Love and relationships. · Short stories

Deception

Everyone enjoys intimate house gatherings with friends: you’re drinking with people who know your drunk shenanigans, you’re comfortable and have access to clean toilets and there’s no pressure to look like you’re having as much fun as your friends because you probably are.

“Jabu said there won’t be a lot of people Zinz, you haven’t come out in ages awuyek uba uGogo!” Luntu said Highlighting her already perfect looking cheek bones.

“You said that last time and I walked in on a Project X looking situation with my ex and his new girlfriend.” Zinzi said forking in another bite of the cake she had bought to console herself after failing her Criminal Procedure assignment, “I just want to stay in and pig out on junk food and watch series till I pass out.”

“This is why Khaka is winning the break up,’’ Luntu responded without looking at her best friend of seven years, “all you do is stay in this house eating and watching movies in baggy clothes. Your eyebrows are so bushy they look like they might crawl off your face and you haven’t exfoliated in months. How on earth do you expect to meet a man?”

“I DON’T WANT TO MEET A MAN. Khaka broke my heart and I stiil need time to get over him. I’m glad he found love, hell I’m ecstatic.”

“That’s not what you said last week.”

“Of course sometimes I’m wishing I had someone to hold me when life breaks me down or someone I could run to when I need dick but I don’t need a man!”

“Zinzi stop being defensive. I didn’t say you NEED a man. I’m just saying that if you went out more and put on a bit of eyeliner-“ Zinzi giggled and rolled her eyes “… you might meet someone and move on.”

“Fine… help me pick something to wear.”

 

Jabu’s place was packed but not as packed as the last time he told them it would be an intimate gathering but the girls weren’t complaining because there seemed to be a lot of beautiful black brothers.

“Look at the nigga in the ripped jeans!” Luntu said taking another sip of her Cider, “He’s a walking piece of dessert!”

“That there is a face I would love to sit on but I can see his package through those jeans and it is not a pretty sight” Zinzi responded waving her pinky finger.

“What about the brother in the sweater with the American flag?”

“He has a DataFileHost album where he says ‘You already know who it is’ on each song”

Luntu laughed and pointed to another man.

“He looks like he has a girlfriend whom he tells the girls he sleeps with is his cousin,”

“What about that guy?” Luntu said pointing to a guy wearing all black with a gold chain and a gold casio watch.

Zinzi looked at her in shock, “Should your attraction to fuckboys worry me?” they both laughed.

“I’m gonna go get us more drinks,” Luntu said before disappearing into the crowd.

Zinzi looked around and realised that she had grown out of enjoying being out. She used to socialize and get people’s numbers when she was alone in a party, old her would probably be chatting to the lad in the American sweater and the brother in the ripped jeans with a pinkie for a dick.

“Do me” a voice behind her said, she turned around and looked at him

“Do me,” he repeated.

“I wish I was doing you,” she thought taking the last sip of her cider.

For a moment she thought about shyly telling the guy that she wasn’t going to be able to analyse him right in his face; it’s easier to be honest when the person you’re analysing doesn’t hear your analysis but then she thought about what Luntu had said earlier: “Khaka is winning the break up”

And she started examining the beautiful stranger.

“I was going to say you look like the type of man who critically thinks about things before making big decisions, you’re studying something that has a lot of numbers and calculations… probably accounting, you respect and show appreciation to the few people who matter to you and you seem like the type of brother who knows what he wants and how to get it.”

“But…?”

“But then I saw the Casio watch and that just screams one word,” Zinzi laughed.

“Fuckboy?” the gent said laughing too, “I find it weird that girls are okay with using a piece of clothing, an accessory or even a hairstyle as a factor that determines a guy’s character but as soon as a nigga says something like ‘hoes wear crop tops’ suddenly it’s slut shaming.”

“To call someone a fuckboy is veeeeery different to referring to someone as a hoe.”

“How?”

“How is it not?”

“Now I could be wrong but isn’t a fuckboy a nigga who sleeps with a hoard of women while making all of them think they’re going to date him?”

