THE ONE

INSERT 60

TSHEPO

“I am not going to a party Charlotte…I am going to the doctor’s office,” I yell at her for the fifth time. She is picking dresses from the closet and I don’t feel like dressing up. A perfect pair of leggings, sneakers and a tank top will do. Where am I taking a pencil dress to? With all these baby fats.
“Are you not tired of being stuck in the house? It has been four weeks, come on…you need to get out a bit…live a little.”
“I don’t need to. All I need to do is sleep when the baby sleeps. Kgosi is going to wake up after that checkup, I tell you.”
“Come on…”
“No Charlotte, I am not wearing heels to the doctor’s visit…all I need to do is to take my baby for vaccine. I don’t even know how he is going to react to his first visit so I have to come back as soon as possible.”
“Won’t you want to go to a spa or something?”
“I would looovveee to go to a spa Charlotte…just not today,” I say and she nods before taking a phone and texted something. “Who are you talking to?”
“No, one…I was just cancelling our appointment.”
“Don’t cancel it…just move it to next week…my mom will babysit and I can spare two hours,” I say and she lights up.
I get into the back with the baby and she drives us to the medical centre.
“So, have you spoken to Khathu?” she asks and glare at me from the rear view mirror. I know where she is taking this conversation. I have seen the pictures on Instagram and Lufuno is famous anyway. Her Instagram posts are turned into news.
“We do chat when he wants to ask about Kgosi.”
“Did he tell you about the engagement?”
“He tried but I told him I already know.”
“How do you feel?” she asks and I stare at my son who is sleeping peacefully.
“Why do you sound like a shrink now? I am fine…plus I knew they will end up together.”
“Matt is there…” she says and I smile.
I don’t think so. I don’t think I am ready for a relationship with anyone. I really, really don’t think I am ready for one. “Matt will have to wait.”
“I understand,” she says with a smile.
Why would I want to bring Matt in my life? Knowing that he won’t even stay? Come on, No.
“I am thinking of moving back to Cape Town…to start afresh you know? Just me and Kgosi.”
“What? Are you serious?”
“Yeah, Dad doesn’t want to approve my work transfer so I need to look for another job so that I can leave in peace.”
“Why would you want to raise Kgosi away from everyone? Come on Tshepo…we still want to be part of your life. I need you…more than ever.”
“What’s up?”
“You know taking care of your son brings joy into my life…the thought that I might not be able to have a baby is kinda…scary but he gives me hope, you know? You can’t leave now…” she says.
“Fine Charlotte,” I say. I feel bad but I really wanted to up and leave just to start over. I would always visit when they want to see the baby.
Oh Gosh! First appointments are the worst. We started with mine and I spent almost an hour in that doctor’s office. He gave me a go ahead for the deed as if I have someone to deed with. I had been seating in those bath salts ever since the first day so I am all good. I called Khathu to join me for Kgosi’s appointment. Shame, he is pleased to see his son. I am here just watching him speak to him like he can hear everything he is saying. He took a few picture to show Michelle and his fiancée.
“So, when is your family coming to mine?” he asks while helping put Kgosi into his car seat.
“I think it should be vice versa,” I say with my arms folded to my chest. Do we have to do this family thing? I don’t see any sense in all of these.
“Okay, my uncles will definitely come through…they are big headed about these because of culture, you know? They say our family has to be approached but I will push for them to come through.”
Ofcourse! You have to do this before you marry, we know.

I kinda feel a bit down the whole week following the doctor’s appointment. I think it is seeing Khathu going on with his life like there isn’t this. I am happy for him, for getting the woman he had always wanted but I feel I am the only stuck in this thing called life. Mom says it is normal to feel like this hence she wanted to take care of Kgosi while I do me just for a bit. I need a life, just a little. I need a little laugh over lunch or something.
“Let’s do a late lunch,” I text Charlotte while pumping the milk into the bottles. I need a glass of wine and for the first time, Kgosi will sleep in my mother’s room. I need just half a day off or else I will end up hating on people.
