Mali went white in the face; my brother was really shit scared of his wife. He started pacing up and down with his palms sweeting. “Lesedi come on, you know how Sue gets, she will not understand and look at this house it’s not conducive for a teenager, Sue like to keep a clean house and teenagers are sloppy and messy.” I rolled my eyes and told him to relax I was going to take her but he shouldn’t expect me to drive to Park station to go pick her up the least he could do is pick her up and bring her to my house, he agreed and said he had already found her a Private School in Midrand not too far from our place. Mali had already decided in his head that we were going to agree to his plan. I felt sorry for the child who was coming to Joburg thinking she will be staying with his father and was going to get a shock of a life when she is shipped of to an aunt who she probably never even knew existed. “Doe her mom know she will be staying with me?” I asked and he shook his head and said she didn’t but he was sure she wouldn’t mind she was a really sweet lady and was just desperate for her child to get proper education he said she never asked him for anything and the only reason why she called her two years ago was because the child was gravely ill and she didn’t want the child dying without knowing who the father is and also wanted me to know my child even though it might have been too late. He said he lied to Sue and said he had a business trip and flew to Cape Town and the moment he laid his eyes on his daughter he fell in love with her, her appendix had burst and she was in a public hospital and he had to make sure that she was taken care of he moved her to private hospital and best doctors looked after her and after a few weeks in hospital she fully recovered and was sent home. He bought her a phone so he could keep in touch with her and they speak on the phone weekly. “How does the mom feel about that?” I asked wondering if that woman didn’t want him back and maybe was now using the school thing as a ploy to get him back. He said the mom didn’t really care about him, she has her own things going on, he hardly spoke to her the only person he spoke to was his daughter. “What her name?” I asked because we have child been calling her the child and it would be a bit awkward calling her child the whole time. “Her name is Noluthando but she likes being called Thandie” he said with a smile in his face, I could see the love my brother had for his child, I said it’s a beautiful name and Dineo would love to have a big sister around.
After leaving my brother’s house I went home to prepare her room, when I got home the first thing I did was call Mthobisi. “So why didn’t you tell me about Mali’s child?” I asked him and he told me that I needed to hear it from him and it wasn’t his place to tell me, he asked me what did I tell him? I told him I was corned and since he had already agreed and he said Mali is family and family needs to help each other, I couldn’t disagree with that. After the call I told Mavis about our guest that was coming to stay with us and I told her not to worry I was going to prepare one of the spare rooms for her. I decided to give her one of the rooms upstairs because I knew kids love upstairs rooms. I put in new line in the bed and washing basked and I placed a few books that I knew she was never going to bother reading but it just added class and style to the room.
Mavis prepared dinner and we waited for Mali to arrive with the child, she was meant to arrive at Park Station at six. I wondered how life was going to be with a teenager in the house, I remembered how much of a pain I was to my mom at her age, Gosh I wish she could find good friends like I did. I received a call from my sister she said she was close to the gate and needed a code to enter, this was a surprise, I quickly sms’d the code and within a few minutes she was at the door with her kids, we hugged for a few minutes because I had not seen her in such a long time and seeing her kids again just brought tears to my eyes, I had such a sweet niece and nephew, I held them tight and told them how much I had missed them. They played with my daughter and she was so happy to see her cousins at that moment I knew my daughter had people that would have her back when she grew older, people that she was going to be able to share her problems with. My sister said she had to come and to meet Maili’s daughter he had told her that she was arriving that night and would be staying with me. “Please don’t spoil her too much” she said jokingly “hey I’m very strict you know this” we both laughed knowing how I spoilet her kids and how she always always complained about that to which I never listened, I always just wanted kids to have everything that they want and more. “Wait until Dineo gets to four, you will realise that kids want everything that is under the son and you can’t give her everything.” I smiled and told her I would cross that bridge when I got to it. Mali final arrived and his daughter was such a cute little thing, we welcomed her, I showed her room she said it was big as her house back in Eastern Cape and she loved it, she asked who she would be sharing it with, I told her it was all hers, she told me she had never had her own room before she thanked me and gave me a hug, this child was already melting my heart now I understood why my brother loved her.
We had diner and chatted and my sister’s kids loved Noluthando all the cousins were getting along, we were bringing up the next generation and it felt amazing, only people missing were my husband and Mali’s wife, I wished they were there to share that moment with us, but I knew the time was going to come when they would all be there. After dinner and chatting my sister and her kids had to go, kids had school the following morning, Mali also had to leave and I told Thandie to also go to bed the next morning was going to be her first day at her new school I didn’t want her tired at school, she asked what she was going to wear and I told her to wear her old uniform because we didn’t know what her size was so we were going to go and buy her school uniform after school.
