I bumped into Thoko as I ran to my room. I was having a very bad day, or make that a bad life. She ran after me, but I shut her out of my room. I didn’t want to talk to her. I locked myself up, and paced up and down, deeply shaken by Daddy’s words. So they were going to send me back to Sibusiso’s father, with my kids. There was no way I could go back there. I hated those people with my entire existence, besides, Sibusiso’s wife was going to make our lives a living hell. I only had one option, to marry Bazukile. He was a jerk, yes, but he was way better than Sibusiso. I had to act fast, before they send me back there to be victimized by those people again. I took my phone and called him. 

“My love”

He picked up.

“We have a problem”

I was still pacing up and down on panic mode.

“What is it?”

He asked, with a voice that carried so much concern. 

“These people are planning to throw me out”

“What? Why?”

I sat on my bed. 

“Mandy, open up. Its me!”

Thoko yelled from outside. 

“Baby, what’s going on? Who is shouting at the background?”

I sighed. 

“They are chasing me away, because I am marrying you”

“That’s bull. You have every right to marry whoever you want to marry”

“They think I’m trouble and I will influence their daughter. I feel so insulted”

“Baby, should I come and pick you up? Those people are judgemental stuck up cows. They think we are in Jerusalem or something”

“You can’t come here now, you will make things worse”

“How? They are already throwing you out. Isn’t that worse enough?”

I sighed again. 

“Baby, where will you go if I don’t pick you up?”

“They will send me back to Sibusiso’s father. I can’t stay there again, not after everything that has happened between us”

“Exactly, you can’t go back there. I will come and pick you up”

“Bazukile..”

He cut me short.

“No, baby. I am coming. You can’t stay with people who don’t know your worth. You are my wife, I have to look after you”

Bazukile never took “no” for an answer, so I knew he was really going to come and fetch me, whether I stopped him or not. I went to take a shower, and changed into something more comfortable, and clean. I wore a pair of denim shorts, with a White T-shirt and a pair of flip flops. When I was done, I stood by my window. The view wasn’t really as beautiful as the one I woke up to, at Alex’s place, but it was better than nothing. Nature was my therapy. Someone knocked on my door, as I stood by the window, consumed by thoughts that ripped my spirit apart. I snapped out of it and went to check who it was. It was Mommy, standing there, with sorrow written all over her face. 

“Uh, honey..”

She swallowed.

“Uh, could you join us in the living room for a minute? We would like to have a word with you”

She sounded so down. 

“Okay, after you”

I nodded. She walked away and I followed. We got to the living room. Sibusiso and his father were there, looking all sorts of furious. I greeted, standing by the entrance. They both looked at me, with disgust written all over their faces. 

“Sit down”

Daddy ordered. I went to sit on the single couch. 

“I have called my brother over, to tell him about your life changing decision, and to also ask them to take you with, when they are leaving”

He explained, with no care in the world. I nodded. 

“Mandiphumle, why are you throwing your life away like this?”

Sibusiso’s father asked. 

“Do you even know this boy that you’re committing yourself to?”

“She says she loves him, and that she wants to spend the rest of her life with him, whether she knows him or not”

Daddy replied.

“That’s not really what she said”

Mommy opposed.

“But that’s what she meant”

Daddy looked at her, and she kept quiet. 

“Mandiphumle, you are so young for this. You are not ready for this kind of commitment”

Sibusiso’s father begged.

“This child is trouble. I can’t stay with her anymore. She lies about everything, and I can’t trust her around my kids”

I looked down.

“Can you believe that she escaped from hospital and cooked up a stupid story with her boyfriend? She brought a boy into my house. She disrespected me by expecting me to stop everything and listen to that boy, making it clear to me how stupid Mandiphumle is. I’m sorry, but she needs to go”

I looked at Daddy as he shifted on his seat, indicating irritability. 

“In everything that she does, my kids are coming home with me. She will not drag my kids into her messy life”

I looked at Sibusiso.

“Mandiphumle is coming home with us and the kids”

Sibusiso’s father replied, and I turned to look at him. 

“I don’t care where she goes, as long as she leaves”

Daddy said, and I looked at him in disbelief. Yes, I was a mess of a child, but to show me that kind of hatred? Did he ever stop to think about how hurtful his words were?

“Daddy please”

Mommy tried calming him down, looking at me with eyes filled with sorrow. I could not maintain eye contact, so I looked away. 

“Brother, I’m sorry that we exposed you to this..”

Sibusiso’s father pointed at me as he uttered those words. 

“Its okay, brother. I want you to understand that we were only trying to help, but now that she is behaving like this, we will have to let her go, before she influences Trevor and Thoko”

Daddy explained calmly.

“We understand perfectly, we can’t expect you to keep up with this”

Sibusiso’s father pointed at me again as he said that. Trevor walked into the living room, to quickly greet and report that he was leaving. After that, he walked out. 

“Mandiphumle, go and pack your stuff, we are leaving”

Sibusiso’s father ordered.

“I’ll pack for the kids”

Mommy offered, getting up. She followed me as I made our way out of the living room. 

“Dad, I found this guy at the gate, and he insisted on getting in even though I told him it was not a good idea”

Trevor explained as he walked in. Mommy and I turned to look at who it was. My heart pounded harder as I realized that it was Bazukile.

“What are you doing here?”

Daddy angrily asked. 

“I’m here to protect the love of my life from you guys”

He threw his hand in the air, using it to point at everyone. 

“Get out of my house!”

Daddy got up. Sibusiso’s father got up too. 

“Boy, you are being disrespectful and we will not tolerate that”

He said. 

“I’m being disrespectful? Hey, I am here to protect Mandiphumle from you all. This poor girl has been put through a lot, by this bastard who takes pride in robbing a little girl off her innocence and turning her into a single mother, at the age of eighteen. Instead of supporting her and taking her emotional burden off, you add to her already overflowing cup of misery by raising your expectations about the kind of person she has to be. Mandiphumle lost her mother, and she had to try and keep it together for her brother. As if that was not enough, she meets this piece of .. piece of .. she meets this man and he turns her into a mother. On top of everything that she is going through, she is still expected to be a good mother to her kids. Yes, in theory, every mother is expected to be a good mother to her kids, but sometimes life has other plans. She never chose any of these events that I’ve mentioned, to happen to her. Why are you always ready to paint her Black? How many of you ever ask her how she is coping with everything that has happened to her? How many of you really know how she feels about everything? Do you ever talk to her? No, all you do is to remind her how much of a bad person person she is. I am here, to tell you all that Mandiphumle is coming home with me. You will not deny her this chance to be happy, for once, in a very long time. I am willing to pay whatever amount that you ask of me, even though I know very well that you don’t deserve a cent from me”