Life was playing a very tricky game with me. No matter which way I turned, I stood to lose, and life won. Why? What did I do to deserve this? At eighteen, I was supposed to be worrying about my matric performance and plans for the following year- not worrying about how I was going to raise two children. Two! “Let me leave you to rest then. Please don’t forget to take your supplements. Tomorrow, I am going to give you an eating and exercising plan” he said, bouncing away. “Uh, doctor?” I called out. He turned to look at me. “Uh, are you sure that I’m carrying twins?” I desperately asked. I was hoping it was one of those cases, where doctors make terrible errors and get patients all worked up over nothing. In fact, I inwardly prayed that it was one of those cases. “Yes, Miss Soldati. I am sure” he replied. I sighed. Life, you deserve a death sentence! “Don’t worry, you will be fine. I know for a first time mom, this is so overwhelming. But look at it this way, instead of having another baby in a year or two, you get to raise two babies at the same time” he giggled. Whatever he meant by that, didn’t make sense. I smiled. “See you around. Please don’t get yourself too worked up” he walked away. He made it sound so easy, not getting myself too worked up.

The following morning, I woke up and went to take a bath. When I was done, I went back to my bed, dressed in the hospital wear. Two nurses were making my bed when I got there, so I stood by the locker and waited. “We’ll be done shortly” one of them announced. I nodded and smiled faintly. “So, I hear you’re carrying twins. Congratulations” the other one said. “Ah, yes. Thanks” I replied. “You must be excited. Twins are very cute, especially when they are still babies” she added. Really? “I’m sure they are. I was just not expecting twins” I said. “Don’t worry, my sister was feeling that way, six years ago. But now, her twins complete her life puzzle” she replied. “And you are lucky to know sooner, than later. My brother’s wife found out on the day she was giving birth, that she was carrying twins” the other one hopped in. “Oh, no!” I mumbled. “It gets a little complicated sometimes, but you just have to keep a healthy relationship with your health care facilities” the other one said. “Do you guys have kids?” I randomly asked. “No, I’m saved” one of them answered almost immediately. I nodded. “I have one, a four year old son” the other one replied. I nodded again. Saved? That’s a very interesting label one can stick on herself. I wonder what exactly classifies one as “saved” because half of the world goes to church, and claims to have a relationship with God- but what classifies one as saved?.. “Mandiphumle” one of them called out. I looked at her. “We’re done with your bed” she said. “Oh, thank you” I jumped in. Shortly, breakfast was served, and I ate taking my supplements afterwards..

“Miss Soldati, are you awake?” the doctor asked. I turned and faced him
“Yes, I’m awake” I replied. “I’m here to discuss your eating plan” he said. I nodded. “Look, the other twin is slightly at risk, with the low heartbeat and all, so we have to be careful of what you eat, drink and do in general. From now on, your meals should have little to no salt. Also go easy on fatty foods” he said, and I nodded. “Stay away from fizzy drinks, and any drink high in caffeine. Eat more vegetables and snack on fruit. Drink lots of water” he added, and I nodded again. “Finally, exercise. You will be expected to take walks, once every two hours. Avoid spending the whole day in bed. Keep active so that the other twin won’t suffocate” he said. Everything he said seemed pretty easy. I knew some of that stuff because Alex told me about it. When he was done, he walked away..