“You’re partly right but a lot more goes into fuckboyism. Everything about them is fucky: the way they talk about their friends-“

“I don’t have many ‘friends’”

“The way they talk about emotions.”

“I’m very emotional. I cried two months ago watching Arsenal beat Chelsea.”

“The way they refuse to be progressive when it comes to social issues. Fuckboys say things that make you cringe.”

“Okay… so then Fuckboys are dumb hoes.”

“No,” Zinzi said laughing.

“You look very beautiful when you laugh,” he said smiling, “it feels great to be the person who’s making you do it. My name is Chumani by the way.”

“Chumani,” she repeated smiling and reaching out for a handshake, “great. NgumXhosa so I won’t have to speak English to communicate” she thought, “My name is Zinzi”

And at that moment Luntu returned with the drinks.

“Sorry I took so long, this guy near the fridge kept telling me he recognises me from Instagram and I couldn’t walk away because he wanted to know what it would take for me to follow him back.”

“Oh God what did you make him do?” Zinzi asked

“You know me girl, I made him twerk” they all laughed.

“This is Chumani. Chumani this is my best friend Luntu” Zinzi said still in good spirits but as soon as she looked up and saw how they were looking at each other she realised that Luntu was about to start hitting on Chumani and that she was probably going to end up going home with him and she wouldn’t blame him for it… Luntu was much more beautiful but she couldn’t let it happen.

“Please excuse us for a moment Chumani,” she said pulling Luntu aside.

“Haibo wenzan kanti Zinzi? I was about to start hitting on that fine man!”

“You can’t!”

“Yin’ ‘ndaba?”

“I want him.”

Luntu laughed so loudly people started staring, “first of all we both know that man isn’t looking at you like that, he was just having a conversation nawe to pass time. Secondly, there is no way I’m going to hand him to you. If you want him then try to take him from me.” Luntu walked off.

 

Zinzi was mad. She felt like Luntu had betrayed her and she was hurting a bit from hearing her come at her self-esteem the way she did. More guys tried to talk to her but she didn’t want to talk to them. When she was about to leave she found Jabu and thanked him for inviting her then she asked if he had seen Luntu.

“She left with my nigga Chumani ages ago,” and as if Luntu had sensed that she was looking for hr, Zinzi received a text at that moment.

“Went home with Mani. Sorry I went cray on you… it’s just that I really wanted him and I know you probably didn’t really want him because you don’t really even want a man yet. I love you a lot, going to get you a triple choc muffin from Mugg & Bean tomorrow morning and we can pig out on junk food and watch any series you want till we pass out.”

So Zinzi went home… alone

The years went by really fast and Chumani and Luntu had been together for all of them. Zinzi tried going out but it didn’t work, the guys she met annoyed her and the one man he dated for a while came out to her on the night that she thought he might propose so she focused on her school work and was now partner at her firm.

“Luntu on line 1,” Zinzi’s secretary shouted from her desk, “and Mr Osbourne says he wants to see that Lonmin Mines briefing on his desk before lunch”

“I emailed the briefing to his secretary for her to print it out last night,” Zinzi said going into her emails to double check, “tell her to check her emails” she picked up the phone “Hey Luntu”

“Heeeeeyyyyyyy! What are you doing?”

“What all 27 year olds with careers are doing. I’m working,” Zinzi responded getting to work on her laptop.

“You’re always working! We should go out tonight.”

“It’s Tuesday Luntu.”

“So?”

“I have work for the rest of the week like all 27 year olds with careers.”

“Are we really 27? You keep saying that and I don’t like it. I feel like I was 21 just a few days ago.”

“That’s because you lied to a kid and told him you were 21 just a few days ago” they both died in laughter.

“We can go out on Saturday.”

“Promise?”

“I promise”

“Okay baby, I love you”

“I love you too,” she hung up.

Luntu had quit her job because Chumani was moving to a different city and she decided she didn’t want to be without him then moved back with him when he decided that he liked his old job more so she was now a house girlfriend. Zinzi mocked her about it once and she was told “I get why you don’t understand. You don’t know what it’s like to love and be loved by a man the way Mani and I love each other.”

