By Ayanda Xaba, South Africa
Thapelo knew about Mark and Mbali’s affair shortly after it began just over a year ago. He warned him to break it off but Mark didn’t want to. As usual; Thapelo left him alone because he didn’t want to be caught inbetween when things blew over. He’s good at keeping secrets, he didn’t even tell Sibonelo about the affair. He was a bit surprised when he saw Mbali with Sibonelo but he hoped Mark was over the affair and now it’s clear he was wrong. Thapelo loves his friends as if they are his brothers and he can’t allow the family to be broken by a woman. He is thinking of ways to resolve the matter as he walks back to the dining room where everyone is still gathered.
“Ladies let’s go fetch dessert”
His thoughts are disturbed by his wife cheerfully calling Phumzile and Mbali.
“I hope it’s something we can all enjoy.” Thapelo says jokingly.
Sibonelo; “Not those wierd pregnancy cravings please.”
“If I eat one of those again I’d die, I swear.” Mark says softly. He has a deep voice which is one of the things that women like alongside his handsome face, well built body, and subtle charm.
Zanele is five months pregnant, and is said to be expecting twins. She loves combinations of sweet and sour things and the guys don’t enjoy them.
“Guys really?” Zanele begins as she stands from her chair. “I never feed you wierd food.”
Thapelo; “Granadilla custard isn’t wierd?”
“Avocado and custard man, that was the worst thing ever.” Sibonelo says with a fist of giggles.
“Goodness!” Mbali exclaims.
Mark; “Do you remember the time she made us dip pudding in raw eggs?”
“Euw!” Phumzile and Mbali say in disgust. “Zanele you’re horrible” Phumzile adds.
“Phumi, didn’t you give us jelly with mayonnaise during your last pregnancy?” Mark asks raising his eyebrows.
Phumzile puts her hands over her eyes and laughs.
Mark; “I can’t stomach mayonnaise even today because in every pregnancy it becomes my worst nightmare.”
The others laugh except Mbali, she cannot help but feel jealous of Mark and his wife. They share a life and she feels like she doesn’t belong. The house is filled with joyful conversations about their memories and Mbali stands quietly behind the chair she was sitting on.
‘They all look so happy’ she thinks to herself. She suddenly feels guilty for dating a married man but she consoles herself by saying Phumzile probably never knew about the affair. Mbali reminds herself that she is now in a relationship with a guy that loves her and is happy. ‘I am happy’ she silently chants.
“Let’s go” she is disturbed by Zanele grabbing her by her hand.
Mbali is not sure how the ladies feel about her since she is the youngest in the group, they might think she is those golddigging types. But they’ve been nice to her so Mbali feels she can relax.
“So you see how happy my husband is with me?” Mbali is startled by Phumzile asking her with a stern face as soon as they enter the kitchen.
Phumzile; “Did you think I didn’t know about your stupid affair with my husband?”
Zanele cuts in; “We know everything that happens in their lives and it’ll be good for you to leave these men alone sisi.”
Mbali lets out a little laugh and shakes her head.
“He will never take you seriously, you’re just a skank who opens her legs to every…”
“Maybe if you satisfied your husband he wouldn’t see the need to enter any skank’s open legs.” Mbali interrupts Phumzile with a smug on her face. “Get your bedroom affairs in order madam, before…”
“You have the nerve!”
“I do actually. And these legs will be open again tonight…”
Phumzile rushes to slap Mbali but Zanele quickly holds her hand. Mbali doesn’t move, instead she smiles and says; “Why don’t you just try that? Try and I’m going to show you. I’ll teach you manners…”
Zanele; “Manners? What do you know about manners? You have no shame child, you’re stupid.”
Mbali; “Okay, I’ll let that go because I don’t want you to give birth prematurely.”
Zanele shakes her head as she says; “Break up with Sibonelo…”
“That will never happen.”
Phumzile; “Do you really think he’ll take a skank like you seriously?”
“Sibo would never sleep with a woman who has slept with his brother. Should he find this out he will drop you like a rotten potato that you are.” Zanele adds.
Mbali clicks her tongue and walks out of the kitchen. She feels bad that her relationship with Sibonelo could suffer because of the stupid affair she had with Mark. She watches the family pictures hanging on the wall as she goes back to the dining area. The pictures are all over the passage and they include those of Mark’s family and Sibonelo. There isn’t any of Sibonelo with any women except his friend’s wives. Mbali feels guilty and suddenly gets the urge that Sibonelo should be hanging on these walls with her. This makes her determined to not ruin their relationship and makes a promise to herself to make sure Mark and the wives do not ruin things between her and Sibonelo. She enters the dining room and goes straight to Sibonelo who is laughing so hard there are tears running down his cheecks. He is the most open amoungst his friends, who always bring in new acquitances. He is also the most popular with ladies hence he haven’t settled down until now.
“Please take me home Daddy.” Mbali whispers disturbing the laughter.
“What’s wrong my baby?”
Mbali is six years younger Sibonelo but he always calls her baby and it sometimes make Mbali feel small. She speaks softly, “I just need to quickly go to Thabi.”
“What’s going on with Thabi?” Sibonelo asks as he stands and hold Mbali’s hand.
“Daddy we’ve been out of practice for a week but you’re already out of shape.” Thapelo teases as Mbali helps Sibonelo to get up from his chair.
“Blame her.” Sibonelo says pointing to Mbali with his head.
Thapelo laughs and says; “Seriously man you need advice from the uncles.”
Mark shakes his head and doesn’t participate in the conversation. Sibonelo excuses himself, Mbali says her goodbyes and they leave even before the wives come back with desserts.