It is embarrassing to have Ntate Molefe pick me up in my morning gown and sneakers. I swear I will never embarrass myself like this, ever again in my life. I don’t know what gotten into me but I liked the idea of having Khathu in my arms. I get into the back seat quietly and he drives off without saying a word. We drive in silence until he parks in my drive-way. He came with his assistant driver who followed us behind in my A1.
“Miss Lufuno, may I please arrange a meeting with you tomorrow?” This is the first time he says something since we drove from Centurion.
“What is it about?” I ask curiously.
“I got a job in Joburg, and I was thinking of taking their offer,” he says and I sit in silence. Ntate Molefe has been working for me for years and he has been my best Transport manager and driver.
“We can sit tomorrow morning, I don’t see a problem.” I lie.
I feel like crying so I step out of the car and hurry to my room. I throw myself on the bed and let out a soft cry. I feel so horrible and miserable.
Gean walks into my room minutes later.
“Lufuno, are you fine?” she asks while walking to me. My curtains are already opened so she doesn’t have to rudely open them to blind me.
“I don’t know how I feel right now.” I roll on the bed and face the ceiling, wiping off my tears.
“Do you want to talk about it?” She sits on the bed.
“I kinda seduced Khathu and I feel so horrible about it because he had to stop me,” I say and wait for her reaction.
She chuckles and says, “I don’t blame you. I don’t blame you at all. The dude looked fine yesterday. You know boss lady, I used to talk to him over the phone and always thought he was those typical dark and not so handsome Venda men, but hmmmm, he is fine as hell. Haaai shem, he is hot.”
I laugh with her. At least she is not judging me. She never does.
“Ntate Molefe wants to quit. I don’t know what I am going to do without him.”
“He just needs assurance, that’s all. Ask him to stay.”
“What assurance?”
“Well I think he feels he is not as needed, you know? Phela you asked him to move out and he doesn’t want to step in your toes…and he is worried about you.”
“I’ll talk to him.”
“Please take a shower and change out of those sneakers and night dress. You look awful,” she says and I sit up straight. I did look awful. “Hazel and I will set up your tea party with your friends. Should we make it inside or at the porch?”
“Back porch is fine.” I advise. “Please tell Ntate to wait for me for an hour, I need to go to Groenkloof.”
“What you doing in Groenkloof?”
“Isabella’s cake shop…you know I love their tea cakes.”
“They don’t open on Sunday.”
“Woolworths it is then.”
She leaves me walking to the bathroom. I fill the bath-tub with pampering oils and soak myself in deep thoughts. I am conflicted with my love life. Muzi is stressing me with his behavior. He has been blowing my phone since earlier this morning. I sent him a text to give a space for just a day. I don’t want to spoil my tea party mood with the girls. Khathu on the other side is awaking the freaky girl I once was but I know for sure I won’t be seeing him anymore.
I dress into a cute pink tea-party skirt and a white lace top. Working, shopping and dressing up is my therapy. I finish my make-up and hair; then slide into my pink stilletos. I look like a perfect host. I grab my shopping bag and head downstairs. I pass Ntate Molefe having breakfast in the dining area and headed to the back porch. Gean is setting up the table with our helper, Hazel.
“That’s what I am talking about. Twirl for me boss, let me see?” she says with her hands on her waist. What would I do without this girl? I twirl for her while laughing. I feel a little better than hours ago.
“Am I not a little too much for a party of four?”
“You look just perfect.”
Ntate Molefe and I drive to Parkview Woolworths. I almost got the whole shop as I didn’t know what to buy. I pick the mini koeksisters, chocolate eclairs, chocolate mousse pancakes, scones and all sorts of cupcakes. I am a shopaholic. I pick four different teas, including the chamomile tea I drank in Khathu’s apartment. I think it is going to be my new favourite. I pick two bouquet of flowers to set on the table.
Gean has done well with setting the table. She is learning from the best. Hazel set the food on the table and by eleven thirty, the girls are here. They rang a bell a few times before I open it happily.
“What is she doing here?” I am irritated and now have my arms crossed on my chest.
“Always looking like a millionaire that you are neh?” Masala says while brushing her little baby bump. I stare at her hands and sway them away when I felt my chest tightening up.
“I’m sorry I had to bring her,” Masindi says. First she set me up with Lucy and now it is my worst nightmare, Masala? I am glad she reconnected me with my sister but I was not ready to sit with Masala in my house.
“Come in,” I step aside for the three of them to walk in. I pull Lucy and give her a warm hug. I miss my sister. I miss having late night talks with her in bed.
“Hello, ladies…” Gean says while walking down the stairs. “It’s always nice having you around.” She gets to the living room and hug all of them before leading them outside. I pull Lucy’s hand.
“Lucy, please stay over after tea? I miss you so much.”
