“I came back when I passed Lucky and his friends coming in this direction. I wanted to warn you both. But I was too late,” said Fikile.
“It was all right,” said Nomalunga. “They didn’t see anything.” Her voice faded, and she moved towards Fikile, reaching for him. “I’m so, so sorry,” she said, as Fikile gently embraced her.
“I always knew anyway,” said Fikile, releasing himself from Nomalunga, and slowly sitting down.
“Of course you did,” said Gugu. “You were always our best friend. You even protected us. Like you just did now.” Gugu sat down as well.
“I just fell in love with you, Nomalunga,” said Fikile, shrugging his shoulders. “And I thought you might come to love me too. But I’ve always known it was Gugu that you really loved.”
“You were always our very best friend, right from the beginning Fikile. You were never like the men who want to harm girls who love other girls. You always understood that no-one can choose who they fall in love with.”
Fikile smiled softly at Nomalunga. “I am just so grateful that you had our baby.”
Fikile looked across at Gugu, continuing, “The baby was conceived after our first time. Can you believe that? What are the chances?” Fikile shook his head from side to side.
“You could have had an abortion Nomalunga,” said Fikile. “I know that. I am grateful that you didn’t. I have always known that if Naledi didn’t exist you and I would not have continued to see each other. I really want to play a part in my baby’s life. I love her so much.”
Gugu moved to one side of Fikile, and Nomalunga to the other. “I know that,” said Nomalunga, “and I want you to as well. You are her father, and you always will be.”
“You must go back,” said Nomalunga to Gugu suddenly, “and finish another year in England. I will wait for you.”
“I will look after her,” said Fikile, smiling wryly at Gugu. “I always intended to anyway.”
“I hope you will find someone who really loves you one day,” said Nomalunga sincerely to Fikile. “I know you will. You are a very special person.”
Fikile remembered how he had always known of the love that Gugu and Nomalunga had for each other. He had become friends with them both at University, and he had not judged their love, as many others had done.
Fikile admired Gugu’s determination and intelligence, and had celebrated with them when Gugu won the scholarship.
He had long since admitted that he had fooled himself into believing that Nomalunga was in love with him, once Gugu had left. In his heart he knew that Nomalunga had only been frightened and alone without Gugu.
Gugu was so much surer of herself than Nomalunga. But the love that existed between the two girls was real and strong, and Fikile knew it was love that could never be denied.
Gugu stayed on in South Africa for two months. The couple made the decision to hide their love during that time. Nomalunga knew that her family would never understand. They would be angry and ashamed. Her brother was a real threat. She could only hope that in some distant future time they would be able to come to terms with who she really was.
Gugu flew off to continue her studies in England. The two girls knew that with Gugu’s qualifications they would have a much brighter future. But they didn’t know what that future held for them. All they could do for now was remain in daily email contact. Fikile visited his daughter most days. The secret of the love between Gugu and Nomalunga was safe with him. The two girls made plans together −plans that included Naledi and Fikile.
Nothing was sure; nothing was certain.
Nothing, except their love for each other.
And where there is love, anything is possible.
Tell us what you think: Will Gugu and Nomalunga be able to be happy together when Gugu returns home?