On Saturday Luntu decided that they should go to a Shisa nyama ‘cause she was craving braaied meat and not so serious conversations

“I was at Pick ‘n Pay the other day and guess who I ran into?” Luntu she said taking a bite from a piece of sausage that was fresh off the braai stand.

“Just tell me, you know I never get these things right,” Zinzi responded.

“Kabelo!” Luntu exclaimed way too excitedly.

“ THEE Kabelo? Kabelo Morongwe?”

Luntu excitedly nodded, “Giiiiiiiiiirl he is so fine!”

Kabelo was her ex from High school who now worked as a CA.

“You have a man Luntu!” Zinzi said laughing. The waiter arrived with their drinks.

“sis I know Chumani does a bit of this too! Let me live.” They both laughed, “
I’m telling you Kabelo looks like Christmas dessert! He’s still light skinned and-“

“Probably still a fuckboy!” Zinzi finished off taking a sip of her drink. Luntu started laughing too.

“Well probably but that isn’t a sexually transmitted disease so I’m safe”

Zinzi choked on her drink, “Sorry, what?”

“I said-“

“I HEARD WHAT YOU SAID! You cheated on Chumani?”

“It’s not that big of a deal. Chumani’s friends with Jabu so you know he cheats a lot! We just do separate shit on the side of the special relationship we have.”

“What makes you so sure that he cheats? I don’t understand!”

“All men cheat sis, telling yourself otherwise would be to set yourself up for colossal heartbreak and I am not about that life.”

“That is the saddest thing I have ever heard you say.”

“Let me put it this way: Men can’t think for themselves even though one of the traits of manhood is independence. The always need to consult their “homies”” she said making air quotes and downing her drink, “while we are spending time trying to protect the relationship they are making it weak… if their homies say they should fuck someone else on a night out they do it, if their homies say “Don’t go to your girl’s event – hang with the bros” they do it… because none of them want to look like pussies in the eyes of their homeb-“

“Are you saying thing all of this because Chumani has done any of this to you?”

“Yeah, he tells me he’s working late and what not but we both know what that means…”

“Oh come on!”

“YOU KNOW WHAT IT MEANS SIS!”

“Chumani is different Luntu.”

“That’s what we think about all men, and that’s why they always hurt us more.”

 

When Zinzi got home she was tipsy. She took a quick shower then got into her pj’s and saw that she had a text from Chumani.

“Hey, can you talk?”

“Yeah, did Luntu get home safely?”

“…” Chumani responded, “Well that’s weird”

“What is?”

“Can I come over?”

“… Uh… sure” Zinzi texted back and in thirty minutes she was letting Chumani through her front door.

“Luntu told me she was going to spend the night here, with you,” he said accepting the cup of coffee Zinzi handed to him, “We had a little fight about something so stupid and she told me she couldn’t come home to me.” His voice sounded like it might start cracking.

“You know last week I asked her to take a pregnancy test ‘cause she’s been so moody lately”

“You what?!”

“I see how you could think that is jerky of me but you haven’t been spending as much time with her as I have,” he said defensively, “I want to ask her to marry me-“

Zinzi choked on the coffee

“You okay?” he asked concernedly, she nodded, still struggling to breathe.

“I’ve really just been looking for the right moment to ask her… I’m really str-“

Zinzi suddenly couldn’t hear him anymore as she drowned in thoughts of whether or not she should tell Chumani the truth. She knew he deserved to know, she just didn’t know if it was her place to tell him.

“No one has ever not given me a reason to cheat… no one out of all my exes,” Chumani continued, “She makes me feel like I’m enough, like I’m worthy and I want to have that feeling for the rest of my-“

“She’s cheating on you,” Zinzi said calmly

“Excuse me?”

“She’s cheating you,” Zinzi repeated, “I don’t know how often she does it or how many men sh’s done it with but I know she’s probably having sex with Kabelo right now.”

