Five.

I'm sitting in my car waiting for Fez. Just like me she fails to keep time. It’s been over thirty minutes now but I’m still waiting. She is going on a modeling competition in Margate. She was so excited and she couldn’t sleep last night. 


This is her second competition. The first competition she didn’t even make it to the top 10 she was angry and she said that the judges were picky. She swore never to model again. She was so disappointed she cried the whole day. When Mimi told her about this one she was happy and she forgot all about her first experience. 


“Mommy how do I look?” finally! She stands in front of my car and turns around. She’s wearing black jeans with a pink off shoulder top and high heels. Gerara here! She spent hours wearing these?! And when she gets in the venue she will change again because she won’t model with these clothes.


“You’re beautiful my baby and you will go first place. Now let’s go” I say before she starts modeling for us showing us what she’s got. She gets in the car with Mimi and I drive off. 


Halfway through the drive Fez is asleep and Mimi is busy on her phone talking with Mkhize. Mthandeni Mkhize is a taxi owner. He’s chubby and has a big belly it’s not big big but it suits his body perfectly and he’s fit. He has beard all over his face and just like me he wears glasses. His are black though I’ve seen him once without them. I know that he wears them just for fun. He doesn’t wear formal pants he wears jeans and track pants. He is a catch to many ladies because of his sweet tongue he’s not handsome and he’s not ugly either. 


What I love about him is the love he has for Fez. Last Christmas he bought her Christmas clothes. When driving to work I drive with Fez and Mimi. Her school is in town after school Mthandeni tells one of his drivers to fetch her from school because Mimi and I knock off very late. The school is far from the taxi rank and she can’t walk that long distance. Even when Mthandeni is not on the taxi rank he makes sure that someone has fetched Fez. Fez doesn’t know that he is her boyfriend’s mother and I’m happy with that. She just knows that her mother has a boyfriend. I strongly believe that they will someday break up and I don’t want Fez to be confused about her mother’s boyfriends. 


“I-am-going-to-Cape-Town-Baby!” Mimi shouts as soon as she’s off the phone. She screams breaking down the words like she doesn’t believe them.


“When is this going to stop Mimi?” I ask and turn to look at her briefly. Her smile disappears and she looks at me with a bored look. 


“It will stop when my love for him dies” she says.


“You’re already in love with him. He’s married Mimi he has children! You want him to break your heart? He will never leave his wife you’re just his side dish” I say. These are the things that make us hate marriage you shower then with love you feed them you give them tons of sex you take care of their children and they cheat. I’m not getting married anytime soon I can even die single I don’t care. Mrs Mkhize is a good woman who goes to church every Sunday. She doesn’t deserve this. 


“Don’t be negative mntasekhaya I also don’t want him to leave his wife and children. I’m good all is good. Khabazela treats me with love and care I don’t want anything else” Mimi says.


“He will leave you though he will leave you broken. You’re breaking another woman’s marriage. How would you feel if the same was done to you? I know you love him but please consider leaving him for your own good. He is with his wife and they are happy you only get limited time. He is using you and once he gets tired he will leave you shattered” I say and she laughs. I’m not sure if she is laughing at what I’m saying or it’s one of those meaningless laughs of hers.


“If he was using me he would have ditched me long ago. Please don’t try to spoil my mood my baby is winning and later on this week I’m going to Cape Town. I appreciate you but you’re just bitter and single. I can’t expect good advises from you you’re only good at advising broken and single people. Not us happy beings” she says. 


I love this about her we manage to get brutal with each other but we don’t get angry. I appreciate her dishing out my problems and demons for me to acknowledge. I know that it comes from a good place and she also understands that everything I say is not meant to hurt her. 


I drop them off at the venue and check how things are going at the Lodge with both Mimi and I absent. She asked for a day off since she wanted to attend the modeling competition. 


I grab a few snacks for the trip and hit the road. Durban is not that far it’s only a three hours drive and I’ll get there in no time. 


My phone rings and Brother Wait’s name flashes on the screen. Do I ignore it or I answer and disappoint him? I choose to face my troubles I’ve been running away from them so much hey. 


“Brother Wait” I answer.


“Hi Maka Fezeka. I hope you’re good. I’m sorry for disturbing you but I wanted to ask if the date is still on” he asks I can tell that he’s excited.


“I’m sorry Linda. I’m on my way to Durban right now” I say.


“Ooh! That means we won’t have lunch?” he asks. The disappointment in his voice makes me feel bad.


“You know that I usually drive to Durban on Monday’s and yes we won’t have lunch” I say.


“I was hoping that we will have lunch and go support Fezeka together. But it’s okay I’ll go alone. Why would you leave without seeing your daughter modeling? I’m sure she’s excited” ooh he’s trying to make me feel bad now. It will not work!


“Fez knows that I have to take care of business for her to get those modeling clothes. And Mimi is there so I don’t see a problem” I say.


“It’s fine then. I’ll go join Mimi drive safely. Goodbye” he says. I also send my goodbyes and hang up.


----

After having a debate on my head about whether I start at the hotel or I start at Mbali's house drive safely. Goodbye” he says. I also send my goodbyes and hang up.


