I have never ever had to question my sexuality before. I don’t even think before a few days ago that had ever crossed my mind. I think all this drinking and partying was making me see things that were not there. I am actually grateful that she had said that she was not bisexual because what if she had said she was then what? Today was Zoo Lake and that was the focus. We got ready for it and around 12 we were picked up by Beloved and his friends. The thing with the university is that you get to mingle with different groups of people especially if you are a girl. I still had a slight hangover though. I had to wear Zethu’s clothes as I had not packed for this but I did not mind. It was better than going back to my res though. I asked Beloved to stop by the bank and I deposited some of the money. Zethu and I bought our own drinks and we went out.
“Mahlatse were does the name Beloved come from?”
I asked him and everyone laughed, especially the guys.
“I have had it since I was young so I really don’t know who gave it to me. Only Katlego uses it though so at least I don’t get too many people to laugh at me for it!”
He told us as we drove there. The plan was that we were going to spend an afternoon having a picnic. I liked the idea because I was tired of partying all night drinking so good harmless fun would be nice.
“Tumi what do you do?”
I asked his friend who seemed to be unable to make eye contact with Zethu.
“I am a 3rd year student but I also do forex!”
He said confidently as though it made him important.
“Forex as in like those people that trade and what not? Does it really work?”
I asked him. I had heard of it. In fact, in KZN a lot of people were trying it.
“Yes, it does. A lot of people think it does not because they lack the patience for it. You have to be patient enough to make the money!”
He explained it to me. I felt he was a bit defensive though. I knew little about it but Zethu did and she responded to him,
“Tumi we have had this debate before. South African men like these get rich quick shandis. You cannot tell me patience is equated to sitting on your computer for hours hoping for a line to go up. Go to a school, get a job, and make a proper business to make you real money. You need to get that!”
She said which I noted created a tense moment. I guess this was the reason why they would not make eye contact.
“And don’t even get me started on Tenders!”
She started of which Beloved entered in and said,
“Aye look what you have started Samke!”
With definite annoyance in his voice. It was palpable even.
“You know why I won’t support them, the reason why South Africa is so corrupt is that it was meant to be a scheme to empower black people but guess what, we fucked it up to. You cant tell a bunch of lazy people that I will give you millions if you do a job with minimal labour and expect them to come up with new business ideas! What for? They now all line up and wait for the same tenders. With them being so many they end up paying for it to whoever is giving it. We all get angry at the procurement departments but with so much pressure what do you think they are supposed to do?”
She asked the guys as this was now clearly above my pay grade.
“Guys come on let’s steer away from politics. The last time you guys ended up fighting ruining our outing!”
Beloved said and Zethu responded sharply,
“We fought because Tumi here tries to impress me with a ponsy scheme called forex which he can’t even explain to himself!”
Ouch. I felt that one. There was silence in the car and thank heavens Zoo Lake from Wits is not too far.
“We are finally here guys!”
Beloved said cheerfully when we got there trying to break the ice. I had never seen this feisty side of Zethu and I liked it. Where I grew up whilst debates were encouraged truth is boys would always win because losing to a girl is considered embarrassing. Either Zethu was so intelligent or this boy could not argue I am not sure.
Tumi said in a tongue in cheek manner. He got out of the car and Zethu got out too immediately and opened her arms for a hug and said,
“You know I love you right?”
To him. It was so funny because he came in for a hug.
“What just happened there?”
I asked Beloved.
“Tumi has a huge crush on her, she pretends not to know this and she always treats him like he is a dimwit!”
We both laughed at this. It’s tough out there when you like someone who does not even see you.
“So what exactly is the occasion today because I was just invited and not told anything?”
I asked him.
“Nothing really. It’s just a chill session in an outdoor environment. We do this once a month just to recharge our batteries.”
He said calmly.
“With Katlego and them we never ever get to do such things because well, we never think of them.”
I told him and he laughed.
“There is actually so much to do you just need to open your mind to it.”
He told me as we got out of the car. Zethu and Tumi were still in the hugging embrace. It was weird really because it was at least a minute. Was he crying?
“She loves torturing the poor soul. I am sure by the time she moves off him he is going to have a boner. R20 says he has a boner?”
I burst out laughing.
“You are so nasty but ok I am in. R20 says he does not!”
I responded. We looked at them from that angle of the car which we were at. I could feel something inside me. It was jealousy. I was jealous that she was holding him like that for that long and worse that he would get horny over it. Amadlozi ayengihleka that time I was not happy.
