Growing up

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Chapter Twenty Six

When I am done eating, Anna takes the tray and marches out of the door. I guess she is trained to be a soldier. “How was Anna treating you?” he asks and pulls a chair next to my bed.”Good. How long have I been here? I am a student in case you didn’t know. A person of my age is studying or is supposed to be studying,” I say, aggressively. He smiles and says. “You have been here for a month and few days and you won’t leave until you have fully recovered.””If you not going to kill me then why are you keeping me here? Why can’t you just let me go?””I could not just let you go Viwe, you were dying.”

“And whose fault was that?””I know I am to blame. Please give me a chance to makes things right; a chance to be a father you deserve.””Excuse me sir, what on earth are you taking about?” I ask, rudely. “Well, Don. You will never make up for what you did to me. And where on earth do you get that I am your daughter?””After I saw the birthmark, my father told me to do a DNA test and it came back positive. Where is your mother?””I don’t believe you.””I did not ask you to, I was just telling the truth.””Even if you are my father that means nothing to me.” I turn around and look to the other side. I hear a door closing and I guess he left. After a few minutes the door opens and closes again.“Hello, how are you doing today?“I turn around and see it’s the doctor. “I am fine thank you.””I am just going to do a final check-up and then you can go home.”

“Are you serious?” I ask in excitement.”Yes,” she checks my ears, eyes, scars and everything in between. “He is trying you know?” she says.

“Pardon?””Don. This is hard for him too; do you think finding that a person is your daughter after beating the living hell out of them is fun? Do you think not knowing your child for 18 years is fun? Come on Aviwe!””He is a monster.””He might be a monster but he is your father; for the record you wouldn’t been alive if it wasn’t for him.””Oh please. He tried to kill me.””You lost a lot of blood and then you needed a donor. He did not hesitate to give his blood. Luckily he was your match. He saved your life.””If it wasn’t for him I would be perfectly fine; I wouldn’t be here; I wouldn’t need life savers. Are you done here?””Yes I am done. I still think you have to give him a chance. Everyone deserves a second chance.””Please call Don for me on your way out.” She looks at me a little pissed and leaves.

Don comes in. “I hear you are ready to go,” he says leaning on the door frame.”Yes I am.””How are you feeling?””Perfect. Can I go now?””Of course, I have prepared your room upstairs.””What? I want to go to my own home!””This is your home now.””What? No! You and I are not family and we will never be! Even if you really are my father, you were absent in my life and I would love to keep it that way.””How could I be present in your life when I did not know you existed? Your mother never told me about you Aviwe, I did not know I had a daughter. I swear I would do everything for you, I will be the father you deserve. Just tell me what you want me to do.””You did not know you have a daughter because you don’t have one. I am not your daughter and I will never be. Don’t you dare mention my mother in this? You hijacked her and raped her in front of her husband. I am the child of rape. Now you call yourself a father? You have no shame. I don’t see myself calling you my father. What human being does the things you do? Do you think I will ever forgive you for hitting me? For tearing my flesh off my bones? For making my life a living hell? You know what they say: a child of rape produces another child of rape! Guess what? That’s true; I have my own child of rape, she is a beautiful baby girl. I was sexually molested and it’s all your fault. I was ill-treated by my family because when they looked at me they saw you: a monster that hi-jacked, beat and raped the woman. I wonder how you sleep at night; I wonder how you live with yourself. Do you think donating me blood takes away all the bad things you have done? All the pain you have caused me? Turning Babalo into a drug mule? Kidnapping and turning my best friend’s little sister into a serial killer? Do you thinking giving me your blood takes away all that? What kind of a monster are you? What happened to humanity? Where is your conscious? Do me a favour Don, if you really are my father. End my life because I cannot live with that. I never wanted to find you. Even if you let me live, you will never be a part of my life.” I shout the last words as I get out of the bed and making my way to the door.

