The anniversary dinner was going slower. I anticipated it because I wanted it to be over so I could leave. I had made the most horrible mistake and I wanted nothing more than to disappear. I don’t know whose dumb idea it was to put me next to Andile at the table. I wanted to cry. He kept trying to talk to me. I was so annoyed.

“So… Can I drive you home? Are you leaving now or in the morning?” he said after the party.

“I am leaving now and I am driving myself. I have a meeting with my father in the morning,” I said.

“Hawu! Mashandu, I thought you and I were going to talk about us?” he said, taking my hand. People were starting to leave the hall. I pulled my hand away.

“There is nothing to talk about, Andile. You divorced me, remember?” I said, walking away.

When I got home I knew he was going to start calling but I was ready for him. Being back to work after that weekend away was tiring. I already knew that I could do with another getaway although it had to be less dramatic. Melusi called to check on me and said we had to talk. He didn’t tell me what about but of course but I knew. I was blushing.

“You were right. I shouldn’t have gone to Midlands,” I said the moment Xola picked up the phone.

“Why? What happened?”

“Melusi and I… We kind of…” I said but she cut me off.

“No. No, no… I told you this was coming. You slept with his best friend? Wow Zola, you are a mess,” she said slowly.

“OK, I don’t need you judging me,” I said, a little annoyed.

“Come over, I will cook for you and you can tell me about it. Bring wine and chocolate,” she said, laughing. I smiled. This girl was too much.

I got a text from Melusi.

Zola, we need to talk about what happened. I want more from this.

No. I don’t want to talk about this. We had sex, that’s all it was.

He didn’t stop being a nuisance. If it wasn’t flowers that he was sending to my office, it was flowers at home. Expensive gifts. I sent all of them back. He even got Lunga to call me and I still said no. Did he just think one night could turn into something? I didn’t think so. He loved me, I knew that he had fallen hard for me. This was my reality now?

On the other hand, Andile wanted me back. This was a nightmare. Melusi was threatening to go to Andile and tell him about “us” and explain that he wanted to be with me. One thing I knew for sure was that Andile was going to slap the living daylight out of him.

I got a call from my dad, summoning me to lunch. I didn’t really want to see him but he was adamant. I soon found out why.

“Dad, I really don’t understand why I must go see these people. I don’t understand what they want from me.” I said, taking a sip of my juice. I had met my father for lunch a few days after coming back from Midlands. He had gotten a call from Andile’s family and they wanted me to visit them.

“Well, it must be serious if Andile’s dad had to call me and request that you come. Of course, you do know that our culture doesn’t recognise divorce and they told you this, so I think they still see you as a Kheswa. To them you will always be Andile’s wife,” my father said, cutting his steak and raising his head to look at me.

“I am not going,” I said, not looking at him.

“You have to go. I am asking you to respect them and me. Go hear what they have to say. Don’t be mean to them,” my dad said with a wink.

***

Tell us: If you were in Zola’s shoes, would you go to Andile’s house?