By Ayanda Xaba, South Africa
Girls like me were not meant for happiness. I lay there listening to Ayanda and Mbali and felt as if I was dying. I imagined myself jumping from the roof of a 20 story building and carelessly floating to meet my death. It felt like I was watching over the lifeless body lying there free. Free of confusion, anger, hatred, and incest. For a minute there I felt free, like I was really dead. That was until Mbali sat next to me as if being under a table is a normal thing. I didn’t hear Ayanda leave, I think my mind shut off while she was telling Mbali about her relationship with my father. It was one thing knowing they were exes but it’s another thing knowing that they hid the twin’s partenity.
“She was lying right Mbali?” I asked Mbali while crawling out from under the table.
Mbali shook her head, clearly unable to hide her sympathy. She hugged me and patted my back. I couldn’t help but cry like a helpless little baby and felt just as weak. Mbali helped me up and drove me home, yes to the Mvelase’s house in Mamelodi. I couldn’t face Kagiso, how would I tell him we’re brother and sister? I just sent him a text message telling him to go see his mother as I’ve also gone home. He’s been trying to call me ever since but I still cannot bring myself to talk to him.
“Thabisile Muvelasi,” Poni says imitating her primary school teacher. That woman became the family joke because she couldn’t pronounce our surname and Poni wouldn’t let it go. My mother had to go to school because Poni was refusing to be taught by a teacher who can’t even pronounce her surname. She has always been a drama queen this one.
“Hey little horse,” I say with a fake smile.
She sits next to me on the floor and stare at the drawing I’m busy with. I’m terrible at this but it’s helping me to distress.
“What made you come back home so quickly?” Poni asks.
I’ve been home for 2 full days but neither of my parents has spoken to me. I want them to be done with their anger before I throw mine at their faces. I’m disgusted at them, how could they hide this from me?
“You know me, I couldn’t be away.”
Poni frown as she asks; “What did he do?”
“Listen adult; I know the honeymoon phase doesn’t end so quickly so it’s either dad did something or Kagi became stupid very quickly.”
I laugh at her seriousness. How old does she think she is? Mom and dad walk in and order Poni to leave the room. We’re at the dining room so I follow them to the couches and wait for the storm. To my surprise there isn’t any… Mom tells me to never worry her like that again and says she’s happy I came back home. The moment is ruined by my father accusing me of being irresponsible and of bringing down the family name.
“Family name?” I ask. I feel like there is hot air coming out of my ears and nose just like in cartoons.
“You’re selfish Thabisile!” My father says.
“That’s rich coming from you!” I snap
“Thabi…” my mother tries to calm me down.
“No ma, I can’t believe he has the nerve to tell me about the family name. Me selfish? What about you huh?” I’m now screaming with tears pouring like a waterfall. “You let me sleep with my own brother, how sick are you? I hate you!”
The next move was to storm out of the room but their confused faces make me remain sitted. Nobody responds, they both look at me like I’m mentally deraged.
“What brother are you talking about?” Mom asks after a brief silence. She turns to dad; “How can you hide this?”
Dad shakes his head as he responds; “I have no idea what she’s talking about.” He looks at me and says; “Care to explain?”
“Ayanda said you’re Kagi’s father.” I can see how tense the situation has become, so I leave immediately after giving them this piece of information.
I hear my mom asking; “You really didn’t know?”
“I didn’t!” Dad says and a few seconds later I hear a door banging. Dad has probably left the house as he always does when things go wrong. I am just like him aren’t I? I crawl back to my bed and stare at the ceiling. Destructive thoughts are hammering my mind again. I’m trying to move away and think positively but what is the silver lining in this dark cloud? I have a brother? A brother I slept with? Honestly; there is no going back from this. My thoughts are interrupted by mom appearing next to me. She doesn’t look as shattered as I expect her to.
“Get up, we’re following him.” She instructs.
That’s a first, my mother never follows my father when he’s angry. I did tell you there is no going back from this situation.