Chapter 1

3 years earlier...

I'd like it better at work if Grace the School Principal wasn't such a pitbul it's payday Friday and she wants me to knock off at 5 because she wants help to prepare for the School's annual First Graders concert like I always do I pull my face and drag my feet until the entire ordeal is done. We work for other 2 hours and until she looks up and say :

"Thank you Pamela you can leave now Joyce will take over on Monday " She says Joyce is the receptionist she normally does the preparation for events at the School

"I'll see you on Monday" I say I grab my bag and I start walking to the bus stop deep in thoughts

I don't like month ends between Rent Philasande's school fees Lungelo's meds and day to day expenses nothing is left of my R12 000 salary by the time I'm done paying for all of this.

My phone is ringing disturbing me from my thoughts

*Hello Nolwazi speaking *- Nolwazi

*Good day Ma'am I'm calling about Mr Lungelo Zulu * - Nurse

*Is he okay *- Nolwazi

*Unfortunately not ma'am he had a relapse but he's been sedated for now *

*He is going to be okay right ?*

*Miss Ngubane if he keeps having these relapses chances of him fully recovering are very slim we are worried about him*

*So what's the next step*

*He needs to be changed to new meds and see another Doctor *

*More money right *

*I'm afraid so Miss Ngubane Please pop in at the facility soon to discuss the way forward*

*I'll be there next weekend Goodbye *

I finish the call with the nurse and I hop in the bus suddenly my mood has gone from angry to every other emotion in the human body. I wish Lungelo would recover already he's Been at the facility for almost 3 years now and his meds get expensive by the day.

"What's wrong " Mike says when I walk through the gate in the complex Mike is the Security guy

"I don't want to talk about it " I say walking past him

"Come on Pam " he says pulling me by my arm back to him

"I'm tired Mike I'm Tired " I finally say

"I know Lala I know but you know you can't go into that house looking so miserable " he says looking at me with so much concern

"I hate it when you look at me like that I don't need pity I just need a bottle of good wine and music " I say he looks at me and giggles softly

"When Muzi comes to pick me up I'll make sure he brings my girl the best wine in his collection " he says and laughs

"What would I do without you though " I say giving him a hug

"Now put a smile on your face Phila has been peeping through the window waiting for you the whole afternoon" he says I wave at him and I walk to my flat.

Mike Chabangu is the Security guard at the complex I live in head of security might I add he's my age 25 it's funny how our friendship started.

I was doing a promotion gig at Taboo this one night when a group of guys came into the club all dressed very elegantly smelling divine they sat in the V.I.P section. I was promoting Cigars so I went up to their table to offer the fine gentleman cigars

"Good evening Gentlemen would you like to try out one of our finest cigars in the collection you can try this one out " I say they all turn to look at me

"I'd like to try you out " one guy says I look at him with a raised eyebrow

"I'll be right there if you gentlemen need me " I say pointing at the corner I was standing at when I turn around and attempt to walk away one guy says

"I'll try it out " he says the guy was Mike

"Thank you I hand him the cigar and he pays " I walk away I place the tray on the table and leave it with the other girl I walk outside and find a place on the pavement and sit down.

"What's wrong" someone says next to me when I look up it's Mike

"Uhm Nothing I just needed air " I say

"I know right I also need to take everything in " he says sitting next to me

A few month later a new security guard started at the complex and to my surprise it was Mike.

I walk into the flat to find Phila busy on the stove

"Hey babe " I say kissing his head

"What are you making " I say peeping in the pot

"I'm making you an egg and Mayo Sandwich I saw you talking to Mike " he says

" Sorry I got home late today you know how Grace is " I say throwing myself on the couch

"She's a mean person right sissy?" He says giggling

"Mean ass person" I say and we laugh he carries on making the sandwich while I check messages on my phone I haven't checked my messages the since the morning.

*Taboo Tonight girl ?* -message 1( Sibu)

* Hey Sexy I need you tonight you gotta be strong because I need a long rough night*- ( Jackson)

*Girl be ready at 10 Sive the guy from Sive communications is treating us* - message 3 (Sibu)

* Debit order -R365........ * Message 4( DSTV)

* Debit order R1500.......* Message 5( ReLive Health Facility)

I let out a big sigh before throwing my phone on the coffee table

"Baby Grab a jacket we're going for Dinner " I say to a busy Phila

"But Sissy I'm making you food I've already eaten " he says in a disappointed voice

"Are you saying no to Pizza I'll have the Sandwhich for Breakfast" I say looking at him he runs and hugs me

"You are the best sister in the world" he says

"I love you to the moon and back " I say

"I love to you to the Stars the moon and beyond " he says I Laugh

We both change into better looking clothes I request Uber and we head to Festival Mall for a Fun Pizza night at Panarottis.

