Growing up

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Chapter Thirteen

“Oh shit. Babalo is in trouble,” she says with big eyes and worry all over her face.

“I thought you didn’t care about him.”

“I’ve never said that. Just because I don’t want to be in a romantic relationship with him doesn’t mean I don’t care about him. And this is not the time to be talking about that. We have more important issues right now! Balo was busted and here we have a stuck of cash, drugs and a gun. These belong to him, now it’s time to make a plan! Either we give these to the cops and testify against him or we hide the briefcase and pretend to know nothing about it.”

“Turning against him is not an option. He would never turn his back against any of us. He would do whatever it takes to help us out!”

“That goes without a doubt, what do you have in mind?”

“I don’t know, but we have to hide the briefcase.” I reply, not sure if I understand what I am getting myself into.

“I have an idea... we should go to Zwide and burry the briefcase somewhere there. That’s the last place they’d look at.”

“No! Cops are probably everywhere, how do you think we’ll be able to carry a briefcase full of drugs from Summerstrand to Zwide?”

“What do you suggest? We can’t just sit here and do nothing. The cops are going to be here in no time. They will trace the call and WhatsApp messages. We’ll become suspects Aviwe, when they get here they have to find nothing!”

“I understand that, how about we hide the briefcase around the rag farm, nobody goes there. Then we will take it to Zwide after a week or so!”

“Now you’re talking,” she says and goes to her side of the room. I take the briefcase and put it in my black sports bag with books on top. Mongikazi puts her PC and books in her sports bag and then we go to the rag farm. On our way I hear Mongi saying:

“Things happen, hey?”

“Like?” I ask.

“Who would have known that now we’d be working together trying to save Babalo’s ass?”

“Tell me about it. We are supposed to hate each other. You are supposed to hate me for not loving you back the way you want me to; Balo is supposed to hate you and I am supposed to hate Balo.”

“Or I am supposed to hate Balo ’cause he is loved by someone I love, Balo is supposed to hate you ’cause I love you instead of him and you suppose to hate me ’cause your Prince charming loves me!”

“Keep on flattering yourself. And he is not my prince, he is my King”. We both laugh out loud.

“Maybe, instead of hating each other, we can love and care about each other because we are all connected. Deep down we care for each other! Look at me, I am busy risking my life for Balo and you spent a night in my arms. That says a lot right? What a polygamy!! Just imagine if Zuma’s wives were to fall in love with each other but still indulge Zuma. How cool can that be? So when Zuma is not around they simply eat each other! That wouldn’t be cheating.”

“You can think and talk rubbish when you want, you know?”

“Just think about it love!”

“I don’t have time to waste. Ok, we are here now, so what are we going to do now?”

“I am no thief, my love, which means I don’t know. Maybe we should start digging.”

We put down our bags and start digging with our bare hands. Digging a hole that can fit a briefcase takes us a long almost six hours. After burying the briefcase we cover it with grass and leaves. This is the stupidest and most dangerous thing I have ever done; I am not even sure of what exactly I am doing and what I am getting myself into, but at least I am not alone. I am with Mongikazi and I trust her.

Then we go to the computer labs for googling random stuff and Facebook. I personally find social media a waste of time. I only go to Facebook and Twitter when I am really bored. After 7:00pm we walk back to res and get there just in time for the news.

“Eziphambil kwezanamhlanje umfana oqikelelwa kumashumi amabini eminyaka ubudala ifunyanwe neziyobisi nezixhobo ezingekhomthethweni kwimoto ebiyiqeshe e airport" (headlines - a guy estimated to be 20 years old was caught with drugs and illegal weapons in the car he hired at the airport.)

That immediately catches our attention. We run and sit in front of the television without noticing each other! We both listen attentively.

They show Babalo’s face. He looks so calm and in control of the situation. I feel a side of my mouth curving, forming a smile. I giggle a little. The police say that the drugs were hidden inside the driver’s seat; Babalo took out the sponge and filled it with cocaine. The police go on saying that they couldn’t trace the call, his WhatsApp messages were all cleared and they couldn’t retrieve them. He concludes that the cocaine is worth R4 020 000.

After the news we go upstairs to our room.

“Don’t you think we should go to Nandipha first?” Mongi asks.

“You read my mind,” I say. I wink at her and as we are about to knock, Amanda opens the door.

“Oh look who is here! How are you Aviwe? You broke Nandi’s iPad then you went missing in action!” Amanda says.

