Kamvi’s uncle dropped her at Gogo’s home. The old lady was there waiting for her. Kamvi would stay alone with her until her own mother, Nomvu, arrived back from her latest tour-guiding trip.

“My, you’ve grown,” Gogo said giving Kamvi a hug. After Kamvi had unpacked her suitcase she joined Gogo on the couch.

She didn’t talk much to Kamvi. She only commented about the things on TV – especially the weather. She told Kamvi that there was a sixty percent chance of rain the next day. Kamvi didn’t care. She knew that Gogo was disappointed in her; the old woman didn’t have to say anything. She saw the sad look in her eyes whenever Gogo looked at her.

Kamvi texted Cynthia one afternoon while Gogo was watching one of her favourite gospel shows.

So bored! I cud die…

Cynthia texted back:

Wlk 2 da mall & spoil urself… Cx

There was nothing about future plans to hang out, or any sympathies for Kamvi’s lack of a social life. Kamvi didn’t feel like asking how Cynthia’s holiday was going. She didn’t want to depress herself any further.

Gogo would clean and cook and Kamvi would help out where she could. Most days she would wake up late and Gogo would be finished with the cleaning. They would have lunch and Kamvi would do the dishes. Then it was TV all day until they prepared for supper.

“You need to move around, get out, you know,” Gogo said one evening, as Kamvi was peeling potatoes for supper.

“Where would I go, Gogo?” Kamvi asked, not wanting to get into this topic. Gogo had noticed that no-one had come to visit Kamvi, not even that good-for-nothing boy who got Kamvi pregnant. That selfish Yanda who hadn’t even called her after she left him a message saying she was pregnant with his child. He was a coward. Life was cruel, thought Kamvi. They had sex two times and she had fallen pregnant. Two times! Yanda wasn’t even really her boyfriend. He was just a holiday fling. But alone at night she still thought of him and needed him to be there for her. Here she was, alone, her life changed forever.

“The baby will be strong if you keep active,” Gogo said. Kamvi knew that Gogo was right. The sister at the clinic had told her that if she should keep healthy, for her and the baby. She knew Gogo was feeling sorry for her. “A young person should be out enjoying their youth”, she often used to say.

“I’ll go to the shops tomorrow,” Kamvi said.

“Good. Good,” Gogo responded, nodding.

As the week dragged on Kamvi missed her mother so much. She wondered when she would be back. Would she make it in time for the birth? She had wanted to call her but then changed her mind. Kamvi didn’t want her mother to worry.

Gogo is here, she thought to herself. But would Gogo know what to do when the time came? Would she want to deliver the baby herself or would she know to call her son to take Kamvi to the Midwife Obstetric Unit? Kamvi knew one thing for sure, she couldn’t call on Yanda. In her weaker moments she had texted him. But he hadn’t even bothered to reply. She wasn’t even sure where he was. But part of her still hoped he would pitch before the baby was born.

“What was Mama like as a baby?” she asked Gogo as they watched TV. Gogo looked stunned, as though she wasn’t expecting the question.

“Troublesome,” Gogo said closing the topic.

Kamvi’s mother had not stopped being troublesome: she had fallen pregnant at sixteen and that had disappointed not only Gogo, but Kamvi’s uncles too.

Just then Kamvi felt her baby kick. She put her hand on her belly and gently rubbed, as though sending secret signals to the baby. You won’t be troublesome, will you? she thought, as the baby kicked again.

“You know, there is pain when babies are born,” Gogo said, noticing what Kamvi was doing, “but all that pain is worth it. Children make your life worth living.”

“If there was such pain then why did you have four children?” The words made their way out of her lips before she could stop them. Gogo looked at her sternly, surprised that she could even dare.

“Sometimes things don’t always work out as we plan, Kamvi. But no matter what happens, when you have a family that loves you, everything seems better,” she said, smiling now.

That’s when Kamvi knew that she would be alright. As long as she had her mother and Gogo by her side, then all would be well. If her mother didn’t make it for the birth, Gogo would handle it, even though she was old and frail she had raised four children on her own.

“…but they take your everything,” Gogo was continuing. “Your time, energy, dreams.” Kamvi realised she hadn’t been listening.

Gogo was right. This meant Kamvi would now be a mother first and a teenager second. Gogo had seen it happen with Kamvi’s mother, and now it would happen to Kamvi.

Her phone vibrated on the table. She picked it up, thinking it would be Cynthia.

Hey cuz, cum spend da wkend,

we havin a braai 🙂

It was from her cousin Zamo. Kamvi smiled at the thought of being with people her own age again. And then a wave of panic washed over her. Would Yanda be there? After all he was a friend of Zamo’s. That’s how they had met. And it was Zamo’s room they had had sex in. She thought of asking Zamo about him, but then thought again.

Most of Kamvi never wanted to see Yanda again after how he had treated her. But there was a part that longed for him to be there for her and to love their baby. The more she thought about the weekend the more she wanted to see him. How could he not want to see the mother of his child?

She texted back:

Count me in. Kx

She spent the evening searching through her clothes for something to wear. All of them were too small, save for the new ones she had got from her mother. She tried a checked red and black shirt that flowed over her bump and her maternity jeans.

But she still looked two sizes too big.

In the mirror she didn’t like what she was seeing: a fat blob. What if Yanda would see the same thing too, she wondered. It had been months since they last saw each other and Kamvi wasn’t big, then.

Why was it so important that he still found her attractive? What was she thinking? But it mattered. What if he didn’t find her attractive anymore? Kamvi imagined being in Yanda’s arms, and him taking her clothes off. She knew she still wanted him, she couldn’t help it, even if he had treated her badly. Things could change. She knew that if he wanted sex she wouldn’t say no. But what if he rejected her when he saw her swollen belly and her stretch marks.

She found some Bio-Oil in her mother’s bedroom cabinet. She took a bath and applied a generous amount to her body, extra on the stretch-marks. She hoped that come the weekend, the marks would be reduced. Or even better, gone.

“You look great,” Gogo said on the Friday afternoon when Kamvi was leaving. She only smiled faintly, unable to acknowledge what Gogo was saying. She didn’t feel pretty, or cute, let alone great. All she could think of was whether the father of her baby would be there at the party. And what he would do when he saw her.


Tell us what you think: Will Yanda want to be with Kamvi? Why or why not? Would you want to be with him if you were Kamvi?