What? Mr Nkomo? My father? How? I felt an immediate headache, like my head was spinning. How could all of that be true? No man, it couldn’t be. I couldn’t be of the Nkomo clan. No.

“Get that boy over here, so I can cleanse you both. Your people are getting angrier by the day” .. I looked at her. I almost saw numerous images of her, as I tried to fix my eyes on her. I was really dizzy. “Mandy?” she gently shook me. It was like I was even losing my breath.. She pushed her chair back and got up.. I started fanning my face with my hand. I was carrying my brother’s child, and couldn’t do anything about it. “Here, drink this” she handed me a cup. I took the cup and downed whatever that was inside. It was cold water, with a bit of sugar. When I was done, I banged the cup against the table. “So Mr Nkomo is my father?” I looked at her. Deep down, I was hoping she would tell me it was one big sick joke.. “I told you everything I know” she sat down. “No, you didn’t tell me anything. Tell me more” I insisted. “My people will communicate with me again, when they are ready. All you need to do now is to get that boy over here” she replied. “And what exactly am I supposed to tell him? How will he believe this without anything tangible?” I asked, feeling the warmth of my tears flowing down my cheeks. Once again, my life was turned upside down.. “Mandy, stop asking me questions and do as I say. The sooner we cleanse you, the better, both for you and the kids” she said. It annoyed me that she kept talking about “kids” as if I was going to have more than one child with Sibusiso. Why would I have a second child with my brother? Even if he wasn’t my brother, why would I have a second child with him? No reason, at all.. “Mama, I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to answer my question. You need to be sure about this” I said. “Talk to me! Why should I believe you?” I asked. She remained silent. Her silence was tearing my soul apart. I wanted her to talk, I wanted her to answer my questions, but she didn’t. “Mama, you can’t just drop a bomb on me and then go all silent. Talk! Tell me more” I was getting impatient with her.

“What’s going on here?” Alex asked, standing by the doorway. Mama looked at her.. “Alex, hi. I didn’t see you there”… He walked in. ” What is going on here? Why is Mandy talking to you like that?” she asked. I hated how our conversations always got interrupted by nosy people. I hated how we would have to make up quick stories to brush them off. It was sickening. Why couldn’t people mind their own businesses? “Mandy and I were just having a conversation. Nothing you should worry about” she brushed him off. I gathered every bit of strength I had in me and got up.. Without a word, I walked away.. “Hey, hey!! Where do you think you’re going?” Alex shouted. I knew he was talking to me, but I just chose to ignore him. He wasn’t going to talk to me when it suited him, and treat me like I don’t exist half the times. I continued walking. My dizziness was getting worse, but I wasn’t about to act all vulnerable and helpless in his presence.. “Mandiphumle!” he grabbed my arm. I didn’t even hear his footsteps when he approached me. “Let go of me!” I snatched my arm away. “Why are you walking away while I’m talking to you?” he asked. “Because I don’t want to talk to you, now leave me alone” I replied, walking away again.. “Hey! Nobody talks to my mother like that and gets away with it”.. I don’t know, maybe I was supposed to be scared and apologize. ” Well, I just did. Shoot me” I said, continuing with my walk.. “Oh, so just because your mother died, you see no reason to respect other people’s mothers” he said. I stopped on my tracks.. “What did you just say?” I asked, walking up to him.. “I said…” before he could repeat it, I slapped him across the face.. Shocked, he covered his face with both hands.. “Whoa! Why are you kids fighting now?” Mama rushed up to us.. “Did you just slap me?” Alex uncovered his face.. I silently looked at him.I slapped him, so what? “Kids, stop this thing now. You are not supposed to be fighting.” Mama said. “Mom, I want this bitch out of here,now” he said. “With pleasure” I lied. It wasn’t with pleasure that I was going to pack my things and go, because I had nowhere to go.. “No, Mandy you are going nowhere” Mama said. “Why not? This child is disrespectful, mom. Look at what she just did, and the way she talked to you” he explained.”Enough!” Mama shouted, putting her hands over her ears.. “I am sick of this. I’m sick of the way you’re treating this child. I’m tired of listening to all the negative things that you’re saying behind her back” she said, removing her hands from her ears.. She looked at Alex, and then back at me.. “Nobody is throwing anybody out of this house. This is my husband’s house and that makes it my house. You are all living under my roof, and you will do as I say” she commanded.”Can I go to my room now?” I asked. I was seriously not feeling well.. She nodded and I walked away..

I got to my room and changed into my pj’s. I knew sleeping was almost impossible, because my mind was running a million meter race.. How could all that be true? Maybe Mr Nkomo didn’t know that he was my father. How was I going to tell him that? Was there even a need? My mother was one selfish human being. How could she hide the truth about my identity from me? She knew how badly I wanted to know the truth, but she hid it from me. She had this twisted idea of a happy family. The difference between me and her was that my happiness was not made up of pain and misery, like hers. She was just too selfish to let me choose where I wanted to grow up. She was just plain selfish..

