It took a whole lot of hard work for me to get to the point I was in, with all the obstacles that kept clouding my way. Therefore, there was no way I was going to let Bazukile to drag me back into that pit of shame. I had to fight so hard for my mental health. 

“Mandy, are you even listening to me?”

“Yes, I am listening to you. I have been listening to you for a while now, and I am honestly so tired of listening to you”

He took a glance at me, and then looked back at the road ahead. 

“What are you talking about?”

He asked, with a voice that carried confusion.

“Look, I will not get any involved in your dirty business, more than I already am. I am not using your money because I want to keep my conscience clean from this whole thing”

I explained. He took a sigh.

“Please don’t complicate this. I really don’t have the energy for that right now”

I decided to keep quiet and look out the window.

“Mandy, why must you always complicate things? You know what you need to do, but you keep giving me a hard time everytime I try and convince you to do what’s expected of you”

“See, that’s just the thing”

I freaked out.

“That’s just the thing with you. I can’y just be myself and do as I please. I always have to do things by the book. I am sick of living in fear of pissing the big guy off. In fact, I want a life that does not feature you and your big guy”

“What?”

He stopped the car, right in the middle of the road and cars hooted loudly.

“What are you doing? There are babies in this car!”

I screamed.

“What did you just say?”

He yelled back. 

“Bazukile, you will get us killed. What are you doing?”

E started his car and pulled over to the side. Silence filled the car. I was trying to imagine what was going through his mind at that point in time. I knew he was scared, and I knew he was not scared of losing me, but was rather scared of how I would protect his secret if I break up with him. It was never about me. 

“Mandy, how could you say something like that?”

He asked, sounding so defeated.

“What do you want me to say? I want to cut ties with this satanic life that you are living”

“You know that’s not possible. Why are you being dramatic now?”

“I’m not being dramatic, I just don’t want to live this life anymore”

He sighed.

“Can we not do this in front of the kids?

He asked.

“You’re the one who brought this up, in front of the kids”

I replied. He silently started the car and drove off. 

W got to the mall and he wheeled the kids in their pram, while I walked besides him, holding the twins’ bag. We were not chatting. After an exhausting hour of shopping and him choosing all the outfits for the kids, he paid and we went to have brunch. While we waited for our orders, we fed the kids. I fed Uyingelosi and he fed Uyikwenkwezi. All of that was done silently. The only sound heard was that of the kids, blabbing and making cute baby sounds. Our order arrived while we were still feeding the babies, but we didn’t stop. When we were done, we both ate in silence. It was one exhausting date, but I didn’t want to fix whatever was was broken between us. 

“Mandy, can we please talk about this?”

“Not now, please. I don’t want us to cause a scene here”

I opposed.

“We won’t cause a scene, I promise”

He sounded so sincere. I sighed, rolling my eyes.

“Okay fine, let’s talk”
“I love you, please don’t destroy my dream of spending my forever with you. Please, I know sometimes I get carried away and forget that you are special and deserve to be treated as such. Please give me another chance to prove to you that we really belong together”

“Bazukile, this is not even about you. Okay? This is about me. I need to get out of this relationship, for my own sanity and peace of mind”

“What do you mean? I always try and make sure that you are well taken care of. Why would you need to be away from me for a peace of mind?”

“Bazukile, this is not about you. Its not about whether you treat me right or not”

“Well, I refuse to allow you to have this breakup that you are asking for”

He folded his arms, looking at me. I smiled.

“Oh, well. We’ll just have to see about that”

“Mandiphumle, don’t test me. Okay? You don’t want to see my other side”

He warned, pointing at me. I looked around, to see if there was anyone looking.

“I have seen all your sides. There is nothing about you that would shock me more than the fact that you are a serial killer”

“Shhh! Keep it down”

He whispered.

“What? Truth hurts?”

“Look, what you are doing is very dangerous. Stop, before anyone gets hurt”

“I don’t care. Kill me if you have to. I am done living this life. I am tired of all the nightmares and sleepless nights. I am done with all the guilt that I am carrying around”

“You are not the one doing all the killing, why are you being dramatic about this?”

