Oh! Flip! I forgot to set the alarm last night. I stayed up until late thinking about Khathu. I also tossed and turned the whole evening I even bet I slept for less than three hours.
I am woken at the same time that I am supposed to be at work. Why did I have to move out of my parents’ house? My mother would have woken me up.
I drag my feet to the bathroom and sat on top of the toilet seat. I really don’t feel like going to work today. If only I had a choice.
I choose to take a quickest shower. I don’t have time to soak myself like I do always. I rush to put on a dress that doesn’t need ironing and do just a little touch-up of make-up after tying my hair into a bun.
In thirty minutes I was done and rushing off to the office. Luckily I don’t have early meetings. I got to the office after nine and threw myself on my office chair.
Phew! I am so exhausted.
“Your father was looking for you,” Sharon says while standing by the door.
“What is the mood today?”
“Uhm…he looks chilled,” she says and I follow behind her. I go up to his office and find him busy with his personal assistant. I want to run away but he gestures me to come and sit.
“And please call Khathu Nengwenda and arrange a meeting with him for next week Wednesday,” he says to his PA who is taking the notes.
Why does he need Khathu again? Isn’t he done and gone from our lives? I don’t need his presence because he keeps confusing me.
“Why do you need Khathu?” I ask once the PA is out of sight. I move from the couch to the office chair opposite his.
“You mother wants to start up that restaurant. Can you believe that?” he says, sounding proud of his wife.
“And Khathu?” I ask.
“He will help run her with everything just like he did our business.”
“I see.”
“What is going on?” he asks and I smile at him.
“With what?”
“With you. I know you Tshepo.”
“I am just a little tired. I am over working myself.”
“Huh? You are not at work some times. You are always late. How are you overworking yourself?” he points out and I drop my eyes. “Are you pregnant?”
“What?” I shoot my eyes to him. “What do you mean?”
“It’s a question.”
“I am not pregnant. I don’t even have a boyfriend.”
“Can you please talk to your mother? Come over for supper tonight.”
“Dad…come on…I am always at your house.”
“Go now, I have work to do. I will see you at Supper,” he says and stand from the seat. I think he is right. I need to speak to my mother about everything. Maybe she can help me with dealing with all this.
The day was so long with two designs I had to finish before knocking off now at five. I wish I had somewhere to go after work other than my condo. It is small enough for me but I get so lonely sometimes. I wish I was still with Khathu. He was going to love my balcony and I know he was going to work all night in it.
I decide to drive all the way to Mall of Africa to do a little shopping before going to my parent’s house. I want my mom to do all the cooking so I stroll around the mall, buying new dresses and more platform shoes. Thank God for them. Stilettos are for occasions for me. I can’t survive running up and down MBC with stilettos. I also do field work, driving around and meeting clients to see their vacant land before I start architecting for them. So I don’t buy new stilettos but three pairs of platforms instead. I see a beautiful girl’s dress and I thought of Michelle. The girl I liked and never got to meet her. I saw her once at her school concert. I know we would have made a great team, me and her. I was ready to love her dearly. I pick the dress and pay for it. I will wrap it up and give it to Khathu when we meet. We agreed to meet for coffee one of the good days.
I get to my parents’ house just after six. Bakang is always here. Okay, me and Bakang literally come to my parents’ house every week. Mostly for my mother’s food.
“Is it me or you are gaining weight?” he asks.
“It is you.” I scan myself and not see any fats. I just see a t-shirt semi-formal dress that doesn’t hug my body.
“It is this new style of hers,” my mother says. “We are used to your bodycons and pencil dresses.”
“Oh, well…I can’t be wearing bodycons in winter,” I defend myself.
“I am not talking about your dresses…your cheeks are puffy,” Bakang adds. What’s wrong with him?
“Stop it Bakang…get out of my kitchen,” my mother hits him with the apron she just took off. “You don’t tell a woman she is getting fat.”
Bakang leaves the room and I help my mother with the rest of the food. I always set the table so I get to the dining room and set the table for four. My mother asks me to add two plates because we have a visitor joining us for supper. My parents love hosting people. I think it is because my mother is a good cook.
My father and Bakang settle on the dining table while my mother and I place serving dishes one after another. After placing the drinks, I hurry to my old room to use to the bathroom and to change to something a little warm. I still have clothes here, for the days I choose to sleep over.
I hear people laughing at the dining area. The guests are here. I hurry down the staircase to meet the guests we are hosting.
“I am Lufuno and this is Gean,” I hear her just when I get to the living room. She is here. The woman Khathu adores. She stares at me and drops her eyes just when I walk closer to the table.
“Baby, my planner is here. Can you believe it?” my mother’s says happily and I fake a smile. I don’t hate her but I don’t like her either. I don’t know what I do her. All I know is that she is not my favorite person in the whole world. So she remembers me. She has seen me twice so she obviously remembers me. She saw me with Khathu at the Altitudes and also the Sunday she was in my man’s apartment. I mean my ex-man.
“We are thrilled to have you here and thank you for your time,” my father says and I inwardly roll my eyes.
