“Why are you staring at nothing? What’s your problem?” asks Sihlangu.

Sanele’s mind has not been in Mbali’s townhouse because he was reminiscing about how he first met Mbali. His mind totally zoned out after he saw Sihlangu’s gun.

“Baby, I’m sorry. I don’t know what got into me. I was tempted and did the wrong thing!” Mbali keeps saying.

“Stop apologising, Mbali! What you should be doing is cooking us this meat. I haven’t eaten since morning,” says Sihlangu.

Mbali is crying as she starts to prepare the meat. Sihlangu instructs her to put the beer in the fridge.

As Mbali starts cooking, Sihlangu turns to Sanele. “How long are you planning to stand there?” he asks.

Sanele’s mind is stuck, he doesn’t know what to do. His eyes are on the gun in front of Sihlangu on the table.

“I hate repeating myself. I won’t ask you again. Sit down, let’s drink some beer,” says Sihlangu.

Sanele approaches slowly and pulls out a chair. He is confused because Sihlangu’s face is a picture of serenity.

“My name is Sanele. I come from the area, from Section 5. I mean no harm. I really didn’t know that you and Mbali are an item. She never told me she is your girlfriend, my brother. I wouldn’t have pursued her if I knew,” says Sanele, softly.

Sihlangu isn’t even paying attention to Sanele as he explains himself; he just keeps taking small sips of his beer. It is quiet in the room, bar the sound of frying meat. Sanele’s confused mind races because he doesn’t know what Sihlangu is thinking.

“My brother, whatever it is we can work it out. We can talk,” says Sanele. “As I was explaining, I didn’t know that you and Mbali—”

“What kind of a weak man are you, Sanele? Stop putting my name in every sentence coming out of your mouth! If you keep using my name to try to get out of this, you will see what I’ll do to you. I will pour hot water on you!” says Mbali.

It has gone quiet in the room again. Sihlangu is so quiet and still you’d swear he was not even present. He is not the least concerned about what Sanele or Mbali has said. He pulls out a cigarette and lights it.

“I doubt the food will be ready any time soon if you keep fighting with him. I told you I was hungry. Maybe I’m the only hungry person here. Yes, I’m the only hungry one because you two ate a lot at the restaurant in town a few hours ago. You were having a good time,” says Sihlangu.

Sanele and Mbali are both startled. Mbali recalls that Sihlangu called earlier but she ignored his call. When Sanele asked why Mbali ignored that call, she had said it was a telemarketer trying to sell her a cell-phone contract.

Why the hell did I get involved with this crook in the first place, today he is going to kill me, Mbali thinks. She puts on a brave face and asks, “Sihlangu, are you spying on me now?”

Sihlangu’s serene face squints into a frown. “Watch your tone, Mbali. Don’t forget who you are speaking to.”

“I don’t mean to be disrespectful, Sihlangu. I’m just reminding you of what we discussed. We promised we wouldn’t spy on each other any more,” says Mbali.

“So you want me stop spying on you so you can cheat in peace?”

“I’m not just saying this because you have caught me. I’m just saying it because we decided to stop spying on each other,” says Mbali.

Mbali is brave. When she speaks to Sihlangu she looks him in the eye. It is evident she demands answers for the questions she has asked.

Tell us: What is going on? Why do you think Sihlangu is being so calm?