“I have painting work to deliver to a client,” she says and I swallow hard. I don’t want to sound selfish so I nod at her excuse. There is a lot of times where I have personally chose work over family. “But, I can stay until they call me.”
“Thank you.”
The girls are already picking scones and cakes; and pouring tea. Maybe I should have arranged lunch instead. Masindi is sitting next to Masala who keeps rubbing her stomach. There is little tension on the table, maybe because we still have to discuss about Masala’s behavior at the vacation. She slapped me and haven’t apologised. Knowing Masidi, she will lead us to that session soon.
“So what’s new in your life? Where is your new man? I see your Instagram is filled with playful pics,” Masala says and I glare at her without a smile. She doesn’t know how much she is annoying me by being here. “Let me give you man advises now that you are finally with a man.”
“Guys, I need your advice,” Gean jumps in and I smile at her. She came for my rescue.
“What advice?” Lucy asks.
“So my boyfriend is relocating to Kimberley because he got some big arse promotion. Thing is, he wants me to relocate with him…and…”
“What about your job?” I chip in. She hasn’t told me anything about this.
“He wants to get me in to the administration department and I am not sure. My life is here you know but on the other hand, I want to be happy with him and the distance might strain us.”
“Men can drop you like a hot potato once they see a better woman, so if I were you, I would stay here and do me,” Lucy says coldly. I am happy she said that so Gean could stay but I am worried about her and Oscar.
“Or her man can love her just like Musa adores me. Not all men are losers, you know?” Masala sips her tea. “And what about you and the lovey dovey Oscar? That man of your is an example of real man.”
Lucy drops her eyes and I sit frozen with nothing to say.
“Uhm…well…I am confused but I pray I make the right choice.” Gean closes her topic.
“Guys, I drove a car last night. A good 20 km, even thought it was hell for me, I drove,” I announce to my friends. Masindi stands from her seat and hugs me from the back.
“I am so proud of you,” she says happily. “That is a big step.”
“So where did you drive to?” Masala asks, like she is sent to my house to annoy the hell out of me.
“I drove around.”
“Can I get some champagne for this?” Gean stands from her seat.
Tea and champagne? I don’t know. She hurries to the house and comes back with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. I was saving the damn bottle for myself.
I am forced to click the flute with Masala. She is pretending that all is well with us and she is wrong. I wait for us to calm down from the toast.
“Masala, are you ever going to apologise for what you did the last time we were together?”
“What? Apologise for what?” she asks and I chuckle. Is she crazy?
“Gean, please excuse us?” I ask and she walks away. I am not going to have an argument in front of my employee. Masala is brutal with her words she might end up offending Gean for being my personal assistant.
“Are you calling for war?” she asks with a chuckle.
“Guys, we don’t have to do this,” Masindi says.
“We have to.” I say.
“Look, okay, sorry for punching you on your face and kicking you out of the house,” she says with a smirk on her face.
“Get out of my house Masala.”
“What? What do you want me to do? Didn’t I apologise?”
“You are disrespecting me in my house,” I say and she looks at Masindi for defense.
“Come on Masala, you didn’t mean it,” Masindi sadly says.
“Please excuse me,” Lucy stands and walks to the house. Masindi follows her, leaving us deadly staring at each other.
“Can we talk like adults? Can you calmly tell me what problem you have with me?”
“You always get what you want and you always think the world revolves around you,” she says and I nod at her to continue. “I will never forgive you Lufuno.”
That shocked me.
“What did I do to you?” I sip the champagne. The tea can wait.
“Because you took Rendani away from me.”
“Rendani? Rendani my ex?” This is news to me.
“Don’t act like you don’t know what I am talking about. I showed you him and how I wish I could hook up with him. Later on I see you flirting with him.”
“You showed me ten more guys. Was I supposed to stay away from all men in the party? Didn’t we go to that party to find men? Both you and I… and we kept pointing at potentials and we laughed about it. You even flirted with the guys I pointed out?”
She is being pretty childish. Even worse for keeping it for so many years to only attack me about it when the same guy has wrecked my heart two years ago.
“I told you to leave him when you told me about your first date.”
“For what reason Masala? Didn’t you say he is not my type? You never told me that you wanted him for yourself.”
“Rendani and I had sex in the car. He took my virginity in a fucken car that night and he came to you after…”
I take a deep breath and gulp on the champagne. This happened years ago and I don’t give a damn about Rendani anymore. I cannot be punished for things I didn’t know.
“Well, I didn’t know.”
“I had to watch you flirt with him the whole night. He touched you and whispered in your ear all night.” Tears are gushing down her cheeks. “I felt so cheap…and I told you to leave him. You chose to stay with him over me.”
“I didn’t know because you didn’t tell me any of this. Stop crying, you will upset the baby.” I don’t want her to sicken the baby.
“I had to be there for you when the same guy broke your heart because it has always been our obligation to take care of you. I feel pity for that Gean girl who has your back all the days of her life. You are selfish and you don’t care about anyone but yourself.”
