Kwehle izinyembezi kuNothando. Kumthathe eside isikhathi ukuphendula. Uthe esacabanga amazwi azowasho, aqhubeke amthuke uXolani.

“Bese ulokhu ukhala lana wenze sengathi mina ngiyakuhlukumeza. Mina ngiyakuthanda futhi akekho umfana oyokuthanda njengami. Futhi mina ngiyaqala ukukhuluma kanjena othandweni. Yingoba wena ngiyakuthanda. Amanye amantombazane engangithandana nawo ngangingenandaba nawo. Kodwa wena ngiyakukhathalela futhi ngiphatheka kabi uma wenza into engasile.”

“Xolani, uthando lolu?”

“Mina ngiyindoda Nothando futhi nginezidingo. Ngakho ke uma uzohluleka ukuzigcina angazi ukuthi ufunani lana.”

“Uqonde ukuthini Xolani?” kubuza uNothando ngosizi.

“Ngiqonde ukuthi uma ungeke ulale nami namuhla ngicela uhambe la endlini futhi ungaphinde ubuye.”

“Kusho ukuthi wena awukaze ungithande. Ubufuna ukulala nami kanye nemali yami.”

“Imali? wazini wena ngemali njengoba ubhalwe inhlupheko ebusweni.”

“Ungithuka kanjena Xolani?”

“Ntombazane ngiyeke ngemibuzo ungihambele.”

Sukuphele amahora amathathu uNothando noXolani bejamele endlini bengakhulumisani. UXolani usamile kwelokuthi izinyawo azigcwale udaka kuNothando. Kwake kwathi akagoloze uNothando athi akayi ndawo. Phela lomfana udlalile ngaye. Kunini ayelala naye, emupha imali yena ahambe ayoyidla emajoyintini namanye amantombazane.

“Umthetho wakho ufuna ngize ngikuhudule?”

“Asikho isidingo ngizozihambela,” kusho uNothando ethatha ushekasi wakhe ogcwele izingubo. “Xolani ngizolalaphi ngoba uyazi endlini angeke bangivulele kusebusuku manje?”

“Uzongqongqoza phela ikini bazokuvulela.”

“Kodwa nawe wazi kahle ukuthi angeke bangivulele. Uyabazi labantu ukuthi banjani.”

“Uma uhlula abantu bakini mina ngiyayini ngingowokuhamba?” kubuza uXolani ngokweyisa.

“Ngicela ungiphelezele ngoba kusebusuku.”

“Asihambe,” kusho uXolani eyophuma ngomnyango.

“Ngicela ungiphathise lana, ngiphethe kabi. Xolani wanonya kangaka kanti yini?”

“Musa ukuzenza ingelosi. Nguwe wonke lona. Futhi ngikhathele ukukhuluma. Asihambe ngifuna ukubuya ngizolala.”

Kuthuleke cwaka endleleni. Akekho okhulumayo. UNothando uyathatha uyabeka ngengqondo phela wazi kahle ukuthi kungenzeka endlini bangamuvuleli. Nangendlela ababembhuqa ngayo ngenkathi ehamba ngathi bebazi ukuthi usazobuya futhi.

“Thatha imithwalo yakho Nothando. Ngicela ungangifoneli,” kusho uXolani esuka ngejubane ehamba.

“Xolani!” kumemeza uNothando ekhala. “Xolani! Ngicela ungilinde kuqala ngiqale ngingqongqoze ngibone ukuthi bayangivulela yini.”

Lutho ukuma uXolani. Lutho ngisho ukubheka emuva. Avele anyuse ijubane asubathe kakhulu.

UNothando uhlezi phansi uyakhala. Ngesikade asukume noshekasi wakhe omnyama ogcwele izingubo zakhe. 

Kufike umcabango wokubhala indaba. Indaba ekhuluma ngempilo yakhe kusuka kushona umama wakhe, kushona ugogo wakhe aze azohlala nodadewabo bakanina. Nokugula kuka baba wakhe. Uyise wayengumuntu olungile kakhulu. Wayemsaba uNkulunkulu futhi enothando ethobile. Impilo wayeyihlele kahle kabi ngoba wayesezinhlelweni zokuthenga imoto futhi akhe nesithabatha somuzi eFolweni. Indawo yokwakha wayeseyithengile sekusele ukuthi kufile amabhulokisi.

Indaba kamakhi yayingamhluphi ngoba wayengucwepheshe kwezokwakha. Wayenolwazi oluningi ngoba wayesebenze khona iminyaka eminingi. Nakhu sekufika ukugula okungaqondakali esegcina esevaleka amadlebe. Kuthe esathuswe yilokho ukuthi akasezwa, kwavaleka imisipha wangabe esakwazi ukuhamba. Waphela kanjalo umsebenzi, wabhalisela impesheni yabagulayo. Izimali zakhe zasemsebenzi akazange azithole ngoba inkampani ayeyisebenzela yabaleka. Kuthiwa yathuthela phesheya kwezilwandle. Kwadlula izinyanga ezimbalwa wadlula emhlabeni. UNothando umkhumbula mihla namalanga uyise.

Sitshele umbono wakho: Ngabe kumenza azizwe kanjani uNothando uma kufanele acele uXolani ukuba amphelezele emuva kokuxabana kwabo?