I woke up on Monday morning feeling like I had been hit by a truck. I scored myself a migraine from all the thoughts that ran in my head the whole weekend.
I pushed off my duvets with my feet and forced myself out of bed. I dragged my feet to my bathroom. I opened the medicine cabinet, picked the painkillers and threw one into my mouth. It didn’t matter that I haven’t eaten anything. I just needed the echoing pain in my head to disappear. I opened the taps on my bathtub and walked back to my room to make the bed. I hated Mondays sometimes, because of having to wake up early after a busy weekend. I always had to work up early so I could travel with my father to work. Daily, I got to work before 8 or even earlier when I drove there myself.
It was 6 o’clock so I had an hour before breakfast. I made the bed and chose the outfit for the day. It was safe to wear a pair of stilettos, I didn’t have a busy day, just two meetings and I was done.
I remembered I bought new shoes the previous week so I reached for the brown shopping bag from the closet. A small box of shoes which was placed next to my new shoes, tightened my heart. It saddened me. I bought Michelle a pair of wedges. I saw them in H&M and fell in love with them. I also pulled a dress I bought for her. It was a flurry pink dress with sparkles. I was going to give her the day we meet for the first time. There was no more that so I searched for the till slip from the handbag I used a week ago. I checked on few more bags before giving up. I had a tendency of not keeping till slips.
From the shopping bag, I took out my shoes and shove back the rest of the things. I hurried to the bathroom to turn off the water and jump in. The water was warm enough so I sunk into the tub and rested my head on the edge. I glanced into space and my thoughts ran wild to Khathu. I really liked the idea of us being together. He liked the things I did. We ice skated together even though he sucked at it. We watched so many movies I lost count. He laughed at my silly jokes and I truly thought he was the one for me. He was the first man I fell in love with since the hour I felt I was ready to jump back into the dating game. I felt I was ready to move on from my ex.
That bastard of an ex! He stood me up on the day to finish his ‘mahadi’. My uncle said he chickened out because he was not man enough. But I appreciated what he did. Imagine if he forced himself to be with a woman he didn’t love? I would have been tortured by his words and would be his punching bag when things didn’t go his way. We don’t talk but I have seen him around. We had the same circle of friends so I was bound to meet him in one or two social gatherings. The last time I saw him, we were at a Charlotte’s engagement party. He didn’t even dare to look at me, even from a distance. I was happy that he was content with his decision and that gave me closure.
I commend my father for being the best one ever. He taught me about my worth from a very young age. He dined me always. He took the responsibility of taking me to salons to do my hair and nails. He never gave me money to buy clothes, instead he paid for each and every piece I picked at all shops in a mall. He never got tired. He told me no man could love me or treat me better than he was supposed to. I believed every single word he said. No man could love me better than my father. Even now when I was older, I still knew I deserved to be loved more. No compromises, which is why I appreciated my ex for being honest with me.
I remembered the ‘mahadi’ day like it was yesterday. I wouldn’t lie and say it was not painful. I was humiliated, hurt and disappointed at once. I was sitting with my sister cousin in my room when everyone was busy preparing for the day. See, my family was not that traditional so even on the day of ‘mahadi’, it was not as traditional as you could get from other Sotho families. My mother had decided to host a party for me so the family could meet my fiancé. My mother was coloured, as her father was White and her mother a Mosotho. She was more white than sotho so our lifestyles was too different. She had invited everyone to come through to celebrate with us. I remembered she also had an enchanted theme for the engagement party. Crazy I tell you, but everyone respected her invitation. Women wore ball dresses and men suits. She had me wear a long classy dress with a touch of seshoeshoe. I stood from my bedroom window to see my father go around making sure everything was ready for the day. My ex was supposed to arrive with his family in the morning to finalise the negotiations before the party. Guests started arriving at 12 o’clock before he was even there. I watched as guest started walking in with presents. I remembered my cousin tried her best to keep me calm. She assured me he was just a typical black guy who operated on African time. I tried to stay calm until he called me to tell me he couldn’t do it. How cruel of him. I was hurt and ashamed. His uncles should have called mine earlier before the guests started flocking in. I locked myself in the room the whole day while people feasted outside after learning the groom-to-be cancelled on me. I wished to forget that day, but it was not easy to forget it. I moved on from that pain though.
