Short Stories, Tale Africa

Babili (Part 2)

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By Ayanda Xaba, South Africa:

“He is an old friend Thabo”

He nods. I am trying to ‘break the ice’ and see what state he is in but he is not budging. I am beginning to get scared. We were coming out of choir practice with my boyfriend Thabo when I saw my old crush Kefiloe. Something drew me to Kefiloe, we had a cosy moment there in front of Thabo. It felt as if I was hypnotised and I couldn’t move my eyes from his. I gave him my numbers and flirted with him like the love sick teenager I was when I met him when I was 18 years old. My relationship with Thabo lost its meaning a long time ago. I am not happy with him. He emotionally abuses me and refuses to let go. After the Kefiloe incident he has been quiet, which is unusual because he always runs his mouth and does not care how I feel about it.

“Thabo…”

“I am not angry Ayanda” he interjects.

He grabs a chair and sits far from me in the other corner of the room. 'At least he is far away and he won't do anything to me' I thought.

“You love that guy neh” he says.

I open my mouth to obviously argue the fact but he raises his hand to stop me. I am grateful that he did because he just saved me from lying.

“I could see it. I saw the way you looked at him”

Silence.

“…the way you looked at each other actually. Your laughs were so sincere, I remember those when our relationship began. I don't make you happy anymore right? You can't even hold me yet you held that man so…”

“Thabo…”

“I don't know where I went wrong with you. I thought maybe with time we would get better. Maybe I wasn't man enough for you. Is that it?”

Again, silence. He looks sad now. I have never seen Thabo sad before.

“What do you see in that Sotho idiot anyway?”

Rage. That’s the Thabo I know, stupid Zulu ego. I roll my eyes.

“You will not give me that look woman, have you been cheating with that fool?”

I have been standing by the kitchen sink since we walked in. I spotted a knife and figured maybe I will need it should things get heated. I made a good decision judging by how his voice sounds now. I am not scared anymore, I am fed up. Truth is; I don't love him anymore and I don't care if Kefiloe is a Sotho idiot but I just don't want Thabo! I just know better than to tell him that so I don't answer.

“Have you been sleeping with him?” He barks

“No!” I shout.

“You haven't been sleeping with me for a while, maybe it's because you are busy with that Sotho boy.”

He stands and walks towards me as he says;

Wothi ngikuzwe ke ukuthi awulalanga ngempela yini naye

(let me feel you to prove you didnt sleep with him)

“Dont you dare touch me!” I scream.

I cannot believe he wants to have sex with me. I will not! I am fuming. The thought of this is making me seriously mad.

“Aw the sotho boy does you better? You don't want me anymore?”

He grabs my breasts forcefully. I push him away and grab a knife behind me – in a flash – I wave it in the air. A text message beeps in my phone. Thabo moves away, he seems appalled.

“You can leave Ayanda. You’re free to go. I can't believe you can point a knife at me like that. Take your things and go”

Its 10pm, how will I get to my flat? It's on the other side of town. I am so angry; I think everything is coming back to me, all the times he abused me and I took it. I won't allow him to violate me like that again. I walk out of the kitchen to take the things I left in his bedroom and take my phone out to read the text i received earlier.

‘I miss you beautiful. it was great to see you. K’

Kefiloe! I call him and ask if he could come fetch me and he agrees. I dont know how long he will be but at least he is coming. He is such a blessing. Luckily i dont leave a lot of clothes at Thabo’s place, everything fits in my handbag. As i walk out i find Thabo sitting on the cardboard counter, old habit. He used to sit there and watch me wash dishes – back when we were happy. I stop at the door and look at him;

“Kefiloe is my friend from Qwaqwa, I last saw him in 2011”

I walk out and leave the door open.

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