I honestly did not know. Why am I blamed for this? Gean agreed to stay with me and I pay her extra for work done on weekends.
“I’m sorry you had…”
“You know why I ask you about your man? Because I am tired of nursing your arse. When you break down we all have to jump to make sure you are fine. I did it for so long I got damn tired of it. You want people to beg you and leak your toes. Isn’t it what you did to Oscar’s friend who offered to change your vacation into something beautiful? But because you don’t listen to anyone, you pushed him away and I hope you regret your choice because he is a good guy.”
“Masala please…I want to…”
“All you do is lure our men in loving you. I heard about Oscar. Wasn’t it enough luring Rendani from me? Now you had to do the same to your little sister? You should be ashamed of yourself. Ask Masindi why she never brings her man around? Ask her? I trust she has seen how you look at him.”
Damn you Masala! I cannot be blamed for any of these except for what I did to Khathu. Only Khathu’s woman has a right to shout at me for seducing her man but the rest of the people can go hang themselves. Why am I always blamed for all these men’s weaknesses?
She keeps going-on and on about how I keep stabbing people on their backs. I have no idea what she is talking about and she is hurting me with words.
“You know what Masala?”
“I am not done,” she says and rubs her stomach. I couldn’t help but smile at the thought of a baby kicking in her stomach. I used to love the tiny kicks. My baby’s kicks were tickling though. It was a beautiful feeling.
All thoughts of my baby comes flooding in my head. Why did I have to lose my precious baby? I would have been a best mother. I swear I would have been a great mother. Tears fell down my cheeks without warning me.
“See what I am talking about? I can’t even be happy for my baby just because this would happen to you. That’s why I stayed away from you all these months,” she says and I quickly move my eyes away from her baby bump. She stands and pick her bag from the table. She claps her hands at me and yell, “Get some help Lufuno. Get help ASAP!”
I gasp for air as I keep chocking from my sobs. I feel my heart tightening worse than the other days.
“Gean!” I scream with all the energy I had in me. She comes running with Masindi behind her. My chest feels heavy and I can’t breathe.
“Lufuno, Lufuno, relax now…relax!” She says rubbing my back. Masindi runs back to the house and comes with a glass of cold water. I gulp at it trying to relax my chest by taking long deep breath. Lucy is on her knees next to me.
“I am fine now.” I say taking the last deep breathe.
“Lufuno you need to see the doctor and the therapist.”
“I need to lie down for a minute.”
“I’ll help you.” Lucy follows behind me. I get to my room and get into the duvets in my clothes. Lucy sits on the bed beside me. I know she wants to ask me what happened.
“You’ll be fine.”
“Are you fine Lucy?” I ask and tears starts bowling out of my eyes again. I didn’t know I was such a burden to people’s lives and that I am selfish. “How are you? How are things with you and Oscar? Are you fine?”
“No, stop protecting me and tell me the truth…how are you? And how are things in your marriage?” I raise my voice. I am blamed for not caring about everyone but myself.
“It’s not..uhm…important.”
“Please tell me.” I beg and she shakes her head.
“Please be honest with me Lucy…how are you? How is work? How is your marriage? I want to know and be there for you aswell.”
“Oscar left me, okay? He left me because he thinks you are the one for him. He told me I am not the one he has been looking for. He says you are the one for him…so you know what? You can have him to yourself. I am tired. I really am tired Lufuno.”
“Why didn’t you tell me when it happened?”
“So you can fake to be sick so we all jump on our knees to save you? Haven’t you realized that we all live for you? You have never set your foot in my house since that day and you tell me you care? But we all jump to come here and nurse your ego by telling you how perfect everything is. Everything is about you and what pleases you. Masala told me about Rendani. Masindi also keep her man away from you because you always get what you want.”
“You asked me how I am, didn’t you? Then listen, I am tired of pretending to be fine about your behavior. I want to believe you so bad that you didn’t intentionally kiss Oscar…but no, the way you look at all this guys…the way you sashay in front of them? I know you led him on. I swear I know.”
“Never, Lucy?” I am in tears. My heart keeps tightening with each scream she lets out.
“You seduced him, didn’t you? You seduced Oscar the way you seduced Rendani.”
“I swear the only guy I ever seduced in my life is Khathu because…” I try to defend myself but she laughs at me.
“Khathu has a girlfriend now, did you know?” she asks and stares at me. I drop my teary eyes and it is a good enough answer for her. I swear I didn’t mean to break Khathu’s girlfriend’s heart. Everyone else, I am wrongly accused.
“Stay the hell away from Khathu because he has a girlfriend…you deserve Oscar. He is THE ONE for you. Make sure you jump to him before he gets a girlfriend and you end up breaking another heart. You two deserve each other,” she yells and then storm out of the room, leaving me wheezing and gasping for air.