THE ONE

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LUFUNO

“What do you want from me Muzi?” I raise my shaky voice at him. I could smell him from days ago at the airport. I thought I was being paranoid, but it is him who has been following me.
What does he want?
How on earth did he know where I was?
Is he following me?
What does he want to do to me?
Questions are buzzing in my head and I am starting to freak out.
“I need to call the police….Lora…please call the police,” I say.
“No…no…no Lufuno…hold on…hold on…please let’s talk,” Muzi says.
It is him. I have been right all along.
“What do you want from me? Why are you following me?”
“I wanted to make sure that you are okay. I am so sorry, but I am just worried sick about you…”
“Luu, should I call the police?” Lora asks.
“No…Lufuno…please…not before we talk. Let’s talk. Let’s talk first…please,” he pleads and the more he does, the more I have million questions to ask him. How did he get here and why? Could it be that he wants to kill me?
“Luu…I can call the police for ya,” Lora adds.
“It’s okay, let him stay…but get someone to stay outside the door,” I say, “Don’t close the door.”
“Okay…just shout if you need anything…anything at all.”
“Thank you, Lora,” I say.
She reminds me a lot about Gean.
I hear the footstep move out of the room.
Muzi clears his throat aside me. I hate this moment right here. Me being blind and not seeing his face.
“Lufuno, I am so sorry about everything…everything…I am so sorry,” he says and then there is silence. “I am sorry for what I did to you.”
“Why Muzi? You and your friend killed someone…all for money,” I say.
I recall how I froze to the news. It affected Khathu so much that I feel like I am betraying him for having this chat with Muzi right now.
I can’t see and these sucks. I wish I could see how he is looking at me with those eyes I once fell in love with. I want to read his face and see him apologise for what he made me go through. I want to see him go to jail and pay for his sins.
“I didn’t kill that guy…Zakhele did and there was nothing I could do…believe me…please,” he quickly says after a little while.
“But you betrayed me,” I am shaking while saying this to him. He destroyed a piece of my empire and ruined Khathu’s life for a bit.
“I am genuinely sorry. I am so sorry. I had always wanted to come and apologise but I was scared that you might call the police on me again…. I swear Lufuno…I swear I will pay you back all of it…all the money we took from you…I will pay you. I haven’t used some of it and I swear I will give you all of it,” he says breathlessly.
I don’t care about the money.
“I was in a tight corner with Zakhele and I had no choice but to be part of it. I swear…I wanted out the moment I knew I was failing in love with you and there was that guy also…and everything just happened quickly. I promise you, I never…never ever wanted to harm you.”
“Do you know how much you messed up with our lives Muzi? How you made me lose so much? You made me go through the worst….” I say and my eyes are stinging from the salty tears. I feel his hand on my shoulder and I flinch. I move my shoulder to shake his hand off me.
“Oh…sorry…”
We are not friends anymore. He shouldn’t be touching me.
“Why are you following me? All the way to the USA?”
“I am not following you.”
“I am not stupid Muzi…you were in the same plane as us and you picked my phone when it fell,” I say defensively. He has got to stop lying to me.
“I saw you at the airport…I swear…I swear I was not following you until we landed here. I followed your cab to your hotel and I kept an eye on you and your mother the following day…that is how I knew you are in this hospital.”
“What the hell are you doing here in New York, that is my question?”
The police are looking for him back in South Africa unless they threw away his docket. Come to think of it, it is very possible.
“I am working here and in London also,” he says and I frown. The last time we spoke, he was a lazy bastard who wanted to eat off from me.
“You what?”
“Remember the modelling job I once told you about? I scored a big break…I am now modelling for a huge fashion company here…it is good money…I was in Joburg for a fashion show,” he says.
Modelling? I would like to see how he turned out to be.
“What happened to your case?” I ask? If it is modelling that he does…then his face should be all over the place. How come the South African authorities are not chasing after him and how he does he fly out of the country so easily.
There is silence in the room.
“Please leave if you are just going to keep quiet and let me wonder what you are thinking about? I cannot see right now and the best you can do is to answer when I ask you a question,” I snap. I hate
it when people keep quiet and allow me to look like I am foolish.
“Lufuno…I didn’t want us to talk about this today. I want you to get better…”
“Muzi you disappeared and I am the one without the answers. I need you to tell me…what happened to your fraud case?”
“Zakhele dealt with it, I don’t know how,” he sadly says.
“Dealt with it, you say?”
I cross my arms.
I don’t know how I should feel about this, really. I am disappointment because we have a messed up justice system. Khathu and I had been waiting for the good news about Muzi and his friend being arrested.

