyone by the name of Given. I suspect that he’s friends with one of my friends. I really am sorry that this had to happen at my place and I didn’t do anything to protect you” me:” its fine” jess tried to force me to eat but I couldn’t eat, they stayed with me until they had to leave.
 
I slept throughout the afternoon well into the evening; I took a bath and tried to have an apple from the fruits the amahle and the crew brought for me but I couldn’t finish it. I ended up lying down and staring at the ceiling. “hey your brother is here to see you” the minute the nurse said that I wondered how Mpho could have found out, let alone having him drive from Bloemfontein to Durban just to see me. I sat up straight while wondering whether he told our parents or not, but when I looked ahead. The gentleman beside the nurse wasn’t my brother, in fact he was nothing of mine and I didn’t want him anywhere near me. Nurse:” let me leave you alone” she walked off leaving me with scelo. “manqoba told me what happened. How are you feeling?” I didn’t have the energy to answer him; I gave him a dead stare. “I know I messed up and had I kept my promise you wouldn’t be here. I’m sorry andiswa. Now please say something” he came closer and held my hand. I wanted to speak but I didn’t know what to say, words failed me and remaining quiet was better than rumbling something that be of no significance. Scelo: “I hope you don’t mind, I told the nurse that I was your brother. I wanted to see you so badly” me:” oh” scelo:” I would do just about anything to have you smile for me” me:” good luck” we both kept quiet after that. scelo:” andiswa” me:” mmm” scelo:” I l…” me:” don’t, leave instead” scelo:” don’t do this andiswa” me:” I need to rest scelo” scelo:” it’s the first time I hear you calling out my name” I ignored him. scelo:” if you need anything please call me” me:” good night” I lay down and pulled the bed cover over my head. I could still feel his presence. Scelo:” I will see you tomorrow” I didn’t respond, he waited away before he left.
The following day I was discharged, manqoba offered to settle my hospital bill which we found out it was already settled. I had a feeling scelo was behind it but I didn’t have the energy to ask him. I went for counselling twice a week leading up to the 3 weeks that I had before going back home. I spent most of my days in my room, sleeping, crying or reading. Amahle and jess had exhausted all avenues to make me feel better, in the end they gave me the space that I needed. scelo called every day but I ignored his calls, I was expecting him to give up but he didn’t…
#22
Our day of departure arrived, I couldn’t wait to get away from Durban but at the same time I didn’t really want to be at home. Amahle’s dad arrived for us, we helped him pack all our belongings in the car (twin cab) and when we were done it was time to go. I made so many memories in that institution and looking at the campus buildings and grounds as we left, felt like I was losing a big part of myself. Most of the time on the road was spent with me snoring away with no shame whatsoever. Jess and Amahle were on their phones obviously texting their boyfriends, amahle’s dad was singing along to the maskandi tunes that were booming from the stereo.
Finally we reached home; I was the first to be dropped off. Owethu was home and she helped me carry my bags inside as amahle’s dad drove off. I didn’t even unpack, I took a long bath and went to join owethu who was eating ice cream in the lounge. Owethu:” so how was Durban?” me:” good, and Pretoria?” owethu:” fabulous, I just miss my man” me:” you have a boyfriend?” owethu:” of course I do, don’t act as if you don’t” I ignored her. a while later I got up and went to prepare supper, my mum got back from work. She was excited to see me and have me home, we had our meal and after some time of catching up we went to bed. A few days later my last supply of the PEP treatment was finished, I had an acne outbreak as a side effect of the treatment but otherwise I was glad it was over. Being home was very depressing, spent most of my days in my room. Scelo had finally given up on getting a hold of me and that is exactly what I wanted.
The festive season came and went without much change. I decided to go and visit my dad before the new year. On the second day of my stay in the late hours of the afternoon, I was busy doing my nails when I received a call from amahle. Me:” hey” amahle:” hi, are you home?” me:” yes, at my dad’s” amahle:” will he be ok if you come out for a few minutes” me:” I’m sure he won’t mind” amahle:” ok, see you shortly” I went to my dad who was in the lounge reading a newspaper, me:” hey dad” dad:” hi” me:”  can I go out for a few minutes to amahle” dad:” is she outside?” me:” not yet, she is on her way” dad:” ok, tell her I said hi” me:” thanks will do” I got up and went to sis’ Nelly in the kitchen. me:” you really know your way around the kitchen hey” nelly:” I try” me:” i will see you shortly, I’m going outside to see amahle” nelly:” ok” I was feeling a bit thirsty , I drank some water and while rinsing the glass amahle sent me a text that she was already outside. I went outside; she got out of the back passenger seat of the car as I approached the gate.  The car had tinted windows that made it had to see who she was with. Me:” that was quick” amahle:” I know hey” we shared a hug. Me:” your folks bought a new car?” amahle:” no silly, its manqoba’s” me:” wow, he really loves you hey. To drive 4+ hours just to see you” amahle:” I wish that was true” me:” what do you mean” amahle:” let’s go to the car you’ll see” we got to the car, amahle:” please get in the car for a drive around the block” I looked at her and I knew she was up to no good, amahle:” ands please” she opened the door for me and I stepped in and she did the same and there he was smiling faintly at me. me:” hello’s” manqoba:” hi andy, how are you?” me:” I’m good” scelo didn’t say anything at all. Amahle:” babes can we go for some ice cream” manqoba:” sure, I need directions though” while amahle was giving him directions to the mall, I was lost in thought on what scelo was doing here and his constant glances at me, were making me feel uneasy. We got to the mall and amahle and manqoba got out of the car so quick that I missed their sudden exit. Scelo got out from the front and joined me at the back.  Scelo:” hey” me:” hi, what are you doing here?” scelo:” to see you. why have you been ignoring my calls?” me:” cause I don’t have anything to say to you” scelo:” but I have plenty. I know you are still mad at me, I am really sorry” me:” ok” scelo:” I need you to talk to me”…
#23
Me:” I am” scelo:” not the way that I want you to. I want to know how you feel, the pain, anger, disappointment and the possibility of us. I need to know” me:” I don’t know what exactly it is that you want from me, but i was angry not at you but at myself for allowing such to happen to me. I let myself down by falling for a guy who was not that into me…” scelo:” andiswa that’s not…” me:” please let me finish. The worst part about this is that I agreed to go to that party because I was secretly hoping you will be there, but instead I was raped by some random stranger that has vanished into thin air. Everything that has happened to me I brought it on upon myself and I don’t blame you. I just need to know one thing though, why are you here?” scelo:” honestly?” me:” honestly” scelo:” I’m here for you, I love you andiswa” me:” no you don’t, what is there to love?” scelo:” everything” he moved closer towards me and wrapped his arms around me, scelo:” please give us another chance” me:” I can’t, I want to find myself first before I commit myself to anyone” scelo:” ok fair enough, but will you not shut me out please” me:” I won’t” scelo:” promise?’ me:” yes” we shared a very intimate hug before releasing me and kissing my forehead. Amahle and manqoba returned, we remained at the mall’s parking area until my dad called me to get home. I won’t lie and say that it wasn’t good to see scelo because it was. I even slept better that evening.
Scelo and manqoba went back to Durban that evening and as promised we kept in touch well into the New Year and he even helped me look for a place to stay when I had to start with my internship. Jess stayed with mbuso and amahle with manqoba, but all in all our adult lives began. Six months later I was well settled at my place and ready to mingle again, this time around I was extra careful, I took no drinks from strangers nor did I leave my drink unattended too. The girls and I met for drinks every Friday evening and we would party up and it wasn’t long before my drinking got slightly out of hand and that happened right after scelo and I had a fall out on my chosen lifestyle. Besides that I had developed the mother of all crushes on one of the guys who worked at the HR department at work. Trevor gave me goose bumps on my goose bumps every time he looked at me and the fact that he preferred to call me Belinda instead of Andiswa or Andy like everybody else made me feel special. Whenever we ran into each other he always took some time to talk to me. He was tall and unlike scelo who was dark, he was light and unlike scelo again the gym wasn’t his buddy but his body was ok, with a little cooler box developing to hide his six pack. The brother was handsome and he knew it, but unlike most handsome men I knew he wasn’t much of a ladies man.
One Friday after lunch, I was helping my mentor Thapiso compile a report when we were interrupted by a knock on the door. Thapiso:” enter” Trevor poked his head in, trevor:” just wanted to invite the two of you to my party this evening” Thapiso:” thanks but I won’t be able to make it, next time maybe” Trevor:” yeah sure, what about you Belinda?” me:” you can count me in” amahle and jess had excused themselves from us meeting that Friday, so instead of drinking alone why not follow the crowd. Trevor:” see you there, I will text you my address” I smiled and nodded and he closed the door. Thapiso:” you are also smitten by trev, I don’t know what you ladies see in him” me:” the same thing that you see in your wife” thapiso:” point well made” we finished the report and left the office. I got home had a bath and prepared for my night out, i relied on meter taxi’s because I was still in the process of buying a car and that was something I was planning to do after finishing the renovations that mpho and I were doing home. Trevor sent me the directions and I left for Glenwood, I got there and the place was packed. The whole atmosphere was relaxing and our night began and a good time is what I had and I used that opportunity to get to know trevor better…
#24
By the end of that evening, I had realised that we had a lot of things in common. So we made a date to go clubbing the following day and those arrangements became a religious thing. Whenever the girls had other plans, Trevor and I would go out and paint Durban lime green. The crush that I had for him was replaced by brotherly feelings and nothing more or less. One Saturday evening we planned to go clubbing as per norm, since he had a car he came over to my place to fetch me and off to the club we went. Because he was friends with the club owner we had unlimited excess to the VIP area. Most of his friends thought that he and I were an item, we were just comfortable with each other. We had a few drinks and i went to the restroom for freshen up, I was already feeling a little tipsy. While there my phone rang, I ignored it but the caller was persistent that I ended up answering it. me:” yes” “ands it’s me, where are you?” me:” I’m out having some fun” amahle:” can we fetch you from wherever you are?” me:” is it really that important?” amahle:” yes” I sighed and gave her the directions before hanging up. I went back to Trevor and his buddy and told them I had to go and it wasn’t long before amahle and manqoba arrived for me.
I won’t lie and say I wasn’t irritated by their sudden appearance which totally ruined my perfect evening but I was a bit curious as to what was going on. I got to the car and we drove off. me:” so what’s going on?” manqoba:” its scelo” me:” wait a minute, you ruined my evening because of scelo?” amahle:” well yes” me:” you do remember that scelo and I are not on speaking terms” amahle:” I am well aware of that and I am also aware what was the root of your disagreement. Ands I love you but you need to calm the drinking and clubbing down a bit” me:” I left my mum at home so please don’t start” amahle:” I’m saying this because I care about you” me:” thanks but can you just allow me to live my life the way that I want to. please” amahle:” just be careful, I don’t want a repetition of what happened at manqoba’s place” me:” whatever” we all kept quiet the rest of the way to scelo’s house. When manqoba pulled up on his driveway and him and amahle got out of the car, I remained inside. Amahle:” what is it now?” me:” can someone tell me why I was brought here again?” manqoba:” scelo isn’t feeling well; I just thought it would be a great idea for you to visit him. maybe it will cheer him up” me:” I don’t know what gave you the idea that I might cheer him up. We can’t stand each other. In fact, seeing me might cause him to fall sick even further” amahle:” aarg andiswa you can be so irritating at times, just get out of the car. we will see him then take you back to the stupid club” me:” now you are talking and people let’s make this as quickly as we can. 5 minutes tops” I got out of the car and amahle had a very annoyed look on her face and I didn’t give the amazon that time. I walked behind them and manqoba knocked on the door and a pretty lady opened the door. I suddenly got irritated being there after seeing his girlfriend. “hi, come in” manqoba:” Zakithi this is my girlfriend amahle and our mutual friend andiswa” she smiled at us zakithi:” I’m pleased to meet you both” amahle:” so are we” I gave her a fake smile and I didn’t speak at all. Zakithi:” please come in, he is in his room. I doubt he will be able to come this side especially since he’s just taken his meds” manqoba:” we will see him in his room then” she led the way and we followed. She knocked once on the door then opened it, zakithi:” hey you have visitors” she opened the door wider and one after the other we walked. I was the last one to enter, his eyes remained on me, assessing me from head to toe and it was only then I became aware of my skimpy short dress. Zakithi:” let me leave you to chat” she walked out closing the door behind her. Manqoba:” so how are you feeling?” scelo:” much better thanks” his eyes were piercing through me and I was feeling really uncomfortable with every passing second. Manqoba:” I’m glad you are feeling better” scelo:” thank you for coming to see me and bringing the ladies along”…
#25
