I looked at her and tears just streamed down my cheeks. “Babe, why are you crying? Are you okay?” she asked. “Phila, what did I do to deserve a friend like you?” I wiped my tears with the palms of my hands. “Arg, no man. I’m doing what I know you would do for me too” she said. “Still, I’m sitting here, always on the receiving end” I replied. “Little Miss Sunshine, stop getting yourself worked up over this. You’re pregnant, it only makes sense that you will need help more than I do” she said. As she uttered those words, she came to sit directly next to me. “I will talk to Sibusiso about this. I’m sure he’ll be happy too. We need all the help we can get” I sniffed. “Yeah, I’m sure he will be happy” she replied. “I appreciate your help. I don’t know what I would have done without you in my life. Maybe I would have given up on life and died a long time ago” I said. “Its only a pleasure man, don’t mention it” she replied. “So how did you get Vuyani to agree?” I sniffed again .. “It wasn’t easy. I even had to work my magic in the bedroom” she giggled in a very naughty voice. “Get out of here!” I laughed, and a tear escaped my eye. “I’m kidding .. We both agreed to it because we need a bit of destruction in the house. I’m dying of boredom” she said.. “Mhhmm. Are you now cool with being in a relationship with him?” I asked. “Ah, well, I guess” she shrugged her shoulders. “I mean, we get along so well. Maybe this could work out. I’m prepared to give it my best shot” she said. “Give it your best shot, my friend. You can’t keep bouncing from one penis to the next, for the rest of your life” I nodded in total agreement.

“So, Miss Insomnia, are you planning to spend your day in bed?” she cleared her throat.. “Not really, I’ll wake up and help Mama out with dinner preparations” I replied. “You’re such a good girl and this Mama of yours really loves you” she said. I laughed. “Yeah hey” I quickly ate my breakfast, while she sat next to me, talking about a whole lot of Lord-knows-what..

“Let’s go out, to the movies” she suggested. “No man, its already in the afternoon, I don’t like being on the streets after sunset” I replied. She laughed. “What?” I asked. “Since when? You and I went out for dinner all the time” she asked. I smiled. “Its a rule I’m giving myself. I don’t want to be on the streets after sunset. Its not good for the babies” I explained. She laughed some more. “Oh wow! That’s an amazing rule you have there. Could you please go and bath? We’re going out” she insisted. “So my rule doesn’t matter to you?” I asked, and she shook her head. “At least not today. This rule has caught me off guard” she joked, and we laughed.. “On the real though, I have to start spending a lot of time indoors. You know, for safety sake” I said. “Yes, you’re right. I support that, but you can’t just change social rules alone, you need to involve us” she replied. “Us? Who is us?” I asked, getting out of bed. “Me, my man and Thando” she replied. My smile faded away. “I told you Thando wants nothing to do with me” I said.. “No man, Thando is just hurting. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. He will come around” she assured me. I wore my slippers and walked out of my room. Phila followed me to the bathroom.. “I’m not just saying that to make you feel better, I swear. Thando loves you” she said. “Shhhh!” I looked at her. “You can’t be talking about people loving me in this house” I added. “Why not?” she asked as I closed the bathroom door. “No, I just don’t like discussing such things here” I replied. She smiled. “What?” I asked. “Could it be that you don’t want Alex to know that you are capable of being with other men?” she giggled. I rolled my eyes at her, “stop it man”..

After bathing, we went back to my room where I got dressed while Phila made my bed. ” My friend, I’ve met a guy” I announced. “A guy? Who?” she looked at me. “His name is Bazukile. He’s a crazy guy, in a very funny way” I replied. . “Whoa! Whoa! Wait.. What do you mean you have met a guy?” she asked.. “Oh my God, you’ve met a guy?” she asked again. I laughed. “Not like that man, I just met someone” I replied. “O-kay, and then?” she asked. “Well, he is inviting me to a pool party he’s throwing this coming Friday” I replied. “A pool party? Are you for real? Wow, what are we waiting for? Let’s go bikini shopping” she excitedly responded. I laughed again. “No man, I turned him down” I said. “I don’t believe this” she gave me the “are you for real” look. “I’m pregnant, Phila. I can’t be attending pool parties” I replied. “Dude, you’re not sick. You’re just pregnant” she said. “You sound exactly like Bazukile” I looked down. “Really? Because what we’re saying is true. Its not like you will drink or anything” she replied. “Okay fine, I’ll come with” she said. I looked at her. “Are you serious?” I asked. “Yes, why not? You need to go out and meet new people.” she replied. “But I have already declined, and we decided to do lunch instead” I said. “Well, call him and tell him you change your mind hey” she ordered. “No, I don’t want to” I replied. She rolled her eyes. “You’re such a party pooper” she said and i laughed, trying to brush her off..

