'I made a mistake, now I’m living with the consequences. I regret it, I really do. And I’m sorry.'
Regret. Regret. Regret. Life can be very unpredictable sometimes. One minute you are chilling with your fiancé, the next minute your alter ego is pointing a gun at him. When Lioness took over my body and emotions and shot Sizwe, I was left devastated. I woke up a day after that because of the tranquilizer T-bone shot me with and I am really grateful that he stopped me even though it didn’t undo the damage I had done.
When I told Luh and Lwah about it, Lwah got mad at me and didn’t speak to me for three full months. Lwandeka is my life line, my ride or die, my sister from another mother and my best friend. So having her ignore me for that period of time was torture. If there is someone who can hold a grudge, it’s definitely her. My brother didn’t even persuade her because she had every right to be mad. War broke out between The Lions and The Owls after the supposed death of Dark Eagle. But Lioness reigned supreme and conquered the war.
Well the Gods were against me and the universe had turned its back on me because, it turns out, I am pregnant. Yep you heard that right. A whole crime goddess is pregnant. I was actually two months pregnant when I shot Sizwe. Right now I am eight months pregnant and I am constantly sad because I am supposed to be going through this journey with my fiancé or ex fiancé. I used to laugh at Lwah’s emotions because I thought she was exaggerating but now I understand.
By the grace of God, he survived. Yes Sizwe survived. But has been lying unconscious at the hospital for six months. I honestly don’t know why he hasn’t woken up yet because the doctors said he is responding to the treatment. I shot him in the heart and it was damaged. As a result, he had to get a new heart. I worked day and night to get him a matching heart, killing people in the process, but I had to do it. I somehow think that he might have woke up but he doesn’t wanna get back to us, or me.
When he finally wakes up, I am not even praying that he gives us a chance. I am only praying that he forgives me for acting irrationally and making him miss the first stages of his babies’ live. Yeah, I am screwed. I am carrying twin boys. I am so huge that I barely go out. When I leave my house, it’s only because I am going to the mall or to the white house (the headquarters in Alberton) or when I am visiting my one year old niece. My brother has been so supportive of this pregnancy in such that he would even wake up during midnight to buy my cravings. Another person who has been very supportive is Squash, Sizwe’s right hand man. He has even crowned himself my babies’ godfather.
I told Sizwe’s family about the shooting and his mother swore that I would pay for taking her son away from her. As if she ever gave him love even when he was conscious. I don’t remember her calling him, not even once. Talk about pretending mothers. Babomdala and Sizwe’s father have been there for me and checking up on me from time to time. Aunt Thembelihle told me that I should stay put and wait for Sizwe. He is going to wake up and come back to his family. Let’s hope she is right.
Anyways, I dry my body and get dressed in a legging, a turtleneck, trench coat and slippers with fluffy socks. It’s Yamihle’s birth month, so it’s so cold. I would wear boots if my feet weren’t swollen. Her birthday is tomorrow. I already know that I will be wearing a long sleeved maxi dress with socks and sleepers. Sleepers are my favorite shoes right now. I comb my hair which is grown a bit, and it hides my tattoo, so these days I rarely wear wigs and hats.
I head downstairs and chuckle when I find T-bone and Squash preparing breakfast. The Lions and The Owls have somehow squashed their beef but they have been talking about us merging. They are waiting for Sizwe’s approval. According these both gangs, should they merge, they would probably be the biggest and most powerful gang in Africa.
Me: “what are you guys preparing?”
Squash: “toast with viennas, cheese, bacon, fried onions and tomatoes.”
Me: “my favorite.” I hate eggs. They make me nauseous. T-bone opens a chair for me and I sit down. “Well thank you Mr.” Squash hands me my plate and I start eating. “How are my cubs doing?”
You might think that I am crazy but I am after all The Lioness. I gotta live up to my name somehow. 5 months back I bought 4 cubs from the black market. Two lions and two lionesses. I also bought a farm house where they can live at freely. I do have high and secure fences so that there is no way that they will escape. I will probably illegally sell them to the zoo after 15 years or so.
I have created this strong bond with them. They probably know me as their friend. Before I was this heavily pregnant, I used to go to my house every day. To feed them and play with them. But since I am this huge, I only go to the house twice a week. I don’t want them to feel abandoned. They always go crazy when I visit them and they actually follow me everywhere. They are also used to T-bone, Squash and their care giver, Silimandlela.
