5

Chapter 5


"I located Owen's car at OR Tambo airport which means he must already have left SA. His implanted tracking device also glitches which can mean only one thing and one thing only he tried to destroy it."


"You do know I want them and not their stupid car right?"-he looks at me before looking back at the screen. 

"I'm trying here Mrs M."-He justifies himself before typing away on his laptop. 


I sit back down on my chair. We haven't left HQ since I called them here. 


I call Ntombi from my cell and she attends the call seconds prior to it ringing. "Khanyi you know it's in the middle of the night right? And you promised to call yesterday but dololo..."

"Listen to me Ntombi I need you to prepare some clothes for me whether it's in a suitcase or backpack. Please."

"Wait what's going on here...are you at Hlelo's place? Ohhh yall have reconciled!?"-She yells into my ear causing me to snort.


"Ntombi...Ntombi..."-She finally calms down breathing heavily.

"Crap I nearly woke Lethu up. I'm so hap-..."

"Ntombi he's in hospital."

"What? Did you break his back or something?''-She asks clearly in shock.

"No. He was shot."


"No! Tell me you're joking?"


I chuckle out of anger seeing that good for nothing female dog in my mind again. The whole event playing itself over and over...


"I wish I was. Would've made life way easier. So can you fix the clothes? I'll come by to collec-..."

"I'll collect them for you."-Melo interferes already on his feet.


"Uhmm...okay Melo will come to fetch them for me."

"Oh okay I love you sis."-Her voice comforting my half hurt heart.

"I love you too."-I hang up and just sit and stare at his phone. I've never really gone through it apart from that day Charmaine made me drive all the way to her apartment. 


Jeez.


The more my mind thinks of her the more I realise Hlelo should've handled her ages ago. He could've spared us all this heartache and shenanigans. "I found something."-T says turning the screen of his laptop my direction. 

"I managed to hack in their Camera system and find this footage. If they left yesterday then they must be on this."


"Well let's see it then."-Nqoba pushes standing between us and resting his arm on the headrest of the chair I sat on. Lundi standing on the other side by Tsiietsi.

"Uhmm what are we looking at here exactly ?"-Nqoba asks.


Tsiietsi rewinds the footage and allows it to play again. He then points to the corner of the screen and thats when I actually see one of them. Ruby to be specific followed by Owen then lastly Charmaine. They're rushing to a kiosk. Wow.


"Can you find out where they headed to?"-I request. 

"Uhmm..."-He turns his laptop back to face him and types faster than I would on any given day. "Cuba?"-he says and it sounds more like a question. 


"Cuba? They went to Cuba?"-I ask forcing my face to the screen.

"Uhuh. According to the records written here. I'm pretty sure they took two flights to get there too. That means I can possibly track their phones."-He says already typing away and opening apps I didn't know of. 

My phone rings taking my concentration away from all this. 


Argh.


"Mama."-I answer getting up from my seat and walking off to a far corner hoping to get a bit of privacy. Not that Rob would allow that. 

"Khanyi my baby where are kanti?"-I heave out a sigh.

"I'm on my way mama don't worry about me."-I try reassuring her. 


If only she knew what my head was telling me right now...


I never knew I was able to think of such honestly. 

"Khanyi...are you still there?"-My mother tries getting me back to earth. 

"You were saying?"

"Drive safely please."

"I...I will mama."-I utter and she hangs up. 


I know they've already arrived. 


"Well it looks like their phones are disconnected."-T says causing me to sigh again this night. 


"It's nowhere near Cuba..."-He adds running his hand across his forehead. "...but now that we know they're there we can at least start our search there."

I nod putting my phone into the pockets of the trackpants im wearing. 


"Right then. T I'll need you to keep on trying to find anything that might tell you where they are exactly. I'm putting all my faith on you."-I make my way towards the door.

"You're free to go back to your homes."


When I get home I park and immediately head inside. I'm not even sure about what the time is but that isn't my main focus right now. The lights are still on.


Ntombi and Melo are sitting on the couch along with my mom. None of them say anything and I feel like not saying anything either.


I make my way to the stairs and I can feel eyes on me before I hear my mother speak. 

"Khanyi what is this I hear about you and Hlelo separating for such a long time?"

I bite on the insides of my cheeks wondering who had to go spill my beans on my behalf when I had planned to do that myself.


I turn to look at them as she was the only one standing now watching and waiting for my response. 

"Am I not mother enough for you to tell me this?"-She asks clearly furious about this. 


Wasn't this my fight?

My marriage? 


"Ma I'm tired. I honestly don't have the energy to argue right now."-I say truthfully and continue my journey up the stairs to the main bedroom. 


Once in there I change the sheets and make a mental note to burn these as soon as I wake up. In fact I want this whole house cleaned from top to floor. I want to smell the bleach and at least feel like it's my house again. 

I charge our phones. 


After putting on the new sheets and searching for a small blanket or duvet to cover my body I pray and get into bed struggling to sleep immediately...


