I decided to keep calm around him, because he was already in a state, and I didn’t want to frustrate him even further.
“Look, I love you so much. I know people will tell you a lot of things as you grow up and start asking questions, but you should never doubt my love for you.
He nodded. We sat there for a while, in silence. It almost felt like I was listening to his heartbeat. My phone rang, and I ignored it for a while, hoping that whoever it was would leave me alone- but it just wouldn’t stop ringing, so I had to break loose from him and pick it up. It was Sibusiso’s father. I didn’t pick up. Talking to him was only going to add more to my stress.
“Tell you what? Let’s go out for ice cream”
I suggested. He smiled.
“Let me run you a bath, then we’ll go out”
I walked out, to the bathroom and ran him a hot bath. After bathing, he got dressed while I was cleaning up around the room.
“Mama, is Uyingelosi going to stay with us too?”
I looked at him.
“You want her to come and stay with us?”
He shrugged his shoulders.
“I don’t think she wants to”
I looked back at what I was doing.
“Maybe she wants to stay with Dad”
“So when are we going to and take my clothes?”
“I’ll go and take them myself. You will stay here with Makhulu”
“Okay. Please don’t forget my ball, and my bicycle”
“Bicycle? I won’t be able to carry a bicycle”
“Oh, wait.. I’ll see if Uncle Alex is going to take me or not. If he is not taking me, then I won’t be able to carry a bicycle”
“Thank you. Let me go and talk to him just now”
I walked out. Aunt Veronica was watching TV with Junior.
“Is Alex still around?”
She looked at me.
“Is Alex still around?”
I asked again.
She asked too. Arg! I went to Alex’s room and knocked on the door. He came to open. He looked very shocked to see me standing there.
“Hi. Uhm, sorry to knock on your door like this, I just wanted to know if you’re still giving me a lift? I also want to go and fetch Uyinnkwenkwezi’s belongings”
“Belongings? Why? Is he moving in?”
“Sort of. He is just not in a good space at the moment, so I want him to stay here for a while”
I replied. He nodded.
“I see. And Angel?”
“Angel left with her Dad”
He nodded again.
“Okay. Sure, I will take you there”
“Thanks. Uyinkwenkwezi is asking me to bring his bicycle as well, and I will never be able to carry it if I will use public transport”
“I understand. Give me a few minutes to get ready”
I walked away. Aunt Veronica gave me nasty looks as I walked past the living room. I honestly didn’t know how to deal with her, so I decided to avoid her. When I got to my room, my little prince was already waiting for me, looking all sorts of nervous.
“What did he say?”
“He will take me, so I will bring your bicycle”
He jumped up and down and I smiled. I wanted to leave him with Aunt Veronica, but I feared him being illtreated, so I decided to take him with.
“Since uncle Alex will be driving me there, you might as well also come with”
I could see excitement written all over his face. I knew I still needed to dig deep, and find out why exactly my son was feeling unloved like that, but I didn’t want to put pressure on him. I wanted him to settle down first, and trust me enough to talk to me about anything.
“Is Junior also coming with?”
“I don’t think so. Junior is still a baby, and he will need extra care, and I will be busy”
“But if his father wants him to tag along, then he will”
“Come, let’s go and watch TV in the meantime”
I suggested, and he ran off. I decided to wait for Alex in my room. After a while, he came knocking on my door, shouting “Mandy, we can go” from outside. I grabbed my handbag and opened up for him.
“Okay, we can go”
I said, walking out of my room and closing my door behind me.
“Let me go and call Uyi”
“You’ll find me in the car”
I rushed to the living room, shouting “Uyiiii”.. “Ma??” he responded.
“Come baby, let’s go”
I got to the living room.
“Okay Mama, let’s go”
“Go and wait in the car with Uncle Alex”
He ran off.
“Uhm, Alex is taking me to my mom”s house. We will be back in no time”
I told her, folding my arms.
