Chapter 7

AMARA-


Nothing out of the ordinary has happened this morning it’s the usual silent daybreak. Randall is the first one up he’s currently in the shower. Yes I said first one up because he moved back into our bedroom the day we were ambushed by my family and the ring is back where it belongs.  

We haven’t been talking much to begin with lately so the silence is nothing to be stressed about. Randall is a man of very few words but our mornings were usually filled with light conversations. 

Now we barely maintain a lengthy one I know he has things to say to me I see it when he looks at me. It’s as if the tip of his tongue falls numb the second his mind conveys something to his mouth. 

 


“How sure are you that those pictures are legit?” I didn’t expect a call from my friend so early in the morning. She claims she called to wish me a happy anniversary that’s when I told her what had happened.  

“Are you taking his side Ayize?” I know her like the back of my hand Ayize has been cheering for Randall from the day she set her eyes on him. In her eyes Randall can do no wrong she might catch him in bed with another woman and I bet you a million bucks she would claim that it is not him but his mirror image.  


“I’m not taking sides Amara but I know you sis. Jumping into conclusion is what you do best besides being a wife.” The sound of her soft laughter tickles my ears from the other side of the line. “See what I did there?” 

She’s still laughing. 

“You’re a good wife Amara the best wife any bastard could ask for.” In this case Randall is the bastard. “If Randy baby married me as well none of this would be happening.” She concludes. 


“Don’t let Neo hear you say that” I give her a friendly warning.

Neo is her crazy husband the man freaks out about almost everything.  

“Seriously Amara don’t let eighty years go down the drain. Talk to Randall and sort this out.” 

“Eighty years?” 

“Well that’s how I plan for you guys to be married. If you two fail in this marriage thing then there is no hope for the rest of us.” Ayize says. 

This is what I’m afraid of people expect too much from us. 

“What if it’s true? What if he cheated on me? The thought of him touching another woman makes my skin crawl.” 

“What if it’s not? This is the same as saying you don’t want to give your life to Jesus because heaven and hell are not real. What if you die and find that they are real?” Sometimes I forget that this once party animal is a pastor in the making. “Today is your anniversary talk to your husband. Kiss and make up have lots and lots of sex until you pass out.” 


“You’re still as crazy as ever I thought Nigeria would have changed you by now.” Ayize and her family decided to… no scratch that… her husband Neo wanted to tour Nigeria. The man has been obsessed with the country for as long as I can remember I’m surprised Ayize went with the idea. It’s been three years and she says she loves it there. 

“Yeyi stop that you little shits.” She yells over the phone it must be her triplets fighting again. Did I say she’s a pastor in the making? I lied… 


“What happened now?” My lips are pursed as I fight against a laugh boy am I glad R.J is grown and no longer a pain in the arse. 

“I have to go babe I’ll call you tomorrow. Don’t forget to have sex lots of it.” Her statement throws me into a fit of laughter. “Yeyi zinja. Come here.” 

Oh my God only she can swear at her kids like that. The line goes dead before I could hear the rest of her cuss words.  


“Let’s go out for breakfast” Randall says walking out of the bathroom his chiselled body draped in nothing but a towel that’s hanging low enough for me to see his v-cut abs.

“Breakfast?” The word seeps from my mouth in a shaky gasp. 

“Yes me hemma.” (My queen.)

Lord stop this man he’s walking towards me and I am a trembling mess. My eyes are not disciplined as they lustfully stare at him like he’s a snack. I turn away from his structure and fiddle with the pillows on the bed he’s close behind me. His fresh scent is hovering in the room and Lord I am salivating. I miss my husband so much it hurts. I miss the way he smells I miss his obsession over me I miss being in his arms everything he is. 

“Today is our anniversary” he mentions and I quickly turn in a way he hadn’t anticipated and our eyes meet. His hand is on the small of my back I see him now not the blank page he likes to project. 

“Are you okay?” He asks. 

The corner of his mouth twitches into his cheek. That little rise in the corner of his mouth he’s probably oblivious to has my body shuddering almost in a violet manner.


“I was thinking we could spend some time with the kids Liyana has been feeling a little rejected.” This is a blatant lie from me she’s more jolly lately. I’m trying to avoid awkward moments between the two of us.