“Guys we need to unpack come on!”
Beloved said trying to draw them apart as they were being extra right now.
“Hug Samke too otherwise we will stay like this for the rest of the afternoon!”
Zethu said and immediately I brushed because I had not expected. Wait? Was this double date? Where there no other people coming. I was confused. Ngiyinhlekisa.
“Really Zethu that is so childish!”
I told her and indeed it was. She really was playing us as though she was a puppeteer and we the dolls.
“You are scared of hugging a though people in Mooi River don’t hug!”
She said to me which actually annoyed me but i think it was the jealousy speaking.
“It is not a village guys!”
I said defending my territory. I might come from a small farming community but I was still proud of it.
I called him in and I hugged him. There was a vast difference between hugging him and Abedi. This one I felt if I put a little more pressure I could break.
“There guys its done!”
I told her playing into her game. She let go of Tumi and lo behold, Beloved had been right. We both burst out laughing much to the surprise of the other two.
“If you know you know, pay up!”
Beloved said and i laughed saying,
“You tricked me there!”
I told him.
“Share the inside joke?”
Zethu asked curiously. I was annoyed with her so i snapped at her and said,
“Make your own jokes with Tumi!”
I was not intended but I had actually realized that Zethu was a tease. and she took pleasure in manipulating your emotions. Was that long ass hug meant to show me she was straight?
“Mmmm someone is touchy!”
She said teasingly.
“Beloved, let’s go buy ice-cream. Let’s leave Mr. and Mrs. Forex here to unpack since they are so clever!”
I said and immediately walked off.
She called after me but I was not hearing it. Beloved came after me.
“Hey what’s going on? You do know that all we do is just teasing. Don’t take everything to heart otherwise you will always be hurt!”
He advised me. I don’t know what had come over me but I won’t hide the fact that was annoying.
“Nah Zethu likes playing games with people’s emotions. What she is doing to Tumi is wrong and I am not that person!”
I told him of which he responded,
“Whilst I am grateful that you have a beautiful soul, you hardly know Tumi. He is a big boy he can fight his own battles!”
He reassured me thoughtfully. What he did not know was that the Tumi in my statement was me.
“There is the ice cream guy!”
He said. He used the money I had lost in the bet to buy us all ice creams. He told me that Zethu likes Tornado which funny enough was my favourite too. We bought four of them but when we got back to the picnic spot they were fighting again,
“…they take our job, contribute nothing to the economy, abuse our women…”
He was saying and Zethu cut him off,
“We are not your women; you do not own us and we are grown up enough to choose the men we want good or bad. I do not have to confine myself to narrow-minded bigoted self-absorbed South African men who think they own me.”
Whatever the argument as about he ha struck a nerve and i don’t think he got it,
“These yoyo boys are dangerous!”
He added and she snapped again,
“The nerve you even have calling them boys when you look like a five-year-old standing next to them physically. Are you not a hustler too with your forex so tell me what makes your hustle any different to his house?”
She asked him.
“I don’t go to other people’s countries to do so!”
Dark-skinned as he was even changing colour the way he was so mad,
“That’s how stupid you are, someone comes from a faraway place and finds opportunities in your own country you never even dreamt off now you angry at him? Who is the fool, you who did not see the opportunities or him who saw that you are dumb enough not to see them and exploit them? That’s weaknesses. You have everything at your feet but you are busy angry at someone you don’t even know!”
Again this conversation was not going to intervene.
“Is everything ok here?”
Beloved asked and immediately they both responded at the same time,
“Yes, everything is fine!”
Its amazing how two people who clearly resented each other or rather one person resented the other could not see that they were bad for each other. Tumi is the reason why I think sometimes men are fool hardy for nothing. The girl did not respect him at all and actually saw him much like a cartoon character. Indoda endala yenziwa upopayi them that can never be me.
“Enough guys. Can we ever have a peaceful lunch?”
Beloved yet again the voice of reason asked them. I actually did not think it was possible between them. At that moment Zethu got an SMS notification.
“Of course we can as soon as small grow up and become…”
She paused she read whatever had been sent to her. Her face went from animated to shock and blank,
“Zethu, is everything ok?”
I asked her.
“No it’s not. I just got a text guys and it’s from Nthabiseng’s roommate. She says she did not get to her room this morning and is asking if I am with her as her mother can’t get hold of her!”
Oh God no.