“Mandiphumle!” the man shouted behind me as I was rushing to my room. I could feel my insides turning. Hearing him calling my name sickened me to the core.. I turned around and rushed back to the lounge. He was still on his feet. “What did you just say?” I asked, standing by the room entrance. “Listen, can we sit down and talk?” he asked. “No, what did you just say? What did you just call me?” I asked and my voice was getting off trail. “I just called you by your name” he confusedly replied. “You called me by my name? Who told you my name? Huh? What do you know about my name?” I asked. “Uh, Mandy..” Mama called out. “What does this man know about my name?” I looked at Mama. “Please try and calm yourself down. Your father is here to talk to you” she said. “Mama, I don’t have a father. Okay? Stop entertaining hypocrites in your house. This man is not my father! I don’t have a father!” I broke into tears. “That’s what he wants you two to fix. Please hear him out” she begged. “I will not hear him out. I have nothing to say to him too” I replied. “Mandiphumle….” the man said, and I cut him short. “Hey!! Stop calling my name, okay? Just stop!! You don’t know why my mother gave me this name. You don’t know what she was going through. You have no right to use this name” I pointed at him. “Mandy” Mama stopped me, removing my finger from pointing at Desmond. “Mandy, calm down” she softly said. “I will not calm down, Mama. Please get this man out of here!” I replied. “He needs to talk to you, its important” she insisted. “Get him out of here. Throw him out if you have to” I walked away.

When I got to my room, tears were uncontrollably flooding down. That man made me sick. Even seeing his face nauseated me. After about 30 minutes of crying helplessly, sitting on my bed and covering my face with both hands, I decided to call Sibusiso. How could he give that bastard directions to my place without my permission? His phone rang once, and he picked up. “What do you want? Why are you calling my man in the middle of the night?” his wife exploded from the other side. I wasn’t thinking straight, I allowed my emotions to get the better of me. “Hey, you little slut. I’m asking!!” she yelled. Without a word, I hung up. I had no energy to argue. She tried calling me, but I ignored the call.

I then changed into my pyjamas and got into bed. That man’s visit contributed to my ongoing struggle against insomnia. Thoughts kept me up all night. That man was evil, no matter which way I looked at the situation. He was selfish and inconsiderate. I hated how he saw it fit to show up on my doorstep unannounced .. He disrespected me on so many levels and I had no room in my heart to forgive him. I had no room to even listen to what he had to say. I wanted nothing to do with him, and I meant him.

The following morning, my ringing phone woke me up. It was Sibusiso. I assumed it was still his wife, so I chose to ignore the call. An SMS came through, asking me to pick up and assuring me that it was the phone owner. When it rang again, I picked up. “Hello” I picked up. “Mandiphumle, what’s going on? Why did you call me last night?” he asked. “Look, if you’re calling me to ask me crap, I will hang up” I warned. “No, this is not crap, Mandiphumle. You know very well that my wife is still very sensitive, why are you worsening the situation?” he responded. I sighed. “Sibusiso, I wasn’t calling you because I wanted to. I was angry at what you did, and I wasn’t thinking straight” I explained. “Angry at what I have done? What have I done?” he asked. “Now you’re asking? How could you give that bastard my address without my permission?” I asked too. “Ooh, no man. It was dad’s idea. He thought it would make sense that you guys meet before Saturday, so you can sort things out” he replied. “Sort things out? Why didn’t any of you think of talking to me about it? Huh? What makes it okay for you guys to make life changing decisions on my behalf?” I could feel anger building up.. “Okay, I’m sorry. I should have informed you first” he said. “No, Sibusiso You should have asked for my permission. This is my life, I should be making the major decisions. I hate it when you do this” I said. “Okay Mandiphumle, I am sorry. I should have asked for your permission” he replied. “Good!” I said. “It won’t happen again. But Mandiphumle, what I did doesn’t give you the right to call me at night, knowing very well that my wife hates this whole thing” he said. “Whatever man” I replied. “Hey! Behave now. You can’t be a brat just because you’re pregnant. Life doesn’t revolve around you” he said. I knew he was just saying that to get to me because I wasn’t sorry for calling him. I was pregnant, life was all about me. That woman had to understand that. I was annoying, I know.

After the call, I got out of bed and made my way to the bathroom. I got there and brushed my teeth, washing my face too. When I was done, I went to the kitchen for breakfast. I was craving something oily, something dripping and wet.. I reckoned eggs and home made fries would do the trick. Mama walked in, as I was fixing myself my fatty breakfast. “Good morning” she greeted .. The tone of her voice was cold. “Good morning, mama” I greeted back. “How are you?” she asked. “I’m okay, and you?” I looked at her. “I’m good. Do you sleep well?” she asked. “I slept well, and you?” I responded. “I slept well too. About last night…” she said and I stopped her mid sentence. “Please, let’s not do this. I don’t want to talk about last night” I said. “Mandy, this is important. This is very important.” she insisted. “Mama, please. I don’t want to talk about that man. Can we not talk about him? Please” I begged. She remained silent. “Would you like something to eat?” I asked. “No, thanks” she replied. I continued making breakfast and ate, while she was sitting there, watching me. “So, how are the wedding preparations coming along?” I asked. “Alex’s father is arriving this afternoon. We will go to the healer that is believed to be capable of healing my son. Meanwhile, the girl’s family is ready for the negotiations. They said that they will not start the preparations before the negotiations” she replied. “Oh, wow. So when will the negotiations take place?” I asked. “There won’t be any negotiations taking place. My son will be healed and freed from this spell” she replied. I nodded. After making small talk for a while, she excused herself. I finished eating and did the dishes.

My phone rang, it was Bazukile. “Hello” I picked up.. “Hey beautiful. How are you?” he asked. “I’m good, and you?” I replied. “I’m good. Are you busy?” he asked. “Not really, I just finished doing the dishes. Why?” I replied. “I need your help” he said. “My help? On what?” I asked. “I’m going shopping, for the pool party. I need help in buying spices and herbs, and all those kinds of things” he said. I laughed. “Spices and herbs?” I asked. “For the meat, and also salad dressings and stuff” he replied. “Why me though?” I asked. “Because I want you to help me. Because you’re pregnant so you pay attention to anything food related. Because you’re beautiful and I want to be seen with you in public” he replied. I laughed. “You’re so dumb. Okay, I will help you” I said. “Great! I’m so excited. Thank you so much” he responded. “Its okay, don’t mention it” I said. “Great! I promise I’ll give you something great in return” he announced. I laughed. “Something like what?” I asked. “Se_x” he replied. I stopped laughing.. “What?” I asked. “Se_x. Because you’re pregnant, se_x should be all you think about” he replied. I cleared my throat. “Oh, no. Uhm, no man” I mumbled. “What? Se_x is natural. For a pregnant woman, se_x is important” he explained. “I don’t know. I haven’t had se_x since forever, so se_x isn’t that important to me” I replied. “Se_x is important, Mandy. You need to have as much se_x as you can, to relieve your stress and to relax your body, lubricating yourself in the process. Nurses will tell you this, you need to have se_x” he said. I remained silent. “Look at it this way; you and I will be good friends. We’ll have open communication lines and we will be there for each other. You will help me out when I need help with anything that has to do with the kitchen and all that, and I will allow you to use my body for all your se_xual needs. I’ll be your service provider, anytime you need me. We’re both single so we’re not cheating on anyone, we’re just two friends enjoying life together to the fullest. We can only decide on having something more than just friendship, after you have given birth. For now, use me as your se_x puppet for as long as you want” …