Teko asked his uncle if he could go to the bush...
Teko was at a local Jikaville clinic, that rainy afternoon.
Blessing and his uncle had forced him to go get antibiotic and antibacterial shots.
"Way too many initiates are dying, nowadays. I won't have my baby be a statistic," Blessing had told him, adamant.
Teko sat in the long queue, chatting to an upset Fati on the phone.
"So this means I won't get to see you for about three weeks?"
"Yes babe, it's just twenty-one days. We’ve had this discussion before, what’s up?"
"I know, but I’m not sure about this whole thing ... people die there, babes. And apparently you're not supposed to sleep with me, first, when you come back. It's bad luck or something."
"Those are myths, Fati, c'mon."
"Well, a lot of people are telling me a lot of stuff."
"Don't listen to 'em."
"If you say so. Can I ask you something?"
"Yeah, anything." Teko responded, shifting up in the queue.
Fati paused, thinking of how to say it.
"Hello, you still there?"
"Yeah," responded Fati, still trying to structure her next sentence."
"What d'you wanna ask me?"
"Do you love me, Teko?"
"Of course I do. Where's this coming from now?"
"I wanna know if you ever think of us, in the future. Y'know, the distant future."
"I guess ..."
"Do you ever think of us … getting married?"
"What?" Teko blurted, instinctively. An old woman in the queue turned back to him, alarmed.
"Well, do you?"
"Marriage! Really? At our age? What are you talking, Fati?"
"I have a child, dude. So ... y'know ... sometimes I wonder if you won't break up with me, in the long run, and get a chick that doesn’t have a baby. You're going to the mountain in a few days, so I know you think of the future, and stuff. What about us?"
"Wow, babe, I wasn't expecting this," he explained looking around and scratching his head.
It was his turn to step inside the nurse's office.
"I have to go in, can I call you afterwards?"
"Yes or no, Teko!"
He stood, walking slowly towards the nurse. He had to speak quickly and whisper. "No, I don't plan to break up with you, Fati, because of Cwenga. I don't believe we're even having this conversation. Okay, chat later."
“So you do think of marriage.”
“Babes, we’ll be together for a long time. I gotta go.”
"Okay bye. I love you."
"You didn't say you love me."
"Oh my word, I love you Fatima. I gotta go, cheers." Teko walked inside the nurse’s room wondering what had just happened.
He was on a mission to become a man, but MARRIAGE - it seemed way too premature.
Hey Mandz, cud I please c u for a second. I'm outside your place. PLEASE COME OUT. I promise not to ask u to take me back. This has nothin 2 do wit that. Its really important. Pls come out for like 5min.
Craig had parked his car outside Mandi's place, that cold rainy evening.
They were both back home, for holidays.
He parked his car approximately a block away, hoping and praying she'd come out. Craig waited with his car wipers on. It had started to pour down hard.
A determined Craig was prepared to walk in and ask Lindiwe or Jayden for her, if that's what it took. He needed to see Mandisa.
He sent another text : Mandi I promise I wont bore u by asking u 2 take me back
And then suddenly, Mandi appeared, dressed in a dark tracksuit, with an umbrella.
Craig lit up like a birthday cake, excited as he unlocked the passenger side. His smile ran from ear to ear.
Mandi walked up to the driver's door, standing outside.
Confused, Craig rolled the window down a crack. "What are you doing? Get inside."
"I'm not getting inside your car, Craig,” she told him, in a commanding tone.
"You're kidding me."
"I'm not. What do you want?"
"UN-BE-LIE-VABLE!" He blurted, stepping out the car and into the nasty weather. He had on only a T-Shirt and jeans. "Can I at least share your umbrella?"
"Sure whatever," she responded, stepping back, letting him take cover.
Mandi looked so beautiful, he thought, taking it all in. She was a natural beauty, with no need for make-up. He yearned to hug and kiss her."I can’t be out here for long. You said there's something important you have to say?"
"Yeah there is." He looked at her, smiling, hoping that she'd reciprocate.
She didn't. She gave him a cold, 'I'm waiting', look.
"Okay, okay. Mandi, babes, I wanted to ask you if there's any way that you could forgive me?"
She threw her one arm in the air, bored. "You said you wouldn't ask ..."
"I'm not asking you to take me back. Listen to me, please. Is there a chance that you could ever forgive me?"
Mandi froze, puzzled.
“I know you won’t take me back, and I’m trying to come to terms with it. I just wanna know if you could forgive me for everything I’ve done to you. Even if we’re just friends, it’d make me feel a lot better. I love you, and I always will. So I need to know that you’re carrying a lifelong grudge against me, and if you are – what can I do to fix it?”
Mandi was still at a loss for words. She gave him with a blank expression, thinking.
“You hurt me, Craig. Truthfully, I haven’t even thought about what you’re talking about. My main focus is moving on with my life. I don’t hate you, if that’s what you’re asking.”
“I guess what I’m asking is - when you’re thinking of me, could you do it without thinking of the ‘cheating two-faced bastard’?
“It’ll take some time, I guess.”
Craig’s right side was getting wet. It was freezing too. “If there’s anything I can do, to make things easier for you, please tell me. I’m sorry, Mandz.” His eyes began to water.
Mandi felt rush of tears developing also. She took a deep breath, holding it in. “You could start by not coming over, and calling me so much. You keep coming over to res, fighting with people and causing a scene. It has to end. I need to get over you, dude. I need a bit of space.”
Tears fell down Craig’s cheeks. The words hurt like a knife. He wiped his face. “Okay. I’ll step back.”
“Can I give you a hug?”
He stepped closer, and embraced her tightly. “I’m so sorry, Mandi. I’m such a screw up.”
Tears formed in Mandi’s face also. She pulled out of the hug, looking straight at him. “I gotta go back in. Thanks for the visit.”
He desperately needed to kiss her.
She stepped back.
“Okay, I’ll see you when I see you, Mandz.”
“Yeah, bye.” She walked off.
Craig stood there getting drenched, watching her leave. He wanted to say something, but couldn’t figure out what.
How did I lose her? He cursed himself.
Mandi disappeared at a distance, walking back inside her home.
Will Craig respect Mandi’s wishes? Why is Fati acting so insecure?