Qaqamba: “You never told us why Lufuno had to disappear on us last week”
Me: “I don’t know, I was in my room and he was at his”
Qaqamba: “Why don’t I believe you?”
Me: “I was surprised as well when I realised that he was gone”
Masa: “Maybe we should ask him”
Qaqamba: “I have already done that”
Me: “Then why are you asking me? Tricking me to lie?”
Qaqamba: “My friend, how did I trick you, you said you were at your room”
Me: “Can have just enjoy our afternoon, after all, it is my birthday”
Qaqamba: “He said I should ask you, and now it looks like he was right, since when do you hiding things from me my friend”
Me: “We had sex Okay, we had sex” I said, then stood up from the table. It was my first time admitting it to someone else or rather telling someone, I didn’t want Q to judge me, to me it was a simple night stand and I was bit ashamed.
Qaqamba: “Okay, where are you going?”
Me: “I need some air”
Qaqamba: “Okay, I will go check if the meat is ready”
You are probably wondering why I stormed at her, it wasn’t about her, after the reunion, I spent every day and every night thinking about Lufuno and he didn’t try to reach. In simple words; I was deeply missing him but the nightstand thoughts where still there.
I went outside and stood by the swimming pool, Qaqamba’s children were busy swimming and for some few seconds they were mine and Lufuno, ***I was happily married with one boy from his previous marriage and one carried by me*** of course I was day dreaming. I went back to the house and Q was back from the kitchen waiting for me.
Qaqamba: “I think we shouldn’t have cancelled our trip”
Me: “I told you, I have critical surgery on Monday, if we don’t operate on him soon he is gonna die”
Masa: “So what was that about, was sex bad?”
Me: “It was good, it was great” The sadness rushed to my body as I was admitting how I really enjoy being with Lufuno
Qaqamba: “Let me guess; you pushed him away in the morning”
Masa: “Q, come on”
Me: “She is right, I did push him away, I made it very clear that there was never going to be me and him”
Qaqamba: “Why? What’s wrong with you my friend”
Me: “He was so good, I was like his treasure”
Masa: “Then why did you push him away”
Me: “Because I was and am still scared, I can’t love someone again, the pain of losing someone is too much and I think I can’t stand a pain of losing another man, the pain will probably kill me”
Qaqamba: “Noluntu, you are so damaged” it did hurt to hear she said that, but she was telling the truth. “I have tried helping you heal, but I am losing, you need to see a professional”
Me: “I miss him so much, I have been waiting for his call since that morning”
Masa: “Then call him”
Me: “I can’t, maybe to him it was a nightstand and I must move on”
Qaqamba: “Masa you’re not going to win, I have been here with Noluntu so many times”
Masa: “and this time around is different Q, she slept with him”
Me: “I am here guys, I have learnt my lesson, next time it will be different, okay!”
Qaqamba: “Why does it has to be someone else? Why not Lufuno”
Me: “I messed up from day one, I don’t think he wants me”
Masa: “Men and their egos; they are very different from us, he told Q to ask you because he wanted Q to get you to contact him”
Me: “Can we just not talk about these anymore”
Qaqamba: “I will drink to that, you always do the opposite of what I say or what you want and talking with you doesn’t help my friend”
Masa: “I will send you his number, and if you change your mind you can call him”
Qaqamba: “Masa, come assist me” Masa stood up from the table.
Q was bit upset at me, somehow; she had always felt that it was her duty to help me find love and happiness.
My birthday afternoon went well after that, we had lunch and later went for movies, my life was okay, the only problem was that Lufuno had reminded me how good sex can be.
Monday morning, I arrived at work just before 5am, it was just like any other day at work. I put on my gown then went to meet the boy I was operate. He had arrived with his family the previous Friday, the hospital in JHB had transferred him to our hospital.
Me: “Morning Mary, why are you grinning, do you have fat cookies for me?”
Mary: “No, better than that, Jane has agreed that I go to the theatre with you, she has scheduled the surgery for 8am” Mary was one of the graduate from University of Cape Town and for some reason she loved me so much and always asking about my love life, so you can say I had mini Qaqamba at work and Jane was my boss; Chief of Staff.
