“Sho’t left!” I shouted with a shaky voice. I had finally arrived after four hours on the road. And there it was – Vilakazi street. The sight of this slightly obliterated street sign in Soweto could only mean one thing – I was finally home. It had been a few months since I left, twenty-four months to be exact. I did not leave on good terms, in fact, I left on extremely bad terms. I had cussed my father to his face and told him I was a big girl. I was in love and nothing mattered. Nobody mattered except for my tall and handsome man who had promised me the world. Life with him seemed like a scene out of a Hollywood movie; it shone bright and attracted me more than anything else I had known and respected at the time. I now understand how Eve felt in the garden of Eden. I mean, at that time it was the obvious and right thing to do; now things have gone sour I am back home.
“Thank you Malume” I said to the middle-aged driver who had tried to score my number before I got off the taxi. I did not give him any answer. My mind was not with him. My mind was in the blue house just four houses from where I stood. My mind was in the living room. Would they even let me into the living room? Perhaps I was being a little ambitious. I imagined that the dogs had been trained by now to attack when they smell my scent. Had I made the right decision coming back home? Perhaps I should just catch the next taxi and go back to where I was before. That seemed less scary even though the life back there would definitely kill me.
“Mkhulu, come, there’s a lady at the door!”, a cute three-year old looking girl shouted as I knocked. Could this be my daughter? I had left my daughter behind and now she did not know me. Clearly, I have done a terrible thing. There is no way they could ever forgive me. I should probably rush off now before they come to the door. I turned around quickly and as I did, bumped into my father. He was coming from the back of the house. The moment his eyes realised who it was they had just landed on, they released floods of tears and his arms took me in and held me tight in his dusty hands. It was a love I had experienced before. It was a love so genuine and so unconditional. It was a love that made me realise – that it was never too late to go back home. Just like the prodigal son, I could still make things right with my father.