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Thirty



Two Months later


NDALWENHLE ZULU



"Hey there's a man looking for you at reception"-Gloria


She walks in as I arrange Jackson's schedule.


"What does he want?"-me


I look at her with a slight frown and she shrugs.


"I didn't know he just asked for you"-Gloria


Our relationship has stayed professional since we stopped being friends.


"Okay I'll be down in a minute"-me


She could have just called me instead of coming all the way here.


"Okay"-Gloria


She walks out and I pick my phone up as it beeps.


~𝙃𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙚𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙣 𝙮𝙚𝙩?~

-𝙅𝙖𝙘𝙠𝙨𝙤𝙣


He has been out on a meeting and it's a few minutes before lunch now.


~𝙒𝙖𝙨 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙤 𝙤𝙧𝙙𝙚𝙧 𝙙𝙤 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙬𝙖𝙣𝙩 𝙨𝙤𝙢𝙚 𝙩𝙤𝙤?~

-

I put my phonee down and walk out of the office to the elevator.


I walk to Gloria's desk as soon as the elevator doors open looking around as I don't spot anyone who could be here for me.


"Who did you say was looking for me?"-me


She looks up at me from her computer and points at the man standing a distance away from us.


"He said he needed to talk to you he didn't say anything else about himself"-Gloria


The man is staring at us he looks to be in his mid forties and too familiar for my liking.


"Okay thanks"-me


I walk to him as my heels click on the floor and stop a few feet away from him.


"Hi I'm not sure if you...."-me

"Ndalo you must not remember me since you were still young back them I'm your father"-Mandla


I frown not hiding the distaste written on my face.


"What are you doing here?"-me

"You have been ignoring my calls and it had been so long since I saw you"-Mandla


He opens his arms for a hug and I look around to find Gloria looking at us.


"I thought I made it clear to Peggy that I want nothing to do with you"-me


He drops his arms and frowns.


"What do you mean you were willing to talk to me when you came down to Eastern Cape but Peggy told me you had an emergency and..."-Mandla


This is a very clap once moment because he looks baffled.


"There's was no emergency I changed my mind you abandoned me I don't know what you are back here for but..."-me


He interrupts me and tries to reach over to touch my shoulder but I hold my hand up and step back.


"I never abandoned you Ndalo I was young and I made a mistake"-Mandla

"A mistake I had to pay for my whole life!"-me


I raise my voice and that earns us a few looks I clear my throat and I sigh.


"I'm sorry but you need to leave"-me


I step away from him and walk to the elevator but he follows me pulling me back.


"Wait and listen to me"-Mandla


I turn to him and tuck my hair behind my ear.


"What time is your lunch?"-Mandla


I fold my as and he looks at me expectantly this is attracting unwanted attention and I don't want to be the hot topic again.


"It started five minutes ago"-me


I check my wrist watch and he nods.


"I know a place where we can go and talk this out over lunch"-Mandla

"How far is it?"-me


I check my watch and he nods.


"It's not too far away from here you'll be back in time"-Mandla


He assures me and I sigh.


"Let me get my phone and purse I'll be back in a minute"-me


He nods and I go back to office to get my purse and phone then back down to find him still waiting for me.


"Let's go they serve the best steak you won't regret this"-Mandla


We walk to the parking lot and he leads me to a black SUV and I frown.


"This is your car?"-me


I turn my eyes to him and he nods.


"I like to keep up with the times I couldn't expect you to ride in an old tazz"-Mandla


I expected a dirty old car that produce more air pollution than an industrial factory.


"So where are we going"-me


I look at him as he starts the car and drive out of the parking area.


"I know a shisanyama that make the best meat I hope you're not one of those vegan people we see on TV"-Mandla


He glances at me and drives me to exactly where he said he would and I'm not clasist but he could have don't better.


"We're at the right place? I don't want to go back to the office smelling like grilled meat"-me


I protest and he chuckles.


"You won't let's go"-Mandla


We step out of the car and I sigh

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I hope you're not one of those vegan people we see on TV"-Mandla


He glances at me and drives me to exactly where he said he would and I'm not clasist but he could have don't better.


"We're at the right place? I don't want to go back to the office smelling like grilled meat"-me


I protest and he chuckles.


"You won't let's go"-Mandla


We step out of the car and I sigh I knew this day would come when we have to talk things out.


"I thought you that you would like it"-Mandla


I look around and nod it's okay.


"You could have been right"-me


We sit opposite each other while he order meat and I order tap water since my appetite jumped me.


