I don’t know why Tumi always gets this drunk when we go out. I am practically carrying her up these stairs. Thami’s braai turned into a full-blown party and there was no way Tumi was going to say no to alcohol, which is how I ended up being the designated driver.

“Sshh, Lihlo the neighbours will hear us …”

Did this bitch just blame me for making a noise when she just crashed into our coffee table? She is on the floor laughing hysterically and I am definitely pissed off.

“Come on Tumza. Let’s get you into bed before you hurt yourself,” I say, with all the patience I can muster.

Getting her into bed isn’t as challenging as pulling her skin-tight jeans off her limp body. Then I head to the kitchen for water to force down her throat, to save her from hanging in the morning.

Meanwhile my phone is ringing and I have no clue where it is. After practically pulling the couch apart I find it laying by the door, and it’s stopped ringing. Dammit. Andy called! He is probably drunk. Why else would he call me at almost midnight?

While I contemplate calling him back the phone rings again. It is him. Okay, girl … chill … just be casual and chilled. I take a deep breath and answer.

“Heeey …” What the fuck was that? Why did my voice go so high?

“Hey Lee …” he says, and giggles a little. “How are you doing, sexy?”

‘Sexy’? Yep. He is definitely drunk.

“I’m alright. How are you doing?”

“I miss you baby. Please come over.”

I wonder if his girlfriend knows that he is calling other women in the middle of the night? I haven’t heard from him in weeks – and here he is booty calling me! I should probably tell him off; he can’t treat me like a cheap slut.

“Won’t your girlfriend have an issue with me coming over?”

“Let’s not talk about Zama. I just really want to see you. Forget the ‘baby’ shit … I miss hanging with my best friend. I just really need someone to talk to, and you’re the only person I trust.”

He is as charming as ever and knows just what to say to push my ‘yes’ buttons.

“I wish I could, but Tumi is …”

“Please … I need you!”

“Okaaay …”

How am I in this situation again? I just let him convince me to drop everything and come running to him. Convince me? Who am I kidding? He didn’t even have to break a sweat!

I’m an idiot and I should turn this car around right now.

Nope, I won’t. I’m a sucker for pain. I’m glad Tumi was out cold and couldn’t give me the usual ‘let him go’ speech that I’ve heard a thousand times, but blatantly ignore.

As I park outside his apartment, I know I shouldn’t be here, but every cell in my body wants to be. I knock, and straighten my mini skirt one last time.

The door flies open and there he is: shirtless, and looking absolutely gorgeous. My mouth goes dry, my palms begin to sweat and my breathing accelerates. I should leave. Really, I should turn and run in the other direction. This never ends well for me. We’ll have sex and I’ll feel guilty AF in the morning.

Why am I here? Why won’t my feet carry me back to my car? Why Lee? Why?

“Are you just going to stand in the doorway staring at me, or are you coming in?” he says, smirking slightly.

I slowly step inside and he pulls me into his arms. My heart melts instantly. He has been drinking – I can smell it – but I don’t care, now that I’m here in his arms. All I want to do is bury myself in him and all his mess. How could something that feels so good be so wrong? Why can’t he be mine? All mine!

“Do you want a drink?” he asks, holding me at arm’s length while my body protests.

“Yeah … sure, why not. What are you drinking?”

“Vodka and some other shit.”

He is looking at me like he is seeing me for the first time, which sends a shiver down my spine.

“You said you wanted to talk,” I say, trying to distract him.

He steers me to his kitchen counter where he mixes a deadly concoction of vodka, a splash of gin, and cranberry juice. Mixing spirits is never good, but when in Rome …

I take the glass and walk to the living room, where I sit on the only ottoman. Yes, boundaries. This is what we need. If I keep my distance maybe we can avoid sex. Well, I hope so. He smiles at me. Yep, I’m keeping my distance. Glad he’s noticed.

“You said you wanted to talk,” I repeat, after taking three gulps of his potent mix.

I should steer this situation away from anything sexual. It’s for my own protection.

“Just want to get right into it huh?” he says, smirking at me.

“Andy, what’s this all about? I thought we agreed to keep our distance so you could make things work with Zama. Why am I here?”

I don’t mean to sound so frustrated, but it feels like he is playing his games again. I can’t get sucked into his drama. I know damn well he has no plans to leave his girlfriend and I need to protect my little heart. As much as I want to walk over to him and rip his jeans off his sexy body, I know sex with him means more to me than it does to him. Much more. I can’t get hurt again.

“You know how we used to talk about our fathers coming back into our lives? What would you do if your dad came back, and wanted to be a part of your life?”

Why is he being so weird? He is looking everywhere but at me, as he waits for my response. Why is he bringing up our mutual daddy issues at one in the morning? My father wouldn’t try coming back to make peace with me. I doubt his wife would let him. Plus, I’m done hoping for a Disney flavoured father-daughter relationship. I’m over all that. I hope.

“You know my dad tried that whole reunion nonsense already, shipping my twin brother and me to the Eastern Cape when we were 14. And then let his wife treat us like crap.”

“How did that feel? What crossed your mind the moment you came home and he was in your aunt’s house, telling you he was taking you home with him?” he asks.

“I couldn’t believe it. I was happy to see him for the first time ever. My brother refused to even talk to him. I, on the other hand, practically levitated into his arms and held onto him for dear life. That happiness was short-lived though.”

“Oh okay…” he says, standing up to get another drink.

Sometimes I think about that day and how I finally felt safe, whole even. At that moment my brother and I were no longer orphans, and I felt wanted. The fact that my father came back for us meant so much to me. And then we were in the Eastern Cape and his wife, and their two children, made us feel like parasites. And as quickly as everything had settled into place, it blew up again. And we were shipped back to my aunt’s house, without so much as an explanation, after we’d endured hate and taunting from our step-mother for two years.

But now, I wonder why Andy has brought this up. “Why are you asking about my father?” I ask, once he is seated across from me again.

“Well, my father came to my job. He wants us to try and have a relationship or something. And I just stood there frozen as he spoke … and then he handed me his business card and said to contact him when I’m ready.”

I am kneeling in front of him holding his head to my chest before I can talk myself out of touching him. All I want to do is comfort him. I know that he is hurting and confused and I want to be here for him in his time of need. He slowly wraps his arms around my waist and pulls me onto his lap. He is gazing into my eyes and my mouth goes dry. I should stop him but I let him pull me into a deep tender kiss. After an eternity I pull away. This is so wrong.

“Andy, we can’t do this. Not again. You’re with someone,” I say, out of breath.

“Please Lihlo I need this. I need you …” He pleads and kisses me again, pouring all his pain and desperation into me with every slow, agonizing movement.

It’s just this one time and never again.

He needs this. He needs me.


Tell us what you think: Is it natural to feel drawn to someone who says they really need you? To feel you are so important to that person? Or is Lihlo a fool?