I am standing by the Rastafarian shop, blowing warm air into my hands and watching people on their way to the train station. What I really want is to fill my lungs with weed smoke. I am shivering as I wait, but I tell myself that I am not addicted. I can quit anytime I want. I just don`t want to.
The day began with me pretending to go to school. I woke up at five o’clock. I took a bath. I made breakfast. At six I knocked on my Mother’s door. We looked at each other across our tiny kitchen table without really saying anything. We hardly say anything to each other anymore. Then I left the house and I walked here.
I am thinking of taking a walk around the neighbourhood when Joe arrives. His dreadlocks are wild and reach all the way to his waist.
“Why do you open your shop so late?” I ask him. “Do you know how many people have walked by while I’ve been standing here?”
“The early worm gets eaten.” He answers and laughs at his own joke. I don’t say anything and I just give him the money.
“You’ve been buying more weed than usual.” He says raising an eyebrow. For a moment I think he is about to give me advice about the dangers of smoking.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen anyone complain about getting money. I think you should be giving me a discount anyway.” I say.
Joe smiles at this shaking his head. He gives me the weed and I wish him a good day. I decide to walk home slowly just in case my mother has not left the house yet. On the way I run into my friend Mvelo.
“You are not going to school?” He asks.
“No, Thandeka is coming over.” He nods, but I do not need to hear his voice to know he is jealous. We talk a bit more and then he joins the trail to the train station.
Thandeka arrives at my house wearing her school uniform. For some reason I am nervous, and she seems distracted. I am about to enter her when she stops me.
“What?” I ask her.
“Do you have a condom?”
“I thought you are on the pill.”
“I am, but that does not stop Aids.” I wonder if this means she is cheating on me.
“Why are you suddenly worried about Aids?”
“Is there anything wrong with wanting to be safe?”
“No, I did not say that.” I congratulate myself for being an understanding boyfriend. I think she expected me to overreact.
I put on my jeans without my boxers, because it makes me feel like a bad boy. Then I grab a shirt and my Bon Ami hat.
“There is some food in the fridge. I also got us some weed.” I tell her.
“Thank you, but I don’t feel like getting high.” She says getting up. Her tits make me hard again. I squeeze her ass and I wonder if there is anything sexier than a naked girl in your kitchen. I give her one last kiss, before I leave.
The promise of sex heightens my senses and I am walking like I have the biggest dick in the world. It begs me to go to the clinic which is closer, but Thandeka would never let me use a Choice condom. The truth is, I really love the girl and it is not just because she is beautiful. It’s the kind of love that follows you everywhere you go. The kind of love that no matter how far apart you are in the city you don’t feel alone.
We met two years ago. It was a Saturday night and my friends and I were walking through the township in our best gear. The hookah pipe was laced with marijuana and Thando had one of those mobile speakers that only require you to plug in your flash drive. The street was filled with kids as young as six, pushing crates, to older guys playing music in their GTIs. We sat on the stairs of one of the flats smoking and watching the streets.
Thandeka was wearing all white and was so dark, and that was what I loved most. I still think it’s an achievement to find a gorgeous dark girl, while lighter girls can get away with being average.
She and her friends had bottles of alcohol kept in a bucket with ice. Mbali was our way in. We went to school together. Mvelo grabbed and tried to kiss her and she hit him on the shoulder. After introductions the two groups merged.
Thandeka was standing with Buhle and this pissed me off, because Buhle and I had grown up on the same street and used to date. I always got the feeling that she never got over it and the years had changed her for the worst. For a moment I feared that she would somehow let this beautiful creature know that I had once spent half the night begging her to sleep with me when we had a sleepover at Mvelo’s place.
I kept my distance and I hogged the hookah. I leaned against the wall blowing smoke into the air. I hoped that I somehow managed to look impressive. A moment later Thandeka was standing next to me and asked for a pull. She was coughing so much a few moments later.
“You do not have to smoke to impress me.” I said thumping her back.
“Oh, please. I accidentally swallowed some saliva.” She said, but she was smiling. That’s all the encouragement I needed.
