I heard a soft knock on my bedroom door. It was Saturday afternoon but I didn’t know the time. I woke up with a buzzing headache earlier in the morning so I showered and went back to bed. I blamed it on my stupid choice of alcohol. My ex messed with my mind and I seemed to have taken a few steps backwards from my healing process. I was doing much better without having him around. Seeing him with his two brothers walking into the bar made me choke on my champagne. I was still watching Khathu walking besides the woman he was with. Rendani noticed me in the crowd and walked to me, ignoring Mrs Mkhize who was inviting me to host her tea party. He asked for my hand. I was shocked and could have peed on myself if it wasn’t for the restroom visit I did before he showed his face.
“Babe, you look so great,” he said while forcing a hug on me. He still smelled the same way he did years ago. Those years when I used to burry my head on his chest every good night. I didn’t hug him back. I was frozen.
“I will send you the email of the party,” Mrs Mkhize said before she walked to her husband.
“Babe, let’s talk.”
“Rendani, stay the hell away from me,” I muttered. The music was blasting and deafening but I chose to mumble my words.
“I tried calling you for the two years my love, I need you back in my life…I looked for you.” he said.
That was just rubbish!
I obviously bought the house after he left me but he knew where my offices were if he needed me. I was even reachable to people who didn’t know me. What the heck was he talking about?
I dragged myself to the closest bar stool and threw my numb body on it. He walked towards me and reached for my hand. I wanted to shout from the top of my voice but I was too numb to do so. I wanted to push his buffed self away from me but I had no strength left in me. People danced around us like my world was not crumbling down all over again.
“Baby, I never got a chance to explain myself. I needed healing. I missed you the whole time.” He said loudly into my ear. I tried so hard not to shed tears in front of thousand strangers.
“Please excuse me, my boyfriend might be looking for me.” I said while pulling myself from the chair. I had cried enough for him and he was not worth anymore of my tears. I needed him then when he broke up with me in hospital. He told me, with a finger on my face that he will never forgive me for killing his child. Did he care about what his words did to me? Imagine, he did all that in the presence of my parents.
“Babe, please…let’s meet up and talk…”
“You are my past and I would appreciate if you stayed there.” I said with my chest tightening with each word I spoke. He tried to pull my arm but I managed to shove it off from me and rushed to the Lobby room. There was no way he could pass through since it was privately booked by Mr Mkhize.
I got myself a corner table and ordered a bottle of Tequila. I had to numb the pain I was feeling. I wanted to leave but I still had hope that Khathu would come back and talk to me. He seemed to be the only one who genuinely cared for me. I wouldn’t lie, but seeing him with that girl woken feelings I never thought existed for him. I felt jealous, I felt cheated on. Call me selfish but I felt I needed him for myself. It was awkward and confusing, but I did. With all that, I still knew my worth. I didn’t do well with rejection so I knew then that I had to keep the stupid feelings to myself. I was meant to see him with her to know not to embarrass myself.
I heard a soft knock on my bedroom door again. Gean opened the door without my response. She walked in with a tray of food. How generous of her. She placed the tray on the bed and walked to the curtains.
“Don’t you dare open those curtains,” I quickly said before she could pull the ribbon.
“It’s dark in here,” she said with her hand on the ribbon.
“Let it be,” I sniffed.
“Are you crying? Lufuno, are you crying?” she asked rushing to the bed. Gean was more like my little sister than an assistant.
“I am fine.”
“No, you are not. Talk to me,” she walked back to the curtains and pulled the ribbon to open them.
“Damn you Gean,” I said covering my eyes. Gean loved tempering with my damn curtains and I hated it.
The sun shone bright into my painful eyes.
“This darkness is just going to make things worse for you. Come now, sit up. Let’s talk.”
“There is nothing to talk about, I just had a rough night.”
“I heard you stumbling up the stairs last night. Where did you go?”
“To some party in Altitudes…I should have taken you with.”
