A while back there was a picture that did the rounds. It was a picture of a donkey that was tied to a plastic chair and usually the caption was something like ‘oppression is in the mind’. The picture implied that at any point the donkey could have walked away as the chair weighed probably like paper to it. Regardless, VIP for me is exactly like that. Imagine at a house party having a think rope separate us from the rest of the people just made us feel special. Unlike the oppressed donkey obviously our sentiment was one of joy and importance. My gender sometimes ah.
“Champagne for the ladies!”
Abedi offered. He was sitting furthest from me.
Zamo immediately said. With the way we had sat down, Zamo had no gotten to sit down to her “dibs” target, that honour had gone to Zethu. She was sandwiched between the most beautiful man on earth to her left and to her right the Nigerian soccer player interested in her. Honestly why is God so inconsistent with his creations though. Don’t even come at me with that we are all made beautiful crap because when you look like the soccer player you know fir a fact that that’s a lie.
“Samke and Kat must i pour for you as well ladies?”
He asked us but i noticed he looked me straight in the eye and that made me feel moist. Katlego who was already tipsy as she had been drinking MCCs the whole even nodded in the affirmative.
“No thanks. I drank a bit much yesterday i think it’s time for water before I make a scene!”
I responded and everyone laughed out loud except for Zamo who actually responded by saying,
“Ah come on Samke it’s your birthday, on your birthday you supposed to drink till you drop? You only turn a new birthday once right?’
She said and just like that the tide against me. Soccer player and Abedi, Zamo, and Zethu all seemed to agree.
“Yes girl, time to handle your liquor like a queen!”
Zamo added. In my head i believed i knew why Zamo was doing this. If i embarrassed myself, which most likely I would that would humiliate in front of everyone especially Abedi. Forget this female empowerment nywe nywe nnwe talk, there are a lot of women we fight for men and some even get physical for it. I looked at Ada who was not part of the cheering me down people and he just had a slight smile on his face. I had noticed he was not drinking but like most house party hosts I assumed that it was because he had to make sure everything stayed smooth and in order.
“You can do what you want olori!”
He told me with a smile and immediately Abedi said,
“See, the big boss has spoken!”
And everyone cheered again except for Katlego. I had noticed even from when we first got here she was more withdrawn than usual. Something else had caught my attention and its these small things I had noticed at this party. Whenever Ada was around or rather near, most of the men bowed their heads or rather they dared not kook him in the hour. Just now Abedi had called him boss and i was not sure if was just for clout or if he really was his Boss.
“Pour her a glass and she has to down it so we get to celebrate her like the queen she is!”
Zamo added fuel to the fire and with people already tipsy the obvious happened as they cheered me on. She poured the glass herself and made it undignifiedly full for a lady. Le ntombazana ngumblwembe shem acting all uppity like that. Champagne is a dignified drink for polite society you don’t pour it like you are Nomahelele drinking ijuba.
“Remember you have to down it!”
Abedi said and now it really was a challenge. Remember I had never drunk champagne before and at first glance it looked like ginger ale meaning I was expecting it to be sweet. I mean all girls love it right if social media is anything to go by. I took the almost over spilling glass and i chugged it like a pro but halfway through the burn and the bitterness hit me. What the fuck is wrong with these people on social media? If i was alone I am very sure i would have spit it out. My eyes were even watering the way the acid hit me and everyone laughed because at that point i looked like Malume Blade after a night of drinking.
I moaned out loud. That burn was real guys. Think of the way you feel if you drink coke too fast and double the way that acid burn hits your throat or chest. At least with coke there is a sweet taste that balances the acid with this drink ah, masimba le!
I said making everyone laugh. It was not funny to me though. You know how you feel when you fall in public and are actually hurt and people laugh but you toughen up to make it seem like you see the joke with them. That was me. I laughed with them that time I was literally burping through my eyes nose and ears.
I remembered my words when describing it and i felt vindicated. Only a strong desperate for clout person thinks this is nice. It was not.
I asked and Katlego handed me a bottle of water. I got it now. The reason why she had been withdrawn was that she did not approve. Knowing her I was getting a lecture tonight. It’s what she always did with Zamo. She would never embarrass any of us in public.
