I’m going to the hospital to see Sandiswa; she’s going to kill me. She’s already sent me a message saying she hates me. But I know she’s hormonal and I totally understand. I messed up, I should’ve been there. She’s my girl; she’s always been my girl. We’re having a baby together. Fuck, we have a baby together!
I need to get flowers at the gate there. There’s always somebody selling flowers at Groote Schuur. I remember when Gabriel, my best bro, sprained his ankle and didn’t want the coach to find out. We had to take him there for an X-ray. Poor dude, he thought he’d never play rugby again. My phone is vibrating – back to reality. I open the message:
R we still on 2nite? Christy xoxo
Christy? Who the hell is Christy? I wonder if she’s one of those girls from the party. Some of them were really cute, but which one was Christy? I decide to call the number and find out. It rings and this girl has a house track for a caller tune. Interesting.
“Speak to Christy,” says a ditsy voice on the other side.
“Hey, Christy it’s Ace. I got your message.” I’m hoping she’ll lead the conversation so I can try and picture her face. Her voice sounds cool but she sounds…like a schoolgirl. Lord help me, I don’t want a schoolgirl on my back. I had enough of them in high school to last me a lifetime. Those chicks can be clingy.
“Ace, are you still there?” Her question brings me back.
“Sure. So what’s up?”
“Ag, nothing. You know – this and that. Cool party last night; bet you’re still recovering.” She laughs as she says this. At least I know we met at the party. I still don’t know who she is.
“Yeah girl, it was off the chain. So who did you come with? I didn’t see you leave,” I say, hoping she mentions somebody I know.
“I was with Sine, Jayson’s girlfriend.”
“Cool. Listen I gotta go. I’ll give you a ring later.” She says bye and I hang up. I still can’t picture her face but Jayson is one of my guys so I think the girl is cool. I think about my mom telling me I need to quit fooling around. I’m a dad now. I need to focus. That’s a scary thought.
I get off the train and walk to the hospital. I hope they have pretty flowers. I have a big mess to fix up. Oh god, I’ll have to clean up my act. I have a person to be responsible for now and I can’t mess it up.
If Mama sees Anele here she’ll skin him alive, that’s for sure. But I can’t stop him now, he’s on his way. What is certain is that I can’t have two babies. Good thing we’re not together. I can’t have Anele chasing skirts while I tend to a crying baby every day. I won’t have that.
“That’s right; you must remember the pain he’s causing you and hold on to it. Otherwise the boy will walk all over you,” my mother says, as she hands me the bottle of juice. How does she always do that? It’s like she can read my mind all the time lately.
He wethu, snap out of this dreamland you’re in. How will you tend to the baby if you keep dozing off? And, my girl, Anele must not think of setting his foot near you again.”
“But Mama, he’s Buhle’s father. And he did pay for the damages. He has the right to see his son, you know?”
“And my daughter has a right to be married, to be happy, to have a future and have a better life. But no, Anele took that away, so don’t tell me he has any rights to my grandson.”
My mother can be so unreasonable! It infuriates me how she can just switch from one minute loving Anele to the next minute wanting him hung by the neck. He used to be the perfect son my mother never had, when we were still close. I know she secretly wanted him as a son-in-law. And now he’s the number one enemy.
I sigh at the thought, and I say the one thing that I know will keep my mother quiet.
“Mama, I’m tired. I don’t have the energy to fight you on this now. But Anele will see his child; you know he wants to be a part of Buhle’s life. So let him be, and just back off.”
My mother is standing at the foot of the bed looking at me, shocked. Her mouth opens and closes again. It must be the hormones, she is probably thinking. I pretend to be going to sleep just so I don’t get to see her sad, disappointed face. Then she turns and walks away. Phew, I love the woman but by god, she must just let me be. And besides, she can’t be here when Anele arrives.
I wonder what he’ll say when he sees Buhle for the first time. The baby looks like him. I can’t wait to see him hold Buhle, feel the baby’s light body in his bulky arms.
The nurse is hovering around the ward. I need to take my meds.
Tell us what you think: Is Sandiswa’s mother right? Is it difficult to raise a child when the parents are not together?