“Is Nandi here?” I ask politely.

“So you not going to answer my question?”

“What do you want me to say?”

“Oh wow! You have nothing to say to us after everything we have done for you?”

“I am not in the mood for this and I don’t remember owing you shit!”

“Whatever guys, Amanda can we come in now?” says Mongi. When Amanda is about to respond Nandipa shows up. “Why are y’all standing at the door? I am so happy to see you, come here.” she gives me a hug “how are you? What have you been up to? Why haven’t you come on in? I want to hear about everything.” Nandipha says and then she leads the way to her side of the room. I go and sit on the chair next to the bed.

“So it’s like I don’t even exist.” Mongikazi complains.

Nandipha laughs and says: “There is nothing exciting about you doll, if you’d faint out of the blue when you see some handsome random guy I swear I’d be all over you.”

“That’s not funny at all,” says Mongi, sulking.

“Come and sit next to me. I’m sure you already know why our dear friend fainted last week and where the hell was she when we went to get her from the hospital? Viwe my friend please do tell,” says Nandipha folding her legs and looking at me with glowing eyes.

Nandi loves gossip and I think I need time to laugh so just I can take my mind off on what happened to Babalo I can do with some gossip, so I will have talk about the same Babalo who I am trying to keep out of my mind. Since Babalo came back in my life I haven’t seen happiness. Happiness is only an idea but in reality it’s a mess.

Since he was back I don’t remember a single day where I was genuinely happy, because the day we made love wasn’t what it was supposed to be. It wasn’t what I thought it was. I was making love and making a memory and he was passing time and making a mistake of his life.

This is not what I had in mind about the return of Babalo. I thought we would meet again and live happily ever after, it was just an idea after all. I have never told Babalo how I feel about him so I think it’s time to stop jumping to conclusions and face my demons. I am going to see him wherever he is and I am going to let him know how I feel.

I know he loves Mongi but he doesn’t know how I feel about him. He has no clue that I am in love with him. Instead of answering Nandi’s 20 questions I get lost in my mind; I go through each and every single event that took place since Babalo came back! Babalo brought nothing but trouble in my life. It hurts so bad to know that he is in love with someone else. Because of him I broke the law, I have cash, drugs and a gun hidden somewhere in the middle of nowhere. This criminal part makes me panic and I don’t think it’s a good idea to put my ass on the line like this. I have a child to think about. Vuyolwethu needs me, just because I don’t talk about her doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a special place in my heart. My Vuyo is my priority, I think it would be good for me to focus on that thought and stop being obsessed with Babalo! I came here to study so I can take care of myself, my baby and my guardian angels - the Mali family.

I am brought back to earth by Nandipha snapping her fingers in front of me, saying: “Hello welcome back on earth!”

I smile and brush her shoulder. “Geez, you love gossip.”

“Like hell I do. Tell us what happened - we have been patiently waiting for you, doll.”

“Well, it’s a long story. I will tell you everything when I am ready. Not today,” I try to explain.

“Come now,” she says with puppy eyes.

“I’m honestly not ready to talk about any of it, there is so much that has happened.”

“Whatever, I’ll be here whenever you are ready friend,” says Nandi trying to hide the disappointment in her eyes.

“Cool. Thank you guys, thank you for everything, I really appreciate it. And thank you for taking care of an iPad.”

“It’s no big deal, doll.... I mean you have the cheapest blackberry, so where on earth were you going to get this,” she says showing off her new iPad.

We all laugh. I tell her to worry. In a few years’ time I will have the most expensive phone. The conversation goes on and later she tells us to go change our clothes as we are going to have my welcome back party.

After an hour Mongi and I go to our room to change as instructed. When we get there, I throw myself on the bed. Mongi can see that I am troubled; she keeps asking what’s bothering me. I hear myself saying:

“I don’t feel right about not giving the briefcase to the police.”

“You don’t feel right about protecting Babalo?” Mongi says, sitting next to me.

“It’s not that, it’s just that if something was to go wrong I have so much to lose.”

“We all have something to lose, Aviwe.”

“You don’t understand, it’s different for me.”

“Tell me something I don’t know.”

“How do I know I can trust you?”

“Are you for real? You don’t trust me after everything we have been through? You don’t trust me after not saying a word to Nandipha about Babalo? Come on now.”

“I am Babalo’s Princess and I have a child.”

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