“Well your two brats have something planned for us.” He reveals only he would call his kids brats. I give up. His arms tighten around my waist as if letting go would kill him.

“Something planned?” How did I not know about this?  

“A party I heard them talk about it last week. They think it’s a surprise.” That’s his explanation. 

“And you just ruined it for me?” I grumble. 

He really does not care now I will have to act surprised.  


He’s looking into my eyes I’m rendered weak whenever he looks into my eyes. 

“Well I might have slipped when talking to R.J. They made me promise not to reveal anything to you rather I was a given a task to keep you busy today.” He mentions as his hand slides down to my butt and gives it a little tight squeeze I am extremely comfortable with this. 

“What time does it start?” I ask giving in.  

“6pm I think so we’re staying away until that time. Spend the day with me you’ll look at a few dresses go to a spar. Get your hair done these braids should start complaining by now.” Lightly he pulls one of the strands just as I move out of his arms. 

“Should I be offended?” Offense has already made a home in my heart. The smirk comes to play again however he looks serious too. 

“You’ve had these braids since last Christmas Amara and that was what… seven months ago.” He’s teasing me. 

“Well excuse me sir. These braids are new.”  

“Really? How old?” Why is he giving me that look as if I escaped from a mental hospital?

“Three months” and I am confident about my answer. 

 “Okay let me change. We need to deal with your 3-month-old braids.” He turns with a smile and heads to the closet leaving me in the company of hilarity and harmony.

 


LIYANA- 


“Liya Liya wake up.” R.J screams in Liyana’s ear I would say it’s a norm however Liyana would have killed him on the first day he tried it.  

“What is it Kwame?” She groans tossing and turning in bed as she struggles to open her eyes. 

“Wake up Liya.” An impatient overexcited R.J yells once again shaking his big sister awake. 

He can’t wait to get the day started it’s the day they have been waiting for. Frustration brushes over Liyana it is enough for her to want to smack the brat… her brother I mean. Her head almost splits into two as she sits up


“Liyana come on” he whines annoyingly bouncing on the bed his voice unaware of the splitting headache his sister is fighting.

“I’m awake his voice unaware of the splitting headache his sister is fighting.

“I’m awake stop shouting.” Liyana whisper-snaps while massaging her temples to get rid of the headache that is threatening to unite her with her great grandfather. Too soon she is not ready to meet that controlling old man. 

 “It’s mom and dad’s anniversary.” R.J excitedly exclaims his sister’s mind is far from his announcement and that compels her mind to fall into a confused state at first.

 

Think think Liyana. The world does not evolve around whatever you’re going through. 

 

“Shit!” Her eyes finally pop open they widen at the boy who is holding a nervous expression on his face. 

“It’s finally here.” The nine year old happily chirps his final remark pulls Liyana into a train of excitement. 


Today is their parent’s anniversary planned by the two Okolie brats… The duo thought it would be nice to throw their parents a party.  

“Are they home?” He shakes his head at her question. 

“I saw them leave together a while ago dad’s got this.” He gives an answer.   

“Have you had breakfast?” she asks brushing his head. He squirms at her touch and grins like he always does.  

“I was waiting for you Liya” the thought of food makes the Liyana want to gag she hasn’t been able to properly eat anything since the stunt her ancestors pulled. If she could speak to them and ask them to stop she would. But those ones are like rain during summer they come when they feel like it. Sometimes Liyana is tempted to let her parents know about this but where would she begin when she is not allowed to date?

Her heart is heavy she needs answers as to why her ancestors are punishing her.


“How about you go and have your food I’ll join you just now.” He nods and pounces out of the bedroom. Liyana’s thoughts begin to hover around Zwelethu if he is okay after what happened. It’s been more than a week and they haven’t spoken the plan to avoid him is working but hurting her also. When he found out about her unfortunate state he didn’t run. She thinks herself lucky to have him as a lover. 

Her late great grandfather is usually the one who comes forth to relay messages on behalf of the ancestors he seems to be the one behind the wheel. And lately the old man has been awfully quite. Must be nice in the land of the dead. 


ZITHA-


My feet hurt and my head throbs I swear it feels like my veins will explode. 

