After inwardly insulting the little brat, I got up.. The mess around the bathroom made me more sick. I cleaned up and took a long hot bath. My body energy was on zero, but I did not feel like sleeping the whole day. When I was done bathing, I went to my room and got dressed in a Black pair of shorts and a White vest. My bump wasn’t showing yet, but my tummy wasn’t exactly flat. I wore my sandals and combed my hair.. Just when I went through my handbag, looking for transport fare to town, I saw R200 note on my bedside. I assumed Alex left it before waking me up. He couldn’t even directly give me money, but I was okay with that. I took the money and left.

After everything that I was set out to do that day, I bought airtime and called Phila. She asked me to wait for her in town, so I went to get myself something to eat while I waited.. She arrived, in such a rush. She found me in the fast foods joint and came to join me.. “What is this? Hot chips, with pork and fat cakes? What the hell is this?” she asked, as she sat down.. “Its food. My food” I calmly replied. “This is not food. This is just junk. You’re going to get fat and ugly if you keep at this junk food pace” she said. I rolled my eyes. “How are you, by the way?” she asked.. “I’m good, and you?” I looked at her. “I’m okay, thanks. Thank you for calling me out of that house, I was starting to lose my mind” she said, taking her wallet out. I laughed. “Why? Were you having sex the whole morning?” I joked. She hit me playfully.. “That’s not funny” she said. “I’m sorry” I laughed.. “No man, I wasn’t having sex. I was just bored in that house. It gets really boring there” she said. “Dude, you stay in a shebeen, how can you ever be bored there?” I asked.. She laughed.. “I hardly ever go that side. I spend all my time in the house” she replied.. “I see” I nodded.. “So, how did you end up with foreigners?” she asked.. My smile faded away.. “That night, when I ran away from sis Meissie, Chukwudi picked me up on the streets” I told her.. “Weren’t you naked that night?” she asked. “I was naked, but he stopped for me anyway. At first, I was scared that he would rape me and kill me, but he proved to be a man with values and principles” I said. “I would be scares too, especially because he’s a foreigner” she agreed with me. “I know how South Africans think badly of foreigners” I said. “Its not that we think badly of them. Those people are criminals, we can’t deny that” she said. I wasn’t in the arguing mood, so I let it slide.. “Okay.. So how have you been?” I asked.. “I’ve been good. You’re not going to believe this” she said.. “What?” I asked, taking a bite on my pork.. “I have a boyfriend” she announced. I laughed.. “No, what?” I asked.. She laughed too.. “I know you don’t believe it, but I’ve found love. I love him and I am hoping for a life long relationship with him” she said.. “Its not that I don’t believe you, but you don’t strike me as someone who falls in love” I replied.. “I know, but this man is different.. You know what makes him special the most?” she asked. “What?” I asked too.. “We met in sis Meissie’s bedroom. He then asked me out” she narrated. “Wow, he knows what you do?” I asked. “He came for my services, but wanted more” she replied. “That’s .. That’s so unusual” I said. “Let me go and order. I’ll tell you all about him” she said as she walked away. I continued eating, till she got back, with just an apple and a bottle of sparkling mineral water. “Is that all you’re having?” I asked in disbelief. “Yes, I ate about an hour ago” she explained.. “Okay.. So tell me more about this man” I said.. She cringed excitedly.. “He’s my minister of finance. Ever since I met him, my life has changed. He buys me expensive clothes and takes me anywhere I want to go” she said. “That’s so sweet. So do you still sleep with other men?” I asked. “I don’t have to, but I do sleep with them, just to keep sis Meissie happy” she said. “And I hide it from my boyfriend” she added. “Let’s hope he never finds out” I said.. “So tell me, how did you end up with this guy’s brother and not him?” she asked. “We had no intimate connection, and he has a steady girlfriend” I replied. “I see. When am I meeting him? You’ll meet mine, he will fetch me from your house” she asked. “Uhm.. We broke up” I told her.

