Naledi-His love By Dadu Busani-Dube , Chapter 3

It rings once.
I keep quiet.
―Naledi….‖ he says again.
I take a deep breath. Suddenly I‘m not sure if calling him was a good idea.
―I just called,‖ I say.
I‘m a bit emotional.
I think about hanging up but I didn‘t come all the way here to call him
and hang up and go back.
I can hear him breathing.
―Naledi,‖ he says again.
―I love you,‖ he says and immediately takes a deep breath, like he is
shocked himself.
What am I supposed to say now? I didn‘t expect him to say that. Why is
he saying that?
I don‘t….
―I‘m here,‖ I say.
I‘m not even sure where I am, but I know I came here for him.
―You are where?‖
―I don‘t know. But I‘m here. I took the Alberton off-ramp,‖ I say.
I shouldn‘t have done this.
―You took the what? Where?‖ he asks, he sounds confused.
―You said you lived in Alberton, so I took the Alberton off-ramp from the N12,‖
I had no plan when I left Kimberley, but I knew I was going to him, wherever
he is.
He‘s breathing fast.
―Where are you? Where are you
parked?‖ ―On the side of the road,‖ I say.
He sounds like he‘s running now.
―Tell me what you see,‖
―I see a Spar and an Engen garage,‖ I say
It sounds like he‘s getting inside a car.
―Okay, go and park at the garage,‖ him.
Why didn‘t I think of that? But then again, I haven‘t really been thinking
straight today, the evidence of that is me being here, what am I doing? I
park and sit and wait.
I don‘t know what I‘m going to say to him when he arrives. I don‘t know what
I‘m going to tell him when he asks me why I‘m here.
He‘s here.
That was too quick.
It‘s that Range Rover.
He parks a bit further away and comes running to my car.
―Naledi!!‖ he says pulling my door open.
I just sit and look at him.
―What happened? Hey…..what…?‖
I can‘t speak.
I‘m biting my lips very hard.
I don‘t know why I came here but I know it wasn‘t to cry. I can‘t be crying to
a man I barely know. It‘s enough that I drove all the way here….. He pulls me
out of the car.
I stagger a little before I find balance by leaning on the car.
I‘m wearing leggings and a t-shirt. I look and feel like hell. I didn‘t even
shower I just grabbed my handbag and phone, got in the car and drove to
―Talk to me, what happened?‖
He has his hands on my shoulders.
Where do I start? I don‘t know why I‘m here, but I know I want to be here,
with him.
―Okay get in the car,‖ he says when he gets no answers.
He pulls me by my hand around my car and into the passenger seat.
He gets on the driver‘s seat.
We leave his car at the garage. I want to ask but I‘m too emotional right now.
He keeps looking at me and the looking ahead at the road.
―Did you drink all these?‖ he asks looking around the car.
There are empty coffee cups and empty bottles of energy drinks.
I nod.
He looks worried.
I‘m still crying.
I want him to stop talking and I don‘t want him to see me like this but I
want to hear his voice and I want to be here with him, right at this moment.
We drive to a golf-estate.
This is where he lives?
There are houses, big houses but they are not close together like
you‘d normally find in estates.
I‘m still not sure why I came here.
We stop in-front of a huge house. The walls are mostly glass. I can see
the lounge and kitchen from here on the driveway.
He gets out, rushes to my door and pulls me out by my arm.
―Where are your bags?‖ he asks.
Good question.
―I didn‘t bring any bags,‖
He doesn‘t look surprised.
―Come,‖ he says.
He has one arm around my shoulders.
The door is wood but the walls are glass, there are brick pillars here and there
but everything is just bare.
Why am I here again?
―Do you need anything? Food?‖ he asks.
I feel a bit funny. I‘m angry actually.
―Why did you leave Chawe? Why did you leave
me?‖ I‘m angry! I feel like shouting at him! He
keeps quiet.
―You just left me like that!‖ I scream.
He looks confused.
I want to go to him and hug him tight but I want to scream and shout at him
too for leaving me like that and torturing me this whole time and for doing this
to me, this, this thing that is happening here!
How can he drive me crazy like this when I barely even know
him! ―I didn‘t…….your boyfriend was there,‖ ―He‘s not my
He‘s looking at me like I‘m scaring him.
