“Are you OK?” I ask Sandiswa. She has just woken up. She nods as she shifts to sit comfortably.

“So, how are you feeling?” I ask, aware of the concern in my own voice. She really looks tired and drained out. But she’s still beautiful.

“Just peachy. How would you feel if you’d just delivered a four and a half kilo baby?” she says, annoyed. I guess she’d never recommend child birth to any teenager.

She asks if I’d seen him, trying to change the mood I suppose. “He’s so beautiful,” she says. I tell her I can’t wait to see him.

“Four and a half kilos? Wow, he’s a big boy.” I come around and sit next to her, and she lets me.

“If you’re so proud then you should’ve been here. But then again, a party comes first to Ace the superstar.” She rolls her eyes and looks away from me.

“C’mon Sandi, I’m sorry I missed his birth. I wanted to be there for you but I got held up. I’m sorry.” I truly mean it and I hope she can see the sincerity in my eyes.

“Who were you trying to impress this time? A scout, a manager, or some girl?” she asks, looking at me.

“Don’t be like that; you know how important socialising is for my career. Talent can only do so much.” We’ve had this fight many times. I really don’t want to do this now.

“I’ve known you for four years, Ace. You never used to be a pushover, but now you’re just a suck up. Some backbone you have,” Sandiswa sneers at me.

“Look, I don’t have to explain why my career is important to me. You think me playing for the university has me set for life?” I fire back, trying hard to keep my voice from shouting.

“If I’m to play for the province I need to be known, on the field and in social circles. Try being black and playing rugby and see how far you’ll get.” I can feel the anger rising inside me. She knows this all too well.

“Keep practising saying that, and you may actually get good at it. Then you can convince Buhle when he wants to know why you’re never around.” I can hear disappointment in her voice. I can’t help but think this has more to do with her than Buhle.

“Hey, wait a minute. I’ll never let my boy down; you should know that. And I am sorry.” I need to calm down and let this go before it turns ugly. I smile and offer her the flowers.

“Charm won’t fix all your problems, Anele. And I’m not one of your ‘girls’, so don’t bribe me with flowers,” she says as she takes them and throws them on the floor. She’s mad.

“You don’t want to be my girl, so don’t give me lip about that.” This story is getting old and it’s really annoying. She knows I want us to be a couple. But she thinks I am just trying to get into her pants again. Boy is she wrong.

“Say I wanted to, Ace. Say for one stupid moment I wanted to be your girl, your one and only. Where would I fit? Would you ever have space for me in your life?” She looks at me with all sincerity. I can see she means it and it breaks my heart that I can’t give her the answer she wants to hear.

“I can’t juggle my career, studying, and being a father, with the stresses of a relationship thrown in the mix. I need to sort my head out and worry about being a dad to my son.”

“I thought as much, so why don’t you go away and let me be. You came to see your son and if you want to see him, you’d better go now,” she says. I can’t stand to watch her fight the tears that are now filling her eyes.

“I’m sorry Sandi, I really am.” I turn around and walk out of the ward to go and see my son in the nursery. I don’t turn around. I don’t want to see her cry; it’ll be too much for me.



I practically just asked him to go steady with me and he can’t. It hurts like nothing I’ve ever felt before. I watch him leave and I wish he would look back.

I get up to follow him after he’s out of the ward. I see him looking through the glass at our baby in his cot. Anele has a look in his eyes: pride, love, affection. I’ve never seen him like this…


Tell us what you think: Is Anele making the right decision not wanting to be in a steady relationship?