Namhla went to her bedroom, which she was now sharing with Bheki, and threw herself on her bed and cried. She loved her children to bits but then she also loved Bheki. So far she had seen nothing sinister about his behaviour. Then Bheki’s phone beeped – he had left it next to his bed when he had rushed out. She picked it up and looked at it. Then it rang.
‘My Lilly’: that was the caller ID that flashed on the screen. Namhla watched the phone ringing; her hands were shaking. Eventually the phone stopped ringing and a message popped up on the screen.
Baby, where are you?
I am waiting for the stuff kaloku.
My clients are waiting for me in Jozi.
“Oh my God! Who is this?” Namhla quickly went to the WhatsApp page and looked at the profile picture hoping to see the face, but the profile picture was just a picture of a lily.
“Mama, are you sleeping already?” Pumpkin barged into the room. Namhla quickly buried the phone under the pillow and stood up.
“Nandipha, I told you to knock before you come into my room! How many times must I tell you that?” Namhla yelled, coming towards the door, still shaking with anger.
“Oh I forgot, ever since your Mr Mbaza came to live with us, you want us to knock when we enter your bedroom,” Pumpkin said, rolling her eyes as she followed her mom to the kitchen where Lwazi had started making dinner. His favourite dish, chicken lasagna with sweet potato.
“Mama, I am almost done with cooking. Dinner will be served soon,” said Lwazi trying to calm the tension between him and his mother, but Namhla was too overwhelmed. She was still thinking who ‘My Lilly’ was. And what kind of ‘stuff’ she was talking about? And why was she calling him ‘Baby’?
“Uum … uum, I am sorry about saying those things …” Lwazi wanted to apologise to his mom but before he could finish Bheki walked in. He smiled as Pumpkin ran towards him with open arms. He grabbed her tight and kissed her.
“My Baby! My sweet pumpkin! Mncwaaa,” Bheki made loud sounds kissing Nandipha on the cheek.
Namhla couldn’t help but find herself smiling looking at the two kissing.
“Daddy! Tomorrow I am going to join you when you go for a run,” she said giggling.
“That would be fun, Baby. And then we can have dollops of ice-cream afterwards.”
“You promised to take us out to the new place around the corner,” said Pumpkin jumping up and down next to Bheki as he walked towards Namhla and gave her a light kiss on the mouth.
“Yes you did! You must learn to keep your promises, okay?”
“How about we go now?” he asked, smiling playfully at Pumpkin.
“Really, Tata? Oh my God! That would be fun! We can all go right? Me and Mama and Siviwe and bhut’Lwazi?” asked Pumpkin, dancing in front of the smiling Bheki.
“Yeah, let’s all go! Just give me two minutes to shower. Are you alright, Baby?” he asked after seeing Namhla’s puffed-up eyes.
“I am fine, Love,” she answered.
“So are you fine eating out tonight? With the kids of course?”
Namhla looked at Lwazi who was almost done with cooking. The nice aroma of chicken lasagna had filled the kitchen. Lwazi shook his head.
“Uuum Lwazi, don’t worry my boy, we can have this for lunch tomorrow,” said Namhla sheepishly, worried about how Lwazi was going to feel after all the effort he had made preparing for dinner. Bheki walked to the bathroom.
“It’s fine, Mama. Whatever.” Lwazi took out the delicious golden brown yummy chicken lasagna and put it on a rack on the kitchen table to cool. He walked to his bedroom and closed the door behind him.
He stayed behind when his family went out to eat and dished himself some lasagna. Though the food was creamy and delicious, somehow it tasted bitter in his mouth.
Namhla came back laughing with Bheki and the kids after the meal. He had treated them to delicious food and had been affectionate with her. That night as they got into bed she didn’t have the courage to ask Bheki about the phone call from Lilly. Especially after the great time out they had had. Instead she told herself she would focus on their upcoming wedding.
“Maybe he is not as bad as Lwazi thinks. Maybe that woman is one of his colleagues. Argh, a man will never be perfect, especially a man as handsome as Bheki. I am just grateful that above all his women, he is choosing me to be his wife.” Namhla vowed to herself never to check Bheki’s phone ever again before she went to sleep that night.
The next morning Namhla asked Lwazi to be the one to ‘give her away’ on her wedding day, since her own father had long passed away. Though reluctant, Lwazi agreed.
“Mama, are you sure about this marriage thing?” he asked her when she asked him.
“Oh Lwazi, come on my boy. He is a good man. He also adores all of you, as if you were his children.”
“Do you think you will be happy with him, Mama?”
“I hope so.”
“You hope so?”
“I am praying for that. I can’t go through another heartache. It will kill me.”
Lwazi was silent for a while, he picked up the wedding catalogue again and paged through the designer wedding clothes with different themes. Namhla had gotten the catalogue from the lady who was to plan their wedding.
Tell us: Do you think Lwazi could be doing more to stop his mother from marrying Mr Mbaza?