She responded, with her eyes glued on the TV screen.
I walked out.. I got to the car, and Alex drove off.
“Aunt Veronica, my goodness”
I sighed in defeat.
“I don’t even know how to handle her.Its really going to be difficult to act like everything is okay between us”
“Let’s talk about this later”
He took a glance at me, and then looked at the road ahead.
“Yeah. I agree”
“Its going to be a very long day, and I am not sure if I have the energy for it”
“You’ll be fine man, you’ll see”
“Thanks Alex, for everything”
“Don’t mention it”
We got to my hood.
“Let’s start at my mom’s”
“Okay, please give me directions”
I did as he requested. When we got there, there was an old White Toyota Tazz, parked outside, and three toddlers playing outside.
“What’s going on?”
Alex asked, as he parked behind the car.
“Your guess is as good as mine. Baby, please stay in the car with uncle Alex. I’ll be right back”
I turned to look at Uyinkwenkwezi.
“I’m coming with you”
Alex said. I looked at him.
“You don’t know what’s going on in there. You need me next to you”
“So am I going to stay in the car alone?”
“Yes baby, I’ll lock up. We won’t be long”
I opened the door and stepped out of the car. Alex stepped out too, and locked the car.
“Will you do the talking or should I?”
He asked as we walked in..
“I will do the talking”
We got to the front door and he knocked. The toddlers were running around, screaming and mumbling around us and Alex kept looking at them with great admiration.
A little girl greeted as she came to check who was on the door. She looked eleven years of age, if not twelve.
“Hi baby. Is anyone home?”
She looked back inside, and looked at me again.
“Mom is here”
“Can I have a word with her?”
“No, you can’t”
She replied. Alex and I looked at each other.
“Uh, why not?”
“she… She’s in bed”
“Okay, please wake her up. I really need to speak to her”
“She can’t wake up”
“What do you mean she can’t wake up?”
She looked down.
‘What’s wrong with her?”
The little girl replied.
“Can we see her?”
She led us to her mother’s bedroom. The smell as you enter her room makes it so difficult to beathe. The curtains were still closed and there was a bucket filled with fieces right next to her bed.
“There she is”
The girl pointed at her mother, who looked almost lifeless.
“Okay, uhm.. Why don’t you open the windows and curtains?”
“She doesn’t want me to walk in her”
The little girl replied.
“Who else do you live with?”
I asked, as I walked into the room and heading straight for the windows to open them, while Alex and the girl stood by the door.
“My father,sister and her kids”
“Where are the others?”
I asked again, standing by the woman’s bed.
“My father is at work, but he always comes home late and drunk. Sis’ Olwethu is never home. She likes partying and going out with her friends. She leaves her tripplets with me”
The little girl explained, and I listened as I pciked the bucket up..
“Oh, I hear you. Where can I empty this?”
“Come, I’ll show you”
She walked away and I followed her.
“Mama will not like it when she wakes up and finds you in her room”
“But I really need to speak to someone”
“You can speak to me”
She said. We got to the bathroom and I emptied the bucket.
“I can’t speak to you”
“Its an adult matter, and you are a child”
I replied, filling the bucket with water and leaving it in the bathroom, while taking another clean bucket back to the woman’s room.
“But Mama is sick, so you can’t talk to her, and Tata is always drunk when he gets home”
“Can I have your father’s number?”
“My father doesn’t have a phone”
“And your sister’s number?”
Sis Olwethu changes her numbers all the time”
She shrugged her shoulders. Alex was standing next to the woman’s bed, looking at her.
“Has she been taking any medication?”
Alex asked the girl..
“No, she hasn’t been taking any medication. Tata says she will die anyway”
“Mandy, can I have a word with you?”
He walked out and I followed him.
“Are you going to kick these people out?”
“I don’t know what to do anymore. I need the house, but how can I kick these people out?”
“You can’t. Please, you can’t..God will never forgive you”