“You should have,” she said as if she was not entertaining her new boyfriend last night.
“Do I have any meetings today? Can you find me any meeting today?” I asked while digging in a salad from the tray.
“It’s Saturday afternoon.”
“I know. I need to work. I need something to get my mind out of things. Get me a meeting with any client…I need to keep sane,” I said and Gean pulled her phone from her back pocket. Work kept me sane. Making money kept me sane.
Gean played her fingers on her phone and flashed a screen in front of me minutes later. “What is that?”
“An email you received from Mkhize Consultancy on Friday after your meeting. I noticed you didn’t open it. The consultant sent you the layout of the ideas of the Ad as discussed in the meeting. He also left some questions on the email that needs to be discussed so I can call him to arrange a meeting this afternoon? Last time I checked, Mkhize’s consultants worked on weekends on a call. Remember we used to work on Sundays with Mrs Cindy?”
What would I do without Gean?
A meeting with Khathu, awesome! Last night he looked so fine and I couldn’t stop eyeing him. This meeting could also be a chance of me clearing my image to him. I sure looked like a mess after the tequila shots I took.
“Please call him to find out if he can meet with me for a meeting.” I jumped out of bed feeling better than minutes ago.
I hopped to the closet to pick a dress to wear to that meeting. I was still praying for a positive answer while picking the matching turquoise stilletos. I was going to wear a navy blue casual pencil dress.
“He said he will be available in the next hour so I told him to meet you at Rhapsody’s centurion mall,” she said and I beamed at her. “Why are you so excited?”
“Work makes me happy,” I lied. It had nothing to do with loving work. I was just looking forward to seeing Khathu once more.
“But why does it seem like the guy was also just as excited?” she asked and my heart smiled.
“Some of us enjoy making money, you know?” I said but she raised her eyebrows. “Please save his number on my phone.”
Gean walked out of the closet to my bedroom to get my phone. I continued matching up outfits for my meeting.
“Yoh, Muzi has been looking for you…seven missed calls?” she said while walking back to the closet.
Who leaves seven missed calls? I grabbed the phone from her and read the messages. I read a lot of them and left a message for Muzi before jumping into the shower.
I was ready in 45 minutes and had an Uber to pick me up. Ntate Molefe left in the morning and it would be rude to call him at short notice. I got to Rhapsody and ordered a glass of sparkling water with lemon. It tasted horrible but I had to nurse my hangover and my grumpiness. Khathu walked in 10 minutes later wearing a soccer jersey. I was there wearing a pencil dress with a pair of stilettos and he was just wearing a soccer jersey.
Thank God it was not a date or else I would have been pissed off.
“Hey, your PA called me,” he said while grabbing an empty chair. i watched as he threw himself on it, “I was out watching soccer when she called, sorry, so please don’t mind my shirt.”
“You don’t have to explain.” I said after sipping my sparkling water. I pulled my note book to pretend I was ready for a meeting. I was there to see Khathu eye to eye and to nurse my curiosity once more.
“I am sorry, I am little unprepared,” he said while staring in my eyes. I could swear there was something more he wanted to tell me but didn’t know how to.
“So, are we discussing business ooorr?” I asked, knowing for sure that our meeting could be better off as social. I didn’t want to be the one to mention it and pose as desperate for him.
“Look, I should be honest with you,” he said after taking a deepest sigh. “I agreed to a meeting because I needed to find out how you were holding up. I didn’t like how you were last night.”
So he still cared. There was little hope.
“I am fine. I was just a little drunk last night but thanks for taking me to the car.”
“It is the least I could do,” he said before calling the waiter and placing an order for a Heineken.
How I wished he could order whisky or something a little better than just beer. But who was I to choose for him?
I couldn’t put my finger to it, but Khathu was not himself. He used to glance straight into my eyes, but it was different. He kept swaying his eyes at everything else except me.
