Chapter 26

You celebrate your birthday you thank God and your ancestors you reflect back on your journey; how far you've come and every battle that you've won. You try really hard to dwell on the positive side the greener side of your being but at the back of your head there's a soft voice whispering everything you're trying to adjust into. The absence of your parents that you never met your diploma that's lying on the dust the sickness that you can't tell anyone about because they'll overreact and life as a whole. You're not where you thought you'd be far from your destiny with nothing to look forward to and barely a glimpse of hope.

Her grandmother's surname was Nsele. Because her grandparents didn't marry and all their children had to use their mother's surname her own mother that she never met decided to die and leave her in that surname. One-of-two part-of-the-combo the-other-half twinnie Snakho…you choose. She's been called all those names but her birth name is Snalolonke and Nsele is well her surname. Turning 27 means you're just three years away from being 30. It means you should be at least quarter a mile to the life of your dreams. You should be content with yourself you're TWENTY SEVEN! But not Snalo she's spend the last 27 years of her life breathing eating and waking up to see the next day. Life doesn't make any sense it never has so why not just go with the wind? It's not like anything good ever comes out of being a “good girl.”
She swallows two shots and squeezes her face as the hot fluid washes down her throat. Her hand fishes out her cellphone and she scrolls down her chats. Her finger stops at Maqhinga the trust-fund fuckboy that has made advances almost with every girl in KZN. Something about him draws her in. She can relate to him in some way. It could be the “screw you life" lifestyle that she might be living soon. Life is fucked up so why not become a fucker and accommodate it.
“Half?” That's how he answers. She really doesn't mind. She's whatever you decide to call her. It doesn't matter it's not like she has any identity.
“You didn't come to the party” she says and grabs a half-drank glass of wine that Snakho left on the table.
“I was uninvited” he says with a chuckle. His mood and approach of life is exactly what Snalo wants to inherit.
“Really? How about I bring the party to you then?” She licks her lips and scans around the dance floor. Her aunt is gone and Khosi has calmed down she's now having her first glass of wine.
“Don't play with me Snakho!” There's a movement in his background. It sounds like the shifting of mattress and something cracking on the floor.
She doesn't correct him people do call her Snakho and vice-versa. She sends him the location and downs another shot.

Ndondo is pregnant and bored with a glass of juice in her hand. There's a thick lady next to her with a big afro. She doesn't look like someone who came to party. It's like she came to plan someone's murder instead; her lips keep twitching forward in anger.
Snalo knows that as much as Ndondo is protective she is not dramatic as Khosi. So she makes her way to her and taps her shoulder to get her golden attention.
“Girl I'm leaving” she says.
Ndondo looks up with a frown on her face.
“To where?” she asks.
“Maqhinga’s house.”
Her face drops. But she's not the one to judge people especially on their birthdays.
“Condomise Nalo you could be the fifth girl he sleeps with this week” Ndondo says with worry lining her face.
“Don't worry I'm a grown girl” Snalo says and envelopes her in a hug before clutching her purse under her arm and walking out.

It doesn't take too long before a midnight-blue Porsche Cayenne pulls up and hoots for her. She's carefully to take a sight of her surroundings before waltzing to the car and opening the passenger door. This is it- Screw You Life!
“This is a surprise” Maqhinga says as she fastens the seatbelt and adjusts on her seat. It's today that she's ever sent him a text that's not work related. Maybe a year has passed since he met all of them the Nsele girls none of them has ever showed any interest in him. Probably because everyone knows who he is and what he is all about. He had concluded that they were the type that believes in fairytales; happy-ever-afters and all that shit. Something they know very well that he cannot give.
“Well let's just say “fuck life.” Where are we going?” she asks.
He captures her face with a few lines creased on his forehead. This is not the girl who has given him a cold shoulder everytime he tried to talk to her. Or is it the other one? He can't tell them apart.
“What happened?” he asks.
“Nothing really. I just need to cool down and…” A sigh! She pulls down her dreadlocks and leans back on the seat.
“Just drive” she says.
He doesn't ask any further questions he puts the engine into life and drives off.

Maqhinga has always been about fun and he doesn't mind paying for it. It's simple; he picks a girl asks for a good time- no strings attached and in return he takes care of whatever they need him to take care of financially. A new pair of shoes weaves booze gadgets- they're never too expensive. But today is a bit different. He knows by the way she's pacing around his lounge with a bottle of Peroni that she keeps sipping straight from its mouth. It's not money that she wants nor any kind of financial support. What she seeks is an emotional stronghold; something he cannot give her.