The following morning, Mama woke me up with a bowl of hot soft porridge. “Here, I made you something to eat” she said.. “Thank you” I said, taking the tray that carried my bowl.. “I could get used to this” I joked. She laughed. “You skipped dinner,so I thought you’d wake up hungry” she said. I ate my porridge. I could have gotten up and went to wash my hands and stuff, but I wasn’t about that life. “How did you sleep?” she asked. “I struggled to fall asleep, I only slept a few hours ago” I replied. She nodded. “Everything will be okay. You will see. Get that boy here, I want to talk to you both” she said.. “Okay, let me call him” I took my phone and dialed.. His phone rang until I reached his voicemail. I tried again, same story.. “He’s not picking up” I put my phone next to me.. “He will get back to you” she assured me.. “Are you sure I’m of their clan? I don’t want to make a fool of myself and look desperate to belong” I asked. “Yes, I’m sure. Don’t put pressure on my people, they will reveal everything in good time” she replied. I nodded.. “Eat your food, and don’t forget to take your supplements” she walked out.. When I was done eating, I went to put the tray in the kitchen and got myself a glass of water for my supplements.. My phone rang, and it was Sibusiso, returning my call.. “Hello?” I picked up.. “Hi. I just saw your missed calls.I was in a meeting.” he said. “I was going to ask, could you please come here?” ..”Where?” he asked, rather confused. “Where I stay” I replied. “Why? Is everything okay?” he asked.. “Everything is fine, there’s just something serious that I want us to discuss” I said.. “Sounds urgent. I’m coming” he said..

I took a quick bath and got dressed in a White maternity dress that Phila bought me, with a pair of flip flops and loosely tied my hair.. By the time he called to inform me he had arrived, I was with Mama in the kitchen, preparing breakfast.. “Tell him to come in” she whispered. “Uuh.. You can come in” I said. “What? Where is your boyfriend?” he asked. “He’s not here” I replied. “No, please come to the car” he said. “I can’t, you have to come in” I replied. After softly arguing about it for a while, he agreed to come in, clearly stating that it would be my fault if my “boyfriend” killed him. If only he knew. A few minutes later, he knocked on the door and I went to open.. “Hi” I greeted, opening up for him.. “Hi” he greeted back. His eyes widened when he saw Mama. He looked at me, and then back at her. He humbly greeted, and she greeted back. She then invited him over to the lounge, and I was left in the kitchen, finishing up.. Shortly, Mama called me over, ordering me to switch off the stove and I did as I was instructed. I got to the lounge and sat on the couch, opposite Mama’s. I could tell that she had already introduced herself.. “I’m sure you’re wondering why Mandy called you in” Sibusiso nodded.. “I have some very disturbing news, that my people informed me of, last night” she said. Sibusiso listened attentively. “My people told me that Mandy is of your clan. She is your blood” she announced. Sibusiso pulled a very shocked face. “What?? What do you mean?” he asked. “I don’t know all the details to the matter, all I was told is that you two need to be cleansed, before your kids set their feet on planet earth” she said. “We’re expecting one child” I corrected the irritating error. “Whoa! Wait a minute, how is that possible? My father never .. he never slept with.. no man” he mumbled.. Mama tried to hold him, but he backed away.. “No, stay away from me. What is going on here? Are you trying to confuse me?” he asked. “And what would we gain from that?” she asked. He got up.. “No, there is no way that Mandy is my sister. No. We’re having a child together!” he said. “Please sit down.” she said.. Sibusiso sat down.. “It came as a shock to Mandy too, but its the truth.” she said..

He took his phone out and pressed it for a while, and placed it on his ear. “Who are you calling?” she asked. “The bastard” he replied.. “Hello, dad. How could you be so evil? How could you hide your child from me?… You know exactly what I’m talking about, dad. Mandy! How could you hide her from me? Do you see what you’ve done now?. No! Don’t tell me to calm down! Don’t tell me to calm down, dad. Just for once, tell the truth” he exploded. I could hear it in his voice that he was beyond broken.. After a while, he hung up.. “He’s asking me to go home so we could talk about this” he said.. “I’m coming with” I said. “Let’s go” he got up.. “Come back here when you’re done talking to him” Mama said..

Sibusiso and I rushed to the car and drove off.. The car was flying off the streets and silence was getting louder by the minute.. We got home .. Mr Nkomo was watching TV. We both walked in.. “Dad, is it true?” Sibusiso asked. “Son, sit down” he said. “Why is everyone asking me to sit down?” he angrily asked. Duh! Because he was standing up, that’s why he was asked to sit down.. He sat down, and I sat down too.. “Kids, where did you get this from?” Mr Nkomo asked. “Not important. Is it true?” Sibusiso responded.. “No, its not true” he replied. Phew! I felt a sense of relief f blowing over me. I knew it was impossible.. “Mandiphumle is Desmond’s daughter” he announced. Desmond? Who the hell was Desmond? “Desmond and your mother had something going on, just before your mother met Thabo. Desmond was already married at that time, but he really loved your mother. He even suggested taking her as the second wife, but his wife refused. She refused because she knew how much Desmond loved your mother. She always caught them together, and they would fight over it” he narrated. Yeah, but who the hell was Desmond? “When Desmond’s wife found out that your mother was pregnant, she demanded that they relocate or she would leave him. He had no choice but to relocate” he added. “Who is Desmond?” I asked.. Sibusiso covered his mouth with his right hand, with his eyes still widened.. “Desmond is my brother. I haven’t heard from him in years. His wife isolated him from his family, and he does as she pleases” he replied.. “So he knew that my mother was pregnant when he left?” I asked. He nodded. “Bastard! So dad, why did you kick your niece out like that?” Sibusiso asked.. “Because I was trying to protect you kids from sleeping together. I thought Mandy was lying, because she was just sexually attracted to you” he explained. “Uncle Des is an excuse of a man, you all are. Now how are we going to tell the child?” Sibusiso was almost spitting flames.. He got up and walked out.. “Mandy, I’m sorry for this. Desmond couldn’t be there for you because you were his love child. I just felt you and Sibusiso were attracted to each other, so I decided to throw you out. I’m sorry. I even tried talking Sibusiso into convincing you to abort, because I knew you were one of us. It was just not my place to tell you that, because I didn’t want to confuse you.” he explained. He didn’t want to confuse me, but look where that got us- to a baby born out of incest!