Manqoba:” I thought you could use with a bit of sunshine this evening” scelo smiled, his eyes moved from me to amahle, scelo:” it’s lovely to see you again amahle” amahle:” you too” scelo:” hello andiswa” me:” hi” I felt so shy and vulnerable. Scelo:” you look…” he paused cleared his throat and continued “…lovely this evening.” Me:” thanks” I tried my best not to look at him in the eye. Scelo:” can I please speak to Andiswa” we all looked at him, scelo:” in private” manqoba:” oh ok, we will be in the lounge” amahle, winked at me as they walked out. I remained standing in the middle of his bedroom. Scelo:” will you please come and seat next to me” I raised my eyebrow, scelo:” please” me:” I don’t want to cause any trouble between you and your girlfriend” I said it in an annoyed tone, he chuckled. scelo:” zakithi is my cousin not girlfriend. Now please come here” I reluctantly walked up to his bed and sat beside him. my dress went further up revealing more flesh on my thighs, why is it only now that I’m realising how inappropriately dressed I am. scelo:” thank you for coming” I didn’t respond, I was too busy trying to pull my dress down. Scelo:” how have you been?” me:” the same as before” scelo:” ever thought of me” me:” always” scelo:” me too” we kept quiet. Me:” what’s wrong with you?” scelo:” I had an allergy reaction and flu at the same time” me:” oh at least you are better now” scelo:” yeah” the awkward silence followed, scelo:” how is work?” me:” it’s great. How are things on your side?” scelo:” I’ve been encountered an equal amount of good and bad business decisions but overall it’s a learning curve that is worthwhile.” Me:” I’m glad” scelo:” can I ask you a favour?” me:” sure” scelo:” will you please sleep over” my facial expression might have showed him how surprised I was at his request, scelo:” listen, I’ve really missed you. so I just thought you might be willing to spend some time with me catching up” I took a deep breath and slowly exhaled, scelo:” please say yes” weighing my options, I really didn’t have any other thing to do beside catch up on some wine, tequila, vodka and cranberry concoction and some weed. Me:” I will need clothes to change into” scelo:” thank you, now let me let our friends that they can leave if they want to” I got up but he held my hand, stroking it gently. I looked at our hands then at him and our eyes met, there was a sparkle in his eyes and warmth. He smiled and I smiled back, a tingling feeling came over my body, butterflies flickered in my stomach. It was a wonderful feeling, a feeling that I wasn’t really familiar with, that I’ve experience every time I felt his touch. This was a feeling that I didn’t want to end but it had too. He released my hand; I stood there motionless suffering from temporary memory loss before remembering what it was I was going to do. I pulled down my dress then I strolled out and went to the lounge where Amahle and manqoba were being entertained by Zakithi.  Amahle:” Ands is everything ok?” zakithi and manqoba quickly stopped their conversation and looked at me. me:” I’m fine” amahle:” I’m just checking” me:” scelo has asked me to sleep over” manqoba:” did he now?” amahle gave him a playful push, me:” yes manqoba he did.” Amahle:” please tell me you agreed” I nodded, zakithi had a huge grin on her face bigger than the one amahle had. Manqba:” in that case we are heading home let me see him first” he got up and went to scelo. Zakithi:” you have no idea how happy this makes me. I will use this opportunity to go visit my man” she quickly let the room. Amahle:” please use your time with him wisely but most importantly give yourself the chance to love him” me:” we are just going to play catch up that’s all” amahle:” I’m just saying, have an open mind about this” “come baby lets go, take care andiswa and behave” amahle got up and went to her man and they left. I sat in the lounge a bit still wondering what to do with myself when zakithi appeared with her overnight bag, “see you tomorrow” she said dashing out of the door. I locked the front door and went to check the back; I took off my shoes and went to join scelo in his bedroom. The alcohol was slowly getting out of my system and in my near sober state I wasn’t sure what was expected of me, I turned the door knob opening his bedroom door and he looked up and smiled at me and I knew that love, lived here…
#26
I stood at the door for a while; even at his weakest and sickly state he was still hotter than fire. Scelo:” how long are you planning to stand there?” me:” until I figure out what is expected of me” scelo:” nothing is expected of you, so relax” me:” I want to bath but I don’t have anything to wear afterwards” scelo:” you can wear my pj’s” me:” ok, I will be back shortly” I went to the bathroom for a quick bath and I returned with a towel wrapped around my body a while later. I was expecting him to be fast asleep when I returned, but instead he was reading a book. He looked up when I walked in, me:” where can I find your pj’s?” I was feeling all kinds of coyness when he looked at me. scelo:” first closet, second shelf” me:” thanks” I walked to the closet and slowly opened it, my eyes dotted over his casual clothes that were neatly hanged there. Everything was in its place; it was the first organised closet I’ve ever seen. I could learn a thing or two from him. I took out a pj top and I wore it over the towel before loosening it and letting it fall on my feet. I picked up the towel, closed the closet and walked out to the bathroom to hang the towel and rinse my mouth with the mouth wash that was in his cosmetic cabinet. I returned to his bedroom but he was no longer in bed nor was he in his room. I walked out in search of him and I found him in the kitchen, me:” why are you out of bed?” scelo:” I want to make us some coffee and according to my family I make a mean cup” me:” oh really” scelo:” yes, now watch as I do my magic” I leaned against the kitchen counter and watched him move around his kitchen until he was done. He came closer to me to hand me my cup, I took a small sip and his family wasn’t lying to him. scelo:” your thoughts” me:” best home-made coffee I’ve ever tasted, I could drink it every day, all day. I just love it” scelo:” and I love you” he closed the little gap that was between us and pressed his body against mine.
He took my cup of coffee from me and placed it on the counter, scelo:” I’m tired of playing this cat and mouse game, I love you and I want to be with you” me:” but scelo…” scelo:” just let me love you” I wanted to be loved just like any other woman, I wanted to be treated to romantic dinners, long walks along the beach. I longed for the identity of being associated with a male figure but most off all I wanted to be wanted, needed even. I knew nothing about relationships and my fears were the only thing keeping me from being great. Scelo:” why are you taking so long to respond” me:” I have a lot to consider” scelo:” I’m not forcing you to be with me, all I want us to do is give each other a chance. Especially because I know we are attracted to each other” me:” I’m scared” scelo:” I know you are and my past behaviour is not doing me much justice, but I need you to trust that I will be here for you and there will not be a recurrence of my past behaviour”. Me:” ok” scelo:” ok, what?” me:” let’s see how far things get” his arms quickly crept around my body and he held me tight, I returned the hug scelo:” you have no idea how happy, you’ve just made me” I so badly wanted to kiss him and waiting for him to initiate the move was taking longer than I hoped for. I pulled my head back until I could clearly see his face, I ran my hands on his cheeks and on my toes and with the aid of my hands our faces come close. Close enough to go for the kill but he pulled his head back, I looked at him puzzled by his action, scelo:” I have influenza love, I don’t want you getting sick on my account” this was the second time he disappointed me, the first being in his car when I so badly wanted to serve him my red velvet cake but he chose not to take it. I looked at him without blinking, hurt and on the verge of breaking down for a kiss. The thirst had me good in a very bad way, he looked at me and I don’t know how or when our lips met but they did and I was lip service ready. His hands ran up and down my body, with every stroke I felt my knees go weaker and weaker and my body responding in ways I wasn’t familiar with but I liked and wanted more…
#27
He pulled back, scelo:” let’s finish our coffee before it gets cold” he showered me with sweet, soft, kisses before stepping a few steps back and picking up our coffee mugs from the counter. Scelo:” after you” me:” where too?” scelo:” bedroom” I switched off the lights and we went to his bedroom. We sat on his bed chatting and enjoying our coffee, the more time we spent talking the less awkward things were between us. In between our chats we kissed and cuddled and this went on until we fell asleep. The following morning I woke up, had a quick shower and returned to his bedroom and found him still asleep. I needed to do something to keep myself busy while waiting for him to wake up, so I went to the kitchen to prepare breakfast. I didn’t have a clue what to prepare, I ended up making a cheese and tomato omelette, bacon and toast served with a cup of coffee. I placed his food on a platter and was about to take it to him when he entered with my ringing phone. He handed me my phone without a single word spoken and walked out. If his facial expression was anything to go by I would say he wasn’t impressed either by the call walking him up or by seeing Trevor’s name flashing on the screen.
Me:” hey” Trevor:” morning, I’m just checking on you” me:” I’m good, thanks” trevor:” great, I was a bit worried about you after you left so suddenly last night” me:” it was a little emergency” trevor:” ok, my friend Simphiwe really liked you. He’s been nagging me for your number since last night. Should I give him?” me:” no, please don’t” Trevor:” ok, but it wouldn’t hurt for you to be seeing someone” me:” listen trev, I have to go” Trevor:” no problem, see you tomorrow” me:” sure, bye” Trevor:” bye” we hung up and I composed my shaken self after the cold shoulder I got and took his food to him, I got to his bedroom and found him lying face up staring at the ceiling. Me:” good morning” scelo:” hey” me:” I made us breakfast” scelo:” thanks” his response was very cold. I placed the platter on the side table and walked out. I was new at this relationship thing and I really had no idea what one does in such situation. Giving him some alone time made sense to me, however I was still faced with the problem of not knowing when would be the right time to talk to him or what to even say to him. All these things made me wish I was single again, being single meant I did me, what was best for me all the time and now with a second person involved I had to find a way to accommodate him into my life. I sat in the kitchen sipping my not so good coffee, scelo:” why are you sitting here alone” me:” I was giving you some space” scelo:” why?” me:” I thought you needed it, since you were being so distant” he placed the platter down and sat beside me, turning the chair so I can face him. scelo:” trevor?” me:” he is my friend and colleague” scelo:” really?” me:” yes, I was with him last night, so he was calling to find out if I’m ok” scelo:” a man and woman can never be friends, he probably has feelings for you or maybe you also have feelings for him?” me:” don’t be silly, trev and I are genuine friends” scelo:” if you say so, just know one thing I’m not comfortable with your friendship. Now let’s eat” I didn’t really have much of an appetite but I ate anyway. After breakfast I washed the dishes while he went to bath then took his meds.
We spent most of the day getting to know each other, as soon as zakithi returned I left for my place. I had a very firm instruction to call when I got home and I did, that call went on until I ran out of airtime, he called me back immediately afterwards and we spoke for over an hour. When I went to bed that evening I had some much joy in my heart I wanted to share it with the rest of the world. I couldn’t believe that I was the one totally smitten with a ridiculous smile making surprise appearances every now and then. Based on our conversations scelo was an amazing guy, nine years my senior but we found we shared similar views on certain things and disagreed on some…
#28
Months went by our relationship blossomed into a primrose, we had our moments where we would argue over my choice lifestyle. I still went clubbing whenever he was out of town or too busy to spend time with me, I still continued my friendship with Trevor even after he stressed time and time again how unhappy he was with our friendship. Our sex life was just pure heaven; it took me two months to be comfortable enough with him to let him have the red velvet cake and oh he gave it to me. He helped me feel comfortable in my own skin and open minded enough to experiment with every position imaginable. Every time we did the dance, I learnt a something new about my body and all the while we made sure we used protection.
On this particular Friday we had planned to spend the entire weekend together. When I left for work that morning, I had already packed all the things that I needed. I went to my place after work, had a bath and before long he came to pick me up. We bought some take away then went to his place, we got there and we made love in the kitchen. It was such an amazing experience that I get excited when I think about it. We moved our party into the bedroom and the fun continued until we were thoroughly burnt out. That day became the first of many that followed with us not using any protection.
Weeks later scelo was out of town as usual, i met up with jess and amahle for some girls’ night out thing. Whenever I had alcohol I would end up smoking weed or cigarettes, this was a bad habit that I so badly wanted to loose. I did just that, I smoked and drank myself senselessly. By the end of the evening I was so drunk that I don’t even remember how I got home. The following morning I woke up not feeling well, my assumption was it was the alcohol I had consumed the previous evening. My head was spinning and my stomach was rumbling, I got out of bed and hurried into the bathroom to vomit. I felt better afterwards; I went back to bed after rinsing my mouth and fell asleep. I woke up in the late hours of the afternoon, still feeling slightly ill. I had a long bath and got out when I heard my phone ringing, I got out of the tub, wrapped a towel around my body and went to attend to my phone. me:” hello” “hey baby, are you home?” me:” yes” scelo:” ok I’ll see you shortly” he hung up. I went back to the bathroom to drain the water and brush my teeth. Minutes later there was a knock on the door, my terrible hang over made it difficult for me to be anything but grumpy. I dragged myself to the door; I opened it still with only a towel on. He scooped me into his arms and gave me the mother of all kisses before releasing me. scelo:” I missed you” me:” I can see” he kissed me on my forehead. Me:” how was your trip?” scelo:” it was ok” we went to my bedroom, I needed to get dressed. He watched me closely as the towel I had on dropped onto the floor. I was busy moisturising my body, his phone rang he took it out of his pocket rejected the call and got off the bed and came to me. He held me at arm’s length before drawing me close for a kiss. He pulled me towards my bed and lay me down with our lips locked and the temperature increasing within the room. He took a step back taking off his T shirt followed by his jeans and brief then joined me again in bed, his hands were all over my body and so were the kisses that he planted that made my entire body quiver. He went down on me, owning me with every bead of sweat that escaped my sweat pours. With just his hands and tongue, I came and one would think I had enough but no I wanted more, I wanted him.  He didn’t give me time to recovery and honestly I didn’t need it, he positioned himself and gently filled me up. I gasped for air as waves of passion moved around my body making my toes curl up, we moved fast and fast as the intensity of the waves of passion increased. I released soft moans which were met by his deep groans; it was a beautiful sound to hear…
