Leaving the retail store that I normally visited on the weekends, I could see that someone was in my car but I could not tell who it was. Standing a few kilometres away from the parking lot of the complex, I wondered what was going on. All alone in the area, I was isolated from the public, nobody was around at the time. It was during the late hours of the day and everyone had left.

As I was walking towards my car, I stared at a figure of a man sitting on my driver seat. Could this be a thug, I wondered. And if he was, why hasn’t he stolen my car yet? Or is he still working on the wires to get it moving because I had my car keys with me?

I knew I should call the police. “Damn it!” I moaned, remembering that my phone battery had died.

Then I thought of standing up for myself and facing the threat like a man. So I approached the stranger inside my car like a man, walking in a brave manner. Finally I had balls, I was no longer afraid. The unknown was waiting inside my car and like cold weather during winter, I was ready.

As I was getting closer and closer towards my car I yelled, “Voetsek wena! Voetsek! Get out of my car!”

I discovered that the person inside my car was me. At least that’s what it seemed like when I saw him for the first time. He looked exactly like me.

“Oh, my God,” I said.

As shocked as I was, the dude looked at me and said, “Dude, we look alike.”

That’s when I realised that I was inside another person’s body this whole time. The clothes I was wearing weren’t mine. This wasn’t my shirt, the pants and the shoes I was wearing weren’t mine either.

Still in shock, I looked at myself in the car mirror and it became clear to me that I was inside a stranger’s body. I stood there frozen like a snowman, watching a guy I didn’t know, inside my car, wearing my clothes inside my body and using my voice when speaking to me.

Then out of the blue, something popped out of my thick skull. I remembered the stranger inside my car. Apparently he was a beggar from across the road, near Mandela Bridge. I usually passed him by on my way to work. He was begging motorist for money and food, holding a card box, written: No food, No money, Help!

That moment quickly turned into a mystery puzzle. While I was busy solving it, trying to put the pieces together the stranger inside my car smiled at me.

“Remember me, Mpho?”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

He then reminded me of what he told me this morning on my way to work. I was by the stop sign waiting for the traffic light to turn green. He was begging by my window for money and I completely ignored him.

He said, “Put yourself in my shoes and see what it is like to be me.”

Today I’m no longer a successful lawyer and it is now ten years since me and the stranger switched bodies.

He was a homeless beggar, begging for food and money and I was a successful criminal defence attorney. The man is now living my life as a successful lawyer. He belongs with the upper class community.

I am now living his old life, surviving from leftovers and begging for money on high ways, I belong with the lower class community.


Tell us: What did you think of the way things turned out?