Me: “Great, come with me, I am going to see the boy, her family is also here with him”
Mary: “I am so excited, I have researched a lot over the past weekend, and I have never witnessed Valve replacement in action”
Me: “Mary, we are going to perform Coronary artery bypass, did you read the patient file?”
Mary: “I am so sorry, so I can’t go with you”
Me: “You will, but, you won’t touch anything, you will just watch; I don’t want to put this boy’s life at risk”
Mary: “Thank you, and I am sorry”
Me: “I think this is the ward, please let me do the talking”
Mary: “Okay Doc”
I opened the door, it was just a boy inside the room, we went inside and I sat down next to his bed while Mary remained standing. He was a beautiful handsome little boy, he was so cute to be sick, he looked so innocent and brave, I would have bump into him in the street and it wasn’t going to cross my mind that he was sick.
Me: “Morning Little man”
Boy: “Morning, are you the doctor?”
Me: “Yes, I am, how are you doing this morning”
Boy: “I feel weak but the other nurse told me that you are good and that you are going to fix me”
Me: “That’s correct, you going to be fine. So, I am Doctor Noluntu and this is Mary.”
Boy: “My name is Ntando, I am seven years old”
Me: “Yes, you are, I read your file. I was told that you came here with your family, are they here”
Ntando: “I am with my dad, he went to bath, and he spent the night with me”
Me: “You are a lucky Champ, I will come and check on you again after thirty minutes and also to speak to your Dad, then we will move you to another room, okay buddy”
Ntando: “Okay” As we were about to leave his room, someone opened the door and it was a tall man wearing a grey suit, it was Lufuno, “is he stalking me?” I thought to myself.
Ntando: “Doctor, this is my Dad” Ouch, yep, his son was the one having a surgery that day and he wasn’t there for me.
Me: “Good Morning”
Lufuno: “Good morning”
Me: “You have smart and loving son”
Lufuno: “He is the product of not being afraid of the future” I was quiet and there was an awkward moment.
Me: “Mary, please go upstairs, make sure everything is set”
Mary: “Okay, Doc”
Lufuno: “Are you my Son’s Doctor, the great Doctor they all talk about”
Me: “Please come to my office with me, I need to explain the procedure”
Me: “Ntando, see you soon Champ”
Ntando: “See you doctor, Dad, don’t worry, the Doctor said is going to be okay”
Lufuno: “Okay, buddy, I love you, I will be back soon okay”
We left the ward and went to my office, we were both not talking until we got to my office, and the tension between us was real.
Me: “Please take a sit”
Lufuno: “Thank you, I will stand”
Me: “Okay, I am sure someone have already gone through the risks involved with you, I was also told that you didn’t want operation at first”
Lufuno: “Yes, I know that he will die if he doesn’t get this operation and I also know that he might die from this operation, but I have faith”
Me: “Good, very good”
Lufuno: “I waited for your call, instead of calling you decided to be the one operating on my boy”
Me: “The chief of staff assigned this to me, I am shocked as you are, and I didn’t know that he was your child until you arrived at the ward”
Lufuno: “Then why didn’t you call me”
Me: “Can we talk about this after surgery, if you want a different Doctor I can speak to my superior”
Lufuno: “Staying away from you have been difficult, if I am not thinking about my son, I am thinking about you”
Me: “I have been waiting for your call too”
Lufuno: “Then why didn’t you call me?”
Me: “I am still not sure if being with you is the right thing to do”
Lufuno: “Wow, okay, let me go back to my son” Again, he walked away from me just like that, all I wanted was for him to fight for me from me, yes, I know I am a messy, but I needed him to put some efforts.
After an hour or so I went upstairs, Ntando was already at the theatre and Lufuno was sitting outside by the waiting area. One thing I was sure about was that he loved his son and I had to do whatever it took to save his life.
The surgery took three hours, it was going well until Ntando’s BP started dropping, I believe in science but at that moment; I found myself praying to God while operating the boy, “God, he is just a boy, I promise to face my fears if you save his life, I have done everything according to the book and now I need you to save him, please”.
Mary: “Noluntu the BP is rising again”
Me: “Thank you Lord” everyone looked at me as if I was losing it, everyone knew that I was an atheist but there I was thanking the almighty God.
Me: “Okay, everyone, he is stable now, everything looks normal, let’s close him up then give room to the plastic surgeons”
Mary: “Do I need to leave with you or I can stay and watch?”
