In showbiz, everyone pays the price eventually. The same can be said about a girl like me living in an apartment I could not afford even if I tried. Even in my best hope where I graduated and became a teacher there, where things could most realistically dream about. Some truths are just simply a harsh reality and in my best case scenario I could end up in China to make more money. In my family with my teaching degree and hopefully a job I would probably be considered to be the most successful if I made it. That was the future I hoped for. The only hope I had was that statistically more teachers won the lotto than any other professional grouping and it was not because we were luckier, I wish! Nope, rather it came down to the fact that we probably played it more to get out of poverty. A girl can dream though right? And amaphupho ayafezeka!
“Ada said he is coming to see me at 7 pm, what should I do?”
I texted my trusty advisor Zethu ngitatazela. I was literally having hot flushes at this moment and at this rate heart palpitations will follow. When she had not responded 30 minutes later I found myself sweating. I was at my apartment by now and needed to take a deep breath and take control of my own destiny.
“What my mother do if my father was coming home?”
I asked myself out loud. Yah neh, she was the only reference point I had that’s how pathetic my life was *hitherto*.
“Clean the house!”
The thought came to my mind immediately. I went through the cupboards to look through the things we had bought and guess what, not a single cleaning contraption!
I cursed out loud. My bank card stays in my pocket so I took it and ran out for the life of me to go buy a mop, handy andy, sunlight liquid, and all the other things I had seen my mother use growing up. I ran back to my place and scrubbed the already clean apartment clean.
I asked myself. My mother would obviously cook for him. Zethu still had not come back to me. She had insisted I buy Basmati rice when I grew up eating Specko and sometimes Tastic rice. She had said now that I lived in Johannesburg I should eat like someone from here. Eager to impress my friends I had bought the ridiculously priced rice and now it looked like an ornament in there.
“Samke you have got this!”
I told myself. With the confidence of a Twitter bully who hides behind a keyboard, I took it out completely with my meat, onions and tomatoes. I can cook, not as well as my mother as she had insisted my fate would not be hers so she would almost always cook by herself. Another reason was that she thought I was wasteful so my experience though present was not as thorough. I cut my onions, green pepper, and tomatoes whilst I defrosted my meat in the microwave. It was already six and this man had said he was coming at 7 pm. Shit, I forgot to text him back and say that it was ok he could come. I dropped everything and texted,
“No problem see you soon!”
Short and sweet. He responded,
I hate that word. It’s for pretentious fuck boys but oh well, he was a man right. From there everything was a disaster and whilst I want to blame nerves it just went bad. I burnt the gravy because I had underestimated how hot this stove was but more importantly the heat reception of these pots. I won’t lie I was raised by Hart pots which do not burn food as they take longer to cook. All these other brands Le Creuset Stonewear and what other nonsense were never even a fantasy because I simply did not know them. Then there was the rice, I do not want to say it is a Black People thing to not read instructions because it could possibly be me thing alone but fuck it, why did I not read the instructions. Everything was a disaster, kunhlakanhlaka nje. Then the cardinal sin when it comes to a woman’s kitchen, I forgot the salt. If my mother could see me now. By forgetting the salt I did not mean that I forgot to put it whilst cooking but rather I forgot to buy it entirely. I think for me that was the lowest point of it all and the tears just came out. Only now did Zethu decide to call me back,
“Everything is a disaster, I tried to cook but these pots…”
I started. I did not even know you can blame the pots up till this point in my life but here I was sure as day,
“I am sorry mngani I should have warned you about them. It never crossed my mind that you would never have used them!”
She said which was honest of her. In my house, even the fancy pots, the ones my mother keeps like decoration did not even look like these.
“I haven’t even bathed, the room is smelling of burnt food. I have even left the front door and the windows open.”
I told her.
“Close the front door now! Never ever do that again. This is Braam not res!”
She warned me. I had also forgotten about that. This was not home where everything was safe. I went and I closed it.
“You said he is coming at 7 pm and he sounds like a man who keeps time. You have 15 minutes to get ready right?”
She asked me.
I told her.
“Ok put me on speaker!”
She told me which I did.
“You definitely can’t bath so just warm up your towel and take a dry bath!”
She told me. That I could do. As I did that she was talking.
“Please don’t wear your parachute underwear!”
She said I laughed but when she did not laugh I realized that she was actually not joking.
“Oh no, I am not going to…wait do you think I should sleep with him? Come on?”
I asked her.
“No that is not what I am saying but you have to be ready for any eventuality. It’s up to you what happens and no one can force you either”
She reminded me. In my head, the first thing that came to my mind was how I could say no to someone as big and probably as strong as him.
“FYI I have more underwear than just parachutes but truth be told parachutes are way more comfortable than most!”
I told her and this time we both laughed. I had never had a reason in my young life to believe that underwear matters as long as you wear one. I am a Mr. Price girl and like Thandeka before I did not wear stripes and polka dots. Those were just tacky and childish. I also did not like those granny pants type of panties whose material looked slippery or plasticy as though they were used condoms. I did also own a thong or two. I hated them though to be honest back home we say nayi inja ibaleka nemfaduko when anything hides between your butt cheeks. It just feels like someone sticks their finger through your cheeks not really nice. It made my ass look nice though so I ended up wearing it.
“Do not wear leggings or a skirt!”
She also advised.
“Leggings show off your body and always make a man imagine your body. A skirt or a dress you know its easy access so don’t do it. Jeans are the way to go!”
She finally concluded. At this moment I was a puppet and was supposed to do everything I was told. I am ashamed to say this but after advice, I chose not to follow it. To compensate for the burned food I wore leggings. Let the man leave grateful for something.
“Let me change. I will update you as things go on!”
I told her as i cleaned up and hurting myself. I was not even completely done went there was a knock on the door. I had not seen him in over a week since he left and much as I was nervous a part of me was happy that he was here. I opened the door.
He said smiling. I had made a conscious decision not to focus on his bulk. The obsession with it had to go. Focus on a man’s heart that was my new motto.
“How are you? Come in please, welcome to…”
Shit, I got stuck.
“Welcome to your place you mean? It is yours so yes thank you!”
He said as he walked in. He walked in and from behind him, he presented me with flowers. I read somewhere that you cant write LOL as it’s not good English but oh well, LOL. Imagine a guy back home giving you flowers I am even defeated. Do Zulu men even know ukuthi izimbali zitholakala kephi? lol but who am I sounding high and mighty, I didn’t even know what they actually smelled like myself. I was about to find out as he handed them over to me and I smelled them like they do on TV hoping i could also say,
“Mmm they smell so nice!”
But hawema my untrained nose could not handle as immediately I sneezed once twice and on the third one i realized that ,no! usathane unamanga!
“Oh my goodness I didn’t realize that you were allergic!”
He said rushing to help me. I wanted to ask him what was the hype about flowers because no man, they did not smell nice at all and I even had tears in my eyes.
“It’s ok i will be fine!”
I told him my nose still in discomfort. It was only moments later after i composed myself that embarrassment set in.
“I am so sorry!”
“I have never actually received flowers before so i guess i was not ready for that. Thank you regardless, they are beautiful.”
I told him and I hugged him for longest time.
“I see you cooked, is there enough for two? I am starving!”
He said taking off his jacket. I couldn’t even say no. We were about to shoot our own Nollywood movie here, Mr. Ibu the way this disaster of a meal was going to be hilarious. My mother would be ashamed.