Life is Just Not Kind

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CHAPTER 23

-BANDILE TSHAWE

“Look, I’m sorry you put your relationship on the line for me but Bandile I never asked you to do any of it. This is why I stayed away from you, I didn’t want this mix up of emotions to happen. I didn’t want to confuse you and I didn’t mean to lead you on and i’m sorry I did”

She says, she sucks in a breath

“Look, I only came back because I lost my grandfather and also because Jay needed to know his father not for us to pick up where we left off and me saying this doesn’t mean I stopped loving you because I never stopped. I admit I was selfish for choosing NY over our relationship but as my boyfriend you were wrong for making me choose. Bandile we could have made things work if we wanted them to work, you have all the money in the world to travel in between as much as I had all the money to travel back and forth but you gave up on us, you gave up on our relationship and so I had to leave. I couldn’t be with a man who was not willing to

understand and be supportive towards my dream job, someone who wasn’t willing to make us work despite the distance and I’m sorry for coming across as selfish. I’m sorry I begged you not to leave for NY that year, it was wrong of me but Bandile after almost losing you to a plane crash that year I was scared. I was afraid to lose you again… I”

By now she’s a crying mess and even has hiccups, I kneel in front of her. I don’t think I have ever seen her this emotional before

“I’m sorry I was selfish!”

She says with hiccups in between

“I didn’t leave to get back at you or anything like that but I had to do what was best for my career and I expected you as a business man that is as successful as you are to understand that some times you have to do what it takes and risk what you have to get where you need to be”

She says wiping her tears with the back of her hand which won’t stop coming out, I bury my head on her lap

“Where does this leave you and i?”

I ask

“Mihlali I already lost you once and I would be damned to lose you again. I’m sorry if that makes me selfish but you are who I want Mihlali. I want our family to be together, Jay has already missed out on a lot and so have i. I promise things will be different, I won’t stand between you and your dreams nor give you ultimatums ever”

I say looking up at her, she places a hand on my cheek “I don’t know if I’m in the right head space for a

relationship yet Bandile. I’m starting a new job and it will demand all of my time and I don’t know if I can handle a relationship and still mother our son”

She says, I lean in on her touch. I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding

“i understand you’ve been superwoman all these past three years but I am here now Mihlali. You don’t have to everything alone when I am here for you and our son. I can’t force you into a relationship with me but Mihlali I’ll promise you this. I will not give up on you, I’ll win you back!”

I say and get up but she holds my hand, I look at her hand and then at her innocent teary eyes

“Bandile I love you, I just need time and you need time to get over Qhawe completely. I believe you and her still have some things you need to discuss and you can’t do that with me in the picture. The last thing I want is to find myself in the same situation as Qhawe where you guys are going to chill over wine and end it off with sex. Sort out things with her first and then we can see where to from there. I’ll give you the rest of the year to decide”

She says and I frown confused “From now until December?” I ask and she nods

“I need to settle into my new job and you need to sort out your relationship with Qhawe. I’m hoping that by end of the year we will both know what it is we want”

She says and I chuckle

“Is this about the guy you were talking to on the phone?”

I ask and she looks at me confused

“If you want to explore it’s ok you can say it Mihlali”

I say and she lets go of my hand

“It’s not that I want to explore but I just need time to figure things out. Figure my feelings out”

She says and I chuckle in disbelief

“however you explore, it better not involve my son!”

I say and walk to Jay’s room living her on her couch. My son is sleeping peacefully, I kiss his forehead and then walk out calling Qhawe. I did ask to meet her after all and she did agree. I make my way downstairs and she’s watching TV.

“I thought you were sleeping over”

She says

“I have to meet up with Qhawe”

I say and her face falls with disappointment

“Oh”

She says

“I’ll see Jay tomorrow after work. Bye Mihlali, please come and lock”

I say and she gets up and meets me on the way to the door, we walk silently to the door and she opens it for me. I turn and hug her then kiss her forehead

“Goodnight Mihlali”

I say and then turn on my heels to my car without waiting for a response. I get in and drive out then wait for the gate to close and then drive out to my house calling Qhawe on the way

.

.

-MIHLALIKAZI MBANA

I don’t know what it is about Bandile that makes me weak, I don’t even know why I broke down today. Maybe I do want to explore, I’ve only ever dated Bandile and Daniel. It’s wrong but I would really like to explore my options before fully committing and settling down. All this is frustrating as it is. I call Lara and she answers

“hey”

I say

“Hey boo, you sound down what’s up?”

She says

“Can we go out drinking?”

I say and she laughs but stops

“you serious?”

She asks

“dead serious”

I say

“And Jay?”

She asks

“I’ll call mom and go and drop him off at Mom’s”

I say

“uhhm… ok be there in a few I guess”

She says

“Thank you friend”

I say and we end the call. I go upstairs and take a quick shower then get out and call mom asking her to drop Jay off and she doesn’t mind. I wear a black short body hugging dress and a pair of heels then style my weave and do my makeup. I take a couple of selfies and then

post them on my Whatsapp status then go and pack a few things for Jay. I pick him up and then place him on his car seater careful not to wake him up then take everything downstairs. When I’m done I go and fetch my bag and blazer upstairs then wait for Lara to call and as if on cue she calls telling me to come out. I take the things I can carry and then walk to her car, she comes out to help with Jay while I go and fetch everything else.

“So what going on?”

She asks as we drive to my parents

“What’s not going on? Remember the guy I told you about on WhatsApp? Well he called and asked to go for lunch, I think I sounded flirty because when I ended the call Bandile seemed a little tense.. Gosh I don’t know what’s going on with my life friend. I’m not ready for marriage. I was never that girl that always imagined her life with a man on her side and a baby on her hip. That was never my dream friend”

I say and she chuckles. I tell her everything that happened including our conversation

“Then explore babe. You 25 years old”

She says

“But Jay deserves stability”

I say

“And you can’t give him stability while exploring? Honey you can’t force yourself to be with Bandile all because of your son. You’ll only be miserable. Marriage is a happy sacred place, you need to be sure it’s what you truly want else you’ll never be happy”

She says

“Look, whatever you decide needs to accommodate your happiness and your son’s. If you are happy then Jay will be as happy”

She says and I smile

“Thank you friend. I needed this and I need to get wasted”

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