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I’ve been sitting by Qhawe’s bed for an hour now but I still haven’t found the right words. It’s like he’s here (physically) but at the same time he’s not here (mentally). I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve laid my head on his chest and cried my heart out. 

I took a deep breathe and held his hand. 

Me: Baby you need to wake up. Do it for me. If not then do it for Okuhle our baby. (Giggles) Remember how you always said that you want your firstborn to be named Okuhle I’ve decided to honor your wishes. Please come back. We both need you as well as your parents. 

I pulled out some Vaseline and applied it on his mouth before giving him a light peck. 

As I laid on his chest the doctors words came back into my head echoing as loud as they can. 

“The bullet missed his brain by an inch. He only had just about 20% chance of waking up. I would suggest you let him go”

I’m glad his parents chose to give him another chance. Lord knows I would never survive without Qhawe. What on earth would I say to Okuhle? “Oh nana your daddy was killed by your grandpa for impregnating me.” My poor baby would resent me forever. 

I laid soft wet kisses on his hands while thinking about our future together. 

I heard someone clearing their throat so I turned around. Qhawe’s mom stood there looking half-dead. I felt very sorry for her and knowing that all this was my father’s fault just killed me even more. 

This woman right here looked broken. Her eyes looked so dull and her skin looked very pale. 

I went up to her and gave her a hug. 

She returned it and started crying on my shoulder. 

Qhawe’s mom: What am I going to do if my son dies? i’Lastborn yami bandla.

I brushed her back while trying to stop my own tears from flowing because I knew once it started the floodgates would open. 

Me: Shhhhh...Kuzolunga. Qhawe would never leave you. He’ll wake up. I know he will. 

She pushed back and wiped her tears. 

Qhawe’s Mom: I’m sorry about that. 

Me: Don’t worry. It’s okay Ma. 

Qhawe’s mom: Call me Thandiwe. 

I hugged her and took my bag. 

Leaving the hospital I felt like i was abandoning Qhawe. It almost felt as though I was leaving a huge part of me behind. 

Nonetheless I got into a taxi and embarked on my journey to a place o dreaded so much home. 

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Raphael got into his house and found his wife drinking tea while staring into space. 

He touched her shoulder causing her to jump up and spill all that hot tea on her thighs. 

Dorothy: Urgha maan Raphael!

Raphael: I’m so sorry. 

Dorothy: You’re always sorry! That’s the problem. 

She walked away and went to clean herself up. 

Raphael sat by the table alone and thought of how he would convey the news he’d just received to his wife. 

Lately his business has been doing really bad so you could imagine how fast he grabbed the opportunity when someone offered to save him. 

What he didn’t know was that clarity isn’t always clear to see. What you see now might not be what actually is happening. Now he’s stuck in a mess he can’t leave. All he can do is oblige. 

Three months ago he was on the verge of selling both his hotels and two taxis as everything was heading downside but his good friend Albert Mthetho offered to pull him out of the mess. Little did he know that he was jumping from a puddle to an ocean. 

He and Albert agreed that if he pulls him out he could do anything Albert tells him to. Just once. 

Now that Albert has came back to collect his favor things aren’t as rosy. 

He downed the glass of scotch whiskey in front of him and rubbed his forehead. 

He smashed the glass against the wall which sent red alarms in Dorothy’s head. 

Dorothy: And then?

Raphael: I just made the biggest mistake. 

Dorothy sat down and raised her eyebrow. 

Dorothy: What could that be?

He filled her in and rubbed his palms together trying to suppress the stress he felt.

Dorothy: What’s the problem now?

Raphael: Albert wants to check in on that favor I owe him now.

Dorothy: Which is?

Raphael: He wants his son to marry Lebo. 

Dorothy: What?! Isn’t his son turning 22?

Raphael: He is but that’s not the worst of it. He wants the marriage to happen in the next six months. 


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