Her smile vanished.. “What? Why?” she asked.. “He found out that I’m pregnant and was planning to abort the baby behind his back. ” What??” she shouted.. “Keep it down, will you?” I whispered. She looked around, and then looked at me.. “You’re what??” she asked again.. I nodded. “I’m pregnant” I repeated.. “Why were you trying to abort without telling him though?” she asked. “Because he is not the father” I replied. She went all silent on me, like she was deeply shocked. “So I was trying to save our relationship, but things didn’t go as planned. His friend saw me at the hospital and told him” I told her.. “Wow! Now that’s some hectic stuff right there” she said.. “That’s my life right now. He insisted that I don’t move out of the house, but we’re sleeping in different bedrooms” I said.. “I’m so sorry. Who is the father?” she asked. “It’s Sibusiso, the guy who slept with me and never gave me the amount of money we agreed on” I replied.. “I remember. Does he know yet?” she asked again. “No, he doesn’t. I won’t tell him because I’m terminating” I replied .. Her eyes widened .. “My friend, no. No, you can’t do that” she opposed. “Why not?” I asked, taking a sip on my fizzy drink.. “Look, abortion is not for emotionally damaged people like you. That procedure will consume every little emotion that ever resided in your body. You need to be strong, to be able to face the sleepless nights, the nightmares and the guilt. You, my friend, would never live to see another day” she replied. I took a deep sigh. “I just don’t want this baby. I can’t carry it to full term while I hate it this much” I told her. “You don’t hate the baby, you just hate how it was conceived” she explained. Either way, I still hated the baby. “Look…” she held my hand. “You will get through this, with this child. I know its not going to be easy, but take it from me.. Abortion will fuck you up forever. You will always have it hanging over your head. I’ve had it too, because I thought I couldn’t cope with a baby. But looking back, my baby would have made it and I would have been a better mother” she said.. I nodded. “I hear you, but we need to be realistic here. I have nobody to help me raise this baby. I can’t rely on Alex and Chukwudi, because they don’t owe me anything. Chukwudi thinks I should tell Sibusiso about this” I said. “He’s right. Sibusiso has to be there for his child. This is not your problem alone. Talk to him about it” she agreed. “Its not going to be easy, Sibusiso made it clear that he wants nothing to do with me. I can’t put myself through that again” I replied. “Okay..” she let go of my hand and folded her arms.. “I know so many rich men. I can hook you up with one of them” she suggested. “For what?” I asked. “For you to date” she replied. I shook my head.. “No, I can’t. I’m pregnant” I replied. “So?” she unfolded her arms.. “You need financial security. Babies are expensive” she convinced me.. “That’s why I need to terminate” I replied. “That’s out of question. You are not terminating. I’m getting you a man, who will take care of you” she said. “I said I don’t want any man in my life. Bedsides, Alex still cares about me. We might get back together” I said. “What makes you say that?” she asked. “This morning, he came to my room and gave me a list of things that I should eat and an exercise plan” I replied. She rolled her eyes. “Dude, this man is just stringing you along. He doesn’t want you anymore” she said. “What make you say that?” I asked. “Sweety, men don’t dump women. When a man dumps you, he clearly doesn’t want you. Men often just distance themselves when they are no longer interested. Alex told you straight up that he doesn’t want you, and that means he really does not want you” she said. “We’ll just have to wait and see” I responded in despair. “Whenever you’re ready for a rich man that will pamper you, just shout” she said.. When we were done eating, we went shopping.

