Status: Finished

Torn Between Lust and Love

Chapter 13

Mandy woke early the next morning feeling refreshed. After breakfast she took to the streets to explore. She walked around just relaxing. There were no parks like they had back in the states, the streets were their parks. She heard music blasting in the distance and decided to follow it. When she got to the building, something told her she should steer clear of this building, but she ignored that feeling and opened the door. The music that had been blasting in the building hit her like a strong wind. Someone came up behind her, bumping into her. “Sorry.” He said and continued on passed her. God he smelt good.
Mandy walked around the recording studio just looking around when a woman came up to her asking if she could be of assistance. “I’m Mandy Dawson.” Mandy said simply. The woman’s eyes widened when she realized who she was talking to. “The Young Money artist?” She asked enthusiastically. Mandy nodded. “I’m Nonti, and such a big fan, but what are you doing in Johannesburg?” The woman asked motioning for Mandy to sit. “I just needed some space.” Mandy replied bluntly. “So you’re not interested in recording?” Nonti asked taking the seat next to Mandy. “No, but if it’s okay I’d like to see how you people make music in this side of the world?” Mandy asked hopefully. “Wait here.” She said and disappeared. She returned a few minutes later with the same man that had bumped into Mandy earlier. He was a tall, bald black man with a small patch of facial hair on his chin. He wore a simple shirt and jeans but somehow he made Mandy’s heart skip a beat. “This is our in-house producer.” Nonti offered motioning to the man. “This is Mandy Dawson.” She continued this time motioning to Mandy. “Benedict.” He said extending his hand. “Pleased to meet you.” Mandy said shaking his hand. “If you’re interested in music, Benedict is the one to help you and show you around.” Nonti said and walked away. “Don’t you have production studios back where you come from?” Benedict said turning to walk away motioning for Mandy to follow him. “Obviously we do, but I’m not really here to focus on music.” Mandy said following him. “Then why are you here in a production studio?” He said raising an eyebrow at her. “Distraction, I guess.” She answered simply. Benedict simply nodded.
A few days later, Benedict offered to drive Mandy back to her hotel instead of letting her walk back, she thought about inviting him up but was nervous. When he stopped the car in front of her hotel Mandy paused and drew a deep breath. “Do you wanna come up?” She asked afraid of his response. “To your hotel room?” Benedict answered barely able to contain his enthusiasm. Mandy nodded and he agreed. He followed her up to her room and took a seat while she ordered room service. “We both know you didn’t come to South Africa to focus on music, so tell me the truth. Why are you here?” Benedict asked looking up at Mandy seriously. She didn’t answer him immediately, instead she took a seat next to him on the couch, crossing her legs. She sighed hard. “I needed space to think.” She said being honest for the first time since she’d arrived. “Why didn’t you bring Wayne, aren’t you engaged to him?” He asked sitting back more so he could face her. Mandy looked away and remained quiet for a while. “What about you, do you have a girlfriend?” She asked avoiding his previous question. This time it was Benedict’s turn to fall quiet. After a minute or two he finally answered saying, “I did.” He said looking away trying to fight back the tears that were trying to fill his eyes. “I’m sorry, what happened to her?” Mandy asked placing a hand on his shoulder. “She passed away three years ago in a car crash, she was three months pregnant.” He said this time unable to hide his sadness. A tear rolled down his cheek, Mandy carefully wiped it away. He flinched at her touch. “I’m sorry.” She said pulling her hand away. Mandy knew what it felt like to lose someone you loved with your whole heart and then have them taken away from you without any warning.
Mandy woke the next morning feeling different. She turned over and saw Benedict’s slumbering figure beside her. She started panicking, she couldn’t remember a single thing from the night before. Had they had sex or did they just fall asleep together? Mandy got out of bed feeling guilty. She walked around her suite trying hard to remember what had happened the night before. Her phone vibrated on the kitchen counter. A number she didn’t recognize flashed across the screen. She clicked on it but the phone was locked. It wasn’t her phone. Mandy set the phone down on the counter again and found hers lying on the couch. She dialed Wayne’s number. “Hey baby… Did I wake you? … Shit, I’m sorry, I forgot about the time difference… I told you I can’t tell you that… I don’t want you to come after me… It’s not that it’s just I need time to think, I need some distance… Everything is just so confusing I don’t know what to do anymore… I want to believe me… I have to go.” She said and ended the call. Benedict was standing in the doorway looking at her. Mandy smiled at him, unable to look him in the eye. “Relax, we didn’t do anything last night.” He said trying not to laugh. Mandy nodded and walked passed him trying to avoid looking into his eyes. Mandy didn’t go back to the production studio after that night.
