Naledi and Bonani couldn’t find peace. Spox seemed to be the reason why...
It was Thabo's birthday. Bonani's little late brother would've been sixteen.
Bonani had invited both Naledi and Spox to T-Boz tavern that evening.
The place was abuzz, with beers selling at cost price. It felt like Christmas.
Peter had agreed to the sale, very reluctantly though.
Both Cebisa and Asanda couldn't make it.
Spox stood by the braai area, waiting for her lamb chops in the fire. She hadn't been out in months. It felt good to let her hair down for a change.
A lot of people in attendance complimented her for her healthy and dignified look. She had jeans and a tight top on, exposing just a fraction of her cleavage.
She’d promised Bonani not to smoke and drink, openly. As a result, she'd mixed brandy and coke in a squeeze bottle.
Naledi sat at the bar area with a busy Bonani. She was visibly bored, with no one to speak to. All she could do was watch random drunks dancing and making a fool of themselves. Bonani would approach her periodically when the bar freed up.
"Why don't you go outside and chat with Spox?" Bonani suggested, resting from his bar duties. “I'm sure she could use a hand with the meat."
As she was about to respond, Spox appeared, carrying a tray of grilled lamb chops. She navigated swiftly through the party goers.
"Speak of the devil," Naledi added.
"I come bearing gifts. Here's some meat guys," she said loudly over the music, placing the food on the side of the bar counter. She'd also brought forks and knives. There were eight lamb chops and bread rolls on the tray, no plates.
Spox sat next to Naledi. She grabbed herself a piece. Bonani ran back to the bar, to serve..
"So you aren't even gonna say grace, huh?" Naledi probed.
"Pray before you eat, girl."
Spox placed the delicious piece back. "Since you're the Jesus freak, you pray."
"You’re so lost," Naledi highlighted, closing her eyes and putting her hands together. "For what we're about to receive, may the Lord make us truly thankful. Amen."
"AMEN," Spox yelled animatedly, grabbing her piece again.
"Everything you have comes from God," Naledi explained. "Be grateful."
"Naledi, sisi, I don't wanna fight with you today. Do you and I'll do me, okay?"
Even though Bonani was frantic, serving customers, he sensed that there’d be friction between the ladies. He kept glancing at their direction.
"So Spox, what do you plan to do next year?" Naledi asked, taking a yummy bite of the meat.
"Next year? Grade eleven? I don't understand your question."
Naledi chewed and swallowed. "Where do you plan to live, next year?"
A rush of anger ran through Spox. "With Bonani, obviously. Where do you think?"
"I think it's time you considered going back to your sister's."
"What's your problem with me, huh? What did I ever do to you?"
"Well let's see, you're answering my man's phone calls, you walk around half naked all the time, you call me names behind my back… don't deny it. Last time I called you gave Bonani the phone and said that it wasn't anyone important."
Bonani approached them from the other side of the bar counter. "Everything okay here, ladies?" He asked stealing a lamb chop for himself.
"All good, babes," Naledi responded. “Spox and I are just getting to know each other.”
"Bonani, Naledi wants to know where I'll live next year. I think you're better suited to answer that question."
Naledi turned to Spox with loathing eyes. Bonani looked at Naledi, angrily.
"Come on, babes! We're celebrating tonight, please," Bonani pleaded, walking off to serve customers again.
"Was that necessary, Sphokazi?"
Spox watched two young girls dancing and grinding on each other on the dance floor."Yes it was."
"Fine. Am I falsely accusing you when I say you're disrespectful, and you're trying to come between Bonani and I?"
Spox sipped her brandy and Coke, letting the food go down smoothly. "Yes you are. Bonani is like a hundred years older than me. I don’t do dinosaurs."
"Lying little tramp. Why do you have a problem with me? Why do you hate me."
"BECAUSE YOU HATE ME, NALEDI."
Naledi shifted her seat closer. "Since we can’t get along - why don't you just go back to your sister’s, like seriously. I'm willing to go talk to her myself, if that'll make things better. I’ll even give you some money."
"If I had that option, I wouldn't be with Bonani."
"Excuse me?" Naledi snapped.
"I wouldn't be LIVING with Bonani."
"Sphokazi, you've gotta go - simple and klaar."
Spox gave her a dirty look, and then looked away.
"Do you hear me, little girl? I want you to find accommodation somewhere else." Naledi flicked her finger on Spox's hand."
"Don't touch me! Do not make that mistake," Spox cautioned, staring her dead in the eyes.
"Ooh! The real Spox is coming out now. C'mon do something. Let Bonani see who you really are. There’s a knife on the tray there – do something."
Spox composed herself, taking another sip of her beverage. "Tell you what, Naledi. How about my daughter and I move into your flat, since your flat mate is gone now. And then you can move in with Bonani. It's a win-win. It'll fix your whole 'moving in together' beef, don't you think? I’m smart, huh? More than just a sexy gorgeous teen."
Naledi nearly fell off her chair. "How the hell do you know about ..."
"I know everything," Spox responded, taunting her.
"BONANI!!" Naledi yelled, signaling that he get there, immediately.
He raised two fingers up, asking for two more minutes.
"Is there something you wanna tell me, Spox?"
The table had turned. Spox was now cool as a cucumber while Naledi panicked.
"Sphokazi my girlie, I'm not gonna ask you again," Naledi spat, standing up. "How do you know about my arguments with Bonani?"
Spox stood also. "Bonani and I share things. We’re close."
Naledi slapped Spox hard across the face.
Spox stumbled backwards, stunned.
"HEY, HEY, STOP IT!!" Bonani yelled, jumping over the counter, coming between them.
The crowd cheered, wanting to see more action.
Bonani pulled them apart with his hands stretched out, side to side. “STOP IT MAN. YOU’RE ACTING LIKE CHILDREN!”
"Bonani, what have you been telling this slut? What’s going on here? And don't lie to me?" Naledi demanded.
Spox held her burning cheek with a wry smile on her. She wanted to reveal the truth, about kissing Bonani. But she waited for Naledi's next move.
A tongue tied Bonani tried to explain. "I might've ... I might've mentioned something ... I think Spox overheard me speak to you."
"Just tell her the truth, Bonani," said a cocky Spox.
Both Naledi and Bonani froze.
"What truth?" Naledi asked, turning to her man.
"Yeah, what truth, Spox?" Bonani asked also, shaking in his frightened boots. Please don't do this, please don’t do this, he thought.
"Let's lay all the cards on the table," Spox suggested, looking straight at Naledi. "About two weeks back, you wanted to break it off with Bonani. He was upset and needed someone to talk to. I happened to be in the TV lounge at the time - so guess what? We spoke. Nothing fishy happened, Naledi. Bonani was just scared of losing you. Are you happy now?"
Bonani turned to Naledi checking if she'd bought it.
"Is that true? Naledi queried her man, easing up now, but still skeptical.
"Yeah. Yeah it is. I was just in a panic, love. Sorry."
The tension had subsided a tad. Clients at the bar called for Bonani, getting irritated now."
"Are we all cool, guys? Let’s get all please. This is my work place." Bonani walked off back to mend the bar.
Naledi quickly grabbed him by the hand, yanking him back. "Something's going on, I can feel it. You're gonna have to make a choice, Bonani. Is it gonna be her or me? I expect an answer from you by tonight." Naledi grabbed her purse from behind the bar counter and walked off.
Bonani just watched her leave. He'd enough beef for one night.
He gave Spox a quick glance before returning to the bar.
Spox remained, with a warm, wide and glowing smile.
Who will Bonani pick? Will he pick any of them?