I wanna use them when they are older for my enemies. I wanna live up to my name. Sure people are scared of me now because of my brutality but when they soon know that I feed those who double cross me or piss me off to my Lion’s Den, they will never go against me. I am also hoping that they get each other pregnant so that I can have a large pride. T-bone smiles, I am guessing he has good news for me.
T-bone: “Trity is 2 weeks pregnant. The vet came to do a check up on them and told me that.” I scream and cheer.
Me: “that’s the best news I have heard this week. How many cubs?”
Squash: “we don’t know yet but the vet is positive that it’s multiples.” I clap my hands cheerfully.
Me: “I am going to be a mother again. This is great news. When I am done eating, drive me to the Sthole mansion.”
T-bone: “sure boss. By the way, when are the older cubs coming?” I chuckle.
Me: “in 2 weeks’ time.”
Squash: “I am praying for a miracle that they at least wait for their father. I have a feeling that he is going to wake up this week.”
T-bone: “he owes me a new set of guns for saving his life while I was supposed to nurse my wound.” We laugh at him. The shooting is no longer a sensitive topic. We are gangsters, so this is our way of life. Crying and sulking over spilled milk is no use.
Squash: “I am sure he is grateful for what you did, and boss lady is the one who should pay since she is the one who caused the accident.” My eyes pop out dramatically.
Me: “hha, I have 6 cubs and another set of maybe twins or triplets coming. I don’t have money for stupid gifts.” They laugh.
Cleo: “you know for someone who is this close to being a billionaire, you’re stingy.” She says making her way to the kitchen. I roll my eyes and they laugh.
Me: “do you know how expensive it is to prepare for incoming and existing cubs? I mean I might as well be broke in 6 months because of the ones who will be living with me.” I finish eating and drink my green tea. Life sucks. Who would’ve thought that the queen of vodka would be drinking tea? When it comes to beverages, I prefer coffee. Tea is, I don’t know, too dull for me. But at least I found a brand that is better for me.
Squash: “nice life problems.” They laugh again. I stand up and he helps me down the chair. I take my bag.
Me: “I am ready, we can go now. On second thoughts, Squash lets go and leave the love birds together.” He laughs. Thabiso and Cleo have been dating ever since that day I found them shagging when I came back from Russia. What I love about their relationship is that it doesn’t interfere with work. “Just don’t make babies in my counter. I cook food there.” they all laugh.
T-bone: “we have enough cubs this year. No need to add.”
Me: “thank you.”
Squash and I head out and he drives me to Sandton. Well I am currently staying at Sizwe’s house and that’s where I had Londy and Dakota design the nursery. They are going to share a room and maybe they will have different rooms when they are older. You know how teens are like. We get home and drive inside. We head inside the house and as soon as Yamihle sees me, she runs towards me. Or she thinks she is running. She can walk now but her steps are not perfect. She gets to me and pulls my coat indicating that I should pick her up. Squash takes her and hands her to me.
Squash: “I think I should take my leave now.”
Me: “it’s fine and don’t worry, Luh will take me home.”
Squash: “sure boss lady.” He places the babies’ bag in the lounge and heads out. It’s like Yamihle was waiting for him to leave. She starts talking in her baby language, she is even moving her hands like she is demonstrating. Lwah comes quickly and takes her away from me.
Lwah: “you are going to hurt auntie. Do you want to harm your unborn brothers?” she frowns and become sad as if she is hearing her mother reprimanding her. Lwah turns to me. “Mara nawe uyahlupha. You shouldn’t carry her. She is heavy. What if she accidentally kicks your tummy?” I just laugh. She always overreacts and if it was up to her, I would be on bed rest.
Me: “rest skwiza, rest.” She rolls her eyes and leads me the TV room. We sit down on the couches.
Lwah: “have you eaten breakfast?”
Me: “yeah, Squash and T-bone are taking good care of me.”
Lwah: “if Squash wasn’t my brother’s right hand man, and T-bone wasn’t dating Cleo I would say they are applying to be the boys’ stepfathers.” I laugh.
Me: “how are the preparations for the party going?”
Lwah: “they are… no, no, no. I am not telling you. I don’t want you to get stressed. Londy and Dakota have it all under control. Now how do you feel about popping those big heads out?” I laugh again. The doctor told me that I will give birth naturally and I will only do a C-section if something goes wrong while giving birth.
Me: “I am fine. I ain’t scared. I have faced death head on so this is nothing to me.”
Lwah: “girl your alter ego leaves you at the labour ward door and you enter at the ward being the weak, vulnerable and real Thandeka Sithole. For me, Vuyo’s presence made the pain bearable. If Sizwe was to wake up today, would you let him be there for you and the boys?” I shake my head. I haven’t brought myself to visit him ever since he was admitted.
