“Aaannnnd Cut. That was the last shot, thank you everybody,” Khathu said loudly and everyone cheered.
What a day! It was a successful day though so I could not complain. I watched as Khathu laughed with the camera crew while putting things back into his laptop bag. I wished I had given myself more time to know him. He was genuinely friendly and demonstrated authority when doing his work. I liked it. I agreed, I judged him too quick.
Without even looking my way, he pulled his laptop bag out of the room. I wasn’t going to see him until a few weeks when we review the ad with the editor. It bothered me. There was no more excuses to call him or walk into his office.
I watched as the crew unplug lights and the equipment. The models paraded to the dressing room to change out of my gowns. The room was a mess and I had already told Gean to allow the team to leave. They would clean up the following day. I dragged my tired feet to my office on the fifth floor. Ntate Molefe was waiting for us outside so I SMSed Gean to finish up and then packed my things into my handbag. I wished for a longest bubble bath and a good cup of orange tea. I picked my bag and headed out.
I pushed the reception door open with my shoulder and walked out with a happy smile. I was sending an SMS to invite Lucy for Sunday lunch. I missed her and needed my sister back. Khathu’s voice shook me. I lifted my eyes from my phone to see Muzi on the ground with a bleeding nose.
“Make sure you get ready to pay for my window,” Khathu angrily said to Muzi with his finger pointed at him.
“Khathu, Muzi? What’s wrong?” I asked while rushing to them. Khathu was walking to his car and Muzi was struggling to stand from the ground. “Khathutshelo?”
“I will send you the invoice,” Khathu said without turning to me. I watched as he reversed his car and speed off. His driver’s window was smashed.
Could it have been Muzi?
“What is going on? Muzi?” I asked as he cleaned his nose.
“Your idiot friend fucken tripped me,” he said angrily.
“But what did you do? Did you smash his window?” I needed answers. I looked around and Ntate Molefe was standing outside my car. There were a few people standing by their cars. Thank God I didn’t know their faces and the possibilities of seeing them again was not there.
“What’s going on?” Gean shouted and I lifted my eyes to the balcony of the first floor.
“Get here Gean, let’s go.” I said to her and walked to the car with Muzi following behind. I threw my things on the boot and tried getting into the car. Muzi pulled my arm to stop me from getting in.
“We need to talk,” he said. He had annoyed me greatly and I was so pissed at him. From the second he walked into the make-up room and causing chaos for me. Khathu wouldn’t just trip him for nothing and I bet he was pissed by his smashed window. Now I had to pay for his stupidity.
“I had a long day Muzi…I will see you tomorrow,” I said.
“No, we need to talk now,” he said. Gean got to the car and jumped into the front seat. Ntate Molefe hesitantly got into the driver’s seat.
“Fine, follow me home,” I said. I saw his friend’s car parked not so far from mine. He nodded and I got into the car.
We silently drove to Silver Lakes. I could see Gean turning to me every five minutes. It seemed like she had something to tell me but couldn’t because of Ntate Molefe. We got to the house and Ntate Molefe exchanged cars. He used the polo when he was not driving me around. Muzi was not there yet, we might have missed him on some of the robots. I went up the stairs with Gean behind me. She didn’t turn to her room but followed me to mine.
“Lufuno, do you know what is going on with Muzi and Khathu?” she asked. I wanted to ask her to stay out of it but she was the only person I talked to. Lucy was not in my life anymore and Masindi was busy with the exam preparation with her students.
“I don’t know, Muzi just said he tripped him,” I said.
Gean cleared her throat and said, “I was seated at the balcony the time they were arguing outside. I didn’t pay attention but I heard Muzi saying Khathu shouldn’t dare say something…I didn’t get it right but I think there is something that Khathu knows which Muzi doesn’t want you to know.”
What could it be? Khathu did act strange the previous Saturday. I was starting to get worried.
“Well…I will find out.”
“Muzi smashed the window with his fist,” she said with worry in her face. “Are you sure you want to be with him here in the house?”
