There was no better answer from mother nature, on whether to tell Alex the truth or not, than what he told me that evening. The poor guy was not ready to father his own child, in what sick world would I expect him to be ready to father another man’s child during the exact same time he was getting to terms with being a father to his own? I had to be realistic, and snap out of my fairytale of a perfect man. The answer from mother nature then led to my solution- termination of pregnancy. It was about time I got rid of the problem.

“So baby, would you also like to tag along?” he asked. I snapped out of my trail of thoughts, and looked at him. I wanted to act normal and reply instantly, but I couldn’t. Words just vanished into my vocal cords, when I needed them the most. I opened my mouth, and nothing but hot air came out. Upon realizing that I was starting to look like a crazy person, I pressed my lips tightly together. “Baby?”oh he called out.. I cleared my throat.. “Uuh.. I… I don’t think that is such a good idea” I said. He turned to look at me. “Why? What do you mean?” he asked. I swallowed a large chunk of the hot air that filled my mouth. “I mean, you guys still need to get used to the idea of parenting and you can’t exactly do that when I’m around” I explained. “But I’m with you now, and I want you to be involved in all of this” he said. Cute, I know, but I was not in the right mental state to embrace and appreciate another woman’s pregnancy while I was getting rid of mine. “Baby, this is not about who’s with who. Its about your unborn baby,today who needs both parents in a peaceful arrangement” I said. “What makes you think that having you there would not make the arrangement peaceful?” he asked. “You are both new at breaking up, and new at being parents. You need to settle down as co-parents first, before involving other people” I explained. “Also, you wouldn’t want her to bring her new boyfriend there. Even when the baby is born, you’d hate it when she introduces the baby to different men” I added. “But its not like I’ll introduce the baby to different women, baby. Its just you” he replied. “I know that, but will she see it that way? No. Let’s not put her in such positions, because we will be ones who will cry about baby mama drama when she reacts negatively to this. Remember, she doesn’t have to accept your new partner, so don’t drag me into her world” I said. By that time, he was staring at me, with his mouth hanging open. “What?” I asked. “You’re only 18. Why are you sounding like an adult now?” he joked. I laughed. I honestly don’t know where that came from.