“Yes that’s enough guys. She will explode!”
Ada said coming to my rescue. Even though the moment had passed they would not let me be. Zamo kept sending drinking my way but i was not drinking them. Somehow Ada would switch them for me and I would almost always end up left with juice or at most Hunters Dry my first love.
“Guys it’s time for us to leave!”
Katlego eventually said. It was around 2 in the morning and we had already been up half the night.
“Ah there is enough space for everyone to sleep you guys don’t have to leave!”
I was having so much fun actually even i didn’t want to go.
“We can get you a cab Kat because I am staying!”
Zamo said without hesitation. Abedi had been touching her all over the whole evening. I had even stopped looking because she disgusted me at this stage. In my head, I was not angry at him but at her for being so easy.
“Abedi, let’s take the girls home!”
Ada said casually as though he was saying let’s take a walk in the park. Abedi who was obviously horny at this stage did not seem happy about that idea but stood up, nonetheless.
“Ladies let go!”
He said and even his voice was one of disappointment.
“I don’t mind staying Abedi!”
Zamo said sweetly. She was in heat.
“No that will not work, we all going. As girls you should never leave anyone behind when you go out!”
Ada said in that quiet yet commanding tone of his was not just about his size but this man had presence. His advice also made sense. I was waiting for Zamo to say,
“Men should not police anything to do with women’s bodies and actions!”
As was her usual line when any male told her what to do but i thinking looking at Ada made her think twice. Pick your battles well always.
“Can i ride with you guys?”
Zethu asked us. It was instinct that everyone turned to look at the soccer player guy but the dude was so drunk he passed out. This was another Jabu Pule situation in the making.
“Yes you can darling!”
Katlego said as though she was the one driving. No one in their right mind though would have allowed him to drive her home in the state he was in.
“We are too many. Everyone else will drive with Abedi and I will drive you!”
Ada said. I had spoken too soon. Come on, I did not want him alone with him. Part of me was terrified of him and bazothini abantu if they saw me with him but i kept those thoughts to myself.
“I thought you could not drive.”
I told him when we were alone in the car and he laughed.
‘I just prefer not but for special moments and occasions i make exceptions!”
“Must i play music to avoid awkward silences?”
I asked him but i was actually teasing. What is it about a girl sitting in the front seat that suddenly makes her think she is a DJ? Noma ngabe amadolo namaqakala aphashe kangakanani suddenly umuntu thinks they are uDj Zinhle.
“You can if you want but that would prevent us from talking something i will regret a lot because I have been dying to talk to you privately!”
He said sweetly but I almost retorted,
“So all that time you were whispering things in my ear was not private enough?”
But oh well let me not burst the man’s bubble.
“Ok cool Ada I don’t mind!”
I told him. I crossed my fingers. Yes i know I am such a witch because i actually physically crossed my fingers in the hope that he would not shoot his shot.
“I have a question for you if i may?”
He asked. I hate it when people ask for permission to ask you something. It’s almost as good as redundant.
I could not do this.
“Are you scared of me?”
That was not the question I expected and my immediate thought was hell yeah but it is not what I thought he needed.
“That’s a very weird question to ask but no I am not afraid of you at all. Should I be?
I asked him. He seemed to have been holding his breath for when my answer came out he sounded mighty relieved.
“It’s just that a lot of people are and it’s not even what I am about!”
He said in what I imagine was a vulnerable moment on his part. From there onwards the trip was pleasant and he cracked a lot of jokes. There are no visitors allowed in the residence area after midnight so he dropped me at the gate. Before I left he took something from the back seat,
“I see what you did there. You insisted on driving me alone so you could sneak this on me!”
I teased him and he gave the cutest chuckle. Ok I never expected that sound out of such a big guy at all.
“Please open it when you are alone. Don’t do it in front of your friends. You have to do it alone!”
He insisted of which I agreed. He walked me to the gate, gave me a hug and watched me walk in to see if I am safe. I practically ran all the way to the bathroom but first I had to get something arm as I was cold. Katlego was already back and already changing. When I finally left the room and got into the bathroom stall I got the shock of my life.
The present was, ok I don’t know what to say this the present was R4200.