Chapter 4

Andiswa is already rolling her eyes at us. To her all this is unnecessary; “they were taught everything in primary school and if she needs any information she'll easily consult a professional.”
Well I'm not taking any risk I want to do my part and I want do it well. Khosi is already here I think it's the twins that were just dropped off by a cab outside the gate. She's turning 21 in a few months I know the ‘sex before marriage’ threat won't work it's probably already too late we're just going to preach about contraception and condoms.
“Really?” She's looking at door with a defeated look on her face. Khosi and I both turn to the door and guess what? There's a fifth guest speaker. She's carrying her black 1885 purse and her thick Bible. Why would they invite Aunt Vumile? This was supposed to be a ‘big-sisters-grooming-a-little sister’ session not some “Paul-the-apostle-says…” kind of sermon.
“Zingane” she says collectively and goes straight to the fridge. Andiswa gasps when the fridge door opens. What is wrong with her? This woman always fill her stomach first whenever she's here for something and then complain about all the ‘unnecessary things’ I have in the house.
“Is this a beer?” She lifts the bottle of Hennessey up and I turn my face to Andiswa. She needs to explain this because I also have no idea what a bottle of alcohol is doing in my fridge either.
“Ndondo usuyaphuza?” she asks.
Of course I drink but this is my father's sister and she has connections to the heavens.
“I had a couple of business associates over” I lie. Andiswa sighs out in relief and I shoot a look at her; not yet little girl.
She puts it back inside the fridge if it has anything to do with me making money then it's fine. She takes out the yoghurt grabs a spoon from the drawer and sits on the chair.

“So?” Khosi looks at me and then at her twin sisters. I also don't know how we are supposed to do this now. I have a strange date with my yardner tomorrow I need to prepare and come up with a good lie I'm going to tell Khosi. The last thing I need is having this very same sister-army ganging up on me and bashing me for falling in love with my employee. Yes I still regard him as my employee he's taking back his job after the date. I can't let my feelings or whatever it is that I'm feeling to stand in the way of someone's bread. As much as he's attracted to me or simply wanting his shot as a human being with a di€k between his legs I know that he needs this job more than anything.
“Andiswa are you seeing anyone?” Snakho goes first. I guess we're doing it right here in the kitchen. This is not how I imagined it. I thought it would be formal around the table with snacks and drinks everyone looking serious and matured. But Nakho is always like this; when something needs to be done she does it quickly and gets over with it. That's one of the few differences between her and Snalo. They look exactly the same with them there's no slim and fat twin they're one person. Everyone struggles to tell them apart it also took me a few months to know who is who. 
“Maybe I am” Andiswa says and shrugs her shoulders.
Phewww! Embrace yourself Ndondo your sister is a grown up and it's about to go down for real.
“Is it that tall boy?” I ask.
She nods her head. I guess a glass of water didn't scare him. He wants what's between her legs and he'll stop at nothing to get it.
“Sex…?” Snakho. She clears her throat and glances at Aunt Vumile who is surprisingly very quiet and focused on her yoghurt. “Are you already doing it?”
“Already? Why are you making it sound like it's too early whereas I'm 21 years old and…” It's fuckin early! Way too early.
“I lost my virginity at 23. You're not even 21 yet” I object and get a scolding look from Khosi. Well we agreed that I wasn't going to bring thee Ndondo out I was just going to be a concerned nice big sister. I take a deep breath and pull myself together.
“I'm only a few months away so it makes no difference.”
It does make a difference but let me keep my mouth shut.
“Which condoms do you use?” Snalo asks. Health staff is her thing if life had a manual she would've been a professional in that field.
“How is that necessary? The most important thing is I know how to protect myself.”
“Do you use lubricant? Water-based ones are safe with condoms. Make sure it's worn correctly and don't do anything you're not comfortable with.”
Andiswa rolls her eyes and releases a dramatic sigh.
“Don't sleep with him to satisfy his needs. Sex is all about you do it for your own orgasm and be vocal about what you want and not want” Khosi throws her too-deep opinion. I'm also uncomfortable now and Aunt Vumile just lifted her eyes.
“Aunty talk to your niece” Snakho tells her.
She rubs her lips together and pushes her eyeglasses on. I still don't know why they brought her here. She may be only 42 and moving with times but this is sex we are discussing here a SIN.
“1 Corinthians 6.” Lord I knew it!
She looks at me and there's that look that used to get me off the couch and picking a broom when I was younf. I know that I have to find my Bible wherever it is and read the Corinthians.
I pull aside the brat that got all of us here.
“Where is the Bible?” I ask pulling her towards the stairway
“How am I supposed to know?”
This child! She lives here and controls everything that's happening in this house.
“Andiswa I spent R175 at CUM Books to get that book. I need to find it otherwise the whole family will be here and asking how we go to bed without reading a single verse.”
“I think it’s in your study” she says.
We rush to the study and turn everything upside down the holy book is nowhere to be found.
“Andiswa think!” I say impatiently and tap my fingers trying to collect my memory. I remember that I last used it at my parents 30th anniversary celebration. I haven't been to church in a long time and it's not because of work. It's something about being groomed into a particular religion from birth when you grow up you start seeing things differently; your faith is shaken and you question who you are as a spiritual being. It all comes down to -believing and to -be told to believe.
“Now I don't know where else to look” she says and looks at me defeatedly.
“Where are we going to get the Corinthians?” I ask. This is all her fault. Had she not decided to sleep with that tall boy against my word we wouldn't be here. I wouldn't have asked the twins to come over and they wouldn't have dragged Aunt Vumile here.
“We are downloading the Bible from Playstore. That's the only choice we have” she says.
This child is smart. Why didn't I think of that? Soft copy of the Bible most people use it these days. There's no ‘open your Bibles’ in churches anymore it's ‘scroll down your Bibles.’ We are moving with times Christians and all.

