Life is Just Not Kind

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CHAPTER 9

-BANDILE TSHAWE

As I am walking someone crashes into my legs and halts to a stop, I look down and see this very cute boy. I’m standing with Lara, Troy and my brother we just got back from the cemetery and we at the Mbana residence

“Solly”

He says innocently, Lara picks him up

“hey little man, where’s mommy?”

She asks and he shrugs

“These are mommy’s friends. Uncle Bandile and uncle Bakho”

Lara says and he waves

“Hello, I know you”

He says that referring to me

“From where?”

I decide to asks and he thinks for a little

“Mommy had a picture of you back home”

He says

“There you are. Hey”

Imange says talking about the little kid, he giggles and buries himself in Lara’s crook

“why? What is he running away from?” Lara asks

“He doesn’t want to eat his veggies. Jay come lets go, you know your mom is going to be mad”

Ima says and he turns and holds his hands out to her. She takes him laughing

“Also guys please follow me, Mihlali is still attending to some guests”

She says and we follow her, she leaves us in a room and then walks out.

“I can understand you not mentioning Mihlali being back but hiding a son? Seriously?”

I say to Lara and Troy

“It’s a conversation you should be having with Mihlali”

Lara says defensive, I shake my head no

“Lara is right, it’s a conversation you should be having with Mihlali bro. This is not the place for it either”

Bakho says and I just nod, Isenathi brings us food and also tells us that Mihlali will be with us shortly and just then Mihlali walks in and her eyes go straight to mine

.

.

-MIHLALIKAZI MBANA

I always knew I’d have to see him at some point but I didn’t think I’d see him at my grandfather’s funeral. I thought that maybe I would reach out to him a month after settling in but I guess that bridge I needed to cross came to me instead of me going to it. I help mom attend to our guests, Mange comes to me as I’m speaking with one of mom’s colleague

“Sisi”

She says, I ask to be excused and attend to my sister

“Hey, what’s up?”

I ask

“Jay ran off while I was feeding him, when I found him he was in Lara’s arms and she was standing with uncle Bandile”

She says and I sigh

“Eish, ok thanks neh. Where are they now?”

I ask

“They in the lounge”

She says and I nod. She goes with Jay and I meet Ise

“Honey please get Lara and the people she’s with food ok?”

She nods and walks to the kitchen. People come to me and make small talk until most of them are gone and we left with mostly family and close friends. I make my way to get myself a plate, Jay is with mom now. I go to the lounge and my eyes automatically go to Bandile

“Uhhm… Guys thank you so much for your support today, I appreciate it”

I say trying by all means to avoid looking at Bandile who is looking at me like I killed the president

“Sorry about your grandfather”

Bakho says and I smile sitting beside Lara

“Are you guys fine with the food or can I get you guys anything to drink?”

I ask nervously

“Ise said she would bring them babe. Sit down and relax! The hard part is over now”

Lara says brushing my thigh. My God I wish it was but I still have to deal with Bandile. Ise walks in followed by Jay who’s carrying a can of coke, I give him a look and he smiles

“Nathi he doesn’t drink acid drinks” I say

“I didn’t give it to him Hlali, I don’t even know how he got it”

She explains

“But mommy”

He says pouting

“No Jay! Put it on the table. You are going to share my juice with me”

I say and he pouts

“he’s really cute”

Bandile says

“Say thank you”

I tell him

“Thank you uncle”

He says still pouting. This one is very manipulative yoh “Never pictured you as a strict mother”

Bakho says and I chuckle

“I never pictured her as a mom at all” Lara says laughing

“Whatever friend. Jay always gets things done his way so I have to be a little strict here and there”

I say and Bakho nods

“Yeah kids can be like that at times” He says

“How are your’s? they must have grown”

I say and he chuckles, Bandile walks out to the pool “We have another one acatually, same age as this one. He’s 3 right?”

He asks and I nod

“Turning 3 on my birthday next month actually” He chuckles

“Seems like you did a good job here though”

He says and I smile admiring my little creation. We continue chatting, Bandile walks in after a while

“Bakho we should leave”

He says, by now Jay is sleeping on the couch

“I’ll walk you guys out”

I say as Bakho gets up

“No need”

Bandile says

“I insist. Lara when Ise comes please tell her to take Jay to mom”

I say and she nods while we walk out I’m chatting with Bakho who is easy going while Bandile keeps quiet. We get outside

“Bakho may I speak with Bandile”

I say and he nods and walks to their car

“a 3 year old Mihlali? I can understand you hiding from me but to hide my son from me for 3 years Mihlali?”

I sigh

“Can we meet for breakfast tomorrow and talk about this? This is not the time or the place”

I say and he chuckles in disbelief

“Again we going by your wish? Queen Mihlali wants to suddenly sit down and talk and I need to avail myself”

He says and I sigh

“Fine, here is my card. You will call me when you are free then”

I say and am about to turn when he grabs my arm. I halt to a stop

“you don’t get it do you Mihlali” I try and break out of his grip

“Bandile please, this is not the time nor the place. If you want us to talk then you will call me”

I say and yank my arm and he lets me

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