We hop in to the Uber and I quickly send Jackson a message

* I'm taking Phila to Panarottis I'll call when he is asleep * - Sent to Jackson

"Table for two"? The lady says when we get to the entrance

"Yes please " Phila says I Laugh I mean for a 10 year old my Brother is intelligent

*Capitec Money in +R1000 ...... * - Message 1

*Forget about tonight enjoy your date with Phila * - Message 2 (Jackson)

I throw my phone on the table with a smile on my face

"So what are we having big guy"I say to him

"Saucy chicken and Mushroom " he says not even looking at me he is busy playing Suduko on his phone

"Phila it's us time please put the phone away " I say

"Sorry Sissy it's just that this Game helps me with English and Afrikaans in School " he says closing the phone and looking at me.

Phila and I have a Fun time we eat Pizza Drink Milkshakes and eat Ice-cream.

"Can we have the bill please " I say to the waitress

"The Gentleman over there paid it " she says pointing at a guy on the far end of the restaurant

"What ? Why ?" I say the guy stands up and walks to us I hate guys who do this when I'm with Phila

"Hi my name is Mehluli" he says reaching out for a handshake

"Pamela " I say returning the handshake I introduce myself as Pamela to people I don't know or when I don't want to associate myself with you. Nolwazi is my first name my late grandmother named me

"Did you have a great night? " he says

"Yes we did You didn't have to pay the bill I had it but thank you Listen we got to go " I say holding Phila's hand

"Sure that's not a Problem enjoy the rest of your evening " he says and walks off

We wait a few minutes for the Uber we get in then he drives off. After a few minutes the uber guy says

"I think someone is following us"

"What ?? " I say with shock

"Yes it's a black Bentley it followed us from the mall " he says

"We are almost at the complex drive faster " I say Phila gets Alarmed and wakes up

"Sleep we're almost home " I say he has gotten used to sleeping at 7:30 I only allow him to sleep late on Fridays and Saturdays.

We park at the complex gate I pay the guy "keep the change " I say when I see him looking for it in his bag

The minute I open the door the door of the Bentley also opens. The guy from panarottis walks toward me I just stand there with utter defeat with Phila Sleeping on my back.

"I'm really sorry to ambush you like this but I remembered that I didn't take your number "he says before i can say anything I'm irritated and this child on my back is heavy

" What do you want? I can pay you your money back now " I say

"I just want to talk to you over coffee Maybe " be says one would swear I have a magnet for these old rich men

"Sissy ?"Phila says I put him down I hand him my bag and house keys

"Change into your PJs and sleep " I say

" Are you coming" he asks I nod

He hand me his IphoneX and I dial my number

"Thank you you won't regret it" he says and walks off the guy is probably in his late thirties or so he smells of money just what I need in my life right now

"Mehluli " I say to myself and I walk to my flat Sibu calls as soon as I get into bed

*I'm on my way to your place now *

*I'm not home friend I'm at Netcare Kempton Phila is sick *

*But uBaby and his sickness don't have iTiming man

I'm at Netcare Kempton Phila is sick *

*But uBaby and his sickness don't have iTiming man Friend uSive is loaded*

*Friend enjoy yourself the Doctor has arrived *

I hang up I always use Phila as an excuse when I'm not in the mood for "Booty Shaking " as Sibu calls it.

I change into my night dress pour myself some wine and I snuggle on the couch and watch TV this combo TV and wine helps me sleep. I flip through channels until I find something to watch on TLC.

I'm woken up by a knock on my door I open my eyes and look around I'm on the couch I must have fallen asleep here I wake up and I walk to the door .

"Did you have a rough night you look horrible" Mike says the minute I open the door

"I had a few glasses of that wine you gave me " I say I'm not a fan of Alcohol so 3 glasses of wine are enough to give me a massive hangover

"I brought food " he says already in the kitchen warming the ribs

"I thought you're off this weekend" I say

"I am but I was at some party hosted by a guy called Sive and I can't go home this early since I lied to Chabangu that I'm working "he says Mike lives in Tembisa with his Father who is a Pastor and 2 siblings.

"Are you ever going to tell him though "I ask

"Forget it he'd disown me a gay son that man is a Pastor plus a traditionalist "he says Mike is the male version of Sibu and I he booty shakes with men.