“Okay, I hear you and I respect your views on this. I’ll call her and tell her that I will tag along” he announced. I nodded, carrying a fake smile. “Thank you so much for being you” he said. I blushed and looked away. Even at my most shitiest days, he still made me feel loved and appreciated. After preparing dinner, we went to the living room to watch TV while we waited for Chukwudi and Zizo.. He lifted my leg and rested it on his lap. “So, baby.. Which hairstyle would you like to have?” he randomly asked. I felt deeply embarrassed because I had really bad hair. I smiled. “Baby, you’re doing a lot for me already. I can’t expect you to pay for my hair as well” I said. “I want to. And its not even like you’re going to do a multi million dollar hairstyle” he joked. I giggled. “,But how do you know?” I joked too.” Dude, come on now” he laughed .. “Okay, I don’t know. I’ll think about it” I replied. “Please do. You have to look beautiful at all times. Not that you’re not beautiful now, but we have to maintain your beauty” he explained. That really was the least of my worries though, but I appreciated it nonetheless. We talked about general stuff for a while, laughing and fooling around. In the midst of it all, he stopped and kissed me. While we were still kissing, with him getting all warmed up, the front door bell rang. We broke the kiss. “Aah, their timing sucks though” he said. I laughed. “Its actually our timing that sucks” I said. He jokingly clicked his tongue as he went to open for them.. “Why did you guys lock up? Its still early” Chukwudi said as he walked in. “Honey, you know the crime rate in this area. Its good to keep yourself locked up” Zizo defended us. They greeted and I greeted back. “How was your day?” Zizo asked as they came to sit down and Alex went to the kitchen. “It was okay. I went to see my psychiatrist and he thinks I’m improving” I replied. “Hang in there, my love. You will be fine” she said. I politely nodded. “You should also go out more. Being locked up in this house will not do much in helping you” Chukwudi suggested. “Yeah, but I won’t be locked up here anymore” I replied.”What do you mean?” he asked. “Alex is helping me get into a computer academy” I replied .. “That’s so thoughtful of him” Zizo said. “You know what I think?” Chukwudi asked. “What?” I asked too. “I think you should go beyond just a computer course. I think you have to choose a course and study. I don’t really get how the colleges and their N’s work, but I think a qualification is what you need, instead of just a computer certificate,” he said. “I’m opting for just a computer course because I’m going back to school next year, to do my matric” I explained. “But you can get out of a college with something equivalent to a matric certificate and a qualification on the side” Chukwudi convinced me. He had a point there. “I’ll talk to Alex about it” I replied. “Talk to Alex about what?” Alex asked as he walked in, carrying a tray with our food. “Oh, we’re just trying to get Mandy to consider studying, rather than just a computer course” Zizo explained. “But she wants to go back to school” Alex said, giving us all our plates and then sitting down with his.. “I know that, that’s why we’re saying she can exit the college with something equivalent to a matric certificate” Zizo responded. “I don’t know, but can any course take her in at a random time like this, when we’re talking final examinations?” he asked. “We’ll just have to find out” Chukwudi said. “But I still think she should stick to the plans that she already had” Alex said. They carried on like I wasn’t in the room. “So you want to date someone who is in a school uniform?” Zizo asked. I looked at her.. “As long as I know that she’s working hard for a brighter future. I don’t mind” Alex said. “Okay, let’s not interfere then. We’ll just have to believe that you two will make a sound decision and we will support whatever you agree on” Chukwudi said. After dinner, Zizo went to do the dishes and I went to help her. Alex didn’t want me to, but I insisted. I wasn’t going to sit around and do nothing all day everyday. Zizo was chatting up a storm and I was laughing my heart out at the hilarious stories that she was telling me. After doing the dishes, I went to prepare for bed. I always wanted to get there before Alex, because I didn’t want him to see me naked, getting ready for bed. A few minutes later, he walked in.. He was carrying the brochure, and we discussed my next step. I was going to enrol and do a computer course, then go back to school the following year.

The following morning, Alex was still fast asleep when I woke up. I woke him up.. “Alex, aren’t you going to work?’ I asked. “I’m working night shift” he mumbled. “Oh, okay then” I got out of bed and went to take a bath.. When I was done, I went back to our room and got dressed. I woke him up again. He woke up and looked at me. “I want to go and register, I’m sick of doing nothing” I said. “What do you mean you’re sick of doing nothing?” he asked. “I mean, just now. I’m just sitting and doing nothing” I explained. “Oh okay, let me take a quick bath. I will take you there” he said. “But you should sleep, you’re working later” I stopped him, but as usual, he didn’t listen .. He got out of bed and went to take a bath, while I made the bed in the meantime. When I was done, I opened the windows and curtains. Alex walked in and got dressed. We then went to the kitchen for breakfast. To avoid throwing up again, I ate just two slices of dry bread and a cup of tea. We then left. Upon arrival at the college, Alex took care of the financial side of the registration .. When everything was sorted out, I walked him out because I insisted on starting that very same day.. He gave me a R100 note, claiming it was for lunch. I hugged him and we kissed each other on the lips, then he left. The next class was only going to be in a two hour’s time, so I decided to go and do a little window shopping..

So I had so much time in my hands, and privacy too. I decided to go back to the hospital and get that termination thing over and done with. I took a taxi, because I didn’t want to waste any minute. Upon arrival, I walked around for a while. I saw a young, very beautiful nurse who wore her uniform with pride and walked like the world owed her, walking by
“Excuse me, nurse” I called out. She stopped on her tracks and turned to look at me. “Uhm, which side can I go to, for abortions?” I asked. “Have you got your folder with you yet?” she asked. “No. I was actually hoping I’d come and acquire more information, before deciding to go ahead with it” I explained. “Oh, I see.” she said, giving me the directions .. I thanked her and walked away. When I got there, there were a number of women, looking as desperate as I was. I went over to the nurse and asked for more information. She explained the process in its fullest details. I walked out of there, with an informed decision that I was going to terminate the pregnancy. Th plan was to wake up the following morning and pretend to be going to the college, while I was going to have my pregnancy terminated. I took a taxi back to the college. Even though I was a few minutes late, I still felt fulfilled by doing something with my life. I was going to get my life back on track.

