"I want you to marry Landokuhle."
My fathers words were still ringing in my ear. I laughed.
Me: "dad i think you need to stick to your day job because comedy is definitely not for you."
I looked at my dad and he is still looking serious. I stopped laughing and looked at Landokuhle her head was bowed and she was playing with her hands.
Me: "dad you can't be serious right now."
Dad: "I am very serious son."
He leaned back on the couch and threw one leg over his knee.
I turned to Lando and she was still playing with her hands.
Me: "why are you quiet? Say something why are you acting like this doesn't involve you too. Say something damnit." I didn't even realize I was now shouting. She turned to me still as calm as a cucumber.
Lando: "firstly please stop shouting at me i am not your child. Secondly i think you need to sort this out between the two of you."
She got up and turned to my dad.
Lando: "Mr Biyela I have a meeting I need to attend so please excuse me." She walked out.
My father stood up and poured himself some whiskey then leaned against his desk.
Me: "Dad I don't know what is going on here but this will not work."
Dad: "of course it will. Landokuhle is a good girl she works hard and she knows business. She is quite capable of helping you grow this business and I think she will make an even better."
I stood up and went to him.
Me: "When did you start making decisions for us dad. Ever since we turned 18 you always said we were adults and we can make our own decisions. So what has changed?"
Dad: "And look where that has led us Philani. You mother died while you were all busy hopping from one country to the next. Your sister went and married a psycho despite my reservations about it. Your brothers sleep with women like sex is going out of fashion. While i was busy taking care of your mother your uncle tried to take over this company." I could see his eyes turning red he was getting emotional.
Me: "Dad I understand that this is hard for you especially with mum gone but that doesn't give you the right to decide my future for me."
Dad: "I am trying to protect you."
Me: "FROM WHAT DAD?"
Dad: "From yourself. Do you think I don't know about the things you do Philani. You smuggle drugs into the country and you run a prostitution ring. Tell me how long will it take before the law catches up with you? How long before you are behind bars? Is that the future you want?" He takes a deep breath.
Dad: "I gave you everything but look at how you turned out. Was I wrong for wanting you to have an easier life?"
I look down ashamed. I didn't think my dad knew about what I did. I always thought he cared more about this company than us. Was I wrong?
I have been standing here for almost 30 minutes just watching the hustle and bustle of Joburg. Its crazy how this calms me down. I heard the door opened and footsteps coming towards me. I turned around to find Philani standing behind me. His eyes were red. Maybe he was crying.
Philani: "name your price."
Me: "excuse me!"
Philani: "you heard me. Tell me how much its going to cost me to get you out pf our lives." I laughed. I heard him the first time i was just hoping i heard wrong.
Me: "the fact that you think I can be bought is laughable."
Philani: "Everyone has a price Landokuhle so whats yours?" Okay so he is serious.
Me: "have you spoken to your father?"
Philani: he chuckles "you think because my father likes you then this will be an easy ride for you. I am sorry to disappoint you but that will never happen."
Philani: "So what is your plan exactly. You think you can jump from my fathers bed to mine." To say i am shocked would be a joke. He cant possibly think........ No! I refuse shem.
Philani: "what now cat got your tongue. I know girls like you Landokuhle girls who sleep their way to the top when they don't deserve to be there. For all we know even your qualifications are fake. So the only thing working for you is your pu**y. Your pu**y must be real good for my father to........." I was so angry I don't know how my palm made contact with his cheek.
Me: "You don't know me Philani. And from the looks of it I don't think you know your father either. So unless you have something better to talk about do not ever again walk into my office unannounced." He is angry. I can see his jaws clenching. His eyes are spitting fire. But i refuse to back down.
Me: "Now do me a favour and get the fuck out of my office." He takes a step towards me. "GET OUT PHILANI!" He turns around and leaves.
My knees have turned to jelly I think i am about to fall. I make it to my chair in time. I turn to the door and Mr Biyela senior is standing with his hands in his pockets and his shoulder on the door his feet are crossed.
Me: "Mr B." Oh dear Lord I hope he did not see what just happened.
Mr B: "I don't think my son has ever been slapped before let alone by a woman."
Me: "Mr B I am so sorry I didn't mean....."
Mr B: "don't be. I am actually impressed. Maybe this marriage will work afterall."
He turns around and walks away. I can hear him whistle as he moves down the passage.
I sat there for an hour just waiting for my heart to slow down. Eventually i decide to call it a day. Its not even lunch time yet but i am tired already.
I decide to take my things and just go home. I get in my car and start the engine. My hands are shaking but I need to get out of here. My phone rings as I drive out of the parking garage. It's my best friend Bulelwa. We call her Buli.
Buli: "Are you at the office? I am on my way."
Me: "I am on my way out so meet me at my place. And please bring wine."
Buli: "Isn't it a bit early to be drinking wine?"
Me: "its happy hour somewhere in the world."
Buli: "okay moghel azishe ke." She hung up.
Hi my name is Bulelwa Zwane I am 25 a lawyer and Lando's best friend. I have known Lando since high school.
I know by the sound of her voice she is stressed. I decide to turn around and find a mall since i was almost at her office when i called her.
I find a mall and go straight to woolies. I buy five bottles. Don't judge its friday after all. I get into my car and drive off. Its gonna be a long day.