I check my phone for a text back and there is none. Charlotte text back all the time. I bet she even texts while having sex with her husband but she went AWOL on me today.
“Menlyn Boutique Hotel, spa from 16:00 to 18:00,” A text from her after an hour. I was almost giving up.
“Two hours of spa and late lunch?” I text back.
“Everything on me…I have got a visa until 22:00, tonight.”
“Cool, see you at four,” I text and throw the phone on the bed and finish pumping milk for my son.
Mom is ready to babysit so I get ready to leave. Thank God I don’t need to put on make-up or brush my hair for a spa. I get into jeggings and a tank top and head to Menlyn Boutique hotel.
I love it here.
“I am meeting my friend here for a massage…appointment at 16:00…Tshepo Maake,” I say to the lady welcoming me into the spa area. I wonder why they are working late. I am literally the only one walking in here and the place seems closed.
“Oh, right…please follow me. Your friend is running late so she asked that we start with you so long.”
They start with my full body massage. I swear on another day I would be so angry at her, but it seems like she knew I would appreciate this loneliness. I am enjoying being alone in this outdoor spa bed with someone playing their hands on my tensed shoulders and all. I wouldn’t feel as peaceful if she was here telling me her latest gossip or asking me about Khathu. I finished the whole two hours session without her.
Is she coming for early supper or not?
“I will be half an hour late,” her text made me almost choke on my champagne. Another an hour late?
“Charlotte, I am going home…really? You missed our spa…okay thank God you missed it but you can’t expect me to wait for an hour just for food. My mother is a chef, you know?” I say.
“No…no…listen, I am hosting some stupid event for my husband. Look, I asked someone to drop a dress and shoes for you in my room and I will text you when I am downstairs in the restaurant. It will take you an hour to get ready.”
“An hour to get ready…are we dressing up for a banquet or what?”
“Come on…I miss my girl. I miss us when we were young you know? Let’s just look elegant, dine and have fun. Tell the spa people to come up to your room for make-up and hair. I am sending the room info on your whatsapp now.”
“Fine!” I mumble before leaving a note to the lady to follow me for hair and make-up. I take a quickest shower to run down the oils all over my body. They were setting up for make-up and hair when I was getting ready to get dressed.
Ncooo! My friend loves me, doesn’t she?
She bought me a dust pink long-ish formal t-shirt dress and matching stilettos. She knows me too well, doesn’t she? The stilettos are not too high. Just enough inches to keep me up the whole night.
“Good choice, Charlotte,” I whisper. I look perfect. She knows how much I am not ready to wear tight things because “baby fats”. It not really baby fats only. I eat a lottt! There is nothing much to do when Kgosi is sleeping so I always take a bite of food I didn’t eat when I was pregnant.
“Thank you,” I say giving the salon lady some money for a tip. She did an awesome job.
I sit on the bed and browse through the television. I am starting to miss my son now, I even feel like canceling on her but I sat for an hour just to get ready for dinner. I have posted a thousand selfies and people are going crazy over my make-up and dress.
They should just wait until I sit on that dining table. Charlotte loves Instagram pics like me, so she is definitely going to flood her wall and I will do the same.
“I am seated at the restaurant,” Charlotte texted. I pick my clutch and hurry to the elevator. The elevator opens and I step out of to the restaurant happily.
Hmmmm, I like the song playing!
“Uhm…Miss Tshepo?” a butler asks. I am looking around for Charlotte.
“Yes. I am looking for Ms Charlotte’s table.”
Eish, this song!
“Come this way,” he says and leads the way outside. There are flower petals all over the place.
I could just tell it is Matt standing, waiting for me next to a perfectly set table.
I chuckle while walking towards him. He wore a perfect smile and he is dressed to kill. Again, unbelted pants.
“Charlotte is not here, am I right?” I ask just when I reach the chair he is pulling for me.
I am FLATTERED!
“No, she is not,” he says while I sit.
