Phila and Esona must have seen anger written all over my face. I could feel their eyes piercing through my skin. I looked at them..

“My friend, are you okay?”

Phia’s voice carried so much concern.

“I’m okay, thanks. I just received disturbing news”

“Would you guys like some privacy?”

Esona asked.

“No, its fine. Its really no big deal”

I assured her.

“Anyway, I need to go for a swim”

Phila announced..

“Whoa! Alcohol, weed and water? No, you can’t.”

“Why not? It’ll be fun”

“No, it won’t. You’re in no condition to swim. You will die in there”

Phila laughed.

“You’re so dramatic”

I think Esona is right. You can’t swim in that condition”

“What condition? Come on guys, you’re making it sound like I’m suffering from a chronic disease.”

“We’re only looking out for you. Please don’t be stubborn”

Phila sighed ..

“Okay, fine. Let’s get drunk then. I can’t sit on Bazukile’s bed the whole night”

Esona laughed.

“You’re right. Let’s go and have fun”

They got up and pulled each other out of the room.. I got up and went to lock up. When I was starting to doze off again, someone knocked on the door.

“Who is it??”

I yelled ..

“Its me, Bazukile”

I got up and went to open up. Drunk doesn’t even attempt to describe the state he was in. He couldn’t even stand straight.. I made way for him to walk in.. He walked in and threw himself on the bed. I only made sure that he had a blanket over his body, and I slept next to him.

Later, I got up at around 8am. I got up and went to wash my face. I got dressed and went to check what was going on in the house. Almost everyone was gone, except for two guys who passed out on the couch. They were snoring like nobody’s business. I took my phone and called Phila . Her phone rang until it reached voicemail. I hung up and tried again, and again, and again- until she picked up..

“Mmhm?”

She moaned..

“Phila, where are you?”

“I’m at Eso’s place”

“What are you doing at Eso’s place? Why did you leave with a stranger?”

“Mandy, calm down. I’m safe, what’s the big deal?”

“The big deal is that you left with a stranger. How irresponsible can you be?”

“Geez, I’m sorry mama. It won’t happen again”

She laughed..

“I see you think this is a joke”

“Cool off already, I’ll be there later so we can go home”

She hung up..

“Phila? Phila?”

I looked at my phone screen and discovered that she hung up on me.

“Mmmmhm, why the yelling?”

I turned to look at whoever was talking. It was one of those guys that were sleeping on the couches..

“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be loud”

He sat up.

“Its okay. I should be getting up anyway”

I took a few steps away, because I had nothing to say to him..

“I’m Sibulele by the way. Bazukile is my cousin brother”

I nodded.

“I’m Mandy”

“You’re Mandy? Westlife’s Mandy?”

I looked at him.

“Which one is that?”

He laughed.

“You don’t know Westlife?”

“What is a Westlife?”

He laughed even more..

“Mhhhmmm!”

The sleeping guy moaned, turning to face away. I covered my mouth with one hand.

“Sorry”

“Arg, don’t mind him. He should be up too”

I uncovered my mouth..

“So you really want to know about Westlife and Mandy?”

He looked at me.

“Yeah, but you don’t sound like you will tell me anyway”

He laughed.

“Westlife is a musical group, consisting of White okes. I once heard that they are gay, but I’m not sure whether that’s true or not”

“Oh, okay. So Mandy is a song?”

He nodded.

“A very beautiful song. You should Google it”

I nodded.

“Let me go and make myself a cup of coffee, before anything else. Want some?”

“Yes please”

He got up and we walked to the kitchen..

“Bazukile’s party was off the hook. Bazukile is a beast when it comes to throwing parties”

“Pity I can’t comment on that, because I didn’t really attend the party”

He gave me a blank stare.

“What?”

“I had an early night”

He laughed.

“You must be joking. You came all this way just to have an early night?”

I laughed ..

“I didn’t even want to come here. Bazukile convinced me to come”

I felt I needed to explain myself, but surely everyone had that question in mind .. He smiled.

“Don’t worry, I’m just pulling your leg. I know Bazukile forced you to come”

I laughed

“He didn’t force me. He convinced me”

“Fancy word, same meaning. Here”

He handed me my hot cup of coffee.

“Thank you”

“After this, I’ll have the energy to drive home”

“So last night was off the hook, huh?”

“Totally. He definitely needs to throw another one soon”.

“So he loves partying?”

“He’s a party animal. In fact, the whole squad is made up of party animals”

“Squad?”

He excitedly nodded.

“Yeah, its me, him, another lesbian friend of ours, two more of our cousins and his childhood best friend”

“Why does the squad revolve around him?”

He laughed.

“Because he picked everyone he wants to party with. So we all take turns in throwing parties. Esona is the only person who isn’t allowed to throw a party, because she’s lesbian and because we say so”

I laughed .

“That’s really not fair though”

He laughed too..

“I know. I guess Bazukile will never make peace with her sexuality”

“If you ask me, I think Bazukile is bullying the squad”

We laughed.