Me: “I am scared. Gosh I am so crazy, I am scared of a human but I ain’t scared of child birth. Something is definitely wrong with me.” she stands up and heads upstairs. Few moments later she comes back with Yamihle’s bag and her handbag.
Lwah: “stand up, we are going.”
Me: “to where?”
Lwah: “let’s go.” She hands me the bags and takes Yamihle and my babies’ bag. We head out and climb into her wedding gift right after she straps Yamihle in her car seat. She drives out and when I see that we are headed at the hospital my heart skips a beat. I shake my head with tears threatening to come out. “Today you are going to see him, even if you don’t speak, just see him. Plus he is recovering. It’s a bearable sight.”
We get to the hospital and head to his ward. We find Ma Nokukhanya inside and she comes to hug us. I didn’t even know she was in town. Then I remember that she said she will come when I am close to giving birth. I guess she is here for that but had to see her son first. She comes to hug us and then take Yamihle from Lwah. She seems fascinated by her hairstyle because she is pulling it. We laugh startling her, she just looks at us and continues playing with her granny’s hairstyle.
Khanyi: “how are you my baby?” she asks looking at me.
Me: “I am fine ma, I just feel like I am about to pop.” She laughs.
Lwah: “been there done that.” we laugh.
Khanyi: “when we leave here I am coming with you to Sizwe’s house. I wanna help you with everything. I figured since Lindiwe won’t come, I might as well be my boys’ favorite granny.” I just attack her with a hug while tears stream down my cheeks. Fuck pregnancy hormones.
Lwah: “I am so glad I recorded some of your crying moments.” I turn to her.
Me: “you wouldn’t dare.” She laughs.
Khanyi: “play nice girls.” Lwah heads towards the bed and holds Sizwe’s hand.
Lwah: “come back to us so that you can be a husband to your wife and a father to your sons.” She plants a kiss on his hand. “We will give you two some privacy. You will find us in the car.” I nod and they head out.
I go and sit on the chair. Already my feet are killing him. I look at this handsome man in front of me. He still looks the same, but the only difference is that he has tubes all over. His beard has grown. He is shirtless but I guess because it’s warm here, there is no need for him to wear a shirt. I study his tattoos carefully. I smile when I see Lwandeka, Londeka, Lwando and Lande writing just above his abdomen. My eyes nearly pop out when I see Thandeka Sithole written just below his chest. I can see that it is directly in the breast bone. His body is full of tattoos so I have never given myself time to study them.
I trace the tattoo with my index finger. I remove his tubes, perk his lips, and then place it back again. I place my head on his chest and just breathe in his natural scent. I get so comfortable in his chest that I even dose off. I am woken up by Lwandeka who has this silly smile plastered on her face. I stand up and stretch my hands.
Lwah: “pregnant women and their constant naps.” She shakes her head.
Me: “I got so comfortable in his chest. I didn’t even say something to him.”
Lwah: “unspoken words are always the best. Now let’s go. I am sure my nephews are hungry now.” I smile and we head out. She hooks her arm in mine. “So what do you wanna eat?”
Me: “seafood.” She gives me a disapproving look. She once heard that seafood is not good for pregnant women.
Lwah: “only for today.” I chuckle and we get to the car.
She drives to the mall and we get inside. Yoh the stares from people. It’s like it’s their first time seeing a pregnant woman. Well I do look like a hippo but they should keep their stares away from me. We get to the restaurant and order our lunch. We are so lucky that this restaurant is child friendly because whenever we are out with Yamihle, she always gets on top of the table and want to drink the sauces.
Most of the time, she never lets us eat in peace. Lwah places her on the seat the waiter gave her and Yamie being a drama queen that she is, she starts making huge noise with her hoarse voice. Well she is not crying but I think she is singing. People are busy smiling at her, if she was an ugly kid I am sure they would be frowning and giving us cold looks.
Khanyi: “this kid is drawing attention to us.” we laugh.
Lwah: “she is just like Londy.”
Khanyi: “if she didn’t have Luvuyo’s strong genes, we would’ve thought she was Londy’s child.”
We eat and when we are done, Lwah drives us to Sizwe’s house. Since I can’t drive, Khanyi will be driving us to the party but of course there will be security detail. We get there and find Nkosingiphile, the helper, already done with dinner. She is not a stay in cook so she always cook early. I introduce them to each other and then lead Khanyi to the guest bedroom. I then head to my room and finish the nap that I started in Sizwe’s ward.