I decided to head over to Nolo’s house since she had not returned any of my phone calls for a few days. It had been a week since Thuto mentioned that she wanted to go to rehab and I needed to feel Nolo out about pitching in.
I thought about asking Loyiso but I knew his money was tied up in his new company. Besides this was my problem not his and I didn’t want him to think that he needed to help bail out my sister.
I jumped on the road and exiting Hyde Park heading to Fourways and arrived in front of Nolo’s two-story middle class home. I rang the doorbell and waited patiently for a response. I was just about to turn and walk away when one of the double doors swung open and Nolo stood there with a half-smile half “what are you doing here?” look on her face. Nolo looked half asleep although she probably was wide awake but just didn’t have on any makeup.
She was sporting a pink velvet sweat suit with matching fluffy slippers. She glanced at her watch.
“What are you doing here?”
“Well” I replied “since you haven’t returned my calls I had to stop by.
There is something I need to talk to you about.”
Nolo just stood there as if deciding whether to let me in. I couldn’t figure out what her issue was but honestly I didn’t have the time or patience to figure it out.
“Can I come in?” I asked with a slightly annoyed ring in my voice.
“Yeah but just for a minute I just put the baby down.”
I followed Nolo into her house. The air in the room was filled with a strange scent; I couldn’t tell if it was cheap or expensive perfume but it smelled like it was mixed with a store brand air spray. Nolo headed to the kitchen sat down at the table and continued to polish her silverware something I obviously interrupted with my unannounced visit.
I sat down next to her at the kitchen table. Nolo acted as if I wasn’t even there.
“So listen Nolo. Thuto came to see me last week” I said.
Nolo stopped for a moment upon hearing our sister’s name but then quickly went back to her polishing. I knew our sister’s name would cause a ripple in the rigid flow of her life but I also knew she would pretend it didn’t bother her.
“She’s not doing too well” I said.
“So what else is new?” Nolo asked with a cold harsh tone.
“Nolo can you muster up a little compassion?” I asked. “She is your sister for Christ’s sake.”
“What do you want me to say Tsholo?” Nolo asked.
“Hell I don’t know” I replied. “Maybe ‘how is she’ ‘where is she’ ‘is she dead’ ‘is she alive.’ “Well did she?” Nolo asked.
“Did she what Nolo?”
“Did she die?”
“Unbelievable” I said. “No Nolo she didn’t. She wants to go to rehab.”
“Well I’m not giving her a dime” Nolo said as she went back to her polishing.
“Why am I not surprised?”
“Save it Tsholo okay? As far as I’m concerned you wasted a trip over here because I would rather eat shattered glass than give Thuto any of my money.” “You mean your husband’s money” I shot back.
I hated to have to go there but Nolo’s holier-than-thou disposition was pissing me off and I wanted to check her quickly.
Nolo gave me a look of death a look I had never seen before.
“It’s our money and Thuto’s not getting any of it. Matter of fact you can leave now.” “What the hell is your problem Nolo? What did I do to deserve your infamous shitty attitude?”
Nolo didn’t answer and I was not in the mood to play her stupid guessing games.
Fine I’ll leave” I said. “You have a great heart. You know that? I’m sure you’ll go far with that.” I stood to leave when Nolo said something that paralyzed me.
“I saw you kissing her.”
A cold shiver shot through my body as if I’d stepped out naked into a frigid joburg winter day.
I slowly turned back toward my sister who was leaning back in her seat with her arms folded tightly across her chest and with a look of grave disapproval plastered on her face.
“What did you say?” I asked making sure I had heard her correctly making sure my anger towards her hadn’t distorted the words that were coming out of her mouth.
“I saw you kissing Loyiso’s best friend. What’s her name? Dudu is it?”
My mind began to work overtime trying to figure out exactly when Nolo could have seen Dudu and me. I thought I had been extra careful but I guess I hadn’t been careful enough. Maybe Nolo was bluffing but how could she have known?
“The next time you wanna make out with your little girlfriend in our parents’ house
In that moment I was brought back to the scene of the crime the night of my mother’s dinner party when Dudu kissed me as we sat on my bed. That noise I’d heard. That thump had not been my imagination. It was Nolo. Fuck me.
I stood there for a minute trying to think of ways to spin it hoping I could make Nolo believe that she really didn’t see what she thought she saw but as I saw her glaring back at me I knew that there was no spinning this one not in my wildest dreams. So I threw out an “I don’t give a fuck” response.
“Well so what.”
Nolo chuckled unfolded her arms and carefully folded her hands on the table as if about to say a prayer. “Is that all you have to say – ‘So what?’”
I was getting madder by the second and hated how condescending and judgmental Nolo could be. She was in rare form.
“What do you want me to say Nolo? So what I kissed her; it’s not a big deal” I said trying to minimize the whole situation trying to make my most embarrassing moment not feel so devastating.
“Did you fuck her too?” Nolo asked with a smirk.
“That’s none of your business. Matter of fact this whole situation is none of your damn business Nolo.”
“If you ask me” she said “this whole girl-on-girl phenomenon is fucking disgusting.”
“Well how about I don’t ask you then okay? How about you take your judgmental and uptight ass and go to hell?”
I started to feel nauseous as I tried desperately to stay strong to keep my composure. I felt completely exposed as my sister began seeing me in a totally different light a light that revealed things she considered despicable.
I turned to leave not wanting to finish the conversation feeling embarrassed and exposed feeling like an open wound. I headed to the door.
“So what are you a lesbian now?” Nolo called out as she stood and began to walk behind me. I turned to look at her.
“Screw you Nolo” I shot back.
“I guess that explains why you never had a ‘real’ boyfriend. All makes sense now.”
I stopped turning to face my evil sister. “Nolo you know why I never had a boyfriend.” Nolo chuckled. “Oh right ‘the dreams’” Nolo said in a sarcastic tone as she made air quotes with her fingers.
“They weren’t just dreams” I said.
“Of course they really happened. You know Tsholo you were always so great at telling stories and I often wondered if what you claimed happened really happened.” “You know it did” I said.
“I have to say that I do have doubts. I mean we all have our doubts” Nolo said. I’m not a violent person but in that moment I wanted to hurt my sister make her feel the pain that she had forever denied that I felt. Simply put I wanted to knock her fucking block off.
Instead I headed towards the door but not before hearing Nolo’s last words.
“Don’t worry I won’t tell your boyfriend. I’m sure fucking his best friend will eventually rear its ugly head on its own.”
Nolo walked around me then stopped. “Just think I would have put my money on Loyiso fucking Dudu. Who knew it would be you?” Nolo chuckled.
I fought back the tears as I headed out her house feeling numb pissed and nauseous all at once. What if Nolo did tell Loyiso? How would I explain it? Although I knew that Dudu and I had a pact not to tell Nolo didn’t have anything to lose not a god-damn thing. I headed to my car trying to hold back the tears. I jumped in and before I even closed the door I broke down. I cried for thirty minutes before I was able to drive away.