I quickly told Tee that I had to go and that my dad had a heart-attack, she said she would walk me down, we passed more beautiful rooms and paintings as we went down but I could not concentrate in any of that, I needed to get to my father fast. I found Mthobisi waiting for me downstairs, we rushed to the car. On the way to the hospital I called Naledi to ask her what happened, she said she didn’t know but she suspects that it has something to do with Priscilla, his young girlfriend; my father’s girlfriend was young enough to be his last born. She said she and her husband were also on the way to Sunning Hill Hospital, she didn’t know if she should tell mom or not, tricky situation that was, my mom and dad are divorced and my mom happily married to Victor, the last thing we wanted was to cause tension between Victor and my mom so we decided we will first assess the situation with our dad then call our mom if it’s necessary otherwise I would just tell her about it when I got home. When we got to the hospital we found Priscilla in the waiting area, you could see the panic in her face. I went to her and hugged her and told her everything is going to be okay, I had never spoken more than five words to her before not because I didn’t like her but because I just never had anything to say to her before so it would always be “Hi, how are you?” and uncomfortable smiles and that’s all we would ever say to each other but here we were in hospital playing sad family, I asked her what had happened to my dad she said she didn’t know he just collapsed. Really? People do that just collapse I wanted to ask but didn’t want to be rude, a few minutes later Naledi and her husband Lwazi arrived “How is he?” was the first thing she asked, “I don’t know, I haven’t seen him, doctors are busy with him.” I said my sister turned to Priscilla and asked “what did you do to him?” Priscilla looked as guilty as hell she said “Nothing, he just collapsed and I called the ambulance.” While we were still talking a nurse came to us and said we could go in but whatever we do we shouldn’t upset him, Naledi said “in that case she better stay out here.” She said pointing at Priscilla, what had gotten into my sister I smiled at the nurse and said “family politics, Naledi stop it, we all going in.” Mthobisi and Lwazi said they would wait in the waiting area, plus my dad didn’t really like Mthobisi so I didn’t argue with that. We all went in to find our dad with an oxygen mask covering his face and drips in his arm, really not a pretty sight “hey daddy dearest,” I said trying not to look shocked, he removed the mask and whispered “my favourite girls” Naledi and I stood on his left side, Priscilla stood by the door crying, my dad told her to come in and stop acting like he was dead, this brought a bit of laughter to all of us, he assured us that he would be fine we had nothing to worry about but the look in his eye said something else. I left Naledi and Priscilla to chat to him while I went to go find a nurse and corned her about my father’s condition she said “your father’s heart is really in a bad condition, he’s been on the waiting list for soo long and there is not much we can do.” I asked “what waiting list?” she said “for a heart transplant.” Oh lawd, my father needed a new heart and we didn’t even know about it. I thanked her, went back to the room, we were all chatting I acted like I didn’t know anything but the heart thing was eating me up, I knew very well what this meant, he could die anytime.
After we left the hospital Mthobisi suggested we go home, I agreed I was in no mood for a party not after what I had learnt. On the way I way Mthobisi asked why I was so quiet, I wasn’t ready to talk about it so I said “I’m just worried about my father.” He held my hand and told me everything is going to be okay. His phone rang he answered then handed it to me and said “it’s for you.” I answered “Hi Lee, how is your dad?” I didn’t recognise the voice but it was that of a female, “he’s going to be okay, thanks for asking.” I said trying to place the voice, “ohh that great, it’s Tee by the way, you were at my place earlier. Maybe we can do lunch some time, I don’t have a lot of friends around, I’ve just recently moved from Durban.” Oh wow, rich girl wanted to be friend I agreed anything to cut the conversation short. When we got home my mom and Victor were not there, I decided to take a nap while Mthobisi played with Neo outside.
I was woken up the following day by Mthobisi who said that my mom said we should go to church with them, we had breakfast then I told my mom and Victor about our dad being in hospital, they already knew Naledi had told them, my mother asked me what was eating me up because when I don’t want to face reality I slept and the previous day I even missed super I told her I was tired from the braai and all she didn’t seem to buy that story but she let it go. We went to church and all I was doing was praying for my father, getting a heart transplant is such a tricky situation because someone needs to die to save you, I couldn’t bring myself to asking God to kill another person so that my father could get a heart all I did was pray for the heart that God gave him to be strong.
