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CHAPTER FIVE

"Even though it gets crazy sometimes
I will I will I'll trust in you
When it feels like I've lost my mind
I will I will
Go further go smarter
I'll pray louder go deeper
I will I will trust in you"

The sounds of the choir singing Todd Dulaney's song accompanied by the band vibrates through the church. Some people are on their feet with their hands in the air praising some are on their knees deep in prayer.

After a while the choir ends the song and the pastor stands up and preaches. Its a short and precise sermon about allowing God to lead us to where we need to be afterall He knew us before we were in our mothers wombs. Well I am not sure if I can ever let someone else be in control of my life. But i guess God doesn't count right?

Soon the sermon is done and we are allowed to leave. As we go past the door there are little baskets where we put our offerings. Something else that I like about this church offering is never part of the sermon its a choice you make. I leave a little something and walk out.

I walk out into the blazing sun. Its really hot so I take off my blazer and I am left with just my sleeveless red lace dress that rests just above my knee its really nice on its own but because its church I had the blazer on.

I look up and Philani is leaning on my car busy with his phone. I take a good look at him and he really looks hot. He has on black formal pants a white shirt tucked in but with two buttons opened at the top. He is wearing formal shoes a black belt and a gold wristwatch that glimmers in the sun. The man is perfect yes I can admit that.

I walk closer to him and some girls are standing by the car next to mine they are giggling and I can tell they are trying to get his attention but brothers is just plain ignoring them Lol church girls can surprise you.

I stand in front of him and he looks up and smiles. The girls disappear very fast.
Philani: "Nice service."
Me: "I didn't know you come to church."
Philani: "Well not usually but I went to your place and you weren't there. Your neighbour told me you came to church so here I am."
Ok I know this dude is lying because I have stayed in that house for almost two years and I have never spoken to a single neighbour let alone tell them my whereabouts. Suburban life.
Me: "Which neighbour?" Yep he just went blank
Philani: "Uhm.......... the one.......... the one who stays next door to you."
Me: "You are lying but I will let it slide this time. So what were you doing at my house?" I ask as I open the passenger door and throw in my blazer together with my bag and bible. He follows and stands behind me.
Philani: "I was hoping to take you out for lunch."
Me: "Don't you have a girlfriend?"
Philani: "I do but I figured since we are about to get married its only right that I get to know you better."
Me: "Didn't your guy find enough info on me."
Philani: "Come to lunch with me and I will tell you all about it."
Me: "Fine. Lets go."
I go around and get into the drivers side and he gets on the passenger side. I look at him with questioning eyes and he notices.
Philani: "My car is not here. Someone dropped me off."
I don't have time to get into it with him so I just start the car and drive off. He directs me to a fancy hotel and we park in the underground parking and take the lift to the second floor. We walk to a private dining area that has been elegantly set up. Its quite beautiful.

He pulls out my chair and I sit down. He takes a seat and a waiter immediately brings our drinks whiskey on the rocks for him and a Strawberry daiquiri for me. I take a sip and its a virgin. This nigger! He looks at me and notices the pissed off look on my face.

Philani: "I Hope you like your drink."
Me: "I do I just like it better with alcohol in it."
Philani: "Well I figured since you are going to work........" he shrugs.
Me: "Oh and you are not working?"
Philani: "I Am but after what I saw yesterday I am pretty certain I can handle my alcohol better than you can."

Mxm he is lucky its Sunday otherwise I would have ordered a whole bottle of wine just to spite him. But he is right I need to be clear minded for work tomorrow.

He tells the waiter to bring our food.
Philani: "I hope you don't mind I already ordered all our food before we came."
Me: "Thats scary."
Philani: "Why?"
Me: "What if you have bad taste in food? Please do not make me eat anything weird." He laughs.
Philani: "We will see."
The waiter comes over with our starter in two covered plates and places them in front of us.
Waiter: "Enjoy your meal."
He lifts the covers and leaves. I look down at the plate and I find chicken feet in soup. I couldn't hold it in so I just burst out laughing.
Me: "I was right you do have bad taste in food."
Philani: "Don't tell me you've never had these before."
Me: "I have I just never expected to find them at a fancy place like this." I take one and eat. They are actually quite good.
Philani: "You won't find them here but I did make a special request so they made them for me."
Me: "Lucky you."

We ate and the waiter came to take the plates away when we were done. Now I was curious what would be the main dish I hope its not mopani worms cause I cannot stomach those. We talk while waiting for the main. The waiter brings over two more plates and my heart starts beating faster. I hold my breath as he opens the plates. I let out a sigh when I see Mogodu or Ulusu as Zulu people call it with pap and chakalaka on the side. Its a favourite of mine. I look up to see him looking at me with a huge smile on his face.
Philani: "If you want something else we can get it for you."
Me: "No this is perfect."

I take a spoonful of the meat and it tastes exactly the way I like boiled with salt and pepper a bit of onion and chilli and I am in heaven. I put the spoon aside and just dig in. I am so engrossed in my food that I don't see him watching me.
My attention is brought back to him when I hear him laugh.
Me: "What?"
Philani: "I have never seen anyone humming while eating ulusu. Is it that good?"
Me: "If you ate yours you would know its so much better while its still hot you know."
He chuckles and digs in using his hands. We continue eating and talking. Then dessert is served and its chocolate cake now he is the one humming. I guess he likes it.