"So tell me about this Party " I say

"So this Sive guy is loaded he booked out Taboo he was celebrating his 40th birthday all his friends are sticking rich " he says laughing

"Sibu was also at the party " I say

"She probably made 10K from last night alone those guys were tycoons I tell you "he says

"How much did you make "I ask

"8K I wasn't in the mood last night plus that guy was just a flop"

"8K ?? Yessss Friend " I say laughing giving him a high five

"I didn't do much just gave the guy head and one round" he saying laughing we high five and laugh

I love spending time with Mike besides all the dirt we talk about and get into he's very genuine and has a good heart he helps with Phila a lot especially weekends when I have to hustle.

I wake Phila up because we have to go do grocery shopping and some clothes I always get him 2 or 3 clothing items every month. Mike and chill on the couch chatting while waiting for Phila to get ready my phone vibrates indicating a message

*Good morning beautiful I hope you had a goodnights rest can I take you out for Breakfast Ps.Mehluli*

"What are you smiling about" Mike asks

"Look " I hand him the phone

"Who is he?" He asks

"Who ever he is you can't have him " I say laughing

"I'll tell you later "I say when Phila walks in the lounge

"I'm done sissy Morning Bhut'Mike" he says him and Mike fist pump then hug each other Mike loves Phila when ever I'm out till late he looks after Phila. I send Mehluli a text to say I can't make it I don't have anyone to babysit Phila. I'm lying I have to make him beg a little

"Lets go Baby Mike please no shady business in my place" I say and we walk ou

We get into the uber funny enough it's the same guy from the previous night he looks at me from the rare view mirror .

"Thank you for last night " he finally says

"What did I do " I ask politely

"That guy who was following us last night gave me a big tip because of you "he says I look at him and smile I'm sure he needed the money he drops us off and we head to Checkers for shopping with Phila talking non-stop.

The weekend went by pretty fast it's Monday morning already Phila and I are getting ready.

"Phila your transport is almost here "I shout from my bedroom

"Phila" I shout again when he doesn't respond I bet he is playing Soduko

"PHILASANDE" I shout again he doesn't respond I walk to his room and I find him on the floor I shake him his body is burning up he must have collapsed.

I pick him up I carefully place him on the bed and rush to get my phone I call the Ambulance panicking. I'm really confused Phila was fine when I woke him up a while ago. I sms Grace to tell her what just happened so I won't be coming In today. Phila had already started getting dressed so I take his uniform off.

I hear movement happening in the lounge so I go thereit's the paramedics I lead them to Phila's room I dress him in a clean pair of PJ's. After a few minutes we are in the Ambulance on the way to the hospital.

The thing about me is that I never cry I dried up my tears years ago 10 years ago my Mother died in my arms I watched her take her last breathe then I closed her eyes she died after a long cancer struggle. Phila was only a baby when our mother passed away my mother lived here in Johannesburg for years she later came back home when her sickness became severe they found the cancer when she was 4 months pregnant with Philasande at 7 months she gave birth via C-section with the aim of starting treatment but it was too late.

I was 15 when my Mother passed away and I had to assume the role of being a mother to Phila my grandmother fended for us in everyway possible she sold food at the Taxi rank she was involved in a lot of Stokvels her pension came in very handy so we had enough we had all the needs.

We get to the hospital and they attend to Phila immediately I'm told to wait in the waiting area I drag my feet and walk to the waiting area someone bumps in to me I look up to see Mehluli.

"Sorry ...." he says and stops when he notices it's me

"What a surprise to see you here are you looking for me " he says with a slight smile he must he a doctor since he's wearing a lab coat

"The doctor's are still busy with my Brother so I'm headed to the waiting area" I say I didn't think of my answer I don't like talking about my personal life especially to people like Mehluli

"What's wrong with him "he asks with panic

"I don't know he collapsed his body is burning up "I say

"What's his Name?" He asks

"Philasande Ngubane"I say

"I'll be right back " he says and walks out

Phila and I both use our Grandmother's surname Ngubane we don't know his father my mother died without saying anything about him mine passed away when I was 6.

I've been waiting for close to an hour now I stand up and stretch my body I want to take a walk I'm stressed as hell Phila needs to recover I don't know what I'd do without him my life revolves around Phila.

Sibu walks in the waiting room I texted her earlier that I'm at the hospitalPhila is sick

"Friend "she says and hugs me

"Sorry I couldn't come the whole weekend you know how it is " she says

"Its fine Girl " I say

She quit her job as a chef when she started seeing the money coming in from what we do Travis takes care of her financial needs the flat she lives in in Greenstone hill the clothes food holidays everything but every other weekend we hustle. She's older than me by 2 years she's originally from the Eastern cape.

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