Tokello was a romantic man. Too romantic to be precise. I was excited to meet him. I was truly excited to meet a new man. I was in a flight to Cape Town and was booked on a fourth row from the front. Everybody got settled in the Mango flight and the hostess shut the door and told us to buckle our seats. I was waiting for the pilot to greet us from the intercom before the safety demonstrations by the hostess. Instead, a tall light-skinned guy stood before us. He greeted the passengers and introduced himself as the main pilot for our flight. I smiled when he joked that he was in control of our lives for two hours. I chuckled and we locked eyes. I was smitten by him and him too by me. When we landed in Cape Town, the intercom beeped before his voice clearly spoke like a programmed machine.
“Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to Cape Town. This is your pilot Tokello Mabala. Thank you for flying Mango and do trust us again to fly you safely to your destination. The weather today is a minimum of 16 and the max of 24 degree. It will be a beautiful sunny day. In that case, may I please take this second to ask the woman in a pink dress, seated on the fourth row to join me for ice cream later today? Everybody else, I won’t be taking you for ice cream so enjoy your stay in Cape Town.”
I was shocked while everyone laughed and clapped their hands. That was how he asked me for a first date. Little did I know, he was going to disappoint me years later.
Now the fresh disappointment was from a man I liked. Watching Khathu glance at that woman with passion in his eyes brought those Tokello memories back. I could rather be stuck in my father’s house than get into a relationship with a man who was in love without another woman.
The water was turning cold so I also figured I was running late. I quickly bathed then rushed to get dressed, fix my hair and put on just a little make-up. I hung my handbag on my shoulder, took some files from my table and then rushed downstairs.
“Good morning beautiful people,” I said while putting the files on the table. I placed my bag on top of the files and hurried to take a bowl from the kitchen cabinet. I loved my Rice Krispies so I always had a box ready for me on the table.
“How are you?” My mom asked while brewing my father a strong black coffee. The aroma filled the whole kitchen.
“Just a slight headache, but I am fine.” I said while pouring milk from the fridge.
“Are you not overworking yourself maybe?” my father asked while swiping his iPad.
“No ntate…yeah…maybe…” I moved my eyes from him and poured my cereal into the bowl.
“Order lunch and join me in my office later today,” my father said.
“Why? What is the matter?” I asked.
“There is a few things we need to discuss,” he said and carried on reading the news from the iPad.
Minutes later, my father and I drove to work. The drive to the office was quiet. Usually I would have a lot to discuss with him to a point where he would shush me so he could listen to the news and traffic report on radio. He kept glancing at me and I kept giving him fake smiles. The headache was slightly buzzing and I was pretending to be fine.
It was the longest Monday with my offish mood. By lunch time my food order was at reception. I paid the delivery guy and headed to my father’s office. He was already waiting for me because his jacket was already off and the sleeves of his shirt were folded. I placed the food on a table by the huge window and settled myself on an occasional chair.
“So, what happened between the two of you?” my father calmly asked. I knew that lunch was a social call to snoop on my life. We haven’t done that for two years.
“Between me and who?” I pretended to not know what he was talking about.
“Between you and Khathu?” he asked. “I heard you talking about him with Bakang and I also know you two have been going on small dates.”
“Nothing is going on between us…nothing at all.”
“Where you not at his party on Friday? After that you have changed completely.” Trust my father to pay attention to me. I was the only girl and he was overprotective of me than he was to my younger brothers.
“Don’t stress yourself Paps…I am fine.”
“Do you want me to cancel his contract with us?” he asked.
“What? No! We cannot do that? I know how to handle my personal business and I can never mix it with MBC. I am a professional. We have worked so hard we can’t complicate the accounts…we are almost done with his services anyway.”
