She slightly jumped when her phone suddenly vibrated in the bag. She hastily looked for it and took it out, half expecting to see Richard’s name on the screen. It was her brother’s number; his Lesotho number. She clicked the answering button.

“How are you in Lesotho and I don’t know about it? Why haven’t you called me? Are you OK? Where the heck are you? Home?” She fired him with questions.

Santos laughed on the other side of the phone.

“Hello younger sister. I am good, how are you?”

Thandi laughed too, “I am good now that you finally called me.”

“It’s nice to hear your voice. How have you been? Did you get sick when I was away?” Santos asked his everyday question.

“No! Just lonely since you decided to abandon me together with your family members,” Thandi answered as she always said to the question.

“At least you are still alive. I was afraid that you might have killed yourself, because of the pressure,” Santos said.

“How do you mean?” Even though it was their everyday talk, Thandi felt that this time the remark was somehow edgy.

Santo sighed before saying, “Thandi, I know about Richard and the baby and everything.”

Thandi meant to speak but all she managed to do was gape with disbelief. She wasn’t expecting this. How did Santos find out? Could it be Richard? Million questions ran through her mind and felt like her mind was freezing.

“Are you still there?” Santos’s voice sounded uncertain.

Thandi tried to speak again but only could clear her throat. She realised that she had suddenly stopped in the middle of the road. She quickly recovered and started walking again. Santos went on talking.

“Mama and Papa know. Everybody knows here at home. Richard and his father came and set everything in front of us,”

“You must be disappointed in me. Aren’t you Santos?” Thandi found her voice at the mention her parents.

“No, I am not. I mean, I was shocked that you would do that to Teri. But then I learnt that you didn’t know. Or did you?” Santos asked.

“I swear I didn’t. I only found out three months ago. How are your parents?” She asked slowly like they might hear her talking.

“You know, Papa wants to kill you. He left home this morning and nobody knows where he went. Mama has already spread the news around the village about how ungrateful you are. And Thandi, please don’t take anything to heart because you know what Mama is like, she is also spreading that you are the found orphan.”

Thandi had stopped walking again. She didn’t bother walking. She was too numb to walk. So it was true that she was not her parents’ daughter. She blocked the tears that were fighting their way out of her eyes. She quickly removed the ones that escaped her imprisonment.

The van waiting in front of their house made her want to vanish in thin air and never return to this cruel world. But the driver had already seen her and was waiting for her with his hands placed in the pockets of his black jeans. He was wearing a big jacket that is normally used during winter and a light blue cap written ‘Nike’. It was her father’s cap.

Thandi stood in the middle of the road and stared at her father. They looked at each other for no less than thirty seconds. Thandi wanted to read his face and see if he was approachable. Her father gave her nothing. He just stared at her unemotionally. It was no good to try anything now, so she went on to her father.

“Your father is here, Santos, let’s hang up,” she whispered to her brother on the phone.

“Good luck Thandi. Don’t let him hit you. You have a baby with you now and Richard,” Santos said and hung up.

When he saw that she was coming, her father turned back and headed into the house. Thandi wondered who else was in there. If her father was alone, she knew that he was going to beat her up. Nobody had ever stood in front of him when he beat her and she doubted that someone would today.

She dialled Richard’s number. If he could come maybe he would stop her father, but his phone was busy and she was already near the door. She put the phone in her pocket and opened the door.


Tell us: What do you think Thandi’s father will say or do?