Chapter 7

It takes a while before she calms down.

‘’I told him to stop but he just wouldn’t ‘’ she says

‘’who ?’’ I ask

‘’Max we attended the same classes he used to help me with some of the work until one day him and I were on campus till late so he offered to bring me res since the last bus had left. He drove the opposite direction to res when I asked him about it he said he has to pick up a friend we drove for hours until we were parked in a secluded place ‘’ she says then stops she is having difficulty talking because of the hiccups. I hug her tightly I don’t want to hear anymore I know what happened to her I judged her to early.

‘’After that incident I just gave up on life Usizwile I started drinking and smoking as a way to forget the pain then I met Thukz. We met at a club this one night I was out with some girls I had met at a party he said all the right things that he loves me he wants to take care of me and everything I wanted the good life it made me forget of the pain Max had put me through’’ she says I am now also crying
‘’all the months I’ve been drinking and going out to clubs I hadn’t slept with anyone Thukz also forced himself on me he wouldn’t take no for an answer when I told him I don’t want him like that. He always became violent when we had to have sex so I would have sex without him out of fear’’ she says

‘’Why didn’t you tell anyone ‘’ I say still holding her

‘’I was ashamed plus I had no one to tell Buhle has also being going through a tough time with her boyfriend you were also stressed because you wanted to come here’’ she says

‘’Londi I am very sorry I had no idea you have to see someone professional and talk to them’’ I say

‘’Zwile it’s too late no one can save me now I have been excluded at University because I haven’t been attending writing tests or exams. Thukz has damaged me in a way you can never imagine I am standing you with right now but I am feeling for a good joint of weed or a pull of coke. I don’t want to face the pain I rather numb the pain ‘’ she says I don’t respond I don’t know how to respond to this.

‘’I am really sorry but you have to find a place to stay soon because I have to vacate the room since I have been excluded ‘’ she says

‘’don’t worry about me so are you going back home?’’ I ask

‘’that’s not an option I have to come up with a plan get a job or something until I can go back to school my grandparents will die Zwile I cannot do that to them ‘’ she says

we talk for a while then we get into bed and cuddle I am glad she managed to talk to me about what has been going on with her I don’t know how I will help her but I know that I have to find a way to help she needs to get professional help. I have heard that there are counselors’ on campus so I will suggest that she sees one tomorrow.

I have been dreading going to see Sabelo for a while now but I have too he is my only hope in finding a place to stay I know that he knows people here in Durban who can help me I don’t want to stress my Mother about this I will tell her once I get a place. Today I have to go to the housing department and find out if there is space at res.

The que is so long atleast I only have afternoon classes today so I will stand and wait I am chatting to Nosipho on whatsapp shes too talkative if I tell her about my accommodation issue she will tell mom.

This que is not moving at all and its almost time for my lecture I think I have to leave I will come back tomorrow early in the morning. I start walking towards my lecture venue someone taps my shoulder

‘’Hello ‘’ he says when I turn around to see who it is

‘’Hi’’ I say

‘’My name is Thabo I saw you in the que at student housing are you looking for a room at res’’’ he asks

‘’Yes I am that is why I was in the que’’ I say and carry on walking and hes following me

‘’Do you know where the SRC offices are ? you can come there tomorrow I will see if I can help I am a member of the SRC ‘’ he says I feel a smile creep in on my face

‘’I don’t know where they are but I will find them thank you Thabo right ? ‘’ I say

‘’Yes just tell them you are looking for Thabo’’ he says

‘’Thank you I have to rush to class now I will see you tomorrow ‘’ I say

As soon as I leave the class my phone vibrates I look at the caller ID and I don’t recognize the number

*Hello *

*Hello baby sister its Sabelo*

*Sabelo hello I was just thinking of you *

*You haven’t even come to see me *

*I will come soon I don’t know where to taxis to come there plus I am really low on cash I am waiting for mom to deposit me money *

*Ntombi is coming next week I will tell her to come and pick you up*

*Okay Thank you I will tell you all about campus when I see you*

I will go to the library since I am done attending now I need to use the textbooks there since I don’t have my own as yet. I have to work really hard to make my Mother proud and make my escaping at home worth it. I can’t help think whether Mnotho decided to return home and what will happen if he finally decides to come back I hope they put a stop to all this madness. My phone is very busy today an sms is coming though

*Hey where are you I was hoping we could hang out From Sintu*

*I am on campus at the library you ?* - sent

*Just finished attending meet me at the parking*- Sintu

I am almost done anyway so let me go meet my new friend I guess this will be my first friend on campus I am not very good at making friends that’s why I only have 2 friends. She is standing outside her car talking on the phone actually screaming on the phone

‘’Hello sorry for hijacking you like that I just needed company before I start pulling my hair out ‘’ she says hugging me oh shes a hugger like me atleast we have something in common

‘’I was almost done anyway don’t worry so where to ?’’ I say

‘’Home I am home alone for a week so let’s go raid the kitchen ‘’she says

We get into the car then she drives we drive for about 20 minutes until we park in the drive way of a beautiful double story from the signs I have been seeing on the road we are in Durban North.