*****

Today is the day I get to see again. I pray that there are no complication when they take the bandage off. God knows that I need to see again. He can take away all things from me but I need to see life again. I deserve a piece of happiness in life and only Him can give me this chance. I don’t know what I am going to do when the doctor unwraps the bandage and I still don’t see. Thinking about that possibility is even making me feel so sad.
“Are you okay Luu?” Lora asks. I didn’t know she was in the room. She left minutes ago after stationing flowers around the room. She says today must be special.
Tears are stinging my eyes and for the first time since the operation, I don’t care about the pain. I am sad about so many things. I am sad that Khathu doesn’t want to pick my calls again. Lora has been calling him. I thought he understood that I didn’t want to be his burden. I was so tired of being a problem in his life. I don’t even know if the love he still had for me what pure…that it was him feeling sorry for me. I agree I messed up because when we called Gean to book his ticket to come for today’s reveal, she couldn’t get hold of him. He is angry at me and that kills me.
“I am fine,” I say with tears now on my cheeks.
God, I need a break.
“Don’t panic…the OP was a success…so today will go perfectly.”
“My boyfriend is angry at me for leaving him behind.”
“I think you should focus on you today.”
“Is that even right? They tell me I am selfish Lora…they tell me, I am selfish for focusing on me.”
“I have a sister like you…” she says and chuckles. “We call her selfish because she does things her own way. She wants to do her and that makes her happy. It took me so long to understand that we are different. That there are people who live for others and some…live for themselves and just because you don’t understand the next person doesn’t make them wrong.”
“Tell that to my sister…or my ex friends…” I say and laugh.
“So, you are allowed to think for yourself Luu…there ain’t nothing wrong.”
“I guess…”
“He is here again,” she says. I know she is talking about Muzi. He has been here every single day since a week ago when we had that chat. For days, he kept convincing me to forgive him for what he did. I am numb to feel anything other than wanting to see again. I want to see, that’s all that matters to me. I don’t give any damn about anything else. Forgiving him or not forgiving him, that wont make me see again so what he was asking from me was irrelevant . I wont lie and say I don’t appreciate his visits. He brings me African kinda food and lets me live stream south African radio stations. I choose to deal with him later. I needed all the energy for today.
“Fine…he can stay…as always,” I say while seating on the bed. The doctor should be in any moment.
“You say you are getting married when you go back to SA?”
“I don’t know anymore.”
I honestly don’t know if Khathu is waiting for me. I haven’t been thinking about the wedding because I want to get better first. My priority right now is getting my life back in shape. Marriage can wait if it has to.
“What would you like?”
“I just need to get my life back in order,” I say.
“How are you little Miss?” The doctor is here.
“I am scared,” I say and thereafter suck my breath. I am scared to find out my fate.
“I don’t want you to be scared. The operation was a success and…if there is another procedure to be done…then we can get to it as soon as possible,” he says.
“There is that possibility that this is not…fixed?” I ask and swallow hard.
Please God! I am tired of this.
“Just that five percent possibility. Are you ready?” he asks and I nod. “Nurse Lora, please deem the light to two, please.”
“Okay,” she whispers and thereafter I hear footsteps.
I flinch when the doctor touches my shoulder.
“Relax…I am about to unwrap this,” he says and starts unwrapping the bandage. He is doing it slowly. He carefully pulls the cushion that kept my eyes blinded.
I am scared and I swear I am crying already. I am trying to relax but I am failing to. I am breathing heavily because I am worried about that five percentage of operation failure.
“Open your eyes,” he says and I hold my breath for a second.
Lord, please!
I open my eyes and my hands are trembling.
“Everything…is blurry,” I say with so much disappointment.
I can only see Lora and the ddoctor standing infront of me but everything is blurry, they are blurry too. I close my eyes again and rest my head on my pillow.
This is it!
I am exhausted from all these.
“Blink your tears away little Miss…blink the tears away,” the doctor says and I open my eyes again. Tears gushes down my cheeks and the more I blink my eyes, the more things are becoming clearer.
“I can see…Lora…I can see….” I say while sitting up. I blink some more and tears fills my eyes again.
“Luu, can you see? Are you sure?” she asks and I nod my head repeatedly.
I have never cried like this in my life. I have never cried like this before.
“I am just so happy,” I say while laughing and crying. Their smiles are just so beautiful.
“Cry some more…you need to clean those eyes anyways,” the doctor says and I laugh even more with tears streaming down my eyes.
How I missed to see people smiling. How I missed seeing a bright room full of flowers. I glare at my hands while standing. I walk to the corner of the room, to a mirror on the wall.
“Lora, I can seeee,” I yell while feeling my face with my hands.
The door flies open.
We all turn to the door.
“Lufuno, can you see?” Muzi asks from the door. I gasp at the sight of him. How on earth did he become so angelic?
Without saying anything, he rushes to me and shove me in a hug.
Guilt is consuming me right now.
I feel a knot in my stomach at a thought that Khathu should have been the only person I see first.
I initially wanted it to be that way…at the airport.
“Luu, are you okay?” Lora asks.
I messed up.
“Lufuno, you can see again,” Muzi shouts and squeeze the hug tighter.
I close my eyes and wrap my arms around Muzi’s neck.
I am grateful for my eye sight but I really messed up.