Why didn’t I pick it up? We always meet home and use one car but today she insisted I drive alone.
The butler pours champagne for me and walks away.
You have got to be kidding me!
“I am glad you could make it,” he says.
“Oh..yeah,” I say. I might have not come if I knew who was inviting me. I am glad they kept it a secret because now I feel so damn special. “How did you pull this one?”
“I just had to ask Char to communicate with you.”
“I salute you. I didn’t suspect that you had anything to do with this.”
“I wanted to surprise you,” he says. His dimples make him too handsome, “Do you like the dress?”
“You bought this for me?”
“I wasn’t sure if it was your style but I liked it.”
“It is perfect…thank you.” You are very thoughtful Mr Matthews.
“I am glad.”
Okay, I am happy. He is kinda shy hey. He steals glances of me and looks cute while at it.
“This song is on repeat,” I say while listening carefully to the song playing repeatedly on the background. I think I like it.
“It is.”
“You…you…?” I ask and he nods.
Okay! I used to think that Tokello is the most romantic, but naaahhh! This dude here got a whole restaurant playing his favourite song for me. First he booked the whole spa for me and have things set up for me for just a date?
The starters comes and we start digging in. I want to take a pic but not today.
“Are you a virgin?” I ask.
What the hell Tshepo? Why did I think that out loud? I am just curious.
“A virgin?” he asks.
“You know…I heard you are a pastor’s son.”
“I am not a virgin,” he says with a grin as if he wants to show me what he got.
“Then what is wrong with you?” I ask. If he is not a virgin, then why can’t he stay in a relationship.
“I think there is nothing wrong with me.”
“Then what are you doing here, with me?”
“I am here to ask you to give me a chance to be in your life. I won’t bush around…I like you. I fell in love with you the two times I have seen you. I stalk you on your Instagram and I am a biggest fan of your work.”
“Why are you single?”
“Because I was waiting for someone to make me feel the way you did…well…I know it might be lame, but I am honest.”
“You can’t handle me,” I say and he laughs out loud.
“Try me.”
Whaaatttt? A pastor’s kid, huh?
“I don’t think I am ready for a relationship…to be honest.”
“I will wait for you. I just want you to know that I am out here waiting for you…when you are fine…I want to love you the right way. I want you Tshepo.”
“How do you know?”
I have been with Tokello. I have been with Khathu. Come onnn…
“Please don’t pushing me for what your EXs did to you?” he says as if he could read my mind and I clear my throat, “I am not them. I am me and I am ready to love you the best way I know. See, I have been disappointment…I know how difficult it is to move on from it but for me, you kinda changed the way I used to think. I never stayed with a woman for a month after I ended my engagement. I kinda got into a few relationships with bad intentions and…you changed that. That is why I am willing to wait for you…no matter how long it takes.”
“I am thinking of moving back to Cape Town.”
“I can always ask my company to move me to that side,” he says without hesitation.
“Wow.”
“Seems like you don’t believe me.”
“No…not really…”
“You think this is too perfect to be true…correct? This date?” he asks without moving his eyes away from mine. “I did this intentionally.”
“What?”
“This date. I wanted it to be special…so that you get an opportunity to feel as good as you can. I wanted you not to worry about how you look. I wanted you feel special, you know?”
And I do feel special, I really do.
“So what do you say? Are you going to give me a chance to make you happy? You already make me happy by being you.”
He sounds like a man I deserve.
“Can I mend your heart?” he asks.
“What?”
“You are heart broken. Can I please mend your heart?”
Where are all these tears coming from? I thought the tears were gone for good with the pregnancy. I widened my eyes to stop the tears that might want to embarrass me. I laugh and he doesn’t laugh. He keeps his eyes on me.
“Please? May I please mend your heart? You mended mine already and I want to do the same for you.”
I sigh.
“Please?”
Who asks to mend broken hearts, huh?
“Allow me,” he begs and I stare into his eyes. That spark is there!
“Please Tshepo?”