#29
Out of all moments my phone chose to ring right at the time when I was close to reaching my destination. It wasn’t far from my reach and the constant ringing was annoying, ” answer it” he whispered while thrusting deeper and deeper within me, “answer it” he reached for my phone and handed it over to me. He stopped moving and pulled out when he saw Trevor’s name flashing on the display screen, the way I so badly wanted to dodge that call. He looked at me as I answered “hello” Trevor:” hey, can I see you this evening?” me:” n…aaahhh” that’s all I managed to say, when scelo took me by surprise tearing me apart. Trevor:” what’s wrong Andy” me:” I ca…” scelo was going all ninja crazy on me, Trevor:” andy?” scelo:” talk to him” I shook my head in disapproval and tossed my phone aside. “aaahhh” I moaned, I was close too close. Scelo:” come on” that was followed by one massive thrust, it was all I needed to crush and he followed and he collapsed on top of me. We were both breathing heavily, scelo rolled off me and lay beside me. scelo:” what did he want?” me:” he wants us to go out” scelo:” and?” me:” that’s all” scelo:” so are you going to meet him?” me:” no” scelo:” I will understand if you want to go” me:” seriously?” scelo:” no, I’m not serious. What makes you think that I will be ok with you going out with another guy for drinks? I’ve told you how unimpressed I am with your drinking habit” me:” scelo don’t start” scelo:” don’t tell me not to start, when will you stop? I love you but the drinking and smoking has to stop” I got annoyed and I off the bed so fast that I had a dizzy spell and I had to sit down to recover. It was then that my urge to vomit started all over again, I rushed to the bathroom. Scelo entered with a glass of water a few moments later. scelo:” whats wrong?” me:” stomach bug I think, we had a spicy meal last night” scelo:” ok, have you had anything to eat?” me:” no” scelo:” I’m going to fix you something, shout if you need anything” me:” ok” he walked out; i rinsed my mouth and cleaned myself up before going back to him.
We spent the entire afternoon and evening indoors, the following morning I woke up with severe abdominal pain, I tried to ignore the pain but it was too much for me. I wasn’t one to have period pains but since I had missed my periods the previous month I figured that the pain was due to that. I got out of bed scelo was still fast asleep, I went to the bathroom ran my bath water and soaked myself in. I the pain just didn’t want to go away, after bathing I took some pain killers to ease the pain but instead I found myself feeling worse and the vomiting urge took over once again. Scelo found me crying in the bathroom after vomiting. The pain was more intense with every passing second, scelo:” what’s wrong?” I couldn’t answer him, I kept crying instead. I had my hands on my stomach and I was rocking back and forth. He got on his feet after assessing me for a while and pulled me up to stand, “let’s go to the hospital” we went to my room he helped me get dressed and he got dressed as well (without bathing) and we left.
Our trip to the hospital seemed long but in the end we reach it. One of the nurses there attended to me, while another was busy with scelo filling in my details. I told her about the abdominal pain, she made me lie down and touching my stomach then ordered me to get a urine sample after asking me when last I had my periods. Being pregnant was the last thing on my mind, I returned after having had a pregnancy test stick and another stick to determine blood traces in my urine and STI’s. She did the diabetes test while waiting for the test results. I almost fell off the examination bed when she told me I was pregnant, she went out of the room as I cried my eyes out. She returned a few minutes later nurse:” i’ve called a doctor and you are going for an ultra sound scan to determine what is wrong with your baby” my baby? Those words were too much to think about…
#30
It wasn’t long and she wheeled me to another room, there was a lady doctor who met us there. “ Miss Nzuza I’m Dr Naude, please lie down over there and lets have you checked out” she smiled, she made small talks while she and the nurse prepared to perform the transvaginal ultrasound. i lay silently sobbing as she inserted the probe, it was cold and uncomfortable. I wasn’t even curious to see what she had discovered. She spoke to the nurse using medical terms, which I wasn’t familiar with, her tone was that of a concerned person. She sounded worried and it was that worry that got me back to reality, I knew something was wrong. Me:” Dr Naude” she turned to face me and gave me a faint smile, Dr Naude:” please give me a second, we are almost done” I patiently waited, Dr Naude:” we are done” the pain was still there and at the pace it was going, it was nowhere near from ending. Dr Naude:” my dear were you aware you were pregnant?” me:” no” Dr Naude:” when did you start experiencing this pain” me:” the past week, I had minor abdominal pain but this morning it became more severe” Dr Naude:” according to the scan, you are 9 weeks pregnant but the foetus didn’t grow and develop past the 7 weeks stage” me:” what does that supposed to mean?” Dr Naude:” due to some reasons not yet known to us your baby died and that is what is making you ill. You need to terminate or remove the foetus from your womb” I didn’t know what to say or think, I was still shocked that I was pregnant. Dr Naude:” we usually provide counselling sessions to assist women to deal with the loss of their unborn child. These sessions occur before and after the termination procedure is done. if its ok with you I would like to book your first counselling session for tomorrow, the second one will be on Tuesday then Wednesday we will do the termination procedure followed by another counselling session and the last one will be on Thursday. Are you ok with that?” I nodded. We had a very lengthy conversation, she did most of the talking, after our conversation she prescribed some pain killers to help ease the pain and I made my way to join scelo who was patiently waiting for me. I composed myself and debated whether or not to tell him what had happened, scelo:” and?” me:” please take me home” scelo:” what did the doctor say is wrong with you?” me:” please take me home”
We drove to my place in total silence, I so badly wanted to tell him but I didn’t know how. For the first time in a very long time I felt like a failure, as much as the doctor assured me that there isn’t an exact cause for a miscarriage and the possibilities are endless to what could have caused it. Me:” scelo” scelo:” yes love” I took a deep breath, me:” never mind” he took a glimpse of me then look at the road ahead. We got to my place and I went to the bathroom, it was slowly starting to sink in that I was carrying a dead foetus that was going to be a beautiful baby. I wept until I developed a headache; scelo occasionally checked if I was ok since I had locked myself inside. I decided not to let him know because I feared his reaction; I feared that he would leave me if I told him. The best thing I thought off was to break up with him before he broke up with me. I got up from the bathroom floor, rinsed my face and went out looking for scelo. He was in the lounge watching the telly. Me:” we need to talk” scelo:” I’m listening” me:” I can’t continue with this relationship” scelo:” what?” me:” you heard me” my voice was shaky but I needed to maintain some form of control over it. Scelo:” why? I thought…” me:” please leave” scelo:” andiswa don’t do this to us” me:” it’s over, just leave” his shock was replaced by anger, scelo:” is this about Trevor?” me:” no, it’s about… just leave” scelo:” just like that?” me:” yes” scelo:” fine” he got up, went to my bedroom then left. I cried the minute I heard the door slam but I consoled myself by thinking about why I had to let him go. I went to the kitchen and made my vodka and cranberry concoction just to ease the pain that I felt inside, from losing my baby to losing the only man I have ever loved, romantically that is…
#31
With the alcohol flowing nicely in my system, I took my phone and sent jess and amahle the same text:
I’M PREGNANT, NO WAIT I WAS PREGNANT. I DIDN’T KNOW AND I LOST THE BABY. ON TOP OF IT ALL THERE IS SCELO AND I BROKE UP. LIFE SUCKS!!!
Within minutes of sending the text, my phone rang. Me:” Jessicaaaa, how nice of you to call me” jess:” andy have you been drinking?” me:” maybe” she hung up. I tossed my phone on the couch, stumbling over my furniture I managed to get to the kitchen for another concoction then took it with to my bedroom, I placed it on the side table and I threw myself on my bed. I had thought that the alcohol was going to help supress the pain that I was feeling but it didn’t, instead I felt like it got amplified. From my bedroom I could hear my phone ringing, I didn’t have the energy to get to the lounge and answer it. I chose to ignore it instead; it wasn’t long until there was a hug banging on the door. I didn’t want any company so I curled up in bed and cried the alcohol out of my system, even when I heard footsteps and voices coming towards my bedroom I didn’t move an inch nor did I fear anything. “Oh ands” no doubt that was amahle; she joined me in bed held me close. I cried harder, louder even or was it the alcohol? Either way I felt it was ok for me to let it all out. Me: “How could I have missed it? I guess God saw what a lousy parent I would make and he decided to take my baby” amahle:” that’s not true” me:” then tell me why is my baby dead?” she didn’t respond but held me tighter. We sat upright and I tried reaching for my glass, I so badly needed a sip. Amahle:” ands don’t, you are hurting yourself even more” right at that moment jess came rushing towards my bed and hugged me, I could hear male voices coming from the lounge. I thought it was probably mbuso and manqoba, the voices came closer and as I looked up at jess scelo walked in. His eyes were red, he walked towards me, jess and amahle quickly got up with amahle taking my cocktail with her. I wanted to call out to her for my drink but quickly decided against it. scelo sat beside me, scelo:” why didn’t you tell me?” me:” where do I begin?” scelo:” come here, why didn’t you tell me” he pulled me close, me:” why are you here?” scelo:” I’m here for you, for us” me:” there is no us, I killed our baby and I don’t know see a reason for you to be here. You should be angry at me, in fact I’m angry at myself” I pulled back scelo:” I don’t blame you and I never will. I just want to be there for you, you need me as much as I need you” me:” I’m fine” scelo:” consuming toxic drinks does not make you fine, you need to learn to deal with you emotions and not let alcohol route” me:” this is why  didn’t want you to know because I knew you would blame it on the alcohol” scelo:” I’m not, all I’m saying is you need to clean up your act” I ignored him and he decided to keep quiet and that is really what I wanted. My friends and their partners stayed with us for an hour or so before leaving. That evening scelo slept over, I was glad to have him around and to share my pain with him.
As advised I went for my counselling sessions leading up to termination and afterwards. Scelo was there with me, comforting me the best way he knew how. I could see that he was also hurting even though he didn’t really voice it out. Weeks went by we grew closer and closer, at one time he even broke down when we spoke about losing our baby. I was slowly changing my lifestyle and I could see that scelo was happy with the progress I was making regarding the drinking, smoking and stuff like that.
8 months later I was in a clean state, hadn’t had a drop of alcohol and I was slowly finding myself and learning to be comfortable with who I was as a young woman, daughter and lover…
#32
So back to today, my ‘feel good’ day Scelo and I are welcoming the birth of our son and our 4th year anniversary. We got married a year after the loss of our baby. I remember the day he proposed very well, we had gone to his mother’s house to visit after he had taken me to meet his family the previous month. That day his mum was extra jolly and she kept saying how happy I made her son. After our lunch I received a text from him simply reading:
I LOVE YOU, MARRY ME
He was seating on a couch across me, I looked up at him blushing and not sure what to make of it, part of me thought he was joking and I found it really hard to believe that he was genuinely proposing to me. He sent another text:
ANDISWA, I’M WAITING
My hand was slightly shaking, scelo:” ma I’ve just asked andiswa to marry me but she doesn’t seem interested” “give her some time to respond, but I think she will answer you if you do it properly” she shouted from the kitchen. He got up from his couch and kneeling between my legs, scelo:” you are to me everything that I could ever ask for and I want to spend my life with you. With that said Mshazi will you please be my wife” “where’s the ring?” his mum chipped in, my emotions where all over the place. Scelo:” I have the ring ma, don’t worry. So what do you say?” me:” yes” scelo:” yes?” me:” yes” scelo:” thank you” his face was glowing the same glow that I saw on our wedding day and now the glow has returned today.
I’m watching him closely as he cradles our son, singing to him and occasionally kissing him. Admiring him affectionately like any loving father would do. I thank God for the wonderful gift that he has given me, a loving and supportive family and a man who has seen me at my worst and has helped me see myself the way that he saw him. My daddy issues (being abandoned) I managed to deal with because of him, my rape issues I am able to speak openly about because of him. He helped me learn to let go of the anger I had towards myself after the loss of our baby. The low self-esteem and self-hate that I had is all gone because of him. All of these things did not happen overnight it took time and he was there with me, holding my hand all the way. He has taught me how to love unconditionally. He has taught me how to laugh at all my mistakes and see the good out of every bad situation. Lastly he has taught me how to live life to the fullest, appreciating the smallest of things, from the warmth of the sun’s rays to the gentle touch of the rain.
“I think Esihle wants his mother now” he smiles at me and gently lays our son into my arms, I nurse him and watches over us affectionately. All the fear that I had of delivering a healthy baby and being a good mother disappeared the minute I laid eyes on my baby “isn’t he just beautiful, this really is isipho esihle (beautiful gift)” with tears in my eyes I look up at my husband and smile “I love you” I say “I love you more” he replies bending over to kiss me…