Me: “You haven’t close the chest before, stay and observe. I need to go check up on my other patient”
Mary: “Thank you”
Me: “Thank you everyone, we did a great job but we still need to monitor him very closely” I said, then left the room. I walked to the waiting area to give Lufuno an update.
Lufuno: “Hi, I am sorry about early, I just get so frustrated when I can’t get my way and this time around is with someone I love, I shouldn’t have walked out on you for the second time, even last week it was wrong; and I am sorry”
Me: “Please don’t apologise”
Lufuno: “I have one option and you are my only option”
Me: “Ntando he is doing well, there was no complications”
Lufuno: “Thank you, now I can have my coffee, do you guys have coffee shop in the building?”
Me: “Is down the hall”
Lufuno: “Okay, do you want to come with me?”
We walked together to get coffee, then afterwards we went to my office.
Lufuno: “You have a beautiful office and the view here”
Me: “I got it recently after the head of Cardiologist retired, before I used to sit with other Doctors next to the ER”
Lufuno: “So, you are now a head of your department huh”
Me: “Yes, I am”
Lufuno: “After high school I heard that you were studying Journalism and I was confused, you have always been passionate with biology and people”
Me: “Well, I wouldn’t have been a Dr If it wasn’t for that Journalism learnership, it helped me pay for my studies and before I knew it, I had a bursary”
Lufuno: “So you haven’t reconciled with your mother”
Me: “You know sometimes I think she adopted me, I cannot tell you a single day when she has showed me love and after I started dating James it was worse, I thought she was going to reach out at me after his funeral but she didn’t. I remember after matric, I wanted to go to medicine right away and she laughed at me, to her I was never good enough”
Lufuno: “I am sorry, but have you tried reaching out?”
Me: “I have sent her letters, I have never received a reply, I know she’s alive because I always send her a cheque with these letters and I know she does cash them up”
Lufuno: “Okay, have you thought of talking this out with a professional?”
Me: “Now you sound like Q, can’t I have a conversation with people without being recommended to the shrink?? I am not the one with a problem, it is her”
Lufuno: “yes, but her absence might have affected you as well, and the love you didn’t receive from her”
Me: “Is this about her or us?”
Lufuno: “I am just trying to get you”
Me: “I am telling you, my mother’s absence didn’t damage me, I am this strong because of her”
Lufuno: “Okay, prove it to me, have dinner with me tonight”
Me: “Tonight I can’t, I am going to be here for the next 12 hours and I have to keep an eye on Ntando, everything went well but it’s very critical that we monitor him closely for the next three days”
Lufuno: “Oh, but are you sure that he is going to be fine?”
Me: “He is going to be fine and we also have great plastic surgeons here, you will hardly see the scar”
Lufuno: “I guess we don’t always get everything we need, at least my son he is going to be Okay”
Me: “is not all hope lost, okay!! I will prove this to you by having dinner with you before you and Ntando fly back to Johannesburg”
Me: “I need to go check on another patient, you can wait here if you like”
Lufuno: “Thank you Nolu”
His eyes were sparkling, it was as if his eyes do magic when he is happy inside out, like he would sometimes smile with his eyes and not with his lips, of course his lips were also his greatest feature and his dimples were a bonus.
Me: “Morning Mary”
Mary: “Good Morning, I left your flowers on your table”
Me: “Thank you, is this about letting you in the theatre the other day, you shouldn’t have”
Mary: “They are not from me, they are from Ntando’s Father”
Me: “oh, it is probably a thank you gesture on the behalf of his son, you should keep them on your desk”
Mary: “mhm, do you know that guy? I think he likes you, he made me promise that you will get them”
Me: “He is an old friend from high school that’s all”
Mary: “Was he your charming Prince”
Me: “Something like that”
Mary: “I think he still is, you should have seen how he was blushing when he mentioned your name, I have a good feeling with this one, I like him already, how thoughtful he is, no man has ever sent me flowers”
Me: “Mary slow down” I said while opening my office.