―You didn‘t call! You didn‘t do anything! You just left! You were lying, you
lied that you wanted me! You lied!!…..‖
He takes a few steps towards me. I freak out! But he grabs and holds me
tight before I can step back. I‘m still screaming! The louder I scream the
tighter he holds me.
―I didn‘t leave you……..I didn‘t leave you,‖ he keeps saying.
―Why are you doing this to me? Why? I was fine before you!!‖
I‘m screaming but I‘m not trying to break free. I‘m angry at him but I want
to be in his arms.
It takes a while before my calm returns.
Now I‘m a bit embarrassed. Why did I do that? Why did I scream at him like
―He‘s not my boyfriend Chawe. He‘s a friend and colleague, he came to my
house that morning because my phone was off and everybody was worried.
He‘s just a friend,‖
I‘m sitting now. I still feel a bit drowsy but at least I‘m functioning again. I
don‘t know what happened there, I don‘t have temper issues. I don‘t know
what got into me.
He sits next to me.
―Why didn‘t you tell me that?‖ he asks.
Really? Like he gave me a chance to do that.
I cough a couple of times. I haven‘t eaten. I just drank coffee and energy
drinks and smoked throughout the trip.
He stands up, comes back with bottled water and hands it to me.
―I missed you,‖ he says.
I turn to look into his eyes.
―I wanted to call you but I thought you didn‘t want me to,‖ he says.
How could he think that? He‘s the one that walked away. After I walked away.
―I waited for your call, for the past three days,‖ I say. I‘m being honest, I was
desperate for his attention.
―Why didn‘t you call?‖ he asks.
Why didn‘t I?
―I don‘t know, I thought you didn‘t want me to call,‖ I say.
I wanted to, but I didn‘t.
He shifts closer and puts his arm around my shoulders.
And then I remember.
―I didn‘t shower, I just got in the car and drove here,‖ I say.
We look into each other‘s eyes. And then we both burst out laughing.
He pulls my face close to his, he wants to kiss me….
―I didn‘t brush my teeth either,‖ I whisper.
He kisses me anyway.
And then we sit, like this, with my head on his shoulder and his arm
around me, in silence.
―Did I hurt you? On Saturday when I just left, were you hurt?‖ I ask.
He clears his throat and squeezes my shoulder.
―Yes,‖ he says.
What kind of man is this? He was supposed to say no so that I don‘t feel bad.
Doesn‘t he know that?
―I didn‘t mean to,‖ I say.
I really didn‘t mean to hurt him.
―At first I thought you were just being your usual self, as in being mean to me
like you always are. I waited and waited and as time went by it started to
hurt, especially when I realised I had to come to terms with the fact that you
were not coming, that the dinner was not going to happen,‖
Now I feel really bad.
―Was it going to be here?‖
―No, I didn‘t want to bring you to my house, not on our first real date because I
know you‘re crazy so you were going to assume that I wanted to shag you,‖ he
Our first date was at a mental hospital parking lot. And yes I was going to
assume that.
―Is this your house?‖ I ask.
I know, it‘s obvious.
―No, it‘s a friend‘s, I‘m just renting the bedroom,‖ he says looking at me.
―In case you decide to leave me because I have a big house,‖ he says with a
little smile on his face.
I almost forgot how he is.
―Yes it‘s my house. That night I realised I was past that games stage. I wanted
us to really talk and be serious,‖
I should have stayed.
―Games as in you stalking me for R350 and showing up at my workplace and
stalking me at airports?‖
He laughs.
―You‘re crazy. Those lunatics you hang around all day are rubbing off on
―Chawe, they‘re people too…..‖
―No, they‘re not, they‘re crazy,‖ he says.
How did this conversation get here?
―I thought you were a fake BEE,‖ I say.
Okay that was a bit random of me.
He raises his eyebrows.
―Yes, because you were stalking me for R350,‖ I
say He laughs.
―By the way, I‘m not a BEE,‖ he says.
We‘re laughing now but I‘m going to have to tell him, but I can‘t tell
him everything, not until I know him better. ―Can I borrow your
He laughs, stands up and pulls me by my hand across the dining room
and some room, the passage and up the stairs.
