THE ONE

UNEDITED

INSERT 68

MANDIWANA

I cannot even look at Khathu in the eyes. Even when he doesn’t bring the topic, I cannot look him in the eyes after what I did that night. Even today, I regret ever drinking that 8 what what drinks because I now look like a fool. I now look like a fool even though I don’t know if Khathu forgot or not.
I should tell you, I hit a block. That’s what they say it is. I last remember when I was standing infront of Khathu, forcing him to kiss me because I was dying for a kiss. I remember the kiss very well, but what follows after is blur. I don’t think I want to remember. What I know is that we didn’t sleep together. My underwear was intact when I woke up and I woke up from the guest room.
Khathu doesn’t want to bring it up and I don’t want either. I have been avoiding him but today I am forced to come through to his house.
As much as I always want to stay away from Khathu and his drama, I always find myself helping him and mending his broken heart.
Didn’t this man bewitch me?
I should have been holding my skirts and running away from him, but here I am, looking to save the day.
Did I tell you Lufuno doesn’t see now? Haaa shame! I saw her once pittied her and I never saw her again. She is just so beautfil but she stares at you as if she can see through you.
Khathu asked me to come spend a day with her.
I wanted to say, NO, but then I remembered I agreed to be a bridesmaid and I am promised a make-over. I wonder if it is still going to happen. Maybe I should just deliberately take one of her long wigs and disappear.
Khathu is making a late breakfast when I arrived to his house. He acts normal and I am shy around him.
“Thanks for coming,” he says upon my arrival.
Vheiwe! Didn’t this man bewitch me?
I mean where am I going to take a man with two children, a fiancée and endless drama. I always find myself jumping at his tune.
I think I am in love and this is something I am willing to die with.
“Yes, it is fine,” I say without looking at him.
“Are you alright?” he asks while stirring his coffee. There is another mug on the tray, and that means Lufuno is here.
Mxm.
“I am fine, why?” my high-pitched voice embarrasses me.
I regret ever attempting to kiss Khathutshelo Nengwenda. Even worsem I don’t remember if we did…uhm…you know? Or not?
“You look…disturbed and you are not yourself.”
“Did we have a sex?” My mouth rushes to ask. I think the answer will set me free. What ever it is.
“What the hell Mandiwana? Never!!!” he says with a frown.
Wow!
I think I am hurt by the way he responded.
“Am I disgusting?” I ask.
“I beg your pardon?”
“Am I disgusting?”
“Why do you ask?”
“I asked you if we slept together and you frown as if I am some sort of dirt…wouldn’t you have loved to make love to me?”
“Mandiwana? I think you are crossing the line, now.”
“What line? I am bothered by the look in your face when I asked you if we slept together. Where you not supposed to just say NO or YES? But the look in your face bothers me,” I say and he is shocked.
No, I don’t care if whether I shocked him or not. I am disturbed by the look in his face. Am I that unattractive? I have tried so many times to keep with the Pretoria trends and hair, even though mine is not expensive. But I am worried about that look in his face.
“Listen, I don’t know what you are thinking about…but believe me…I didn’t mean to offend you.”
“I just wanted to know what happened that night. I kissed you and you kissed back…I wanted to know what happened afterwards.”
“We kissed and I stopped you.”
“Did we stop because you wanted to…or what?” I ask.
“Stop what?” Lufuno asks from behind.
She is walkings slowly with her hands reaching for the walls.
So vele vele…she is blind?
“Stop what? What are you guys talking about?”
“Uhm…stop keeping the ice creams containers,” I say. Very stupid Mandiwana.
“Yeah, you should stop collecting those,” she says while reaching for the chair. She carefully sits on the chair.
“Would you like some coffee?” Khathu asks and she says yes. He picks the coffee and puts it infront of her. “It is hot.”
She slowly reaches for it.
“Oh, you can see now?”
“Some shades, yes…I can see the shadows of things” she says.
“That’s good,” I say.
“Yes,” she says.
I am still angry at Khathu for giving me that face that he gave me. I still have so many questions to ask but I will pack it for later.
“Is there some ironing I can do?” I ask. What else am I here for if not for laboring around?
I think I am ready for that bus ticket to Venda. I cannot do this anymore.
“Oh, yes…” Khathu says. He walks away and leaves me with Lufuno who is sipping coffee from the mug. She asked to be friend but I might not be able to friends with her. I like her man and I don’t want to betray her. so it would be safe to catch the next bus to Limpopo.
“how is the weather outside?” she asks.
What does she want me to say? That it is hot and sunny and beautiful? The next thing they will say I am inconsiderate.
“It is hot.”
“How is my flower garden?” she asks.
“Beautiful,” I say and she smiles.
Khathu comes back to the kitchen with a basket pf laundry ready for iron.
“Babe, can you help me prepare for bath?” Lufuno asks and Khathu helps her to the bathroom.
