© Tisa Phiri
The silence that surrounded them as the girls sat inside the house was disheartening, the voices of people talking and shouting from outside was the only thing There ears could hear.
Thandi was standing by the small window of the room they were in which had served as her bed room for all her life as far as she could remember. Thinking of how she was going to step into the new phase of her life where she will have to experience living with people she didn’t know. She had turned 16 and she knew she was somehow supposed to get something worth in her life and education could really help, but the thought of what lay ahead of her sacred her. The fact that she had gotten used to staying with her two best friends over time, she didn’t want to let go.
There was strength when the three stuck together. Things wére easy. They fought their battles together and no matter how tough, she realised with Mattie and Sali around all seemed easier. She had lost hope of living before the two came into her life and now a bigger chank of her life was them. How was she going to live away from what gave her the strength to forge ahead, she thought to herself tears forming unconsciously in her eyes.
Sali was not trying to hide herself. She had been shedding tears for some time since the news of them going apart hit them . Her fear was the greatest of all. She feared what would happen with her and the powers she had inside her. How on earth was she going to control them without Thandi and Mattie?
They made everything better by assuring her and all the time they had lived she at no point lost it to do anything to harm anyone.
” what if the people who will get end up treating me badly and I will end up loosing myself ?, what if one day I will wake up and turn into a monster like my mother? Will I manage alone? ” were a series of questions that flooded her mind as she sobbed silently.
On the other hand, Mattie was not shedding any tears, not that she wasn’t sad but she was thinking she had cried enough in her life. Sometimes she just ran out of tears and that was one of the days. She sat on a stool her hands held to her head as she stared at the small brazier that was burning slowly in front of her.
She wanted to be strong for her friends. She had always acted tough and optimistic but at this point she couldn’t help feel something was going to go terribly wrong with the coming of the new development.
Going to three different families wasn’t going to be well no matter what, for to the three of them. She knew she always advocated for them to stick together? But did she have the rights to step in her friends dreams of getting education. She could suggest they never leave, but then What? What would become of them without education?
She knew thinking of marriage was never going to happen as herself, she had little desire in starting any family after what she went through with her mother.
She had vowed never to let herself get manipulated by a man. Ending up pregnant was the thing she never dreaded to think about.
” am not going!” Sali spoke up sniffing as she raised her head to look at her friends from side to side.
” What?” Thandi responded wiping her own tears.
” yes, you guys can go On, am remaining here. Am different from everyone you know that it will be harder for me to live with strangers and contain myself. You guys need the jobs and the education. You have to go and persue your dreams. ” she added seriously.
” no Sali, this was your idea. You need that education as much as we all do. You cannot remain here no matter what. If we decide to go let’s all go. If not then fine, let’s stay here and live in poverty for the rest of our lives. Otherwise whatever one of us does we all do” Mattie spoke up standing up and pacing around the room as she talked.
There was some silence again for a couple of minutes. This time around Thandi who was still by the window sighed deeply before talking.
” guys as much as we need each other we need this. We may never have another chance to get us out of the lives we have lived. This house is all we have as our wealthy. The greatest gift we all possess as at now is each other. Am of the suggestion we go, work and go to school. That lady said all the families we will work with are within town. We can be meeting up say every weekend, we don’t have to stay away from each other you know” she explained.
” Thandi is right. We need this Sali, all of us. You are going to be fine girl, you, just as we all will be okey” Mattie held their hands together.
” I will miss you so much girls, I….” Sali cried squeezing her friend’s backs.
” will miss you too Sali. Not to worry though. When we get our first pay, we should all get small phones to keep in touch” Thandi suggested.
The following morning, the girls woke with a new vigour, they felt determined to face what lay ahead of them with bravery.
They went to the orphanage to await their new helpers to pick them.
The first one to drive in slighly passed 13 o’clock was a couple. A dark talk man with a rough moustache and neatly shaved head. His wife a short light in complexion lady in her early 40s. The woman wore high heels and a dress that the girls felt uncomfortable with as it was so short it only past an inch across her mid thighs exposing her smooth and perfect legs.
She wore a wide smile as she held her husband’s hand approaching the girls.
” who is going with them?” Sali asked in a whisper leaning close to the lady who was helping them.
She smiled at her, ” don’t worry Sali Mrs Kangwa and her husband are good people. They have been helping the orphanage for years. Unfortunately they have no child of their own I guess they find solace in helping young ones” she smiled stepping forward as the couple closed up to them.