They're silently waiting for us. Church mode activated.
“Which paragraph?” I ask.
Khosi clears her throat. Fuck! Has it been that long? Novels are messing with my head. It's a verse not paragraph.
“Sorry Aunty which verse?” I control the damage that's already done.
She blows out and shakes her head. Rotten brother's children!
“19-20” she says.
I clear my throat and start reading; “He asks “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you whom you have from God? You are not your own for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.””
She's staring at Andiswa. I like the direction this session is taking we're sealing it off with a Bible verse. Hopefully this child is listening attentively.
“Did you hear that?” I ask deputy-parenting as usual.
“This verse isn't for her. It's for you and them.”
Huh? We all look at each other.
“Us?” Snalo asks.
“The four of you sit down here." She points down on the floor. I'm not sitting on the cold floor in my own house! These chairs were probably flown from the Europe just for me to look like a rich snobbish woman that I am.
The twins sit with no questions asked. They don't discuss things sometimes they just do things or speak at the same time as if they share the brain too.
“Aunty you know how fat I am getting up from the floor will be one job and half” Khosi says.
“On the floor Nomkhosi!” Her tone isn't begging it's daring her to do otherwise. I don't understand how this turned to be about us. She was called here to help us groom and teach Andiswa about grown women things.
Khosi sits. I remain standing because well I'm Bantwana Holdings CEO and I own this house.
“Ndondo?” She glares at me.
“I don't sit on the floor” I say.
“And I don't argue with a child you know that very well. I let the belt do the talking.”
She mustn't even think about that. Hhayi-bo!
“I’m too old for this” I hiss through my teeth.
“Letting someone inside your father's kraal at 23 has you thinking that you're an adult? Phansi Ndondo!”
Really? Now she's using my words against me. I was trying to reason with her niece who's chasing a tall boy's di€k all over Durban.
I sit because I'm tired of arguing and it won't benefit me with anything rather than more Bible verses.
“So the four of you has gathered here to promote the devil's work?”
“Don't act so confused. I was here and listening you're all motivating my brother's child to sleep with boys; to disrespect the God's temple.”
Urgh! I really fail to understand how two grown identical sexual-active women thought bringing Maria's cousin here was a great idea. Well sometimes when one decides not to use her brain the other one takes a thinking-leave too.
“Aunty Andiswa is a young adult craving for sex and being curious about men is normal at her age we just want her to do it safely” Snalo explains.
By the look on this woman's face I can tell that she just made things worse.
“Sex happens between two married people. None of you are married but that's for you and Father to discuss in the other world I'm just going to pray for you and hope that whatever demons you have go away.”
“Seriously?” Khosi sighs in defeat.
She turns to her. The hopelessness in her eyes. I think Khosi might have more demons than the three of us.
“I don't understand how you turned out this way mntaka Mbongeleni. Your father was such a gentle soul he used to sell high quality pots in town I still have one even today. He'd be so disappointed to hear his daughter talking about orgasms.”
I'm not the type that mocks people but I'm going to laugh at Khosi for this on WhatsApp.
“Hold each other's hands and close your eyes” she orders.
I'll never forget this day. What a turn of events!
“Wena? Why are you standing? They're using you to achieve their evil doings. You need God's protection sit here” she tells Andiswa who has been turned into a victim in all this and she quickly sits next to the devil agents that's us and join hands. Must be nice!
My aunt is the type that breaks the roof when praying. She was always the last woman praying at church. Once she starts she doesn't stop. Even the food blessing prayer which isn't supposed to exceed two minutes takes up to five minutes with her.
By the time she ends it with a powerful Amen I'm dying for a glass of water.

