UZelwande ucofa ubuso bamakhalekhukhwini wakhe.

The doctor confirmed. We are pregnant!!

Uthumela umlayezo kuThobani.

Imoto ewu-Uber eyi-Toyota Corolla iyama eduzane kwakhe. Ungena phakathi uZelwande. Amehlo uwabhekise kumakhalekhukhwini njengoba ethumela imilayezo ngezindaba ezimnandi zokukhulelwa kwakhe kuMrs Khumalo, uSnothile kanye noSenzo. Ulinda ukuba baphendule – akanakile ukuthi indoda ehayela i-Uber akuyona lena ejwayele ukumlanda uma ehamba izindlela ezimfushane eHilary.

Imoto iyama ngokushesha. UZelwande usaqhafaza umakhalekhukhwini wakhe, ethumela imilayezo kuMaNgcongo nabangani bakhe ayefunda nabo esikoleni. Umshayeli uvula isicabha. UZelwande uphakamisa amehlo, ebheka ukuthi kwenzekani. Ubona indwangu esesandleni somshayeli isondela ebusweni bakhe. Uhogela kanye, aquleke.

UThobani uyatatazela manje. Kade efonela uZelwande, ethumela nemilayezo kodwa uZelwande akaphenduli. Uphuma singakashayi isikhathi sokushayisa emsebenzini, aqonde emzini wakhe.

Ubona imvilophu enkulu inamathele esangweni uma efika eHilary. Ibhalwe ukuthi ‘Thobani’ imvilophu. Uyidabula ngokushesha imvilophu, afunde incwadi ebhaliwe ayithola phakathi.

Dear Thobani

Uma ufunda lencwadi kusho ukuthi sengihambile. Angikaze ngikuthande, Thobani. Angeke ngikwazi ukuqhubeka ngishade nawe ngoba kwalengane engiyithwele akusiyona eyakho. Ngicela ungangithungathi. Ngihambile futhi angeke ngiphinde ngibuye. Ngicela uhambise izingane zakithi endaweni yezintandane. Ungitshelele bona ukuthi ngiyaxolisa kodwa angeke ngisakwazi ukubanakekela. Kufanele ngiphile impilo yami nami manje.

Ngifisa uthole umuntu ozokuthanda okwangempela.
Zelwande

UThobani ungena nezicabha endlini. Ushaqekile ngoba uthola ukuthi azikho izingubo zikaZelwande egumbini labo. Angeke kube yiqiniso lokhu. Akufani noZelwande – akazose ayenza into enjena. Kodwa nakhu uhambile ngempela.

USenzo no-Aphile babona uThobani ehlahle amehlo ngesikhathi bebuya esikoleni.

“Udadewenu uhambile. Kodwa sizomthola,” kusho uThobani.

USenzo ufunda incwadi. Ukhihla isililo emuva kokuyifunda. “Angayenza kanjani into enjena kuthina uZelwande? Wasithembisa ukuthi akasoze asilahla! Angiyikholwa lento. Kukhona into embi emehlakalele uZelwande!”

“USisi Zelwande akasoze asilahla!” kuhayiza u-Aphile

Kuphela amahora amaningi kuhayizwa endlini. Abakholwa ukuthi uZelwande uvele wapakisha izikhwama wahamba.

“Ngizomthungatha ngize ngimthole,” kusho uThobani.

“Kungcono usiphindisele eMathinini. Phela usakhelile umuzi eMathinini. Singahlala khona ngesikhathi mina ngibuza abangani baZelwande ukuthi ukuphi. Ngiyacela, Thobani, angeke ngikwazi ukuhlala la ngingenzi lutho. Ngifuna ukubheka uZelwande,” kuncenga uSenzo. “Nami ngifuna ukumbheka. Ngizomnakekela u-Aphile.”

“Iyona into oyifunayo leyo nawe, Aphile?”

“Yebo,” kuvuma u-Aphile.

“Kulungile,” kusho uThobani, kuqathaka izinyembezi.

Kuphela amahora amaningi uSenzo ekhuculula indlu yabo eMathinini emuva kokuba uThobani ebashiye khona. Uyezwa ukuthi u-Aphile uyakhala kwelinye igumbi. Ufika ku-Aphile amsondeze esifubeni.

“Ungakhathazeki, Aphile. Sinayo imali. Ngizokunakekela. Angisoze ngakushiya mina.”

U-Aphile uzumekile ezinzulwini zobusuku. USenzo umile esicabheni ubuka izinkanyezi. Ubuka emuva endlini: kukhona ukudla, ifenisha kanye nogesi. Ikhona nemali esikhwameni sezingubo – imali abeyintshontsha kuThobani kancane kancane ngoba ecabangela izimo ezifana nalesi abazithola bekusona manje.

Khona lapho kuyamcacela ukuthi imali ayiyona yonke into emhlabeni. Angayidela yonke imali anayo ukuze kubuye uZelwande ezimpilweni zabo.

UThobani uyogobongo lomuntu ngaphandle kukaZelwande. Ubika ngokulahleka kukaZelwande emaphoyiseni maqede aqonde kubo. Ufuna ukubhekana ngqo nonina kanye noSnothile. Uyababuza ukuthi batheni kuZelwande le emenze wanyamalala kwangasala nomkhondo omncane. Izimpendulo azitholayo zimuqeda umoya.

“Vele leya ntombazane ibifuna imali yakho kuphela. Kuthe uma ibona ukuthi siyabona ukuthi ize ngani yakhala amaphepha,” kusho uMrs Khumalo.

“Ubekwenza isilima uZelwande, Thobani,” kusho uSnothile. “Ungcono kakhulu engekho empilweni yakho. Ungayikhohlwa i-wedding anniversary!” kumemeza uSnothile ngesikhathi uThobani engena emotweni eyishaya izule.

I – 40th wedding anniversary yabazali babo iyasondela ezinsukwini ezimbalwa … nayo iyingxenye yecebo likaSnothile noMrs Khumalo.

***

Sithele umbono wakho: Uyamgxeka uSenzo ngokuntshontsha imali kaThobani?