​I would say that was an April Fools’ joke, but the confusion is that it was not the first day of April. How could  Bazukile even suggest that? I mean, his presence in my life was already destroying me, why would I agree to tie myself down with him for the rest of my life? That just didn’t make sense to me.

“You must be joking”

I said, fixing my sitting position.

“What do you mean?”

He asked, wearing a confused expression.

“I am unable to handle this, and now you are suggesting marriage. To me, that means you don’t take me seriously”

“Baby, you know I take you seriously. I love you, Mandiphumle. You are the only woman that I want to spend the rest of my life with. I can’t imagine my life with someone else”

He tried convincing me.

“Bazukile, you are not the type of man that I want to spend the rest of my life with”

Still, my choice of words could not give a vivid description of how torn apart my heart was. I could not freely express myself, and make him see that he really was not good for me. Words failed me.

“My love, think about it. You and I could build an empire together. We could raise our kids together, as one happy family. This could be a perfect opportunity for the twins to have and witness a setting of a stable home. Also, my daughter would now get the opportunity to stay with me and experience my love, instead o being raised by my mother. Think about it baby, I would also be able to make sure that you are doing everything in your power to cope with this. Together, we can make this work. I know this may come as a surprise for you, but I want you to think about it”

We talked about it for a while, and he begged me to at least give it a thought. Little did he know that I didn’t even want to entertain the thought, I already knew that I didn’t want to marry him, so there was nothing to think about. I obviously didn’t tell him that, I couldn’t.

“I love you, Mandiphumle. I want to spend the rest of my life with you and I mean every word”

I nodded as he kissed both my hands. Later, he left. As if my day couldn’t get any worse, the doctor announced he had booked me sessions with the hospital shrink. I really didn’t deserve that stress in my life at that point in time. I had to nothing to talk to the shrink about. Sitting there and wasting the poor shrink’s time didn’t seem right to me. I was not allowed to talk about what got me to that hospital.

“Doctor, I don’t need to speak to anyone”

“Miss Nkomo, we are doing this for you. You need this more than you think”

Miss Nkomo, Mommy and Daddy still insisted on using their last name when registering me in hospitals.

“I don’t need this, doctor. I just need to go home”

“You nearly committed suicide, Miss Nkomo. Surely there is a lot going on in your life that you need to talk about”

“Doctor, I don’t want to see anyone. I can handle everything that is going on in my life”

“I’m sorry, but I can’t take your word on this one”

“Okay, fine”

I looked away. Anything he said after that fell on deaf ears. I didn’t listen to anything he said after that. Later, the family came for a visit. Sibusiso and his father were there too. They all brought me something- food, gifts and all that.

“How are you feeling?”

Mommy asked.

“I’m fine, thanks, and you?”

“I’m fine. Have you seen the doctor yet?”

I nodded.

“Yes, I have”

“What did he say?”

She asked again.

“Uhm, he said I will be going home soon because I am doing well. He said I respond well to treatment too”

I couldn’t tell them that the stupid doctor suggested a silly shrink to listen to my problems. I couldn’t give them something to talk about. Mentioning the shrink to them would make them think that my situation had gotten worse. I didn’t want to attract any attention.

“That’s wonderful. Praise the Lord”

Daddy said, excitedly. I smiled widely, pretending that everything was okay.

“Look, I brought your phone. You must be really bored in here”

Thoko said, reaching for her pocket.

“Thank you Thoko, you are such a sweetheart”

I thanked her, taking the phone as she gave it to me.

“I even bought you airtime”

I smiled. Oh man!

“How can I ever thank you though?”

She blushed.

“That’s what sisters are for”

I smiled. My family was really the best in the whole world. The minute they left, I called Bazukile.

“My love”

He picked up.

“Bazukile, I have a problem”

“What is it?”

“The doctor wants me to see a shrink”

“What? Dammit. That’s the kind of trouble we don’t need”

“I know, I told him I don’t want to see anyone, but he is insisting that I should see someone. What am I supposed to tell them when they ask the reason behind my act?”

“You will not tell them anything. You are not going to talk to anyone about anything. You are not going to see the shrink”

“How am I going to get the doctor off my case?”

“I’m on my way”

“It’s late, no visitors are allowed at this time”

“I am coming”

He hung up. I could not tell my family about this, because they were going to encourage me to attend those sessions. Attending those sessions would mean I would be subjecting myself to being tricked into talking about the “big secret”. I couldn’t take that risk. I had to do everything in my power to make sure that my family remained safe and protected from the people I associated myself with. My family couldn’t pay for my sins. It was my mess, I had to clean it up myself.

As I was still grilling my inner self with questions on how to handle what I was faced with, Bazukile walked in.

“Bazuk…”

He placed his finger on his mouth, signaling that I should keep quiet. I pressed my lips together and looked at him.

“Get up. Let’s go”

He ordered.

“What’s going on?”

“Shhh! Get up”

“Is everything okay?”

The lady on the bed next to mine asked.

“Yes, everything is fine. I am here to see my fiancé, and they said I could see her for a few minutes”

Bazukile explained as I got up and wore my slippers.

The lady covered her head with her blanket and went back to sleep. Bazukile held my hand and we walked out. The whole ward was dead quiet because everyone was asleep, including the nurses. The lights were even off. The security guard, together with one nurse locked up as we walked out.

“There, we’re free”

He excitedly announced.

“How did you pull that one off?”

I looked at him.

“Ask no questions and you will hear no lies”

He took his jacket and hung it over my shoulders.

“Bazukile, how am I going to explain this at home?”

“I will think of something, relax your pretty mind”

We got to his car and he opened my door for me. I got in and he closed it.

“Would you like anything to eat?”

He asked as he got into the car and drove off.

“No, thanks”

I replied.

“We will get through this, I promise you. All you have to do is to trust me. I will get us out of this mess”

I didn’t believe him. None of his actions were about me. All he did for me was only for his safety. All the way, he was talking about how we should get married and live happily ever after. He was trying to sell me dreams, but I had no time to entertain that. We got to his place and he opened the door for me again.

“Welcome home, sweetheart”

He led the way as we walked in.

“This is only the beginning of greater things”

“Bazukile, you didn’t think this through. The nurses will call Mommy and tell her that I have disappeared”

He pointed at the couch, signaling that I should sit down.

“Relax, okay?”

“Stop telling me to relax, tell me what’s going on. What’s your plan?”

I asked as I threw myself on the couch. He came to sit next to me.

“Look, the nurse that closed for us will draw up a discharge sheet for you and deal with the doctors herself”

“How? How is she going to explain my discharge to my doctor?”

“I don’t know, okay? She will handle it. I’ve paid her enough to do a thorough job”

“My family will visit me tomorrow, how are we going to deal with that?”

“Mandiphumle I need time to think. Give me a break”

“Admit it, you didn’t think this through”

“Look”

He pointed at me.

“Shut the hell up. I am tired of your yapping. Your stupid questions won’t solve anything. Just shut up and give me time to think”

He got up and walked away.