I knew arguing about it would be a complete waste of time. I sighed in great despair. “No, seriously. We can’t have a foreign witch all up in our business. Who does she think she is, coming here and calling the shots? That’s why these people don’t take us seriously, because we let them take over everything. From our jobs, to our women- now our family affairs? Over my dead body” he added. I didn’t have the energy to respond, so I just sat there. “Anyway, don’t you want anything to eat?” he asked. I shook my head. “I should get going, before it gets dark” I replied. He looked at me. “So you’re not sleeping over?” he asked. “No, I’m not” I replied. “Mandiphumle, when are you moving back in?” he asked.. “I’m not moving back in. Ever!” I got up. “Why not? You belong here, with us” he said. “No, I don’t belong here. I’m just carrying your son’s kids. That’s all” I replied. “You’re my niece, or doesn’t that count for anything?” he asked. “No, actually. It doesn’t. I have to run” I walked out. I hated how he did things. I hated his bossy and bullying character to the core and I couldn’t stand him when he started being controlling.

“Ola! Mandy!!” someone called out from Mr Nkomo’s shop. It was Wonga. I smiled and waved at him. He ran up to me.. “Yho! Dude, you’re pregnant??” he laughed so hard. “What’s so funny?” I asked. He laughed for a while and I continued walking, he rushed after me.. “Okay, I’m sorry. I won’t laugh again” he said, holding my arm. “You’re high. aren’t you?” I looked at him. “So, when did this happen?” he pointed at my tummy with his free hand. “Its been a while” I replied, removing my arm from his hand. “Congratulations hey. This is huge. Who is the father? That guy who used to come here with a flashy car?” he asked. “Yes, its him. Thanks Wonga” I replied. “Oh great. That nigga should marry you already. He can’t be making babies with you without marrying you first” he said. I smiled. “I’ll be sure to tell him” I sarcastically replied. He laughed. “Seriously though, Mandy. You deserve all the happiness in the world, after the stuff you went through in life. He really has to do right by you” he added. I nodded. “Have you heard that the cops want to make an arrest for uncle Thabo’s death?” he asked. My smile immediately disappeared. “Really?” I asked. “Yes, really. People have already started selling each other out” he replied. “That’s stupid though. They should just stick together, and no arrests would be made. They won’t arrest the whole community” I said. “There are police lap dogs here, who suffer from verbal diarrhea in the presence of cops” he said. “They need to grow up. They did what they thought was right, why not stick together then? Geez” I replied. “Do you think what they did was right though?” he asked. “I don’t know, that was their way of getting justice” I replied. “They were fighting for you. Would you protect them in court if it gets to that?” he asked. “Yes, I would. Its not like they would be the first criminals to get away with crime anyway” I replied. “Can we talk about something else? I don’t want to be upset” I humbly asked. “Yeah, sure.. So, I’m now selling weed” he announced. I laughed. “That means you will forever be high” I joked. He laughed too.. “Hey, no! I’m not smoking my stock. I’m making a lot of money out of this” he replied. “Where did you get the capital to start your business?” I asked. “Its a long story, but the good news is that, I am making a lot of money out of this” he brushed me off. “Oh, nice. I’m happy for you then. Just be careful not to get arrested” I warned. “Me? Arrested? Who could ever arrest me here?” he asked. I rolled my eyes at him, and he laughed.. “You should really try my stuff. Its a variety of Swazi and Mpondo. I have different customers and they prefer different stuff” he said. “Swazi and Mpondo? What the hell are you talking about? Isn’t weed just weed?” I asked. He laughed so hard. My phone rang, it was Thando.. “Hello?” I picked up. “Hey, how are you?” he asked. “I’m good. and you?” I replied. “I’m good too.. How was your day?” he asked. “It was okay, nothing much happened. I met up with Sibusiso and I’m on my way from his father’s place now” I replied. “Oh wow! What was the meeting about?” he asked. I looked at Wonga, who was still laughing his lungs out silently. “Ah, just stuff. They want a family meeting on Saturday” I replied. “Oh, okay. Let’s hope all will go well hey” he said. “Let’s hope. So how was your day?” I asked. “It was okay. We have a specialist flying in this evening, my son’s recovery is slower than the doctors expected” he replied. “Oh, I’m sorry. I’m praying for him” I said. Me? Praying? “Thank you. Can we meet later and maybe go out for dinner?” he asked. “You need to be with your family at a time like this. I’m sure your wife needs you more than I do” I replied. “My wife doesn’t need me. She has made it clear to me that she doesn’t need me” he said. “What do you mean?” I asked. “All she ever does is to push me away. I try to be there for her, but she pushes me away” he replied. “She is trying to deal with this, be patient with her” I said. “No man, this is hard for me too. This child is mine too. Why is she treating me like I don’t feel any pain? he asked. “Maybe its because you don’t spend enough time with her” I replied. “I do spend time with her, but she shuts me out. I’m losing my mind” he said. “Thando, go home and sit your wife down. Sort things out with her, for your baby’s sake. He needs you both, and he needs you united” I said. “So you don’t want us to meet?” he asked. “This is not about me. Its about you and your family. They need you more than I do” I replied. “So now that you’re reconnecting with your family, you think you don’t need me anymore?” he asked. “Excuse me?” I asked too. “You know what? Its fine. I’m sure I’ll find someone who will agree to meet me tonight” he hung up, leaving me hanging. Like, what just happened? “Wow” I mouthed. “What is it?” Wonga asked. “Uh, nothing much. Its just a hurting friend of mine. He’s really hurting” I replied. “What’s hurting him?” he asked. “His child got burnt, and is recovering slower than expected. He’s now fighting with his wife, because his wife acts stronger and shuts him out” I explained. “Yho! Poor guy. Marriage life is not not for everyone hey” he said. I saw a taxi approaching. “A taxi, thank goodness” I said. “It was nice seeing you again, you’re still beautiful” Wonga said. I smiled. “Oh, thank you. It was nice seeing you too” I replied. “After giving birth, bring that little chap over to uncle Wongz, I will teach him how to roll a joint” he said. I laughed. “Over my dead body” I replied. The taxi stopped. “What? So you’re going to raise a sissy boy? Over my dead body. Bring that nigga here, and I’ll teach him how to be a man” he said. “How do you even know its a boy?” I asked. “Excuse me, we don’t have the whole day” the taxi driver said.. “Oh, I’m sorry. Bye Wonga” I got into the taxi.. “Bye, take care” he waved as the taxi took off.

