THE ONE

INSERT 40

KHATHUTSHELO

I thank God for bringing me the woman I had always prayed for, but Lufuno is going to be the death of me. I never imagined her being this self-centered, but what she did to Michelle was uncalled for. She has to decide for herself before we even go deeper in this. I want my woman to prioritize Michelle more than me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t need a mother for Michelle. She already has one, whom she loves dearly. I just need a partner who will walk with me, in my vision of raising my child. I need to make it up for Michelle for not being in a perfect family with her mother and I. I need to teach her that she can still be happy with her parents separated. She needs to feel loved in all her surroundings. What Lufuno did was uncalled for and if this is how we are going to operate, then I have a serious problem.
I am sending out a few emails for tomorrow’s meeting. I have to meet up with a new client and I need my team to pull as much information about this client as possible. At this minute, I hope Lufuno is thinking deeply about what she wants. I am prepared for any decision. I was ready to let go of her if my baggage is too heavy for her shoulders. I love her enough to let her pass this relationship if it is too much for her.
“Khathu, I am going bed…do you need anything before I sleep?” Mandi asks from the door. She always does this. She will never sleep unless Michelle and I are sorted in all ways. She is definitely working for her money.
“No, I am fine. You can go to sleep,” I say and she nods before walking out of the office. She should do something about those braids. They make her look older than she actually is. I bet it is the least of her worries. She is just so rural and there is no saving her.
I finish with the emails and decide to listen to music on my phone. No Marvin Gaye today so I will settle for Kenny G. Lufuno has got to do a lot of thinking to do and I need her to take all the time she needs.
It is almost eleven so I head to the living room. Lufuno is sitting with her hands covering her face.
“Hey, are you alright?” I ask and she sniffs her tears away. She raises her eyes to me.
“I’m fine.”
“Then why are you crying?”
“You won’t understand…I don’t expect you to understand.”
“Talk to me.” I settle in a couch next to her.
“Khathu, you are asking me for so much, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if I will be able to be the perfect fit for you.”
“Okay, so you thought about this?”
“Don’t you see I am conflicted?” she says and tears stream down her eyes.
“But what do you want?”
“I want to be with you but I don’t know if I will survive seeing you and Tshepo together. I am afraid I won’t make a good parent to Michelle. I am afraid I might be unable to accept Tshepo child easily. I want to try for a baby soon but I know you won’t be there to give me one too soon. There is just a lot to consider. How can I make my life decisions in hours?” she cry some more. Maybe this is a big steak to bite on.
“Okay, I am sorry for not telling about Tshepo’s pregnancy. I concluded you will accept it since I highlighted the possibility. I understand that this might be complicated and I am ready for any decision that is best for you.”
“This is not easy. This is not so easy…”
“Daddy?” Michelle shows up from her room. Lufuno quickly wipes her tears away. Luckily the lights are dimmed.
“Baby, why are you up?” I ask, ready to receive her into my arms.
“I thought I heard aunty Lufuno’s voice,” she says rubbing her eyes.
Just perfect!
“Hey baby…I am sorry I was late for your dinner. Thank you for inviting me.”
“You came?” Michelle shoots a perfect smile. She walks to Lufuno and hugs her.
“What where you dreaming about?” Lufuno asks.
“I don’t remember,” she mumbles. “Can you please put me to bed? Mommy always does when I can’t fall asleep.”
Lufuno glare at me and I nod. Atleast Michelle can ease her broken heart. We will resume our chat when she comes back. She leaves with Michelle and I pick the remote from the table and switch the TV on. The TV is playing but I am paying no attention to it. My mind has drifted to the future. Say I end up with Lufuno, how am I going to balance spending time with my other baby? Now I have to work harder than before. Michelle is expensive as it is and a new baby should be worse. My father taught me well when it comes to taking care of my family. He lived to provide for his family and I intend to do the same. What if I don’t end up with Lufuno? Then it will just be me and Michelle again. I have disappointed Tshepo so much I should just stay away from her. I complicated her life and I am not proud. I pray that God forgives me on this one.
It has been more than thirty minutes and Michelle should be asleep my now. I get to the room to find my daughter in my woman’s arms. They are sleeping peacefully. Even if I want to, I can’t wake them up right now. All I can do is to cover them with more blankets and switch the light off.
The following morning I take a quick shower before heading to Michelle’s room. Mandiwana beat me to it because she is standing by the door with her hands on her waist.
“I will wake them up, you can prepare the water for Michelle,” I say and she turns without a word. Can I say she looks disappointed? She should just learn to stay out of my business.
“Wakey, wakey…” I say gently shaking Michelle. She pops her eyes open and let out a wide grin. She stares at Lufuno who is softly snoring and gives me a questioning eye. She can’t believe she just shared a bed with Lufuno.
“Daddy, don’t wake her up,” Michelle whispers. The love she has for this woman is unbelievable. She gently uncover her duvet and drop her feet to the ground. Lufuno is waken by that and she opens her eyes to gaze at Michelle.
“Ahh, we woke you up?” Michelle says and covers her mouth.
“I was awake long time ago. I was waiting for you to get out of bed before me,” Lufuno says and Michelle blushes.
Oh, my poor girl.
“Go take a bath. Mandi is waiting for you in the bathroom,” I say and she stride there. Lufuno gets out of bed and straighten her clothes with her hands.
“I am sorry I didn’t mean to fall asleep. I think that wine made me worse.”
“It’s fine. We will have a chat after work.”
She leaves for her house to shower while I finish getting ready. I drive to Midstream to drop Michelle while she yelps about Lufuno and how she is happy she made it to come see her. I tell her Lufuno might be going to work very far just to protect her little heart in case she chooses to be out of our lives. She is sad about it but I promised her the world. I can never bet my life on what Lufuno’s decision will be. She has been through a lot and bringing a baby into her life might be asking for more than she can handle.
I try Tshepo’s phone the first thing I get to the office. We haven’t spoken in two days and I only hope she is doing great. I still need to find out about how Lufuno got the news. I leave a message for her to call me when she gets a chance to do so.
I received the bad news from Mr Mkhize. He can only make me partner in the next year and that is a good six months from now. He has his own reasons and I have no choice but to understand. For now, I need to push more of my projects and Mr Maake has a few clients for me. I just don’t know if he is still keen to recommend me. I don’t know how I am going to face him after this saga. He adores Tshepo just like I do Michelle. He might be plotting on killing me right now. So I am at a dead end for now.
The meeting with a new client was a success. It will take me a good three months to wrap up this account. Atleast I have something to focus on for a few months.
My cellphone rings and it is my mother. I pick it with a smile, knowing she is going to light up my day.
“Hello Ma,” I say, resting on the chair. This is going to be a longest call.
“How are you Khathu…how are you and my granddaughter?”
“We are doing just great. She can’t wait for the December recess…she wants to come help you at the fields.”
“Will she survive? It is very hot here in December. I don’t want that woman of her mother to force me to put that lotion on top of another lotion every day when she goes to play.
“Sun-screen Ma,” I say with a laugh.
“Yes, that one. She wants me to put it on her every day and I always forget. All my children didn’t put that thing on and your skin is perfectly fine.”
“I understand.”
“How is my daughter doing her job? Is she taking care of you?”
“Who?”
“Mandiwana? That girl is such a great worker. I am glad she is there to help you.”
“Oh Mandiwana is doing just fine.”
“Yes, you should start saving up for Lobola. There is never going to be a perfect woman for you than her. She does a great job with Michelle. She helps me around here and she is very wise…very very wise.”
“Ma, please.”
“Don’t please me. You asked me to look for a wife for you and you are now pushing her away? Ni do di sola. You will regret, I am telling you.”
“Ma, come on.”
“What is wrong with her?”
“Nothing is wrong with her Ma,” I say, praying that she drop the subject. I can’t even tell her that I got another woman pregnant. Not now. I will tell her soon so that we see the Maake family. I am totally embarrassed about this whole situation. It is just embarrassing I wonder how Tshepo is handling any of this.
“Then you should marry her.”
“Ma, someone is knocking on my office. I will call you tonight so you can speak to Michelle.”
She allows me hang up.
Phew!!!
My mom and her dreams. How does she see me with Mandiwana mara? It was perfect then when we were in Primary school.
After work, I take a few files home so that I could finish working on them. Lufuno is preparing for a Saturday celebrity wedding and she has to take care of some preparations. We will talk when she is ready to. This also gives her time to think deeply about the decision she needs to take about her life.
I am praying for the best news but I am prepared for anything.