―I can use the guest bathroom,‖ I say when we enter the main bedroom.
―You‘re not a guest,‖ he says and walks to the bathroom.
That‘s one huge bed!
There‘s no headboard, just purple wallpaper from where the bed starts all the
way up the wall.
I walk to the window and pull the curtain open. Oh, it‘s a sliding door. It
takes me out to the balcony. It doesn‘t look like he comes out here often.
There‘s a pool and another structure. I think it‘s a pool-house. Not very far is
a lake, it looks a bit too big to be in a residential area.
There‘s something refreshing about this place. I want to stand here and
breathe the fresh air. It‘s so serene it‘s hard to believe we‘re in Joburg.
I turn around to see him standing at the door, watching me. He smiles
when our eyes meet.
There‘s something sincere about him when you look deep enough,
something warm and safe too. It draws me. I feel like I want to hold him. But
I stop myself.
Let me go take that bath.
But he‘s standing blocking the entrance. He has this little smile on his face.
―Can I pass please?‖
He stands still.
He‘s such a kid!
―So are you my girlfriend now?,‖ he asks.
Just like that? I don‘t answer.
―I‘m not letting you pass until you answer me,‖ he
says I‘m trying hard not to blush. ―No,‖ I say
He‘s still smiling.
―So you drove all the way from Kimberley to scream at me for I don‘t know
what and shower in my house?‖
He‘s still blocking my way.
―I‘m not moving until you agree to be my girlfriend,‖
What is wrong with this man though?
I wrap my arms around his waist and kiss him.
―Can I pass now?‖
―No,‖ he says, that smile still there.
―Can I pass? My boyfriend,‖ I say.
The smile gets wider, and those eyes bigger, he‘s beautiful.
―Yes you can,‖ he says and steps aside.
―You can use my toothbrush…‖ he says walking out of the
bedroom. Moron…
He‘s run me a bubble-bath, but it smells a bit masculine. Everything here
is masculine including the towels, they‘re all navy and blue.
I look around and I see no pink things, there‘s also just one toothbrush.
I hope I won‘t be having problems in this union.
I don‘t even have clean underwear, but who cares, I‘m swimming in a bathtub
in the house of a man I know very little about.
This is nice and soothing…….after the day I had, this is all I need.
I hear footsteps and flinch!
Please don‘t come in here please please…….
They stop. I hear them again, they fade.
He‘s gone. Whew!
I spend another 15 minutes just relaxing in the water.
And then it crosses my mind…….I might have to give something up tonight.
It‘s been so long since I‘ve opened these legs I‘m sure there‘s a spiderweb down there.
He doesn‘t seem like the type that would push hard if I said no, but the
situation is I‘m not sure if I have enough morals to say no to him. The fool is
damn sexy!
Oh, this is why he was here! There‘s a white robe on the bed and a t-shirt. It‘s
a bit tight but I have my bra back on so I can work with it.
I still feel naked with no panties on so I tie the robe very tight around me.
This house, I can see everything from up here. I can see him down there in
the kitchen walking back and forth. I think he‘s cooking.
Isn‘t he supposed to have maids and chefs walking around all over this
house? And why is he single? If he‘s single.
If he‘s not single I feel sorry for that lady because I‘m not walking away,
not again.
I walk down the stairs.
I feel fresh and more confident, panties or not.
He stops what he‘s doing and watches me all the way to the bottom of the
That thing that draws me to him, it gets stronger.
We stand in the kitchen and just look into each other‘s eyes. I drop mine first.
―You can cook?‖ I ask.
He has this thing of frowning and smiling at once.
―I try. And you?‖
I try too.
―I can, nothing fancy but I can make pap and meat and the basics,‖
―Uphuthu?‖ he asks.
What‘s that?
―You don‘t know what uphuthu is?‖
I don‘t.
―Google it,‖ he says.
―And call me love, I‘m tired of you butchering my name,‖
As if he can pronounce my surname properly. ―Here,‖ he
says placing a plate in front of me.
It‘s pasta.
It has chicken and a creamy sauce.
―You can cook pasta?‖ I ask.
I‘m shocked.
He laughs.
