Imagine the irony, if I was on Sunday Twitter they would have me Shem. Lungi had brought me to be ‘stocko’ and not
even to Migos but to Lvovo! Let that moment sink in. This guy’s stomach had a stomach and she was expecting me to entertain that. A lot of girls will not admit this but in your life you have been ‘stocko’ before and that ladies is embarrassing. “Stocko” for those who don’t know are the girls who are invited to a party especially but a girl who the girls know and are unfortunately meant to be the guy’s entertainment. There is absolutely nothing flattering about it. One girl who usually knows the guys will call up her so called friends for the guys and often they promise her something in return. Sound familiar? She is like a pimp and if you are weak you will end up. In someone’s bed where after he is done with you well, he probably will never try to hook up with you again. Some girls go around bragging how lit the party was but the true reality is you were used for sex in exchange of a few drinks. Sigh! The things we do to feel relevant. This is why I did not want to be here! For a spontaneous business trip Miriam had this too well planned out.
“Miriam I am checking myself into a hotel! We came here to work and now you are already hooking up with people! Come on now!”
I told her immediately after I pulled her to the side. I did not care the guys could see us as I did that but this is not what I left my place for.
“You need to learn to relax. I know why we are here…”
She started but I cut her off,
“If you do why are these people here? You want us to party with them!”
I accused her but she simply rolled her eyes and said,
“Lungi relax! Why are you jumping to conclusion?”
She asked me.
“Because you brought me here as your plus one and your fuck buddy over there brought his friend as his plus one, do the maths!”
I said losing my temper.
“Oh wow you are full of it? What makes you think he would want you in return?”
She asked me. Nope we were not about to have this conversation.
“I just want out! I am not touching that guy ok! Miriam why would you do this you know I am not like this!”
I told her and half pleaded at the same time. Much as I knew Miriam’s personality she knew mine as well so she should have foreseen that I was not going to play along at all.
“Relax Lungi, he is gay!”
She said and I am almost burst out laughing at that but I would be homophobic if I did. I had never seen an ugly gay guy to be honest. They are almost as rare as poor gay guys and what makes it more unbelievable is that I have never actually seen an overweight gay guy. He was standing next to me at this stage and the guilt made me look at him.
“Nah! You are kidding right!”
I asked her.
“Nope I am not. You will see!”
She said as Jerry walked up to us…
“Ladies can we go!”
Jerry said when he saw my reluctance to move. I did not want to be a spoiler anymore but I was not sleeping at his house. I had promised Bongani that I will keep his wife safe now she was making me lie for her. It was wrong.
“Khaya today you sit at the back. I need to sit in front so that I can catch up with this man here! He has abandoned me imagine!”
She said loudly. This was the old Miriam I knew. She was super impulsive and did things on a whim.
“Yes Miriam I was not even going to fight you. You can sit and enjoy his bad driving! If that road had cameras I am very certain we would have been arrested via helicopter!””
Khaya said spicily and we all laughed because of the way he said it,
“I was not driving badly dude I thought we were late and you are too much of a coward the way you were screaming at me like that!”
It was very odd seeing these two interact. A lot of straight man don’t have or hide their gay friends. Jerry and this guy were obviously close and they were close. It showed by how they spoke to one another.
“We are going to start off at my place and if Lungi you still want to check in I will be glad to take you. I stay in La Lucia and there are hotels close by in Gateway!”
He said to me.
“I don’t even know where La Lucia is!”
I told him and he said,
“My place is about 2km from Gateway. I live on Timavo Drive. It’s a few minutes’ walk from La Lucia Mall!”
He explained and this was all Greek to me.
I acknowledged but I was not sure at all what he was talking about. I did not argue further though because I was going to be the one who was being difficult. I sat back in silence and thank God Khaya did not try to speak to me because I actually had nothing to say to him. It was clear that he and Miriam knew each other because they took over the conversation.
“How come you have not invited me to your new house? We used to party together now I am stuck in Durban trying to survive floods! Do you know how hard it is to swim in dirty water?”
He said and even though I was trying to act uninterested we all burst out laughing.
“I am not joking. Floods in Durban…tshini kaloku! This is how you know that Jesus is coming back!”
He said rolling his eyes clapping his hands for dramatic effect.
“How long have you been thinking about this? I saw a white guy surfing on the water on instagram?”
Miriam said and I had seen the video too.
“Yeah imagine them trying to make a swimsuit like that in my size!”
He said and the whole car burst out laughing except for me. I was uncomfortable laughing at him on account on his size but he seemed comfortable with teasing himself on it. He was owning it I guess.
“Don’t worry Khaya you wouldn’t need a swimsuit I am sure you can float without it!”
She said. These were three people who knew each other well and I felt very much like an outsider! I was failing to loosen up. It was only then I remembered that I should check my phone. That’s the problem with leaving phones off on flights. I had three missed calls from my aunt. What did she want now?