Now we are in a two year relationship and thinking of her still gets me hard. Maybe this is what love is.
I bought Lovers+ condoms. I love buying condoms in this shop, because the woman behind the counter is hot beautiful and for some reason I want her to know that I am getting laid. She has massive tits and I keep my eyes on them while she works the till.
“Thank you.” I say accepting the change. She does not look angry. I think she is trying to pass on as passive, but I can tell that she knew that I had been looking at her tits. I shove the condoms into my back pocket and I walked out slowly. I want to linger in her thoughts, but she is already reading her paper as I walk out.
Outside, some guys are unloading alcohol from a delivery truck. Somehow this triggers a thought and I run home. Why would Thandeka refuse to smoke? In all the years I had known her she has never refused to get high. I mean marijuana is what had brought us together.
I find her on the couch reading a magazine. She is wearing her panties and has her legs crossed under her. I think that her biting her nails is a sign to confirm my suspicions, but she has a habit of doing that.
“Is there something you need to tell me?” I ask.
“What do you mean?” She does not look up.
“Are you pregnant?” I ask and she stops paging the magazine. “Why didn’t you tell me? Wait, are you?”
“Yes, I was going to tell you. I just was not ready. How did you guess?”
I sit down. “You refused to smoke and you blow more smoke than a broke exhaust. So…”
“We are going to have a kid.”
“We are keeping it?”
“Wait, you don’t want to?”
“I did not say that. I thought you would want to discuss it first.”
“Is that why you were not telling me?” I think back to the last time we had sex. “Wait, you are supposed to be on the pill.”
“It’s been a while since I went for the injection.”
“Who else knows? Buhle?”
“I have not told anyone else.” I nod my approval, it still creeps me out how close they are.
“Okay, so what now?” I asked.
“I don’t know. I have never been pregnant before.” She says.
“That’s not funny. I have to tell my mother tonight. Do you want me to be there when you tell your parents?” I asked.
“No, my father is in Johannesburg and I want to tell them by myself when he gets back.” She replies.
“Okay, I guess we don’t have to use a condom now right?” I say kissing her.
“Don’t be stupid. Put it on.” She says unbuttoning my shirt.
I walk Thandeka home at around two in the afternoon. School only comes out at three, but after a while we are kind of tired of each other’s company. However, we are holding hands as we walk; something that we have never done before. I think it’s kind of an act of defiance against what is to come. I kiss her goodbye at the corner from her house. I light up a cigarette. How am I going to break the news to my mother? I am already a problem child myself and now I am going to be giving her another problem.
The first rock hits me on the back of my head and stings so bad that I fall and slide on the road. My eyes are shut and tears press against my eyelids. I look back to see where the shot comes from and get a boot to my face. With that some of the pain is gone and instinct kicks in. I roll away and stand up, but a tackle has me on the floor. For a second my jeans seem to be slipping off, but I did not care as a fist hits me on my ribs.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” I scream. “Please forgive me. Please forgive me!”
My silent assailant keeps on pounding and I have no choice, but to protect my head and just take it. I can hear shouts of encouragement.
“Yes, hit this thieving dog. This bastard. We are sick of this shit.” Now, I am not being hit by just one person, but with rocks.
“I did not steal anything I swear!” I cry. “Please have mercy!”
“Stop! Stop! These is not him! The boy who robbed me did not have a scar on his face. His hat was navy not white.”
“I did not rob anyone! I did not rob anyone!” I cry even louder now that I realise that I am falsely accused. “I did not rob anyone! Please have mercy!”
“No, I know this is him. He robbed my daughter once.” A man’s voice says.
“Yes, I also know this dog.” A woman cries. Then I see the man pick up a huge rock. “Please forgive me Bhuti. It was not me, Please forgive me.”
I only picked up writing when I found out that I was never going to walk again. My daughter is only two years old now and sadly her mother and I are no longer together, but if I ever had any love to give then it is always being poured on my daughter. Her name is Xola. It means Forgive.
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