My eyes open as the bright sun penetrated through the curtains and shone almost directly on my face. I feel a little better with the sleep I just got and honestly speaking I needed that. I roll out of bed and stretch then slowly make my way to the windows and open them along with the curtains. It actually looks late outside almost around twelve-ish. 


13h04.


Jeez. 


And no one decided to wake me up?


I take a quick shower step out dry and lotion. I forgot about taking the bag of clothes I asked Ntombi to pack for me. I quickly wrap myself in a towel and make my way towards the door only to be met by one of my suitcases. 


Thank goodness.


After picking out a simple pair of jeans a black tshirt and my black superstars I head out. The navy blue cap Hlelo almost never wears goes onto my messy hair. Reaching the lounge I get to see my whole family here. I even spot Nomonde and my father here all having what looks like lunch. 


"Khanyi! "-She pushes out her chair and rushes to me hugging the life out of me. "Oh I missed you...and I'm so sorry for what happened to your husband."-she finally lets me go and holds me at arms length. 


"Why didn't anyone wake me up?"-I question taking a seat next to Ntombi. Ma'Nkosi brings me my plate of food.

"You needed the rest."-She says.


We eat in silence. My mother keeps on stealing glances at me and I know exactly why.

"Sesi yini lokhu?"-Siya says holding up a piece of lettuce. 

"It's lettuce boy."

"I don't like it very much"-He puts the piece down far from his actual food. I chuckle only because this lettuce is good he's just being fussy.


"Ma please burn these for me."

"Hau what for?"-she asks drying her hands with a dishcloth as we stood in the kitchen. 

''Just burn them please. Another thing I'd like you to do is to call some people to help you out. I want this whole place cleaned beyond recognition."

"Uhmm..."

"Thank you ma."-I make my way out of the kitchen and past the lounge. "I'm going to see Hlelo ma I'll be back."

"Im coming with you."-My mother says already making her way to me. 

I can't deny her this opportunity since she did come all this way to support me.


We get into the car and I switched on the engine. I drive out of here and soon enough were on the main road listening to a throwback song by Brenda Fassie.


"I was going to tell you ma believe me."-that's all I could say before we went back to listening attentively to the song that played.

"When? 3 years later?"

"No..."-I sigh. "I just wanted this to be my own battle. Ma you have to understand that some things I'll have to fix on my own since this wouldn't have happened if I wasn't such a coward. "

"Did you cheat on Hlelo Khanyisile?"


For the love of God!


"Mama ungithatha kanjani mara heh? (What do you take me for)"-I ask tightning my grip around the steering wheel.

"Khanyisile ungakhulumi nami kanjalo. (Don't talk to me like that) I'm still your mother."-Her voice is firm and I feel like if I was still 10 she'd beat this sudden attitude I have out of me.


Again we're not talking. 


We arrive at the my workplace and I park. It feels weird not being here to work but at the end of the day they're the ones who suspended me. My mother and I head on inside and immediately my eyes find Patty. 


"Hey you."-She greets me a sad smile on her face. 

"Hey I'm here to see my baby."

"I heard. And I'm sorry. His brother was here earlier on as well."

"Melokuhle?"-She nods.

"I think Dr Mahlangu is at his room right now you can go  through."-She says after making me sign a visitor's form. 


When I push open the door indeed I see Dr Mahlangu and on the other side of his bed was Mmasechaba. 


And believe me when I say my jaw nearly landed on floor when I saw Nonhle sitting on a chair near the wall.


She's still here?


"Uhmm sanibonani (greetings.)"-My mother greeted. 

"Yebo mah."-Mmasechaba greeted back followed by Dr Mahlangu then lastly Nonhle. 


"How is he?"-I ask making my way to his bed. Dr Mahlangu looks at me.

"To be honest there hasn't been any change yet. But he did respond well to Mrs Zanele Nkosi's blood."-I eye Nonhle and still sense the anger she had when they told her her blood type didn't match to that of her son.

"That's good better than nothing at this point."


To think that the bullet missed his spinal cord with centimetres...


I truly was thankful for still having him on this earth. 


"We should pray."-My mother says already holding my hand in hers. "Come come you to my girl"-she says to Shabba. Surprisingly Nonhle joins us as well. What is with this woman? 


"I think we should give Khanyi a moment alone with Hlelo."-My mother says after our prayer. They all leave. I go and take the chair Nonhle was seated on moments ago and bring it closer to his bed. 

"I know you can hear..."-I take his hand into mine. "Or atleast that's what I hope."


The heart monitor beeps away...


"Your ex and her friends are in Cuba can you believe that?"-I chuckle wiping away a falling tear. "They think we won't find them but I'll prove them wrong. I'll show them that I can be cruel too."

I think I feel his hand gripping mine for a few seconds.

"Hl...Hlelo?"-nothing. I sigh brushing it off by blaming my imagination. 

"Anyway I want you to come back. Not for me only but for your family. Melo needs you. You two need to reconcile and talk...actually so do we. "


In my head he responds.


I think I sit there for a few more minutes before Dr Mahlangu bursts my bubble. "Mrs Mazibuko..."