I was getting more worried. What if he gets violent with me? He was acting weirdly.
“Uhm…let me change so I can meet him downstairs.” I said while taking off the cocktail dress.
Gean made us tea while I waited for Muzi. He was taking longer than I expected. Gean placed my tea on the coffee table and took hers to her room. I decided to take a quick shower and put on my red silk nightdress. Muzi knocked on the door 20 minutes after my shower.
“Where were you?” I asked after opening for him.
“I had to breathe a little.” He said while settling on the couch. Things had changed between us. I would blame it on me for focusing on Khathu but he also played a role.
“Do you still like me?” he asked without looking at me. I did but I was starting to feel a little different about us. I felt that I easily fell in love with the first Muzi. The one that dressed and smelled well who seemed to be having things together but he was a lie.
“I do…but things have changed between us,” I said without sounding rude.
“Why? Is it because I am not rich enough?” he asked.
“You changed.” I said and he cleared his throat. We have been arguing a lot since the time I picked him at Centurion Tshisanyama. I understood he might be insecure but it was becoming a turn off. Following me at work to check if whether I was there just placed a nail on the matter.
“Do you know how humiliated I am?” he asked. An ego of a man. “I had to watch you flirting with him the whole day, the whole damn day Lufuno…I was there but I meant nothing to you.”
“Is it why you smashed his window Muzi? Is that right?”
“You are not evening denying,” he yelled while standing from his seat. “You are not even denying it, damn you Lufuno.”
Why was I supposed to deny something that was true. Yes, I tried to flirt with the guy. He wanted me before and I wanted him now, I didn’t see a problem with that. Muzi and I were not yet rooted so he should just move on.
“You had no right to smash his window,” I said.
“I don’t care about his stupid window,” he yelled again. “Are you not even ashamed of yourself?”
Why was I supposed to be ashamed?
“Look, I was not flirting with him…we were just working,” I lied so he could calm down. I was not ready to be included in the rates of those who have been laid hands by their partners. “Khathu is from a marketing company that does my TV ad. We were just working.”
“I love you Lufuno, and I don’t want to lose you,” he said calmly. “I don’t want to hurt you at all because I love you but you keep pressing the wrong buttons. You make me feel small since you find out I don’t have money. You led me on. I fell deeply in love with you.”
“I never looked down on you…that’s why I am helping with your business…it has been weeks but I am still waiting for your proposal,” I said and he dropped his eyes as if guilty. “Is there a business. Muzi?”
He didn’t respond. Instead, he dropped on the couch and burry his face in his hands.
“Muzi, is there even a business?” I asked.
“No,” he said.
What? He lied to me AGAIN! What more was he lying about?
“Why do you keep lying to me? How are we supposed to be in a relationship if you keep lying to me?” I raised my voice. There was no more hope for us. I thought I could handle it but it was getting too much.
“I am sorry but I can’t get things together…” he said. “But I am trying modelling now.”
What if he was lying to me? All the words that Masindi told me came back ringing in my head. Muzi wanted to eat off me. No, that was not happening.
“Muzi I don’t think me and you can be together,” I said. “No, we started ‘this’ with lies. First you told me you had a business. You lied. I got you a job and you lied about not working well with Mr Mkhize but I found out you were always late every day and never listened to him. You told me you are working on a business with a friend, and that too is a lie? No Muzi…how do you even want me to believe that you are even modelling?”
“I promise I am modelling,” he said genuinely but I was done with him. It was better to break it off before it was too late. I could love him but Muzi was a lie. I fell in love with a lie and I had all rights to correct it.
“You can’t leave me Lufuno, I am deeply in love with you,” he said with pleading eyes.
“We will never survive this,” I said. “You broke my consultant’s window because of your insecurities…I work with high profiled men…you can’t handle it.”
“Please…you can’t leave me,” he said. “You will regret it.”