The taxi dropped me off in town, and I took another one home. Alex’s car was driving in, while the taxi was dropping me off. He must have seen me, because he quickly parked and stepped out of the car, to meet me as I was walking towards the house. “Hey” he greeted. “Hi” I greeted back. “Uh, I’ve been meaning to ask you, do you still attend your computer classes?” he asked. “I haven’t attended for a while now” I replied. “I got a call, about an examination or something. Apparently, you’re due for an examination so you can acquire your certificate if you make it. They said they couldn’t reach you” he explained. “Oh, when is the exam?” I asked. “Tomorrow” he replied. “Tomorrow??” I asked. He nodded. “Why? You’re not ready?” he asked. “I’m ready, I guess. Let me just get this over and done with” I said. “Yeah, especially because I spent my money on that course, you have to honor it and show up for that exam” he said, opening the door and walking into the house.

“Why must we leave?! someone yelled from the inside. Everyone was talking at the top of their voices, so we couldn’t hear the others properly. Alex and I rushed to the lounge to check what was going on.. Mama, Ntombi and Zizo were all on their feet, talking at the top of their voices. ” What is going on here???” Alex asked. “You don’t get to tell us that!” Zizo said. “This is my house! I get to tell anyone anything” mama replied. “Guys!!!” Alex shouted. They all turned to look at him, at us. “What is going on here?” Alex asked. “What the hell? I should be asking you that. What is going on here? Why are you with this trash?” Ntombi responded, pointing at me. “Ntombi, don’t give me that. What is going on here?” Alex pulled a commanding voice. “Alex, sit down. I want to tell you what is getting these rascals worked up” Mama said. The girls went crazy again, but Alex shut them up.. “Mom, what is going on here?” Alex asked .. “I had a conversation with your father, and we agreed that he should also come this side just until all the preparations are in order. So, I asked these girls to move out, because my husband would hate to stay with them under one roof” Mama explained. “Mom, why didn’t you discuss that with Chukwudi and I first? Why did you rush into things?” Alex asked. “Rushed into things? Alex, this is not your house. I don’t have to ask for permission to do anything here” Mama replied. “And why isn’t Mandy leaving?” Zizo asked. “I told you, I’m asking you two to leave because you are dating my children. My husband would never stay with his sons’ girlfriends under one roof. Mandy is not dating any of my boys and we all know her situation” Mama explained. “But she was dating Alex, surely that counts for something” Ntombi said. “The very same Alex who is marrying you, so that doesn’t count for anything” Mama replied. “But mom, I still think you should have discussed this with us. Where are they going to sleep now?” he complained. “Don’t they have homes?” Mama asked. “Mom, please don’t do this” Alex begged. “I didn’t do anything. What do you think your father would say when he gets here and finds girls in his house?” Mama asked. “But you had no problem with us” Zizo replied. “Zizo, shut up” Alex ordered. “Don’t tell me to shut up, Alex.” Zizo replied. “I just did. Shut up, this is my mother you’re talking to” Alex said. “Guys, don’t do that. Can’t you see that this woman is trying to turn us against each other?” Ntombi asked. “This woman is my mother. What gives you both the right to talk to her like this?” Alex exploded. “No baby, I’m sorry. We don’t have to fight over this” Ntombi replied. “Where the hell is Chukwudi?” Alex took his phone out and called him, but he didn’t pick up. “Girls, start packing. You will meet your boyfriends elsewhere, not here. That’s how things were, back in the day. If you want us to take you seriously, act like real women, not like some cheap- loose panty floozies who perform wifely duties before even meeting the rest of the family. Respect yourselves and protect your dignities”…