―I can cook anything,‖
I don‘t believe this at all.
―Are you sure you‘re Zulu?‖
He does that smile-frown thing again.
―Why? Do you think all I do is go around shooting and beating people?‖
Well…Zulu people haven‘t exactly had the best Public Relations. It‘s just like
us Tswanas. The general perception is we are not generous fellows. People say
a Tswana person would rather be hungry with you all day than take out their
food and risk having to share it with you.
Come to think of it, I have this aunt……
―No, but pasta I didn‘t expect,‖ I say.
―I can cook, really well……oh and I do shoot people,‖ he says sitting next to
I laugh. He‘s crazy.
―What did you mean when you asked why I was doing ―this‖ to you?
What were you talking about?‖
He‘s serious now. I thought we were still laughing and joking.
I don‘t know what to say.
He‘s staring. He wants an answer.
―I don‘t know….‖ I say.
He puts his plate down on the coffee table and looks at me.
―What did I do Naledi?‖
He won‘t understand, but let me tell him anyway.
―You made me love you,‖
He‘s quiet, but he‘s still looking at me.
―Is that wrong?‖ he asks.
Yes it is.
I look down at my plate and keep quiet.
He‘s still staring, and I know he won‘t stop until I give him an answer.
―He came,‖ I say, still looking down.
He puts his fork down too, but doesn‘t say anything. He wants me to continue.
―Last night, I found him in my house, waiting for me,‖ I say.
I thought I wasn‘t going to tell him this now, not today.
I see that look on his face again.
He hasn‘t said anything, but I know I should keep talking.
―He hit me and pulled my hair and tried to……‖
I can‘t tell him that last part.
―Tried to do what?‖ he asks.
I keep quiet.
―Tried to do what Naledi?‖
I don‘t answer.
―He had a gun, he said he was going to shoot me. But the police, the
captain, he walked in just as he was trying to…….‖ I stop.
I want to look at him but I can‘t. I feel him, the intensity.
―They got there before he could hurt me more. They arrested him. He‘s
appearing in court tomorrow and I have to be there, in case he applies for bail.
I have to be there so I can tell the court that he‘ll kill me if they let him out,‖
He‘s quiet. But I can feel him, the aura around us is getting heavier and
―It‘s fine, we‘ll leave very early in the morning, we‘ll fly there,‖ he says after
what seems like years.
―I‘m going to court with you,‖ he says.
―I don‘t think that‘s a….‖
―I‘m going with you,‖ he says.
―That will make things worse Cha……love,‖ I say.
He frowns, a real frown this time.
―Worse for who?‖ he asks.
―For us, I don‘t want him to hurt you,‖ I say.
He frowns again.
He‘s going to go after Qhawe, I know he is. If he sees him in court with me
tomorrow he‘ll freak out and if he‘s released on bail he‘ll go after him .
―Chawe you don‘t understand, this guy is dangerous and he‘s never going to
leave me alone. I don‘t want to put your life and your family in danger……‖
―He‘s never going to leave you alone?‖ -him.
There‘s something about the way he asks.
―Naledi, I‘m going to court with you,‖ he says.
I think that maybe this is not negotiable, yes, it‘s not. So is the instruction that
it‘s time for bed. Apparently I have to go to sleep now at 8pm because I didn‘t
sleep at all last night, that‘s the instruction. ―What time are we leaving in the
He hesitates a little, He looks like he‘s thinking hard.
―We‘ll get a flight,‖ he says like it‘s nothing major.
―We‘re talking about Kimberley remember?‖ I say.
―Okay, we‘ll drive. We‘ll leave your car here and take
mine,‖ Huh?
―How are you going to come back?‖ I ask.
He looks at me like I‘m asking a strange question.
―Come back? You think I‘m going to leave you alone Kimberley?‖
What? Is he moving in with me now?
―And I don‘t want you working at that crazy people‘s hospital…..‖
Oh Lord Jesus!! This relationship is over!
He leaves me in bed and goes somewhere in this house. I don‘t know where.
I feel my eyes getting heavy. I set the alarm clock for 5am. The captain said
the court appearance will be at 11.30 am.
The drive to Kimberley is about five hours but I have a feeling it will take us
less than that.

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