After church I wanted to nap again but Mthobisi and Neo wouldn’t let me, they kept hitting me with a ball until I gave in and went to go play with them outside. My mom asked me to go help her prepare Sunday lunch as we were cooking she asked me again what was the problem this time I couldn’t contain myself I told her about my father needing a transplant, she looked worried and said “don’t worry my child, if there is one thing your father is good at it’s taking care of himself.” I don’t know how she did it, not hate him after everything he did to her, he left her for a younger woman but my mom never spoke bad of my dad, it was as if it’s something that happened to someone else, my mother really did practice what she preached, Naledi and I struggled forgiving him until she sat us down and told us to, and I think at first we did for her, then for ourselves it’s true what they say fake it until you believe it. After lunch Naledi came by and we went to the hospital to go see our father, when we got there we got told he got discharged, they didn’t even bother telling us, but when he was on his death bed we were good enough to be called, I was soo angry. Naledi called Priscilla and she said she was going to call us later and tell us, if she was in front of me I would have slapped her baby face.
The following morning it was the day I had been dreading since the day I arrived back from being held captive by Fundani, going back to work. It felt like the first day of school, I was terrified, I knew I would get hundred and twenty eleven fifteen bucks questions, sorry I couldn’t resist our president’s numbers but you know what I mean. Monday was there and I choose to wear black on that day because it felt like I was going to my own crucifixion and black just felt like a suitable colour. I made sure I got there early, luckily we still had our office I don’t know how Cindy had managed but she had somehow managed to keep us in there. I avoided people like hawks I went straight to the office, Cindy arrived looking biggish, I didn’t want to comment, women hate being told that they’ve gained weight and there is never a subtle or nice way of saying it so best thing is act like you didn’t notice. She asked on how I was with that pity look on her face that I hated and I knew I would be getting it from everyone I told her I was fine and wish people didn’t give me that sorry look, she apologized and said she just can’t get over what I had been through, it’s such a touching story, I thought if you knew the rest of it I wonder what you would think. By ten o’clock I had told the same story to over fifteen people, I was feed-up. Around eleven I was called in to Andile my boss’s office when I got there the Indian lady from HR was there Sadia, she got straight to the point “we understand that you have been through hell and back and we feel for you we really do, but you have exhausted your sick leave days, your annual leave days, family responsibility days, compassionate leave days, everything.” I looked at both of them and said “ohhh, okay.” I was honestly confused by this conversation, what did all these leave days have to do with anything. Andile decided to speak “what we are trying to say is you have no days for anything left.” I was still lost, Sadia took over, “okay Lesedi this is how it works, in 3 years you get 30 days of sick leave and you have finished those 30 days in 1 year in fact you have gone over the 30 days when we add your sick days from last year. We have tried covering that up by taking your annual leave and any other form of leave and you still don’t have enough days.” I looked at them both annoyed now by this and said “As you both know this was not by my own doing, I did not choose to get hijacked and be held hostage, be drugged, get raped and every other filth thing that your minds can not even begin to imagine. It’s my first day back I’m still traumatized I am undergoing intense therapy and you expect me to worry about leave? Figure out what you do but I want my full salary or I swear to God I will go to every newspaper, radio station and tell my story and see which clients would still want to work with you after that.” I swear both their jaws dropped to the ground, I didn’t wait for them to pick them up I left.
Two hours later I got a mail from Sadia apologizing and asking me to fill in some forms, they were going to make a special leave for me, I knew Andile would never apologize. The rest of the day was actually good, I felt like I took my power back by shouting at my boss and HR and the best thing I couldn’t get fired because I was still traumatized, thank you white people for such words that allow you to behave in your worst behaviour without any consequeses. I spent the rest of the day catching up. In fact the entire week was catching up on what I had missed and Cindy and I had an intern which meant we didn’t have to do all the admin, she was a very sweet young girl who asked a lot of questions and was eager to please, she made us coffee every now and again. On Wednesday She Rocks conference called all of us and asked if we could go to some party that her man is playing at it would be in a Club in Fourways on Friday, we all agree except for Cleo who said she would have no one to look after the kids and her mom had watched the kids a few days back. When I got home I told Mthobisi about it and he said he would be working till late and wouldn’t make it but if I drink too much I should call him he will come and pick me up.
