He ignored her, taking her bag from the chair beside him, and started walking towards the exit, even though Lelo had just declined his offer for a ride home. She got up and exasperatedly said ‘good night’ to the Sokwezi’s. He was their friend, so she refused to offer any excuses for his bad manners.
Besides they were the ones who’d invited her to dinner with the feral man. If anyone was owed an apology for his errant behaviour, it was her. The couple struggled to hide their amusement and Lelo made a mental note to scold them later for devising such a foolish plan, organising for her and Bongani to meet for the first time in months without her knowledge.
She followed him to his car. And when they got to the parking meter, she stood at a distance watching him chat nonchalantly to the mall security guards. When he finally walked over to the car, he opened her door first.
His chivalry was being wasted on her because she felt more like his prisoner than a lady. The silence between them was loud and intense but somehow she still felt safe sitting beside the wild man taking her to an unknown destination in the middle of the night. She soon realized he was heading towards the only road that took him home from the restaurant. And after a few minutes Bongani turned right into his street and parked inside the yard.
‘Bongani take me home.’ Their first exchange of words since they walked out of the Eli Rouge moments ago. He paid no mind to her request, he got out and opened her door.
When she didn’t budge, he asked quietly looking at her face ‘Do you want me to carry you out?’ as if he had just offered her the most sincere act of helpfulness.
He leaned in to pull her closer so he could carry her with ease. She thought he would be rough considering his grim mood but his touch was surprisingly quite gentle against her back. She didn’t protest being cradled so closely in the faint embrace of the only man she’s ever loved. Slowly he made his way to the granny flat he rented at the back of uncle’s house.
He put her down when they got inside and instructed without even looking at her ‘Take off your clothes Lelo.’
Lelo ignored him, focused on fixing her clothing, that were now wrinkled from being carried by a human carriage. Lelo could hear Bongani closing the windows and curtains. He didn’t switch on any lights and she knew it was deliberate.
‘Why are you still wearing your clothes Lelo?’
‘Because I decide when to take them off.’
At the end of her sentence she heard his displeased footsteps making their way towards her. Lelo turned instantly to interrupt his carnal intentions but she was too late. His lust was already searching for her lips. He kissed her with a familiar appetite that was once hers to fulfil.
The dress she was wearing was thin enough to feel his yearning growing more and more with every touch he’d been depriving himself of all this time. She couldn’t help but squeal in pleasure, and that just seemed to drive him deeper into his dark place.
She felt a sudden hysteria erupting inside her head and heart. All the emotions of the past year between them overpowering her every attempt at not breaking apart. She held her palm out hard against his chest to stop him.
He was pained by her sudden rejection and refused to oblige.
‘Stop please!.’ She said it loud enough for him to hear the affliction in her plea.
‘Why Bongi? Why now?’ Her heart was finally spilling anguish she’d refused permission ever since the day he walked out on her.
‘Please let me touch you Sibulelo.’
‘You married her and I had to make sense of that, all by myself. I had to pick up every piece of me you broke Bongi.’
‘Please take off your clothes Lelo.’
‘My nakedness has nothing to say to you!’ She screamed.
‘I never could even touch her. ’ He was saying it to himself more than telling her. When she didn’t say anything back, he continued…
‘I couldn’t be with her like I’ve been with you. Please don’t cry Baby. I’m so sorry.’
He was searching for her lips again.
Photo By: Nhlakanipho Nhlapo