CHAPTER FIFTY SIX


I woke up with someone climbing all over me. The sounds coming from outside didnt help either. I slept very late. Ntombi's call last night unsettled me a bit. As much as I tried to will myself to feel some sort of empathy or pain for my mother I felt nothing well that's a lie I did feel something it wasnt pity or pain I dont know if it even has a name but to me it felt like justice. Justice for every whip lash I endured when I told her what Vusi had done to me justice for every insult she had hurled to me justice for gogo's life that was cut short justice for the many sleepless nights I had spent under bridges on cold nights justice for Gugu and her suffering and justice for every nightmare we have had since our innocence was brutally taken from us.

This is probably a cruel thing to say but Karma knows everyone's address and sooner or later it comes to visit. For some it leaves them with a slap on the wrist such that they quickly forget it was ever there and for others it leaves a cut so deep it takes a lifetime to forget. I guess my mother was the latter.

I got up and went to the bathroom to wash my face careful not to step on anybody. My friends and I slept in the same room we talked and laughed for most of the night while our visitors were singing and dancing in the rondavel they had been assigned to sleep in. I washed my face first before deciding to take a shower instead. I got out and went back to the bedroom with a towel around me I lotioned and put my gown back on. I took Theo and bathe him.

After dressing him I also got dressed and went down to the kitchen to make him food. I walked in and aunt Norah saw me first and she broke out in ululating before the other women joined her. I smiled and got hugs from everyone.

Norah: "Hi nana I was about to bring you breakfast."
Me: "Thank you I have been up for a while since this guy woke me up. And now he is hungry." She handed me a bowl with soft porridge and milk. I have never given Theo porridge before just the usual cerelac and purity. She looked at me with a smirk on her face I guess she could see the look on my face.
Norah: "Give him the porridge and if he doesn't like it then I will make him your fancy food." I laughed he's hungry anyway and porridge never killed anybody atleast no one that I know off.

I took the little spoon and fed him he lapped it up like he hadn't eaten in months and before I knew it the bowl was empty. He even took the bowl and buried his head in it. Talk about licking your plate clean. I looked up and aunt Norah was laughing.

Norah: "See he loves it. You should give it to him more often. Go and wake the others up and get dressed we will have the lobola this morning and then umembeso later on."

I went back upstairs and luckily the girls were up already. They took turns taking showers before we went to the room where the ceremony would take place. We got in and it was mostly just family I bowed my head and sat on my side of the room with my family and the Biyela's were on the other side. Lindani spoke and said how many cows they had bought including insulamnyembeti which technically was supposed to go to my mother but since she was not here Mam Busi accepted it as I had requested her to do. Bile was poured on me and Philani we were now married in almost every way.

Lunch was served before we had umembeso everything went well dad was right as nervous as I was about the logistics of everything the families had came to a compromise and all things worked out well.

The next day another cow was slaughtered and chunks of it was given to everyone to take home. And since the Biyela's requested that I return home with them we packed our bags and by late evening we were already on the road. Most of them went straight back to Mandawe while we went to Joburg together with the others.

Philani went straight to his study soon as we got home and Gugu went to her room. I decided to bath Theo and put him to sleep before taking a shower myself. I went downstairs when i was done and unpacked all the food we got from home out of the cooler bags and packed them in the fridge cause it was clear no one was going to eat. I went back upstairs and decided to talk to Gugu after hearing laughter coming from her room. I knocked once before going in. She was laying up on the bed busy on her new phone an iPhone 10 or 11 I dont know all I know is that Philani spoils her way too much.

Gugu: "You know you should wait for someone to say come in first what if I was masturbating?"
Me: "Please do not say that." She laughed I sat on the bed with my head on the headboard and she put her head on my lap. "When last did you speak to Ntombi?"
Gugu: "This morning. She told me what happened to mum."
Me: "And how do you feel about it?" She puts away the phone and looks at me.
Gugu: "I dont know. A part of me wants to feel bad but then theres the other part of me that just doesn't care. Am I a horrible person?"
Me: "Of course not. Look I also dont know how to feel about it but we cant really change what happened. The only thing we can do is pray she heals and finds peace somewhere in her heart."
Gugu: "I guess."
Me: "When last did you have nightmares about Vusi?"
Gugu: "Its been a while. I think a part of me has accepted that he won't be coming back."
Me: "And how did you figure that out?"
Gugu: "I had a dream once I saw Vusi coming after me he was chasing me through some dark forest I could hear his footsteps getting closer and closer but then they stopped. I turned around and you were there you stood between us but then he laughed he had this mocking laugh. I got closer to you and you held my hand we walked away with him laughing but then he started screaming asking for help when I looked back he had blood coming out of him his eyes and nose and mouth. It was horrible but eventually he slumped to the ground and died. And when I woke up I had a sense of peace. And I knew everything would be okay." This i didnt know. I guess this explains her new attitude and zest for life.

We spoke a little while longer before I retired to bed. I got to my bedroom and found Philani already in bed. I took off my gown and got into bed and placed my head on his chest. I told him about my mum and all he said was Mhmmm.

Philani: "Have you decided on a wedding date yet?" I guess the mum topic is over.
Me: "Not yet. But it will have to be after I give birth. I am not wearing a wedding gown with a big tummy." He laughs and kisses the top of my head.
Philani: "I think you would look perfect even with a little princess inside you."
Me: "It could just be a prince."
Philani: "You know if we allowed the doctor to tell us the sex of the baby we wouldn't be having this argument."
Me: "Nope I want it to be a surprise." He has been begging for the doctor to tell us the sex but since I am the patient the doctor is respecting my wishes. Even though he hides it very well not getting his way is not sitting well with him. I fell asleep still laying on his chest.