Tshepo hasn’t gotten back to me and I am starting to wonder. We both agreed to do this and tomorrow is the doctor’s appointment. She went AWOL on me.
I pull my phone from my jacket and dial her number while I close the door to my home office. She picks it on a second ring.
“Hey Tokello…” she says happily.
“Tokello?”
“Oh, flip!” she says and hangs up.
What the hell?
I dial her number again and she ignores it. No man, I am starting to get messed up by this. How can she call me Tokello? I ring her phone until she picks it up.
“Hello Khathu.”
“Why did you call me Tokello?”
“It was a mistake.”
“But why did you call me Tokello?” I ask again. She cannot just call me Tokello for nothing.
“I was on a phone with him…I put him on hold and when I press the unhold button, I was answering your phone by mistake.”
“Are you guys talking now?”
“Well, yah!”
“What the hell Tshepo?”
“What?”
“How are you talking to…”
“What is wrong with you? You don’t have to worry yourself about me. He is just a friend and we were on a call…that shouldn’t worry you.”
“Are you sleeping with your ex? While you are pregnant with my child?”
“Should that be a problem?”
“Tshepo, are you sleeping with him?” I raise my voice. That is just disgusting man. How can she sleep with another man while pregnant with another man’s child?
“Khathu, come on…you have no right to ask me that.”
“I have all the right…”
“No, you do not…unless you want to come here and sleep with me when I need to be serviced,” she says and I stay silent, “Ofcourse…I didn’t think so. So stop stressing yourself about what I do with my body.”
“I am coming to see you now.”
“I am not home,” she says and anger brews in my heart. “Tshepo, where are you?”
“I am out having fun like other single people. Shouldn’t you be rubbing her feet right now?”
“Tshepo…where are you?”
“Khathu, I am out having fun like other single people…can I go now?”
“What about tomorrow?”
“I will send you the address to the doctor’s office.”
“Where are you?”
“I have got to go. Kiss Michelle good night for me…I have got to go.”
“Don’t you dare hang up.”
“Khathu, I need to go…come on…I have an incoming call.”
“Don’t you…” I don’t get to finish my line.
She didn’t just hang up on me!!!!
I try her phone and it rings until it goes to voicemail.
Is this woman trying to test me?
I try her phone once again and I receive a text for a response.
“Sleep Khathu. I will see you tomorrow at the doctor’s office if you still want to come, goodnight. I have got to go.”