"I know."-I chip in already getting up. "I'll see you later Mwelase."-I mumble and peck his dry lips. 


"Take good care of my husband please. "-I say to her and she nods. 

"I'll do my best."-Dr Mahlangu says.


Back at my place it's a cleaning fest. Ma'Nkosi managed to get 3 other girls here to help her clean this house. I'll be paying them dearly for their services. My mother quiet father Ntombi Nomonde Lethu and Siya were all chilling with me by the backyard. Ntombi is in the pool with Lethu. He played with the water as she held him up preventing him from disaster. 


"Hey."-Melo touches my shoulder standing next to me as I sat on one of the poolside recliner chairs. 


"Hey I hear you went to see Hlelo earlier."

"I did. I found Nonhle there."

"Maybe she's not over the whole blood thingy. "-I say and watch how Lethu splashes water onto Ntombi's face. 


"Ha.a Lethu hau! ( no Lethu!)"-She says laughing and he does it again.


"Maybe..."

He goes off to join Ntombi and Lethu in the pool...

-------------------------------------


It has been 12 days. We still didn't have any leads to where those 3 were but hope was not lost at all. In fact this made me even more determined to find them and make them pay. Tsiietsi is doing a great job with the limited information he has. 


My parents went back to KZN. Nomonde went to see her children in North West. This meant I had the house all to myself and Ma'Nkosi who has been my praying angel. 


I left his room. Hlelo was healing. all we needed was for him to wake up. I even made Dr Mahlangu promise to call me as soon as he moves the slightest muscle. 


I left and went out for some lunch on my own. Okay...well not on my own I was only waiting for my friends. I haven't seen them for such a long time that it feelt like we were drifting apart.


I smile when I spot them walking over to our reserved table.

"Friend!"-Gugu yells throwing her arms around me so does everyone else.

"You...look better than I expected you to look."-Yamkela says finding a seat right across me.

"What did you expect me to look like?"-I ask chuckling. 

"I don't know but worse than this right in front of me."-She says signaling for a waiter.

"I'll take that as a compliment then"-I sip on my coke.

"You do know you can have some good old fashioned wine now."-Gugu says.

"Oh you suggesting I get drunk?"

"Yes."-Gugu and Yamkela answer simultaneously. 


I roll my eyes and take another sip of the cold coke. "Not happening. I have a shift tomorrow morning."

"Mxm."-Gugu.


I turn to look at Tshidi who's been quiet for a long while now. She's just gazing forward.

"We'll have your best red wine Walter and a serving of some good cheesy lasagne. "-Yamkela orders.

"Who said I wanted Lasagne?"

"Me. That will be all Walter."-She says and the guy leaves our table.


"Tshidi..."-I look in the direction she's been staring at. 

Jeez. 

Don't tell me that who I think it is. "...don't pay him any attention friend."


That's how I try to get her to focus before she's stands up.

"And then?"-Yamkela says as we watch her walk up to his table. She visibly greets and the woman he's seated with greets back. 

The next thing we hear is the loudest slap I've ever heard causing us -Yammy Gugu and myself- to rush to her before she makes this whole situation even worse...


××××××××××××××××××××××××


Charmaine's POV.


"Have you seen the hairdryer?"-Ruby asks me coming to the lounge in only a towel covering her body and another covering her obviously wet hair.  

"Uhmm check in my room."-I say focusing back on the TV show in front of me. 


Fernando and Owen were out to buy a few of the stuff we needed in the house and also to fetch our fake ID's. This meant that we could finally apply for jobs and make some money instead of sitting here and litening to radio in a language you could barely understand. I take another sip of the beer that was on the coffee table in front of me before taking another full bite of my chicken sandwich. 


The loud hairdryer caused me to switch up the volume of the TV. 


It's surprising how we haven't even appeared in any of the Live news broadcasting channels. I mean... we should've been highly wanted and labled dangerous but there was none of that. Instead it kept on being other criminals that appear for stealing cars and other unimportant things too.


I hear a laugh coming from my bedroom. The hairdryer was off now and my sandwich was long gone. Curiosity had me and my bump on our feet tiptoeing to the occupied room.


More laughing. "Dimz they'll never find us. We're smarter than that. "-She says.

"You know I miss you guys so damn much I just wish I could put you guys in a suitcase and have yall shipped to my doorstep...yesssss delux babe...argh you know it! Look I'll call you guys on another day but for now toodles."-She says and I assume she hangs up. Unable to keep on hiding I appear standing by the door frame my arms crossed above my belly.


"What do you want?"-She asks getting on her feet. 

"Oh nothing it's just awkward listening to you being all fakey-fakey with those tramps you call your friends. "

"Fakey-fakey? Show me you real friends then?"-she chuckles. "See you don't even have friends not even a man who loves you and you alone so please leave me and my fakey-fakey friends alone. "-Her words anger me as she pushes me out of the way and walks out of my room.


"Don't tell me you're talking about Owen...cause he's the fakest of them all...just like your relationship."


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