We went out, just the two of us. It was a nice chilled catch up session, where we were talking about a whole lot of stuff that is going on in our lives. We went to the movies and had dinner afterwards.. When we were done, Phila called Vuyani to pick us up and drive me home. He seemed rather annoyed. Vuyani is one character I still live to figure out. He was blowing hot and cold, both at the same time. One thing I picked up about him was that he couldn’t hide his emotions. He was bad at pretending, so you’d see if he was annoyed or angry, or sometimes even happy. He was that easy to read. Well stepped into the car and greeted .. He pulled the lowest of tones when he was greeting back. I decided to let him be.. “Thanks for picking us up, baby. Mandy and I decided to go out” Phila tried breaking the ice, but her man remained silent. “I wanted to invite you over to join us, but I didn’t want to ruin our girls’ night out,” she blabbed again, to which Vuyani paid no attention to, again. Phila cleared her throat. “So, Mandy.. Uhm, did you have a good time?” Phila turned to look at me. Honestly, silence would have done an amazing job, than the forced chats and small talks that Phila was so desperate to conduct. “I had a great time, thanks” I replied, trying to shut her up. “Yeah, me too. Their food is delicious” she said. “Mmhm. Very” I replied. “I should have bought takeaways for my love” she said.. As if her dry conversation wasn’t enough, she went ahead and blamed herself for Vuyani not joining us for dinner. She practically punished herself in his presence. It was sad. It was so unlike Phila to be that nervous.

At long last, we got home.. There was a big Black car, parked outside our house. Those cars I only got to see in those fancy movies. “Who’s car is this?” Phila asked. “Its probably Chukwudi’s friends” I replied, stepping out of the car. “Bye guys, thank you Vuyani” I said and walked away..

I was in no mood to face Chukwudi and his friends, so I was hoping I wouldn’t bump into anyone on my way to my room. When I walked in through the back door, Mama was making tea in the kitchen. “Oh you’re back. I’m so happy” Mama said. I smiled and nodded.. “I know you don’t like it when I roam the streets. Phila and I just went out for dinner” I explained. “Don’t worry, its okay. So you’re not hungry?” she asked. I shook my head, “I’m not hungry”.. I took a few steps away, and ” Woah, where are you going?” she asked. I looked at her. “To my room” I replied. “Oh, no. Come, let’s go to the living room and watch tv” she suggested. “Mama, I don’t want to hangout with Chukwudi and his friends” I declined. “What friends?” she asked. “The ones driving the car parked outside” I replied. “No, those are not Chukwudi’s friends. That’s your guest” she said. “My guest?” I asked. “Come and say hi” she walked to towards the living room and I followed. Like, who would drive a car that big and still visit a nobody like myself?

When i got to the living room, there was a man sitting on the single couch, busy pressing his phone. He looked at me and jumped off his seat the minute I walked in. “Sir, this is Mandy” Mama announced. He stared at me like he was searching for my soul.. I uncomfortably looked at mama. “Mama, what is going on?” I asked. The man continued to stare at me, and I could see a glitter of a tear, escaping his eye. “Mandy, this man says he is your father” Mama replied..

My father? A fancy man with a flashy big car? My father? While I was living on handouts and favours, I had a father like that? He knew he left a woman pregnant and never bothered to look back and see if his child was well taken care of. Mama looked really excited to have that man over, but I was far from excited. I was angry. I was mad. If it wasn’t for my pregnancy, that man was never going to show up in my life. All these years, he acted like I didn’t exist. That evening was my turn to play along and act like he didn’t exist. Without a word, I turned around and rushed out of the room..