” good afternoon Mr and Mrs Kangwa!, you are welcome ” she greeted them cheerfully.
” good to see you Jane” the lady in heels smiled her eyes on the girls.
” wow, babe look at these lovely things we have here!” She exclaimed and stood in front of the girls.
” how are you mam?” The girls greeted her shly. Her presence and charisma intimidating them.
She sighed shaking her head. ” come on girls am i that old for you to call me mam? She faked a hurt face. Call me Leticia!” She laughed slightly.
” this is my babe, Harold” she introduced her husband proudly holding his back possesively making the girls look down.
” well, who are we going with? She asked finally after her seemingly calm husband greeted the girls shaking each of their hands.
” it’s up to you” The orphanage lady responded clearing her throat.
” this is Thandi, Mattie and Sali” she patted the girls respectively.
They all looked up at her with Sali trying to step back clearly not wanting to be chosen by them.
” well babe what do you think? ” Leticia asked her husband. ” i think its up to you Leti, Just get over this already I have a meeting tonight remember ” he spoke carelessly as he got his eyes to his phone.
” okey then, I will go with….” She paused looking at the girls from head to toe. Mattie was in a black faded jeans with a white body top written ‘G power’ across the front. Leticia turned her eyes to Thandi who wore a striped dress in white and black which curved her small hard breasts and fall down her knees, her small figure well defined.
She then went on to look at Sali who as always was clad in loose t-shirt which was blue in colour and a blue Jean short. This time she wasn’t wearing her smile. And she figited a bit as the woman went on analysing her, the more reason for Sali disliking her .
” okey, You said she’s?” She sharply looked at the other lady her hands pointed at Thandi,
” Thandiwe, but you can call her Thandi” the lady smiled widely.
” well, I will pick her. I like her” she added with a cheerful smile.
Thandi looked at her friends and then at the lady Leticia. ” me?” She asked not really looking for a response.
” yes, why not? You don’t like us?” Leticia asked rather a bit let back.
” no mam, or sorry Leticia” she corrected herself quickly seeing Leticia’s frown of disapproving the mam title.
” I didn’t expect to be the first to go” she lied nervously her eyes on Mattie who nooded to support her.
” Thank you ” she faked a smile and said her good byes to her friends and lady Jane before walking towards the vehicle where Leticia and Harold were waiting for her.
The comfort of a Fortune runner making her feel intimidated even more. There was something about the couple that Thandi would never dare to speak out. They looked like two actors from some movie. Something between them seemed unreal. Even though Leticia was trying to show off her husband and their marriage. Something didn’t just fit in but Thandi decided to mind her business and work hard and go to school as planned.
She was shown a neat bed room after they arrived at a large house which she wondered what purpose It saved since only two people lived in it as Leticia had told her.
Immediately they drove in Leticia and herself got off the vehicle and Harold who was quiet the whole way drove out after his wife planted a quick kiss on his lips.
” this is your new room. Put your staff in that closset. Come on I show you around the house” Leticia told Thandi.
They went from room to room with Leticia explaining the purpose of each room. Ranging from the laundry room, the visitor’s bathroom, the gym, the rooms for visitors, the living room, the Tv room, kitchen, dinning room and the main bedroom which had two large beds and look so extraordinary Thandi wondered if anyone had ever lay on them.
” we had a daily maid till two days ago, she quit, the reason we decided to hire you” Leticia spoke more like responding to Thandi’s question of how clean the house was.
But that didn’t explain why the main bedroom was still neatly made or why it had two large beds when a couple, married for that matter slept in it.
” thank you once again m…. I mean Leticia for helping me. ” Thandi managed to find her low voice after the tour was done.
” just make sure you work hard and I promise you won’t regret this, don’t worry about cooking for me and my husband, we rarely eat home made foods. So just prepare what you can for yourself. Theres everything in their she pointed at the refrigerator and the cupboards around the kitchen. ” she informed her holding her hand bag ready to leave but Thandi didn’t dare ask where to. It was clear it wasnt in her place to ask about such things she figured from the moment.
” yes Leticia” she nodded her head and watched the woman leave without telling her were she was going. The next thing she heard was the sound of the car engine and a few minutes later it was silent. She looked around the house and sighed sitting on the couch her hands on her face as she took in every detail of the living room.
” well , Thandi here you are” she sighed thoughts of how it was going with Mattie and Sali coming to her mind.
To be continued