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Chapter 5

Ndabuko


He's been awake since 3:45 just turning and tossing on bed. Things weren't supposed to be this way. Looking at Zamafuze breaks his heart into a million pieces. Four years down the drain! He knows that it's “down the drain” because things didn't go according to plan. Ndlalifa had it all figured out this was between life and death and he had to do it for his brother. Ndlalifa got him all the information where she was and when she was coming back. The plan was to charm her get on bed with her and bring her home. It was simple. But no he just had to involve his stupid heart. Only God knows how that happened because he's had his eyes on Fuze for the past four years of his life and she's been nothing but a great partner anyone could ask for. Even when Nhlanzeko was coming too hard on him affecting his work progress and health this woman stood by him.
It must've all changed that day when a limo pulled outside the mansion and dropped a fierce-looking woman with her weave bouncing below her neck. Ndabuko has always been a head-turner beside his status his looks alone had girls dropping to his feet. But that one wheeled her large suitcase right in front of him whispered a low “hello” without even looking twice at his direction and disappeared inside her mansion. Right there and then he know that he was in for a challenge but he didn't knew that he was in for the heart as well.
He loves challenges and she challenges him. She says what she wants to say and when she wants to say it. She doesn't like people very much and she doesn't have a problem showing it. She's Ndondo. Her and Fuze are different. Way too different. He knows this because now he's comparing. Fuze is not a woman of questions she'll never put him on the stand and grill him with questions as if he's standing in court. But Ndondo would. She’d definitely put him on the stand and interrogate him about a mere pair of shoes. That's the part Ndlalifa doesn't like about her. He always says that; “It's Nhlanzeko's nature of being attracted to danger that got you here that woman is a lioness.”
Him and Nhlanzeko were five years apart. While Nhlanzeko looked exactly like their father Mnikezwa Mngomezulu Ndabuko took his mother's extra-ordinary looks. If there's one thing they shared as brothers it's their daring nature and stubbornness. When Ngidi told told him what Nhlanzeko had planned before his death he didn't doubt it one bit it sounded exactly like the brother who'd tell him which shirt to wear and which boys to hang out with. Back then when they were young he thought he was looking after him as a big brother but it started to get too much as he reached his teen years.
At 21 years Nhlanzeko already had two taxis. He did what a man does to change the situation at home when all other options have been exhausted and Ndabuko started being “just the child" of the family. Every decision had to be passed by the hand that fed. Every evening chat between his parents were all about the beloved son who owned taxis. Him passing his Maths with 97% was nothing compared to Nhlanzeko coming home with a full roasted chicken and a stack of money for grocery.
His death was supposed to make him happy but that's not how it works with siblings. No matter how much they think they hate each other something about lying on the same womb with a person ties you to them forever. He was pulled out of the campus by Ndlalifa who at that time was very close to Nhlanzeko because of his father and he was a mess of tears. He didn't like being the second best in the family but being brother-less was something he had never imagined.
Nhlanzeko had left all his taxis under Ndlalifa’s care because Ngidi was retiring from the taxi industry to chase greener pastures; now revealed as Bantwana Holdings. As soon as Ndabuko graduated from Wits Ndlalifa took a flight and fetched him. His taxis were waiting for him. Yes Nhlanzeko left all his taxis to his name. But he had gone to Wits to pursue his own dreams so three days later he left “Nhlanzeko’s taxis” and took a flight to Joburg.
He didn't last very long at Airbus Industries he only worked there for two years and his dead brother needed him home. Things fell apart after he lost his job being in the taxi industry wasn't his thing but he had Fuze by his side and she was there to pat his back.
He was supposed to leave him alone after he honored his wish of continuing his taxi business. But no the selfish Nhlanzeko wanted more from him. Just after his 26th birthday he came to his dream still covered in blood with teary eyes he asked him to find “his wife;” Ndondo Princess Sibisi and bring her home.
Oh Ndabuko wanted to die. He wanted to go to his grave and tell him that he's going to live his life the way he sees fit that those days were over and he now didn't live according to anyone's rules. Weren't they all in heaven gathered as a happy family; mother father and their beloved son? Nhlanzeko took everything away from him. Even when he was dead his parents still chose the beloved son over him. They chose to die and leave him a day before his graduation. Who dies from a minor car accident before his own son's graduation? And what kind of a mother faints from discovering that her husband is dead and never wakes up? She couldn't hold on and live for him. It was his time to shine at last and nobody was there to celebrate with him except Ngidi and his sons. It's not that their time had come it was his success that they didn't want to live and witness.
It sounded just like Nhlanzeko to want him with a woman of his choice. Because uyispoki esingafi Ndabuko had to get into a dungaree and gumboots and pose as a poor yardner to meet that woman. And finally meeting her ruined everything his plans and relationship with Fuze.

