part 3 the reason I hold on

BANDILE Mom: So how was school? Me: Same old same old. Mom: You hungry? Your food is in the oven. I had just arrived home from school. Me: I'm gonna go shower first. Mom: Okay baby. Dad was probably at work and I think Wandile was still sleeping. He always sleeps after school. Anyway I got in my room took off my uniform and took a cool shower. I dressed up in sweatpants and a vest with socks and Adidas sandals then went back to the dining room with my phone in my hands. Melanie had tagged me in a picture she took of us earlier during break. The way this girl publicises our relationship.. Not that I mind. Girls still hit my inbox even when I have a picture of her as my profile picture. She had posted it on Facebook. I sat down Mom brought me my food. Me: Thanks. I put my phone away and started eating. Mom: Bandile baby? Me: Mah? Mom: It's been two years now. Me: I'm not sure I follow. I wasn't looking at her. I was chatting with Lindi whom I was planning to hook up with when I'm done eating. Mom: It's just.. You haven't introduced me to anyone ever since.. You know. Should I be worried? Me: Mom really? Mom: I'm just asking. You used to talk to me about her and now you've never even mentioned a crush. Me: I'm gay. I swear she choked on the tea she had been drinking. Like literally choked I almost laughed. Me: You okay? I asked looking up at her as she coughed. Mom: Umm yes I'm fine. Me: You know mom there's nothing wrong with being gay. Mom: It's just.. I wasn't expecting that. Me: I know but mom I'm tired of being in the closet. Mom: I'm glad you told me. Lindi called so I had to excuse myself. Me: It's my boyfriend. I have to take this. I got up silently laughing. The expression on my mom's face was priceless. I just laughed immediately when I got outside. Imagine me being gay. What? No. There's nothing wrong with being gay but I'm not about to have my ass fucked. Me: Baby I said when I answered the call. She giggled. Lindi: I miss you. Me: We still meeting Angithi? Lindi: Yes of course. You done? Me: I am. Lindi: Okay I'm waiting for you. Me: Alright baby. I went back inside and took the keys of the TSI. It belonged to my sister but she gave it to me after I learned how to drive. I got on it and drove to Lindi's place. She doesn't stay far from my house but we usually drive to a guesthouse so we can spend some time together. I don't pay for that. She knows too. I parked on the street then got out. She came swaying her little hips from side to side. I was leaning on my car while having a smoke. Lindi: Baby. Me: Come I opened my one arm for her and she stood in front of me. I perked her lips. Me: How are you? Lindi: I'm okay. I perked her lips took a last puff of the cigarette and threw it away. I opened the door for her then went to my side. Me: Can't believe I haven't seen you in a week. Lindi: You were too busy for me. She pouted. Me: You know I'm in matric and we writing our quarterly exams now. Lindi: It's just.. I missed you. Me: I'm here now I said touching her thigh. She was wearing a very short skirt with a vest. I let my hand go up and looked at the expression on her face. She quivered. Me: You okay? Lindi: Umm yeah. Me: You sure? She nodded. My hand was now touching her panty and I could hear the change in her breathing pattern. . FELICIA I had a bad day at school. Our teachers can really break or make you. She embarrassed me in front of the whole class. What's worse is no one had my back. I can't even say I won't go to school tomorrow because my mom would never allow that. Mom: Did you cook? She asked immediately when she entered the house from work. She didn't even bother asking how our day was or if we good. All she was interested in was the food. Me: Ee mma. Mom: Bring me my food. No please? Well I got up. I was busy studying but anyway. I got her her food and gave it to her then went back to what I had been doing. Teboho: I'm full. Thanks. Me: Okay baby. I took the used dish then went to put it on the dish basin. I was going to get to the dishes later on. From studying I got on straight to it. My mother was watching TV. I was just feeling exhausted by everything. I look after my brother on top of that I have to do everything around the house and getting at school I have to deal with rude teachers and some of my annoying classmates and not having food to eat when it's tough. At least my sister is coming tomorrow. Anyway