He looks hurt, surprised, ashamed, sorry and confused. I can see that he is holding back tears. If he had no pride he would break down and cry, but he has been told that he is the great almighty Don; he cannot cry. “Aviwe, Aviwe!” he calls my name as I shut the door behind me.

I don’t know where to go. I go down the corridor hoping to meet someone I can ask. “Aviwe, Aviwe!” Don is coming after me. He then grabs me by my arm. “You are hurting me, let go of my arm!” I say pretending to be really hurting. He lets go of my arm.”I am sorry, I didn’t mean to.” I look at him and walk away.”Where are you going?”Home.” I turn around and look into his eyes. “I have a home; some random family came to my rescue. And that’s my family. My only family.” I turn around again and walk away, but he follows me. “Hear me out please? After that I will let you leave.””What?””Just listen for a few minutes, after that you’ll be free to do whatever you want, I will not stand in your way.””And if I don’t want to?””That’s also fine. I will let you go but I definitely cannot let you go in those clothes. I know I am a horrible person but I cannot let my daughter travel thousand miles in hospital clothes,” he smiles. I look at myself and giggle. He then bites his lower lip exactly the way I always bite mine. For the first time I notice how we actually look alike. This is like the older male version of me. I tell him I want to make a deal.Still standing on the corridor I hear someone calling him. It is some kids. After a few seconds Nandipha shows up running to Don.”They are here!” she says breathing heavy from the running.”What?”Both of them are here.””Good job. Viwe go back to your room; I will come back to you in a few minutes. Ok?””Ok,” I say softly and a little confused.”Can you let go of my brothers now?” Don looks at Nandipha and tightens his jaws. His eyes turn red. He does not respond, but leaves us standing there. He disappears down the corridor. Nandipha breaks down and cries.”What’s going on Nandipha? What is this place?” I ask and she wipes her tears with the back of her hand and puts on a fake smile. Nothing you will understand. Wait, how are you still alive?”

“Nothing I will understand? Try me!””Tell me how you are still alive?” she shouts.”Are you not happy that they did not kill me? Me breathing worries you? How can I be so wrong? Once a monster, always a monster! I cannot believe I fooled myself thinking you can be saved.””Do you think I like this? Do you think I liked setting you up?””Stop shouting and prove me otherwise; tell me what’s going on.””I told you! He has my brothers, damn it.” Then she walks away. I grab her by her arm. She violently turns around and shouts: “What? What, Aviwe?”I did not set you up, Nandipha. You don’t get to be bitchy about this. All I ever wanted is to help you.””I don’t need your help, now let go of my arm. Before I kick you!” I let go of her arm and lift my hands up in the air. “Ok, you win. Just tell me what is this place, that’s if you want your brothers out of here. Maybe I can help.””Really?” She tries to think of what I just put on the table.”You don’t know why and how I am still alive. Tell me what’s going on; there might be a way out for all of you.””Are you serious?””Do I look like I’m joking? Let’s go to my room.” We go back to the room and sit on the bed. “I am all ears,” I say folding my arms. She looks down at her hands.

”Ok, this is a Phakade family farm. This place has everything you can think of. It’s huge. There are prison cells, a sports centre, surgeries, conference room, class rooms, computer science labs and every important asset you need to build an army. There are kids who are locked up in those cells and taken to the sport centre to train. You don’t get out of here until they know you can be trusted; until they know they own you and you will come back to them. You cannot escape out of this place.”How do you know that? Because you said you were Yung’s personal weapon and you did not even know he had a twin?” I interrupt her.”I heard from him, yes but he never mentioned that he had a twin brother.””So how do you trust everything he says.””Because now I have seen everything with my own eyes.””What exactly did you see?””You need to see for yourself.””Now you are talking; where do I go from here?””What is in for me?””Your freedom””Go down the corridor, turn to your right. You’ll see a bathroom. Go inside look for a little button under the base. Press it and a wall behind the toilet will open. So you know, this is a suicide mission and I cannot come with you. I still want to see my baby brothers.””It’s ok.”

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