I smiled. I must say the flattery sat really well with me, even though I knew that chances of me and Alex ever getting back together were close to zero. “I know you don’t believe it, and its fine. Time will reveal everything” she said. Could it be that she was the one who was in love with the idea of me and Alex together? We’ll never know.. I kept sipping on my tea.. “So, have you thought of baby names yet?” she asked. I shook my head.. “No, not yet. I still need a little more time” I sipped on my tea again. “Do you know whether its boys or girls?” she asked again. “No, they didn’t tell me directly, but I think there is a boy in here” I rubbed my tummy. She smiled. “Nice. You really need to rest” she said. “Yeah, I will. Oh and, Sibusiso said he will make time on Wednesday during the day and come over for the cleansing ceremony” I announced. “The cleansing ceremony is not an hour long ceremony. It will take the whole day and night” she told me. “Night?” I asked. “Yes, and night too” she replied. “What would we be doing at night?” I asked. “I can’t discuss it into details now, but it is important that we do it properly in order for your people to forgive this act” she explained. I nodded. “Tell him he needs to make more time than just an hour or so” she suggested and I nodded again..

Later, I was in my room, fast asleep. My phone rang, it was Thando. I fiddled under my pillow and picked it up. “Hey, how are you?” he asked. “I’m good, and you?” I replied. “I’m okay. Are you home?” he asked. “Yes, I got discharged this morning” I replied. “And you saw no reason to inform me?” he asked. “I’m sorry, it slipped my mind. I got home and went straight to bed” I explained. “Do you know the trauma I went through when I saw your bed neatly made? Do you know what that did to me?” he asked. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know it would be this time without me telling you that I’ve been discharged” I apologized. “Okay, sure” he replied. His words were empty, I could tell that he was really shaken. “I’m really sorry, it was one big mistake. I should have informed you” I apologized some more. “Can I come over?” he asked. “Yeah, you can” I replied, without thinking twice. “Okay, I’m coming” he hung up. I got out of bed and went to wash my face and freshened up. I loosely tied my hair and wore my slippers. I went to the kitchen, to get myself a glass of water. Zizo and Ntombi were there, cooking. They looked really shocked to see me. They looked at each other, then back at me. “Hi guys” I coldly greeted. “Hey, you’re back” Ntombi said. I nodded as I went to get myself some tap water. “Where were you?” she asked. “Maybe one of her boyfriends took her out. This is one resourceful lady” Zizo replied on my behalf. Ntombi laughed. I silently drank my water. “I must say though, we were worried sick. You just disappeared without a trace” Ntombi added. I finished drinking my water, placed the glass on the kitchen counter and walked out. You would swear I was deaf, the way I was ignoring them. Thando hadn’t arrived yet, so I decided to go for a walk .. Our neighbourhood had so many trees. Like, each yard had trees whether in front yard or back yard. It was an amazing experience, walking past those trees and watching them wave with their branches and silently chuckled with their leaves. I couldn’t help but notice how those trees matched perfectly with the neatly trimmed lawns. It was like I was in a little paradise, or maybe Eden.

My phone rang, it was Thando.. I told him to drive up the street, and he did. He stopped next to me and I stepped into the car.. “Hey” I greeted. “Hey” he greeted back. He didn’t look okay, at all. “I’m sorry about what happened earlier. I really am. I was going to tell you, but I fell asleep when I got home” I explained. “I thought you had died” he replied. “Huh?” I looked at him. “When I walked into that ward, and saw your bed, neatly made. I thought you had died. I felt weak on the knees and I could feel my world collapsing. I didn’t want to ask anyone, because I didn’t think I needed to hear that. I decided to walk out and try calling you” he said. “Why would you think that I have died?” I asked. “There is a lot going on in your life, all at the same time. I am scared you would one day decide to stop fighting and just give up on life” he replied. “No, I would never give up on life. I have people like you in my life, people who support me all the time. I have no reason to give up on life, but every reason to press on and continue striving for a better life” I assured him. “I love you, Mandiphumle. I love you so much. I know you don’t want us to talk about that, but I can’t help myself. Being with you makes my life burden seem easy. In your company, I get to be myself” he added.. “I feel the same way. With you, I take off all my musks and you still see beauty in my vulnerability” I replied. We were both so emotional. We shared a hug. After that brief hug, we tried talking about general stuff, avoiding the emotions that were clearly on 100.