Later, I took a taxi home. I didn’t want to bother Alex, since he was working later that day. When I got home, Alex was asleep on the couch
. I walked in and went to our room, to change into something comfortable. I didn’t wake him up. I made myself something to eat and then went to sit on the couch, opposite his. Maybe my stares woke him up.. “Hey, for how long have you been here?” he asked. “Not that long. I just didn’t want to wake you up.” I replied. “Oh.. So how are your first day?” he asked, sitting up. “Ah, it was great. I think I’ll enjoy being there” I said. “Mmhm.. You look happy too. I like that” he said.. I nodded. “So, have you thought about the hairstyle yet?” he asked. “Yes, I have. A nice weave will do” I said. “Okay, we’ll check it out tomorrow, after your session with your psychiatrist, and before your class. Those people said you can even attend an afternoon class” he said. My plans? I had plans of my own!! “Uhm, baby.. Can’t we do the hair some other time? Over the weekend maybe” I suggested. “Why though?” he asked. “I just want to have enough time for it, you know” I explained.

While we were still talking,the front door bell rang. It was too early for Chukwudi and Zizo. Alex got up and went open. Songezo walked in.. He greeted and we greeted back. They shook hands and shoulder bumped. “Why are you up already?” Songezo asked. “I’m tired of sleeping” Alex replied. They came to sit down.. “I can imagine.” he said. “Mandy, how are you feeling?” he asked, looking at me. “I’m fine, thanks, and you?” I responded.. “I’m good. I just came to check up on you guys. You know, sometimes challenges come in a relationship in a form of one partner’s health issues. You just have to be strong and you will get through this” he said. “I’m really blessed to have a man like Alex in my life. I don’t know what I would do without him” I replied. “Yeah, these issues will come to pass” Songezo said. “I know hey, that’s why I’m prepared to be by her side at all times. Thanks bro, for the words of encouragement. I sometimes need to hear such words. My relationship with Mandy never even had a honeymoon phase. It has just been problem after problem and we were forced to keep it together by the situation,” Alex proudly said.. “Soon, all of this will be over we will be a happy couple” I assured him. “You know, I got a fright when I saw you, Mandy, at the hospital earlier. I thought you had a setback” Songezo said. Alex looked at me.. “I’m glad to see you guys here, together. Seeing you got me really worried, Mandy” Songezo said. Alex’s eyes were undressing my soul.. I cleared my throat.. “Yes. Uhm, let me go and make you something to drink” I said, getting up and rushing out of the living room. My heart was beating faster than usual. I needed a quick answer to all the questions that Alex was going to ask me after that.. Just as my mind was running a million meter race, Alex walked into the kitchen, right after me. “What were you doing at the hospital?” he asked..I turned to look at him.. “Mandiphumle, what were you doing at the hospital?” he asked again.. “I.. I was accompanying Phila, an old friend of mine” I replied, with the shakiest of voices. “Phila? Who’s Phila?” he asked. “Phila is an old friend of mine, Alex” I replied. “And why didn’t you see the need to mention it to me?” he asked. “It slipped my mind, I’m sorry.” I apologized. “Songezo saw you alone, why are you lying?” he asked, with a voice that carried so much disappointment. “I’m not lying, Alex. I was with Phila” I continued lying. “I hate lies, Mandiphumle. I hate lies!” he shouted. “Baby, please calm down. Okay?” I begged. “Tell me the truth. What were you doing there? Are you hiding a sickness from me? Is that it?”..