Third edition

#104
Tragedies have a way to bring family and friends together, I’ve very often heard women saying how they prayed to get the loving partners that they have and some saying they are still praying for a good man to come along their way. I will not lie and say that I didn’t even though I didn’t do it often but the very few times that I had after being told by a friend of a friend that praying for a good man is a thing that I should try and that I did. Along came sanele and he was good to me, in fact I thought he was the man for me until I discovered he was married. I prayed again, in between fully letting go of sanele and finding myself in the process. I met Sandile and I honestly didn’t think much of him, even when I started developing feelings for him I kept praying and not even once did it ever occurred to me that he could be the one that I was praying so hard for. In His time God answered but now I have realised that God did not only give me  good man, he gave me a big bonus an equally good family for me to marry into. The Zuma’s have been there for me throughout all my seasons, when I cry, they cry with me, when I’m happy, they share my happiness with me and even now in my time of anguish they are with me. I wish every woman praying for a good man to pray for an equally good family that he comes from. It makes life so much easier and so worthwhile, the mutual love, support and respect is absolutely astounding. My sister and her family arrived first thing in the morning, and immediately after them my in-laws arrived. My dad was still distant even with Mr Zee around he was not as forthcoming as normal. That was understandable but I had hoped that with family around he would try to be a little easy on himself. We all had breakfast befre heading to the hospital, I had earlier sent my boss an email informing him what had happened and to ask for a few days off and he granted my request and in the process sent my mum his well wishes. When we got to the hospital my mother was awake but she was clearly still a bit in pain and disorientated. She was happy to see all of us by her bed side, my dad was phyisically with us but mentally he was elsewhere. Dad managed to get hold of her doctor who informed him they she would be going to have her surgical treatment the following day. the rest of the day saw us with back and forth visits to the hospital, our family home was pack whether we liked it or not some people had to make way for others. If our husbands weren’t around we would have made a plan and shared a room with each other. my parents home has 4 bedrooms, the main bedroom for my parents, sis’Lindiwe’s room, and the remaining two that used to be mine and Thuli’s respectively. Zah used Thuli’s and I used my own, eventually my zuma clan and I decided to book ourselves at a nearby hotel, this was done to make things easy for ourselves. we had our evening meal at home and we left for the hotel, returning back home for breakfast the following morning. My mum’s surgery was to take place in the morning, so we decided to go for an afternoon visit instead to allow the medical team enough time to finish their work on her before having us crowding and demanding answers to some rhetorical questions. Lord knows how difficult family can be to them (medical personel) at times. After having lunch we went to the hospital and along the passage two of her work colleagues greeted and passed us. when we got to her I was never ready for her to send us off the way that she did. My mum has zero tolerance for pain and unfortunately for her she is allergic to all the strong painkillers. She was in pain and possessed zero tolerance for guest, she didn’t even display a tad bit of excitement to see us. it pained me to see her in so much pain, I wished I could take the pain away. my dad walked out before she even chased us away. he saw her pain and I think he just couldn’t take it, we left the hospital and the medical staff there promised to inform us should anything change. having mum nonku there made things so much easier for me because when we got home, we remained in the car and prayed together. Even when I cried she cried with me, she carried my pain with her and I could never thank the Lord enough for giving me more than I have ever asked for. A second mother who makes me feel like her own flesh and blood. When praying for a Good Man pray for an Equally Good family, that will welcome you as their own and NEVER single you out…
#105
The following morning we went to visit my mum again, she was still in pain but much better than the state she was in the previous day. After our visit Mr and Mrs Zee left for Port Shepston, my dad had to go to meet with his other siblings as well as my aunts fiancé to finalise her funeral arrangement. None of us had had the courage to inform my mum that aunt Deli had passed away and if she were to hear of it I wouldn’t be the bearer of bad news. Thuli’s husband had urgent work matters to deal with so he too left with their boys who had their school quarterly assessments to write. We moved back home since zah and thuli were all about sharing her room. In the afternoon we went to visit my mum again she really was pulling through but complained that she couldn’t fall asleep, she kept reliving the moment of the accident. The hospital had already organised her a trauma therapy session which she was going to be having in the late hours of the afternoon. Things were slowly looking up even though we all knew that things would never be the same again but at least we had each other and we were going to make it through no matter the storm. The days that followed saw my mum improve drastically and we were all satisfied with her improvement. Xoli and her family came by to visit my mum, as well as sanele and londi. We had all the love and support that anyone under the circumstance could ever wish for. My dad had finally had the courage to tell her about my aunt and she was obviously devastated but she had to make peace with it, we all had to. on the day of my aunts funeral, we left for her home which she shared with her fiancé. The place was packed, my aunt was a people person, she made friends everywhere she went and a true beauty at heart. The sending off service was held at her church, when I stepped out of our car and looked around me there was so much sadness. sandile came over to me, sandile:” baby are you ok?” I stared at him blankly, searching for the answer to his question in his eyes. Truth being told I didn’t know how I was feeling, I wasn’t sure how I was expected to feel. I couldn’t make sense of my own emotions, I knew my aunt was no longer with us but it had not really sunk in until I stood in front of the church and saw all the mouners who were there to pay their last respect to her. Thuli:” leh lets go” sandile:” don’t worry ago ahead we will catch up with you” thuli:” ok” thuli and zah walked off and sandile and I remained behind. Sandile:” talk to me” me:” I’m scared” sandile:” of?” me:” death, life, everything” sandile:” don’t be, living in fear is never a good thing. We have so much to live for, so please whatever it is that is causing you to fear things let it go” I nodded and I tried very hard to suppress the urge to cry and I did. I took a deep breath and we went inside the church. I had hoped that I would snap out of my misery but instead I felt as if something was pulling me further down and the more I remained in the church listening to one speaker after the other recalling the memories they shared with my aunt the worse it got. it reached the point where I decided to get up and leave, when I got outside I cried hysterically. Sandile must have followed me outside because within a few minutes of crying my eyes out I felt his arms creep around me. a while later I felt a bit better, better enough to stop crying but not better to go back to the service. Me:” will you please give me your car keys” sandile:” aren’t you coming with me back inside?” me:” would it be wrong for me not too?” sandile:” not at all” he gave me a bear hug, a peck on my lips, his car keys and went back inside. I went to our car and sat there gazing into space, and I started praying to rid mysef off this dark cloud of fear and despair. Most importantly I needed to find a way to channel all the good and positive thoughts back into my head, but the surrondings that I was in made it that extra hard to achieve. An hour or so later sandile returned, the church service was over and we went to the cemetery, that trip wasn’t pleasant either. I had the worst case of Donald’s In denial syndrome, a very big part of me was still hoping to see my aunt running around being her bubbly self but that didn’t happen and when her coffin was lowered to the ground it started to sink in, that denial or not, she is never coming back at least not in this lifetime. In our heart she forever lives, the memories we have of her are the ones that we keep holding on to and make such beautiful reference to. a great woman she was, she lived, loved and laughed her way through life. May her beautiful soul rest in eternal peace. I never managed to say my goodbye and I hope I will find peace for not doing so. Love you always MaMkhize….
 