Friday finally arrived, I was actually looking forward to just going out with my friends and getting some fresh air. I packed clothes that I was going to wear when we go clubbing later with my girls, you can’t exactly go clubbing with the same clothes that you wore at work unless if you are a guy. After work I drove to Andiswa’s house we were all meeting there for pre-drinks, She Rocks was already there with Andiswa we had a bottle of wine, well they did I didn’t I was trying to cut down on drinking. We chatted, She Rocks was telling us about the new man her life, the Dj, I loved seeing her soo happy after all the hardship that she had been through. Andiswa also had good news she suspected that her Doctor boyfriend was on the verge of proposing, it was just good news and good vibes all around. Around 10 we drove to the club which was in Witkopen not too far from Andiswa’s place we could have walked if it wasn’t for the cold. When we arrived She Rocks called boyfriend, he came and meet us outside, as we walked in there was a huge poster “Welcome Winter Party” with the line-up of all the dj who would be playing and a cover charge of R200 per person, I looked at Andiswa who was looking at the same thing, John said to the bouncer at the door “they are with me” and in we walked behind him and left people standing on the line to pay. I smiled and whispered to She Rocks “the pecks of dating a dj” she laughed. John led us to the VIP section and we had a table reserved for us, a few minutes later some scrounge looking guy came to our table, John introduced him to us as the owner of the place, damn if you saw him in the streets you would want to give him R2 he didn’t have anything that shouted owner of a club, I guess he didn’t want people knowing. The club was filled with a lot of white people, the music was nice,the vibe was good. A waiter came and took our orders. She Rocks man was so cute and sweet each time people came and asked to speak to him he would first ask She Rocks if he could go, even to go to the toilet he would ask She Rocks for permission to go. Each time he would ask She Rocks for permission Cleo and I would kick each other under the table, he was being a such a sweet boyfriend, he would kiss her hand randomly then introduce her as “my woman” to people, it was such cute love. When it was his turn to go play he asked if she wanted to go stand with him by the dj booth, she said no she wanted to dance. She made us dance to all of the songs he played, by the time he was done playing our feet hurt, some girls ran to him and said he played well, he didn’t pay them much attention just went to his “woman”. Cleo and I were dead tired after being forced to dance for 2 hours, I called Mthobisi and told him I was drunk, I wasn’t I was just lazy to drive alone such a long distance, he said he would be there in fifteen minutes, luckily I had left my car at Andiswa’s place and we came with Andiswa’s car. Within 10 minutes Mthobisi was there and Andiswa also decided to leave She Rocks said she would be going to another club with John. On the way home I told Mthobisi about the new man, he didn’t get to meet him because he waited for me in the car and didn’t go inside. We got home around 2 am, I asked where he was to have gotten to where I was so quickly he said he was dropping of something in those areas, and that was that.
Saturday morning I was woken up by a call from She Rocks, thank goodness I hadn’t drank a lot the night before, my body was just a bit stiff but everything else was fine. I couldn’t make sense of what she was saying so I hung up and said I would call her when I got up. She called back immediately; I checked the time it was already after 10. “Gosh Rock star don’t you sleep?” I asked annoyed by this early call on my resting day, she was crying “I’ve been exposed…..” I didn’t understand “Exposed? Who exposed you to who?” the way she was sobbing I jumped off the bed to try and not wake Mthobisi up, “ babe you not making any sense what’s going.” She was still crying “Lee, please come help me, something bad happened, I don’t know what to do.” she was saying this through her tears “oh shit, oh shit, please don’t tell me you killed John.” I don’t know where that came from but She Rocks had been sounding like a serial killer the last time when we told Cleo about her cheating husband, through her crying I don’t think she heard that. I asked where she was she said she was at home. I removed my pjamas washed my face and told Mthobisi She Rocks was in some sort of trouble I would call him when I got to her house and I would be using his car, he was sleeping he just nodded and went back to sleep. I drove like a maniac on the way I called Cleo and Andiswa filled them in, we all knew that She Rocks never speaks about problems she always said she only speaks solutions, she hardly ever cries and for her to have called so early it must be really bad. I parked outside her complex waiting for the other two to arrive, Cleo surprisingly got there first she said her husband had the kids, Andiswa arrived a few minutes later, we went in through security she had sent me the code.
When we arrived at the house we found the door opened, first thing was has she been robbed, but when I looked around everything looked in place. I found her sitting on the couch in front of her Samsung Curve Tv, that thing is soo blody expensive when the hell did she get it I thought, better to be crying in a mansion than in a shack I read that somewhere. Cleo asked her “what’s wrong Doll?” She Rocks was still sobbing, she tried explaining “I, I had sex with Jay-Jay, John this morning.” Andiswa “Damn girl, was it that bad?” Cleo and I both gave her the shut up look. “Okay babe, you don’t have to tell us if it makes you uncomfortable.” I said, she put her hands in her face and said “I asked him if he had condoms and he said yes, and he did, he put it in before, then when we were done I noticed it was not there, I asked him where it was and he said he removed it during penetration.” We were all still not getting what this big crisis was and why she was so upset, so she continued “then he said he is HIV Positive.” I put my hands on my head and I wanted to scream and all of us just started crying, we all felt so powerless, there was just tears for a good 5 minutes no words. What do you say to such horrible news. Then Cleo asked “have you bathed or showered?” She Rocks shook her head “We are going to lay a rape charge against that bastard, you consented to having sex with him not to him infecting you with HIV, this is the same as rape”