‘’This is where I live ‘’she says when we walk into the house this house is everything beautiful the big leather couches huge TV everything.

‘’Its very beautiful your parents have worked really hard ‘’ I say I see her mood changing what is wrong with this girl her family seems wealthy she has a nice car she dresses very well but she is always looking unhappy. She says we should go to her room so I follow her up the stairs till we are in her room the room is all white very neat and tidy. We sit on the bed and start eating Pizza that she brought from the kitchen.

‘’so whats bothering you you said you needed company before you pull your hair out’’ I say

‘’Argh don’t worry about me I wouldn’t know where to start anyway ‘’ she says

‘’Start anywhere talking about your problems help I have seen what not talking has done to my friend’’ I say

‘’Everything was going well with my boyfriend well I thought they were until he asked me to marry him ‘’ she says

‘’Do you want to marry him ‘’ I ask

‘’No I don’t actually I don’t love him the way I am supposed to love him ‘’ she says looking down

‘’ How long have you and him been together ‘’ I ask

‘’3 years now. I went on a weekend gateway with his brother ‘’ she says

‘’WHAT??? ‘’ I shout

‘’I have tried for 3 years to ignore the strong feelings I have for him but I can’t anymore ‘’she says

‘’see why I choose to distance myself from Love’’ I say she laughs out loud

We talk for about 3 hours she tells me about her life story everything she went through with finding her real mother after 18 year years with all the money and the comfortable life the pain still haunts her and some people think money can buy you happy it doesn’t it just makes your life comfortable.

‘’I have told a stranger basically everything there is to know about myself ‘’ she says

‘’ A stranger?’’ I say laughing

‘’Yes you are still a stranger because the only thing I know about you is your name ‘’ she says

‘’My life isn’t as eventful as yours but I am also going through the motions I ran away from home because my Father Is against university and wants to marry off to someone’’ I say

‘’I would have done the same ‘’ she says we talk for another 2 hours I look at the time and it is past 8 already I grab my stuff then we walk out to the car. She wanted me to sleep over but I insisted on leaving Londi needs me as well plus I have to wake up early in the morning and go to the SRC offices.

Londi is sleeping peacefully when I get to the room there are books all over the study table she must have been trying to catch up on her school work .

‘’you back ‘’ she says with a husky voice and rubbing her eyes

‘’Yeah go back to sleep we will talk in the morning ‘’ I say I change into my PJ’s then I join her in bed.

I love summer but the thing about it is the early sunrise the sun is already shinning through the window I look at the time and it 6am I should wake up now and get ready to go to campus Londi wakes up as well .

‘’are you going to campus’’ she asks

‘’yes I am I have a class at 10 ‘’ I say

‘’Okay see you when you come back then ‘’ she says

‘’what’s the plan for today ‘’ I ask

‘’I don’t know man I need a job that much I can tell you ‘’ she says

By 8am I am ready to go the bus is probably on its way so i grab my books and back then say my goodbyes to Londi and leave. I don’t even know where to start looking for the offices campus is so big I decide to walk towards the student union building I might find something there. My decision paid off the office are upstairs according to the signs I knock but there is no response I knock again and again but still not response I decide that I will come back later when I attempt to walk away I hear the key turning a girl comes out of the office followed by Thabo the guy I am here to see the girl gives me a deadly look then walks past me

‘’Come in ‘’ he says I do as told he also walks in then locks the door

‘’Is there a reason for locking the door ‘’ I ask he looks at me with raised eyebrows well I have to ask

‘’No but I just prefer my office door locked ‘’ he says then walks past me and sits on the chair opposite me

‘’So how can I help you ‘’ he says

‘’I need a room at res I just started so I am currently staying with a friend of mine’’ I say

‘’so you are doing first year ?’’ he says with a slight smile

‘’’that’s correct ‘’ I say he is now looking at me like I am a piece of meat

‘’There are currently no rooms available ‘’ he says he stands up then walk towards me

‘’But you said you will try and help me ‘’ I say

‘’Yes I can but you also have to help me ‘’ he says he is now sitting on the table facing me I am sitting on the chair I attempt to stand up because I am feeling very uncomfortable now

