Smses from last night:
Busi: It’s F%&*ed up man, totally fu%&*ed up.
Me: I know! I bloody knew it! Jo! It’s still deep though. (red crying face)
Busi: I actually want to cry, my heart is really sore, can’t believe this. (red crying face)
When the Dr calls you back...
Last week we figured that Bulela would find out his status from the medical test he would have to undergo for his American scholarship. In last night's episode the doctor who had done Buela’s medical checks called Zimele tellign him that he would like to see Bulela again that afternoon. At this point, I already knew that the fat lady had sung. Couldn't deny it anymore.
Both Lebo and Zimele fetch their son from school in the after school. Bulela was walking up to the car with Dineo, when Lebo stepped out of the car to meet him and told him that Dr Singh wanted to see him again. Bulela asked why, and Lebo said she did not know. She handed Bulela a change of clothes (mommy dearest), told him to change and hurry back so they can go. No one knew then why the Dr would want to see Bulela again. Except for Dineo, who had a knowing and nervous look about her. Dineo wishes Bulela all the best at the Dr's and Bulela, with what would be the last smile of the episode, says “sure” and walks off.
At the Doctors
Lebo and Zimele are waiting anxiously outside the consulting room, more curious than worried at this stage. A downcast Bulela walks out of the consulting room, stands by the door and gestures for his parents to enter.
“Mr and Mrs Moloi. How do you do? I’m Dr Singh. Bulela has requested me to tell you what I have just told him. As you know we have conducted a battery of blood tests on Buelal, and one of them has come back indicating that Bulela is HIV positive.”
In came the sad music and the devastated looks on both Lebo and Zimele’s faces. the disappointment in the room was almost tangible. Bulela stood behind his sitting parents looking down at the floor. Zimele asked the Dr if this was going to affect the American scholarship and the Dr confirmed, as we had foreseen, that American policy does not permit the issuing of visas to HIV positive people, and that he would be handing his report to the board and unfortunately Bulela would lose the celebrated opportunity.
On the way home, Zimele is shouting at Bulela out of frustration saying to him that he told him to stay away from girls this year and asked Bulela if it was that girl, Dineo, he was walking with after school. Bulela does not reply. He couldn't believe it himself.
Reality check, take 6!
First it was Lebo who found out that she was HIV positive, when she tested due to being pregnant. Then Zimele went to get tested when Lebo told him she was positive. Lulu and Zakes were prompted to test after Zimele told Lulu that his results. Lulu tested positive, and Zakes tested negative and was told to come back for a second test after the six week window period. Now, Bulela has tested positive, which tellsto us that Dineo must be positive and so is Zakes. Bulela is the 6th person to test positive in this trail of deception and careless sexual behaviour, and it’s really heart breaking.
Bulela's reaction to the news was definitely the most touching and real of everyone. The other's seemed to move on too quickly, but maybe that's just a coping mechanism. After they fetched Mihlali from Lihle’s house, we see Mihlali reach out from across the back seat to hold her brother’s hand who is sitting silently looking out the window of the car. Mihlali’s hand cluches his, and Bulela wipes a falling tear with his free hand, his eyes still fixed on the world outside his window. Pain is like a language of its own. He said nothing, but Mihlali sensed it.
When they arrive at home, Mihlali asks her mother why Bulela does not look happy and Lebo replies that it is because he is no longer going to America. Mihlali, being the extra sweet sister, says to her mon that she will make Bulela’s favourite brownies and maybe that will cheer him up.
Later, Lebo finds Mihlali cutting the brownies in the kitchen and Mihlali offers her a brownie, but Lebo says that she will have one later. Mihlali asks her if it's because she is not feeling well. Lebo, understanding where the question is coming from, tells Mihlali that just because she does not feel like something doesn’t mean that she is sick. She adds that Mihlali should stop worrying about her because mommy is going to be alright. Sweet.
Run Forest, run!
If we could all physically run away from our problems and leave them way way behind and have them disappear in the distance, we would. Bulela is missing at supper that evening, having snuck out of the house without telling anyone. A worried Lebo tries to call him on his cellphone after Mihlali returns to the table saying Bulela is not in his room. But Bulela has left it and we they hear the phone ringing somewhere in the house. Mihlali says to her parents that Bulela never leaves without his phone.
Cut to a hooded Bulela running in the dark and dusty streets. He stops under a huge billboard that looked like it was the length of an Olympic swimming pool and takes off the hood of his sweater to read it. It read, : “Without a condom, it’s the same as sleeping with everyone that he or she has slept with.” Including your father (that’s just my addition). Touched by this, but obviously too late, he hoods up again and continues to run.
