The doctor arrives to give them an update on Bhekani’s situation.

“The worst is over. Your husband will make it. We managed to pump out most of the poison before it caused major internal bleeding. But we will have to keep him under observation for a few more days,” says the doctor.

Sbongile fetches Bhekani from the hospital after three days. He finds all his family members waiting for him at his home. He is surprised to see that all the furniture Bra Shakes took has been returned.

He turns Sbongile. “How did you manage to get all the stuff back from Bra Shakes?”

“Have a seat, my boy,” says his mom.

“No, I want to know how you got the stuff back.”

“Calm down, my love. We all need to talk to you,” says Sbongile.

His mom holds his hand. “My boy, I want you to know that I love you very much. We all got together with Sbongile and paid back the money you owed Bra Shakes, plus the interest. I took from the money I have been saving every time you sent us money. Money I had been saving for rainy days. And we have never witnessed days as rainy as when you were in hospital. We thought we were going to lose you. I’m sorry for asking for so much money from you that you had to go borrow from a loan shark,” his mom says, and wipes away her tears.

“I’m also sorry for being a burden to you by asking for money all the time,” says Khethiwe. She turns to Sbongile. “I’m sorry for speaking out of turn by accusing you of spending Bhekani’s money. Please find it in your heart to forgive me.”

Sbongile nods and embraces Khethiwe in a hug.

“I promise you that from now on we will live within our means. You will give us what you can spare, and nothing more,” says his mom.

“My brother, I have also decided that I’m going back to school. I’m registering at a TVET next week so I can get a diploma. I want study and find work so I can help Ma financially,” says Khethiwe.

Bhekani nods. “Thank you very much for your words. I forgive you, Ma and Khethiwe. In the end we are family and we all learn from our mistakes.”

“Thank you, Bhekani, for your forgiveness,” says his mom.

“Thank you very much,” Khethiwe hugs him.

Bhekani smiles. He looks at Sbongile and takes her hand in his. “I want to take this moment right now to apologise to you, my wife. I have wronged you deeply, my love. I have broken your heart. I lied to you about a lot of things. I apologise for everything bad I have done to you and our children.”

“The day I said yes to your marriage proposal I knew that marriage is not easy. The day we got married I made a vow to be with you in sickness and in health. Through good times and bad. I love you, Bhekani. We have been through those bad times recently and I want you to know that I forgive you wholeheartedly,” says Sbongile.

“Thank you, my love,” Bhekani says and embraces Sbongile in a hug. They both let out tears.

“Stop it! You guys are going to make all of us cry!” says Khethiwe jokingly.

Everyone laughs. It is a festive atmosphere in Bhekani’s house as his family members cook up a feast. There is joy and smiles. For the first time in years the conversations he is having with his family members are genuine, no longer one sided with them just asking him for money and dropping the phone. To Bhekani it feels like a dream to have this peace of mind and soul in his life.

He no longer feels depressed on payday now. His family is content with whatever amount he sends home. He concentrates more on the household he is building with Sbongile. Bhekani no longer has to be reminded by Sbongile to take care of their children and their home.

Tell us: What do you think went on between Sbongile and Bhekani’s family while he was in hospital?