During the first visiting hour of the day, Phila bounced in, carrying a pizza box.. I smiled, real food. “Little Miss Sunshine” she planted a feather kiss on my forehead. “Hey” I greeted. “What’s wrong with your phone? Thando has been trying to call you, since last night” she asked. “My phone? Nothing is wrong with my phone” I replied, taking it from my locker. Ah, it was off. “Oh, its off. Probably low battery” I said. “Mmhm” she pulled a chair and sat down.. “How are you?” she asked. “Dude, I’m carrying twins” I announced. “What????” she screamed. “Keep it down” I spoke through my teeth, faking a smile. “No ways, twins? My friend. Wow!” she said. “This is the worst time of my life” I said, fiddling with my fingers. “No, my friend. Please don’t say that. All of this will be over, and your life will be back to normal” she assured me. “No man, my life will never be back to normal. I will have two kids, with my cousin. How will life be normal?” I replied. She sighed. “I don’t have all the answers, but I’m sure life will work itself out” she said. I nodded, in total disbelief. “Anyway, just lay back and relax. Enjoy your pregnancy” she said. “Yeah. How are things on your side?” I asked. “Things are okay. Vuyani is so set on changing me. He is taking me back to school” she laughed. “That man wants what’s best for you” I said. “No, he wants what’s best for himself” she replied. I gave her a blank stare. “Vuyani knows I’m a sex worker, always have been. Now he wants to have me all to himself and change me into something I’m not” she explained. “He wants you to have a proper career, my friend. You can’t rely on your body forever” I said. “He wants to have all of this, to himself” she replied. “My friend, stop looking at it that way. This man genuinely cares about you. Why else would he dedicate so much time in getting your life on track?” I responded. “What if I don’t want my life to be back on track? Can you believe that he doesn’t even want me to smoke?” she complained. I smiled. “I’m sorry, but he’s doing what’s best for you” I said. “Anyway, let’s talk about you. What’s going to happen now?” she asked. I sighed. “I don’t know. Sibusiso didn’t say much when he was here, maybe he didn’t want to get me worried” I replied. “Oh, but this is really messed up hey” she said. “Life is messed up. I don’t know how I got here” I replied. She held my hand and gently rubbed it. “You will be fine. You will see” she said.

Her phone rang. She removed her hands from mine and picked her phone up. “Hello… Yes, I’m here… Okay, hold on” she handed me the phone. “Hello” I greeted, placing the phone on my ear. “Sunshine, how are you? I’ve been trying to get hold of you” he asked. “I’m fine. My phone is off, my batter is low” I replied. “Oh, I was worried sick. How are you coping in there?” he asked. “Arg, I’m coping just fine. I’m getting lots of rest, so yeah” I replied. “Okay, I will swing by, after work” he announced. “Okay cool, please bring me a charger” I asked. “Okay, I will” he replied. “Do you know the phone I’m using?” I asked. He laughed. “You’re worried I’ll get a wrong charger? Relax, I know it” he replied. We talked for a while, then we hung up. Phila stayed until the visiting hour was over, then she left.

During the afternoon visiting hour: while I was getting my rest, I felt someone shaking me. I opened my eyes, and saw Sibusiso’s wife. The shock. “Uh, hi” I greeted .. “How dare you?” she asked. “Excuse me?” I asked too. “You heard me. How dare you sleep with my husband and trap him with a baby?” she explained. “Whoa! What are you talking about?” I asked. “You are going to have to cut the dumb act. You and I both know what I’m talking about here” she said. “I didn’t trap your husband. He slept with me” I replied. “He raped you?” she asked. “No, but. ..” she didn’t even wait for me to finish. “Listen, what you were hoping would happen, would never happen. I’m never going to leave my husband over trash. That man, is mine. Nobody, and I mean nobody, will ever take him away from me” she said. “Nobody is trying to take your man away from you” I replied. “Because you’re now related? Is that why you’re no longer trying to take him away?” she asked. “He’s a man to you, and a stray dog to me, someone I classify as the worst mistake of my life” I replied. She laughed. “Keep convincing yourself. I am sure you were hoping I would leave him, so you could play happy families with him and your bastard child” she said. Her words were cutting deep, but I wasn’t going to give her the satisfaction of falling apart. “Listen, little trash.. You stay away from my husband, okay? From now onwards, you are never going to have private conversations with him. I will be right besides him when he visits you, and we will exchange phones. Stay exactly where you belong, in the rubbish bin” she said, and walked away. Few steps away, she stopped on her tracks and walked back to me. “Oh and, I’ve thrown that little toad you call a brother out of my house. I don’t want garbage in my house. I will make sure you regret the day you opened your dirty legs for my man. I want you to respect married men in your not-so-bright future”…