Sqiniseko arrives at Ntombi’s house with Sthembiso, and finds her hanging clothes on the washing line. Ntombi approaches Sqiniseko’s car with an amused grin. The sangoma’s muthi works fast. Here is Sqiniseko already coming to my door, like the sangoma said he would do, she thinks.
Ntombi stands next to the driver’s window. “Hi, Ntombi!” says Sqiniseko shyly.
“Hi, Sqi. Long time. How are you?”
Sqiniseko avoids eye contact with Ntombi. He is not shy by nature, but he feels ashamed at how he ended things with Ntombi. He still remembers the day he wrote her the letter breaking off their relationship, and then polishing his shoes with it. He remembers the tears welling up in Ntombi’s eyes as she read the dirty letter, while he watched from a little distance.
Sqiniseko had fallen for Nobuhle and Ntombi became the joke of the school because she was dumped with a dirty letter. But now, Sqiniseko summons his strength and looks into Ntombi’s eyes.
“Ntombi, I have a problem and you are the only person I know who can help me. I have to get to work and I have my child with me. I can’t take him. Can you please look after Sthembiso? Please, beautiful.”
“For you, Sqi, I’d do anything,” Ntombi smiles. “I’ve never had a problem with you. It was you who turned on me. But that is all in the past.”
“I know, my love, I don’t know what got into me. It’s just …”
“No worries. No need to explain. You’ll end up being late for work. I’ll take care of the baby. But, uhm … where is his mother, if I may ask?”
“She ran off with another man. And I didn’t see the need to chase after her. I chose to move on with my life.”
Ntombi is sceptical. She knows Nobuhle’s good character. What Sqiniseko is telling her is unlike the Nobuhle she knows. But she pays it no mind, since Sqiniseko has come crawling back to her – which is what she has wanted all along. She takes the baby and his bag.
“No problem, Sqi, I’ll look after Sthembiso. We will see you in the afternoon.”
“Thank you very much, Ntombi. You are a life saver,” Sqiniseko says gratefully as he drives off.
Ntombi charms the baby into relaxing with her, and then bathes him and changes him into clean clothes. She even washes his dirty clothes. She wants to make sure Sqiniseko sees how useful and important she can be in his life, so they can get back together. She will take care of Sthembiso as if he were her own child. She feeds him and rocks him to sleep.
“I have to go see the sangoma; she must hear about this development,” Ntombi says, standing over Sthembiso sleeping in her bed.
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