Mandy was avoiding Benedict, she knew that they didn’t just not do anything. She knew something happened between the two of them, she just didn’t know what. No matter how hard she tried to deny it, she was busy falling in love with him. All those countless hours of making music together and just being in his company all day long had a share in it all. Her phone vibrated in her pocket.
Why are you ignoring me, did I do something wrong? –TMAZ
No, it’s not what you did. –Dawnie
Then tell me what’s wrong. –TMAZ
I can’t. –Dawnie
Why not? –TMAZ
It’s complicated. –Dawnie
Mandy, please. –TMAZ
Can you come over now? –Dawnie
Mandy started getting nervous. She knew what she was about to do was wrong and that she would probably be dropped from Wayne’s label if she did, but she had to do it. There was a knock on her hotel room door then it opened. Benedict slipped though the crack and made his way to her. She didn’t stand to hug him like she always did when she saw him. Her heart started pounding in her chest harder and harder each minute. “Are you okay?” He asked looking at her seriously as he sat down. Mandy drew a deep breath and exhaled deeply. “I have to tell you something and I don’t know how to say it.” Mandy said nervously. “Tell me.” He replied with that smile that just made her heart melt. “I think I’m falling for you. I didn’t mean to, but spending all that time with you and-“He kissed her cutting her off. When he pulled back he smiled at her. “I’m glad you told me.” He said. Mandy barely heard what he was saying, she was focusing on how his lips felt pressed against her own. He didn’t kiss the way the other men she’d kissed did, he was more forceful, more over-powering.
Mandy and Benedict started dating and fell in love, spending every single second that they could together. He took her to his hometown to meet his parents and the rest of his family. She didn’t know it before, but she was falling in love with someone whose family had a lot more money than she’d anticipated. His family seemed to accept her despite all the things she’d read and heard about the racism in that country especially between the whites and the black people. They just didn’t seem to care and neither did she. She knew that if her parents were still alive, that they’d accept it as well, she knew in her heart that they would’ve loved Wayne but she wondered if they’d accept the fact that she had now fallen in love with a black man from a different country.
Mandy was at Benedict’s house when Wayne called. “Hey… Good… Look Wayne, I can’t talk right now… I’m busy… Doesn’t matter… I know… You too… I know, but right now I can’t talk… Wayne, I’ll talk to you later please… Okay, bye.” She said and hung up. Benedict looked at her. “What?” She asked shrugging. Benedict raised both eyebrows, exhaled and shook his head mumbling something in a language Mandy didn’t understand. “I have to go back sooner or later.” She offered after a while. “So that’s it, you come here to ‘think’, make me fall in love with you and now you want to go back to the US and go back to your old life?” Benedict said with an angry tone in his voice. “I want you to come with me.” She answered looking him in the eye. “You know I can’t do that.” He answered looking away. “Why not?” Mandy asked. “I just can’t okay?” Benedict said getting up. “It’s because of your girlfriend, the one that was in the accident isn’t it? You can’t leave here because you feel like you’re leaving her behind and that you’re abandoning her.” Mandy said getting up. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” He said walking away from her. “Yes I do. I know what it feels like to lose someone that you love without any warning, I know how that feels to look at their motionless, dismantled bodies and know that you’ll never see that person again, never hear their voice when they’re speaking to you or their laugh or even feel their touch again. I know how that feels. You’re the one that doesn’t know what they’re talking about!” Mandy shouted and started towards the door. “Mandy what are you talking about?” He asked grabbing her by the arm. “I know that Nadia never died in that accident. She was in a coma for months and months, the doctors didn’t think that she’d make it and when they finally put the life support machines off, she flat lined for a full minute before her heart started beating again and she was able to breathe on her own and when she was strong enough they brought her back to South Africa. I know that when she finally woke up and found out that the baby didn’t make it she fell into depression and told you that she can’t be with you anymore, because you’ll be a constant reminder of what she had lost and that you could never really be a family again.” Mandy said with tears in her eyes. “How did you know?” He asked softly. “I know, because I was there.” Mandy said with tears in her eyes. “What?” He said softly. “I’m so sorry.” Mandy said letting the tears fall to her cheeks. “I have to go.” Mandy said and ran out the door. It was storming outside and she couldn’t see where she was walking. She wasn’t far from her hotel only five minutes. What happened next would change her life forever.