Okay I was being unreasonable, Mali was family and he needed my help. I called him back and apologised for being so rude to him, I told him there was enough room for all of us in the house, I told him to come over and I could hear the relief in his voice when I told him that he could come sleep at my place. After speaking to him I went to our bedroom to find Mthobisi busy on his laptop, when he saw me he looked up and said “you won’t believe who that number belongs to.” I suddenly remembered the woman who called him at night I don’t know why only then did I remember I told him to hold it and tell me about the woman that keeps calling him at first he pretended not to know what I was talking about and when I reminded him of who she was then his memory suddenly came back “Ohhh I work with her, she’s helping me with my new project” that was all he said about the topic, nothing else, I had bigger problems to worry about so I was not going to probe or dwell on this. “Listen Naledi with her big mouth told Victor and mom about Thandie and Victor called Mali demanding a family meeting with Sue’s family so Mali had no choice but to tell Sue that he has a child with someone ese and now Sue has kicked him out, he has no place to stay and he’s asked to stay with us.” Mthobisi said he was fine with it and at least there would be another man in the house he was tired of being surrounded by woman.
I asked him who the number belonged to and he said it was registered under a company so there was no way of knowing who in the company the phone belongs to unless if we contacted the company itself and even with that the company will not want to give us the name of its employee, shit it felt like every turn we took we were hitting a brick wall, it was really frustrating. “I will find a way around it, don’t stress and we have to tell Mali I know you promised Thandie that you won’t tell him but he’s going to be staying with us and if this were Dineo I would want to know what my daughter is going through.” Mthobisi said making sense even though I was not in the mood to hear it. “Okay, okay fine I will tell him.” I said knowing I was not going to win this argument. Mthobisi feeling victorious continued “Frankly I think you guys need to stop with all these secrets, look at how they are now blowing up in people’s face.” He was right but I didn’t want to hear it, “Okay Mthobisi I get it, but these aren’t even my secrets I’m just trying to help my family and keeping their secrets, I am caught in the middle of all this.” While Mthobisi and I were still talking, my mom called and said they were on their way and I should send them the code for the gate. I rolled my eyes and said okay. I sent her the sms code and I also sent it to Mali. I asked Mavis to prepare lunch for twenty people because at the rate things were going everyone was coming to my house, Mavis laughed and said she was going to make lunch.
An hour later Mali arrived and I told him our parents were on their way and he said he knew. Fifteen minutes later my parents and my sister arrived. We all sat down and Victor was fuming he was really disappointed in Mali, I just sat there in silence and Victor lashed out at all of us for trying to keep a child a secret, he wanted to know how long were we planning on hiding this child and why we didn’t trust them enough as our parents to tell them about this, this was a person and she needed to know her family, her grandparents too and not just her aunts, he was still alive and we were denying him an opportunity of getting to know his grandchild while he was still on earth, that really hit me in the heart. I apologised to Victor and my mom for not letting them know about Thandie, I didn’t know what else to say, Mali took all the blame and said it was his fault he had begged us to keep this secret. My parents said we were all equally to blame for it because we all conspired to keep this child a secret, I had no idea this was going to blow up in our faces like this. Victor said they had to meet Sue’s family and apologize and also Thandie’s family for Mali to pay damages, this was becoming more complicated by the day but I totally got where Victor was coming from. They wanted to meet Thandie so I went upstairs to get her in her room I told her that he grandparents were here to meet her, the first thing she asked was if they knew about the pictures and I shook my head and said no. We walked downstairs and my mom couldn’t stop hugging her and kissing her and crying all at the same time, so excited that she had a grown granddaughter.
