When Busi got home she was cold and exhausted. She felt ill. “Where have you been?” asked her granny. “You should be looking after yourself.”
That’s what she was doing, thought Busi. She was looking after herself. She wouldn’t let Parks hurt her any more.
“Did you see him? Were you with him?” asked her grandmother.
“It’s okay, Gogo. It’s over,” she said. “This time for good.” Her granny hugged her close.
“I’m proud of you.”
“I’ve made such a mess of things,” Busi said.
“Yes, you have. Things would have been very different if you hadn’t fallen pregnant. It is going to be very difficult. And you are going to have to be strong, and you are going to have to make a lot of sacrifices. You are lucky you have good friends, and you have me. Not every pregnant girl has family or friends she can count on. Sometimes it breaks them. You are going to have to grow up fast, my girl. Now go and sleep. You need it.”
There were tears on Busi’s cheeks as she closed her eyes, but for the first time in days she slept deeply.
She woke to a chatter of familiar voices – her friends had come to visit. “We were waiting for you to wake up,” said Lettie. “Your granny told us everything.” They all hugged Busi.
“Are you okay?” asked Lettie. Busi nodded.
“It’s over with Parks,” she said. And she started to cry. Lettie hugged her.
“We’ll be there for you,” she said.
“Now that it’s over with Parks, maybe you can think more clearly about the baby,” said Asanda. It was true, thought Busi. But then her granny put her head around the blanket that hung between the bedroom and the kitchen. She sounded excited.
“Your mother phoned while you were sleeping,” she said. “She’s bought a ticket, and she’s coming down to see you.”
“Thank you, Gogo,” said Busi as her grandmother returned to the kitchen, leaving the girls to talk. But really Busi didn’t know how she felt about her mother coming. They would fight – she knew it. If she decided to keep the baby, she wanted to look after it. She wouldn’t let her mom take it. What kind of a mother would I be, thought Busi? Would I cope? Would I leave my baby with someone else and run away?
“I don’t even know how I would raise a child on my own. I have no income. Besides, I have to go to school …”
“Sizakunceda,” said Ntombi, “… whatever you decide.”
Busi smiled. She had good friends. But it would be tough. Whatever she decided, it would be tough. She looked around the small room. There was someone missing.
“Where’s Unathi?” she asked.
“He’s coming,” said Asanda, “don’t worry.”
“You have a real talent for reading people’s minds,” laughed Lettie.
“And I have a real talent for falling pregnant,” said Busi.
“You have lots of talents,” said Unathi. He had come in quietly. “You don’t know half of them yet.”
When the girls had left, Unathi stayed behind. Busi turned to him. What could she say?
“I’m sorry, for everything.”
“It’s okay,” he said, putting his arm around her. She felt his warmth against her. She felt safe. “It’s going to be okay. Whatever happens, I’ll be there.”
“I heard what you said when you ran after the taxi. You said I was strong.”
“It’s true, Busi,” he smiled. “Never forget it!”