Life is Just Not Kind

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CHAPTER 8

-MIHLALIKAZI MBANA

It is the day of my grandfather’s funeral. I just finished washing Jay and myself, I dress him up into jeans and his favourite sneakers to avoid arguing with him. So this little rascal of mine has discovered this thing of calling mom to tell her when I don’t do things his way and then I have mom on my case, they spoil him so much it’s annoying.

“Mommy how do I look?”

He asks after I have put him on the floor and finished getting him dressed

“Like my little prince”

I say and she giggles

“I’m not little mom, uncle Biks says I’m a big boy”

He says proudly

“big boys don’t tell when things don’t go their way”

I say folding my arms and he pouts making me laugh, I go kneel in front of him

“I’m joking. You should tell mommy everything ok? Especially when a person does something you don’t like”

I say and cup his face to kiss his forehead

“Yes mommy, I plomise”

He says and I chuckle

“pinky promise?”

I say holding up my pinky, he links his to mine

“good. Now go downstairs and ask aunty Mange to make you something to eat”

I say, he calls both of them aunty Mange “yes mommy”

He runs out of the room and leaves me chuckling to myself. I never imagined myself a mother to a 3 year old at the age of 25. It’s funny how time flies, matter of fact I never imagined myself where I am today. I furthered my studies while I was in NYC and soon I’ll be working on my PhD. I make the bed and clean up Jay’s scattered toys and place them in a box. When I am done I get dressed into a black body hugging dress and sit in front

of the mirror to fix my hair and apply lip gloss on my lips. With age I’ll admit I have let myself go a little, I’m lazy to apply make up and go all facebeat. I keep my make up basic and simple plus I’m going to a funeral and applying make up will be a waste considering. I’m disturbed by a knock

“Come in”

I shout and the person walks in, it’s mom

“Hey”

She says

“Morning mom, how are you?”

I ask and she shrugs sitting on the couch

“I guess reality struck, he’s gone and he’s never coming back”

She says, I make my way to sit next to her. I place my hand on her knee

“I’m sorry mom”

I say

“How are you?”

She asks

“sad”

I say honestly, she puts her hand over mine

“We’ll be fine. Will you be able to speak today?”

She asks

“I’d hate myself more if I didn’t say anything. I was his ‘woku’ after all”

She chuckles

“that was always a weird nickname ey and he didn’t want to let it go”

She says and we both laugh

“He was truly something else. He was an amazing person”

I say

“He truly was the best father and grandfather”

She chuckles

“I remember this one time he rocked up on campus to fetch me driving a spots car with a f*ckboy fade”

She laughs and so do i

“I gave him grief for it. Do you think he cared? He enjoyed the attention. He always knew he was a looker and he embraced it at all costs. Always so confident”

She says and I smile

“Even in old age, that man was confident. It hurts that Jay won’t get to know him”

“At least he got to meet him before he passed”

Mom says and I nod. We decide to get up and end the pity party once. We get downstairs and Jay is sitting on the counter talking to Ise

“Let me guess, he called you Mange?”

I ask and she chuckles

“Doesn’t matter how many times I tell him, he just can’t”

She says and mom laughs

“He’s only 3 guys please.”

She says and greets her grandson. We drive to my grandparents house to fetch grandma and then go to the church where the service will be held. Everyone speaks gracefully about him and soon it’s my turn as the first grandchild. I walk up

“Good morning everyone. Thank you for coming to support us on this day. I am Mihlalikazi his first granddaughter”

I say and then take a deep breath

“All the way here I was rehearsing what I would say and now that I am finally here words fail me. There’s never perfect words to say goodbye to anyone, especially when you knew this man right here as well as we did. My grandfather was not just a grandfather to me, he taught me how to defend myself, how to be the woman I am today, he was a father, a mother and a friend all in one. Sometimes I’d say things to him forgetting that I was still talking to my grandfather because we were that close and he was that chilled”

I wipe a tear and take another deep breath and let it out slowly

“grandpa I’m going to miss you, we all will. It breaks my hurt that my son won’t get to experience what the rest of experienced growing up in front of you because he is going to miss out on having the most coolest, swaggiest great grandfather ever. Judging by the amount of full

chairs in this church I think it’s safe to say that you made an impact to so many people that they had to come and support us. I love you grandpa, rest easy Rhadie”

I say and rush down but spot Bandile sitting there with Troy and Lara. He was not supposed to come here. FLIP! I sit next to my son who climbs on my lap and wipes my eyes with the tissue rolled up in his fist

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