“Khathu, are you alright?”
“Why?” he quickly asked. I knew something was wrong but I couldn’t put a finger to it.
“You seem distant,” I said and smiled at him.
He chose to ignore me so I let him be. It could be that I put him in a compromising situation the previous evening. I was only worried that I might have said something offish and didn’t remember any of it. I admitted, I was too drunk and wouldn’t want anyone to remind me the things I said or did.
“Tell me again, where does your boyfriend live?” he asked from nowhere and I was shocked. We were supposed to be discussing business but the mood didn’t allow. But he had no right to ask me anything about Muzi.
“Why are you asking?” I was curious and needed to know.
“Tell me, please?” he pleaded with his eyes.
“In Olieven,” I said and he raised his brows. “He stays with his cousin…why are you asking?”
“No…I was just asking,” he said and gulp on his beer.
“Are you…happy with him?” he asked. That was the part where I was supposed to be honest with Khathu. I was supposed to tell him how interested I was to know him more, but instead I assured him I was happy with Muzi.
We stayed for more drinks without no discussion about business. We both made peace with it that the meeting was instead a social call but I was worried the whole time. Khathu was not himself. I could swear he needed to tell me something. I was just too proud to plead him to come with the news.
Muzi called me a thousand times while I was still with Khathu. He was at a Centurion Chisanyama, waiting for me to pick him up. I promised to pick him up in 30 minutes instead.
I didn’t get any news from Khathu but it was good enough to spend some time with him. He was a different man. He was nothing like that guy who asked to court me months ago.
“Khathu, do you have something to tell me?” I asked some more. He seemed to be distant but I was seated next to him.
“No, not at all,” he assured me and I was sad to hear that. I wished he could confess his love for me once more so I could tell him I had room to give him a chance. I wasn’t going to be the one to confess my love for him. I was not ready to be rejected. I was not ready to find out that he was in a committed relationship and he was happy with his choice.
My phone kept ringing in my bag. It was still Muzi asking me when I was picking him. I cannot explain how pissed I was at his texts.
“You need to be somewhere?” Khathu asked and I nod my head.
“You can go attend to it. I am happy to see that you are now fine,” he said after gulping his beer once more.
“When are we meeting during the week?” I asked and he told me he would send me an email on Tuesday. I picked my bag from the table and hurried to an Uber car waiting for me outside. I contacted Muzi before picking him up at a Chisanyama.
We drove home in silence. I knew Muzi was pissed but I didn’t have the energy to smooth talk him and beg him to tell me what the problem was. The driver dropped us outside my gate. I paid and we walked to the house in silence.
“Where the hell have you been since last night?” Muzi asked just when I shut the door close.
“Excuse me?” I asked him with my hands in my waist. I was not going to give him room to disrespect me.
“Don’t make do things I don’t want to do, where the hell were you?” he asked. He seemed to be insecure and it was a turn off to me.
“I overslept and I was taking care of somw business.” I said while walking to the kitchen.
“Do you see how you look?” he asked and I scanned myself as if I didn’t know know what I was wearing.
“What is that suppose to mean?”
“Last night you went out looking just sexy…and today also? Are you having an eye on someone?” he asked with a straight face.
Was it jealousy? I had no time to nurse his insecurities. I also hated that he was posing immature and childish.
“Don’t make me do things I don’t want to do to you, please.” He said with his hands on his waist,
“Grow up! Some of us have business to take care of,” I said and he chuckled.
“Business it is. Make me feel this small again and you will regret,” he said and walked towards me. “I hope you are not making me a fool Lufuno, because if you do, you are going to regret everything.”
Whatever! What a turn off to have a man threatened by how you dress.
“Haisukha! Whatever, Muzi!” I said to him.
“Lufuno, don’t test me,” he warned me as if he had something on me. “Don’t test my patience.”
“Whatever!” I mumbled while making myself coffee with him watching. “Whatever, Muzi!”