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Chapter 05

(I thought this was going to be easy but I want to cry as I pack for Ndondoyethu. Can't he see that I'm sad? That I don't want him to go?) 


Ndondoyethu : Maybe you need to call her now and ask her what happened to the interview. 


(There was never an interview Ndondoyethu) 


Me : Mhmm-Mhmm 


Ndondoyethu : Yes maybe something happened 


Me : Mhmm-Mhmm maybe


Ndondoyethu : They can't waste anymore of your time. If there is no interview then they need to tell you now 


Me : I'm done packing for you. Are you done eating? 


Ndondoyethu : Yes. Don't worry I'll wash it myself 


(I sigh) 


Me : It's just one plate Ndondo


Ndondoyethu : Are you ok? 


Me : I'm fine 


Ndondoyethu : Freedom come here. 


Me : I said I'm fine 


(My phone is ringing. The one that I was given by Ike. I look at Ndondoyethu. How am I going to answer this one?) 


Me : It's the lady from the restaurant 


(Ndondoyethu smiles) 


Ndondoyethu : Answer it. 


(I cleared my throat)


Me : Blue speaking 


Ike : My girls are waiting for you. Where are you Blue? 


(I look at Ndondoyethu. I just hope he buys this) 


Me : At my place. I was waiting for your call mam 


Ike : Mam? 


Me : No no no. I can come now. I really need this job please send me directions. 


Ike : Blue are you ok? Are you kidnapped? Blue where are you? 


Me : I'm with my brother. We were so looking forward to this call 


(I laugh. Why is Ike so stupid? Can't he see that I can't talk now?)


Ike : Fine. I'll send someone to pick you up 


Me : No no no you can't… 


(Ndondoyethu frowned) 


Ike : What? 


Me : I mean that is so generous of you. Thank you I'll be waiting for you mam 


(I hung up) 


Ndondoyethu : And? 


Me : You need to go Ndondo 


Ndondoyethu : What? 


Me : I just… I just don't want you to be late. You don't know this Tembisa place. You need to go early 


Ndondoyethu : You are right but I want to know about your interview. When is it? 


Me : In the next few hours… Did you pack your sneakers? 


(I don't want to have this conversation with Ndondoyethu) 


Ndondoyethu : Where is it? What is the name of it? 


Me : Your sneakers Ndondo!!! 


Ndondoyethu : I packed them last night. Are they going to pick you up for the interview? 


Me : Yes


Ndondoyethu : Really? No I don't trust these people Freedom. I want to see them before I go 


Me : Ndondo I'm not a child. Stop acting like my father 


Ndondoyethu : Do you trust them? 


Me : Yes I do 


Ndondoyethu : No no no. Why are they calling you on this phone? 


(It took you long enough to ask me that question) 


Me : My battery is flat and I can't see my charger. Aunt Selina was using it the other day so I had to use this phone. I didn't want to miss that call 


Ndondoyethu : I see 


Me : You need to trust me Ndondoyethu 


Ndondoyethu : I trust you Blue. I just want you to be safe 


Me : Then take me with you. We will figure things out in Tembisa together. I don't want you to leave me


Ndondoyethu : Blue come on. We spoke about this 


Me : Fine. Go 


(I gave him his bags) 


Ndondoyethu : Blue come on. Don't do that 


Me : What? Go. I want to get ready for my interview 


Ndondoyethu : You are not ok 


Me : I'm fine. Go 


Ndondoyethu : Ok ok ok. Give me 3 days at least Blue 


(3 days sounds better. I smile) 


Me : Promise? 


Ndondoyethu : I promise. When you get bored read this book. 


Me : I will


Ndondoyethu : I wish you all the best for your interview 


Me : Thank you. I'm going to miss you and your amazing cooking but 3 days is better than a whole week. 


(We laughed and hugged.) 


(Finally Ndondoyethu is gone. This flat is so empty without him. I wonder where Aunty Selina is. A tracksuit with my sneakers will do. No makeup. I'm ready to go now. I lock the door and look around as I place the key under the carpet that is just at our doorstep. Ike's driver took me to the other girls. I don't even know what to do here. Is this a matric dance or what? The way these girls dress up. I'm comfortable in my tracksuit and I don't care what they think of me. I sit down next to this one girl. She doesn't speak much) 


Me : I'll have juice.. Any juice. 


(I say to the waitress. She looks at me and shakes her head) 


Girl : You are late Blue and you don't even care. You just rock up here like everything is fine 


Me : I'm late? 


Girl : Never mind 


Me : Why are we here? 


Girl : To get to know each other. Ike's order


Me : I don't really need to get to know you guys… I mean..


(I laugh but her face is blank) 


Me : Ok maybe I do. 


Girl : Nobody cares what you think here. Honestly

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Me : I will


Ndondoyethu : I wish you all the best for your interview 


Me : Thank you. I'm going to miss you and your amazing cooking but 3 days is better than a whole week. 


(We laughed and hugged.) 


(Finally Ndondoyethu is gone. This flat is so empty without him. I wonder where Aunty Selina is. A tracksuit with my sneakers will do. No makeup. I'm ready to go now. I lock the door and look around as I place the key under the carpet that is just at our doorstep. Ike's driver took me to the other girls. I don't even know what to do here. Is this a matric dance or what? The way these girls dress up. I'm comfortable in my tracksuit and I don't care what they think of me. I sit down next to this one girl. She doesn't speak much) 


Me : I'll have juice.. Any juice. 


(I say to the waitress. She looks at me and shakes her head) 


Girl : You are late Blue and you don't even care. You just rock up here like everything is fine 


Me : I'm late? 


Girl : Never mind 


Me : Why are we here? 