She mumbles something in her sleep and searches for his chest with her hand. She's about to wake up and Ndabuko wishes to vanish. Guilt chews and spits him out everytime he looks into her eyes.
“Hey” she whispers and smiles.
Get it together Ndabuko!
“You're awake?” he asks and plants a kiss on her forehead.
“Yes when did you wake up?”
He can't tell her because she'll worry and think he's sick.
“I just woke up” he lies without an ounce of guilt. There are bigger lies he's told her. Bigger than him staying in Maqhinga’s house and saying he's dealing with the taxi route issues for the past three months. Lies bigger than a pair of gumboots hidden in Maqhinga’s garage.
“Your body feels warm” she says and snuggles herself on his chest. He knows what she wants it's something he hasn't been able to give to her probably the last two months. But Fuze doesn't complain. She doesn't nag and that was what a Zulu man in him enjoyed before meeting Ndondo. 
“What do you want?” He lowers his eyes to her and she blushes and looks away.
He smiles and lifts her chin up with his finger.
“Fuzee” he calls softly.
“Ndabuko I know that you're tired and dealing with a lot at the rank” she says staring at his eyes like she's looking at her own beautiful pet.
“Are you going to be busy today?” she asks.
Yes today he's going on a date with Ndondo. That's why they're here in the hotel the house is ready for Ndondo. Everything of Fuze’s was packed and hidden in the garage.
“Yes” he says and buries his head behind her shoulder. He can't look at her in the eyes not when he keeps lying to her like this.
He starts on her neck below her ear and goes up to her earlobe. She hates morning kisses so he plays far from her lips. But he kisses every inch of her and she's enjoying every part of it.
When his hard shaft rests on her thighs she involuntarily opens her legs and begs him to fu€k her. It's been too long even though she understood but she craved for him every night sometimes he was lying next to her and lost in his thoughts and sometimes away with Maqhinga or whoever attending to their business matters.
“Please sthandwa sami fast and hard.”
He lifts her leg over his shoulder and obeys. He pumps faster and harder. She's screaming his name and speaking in tongues. His head is facing up his eyes are closed and…Ndondo is there bigger and bold in his mind.
“Ngiyakuthanda

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bigger and bold in his mind.
“Ngiyakuthanda” he says and lets out a moan.
“I love you too babe” Fuze responds before her body jerks.
He goes harder. His jaws are tightened and her name is itching in his throat. Eventually all knots are untied he falls down on her chest and lets out a groan.
“Ndondo yami” he cries.
Fuze is lost in the world of her own. Her Ndabuko is back emotionally and physically.
.
.
He hates smoking but when the going gets tough the cigarette gets lit.
“Zithini ndoda? You look tense. I thought you'd be happy going on a date with Mrs Fierce” Maqhinga says joining him in the balcony with a glass of light-brown liquid.
Ndabuko takes a deep breath and leans over the rails.
“I called Fuze by her name” he says and take another puff.
“How are you still alive?” Maqhinga knows everything about women. He's been to; courts for child support paternity court hospital for a hand that was burnt with hot water in his sleep prison cell for slapping one or two of his girlfriends under the tree with induna and being interrogated for fu€king someone's wife. He's been through it all and he’s only 29 years old.
“She was still out of it” Ndabuko says a bit annoyed and regretful. Maqhinga is the last person you come to with your problems.
“Oh I see. So what's going to happen? You'll call Mrs Fierce Fuze and call Fuze by Mrs Fierce’s name?”
“No!” That came out breathily than he intended. Imagine calling a whole Ndondo by someone else's name! 
“You know what mina ngiwuMaqhinga I always bring fresh ideas and solutions. Whenever you're about to slaughter the pu$$y take a piece of cloth and wrap it around your mouth. Like aboKris Grey; 50 shades or whatever they call it” he says taps Ndabuko’s arm and walks back inside the house.
Ndabuko finishes his cigarette and follows him inside the house. He needs to dress up the last thing he needs is to be late like that idiot Senzo. Torturing people is not his style he only wanted to take his car and wallet he knew that Ndondo wasn't going to give a second date to the guy who couldn't even pay his own meal. But Maqhinga insisted on cutting his hair to fulfil his strange “having fun” games. And Ndlalifa got fed up with his whining and started slapping the poor guy.
“Are you going to drive your car or I should drive you there with a taxi?” Maqhinga yells from the kitchen.
“I will drive” Ndabuko says loud enough for him to hear.
“What if she asks questions? How are you going to explain yourself because this woman seems to have you by scrotum?” Maqhinga.
Ndabuko doesn't answer. It will happen when it happens. It's not like he's ever told her that he is financially struggling she chose to believe that on her own.
He adjusts his collar and stares at his own reflection on the mirror. How did he get here? How did he get to the point of hurting Fuze repeatedly and now willingly.
“Bafo” Maqhinga says behind him. Now he's serious he's the soft brother figure he has at the taxi rank. They became his brothers when Nhlanzeko died; they're his family.
“Zithini kanti? I thought it was something light. This is more than just screaming her name on top of Fuze right?”
Ndabuko nods his head and releases a deep sigh.
“What's going on?” Maqhinga asks.
“I'm in love with her” he says.
Maqhinga gulps down the content in his glass.
“I know this girl has been stuck with you for years. She puts up with your bullshit and hot head.”
“Not her Ndondo.”
Whaaat??!
“Mrs Fierce?” He's in disbelief. Wasn't Ndabuko doing this to get Nhlanzeko off his back? What's this love thing he's talking about now?
“I really love her” Ndabuko says breathing heavily between each word.
“Where does that put Fuze?” Maqhinga asks.
“Ndoda I don't know. I really don't.” He grabs his car keys cellphone and wallet and walks out.
.
.
NDONDO

