Bazukile and Malusi jumped off their seats.
“Mandy, stay here. We will be right back”

Seriously? Phila was my friend. All those people met Phila through me. How do they then put me aside and attend her problems without me? At what point will Bazukile ever consider my emotions? I looked at him in disbelief. Malusi and Esona rushed out and Bazukile was left behind. He walked up to me.

“Baby”

He held my hand and helped me up.

“Baby, you must be exhausted. How about you take a long, hot bath and rest?”

As if a along hot bath would take the pain away.

“Bazukile, I just want to go home. Please”

Words slipped through my teeth.

“Baby we talked about this”

I looked down. He lifted my chin with his index finger, and made me look at him.

“Hey, look at me”

He looked at me straight in the eye.

“I know this hurts. It hurts to me too. I promise you, we will get through this”

I looked down again.

“Baby please lighten up. Look on the bright side. We will spend a lot of time together”

I looked at him.

“I want to be with my kids. I need to be with my family. If you love me, you will let me go home”

His smile faded away.

“How could you say that? You know I love you. I have been with you trough thick and thin. You know I love you with all my heart”

I sighed. Maybe I had a different idea of what love is.

“I want to go home. I will not stay here. I will not torture myself by staying in this house”

Tears rolled down my cheeks. I did exactly what I promised myself that I wouldn’t do- I cried.

“Baby, you have to understand. You just joined a very dangerous life, you need to be here, with me. I can’t protect you if you are not here”

“Protect me from what???”

I screamed at the top of my voice.

“From these people. In no time, they will know that you exist, and what will happen next?”

“What people? Bazukile, I don’t care about all of that”

I freaked out, losing my mind.

“You should care, baby. This is a matter of life and death”

“Kill me. Okay? Go right ahead and kill me now. Save me from this whole misery and kill me”

I lifted my hands up in the air.

“Mandy please calm down”

“Don’t tell me to calm down. No, f*ck that!!”

He sat down.

“Look, you need to calm down. We are a team here. You can’t just freak out on me like this. I still have to sit you down and tell you everything.

“I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to hear anything. Kill me and get it over with!!!”

I was screaming at the top of my voice.

“Uuuh, am I interrupting something?”

Malusi asked, standing by the doorway.

“Malusi, please excuse us”

Bazukile said, getting up and walking up to me.

“Esona is freaking out, she needs us”

“My woman is freaking out too. Why must she be my first priority? Tell her that I am in the middle of something”

“Wow”

Malusi walked out, in disbelief.

“Baby”

He held both my hands and looked at me straight in the eye.

“Relax. Okay? I have got your back. I am doing this for you”

My phone rang, as I was still listening to the rubbish he was telling me. It was Mommy.

“Pick up, and tell her that you are with Phila”

“Mommy?”

I picked up.

“Honey, where are you?”

“I’m with Phila, we went out for movies”

Bazukile nodded in approval.

“Its getting late. Get home already”

I swallowed.

“Okay, I am on my way”

“Are you okay? You sound like you’ve been crying”

I cleared my throat.

“I’m fine. The movie we were watching was too emotional”

I lied through my teeth, and she believed me. We hung up.

“Bazukile, take me home, before my family starts looking for me”

“You are in no state to be with your family. They will pick up that something is wrong, and then what?”

I begged him, promising him to be a good girl and keeping my mouth shut. I begged that man with every fiber of my being, until he softened up. Finally, he agreed. Yes, he agreed to take me home.

“Mandiphumle, please keep it together. I am letting you go because you need to be with your kids”

I nodded.

“I trust you, please don’t disappoint me”

He pulled me closer and hugged me.

“I love you baby. Let’s not allow this to come between us. We make a great couple and I don’t want to lose that”

He kissed my forehead. I broke the hug and looked at him.

“I love you too. I am sorry for the tantrum I threw earlier”

I said, trying to get him to trust me even more.

He smiled.

“Its okay, my love. I understand this is all new to you. I promise you, you will get used to it”

My stomach turned.

“Let me get your clothes cleaned up, then I will take you home”

He held my hand and led me to the bedroom, where my clothes were pooled on the floor. He picked them up and went to his laundry room and threw them into his washing machine. I was standing there, watching him. While we were waiting for the clothes, he kissed me and I could tell that he wanted more than just a kiss. I was not ready for it, my body was not prepared.

“Bazukile”

I broke the kiss.

“Baby, come on”

He tried kissing me again, and I pulled away.

“Bazukile, please. I have two weeks old babies, I can’t be having sex”

I explained.

“Nothing is going to happen, I promise”

He tried kissing me again, but I pulled away.

“Bazukile, no”

I pulled a firm voice. He stared at me.

“Okay, fine”

He turned and faced away. I stood still, shaken by the fact that he expected us to get intimate, while my babies were still newborns. How selfish can one man be? I could not believe him. When my clothes were good and ready to be worn, he gave them to me, and walked out, leaving me there to change into my clothes. When I was done, I folded his shirt neatly and placed it into the laundry basket. I then walked out, and looked for him around the house. I found him out in his patio, having a heated mental debate.

“I’m ready”

I announced. He put his thoughts on hold, and turned to look at me.

“Oh, okay. Let’s go”

He signaled that I should lead the way. He was cold. He was not the Bazukile I knew and loved. I led the way out to his car and stood next to it, waiting for him to get there. He got there, and silently got into the car, leaving me standing outside. I got into the car too, and he drove off. Cold. Ice cold. I fastened my safety belt and folded my arms, looking at the road ahead and trying to avoid thoughts.

“Mandy”

He silently called out. I turned and looked at him.

“I’m sorry about what happened back in the house”

He said. Still though, he sounded cold. I could not find comfort in his words. The reason why I looked into his eyes, was to at least see if he meant it. His eyes were distant. He avoided eye contact and connection.

“You nearly raped me”

I whispered. Words could not come out, but I had to convey the message. He looked at me shortly, and then looked at the road ahead.

“It wasn’t that bad. I know I got carried away there for a second, but I promise it wasn’t that bad. I wasn’t that bad”

He defended himself. He denied taking responsibility of his actions. He destroyed another element of trust. He broke my heart into tinier pieces. He destroyed me.

“It was that bad. You were a different person. You were trying so hard not to be violent, but I could see it in your eyes. I could see violence in your eyes. You were a monster to me.

“I’m really sorry. I don’t know what came over me. I was a total jerk”

He reached for the back seat and took a bag from the seat. He placed the bag on my lap.

“Take that, I hope it makes you feel better”

He proudly suggested. Without paying much attention, I pulled the zip open. It was a bag full of money. My eyes popped out and I looked at him.

“Its yours”

He smiled proudly. Money. He threw money at my wound, with the hope that it would heal me..