Marang sat on her bed, half listening to her grandmother heaving on the other side of the room separated by a worn out curtain lace and half impatiently waiting for her friend Leah to respond to her text. Before her grandmother got bedridden they used to make jokes about how most of the things in the house are older than her and on the good days her grandmother would tell her how she acquired her furniture, but all that Marang wanted to hear today was Leah to say that she will go with her to the party on Saturday.
The guilt she felt about inviting her best friend to this party was shadowed by the fact that she will make enough money to afford her grandmother the best care, and if she really recovers, she will try her best to make enough money to take her to Table Mountain.
Before she got lost in her thoughts, her cellphone rang, it was the first thing she bought for herself when she started working for Adze, who insisted on being called King Adze.
She met Adze through Nurse Tina, his girlfriend, at the hospital when she took her grandmother to the clinic after she had been battling with lung cancer.
Marang never really knew her mother but she always vowed to be a better mother than her. And by better she meant that she will never be promiscuous and end up with a child only to later abandon her because the responsibility was better handled by her grandmother instead. In fact Marang had sworn to remain a virgin until she was married. She listened to the Sunday school teacher telling them the dangers of sex and the words rang in Marang’s head when she kissed Tshepo behind the school toilets. But when Marang met Adze, she gathered the confidence to go ahead and explore herself sexually. Adze was her door to unsafe, wild sex. And she loved it. Though sometimes she would lay on her bed to try to evaluate her bad life choices and how she was becoming like her mother day by day, her grandmother’s heaving always justified the means.
But after a year she wasn’t enough for Adze anymore, and he made this known to her as a compliment.
“Mara my sweet cake, today I am here to present you with a promotion,” Adze said as soon as Marang stepped into the black SLK that picked her up often outside the school gates. On days like these Marang would wear sexy lingerie that she had bought with the guidance of Nurse, Adze’s girlfriend. She had worn the same panties for years on end and she only had two bras, one for school and one for church and special occasions. She didn’t believe when Nurse told her that sexy lingerie can change a womans mood but what it does to a man’s mood is pure MAGIC. And Marang changed her thoughts once she put in on, it sure changed her mood. She had never looked at herself as a growing woman of 17 until the day she wore the sexy red lacy number she bought with Nurse.
“Out with it King Adze. Don’t keep a pretty girl waiting,” Marang said in her playful tone that Adze always brought out of her. For a reason she couldn’t point out, Adze made her feel like a totally different person. He even managed to make her feel ok about sleeping with married men on random days of the week.
“Well, most of your clients, as you already know, are very pleased with your work. With your performance. But they have all, without fail have expressed how they would like, a three some with you and someone tighter than you.”
Marang looked at Adze, waiting for him to tell her that it was all a big joke, because at the start of their adventure, as they like to call it to give it some sort of dignity, she had clearly and confidently expressed that she will, under no circumstances have a three some. But Adze did not even bat his long Nigerian eye lashes, he looked straight ahead as if he knew that he was asking of Marang was a big ASK.
“Well, I’m waiting for you to say that it is a joke,” Marang said as they stopped at Adze’s Northern Suburbs mansion. Where she will single handledly, one after the other, sleep with four men. Each for 30 minutes, which was usually shorter, but it gave her enough time to shower and get rid of the guilt before the next client. Each of these men would pay her R2000.00, which she was saving to fix their shack with. When she first got the money, it was the highest amount of cash she had ever held with her own hands.
“Come on. I know you said you will never do that but you’ve been in the business for a while now, you must be used to it. And before you open your mouth to lay down your probably lame argument about how you have set certain standards and how you are not willing to break them and all that bullshit that you say to make yourself a better person than me, let me tell you what’s in it for you.
“Adze, you promised to respect that about me. You my friend, have some bullshit of your own that you always bring up about promises. Are you about to betray your own word?” Marang asked him. Very pleased with her argument as it wasn’t as lame as Adze thought it would be.
But as if she had not spoken Adze switched off the engine and looked straight in her eyes, holding both her hands in his warm big hands. Marang loved Adze’s touch. It made her think that the world is a good place. It was warm and reassuring. That is how she ended up losing her virginity to him.
“As you know, Victor is a doctor. So that means he has all sorts of connections in the medical world. He says that if you grant him this three some, with someone tighter than you, he will make sure that your grandmother gets the best treatment and that from that day on, her medical bills are paid and that she receives the best treatment there is to offer stage 4 cancer patients.”
Marang wanted to ask Adze how Victor knew about her grandmother but she knew the answer, she was enticed by the idea of her grandmother living long enough to be able to go to Table Mountain, her lifelong dream. But the words from the local doctor rang in her head “Your grandmother only has less than 3 months to live.” And today, marked the end of her grandmother’s first month. Two more to go. She looked at Adze and said “My grandmother is going to die Adze, not even Victor can help. Now I’ve got some business to do, let’s go”
As she tried to open the door she found it locked. She turned to look at Adze whose emotions had quickly escalated. His dark face was now purple and this time, he reached for Marang’s hand with a firm grip and said “Ok, your grandmother is going to die, but my business is not going to die at your expense. Climb off your high horse and come make me the money girl.”
TO BE CONTINUED ….
Photo: Hazel Fasaha Tobo