I pray to get over this man. There is nothing special about him. Why cant I just forget about him and move on?
I set the ironing board in the middle of the kitchen and start sorting his work shirts. I sorth the t-shirts aswell and then ended with the pants.
Khathu comes back minutes later and grab a chair.
“She is taking a bath,” he says.
Did I ask you?
I wanted to ask that but I didn’t have the guts to mention.
I think, I am too sweet. Generally, I am too sweet and this has to end.
“Why am I here?” I ask.
“I am trying to bring Lufuno back to life. She was giving up but I want to bring things that makes her happy…so I wanted to ask if you could finalise the wedding arrangement with her?” he says like we never kissed.
Mxm.
“Okay,” I respond. I have nothing better to say.
“Her personal assistant is coming and I want you guys to just brighten her day,” he says and I laugh sarcastically.
So I am being used, vele vele! I am being used to make another woman happy? Haaaaa clap once!
I decide to iron in silence. Anyway, I get paid for my assistance so I should just chin up and do my job. I finish ironing and Lufuno joins me in the dining area. I have prepared a light lunch meal.
“Babe, I am just going to the office to finish some work…Mandiwana, please call me an hour before you and Gean leave,” Khathu says. He is wearing track pants and a golf shirt. He looks good.
“I will,” I manage to say.
Khathu leaves and the assistant arrives.
Well, how much do personal assistants earn? I opened for this girl and she is driving a latest mini couper. She is dressed perfectly and carrying a Loui Vittton bag. I hope I spelled it right. She walks in with flowers and a gift bag.
“Hey sister boss…I got you some flowers,” she says while settling down. She passes the flowers to Lufuno’s hands. I watched as she feels the flowers. She smelled them and then later smile.
“Thank you Gean.”
Gean! I never get used to this name, but let me just SHUT UP.
“Are you excited about the wedding,” Gean asks and Lufuno gives out a fake smile.
Shame, this must be too hard for her.
“I am,” Lufuno says. I want to tell her to maybe change her mind, but don’t have the guts.
“Then we should finish the arrangements,” Gean says.
“What arrangements?” I ask.
“The ones that sister boss had drafted. The wedding is in less tham four months, so we should start running around,” Gean says.
“Sure,” I say. What more can I say? Every word they mention destroys the dreams I had with Khathu. That little hope that me and him will move back to Venda and start afresh is stomped on and there is nothing I can do.
“So…the wedding colour is red and theme…roses?” Geans asks and Lufuno nods. She has a happy smile. Look like she is looking forward for this wedding and I am not.
Entlek! I am not feeling this anymore. If truth be told, I am here for the real hair. That long hair she promised. Other than that, I don’t want to be part of this wedding.
You know why?
Because I believe Khathu and I has something special and we should stop shying around for it. I think I don’t mind the two kids. Good guys are hard to find anyway.
Please don’t ask me about my boyfriend back in Venda. I am over him. I think we are over each other. I want Khathu for myself, but this commitment with Lufuno seem more serious than I thought.
“I want you guys in wine red long backless dresses,” Lufuno says as if she will see us in those long dresses. Gean jots the wish down and I fake a smile when she turns to me.
“What do you think?” Geans asks me and I nod. I don’t want to mention or ask why we are wearing WINE dresses. Asking what they mean about wine red dresses will be embarrassing so I just shake my head to no questions.
“Basically, everything is red? Red roses, red dresses and red cars. Red décor? I looovveeee it,” Geans asks.
I don’t have any comment. I am used to WHITE weddings. This RED wedding seem unholy to me but I won’t mention it. I don’t want anyone mentioning that I am nothing but jealous.
Gean’s phone rings and she mentions that it is the office calling. She picks the phone and walks outside.
There is silence between me and Lufuno. I have nothing to say and she probably has nothing to say to me too.
“Mandiwana, I once asked you this question once ago…do you have a crush on Khathu?” she asks and I widen my eyes.
What?
I want to ask what she means but she might hear the panick or defence in my voice. I also don’t want to keep this to myself anymore. She might need to find out the truth soon.
“Do you?” do you have a crush on Khathu?” she asks.
“Yes. I have a crush on Khathu. I had always wished that me and him can be together back at Venda but it is impossible with you in the picture,” I thought to myself but not say it.
“Do you?” she asks.
“Yes,” I thought to say but I don’t.
“Mandiwana, are you there?”
“What?”
“Do you have a crush on Khathu?”
Thank God she cannot see my face right now. Khathu is supposed to be mine. Infact, Khathu is mine. I might need to play fair now, but I think I need Khathu for myself.
“Mandi?” she calls out.
“Yes?
“What is going on between you and Khathu?” she asks as if she overheard our convo in the morning or she feels something.
I think this is my opportunity to tell her the truth, the truth about how I feel about Khathu.
“What is going on between you and Khathu?”