It’s a very hot Friday afternoon and I’m chilling with friends at home.
“You know, Mkhuluwe, if you bought that phone online, there’s a possibility of many other people buying really fancy stuff online. You guys ever thought about that?” Alondwe asks, after the courier guy who delivered my cellphone has left.
My name is Sivuyile Caluza, not Mkhuluwe. I’m from Bhongweni location in Kokstad. I currently live with my unemployed mom and my little sister who is doing Grade 10. I work at the Albany Bakery.
“Of course, we have Mkhuluwe. In fact, a lot of people prefer shopping online these days.” said Zola, who is Mister Know-it-all, or so he claims to be.
“Yup, you’re right Zola. Online shopping can save you from standing in queues in the mall.” I add.
“Of course I’m right, man.” Zola sniggers.
“Wow! This is just great.” Alondwe says, while heading for the gate.
“Damn what’s he up to?” I shake my head as I laugh.
“Who doesn’t know online shopping?” says Zola, shaking his head in disbelief.
At about 11:41pm, Alondwe calls and is breathing heavily.
“Yeah bro. You good?” I ask curiously.
“Yo bro, I am not sure at the moment,” he says in between the gasps for the air. “I need your help.”
“Damn, you forgot I’m working tonight? Where ya at?” I ask him.
“Oh shit…” He goes quiet for some time. “I’m here by the golf course, I got stash.” and he hangs up.
As soon as my shift ends in the morning, I go home. Mmeli turns on the FM on the truck. The 6am o’clock news comes in and one of the stories shocks me.
“A delivery truck for one of the retail shops of TFG has been robbed between Kokstad and Matatiela…” announces the newsreader
I just know who was behind that.
When I get home i find Zola and Alondwe with big smiles on their faces, behind them lies eight fully packed rubbish bags.
“What’s happenin’ here?” I ask.
“We doin’ good, yourself?” says Alondwe.
“Screw that, what’s this?” I point at the bags.
“I told you, I got stash bro, open this room and lets get this over with.” Says Alondwe kicking me in excitement.
I open one bag and there is the pair of sneakers I’ve always wanted. I open my room quickly; we get the bags inside and start sharing the clothes.
Alondwe stops us, “Guys wait, I have a condition. I can only share these clothes with ya if you agree we’ll do the next job together.”
Zola and I look at each other and nod our heads.
If you did this one all by yourself, why don’t we join in, I think to myself.
And so we finish sharing the clothing and agree on our next job in the afternoon.
Finally, we go to work. It’s 4:28pm, when we stop by the hitchhiking spot, opposite the Ford garage. We stop only the courier vehicles. The clock is ticking with no luck.
“I think the reason these people don’t stop is because we’re an overload guys.” I suggest, to which they agree with me.
So one of us has to be left out. Surprisingly, no one wants to be left out and they gang up on me.
“Sivu has to stay behind.” says Zola.
Alondwe replies, “I agree, he’s too slow. We don’t need that.”
“Yeah he’s sweet, with a baby face. He can’t even scare a boy if he frowns.”
Every time they bring that up, it pisses me. I never chose to be slow. So, I left them and a white courier truck pulls to a halt and they jump in as I turn to walk home.
I am awakened by a call in the middle of the night, “Hey sleepy chicken. Come over to my house.”
I want to go there and check what they have this time, but my blankets are warm, making it hard for me to wake up and I fall back to sleep.
A hard knock on my door makes me jump in the morning, “Who’s there?” I say as I put on a vest.
“Police, open up!” bellows a man’s voice from behind the door.
“Fuck”, I scream as I open the door and then I’m under arrest…
My friends have pleaded guilty. They hijacked a truck, which had Avon products, killed the driver and drove the truck back to Zola’s home. The truck was tracked and followed, after it changed direction and was found in Zola’s place.
Now the questioning is on me, “Where were you the day Mr Alondwe robbed the TFG truck?”
“Your Highness, I was at work doing night shift.”
“What about the day they robbed the Avon truck and killed the driver?”
“Your highness, I was with them on that day, but I happened to be left out, as the plan wasn’t going well.”
The court case was dismissed, but unfortunately for my friends, Alondwe was charged with 13 years in jail and Zola got 9 years. As for me, I’m walking out a free man.