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NARRATED


In Mbuzini Busi has just parked outside the hospital where Nelsiwe is after driving for almost four hours to get there. She takes a bottle of water from the backseat and drinks it before getting out of the car. She walks to the reception area and asks the receptionist for directions to Nelsiwe's ward. She gets there and finds Nelsiwe sitting up on the bed with bandages covering more than half her body.

Busi: "Sawubona. (Hello)"
Nelsiwe: "What do you want?"
Busi: "Lando told me what happened to you I just came to see how you are doing."
Nelsiwe: "As you can see I am fine."
Busi: "So what happened?"
Nelsiwe: "No one is here Busisiwe you can stop pretending like you care."
Busi: "You are right. I dont care about you but I care about your children." Nelsiwe chuckles.
Nelsiwe: "Which kids? The same kids who didnt even bother to come see me even though they know what happened to me? You mean those kids?"
Busi: "It must be such a bitter pill to swallow when you experience the same thing your kids went through and them reacting the same way you did. After all you put them through you really expect Lando and Gugu to drop everything and come rushing to you just because you birthed them? Really Nelsiwe?"
Nelsiwe: "I think it's time you left."
Busi: "I dont know how long you plan on being stubborn but it's not helping you in any way. Just a few days ago Biyela paid lobola for Lando and you weren't even there to celebrate with her or even accept your cow. Is this really what you want Nelsiwe to die alone."
Nelsiwe: "I am not alone."
Busi: "Let me guess you have Ntombi. How long do you think she'll stay here holding your hand she is young she has her whole life ahead of her. You really want to hold her back?" Nelsiwe looks away as a tear falls down her face. "Make peace with your children Nelsiwe before it's too late." She walks out of the ward and back to her car. She makes a phone call to Lando while sitting in the car.

Lando: "Hi mummy."
Busi: "Hi baby how are you?"
Lando: "Good. Did you speak to her?"
Busi: "I did. Your mother is almost half as stubborn as you are." She laughs. "But I think she has a lot to think about."
Lando: "I told you my mother dances to the beat of her own drum. Thank you for trying though."
Busi: "Anytime. Anyways let me drive back I have a long way to go."
Lando: "Ok drive safe." They hang up and Busi begins her journey back home.


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PHILANI

Fridays are the best days for work for me atleast. And most of the time I enjoy it but not today. I have been stuck in this meeting for almost two hours now. And these people won't stop talking. But I guess this is what I have to do if we are going to find a solution for the burst oil pipe in Nigeria. And these people have invoices that are enough to buy a small country. After a few more minutes the meeting comes to an end and I say a silent prayer take my things and go back to my office.

I walk in and find Lando sitting on my chair with her baby bump in full display. Whoever said pregnant women weren't sexy clearly hadn't met my wife. I walk up behind her as she watches the city with her back turned to me. I kiss her neck and she instinctively arches her neck giving me proper access to it.

Me: "You know how sexy you are right now?"
Lando: "Thank you kind sir but you won't be thinking that once you hear what I have to say." I stop kissng her and sit on top of the desk.
Me: "Hit me what is it?" Shd takes a file from the desk next to me and places it in my hand.
Lando: "The invoices that those guys sent for the rebuilding of the oil pipe have been inflated. I called the first two companies that can rebuild it and they had the same estimate as the ones we have. I figured all seems to be in order until I called the third company and the person I spoke to told me an estimate that was less than what we have on the invoice. So I called the other two companies again and asked to speak to different people from the ones I spoke to before and those people gave me a number that's less than what we have."
Me: "You mean to tell me that someone is trying to use this to swindle money out of the company?"
Lando: "Yep. You need to find out who this is cause clearly these other two companies are in on it too."
Me: "See this is why I love my side hustle. All I would have to do is pull out a couple of teeth and fingers on someone and I would get what I want. Now i have to go the legal route."
Lando: "Yes you do. But i already got the auditors to find out what's going on and i hired a P.I to do the rest." I smiled and pulled her up to stand between my legs."
Me: "Man I love it when you take control." She puts her hands around my neck and kisses me. She pulls out just as I feel my dick waking up.
Lando: "I would love to stay and chat but I have one last meeting to attend before I head home." She kisses me one last time before heading out. I decide to call Sbu.

Sbu: "Bafo."
Me: "Sbuda I am going to send you a list of people I need a thorough background check on all of them."
Sbu: "Sure thing." We hang up and I send him the list of everyone I was in the meeting with. I continue with work. Just as I am about to knock off I get a text from Dladla.

'Bafo dont call me on my usual number. The IPID is investigating a few officers from the station so I need to lay low a bit. I will get in touch with you.

D'

I decide not to reply to his text but instead I delete it. Lucky for me this is just a burner phone and not my known number. But I need to make sure there is nothing there that will trace back to me so I text Sbu to wipe any and every thing that may connect us to Dladla.

I gather my stuff and drive home. I get home and Lando is already there cooking. I kiss her and go to the lounge. My phone rings and its an international number.

Me: "Hello."
Man: "Biyela its Marco Lopez."
Me: "Marco my man it's been a while."
Marco: "Yeah it has been. I thought I should give you a heads up. Rafael Rodriguez killed his brother a couple of weeks back and today he boarded a flight to South Africa. He is headed your way."
Me: "Do you know why?"
Marco: "He is coming for Raul's son." I swear when it rains it pours.
Me: "Ok man thanks for letting me know. I will get my house in order."
Marco: "Do me one favour when you see him put a bullet between his eyes. And another through his heart just to be sure."
Me: "I will do my best man. Thanks."

I hang up and look at Lando in the kitchen humming as she cooks. I need to protect her and I need to protect Theo. 

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