When we are done eating we go and sit outside by the pool. Our clothes don't really fit into this place but who cares. We have spoken about a lot of things mostly his childhood and his travels around the world. Turns out he has seen many of the places I want to go to someday Mexico Brazil New York Paris Thailand and even Greece. Well I guess one day is one day.
Philani: "I have a question."
Me: "Yeah."
Philani: "How come you have never travelled before? Its not like you can't afford it."
Me: "Well growing up the way I did travelling always seemed like a distant fantasy and once I started making money I just preferred to save and invest most of it. I told myself I would start I guess living when I turn 30 for now I just need to get my life in order and make sure I have enough money."
Philani: "I don't think you can ever have enough money though."
Me: "Easy for you to say you grew up with money."
Philani: "Is that why you respect my father so much

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cause he has money?"
Me: "Money doesn't make a man Philani its nice to have but I don't respect people because of it I respect people because they have earned it and your father.......... he found me on the streets gave me a roof over my head clothes on my back fed me and gave me an education. I will always be grateful for that. Thats why I will always respect him it takes a special kind of man to do what he did for me and not expect anything in return."
Philani: "But don't you think forcing you to marry me is him expecting something in return. He is basically making you pay for all he did for you."
Me: "He is not forcing me to do anything he gave me a choice he asked me to do it and I said yes mainly because I understood his reasons."
Philani: "And what are his reasons?"
Me: "You are gonna have to ask him about those." His phone beeps and he checks it.
Philani: "Okay then I think its time to go. Can you drop me off at my dads."
Me: "Sure." I picked up my bag and we left.

The drive to his father's place was quiet he seems to have been deep in thought. I dropped him off and left. I need a shower and sleep and thanks to his lunch I wont have to cook when I get home.


●●●●●●●●●●●●

PHILANI

Lando dropped me off at my dads and the guards let me in. I was meeting Sbu later to find out what he found. I really hope its something worthwhile.

I walk into the house and the maid tells me my dad is in the study. Its not the same here without mom it feels empty now. I wish dad could just sell this house and move somewhere else but knowing how stuborn he is I doubt he will.

I open the door and my dad is busy on his laptop. He closes it when he sees me walk in.

Dad: "Son I am happy you came can i get you anything to eat." He stands up to give me a hug. He leads me to the couch and we sit down.
Me: "No thanks I just had lunch with Lando." He smiles of course that would make him happy.
Dad: "Really? Does that mean you have considered my proposal." I don't think my dad knows the difference between a proposal and a demand.
Me: "I Have thought about it."
Dad: "Ok so have you made a decision?"
Me: "Why are you in such a hurry for this to happen anyway. Can't we wait for a while and allow me to court her like any normal person would."
Dad: "I don't have much time son."
Me: "Time for what?"
Dad: "I want to retire soon and I need to make sure that you two are happy and you can run the business together. With your leadership and Lando's guidance this company can really be the best."
Me: "Dad Biyela Holdings is one of the biggest companies in the world how big do you want it to be?"
Dad: "I want my great great grandkids to find it and benefit from it I want your great great grandkids to also benefit we not just building a company son but we are creating generational wealth. I know this seems rather selfish of me but I don't want my grandkids coming to my grave when I am dead bezophahla and asking for luck I want them to get a bit of luck from the company and build from it what they wish this comapny will ensure that they have choices tomorrow to do whatever they dream off and find fulfillment from it I want this company to be their roots that allows them to grow into whatever they wish to be. And when they come to my grave it will be to say thank you not to beg. Do you understand that?"
Me: "I Understand but......."
Dad: "Look son I know I have failed you as a father but this is your legacy and I need you to keep it going. I know this is a lot to ask of you but I am asking anyway."
Me: "Dad you are asking me to make a lifetime commitment to someone I might not even like let alone love."
Dad: "The fact that you took the liberty to spend time with her means something." He takes a deep breath. "Tell you what give it two years if its not working by then I will support your divorce and whoever you choose to marry afterwards."
A deadline works for me I doubt this marriage will work but a deadline means I can hopefully convince Ayanda to wait. She is not the patient type though.
Me: "Can I atleast think about it?"
Dad: "Sure." We stand up and shake hands. "I need an answer by tomorrow though your uncles are ready to go."
Me: "When do they want to go?"
Dad: "Next weekend." That does not give me much time.
Me: "Fine dad I will do it. You can send bomalume."
Dad: "Good decision son." He is happy strict and hardcore as he is I think deep down he is a softie.

I leave him there and walk out. I decide to take one of his cars in the garage. I hope he won't mind. I take the Audi Q7 and drive out. I have a week to get as much dirt as I can on Landokuhle so I can put a stop to this whole thing.

I drive to my flat and I find Sbu's car already parked inside. I get in and park next to him I walk into the house and this idiot has his feet on the coffee table. I pretend to cough and he quickly removes his feet on the table.

Sbu: "Bozza yam."
I sit down on the couch across from him he puts a file on the coffee table and tosses it to me I open it and theres nothing much here.
Me: "Yin le Sbu?" (What is this?)
Sbu: "That is all I could find mlungy the lady is clean matriculated at 16 went to Wits and graduated top of her class your dad paid for all that by the way. No criminal record she pays taxes basically she is a law abiding citizen."
Me: "Ok Sbusiso how exactly is this supposed to help me I need dirt here not this." I toss the file back on the table. And then I remember. "She said something about my father finding her on the streets maybe you can start there."
Sbu: "Sure thing bozza." He gets up and leaves. No person can be this squeaky clean I need something or else by the end of this week I will be someones husband.


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