Me: “And I hate flowers, I don’t understand why someone can think there is a meaning on chopped flowers, I am not a garden and these ones I can’t even plant at my garden”
Mary: “Come on, they are beautiful”
Me: “You can keep them, just leave the card, he could have just sent a card”
Mary: “Thank you, Boss, but if I may; you need to give a black man a chance, black men are so confused regarding what we really like and want, all you need to do is to communicate with him”
Me: “You sound like you have found someone in your life, any way I will take your advice into consideration”
That day I got so busy and forget to open the card from Lufuno and only opened it when I was walking to my car in the basement.
“Hi, I have never bought anyone flowers before, but I am in the corner here, I have to use all the tricks I know to make you see that the universe wants us to be together. So, can I take you out for lunch in the afternoon, I just want to see your smile outside hospital’s walls, please give me call if lunch is okay with you, I am not going to push you any harder, just follow your instinct. Xoxo-Lufuno”
I blushed at the card, for some crazy reasons, I put on my red lipstick and kissed at the end of the card before I made a u turn to Ntando’s ward, I was literally running to the lift, when I got to the lift there was people coming out and Lufuno was one of them, and at that moment I was certain that I love him and that the universe wanted us to be together.
Me: “Hi” I said with so much energy.
Lufuno: “Hi, So, you haven’t knocked off?”
Me: “I have just read your card”
Lufuno: “I can see” He said while looking at my right hand which was holding the card
Me: “I was actually coming to look for you at Ntando’s ward”
Lufuno: “I waited for your call but now I can see that you old read it now, so, what does your instinct tells you”
Me: “I am here, I am letting go of my fears, and I want to see where this road is going to take me”
We were still standing by the lifts, with my hands holding car keys, card and handbag, he pulled me closer to him with my arms and hugged me, then he kissed me, at first, I was worried of my colleagues and patients seeing us but in the middle of the kiss; I dropped everything to the floor and kissed him back with my hands at his broad shoulders. Few seconds later, he stopped the kiss, and picked up my items on the floor.
Lufuno: “We need privacy and I am starving”
Me: “Me too”
Lufuno: “Come with me, I know a very welcoming place with nice home cooked meal”
Me: “Okay, let’s go” As we started walking I noticed that Mary have been standing by the main reception; giggling and smiling. As we were walking to the basement lifts, she walked towards us.
Mary: “Hi Ms Noluntu, you look fabulous” she said then winked at me and I just smiled back, I had no words, I was feeling guilty for not being a fan for flowers. We go into the lift.
Lufuno: “Is this blood…” He said, then opened the card to answer his question “oh”
Me: “Is stupid, I know”
Lufuno: “You used to stamp your letters with kisses in high school, so that girl it is still inside you”
Me: “Old habits die hard”
Lufuno: “I Love you too Noluntu” I smiled, well normal people would’ve responded verbally but hey, I am Noluntu and sometimes I just don’t know how to be normal
When we arrived at the basement, we decided to take his car and left mine at work, then he drove to Camps Bay, at first, I thought that maybe there was a restaurant there with African meals, but then he passed all the restaurant and drove to the residential area.
Me: “Where are we going?”
Lufuno: “We are here”
Me: “This is not a restaurant”
Lufuno: “I stay here” It was a beautiful big house facing the beach
Me: “Is this your house?”
Lufuno: “It can be ours soon, for now I only use it when I am in town”
Me: “Life of the politicians” I didn’t mean to say it out loud but I did, sometimes my thoughts can escape my mouth and it was also my worry when it comes to dating, I unintentionally offends people
Lufuno: “You really don’t follow news, I bought this house while I was still working for the bank and I have already disclosed everything to the public, I don’t want wealth from this government, I want serve my people in the best way as possible.”
Me: “I didn’t mean it that way”
Lufuno: “I know, I am not corrupt Noluntu” He said while getting off the car, to be honest, at that moment I really didn’t care if he was corrupt or not, I just needed him.
We went into the house through the garage door, his house was beautiful and so clean.
Lufuno: “Come this side” I followed him to the dining room, in the dining table there was two plates and two wine glasses among other things, the settings of the table were perfect and that’s when it hit me that the lunch from his card was going to happen at his house and it sort of romantic.
Lufuno: “Here, take a sit, I am going to bring food now, I hope my food will meet your standards” He pulled the chair for me, poured the wine for me and left to the kitchen, I was blushing all the way to the moon, I was a princess.