The following day, Sibusiso called, confirming meeting times. We were meeting at 2, in the same place we once met in.. When I was ready, I left.. He was already there, waiting for me.. I walked up to his table. “Hello” I greeted. “Hey, please sit down” he greeted back. I pulled a chair and sat down.. “So, how’s it?” he asked. “I’m good, and you?” I replied. “I’m okay. I haven’t ordered yet, I was waiting for you” he said. We ordered and surprisingly, our order arrived in time. “So, you’re not feeling any pains or dizziness now?” he asked. I shook my head. “No, I’m feeling well” I replied. “And your side? How are things?” I asked. “My wife is spitting flames. She is even threatening to tell her family about this. She hates the fact that I’m telling her that I will be there for my child” he replied. “So she was expecting you to turn your back on us?” I asked. “Clearly, and I can’t do that. You have your whole life ahead of you. I want you to continue living your life and chasing your dreams without worrying about what will the baby eat” he said. I cleared my throat.. “About that” I cleared my throat again.. “Yeah?” he looked at me. “I’m carrying twins” I announced. His eyes widened.. “Really?” he asked. I nodded. “That’s what the doctor said.” I replied. “Wow, so we’re going to have two kids? I’m going to be a father of two?” he excitedly asked. I laughed. “Wow! I know this is not an ideal situation, but Mandy, thank you for this gift of life” he said. Oh, so he had accepted that the babies are his. No more DNA test talk now. We were both happy, both excited, and we both could not wait to hold them in our arms. “Oh and, dad asked if you could pay him a visit. He said he needs to talk to you” he said. “Today?” I asked. “Yes, today” he replied. When we were done, he took me to the taxi rank, because he had to go back to work. He gave me R2000 and asked me to buy myself more dresses or do my hair..I took a taxi, to Mr Nkomo’s house. His old bakkie was parked outside when I arrived. I went to look for him at the shop, but there was a guy he hired to look after his shop. I went to the house, and found him in his lounge, watching TV. I greeted, and he greeted back.. “How are you?” he asked. “I’m good, and you?” I replied. “I’m also good. Just minor health issues that need extra attention” he said. “Sibusiso mentioned that you were not feeling well” I sat down. “Yes, I wasn’t feeling well at all. I am getting better now” he said.. I nodded, “that’s great”.. He looked at me.. ” I called you over here, to discuss what is happening between you and Sibusiso” he got straight to the point. “What you two did is wrong, on many levels. We know that you both didn’t know that you were related, but that still doesn’t make it right. I have called a family meeting, to discuss the way forward of this matter. I cannot deal with this alone, I need my family to get involved” he told me. “Oh, okay.. When will the meeting be?” I asked. “This coming weekend. Everyone has agreed to be available on Saturday” he replied. I nodded. “Also, there is an urgent matter that we also need to discuss. The cleansing ceremony” I said. He blankly looked at me. “The woman who discovered this whole truth said we need to be cleansed” I added. “This is a family matter, we will discuss the way forward as a family” he said. “Yes, but we need to honor her instruction because she clearly knows best” I said. “She’s Nigerian. We will not have a Nigerian woman in our business. Those people don’t even belong here” he said. Oh, why am I not surprised?! .. “This really has nothing to do with the fact that she’s Nigerian” I replied. “Mandy, you’re the only person who takes Nigerians seriously around here. Please don’t try to change our minds. We are not having a Nigerian woman in our business. Tell her to mind her own business. This is a family natter and will be treated as such” he said.. How I wish these shallow South Africans would know that mother nature conceived us, and Africa gave birth to us all..