“If he has the financial means to bully us, then why not?”

The other guy walked in ..

“Hey guys”

He dragged himself over to the kettle. We greeted back.

“You’re up early. What’s up with you?”

He sounded so sleepy..

“We were having nightmares, so we woke up”

Sibulele replied.

“You’re annoying”

He poured himself a cup of hot water and made himself coffee. When they were done, they left.. I went to the lounge and watched TV. He had this big screen plasma TV up on his wall, and it was so fascinating to watch..

“Hey”

Bazukile greeted, as he dragged his feet into the room..

“Hi”

I looked at him..

“Yho! I feel like death”

I laughed.

“I can imagine. Sibulele says the party was off the hook”

He came to sit on the couch, next to me.

“It was, but now I’m dying”

I laughed again.

“I was looking for you. When I woke up to go and pee, you were not there”

“Oh, I decided to wake up. I can’t sleep the whole day”

“Mmhm”

He closed his eyes and faced the ceiling.

“I’m dying, Mandy”

“Hey, why don’t you drink water? I am sure it will help”

“Please bring me a glass”

I got up and went to the kitchen, to get him a glass of water. When I got back, he was sleeping on the couch..

“Here’s your water”

He opened his eyes and took the glass..

“Is this tap water?”

“No man, I took it from the fridge”

He took the glass and downed the water at one go. Someone rang the door bell..

“Will you please get that?”

“Sure”

I went to open.. A bouncy lady, wearing gym clothes was standing there, carrying a shopping bag. Her smile faded away when she saw me..

“Hi”

She coldly greeted.

“Hi”

I greeted back.

“Is Bazu around?”

I nodded, making way for her to walk in..

“Lindi, hey”

Bazukile sat up..

“Hey, sleepy head. I brought you hangover remedies. Just the way you like them”

She went to sit next to her..

“Thank you, you are such a lifesaver”

“Uhm, I better get going”

I uncomfortably said. The happy look on Bazukile’s face gave it all away.

“Oh”

He looked at me..

“You’re leaving? I thought you’d stick around for a while”

I shook my head..

“Nah, I want to leave”

“Uh, okay. Let me take you home then”

I went to his room and took my stuff. When I got back to the lounge, Bazukile and that woman were giggling like love sick teenagers. She was even feeding him chicken wings and he seemed to enjoy it. I cleared my throat. They both looked at me..

“Oh, you’re ready?”

He got up.

“Yes”

“Let’s go. Lindi, I’ll see you when I get back”

I walked out and he followed . We got to the car and drove off.

“Where is Phila?”

“She’s at Esona’s place. She left with her”

He laughed.

“Wow. Eso doesn’t waste time hey”

I remained silent..

“Anyway, did you enjoy yourself?”

“Yes, I did”

“Okay, good. I’m glad you came. Aren’t you hungry?”

I shook my head.

“Baby, are you okay?”

“I’m fine. Why wouldn’t I be?”

I looked at him.

“I don’t know. You seem a little… oh no, is it because of Lindi?”

I remained silent.

“No, Lindi is my ex. She used to work with my cousin before she started her own company. We broke up a couple of months ago, but we’re still friends”

“You really didn’t have to explain. You are allowed to live your life just the way you want to”

My phone rang, it was Sibysiso, calling. I ignored him.

“I feel I need to explain because you don’t look happy”

“Its okay, really”

We got home. Sibusiso’s car was parked outside.

“Arg, what’s up with these people? Why can’t they just leave me the hell alone?”

“Who?”

“These idiots”

I pointed at Sibusiso’s car.

“First a text from one jerk, and now this? Gosh, these people”

“Let’s deal with them”

“Uh, no. I will deal with them myself”

He looked at me..

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, I’m sure”

“Can’t I just wait and see how you deal with this Sibusiso guy?”

“No, I will be fine”

“Okay, I will call you then”

I stepped out of the car and he drove off. Just as I walked towards our gate, Mr Nkomo stepped out of Sibusiso’s car..

“So its true??”

He shouted as he walked up to me.. I turned to look at him..

“That you’re sleeping around. How could you do that while you’re still pregnant?”

“Sir, if you’ll excuse me. I’m really not in the mood”

“No grandchildren of mine will be born into this kind of lifestyle. You’re coming with us. I want to keep an eye on you and your behaviour”

He grabbed my arm..

“Let go of me”

“Why? So you could find another bed to jump into?” No ways”

He dragged me to Sibusiso’s car and shoved me in.. Sibusiso was in there dead silent.

“Let me go, you can’t take me away without my permission”

“Permission my foot. I’ve been calling you, and you’ve been ignoring my calls. Do these Nigerians of yours even know what you’re doing with all these men?”

Sibusiso was a real jerk. .

“Mandiphumle, we’ve been watching you for a while now. We can’t allow you to put these children at risk like this. This is all our fault, I don’t know why we trusted a reckless teenager to be on her best behaviour. Don’t worry though, we will get your life back on track”…