Girl : To get to know each other. Ike's order


Me : I don't really need to get to know you guys… I mean..


(I laugh but her face is blank) 


Me : Ok maybe I do. 


Girl : Nobody cares what you think here. Honestly No one gives a shit about you. We are just here to make money to send back home. We are not here to make friends 


(There is pain in her voice) 


Me : What is your name again? 


Girl : It's Thami but they call me Tammy 


Me : Tammy. Tammy how is it? How do you do it? 


Tammy : It doesn't matter how I do it Blue as long as I'm able to send money back to my mother and my children. That's all that matters 


Me : You have children 


Tammy : Yes. 3 children and I'm doing this for them. It doesn't matter how I get my money as long as they won't have to make money the same way I do in the future. I'll do anything to give them life I never had. 


Me : Where is their father? 


Tammy : I think we are done here Blue. Go and meet others now 


Me : Do I really have to? 


(Tammy chuckles) 


Tammy : You can stay but don't ask me about my family. 


Me : Is the money worth it though? 


Tammy : R3000 is nothing 


Me : Monthly? 


Tammy : Daily


Me : What? That's my grandmother's monthly salary 


Me : She doesn't need to sleep with different men to get that R3000. She doesn't need to suck dicks to get that R3000. She doesn't need to strip for different men to get that R3000. She doesn't need to… Blue you don't get it!! 


Me : OK. Calm down 


(She sighs) 


Me : You do all that? 


Tammy : R3000 is not enough. Drink your juice blue 


(I drink my juice. My body is shaking. How am I going to do all that?) 


Tammy : How old are you? 


Me : 22 


Tammy : Shame. Life is not fair hey but you will learn.. 


(She pauses and sips on her cocktail) 


Tammy : You know what I do? I date different men. I know one will give me R5000 and the other one a R1000 maybe and there is always that one who doesn't want to give you hard cash but do things for you… Like buying you clothes hair and groceries. 


Me : Why don't you look for a proper job? 


Tammy : I did but it was no different from what I'm doing. I had to sleep my way up 


Me : What? 


Tammy : Have sex with somebody to score a certain position or pay them. Blue there is nothing for free anymore. You need to have connections to get these good paying jobs you know.. Know somebody. People pay to get these jobs… People sell their bodies to get these jobs. It's tough 


Me : I know it is bad but it can't be that bad


Tammy : Then go and get that job. 


(Silent) 


Tammy : Are you somehow related to him? 


Me : Who? 


Tammy : Your boss. Ike


Me : Our boss. Oh that one? No we are not related. I only met him yesterday for the first time 


Tammy : What is your surname? 


Me : Nene


Tammy : Strange… Where are you from? 


Me : KZN Born and bred


Tammy : Interesting…. Anyway I think Ike looks like you. 


Me : Just eyes and that is all. 


Tammy : Maybe…. So you don't drink? 


Me : No 


Tammy : Soon you will. This is Gauteng Blue and alcohol is the only friend that understands your pain and numb it. 


Me : I hate alcohol 


(She laughs.) 


Me : How old are you? 


Tammy : 30


Me : What are your plans? 


Tammy : Accepting my life as it is and moving with the flow. I hate disappointments 


(Ike's driver walks into our table) 


Driver : Ladies I'm sorry but our time is up here. We need to get going 


Tammy : Right 


(All the girls stood up and we followed the driver. He dropped them one by one and I was taken to Ike's house not his flat) 


Ike : Stay away from Tammy 


Me : Why? 


Ike : Are you going to question everything? 


Me : If I have to 


Ike : Stay away from her Blue… Come I want to show you something 


(I follow him to his bedroom) 


Ike : I trust you Blue. For the first time in decades I think I've found somebody that I trust with my life again. Am I digging my own grave? 


Me : What? 


Ike : Am I digging my own grave by trusting you? 


Me : Why do you trust me? 


Ike : No reason. No reason at all… Open that. The code is S… 


Me : What is this? 


Ike : Open it Blue. S 


Me : S 


Ike : I 


Me : Yeah? 


Ike : H L and E. Got it? 


Me : Uh 


Ike : 199 at the end 


(It opened and my eyes were wide open. I've never seen so much money) 


Ike : Take R10 000 


Me : For what? 


Ike : Enough with the questions Blue! 


Me : What do you want from me? 


Ike : Nothing for now… I travel a lot and when I'm not here I want you to collect my money from the girls. Give them R3000 each.. Everyday after shift. 


Me : No Ike. I don't want to do this. I don't want your money! 


Ike : Freedom I want you to shut the fuck up and take the damn money. Now!! 


Me : No!! Nx 


(He tightened his hand on his black snooker ball. He was sweating. He closed his eyes and clenched his teeth) 


Ike : Get out


Me : Listen Ike… 


Ike : Ian take her out of my house!! 


(Ian was his driver. He walked in and pulled my arm. He looked so nervous) 


Ian : Please let's go 


Me : Let me talk to him 


(Ike smashed his snooker ball on his big TV. Was he crazy? That TV looked really expensive) 


Ike : Leave!!!!! 


(I ran out of his room. I was scared of what he might do next. I got inside the car) 


Me : Take me home Ian 


Ian : What did you say to him? 


Me : Nothing 


Ian : So he just lost it? Just like that? 


Me : I refused to take his money and that was it. 


Ian : You don't want to see him angry. You don't want to know what he does when he is angry. Please save us the trouble and do what you have to do. Do you understand me? 


Me : Yes 


Ian : I'll do anything to protect Ike. Anything so if you are going to bring problems that means you are the problem and I only have one way to deal with the problem. I get it out of the way permanently to protect Ike's peace 


(I knew exactly what he meant and It was time for me to accept that I was no longer in control of my life but Ike was. I was too young to die) 





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