Jayden his spiritual father that he’d fast and pray...
It was midnight, cold and drizzly. Jayden and Lindiwe had just finish a prayer session, outside, in their backyard.
Jayden had suggested that they follow all of Father John's instructions.
Lindiwe didn’t like it, one bit. And she didn’t hide it. "I can't do this, baby. Not every day," Lindiwe complained, half asleep. "I've gotta wake up early for work.
It'd been a week already. They were on a food fast and they prayed intensely at 18:00, 00:00 and 03:00.
Lindiwe had refused the 03:00, flat out. She'd reluctantly agreed to everything else.
"I think we should pray in the morning, midday and before we sleep, rather,” Lindi complained as they walked back in the house. "I've never heard of any other church praying at these ungodly times.”
Jayden poured himself a glass of water in the kitchen. "The very term, ‘ungodly times’, refers to the witching hour, 03:00 in the morning,” Pastor Jayden explained. “This is their times to worship the devil. It’s when satanists are at their strongest - you can Google it if you want. So the onus is on us to cut off their activities, by praying to the Almighty, asking that they don’t infiltrate the land with their wickedness.”
“Babes, this is way too heavy for this time of the morning, I’m off to bed.”
“Please just hang in there, love. We have just one more week to go.”
“And all our financial problems will miraculously be sorted, after we’re done starving ourselves, and praying at awkward times,” Lindiwe mocked animatedly, walking off.
“Don’t mock the word, Lindiwe,” Jayden reprimanded, shouting out to her. “Didn’t Jesus fast for forty days? Didn’t he say we must keep the gates of time for prayer?”
“I can’t hear you,” she replied, joking, and throwing herself on the bed.
Jayden stood still in the kitchen, with a worried look on him. He was elsewhere, deep in thought.
MEANWHILE, at another part of town
It was just past midnight when Mandi received a call.
Her friend Nadia from flat the flat below hers screamed frantically on the phone, demanding Mandi to go downstairs to the security gate.
Mandi sprinted downstairs in her slippers, beanie and pyjamas. It was icy cold.
As she got to the security gate, she got the shock of her life.
A massive commotion had erupted. Everyone stood huddled around fussing about something. What the hell? She wondered as she stepped closer.
The elderly res security guard, Mkhulu, was on the ground, fist fighting with Craig.
Mandi’s jaw dropped. Her flat mates screamed and yelled, trying to break them apart.
They all stood a few meters from the fighters, in a semi circle, trying to stop the violent brawl.
A bleeding Craig had wheel spanner while the elderly guard used a heavy steel baton.
"HEY HEY STOP IT!" Mandi screamed, getting in the middle of it, kicking Craig. "STOP IT MAN!" She feared getting too close. They were punching the daylights out of each other, kicking and swearing too.
Some of the girls called the police. Others called for assistance from other campuses. It was mayhem.
The men wrestled, punching and beating each other with the weapons.
The girls wouldn't dare get too close. All they could do was shout and howl from a distance. Most were frightened, but others found it entertaining to see Craig getting pummeled.
A frightened Mandi finally worked up a nerve.
She dove on them, kicking and screaming, pulling them apart. "THIS IS CHILDISH, STOP IT MAN," she insisted, taking a few hits herself.
The men paused, turning to Mandisa.
"Baby," Craig uttered, exhausted. Blood dripped from his eyebrow profusely. He looked like a character from a horror flick.
"STOP IT, what the hell are you doing?" Mandi continued, attentive to the guard also. "Are you okay, Mkhulu. I'm so sorry about this. I don’t know what to say. Please forgive me."
They stood up.
"It’s not your fault. I'm fine, Mandz. It's just this shit of a boy, with no respect," he spat, trying to catch his breath. “I’m not too old to give a kid an ass whipping, my boy,” he taunted Craig, showing no fear.
A police van with siren lights sped up, screeching its tires, parking beside Craig’s car.
Everyone turned to the cops, cheering now.
"What the hell is going on here, Craig?" Mandi asked him. “What the hell are you trying to pull, dude? You’ve probably just got me expelled.”
A drunk Craig stared back intensely at Mandi. He could hardly stand upright. "They won’t expel you, my love. I’ll p-p-p-protect you. I c-c-came here to-to-to say hi to you, and this-this-this old bastard attacked me."
"Who you calling a bastard?" Mkhulu swung at the insolent teenager once more.
Two police officers came running, pulling them apart. They were both tall white cops - one older and chubby, seemingly more senior in rank.
"What's all the commotion about," the older cop asked, in a thick Afrikaans accent, and stepping up to Craig. "Are you Craig?"
"Who's asking?" Craig responded cheekily, still wobbling. "You can go, officer. Everything's under control now," he claimed, burping. “It was just a little misunderstanding.”
From a distance, the res girls yelled out, "It's him, arrest him, he attacked the security guard."
Mandi joined her friends too, giving the cops Craig's exact details. "Take him in, officers. He's Craig Moore. He attacked our security guard, trying to get hold of me. He's a second year business student. This is a girls’ res, he shouldn’t have been here."
"You're under arrest, Mr Moore," the cop told a defiant Craig, reaching for his wrists to handcuff him.
"Hey stop touching me. Are you-you-you a fag or something?" Craig asked, slapping the cop’s hands away.
"No I'm not, my laaitie. But where you're going, you're gonna see many of them and I suspect that they’ll like you," the cop taunted, pushing him to the ground forcefully, and handcuffing him.
“This is brutality,” Craig complained. “I’m suing your ass.”
He pulled Craig up, dragging him to the police van.
Mandi watched, still startled. She couldn’t believe what had just happened. She felt deeply remorseful that Mkhulu had been put through such an ordeal. She kept asking if he was okay, making sure.
The crowd began to disperse.
Nadia approached Mandi, comforting her. “Don’t worry Mandibles, this isn’t your fault. You won’t get in trouble for it, girl.”
“We’ll see,” Mandi responded, angry and skeptical. “We’ll chat later, Nadia. I’ve got something I have to do.
She ran back to her room and closed the door behind her.
She reached for her cell phone on her bed, to type a text.
It was to Karen Moore. She’d stored Craig’s mom’s number from their previous chat. The gloves were off. She needed to set the record straight.
Hello Mrs Moore, this is Mandisa. I just wanted to let u know that Craig has been taken by the police, to prison or the police station holding cells. I assume it’s Auckland Park police station. He came to my flat, drunk, at this time of night and attacked a security guard. I’ve told Craig many timez that it’s over. I told him not 2 come here anymore, but he won’t listen. This is NOT my fault. Pls talk to him, to leave me alone. He’s gonna get me in trouble.I don’t wana get a restraining order against him, but it looks like I don’t have a choice. Pls speak 2 him. Thank u Mrs Moore. Mandi
Mandi sat on her bed, wondering if she should call her mom, to explain the mess she’d found herself in.
They’re probably asleep, she thought, mistakenly and switching her phone off. I’ll call them in the morning.
Will Karen Moore intervene to help Mandisa? Will Craig finally back off?