Months passed and the hostility between the sisters continued. Music played in the house but the girls didn’t sing together.

One Saturday night, Babalo wasn’t home at midnight. She wasn’t home at one, or two o’clock. She hadn’t contacted her parents, and she didn’t answer her cellphone. Their mother woke Lerato up. “Check your phone. Maybe she SMSed you,” she said.

“Not likely.” But Lerato checked her phone and, as she predicted, there was no message from her sister. She also didn’t have the numbers of Babalo’s friends.

Lerato and her parents sat in the lounge waiting. Three o’clock passed, four o’clock passed, five o’clock passed. Still there was no sign of Babalo. Even Lerato was worried. Her anger at her sister dissipated, and all she could think of was the possibility that she could have lost Babalo forever.

At six o’clock, just at the birds were beginning to tweet, the doorbell rang. Standing outside were two policemen, and Babalo, without her shoes. Her legs were covered in mud, and full of scratches, and there was a bloody cut on her head. Babalo flung her arms around her mother and burst into tears.

“What happened?” cried her mother.

“She and two friends have been in a car crash. The friend who was driving had just got his license but lost control of the car,” said the officer.

“Was anyone badly hurt?” asked their mother.

“Luckily not.”

“Why didn’t you phone, Babalo?” asked her mother gently. “We’ve been worried sick.”

“I was out of airtime,” sobbed Babalo.

“And your friends?”

“Their phones got smashed in the accident.”|

“Well, at least they didn’t get smashed. Where are the other two, Officer?”

“Our colleagues took them home.”

Their parents thanked the police officers and walked inside. Wrapped in her mother’s arms, Babalo looked like a small broken bird.

“I’ll get the first aid box and a bowl of warm water,” said Lerato running into the bathroom.

Babalo sat huddled in her parents’ arms, while Lerato gently and lovingly cleaned her sister’s wounds. Her mother then changed her into a nighty and put her into bed, while their dad made her a cup of milky tea, sweet with honey. Lerato watched as Babalo gingerly sipped her tea, propped up in bed.

Tears fell down Lerato cheeks. “I thought we’d lost you forever.”

“It was so scary, Lee; I thought I was going to die. The car rolled.”

Their parents looked at one another. “I think you girls need to chat. We’ll talk about this later. We just have to give thanks that you’re safe. Mom and I are going to get some sleep,” said their father, ushering their mother out of the room.

Lerato gently put her arm around Babalo.

“I’m so sorry that I’ve been so awful to you,” said Babalo. “Andile was never my boyfriend. I was just pretending so as to hurt you. We only kissed once, and it was because of his friends. Then he said that he didn’t want to go out with me because he really liked you.”

“He said that?” said Lerato.

“Yes. He’s mad about you Lee.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“I had no idea…well he did try to get us back together again.”

Tears ran down Babalo’s face and she wiped them with the back of her hand.

“I’m sorry Lee. I was jealous…jealous that you had a boyfriend who really loved you. Jealous of your school work, of your running…of everything. I’m so sorry.”

Lerato nodded.

“It’s OK. I’ve been a real bitch to you too. I’m also so sorry.”

“I would have been a bitch too,” said Babalo.

The morning sun was beginning to peep in through the window. Lerato sighed.
“It was a very long night Babs. In that time, I thought I’d lost you and the thought devastated me. It was then I realised that none of this matters. Babs, all that matters is you’re alive. Boyfriends will come and go, but I’ve only got one sister, and not just a sister, a twin.”

Then Lerato quietly started singing Whitney Houston’s song, ‘And I will always love you…’. Babalo joined in, her voice weak and raspy: ‘will always love you…’.

The sisters were finally united again. United in song.

***

Tell us what you think: Will the sisters’ relationship change now?

The End