It has been three weeks after the accidents and life has continued on besides the everyday challenges but as a family we have grown more attached to each other. My mother was discharged 7 days after having had her Patella repaired, she is recovering well. Still angry at the young man responsible for the accident but she is slowly letting go of that anger. The counselling sessions have been exactly what she needed, she still has a very long way to go and we will be there for her every step of the way…
 
The friends I have kept over the years have shown time and time again that what we have is more than friendship but a sisterly bond that will not be broken no matter the situstion. They have been there for me through it all and I have been equally there for them as well. Our friendships have never been one sided and our small circle remains just that SMALL. My favourite couples: Zandi and Phumlani are going strong and I pray that zandi doesn’t go astray, ever again and I hope phumlani never, yes I said it NEVER gets to hear of what transpired between his wife and her ex. No man (both genders included) deserves that kind of betrayal. Xoli and Sbu are expecting their second bundle, I was so happy for them when she told me and the love they have for each other is just too beautiful for words. Swazi and Lindani, they are still going strong and have find a way to work out their misunderstandings, but what I love the most is they have both realised the importance of having a relationship with God. Sandi and Bheki, I cant say much about them but they do seem happy together and Bheki still gives me the creeps. Sandi if you ever get to read this I’m sorry shame, but your man… I cant *hangs head in shame*) I’m just happy that sandi is happy and the boys are happy too. Sanele and Londi, I love how she has tamed him down and made him the good man that he has always been. They seem happy together and now I hope he will put a ring to it… he is still a good dad to our baby and as promised he has brought property for her, which she will be able to take full ownership of when she turns 21. Talk about a man of honour. Asanda and Winston, these two have this crazy, fun love, full of a lot of weekend get aways to exotic places. They have both met each others families and things are super for them ( another wedding I’m hoping to be invited too). Then last but not least my darling Anele and her Thoba, the maturity in this couple is just amazing. They bring out the best in each other, they are all about the JSE and oh yes according to both of them the cookie monster has still not had a taste of them cookies and both of them seem so happy to wait. I don’t even want to imagine the things they will get up to when the cookie jar finally gets to be opened (how I wish to be the fly in that room *hides behind my Mr Muscle). In all honesty I’m glad they are saving themselves for each other and I love how they love each other and compliment each other the way that they do (I’m hoping for yet another wedding invite). Mr and Mrs Zee are planning to go on a ‘Golden European Love getaway’ as mum nonku calls it in December. They deserve some holiday fun in a foreign country. In other good news Zah has met a lovely man, I met him two weeks ago and he really seemed like a great guy. Now I’m keeping my fingers crossed for her, Thuli and Bongani are good as always. Mandisa and her man are still at it and going strong, she said she heard through the grapevine that Siyanda might be coming out on parol soon. This has not been confirmed yet but if he does, I hope he will not turn her life upside down again…
 
Lastly my Mr Muscle and I, we are our usual selves. STILL SEX CRAZED (by the way, there is nothing wrong with being sexually forthcoming to the one that you love and no HE DID NOT MARRY ME FOR SEX and I DID NOT MARRY HIM FOR WEALTH. I was my own person before him, sex crazed and earning well enough to sustain myself and my daughter and still have enough change to go on random holiday getaways and ridiculous over the top shopping sprees. My happiness ranks higher than the ranks of the worlds wealthiest individuals on Forbes Magazine. MY LOVE CANNOT BE PURCHASED). Our babie are growing, I’m still secretly wishing for another baby but I have stopped being hard on myself about it and know that it will happen not in my time but in God’s time. For now I’m being the best mother that I can be to my children, the best wife that I can be to my husband, the best daughter that I can be to both my parents, best sister to Zah, Thuli, Anele, Zandi and Phumlani and the best friend that I can be to my buddies. My best gives me a peace of mind more calming than a gentle breeze, I am comfortable in my own skin and I am who I am because of what I have been through…
 
Life has no manual but we learn from each other and each others experiences become lessons. For some these lessons will make them better individuals but to others it will be just that ‘anothers experience’ which will mean nothing of significance nor will it change the way one takes their coffee. Through the art of sharing, I have interacted with wonderful, strong women who have given me so much love and brought back hope that one day we will live in a society that is not too quick to judge but takes time to reason. A society that will give a helping hand and is all about family values, friendship values and most importantly still practice UBUNTU (humanity) towards each other…
 
This marks an end to yet another milestone in my life, if writing was not so addictive I would say I’m done with it but I cant. i will be posting a series of short stories inspired by real events soon. So until then, thank you to everyone who has kept my family and I in their prayers and thank you for your patience with me. I tried my best to write and post under the circumstances. Life is slowly returning to normal and i’m slowly finding a way to balance our every weekend visits to my parents place and still maintaining my own household, work and my hobbies (writing included).
 
A great evening to everyone and don’t forget to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you, a simple call or text will do. Life is too short to go a day without saying what we want to say to our family and friends. Keep well, Mncwaaaaaa!