All this dressing up for what? I was stood up by a bloody old man. Grandpa-ugly of all people. Does that fool know how expensive an Uber is from Orange Farm to Sandton? The bastard knows I will come running again next time he calls and he was supposed to buy me a dress for the anniversary party. I had to use the last cents he gave me the last time I saw him and buy a reasonable dress at Mr. Price. 


Tshilidzi Mulaudzi does this every time he thinks I’m a call girl he can push around when he wants to believe me when I say he was never like this. He was sweet at first I fell for his charms although he is old enough to have fathered me and I don’t know how I looked past that. I guess he swept me off my feet with the way he cared for me.


His cautions and charisma changed when he had a taste of my body for the first time suddenly it became about him having me and ravishing my body whenever he wanted to. I wanted out but felt like I would lose the one thing that made me agree to date an old man financial stability. The stress of taking care of a sick mother who can’t move speak or feed herself and being unemployed would kill anyone young or old.


It’s already dark outside when the taxi drops me off a few houses from my aunt’s. The streets are packed as usual however walking in this nosey neighbourhood in heels and this short tight dress I have on is a bad idea. These people are looking at me like I was having illegal sex where I came from it would make a difference if I cared what they think about me. 


I walk into the living area to find my aunt watching Rhythm City and Sizakele curled up with her feet on the couch glued to her phone. I am not even allowed to sit like that she would start shouting and calling my feet dirty. I remove my earphones to pick up the aroma of food just in case the music is blocking my nostrils. I don’t smell anything. These people didn’t cook? I hope they are not waiting for me to start with supper. I have a PHD in burning pap if they want to go bed hungry let them start with me.


“My people” I greet. 

It’s the ugly looks for me… my mind is suddenly planning evil things I feel like ruining someone’s day. 

“Has Suffocate slept with that woman yet? Can you believe he cheated on Puleng again? Men are trash aunty neh?” 

There’s that look I was waiting for she clicks her tongue and changes to 7de Laan. I know Afrikaans I will ruin this one for her as well. 

I don’t have time though there’s a party waiting for me.  


Whoever invented bathing was bored as hell for the life of me I hate taking baths. Five minutes should be enough for me so I time myself with a song. To look like a lady eight minutes is an adequate amount of time. Usually I moisturise my body and lotion in the bathroom it’s quicker for me like this. The way to my room is through the living room I have to tiptoe my way there lest my aunt sees me. Good thing the TV is loud she misses my steps when I dash to my room while hiding behind the long couch. 

  

A few more touch ups and I’m ready to head out on my way I pass my mother’s room. She’s sleeping I will see her when I get back. Now the part I’ve been dreading telling the aunt where I’m headed to.

“Aunty” she gives me a dirty look before leaning back on the couch clearly waiting for me to continue. I move closer to the door ready to walk out just in case she plans to stop me. “My friend invited me to her parent’s anniversary party.”  

“Is it written fool on my forehead?” She scoffs clearly vexed. 

My cousin finds her mother funny she’s laughing like a donkey. 

“You think I don’t know that you’re selling your body for money? That’s why you’re able to afford all these nice clothes. It baffles me really because with all this money your blessers are showering you with you are still ugly. The least you can do is put the money to use and fix your face.” Her voice rises unnecessarily.

The only face I should be fixing is hers. 

 

I have vitiligo it’s a condition in which the pigment is lost from areas of the skin causing whitish patches. There’s no cure for it it’s a lifelong condition and no it’s not contagious. Apparently that’s not what my aunt and cousin think Sizakele won’t let me touch her or wear her clothes. She says I’m cursed the stupidity in this place is real. 

“I don’t have a blesser aunty…” I will deny this for as long as I live. 


“YEY VOETSEK WENA THULA.” (Shut up)

Haibo! Arguing with her is always a waste of time is it safe to tell her she’s half past to her grave? Shouting like this is not good for her health nurse or not. 

“Can we talk about this later? I have to go aunty I’m running late.” 

“Who’s going to cook?” Is this an ask or an insult? Her already creased face creases into an ugly frown. My phone beeps the Uber is here.  

“Don’t cook then I’ll bring leftovers. Take care of mama for me.” I say and run out the door I hear her shouting out my name as I close the gate. My aunt is not the one I need to revisit my prayer I asked for Madea not the wicked witch of Orange Farm. 


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