"Are you not going to eat anything?"-Mandla

"No I'm fine I just want to know what you wanted to talk about?"-me


I take a sip of my water and he also stops eating and looks at me.


"I want us to fix things I know that I left when you were still a child that was a big mistake that I'm hoping to fix now that you're older"-Mandla


I chuckle and shake my head.


"I told Peggy that I wasn't interested but since you are here I guess I deserve an explanation on why you left me"-me


I cross my arms over the table and he nods 


"I know but life isn't black and white my child we all makes mistakes"-Mandla


Some mistakes just are not forgivable  no matter how much we try to justify them.


"I got raped in your absence and you think that was a mistake?!"-me


He frowns.


"Your mother told me she tried to lay charges but her ex husband threatened her"-Mandla


That is the lamest excuse anyone has ever given me.


"You believed her and you didn't even think to check up on me?"-me

"I should have reached but I thought it was best I let your mother comfort you"-Mandla


He looks at me sympathetically as a lump forms in my throat and I take a gulp of the water and inhale sharply.


"I came to your house after it happened your mother and your wife were there..."-me


I bite my lip as I try not to think about that day.


"I never heard abou..."-Mandla

"They made go back I couldn't talk to you.... you left me for your wife and her kids so I think it's best you stick to that decision"-me


I pick my bag up as my face gets soaked in tears and walk away from the table as I look from my phone inside it.


"Ndalo...!"-Mandla


He follows after me as I pull my phone s out and I recieve messages from Nicole and Jackson .


I request the Uber and stand at the pavement as he stands behind me a foot away from me.


"I'm sorry for leaving you I was young and I let my mother influence me into taking a wife that wasn't your mother I...."-Mandla

"I don't care for fucks sake!"-me


I turn to him angrily and he frowns.


"You caused enough damage without even realising it you can't fix me or any of this"-me


I look around before turning my back on him again and we stay silent for twenty minutes until my Uber arrives.


I rush past Gloria who tries talking to me to his office office as soon as I get to the building and barge in.


"What happened?"-Jackson


I shake my head and run to him as he gets up from his chair and meet me halfway.


"Ndalo?"-Jackson


He lets me hug him and wraps his arms around me as I sob softly against his chest.


"Waar was jy? (Where were you?)"-Jackson


He runs my back as I wet his shirt and smudge my makeup on him. I slide down to the floor and he kneels next to me with his arms still around me.


"Ndalo did something happen to you?"-Jackson


He sounds concerned as he unwraps his arms around me and the whole chest area of his white shirt is stained black and brown from my makeup and mascara.


"He came around and he..."-me


I choke on my sobs another sob as he scoops me up and walks to the couch on the other side of the office.


 "Wie was hier? Did he hurt you? (Who was here?)"-Jackson


I shake my head and he sits next to me and pulls me closer to him again and holds my face against his chest holding the back of my head.


He waits for me to calm down before getting up and getting me a glass of water.


"Who are you talking about?"-Jackson


He removes his blazer and starts unbuttoning his shirt as I grip the half empty glass with both hands.


"My father... he came here and he - he..."-me

"Were you with him?"-Jackson


I nod vigorously and he sighs throwing the shirt over the armrest couch.


"H - he triggered me I guess"-me


He sits next to me and moves the hair from my face and kiss the side of my face wiping my tears.


"It's okay maybe you should take leave for a month or two to deal with this and maybe get some rest"-Jackson


I look up at him and shake my head.


"I don't need therapy I just need to reboot and get myself back together"-me


His hands find mine and give them a squeeze.


"Well talk about that later let's go home"-Jackson

"Are you sure we still have two hours before ...."-me


I look up at him and he nods.


"It's okay do you want me to talk to him?"-Jackson


I shake my head as he helps me get up and I stare at his tattooed chest.


"No I told him to get lost"-me


He nods and starts packing both our stuff.


"We can go"-Jackson


I wipe my face properly I probably look like the walking dead with makeup running down my face.


"You don't have a shirt on"-me

"I don't have a spare shirt here you ruined the other one"-Jackson


He looks at the one on the couch.


"Get my blazer for me"-Jackson


I pick the blazer up and walk to him.


"People are going to talk about this"-me


I have been discussing enough I don't want to be part of another scandal.


"We don't have any other choice Ndalo unless you want us to.eait for everybody to leave then..."-Jackson

"Okay let's go"-me


I roll my eyes and stand Infront of him.


"How do I look?"-me

"Gorgeous"-Jackson


I sigh with a nod and follow him out the trip to the car feels long.


People's eyes in us aren't as bad but a few look at us and I'm just glad they don't make any remarks because he'd the boss.


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