Third edition

#98
Some time later we went back to the marquee after zodwa came out to watch over the kids. There wasn’t much happening inside beside the dancing and chatting going around. I dished out for sandile and myself and after eating we joined his parents for a chat but they had to leave a few minutes later. Umabo ceremony wasn’t going to be held, zandi and phumlani planned it to take place in December on the day that was suppose to be their wedding day. After my in-laws left with luyanda, more people started leaving and eventually we too headed home. The girls were tired, I bathed them quickly and they had a small snack before headind to bed. sandile was in the lounge watching some soccer highlights, me:” I’m going to bath” sandile:” can I join you?” me:” why do you feel the need to ask?” sandile:” I just thought maybe you are still angry with that samkelo issue” me:” I’m way over that, so are you coming or what?” sandile:” I will join you a bit” I stridden out and went to our bedroom to undress before going to the bathroom. When I got to the bathroom I let the cold water run out before stepping into the shower. within seconds of me being in the shower sandile stepped in, kissing the back of my neck and tracing his hand along my side. I had a tiggling sensation running up and down my spine and a whole bunch of crazy emotions finding pleasure in the simplest touch. Sandile:” I will wash your back” he took the scrub from me and poured some shower foam on it  gently and adequately coating my entire body with foam. His hands were doing magic to me, if my body was dry I’m sure I would have the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I wasn’t sure whether his motive was to stimulate all my senses and awake the sex crazed lady in me but all I knew with every stroke was that eventually I’ll be getting some mad loving the whole night. Once my entire body was covered in foam he kept rubbing himself against my body without emitting a single word. His hands started moving up and down my wet, foam covered body. The water ran down gently on my body his hands tortured me sweetly, they moved from squeezing my breasts and one moved all the way down south and settling there. I parted my leg for easy access and the mind blowing finger torture bagan, I lay my head on his chest realising soft moans as he continued to tear me apart further, he pushed my away from him just when I was embarking on my hike on Mount Everest, removing his hand from my already dripping honey pot and turned me around to face him. me:” and now?” sandile:” now what?” he pushed me against the wet and cold wall and went down on his knees, lifting my one leg and placing it over his shoulder before being subjected to the delightful torture of his tounge and lips. His hands were resting on my butt and waist and the teasing and tugging began along with my hiking. I started building up at a very rapid pace and I felt myself closing in, I just needed the very last push before finding my release then sandile stopped and got up. I felt like bursting into tears because I felt like he had commited the worst arousal crime by leaving me high, wet and longing for more. I just stood against the wall as if I was glued there and watched him wash his body without looking at me. I felt so hurt that a lump the size of a golf ball formed on my throat. I finally moved and rinsed my body and stepped out of the shower leaving him there, tok a towel dried myself and went to bed sulking without applying any lotion on my body or getting dressed. within minutes sandile joined me in bed and moved close towards me with his hard on pressing against me. sandile:” hey” me:” what?” sandile:” are you mad?” me:” what do you think?” sandile:” I don’t want to think I want to know” me:” good night” sandile:” leh please don’t be like that” I kept quiet and pulled the cover over my head. He pulled the cover back and turned me around, our eyes met. A smile cracked on the corner of his mouth, sandile:” what do you want me to do to you?” i gave him a coy smile trying to hide my excitement but yet not sure what to say. Sandile:” answer me” he kissed my neck, again and again, sandile:” lethu?” me:” make love to me”…
#99
Sandile:” that’s what I’ve been longing to do all day” he got on top of me and trailed kisses on my chest while cupping and caressing my breasts. He pushed my legs aside with his and I assisted my making them further apart so he can ease between me. he moved down kissing my stomach then the side of my body, down to my pelvic bone and further down until he reached my vibrating clit that needed to be eased. I curled up as he tormented me further, his toungue was on a level of its own, it took me from our bedroom to the NASA headquarters and off to space I went. He moved back up and I tasted my salty honey from his lips as we shared a passionate kiss. He positioned himself properly while we kissed, “are you aready?” he asked between our kiss, I didn’t respond and in one perfectly timed and pleasant move and with the help of my already dripping wet womanhood he filled me up and I came gushing around him as I gasped for air and moaned, sandile:” that’s my girl” and he moved out slowly then back in again, I started builing up again with each thrust.  I moved along with him, we danced together to our own rythm. “aaaah baby I’m coming” he whispered “ please don’t” I whispered back “baby i… aaaaaahhhhhh” I felt his body stiffen and his loving juices filled me up. still out of breath he remained laying on top of me, in me until he slid out and rolled to the side. sandile:” I’m sorry for coming, I was so close I couldn’t turn back” me:” its fine” we kissed again and again, sandile:” I love you” me:” I love you too” the rest of the evening turned out the way that I had expected filled with session after session of enjoying each other. The next day I did the usual morning routine before the rest of the family woke up.  we had our bath then breakfast and we went to church, the entire month our sermon at church was staged around death and I still found it challenging to grasp the thought of death. There were times when I thought I was starting to get to the point of accepting it and being at peace with it but I would find myself drifting back to where my fears of it lie. After church we went to visit the newly weds, when we got to there home there were still a few family members around. Zandi and her sister were in the lounge and her mum and aunts in the kitchen. phumlani was speaking to so guys that I didn’t know outside. we greeted and went inside the house while sandile remained outside with them. zodwa took the girls to the back garden to play. When I joined the two sisters in the lounge sibu excused herself leaving me and zandi  alone. me:” so how was your first evening as husband and wife” zandi:” with family around it was busy with not much privacy” me:” did your mum tell you that njabulo made an appearance?” zandi:” don’t remind me, I spent most of my evening last night locked in my bedroom with my mum and aunts giving me a piece of their mind about njabulo” me:” there is something else that he said while on a quest to see you” zandi:” what did he say?” me:” before I tell you, please answer this honestly. Was Friday the only time you ever slept with him after breaking up?” she looked at me with so much guilt in her eyes and I knew that it wasn’t but I was suddenly wishing that she would deny it. zandi:” Friday was the only time” her voice was shaky and in an almost whisper. Me:” oh, I wonder what gave him the idea that Ndumiso is his son” she abruptly panicked when she heard his claim. Zandi:” njabulo is mad, he lethu phumlani must never hear of this?” me:” hear of what? I don’t know why you are freaking out because you slept with him once and it was after Ndumiso’s birth” she took a deep breath, zandi:” I don’t want njabulo to cause trouble into my marriage” me:” if you don’t cut all ties now, he will. Especially because you invited him in” zandi:” lethu and just so you know ndumiso is phumlani’s son” me:” you don’t have to assure me that, I know. Anyone can see that Ndumiso is a carbon copy of his father.” Zandi:” so you believe me?” me:” I wasn’t doubting you to begin with, but you need to sort this out” zandi:” I will, does sandile know?” me:” he doesn’t know everything, but he does know that njabulo was there because he was the one who managed to persuade him to leave” zandi:” ok” “what are you ladies whispering about?” zandi:” nothing baby, we are just talking about the wedding” phumlani:” I see” sandile:” leh I think its time to head home, if you two are done with your chat” me:” yes we are” I got up and they walked us out, I called zodwa and the girls and we went home…
#100
For weeks now my mother has been insisting that my sisters and I come home for a visit. For the past month leading up to zandi’s wedding I had been occupied most of my weekends. Thuli, zafika and myself finally decided to go home the second weekend of September. So on Friday I had a half day and after work, the girls and I left for my parents place, sandile remained behind and zodwa had a Saturday class to attend and asked to spend the weekend at her friend’s house since we weren’t going to be around the entire weekend, her request was granted and sandile owned our home the entire weekend. The girls and I got home in the early hours of the evening, I called sandile to let him know we arrived home safely. Zah was already home and preparing supper when we got home. Thuli phoned to say she couldn’t make it due to an emergency that required her immediate attention at work. Sis’ Lindiwe (the lady that helps around the house at home) was around, my parents were happy to have us home. I bathed the girls while we waited for supper and once our evening meal was served. Zah and I washed the dishes and we wnet to bed. on Saturday morning, I prepared breakfast for the family and while I went to bath. My parents woke up and went to the dining room to help themselves. The girls woke up and we went to join the rest of the family. sothando:” good morning granny” mum:” good morning my babies” sothando:” good morning mkhulu” dad:” morning thandoh, why is uluthando so quiet this morning?” me:” its one of those mornings” dad:” good morning Luthah” uluthandi:” hi” we sat down and within seconds zah came to join us, zah:” morning family” “morning” we chanted back, we had breakfast while we held small conversations. Sis’lindiwe came to join us when we were already done, mum:” girls what were your plans for the day? me:” nothing” zah:” nothing as well, why?” mum:” I’d like to spend the day with the two of you, lindiwe will look after the girls and your father has to attend a funeral” me:” ok, that’s fine with me” zah:” what time are we leaving?” mum:” lets say 09:30” zah:” cool” me:” I need to bath the girls first” sis lindiwe:” don’t worry lethu I will do that for you” me:” thank you” uluthando:” mama I want you to bath me” sothando:” me too” mum:” lets make it 10:00 or as soon as you are done lethu” me:” ok, girls lets go” we got up and I went to run their bath water and gave them a quick bath together. 30 minutes later I was done with both girls and I quickly got dressed. when I was done I joined my mum and sister in the lounge, my dad had already left. The girls were watching cartoon, I kissed them and we left in zah’s car and went to the mall. Mum:” I need to do my hair first” when we got to the mall we went to a hair salon and my mum had her hair straightened and styled. Me:” sisnce we are already here, why don’t you do your nails” me:” I’m too old for that” zah:” oh ma come on” after some time trying to convince her, she finally agreed to have a manicure and pedicure done. it was refreshing to see my father’s wife this happy and beautiful. Our journey to the mall continued, my mum is bad influence when it comes to shopping, one gets carried away quickly. My phone rang while I was in the kids department at woolies. Me:” baby” sandile:” hey love, what are you up to?” me:” retail therapy with mummy” sandile:” that must be nice” me:” it is” sandile:” how are the girls?” me:” good” sandile:” mum and dad?” me:” super” sandile:” that’s good, let me not keep you, I love you and take care” me:” I love you more, look after yourself” sandile:” I always do, mncwa mncwa” me:” mncwaaaaa” sandile:” bye” me:” bye” I took a few clothing items for my babies and I went to join zah and my mum who were trying on some shoes that they liked. The entire day went on and we were in and out of retail stores shopping up a storm until well into the afternoon. We went for an afternoon snack before going grocery shopping and heading home. When we got home sis’lindiwe had already bathed the girls and my dad was back from the funeral. My mum offered to prepare supper and we used that time to help chop the veges and occationally having a chat with my dad, supper was served we ate and went to bed I called sandile before falling asleep to wish him a good night, he spoke to the girls as well and we slept…
#101
I over slept and when I woke up in the morning mum and zah were preparing breakfast in the kitchen. me:” morning” zah:” hey sis” mum:” morning are the girls still asleep?” me:” yes” mum:” what time are you bothe leaving?” me:” after lunch” zah:” me too” mum:” we have a church function today, but I will make sure I’m here by noon to see you off” me:” is dad also going to church?” dad:” no, today is my day to spend with you two” zah:” lucky us” dad:” you are indeed very lucky” the girls woke up we all had breakfast and my mum left afterwards. Sis’ lindiwe also went to her church and zah and I cleaned the house, prepared lunch and packed our bags. My dad left for the car wash after 11:30 and the girls were kept occupied by the telly. I had a quick bath and then bathed the girls and we got ready to leave. Sis’lindiwe came back when we were backing our bags in our cars. When I had just placed the last luggage bag in the car my phone rang, me:” dad” dad:” lethu has your mother called you?” me:” no” dad:” ok meet me at the corner of the old municipal building” me:” ok” there was panic and fear in his voice and I knew whatever it was that had happened it wasn’t good at all. I didn’t know what to do, I felt my entire body shiver, going hot and cold then numb. I remember whispering ‘God give me strength’ as I called out for sis’lindiwe to watch the girls and for zah to come along. I’ve always been a cautious driver, always driving within the speed limit and making sure I don’t collect any traffic fines and I managed that until that day. I don’t think I have ever driven so fast and made so many traffic violation as I did that day. zah kept on insisting I slow down but I couldn’t until I saw my dad’s car. he lead the way and I followed, until we reached an accident scene. My head started spinning as we got closer and I saw how wrecked my mother’s car was. Especially from the drivers side. there were a lot of people around trying to assist passengers in the cars that were part of the wreck. As soon as my car came to an halt, zandi and I jumped out and went searching for my mum, my dad went to a group of people who were standing around someone who was lying on the ground. In my head I kept saying, ‘Lord no, not again’ I went through this with sandile and now I have to go through it again with my mother. Life really isn’t fair. We got to my dad, my mum was the person laying on the ground. From far we head the sirens, I wasn’t sure whether it was the police or the first aid response team but all I was worried about was my mother. Zah took her hand bag and other things that she had with her and took them to my car, dad:” oh lungi” mum:” where is he? I want to see him” a lady from the crowd:” she has been adking to see the driver of the vehcle that caused the accident” dad:” lungi don’t stress about that now.” me:” what happened?” lady:” the driver of that black mazda lost control of his vehicle after trying to overtake a taxi, he first slamed into three vehicles before hitting your mum’s car then going off the road” I looked at my mother, there was blood coming from her ear, she complained of small glasses in her eyes and mouth, her dress sleeve was blooded and there was protruding bone on her knee. She kept repeating the same thing over and over again and it tore me apart. I didn’t know whether she was permanently losing her mind or it was just a passing phase casued by the accident. I got up leaving my parents and went on a man hunt for the reckless driver that is to be held responsible for this. zah was speaking to the policemen that arrived after us. I had so much anger in me because this accident stired up bottled emotions, that I wasn’t aware I was still carrying after sandile’s accident and what hurt me the most was seeing the reckless driver coming out without a single scratch or bruise. I’m not sure how or when I reached him, but all I remember was feeling manly arms hold me back  after what seemed like a one sided smack session. After being pulled back by one of the policemen at the scene, zah held me. I cried silently, still shaking of anger and still tempted to take my leap at him again. As wrong as my action were but I do not regret not even a single slap I sent his way because even then he will not ever feel the extent of the pain my other and other people involved in the crash felt…
#102
The Emergency medical response team arrived and my mum was attended as well as all the others injured. My dad left with my mother to the hospital, leaving his car keys behind. The head of the traffic department who goes to the same church as my parents called the tow truck on our behalf. My head was still all over the show, at least zah seemed like she had it all together.  I wasn’t even aware that I had left my phone at home until when I wanted to call sandile and let him know what had happened. As time went by while waiting for my mum’s car to be towed I calmed down and decided to take a walk to clear my head. When I returned zah was arguing with the reckless driver and the policemen were trying to calm her down. Zah:” so whose problem is it that you don’t work? I need my mother’s car fixed” driver:” sisi what do you want me to do? I cant afford to pay for repairs especially now” zah:” I am not your sister . you should have thought about that before driving a car that is not road worthy. You will pay do you hear me” driver:” I wont” all I heard was a snap sound, damn zah finally lost her cool. The guy held his cheek and the two policemen looked away as if they saw or heard nothing, the driver kept quiet. Zah:” now listen to me and listen carefully, you will write and affidavit stating that you will pay every cent to repair her car” driver:” sisi nje” zah:” don’t make me repeat myself” policemen:” ladies will you please excuse us we need to take his statement” zah:” of course”  zah and I went to attend to the tow truck driver that had just arrived for my mum’s car. zah:” before going to the hospital to see how mum is doing we need to make sure that this idiot agrees to an affidavit, which hospital are they taking her to?” me:” I think medi clinic” zah:” at least dad is there” her car was towed and we waited for the police to get done with collecting data on the scene and we followed them to the police station. Finding out that a charge of Reckless and Negligence in South Africa does not amount to anything, the criminal walks scotts free, especially if no one dies. I wanted to scream, but yet a Charge on Driving under the Influence of alcohol is taken more seriously. I personally feel that these two are of the same magnitude especially if there are injured people involved. My frustration on our justice system grows. The drievr reluctantly agrred to have aan affidavit written and when that was dome we went home, packed a few items for my mother, told sis lindiwe what had happened and I called sandile. He answered on the first few rings. Sandile:” baby where are you?” me:” I’m at home” sandile:” still? What time are you leaving?” unable to answer him and filled with emotions I cried. Sandile:” leh whats wrong?” me:” my mum has been… in a car accident” sandile:” oh baby I’m sorry, I’m on my way now, hang in there” me:” drive safely” sandile:” I will, bye” me:” bye” zah walked in the kitchen carrying my mothers overnight bag. Zah:” I’ve informed Thuli and she said she will be here by morning” me:” ok” zah:” are you ready to go” me:” yeah sure” zah:” sis’lindiwe we are going to the hospital, see you later” me:” please look after the girls for me” sis’ lindiwe:” ok I will, please tell sisi I send my love” zah:” thank you” the girls were taking their afternoon nap. So zah and I left in her car. we got to the hospital and met with my dad he was on the phone and looked some what sad and close to tears. zah and I looked at each other. I didn’t want to assume the worst had happened but my dad’s facial expression was a mode killer and an emotional spinner. When he was done on the phone he came to us, me:” how is she?” dad:” stable but in agony” zah:” how bad are her injuries?” dad:” her CT scan revealed that she didn’t sustain a head injury, her arm is not fractured but bruised with a few cuts caused by the shattered glasses. But her knee cap is fractured and requires an immediate operation to repair her knee cap. Otherwise she will be fine” me:” what about the bleeding from her ear” dad:” a piece of glass cut her” me:” ok, that’s a relief but you still look worried. Whats wrong?” dad:” today my child is the worst day ever for us as a family”…
#103
Zah and I looked at each other then back at dad. Zah:” baba mum is fine, you said so yourself” dad:” I know that but…” he paused looked away and sat down on one of the comfy couches at the reception area. Me:” baba whats wrong?” he looked up and a tear escaped his eye and I knew whatever it was it was big. My dad is not one to cry, in fact this is the first time I see Mkhize shedding a tear. Dad:” your aunt Deli has passed away in a car accident” I didn’t know what to say, I know how close my aunt and dad were. She was the last born in his family, a very loving and caring person. Always saw the good in others, she was suppose to get married in mid October after years of not finding the appropriate man for her after my uncle ( her husband) died during the political uproars in Escort some many years ago. It had taken her well over 21 years to meet a man that she truly loved. I remember my dad telling me that how excited she was that she was finally getting married again, he quote he as saying “ finally Bongani has sent a good man my way” how could life be so unpleasant. I still didn’t know what to say to my dad, this was just a double blow that was too much to handle even for the courageous of soldiers. I sat beside my dad, held his hand and prayed, after my prayer I remembered all the sermon that our pastor has been delivering for the past month or so. The pain of losing a loved one never gets easy but when we are called home to our Father we have no choice but to let go. The most painful thing that I think we all suffer from is to have been robbed the opportunity to say Goodbye to our loved ones. Zah:” baba I wish there was something I could say to make this dark cloud to go away” dad:” I know my child I know. Now lets go and see your mother” we got to my mum she was sleeping peacefully and none of us deared to wake her up. her entire right leg and arm were covered in bandages and a cast was plastered on the back of her leg to provide firm support for her knee.  We held hands and prayed before leaving. My dad was still not in a good mental space, calls kept going back and forth amoung him and his other siblings. We left the hospital and when we got home we hardly spoke, zah made food for dad while I went to check on the girls who were asleep and I took a much needed bath. After my bath I joined zah and dad in the lounge, dad was still on the phone and zah was staring at the TV and I doubt she was paying attention to what was playing. I went to the kitchen dished up for myself and decided to seat there alone. a while later my zah’s phone rang and she walked up to me after answering it. zah:” please hold… its for you” me:” hello” “hey baby where are you now?” my heart sank when I heard sandile’s voice me:” at home” sandile:” ok, I’m 15 to 20 minutes away” me:” ok, please drive safely” sandile:” I am, see you shortly” we hung up and I took zah’s phone back to her. me:” thank you” zah:” sure, I’m going to bed. see you in the morning” me::” ok, good night” she got up and left. Dad was now staring into space, me:” dad why don’t you go to bed?” dad:” I’m not tired” me:” let me run your bath water and I’m sure you will be better after a good bath” dad:” thank you” I went to run his bath water pouring some bath foam and salts to help him relax a bit. I came back to call him, he went for his bath and I went for my phone my old bedroom and went to curl up in the couch waiting for sandile. I tried watching some TV but there wasn’t anything worth watching, I switched off the TV  and lights and just sat in the dark staring into space. My ringing phone startled me, me:” hello” “ I’m at the gate” I got up went to the kitchen and pressed the remote and the gate opened, while I opened the door and went to meet sandile outside who was pulling up at the driveway. I closed the gate and he got out of his car and gave me the mother of all hugs, soaking all my hurt, anger and fear and making it a part of him too. “it will be ok, you will see” he whispered, crying seemed the only way to fully let myself go. we stood outside in the chilly breeze for what seemed like hours before going inside and I made him something to eat. After he had his meal, I washed the dishes. The lights were off in my parents bedroom and I assumed that dad was asleep. sandile and I went to my room to join the girls. We prayed before getting into bed, I fell asleep immediately but subconsciously I kept hoping that this reality would be so much better if it was a dream. Because at least when I woke up I would be sure that our lives were still the same as it was when my mum left for church a few hours earlier…