He takes a deep breath before making his way back to the lounge. When he's a step closer to her she stops her pacing and looks at him.
“Do you want to chill maybe? There's a spot by the pool.”
Her response is putting down the bottle in her hand and grabbing him by the jacket. Their lips smash and they both shut their eyes to take in and digest their exchanged taste. Maqhinga's jacket flies down to the floor the buttons of his shirt crack open and his body slowly slides down on the couch.
Their breaths grow heavy as the kiss deepens. His fingers slide at the side of her thong and dip inside her warm folds. He rubs her clit until she releases soft moans.
“Twinnie” he says as his finger pauses at her opening. He's staring at her eyes searching for any doubt. Her browns eyes just stare back at him emptily and she slowly nods her head for him to go ahead.
Instead of pushing his fingers in he pulls his hand out and pushes his way up.
“This is not what you need. You're searching for comfort in a wrong place” he says.
Her eyes pop out in shock. Did she just get rejected by a well-known skirt-chaser? Wow.
“Woza” – He pulls her hand and takes the stairway with her. He doesn't have anything in mind. What he knows is that he cannot sleep with her if he's not going to be able to give her what she needs in return. He plays a fair game; a win for all.

His hand lets go of her and she quickly scans her eyes around the gigantic creamy-painted bedroom. She's right next to the bed so she lowers herself on it and waits for the man who just disappeared in the bathroom without saying a word. This is not what she came for clearly Maqhinga is not what she thought. She came for a good time not a lonely time in a gigantic bedroom. 

There's a phone ringing somewhere in the pillows. It gets him out of the bathroom; he sprints out in a lightning speed.
She rolls her eyes as he dashes to grab it. She wasn't going to answer it she's not here for his life.
He rejects the call and switches the phone off with a smug look on his face.
“This old man needs to sleep” he says and throws himself on the bed.
It must've been his father maybe they annoy each other with phone calls frequently. Daddy's boy!
“So twinnie what is going on?” His mood has lightened. He pulls her hand and places it between his and gives it a slight squeeze.
“I'm not here to talk” Snalo says.
“Come on you're 27. Be nice. I'm all ears udliwa yini?” He's not letting this go. Not when so much sadness still dwells in her eyes. He's no therapist neither does he know how to comfort a sad person but he's willing to listen.
His eyes gaze at her in demand she releases a sigh and falls on her back. Her neck lies on his arm and they both stare up at the ceiling.

“I don't want to live.” Her words turn his eyes to her. That's not a thing to say. You can't say you don't want to live. Life is a blessing.
“I'm not looking forward to anything. I'm doing this life thing for my sister. There's no purpose. I've wanted to end it so many times but the thought of leaving Snakho lost all alone always stops me. I don't want to be here. I'm tired.” There's no sadness in her voice. No hint of remorse. It's just the plain truth that she makes sound so normal.
“You're drunk” Maqhinga says with a frown on his face. This is the strangest thing he's ever heard.
“I drank but I'm in my right senses. I have never wanted to do it ever since I was 15” she says.
“To do what?” he asks.
“Living. It's been draining and painful. I thought God would do me a favour and use his power to take me but it seems like he still wants me to suffer. Maybe there's peace in the next world. Who knows I might meet the woman who gave birth to me. I always hear that the dead are at peace.” She chuckles to lighten the mood but Maqhinga’s face remains cold and his eyes bloodshot.
She pinches his arm and smiles. Why is he making a big deal out of it? 
“Life is for people like you. People who don't care; who have it all. Homes parents happiness and all this.” She points around the glamorous bedroom.
“What do you need?” His voice breaks. Why would a beautiful girl like her wants to end her own life? Life is not fair to everyone. Things won’t always go the way we want but we have things or rather people to live for.
“Peace. I need peace” she says.
He was hoping she'd say “money” so that he could help. But peace is not something he can give to someone. He doesn't know peace himself it was never there in his family growing up. His father and brother fought almost everyday. It once got so bad that Ndlalifa had to move in with one of the drivers. His mother has always been the subject and cause of his family fights. He doesn't remember much about her there's no single picture of them together. He sees her in pictures in his father's wall; pictures of her alone with his father and some with Ndlalifa.

Snalo turns to him and smiles. Her smile is beautiful; her lower lip is thicker there's a dimple on her chin and her teeth have a tiny perfect gap at the front. It's a smile that can brighten the next person's face but Maqhinga knows how empty she is behind that smile. He just stares at her with nothing but pity.
“Right now I need an orgasm and a drink” she says.
“Which one do you need more?” he asks.
She snaps her fingers a several times with that smile of hers plastered on her face.
“Orgasm” she says.
He grins and rolls off bed. He's not going to deny her this; something to make her feel better on her birthday. He pulls down his jean and briefs and crawls back on the bed.
Lifting up her dress is a job and half. He manages to get it past her hips and just pulls down her damp thong once and for all. While his hand strokes the length of her thigh their lips are connected like two pieces of the puzzle in a steamy kiss.

