As hurtful as it was, I had to let it all go and move on with my life. I had to face the harsh realities of my situation. The hopelessness, the helplessness, the lack of identity, the rejection- I had to take it all like the strong young woman that life turned me into. I was done crying. I was done begging and feeling sorry for myself. I was done. I was done wishing things were a little different and life was a little fair. I was done with trying to fight my way out of pain and misery. The worthlessness of my life covered me from head to toe like a blanket.

I sniffed. “Okay, fine. I will go” I said. I  didn’t know where I was going to go to, I also didn’t know where my next meal was going to come from, for the rest of my life. “Thank you for understanding. My father is a man of high morals and values, he would never allow this to happen under his roof” he explained. Little did he know that I didn’t care. I sniffed again. “I understand” I said as I got up and packed my clothes into my suitcase. He got up from the bed and continued getting dressed.

We silently moved around the room, minding our businesses. When he was done, he walked out, without a word. I finished packing the few items of clothing that I had out of my suitcase, and went to take a bath. When I was done, I got dressed in a very short dress and a pair of sandals. I had my hair combed straight back. It was a sunny day, and so I was dresed in a cool outfit.

Sibusiso walked into his room, while I was still infront of the mirror, checking myself out. “Are you ready?” he asked. I nodded, still looking at my reflection in the mirror. “Let’s go then. I will drop you off in town, on my way to the warehouse” he announced. Still, I did not care. I picked my suitcase up and we walked out. His car was parked backyard, so nobody was going to see me when I was getting into the car. I fearlessly went to load my suitcase into the boot and stepped into the car. Sibusiso locked up and we drove off..

On the way to town, he was pumping House music and I was beyond annoyed. I needed silence. I needed to think. We got to town. “Where should I drop you off?” he asked. I was confused, almost in disbelief. The guy promised to help me look for a place to stay, so his question didn’t make sense to me. “Drop me off wherever you feel like dropping me off” I responded. I could feel his eyes piercing through my skin as he stared at me. “What does that mean?” he asked. “It means, DROP ME OFF WHEREVER YOU FEEL LIKE DROPPING ME OFF” I yelled. He remained silent as we drove around. Finally, he parked his car, right infront of the warehouse. “Please, get the hell out of my car” he commanded. “Not without my money. You owe me more money” I said as I folded my arms. “What money?” he asked. “What money? What money?” I repeated his question as I looked at him. He stared at me blankly. “You had sex with me last night, so you owe me more money” I said. “Well, I don’t have money yet, so I will pay you at the end of this month” he said. “No. That wasn’t our agreement. I want my money, and I want it now” I said. He smiled. “Well, I don’t have money lying around for sex workers” he jokingly said. Lables- Just two sexual encounters and he had my whole life labelled as a sex worker.I didn’t even smile. “Wait here, I’ll just go and buy something and come back” he said as he stepped out of the car.

It was quite clear to me that Sibusiso had no intentions to pay me, and I was ready to clothe myself with anger. He was never going to get away with sleeping with me. He came back to the car. “Mandy, I have to buy more stock for the shop and..” I could not wait for him to finish his statement. “Sibusiso, give me my money. I don’t want any excuses and stories”. He cleared his throat. “I will give you the balance next weekend then” he promised. No, that wasn’t enough. I needed my money right at that moment. “Mandiphumle, calm down. I will pay you” he said. I wasn’t willing to calm down, wasn’t even willing to listen. I wanted my money, just as he promised. “I will not calm down, Sibusiso. I want my money” I said. “Okay, let me go and check at the ATM, I will be right back” he said. “I’m coming with” I said. “No, wait here” he said. To show him that his voice meant nothing to me, I stepped out of the car with him. He locked his car and walked away, and I followed him. At the ATM, there was a  long queue. He stood there uncomfortably, constantly checking his phone. I stood next to him, keeping a close eye on him as if he was going to escape. When it was his turn, he went to make his transaction and I  stood a few feet away from him.

He turned to look at me. “Mandy, come over here” he said and I went over to him. “Look” he said, as he pointed at the screen. “I have 500 Rands. I can’t give you this money because I will be broke” he explained. “Sibusiso, give me my money” I said, folding my arms. “I will give you half of it. Its not even like you’re broke, Mandiphumle” he said. “I don’t want half of it. I want all my money” I shouted. “Excuse me, can you guys please give us a chance to use the ATM?” The lady who was standing behind us at the queue said. Sibusiso silently cancelled what he was doing at the ATM and took his card out. “Sibusiso, I want my money” I shouted. I wasn’t going to allow him to  take advantage of me like that. “Stop causing a scene, okay?” he pulled a firm voice, but I didn’t care. “Causing a  scene? How am I causing a scene when I want my money?” I asked.

People were starting to stare. “Mandiphumle, stop making a spectacle of yourself” he said. I laughed in disbelief. “How is wanting my money a sin?” I asked. “You had sex with me, and promised to pay me up. Pay me up, now” I said. “What is going on here?” The security guard who was passing by asked. “Sir, please. Please stay out of this” Sibusiso said. “But the lady is..” The security guard was trying to explain why he saw the need to be involved, but Sibusiso cut him off. “Sir!! Stay out of this. Okay? Just.. Stay out of this” Sibusiso ordered. The security guard walked away. “No, Sir. Don’t stay out of it.” I called out. The security guard turned to look at me. “This man over here owes me 2000 Rands, for sex. He promised to take me shopping and do my hair, and also help me get a place to stay. He owes me.” I said, loud enough for everyone to hear. Everyone was astonished, just the way I wanted them to be. I wanted to humiliate him, and drag his dignity through the mud. What about me and my dignity? I’m sure you’re asking- I did not care!

Sibusiso grabbed my hair and dragged me towards the car. I was screaming and kicking, and people came to stop him from hurting me. “Let go of me! Let me go!” Sibusiso exclaimed as the security guard, along with other men were holding his hands. “This is between me and this.. This piece of..” before he finished his statement, an old lady stopped him. “Young man, watch your tone!” she warned, and Sibusiso kept quiet.

He tried explaining to everyone that I was a jealous girlfriend who wanted to  make his life a living hell. Some believed him, some didn’t- I didn’t care. Sibusiso finally walked away and I followed him to the car. We got to the car and he took my suitcase out of his boot and threw it to the ground. “Get the hell out of my face” he said as he threw the 200 Rand notes in my face. I bent down and picked the money up. It was 1000 Rands. I looked at him. “This is not enough” I said. “Stop it, okay?” he warned, pointing at me. “You cheap little piece of trash. Who the fuck do you think you are?” He neared closer to me. “You think you have a golden pussy? Well, let me tell you something: you are not special. Your pussy is not special. You’re just a desperate piece of trash that deserves nothing but a good  dick. You don’t deserve my money, you rubbish. You don’t even deserve my help, you whore” he bursted out. “Oh yeah? After you’ve promised me ..” he laughed while I was still talking. “You are so stupid, you actually believed that I would give a lifeless orphan that kind of  money for sex? You don’t deserve a penny from me. Stay the fuck away from me” he said as he stepped into the car. I picked my suitcase up. “Go to hell, you whore. Oh and, thanks for being stupid enough to entetain me sexually. That’s what you’re good at, granting sexual entertainment, you good for nothing bitch!” he shouted as he drove off, leaving me stranded.