Izikhathi ezinjena ezimenza akhumbule umama wakhe. UThandi uyajabula ngoba umama uzofika ezinsukwini eziyishumi. Uzokwazi ukumxoxela ngakho konke okwenzakalayo empilweni yakhe. Ufuna ukumxoxela ngokungezwa kukaNomsa uma etshelwa ngobusoka bukaThemba. Ufuna umama wakhe ambonise ngokuthi kumele amtshele kanjani udadewabo ngokuthi indoda yakhe iyamhalela futhi isike yazama nokumthinta. Uyesaba ukumtshela ngoba akazi ukuthi uzoyithatha kanjani le ndaba, wesaba ukuthi uzophuka inhliziyo bagcine bezondana bengabandawonye. Kuzokwenzakalani ngo-Avile? Noma kunjani uyamdinga ubaba. ‘Ngaze ngamncane ngaba nezinkinga zabantu abadala,’ kusho uThandi ngenhliziyo.

Uzizwa egcwala inzondo yalo mndeni umama wabo awusebenzelayo. Uzizwa enyanya kwazingane zakhona ngoba umama wakhe unakekela zona kunokunakekela izingane azizalayo. Uma ekhala ngalokhu umama wakhe umphendula ngokuthi, “Kodwa Thandi, lo mndeni ungcono kunalona odlule. Iholo lingcono. Kumele ngibasebenzele ukuze ngikukhokhele esikoleni, ngikubekele nemali yokufunda e-university. Ayikho into esizoyenza…”

Lo mndeni umama wakhe awusebenzelayo ungcono ngempela. Kodwa noma yimuphi umndeni ungcono kunalowo umama wakhe akade ewusebenzela. Wawusebenzela iminyaka engu-15 yonke bathutha baya e Australia. Bamshiya umama wakhe bengashongo nokuthi Thank You. Bangamkhokhela i-severance pay. Bangamnika i-farewell gift. Wazithola encenga u-‘baas’ wakhe ukuthi ambhalele incwadi ye-reference. U-‘baas’ owake wadudulela umama wakhe odongeni lwasekhishini wazama ukumqabula. UThandi wayithola imfonyoziwe yalahlwa emgqomeni incwadi eyayibhalwe u-‘baas’. Umama wakhe ekhala ubusuku bonke. Incwadi ithi, “Never tell my wife, Ilsa. It will never happen again.” Umama wakhe wayeseyidabulile, uThandi wahlanganisa iziqeshana zamaphepha ukuze ayifunde.

Lo mndeni asewusebenzela ungcono. Nemali ayiholayo iningana, inkinga nje ukuthi ulala khona lapho esebenzela khona. NoNomsa wayehlezi ekhononda ngalokhu ethi, “Leziya zingane zabelungu zithola ukunakekelwa ngumama wethu, kodwa u-Avile yena akakutholi lokho kunakekelwa.”

UThandi uyazithulela uma ezwa uNomsa ekhononda ngoba uyazi ukuthi ngokugada kwakhe izingane zabelungu umama wabo uyahola abathengele ukudla nezingubo abeke nemali ebhange.

“Vele ngiyazi ngeke uvumelane nami,” kusho uNomsa, “Ujabuliswa ile mali uMama ayisebenzayo akubekele yona ebhangi ukuze ukwazi ukuya eyunivesithi uma useqede isikole.”

“Umama ubeyibekele thina sobabili le mali,” kuphendula uThandi ngokucasuka. “Uyakhumbula ukuthi nawe wawunalo iphupho lokufunda eyunivesithi.”

“UThemba uzongisiza ngibuyele esikoleni. Wangithembisa futhi ngiyamkholwa. Ngeke angiyekelele ngipakisha amashalofu ase-Chinese shop forever.”

Kodwa nakhu uThemba sewaphelelwa umsebenzi.UThandi uyanakisisa ukuthi uNomsa akasayikhulumi indaba yokubuyela esikoleni kulezi zinsuku, noma eyikhuluma kuzwakala ezwini lakhe ukuthi akayikholwa.

Bakhuluma ngoThemba bambone edudula isicabha sasemjondolo wabo. Iphunga lotshwala balizwa engena esicabheni. Uhamba ngokudiyazela, asondele kuNomsa amqabule.

Hello baby,” kusho uThemba ebuka uNomsa ngothando. UThandi uyazi ukuthi uThemba uyazenzisa, wenza sengathi uyamthanda udadewabo. NoNomsa uyancibilika alikholwe isoka lakhe. “And hello baby,” kuqhubeka uThemba eqabula u-Avile. Uyadiyazela aziphonse embhedeni. “Woza uhlale nami,” usho kuNomsa, “I’m in the mood to party!

“Ngikhathele kabi mina,” kuphendula uNomsa, “abantu engibasebenzelayo bangibulele ngomsebenzi namuhla. Bengipakisha amabhokisi asindayo ngiwapakishela emashalofini aphezulu usuku lonke!”

Come on, baby,” kusho uThemba esukuma esondela kuNomsa. UNomsa amdudule emsusa eduze kwakhe.

“Ngiyasho nje ukuthi ngikhathele. Futhi udakiwe wena unukisela ingane ngotshwala,” usho aqhelise u Avile. UThandi uyajabula ebona udadewabo etshela uThemba iqiniso. Mhlawumbe useyabona ukuthi uThemba akamlungele. Mhlawumbe bazohlukana angaphinde eze lapha. Kodwa futhi unokwesaba ngoba uThemba uyisidlakela. Bangalwa kanjani naye uma ebalwisa?

UThemba uyadiyazela ahlehle kuNomsa. Uma isikhashana ebuka uNomsa ngamehlo abhalwe ulaka nokudakwa.

“Uyazi ukuthini?” uyamemeza ejuza amathe, ediyazela, “Uyazi ukuthini? Wena you are so boring! Uyakwazi lokho?”

UNomsa uyaqhela kuThemba asondeze u-Avile esifubeni sakhe amshushuzele.UThemba uphenduka ngokushesha aphume aganklaze isicabha.

UNomsa usala ekhala. UThandi uzizwa enethemba lokuthi mhlawumbe udadewabo useyabona ukuthi uThemba akamlungele.

“Uyambona-ke ukuthi ungumuntu onjani lo Themba wakho? He’s not good for u-Avile.”

Kodwa uNomsa uphendukela kuThandi amthethise ekhala, “Yonke le nto idalwa nguwe! Ukube awukho ngabe siyasithola isikhathi sokuba ndawonye noThemba. Sizihlalele naye sobabili. Njalo uhleze ulana! Buka manje sekwenzekeni. Usezohamba abheke amanye amantombazane ngoba uvimbanisile la.”

Good,” kuphendula uThandi naye ethetha. “Kulungile, muyeke ahambe. Ukhuluma kanjena ngami ngibe nginakekela u-Avile kahle kanjena? Ngimgeza, ngimenzela ukudla, ngimphatha? Ngenza konke kodwa angikaze ngithole nowodwa u-thank you kuwena!”

“Unomona ngoba ngine-boyfriend engithandawo efuna ukujabula nami!”