I pulled my chair back and got up. 

“I think its time for me to go home now. I will call Mommy to come and pick me up”

“Mandiphumle, grow up. Please. I brought you here, and I will take you back home”

“Why? So you could kill me and my kids? I mean, you said so yourself that this is dangerous”

I picked the restless Uyinkwenkwezi up and gently rubbed his back with my hand, while carefully resting his body on my arm.

“You are really pushing me, and I don’t want to do what you are pushing me to do”

“Do what you have to do. I am tired of staying in this relationship because I am scared o being killed or hurt by you heartless people. Malusi made it clear to me that you guys are capable of killing me and my family. Guess what? I am ready”

I took my phone from the table, with the hand I was using to rub Uyinkwenkwezi, and called Mommy. 

“Mandy, what are you doing?”

He got up and tried to grab my phone, but he failed. 

“What are you trying to do?”

I asked, looking at him.

“Who are you calling?”

“I’m calling Mommy, didn’t I tell you that I was going to ask her to pick us up? Or are you scared I’d call the cops?”

“Mandiphumle, you are playing with fire”

He sat down as I made the call. 

“Honey?”

“Mommy, uhm, could you please come and pick us up? Something happened and we really need to get home”

“What happened? Is everything okay? Are the kids okay?”

Mommy started panicking, but I tried calming her down. I told her exactly where we were, and she promised to be there in a few minutes’ time. When I was done on the phone, I put Uyinkwenkwezi down, and sat down too.

“So this is really happening? You are really breaking up with me over nothing?”

I nodded. If all my pain was nothing to him, then so be it. We sat in silence for a while, with him staring at me like he was searching for my soul. After a few minutes, Mommy called and told me she was parking. 

“Mommy is here”

I announced.

“So are you expecting me to go? No, I am going nowhere”

“Do what makes you happy”

“Mandiphumle, you are not going to break up with me. Save yourself from all this, and stop this nonsense”

“Bazukile, leave me alone. My mind is made up. Kill me if you have to”

I felt a burning sensation in my chest as I said that. I knew I was sending out a raw challenge to that monster, and I somehow did not care. While we were still arguing, Mommy appeared from the restaurant entrance, looking around and I lifted my hand to grab her attention. She walked up to us. Her smile faded away as she noticed that things were a little sour between Bazukile and I. She got to us and greeted, and we both greeted back. 

“What’s going on?”

She asked. 

“I called you over, because the twins and I needed to get home”

She looked at Bazukile, obviously wondering why he wasn’t driving us home.

“She insisted on calling you. I really don’t know what has gotten into her. We were chatting peacefully, and the next thing I knew, she wanted to end our relationship”

I looked at him.

“Really? So you really don’t know why I am breaking up with you?”

I asked, feeling pumped up .He looked at me, clearly not sure how to reply to that, because he could see that I was ready to spill the beans. He cleared his throat.

“Look, let me not stand on your way then. I just hope you are sure about this”

He threw his hands in the air. 

“I don’t know what’s going here, but I can’t sit here and listen to this conversation. Can we go, Mandy?”

Mommy sounded really uncomfortable, it was sad. I got up.

“Yes, please”

“I’ll see you around”

Bazukile said, as I wheeled the babies away. We got to the car and drove off. Mommy was awkwardly silent. 

“Uhm, I’m sorry for making you do this. I had no other option”

“It’s okay”

She briefly replied. 

“I mean it, I am very sorry. I wouldn’t like to see you unhappy because of me, because I know it would not be easy for you to report the matter to Daddy, because you know he would kick me out. I know you would sacrifice your happiness for me, but I wouldn’t want to take advantage of that”

I spoke straight from the heart. 

“I wish you would open up to me and tell me what exactly is going on. I can see that something is going on, and it’s feasting on your happiness”

I felt a wave of relief over my shoulders. It was the moment I was always waiting for. I cleared my throat.

“Could you still pull over to the side? I will tell you everything”

I knew I might die, so I wanted at least one person to know what really happened in my life. I knew I wouldn’t rest in peace if nobody mourned my death in honesty and truth…