Vanessa hated it when people made her wait. It was 5AM and their flight was boarding in an hour, but Thabo was nowhere in sight and Malik wasn’t much company. He was staring at his phone and every second sentence Vanessa would have to repeat herself.
It had been two days since Thabo begged Vanessa to join, yet he was already proving to be a problem. Vanessa had asked Kami to dig into his past and confirm whether or not he had any ties to the police. Kami found nothing but was still sceptical, she told Vanessa to work with Thabo on a probationary basis.
Vanessa looked over to Malik and saw that he was smiling at his phone again.
“Is that what has been keeping you busy lately?”, she said as she flicked him on the head.
“No, what do you mean?“
Malik quickly put away his phone like a child afraid of a scolding. Vanessa found it amusing. Kami and Malik saw each other as siblings and treated one another as such.
Vanessa normally drove herself to the airport whenever she had a business trip but Kami tasked her with calling ‘their’ little brother to order and Vanessa thought this would be a good way to get him alone without any distractions. However, the plan wasn’t going so well.
“I saw you were going through Tamia’s Instagram. You were doing it in the car as well. Kami told me you haven’t been meeting your sales targets lately. It’s because of her, right?”
Malik wanted to say no but he could see by the look in her eyes that she wouldn’t have believed him. Vanessa never liked the idea of Malik and Tamia dating, it was too dangerous. She always thought after a few dates and a bit of sex their attraction would fizzle out, but it now seemed like he was falling in love with her.
Kami not being a fan of Tamia’s didn’t help the situation much but Malik not making money would further upset her. Business always came first. They were all friends but Kami was still the ringleader and she would not allow anyone to mess with her money.
Even though Vanessa knew it was a bad idea, a part of her wanted to see how long their romance would last and how far it would go. She couldn’t recall the last time she saw Malik or Tamia this happy.
“Okay… Call her Malik, or better yet, go see her. Leave Kami to me, I will handle her. Figure out whatever is going on between you and Tamia then get back to work. Just keep her safe.”
He smiled and kissed her on the cheek, “You are the best. Thank you, Princess.”
Vanessa could tell that he was relieved.
She stood up and looked at her watch one last time.
“I can’t wait anymore. Seems like we need to find a new accountant again. I will see you when I get back.”
“When you get back? I’m supposed to be going with you.”
“You were only coming to keep an eye on Thabo. Since he’s not coming, I can do this on my own.”
Vanessa walked towards the boarding gate, waving one final goodbye to Malik before boarding the plane.
Malik was excited. Vanessa’s approval meant a lot to him. He could now officially ask Tamia out. Kami and Vanessa were like his sisters and nothing should come between family but for the first time in his life, he was thinking about leaving the business so that he and Tamia could have a safe life together.
As he drove to Vanessa’s place, he thought about the people he knew who turned their backs on the drug trade. They lost everything; their credibility and wealth, as well as the protection and respect of other dealers. Malik laughed at the irony of the situation, he always thought those who gave in to their desires to be loved were weak, yet, here he was willing to change his life for her, picturing his life as a ‘one woman man’ and having children.
Malik parked in the driveway, and as he made his way to the front door, he wasn’t sure whether to use the spare key Vanessa gave him when she first moved in. Malik was nervous, this was going to be the first time he and Tamia spent time at the house. They normally met an Airbnb or at his place.
He stood by the door for a second, took a deep breath then rang the doorbell.
It was six-thirty in the morning. Tamia was surprised to hear the doorbell ring. She knew Vanessa was supposed to be on her way to Johannesburg so it must have meant that her plans had changed and she misplaced the keys to the house. Malik could hear her footsteps as she approached the door. She opened the door in her pyjama shorts and a bra, not paying attention to the guest in front of her.
After opening the door, she turned and said, “So much for always being Ms. Organised Vee, where did you put your key?“
Malik cleared his throat, “So this is how you answer the door, barely dressed.”
Tamia froze. She turned to stare at him, unable to believe that it was him standing in front of her.
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