“Alright, I was just making sure,” he said and took a bite of his chicken breast.
I was matured enough never to mix business with pleasure. It was just that my heart decided to fall a little more for our business consultant. But now that my heart was in love, all I had to do was to let go of Khathu and work on my new business opportunity. Running an architecture division of a successful company was not a child’s play. Even worse, I had a burden to prove that my father hired me because I was capable enough to do the job.
*****
Wednesday morning I was ready for a brief meeting with the team and Khathutshelo. We haven’t spoken since Saturday. I kept ignoring his calls. I should confess, I really missed him. I didn’t know that until I saw him walk into the boardroom pulling a laptop bag behind him. He arrived at 10h00 with everyone ready for him to give a presentation.
“Mr Nenge…well Khathu…please tell us we are ready to shoot for the magazine,” I said while he pinned the projector cable on his laptop. I was the project manager and I had to run the show as professional as I could be.
“Yes, I am glad it is part of today’s brief,” he said with a confident smile. The man knew how to deliver his work.
My father sat at the end of the table with both his hands rested on the table.
“Do you think you can be able to push the rest of the work to fit a month instead of three?” my father asked and I knew where he was taking it. He wanted Khathu done with his project so I could not see him more.
“Ntate, let the man deliver us the best at his own pace…I trust rushing things might compromise the quality of our work,” I jumped in before Khathu could respond. I gave my father a puppy look and he nodded to let it go.
“But Sir, if you should know, it is doable to push all the work to just a month…I will just have to pull more plugs and put pressure on my service providers…anything can be done to make my clients happy,” he said confidently.
That did not sit well with me. It sounded like he was looking forward to not seeing me anymore. My heart was not ready for that.
“That is good to know,” my father said and I felt my heart coming up to my throat.
My head was sure to get rid of Khathu, but my heart was willing to do it gradually. I still wanted to see him. I still needed to see him smiles a few more times.
“I scored a six page spread on Buzz Business magazine for MBC to re-introduce your brand to the world. The photo shoot and the business profile will be done on Friday. The journalists will also be here to capture your work and do interviews with the relevant people. Also, please check out your new website. I turned a new leaf for you. The main MBC website have links to the Architecture, Interior design, Maintenance division and Construction division’s individual websites. Let me show you here on my PC,” he started his presentation.
He went on and on about the layout of our business profile, billboards adverts, TV ads and other campaigns. Ntate Maake was impressed as much as I was. He delivered more than we thought he could. It even seemed like I did not exist in his world when he spoke about business. That was how professional he was. I was proud, to be honest.
After the briefing, my father assured him his lump sum will be in his account in a few days. He congratulated him for doing a great job. Everyone packed their laptops and left the room. I left behind with him packing things into his laptop bag.
“Everything looks perfect, thank you.” I said walking towards him.
“I am glad you love everything,” he said while gazing into my eyes. I was lost in his gaze. He cleared his throat and brought me back to my father’s boardroom.
I should be honest, I thought it was going to be so easy to just forget about him and focus on work. Staring right in his eyes changed everything I had been working on. Those feelings for him rose right back just by seeing his eyes and his perfect smile.
“I have something for you,” I said. I decided to give him Michelle’s present. I didn’t know anyone with a 6 year old daughter except him. “Wait right here.”
Why was I feeling so awkward once again? My underwear was soggy and damn I was not wearing a panty liner. I walked to my office to get the shopping bag with Michelle’s shoes and dress. When I walked back to the boardroom, he was slightly seated on the boardroom table. His bag was on the floor, ready to be pulled out to his next destination.
“Please, close the door.” I stood by the door. “Come on, please close the door and lock it, we need to talk.”
I slowly walked in and locked the door as instructed.
“Did you get my SMS this morning?” he asked. What SMS? I haven’t checked my phone since morning.