I was starting to regret being with him. He was not too matured to handle a woman like me. My clients were multi-millionaires and if he couldn’t handle Khathu, then he had a serious problem. He walked towards me and pulled me close to force a kiss. I was not in the mood so I politely push him aside.
“Lufuno, you can’t leave me or you will regret it,” he said. “I love you so much I don’t want to hurt you. Don’t make me do it.”
“Do what?” I asked. He had been saying this since Saturday but it was starting to get to me now. Did I bring myself a serial killer? What did Khathu know? I started trembling in fear as ideas were rooming around in my head.
“Don’t make me do it…please Lufuno…please don’t make me do it…I love you…don’t make me do it,” he repeatedly said it like a crazy person.
“Do what?” I yelled at him. He glanced at me with saddened eyes and walked out of the house. I wanted to run after him to beg him to tell me what it was he didn’t want to do, but I was also scared. I heard the car drive away.
I hurried to Gean’s room but she was softly snoring. She was already sleeping. I needed someone to help me reason. I was tempted to wake her up but she was really tired. She overworked herself today and she deserved to sleep. I hurried to my room and dialed Khathu. He only answered when I was about to hang-up.
“Thank God, Khathu is that you?” I asked. I had to be sure it was not the new girl.
“Yes, what?” he asked.
“Is she there? Your woman, is she there?”
“No…” he said and I hung up. I needed answers and only him could give me. He was fighting Muzi because of something he knew. Gean heard Muzi say he should never dare tell me something.
I grabbed my jacket from the closet and put on runner shoes. I didn’t care I was wearing a nightdress with sneakers. I was going to do something I haven’t done in a long while. Drive myself! Waiting for uber was just going to delay me and I never preferred it at night when using it alone. I rushed to the kitchen to take the car keys for my Audi A1. It was small enough. I set the house alarm before getting to the garage. I got into the car and pressed a button for the garage door to open. I switched my phone off so it couldn’t disturb me. It was a phone that made me lose control and kill my baby.
I haven’t been in a driver’s seat in ages but everything still looked the same. The gears still looked like the one I last used. The lights were on automatic so I turned the car on. I remembered to station my foot on the brakes before doing so. Thank God Ntate Molefe always parked cars in reverse. I placed the gear on D and slightly move my right foot on the accelerator. I felt my face sweat up as I slowly drove the car outside the garage.
I needed to talk to Khathu. I was worried about Muzi’s behavior and Khathu had all the answers. On Saturday Khathu told me not to trust easily. What did he know?
My palms were sweating but I drove slowly down the drive-way. It was after 20:00 so I was praying the streets were not busy. I pushed a button on the garage remote and it closed behind me. I drove out of the drive-way, to the street, and then out of the estate. I drove to Solomon Mahlangu Street slowly until I decided to drive with hazards on. I had to do this. I was sweating up but I didn’t care. Besides asking about Muzi, I also needed to apologise to Khathu on his behalf. I liked the idea of seeing him once more. I pressed on until things turned south when I was approaching Khathu’s apartment an hour later. My weave was sticking on my sweaty face and my eyes were starting to be blurry. I remembered the day of the accident. All the pain I felt when they told me I lost my child came back. I had all windows opened but I needed more air. Rendani’s voice echoed in my head, blaming me over and over again while I was struggling to raise my head from the bed. I needed air. It was dark outside and I was parked on the side of the road. I picked my phone from the passenger seat and pressed it hard to switch it on. I waited as it lit up and gave me a screen to punch my password. I punched my password and swiped the screen to get to Khathu’s number.
“Hello?” he answered after a few rings.
“Please come get me?” I said while gasping for air.
“Lufuno, are you alright?” he asked and I repeated my words. “Where are you?”
“Two streets before…two streets before your apartment…”
“Two streets before my apartment?” he seemed shocked. Obviously, I didn’t tell him I was coming.
“By the traffic circle…I am driving alone.”
