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.
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”.
“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.
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”
“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.
“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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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?
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”
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”
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.