“Kabelo?”

“She dated him in high school. That’s not the point… I wouldn’t have told you it’s just that, hearing you  talk about her that way has made me feel really-“

“Who else knows?” Chumani asked gently

“Sorry?”

“WHO ELSE FUCKING KNOWS ZINZI?” he screamed throwing the cup against the wall, one of the shards bounced back to him and cut him, and he bled instantly.

“You don’t know how many times I was told not to bother with her-“

“You’re bleeding, let me put a band aid on that then you can rant all you like” Zinzi said pulling him to her bathroom with one arm and cupping the blood that was trickling from his face with the other.

She cleaned the wound with antiseptic fluid and he didn’t flinch one bit.

“You know I wanted to get to know you at that party in varsity? I was really interested in you and when she told me after days of trying to get you to go out with me that you had 0 interest I ju-“

“Oh please, we both know that is not what happened. I know you’re hurt and are starting to ask yourself questions that bruise your self-esteem but don’t try to use- “

“You pulled her aside the moment she arrived and she came back and told me you went to sleep then when I told her I was going to leave she told me she wanted to leave with me.”

“What?!”

“The next morning when I woke up and she was still there I politely asked her to leave then, because I was a jerk when we were in varsity, I asked if she could give me your number.”

“This is the first time I’m hearing about all of this,” Zinzi said playing with band aid instead of putting it on his cut, “I liked you too at that party. She just liked you a whole lot more.”

“I won’t lie and say I didn’t love her, I love that girl but now I wish I hadn’t been a coward and asked you out. You never would’ve made me feel like the many years I invested in our relationship were a waste of time.”

“Well I’m sorry we can’t change the past,” she put the plaster on his cut.

“Yeah, but we can change the present.”

He lifted her onto the sink and started kissing her. In her head she was telling him to stop because what they are doing is still technically wrong but her hands were unbuttoning his shirt with the speed of a mariachi guitarist, she was unwrapping him like he was the Christmas gift she had asked Santa for and she’d been so good that Christmas came early for her.

He carried her off the sink and laid her on the floor then started kissing her bare clavicles then went right down to her beautiful breasts, gently sucking on each nipple before going down to kiss her belly button. He gently bit her tummy and then he went down on her. If the bathroom floor had sheets this is the moment that she would’ve grabbed them.

He was eating her like he was on death row and she was his last meal and her legs were shaking uncontrollably. He slid a finger in while gently sucking on her clit. Her eyes rolled to the back of her head and she allowed him to let her soul float and when she came he slid in another finger and went back up to kiss her neck.

“May I?” he whispered to her, breathing heavily.

Her eyes were shut tight but she nodded and he thrusted himself into her.

Zinzi spent all morning checking her phone because they had agreed that he would break up with Luntu and they would try things out. Finally her phone rang but Luntu was the one calling.

“Hello?” she responded

“We’re engaaaaaged” both Luntu and Chumani responded on the other line.

“And guess what?” Luntu said, “I’m pregnant!”

Zinzi was silent.

“Hey Zinz, are you still there?”

“Yeah, wow that is great news! I’m so happy for you guys.”

“Right?” Luntu responded, “ I literally found out about it 2 seconds ago. When my doctor emailed me to tell me. I am 3 months pregnant.”

“wow. That means no more drinking for you missy”

Luntu laughed, “Okay let me check up on you later, I need to tell mom.”

Luntu hung up.

Zinzi’s phone beeped again, a text from Chumani, “ I hope you understand. Xo”

She let it go and spent the rest of her day trying to distract herself with work. When the sun had set and she was getting ready to make dinner someone rang her doorbell. It was Luntu.

“Wanna have some wine to celebrate my engagement?” she said waving a bottle in Zinzi’s face.

“You’re pregnant.”

“Bitch please,”Luntu said letting herself in, “I just said that because Chumani was about to break up with me and I was not about to let that happen”

Zinzi stood at the door frozen.

“Get away from that door and bring wine glasses already. I have so much to tell you about my night with Kabelo.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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