The love between Zelwande and Thobani grows stronger. Then one day, while eating at their favourite seafood restaurant in North Beach, Thobani drops to his knee and ‘pops the question’.
“Zelwande, please marry me,” he says softly.
“Yes! Yes, Thobani I’ll marry you!” Zelwande’s heart is in the clouds.
“Thank you, my Zelwande,” Thobani says, as he slips the ring on Zelwande’s ring finger.
Zelwande breaks the news to Senzo and Aphile as soon as they return to Thobani’s house in Hilary. Aphile is over the moon, but notices that Senzo is not as happy at the good news.
“Senzo, why are you quiet? What is wrong?” asks Aphile when they are alone in the kitchen.
“Open your eyes, Aphile! What will happen to us when Zelwande gets married? They have only been going out for two months. How come Zelwande has not been introduced to Thobani’s family? Something is fishy with Thobani. I don’t trust him at all. We can’t lose Zelwande to someone I don’t trust. I mean, she is like a mother to us.”
“She promised us a long time ago that she will never abandon us.”
“That was then. Things are different now. She is getting married and will start her own family.”
“Even if things change, what can we do about it?”
“I have a plan, Aphile,” says Senzo.
“What’s your plan?”
“I can’t tell you just yet, but trust me, I’ll make sure that we will never be poor again. We won’t go back to Tin City.”
Aphile begs Senzo to reveal his big plan but to no avail. Senzo retreats to his bedroom, lays on his stomach, and thinks long and hard. He can see, in vivid detail, going back to a life of poverty in Tin City after Zelwande marries Thobani and they start a family. He is so deep in thought he doesn’t hear Zelwande enter his bedroom.
“Senzo, is everything okay?” asks Zelwande, rubbing his back.
“No, my sister. I’m not okay.”
“Tell me what is wrong. You are scaring me.”
“What will happen to Aphile and me after you get married?”
“Senzo you are my blood. You are part of me. I love you as much as I love myself. Nothing will change. Thobani and I decided that you will continue to stay with us.”
“What if Thobani changes his mind?”
“What would make him change his mind? Our lives are perfect!”
“I don’t know. What I do know is that people change.”
“Stop worrying about nothing, Senzo. Trust me when I tell you I’ll never abandon you and Aphile.”
“I hear you, Sisi. But … what will happen about ilobolo since we have no parents and no uncles?”
“I’m a born again Christian, remember? We don’t do ilobolo.”
“What about Thobani’s family? Are they also born again Christians?”
“Yes, they are. Thobani has gone to his family to tell them the good news.”
All the reassurances Zelwande gives to Senzo don’t change how he feels. He doesn’t trust Thobani and he doesn’t want him to marry his sister. Things will change, he is sure of it. And they will lose Zelwande – their rock.
Tell us what you think: Is Senzo right to be full of fears, and suspicious of Zelwande’s marriage?