----

After having a debate on my head about whether I start at the hotel or I start at Mbali's house I finally decide to start in my sister’s house. I’m tired and I’m sure that if I start at her place I will get proper food. 


I drive in and Mbali's one year old son Venice is already at the doorstep. I park my car on the driveway and head inside the house. It’s big and chilly everything is just fresh and clean. You can’t tell that there’s a kid in this house.


“Hey you two” I greet Mbali who is breastfeeding her two months old daughter Candice. 


“Hello aunty I’m tired of this one. Please take her” Mbali says and throws Candice to my arms. 


“How can you get tired of this cute little thing? She looks too innocent for trouble” I say holding Candice. She looks at me with her small eyes. I can’t tell when she’s sleepy because her eyes are always small.


“She’s draining Buhle in fact both these kids are draining. Look at Ven now he’s pushing the TV stand!” she says and shouts the last part even louder. Ven just laughs at her. I know it’s frustrating but it’s cute and I find myself laughing. 


“Where is their father? He should be helping you” I say.


“He has to make money. We can’t just both stay at home someone has to put food on the table” she says.


“You should have come home after giving birth. Mama Mimi and I would have helped with the baby. You clearly aren’t coping look at your hair” I say and attempt touching it but she pushes my hand away.


“And leave my husband alone? No I’m not doing that oe” she says. “You know when Ven was six months old I thought I would start working. But it turned out I was pregnant with that one. I had to put my career on hold again. Aaarg! It’s like I’m going to go crazy I hate staying at home like this. Once Candy is four or five months old I’ll start job hunting” 


Mbali managed to reach the age of 21 still intact. I didn’t believe it! I was so happy I wanted to kiss her but she disappointed me and said “don’t take credit for my hard work. I’m still a virgin because I want to not because I’m entitled to. It’s also not for you it’s my decision. I’m doing it for myself if I wanted to have sex I would have done so long ago but I wanted to remain pure till I’m satisfied with myself”. 


I was so sad but I understood what she was saying. We make our own choices and if you do something you do it because you want to. Not because you’re forced to you always have a choice. I didn’t know what to buy for her on her birthday as I promised. I was confused and she saw how worried I was so she told me to just chill because I was already paying for her studies. So I sat down and relaxed while watching people buy her gifts. 


Lonwabo bought her a car! A fucken new BMW. I once told him about the promise I made and that means he listened. It was my wish to buy her a car at that time but of course I couldn’t afford it. He sent the present to her I was jealous! 


She didn’t lose her virginity even after 21 she still was not ‘satisfied’. After some years she graduated and lost her virginity that night. Venice was conceived and the following day she got married. She is a qualified forensic scientist but she has never worked. She graduated got married and pregnant and she became a mother. 


“Your father doesn’t shoot blanks huh baby? I don’t blame him nana he waited!” I say and play with Candy's soft cheeks. 


“That’s not funny Buhle and you know it. I feel like I’m not giving Ven enough love. Candy came too soon Ven is also a little baby and he still needs my full attention. Candy cries a lot and I have to attend to her while Ven is ruining everything he comes across. I’m tired yo!” she exclaims and puts her right hand on her forehead. I laugh out loudly. “What’s funny now?” she asks.


“Hee mfazi! It’s like you’re older than me. You worry too much. Don’t worry about anything after Candy turns six months you will look for a job and get her a nanny. Ven knows that you love him you don’t need to worry” I say. 


“And I don’t want complaints about money to start. I need to work now. Or you can hook me up with anything that’s business related. I can buy a restaurant or coffee shop anything I can run while I stay with my children at home. Some investment you roll with the big fishes now surely you will make it happen” she says.


“The way you’re venting about everything! You didn’t even offer me a glass of juice. I’ll see what I can do about the business issue but I don’t promise anything” I say.


“Don’t blame me! You know that I have no one to talk to because you’re far away. I must use every little chance I get with you because you never call” she says and takes the sleeping Candy from my arms. “And you know your way around this house if you wanted a drink you would have gone to the kitchen long ago. Come let’s get food because I know you’re hungry” she says and leads the way to the kitchen.


“I thought you will never ask! And this is your house with your husband. I won’t do as I please” I say.


“I had a lot on my mind and you should sleep over there’s enough room” she says.


“No thank you. I haven’t slept in my new house so today I’m sleeping there. And you didn’t ask how your mother is doing!” I say.


“I know that she’s fine if she wasn’t I would have been told long ago” she says and laughs. 


We prepare food and eat.


---


All I want now is a shower and my bed. I arrived at the hotel about three hours ago and I’m ready to leave now. There’s nothing to stay here for really. The staff is scared of me it’s only a few people that are comfortable around me. I’ve told them to tell others that I don’t bite but no these people don’t losen up. That’s why I love Margate more than Durban. I’m not that intimidating I’m even afraid to make conversations with these people. Some even speak English when speaking to me. I should start smiling and laughing for no reason. 


I feel strong arms closing in behind me. Someone is holding me from behind it’s a hug and I can’t move my arms. He smells nice and his embrace is warm his face is resting on my head. I try moving my body again but I’m stuck. Great! 


“Oooh God! It’s you it’s really you! I thought I would never see you again” he says. 


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