I am the only one who doesn’t like her because even Bakang is praising her work and how much he has heard about her. Apparently she is the one planning Charlotte’s famous cherry blossom wedding. It is going to be the talk of the year.
She can’t keep her eyes on me. Maybe she knows she is the cause of all my misery.
“I am sorry for pressurizing you to do this. It is just that my queen wants the best only. Uhm, tell me, there is somewhere I read about you being in finance dilemma. Are you blacklisted or?” my father asks.
“News travel fast, don’t they?” she asks and sips on her wine. I feel like sipping some but I am on a break. I have grape juice in a wine glass so Bakang doesn’t question me of my decisions. I don’t feel like wine and I won’t have wine. Oh! Yes! Bakang and I drink with my dad, provided it is a glass of white or red wine for supper. Only now that we are old and capable of doing anything imaginable.
“I also saw some online news bulleting some fraudulent transaction,” Bakang adds and Lufuno places her wine glass on the table.
“Well, someone is stealing from my company. So far we can account for over R400 000 stolen,” she says with a trembling voice.
Say whaattt? She lost thousands from her account? Why am I happy just by hearing her voice crack in between her words? I am not heartless, I am just happy she is suffering in some way. Don’t blame me! I am the one who is suffering from watching my man love another woman. Not you!
“Close to half a million?” Bakang gasp “Kanti how much money do you have?”
But true! That is close to all I have to my name. I am not talking about my father’s trust fund, I am talking about all monies that belongs to me. How much money does she have to still run an empire after such a huge amount is stolen?
“Work four times harder than you do and you will see half a million as pocket money,” My father says and Lufuno smiles.
“So, what are you going to do?” my mother asks. I also want to know.
“I don’t know. Well, I honestly don’t feel comfortable talking about this,” she says.
“You can’t trust nobody, right?” I ask. I can’t sit here and pretend I am fine having her in my father’s house.
“Yes, you can’t trust anyone,” she says. I just lost my appetite. I throw the cutlery on the food and storms out of the dining room and head straight to my room.
I throw myself on the bed and let out a loud sigh! My mother knocks once and then opens the door.
“Tshepo, are you alright?” she asks while walking in. I think I was rude.
“I am fine Ma,” I say without turning to her.
“No, you are not. We have guests and what you did was rude,” she says with her hands folded on her chest.
“What is so special about her? huh? Everybooodddyy lives for her. What is so special about her?” I yell and my mother opens her mouth to say something but I continue, “Why is she so precious to you and dad and everyone?”
“Is this about Lufuno?” she asks.
Who else could it be? She shuts the door. She should have done that long time ago before I yelled my lungs out. She walks to me and sits closer to me.
“What is wrong?” she asks. “You are always worked up every day. What is wrong?”
“I am fine.”
“Is this about Khathu?” she asks. So Bakang has been feeding my parents nonsense. I told him what he saw in the car was a once off thing, Khathu and I were never an item.
“He loves her so much mama,” I say and tears start falling down my cheeks. I had never spoken to anyone about it. “He was the only guy I truly loved after Tumisho but he loves Lufuno with every fiber in his body. What is so special about her?”
My mother pulls me into a hug. For the first time after so many months, I choke myself in between sobs. I miss him. I want him. I need him.
“Look, you will find somebody who treasures you the way you want,” she says and I shake my head.
“I want him, not anybody else. My heart wants him.”
“But I don’t want you to hurt yourself.”
Who am I fooling? I CAN’T BE WITH HIM.
“I know,” I say and clean my face with the sleeve of the jersey I am now wearing.
“Are you pregnant?” she asks and I pull away from her. “I have been pregnant twice.”
“I am not pregnant.”
“You are always tired Tshepo. You wear t-shirt dresses more than pencil. You no longer finish or even steal my bottles of my wine. You are always sick. Come on,” she says and I let out another agony cry. She pulls me to her embrace again and I tighten my arms around her neck.
“I don’t know what to do mama,” I sob as I try to stop crying. This hormones are dealing with me badly.
“It is Khathu’s right?”
“It is but you can’t tell anyone. I don’t want him to be with me because of the baby. And dad mustn’t find out.”
“You are going to show very soon.”
“Well, I’ll tell Dad and Bakang that it was just a mistake during a one night stand.”
“Why would you sell yourself so cheap like that?”
“I don’t want them to force Khathu into doing things he doesn’t have to do. It was my mistake. Ma, please.”
“Khathu also needs to know.”
“No, he mustn’t find out. I don’t want him to feel like a trapped him with the baby. I don’t have the energy to deal with all that,” I say and my mother shakes her head. “Please Ma, please promise me you won’t tell anyone until I figure something out. Please.”
My mother glares at me with pity and I ask her again to promise.
“I promise.” She deeply sighs.
“Promise me you won’t tell Dad, Bakang and Khathu until I figure something out.”
“Figure what out?” she shoots her eyes at me.
“NO! No…no…no I won’t terminate. I just need a plan. Promise you won’t tell them.”
“I promise.” She lets out a deep sighs again.
Please! I will find a way to deal with this alone. I am the one who told him to pull out and it didn’t work.
Oh Lord! How I regret that Cape Town make-up sex.