Lesedi doesn’t move from where she’s standing in the flat doorway, even though Bheka has taken a step forward, clearly meaning to come inside. She doesn’t want him entering the place, because what if she can’t get rid of him?
“You have to stop this, Bheka.” She tries to speak calmly.
“I’ve got big plans for us, Lesedi,” Bheka says, as if he hasn’t heard her. “I’m going to get us some sponsorship to start out with, and I know we’ll take off fast once people start noticing us. Think of it, you and me, the influencer couple everyone wants to be like.”
“This is so much nothing, Bheka. Why would anyone follow us?”
“We’d be famous—”
“Famous for being famous?” She can’t hold back a mocking little laugh. “Not for me, thank you. If I’m ever famous, I want it to be for my great dancing.”
“My way cuts out all the work.”
Bheka tries to move past her into the flat, but she steps in front of him again, wondering if she should call Zotha and Mariel to come and help her. It’s gone so quiet in the kitchen, she knows they must be listening.
“I like the work.”
“I bet you don’t like the poverty.” An angry note now roughens Bheka’s voice, so that he’s starting to sound more bullying than persuasive. “We’d be scoring free accommodation in top hotels and resorts…you’d be getting out of Yeoville, away from all the foreigners living here.”
“I like the foreigners too.” Lesedi is also starting to be angry. “Their stories sort of open up my mind, and anyway, they make the place interesting.” She puts her hand on the door handle, wondering if she can shove him away if she closes the door on him. Or would he resist and push his way in?
Bheka has taken a deep breath, clearly trying to control his anger. “You’ll come round and see things my way.” He’s confident. “Unblock me, and I’ll call you later so we can talk and sort it all out…only, just answer me one thing before I go. I met one of the ballet class on his way home from the Academy. Naturally, I asked after you. He said he saw you walking to the taxis with that guy from contemporary who sometimes arrives to watch the end of the late class. Who is he?”
“Someone I like.”
Lesedi says it deliberately, thinking maybe Bheka will get the message if he knows she’s interested in someone else.
Bheka’s head jerks back. “You’re dating?”
Wishing she could lie and say yes, just to get rid of Bheka, but she might already be setting herself up for disappointment with that not yet. Like many dancers and other stage people, Lesedi is superstitious.
“Not ever.” Bheka’s eyes are slitted. “You’re mine, Lesedi. You know that. Don’t ever forget it.”
For the first time, she feels alarm, but at least he’s turning and leaving. She slams and locks the door, and goes to tell her friends never to allow him into the flat.
Tell us: Did Lesedi handle this visit from Bheka well, or badly?