Third edition

#94
After our prayer we came out of zandi’s bedroom into the accompanied by wedding melodies sung by all the family and friends who were inside the house. When we got to the lounge we gave way for everyone that was still in the house to go take their seats outside. once everyone was out and seated with only two of zandi’s aunts remaining in the house to assist the late comers, the ceremony started. The décor was simple and unique, there was a white carpet leading to the altar with two massive couches and a table placed on the side. The guest sat on straw seats with cushions and they were provided with white umbrellas. There were palm trees and different types of puple, pink and white flowers as part of the décor and a meter away stood a white marquee which was open on the sides and the décor in the marquee was similar to the one outside. there was a table for the bride and groom in the front and round tables with a variety of flowers center piece for the guests. The drapping around the marquee was white, purple and pink. It looked really nice. As soon as we heard ‘There’s nothing greater than Love- Gregory Hines & Luther Vandross’ booming out of the sound speakers the flowergirl and page boy walked down the isle. The page boy wore a black tux with a black pair of All star sneakers and the flowergirl wore a white with pink ribbon dress with a white pair of All Star sneakers. After the cute young pair, anele made her way down, then swazi, sibu (zandi’s sister) and lastly myself. The groom and his groomsmen were already at the alter, I saw them all looking good in black tuxido’s and the groom in white but my sandile stood out from the rest. He was by far the most handsome man I have ever seen, his smile warmed my heart and I felt like we were in our perfect little world with no one around. After I took my position the DJ switched and ‘All of me- John Legend’ played and the radiant bride in the arm of her uncle walked down the isle to be joined into holy matrimony with the love of her life. I wanted to believe that it was what she really wanted, I wanted to believe that she was madly in-love with Phumlani, I wanted to believe that she was mentally ready to be the best that she could be to her husband, son and her family as a whole. But most importantly I needed to believe that never again shall she fall for Njabulo but a huge part of me couldn’t help but worry about her and her feelings for him. I wanted to believe that sleeping with him the day before her wedding was a once off mistake that will never happen again. Phumlani smiled at his bride tenderly until her uncle handed her over to him and the ceremony matrimonial commenced. While we had our eyes closed for the opening prayer, I felt I soft pat on my shoulder. I opened my eyes and looked at the direction “sisi zandi’s aunts want need you in the kitchen now” asanda walked off and I followed while everybody still had their eyes closed. We got to the house and I enter via the lounge and into the kitchen. zandi’s mum was in the kitchen with her two sisters asanda:” she’s here” they turned and looked at me, zandi’s mum:” lethu I’m sorry to have to drag you from the service but we need your help” me:” its fine ma, what is it?” zandi’s mum:” Njabulo is here and he is demanding to speak to zandi. I don’t know what this boy wants from her, he left her and married another woman why cant he just let her be” me:” where is he now?” zandi’s mum:” he is at the gate” me:” I see, so what would you like me to do ma?” zandi’s mum:” talk to him, explain to him that his behaviour is unacceptable” me:” I don’t know how to do that and I doubt he will listen to me” zandi’s aunt:” sisi please try, he cant ruin this beautiful day” I sighed and looked at asanda, asanda:” sis’leh I will come with you, maybe the two of us together can knock some sense into him” me:” ok fine” Asah and I made our way to the gate, the minute he saw us he started calling out for her name “zandi, zandi baby” I wasn’t sure whether to see behaviour as being that of a desperate man in-love or it was the behaviour of a selfish man who didn’t want to see his ex-girlfriend happy but one thing I was sure of, zandi brought this upon herself by entertaining him…
#95
We got to him and he seemed like he had a little bit to drink and might have gone a couple of sips over enabling him to be regarded as drunk. Me:” hey” njabulo:” sho lethu please call zandi for me” me:” you know I cant do that” njabulo:” lethu please” me:” no, zandi is getting married to the man that she loves…” njabulo:” she doesn’t love him, she loves me” me:” that’s just wishful thinking and I will not debate with you about this. all I want you to do is go home and leave zandi alone” njabulo:” I love zandi, I always have” me:” clearly your love for her was never enough to carry your relationship through because had it have been that strong I would like to believe you wouldn’t have left her and married your ex in the first place and now you so desperately want her back because you have realised that she will be happy without you” njabulo:” I love her lethu and I’m the only man for her” me:” you are just being selfish, go home njabulo. I’m sure the lady that you have been seeing for the past few months since your wife’s passing is worried sick about you” njabulo:” asanda so you are going to silently look by as lethu prevents me from stopping this circus wedding and being with my one true love” asanda:” mpathi (boss) please go home” njabulo:” oh I see, you are also siding with lethu. Zandi is making the biggest mistake of her life” me:” just allow her to make it, if it’s a mistake then it is her mistake to make. Let her make her own decision” asanda:” wena mphathi wami ( you my boss) should go before making a further jack of yourself” njabulo:” lalela la wena (now you listen to me) I don’t care what people think of me, I don’t care if people will look at me and see an idiot, I don’t care. All I care about is zandi and our baby” asanda and I looked at each other in total disbelief, I thought my ears were deceiving me, I needed the final confirmation, just for the sake of clarity. me:” and what?” he let off an irritating chuckle, njabulo:” my son, that’s my son that has your brother in-laws last name and if you don’t believe me then you can ask her” me:” its sad how far you are willing to go, to make yourself look and feel relevant.” Njabulo:” well suit yourself but I’m telling you, that child is mine and I want him and his mother” “whats going on here?” that’s my baby’s voice, I don’t need to turn to confirm it and the spicy, masculine scent of his cologne can be captured in the gentle breeze that is flowing. Njabulo:” sandile brah wami (my brother)” sandile:” njabulo, whats the meaning of this” njabulo:” I came for my girl and…” me:” don’t start with that nonsense” he chuckled again, sandile:” if you are referring to zandi, I’m afraid you lost your chance with her the day you left her” njabulo:” sandile, you’re a man and I know you know how painful it is not to be with the woman you love” sandile:” no, i don’t. you know why? I made sure that I got her by my side. even when times got taugh, I fought long and hard to be with her. but you my man, you let her go and now its too late” njabulo:” no its not” sandile:” njabulo please go or else I will be forced to call the police on you” njabulo:” call the cops on me? I thought we were friends” sandile:” njabulo go” njabulo:” just like that? Fine I will come back later for what is rightfully mine” sandile:” go” he looked at us and started walking backwards before turning and walking off. me:” thank you, how did you know we were here?” sandile:” zandi’s mum helped, now lets go back, the ceremony is almost over” we hurried back to the back yard and when we got there, the priest had already pronounced them husband and wife and they were now sealing it off with and electrifying kiss that left me longing for some loving from sandile. After that it was the issuing of the marriage certificate while the pageboy and flowergirl provided some entertainment for the guests. When that was done and out of the way, the bride and groom took their first walk/dance as husband and wife to ‘Incwadi yothando – Big Nuz ft Khaya Mthethwa’ leading the was the pageboy and flowergirl, myself.  anele and thabo (phumlani’s truth or dare friend) followed the newly weds, then swazi and lindani and then it was Sibu and my Mr Muscle. I did the walk while everyboy else did the dance, I’m so hopeless at this that my kids dance better then me. once the stepping/walking was over it was taking pictures time and that lasted for almost an hour…
#96
After the pictures were taken we headed for the marquee, most of the guests were already seated and I dreaded the lahlumlenze, get down that was to take place. while we waited for the DJ to do what he does best, I managed to steal a brief kiss from my king. I not a house music fan but there are certain commercial house tracks that does it for me and when the DJ decided to lahla my tune I was so happy I almost sang in the top of my voice ‘ …thank you Mr DJ for playing my song…” cue Yvonne Chaka Chaka. The DJ played ‘Easy to love- Bucie ft Heavy K’ the hyper kiddies did they xhavata and a whole bunch of other dance moves, how I envied them. they were of course led by me and I did my famous walk and occationally swing hips from left to right. This went on until all the bridesmaids and groomsmen were on their table and we all waited for the bride and groom to do their dance entrance and boy did they dance, everybody was cheering them on and loving the amazing energy they had. Once they got to their seats the programme began, it was very short and while that went about the guests dished up for themselves, one table at a time. The buffet menu consisted of, roast chicken covered on BBQ sauce, brown rise, savoury rice, mutton curry, chicken curry, fish curry, dumpling, smoked ham, steamed veges, baked sweet potatoes, greek salad, three bean salad, chakalaka, pineapple salsa, coleslaw, chicken salad. For dessert, malva pudding, vanilla ice cream, fruit cocktail, peppermint triffle, vanilla custard, red velvet cupcakes, chocolate fountain. For beverages, soft drink, cocktail concoction, variety of fruit juice, champagne, white and red wine. Sandile and myself were both on the programme for the welcoming to marital bliss item, so instead of each going solo we decided to do it together. My fondness of the DJ kept growing with every song selection he chose. So when it was our turn he played ‘Stay with you – John Legend’ and a part of me felt sandile had something to do with it. After the song died down and all eyes were on us and nerves were killing me, I did what I do best under the circumstances. I took a deep breath and smiled, sandile:” hello friends and family, I’m sure most of you know who we are, am I right?” “no” shouted a voice from the back and everybody started laughing. Sandile:” ok for the benefit of those who don’t know me and this beautiful woman beside me. I’m sandile zuma, the older brother to the groom and a husband to this fine woman by the name of lethokuhle who is smiling beside me. now that’s out of the way, let us not delay any further take it away baby.” He handed me the microphone. Me:” good afternoon” “afternoon” I heard some chant back. Me:” I’ve been fortunate to have known and be friends with both zandi and phumlani. There is no doubt in my mind that you two belong together and now I’m directing this to you Mrs Zuma. You have the power to make your home what you want it to be, the energy and everything that you put in is what you will get out. Ephesians 5:22-24 says ‘WIVES, SUBMIT YOURSELVES TO YOUR OWN HUSBANDS AS YOU DO TO THE LORD. FOR THE HUSBAND IS THE HEAD OF THE WIFE AS CHRIST, IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH, HIS BODY, OF WHICH HE IS THE SAVIOUR. NOW AS THE CHURCH SUBMITS TO CHRIST, SO ALSO WIVES SHOULD SUBMIT TO THEIR HUSBANDS IN EVERYTHING’ with that said nothing guides us better than the bible does. I will not tell you what and what not to do with your husband because different things work for different people but I do know that respecting your husband will get you far. I believe you know phumlani better than any of us and you know what makes him tick or puts a smile on his face. everything you do know will be a reflection on you as a wife, mother and woman. I wish both of you everything of the best and hope and let the Lord be the ONLY third person in your marriage” everybody applauded and sandile took the mic. Sandile:” now I don’t know how to top that, MaMkhize you are good. Anyway phumlani and I had a man to man talk last night and I believe that he he will take what we spoke off and use it to make his home a warm loving home. Because as much as we may not often highlight it, it takes both partners to make things works and turne a house into a home…”
#97
Sandile:”… and just to add on what my wife had already started Ephesians 5:28 says ‘IN THE SAME WAY HUSBANDS SHOULD LOVE THEIR WIVES AS THEIR OWN BODIES. HE WHO LOVES HIS WIFE LOVES HIMSELF’ remember that everyday, all day. love her, make her feel and see your love through your actions and one last and most important thing pray together. In good and bad times pray together, you will be amazed at how your lives will be. With that said, may you grow old together with your lives filled with love and happiness, thank you” the guests applauded once again, zandi and phumlani got up and we shared hugs, zandi was in tears. me:” stop crying” zandi:” I didn’t mean to I’m just happy that’s all” phumlani:” when I grow up brazo” sandile:” you’ve already grown” once zandi was calm and seated, sandile and I took our seats. the kids came to us, sothando:” mama we want to go to the loo” me:” ok, lets go.” I got up, they followed me inside the house. After our trip to the rest room, they refused to go back to the marquee and insisted on playing outside instead. I remained outside with them as they chased each other and within a couple of minutes they were joined by other kids. “Lethu Zuma” I turned and looked towards the direction of the voice calling out. A tall dark, beauty weary a purple lace dress, with long manicured nails, lilac clutch and statement heel walked up to me smiling. “ hi, we spoke last night on sandile’s phone” me:” oh, hi” with my poker face making a grand appeareance. “I’m Samkelo Phumlani’s cousin, I want to apologise for answering your husbands phone. I realised how wrong it was of me after I had already answered. I’m sure he had already told you that I had borrowed it to make a call” me:” he did. Anyway its nice to meet” samkelo:” same here. I hope we are good” me:” yeah sure” samkelo:” ok, see you around” me:” ok” she walked off, I had already forgotten about that call. Sandile came to join me, sandile:” your phone has been ringing none stop” he gave me my phone. I had 3 missed calls from xoli, so I called her back. Xoli:” my friendship” me:” hey, how are you?” xoli:” I’m ok thanks.  I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to the wedding, please pass my apologies to zandi and phumlani” me:” ok I will. Is everything good that side?” xoli:” yes all is well thanks and that side” me:” we are good” xoli:” how is sandile? I haven’t spoken to him in like forever” me:” please hold I will put you through him” xoli:” ok” me:” a call for you” sandile:” me?” I nodded he took the phone from me sandile:” yes… I’m good and you… nice… you know how she is hey… we will see as time goes on… yeah… ok, take care and pass my regards that side… bye” he handed me my phone, me:” sho” xoli:” so we did a little gossiping session” me:” I heard” xoli:” I’m just worried about you my f” me:” don’t I’m good” xoli:” you’re sure?” me:” yes” xoli:” ok, I’m going for my screening on Tuesday, I will let you know how it goes” me:” ok” xoli:” I have to go, sbu and aphiwe just got back from the mall. Speak later” me:” ok bye, pass my regards to them” xoli:” I will, bye” me:” bye” I hung up and gave sandile my phone to keep. Sandile:” why are you sitting out here?” me:” I’m watching the kids, they refused to back to the marquee” sandile:” ok. I’ve been meaning to ask. What is going on between zandi and njabulo?” me:” nothing, why?” sandile:” I’m just boggled by his actions. One would swear that there was something between them” me:” I guess he’s still not over her” sandile:” after so long?” me:” yes, what other explaination could there be?” I hate lying to sandile but this is one thing that I would love to not know. Sandile:” I don’t know, I was hoping maybe you might” me:” no, I’m clueless” “ I’m so glad to have caught you together” zandi’s mother was walking towards us. zandi’s mum:” thank you for keeping that boy away from my daughter” sandile:” it was the least that we could do” zandi’s mum:” I’ve always known him to be a polite young man, but the arrogance he displayed today was just unbelievable. Anyway let me go back to the house, there are things that I need to do” me:” ok ma” she strode off and I leaned against sandile’s shoulder and watched the kids play…