The following morning Mavis had prepared breakfast for her and a lunchbox and she looked terrible in her uniform it was old and the colour had faded I told her to change and just wear black jeans and a white top and at least she had those, after breakfast I drove her to school, she was very nervous and kept asking if she could not go to school the following day, I told her she was going to be great and she had nothing to worry about. When we go to the school gate Mali was there, she was so happy to see him she ran to him and hugged him. We took her to the office and Mali spoke to the principal while I looked around at the pictures of previous student’s that had attended that school, it was really a prestige school. The principal took Thandie to her class and Mali and I left he gave me money for her uniform and thanked me again for helping him with her. I went home rested for a few hours then at two drove to school to pick her up and took her shopping for her new uniform, she said the kids in that school were super rich and she felt like Cindarella because she was wearing old worn out raggedy clothes and when she told them where she was from they all looked down on her she said she didn’t even make one friend on her first day of school but was hoping that having a uniform would not make her stand out like wearing jeans did, make heart broke for her, teenagers can be very cruel, I told her not to worry she had me and her father as her friends. I could see she was really not taking this well, I really had no idea how to advise her. We got to the uniform shop we bought her uniform, stationery and other small school stuff that she needed and on the way home I bought us ice-cream to try and cheer her up. When we got home Mavis wanted to know how her fist day of school was I told her not to ask. I called Mthobisi and told him how awful our visitors first day at school was and how I realized that I was really not good with teenagers he told me to not be to hard on myself sometimes all kids needed was someone to listen to and I didn’t always have to give advice, speaking to my husband made me feel a little bit better.
Day two of school Mali couldn’t meet us at the school gate like the first day but he had called the night before to explain that he has a very important meeting to attend to. She looked so pretty in her uniform, Mavis had cut it and sawn it so it didn’t sit on her ankles like it did before we made sure it was three fingers above the knees like her school book instructed. I hugged her and told her to have a good day as I left her at the gate. From school I went to go see my husband in hospital he was recovering so well which pleased the doctors but they needed to keep him for another week just to be sure he was properly of the danger line. After the visit at the hospital I rushed to go pick up Thandie from school, this time she was all cheerful and happy which just made my day, for two weeks all I did was drop her at school then go and see Mthobisi and pick her up again and back at home, I was starting to feel like this was clock work, the doctors wanted to keep Mthobisi in hospital longer. The second weekend at or place Thandie said one of her friends was having a sleep-over and she has been invited and it was such a big deal for her, I called her father and he was fine with it. The mother of the friend came to pick her up I was relieved to have some peace and quiet she was a bit of a talk-machine, talked about school her new friends, how different they were from the friends she had in Eastern Cape, she said she belonged in this crew who started liking her after finding out that she stays at an Estate, I didn’t get how small kids could be so materialistic but at the same time I was glad she had made friends. The whole weekend she called to check-in and to let me know she was safe and all was well, she was such a well-mannered child her mom had done an amazing job raising her and I secretly wished Dineo could grow up to be like that.
The following Monday Thandie was back at school and my clock work started, Mthobisi was coming home the following day. I took her to school when I went to go pick her up she was not as cheerful as she was when she came back from the weekend sleep-over and for the first time she didn’t want to share what was bothering her, I didn’t want to push her so I let it go. The following morning, she said she was sick and couldn’t go to school, I let her sleep and got ready to go and pick up Mthobisi as I was about to leave Ma vis came to me and said Thandie had been crying all night, I couldn’t go check on her Mthobisi was waiting for me I asked Mavis to give her some Panado’s because she was coming down with something and if it gets serious to call Mali. I left Mthobisi was happy to be going home and so was I, he was limping but he was no longer in pain which made me so happy.
When we go home Thandie was still in her room Mavis called her to come and meet Mthobisi and when she came down I could see she had been crying her eyes were red, I gave Mavis a look and she shrugged her shoulders. She told us she was still not feeling well and Mthobisi told her she could go back to bed, I left Mthobisi playing with Dineo while I went upstairs to check up on Thandie. When I got to her room she was bowling her eyes. I asked her what was wrong and she hesitated for some time and after a while she showed me her phone. There was a naked picture of her and the person who sent it said he wanted R10 000 or else he distributes the picture to the whole school…