I called her.
She said when she picked up.
“Hi aunty I am sorry I didn’t pick up earlier I was on a flight!”
I told her immediately before she could give me a lecture on anything.
“On a flight? I don’t understand! I saw you this morning!”
She said clearly not hiding her confusion. My aunt was those black people who if someone dies they will say,
“Oh my God I don’t believe it I saw her last week and she was alive!”
Yeah aunty it does not take a week to die!
“Yes you did see me this morning and now I am in Durban!”
I told her trying not to sound cheeky.
“Lungile do you hear anything we tell you at all?”
She asked me.
“What do you mean?”
I was expecting a lecture now but I was not even sure what it is I had done to deserve one. I think my mom was worse than my mom. She loved to lecture Shem and every time I did something she was there to remind me.
“This morning what did we tell you about going near water?”
She asked me.
I said out loud.
“I totally forgot!”
I told her and I am not making it up with all the excitement and the impromptu nature of the trip I had put all their doom and gloom at the back of their mind. Those two women can give you nightmares I tell you.
“Lungi I can’t keep on giving you warnings, you are mature enough to know that there are some things you don’t play with and this is one of them!”
She reminded me yet again. It was starting to sound like a broken record now and yes I had forgotten but that did not mean I was not listening.
“I won’t be going to the ocean Aunty. I am here with Miriam we are here for a business trip!”
I told her trying to allay her fears.
“Miriam, your neighbour? That one likes things I am sure she will even swim naked in the ocean if it will get her attention!”
Miriam was one of those people you could read in a second. What you see is what you get with her. My aunt hardly knew her but she had explained her to perfection.
“Don’t worry I will stay away from it. What did you need anyway?”
I asked her.
“No its fine we will discuss it later don’t worry!”
She said and she hung up the phone. She did not even say bye before she dropped.
“Is everything ok?”
Miriam said turning around from the front seat where she was.
“Yes everything is fine. It was my aunt she is on my case about something!”
I told her. She put on loud music and said,
“Now we in Durban we must play some Gqom! Do you have Distruction Boys?”
She asked Jerry. He immediately played them and to Miriam the party was on already. She was dancing in the car like she was 15 again. We got to his house in La Lucia and it was really big.
“There is enough space for you to sleep here but if you really want the hotel we can take you there!”
Jerry told me.
“Ah Lungi come on why waste money at a hotel. You a business woman now you need to know that saving money benefits us!”
She advised me like I did not already know. Miriam had an infectious personality in which she knew how to disarm you without even putting that much of an effort into it. Time flew by pretty quick it was already 7 pm by the time I finished freshening up.
“We need to go meet the girl we came for. See I told you I am all business. She is working tonight; she is a host at some restaurant or something!”
She explained. This is what I was talking about.
“Awesome let’s go!”
I told her jumping up. I was dying for some air already so this was a relief. In my head the sooner this meeting happened the faster I could leave Durban. I was already not enjoying it.
“Jerry is taking us; he will drop us there then will pick us up when we are done!”
She explained. Maybe Jerry was handy after all. We drove what seemed like 20 minutes and when Jerry stopped my heart stopped with me. We were at the wharf! There were boats everywhere but buildings too.
“Crap we are late!”
Miriam said. She had just received and Sms.
“We have to run!”
She said laughing. We got out of the car and we started running laughing. It was funny and Miriam was making jokes about how I ran like a duck laying an egg. We ran towards the last building and when we reached its entrance I stopped.
“Why are you stopping we go right through!”
She said. We went right through and on the other side was a boat. My legs literally felt heavy and rooted to the spot. She worked on a yacht like vessel and what had my aunt said?
“Hey Nonhlanhla sorry we are late!”
Miriam said at this pretty girl who standing ushering us in.
I could not move.
“Lungi let’s go!”
Miriam screamed at me when I had not moved.
I still could not move!
************The End ************
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto
Greetings to my favourite writer and to all my fellow readers.
I am 22 years old and my 26 year old boyfriend proposed to me two weeks ago. We have been dating since I was 16 (6years) but because of the age difference at the time my parents hated him from the time we started dating. He was too old for me was their argument. We only slept together after a year of dating. My father is a magistrate and very strict. He told him that he would get him arrested if he ever saw us together. We endured all this and survived him. I grew up in a good home where I was never miserable or neglected. I had everything I needed and my father was the best man ever. I have two other siblings and when I look at my parent’s marriage I want something like that myself. As a magistrate my dad spends his day judging people so he says he is a good judge of character. To him my boyfriend is bad for me and I should move on from him. My mother agrees with my dad so I am not getting support there. My boyfriend wants to open up lobola negotiations so we went to my uncle for help. My uncle is scared of my dad so when I told him our problem he said he did not want to get involved until my father gave consent. I don’t know what to do because I love my boyfriend and I want to marry him.
Please advise us on how to go about this without me losing my family at the same time.