Third edition

#92
I looked at her my thoughts lost in her words, zandi:” lethu please don’t look at me like that, I know what I did was wrong” me:” I’m sorry I didn’t meant to stare” zandi:” phumlani doesn’t deserve this” me:” you damn right he doesn’t” she looked at me with a concerned look on her face, zandi:” leh please don’t tell him, I beg you please” me:” it’s not my place to tell him, if he were to ever hear of this I think it should come from you and not anyone else. But I just don’t get this how did it happen?” zandi:” a few days ago njabulo asked if we could meet before I get married” me:” and you agreed to it” zandi:” well, yes” me:” and why would you do that?” zandi:” I don’t know, maybe I wanted closure” me:” what closure? Don’t tell me you’ve been holding on to him all this time” zandi:” yes, no, its complicated” her phone rang, she took it out of her pocket, zandi:” hello… what do you want from me? isn’t the damage you’ve done enough?… I know I played my part as well but please leave me alone… I love him njabulo and I will marry him… you had your chance remember?… don’t ever call me again” she hung up on her call. Me:” so you do still love him” zandi:” he was my everything lethu and I don’t think I will ever stop loving him.” me:” what about phumlani” zandi:” what about him?” me:” where does he fit in all of this? I wish you knew how much he loves you” zandi:” I know he loves me, the same way that I know that he still has feelings for you” I went blank, I didn’t know what to say after that. Zandi:” don’t act surprised as if you hadn’t noticed how crazed he behaves when you are around and lethu I know its not your fault but it hurts sometimes” me:” I don’t know what to say” zandi:” just promise me that our conversation will remain between us” I stared at her without articulating a single word, zandi:” lethu please promise you wont tell him, I cant loose phumlani. He is everything to me” me:” you should have thought of that before agreeing to see njabulo” zandi:” I know, but I honestly don’t need to be judged right now. I need my friend” me:” I’m sorry for coming of as being condemnatory but I just don’t understand how this could happen, especially because I know how much you love phumlani” zandi:” it was a mistake and now I just want to move forward” me:” I see, I hope for your sake that this kind of thing will never happen again” her phone rang again zandi:” hello… hey baby… I love you too… I’m with lethu… ok, I will tell her… see you tomorrow, bye” she hung up and looked at me, zandi:” phumlani said I must say hi” I smiled at her and gave her a nod. Zandi:” do you know where they are?” me:” no” zandi:” oh, I should go” me:” you can sleep over at the guest room and leave first thing in the morning” zandi:” no I need to go, I’m feeling much better now than I did earlier” me:” ok” she got up and so did I and I saw her out. after she left I went back to the lounge, took the tea cups we used and went to the kitchen to wash them. I switched off the lights and went back to bed, once in bed I decided to call sandile. His phone rang unanswered and I called him again “sandile’s phone hello” I felt my head spinning and my heart pounding so hard the heart beats were throbbing in my ears, I felt my scalp itch. “hello, are you still there?” just when I had thought sandile was over his skirt chasing ways and then this had to happened. Me:” I want to speak to my husband now” lady:” oh lethu I’ve heard so much about you…” me:” are you kidding me, just give sandile the damn phone” from the background I could hear her speak to him, “ your wife is on the line for you, she is rude shame” sandile:” baby” me:” don’t baby me, how could you sandile?” sandile:” baby listen this is all…” me:”bye” I hung up, switched off my phone and tried to sleep but I kept tossing and turning for what seemed like hours until sandile got back home. I heard our bedroom door open and heard his footsteps drawing nearer until he reached our bed. sandile:” leh, leh baby” I pretended as if I was fast asleep and didn’t respond to his calls. Sandile:” mamkhize” he shook me lightly, me:”mmmm?” sandile:” baby wake up we need to talk” me:” I don’t want to talk to you” sandile:” ok but please give me a chance to explain what happened” me:” I don’t care what happened sandile, now please leave me alone I want to sleep”…
#93
He moved away from the bed and went to the closet, some minutes later he got into bed and reached for me. me:” don’t touch me” sandile:” lethu this is ridiculous. You don’t want me to tell you what happened yet you don’t want me to touch you.” me:” you cant seriously think I would allow you near me when you were busy with another woman” sandile:” you see if you could just let me explain you wouldn’t be jumping into conclusions” me:” whatever” sandile:” don’t whatever me” he sat up straight and switched on the side lamp, sandile:” lethu sit up” me:” no” sandile:” suit yourself, the lady that answered your call is samkelo phumlani’s cousin” me:” and you really expect me to believe that” sandile:” well yes, it’s the truth afterall” me:” i don’t have time for this” sandile:” lethu please believe me” me:” lets say you are speaking the truth, then do you mind telling me what she was doing with your phone?” sandile:” she asked to make a call because her battery was flat” me:” yeah right” sandile:” baby it’s the truth” me:” ok, now can I sleep” sandile:” are we ok though?” me:” yes we are fine” sandile:” but you don’t sound fine to me” me:” believe whatever you want to believe, like I said we are fine. Good night” sandile:” without my good night kiss” me:” yes” I pulled the duvet cover over my head, sandile switched off the light and moved closer towards me and wrapped his arms around me. “Good night” he whispered then kissed my shoulder and I fell asleep. I woke up early the next day, prepared breakfast, woke the girls up and zodwa helped me bath them and get them dressed and I had other clothes that they would change into before the wedding commences. Sandile woke up and we had breakfast while zodwa went to bath, when she was done she came back to watch over the girls while sandile and I had our quick shower, got dressed into our casual wear and we all left. We arrived at zandi’s place at 07:48, the wedding ceremony was to begin at 10:00 so we had roughly 2 hours to get ready. Sandile dropped us off and he went to Morningside at Lindani’s home because that is where the guys were getting ready. Zodwa watched over the girls who were playing with swazi’s twins and other children from zandi’s family. the house was packed to capacity, there were people in the kitchen, the lounge in fact there were people in every room. There was barely enough space to move. I got to zandi’s bedroom, knocked and opened. Anele:” look who is the last to arrive” me:” good morning” “morning” the ladies chanted back, zandi was having her hair done, she had opted for a bun which was already done, her hairstylist Entle was now pinning it with crystals and pearls hair accessories. zandi’s yonger sister was having her make up done, she had braided her hair and had it styled into a bun. Anele had a 12 inch curly weave on and she was busy on her phone. swazi like myself had a 20 inch lace weave on, she had hers already styled into a messy bun, she too was having her make up done. when entle was done styling zandi’s hair she did mine, I had it curled in the front and I let it down loose. The room was filled with laughter and anele occasionally teasing zandi. Asanda came in to join us an hour later, she had with her a gift bag, asanda:” sis’ Zet my boss said I must give you this” she handed her the gift bag and I knew immediately that it was from njabulo. Zandi:” thanks asa, where is he?” me:” zandi?” zandi:” what?” anele:” he is outside” zandi:” oh, maybe I should go to him and say thank you” me:” seriously?” zandi:” leh please stop looking at me like that” swazi:” what is going on between you two” me:” nothing, I just don’t see a reason why zandi feels she should go to him” anele:” I may not know what is going on but I’m with you sis’leh, no bride of my brother will go to see her ex. I don’t want a recurrence of sis’ leh and her ex scenario. On a serious note where do you two find such crazy ex” zandi:” the same place you found yours” anele:” I will pretend as if I didn’t hear that” zandi managed to suppress her urge to see njabulo, we got dressed and by 09:35 we were ready. I had asked zodwa to change the girls and they wore chiffon dresses which had bow at the back and gladiators. Sothando’s was lilac and uluthando had a peach one. There hair was styled into pom poms and they each wore a neckpiece and some bangles. My in-laws arrived with luyanda and I helped him change into a washed out denim pants, white shirt, a black blazer and I rolled up his sleeves and black sneakers. Zandi’s mother and aunts came in for a quick prayer session before the wedding began…

Life is an open book