Phila bought a few items for me, and for herself, then we went home. We got off the taxi and walked towards the gate.. “Dude, I need to smoke” she announced.. “Wait. Smoke here, none of these guys smoke” I said.. She took out a cigarette and her lighter. I stood a little further away from her, trying to avoid the smoke. When she was done, we walked into the house. Alex was home, watching TV.. Phila and I greeted, and he greeted back.. We sat on the same couch.. “How are you?” Phila asked. “I’m good thanks, and you?” he replied. “I’m okay. I’m Phila. You must be Alex” she said.. He nodded. “Pleased to meet you. Mandy has told me a lot about you” Phila said. “Pleased to meet you too. I’ve just remembered that I have a few errands to run” he said, getting up.. “I’ll see you guys around” he walked away.. Phila and I looked at each other.. “This man really doesn’t want you, Mandy” she said. “But he’s still helping me out” I replied. “That’s not love. He’s just responsible. This won’t last. One day, he will wake up and decide that he doesn’t owe you a thing” she said. I knew that, but I was scared of entertaining such thoughts. After a while, Zizo and Chukwudi arrived. The way I couldn’t stand Zizo. What she did the previous day really got to me. They greeted and we both greeted back. Phila and Chukwudi were chatting up a storm, while Zizo and I were dead quiet. I could tell that Zizo wasn’t happy with Phila’s presence, especially because she was friendly towards her man. Phila was drooling over Chukwudi. She flirted with him, every time Zizo left the room. She finally had to go. She called her man to pick her up. She left me and Chukwudi watching TV, while Zizo prepared dinner.. “Mandy, I’ve been thinking.. How are you going to tell this guy about this pregnancy?” he asked. “I don’t know” I replied. I couldn’t handle the pressure he was giving me. I still needed time to think and decide. “Mandy, you don’t have time. The longer you wait, the more harder it will be for you to convince him that he is the father” he explained. “What do you think I should do then?” I asked. “You have to go there and tell them about this. I’ll take you there” he said. “That won’t work. His father hates foreigners” I said. “This is not about his father. Its about the baby” he said. “I don’t know hey” I sighed. “I do. We’ll go there and tell these people about this. To prove that the baby is theirs, we will have its blood tested as soon as it’s born” he said. “I don’t know why you guys are making it hard for me to go on with this termination. You’re all making me feel guilty about it” I said. “It is not the right thing to do. Keep this baby. You will give birth and look for a job to wok with whoever will be helping you raise your child” he said. Easier said than done. At dinner, it was only me, Zizo and Chukwudi. I didn’t know whether Alex was at work or was still running his errands. “Is Alex back yet?” Zizo asked. “No, he’s not. Maybe he is at work” Chukwudi said. “Ntombi called, telling me that they went to visit her gynaecologist. She said Alex asked for a copy and will show us later” Zizo said. So, in less than two days, he was already playing a happy daddy? Wow! Chukwudi cleared his throat.. “Ntombi says they are hoping for a baby boy, a mini Alex” she laughed.. “Uhm, Zizo please pass me the salt” Chukwudi asked. Zizo passed the salt .. “Mandy, you really need to look for your baby daddy. Alex seems committed to Ntombi and their baby” she said. “Just because of one visit to the gynaecologist, and that’s commitment?” I asked. “I’m just saying. There are more to come. And when the baby is born, they will be more closer than they are now” she added. “Oh wow!” I pushed my plate away.. “Why didn’t I see this earlier?” I asked. “What?” she asked too.. “Alex’s baby mama is your friend. So all this nice act was to suck information out of me, so you could tell her” I said. “What??? You’re insulting me!” she exploded. “Guys, please man. We don’t have to do this” Chukwudi said. “She is insulting me, Chukwudi” she said. “Who insulted you? Zizo admit it. You’ve always hated me. You’re only friendly towards me because Alex and I are fighting” I said.. She got so angry, and we argued about it.. Chukwudi tried stopping it, but the arguing got out of hand. I got up and rushed off to my room.. When I got there, I took my phone and called Phila..

“My friend?” she picked up.. I was pacing up and down. “Zizo is so evil. So she’s been friends with me so she could take information out of me, to that bitch” I said. “Which bitch? Who is Zizo?” she asked. I told her everything.. “Damn, who does she think she is?”she clicked her tongue.. ” Mandy, you don’t deserve this. I have two options for you to choose from” she said. “Take the rich man I was telling you about and get the hell out of that house, or get a very strong love potion for Alex. A mixture that will make him love you and only you, regardless of what happened between the two of you” she added.. “Phila…” she cut me short. “You don’t have to choose now, think about it. A rich man, or a love-drugged Alex”..