the following day I got up and got ready for school. I wore my skirt long sleeves shirt with my school shoes and long socks. I combed my hair put my books in my bag according to the table then went to the kitchen. My mother was home surprisingly. Teboho was all ready I made myself a bowl of breakfast. Mom: I want Boitumelo to find me home. Me: So work? Mom: I told them my daughter is coming home and she hasn't been home in a long time so they gave me a day off. Me: Mm nice. Mom: You should be happy she's coming. Well since she brings money into the house Mom had placed her on this high pedestal. I love my sister. I really do but she's not all perfect like mom thinks but I guess money really makes the world go around. Arriving at school I was already drained. I felt like running away but where would I go? " Felicia! " Someone shouted for me. I looked back and it was a girl from my class - Karabo. I waited for her to catch up with me. Karabo: O sharp? Me: Yeah Wena? Karabo: Ke grant. Hade ka taba ya thiza ole Wa gestere ( Sorry about yesterday ) Me: It's okay. Come to look at it this girl was way too boyish. Her hair cut and the way she talked. I think she's Lesbian or something. We walked into our class. I sit in a group of six at class. Three boys and three girls. Karabo sits opposite me. Karabo: Vaa Le Nna go ya shipa. ( Accompany me to the shop) Me: Umm okay. I had already put my bag down so I walked with her while listening to the stories she had dripping from her tongue. To my surprise she bought a cigarette and lit it right there. Karabo: Wanna smoke? Me: I've never really.. No I said shaking my head. Karabo: Zama. Good shandies Me: I don't know hey. Karabo: Don't worry no one will catch us. Me: Oh ohkay I took the cigarette from her and after puffing I started coughing. Me: Hai no. I can't do this I said when I had finally stopped coughing. Karabo: You doing it the wrong way. Me: It doesn't come with a manual moss. She laughed then showed me how to do it and I finally got the hang of it. I actually felt a bit relaxed after smoking. Me: Wow. Karabo: I know right. The bell rang and we went back to the school yard after she bought gums for both of us and mint sweets. Break time I went out again with Karabo to smoke. It actually helped take my mind off things. It made me forget a Little about everything. At least that teacher didn't have a lesson today. I went home after smoking. I was chewing a gum which helped suppress the cigarette smoke. I could hear loud laughs as I entered home and I knew my sister was home. Me: Dumelang I said then went to our bedroom where I took off my uniform and changed into casual clothes. Tumie came when I was just sitting on the bed. Tumie: You okay? Me: Yea. My sister is always looking good. I don't even think she fits In our unpainted home. I mean she's out there making all kinds of money but she can't even add one room to our house or even a little paint. She's all about expensive weaves fancy clothes and shoes but what about the things that really matter? Tumie: Good news is I'll be home for the rest of the year. Me: That's great but why? Tumie: I'm pregnant. Me: You what? Tumie: Three weeks. She said brushing her flat stomach and I still had a dropped jaw. I was astonished this was clearly unexpected. Me: Wow. Tumie: I know right. But who was I to even comment? I thought she's going to get married first And then have a baby. The last thing I want for myself is to have a child out of wedlock. I can't have my child growing up the way I did - being raised by a single mother. I wish I had a relationship with my father. I wish I stayed with him 24/7. Maybe I would know how it feels to be genuinely loved cause all I get from my mother is pretence and gruesome hate. Tumie: I got something for you. Me: Oh? She took out a smartphone from her pocket. A Samsung J3. Me: For me? Tumie: Yep. My boyfriend got me an IPhone6 on my birthday and seeing the scrap you using you can have this one. It's a smartphone. Me: Wow thanks sis. We hugged shortly. Tumie: You welcome. She stood up and went probably going back to the kitchen to my mother and I explored my phone. Maybe I'll be able to take good pictures now.

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