‘’Wait we can help each other ‘’ he says touching my face

‘’Get your hands off me’’ I say

‘’I love the feisty ones ‘’ he says laughing out loud this guy is creepy this guy is creepy I am acting brave but I am scared as hell. He moves closer and puts his hands on my breast I give him a slap that leaves my hand sore he has blood coming out of his mouth

‘’if you come near me I will scream ‘’ I say I am shaking

‘’you Bitch ‘’ he says still holding his cheeck

‘’open the door ‘’ I say he looks at me for the longest time then he slowly opens it I walk towards the door quickly I stop and turn around to look at him

‘’I have a brother in prison who is a crazy thug with friends like him who are not in prison so be very careful ‘’ I say and run out I run until I am standing at the bus stop I am not attending anymore I will get money under my mattress at res and go see Sabelo .I get to res and Londi is lotioning while singing along to music.

‘’What happened to you aren’t you supposed to be attending ‘’ she asks

‘’ I went to the SRC offices ‘’

‘’SRC offices? What for ?’’ she asks

‘’About res there’s some guy from the SRC who offered to help me so I went to see him but that scumbag wanted to take advantage of me ‘’ I say

‘’what? Sorry friend well you don’t have to worry because accommodation is sorted I don’t have to move out anymore’’ she says

‘’Londi ‘’ I say she is avoiding eye contact with me something is up

‘’what did you do’’ I ask

‘’Nothing someone helped me appeal with the academic office so they retracted my exclusion I will only be doing 2 modules though ‘’ she says

‘’How did “someone’’ help you’’ I ask

‘’Zwile it was a small price to pay for me to go back to school I cant let my grandparents down I am trying I even went to see a counselor yesterday on campus’’ she says

‘’what price Londi’’ I say

‘’I had sex with him okay what more do you want to know ? would you rather not have a place to stay than me doing what I did ‘’ she says she’s shouting now

‘’for a matter of fact I would rather be without a place to stay Londi as much as you think I am being judgmental but I care about you we would have made a plan Londi we always do’’ I shout back

‘’well I did what I had to do you are just here for fun you are going to marry a rich person who will take care of you some of us are not so lucky ‘’ she says and walks out

That was a bad way to start the day Londi thinks the road to recovery will be easy it won’t be easy especially that she keeps allowing things like this to happen but what she did showed her hunger for the degree it was wrong on so many levels but it’s done. I had someone want to sleep with me today so he could help me with res and I refused why couldn’t she do the same then work herself to the top again well we are different and have a different way of living. Let me call Ntombi and ask her how to get to Westville prison she answers on the first ring

*Ntombi its Usizwile how are you *

*I am good sisi and you ?*

*I am okay I want to go see Sabelo do you know where the taxis to Westville prison are?*

*At the workshop are you sure you will be able to go there alone prison can be really emotionally draining *

* I will be fine I will be on my way then Thank you sis’Ntombi*

I will just have to deal with the emotional exhaustion on my own I don’t have anyone to go with anyway Londi and I just had a heated argument Buhle is out of the picture plus she is pregnant she wouldn’t be able to deal with it Yesintu and I aren’t that close so I have to do it alone

I really don’t think I can do this alone I am now sitting in the waiting room apart of me wants to turn and go back to res when I look around me all the people here are just as stressed as me everything about this place is creepy. At first they wouldn’t let me in because they thought I was under 18 luckily I had my student card with me it has my ID number so they let me a warden walks towards and tells us we can go in I stand by the door and look around I can’t see Sabelo I feel tears burning in my eyes I don’t want to let them fall I look around again then my eyes find his there he is I can’t breathe properly I have a sudden hot flash my eyes are heavy.

‘’SABELO’’ I scream then its lights out


I slowly open my eyes then close them again
‘’Mpendulo’’ someone says I open my eyes again its Sabelo

‘’Sabelo ‘’ I say

‘’I am sorry I shouldn’t have asked you to come see me you fainted ‘’ he says. This person talking to me is nothing like my Brother Sabelo is dark skinned like me with a bulky body this person is extremely light with a small body even his face is small tears escape my eyes involuntary

‘’don’t cry please Mpendulo I need you to be strong ‘’ he says

‘’I can’t Sabelo its too much I miss home I miss Mom ‘’ I say still crying

‘’Please MaNdlovu you have to be strong ‘’ he says

‘’I Don’t think I will be able to do this Sabelo ‘’ I say just then the warden comes and tells me it is time for me to go someone will drop me off at my place he then takes Sabelo with him.
I get to res and Londi is not here I try to call her but her phone is ringing on top of the bed. I change into my PJs and get in to bed I had a long day therefore I need to sleep it off.