“I haven’t seen the SMS,” I said while placing the shopping bag on the table. I cleared my throat as he was staring straight into my eyes and turning me on. “I bought that for Michelle. I was going to give it to her when we meet but I figured not anymore…uhm…if it doesn’t fit, you can pass it to anyone you know.”
He didn’t respond but walked closer to me. I walked back until I was battered by him and the wall. I wanted to stop him but my heart and my honey pot needed exactly the gesture he was giving me.
“Do you how much I was struggling to look at you the whole meeting? You kept turning me on and on…and on and on,” he whispered to me and I sucked my breath. His hot air pierced through my neck as his face was against my shoulder.
“I heard you say you want to finish the project in a month,” I whispered to him, trying to tell him how disappointed I was to hear that from him.
“Yes, I want to finish this project as soon as I can… so that I can freely make you my woman.” That made me smile. I didn’t want to be standing there flirting with him but my heart enjoyed the affection. “I want you to be my woman Tshepo.”
“Khathu we spoke about this,” I said, still stuck between him and the wall.
“And I thought about it,” he said. “You can complicate my life the way you want or give me sleepless nights, I don’t care…as long as you are my woman and you love me and I loving you back.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I had a fucked up weekend and I had to decide between not having a woman in my life or having one…I want you to be my woman.”
“But…what about…”
“She is not important anymore. I swear on my words…I want you…and I promise that I won’t hurt you Tshepo…look at me.” He lifted my chin using his finger. “I promise I will not hurt you. I promise to not hurt you Tshepo Maake.”
My heart yearned for him. He planted a kiss on my lips and I parted them for him to dig deep into my mouth. He moved his one arm under my flurry skirt. I felt his warm hand up my thigh, moving to my soft butt.
“Hello! Hello! Is there anyone in there?” a voice shouted from outside while struggling with the lock of the door. We parted the kiss and I covered my mouth to ensure I don’t make a sound. “This door is not supposed to be locked. We booked this boardroom for a meeting.” the voice said.
“Alright, I will go get another key from security control room,” another voice said before we could hear footsteps away from the door.
“We have to get out of here,” I whispered to Khathu with a soft chuckle.
“Not before I get more of the kiss,” he said and pulled me closer for another passionate kiss. I loved every second of it, with his hands all over my body.
“What if I get hurt?” I asked him. I wanted in but I had my doubts. I didn’t know which one to listen to between my heart and my mind.
“I know what I want, believe me,” he said. “Love is a decision and I decided it is you I want to spend my life with. Not anybody else but you.”
The person struggled with the door once more. I wasn’t going to walk out of here with Khathu behind me. I didn’t care but it mattered.
“There is somebody in there. Why can’t I get the key through?” the voice complained while fighting to snug the key into the key hole.
“Let’s move the meeting to fourth floor then, I can’t be here waiting for people to fix doors,” another voice complained.
All that time I was standing with my body against the wall, with Khathu’s hand inside my skirt. His hand kept burning my skin. I loved the pleasure so I didn’t remove it.
“I want to do things to you,” Khathu said and moved his hand between my thighs. He was at a sensitive place so I winced and covered my mouth. People were still talking outside.
“Khathu stop it, there are people outside,” I whispered trying to keep a chuckle as quiet as possible.
“Tell me you agree to go on a date with me,” he said and I didn’t respond. He reached for my wet underwear and I winced some more. “Say it Tshepo. Say you agree to go on a date with me.”
“Yes, fine! Fine!” I whispered then bit my lower lip.
Who would have thought a man I wanted to get over had his hands inside my skirt. I kinda knew what I was getting myself into but I still wanted in.
“You won’t regret,” he whispered then kissed me without a care of people finding solutions outside the door. He was spontaneous like that and I loved it.
“Please promise me you won’t hurt me?” I said to him without moving my eyes from his.
“I promise with all my heart, I will do everything in my power not to hurt you,” he said and I pulled him closer to undo his tie. “Do you have a condom?”
“I have one in my wallet,” he whispered after quietly clearing his throat.
I haven’t been crazy and spontaneous in a very long while, two years to be exact.
That was it!