After several attempts of trying to locate the heart, I finally found it. I was too scared to even look at the body. Images of her lifeless body, being teared apart still haunts me. I hate myself for ever agreeing to do that to another woman. 

“See? That wasn’t so hard now, was it?”

Malusi happily walked up to me and took the heart from my hand. My hands were covered in blood, blood of a woman who has been brutally killed by a man. That moment took me back to the day my hands were covered in my mother’s blood- my mother, who died in the hands of the man she thought would bring her happiness. If that wasn’t death enough for me, I don’t know what is. I stared into the open space for a while, with my mind having a heated argument with my heart about whether what I did was right or wrong. 

“Baby, come”

Bazukile helped me to get up. 

“Come, I will get you cleaned up.”

He helped me walk out of his room, to one of the spare rooms. I was still staring into the open space, with my eyes almost half open. 

“Take off your clothes”

I looked at him. His face was all sweaty, showing that he was beyond frustrated too. His eyes were blood Red, indicating how teared apart his soul was. We stared into each other’s eyes. I wanted to hold him and cry my heart out. I wanted to scream the throbbing pain away- but I remained standing there, looking straight into his eyes. 

“Mandy, Baby, I am really sorry. I don’t know how I can make it up to you. I don’t know how I could ever take the pain away. I am sorry Mandiphumle, I am really sorry”

Tears rolled down his cheeks. 

“You killed me, Bazukile. You have destroyed me”

More tears flew down his cheeks. He didn’t bother wiping them, because they were flowing out. 

“I know, baby. I know. Mandiphumle, I hate myself for what happened. I hate the fact that I could not protect you from Malusi”

I sniffed, taking a few steps backwards. 

“Mandy, please let me help you get cleaned up”

He came closer to me and held my hand, leading me into the shower. He took off my blood stained clothes, while I was just standing there, like a robot, moving to whichever direction he made me move to. I had disconnected from my body. I felt numb. He ran the shower water over my head, down to my toes. I closed my eyes, and images of that body vividly appeared in my head. I opened my eyes, but the water made it difficult for me to keep them open, so I closed them again, only to see that body again. I was tortured. Each breath I took felt like a million steps away from my happiness. He applied shower gel on my body, and gently scrubbed my body. I wished he was scrubbing the pain away. All that time, he was still dressed, even though his clothes were dripping wet because he was under the shower with me. When he felt I was clean enough, he took me out of the shower and wrapped a towel around my body. 

“Baby, I will bring you my shirt to wear, because you can’t wear these clothes again”

He ran off, still wearing wet clothes. I stood in front of that mirror and looked straight into my eyes. I couldn’t recognize the woman staring back at me. Her face looked like a glass that just got broken and got mended. Cracks of sorrow were clearly visible, even though she was wearing a straight face. Her eyes were cold, almost soulless. I didn’t know who I was looking at, but it wasn’t me. Again, I used every bit of strength within me to keep it together and not cry. It had happened, I had to keep it together, just until I find my way out of that place. Bazukile walked back into the room, with a towel wrapped around his waist area. 

“Here. Let me get your body soothed with this body moisturizing lotion, then get you dressed into this shirt”

He walked up to me, and did all of that. When he was done, he ran his hand from my forehead, all he way to the back of my head. He then planted a light kiss on my cheek.

“I love you, never forget that”

I felt my stomach turning when he said that. If he loved me as much as he said he did, he could have protected me from all of that. He could have told me the truth, from the word go, and give me an opportunity to choose whether I wanted to be a part of it or not. If he loved me as much as he said he did, he would have saved me from all the trauma. He knew what I went through, and he knew how I was still struggling to deal with everything that had happened to me, but he had the nerve of dragging me into a world that he knew for sure would destroy me. 

“Aren’t you hungry?”

He asked. Yes, I was hungry for my freedom and happiness. I was hungry for a peace of mind. 

“Mandy, I am talking to you”

I still stood there, ignoring him. 

“Guys, are you ready?”

Bazukile looked at Malusi as he walked in and stood by the door. 

“Ready for what?”

“We have to deliver the parts. I have done all the job, while you were playing happy nurse with your girlfriend”

“Malusi, don’t push me”

“I am just saying. You didn’t work hard enough, because you had to nurse your precious girlfriend”

“One more nasty word from you, and you will get what’s coming to you”

Bazukile pulled an authoritative voice.

“Fine, I am sorry. Just, please, get her ready. We have to go and deliver the body”

Bazukile looked at me. Verbally standing up for me meant nothing to me, because he failed to protect me from all that mess. 

“Baby, let’s go and do this delivery. When we get back, we will go out and do a bit of shopping for your new wardrobe”

“When am I going home?”

I asked, with a voice that carried loads of hopelessness.

“Home? Mandy, we talked about this. You can’t go home”

“Bazukile please”

“No, Mandy. You are not going home”

He walked away, denying me the chance to beg him and try to change his mind. Malusi walked out too, following after Bazukile. I knew I was expected to follow too, so I did. They carried the bag that clearly had the body parts. Bazukile was carrying the blood stained linen on his other hand. We got to the car and they put everything in the boot. 

“Let me quickly go and change”

He rushed back into the house, leaving me standing next to the car, with Malusi. 

“Baby girl, you have to toughen up. You are already in too deep, there is no way out”

I ignored him.

“You know, if you ever breathe a word about this to anyone, you will never live to see the next day. We would take you and chop your head off, and feed your breasts to the dogs. Your breasts are nice and round, any dog would love to have them for dinner. We would camp outside your family house, to kill and destroy each and every person who walks in or out of that house. We would take your daughter and bang her head against the wall, to smash her brains out, and slice her tiny little body for a popular poisonous potion. Your son…”

He giggled proudly.. 

“We would take your son and pull his penis until he dies. We would then take his tiny body and prepare a feast for our dogs. I will talk to Bazukile, for him to agree to let you go back home to your family, but remember my words”

He pulled my cheek and I backed away.

“Smile, I have brought you some good news. Look on the bright side, you will go back home and be with your family, plus, you will get your own cut from this job- just so you can pamper yourself and look after your kids. Soon, you will own a mansion and fancy cars too. Soon, you will rule this world. Just keep your eyes on the ball, and you will live your best life”