‘’Mpendulo your friend is in danger ‘’ he says

‘’which friend’’ I respond

‘’you have to help her ‘’ he says again

‘’But I don’t know which friend you are talking about Buhle or Londi’’ I ask

‘’Mpendulo ‘’ he says

‘’Listen to me ‘’ he says again

I can hear a phone ringing but it sounds as if it is far away the noise persists until I open my eyes I realize that I was dreaming Ngubane and I were standing near the river having a conversation as always the phone rings again I slowly wake up from bed and answer it its Yesintu. We talk on the phone for while I didn’t mention that I went to prison I told her I had a runny tummy that’s why I didn’t come to campus she says we must meet at the workshop tomorrow.

Its almost 10pm Londi is still not back I can’t help that she has gone back to that scumbag which hit her I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself maybe I was too hard on her just then she walks in looking drained and exhausted I walk towards her and give her a tight hug.

‘’We will make it work Londi we will get out degrees we will be successful young women like we have always wanted to be’’ I say

‘’You promise ‘’ she asks already in tears

‘’I promise we have each other we know why we are in Durban we will make it’’ I say

‘’I just had a dream someone was telling me that one of my friends is in trouble I thought it was here but you are here now so I can finally breathe ‘’ I say

I am meeting up with Yesintu at the workshop then we will go to campus together she said she doesn’t have her car with her.

‘’Babes ‘’ she says I guess that is how she will call me from now

‘’Hello what happened to your car ‘’ I say

‘’oh no I just felt like leaving it at home today ‘’ she says I look at her with a questioning look

‘’What ? seriously though I just felt like it ‘’ she says

‘’I think it is more than that ‘’ I say

‘’Honestly it isn’t I still haven’t gotten used to this kind of life ‘’ she says

‘’Kind of life?’’ I ask

‘’see I grew up in a village for 18 years with a mother who struggled to make ends meet but by the grace of God we had everything we needed we didn’t have much but we had each other this life is different for me I have everything I need and more but I don’t really have a Mother Carol is always out of the country the same with grandparents the twins my sister and niece are all in boarding school so sometimes I just miss my old and simple life’’ she says

‘’I guess I get where you are coming from’’ I say
‘’and you how is Boyfriend’’ I ask

‘’we officially broke up last night ‘’ she says

‘’I’m sorry to hear that’’ I say

We get to campus then we go our separate ways we will catch up with each other later when we take the taxi home. I have a busy day to day I have classes from 10am to 4pm I am adjusting very well to school now I am happy. There is a call coming through on my phone I don’t know the number so I decide to ignore it I have the numbers of everyone important saved. The person is not giving up it’s the 6th call now I decide to answer it.

*Hello*

*Usizwile you can’t marry him *

*sorry who am I talking to and what are you talking about *

*Mnotho Mkhonza you can’t marry him*

*well I wasn’t gonna marry him anyway so you don’t need to worry I won’t take your man away from you*

*I am his Mother *

*well great you can tell your husband to stop this madness *

*Hello hello*

Stupid person dropped the call on me I am confused and shocked why would Mnothos Mother call and order me not to marry his son I mean he could just tell Mkhonza to stop this madness. I need to tell my mother about this I send her a sms asking if I can call she responds that I can call.

*Mah Mnothos Mother just called me saying that I shouldn’t marry him*

*Why doesn’t she tell her husband that *

* I said the same thing to her I told her to tell Mkhonza that *

*I was about to call you and tell you that I think your Father and MaNgcobo had a fight can you believe that she last came here before your uMemulo *

*What does Gatsheni say *

*He always says she is working *

I miss my mother like you can never believe we gossip for a while then I say my goodbyes because I have to start attending now. I am enjoying my lectures now more than ever partially because now I understand the lecturer and I have Yesintu to help me when I get stuck.

I finish attending and I make my way to the bus stop someone taps my shoulder

‘’Oh Ayanda how are you ?’’ I say when I turn around

‘’ I am good and you? I haven’t seen you in a while where have you been hiding ‘’ he says

‘’ I am okay I have been busy ‘’ I say

We both climb on the bus and continue chatting until I get off at Res we were talking about Londi the whole time he really loves her despite knowing her previous ways he still sees her as a beautiful girl whom he loves. I get to res and Londi is busy studying she is really trying to get her life together again we greet each other and I tell her about Ayanda the way she is blushing I think she likes him too.

‘’I can hear wedding bells ‘’ I say laughing

‘’Shut up mngani please cook ‘’ she says

‘’Come do the chopping ‘’ I say we follow each other to the kitchen and start with cooking I missed this I missed this Londi not the Londi I met here when I arrived in Durban a few weeks ago.


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