Thandie was loved by so many people whom two weeks ago, had no idea that they even existed. Mavis served lunch while my parents were gushing over their granddaughter asking her all sorts of questions about where she comes from and how her family is in Easter Cape, I was relieved that Sue was not there I don’t think she would have been too happy with the attention her new found step daughter was getting. After eating lunch Thandie went upstairs to go play with Mavis and Dineo. Mali told our parents that Sue was extremely upset and was even threatening divorce, he said he had never seen her that angry, my mom assured him that it was just shock talking and Mali needs to give her space to calm down she will speak to him when she’s calmed down. Victor arranged a meeting with Sue’s family for the following evening and on the coming weekend they were going to Eastern Cape with Mali to pay damages for Thandie, Victor does not waste any time, calls were made and arrangements were made. I was still pissed off at my sister for her big mouth and I kept ignoring her each time she tried to speak to me. The family left only in the evening and by the time they left I was so exhausted all I wanted was the bed. I went to bed and left Mthobisi and Mali talking.
The following morning Mali told me not to worry he was going to take Thandie to school, I still had her phone and there weren’t any more threats I was convinced that the call from the lawyer had scared him a bit but Mthobisi was not going to give up. After they left Mthobisi asked when I was going to tell Mali what was going on with Thandie and I told him I first needed to speak to Thandie about it. “You know Nozi’s father works for the company that the phone number is registered to, I don’t want to jump to any conclusions but I think we should pay them a visit or invite them over, to thank them for the sleep-over” I agreed. Mali called asking me to pick up Thandie from school because he was held up at work, I gladly agreed. When I arrived to pick her up I asked her to show me Nozi the friend that she had slept over at her place, she called her and the first thing I noticed was that the girls school skirt was way too short that the school’s requirements. I greeted her and asked for her parent’s numbers I told her I wanted to invite them all for dinner to thank them for the girl’s sleep over, she happily gave me their numbers and we drove home I asked Thandie if any of her friends were also getting threatening messages she shook her head and said no one said anything but she also didn’t tell anyone because she was too ashamed, so she doubts if anyone who was going through the same situation as her was going to speak out. When we got home we compared the number’s that Nozi had given us and they were not the same. I called Nozi’s parent’s and invited them for dinner I knew Mali was going to Sue’s parents with our parent’s so I was not going to have to explain myself. At 18:30 that evening Nozi’s parents arrived with Nozi and their younger son who was seven years old. Nozi asked if she and Thandie could go to a friend who stayed in the Estate, we all didn’t have a problem with it, I mean it was just in the same complex where we stayed. Mthobisi and I were ready for the parents, we welcomed them they were weird people I got bad vibes from the father each time I stood up I felt like he was checking my butt, Mthobisi noticed this too but we tried our best to hold ourselves back the mother was oblivious to all this, I don’t know if she couldn’t see her husbands roving eye or if she chooses to ignore it.
The wife asked why Mthobisi was limping we just said he had been in an accident, we both were not in the mood of explaining ourselves, this night was for us to study them, not the other way round. When I spoke to her in the kitchen while I was preparing desert she told me how hard things were getting for them financially she had just been retrenched from work four months ago and they were struggling to make ends meet and her husband was taking extra jobs just to make ends meet, this was interesting, I asked her what kind of jobs was he doing and I don’t think she knew she just said it was online stuff and I nodded. After the desert, they thanked us for a nice meal and left, they said Noizi sent them a message saying she was going to catch an Uber home.
After they left and we had just walked them out to their car Mthobisi made a call and all he said was “they just left my house, get going” I didn’t know who he was talking to until an hour later when someone came into the house to drop a parcel for Mthobisi. He went to his study with the parcel. I cleared the kitchen I had given Mavis a break on that night I had cooked everything, Mavis needed to rest too she worked too hard. While I was washing the kitchen, I received a called from a hysterical Nozi saying Thandie had been involved in a shooting, I asked what street were they in and she said they were in a club. “Club? You said you were going around the corner. How the hell did you end up in a club? Let me speak to Thandie.” I said angry with this girl it was as if she was just always bringing distraction to poor Thandie’s life. She said the paramedics were busy with Thandie, the phone fell off my hand, this was not good, not good at all.