A lot of things are strange here. Obviously I'm not judging him. He once worked at Airbus Industries he could've saved or maybe paid off his instalments before losing his job. I like him for respecting me showing up on time and actually driving me in to the restaurant and for looking representable. He also smells good. It shows that he made efforts for this day and he respects the thing called a woman.
But he looks so uncomfortably strange. Very strange that even his eyes are dark there's no spark in them he has no smirk. Rather he looks sad or broken I don't know. It must be employment problems. Taking away his job for my stupid feelings would be the most selfish thing to do.
“Did you think about what I said?” he asks breaking a long moment of silence and stealing glances at each other.
“What did you say?” I ask obviously faking memory loss. It's all I've been thinking about since last night.
“I said I love you and I meant it. I know it might've come as a shock but I've been in love with you from the first day I set my eyes on you. It wasn't supposed to happen but it did. I'd be honored to get a chance to prove my words to you.”
One long sip! Another one. I lift my eyes to him and find him staring at me. He looks way too handsome in this white T-shirt and Cargo pant. Casual but dripping hot.
Oh fuck! I'm drooling instead of answering.
“We can't do it Ndabuko. You have to come back to work tomorrow if you want us to work you'll allow me to find a job for you and when we have no professional relationship between us then we can act on our feelings” I say.
“Our feelings?” The spark is back in his eyes.
“What time is it?” I ask after clearing my throat. I wasn't supposed to say that. I don't talk about feelings on a first date this was supposed to be a “Get to know you” type of thing but we're already too deep.
“Ndondo….” He's whispering next to me. When did he get off his chair? It's a great thing that it's only the two of us in this section.
“I love you” he whispers
Before I can process my thoughts and calm down my throbbing heart his lips have captured mine and he's tenderly sucking them. There's something about his cologne…or is it the softness of his lips…or his strong hand safely holding the back of my neck? I don't know but it's something in him. Something I don't want to get away from at least not today.
“I have a hotel room…” I say breaking off the kiss.
He pecks my cheek.
“And I have a house” he says.
“Not far right?” I ask.
“Depends on how I'm driving.”
Okay thirsty bit€h biggest sinner on the planet. You're going to sleep with him tonight and then force him to take his job tomorrow. That will definitely work. It's a win-win situation from every angle.

Ridge Estate? Parked in front of…is it a house or just a series of rectangles constructed of steel and glass? I'm not sure where I am or who I'm with. 
When my eyes get tired of staring at the geometric piece in front of me I turn my head to him. He expected me to he's waiting for me to say something.
“Are we going in?” I ask.
He frowns. I also frown it's not like I don't know how to frown.
“Okay” he says and holds my hand.
I have a lot of questions. Nobody can drive a G-class own a house like this and still work as someone's yardner. Something doesn't add up and I don't know if stepping into this house is a great idea but I'm already inside and I'm feeling kind of settled.

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