Jabulani Pines for Max

Jabulani felt spent from crying every night when she was lying in bed, thinking about Max and aching for him. Weeks had passed since they last spoke to each other. Why had he stopped calling her? She tried calling him on his cell but it went straight to voice mail which was always full which meant she couldn’t leave any messages.

Was it over between them? Had he decided that he wanted to be faithful to his wife? If that were the case, surely, he would have broken up with her in person, not matter how painful it would have been. Why hadn’t he called her? Had something happened to him? She hoped and prayed not. It would kill her if anything bad were to happen to him. She couldn’t imagine living without him. She loved him so much.

Oh, Max, I miss you so much. I miss hearing your voice. It’s all I had because I couldn’t see you but now, that’s gone. All I have are memories of our times together and our conversations to keep me. How much longer are we going to be like this? How much longer do I have to wait before I can see or speak to you again? What are you doing this minute? Are you thinking about me? Are you busy at the clinic or are you with your wife?

Had they gone on another trip? She had been jealous when he told her about their weekend trip to Bath. Of course, she had no right to be jealous because Avianna was his wife, but she couldn’t help it. She tried not to imagine them strolling about the city, holding hands and laughing or of them having sex in the hotel bed.

She thought about the PSA she had seen of him. He had looked so handsome in the tuxedo. Seeing him on the screen, talking to the camera as if he were talking to her made her ache for him. She had seen images on social media and in the Entertainment news, photos of the gala hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Ruthorham. And she had seen photos of Max and his wife. It had pained her to see them together, especially as they were smiling and he had his arm around her shoulders. They looked like the typical, happy married couple. No one suspected that Max was having an affair with the South African student he was sponsoring through FACES Africa, his wife’s charity.

Maybe Max had had an attack of conscience. He was after all, a Christian. Maybe he felt guilty about cheating on his wife and that was why he hadn’t been in touch with her. Jabulani shook her head. No, he would have said something. He wouldn’t just end their relationship like that without a word to her. No, if he had decided that he wanted to be break things off, he would come to the flat and tell her. Tears sprang to her eyes and fear gripped her heart. What if he showed up one day and told her that it was over? What was she going to do then? Beg him not to break her heart? Beg him to continue their affair? Or would she pack up and leave London as soon possible and return to Johannesburg?

She shook her head. The thought of never seeing Max again was unthinkable. She had to stop thinking such foolish things. Max loved her. She was sure of that. It was there in his eyes when he looked at her and she could feel it every time they made love. Max loved her. He would never break up with her. Still, she couldn’t shake the fear and panic that gripped her every time she wondered why he hadn’t been in touch.

Friday evening, she was sitting on the sofa, feeling very down. She had finished her homework and was now trying to watch something on the television but she couldn’t concentrate. Her mind was on Max.

The ringing of the doorbell startled her. It had been a long time since she last heard it. She got up from the sofa and went to see who it was. Probably someone giving out flyers or something. Her heart lurched when she saw that it was Max. She immediately opened the door. He looked so handsome that she longed to throw her arms around him but she stood there, staring at him. “Hello, Jabulani,” he said quietly.

“Hello, Max.” She opened the door wider for him to go inside. Her heart was beating really fast and she felt a knot in the pit of her stomach. Why was he here now? Was he here to tell her that it was over between them?

After he removed his shoes and jacket, he followed her into the living-room. They both remained standing and facing each other. “How have you been?” he asked.

“Fine,” she lied. “And you?”

“Fine,” he said untruthfully.

“I saw the PSA you did. It-it was very good.”

“Thank you.”

“I also saw photos of you and your wife at the gala with the Duke and Duchess.”

“I want you to know that I would have preferred to be here with you instead of there.”

“If that’s true, why haven’t you been in touch? It has been weeks since the last time you called me.” She couldn’t hide the pain in her eyes or the anguish in her voice.

“I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch, Jabulani. I had to sort out a lot of things.”

“Like what?”

“My divorce.”

She stared at him. “Your divorce?”

“Yes. I told Avianna about us.”

“Why did you tell her?”

“I couldn’t continue living a lie, Jabulani. I couldn’t continue lying to her, letting her think that you were just a student I’m sponsoring. And I couldn’t let her believe that we still had a future together when you’re the one I want to spend the rest of my life with.”

“What did she do when you told her the truth about us?”

“She was extremely hurt, devastated. I felt sick to my stomach when I saw the pain I had caused her.”

“I’m sorry that she got hurt but I’m not sorry that you and I are going to be together forever.”

He took her in his arms, his eyes darkening on her upturned face. “I love you, Jabulani,” he murmured huskily.

“I love you too, Max,” she told him, her heart racing.

He lowered his head and kissed her. Closing her eyes, she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him back. This time her tears were those of joy.

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