The heat radiating from him to her forces low moans out of their mouths. His finger has reached the center of her core and her legs have involuntarily opened wider to allow him to have his way.
He pushes one finger inside her opening. She breaks the kiss to allow her moans to freely express her pleasure.
He softly bites the side of her neck and trails kisses all the way down to her chest. The dress blocks him from going further down. He grabs one boob out and plays with the nipple.
With his eyes half-lidded lust threatening to burst his veins he looks up at her.
“Twinnie I may not be able to hold myself. I love the coochie” he says.
“Who asked you to hold yourself?” she asks with a grin on her face.
Well they're on the same page. He slides down and reaches the floor with his feet. He pulls her to the edge of the bed and separates her legs to get a better view of her paradise. Clean and dripping wet. Ready for Hlomuka!

He sticks his tongue inside the center of her core and takes a long lick from the top of her mound down to her butt hole. Her heart is racing she wants to get up but he pins her down.
His finger is circling around her second hole and honestly this is not something she'd consider to get pleasure. That's a no-go area but daaamn!
“Maqhinga…don't…” His lips nibble her clit and whatever complaints she had fly out of the window. She can't say one coherent sentence. The condom foil tears she's never been so impatient and hungry for a man like she is today. She's helping him as he rolls the condom on his shaft.
“Relax Twinnie I got you.” He rubs her clit and pushes down his erect shaft through her folds and enters her opening. As her warm flesh swallows him in he curses out and bites his lip; “Fu€k Mama!”

Her waist moves with his thrusts. His forehead is linked on hers; his sweat dropping down on her. He's breathing her and she's breathing him. He's tapping the depths of her core rubbing corners that have never been touched before her screams are filling up the room and her legs are wrapped around his waist for dear life.
“What are you doing to me Twinnie?” he asks in a trembling voice. This feels like sex with a different name. It's not like anything he's ever experienced in his whole fu€king life.
He moves his upper body and casts his eyes down to their connected parts. He's staring at his shaft thrusting in and out exposing her inner pinkish flesh and her swollen clit.
He doesn't cry about his mother. She's not someone he remembers but right now the pleasure is threatening to burst his veins. He can feel a hot rush surging through them and warming up his whole body.
“Mamaaaa! Oh My God!” He's calling all the people he shouldn’t be calling during such deed.
The door swings open just as he balances on his toes and pulls up Snalo's waist; his shaft balancing inside her in its full length.
“Ma...qhi…nga” -His father’s faint voice comes from the door freezing all the movements inside the room.
Bheki “Ngonyama” Ngidi

There's no word to describe what he's feeling right now. His son snuggled on his daughter; di€k in balls out. This is not something he will forget anytime soon. He wants to scream to punch someone and dismantle their jaws with his fists. But he can't. Snalo is yet to find out that she's his daughter. And Maqhinga is his boy the apple of his eye. He can shout at him insult him and threaten him at times. But he'd never lay his hand on his son. Never. Overcompensating or whatever you may call it but he vowed to make this boy feel special to never feel any gap in his heart and to never wish that he had more than the love he gives him.
He steps out of the door to allow them to dress up. He wants to slide and rest on the floor. His knees are failing to hold him but instead of allowing the weakness to control him he holds on the wall for balance.
Phumzile is downstairs hopefully she didn't hear all the sexually screams that were coming from his son's bedroom.

Maqhinga opens the door and walks out. Snalo must've locked herself in the bathroom out of shame.
“Baba why are you invading my privacy?” He's pissed.
“Did you at least use a condom?”
Maqhinga’s eyebrows knit a frown. Is this a joke? Now he reports his sex to his father?
“Bophela…did you use a condom?” he asks again.
Now he realizes that something is wrong. His father would never address him on such matters and call him his clan name under the same breath. This isn't war what he sees on his father's face is something he cannot describe.
“Yes I did. What is going on?” he asks.
Ngidi exhales and stares at his son hopelessly. Why is this happening to him? Why Magcina? Why?!
“Do you have to stick yourself inside every girl? Even your…” He shuts his eyes and takes another breath.
“I'm 29 Baba you can't come to my house and interrogate me” Maqhinga says.
“Can't you zip up your pants for a moment and deal with life?”
“Look here son I'm not going to be miserable because I'm waiting for a woman that might not even be alive” he explains using his hands. That's a shade to his father who's waiting for a woman he doesn't know whether she's still alive or not. But Ngidi is not pissed off by that.
“I'm not your son slima. Get your sister out of your bedroom and come with me. Now.” He unbuttons the last buttons of his shirt and drags himself away.
With a frown on his face Maqhinga walks back inside his bedroom to get Snalo.
“I don't know what’s going on. Maybe petrol went to his head. My father wants to see us.”


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