Short Stories, Tale Africa

Babili (Part 4)

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By Ayanda Xaba, South Africa:

It's been a month since that disastrous night, just one month, and I feel like my life is running too fast for my own liking. That was the last day I saw Thabo, I haven't heard from him since. I knew that step I took out the door that night was the final step. I was leaving my two-year relationship. Even though it wasn’t really going well, change is always scary. He irritated me the last time that I saw him. I had forgotten my phone at his place and when I knocked on his door he didn't open for me. I screamed and banged the door. I wanted my phone and maybe some closure but he didn't open. Kefiloe arrived at the right moment and made sure that I left and never looked back. He has been my boyfriend since… I know I probably moved on too quickly but it felt right. He is a very possessive man, if I may put it that way. But I love that with him I can be myself. He takes me to soccer matches – he is a fan as well – he also takes me to rugby and cricket games even though he doesn't even understand them. I tag along when they go clubbing with Siv and Sonto (his girlfriend), lately we also hang out with Puleng (my roommate) and Ben (her coloured boyfriend). They drink alcohol until the wee hours of the morning and I just stick around with Kefiloe glued on my shoulder.

Today is the first Saturday I will spend without Kefiloe since our relationship started. He has gone home for some family ritual. I am planning to catch up on my reading and maybe pack my wardrobe. It looks like a war zone. I hear a knock on the door just as I finish moisturizing my skin after taking a shower. I am not expecting any visitor and Puleng is in Soweto for the weekend. I quickly wrap myself with a gown and open the door.

“Thabo?” Now this is a surprise!

“Hi. Can I come in?”

I’m not sure if I should let him in. What does he want? A part of me is painfully happy to see him, the other just irritated.

“Please,” he says as if he can hear my internal battle.

I let him in. Thabo has always been good at making conversation and before I know it all the awkwardness is gone and we are talking and laughing like old friends. He updates me about church. I haven't been there since my relationship with Kefiloe started. I have been spending my weekends in Midrand with him, well most weekends. If we are not at his place, we are out somewhere ‘having fun’. Apparently Thabo is still single. He claims he is still healing. I will not apologize for that. Siv told him about me and Kefiloe and the purpose of his visit today was to bring my cellphone – a month later. Kefiloe got me a new phone just so I never find reason to go to Thabo again. I am enjoying his company though; I like that he can joke just about anything. He suddenly kisses me… I don't resist. I think I am responding, I’m not sure. He pulls away and says;

“I miss you”

He kisses me again before I could respond. I haven't been intimate with this guy for months, I have forgotten how good a kisser he is and how tender his touch can be. I allow him to caress me with his fingers. I missed this too. Maybe. I give in. He slowly unwraps my gown…

Dammit! Thabo!

I have just slept with my ex, on my couch.

“I miss you” he says again. This time kissing my cheek.

He is sitting next to me, or is it close to me? Either way he is here and I just slept with him! I shouldn't have done this, why did I? I think the worst part of it all is that I enjoyed it, every moment of it.

“You should leave,” I say and quickly stand and put the gown back on.

Why didn’t I get dressed anyway? I think to myself.

“Is it really over Ayanda?” Thabo asks as he gets dressed.

Now I feel bad, maybe I led him on. But it is over, it's over!

“I am sorry Thabo, this shouldn't have happened.”

“It's okay,” he kisses me, an intense kiss, and then let's go. “Goodbye Yandy.”

He leaves and I close the door and go to have another shower. No water can wash off the guilt I am feeling right now.

I have been sleeping most of the day, it's just after 5pm now and I haven't eaten. Thabo left around 12, I showered and went to bed. I am still covered in that same gown, the gown Kefiloe bought for me the first time I spent the night at his place, the same gown I had on earlier. I hear another knock at the door; it looks like today is uninvited guests' day. I drag myself to the door and open it. What?!

“Surprise!” Kefiloe shouts as he barges in.

“I thought you were home”

“I missed you too much I couldn't stay there anymore.”

He locks the door and carries me to my bedroom, kissing me all the way. I pull back as soon as he puts me on the bed and say, “Love aren't you tired?”

He shakes his head, “I just want to be inside you,” he whispers.

I can't tell him I slept with Thabo a few hours ago. I last saw him last Sunday and we didn't really do anything physical that weekend, I know he missed me. I can't … So this is what I have become; a woman that sleeps with two men in one day – without protection.

“I love you,” Kefiloe whispers.

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