Short Stories, Tale Africa

Rebabedi (8)


By Ayanda Xaba, South Africa

Thabi gets so saddened by Kagiso’s parents that she stops eating. She was shocked by Kagiso’s sudden talk about lobola and would’ve been excited about it if his parents weren’t so visibly against it. What was wrong so with her that they hated the idea of Kagiso marrying her so much? She suddenly feels so emotional, she wishes for the earth to swallow her.

“I think they are going in for a quicky,” Kwena says unexpectedly after an awkward silence.

Thabi and Kagiso can’t help but laugh. Kwena doesn’t laugh. “I know these two bonk like teenagers” he continues.

“Tjo Kwena stop it!” Kagiso says trying to calm his laughter.

Thabi is laughing so hard she has tears flowing down her cheecks. She can’t get over how serious and ridiculous Kwena is. She quickly forgets about the parents awkwardness and laughs at Kwena’s endless jokes.

They finish eating alone and even forget about the twins’ parents. Kwena drives Thabi and Kagiso to Mamelodi. He had successfully distracted the couple from the awkwardness created by his parents but he didn’t stop wondering. Why did they react that way? He thinks there is a lot that went on between his parents and Thabi’s parents, which is the reason he is going to Mamelodi. He wants to see Thabi’s parents and see how they’ll react when they see them.

Thabi is reluctant to introduce the twins to her parents but she knows her mother will insist. They all enter the house after Poni opens the door for them. They find Thabo (the father) silently watching TV and they sit on the couches around him. The whole family joins in and the house is immediately filled with chatter. Thabo listens but doesn’t participate in the conversation. The little girls seem to like the twins and their mother, of course, who has served them with cakes and juice.


Kwena knows this may end the joy in the conversation but he goes ahead and says; “Mother says she went to church with you before they moved to Midrand. Do you remember her?”

“Who is your mother?” Thabi’s mother asks cheerfully.

Kwena; “Ayanda Xaba”

Thabi’s father quickly faces Kwena and then carefully studies the twins’ faces. He frowns while his wife’s expression also changed from happy to confused.

“Ayanda Xaba? Haibo! Who is your father?” She exclaims.

Kagiso answers; “Kefiloe Motaung. I take it you know them”

“I do! Thabo do you…” Thabi’s mother is cut by her husband’s angry expression. He roughly stands and signals her to follow him. Kwena looks at their reaction and thinks it’s exactly the same as his parents’. But what is causing this? He thinks whatever the issue is surely is something that happened at church because that’s what they seem to have in common. Or is there something deeper there? Kagiso is also getting worried now. He looks at Thabi who has suddenly turned pink due to embarrassment.

“Maybe we should go.” He says to Kwena.

Poni causiously follows her parents and overhear them arguing in their room.

“You’re worked up because she’s your ex? You still have feelings for her, don’t you?”

“Don’t be stupid…”

“That’s what you think I am right? Stupid. You think I don’t see that all I’ve ever been to you is Ayanda’s inadequate replacement, a lifetime rebound…”

“Sibonisile!” She hears her father shouts.

“Thabo I persevered all these years but I’ll be damned if I watch you ruin my daughter’s happiness. Get over Ayanda or leave!”

“Well it’s my house so I won’t leave. If you know what’s good for you you’ll tell your daughter to stay away from those twins.”

Poni hears footsteps coming towards the door and runs to the bathroom. She has to warn Thabi about what she heard so she can be prepared for the storm that’s coming to her.

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