“Okay, I am coming,” he said and hung up. I slid my phone onto my pocket and tried to relax my head on the seat. When was I going to move on from all that? I kept telling myself it was a mistake but Rendani’s words would sneak in and rub it in that if it wasn’t for me his baby would have been alive. I didn’t know what to do to move on from the pain. Tears started rolling down my cheeks as I tried to control my breathing. I made a mental note to book an appointment with a shrink. I met up with one but I gave up weeks later. I couldn’t do it and I always thought I would be fine as time went by.
Khathu opened the driver’s door minutes later. I broke down even more with him not knowing what to do. He tapped my shoulder and asked me to move to the other seat. I cleaned my face with the sleeve of the jacket and jumped over to the passenger seat. He got in and drove us to his apartment. I was so close.
He led me on to his apartment and I followed, still cleaning up my face. Tears could not stop falling from my eyes. The TV was playing loudly when we got in. He was watching soccer. He picked the remote and reduced the volume. I settled on a couch while he made tea. We haven’t spoken and I was getting calmer by the minute. He placed a cup of tea in front of me.
“It will help you calm down,” he said and I picked it up to take a sip. It tasted like Chamomile tea. He stood there without moving. He needed answers.
“I needed to talk, I am sorry,” I said with my eyes on the mug in my hands. I was ashamed.
He went to the end of the room and sit on a small corner where his laptop was on the table.
“We will talk when you are fine,” he said. I watched as he got busy on his laptop. He was a workaholic like me. It was a Saturday evening after a hectic day of shooting the ad but he was still working while listening to the soccer match. I drank up the tea and placed the cup on the table. My head was throbbing. I needed painkillers but didn’t want to bother him. He had his back on me and I didn’t want to disturb him. I took off my sneakers, pulled my legs to the couch and curled myself to rest a bit.
I fell asleep on the couch because I woke up hours later with the darkness in the room but music was playing sofly. The time on the DSTV decoder was 23h40. There was a deamed light at the corner where Khathu was still seated behind his laptop, working. I slowly pulled myself to sit. I was sweating from the jacket I was wearing and the cotton blanket that had covered me. I took my jacket off and dropped it on the floor.
“Baabby, I’m hot just like an oven, I need some loving…and baby, I can’t hold it much longer, it’s getting stronger and stronger and when I get this feeling I need sexual healing…sexual?” Khathu quietly mumbled the lyrics of the song playing softly in the room. I felt like he was speaking to me. I was indeed hot like an oven.
I cleared my throat and he quickly turned to me.
“Oh, you are up?” he said and stood from the seat. He walked to the wall closer to the couch I was seated on. He switched on the light. Just like when Gean opened the curtains every day, I quickly closed my eyes so the light didn’t blind me. I gave it a few seconds to open them again. Khathu had his jaw on the floor with his eyes on me, in fact, he had his eyes on my cleavage. I felt my nipples hardened with his eyes watching them grow. I was wearing a red silk night dress. I didn’t mean to but I didn’t think I would end up here in Khathu’s lounge. My body was a little sweaty and I was getting a little horny from Marvin Gaye’s words softly filling the room.
Khathu cleared his throat. I bet he was also listening to the words too.
Damn! Khathu looked damn fine in a vest and shorts. Things I didn’t notice before. He stood in infront of me still trying to keep his eyes away from me seated on his couch.
I didn’t know what I was doing, but I stood from the couch and walked to him. He seemed to want to act on the words Marvin Gaye was instilling in our heads. I slowly walked to him while moving my hair to the back.
“Thank you for having my back,” I said while throwing my arms to hug him. I didn’t care if he was going to receive me, I was doing what my heart wanted me to do. He didn’t hug me back but I felt his one hand moving on my back. He slightly pulled me closer as I cling on him. I felt his manhood grow, pulling through the shorts he was wearing.
“You’re my medicine, open up and let me in…darling you’re so great, I can’t wait for you to operate,” Marvin Gaye kept singing the words on the background.
“Thank you Khathu,” I said and his other hand joined in caressing my back, slowly moving to my butt.