Supper is over and Bulela has still not returned. Lebo calls Lihle to check if Bulela has not visited Mandla, Lihle’s son. Mihlali says to her worried mom that maybe Bulela has gone to see his girlfriend. Lebo asks her husband to go and look for their son and Zimele drives around the township looking for Bulela. He stops at his former hangout spot, the shebeen, to see if he won’t find Bulela there. His old flame, spots him from across the room and looks quite happy to see him, but Zimele just waves back with a polite smile and walks out again. Old flame looked surprised to see him leave. It’s not that kind of party lady, not anymore.
Zimele finally catches up with Bulela who was walking in the street (even forest got tired of running eventually). Zimele hoots, Bulela stops and looks back and Zimele gets out of the car and says “Bulela, wouldn’t you like a lift?” (nice approach). Bulela tells him that he just wanted to run as far away from his problems as they could. They both get in the car and go home.
The next day at school, Mr Cele is teaching an uninterested class and I wondered if it wasn’t all the negative energy coming from the usually eager Bulela, who was least interested in the day’s maths lesson. Dineo walks into class late and Bulela asks Mr Cele if he could go to the bathroom. A while later, Mr Cele asks Zakes to go and check on what is keeping Bulela in the bathroom and when Zakes returns to tell Mr Cele that Bulela is nowhere to be found, Mr Cele is confused.
After school, Eddie stops by shop to drop off Bulela’s school bag and tells Lebo that Bulela bunked school. Lebo just takes the bags, not saying anything. Eddie wonders why she doesn’t look surprised and Lebo says that Bulela had called and told her not to be surprised if the school calls her and tells her that he had jumped the fence (don't know if this was true or if Lebo was just covering up for her son).
Eddie tells Lebo that the school principal had told him that the board had withdrawn the scholarship but the principal didn't say why. Lebo says that she cannot be the one to tell Eddie the reason for this and that perhaps Bulela would tell him himself. Eddie says to Lebo that theynever used to keep secrets from one another and Lebo replies that this is one secret she cannot tell him. Mr Cele says to Lebo that sometimes he wishes that he could take all her pain and wash it away forever. Sigh.
Bulela blames Dineo
The next day at school Bulela pulls Dineo aside to confront her about him testing HIV positive when she was his only intimate partner, as he had told Dr Singh and his parents. Bulela tells Dineo that because of her he is no longer going to America. He accuses her of lying to him about being a virgin and sleeping around. Dineo tries to defend herself by replying that she was a virgin, which was true, and that she only slept withone other person, Zakes. Before sprinting away in anger, Forest, sorry, Bulela tells Dineo that both she and Zakes should go and get tested.
We’re in this together
Dineo visits Lulu at the canteen to tell her that she went to get tested and her outcome was positive. Of cause at first Lulu did not want to speak to her and was being rude, but when Dineo told her she was also HIV positive, Lulu softened. She sat with Dineo and told her that she is sorry and will be there for her. The two young girls hugged, realising that what lives inside them is much bigger than their fight and they in fact need each other now more than ever, especially because they’ve not told their families.
The gloves are out: Bulela vs Zakes
Bulela goes out looking for Zakes and when he spots him he starts to shout his name as he approaches. I have never seen Bulela this angry. He actually looked much older after the fact. He went from sweet and soft boy to angry and violent man in one episode. Hey, you wouldn’t take it lying down either. Zakes, who is standing with a friend, hears his name and sees a very angry looking Bulela coming towards them. Bulela launches into Zakes, gunning to tear him into pieces, throwing Tyson punches and aiming for a bite of an ear. Ok, slight exaggeration but I’m trying to illustrate his anger ok.
Zakes was lucky his friend was there because he quickly grabbed Bulela from going all Baby Jake on Zakes. Bulela continues shouting and screaming at Zakes as the friend is pulling him away, saying things like “You know what you did!”. Zakes says to Bulela “You don’t know anything,” and walks away. Mr Friend tries to get Bulela to calm down, telling him that violence does not solve anything. Too true and I can’t imagine how Bulela, and his family, will react when they piece together the missing puzzle of where the virus came from. Bulela turns around and sprints away.
In other news
Remenber last week I told you about the woman coughing up a storm at the Moiloi’s shop, who turned out to be Theki’s wife - and I called her Mrs Theki because her name failed me - who Zimele suggested she go and get tested, and that resulted in Theki going to confront Zimele at the braai and telling everyong there that Zimele is HIV positive. Well, her name was Mirriam and I say was because in yesterday’s episode Tefo called Zimele to tell him that Mirriam had died. Mmmh...another one bites the dust. It gets deep, it gets steep and we weep.
Soul City, Monday 20:30, SABC 1!
A good resource: http://www.onelovesouthernafrica.org/