There's someone at the gate. I don't know how long the person has been parked there hopefully it's not one of Andiswa’s unnecessary deliveries. This child knows how to spend money.
“I need a glass of wine” Snalo says pulling down her dreadlocks.
I quickly snap my brows at her giving her a silent warning. I don't want to be in another prayer for alcohol this time.
“Ndondo this is for you” Khosi says coming from the door with a huge black box in her hands.
“Andiswa what did you order?” I ask and make my way towards Khosi. This box whatever it is inside looks do damn expensive.
“I don't remember ordering anything under your name.” She sounds very hesitant. We'll talk about this some other time when Maria's cousin has left because I don't want her to think we're having a sibling-fight and pray for us again.

There's a card; “When I saw this pair of shoes I thought of you” -that's what it says. There's no name of who the generous sender might be. My circle is very small my address is private I have no one in mind.
“Are those Saint Laurent heels?” I'm so lost in my thoughts I have no idea who asked that between Nakho and Nalo. I know how expensive this label is obviously they expect me to jump up and down and try them on. But I worry about less important details of life that's just how I am right now I'm worried about the possibility of someone having my address and buying me R18 700 heels because “when she/he saw them they thought of me.” This person even knows my shoe size!
I don't like this one bit.
“Are you seriously not even going to try them on Ndondo?” Snalo asks.
“Who sent this?” I'm frustrated.
“Really? The delivery man said this was sent to you. Why does it matter who sent them? You have a pair of YSL.”
I let out a sigh. They don't understand. Life is not all about the flashy materials and gold some people value privacy more than anything and right now I feel like someone has invaded my privacy. My whole address and shoe size!

I don't know when Aunt Vumile and the twins left. I've been on bed since I received that gift from anonymous. I haven't tried the shoes on and I probably won't. If it was something else I would've thrown it in the bin but it's an expensive pair of shoes so I'll wait for whoever it is to show up and reveal themselves then I will give them back.

My phone is ringing on top of the table. Khosi and Andiswa are watching some Turkish series and getting all emotional over it. I don't recognize the number instead of turning down the TV volume and give them another reason to cry I excuse myself.
“Who are you?” Yes I know how bitter I can sound. This is not a way to greet a person but I've had one hell of a day with my aunt thinking I'm possessed by demons and someone I don't know sending me a pair of expensive shoes.
“What if I was a client?” It's a man. The last gender I want to talk to when I'm in a mood like this.
“This is my personal phone I don't take business calls here and I don’t take them at this hour.”
“Oh” he mutters and goes silent for a few minutes.
“Who are you?” I ask for the second and last time.
I glance around and quickly disappear behind the bathroom door. My heart is pounding against my chest which is strange because I'm Ndondo Sibisi and people don't scare me.
“Ndabuko hello.” Why do I sound like a sick cat?
“You sound…a little bit rough. Is everything okay?”
“Someone just sent a pair of shoes to my house and I have no idea who it was.”
“Is that all?”
Obviously he thinks this is nothing to worry about just like everybody else.
“Ndabuko someone sent a parcel to my address. Exactly my shoe size!” I say somehow even more frustrated that he out of all people fail to understand me.
“I get it” he says.
I sigh out in relief. At least someone understands me.
“I will just keep them in my closet and wait for whoever it is to show up” I say.
“You won't wear them?” He sounds a bit surprised and wounded. Was he listening with his balls?
“I'm not taking a gift from someone I don't know Ndabuko” I say firmly.
“What if you know him?” he asks.
“I don't care I can buy my own shoes.”
There's a deep sigh followed by a brief silence.
“Am I going to see you tomorrow Hlase?” His hopeless tone gashes through my heart. I'll never break my promises just because he's not on the same standard as me. I'll go on a date with him but I don't know if I’ll act on my feelings.
“Yes” I say and inhale a sharp breath.
There's something between us. Something that I can't put into words. Talking to him is easy he only need to ask one question and I open my chest to him. I'm not that person who open easily to people that part scares me more than the feelings I've secretly developed for him.
“Namhlanje ngisacela ulale wazi ukuthi ngiyakuthanda.”(Today please go to bed knowing that I love you.)
He doesn't end the call he stays on the phone and listens to my silence. I don't know what to say because nobody has said these words to me the way he just did. The way “he" also did years ago and disappeared. That “ngiyakuthanda"that's more than just words. The one carrying a man's whole soul and his bareness.
“Are you going to disappear?” I ask. A drop of tear running down my cheek makes me realize that I'm crying. A whole me crying!
“No I'll be here always” he says.
Obviously he doesn't understand where the question comes from but his word his promise gives me a glimpse of hope. 
“Thank you” I say and drop the call. Now I’m more confused than ever. He's my yardner and barely making end-meets. A relationship can't happen between us but I also….Wait where did he get my number? Another privacy-invader


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Alusani Thabelo Vanessa Mafune 2021-01-15 23:53:27

Yah this lady really is thinks